Shapes And Colors Quotes

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If you have a soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way... things I had no words for.
Georgia O'Keeffe
To hear never-heard sounds, To see never-seen colors and shapes, To try to understand the imperceptible Power pervading the world; To fly and find pure ethereal substances That are not of matter But of that invisible soul pervading reality. To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul; To be a lantern in the darkness Or an umbrella in a stormy day; To feel much more than know. To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain; To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon; To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves; To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching. To be a smile on the face of a woman And shine in her memory As a moment saved without planning.
Dejan Stojanovic
Success comes in many different shapes and colors. Don't let other people define those shapes and colors.
Leesa Abbott
A marriage is a private thing. It has its own wild laws, and secret histories, and savage acts, and what passes between married people is incomprehensible to outsiders. We look terrible to you, and severe, and you see our blood flying, but what we carry between us is hard-won, and we made it just as we wished it to be, just the color, just the shape.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
Love has a shape, but no color. You’re probably wondering, “If it’s transparent, how do you know what shape it is?” Good question. Well, for one thing, I put it together, and for another, I’m currently wearing it like body armor (though to the casual observer, I appear naked).
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.
Thich Nhat Hanh
In your reading, find books to improve your color sense, your sense of shape and size in the world.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity)
I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.
Joan Miró
But sometimes, people kick you to the ground at recess because they think the shape of your eyes is funny. They lunge at you because they see a vulnerable body. Or a different skin color. Or a different name. Or a girl. They think that you won't hit back - that you'll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do. But sometimes, you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back.
Marie Lu (Warcross (Warcross, #1))
Art is the war against what we do not choose to feel. It’s the battle of color, words, sound, and shape, and it rages for or against love.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
[her] mind blackens. The blackness is not a thought, but if it could be pressed into a thought, if a chemical from a dropper could be dripped onto it causing its color and essence to become visible, it would take the shape of this sentence: Why does no one want me?
Steve Martin (Shopgirl)
Can it really be love if we don't talk that much, don't see each other? Isn't love something that happens between people who spend time together and know each other's faults and take care of each other?...In the end, I decide that the mark we've left on each other is the color and shape of love.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
The best musicians transpose consciousness into sound; painters do the same for color and shape.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
But hunger, like food, comes in many shapes and colors.
Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan)
Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans's eyes, I am sure?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A smug, satisfied grin stretched Apollo's lips. "I took Hermes' helmet, melted the mother down, and here you go. An invisibility charm just for you." Apollo dropped the necklace into my palm. It was a reddish-gold color, and a crudely shaped wing was etched into it. "Ha," I said. "It's like Harry Potter and the invisibility cloak." Everyone stared at me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Do you know when they say soul-mates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. "Soul-mate wanted". It doesn't mean too much now. But soul mates- think about it. When your soul-whatever that is anyway-something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape-when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to-even if you can't be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul's wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. In must be like all the weddings in the world-gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets,showers of roses. And after that happens-that's it, this is it. But sometimes you have to let that person go. When you are little, people , movie and fairy tales all tell you that one day you're going to meet this person. So you keep waiting and it's a lot harder than they make it sound. Then you meet and you think, okay, now we can just get on with it but you find out that sometimes your sould brother partner lover has other ideas about that.
Francesca Lia Block (Dangerous Angels (Weetzie Bat, #1-5))
Close your eyes and picture it. Can you see it?" I nod, eyes closed. "Imagine it right there before you. See its texture, shape, and color—got it?" I smile, holding the image in my head. "Good. Now reach out and touch it. Feel its contours with the tips of your fingers, cradle its weight in the palms of your hands, then combine all of your senses—sight, touch, smell, taste—can you taste it?" I bite my lip and suppress a giggle. "Perfect. Now combine that with feeling. Believe it exists right before you. Feel it, see it, touch it, taste it, accept it, manifest it!" he says. So I do. I do all of those things. And when he groans, I open my eyes to see for myself. "Ever." He shakes his head. "You were supposed to think of an orange. This isn't even close." "Nope, nothing fruity about him." I laugh, smiling ateach of my Damens—the replica I manifested before me, and the flesh and blood version beside me. Both of them equally tall, dark, and so devastatingly handsome they hardly seem real.
Alyson Noel (Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2))
However contradictory the coroner's report — whether he pronounces Consumption or Loneliness or Suicide to be the cause of death — isn't it plain how the true artist-seer actually dies? I say that the true artist-seer, the heavenly fool who can and does produce beauty, is mainly dazzled to death by his own scruples, the blinding shapes and colors of his own sacred human conscience.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
...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
Things separate from their stories have no meaning. They are only shapes. Of a certain size and color. A certain weight. When their meaning has become lost to us they no longer have even a name. The story on the other hand can never be lost from its place in the world for it is that place.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
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)
Searching for a mind long lost I found it shaping colors and history near the cliffs of your heart.
Aberjhani (Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black (HB Gift Edition))
One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, "How beautiful the world could be...
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The ocean was one of the greatest things he had ever seen in his life—bigger and deeper than anything he had imagined. It changed its color and shape and expression according to time and place and weather. It aroused a deep sadness in his heart, and at the same time it brought his heart peace and comfort.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
The water crumbles on it's way down as my hands and feet push me forward. The world is lightening, taking shape, and turning to color. It feels like it's being painted around me.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
There’s a morning when presence comes over your soul. You sing like a rooster in your earth-colored shape. Your heart hears and, no longer frantic, begins to dance.
Rumi
Whatever you are physically, male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy – all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I have often wondered what was the source of her beauty, her radiance. It’s not the size of one’s nose, the color of one’s skin, the shape of one’s lips or eyes that make one beautiful or ugly. So what is it? Can you, as a woman, tell me? I shook my head. I will tell you: It’s love. Love makes us beautiful. Do you know a single person who loves and is loved, who is loved unconditionally and who, at the same time, is ugly? There’s no need to ponder the question. There is no such person.
Jan-Philipp Sendker (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, #1))
Keep a diary, but don't just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It's great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary.
John Berendt
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))
It is not pleasant to experience decay, to find yourself exposed to the ravages of an almost daily rain, and to know that you are turning into something feeble, that more and more of you will blow off with the first strong wind, making you less and less. Some people accumulate more emotional rust than others. Depression starts out insipid, fogs the days into a dull color, weakens ordinary actions until their clear shapes are obscured by the effort they require, leaves you tired and bored and self-obsessed- but you can get through all that. No happily, perhaps, but you can get through. No one has ever been able to define the collapse point that marks major depression, but when you get there, there’s not much mistaking it.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
If you write, fix pipes, grade papers, lay bricks or drive a taxi - do it with a sense of pride. And do it the best you know how. Be cognizant and sympathetic to the guy alongside, because he wants a place in the sun, too. And always...always look past his color, his creed, his religion and the shape of his ears. Look for the whole person. Judge him as the whole person.
Rod Serling
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 (Green Town, #2))
Word is murder of a thing, not only in the elementary sense of implying its absence - by naming a thing, we treat it as absent, as dead, although it is still present - but above all in the sense of its radical dissection: the word 'quarters' the thing, it tears it out of the embedment in its concrete context, it treats its component parts as entities with an autonomous existence: we speak about color, form, shape, etc., as if they possessed self-sufficient being.
Slavoj Žižek (Enjoy Your Symptom!: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out)
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)
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: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
Once, back in the time of the memories, everything had a shape and size, the way things still do, but they also had a quality called COLOR.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
We had spent only a few weeks together, five years ago, but when you finally meet the person who in daydreams you had sculpted without words, the transparency of time becomes the color of hair, and shapeless years become the shape of lips.
Simon Van Booy (The Secret Lives of People in Love)
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)
the mark we've left on each other is the color and shape of love. That's the unfinished business between us. because love, love is never finished.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
A good woman comes in all shapes and colors. When you find her, adore her.
Delano Johnson (Love Quotes)
Art should look like art, trees and flowers and people, not weird shapes and splotches of color all smeared together.
Jennifer Estep (Deadly Sting (Elemental Assassin, #8))
I say that the true artist-seer, the heavenly fool who can and does produce beauty, is mainly dazzled to death by his own scruples, the blinding shapes and colors of his own human conscience.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
The colors of living things begin to fade with the last breath, and the soft, springy skin and supple muscle rot within weeks. But the bones sometimes remain, faithful echoes of the shape, to bear some last faint witness to the glory of what was.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
How do you know when you're There, I had once wondered. Maybe you're lucky enough to notice the moment it's happening to you. Maybe you're able to block out all the other stuff that is, in the end, just background noise. But, most often, you don't know that you were There until you lose it, or until it gets taken away from you. When you look back, you clearly see that time, that place, when all the pieces of you had finally fit together to make you blissfully happy, make you your whole self. Like one of those jumbo puzzles that take up your entire kitchen table for weeks, the tiny pieces are just cardboard shapes with colors splashed on them, and they don't make any sense until you find their rightful place among the other pieces. When you put the last piece into place and the pieces now form a complete picture, that's when you're There. But while you were busy thinking about gluing the puzzle together, so that the pieces would never be apart again, someone comes from behind you, destroys the last piece and throws the rest of the pieces away. Even if you could muster up enough courage to put the pieces back together, the picture would never be complete again, because of the last missing piece...which, as it turned out, was smack in the middle, or in the heart, of the picture.
Julie Hockley (Crow's Row (Crow's Row, #1))
When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape.
Claude Monet
Her caramel skin and curly beach sand hair spreads in wavy chops like the choppy storm waves on the ocean. Her fluffy rose colored lips glisten with eyes emerald green and almond shaped set deep into her face and yet when she looks at you with those same deep set eyes, it feels like they jump out, speaking to you.
Ami Blackwelder
We weren't so different, Finn and I. Cages come in lots of colors and shapes. Some are gilded, while others have a slamming door. But golden handcuffs are still handcuffs.
Amy Harmon (Infinity + One)
Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts. (Leonard Shelby, Memento)
Christopher J. Nolan
Every woman should have a daughter to tell her stories to. Otherwise, the lessons learned are as useless as spare buttons from a discarded shirt. And all that is left is a fading name and the shape of a nose or the color of hair. The men who write the history books will tell you the stories of battles and conquests. But the women will tell you the stories of people's hearts.
Karen White (The Lost Hours)
I was following a phantom in my mind, whose shadowy form had taken shape at last. Her features were blurred, her coloring indistinct, the setting of her eyes and the texture of her hair was still uncertain, still to be revealed. She had beauty that endured, and a smile that was not forgotten. Somewhere her voice still lingered, and the memory of her words.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Covering oneself, surrounding oneself with shapes and colors that correspond to a plan, mean that that plan is beginning to be realized.
Joséphin Péladan
The things that we preceive as beautiful may be different, but the actual characteristics we ascribe to beautiful objects are similar. Think about it. When something strikes us as beautiful, it displays more presence and sharpness of shape and vividness of color, doesn't it? It stands out. It shines. It seems almost iridescent compared to the dullness of other objects less attractive.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #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
Signs are small measurable things, but interpretations are illimitable, and in girls of sweet, ardent nature, every sign is apt to conjure up wonder, hope, belief, vast as a sky, and colored by a thimbleful of matter in the shape of knowledge....wrong reasoning sometimes lands poor mortals in right conclusions: starting a long way off the true point, and proceeding by loops and zigzags, we now and then arrive just where we ought to be. Just because Miss Brooke was hasty in her trust, it is not therefore clear that Mr. Casaubon was unworthy of it.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
Sometimes we make our alliances not by the shape and color of our flesh but by the convictions of our heart.
Neal Shusterman (The Dark Side of Nowhere)
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)
Friends: It’s not the quantity, but the quality that matters. You will meet a lot of people throughout your life, not everyone will be your friend. That’s ok. You’ll know when you meet a true friend. True friends are trusting and loyal. They are there for you during good and bad times. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It doesn’t matter what they look like on the outside. The inside is where you find their quality.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
There are endless sexy shapes, colors, forms, and kinds of people who deserve celebration. It’s each one of our jobs to reject that comparison of what we think beauty is and realize we are the motherfucking beauty.
Jonathan Van Ness (Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love)
What we believe about God is the most important truth we believe, and it's the one truth that does the most to shape us. God is the Sun too bright for us to see. Jesus is the Prism who makes the colors beautiful and comprehensible.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
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
I knew her hair and her coloring and her shapes would be different next time, but the way she wore her body would keep on.
Ann Brashares (My Name Is Memory)
There was something about the eyes. It wasn’t the shape or the color. The was no evil glint. But there was… … a look. It was such a look that a microbe might encounter if it could see up from the bottom end of the microscope. It said: You are nothing. It said: You are flawed, you have no value. It said: You are animal. It said: Perhaps you may be a pet, or perhaps you may be a quarry. It said: And the choice is not yours.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches, #4))
Instead of being blind to race, color blindness makes people blind to racism, unwilling to acknowledge where its effects have shaped opportunity or to use race-conscious solutions to address it.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
Ever since I was very young, as far back as I can remember, I have loved making pictures. I knew even as a child that, when I grew up, I would be an artist of some kind. The lovely feeling of my pencil touching paper, a crayon making a star shape in my sketchbook, or my brush dipping into bright and colorful paints — these things affect me as joyfully today as they did all those years ago.
Eric Carle
The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season--sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big. The September storms--the hurricane warnings far away, the sudden gales, the downpour of rain that we have so badly needed here for so long--are exhilarating, and there's a promise that what September starts, October will carry on, catching the torch flung into her hand.
Faith Baldwin (Evening Star)
We never even kissed or looked into each other's eyes. Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my only tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Love, Eve thought, came in all colors, shapes, and sizes.
J.D. Robb (Festive in Death (In Death, #39))
We are stratified creatures, creatures full of abysses, with a soul of inconstant quicksilver, with a mind whose color and shape change as in a kaleidoscope that is constantly shaken.
Pascal Mercier
It's no different from building stations. If something is important enough, a little mistake isn't going to ruin it all, or make it vanish. It might not be perfect, but the first step is actually building the station. Right? Otherwise trains won't stop there. And you can't meet the person who means so much to you. If you find some defect, you can adjust it later, as needed. First things first. Build the station. A special station just for her. The kind of station where trains want to stop, even if they have no reason to do so. Imagine that kind of station, and give it actual color and shape. Write your name on the foundation with a nail, and breathe life into it.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
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)
How do we judge a dark landscape? Is it dark because the ones who already live there won't let humans have their piece of the world? Do we judge who is good and who is bad by the color and shape of their skin - or by what resonates in their hearts?
Anne Bishop (Sebastian (Ephemera, #1))
Black is my favorite color. It's limitless. It's indefinable. It keeps you guessing. When there's nothing to see, you're forced to imagine. It makes every shape, every person more mysterious because you can't see all the details.
Katie Kacvinsky (Middle Ground (Awaken, #2))
A man does not try to find out what is inside. He does not try to scratch the surface. If he did he might find something much more beautiful than the shape of a nose or the color of an eye.
Hedy Lamarr
Each "way of thinking" has its own shape and color, which wax and wane like the moon.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
My own style grew out of my work as a graphic designer. I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes, often in bright colors against a white background. You might almost think of my illustrations, and especially the cover art, as little posters.
Eric Carle
Do you know when they say soulmates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. “Soul mate wanted.” It doesn’t mean too much now. But soulmates – think about it. When your soul – whatever that is anyway – something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape – when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to – even if you can’t be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul’s wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. It must be like all the weddings in the world – gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets, showers of roses. And after that happens you know – that’s it. This is it.
Francesca Lia Block (Missing Angel Juan (Weetzie Bat, #4))
I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to ... I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-- things I had no words for.
Georgia O'Keeffe
He had a face roughly the shape and color of a clumsily peeled Idaho potato, and he had a jaw like the end of a cigarette carton.
David Markson (Epitaph for a Tramp & Epitaph for a Dead Beat: The Harry Fannin Detective Novels)
The need of black conservatives to gain the respect of their white peers deeply shapes certain elements of their conservatism. In this regard, they simply want what most people want, to be judged by the quality of their skills, not by the color of their skin. But the black conservatives overlook the fact that affirmative action policies were political responses to the pervasive refusal of most white Americans to judge black Americans on that basis.
Cornel West (Race Matters)
She was also damn cute. Not beautiful or stunningly pretty, but she was cuter than any girl with that much attitude had a right to be, and somehow the bouquet of flowers that colored her skin in every shape and variety seemed like it belonged there.
Jay Crownover (Rome (Marked Men, #3))
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)
How can you come to understand your life when even the beginning is so complicated: a single cell imprinted with the color of your eyes and the shape of your face the pattern on your palm and the moods that will shadow you through your life. How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning.
Dan Chaon (You Remind Me of Me)
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall; I'll slay more gazers than the basalisks; I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Decieve more slily that Ulysses could, And like a Sinon, take another Troy. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages And set the murderous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut! were it further off, I'll pluck it down.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
We're all made of stardust Mr. Strickland. Oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and calcium. If some of us get our way and our Countries fire off their warheads, then we shall return to stardust. All of us. And what color will our stars be then? That is the question. A question you might ask yourself.
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
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)
I am very fond of the oyster shell. It is humble and awkward and ugly. It is slate-colored and unsymmetrical. Its form is not primarily beautiful but functional. I make fun of its knobbiness. Sometimes I resent its burdens and excrescences. But its tireless adaptability and tenacity draw my astonished admiration and sometimes even my tears. And it is comfortable in its familiarity, its homeliness, like old garden gloves when have molded themselves perfectly to the shape of the hand. I do not like to put it down. I will not want to leave it.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
The sun flooded Livvie's apartment. I lay in her bed, smothered in throw pillows of various colors and shapes (seriously ladies, what the fuck with all the pillows?). I felt especially dirty jerking off in her frilly bed. I was sure to wipe up my come with a fuzzy pink pillow. I hoped it would prompt Livvie to throw the damn thing away.
C.J. Roberts (Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3))
Because I have no sense of self. I have no personality, no brilliant color. I have nothing to offer. That’s always been my problem. I feel like an empty vessel. I have a shape, I guess, as a container, but there’s nothing inside. I just can’t see myself as the right person for her. I think that the more time passes, and the more she knows about me, the more disappointed Sara will be, and the more she’ll choose to distance herself from me.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
The multicolored leaves were softly glowing against the black sky, creating an untimely nocturnal rainbow which scattered its spectral tints everywhere and dyed the night with a harvest of hues: peach gold and pumpkin orange, honey yellow and winy amber, apple red and plum violet. Luminous within their leafy shapes, the colors cast themselves across the darkness and were splattered upon our streets and our fields and our faces. Everything was resplendent with the pyrotechnics of a new autumn.
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
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
When people focus on not seeing color, they may also fail to see discrimination.
Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do)
Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people whom you come in contact everyday.
Orison Swett Marden
That’s why we make art, Helena,” Greer says. “Art is the war against what we do not choose to feel. It’s the battle of color, words, sound, and shape, and it rages for or against love.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
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))
Here is an animal with venom like a snake, a beak like a parrot, and ink like an old-fashioned pen. It can weigh as much as a man and stretch as long as a car, yet it can pour its baggy, boneless body through an opening the size of an orange. It can change color and shape. It can taste with its skin. Most fascinating of all, I had read that octopuses are smart.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness)
And there in the snow lay the pictures, like jewels bedded in white silk. They were paper-thin sheets of colored transparent isin glass of every size and shape, some round, some square, some damaged, some intact, some as large as church windows, others as small as snuffbox miniatures.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.
Georgia O'Keeffe
… I just figured it would be easier to do the math problem with the numbers in the correct colors.
Wendy Mass (A Mango-Shaped Space)
However, no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
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)
It is rare to find an established community of Christians that encourages radical expressions of following Jesus. The natural conservatism of institutions is deeply rooted in the desire to survive, and that desire colors and limits the way they read the Bible and how they see God functioning in the world.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
I know every microscopic detail of his face. I know the shape of his brows for every emotion. He is the most beautiful man who ever lived, and at one time I couldn't have said with any certainty what color eyes he had. He was no more memorable that a picture hanging on the wall that I'd long gotten used to. How many times did my gaze pass right over him, not realizing he was looking back at me? Always watching. Listening. Waiting.
Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
Every brush stroke on the canvas, every dab of color introduced, the fine textures impressed in the paint—this accumulation of many small acts combines to shape a final work of art.  And so it is with life; each step, each deed, each brief choice builds gradually, day by day, to shape both character and destiny.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
To my surprise, I had not just doodled, I had prayed (I drew new shapes and names of each friend and focused on the person whose name stared at me from the paper). I had though OF each person as I drew but not ABOUT each person. I could just sit with them in a variation on stillness. I could hold them in prayer.
Sybil MacBeth (Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God)
Yeah. I guess I’m a color-inside-the-lines girl. Worse, really—I’d rather shade inside the lines with a nice, light 4H pencil. Something dark like a 5B or 6B? That’s me going nuts.” He laughed, stretching out his long legs
Jenn Bennett (The Anatomical Shape of a Heart)
...I will be no more than a tint of some obscure color, and to their great grandchildren nothing they ever know about, and so what army of strangers and ghosts has shaped and coloured me until back to Adam, until back to when ribs were blown from molten sand into the glass bits that took up the light of this world....
Paul Harding (Tinkers)
It adds up, but I deem it all necessary, even the camera gear. I enjoy photographing the otherworldly colors and shapes presented in the convoluted depths of slot canyons and the prehistoric artwork preserved in their alcoves.
Aron Ralston (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
But as I get older I think – can it really be love if we don’t talk that much, don’t see each other? Isn’t love something that happens between people who spend time together and know each other’s faults and take care of each other? In the end I decide that the mark we’ve left on each other is the color and shape of love. That’s the unfinished business between us. Because love is never finished. It circles and circles the memories always out of order and not always complete. There’s one I always come back to: me and Cameron Quick, laying on the ground in an aspen grove on a golden fall day, the aspen leaves clattering and quaking the way they do. Cameron turning to me, reaching out a small and dirty hand, which I take and do not let go.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
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))
When I call his name, it’s a sound almost entirely out of my control. It soars over the crowd and hits him. Even from where I’m standing, I can tell that he recognized my voice. Hastily he unwinds himself from the girl, stands to attention like an animal sensing danger. And I try to call him again, but that word, that name, was all I had the energy for. I barely have the strength left to stand. I wait helplessly for him to find the sound, and when he does, when his heterochromatic eyes meet mine, my mouth forms the word again, but just barely. The girl at his side disappears. The crowd blurs into senseless shapes and colors. I can’t feel my heart or my body or the heat of the flames. I can only see his face—his bewildered, beautifully familiar face.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
Ah, I could tell you everything about her. Who she was, how we met, the color of her eyes, and the shape of her nose. I can see her, right in front of me. She's more real than you are.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
I recall one particular sunset. It lent an ember to my bicycle hell. Overhead, above the black music of telegraph wires, a number of long, dark-violet clouds lined with flamingo pink hung motionless in a fan-shaped arrangement; the whole thing was like some prodigious ovation in terms of color and form! It was dying, however, and everything else was darkening, too; but just above the horizon, in a lucid, turquoise space, beneath a black stratus, the eye found a vista that only a fool could mistake for the square parts of this or any other sunset. It occupied a very small sector of the enormous sky and had the peculiar neatness of something seen through the wrong end of a telescope. There it lay in wait, a brilliant convolutions, anachronistic in their creaminess and extremely remote; remote but perfect in every detail; fantastically reduced but faultlessly shaped; my marvelous tomorrow ready to be delivered to me.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
This is the tattoo of life decisions." "Tattoo of life decisions?" "Yes. Tattoo. Marriage is the forever and permanent branding of one person to another. Sure, you can get it removed - but it's expensive, it's a process, and you're never the same after. You're scarred. It's always a part of you, visible or not. You get a tattoo with the intention of a life-long commitment. You have to defend its existence and take ownership of it in front of others for the rest of your life regardless of how it sags or droops or changes shape and color - because it will! It will change and fade, and not in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City, #1.5))
What is true about a person? Would I change in the same way the river changes color but still be the same person?... And then I realized it was the first time I could see the power of the wind. I couldn't see the wind itself, but I could see it carried water that filled the rivers and shaped the countryside.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
There was a wicked ole witch once called Black Aliss. She was an unholy terror. There's never been one worse or more powerful. Until now. Because I could spit in her eye and steal her teeth, see. Because she didn't know Right from Wrong, so she got all twisted up, and that was the end of her. "The trouble is, you see, that if you do know Right from Wrong, you can't choose Wrong. You just can't do it and live. So.. if I was a bad witch I could make Mister Salzella's muscles turn against his bones and break them where he stood... if I was bad. I could do things inside his head, change the shape he thinks he is, and he'd be down on what had been his knees and begging to be turned into a frog... if I was bad. I could leave him with a mind like a scrambled egg, listening to colors and hearing smells...if I was bad. Oh yes." There was another sigh, deeper and more heartfelt. "But I can't do none of that stuff. That wouldn't be Right." She gave a deprecating little chuckle. And if Nanny Ogg had been listening, she would have resolved as follows: that no maddened cackle from Black Aliss of infamous memory, no evil little giggle from some crazed Vampyre whose morals were worse than his spelling, no side-splitting guffaw from the most inventive torturer, was quite so unnerving as a happy little chuckle from a Granny Weatherwax about to do what's best.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18; Witches, #5))
What the hell is that?" yelled Lord Maccon. He had turned to anger so swiftly; Alexia could only stare at him, speechless. She let out her pent-up breath in a whoosh. Her heart was beating a marathon somewhere in the region of her throat, her skin felt hot and stretched taut over her bones, and she was damp in places she was tolerably certain unmarried gentlewomen were not supposed to be damp in. Lord Maccon was glaring at her coffee-colored skin, discolored between the neck and shoulder region by an ugly purple mark, the size and shape of a man's teeth. "that is a bite mark, my lord," she said. Lord Maccon was ever more enraged. "Who bit you?" he roared. Alexia tilted her head to one side in amazement. "You did." She was then treated to the spectacle of an Alpha werewolf looking downright hangdog. "I did?" She raised both eyebrows at him. "I did.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
…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)
Feminism has been slandered as a way to give ugly women greater prominence in society. And, in a way, it is. Feminism is for ugly women. For beautiful women. For all women. Women of all colors, ages, and shapes. It's about giving people an equal chance regardless of their gender. Judging them for what they do and not for what they are.
Mara Wilson (Where Am I Now?)
Have you ever stared at a painting so long that the colors blur and you can’t tell what you’re looking at anymore? There’s no form, face, or shape–just color, just swirls of paint? I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straight teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the dimple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning.
Amy Harmon
If you simply walk on the beach as we are doing, you have no special color. But if you travel with a purpose, it is different. When you go somewhere important or you return home from a long journey, you build a shape around you and it reaches out ahead to touch your destination.
Lyall Watson (Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island)
The variety of shape, pattern, and color found in the languages of the world is a testament to the wonder of nature, to the breathtaking array of possibilities that can emerge, tangled and wild, from the fertile human endowments of brain and larynx, intelligence and social skills.
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
Grandma Harper has two green bottles shaped like women with black hair painted on their heads and a yellow glass colored captain's hat that she keeps her face powder in that I want too, and a picture of a naked girl in a swing, swinging way up in the air over castles in a blue sky. I don't know why I want those things, I just do.
Fannie Flagg (Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man)
She had thought the open sea would be flat, like a mirror or a coin. But it had colors and shapes, turning green or black under approaching storm. Sometimes it was red and purple and silver and white gold. It had sharp hedges. It had its tempers, its blue spells, its fits of laughter
Zeyn Joukhadar (The Map of Salt and Stars)
A man of God would never burn or harm a temple of any kind - regardless of religion. A true man of God would see every temple or divine mansion built to glorify the Creator - as an extension of the temple closest to his home, regardless of its shape, size, or color. A man who truly recognizes and knows God can see God in all things.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
From a spiritual perspective, each individual heart is a place where Divine love is expressed and experienced. That's what it's designed for. That love shows up in an unlimited number of shapes and sizes, colors and flavors. We are here to love, as big and as fearlessly as we possibly can.
Jeffrey R. Anderson (The Nature of Things - Navigating Everyday Life with Grace)
Walking to the subway, Aomame kept thinking about the strangeness of the world. If, as the dowager had said, we were nothing but gene carriers, why do so many of us have to lead such strangely shaped lives? Wouldn’t our genetic purpose – to transmit DNA – be served just as well if we lived simple lives, not bothering our heads with a lot of extraneous thoughts, devoted entirely to preserving life and procreating? Did it benefit the genes in any way for us to lead such intricately warped, even bizarre, lives? … how could it possibly profit the genes to have such people existing in this world? Did the genes merely enjoy such deformed episodes as colorful entertainment, or were these episodes utilized by them for some greater purpose?
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 Book 1 (1Q84, #1))
When I get out of here, if I'm ever able to set this down, in any form, even in the form of one voice to another, it will be a reconstruction then too, yet another remove. It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too may parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many. But if you happen to be a man, sometime in the future, and you've made it this far, please remember: you will never be subject to the temptation or feeling you must forgive, a man, as a woman. It's difficult to resist, believe me. But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold it or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
His lips are familiar. I know the shape of them, know how to make mine fit against them. His taste is familiar too. For all the illusions and colors and sweet smells... he has always tasted like skin. His breaths are shallow. I'm holding his life against my tongue, between my rows of teeth. He's offering it up.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
One of the most difficult things to remember is to remember to remember. We forget that we live in a body with senses and feelings and thoughts and emotions and ideas. We get caught up in rumination and fantasy, isolating us from the world of colors, shapes, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations constantly bombarding our input sensors. To stop and pay attention to the moment is one way of snapping out of these mindscapes, and is a definition of meditation. This awareness is a process of deepening self-acceptance. Whatever it observes, it embraces. There is nothing unworthy of acceptance.
Stephen Batchelor (Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening)
Maybe I was wrong, and maybe someday I’ll look back and regret lashing out like that. I’m still not entirely sure why I threw myself into the fire over this specific incident. But sometimes, people kick you to the ground at recess because they think the shape of your eyes is funny. They lunge at you because they see a vulnerable body. Or a different skin color. Or a difficult name. They think that you won’t hit back—that you’ll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do. But sometimes, you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back. So I hit. I hit fast and hard and furious. I hit with nothing but the language whispered between circuits and wire, the language that can bring people to their knees. And in spite of everything, I’d do it all over again.
Marie Lu (Warcross (Warcross, #1))
At the top of the cellar steps Broadman knelt down and fumbled in his tinderbox. It turned out to be damp. 'I'll kill that bloody cat,' he muttered, and groped for the spare box that was normally on the ledge by the door. It was missing. Broadman said a bad word. A lighted taper appeared in mid-air, right beside him. HERE, TAKE THIS. 'Thanks,' said Broadman. DON'T MENTION IT. Broadman went to throw the taper down the steps. His hand paused in mid-air. He looked at the taper, his brow furrowing. Then he turned around and held the taper up to illuminate the scene. It didn't shed much light, but it did give the darkness a shape . . . 'Oh, no—' he breathed. BUT YES, said Death.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1))
I… What are you doing " Mircea had run a hand through his waterfall of hair and now he was sliding those beautifully shaped hands down his chest to glide over his nipples. His torso was hairless and perfectly sculpted with toned muscles and a long waist. He followed the lines of his flat stomach to the low-slung border of his only remaining garment. His fingers lingered there sliding along that insubstantial barrier teasingly drawing my eyes to the line of dark hair that started below his navel and disappeared beneath the black silk. It was startling against the pale perfection of his skin and except for the faint pink of his nipples gave the only color to his upper body. "Doing dulceaţă " he asked innocently. "I am trying my best to seduce you.
Karen Chance (Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1))
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A sunflower, four more, one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers. Some crows come overhead then, three or four, not a murder, on the wing, silent with intent, corn-bound for the pasture's wire beyond which one horse smells at the other's behind, the lead horse's tail obligingly lifted. Your shoes' brand incised in the dew. An alfalfa breeze. Socks' burrs. Dry scratching inside a culvert. Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se. NO HUNTING. The shush of the interstate off past the windbreak. The pasture's crows standing at angles, turning up patties to get at the worms underneath, the shapes of the worms incised in the overturned dung and baked by the sun all day until hardened, there to stay, tiny vacant lines in rows and inset curls that do not close because head never quite touches tail. Read these.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Who are your friends? They are the people who are there in hard times or when you're hurting beyond words. Or with a few words of encouragement and concern, make you realize you're really not lost at all. Friends comes in both sexes, in all shapes, colors and sizes, but the most important thing they have in common, is the ability to share with you, your best joys and your deepest sorrows, for they are your friends.
Glen Campbell
All of life is quilted from the scraps of what once was and is no more- the places we have been, the memories we have made, the people we have known, that which has been long loved but has grown threadbare over time and can be worn no longer. We keep only pieces. All colors, all shapes, all sizes. "All waiting to be stitched into the pattern only you can see.
Lisa Wingate (The Prayer Box (Carolina Heirlooms #1))
And then, as if thrown by a giant paintbrush, there appeared a huge, trembling, pear-shaped blob of the purest indigo. Luminous, numinous, it filled me with rapture: It was the color of heaven, the color, I thought, which Giotto had spent a lifetime trying to get but never achieved—never achieved, perhaps, because the color of heaven is not to be seen on earth.
Oliver Sacks (Hallucinations)
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many. But if you happen to be a man, sometime in the future, and you've made it this far, please remember: you will never be subject to the temptation or feeling you must forgive, a man, as a women. It's difficult to resist, believe me. But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Must love decorating for holidays, mischief, kissing in cars, and wind chimes. No specific height, weight, hair color, or political affiliation required but would prefer a warm spirited non racist. Cynics, critics, pessimists, and “stick in the muds” need not apply. Voluptuous figures a plus. Any similarity in look, mind set, or fashion sense to Mary Poppins, Claire Huxtable, Snow White, or Elvira wholeheartedly welcomed. I am dubious of actresses, fellons and lesbians but dont want to rule them out entirely. Must be tolerant of whistling, tickle torture, James Taylor, and sleeping late. I have a slight limp, eerily soft hands, and a preternatural love of autumn. I once misinterpreted being called a coal-eyed dandy as a compliment when it was intended as an insult. I wiggle my feet in my sleep, am scared of the dark, and think the Muppets Christmas Carol is one of the greatest films of all time. All I want is butterfly kisses in the morning, peanut butter sandwiches shaped like a heart, and to make you smile until it hurts.
Matthew Grey Gubler
His voice a rhythm like rain, words rolling over themselves... “You are distinguished from the leaves by the shape of your eyes. They are whiter in color and rounder. Except on nights like this when the leaves are luminous....” “Still, you are distinguished from the night– your voice silent as candles melted in their own pools, used up with expression and light....
Debi Cimo (Delicate The alchemy of Emily Greyson)
When we enter the world as a child, they say we are innocent. When we leave the world as an older adult, we have each experienced a mixture of life's sorrow and joys. The years bring diverse events and mindsets, clouding up our vision, so that we no longer see things as they are, but we view now with lenses of many different shapes, sizes and influential colors depending on life’s encounters. It is then, with this cleansing of your inner lens, that you figure out once again, who you are, resulting in numerous side trips, to rediscover your true self, possibly experiencing a reawakening. This sensational feeling of inner peace is unimaginable.
Wes Adamson
Over her shoulder was Josie-and for the first time, Alex could really see a piece of herself in her daughter. It wasn’t so much the shape of the face but the shine of it; not the color of the eyes but the dream caught like smoke in them. There was no amount of expensive makeup that would make her look the way her Josie did; that was simply what falling in love did to a person. Could you be jealous of your own child?
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Gopnik has tested this hypothesis on children in her lab and has found that there are learning problems that four-year-olds are better at solving than adults. These are precisely the kinds of problems that require thinking outside the box, those times when experience hobbles rather than greases the gears of problem solving, often because the problem is so novel. In one experiment, she presented children with a toy box that lights up and plays music when a certain kind of block is placed on top of it. Normally, this “blicket detector” is set to respond to a single block of a certain color or shape, but when the experimenter reprograms the machine so that it responds only when two blocks are placed on it, four-year-olds figure it out much faster than adults do.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
This usually occurs at the moment when my head hits the pillow at night; my eyes close and … I see imagery. I do not mean pictures; more usually they are patterns or textures, such as repeated shapes, or shadows of shapes, or an item from an image, such as grass from a landscape or wood grain, wavelets or raindrops … transformed in the most extraordinary ways at a great speed. Shapes are replicated, multiplied, reversed in negative, etc. Color is added, tinted, subtracted. Textures are the most fascinating; grass becomes fur becomes hair follicles becomes waving, dancing lines of light, and a hundred other variations and all the subtle gradients between them that my words are too coarse to describe.
Oliver Sacks (Hallucinations)
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. The shadows of the smallest stones lay like pencil lines across the sand and the shapes of the men and their mounts advanced elongate before them like strands of the night from which they’d ridden, like tentacles to bind them to the darkness yet to come.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
Hair in darkness doesn’t feel the way it does in light. In light, you can touch a person’s hair and not feel it at all - you might think you are feeling it, but really you are seeing its color, seeing its shape, seeing the light and the shadows intertwined between the hair and your own hands. But in darkness, her hair poured across his palms like molten music between his fingers. Skin in darkness is different, too. In light, you don’t notice skin, distracted as you are by eyes watching you, eyes you are afraid to trust, eyes that could be waiting for your shame. But in pure darkness, her skin was warm and trembling and alive - secret whorled passageways of ears, soft fingertips tracing circles on his neck, the living heartbeat-shudders of falling-closed eyelids, cheeks erupting into lips and giving way to his tongue. And in light you don’t think of how warm a person is, of how a person can enfold you, enclose you amid arms and clothes and ribs in pure primeval underground darkness, the heat between you glowing like an ember that you are afraid to put out.
Dara Horn (The World to Come)
Oh, we women know things you don't know, you teachers, you readers and writers of books, we are the ones who wait around libraries when it's time to leave, or sit drinking coffee alone in the kitchen; we make crazy plans for marriage but have no man, we dream of stealing men, we are the ones who look slowly around when we get off a bus and can't even find what we are looking for, can't quite remember how we got there, we are always wondering what will come next, what terrible thing will come next. We are the ones who leaf through magazines with colored pictures and spend long heavy hours sunk in our bodies, thinking, remembering, dreaming, waiting for something to come to us and give a shape to so much pain.
Joyce Carol Oates
Perhaps I ought to remember that she is very young, a mere girl and make allowances. She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world is to her a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can’t speak for delight when she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it and smell it and talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it. And she is color-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage, blue sky; the pearl of the dawn, the purple shadows on the mountains, the golden islands floating in crimson seas at sunset, the pallid moon sailing through the shredded cloud-rack, the star-jewels glittering in the wastes of space — none of them is of any practical value, so far as I can see, but because they have color and majesty, that is enough for her, and she loses her mind over them. If she could quiet down and keep still a couple of minutes at a time, it would be a reposeful spectacle. In that cases I think I could enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, for I am coming to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature — lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful; and once when she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder, with her young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she was beautiful.
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam and Eve)
By making our people in the Western Hemisphere hate Africa, we ended up hating ourselves. We hated our African characteristics. We hated our African identity. We hated our African features. So much so that you would find those of us in the West who would hate the shape of our nose. We would hate the shape of our lips. We would hate the color of our skin and the texture of our hair. This was a reaction, but we didn’t realize that it was a reaction.
Malcolm X (Malcolm X Talks to Young People: Speeches in the United States, Britain, and Africa)
Every woman should have a daughter to tell her stories to. Otherwise, the lessons learned are as useless as spare buttons from a discarded shirt. And all that is left is a fading name and the shape of a nose or the color of hair. The men who write the history books will tell you the stories of battle and conquests. But the women will tell you the stories of people's hearts.
Karen White
Whenever I put the headset on now," he'd continued, "I really do understand what I find there. When those kids sing about 'She loves you,' yeah well, you know, she does, she's any number of people, all over the world, back through time, different colors, sizes, ages, shapes, distances from death, but she loves. And the 'you' is everybody. And herself. Oedipa, the human voice, you know, it's a flipping miracle." His eyes brimming, reflecting the color of beer. "Baby," she said, helpless, knowing of nothing she could do for this, and afraid for him. He put a little clear plastic bottle on the table between them. She stared at the pills in it, and then understood. "That's LSD?
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
A funny thing happens when you have nothing left to live for. Your existence loses all its sharp edges. There are no more steep drops, no hills to climb. Colors blur and muddle together until your surroundings are a bunch of meaningless shapes and figures painted in the same shade of gray. There's nothing that could possibly surprise you or resurrect those old sensations of joy or fear. No humans could be as unfeeling, as numb, as you are. And then, just when you're getting lulled into the monotonous routine, something snaps. No more.
Alexandra Monir (The Final Six (The Final Six, #1))
After several trips across the Andes, the pattern of the flora was gradually coming into focus. This to me was the great revelation of botany. When I knew nothing of plants, I experienced a forest only as a tangle of forms, shapes, and colors without meaning or depth, beautiful when taken as a whole but ultimately incomprehensible and exotic. Now the components of the mosaic had names, the names implied relationships, and the relationships resonated with significance.
Wade Davis
It was not a very prepossessing accessory for all it's serviceability, being both outlandish in design and indifferent in shape. It was a drab slate gray color, with cream ruffle trim, and it had a shaft in the new ancient-Egyptian style that looked rather like an elongated pineapple. Despite it's many advanced attributes, Lady Maccon's most common application of the parasol was through brute force enacted directly upon the cranium of an opponent. It was a crude and perhaps undignified modus operandi to be certain but it had worked so well for her in the past that she was loathe to rely too heavily on any of the newfangled aspects of her parasol's character. 
Gail Carriger (Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3))
She trained the girls in her Girl Scout troop to believe that they could be anything, and she went to lengths to prevent negative stereotypes of their race from shaping their internal views of themselves and other Negroes. It was difficult enough to rise above the silent reminders of Colored signs on the bathroom doors and cafeteria tables. But to be confronted with the prejudice so blatantly, there in that temple to intellectual excellence and rational thought, by something so mundane, so ridiculous, so universal as having to go to the bathroom...In the moment when the white women laughed at her, Mary had been demoted from professional mathematician to a second-class human being, reminded that she was a black girl whose piss wasn't good enough for the white pot.
Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures)
Now I stand on the knoll before the grave of Jacob Kahn, the cypress tall against the blue morning sky and the wind warm on my face. It is the only sense left me, I hear him say. There are colors in the wind, Asher Lev. Find your demons again and return to your work. Colors wait for you in the wind. Things were too comfortable for you. An artist needs a broken world in order to have pieces to shape into art. Isn't that right, Asher Lev? Comfort is death to art. Asher Lev, artist. Asher Lev, troubler. Asher Lev, my future. His voice weaves through the wind, and I add to it the words of the psalmist, " 'Protect me, O God, for I seek refuge in You. I say to the Lord, Your are my benefactor; there is no one above You....' " The wind is red and black in the trembling cypress.
Chaim Potok (The Gift of Asher Lev)
My culture had affected my thinking without my consent. How many other things had it shaped without my knowing it? It made me want to examine things - to seek the heart of matters. Of skin color, of Keepers, of Igniters, of White Light, of all my assumptions. How many of us acted and spoke out and fought for beliefs that we held because our environment told us to? As much as I wanted to blame my England, I knew the blame sat with me. I hadn't trained myself to discern. To examine. To seek the source. That was about to change.
Nadine Brandes (Fawkes)
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
I came to a sketch where the space between my arm and Greta’s arm, the shape of the place between us, had been darkened in. The negative space. That’s what Finn called it. He was always trying to get me to understand negative space. And I did. I could understand what he was saying, but it didn’t come naturally to me. I had to be reminded to look for it. To see the stuff that’s there but not there. In this sketch, Finn had colored in the negative space, and I saw that it made a shape that looked like a dog’s head. Or, no—of course, it was a wolf’s head, tilted up, mouth open and howling. It wasn’t obvious or anything. Negative space was kind of like constellations. The kind of thing that had to be brought to your attention. But the way Finn did it was so skillful. It was all in the way Greta’s sleeve draped and the way my shoulder angled in. So perfect. It was almost painful to look at that negative space, because it was so smart. So exactly the kind of thing Finn would think of. I touched my finger to the rough pencil lines, and I wished I could let Finn know that I saw what he’d done. That I knew he’d put that secret animal right between Greta and me.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
understand this, imagine what would happen if you started feeling tremendous love for all creatures, for every plant, for every animal, and for all the beauties of nature. Imagine if every child seemed like your own, and every person you saw looked like a beautiful flower, with its own color, its own expression, shape, and sounds. As you went deeper and deeper, you would start noticing a phenomenal thing—you are no longer judging. The process of judging has simply stopped. There is just appreciating and honoring. Where there used to be judging, there is now respecting, loving, and cherishing. To differentiate is to judge. To see, to experience, and to honor is to participate in life instead of standing back and judging it. When
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
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))
The neural basis for the self, as I see it, resides with the continuous reactivation of at least two sets of representations. One set concerns representations of key events in an individual's autobiography, on the basis of which a notion of identity can be reconstructed repeatedly, by partial activation in topologically organized sensory maps. ... In brief, the endless reactivation of updated images about our identity (a combination of memories of the past and of the planned future) constitutes a sizable part of the state of self as I understand it. The second set of representations underlying the neural self consists of the primordial representations of an individual's body ... Of necessity, this encompasses background body states and emotional states. The collective representation of the body constitute the basis for a "concept" of self, much as a collection of representations of shape, size, color, texture, and taste can constitute the basis for the concept of orange.
António R. Damásio (Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain)
He saw the sun rise over forest and mountains and set over the distant palm shore. At night he saw the starts in the heavens and the sickle-shaped moon floating like a boat in the blue. He saw trees, stars, animals, clouds, rainbows, rocks, weeds, flowers, brook and river, the sparkle of dew on bushes in the morning, distant high mountains blue and pale; birds sang, bees hummed, the wind blew gently across the rice fields. All this, colored and in a thousand different forms, had always been there.
Hermann Hesse
In winter, the air is clear enough to drink, and your eyes can travel many hundreds of miles until they reach the green of the near hills, the blue-gray beyond them, and then the snow peaks far away, which rise in the sky with the sun, and remain suspended there, higher than imaginable, changing color and shape through the day. Every hour, they come closer, their massive flanks clearly visible, plumes of cloud smoking from their tips. After the last of the daylight is gone, at dusk, the peaks still glimmer in the slow-growing darkness as if jagged pieces of the moon had dropped from sky to earth.
Anuradha Roy (The Folded Earth)
Is Obama Anything but Black? So lots of folk—mostly non-black—say Obama’s not black, he’s biracial, multiracial, black-and-white, anything but just black. Because his mother was white. But race is not biology; race is sociology. Race is not genotype; race is phenotype. Race matters because of racism. And racism is absurd because it’s about how you look. Not about the blood you have. It’s about the shade of your skin and the shape of your nose and the kink of your hair. Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass had white fathers. Imagine them saying they were not black. Imagine Obama, skin the color of a toasted almond, hair kinky, saying to a census worker—I’m kind of white. Sure you are, she’ll say. Many American Blacks have a white person in their ancestry, because white slave owners liked to go a-raping in the slave quarters at night. But if you come out looking dark, that’s it. (So if you are that blond, blue-eyed woman who says “My grandfather was Native American and I get discrimination too” when black folk are talking about shit, please stop it already.) In America, you don’t get to decide what race you are. It is decided for you. Barack Obama, looking as he does, would have had to sit in the back of the bus fifty years ago. If a random black guy commits a crime today, Barack Obama could be stopped and questioned for fitting the profile. And what would that profile be? “Black Man.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Our lips just trespassed on those inner labyrinths hidden deep within our ears, filled them with the private music of wicked words, hers in many languages, mine in the off color of my own tongue, until as our tones shifted, and our consonants spun and squealed, rattled faster, hesitated, raced harder, syllables soon melting with groans, or moans finding purchase in new words, or old words, or made-up words, until we gathered up our heat and refused to release it, enjoying too much the dark language we had suddenly stumbled upon, craved to, carved to, not a communication really but a channeling of our rumored desires, hers for all I know gone to Black Forests and wolves, mine banging back to a familiar form, that great revenant mystery I still could only hear the shape of, which in spite of our separate lusts and individual cries still continued to drive us deeper into stranger tones, our mutual desire to keep gripping the burn fueled by sound, hers screeching, mine – I didn’t hear mine – only hears, probably counter-pointing mine, a high-pitched cry, then a whisper dropping unexpectedly to practically a bark, a grunt, whatever, no sense any more, and suddenly no more curves either, just the straight away, some line crossed, where every fractured sound already spoken finally compacts into one long agonizing word, easily exceeding a hundred letters, even thunder, anticipating the inevitable letting go, when the heat is ultimately too much to bear, threatening to burn, scar, tear it all apart, yet tempting enough to hold onto for even one second more, to extend it all, if we can, as if by getting that much closer to the heat, that much more enveloped, would prove … - which when we did clutch, hold, postpone, did in fact prove too much after all, seconds too much, and impossible to refuse, so blowing all of everything apart, shivers and shakes and deep in her throat a thousand letters crashing in a long unmodulated fall, resonating deep within my cochlea and down the cochlear nerve, a last fit of fury describing in lasting detail the shape of things already come. Too bad dark languages rarely survive.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Remember the year I stopped eating apples? Remember the summer I kept bringing home abandoned chairs? A lucid Vincent wrote to his brother: I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green. His self-portrait now hangs in the Fogg. Remember the summer I had to walk to the Lake just to feel anything at all? When I descend late in the afternoon there’s a blue plate of heart- shaped cookies, there’s an orange on the kitchen counter. I notice a crack in the seam of the ceiling, a spider vein on the inside of my knee. What a still still life! The rest of the day is a slanted floorboard. The rest of the day is the color of absinthe. Note the personal and detached attitude. Note the application of arbitrary color. The tilted perspective. This poem is all surface. You may stand where you choose. This poem has no vanishing point.
Olena Kalytiak Davis (And Her Soul Out Of Nothing)
I was suddenly made aware of another world of beauty and mystery such as I had never imagined to exist, except in poetry. It was as though I had begun to see and smell and hear for the first time. The world appeared to me as Wordsworth describes with “the glory and freshness of a dream.” The sight of a wild rose growing on a hedge, the scent of lime-tree blossoms caught suddenly as I rode down a hill on a bicycle, came to me like visitations from another world. But it was not only my senses that were awakened. I experienced an overwhelming emotion in the presence of nature, especially at evening. It began to have a kind of sacramental character for me. I approached it with a sense of almost religious awe and , in a hush that comes before sunset, I felt again the presence of an almost unfathomable mystery. The song of the birds, the shape of the trees, the colors of the sunset, were so many signs of the presence, which seemed to be drawing me to itself.
Bede Griffiths
The children of the Fulcrum are all different: different ages, different colors, different shapes. Some speak Sanze-mat with different accents, having originated from different parts of the world. One girl has sharp teeth because it is her race's custom to file them; another boy has no penis, though he stuffs a sock into his underwear after every shower; another girl has rarely had regular meals and wolfs down every one like she's still starving. (The instructors keep finding food hidden in and around her bed. They make her eat it, all of it, in front of them, even if it makes her sick.) One cannot reasonably expect sameness out of so much difference, and it makes no sense for Damaya to be judged by the behavior of children who share nothing save the curse of orogeny with her.
N.K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1))
But when fascism comes it will not be in the form of an anti-American movement or pro-Hitler bund, practicing disloyalty. Nor will it come in the form of a crusade against war. It will appear rather in the luminous robes of flaming patriotism; it will take some genuinely indigenous shape and color, and it will spread only because its leaders, who are not yet visible, will know how to locate the great springs of public opinion and desire and the streams of thought that flow from them and will know how to attract to their banners leaders who can command the support of the controlling minorities in American public life. The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion. The war upon fascism must be begun there.
John T. Flynn (As We Go Marching: A Biting Indictment of the Coming of Domestic Fascism in America)
She had been struck by the figure of a woman's back in a mirror. She stopped and looked. The dress the figure wore was the color called ashes of roses, and Ada stood, held in place by a sharp stitch of envy or th woman's dress and the fine shape of her back and her thick dark hair and the sense of assurance she seemed to evidence in her very posture. Then Ada took a step forward, and the other woman did too, and Ada realized that it was herself she was admiring, the mirror having caught the reflection of an opposite mirror on the wall behind her. The light of the lamps and the tint of the mirrors had conspired to shift colors, bleaching mauve to rose. She climbed the steps to her room and prepared for bed, but she slept poorly that night, for the music went on until dawn. As she lay awake she thought how odd it had felt to win her own endorsement.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
On the fifth night of our search, I see a plesiosaur. It is a megawatt behemoth, bronze and blue-white, streaking across the sea floor like a torpid comet. Watching it, I get this primordial deja vu, like I'm watching a dream return to my body. It wings towards me with a slow, avian grace. Its long neck is arced in an S-shaped curve; its lizard body is the size of Granana's carport. Each of its ghost flippers pinwheels colored light. I try to swim out of its path, but the thing's too big to avoid. That Leviathan fin, it shivers right through me. It's a light in my belly, cold and familiar. And I flash back to a snippet from school, a line from a poem or a science book, I can't remember which: 'There are certain prehistoric things that swim beyond extinction'.
Karen Russell (St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves)
There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbert balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were "Special Effects" sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splinter Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny black Pepper Imps ("breathe fire for your friends!"), Ice Mice ("hear your teeth chatter and squeak!"), peppermint creams shaped like toads ("hop realistically in the stomach!"), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Wild eyes were another sign. It is something I have seldom seen — the expression of an ecstatic state — though much is foolishly written of them, as if they grew like Jerusalem artichokes along the road. The eyes are black, right enough, whatever their normal color is; they are black because their perception is condensed to a coal, because the touch and taste and perfume of the lover, the outcry of a dirty word, a welcome river, have been reduced in the heat of passion to a black ash, and this unburnt residue of oxidation, this calyx, replaces the pupil so it no longer receives but sends, and every hair is on end, though perhaps only outspread on a pillow, and the nostrils are flared, mouth agape, cheeks sucked so the whole face seems as squeezed as a juiced fruit; I know, for once Lou went into that wildness while we were absorbing one another, trying to kiss, not merely forcefully, not the skull of our skeleton, but the skull and all the bones on which the essential self is hung, kiss so the shape of the soul is stirred too, that's what is called the ultimate French, the furtherest fuck, when a cock makes a concept cry out and climax; I know, for more than once, though not often, I shuddered into that other region, when a mouth drew me through its generosity into the realm of unravel, and every sensation lay extended as a lake, every tie was loosed, and the glue of things dissolved. I knew I wore the wild look then. The greatest gift you can give another human being is to let them warm you till, in passing beyond pleasure, your defenses fall, your ego surrenders, its structure melts, its towers topple, lies, fancies, vanities, blow away in no wind, and you return, not to the clay you came from — the unfired vessel — but to the original moment of inspiration, when you were the unabbreviated breath of God.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
Dawn comes after the darkness, and with it the promise that what has been torn by the sea is not lost. All of life is breaking and mending, clipping and stitching, gathering tatters and sewing seams. All of life is quilted from the scraps of what once was and is no more- the places we have been, the memories we have made, the people we have known, that which has been long loved but has grown threadbare over time and can be worn no longer. We keep only pieces. All colors, all shapes, all sizes. "All waiting to be stitched into the pattern only you can see. "In the quiet after the storm, I hear you whisper, 'Daughter, do not linger where you are. Take up your needle and your thread, and go see to the mending...
Lisa Wingate (The Prayer Box (Carolina Heirlooms #1))
I don’t think of you as a typical beauty. I never once did. To me your hair mimics asphalt more than the lustrous feathers of ravens. Comparing your eyes to heavenly lights seems a stretch when they are the common color of dirt. I can’t imagine you as a tall, pole-slender image; your God-given shape is right bulky. But I never cared about such pointless things anyway. What good have trivial attributes ever done the world? When I look at you, I see you—or in other words, all of you that really matters. I see a kind heart and compassionate arms. I see a patient, gentle spirit abounding with love towards all of God’s creatures. I see the perfect blend of humility and strength of character. I see a wise intellect as well as an endearing sense of humor. I see all the qualities that make you the person I love, regardless of the bodily package you’re bound in. So forgive me if I don’t think you’re beautiful, because I find you to be far superior to that worthless and pointless nonsense the world calls beauty.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
I am here because of a certain man. I came to retrace his steps. Perhaps to see if there were not some alternate course. What was here to be found was not a thing. Things separate from their stories have no meaning. They are only shapes. Of a certain size and color. A certain weight. When their meaning has become lost to us they no longer have even a name. The story on the other hand can never be lost from its place in the world for it is that place. And that is what was to be found here. The corrido. That tale. And like all corridos it ultimately told one story only, for there is only one to tell. The cats shifted and stirred, the fire creaked in the stove. Outside in the abandoned village the profoundest silence. What is the story? the boy said. In the town of Caborca on the Altar River there was a man who lived there who was an old man. He was born in Caborca and in Caborca he died. Yet he lived once in this town, in Huisiachepic. What does Caborca know of Huisiachepic, Huisiachepic of Caborca? They are different worlds, you must agree. Yet even so there is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet they are the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is a hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seems are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale had no abode or place of being except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And whether in Caborca or Huisiachepic or in whatever other place by whatever other name or by no name at all I say again all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
Ever since I was young I enjoyed solving puzzles and having the pleasure to see the bigger picture afterwards. But even after all that, I found that life could be the most challenging puzzle we have to face. It's one of those things that even if you have all the pieces and could see the whole picture, it still takes time and patience to solve it. At times, we feel more at ease not knowing the whole picture, not knowing the whole level of difficulty or number of pieces that we're missing, but just building up one piece at a time. The problem with this approach is that the only clues that we have for matching two pieces are the shape and a small glimpse of the image. We so often find comfort in building up the corners and the borders but very rarely do we adventure in the middle of the puzzle. We'd rather work little by little holding on to our safe border and only move towards the center when the pieces are still in touch with our borders or roots. On the other hand, you could be one of those people that just jumps in the middle and builds up on every piece you have in order to get small portions of the truth of the bigger picture every now and then. Not having your borders or corners in place might mean that you don't need to know your limits in order to realize that the puzzle will one day come to an end. Nevertheless, every piece is equally important and it gets handed to you at a time where you have at least some matching piece. That doesn't mean you should only focus on one point or piece and limit your possible connections. Spread out and you will find even more connections. The truth of the puzzle information comes in different shapes and colors but in the end it's all connected. Information might be divided, spread out in different areas, different people, different experiences. What's important to remember is that every piece is meant for you. You might throw it on the side now and use it later, but it will forever remain a part of your bigger picture. Work on your puzzle, with patience and care in moving forward and with a hopeful spirit that it will all work out in the end for your highest good!
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Perfect knowledge is hallowed ground. It caresses you, cradles you with the barbed wire of truth. It grazes and tears at your flesh as though it ever really mattered- as if there were anything you could have done to stop it from penetrating you so completely. Revenge in the hand of your enemies is a loaded gun. You can beg them for mercy, wave the white flag of surrender, but the only true elixir for the vitriol they bestow is a measure of hatred dispensed of you own. Never lie down for the enemy. Never hand them the knife with which to slaughter you. The truth is a labyrinth. Secrets are the truths as sharp as razors ready to spread like a virus- ready to saw your existence in half. My truths came to light. They took shape in the form of my enemies until all of the color bled out from my world. It lacked the beauty and majesty of a black and white portrait. The landscape had glazed over in rusted tones of sepia-rancid-tarnished- with urine colored sky. My world glittered from the fragmented glass it had become. This is what I know. These are my truths.
Addison Moore (Wicked (Celestra, #4))
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
USE YOUR SENSES FULLY. 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. Listen to the sounds; don’t judge them. Listen to the silence underneath the sounds. Touch something — anything — and feel and acknowledge its Being. Observe the rhythm of your breathing; feel the air flowing in and out, feel the life energy inside your body. Allow everything to be, within and without. Allow the “isness” of all things. Move deeply into the Now. You are leaving behind the deadening world of mental abstraction, of time. You are getting out of the insane mind that is draining you of life energy, just as it is slowly poisoning and destroying the Earth. You are awakening out of the dream of time into the present.
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
Because I Cannot Sleep Because I cannot sleep I make music at night. I am troubled by the one whose face has the color of spring flowers. I have neither sleep nor patience, neither a good reputation nor disgrace. A thousand robes of wisdom are gone. All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away. The heart and the mind are left angry with each other. The stars and the moon are envious of each other. Because of this alienation the physical universe is getting tighter and tighter. The moon says, 'How long will I remain suspended without a sun?' Without Love's jewel inside of me, let the bazaar of my existence be destroyed stone by stone. O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names, You who know how to pour the wine into the chalice of the body, You who give culture to a thousand cultures, You who are faceless but have a thousand faces, O Love, You who shape the faces of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris, give me a glass from Your bottle, or a handful of being from Your Branch. Remove the cork once more. Then we'll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves, and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play. Then the addict will be freed of craving. and will be resurrected, and stand in awe till Judgement Day
Rumi
Having shaved, washed, and dexterously arranged several artificial teeth, standing in front of the mirror, he moistened his silver-mounted brushes and plastered the remains of his thick pearly hair on his swarthy yellow skull. He drew on to his strong old body, with its abdomen protuberant from excessive good living, his cream-colored silk underwear, put black silk socks and patent-leather slippers on his flat-footed feet. He put sleeve-links in the shining cuffs of his snow-white shirt, and bending forward so that his shirt front bulged out, he arranged his trousers that were pulled up high by his silk braces, and began to torture himself, putting his collar-stud through the stiff collar. The floor was still rocking beneath him, the tips of his fingers hurt, the stud at moments pinched the flabby skin in the recess under his Adam's apple, but he persisted, and at last, with eyes all strained and face dove-blue from the over-tight collar that enclosed his throat, he finished the business and sat down exhausted in front of the pier glass, which reflected the whole of him, and repeated him in all the other mirrors. " It is awful ! " he muttered, dropping his strong, bald head, but without trying to understand or to know what was awful. Then, with habitual careful attention examining his gouty-jointed short fingers and large, convex, almond-shaped finger-nails, he repeated : " It is awful. . . .
Ivan Bunin (The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories)
The wheels of the cars stormed underneath. Woods and pastures ran up and receded, the rails of sidings sheathed in rust, the dipping racing wires, and on the right the blue of the Sound, deeper, stronger than before. Then the enameled shells of the commuters' cars, and the heaped bodies of junk cars, the shapes of old New England mills, with narrow, austere windows; villages, convents; tugboats moving in the swelling fabric-like water; and then plantations of pine, the needles on the ground of a life-giving russet color. So, thought Herzog, acknowledging that his imagination of the universe was elementary, the novae bursting and the worlds coming into being, the invisible magnetic spokes by means of which bodies kept one another in orbit. Astronomers made it all sound as though the gases were shaken up inside a flask. Then after many billions of years, light-years, this childlike but far from innocent creature, a straw hat on his head, and a heart in his breast, part pure, part wicked, who would try to form his own shaky picture of this magnificent web.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
Your brother is a sensitive person. Aesthetically, ethically, and intellectually he is in fact hypersensitive. As a result, it would seem that he was born only to torture himself. He has none of that saving dullness of intelligence which sees little difference between A and B. To him it must be either A or B. And if it is to be A, its shape, degree, and shade of color must precisely match his own conception of it; otherwise he will not accept it. Your brother, being sensitive, is all his life walking on a line he has chosen—a line as precarious as a tight rope. At the same time he impatiently demands that others also tread an equally precarious rope, without missing their footing. It would be a mistake, though, to think that this stems from selfishness. Imagine a world which could react exactly the way your brother expects; that world would undoubtedly be far more advanced than the world as it is now. Consequently, he detests the world which is—aesthetically, intellectually, and ethically—not as advanced as he is himself. That's why it's different from mere selfishness, I think.
Natsume Sōseki (The Wayfarer)
For somehow, beneath this gorgeous paradigm of unnecessary being, lies the Act by which it exists. You have just now reduced it to its parts, shivered it into echoes, and pressed it to a memory, but you have also caught the hint that a thing is more than the sum of all the insubstantialities that comprise it. Hopefully, you will never again argue that the solidities of the world are mere matters of accident, creatures of air and darkness, temporary and meaningless shapes out of nothing. Perhaps now you have seen at least dimly that the uniquenesses of creation are the result of continuous creative support, of effective regard by no mean lover. He likes onions, therefore they are. The fit, the colors, the smell, the tensions, the tastes, the textures, the likes, the shapes are a response, not to some forgotten decree that there may as well be onions as turnips, but to His present delight - His intimate and immediate joy in all you have seen, and in the thousand other wonders you do not even suspect. With Peter, the onion says, Lord, it is good for us to be here. Yes, says God. Tov, Very good.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection)
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
She wanted to read things -- could not resist wanting to read things -- and reading was easily done, and relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, that she should receive any praise for such reflexive habits baffled the girl, for she knew herself to be fantastically stupid about many things. Wasn't it possible that what others mistook as intelligence might in fact be only a sort of mutation of the will? She could sit in one place longer than other children be bored for hours without complaint, and was completely devoted to filling in every last corner of the coloring books Augustus Blake sometimes brought home. She could not help her mutated will -- no more than she could help the shape of her feet or the street on which she was born. She was unable to glean real satisfaction from accidents. In the child's mind a breach now appeared: between what she believed she knew of herself, essentially, and her essence as others seemed to understand it. She began to exist for other people, and if ever asked a question to which she did not know the answer she was wont to fold her arms across her body and look upward. As if the question itself were to obvious to truly concern her.
Zadie Smith (NW)
Yes, I hate blown glass art and I happen to live in the blown glass art capital of the world, Seattle, Washington. Being a part of the Seattle artistic community, I often get invited to galleries that are displaying the latest glass sculptures by some amazing new/old/mid-career glass blower. I never go. Abstract art leaves me feeling stupid and bored. Perhaps it’s because I grew up inside a tribal culture, on a reservation where every song and dance had specific ownership, specific meaning, and specific historical context. Moreover, every work of art had use—art as tool: art to heal; art to honor, art to grieve. I think of the Spanish word carnal, defined as, ‘Of the appetites and passions of the body.’ And I think of Gertrude Stein’s line, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.’ When asked what that line meant, Stein said, ‘The poet could use the name of the thing and the thing was really there.’ So when I say drum, the drum is really being pounded in this poem; when I say fancydancer, the fancydancer is really spinning inside this poem; when I say Indian singer, that singer is really wailing inside this poem. But when it comes to abstract art—when it comes to studying an organically shaped giant piece of multi-colored glass—I end up thinking, ‘That looks like my kidney. Anybody’s kidney, really. And frankly, there can be no kidney-shaped art more beautiful—more useful and closer to our Creator—than the kidney itself. And beyond that, this glass isn’t funny. There’s no wit here. An organic shape is not inherently artistic. It doesn’t change my mind about the world. It only exists to be admired. And, frankly, if I wanted to only be in admiration of an organic form, I’m going to watch beach volleyball. I’m always going to prefer the curve of a woman’s hip or a man’s shoulder to a piece of glass that has some curves.
Sherman Alexie (Face)
In here was the image of God. It isn't the devil in humanity that makes man a lonely creature, it's his God-likeness. It's the fullness of the Good that can't get out or can't find its proper "other place" that makes for loneliness.Anna's misery was for others. They just could not see the beauty of that broken iron stump, the colors, the crystalline shapes; they could not see the possibilities there. Anna wanted them to join with her in this exciting new world , but they could not imagine themselves to be so small that this jagged fracture could become a world of iron mountains, of iron plains with crystal trees.It was a new world to explore, a world of the imagination, a world where few people would or could follow her. In this broken-off stump was a whole new realm of possibilities to be explored and to be enjoyed. Mister God most certainly enjoyed it, but then Mister God didn't at all mind making himself small. People thought that Mister God was very big, and that's where they made a big mistake. Obviously Mister God could be any size he wanted to be. "If he couldn't be little, how could he know what it's like to be a lady -bird?" Indeed, how could he? So, like Alice in Wonderland, Anna ate of the cake of imagination and altered her size to fit the occasion.After all, Mister God did not have only one point of view but an infinity of viewing points, and the whole purpose of living was to be like Mister God. So far as Anna was concerned, being good, being generous, being kind, praying, and all that kind of stuff had very little to do with Mister God. They were, in the jargon of today, merely "spinoffs." This sort of thing was just "playing it safe," and Anna was going to have none of it. No! Religion was all about being like Mister God and it was here that things could get a little tough. The instructions weren't to be good and kind and loving, etc., and it therefore followed that you would be more like Mi ster God. No! The whole point of being alive was to be like Mister God and then you couldn't help but be good and kind and loving, could you?
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
And so this end in confusion, where when things stop I never get to know it, and this moving is the space, is that what is yet to be, which is for others to see filled wherever it may finally be in the frame when the last pieces are fitted and the others stop, and there will be the stopped pattern, the final array, but not even that, because that final finitude will itself be a bit of scrolling, a percent clump of tiles, which will generally stay together but move about within another whole and be mingled, with in endless ways of other people's memories, so that I will remain a set of impressions porous and open to combination with all of the other vitreous squares floating about in whoever else's frames, because there is always the space left in reserve for the rest of their downtime, and to my great-grandchildren, with more space than tiles, I will be no more than the smoky arrangement of a set of rumors, and to their great-grandchildren, I will be no more than a tint of some obscure color, and to their great grandchildren nothing they ever know about, and so what army of strangers and ghosts has shaped and colored me until back to Adam, until back to when ribs were blown from molten sand into the glass bits that took up the light of this world because they were made from this world, even though the fleeting tenants of those bits of colored glass have vacated them before they have had even the remotest understanding of what it is to inhabit them, and if they -- if we are fortunate (yes, I am lucky, lucky), and if we are fortunate, have fleeting instants when we are satisfied that the mystery is ours to ponder, if never to solve, or even just rife personal mysteries, never mind those outside-- are there even mysteries outside? a puzzle itself -- but anyway, personal mysteries, like where is my father, why can't I stop all the moving and look out over the vast arrangements and find by the contours and colors and qualities of light where my father is, not to solve anything but just simple even to see it again one last time, before what, before it ends, before it stops. But it doesn't stop; it simply ends. It is a final pattern scattered without so much as a pause at the end, at the end of what, at the end of this.
Paul Harding
Disillusioned words like bullets bark As human gods aim for their marks Made everything from toy guns that sparks To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark It's easy to see without looking too far That not much Is really sacred. While preachers preach of evil fates Teachers teach that knowledge waits Can lead to hundred-dollar plates Goodness hides behind its gates But even the President of the United States Sometimes must have To stand naked. An' though the rules of the road have been lodged It's only people's games that you got to dodge And it's alright, Ma, I can make it. Advertising signs that con you Into thinking you're the one That can do what's never been done That can win what's never been won Meantime life outside goes on All around you. Although the masters make the rules For the wise men and the fools I got nothing, Ma, to live up to. For them that must obey authority That they do not respect in any degree Who despite their jobs, their destinies Speak jealously of them that are free Cultivate their flowers to be Nothing more than something They invest in. While some on principles baptized To strict party platforms ties Social clubs in drag disguise Outsiders they can freely criticize Tell nothing except who to idolize And then say God Bless him. While one who sings with his tongue on fire Gargles in the rat race choir Bent out of shape from society's pliers Cares not to come up any higher But rather get you down in the hole That he's in. Old lady judges, watch people in pairs Limited in sex, they dare To push fake morals, insult and stare While money doesn't talk, it swears Obscenity, who really cares Propaganda, all is phony. While them that defend what they cannot see With a killer's pride, security It blows the minds most bitterly For them that think death's honesty Won't fall upon them naturally Life sometimes Must get lonely. And if my thought-dreams could been seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Bob Dylan
When I close my eyes to see, to hear, to smell, to touch a country I have known, I feel my body shake and fill with joy as if a beloved person had come near me. A rabbi was once asked the following question: ‘When you say that the Jews should return to Palestine, you mean, surely, the heavenly, the immaterial, the spiritual Palestine, our true homeland?’ The rabbi jabbed his staff into the ground in wrath and shouted, ‘No! I want the Palestine down here, the one you can touch with your hands, with its stones, its thorns and its mud!’ Neither am I nourished by fleshless, abstract memories. If I expected my mind to distill from a turbid host of bodily joys and bitternesses an immaterial, crystal-clear thought, I would die of hunger. When I close my eyes in order to enjoy a country again, my five senses, the five mouth-filled tentacles of my body, pounce upon it and bring it to me. Colors, fruits, women. The smells of orchards, of filthy narrow alleys, of armpits. Endless snows with blue, glittering reflections. Scorching, wavy deserts of sand shimmering under the hot sun. Tears, cries, songs, distant bells of mules, camels or troikas. The acrid, nauseating stench of some Mongolian cities will never leave my nostrils. And I will eternally hold in my hands – eternally, that is, until my hands rot – the melons of Bukhara, the watermelons of the Volga, the cool, dainty hand of a Japanese girl… For a time, in my early youth, I struggled to nourish my famished soul by feeding it with abstract concepts. I said that my body was a slave and that its duty was to gather raw material and bring it to the orchard of the mind to flower and bear fruit and become ideas. The more fleshless, odorless, soundless the world was that filtered into me, the more I felt I was ascending the highest peak of human endeavor. And I rejoiced. And Buddha came to be my greatest god, whom I loved and revered as an example. Deny your five senses. Empty your guts. Love nothing, hate nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing. Breathe out and the world will be extinguished. But one night I had a dream. A hunger, a thirst, the influence of a barbarous race that had not yet become tired of the world had been secretly working within me. My mind pretended to be tired. You felt it had known everything, had become satiated, and was now smiling ironically at the cries of my peasant heart. But my guts – praised be God! – were full of blood and mud and craving. And one night I had a dream. I saw two lips without a face – large, scimitar-shaped woman’s lips. They moved. I heard a voice ask, ‘Who if your God?’ Unhesitatingly I answered, ‘Buddha!’ But the lips moved again and said: ‘No, Epaphus.’ I sprang up out of my sleep. Suddenly a great sense of joy and certainty flooded my heart. What I had been unable to find in the noisy, temptation-filled, confused world of wakefulness I had found now in the primeval, motherly embrace of the night. Since that night I have not strayed. I follow my own path and try to make up for the years of my youth that were lost in the worship of fleshless gods, alien to me and my race. Now I transubstantiate the abstract concepts into flesh and am nourished. I have learned that Epaphus, the god of touch, is my god. All the countries I have known since then I have known with my sense of touch. I feel my memories tingling, not in my head but in my fingertips and my whole skin. And as I bring back Japan to my mind, my hands tremble as if they were touching the breast of a beloved woman.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Travels in China & Japan)
RICHARD, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER: Why then I do but dream on sovereignty, Like one that stands upon a promontory And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye, And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way: So do I wish the crown, being so far off, And so I chide the means that keeps me from it, And so, I say, I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities, My eye's too quick, my hear o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! and more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb; And for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe, To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub, To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size, To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd? O monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought! Then since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And whiles I live, t' account this world but hell, Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home; And I - like one lost in a thorny wood, That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way, and straying from the way, Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out - Torment myself to catch the English crown; And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murther whiles I smile, And cry "Content" to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall, I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk, I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And like a Simon, take another Troy. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murtherous Machevil to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
The women we become after children, she typed, then stopped to adjust the angle of the paper....We change shape, she continued, we buy low-heeled shoes, we cut off our long hair, We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten rusks, a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, persoective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breathe, they eat, they crawl and-look!-they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we must sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not getting where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps to cook, to patch knees of dungarees. We get used to living with a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live, We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean-only clothes to the back of the wardrobe. Eventually we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying 'shit' and 'damn' and learn to say 'my goodness' and 'heavens above.' We give up smoking, we color our hair, we search the vistas of parks, swimming-pools, libraries, cafes for others of our kind. We know each other by our pushchairs, our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy biscuit cutters, washable paints, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in restaurants, sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seamed dresses, their tiny handbags, their smooth washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep on pushing the pram up the hill.
Maggie O'Farrell (The Hand That First Held Mine)
Last year I had a very unusual experience. I was awake, with my eyes closed, when I had a dream. It was a small dream about time. I was dead, I guess, in deep black space high up among many white stars. My own consciousness had been disclosed to me, and I was happy. Then I saw far below me a long, curved band of color. As I came closer, I saw that it stretched endlessly in either direction, and I understood that I was seeing all the time of the planet where I had lived. It looked like a woman’s tweed scarf; the longer I studied any one spot, the more dots of color I saw. There was no end to the deepness and variety of the dots. At length, I started to look for my time, but, although more and more specks of color and deeper and more intricate textures appeared in the fabric, I couldn’t find my time, or any time at all that I recognized as being near my time. I couldn’t make out so much as a pyramid. Yet as I looked at the band of time, all the individual people, I understood with special clarity, were living at the very moment with great emotion, in intricate detail, in their individual times and places, and they were dying and being replaced by ever more people, one by one, like stitches in which whole worlds of feeling and energy were wrapped, in a never-ending cloth. I remembered suddenly the color and texture of our life as we knew it- these things had been utterly forgotten- and I thought as I searched for it on the limitless band, “that was a good time then, a good time to be living.” And I began to remember our time. I recalled green fields with carrots growing, one by one, in slender rows. Men and women in bright vests and scarves came and pulled the carrots out of the soil and carried them in baskets to shaded kitchens, where they scrubbed them with yellow brushes under running water…I saw may apples in forest, erupting through leaf-strewn paths. Cells on the root hairs of sycamores split and divided and apples grew striped and spotted in the fall. Mountains kept their cool caves, and squirrels raced home to their nests through sunlight and shade. I remembered the ocean, and I seemed to be in the ocean myself, swimming over orange crabs that looked like coral, or off the deep Atlantic banks where whitefish school. Or again I saw the tops of poplars, and the whole sky brushed with clouds in pallid streaks, under which wilds ducks flew, and called, one by one, and flew on. All these things I saw. Scenes grew in depth and sunlit detail before my eyes, and were replaced by ever more scenes, as I remembered the life of my time with increasing feeling. At last I saw the earth as a globe in space, and I recalled the ocean’s shape and the form of continents, saying to myself with surprise as I looked at the planet, “Yes, that’s how it was then, that part there we called ‘France’”. I was filled with the deep affection of nostalgia- and then I opened my eyes.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)