Simple Bird Quotes

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We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.
Martin Luther King Jr.
To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
John Burroughs (Leaf and Tendril)
And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird's life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird's heart?
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education, and even more amazing no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
She may know a little, may think of herself, face and body, as ‘pretty’… but he could never tell her all the rest, how many other living things, birds, nights smelling of grass and rain, sunlit moments of simple peace, also gather in what she is to him.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
You still think love can save us. It’s more killing than hate. Hate is so clean, so simple. Like being in the ring. With hate, you just keep hitting. You hit until they stop hitting back. With love… They never stop.
Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)
Learn to like what doesn't cost much. Learn to like reading, conversation, music. Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking. Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills. Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you. Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done. Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs. Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things. Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day. Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
Lowell C. Bennion
However, this sceptic had one fanaticism. This fanaticism was neither a dogma, nor an idea, nor an art, nor a science; it was a man: Enjolras. Grantaire admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras. To whom did this anarchical scoffer unite himself in this phalanx of absolute minds? To the most absolute. In what manner had Enjolras subjugated him? By his ideas? No. By his character. A phenomenon which is often observable. A sceptic who adheres to a believer is as simple as the law of complementary colors. That which we lack attracts us. No one loves the light like the blind man. The dwarf adores the drum-major. The toad always has his eyes fixed on heaven. Why? In order to watch the bird in its flight. Grantaire, in whom writhed doubt, loved to watch faith soar in Enjolras. He had need of Enjolras. That chaste, healthy, firm, upright, hard, candid nature charmed him, without his being clearly aware of it, and without the idea of explaining it to himself having occurred to him.
Victor Hugo
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Wouldn't it be most logical for her to change herself into a living thing, like a cat or dog, a bird or mouse?' That would be the easiest transformation, but Risto is above doing something simple.' Still, I'd be happier if Dibl would quit eating those bugs. Dibl, stop it. You might eat Gilda.
Donita K. Paul (DragonQuest (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #2))
Maybe it's been like that for you till now. But you're not a kid anymore. You have the right to choose your own life. You can start again. If you want a cat, all you have to do is choose a life in which you can have a cat. It's simple. It's your right... right?
Haruki Murakami
The law presides over things of this world, finally. The world where shadow is shadow and light is light, yin is yin and yang is yang, I'm me and he's him. 'I am me and / He is him/ Autumn eve.' But you don't belong to that world, sonny. The world you belong to is above that or below that." Which is better?" I asked, out of simple curiosity. "Above or below?" It's not that either one is better," he said. After a brief coughing fit, he spat a glob of phlegm onto a tissue and studied it closely before crumpling the tissue and throwing it into a wastebasket. "It's not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. 'I am he and/ He is me:/ Spring nightfall.' Abandon the self, and there you are.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
When the heart Is cut or cracked or broken Do not clutch it Let the wound lie open Let the wind From the good old sea blow in To bathe the wound with salt And let it sting. Let a stray dog lick it Let a bird lean in the hole and sing A simple song like a tiny bell And let it ring Let it go. Let it out. Let it all unravel. Let it free and it can be A path on which to travel.
Michael Leunig (Prayer Tree)
The birders I encountered in books and in the world shared little in common except this simple secret: if you listen to birds, every day will have a song in it.
Kyo Maclear
Mostly things are not that way, that simple and pure, with so much focus given to each syllable of life as life sings itself. But that kind of attention is the prize. To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass--seeing things in such a narrow and darkly narcissistic way that it presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
Flight is many things. Something clean and swift, like a bird skimming across the sky. Or something filthy and crawling; a series of crablike movements through figurative and literal slime, a process of creeping ahead, jumping sideways, running backward. It is sleeping in fields and river bottoms. It is bellying for miles along an irrigation ditch. It is back roads, spur railroad lines, the tailgate of a wildcat truck, a stolen car and a dead couple in lovers' lane. It is food pilfered from freight cars, garments taken from clotheslines; robbery and murder, sweat and blood. The complex made simple by the alchemy of necessity
Jim Thompson (The Getaway)
Are you angry with the bird because he can fly, or angry with the horse for her beauty, or angry with the bear because he has fearsome teeth and claws? Because he’s bigger than you are? Stronger too? Destroying all the things you hate won’t change any of that. You still won’t be a bear or a bird or a horse. Hating men won’t make you a man. Hating your womb or your breasts or your own weakness won’t make those things go away. You’ll still be a woman. Hating never fixed anything. It seems simple, but most things are. We just complicate them. We spend our lives complicating what we would do better to accept. Because in acceptance, we put our energies into transcendence.
Amy Harmon (Where the Lost Wander)
Perhaps when we die our names are taken from us by a divine magnet and are free to flutter here and there within the bodies of birds. I'll be a simple crow who can reach the top of Antelope Butte. (From: Hard Times)
Jim Harrison (In Search of Small Gods)
is a broken man an outlaw?" "More or less." Brienne answered. Septon Meribald disagreed. "More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They've heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. "Then they get a taste of battle. "For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they've been gutted by an axe. "They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that's still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water. "If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they're fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chicken's, and from there it's just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they're fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world... "And the man breaks. "He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them...but he should pity them as well
George R.R. Martin
I remember the old northern legend of how God created the taiga while he was still a child. There were few colors, but they were childishly fresh and vivid, and their subjects were simple. Later, when God grew up and became an adult, he learned to cut out complicated patters from his pages and created many bright birds. God grew bored with his former child's world and he threw snow on his forest creation and went south forever.
Varlam Shalamov (Kolyma Tales)
There are transitional forms between the metals and non-metals; between chemical combinations and simple mixtures, between animals and plants, between phanerogams and cryptogams, and between mammals and birds [...]. The improbability may henceforth be taken for granted of finding in Nature a sharp cleavage between all that is masculine on the one side and all that is feminine on the other; or that any living being is so simple in this respect that it can be put wholly on one side, or wholly on the other, of the line.
Otto Weininger
Love—that’s what she felt, an odd, strong, general love that seemed to flow from everything she saw and heard: the sunlit leaves, the dark hollows beneath the trees, the stones of the house, the birds that called as they flew overhead. And in its glow, she glimpsed momentarily what religious people must surely feel at church: the sense of being bathed in the light of certainty that comes with being known from the inside out, from belonging somewhere and to someone. It was simple. It was luminous, and beautiful, and true.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
Someone once asked me why people sing. I answered that they sing for many of the same reasons the birds sing. They sing for a mate, to claim their territory, or simply to give voice to the delight of being alive in the midst of a beautiful day. Perhaps more than the birds do, humans hold a grudge. They sing to complain of how grievously they have been wronged, and how to avoid it in the future. They sing to help themselves execute a job of work. They sing so the subsequent generations won’t forget what the current generation endured, or dreamed, or delighted in.
Linda Ronstadt (Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir)
It is simple; when I got here I noticed the orange juice was on the right side of the table which lead me to believe that this bitch is left handed. Since tomorrow is Thursday and school buses are yellow… I knew I had to make a sandwich. Then I screamed the number 4 silently in my head for an hour; that’s when shit got real. Since birds are afraid of Asian people... the lady got killed when she murdered herself, obviously.
Mike G.S.I
What a happy woman I am living in a garden, with books, babies, birds, and flowers, and plenty of leisure to enjoy them! Yet my town acquaintances look upon it as imprisonment, and I don't know what besides, and would rend the air with their shrieks if condemned to such a life. Sometimes I feel as if I were blest above all my fellows in being able to find my happiness so easily. I believe I should always be good if the sun always shone, and could enjoy myself very well in Siberia on a fine day. And what can life in town offer in the way of pleasure to equal the delight of any one of the calm evenings I have had this month sitting alone at the foot of the verandah steps, with the perfume of young larches all about, and the May moon hanging low over the beeches, and the beautiful silence made only more profound in its peace by the croaking of distant frogs and hooting of owls?
Elizabeth von Arnim (Elizabeth and Her German Garden)
Civilization was, Fatima realized, something very simple; it was the right of these small rituals to perpetuate themselves in peace.
G. Willow Wilson (The Bird King)
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers and sisters.’ – Martin Luther King, Jr
Liz Nugent (Our Little Cruelties)
I could hear them and the simple bloodlust that pulsed from them. They lived to kill. Not for hate or power. But still, they killed. They killed because death meant food. Death meant life. Death meant that their blood pounded hotter in their veins, and their flesh grew thicker on their bones. They were simple monsters, but monsters all the same. And they were hungry.
Amy Harmon (The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, #1))
Words, no matter whether they are vocalized and made into sounds or remain unspoken as thoughts, can cast an almost hypnotic spell upon you. You easily lose yourself in them, become hypnotized into implicitly believing that when you have attached a word to something, you know what it is. The fact is: You don’t know what it is. You have only covered up the mystery with a label. Everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable. This is because it has unfathomable depth. All we can perceive, experience, think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
When a flower blooms, the butterfly naturally finds it. When trees have blossomed, birds flock to the branches on their own, and when the leaves wither and fall, the birds scatter. Relationships with people aren’t so different.
Shunmyō Masuno (Zen: The Art of Simple Living)
To see takes time, like having a friend takes time. It is as simple as turning off the television to learn the song of a single bird. Why should anyone do such things? I cannot imagine—unless one is weary of crossing days off the calendar with no sense of what makes the last day different from the next. Unless one is weary of acting in what feels more like a television commercial than a life. The practice of paying attention offers no quick fix for such weariness, with guaranteed results printed on the side. Instead, it is one way into a different way of life, full of treasure for those who are willing to pay attention to exactly where they are.
Barbara Brown Taylor (An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith)
Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame,’” she said... 'I think the bird is the connection between us.... I’d do anything for him,' she said, and realized that it really was that simple.
Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2))
My November Guest" My Sorrow, when she's here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the bare, the withered tree; She walked the sodden pasture lane. Her pleasure will not let me stay. She talks and I am fain to list: She's glad the birds are gone away, She's glad her simple worsted gray Is silver now with clinging mist. The desolate, deserted trees, The faded earth, the heavy sky, The beauties she so truly sees, She thinks I have no eye for these, And vexes me for reason why. Not yesterday I learned to know The love of bare November days Before the coming of the snow, But it were vain to tell her so, And they are better for her praise. Robert Frost, The Complete Poems ( Henry Holt & Co, 1949)
Robert Frost (Complete Poems Of Robert Frost, 1949)
You still think love can save us. It's more killing than hate. Hate is so clean, so simple. Like being in the ring. With hate, you just keep hitting back. You hit until they stop hitting back. With love... they never stop." ~ (Frank)
Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)
It’s like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big Deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles." “We’re doing all right.” “We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back.” “We have heat, we have light.” “These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stone Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you know about the progress of medicines and diseases? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?” “‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.” “Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good.” “I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios.” “What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat grubs. Explain a radio.” “There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers.” “They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
All of it was new to him. After a life of Sameness and predictability, he was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road. He slowed the bike again and again to look with wonder at wildflowers, go enjoy the throaty warble of a new bird nearby, or merely to watch the way wind shifted the leaves in the trees. During his twelve years in the community, he had never felt such simple moments of exquisite happiness.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
As I said in my last book, birds are mean. They're the only pet that, when they escape, the owners are relieved. You can tell a species is evil by doing this simple math. If my blond lab Molly was the size of T-Rex, that would just mean more kibble, more work for the gardener in the backyard, and a harder time moving her to my wife's side of the bed at night. If birds were the size of a T-Rex, the streets would be littered with human remains.
Adam Carolla
When my nephew passed beyond, Wilhelm comforted himself that a child in his innocence would be delivered speedily to heaven, and there be given an honored place. “In this small, simple throne,” Wilhelm said, and I said, “With secret compartments for his bird’s nests and smooth stones.” Wilhelm believed this. He had to believe this. I, too, repeated this conception to myself again and again, trying harder to harder to believe it. But a Creator who takes a child so small, so kind, so tender? What can be made of that? The tales we collected are not merciful. Villains are boiled in snake-filled oil, wicked Steifmutter-stepmothers-are made to dance into death in molten-hot shoes, and on and on. The tales are full of terrible punishments, yes, but they follow just cause. Goodness is rewarded; evil is not. The generous simpleton finds more happiness and coin than the greedy king. So why not mercy and justice to sweet youth from an omnipotent and benevolent Creator? There are only three answers. He is not omnipotent, or he is not benevolent, or-the dreariest possibility of all-he is inattentive. What if that was what happened to my nephew? That God’s gaze had merely strayed elsewhere?
Tom McNeal (Far Far Away)
But things happened the way they happened without regard to our desire for them to have happened another way. Despite an age-old instinct to provide an explanation more complex than that, something with a level of profundity and depth which would seem commensurate with the confusion I felt, it really was that simple.
Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds)
The elements of voice and style are braided together like twine, consisting of these attempts to copy other artists, or an instrument, or even the sound of a bird or passing train. Added to these characteristics are emotions and thoughts that register as various vocal quirks, like hiccups, sighs, growls, warbles—a practically limitless assortment of choices. Most of these choices are made at the speed of sound on a subconscious level, or one would be completely overwhelmed by the task.
Linda Ronstadt (Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir)
realized that flying a plane meant not making mistakes. You had to maintain control of everything. You had to look out for the wires, the birds, the trees, the fog, while monitoring everything in the cockpit. You had to be vigilant and alert. It was equally important to know what was possible and what was not. One simple mistake could mean death.
Chesley B. Sullenberger (Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters)
A Girl is gone! A Girl is lost! A simple Rustic Maiden but Yesterday swung upon the Pasture Gate, with Knowledge nowhere, yet is now, to-day, no better than her Mother, and her Mother's Mother before her! Soiled! Despoiled! Handled! Mauled! Rumpled! Rummaged! Ransacked! No purer than Fish in Sea, no sweater than Bird on Wing, no better than Beasts of Earth!
Djuna Barnes
BearPaw Duck Farm makes the BEST SwimmingBird Soup. So, what's the secret ingredient? Simple: Swimming. You don't have to be Michael Phelps to figure that out.
Jarod Kintz (BearPaw Duck And Meme Farm presents: Two Ducks Brawling Is A Pre-Pillow Fight)
The music of birds. I guess everything comes from that, the dances of simple country folk, the old songs that both cure and trouble the hearts of listeners.
Sebastian Barry (A Thousand Moons)
Backyard chickens mean eggs, meat, broth, and compost, all for the small price of keeping these birds safe and well fed with nutrition as simple as the bugs from your yard.
Liz Wolfe (Eat the Yolks)
The solution to mania is so simple yet so hard to come by. Just sleep.
Zack McDermott (Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love)
Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.- Albert Einstein Watching birds has become part of my daily meditation affirming my connection to the earth body.
Carol P. Christ
Every walk to the woods is a religious rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance. Communion service is at all hours, and the bread and wine are from the heart and marrow of Mother Earth. To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring— these are some of the rewards of the simple life. The most precious things of life are near at hand, without money and without price. Each of you has the whole wealth of the universe at your very door. All that I ever had, and still have, may be yours by stretching forth your hand and taking it.
John Burroughs
Staring at a blank piece of paper, I can't think of anything original. I feel utterly uninspired and unreceptive. It's the familiar malaise of 'artist's block' and in such circumstances there is only one thing to do: just start drawing. The artist Paul Klee refers to this simple act as 'taking a line for a walk', an apt description of my own basic practice: allowing the tip of a pencil to wander through the landscape of a sketchbook, motivated by a vague impulse but hoping to find something much more interesting along the way. Strokes, hooks, squiggles and loops can resolve into hills, faces, animals, machines -even abstract feelings- the meanings of which are often secondary to the simple act of making (something young children know intuitively). Images are not preconceived and then drawn, they are conceived as they are drawn. Indeed, drawing is its own form of thinking, in the same way birdsong is 'thought about' within a bird's throat.
Shaun Tan
What the gods are supposed to be, what the priests are commissioned to say, is not a sensational secret like what those running messengers of the Gospel had to say. Nobody else except those messengers has any Gospel; nobody else has any good news; for the simple reason that nobody else has any news. Those runners gather impetus as they run. Ages afterwards they still speak as if something had just happened. They have not lost the speed and momentum of messengers; they have hardly lost, as it were, the wild eyes of witnesses. In the Catholic Church, which is the cohort of the message, there are still those headlong acts of holiness that speak of something rapid and recent; a self-sacrifice that startles the world like a suicide. But it is not a suicide; it is not pessimistic; it is still as optimistic as St. Francis of the flowers and birds. It is newer in spirit than the newest schools of thought; and it is almost certainly on the eve of new triumphs. For these men serve a mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed. We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
If you tell a guy in the street you're hungry you scare the shit out of him, he runs like hell. That's something I never understood. I don't understand it yet. The whole thing is so simple - you just say Yes when some one comes up to you. And if you can't say Yes you can take him by the arm and ask some other bird to help you out. Why you have to don a uniform and kill men you don't know, just to get that crust of bread, is a mystery to me. That's what I think about, more than about whose trap it's going down or how much it costs. Why should I give a fuck about what anything costs ? I'm here to live, not to calculate. And that's just what the bastards don't want you to do - to live! They want you to spend your whole life adding up figures. That makes sense to them. That's reasonable. That's intelligent. If I were running the boat things wouldn't be so orderly perhaps, but it would be gayer, by Jesus! You wouldn't have to shit in your pants over trifles. Maybe there wouldn't be macadamized roads and streamlined cars and loudspeakers and gadgets of a million-billion varieties, maybe there wouldn't even be glass in the windows, maybe you'd have to sleep on the ground, maybe there wouldn't be French cooking and Italian cooking and Chinese cooking, maybe people would kill each other when their patience was exhausted and maybe nobody would stop them because there wouldn't be any jails or any cops or judges, and there certainly wouldn't be any cabinet ministers or legislatures because-there wouldn't be any goddamned laws to obey or disobey, and maybe it would take months and years to trek from place to place, but you wouldn't need a visa or a passport or a carte d'identite because you wouldn't be registered anywhere and you wouldn't bear a number and if you wanted to change your name every week you could do it because it wouldn't make any difference since you wouldn't own anything except what you could carry around with you and why would you want to own anything when everything would be free?
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
Own nothing! Possess nothing! Buddha and Christ taught us this, and the Stoics and the Cynics. Greedy though we are, why can't we seem to grasp that simple teaching? Can't we understand that with property we destroy our soul? So let the herring keep warm in your pocket until you get to the transit prison rather than beg for something to drink here. And did they give us a two-day supply of bread and sugar? In that case, eat it in one sitting. Then no one will steal it from you, and you won't have to worry about it. And you'll be free as a bird in heaven! Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday. Look around you-there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heartout because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear. Thin strands of human lives stretch from island to island of the Archipelago. They intertwine, touch one another for one night only in just such a clickety-clacking half-dark car as this and then separate once and for all. Put your ear to their quiet humming and the steady clickety-clack beneath the car. After all, it is the spinning wheel of life that is clicking and clacking away there. What strange stories you can hear! What things you will laugh at!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
To be standing together in a frosty field, looking up into the sky, marvelling at birds and revelling in the natural world around us, was a simple miracle. And I wondered why we were so rarely able to appreciate it.
Lynn Thomson (Birding with Yeats: A Mother's Memoir)
The morning was, therefore, a mixture of a plenitude of densities, from the presence of the placid birds, to the mundane premonition, to the spring of small glisters which accompanied that autumnal rain. The music, in a simple whistle, recreated a new universe with the parish and all the hearts that were witness to it- padre, pigeons, swallows, the world!- were clothed in a new carnivalesque colouring: a celebration from within.
Ondjaki (The Whistler)
Most people are unhappy; and they are unhappy because there is no love in their hearts. Love will arise in your heart when you have no barrier between yourself and another, when you meet and observe people without judging them, when you just see the sailboat on the river and enjoy the beauty of it. Don’t let your prejudices cloud your observation of things as they are; just observe, and you will discover that out of this simple observation, out of this awareness of trees, of birds, of people walking, working, smiling, something happens to you inside. Without this extraordinary thing happening to you, without the arising of love in your heart, life has very little meaning.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Maps gave them control over their surroundings, for the first time ever. It showed how to get from one place to another. It sounds simple now, but a thousand years ago it would have been an incredible feat of imagination and imagery. All maps are drawn as though looking down. From a bird's point of view. From their god's point of view. Imagine being the first person to think of that. To be able to wrap their minds around a perspective they'd never seen. And then draw it.
Louise Penny (A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #12))
How does one define a “simple” memory anyway? Is there even such a thing when it comes to the human condition? Consider the albatross that landed on the platform during her run this morning. It’s a mere flicker of thought in her mind that will one day be cast out into that wasteland of oblivion where forgotten memories die. And yet it contains the smell of the sea. The white, wet feathers of the bird glistening in the early sun. The pounding of her heart from the exertion of the run. The cold slide of sweat down her sides and the burn of it in her eyes. Her wondering in that moment where the bird considered home in the unending sameness of the sea. When every memory contains a universe, what does simple even mean?
Blake Crouch (Recursion)
West couldn't stop staring at Lady Clare. He had the feeling if he reached out to touch her, he would come away with his fingers scorched. That hair, blazing from beneath a simple gray traveling bonnet... he'd never seen anything like it. Bird-of-paradise red, with glimmers of crimson dancing amid the pinned-up locks. Her skin was flawless ivory except for a tender spray of freckles sprinkled across her nose, like a finishing spice on some luxurious dessert. She had the look of someone who had been nurtured: educated and well dressed. Someone who had always been lovingly sheltered. But there was a shadow in her gaze... the knowledge that there were some things no human being could be protected from. God, those eyes... light gray, with striations like the rays of tiny stars.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Every bird at the marsh filled us with a little light. I wondered if I was just so simple that this was all it took. But then I thought, I'm lucky that this is all it takes, and knew that I was especially lucky that this was all it took for my teenaged son, too.
Lynn Thomson (Birding with Yeats: A Mother's Memoir)
You know, there's this bullshit idea that you just magically know when you like someone romantically or sexually. But that's all it is - bullshit. Emotions are messy. People are messy. I imagine that magic makes it all just messier. And anything that isn't a clear-cut heterosexual romance out of a Disney film or a Hollywood romcom is constantly being put into doubt and questioned, because we are so used to seeing the same simple story repeated over and over again. That being straight or gay are the only options, that one person is right for you your entire life, that you just know you're meant to be, that couples have to be exclusive to be real relationships, that couples need to be couples, that romance always comes with sex. Life is not that easy. People and attraction are way more complicated than that.
Anna Kirchner (Little Black Bird)
Them fellers was dangerous, but for the simple reason they had a cause. Ain't no worse thing in the world than fronting up against one of those, for a man with a cause, right or wrong, has got plenty to prove, and will make you suck sorrow if you get in the way of 'em wrongly.
James McBride (The Good Lord Bird)
Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” A hush in the trees. Just the rustle of leaves in the breeze. But no birds, mockingjay or other. Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just as they did for my father. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
As I sat there on that winter afternoon, feeding the birds, laughing and rejoicing at the way they come again and again, flying one after another and fighting for every piece, I realised how funny and simple life truly is in these simple moments. We always have someone to provide for us, but we try to make up excuses for the lack of it, instead of trusting in divine timing. What if in reality, our Creator is a simple man on a chair, laughing kindly at our carelessness and worries, joyfully handing us another piece of bread to wake us up from our wondering..
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
You are the sun. The sun doesn't move, this is what it does. You are the Earth. The Earth is here for a start, and then the Earth moves around the sun. And now, we'll have an explanation that simple folks like us can also understand, about immortality. All I ask is that you step with me into the boundlessness, where constancy, quietude and peace, infinite emptiness reign. And just imagine, in this infinite sonorous silence, everywhere is an impenetrable darkness. Here, we only experience general motion, and at first, we don't notice the events that we are witnessing. The brilliant light of the sun always sheds its heat and light on that side of the Earth which is just then turned towards it. And we stand here in its brilliance. This is the moon. The moon revolves around the Earth. What is happening? We suddenly see that the disc of the moon, the disc of the moon, on the Sun's flaming sphere, makes an indentation, and this indentation, the dark shadow, grows bigger... and bigger. And as it covers more and more, slowly only a narrow crescent of the sun remains, a dazzling crescent. And at the next moment, the next moment - say that it's around one in the afternoon - a most dramatic turn of event occurs. At that moment the air suddenly turns cold. Can you feel it? The sky darkens, then goes all dark. The dogs howl, rabbits hunch down, the deer run in panic, run, stampede in fright. And in this awful, incomprehensible dusk, even the birds... the birds too are confused and go to roost. And then... Complete Silence. Everything that lives is still. Are the hills going to march off? Will heaven fall upon us? Will the Earth open under us? We don't know. We don't know, for a total eclipse has come upon us... But... but no need to fear. It's not over. For across the sun's glowing sphere, slowly, the Moon swims away. And the sun once again bursts forth, and to the Earth slowly there comes again light, and warmth again floods the Earth. Deep emotion pierces everyone. They have escaped the weight of darkness
Béla Tarr
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels
Embracing this beautiful morning, I open up my eyes with lucid dream A promise to be with joy forever Vividly in my heart, I say with loud scream! Sun shines brightly touching my feet Says if I reach you, why can’t you fleet Underneath my lips, now there is a big smile A simple message though depths in pile! Holding my life to a distinct side, I sing and dance with just love inside Nothing to say, nothing to hope for Just being happy and all fears aside! Amazing start of this enthralling day Resonating birds all over the place Embracing this morning again, I would love to be who I am today!
Halcyon
When I was a young girl, I studied Greek in school. It's a beautiful language and ever so many good things were written in it. When you speak Greek, it feels like a little bird flapping its wings on your tongue as fast as it can. This is why I sometimes put Greek words into my stories, even though not so many people speak Ancient Greek anymore. Anything beautiful deserves to be shared round, and anything I love goes into my stories for safekeeping. The word I love is Arete. It has a simple meaning and a complicated meaning. The simple one is: excellence. But if that were all, we'd just use Excellence and I wouldn't bring it up until we got to E. Arete means your own excellence. Your very own. A personal excellence that belongs to no one else, one that comes out of all the things that make you special and different. Arete means whatever you are best at, no matter what that is. You might think the Greeks only meant things like fighting with bronze swords or debating philosophy, but they didn't. They meant whatever you're best at. What makes you feel like you're doing the rightest thing in the world. And that might be fighting with bronze swords and it might mean debating philosophy—but it also might mean building machines, or drawing pictures, or playing the guitar, or acting in Shakespeare plays, or writing books, or making a home for people who need one, or listening so hard and so well that people tell you the things they really need to say even if they didn't mean to, or running faster than anyone else, or teaching people patiently and boldly, or even making pillow forts or marching in parades or baking bread. It could be lending out just the right library book to just the right person at just the right moment. It could be standing up to the powerful even if you don't feel very powerful yourself, even if you're lost and as far away from home as you can get. It could be loving someone with the same care and thoroughness that a Wyvern takes with alphabetizing. It could be anything in the world. And it isn't easy to figure out what that is. It's even harder to get that good at it, because nothing, not even being yourself, comes without practice. But your arete goes with you everywhere, just waiting for you to pay attention to it. You can't lose it. You can only find it. And that's my favorite thing that starts with A.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
With a glance back towards the house, he pulled the secret sketches from within. He'd been working at them on and off for a fortnight now, ever since he'd come across Cousin Eliza's fairy tales among Rose's things. Though they were written for children, magical stories of bravery and morality, they had made their way beneath his skin. The characters had seeped inside his mind and come alive, their simple wisdom a balm for his swirling mind, his ugly adult troubles. He had found himself in moments of distraction scribbling lines that had turned themselves into a crone at a spinning wheel, the Fairy Queen with her long thick plait, the Princess bird trapped in her golden cage.
Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden)
The richer we get in a consumer society, the more acutely we become aware of how many grades of value--of both leisure and labor--we have climbed. The higher we are on the pyramid, the less likely we are to give up time to simple idleness and to apparently nonproductive pursuits. The joy of listening to the neighborhood finch is easily overshadowed by stereophonic recordings of "Bird Songs of the World," the walk through the park downgraded by preparations for a packaged bird-watching tour into the jungle. It becomes difficult to economize time when all commitments are for the long run. Staffan Linder points out that there is a strong tendency for us to over-commit to the future, so that when the future becomes present, we seem to be conscious all the time of having an acute scarcity, simply because we have committed ourselves to about thirty hours a day instead of twenty-four. In addition to the mere fact that time has competitive uses and high marginal utility in an affluent society, this overcommitment creates a sense of pressure and harriedness.
Ivan Illich (Tools for Conviviality)
Then he says, “I once read a story about three brothers who washed up on an island in Hawaii. A myth. An old one. I read it when I was a kid, so I probably don’t have the story exactly right, but it goes something like this. Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, ‘A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It’s entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.’” The young man takes a drink of water and pauses for a moment. Mari looks bored, but she is clearly listening. “Okay so far?” he asks. Mari nods. “Want to hear the rest? If you’re not interested, I can stop.” “If it’s not too long.” “No, it’s not too long. It’s a pretty simple story.” He takes another sip of water and continues with his story. “So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, ‘Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It’s close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, ‘Brother, this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live—where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. Be he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii. That’s how the story goes.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
we begin to divine that Zen is not only beyond the formulations of Buddhism but it is also in a certain way “beyond” (and even pointed to by) the revealed message of Christianity. That is to say that when one breaks through the limits of cultural and structural religion—or irreligion—one is liable to end up, by “birth in the Spirit,” or just by intellectual awakening, in a simple void where all is liberty because all is the actionless action, called by the Chinese Wuwei and by the New Testament the “freedom of the Sons of God.” Not that they are theologically one and the same, but they have at any rate the same kind of limitlessness, the same lack of inhibition, the same psychic fullness of creativity, which mark the fully integrated maturity of the “enlightened self.
Thomas Merton (Zen and the Birds of Appetite (New Directions))
Make for yourself a world you can believe in. It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one—the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with their worlds’ creations or continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately and meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.
Jonathan Safran Foer (A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by Joseph Cornell)
I watch the cranes scratching their beaks with their toes and think of how the starling flocks that pour into reed beds like grain turn all of a sudden into birds perching on bowed stems, bright-eyed, their feathers spangled with white spots that glow like small stars. I marvel at how confusion can be resolved by focusing on the things from which it is made. The magic of the flocks is this simple switch between geometry and family.
Helen Macdonald (Vesper Flights)
When the sea is calm, the landscape (seascape) seems simple and even monotonous, sometimes with a distant, sometimes with a close coastline, but usually with no land in sight at all. You feel 'free', not only free of care, but also free of the solidity of the earth's crust. It is a wonderful sensation, feeling the liquidity of the water under the ship. This salutary freedom is constantly present, on deck by day, in bed at nights. The movements of the ship vary from a gentle rocking to swinging and hurtling; you are never motionless while at sea. Then you start to observe and assimilate all these natural phenomena surrounding you: the infinite variety of the waves and the swell of the sea, and for the first time in ages you look again at the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon and the stars, and you see the living creatures in and over the sea, the fish and the birds.
M.C. Escher (Leven en werk van M.C. Escher : het levensverhaal van de graficus : met een volledig geïllustreerde catalogus van zijn werk)
Witchcraft is part of a living web of species and relationships, a world which we have forgotten to observe, understand or inhabit. Many people reading this paragraph will not know even the current phase of the moon, and if asked for it will not instinctively look up to the current quarter of the sky, but down to their computers. Neither will they be able to name the plants, birds or animals within a metre or mile radius of their door. Witchcraft asks that we do these first things, this is presence. Animism is not embedded in the natural world, it is the natural world. Our witchcraft is that spirit of place, which is made from a convergence of elements and inhabitants. Here I include animals, both living and dead, human and inhuman. Our helpers are mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and insects. Some can be counted allies, others are more ambivalent. Predator and prey are interdependent. These all have the same origin and ancestry, they from from plants, from copper green life. Bones become soil. The plants have been nourished on the minerals drawn up from the bowels of the earth. These are the living tools of the witch's craft. The cycle of the elements and seasons is read in this way. Flux, life and death are part of this, as are extinctions, catastrophe, fire and flood. We avail ourselves of these, and ultimately a balance is sought. Our ritual space is written in starlight, watched over by sun and moon. So this leaves us with a simple question. How can there be any Witchcraft if this is all destroyed? It is not a rhetorical question. Our land, our trees, animals and elements hold spirit. Will we let our familiars, literally our family be destroyed? If we hold any real belief and experience of spirit, then it does not ask, it demands us to fight for it.
Peter Grey (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers advice for writers that applies to every creative person: “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” Shitty first drafts. It’s as simple as that: you have to give yourself permission to make anything, without judgment, no matter what the critical voice in your head has to say about
Chase Jarvis (Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life)
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers advice for writers that applies to every creative person: “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” Shitty first drafts. It’s as simple as that: you have to give yourself permission to make anything, without judgment, no matter what the critical voice in your head has to say about it.
Chase Jarvis (Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life)
They agreed they neither gave two hoots now as to how marriages were normally conducted. They would do as they pleased and run their lives by the roll of the seasons. In autumn the apple trees would be bright and heavy with apples and they would hunt birds together, since Ada had proved so successful with the turkeys. They would not hunt with the gaudy Italian piece of Monroe's but with fine simple shotguns they would order from England. In summer they would catch trout with tackle from the same sporting country. They would grow old together measuring time by the life spans of a succession of speckled bird dogs. At some point, well past midlife, they might take up painting and get little tin fieldboxes of watercolors, likewise from England. Go on country walks, and when they saw a scene that pleased them, stop and dip cups of water from a creek and form the lines and tints on paper for future reference.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
How to begin writing this down? Shall it be a simple inventory? A list of parts. Names. Dates. Genealogies. Sound begetting sound. Endless melody. If I were to say – a robin sings in the trees across the field from this coppice – would that be enough? Could you flesh things out from such a meagre outline? Or should I describe its song? Onomatopoeia. But the bird has long fallen silent before the words begin to form. And what of the other sounds – the constant polyphony? Distant hum of motorway traffic. Delicate rattle of leaf against branch. Everything in between. I fill the page as best I can, replace the diary under a stone, and retrace my steps down the darkening lane. But as I walk back under the eaves of those trees, I ask myself – could any film, recording or photograph tell you this? That whilst I dwelt within that wooded chamber, listening to those brief glimmers of song, I forgot about her, the river and its promise.
Richard Skelton (Landings)
He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education and, even more amazing, no superiority complex since he had succeeded despite that lack. He would say often, "I been to school three years in my life. In Slaten, Texas, times was hard, and I had to help my daddy on the farm." No recriminations lay hidden under the plain statement, nor was there boasting when he said, "If I'm living a little better now, it's because I treats everybody right.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education and, even more amazing, no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack. He would say often, "I been to school three years in my life. In Slaten, Texas, times was hard, and I had to help my daddy on the farm." No recriminations lay hidden under the plain statement, nor was there boasting when he said, "If I'm living a little better now, it's because I treats everybody right.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
The journeys that people took had always interested him; his own life was a constant journeying, though not quite so constant as it had been before he had his wives and children. Usually he only agreed to scout for the Texans if they were going in a direction he wanted to go himself, in order to see a particular hill or stream, to visit a relative or friend, or just to search for a bird or animal he wanted to observe. Also, he often went back to places he had been at earlier times in his life, just to see if the places would seem the same. In most cases, because he himself had changed, the places did not seem exactly as he remembered them, but there were exceptions. The simplest places, where there was only rock and sky, or water and rock, changed the least. When he felt disturbances in his life, as all men would, Famous Shoes tried to go back to one of the simple places, the places of rock and sky, to steady himself and grow calm again.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove)
While he sketched it the Story Girl and I sat on the banks of the brook and she told me the story of the Sighing Reed. It was a very simple little story, that of the slender brown reed which grew by the forest pool and always was sad and sighing because it could not utter music like the brook and the birds and the winds. All the bright, beautiful things around it mocked it and laughed at it for its folly. Who would ever look for music in it, a plain, brown, unbeautiful thing? But one day a youth came through the wood; he was as beautiful as the spring; he cut the brown reed and fashioned it according to his liking; and then he put it to his lips and breathed on it; and, oh, the music that floated through the forest! It was so entrancing that everything—brooks and birds and winds—grew silent to listen to it. Never had anything so lovely been heard; it was the music that had for so long been shut up in the soul of the sighing reed and was set free at last through its pain and suffering.
L.M. Montgomery (The Golden Road)
Even more interesting is that with all these millions of "fortuitous" colors, it appears that particularity is so rampant that any object we identify as, say, "blue" shares almost nothing in common with any other object we might identify as the same color. We tend to think that color operates like crayons. We use one crayon to fill in a tree, a bird, jacket, and a roof. But it appears that the same color can be served by very different microstructures. For example, what we see as simple blue can be produced by incandescnce, transitions, vibrations, refraction, scattering, diffraction, etc. As Hardin points out, the "same blue" found in the sky, water, a rainbow, a beetle, a sapphire, the star Sirius, and a television dot results from very different microstructures. This may be a tough swallow for some Platonists who hope for a uniform basis for each color, but it should be a joy for those who seek to honor our God of the details. Like the true particularity of the persons of the Trinity, creation boasts in real individuality too.
Douglas M. Jones III
I think of the way James proposed, at our favorite New York City restaurant. He'd tucked the ring in his pocket and gotten down on one knee. Simple, perfect. I feel the familiar pain creeping back, and then I remember what Alex said. I know I may always ache for the past, for the two greatest loves of my life, but I want to be a bird now. I want to flap my wings through the rainstorms. I want to start my day with the earnestness of the morning glory, the way its blossoms open with the sunrise, ready to shine no matter what.
Sarah Jio (Morning Glory)
To share such profound experiences that day was, in simple terms, amazing. I remember the extraordinary sense of calm I felt, as if it were yesterday, a feeling that was nurtured, and grew throughout the day. A void began refilling after lying empty for a long time. I began to feel alive again. Not only did it bring such positivity but it also brought a great sense of meaning, as if I'd found my true calling. These were all feelings that I wanted to experience again. To see more and to open my mind to the world of nature that was, itself, opening around me.
Joe Harkness (Bird Therapy)
It’s simple. Women are raised to be seen and not heard; why, it’s still scandalous for a woman to speak publicly. So we make ourselves heard with our clothes. We wear full skirts to take up space in the world that wants us to be shut away in drawing rooms and kitchens. We wear bright colors to remind mankind that we exist. For example.” “An interesting perspective I had not considered. It does have a ring of logic to it,” he conceded. “But what is the message that a dead bird on a hat is trying to convey?” “That one feels trapped and powerless in their existence.
Maya Rodale (Duchess by Design (The Gilded Age Girls Club, #1))
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers advice for writers that applies to every creative person: “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” Shitty first drafts. It’s as simple as that: you have to give yourself permission to make anything, without judgment, no matter what the critical voice in your head has to say about it. The first photo, the first wireframe of the website, the first stab at that venture pitch—just starting is the hardest part.
Chase Jarvis (Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life)
Whatever the future brings, Vogel believes that his research with plants can help man to the recognition of long-ignored truths. By developing simple training kits, which he is presently designing, he thinks he can teach children to release their emotions and watch the effects in a measurable way. "They can thus learn the art of loving," says Vogel, "and know truly that when they think a thought they release a tremendous power or force in space. By knowing that they are their thoughts, they will know how to use thinking to achieve spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Christopher Bird (The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man)
Normally, we are supposed to say farewell to the page even as we look, to see past the cut of the type, hear beyond the shape of the sound, feel more than the heft of the book, to hear the bird sing whose name has been invoked, and think of love being made through the length of the night if the bird's name is nightingale; but when the book itself has the beauty of the bird, and the words do their own singing; when the token is treated as if it, not some divine intention, was holy and had power; when the bird itself is figured in the margins as though that whiteness were a moon-bleached bough and the nearby type the leaves it trembles; and when indigo turbans or vermilion feathers are, with jasmines, pictured so perfectly that touch falls in love with the finger, eyes light, and nostrils flare; when illustrations refuse to illustrate but instead suggest the inside of the reader's head, where a consciousness is being constructed; then the nature of the simple sign is being vigorously denied, and the scene or line or brief rendition is being treated like a thing itself, returning the attention to its qualities and composition. -- From "The Book As a Container of Consciousness
William H. Gass (Finding a Form)
There's no such thing as positive thinking. There is, however, positive acting and positive doing, and positive being. Positive thinking is the reflection of such activities. You can't force yourself to think positively, but merely suppress negativity and get insane while pushing yourself along a river that flows on the opposite direction. Every life challenge is there to show you that you don't want to hit the rocks. It's really that simple when you look at things as they show themselves to you. You flow with the stream and you avoid the rocks along the way. That's positive thinking, even when you are angry about life, even when you're complaining, and even when you feel antagonistic with the world and the ones around you. That's the truth, simply because it will bring you back results. And that, you won't ever get by sitting on the floor and imagining emotions. You have the right to hate the rocks that come your away, as long as you keep paddling and enjoying the journey. There's no point in closing your eyes and pretending the rocks aren't there or trying to make them vanish with wishful thinking, or expecting a big magical bird to save you and take you in his wings for a pleasant flight in the skies.
Robin Sacredfire
An old Buddhist parable illustrates the challenge—and the value—of letting go of the past. Two monks were strolling by a stream on their way home to the monastery. They were startled by the sound of a young woman in a bridal gown, sitting by the stream, crying softly. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she gazed across the water. She needed to cross to get to her wedding, but she was fearful that doing so might ruin her beautiful handmade gown. In this particular sect, monks were prohibited from touching women. But one monk was filled with compassion for the bride. Ignoring the sanction, he hoisted the woman on his shoulders and carried her across the stream—assisting her journey and saving her gown. She smiled and bowed with gratitude as the monk splashed his way back across the stream to rejoin his companion. The second monk was livid. ‘How could you do that?’ he scolded. ‘You know we are forbidden to touch a woman, much less pick one up and carry her around!’ The offending monk listened in silence to a stern lecture that lasted all the way back to the monastery. His mind wandered as he felt the warm sunshine and listened to the singing birds. After returning to the monastery, he fell asleep for a few hours. He was jostled and awakened in the middle of the night by his fellow monk. ‘How could you carry that woman?’ his agitated friend cried out. ‘Someone else could have helped her across the stream. You were a bad monk.’ ‘What woman?’ the sleepy monk inquired. ‘Don’t you even remember? That woman you carried across the stream,’ his colleague snapped. ‘Oh, her,’ laughed the sleepy monk. ‘I only carried her across the stream. You carried her all the way back to the monastery.’ The learning point is simple: When it comes to our flawed past, leave it at the stream. I am not suggesting that we should always let go of the past. You need feedback to scour the past and identify room for improvement. But you can’t change the past. To change you need to be sharing ideas for the future.
Marshall Goldsmith (What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful)
A black bird of guilt hovers over the death of a man, waiting to perch where it may find room in the minds that remain. It is an easy thing to be deceived by the happenings of the world into believing you are responsible for them. It is part of man's great conceit that he can believe himself responsible for the universe and its actions. It is a part of his conceit that he can believe himself guilty of the death of every other man, and take the guilt of the world on himself. But there is no guilt to be taken. it is not necessary that the responsibility be assigned. It is not the concern of those who remain, but a thing between the world and the one who is dead. that which was, is not. It is a simple thing.
Don Berry (Trask)
Pastor Jón: It is pleasant to listen to the birds chirping. But it would be anything but pleasant if the birds were always chirping the truth. Do you think the golden lining of this cloud we see up there in the atmosphere is true? But whoever isn't ready to live and die for that cloud is a man bereft of happiness. Embi: Should there be lyrical fantasies, then, instead of justice? Pastor Jón: Agreement is what matters. Otherwise everyone will be killed. Embi: Agreement about what? Pastor Jón: It doesn't matter. For instance quick-freezing plants, no matter how bad they are. When I repair a broken lock, do you then think it's an object of value or a lock for some treasure chest? Behind the last lock I mended there was kept one dried skate and three pounds of rye meal. I don't need to describe the enterprise that owns a lock of that kind. But if you hold that earthly life is valid on the whole, you repair such a lock with no less satisfaction than the lock for the National Bank where people think the gold is kept. If you don't like this old, rusty, simple lock that some clumsy blacksmith made for an insignificant food-chest long ago, then there is no reason for you to mend the lock in the big bank. If you only repair machinery in quick-freezing plants that pay, you are not to be envied for your role. Embi: What you say, pastor Jón, may be good poetry, but unfortunately has little relevance to the matter I raised with you - on behalf of the ministry. Pastor Jón: Whoever doesn't live in poetry cannot survive here on earth.
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
That exactly is how my father and mother met and became man and wife. There were no home ceremonials, such as the seeking and obtaining of parental consent, because there were no parent; no conferences by uncles and grand-uncles, or exhortations by grandmothers and aunts; no male relatives to arrange the marriage knot, nor female relations to herald the family union, and no uncles of the bride to divide the bogadi (dowry) cattle as, of course, there were no cattle. It was a simple matter of taking each other for good and or ill with the blessing of the ‘God of Rain’. The forest was their home, the rustling trees their relations, the sky their guardian and the birds, who sealed the marriage contract with the songs, the only guests. Here they stablished their home and names it Re-Nosi (We-are-alone). [41]
Sol T. Plaatje (Mhudi)
I Love You" I love you... and you move the time of my life without hours. I love you in the pallid streams that travel in the night, and never finish conveying stars to the sea. I love you in that morning unpinned from the flight of centuries that fled its white ship to the water without waves where your voice and my song sadly swam. I love you in the pain without tears that tell so many nights the dream has gathered: in the sky inverted in my pupils to look at you cosmically; in the hollow voice of my noise of centuries crumbling. I love you (scream of white night) in the insomniac thoughts where in birds my spirit has returned. I love you... My love lightly escapes from expressions and routes, and goes breaking the shadows and reaching your image from the innocent point where I am grass and birdsong.
Julia de Burgos (Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos)
Sometimes while sitting there staring out the window, I imagined a place in my mind, a white room. A simple space coated in white paint. The white represented responsibility, obligation. It didn’t require what responsibility and obligation required, but it had the same effect. It maintained the person in the room; it kept the person alive and well, along with everything and everyone that person cared for, but nothing the person held dear existed in the room. The person was alone. The person experienced no joy from bearing the weight of responsibility, earned no prize. I imagined a particular person in the room—a woman, also clothed in white. This woman constantly faced a dilemma. She longed for freedom. She longed to be the bird. Her open palms grazed the rutted expanse of the wall. She knew that something lay beyond—beyond the white. She could burst out into the world of grass, sky, and lavender, but she knew that if she broke through the barricade, everything she protected would crumble, suffocate, and wither behind her. Her own freedom would last only moments because she, too, couldn’t survive without the white. Earth and water would smother her, and radiant light would slice through her like a blade. I imagined her pressing with both hands, weighing freedom against existence and all that depended on her, but in the end she lightened her stance and stepped away. She always chose to stay, to fulfill her obligation. I thought of the woman in the white room—she chose to sacrifice her freedom for the people who relied on her to survive, but how long could she possibly survive without freedom? How long could she last before choosing the alternative?
Stephanie Carroll (A White Room)
WHAT WE WANT of course is the same old story. The trees pushing out their leaves, fluttering them, shucking them off, the water thrashing around in the oceans, the tweedling of the birds, the unfurling of the slugs, the worms vacuuming dirt. The zinnias and their pungent slow explosion. We want it all to go on and go on again, the same thing each year, monotonous and amazing, just as if we were still behaving ourselves, living in tents, raising sheep, slitting their throats for God’s benefit, refusing to invent plastics. For unbelief and bathrooms you pay a price. If apples were the Devil’s only bait we’d still be able to call our souls our own, but then the prick threw indoor plumbing into the bargain and we were doomed. Now we use up a lot of paper telling one another how to conserve paper, and the sea fills up with killer coffee cups, and we worry about the sun and its ambivalent rays.
Margaret Atwood (Good Bones and Simple Murders)
Even if we speak uncommon tongues, sound grants us the mercy of understanding. That sympathetic quiver of the heart, when a harmony rolls in thirds or a seventh resolves into the octave—it’s the greatest miracle God ever wrought, for it shows us that we are one. There isn’t a person among us, German or Tommy, Aryan or Jew, whole of mind or simple, who doesn’t feel what you feel, what we all feel. In his most naïve moments, he thinks, If I could only play for the Führer, I might make him see it, the unity of God’s creation. And once he sees, how could he continue in this course of evil? He shivers. The evening is cold; winter is already here, though no snow has fallen yet. In the bare branches of the apple trees, he can hear some animal moving, the hop and rough slide of a bird’s feet against bark. But he can’t see the bird, and it has no song to sing now. He pulls at his pipe, blowing the smoke in the bird’s direction.
Olivia Hawker (The Ragged Edge of Night)
His (Walt Disney's) favorite song, 'Feed the Birds' from Mary Poppins. The lyrics give insight into Walt's benevolence--his belief that small kindnesses go a long way. Disney Legend and lyricist Robert Sherman once explained the sentiment: ' Doing just a little extra and going just a little bit out of your way to make someone feel special. Sometimes it makes all the difference in the world to a person.' Come feed the little birds, show them you care And you'll be glad if you do Their young ones are hungry, their nest are so bare All it takes is tuppence from you.... When the song was finished, Walt would say under his breath, as an aside to himself, 'Yup, That's what it's all about.' Robert overheard that whisper and concluded, 'I do think this song summed him up. He was a simple man---a simple, wonderful man who understood that the greatest gift life bestows upon a person is the chance to share with others.
Marcy Carriker Smothers (Eat Like Walt: Disney's Love of Food and Flavors)
The only ghosts, I believe, who creep into this world, are dead young mothers, returned to see how their children fare. There is no other inducement great enough to bring the departed back. They glide into the acquainted room when day and night, their jailers, are in the grip, and whisper, "How is it with you, my child?" but always, lest a strange face should frighten him, they whisper it so low that he may not hear. They bend over him to see that he sleeps peacefully, and replace his sweet arm beneath the coverlet, and they open the drawers to count how many little vests he has. They love to do these things. What is saddest about ghosts is that they may not know their child. They expect him to be just as he was when they left him, and they are easily bewildered, and search for him from room to room, and hate the unknown boy he has become. Poor, passionate souls, they may even do him an injury. These are the ghosts that go wailing about old houses, and foolish wild stories are invented to explain what is all so pathetic and simple. I know of a man who, after wandering far, returned to his early home to pass the evening of his days in it, and sometimes from his chair by the fire he saw the door open softly and a woman's face appear. She always looked at him very vindictively, and then vanished. Strange things happened in this house. Windows were opened in the night. The curtains of his bed were set fire to. A step on the stair was loosened. The covering of an old well in a corridor where he walked was cunningly removed. And when he fell ill the wrong potion was put in the glass by his bedside, and he died. How could the pretty young mother know that this grizzled interloper was the child of whom she was in search? All our notions about ghosts are wrong. It is nothing so petty as lost wills or deeds of violence that brings them back, and we are not nearly so afraid of them as they are of us.
J.M. Barrie (The Little White Bird)
Instead of relying on the Newtonian metaphor of clockwork predictability, complexity seems to be based on metaphors more closely akin to the growth of a plant from a tiny seed, or the unfolding of a computer program from a few lines of code, or perhaps even the organic, self-organized flocking of simpleminded birds. That's certainly the kind of metaphor that Chris Langton has in mind with artificial life: his whole point is that complex, lifelike behavior is the result of simple rules unfolding from the bottom up. And it's likewise the kind of metaphor that influenced Arthur in the Santa Fe economics program: "If I had a purpose, or a vision, it was to show that the messiness and the liveliness in the economy can grow out of an incredibly simple, even elegant theory. That's why we created these simple models of the stock market where the market appears moody, shows crashes, takes off in unexpected directions, and acquires something that you could describe as a personality.
M. Mitchell Waldrop (Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos)
Indeed, he could not be long in discovering that people beyond a suspicion of unbalance, or not obviously coveting the moment's arrest of attention gained them by their statements, never had experience with or knowledge of the restless dead. Slowly accepting this as evidence that no such things existed, Mr. Lecky found terrors deeper, and to him more plausible, to fill that unoccupied place - the simple sense of himself alone, and, not unassociated with it, the conception of a homicidal maniac quietly pursuing him. The first was exemplified by chance solitude in what he had considered deep woods. No part in it was played by natural dismay which he might have felt at finding himself lost, and none by any tangible suggestion of danger. Mr. Lecky could not even remember where or when it was. Long ago, under a seamless gray sky which would probably end with snow; in an autumnal silence free from birds, unmoved by the least breath of wind, he had come to be walking at random impulse. Leaves, yellow, tan, drifted deep and loose over the difficulties of an uneven hillside. His feet crashed and crackled in them. He was not going anywhere. He had nothing in mind. It might have been this receptive vacancy of thought which let him, little by little, grow aware of a menace. The unnatural light leaf-buried ground, the low dark sky, the solitary noise of his unskilled progress - none of them was good. He began to notice that though the fall of leaves left an apparent bright openness, in reality it merely pushed to a distance the point at which the woods became as impenetrable as a wall. He walked more and more slowly, listening, hearing nothing; looking, seeing nothing. Soon he stopped, for he was not going any farther. Standing in the deep leaves beneath trees bare and practically dead in the catalepsy of impending winter, he knew that he did not want to be here. A great evil - no more to be named than, met, to be escaped - waited fairly close. So he left. He got out of those woods onto an open road where he need not watch for anything he could not see.
James Gould Cozzens (Castaway)
Another common argument is about nutrition from non-veg food. People say that non-veg food has more nutritious and keeps people healthy and strong. But if we go into more details with science and statistics, everybody can understand a simple theory that nobody can grow more than the protein/nutrition it takes in its diet.   So if I consider this, then even a chicken, goat or a bull grows this big only by taking the same nutrition from nature; mostly from grass, beans, leaves pulses and grain. With the demand of non-veg if human can grow this much of food for feeding these animals, it can directly grow the same amount of food for himself. And deficiencies are the reason of imbalance diet, which are found in both vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians, and a balance diet can keep anyone healthy without non-veg too.   One last thing you must have seen around is, human started dyeing of diseases like Bird Flu. Will you still say you keep balance in nature by eating non-veg? And if your answer is yes, then I must say: YOU ARE FUNNY!!!
Tarun Jain (Jainism Scientifically)
I remember it clearly. It was a night of the full moon, and I was walking alone in the woods. By then I had already begun Listening to the whispers of trees, and to the voices of insects and birds. On this night, the moon cast its pale, brilliant light on everything around me, and energy seemed to radiate from trees swaying in the wind. While I was alone on that path in the woods, I came face-to-face with the moon. And oh, what a beautiful moon it was! I was enchanted. It made me forget everything I had suffered ... The next thing, I thought I heard a voice that sounded very much like the moon whispering to me. It said: I wanted you to see me. That's why I shine like this. From then on I began to see everything differently. If I were not here, this full moon would not be here. Neither would the trees. Or the wind. If my view of the world disappears, then everything that I see disappears too. It's as simple as that. ...This idea changed me. I began to understand that we were born in order to see and listen to the world. And that's all this world wants of us. My life had meaning.
Durian Sukegawa (Sweet Bean Paste)
Permission Granted" You do not have to choose the bruised peach or misshapen pepper others pass over. You don't have to bury your grandmother's keys underneath her camellia bush as the will states. You don't need to write a poem about your grandfather coughing up his lung into that plastic tube—the machine's wheezing almost masking the kvetching sisters in their Brooklyn kitchen. You can let the crows amaze your son without your translation of their cries. You can lie so long under this summer shower your imprint will be left when you rise. You can be stupid and simple as a heifer. Cook plum and apple turnovers in the nude. Revel in the flight of birds without dreaming of flight. Remember the taste of raw dough in your mouth as you edged a pie. Feel the skin on things vibrate. Attune yourself. Close your eyes. Hum. Each beat of the world's pulse demands only that you feel it. No thoughts. Just the single syllable: Yes ... See the homeless woman following the tunings of a dead composer? She closes her eyes and sways with the subways. Follow her down, inside, where the singing resides.
David Allen Sullivan
Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” A hush in the trees. Just the rustle of leaves in the breeze. But no birds, mockingjay or other. Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just as they did for my father. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
This week we'll be learning about key elements of high quality picture books. Using the award winner lists in our course materials, select one picture book and share why it received its award. For example, Abuela is listed in the 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. According to Publishers Weekly, this is why it's so good: "In this tasty trip, Rosalba is "always going places" with her grandmother--abuela . During one of their bird-feeding outings to the park, Rosalba wonders aloud, "What if I could fly?" Thus begins an excursion through the girl's imagination as she soars high above the tall buildings and buses of Manhattan, over the docks and around the Statue of Liberty with Abuela in tow. Each stop of the glorious journey evokes a vivid memory for Rosalba's grandmother and reveals a new glimpse of the woman's colorful ethnic origins. Dorros's text seamlessly weaves Spanish words and phrases into the English narrative, retaining a dramatic quality rarely found in bilingual picture books. Rosalba's language is simple and melodic, suggesting the graceful images of flight found on each page. Kleven's ( Ernst ) mixed-media collages are vibrantly hued and intricately detailed, the various blended textures reminiscent of folk art forms. Those searching for solid multicultural material would be well advised to embark.
B.F. Skinner
how difficult it is to say, “Boy, did I mess up,” without the protective postscript of self-justification—to say “I dropped a routine fly ball with the bases loaded” rather than “I dropped the ball because the sun was in my eyes” or “because a bird flew by” or “because it was windy” or “because a fan called me a jerk.” A friend returning from a day in traffic school told us that as participants went around the room, reporting the violations that had brought them there, a miraculous coincidence had occurred: Not one of them had broken the law! They all had justifications for speeding, ignoring a stop sign, running a red light, or making an illegal U-turn. He became so dismayed (and amused) by the litany of flimsy excuses that, when his turn came, he was embarrassed to give in to the same impulse. He said, “I didn’t stop at a stop sign. I was entirely wrong and I got caught.” There was a moment’s silence, and then the room erupted in cheers for his candor. There are plenty of good reasons for admitting mistakes, starting with the simple fact that you will probably be found out anyway—by your family, your company, your colleagues, your enemies, your biographer. But there are more positive reasons for owning up. Other people will like you more. Someone else may be able to pick up your fumble and run with it; your error might inspire someone else’s solution. Children will realize that everyone screws up on occasion and that even adults have to say “I’m sorry.” And if you can admit a mistake when it is the size of an acorn, it will be easier to repair than if you wait until it becomes the size of a tree, with deep, wide-ranging roots.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
Reading while listening to the sounds of birds and the rush of water. This is the way of life that has come to be idealized. Don't think of unpleasant things right before bed. A five minute "bed zazen" before going to sleep. People who do their best to enjoy what is before them have the greatest chance to discover inner peace. Often, whatever it is they are enjoying - the thing before them - has the potential to turn into an opportunity. Stop dismissing whatever it is that you are doing and start living. Seek not what you lack. Be content with the here and now. When you are uncertain, simplicity is the best way to go. Conscientious living begins with early to bed, early to rise. This is the secret to a life of ease and contentment. Don't be bound by a single perspective. There is more than just "the proper way". Possibility springs from confidence. When someone criticizes us, we immediately feel wounded. When something unpleasant happens, we cannot get it out of our head. What can we do to bounce back? One way to strengthen the mind is though cleaning. When we clean, we use both our head and our body. Recognize the luxury of not having things. Desire feeds upon itself and the mind becomes dominated by boundless greed. This is not happiness. The three poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. Be grateful for every day, even the most ordinary. The happiness to be found in the unremarkable. Your mind has the power to decide whether or not you are happy. There is not just one answer. The meaning behind Zen koans. When there are things we want to do, we must do them as if our lives depend on it. Time spent out of character is empty time.
Shunmyō Masuno (Zen: The Art of Simple Living)
One of the fundamental conditions of happiness is to know that everything that one does has a meaning in eternity; but who in these days can still conceive of a civilization within which all vital manifestations would be developed "in the likeness of Heaven"? In a theocentric society the humblest activity participates in this heavenly benediction. The words of a street singer heard by the author in Morocco are worth quoting here. The singer was asked why the little Arab guitar which he used to accompany his chanting of legends had only two strings. He gave this answer: "To add a third string to this instrument would be to take the first step towards heresy. When God created the soul of Adam it did not want to enter into his body, and circled like a bird round about its cage. Then God commanded the angels to play on the two strings that are called the male and the female, and the soul, thinking that the melody resided in the instrument- which is the body- entered it and remained within it. For this reason two strings, which are always called the male and the female, are enough to deliver the soul from the body." This legend holds more meaning than appears at first sight, for it summarizes the whole traditional doctrine of sacred art. The ultimate objective of sacred art is not the evocation of feelings nor the communication of impressions; it is a symbol, and as such it finds simple -and primordial means sufficient; it could not in any case be anything more than allusive, its real object being ineffable. It is of angelic origin, because its models reflect supra-formal realities. It recapitulates the creation- the "Divine Art"- in parables, thus demonstrating the symbolical nature of the world, and delivering the human spirit from its attachment to crude and ephemeral "facts
Titus Burckhardt
they felt like they were informed. It was a fine line--too much information led to more interrogation and too little information leads to major snooping. Thrace believed that I had developed the rare ability to express something while revealing nothing. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that a sorcerer with laughing hazel eyes might have the ability to see beyond all my fine lines. I smiled at that whimsical thought as I finished my pot roast and parental interrogation.   Chapter 2: Mortal Combat   I woke up groggy because I set my alarm for a half hour earlier than usual to get ready to work out. I don’t know why I did that. Ok. I might know why I did that, but 6:00am was too early for rational thought. I kept my outfit simple with black yoga pants and a retro Offspring tee. It was much more difficult to get my thick auburn hair to calm down after a night of restless sleep. Luckily, I didn’t get any zits overnight which would have been just my luck. After some leave-in conditioner and some shine spray, I hoped my hair no longer looked like a bird’s nest. I headed downstairs just in time to see my dad coming from the kitchen with his coffee, my Mt. Dew, and Zone bar. Hello, my name is Calliope, and I am an addict. My drug is caffeine. I like my caffeine cold usually in the fountain pop variety—Mt. Dew in the morning and Diet Dr. Pepper in the afternoon. I like the ice and carbonation, but in the morning on the way to work out, I’ll take what I can get. I thanked my dad for my version of breakfast as we walked to the car. He only grunted his reply. We slid into the white Taurus and headed to the YMCA. I actually started to get nervous, as we got closer. We were at the Y before I was mentally prepared. I sighed and lumbered out of the car. As we walked in and headed toward opposite locker rooms, dad announced, “Meet you back here in an hour, Calli.
Stacey Rychener (Intrigue (Night Muse #1))
The real loser in the eastern forests has been the songbird. One of the most striking losses was the Carolina parakeet, a lovely, innocuous bird whose numbers in the wild were possibly exceeded only by the unbelievably numerous passenger pigeon. (When the first pilgrims came to America there were an estimated nine billion passenger pigeons—more than twice the number of all birds found in America today.) Both were hunted out of existence—the passenger pigeon for pig feed and the simple joy of blasting volumes of birds from the sky with blind ease, the Carolina parakeet because it ate farmers’ fruit and had a striking plumage that made a lovely ladies’ hat. In 1914, the last surviving members of each species died within weeks of each other in captivity. A similar unhappy fate awaited the delightful Bachman’s warbler. Always rare, it was said to have one of the loveliest songs of all birds. For years it escaped detection, but in 1939, two birders, operating independently in different places, coincidentally saw a Bachman’s warbler within two days of each other. Both shot the birds (nice work, boys!), and that, it appears, was that for the Bachman’s warbler. But there are almost certainly others that disappeared before anyone much noticed. John James Audubon painted three species of bird—the small-headed flycatcher, the carbonated warbler, and the Blue Mountain warbler—that have not been seen by anyone since. The same is true of Townsend’s bunting, of which there is one stuffed specimen in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Between the 1940s and 1980s, the populations of migratory songbirds fell by 50 percent in the eastern United States (in large part because of loss of breeding sites and other vital wintering habitats in Latin America) and by some estimates are continuing to fall by 3 percent or so a year. Seventy percent of all eastern bird species have seen population declines since the 1960s. These days, the woods are a pretty quiet place.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
The Phoenix and the Turtle Let the bird of loudest lay On the sole Arabian tree Herald sad and trumpet be, To whose sound chaste wings obey. But thou shrieking harbinger, Foul precurrer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near. From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king; Keep the obsequy so strict. Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-divining swan, Lest the requiem lack his right. And thou treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the Turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence. So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain. Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance and no space was seen 'Twixt this Turtle and his queen: But in them it were a wonder. So between them love did shine That the Turtle saw his right Flaming in the Phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine. Property was thus appalled That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was called. Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together, To themselves yet either neither, Simple were so well compounded; That it cried, "How true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love has reason, reason none, If what parts can so remain." Whereupon it made this threne To the Phoenix and the Dove, Co-supremes and stars of love, As chorus to their tragic scene: Beauty, truth, and rarity, Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd, in cinders lie. Death is now the Phoenix' nest, And the Turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity: 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity. Truth may seem but cannot be; Beauty brag but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be. To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer
William Shakespeare
These include: 1.Do the Right Thing—the principle of integrity. We see in George Marshall the endless determination to tell the truth and never to curry favor by thought, word, or deed. Every one of General Marshall’s actions was grounded in the highest sense of integrity, honesty, and fair play. 2.Master the Situation—the principle of action. Here we see the classic “know your stuff and take appropriate action” principle of leadership coupled with a determination to drive events and not be driven by them. Marshall knew that given the enormous challenges of World War II followed by the turbulent postwar era, action would be the heart of his remit. And he was right. 3.Serve the Greater Good—the principle of selflessness. In George Marshall we see a leader who always asked himself, “What is the morally correct course of action that does the greatest good for the greatest number?” as opposed to the careerist leader who asks “What’s in it for me?” and shades recommendations in a way that creates self-benefit. 4.Speak Your Mind—the principle of candor. Always happiest when speaking simple truth to power, General and Secretary Marshall never sugarcoated the message to the global leaders he served so well. 5.Lay the Groundwork—the principle of preparation. As is often said at the nation’s service academies, know the six Ps: Prior Preparation Prevents Particularly Poor Performance. 6.Share Knowledge—the principle of learning and teaching. Like Larry Bird on a basketball court, George Marshall made everyone on his team look better by collaborating and sharing information. 7.Choose and Reward the Right People—the principle of fairness. Unbiased, color- and religion-blind, George Marshall simply picked the very best people. 8.Focus on the Big Picture—the principle of vision. Marshall always kept himself at the strategic level, content to delegate to subordinates when necessary. 9.Support the Troops—the principle of caring. Deeply involved in ensuring that the men and women under his command prospered, General and Secretary Marshall taught that if we are loyal down the chain of command, that loyalty will be repaid not only in kind but in operational outcomes as well.
James G. Stavridis (The Leader's Bookshelf)
When we speak of God’s will, we are usually speaking only of some recognizable sign of His will. The signpost that points to a distant city is not the city itself, and sometimes the signs that point to a great place are in themselves insignificant and contemptible. But we must follow the direction of the signpost if we are to get to the end of our journey. Everything that exists and everything that happens bears witness to the will of God. It is one thing to see a sign and another thing to interpret that sign correctly. However, our first duty is to recognize signs for what they are. If we do not even regard them as indications of anything beyond themselves, we will not try to interpret them. Of all the things and all the happenings that proclaim God’s will to the world, only very few are capable of being interpreted by men. And of these few, fewer still find a capable interpreter. So that the mystery of God’s will is made doubly mysterious by the signs that veil it from our eyes. To know anything at all of God’s will we have to participate, in some manner, in the vision of the prophets: men who were always alive to the divine light concealed in the opacity of things and events, and who sometimes saw glimpses of that light where other men saw nothing but ordinary happenings. And yet if we are too anxious to pry into the mystery that surrounds us we will lose the prophet’s reverence and exchange it for the impertinence of soothsayers. We must be silent in the presence of signs whose meaning is closed to us. Otherwise we will begin incontinently to place our own superstitious interpretation upon everything— the number of steps to a doorway, a card pulled out of the pack, the shadow of a ladder, the flight of birds. God’s will is not so cheap a mystery that it can be unlocked by any key like these! Nevertheless, there are some signs that everyone must know. They must be easily read and seen, and they are indeed very simple. But they come sparingly, few in number; they show us clearly enough the road ahead but not for more than a few paces. When we have taken those few paces, what will happen? We must learn to be poor in our dependence on these clear signs, to take them as they come, not to demand more of them than we need, not to make more of them than they really tell. If I am to know the will of God, I must have the right attitude toward life. I must first of all know what life is, and to know the purpose of my existence.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
Though it’s best not to be born a chicken at all, it is especially bad luck to be born a cockerel. From the perspective of the poultry farmer, male chickens are useless. They can’t lay eggs, their meat is stringy, and they’re ornery to the hens that do all the hard work of putting food on our tables. Commercial hatcheries tend to treat male chicks like fabric cutoffs or scrap metal: the wasteful but necessary by-product of an industrial process. The sooner they can be disposed of—often they’re ground into animal feed—the better. But a costly problem has vexed egg farmers for millennia: It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between male and female chickens until they’re four to six weeks old, when they begin to grow distinctive feathers and secondary sex characteristics like the rooster’s comb. Until then, they’re all just indistinguishable fluff balls that have to be housed and fed—at considerable expense. Somehow it took until the 1920s before anyone figured out a solution to this costly dilemma. The momentous discovery was made by a group of Japanese veterinary scientists, who realized that just inside the chick’s rear end there is a constellation of folds, marks, spots, and bumps that to the untrained eye appear arbitrary, but when properly read, can divulge the sex of a day-old bird. When this discovery was unveiled at the 1927 World Poultry Congress in Ottawa, it revolutionized the global hatchery industry and eventually lowered the price of eggs worldwide. The professional chicken sexer, equipped with a skill that took years to master, became one of the most valuable workers in agriculture. The best of the best were graduates of the two-year Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School, whose standards were so rigorous that only 5 to 10 percent of students received accreditation. But those who did graduate earned as much as five hundred dollars a day and were shuttled around the world from hatchery to hatchery like top-flight business consultants. A diaspora of Japanese chicken sexers spilled across the globe. Chicken sexing is a delicate art, requiring Zen-like concentration and a brain surgeon’s dexterity. The bird is cradled in the left hand and given a gentle squeeze that causes it to evacuate its intestines (too tight and the intestines will turn inside out, killing the bird and rendering its gender irrelevant). With his thumb and forefinger, the sexer flips the bird over and parts a small flap on its hindquarters to expose the cloaca, a tiny vent where both the genitals and anus are situated, and peers deep inside. To do this properly, his fingernails have to be precisely trimmed. In the simple cases—the ones that the sexer can actually explain—he’s looking for a barely perceptible protuberance called the “bead,” about the size of a pinhead. If the bead is convex, the bird is a boy, and gets thrown to the left; concave or flat and it’s a girl, sent down a chute to the right.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
A keen observer of people, Cherniss sensed a disconnect in Robert. Here was a man, he thought, who was “very sharp intellectually.” People thought him complicated simply because he was interested in so many things, and knew so much. But on an emotional level, “he wanted to be a simple person, simple in the good sense of the word.” Robert “wanted friends very much,” Cherniss said. And yet, despite his tremendous personal charm, “he didn’t quite know how to make friends.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
I have grown fragile, cracked and ruined. But sunrises, singing birds, glowing stars, full moon, cool breeze and humming winds, those are the simple things that make beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. In me.
Sara Ahmed
A FEW DAYS earlier in Princeton, Abraham Pais had learned that the New York Times was about to break the story. Knowing that reporters would pester Einstein for a comment, he drove over to the physicist’s house on Mercer Street. When Pais explained his mission, Einstein chuckled loudly, and then said, “The trouble with Oppenheimer is that he loves a woman who doesn’t love him—the United States government. . . . [T]he problem was simple: All Oppenheimer needed to do was go to Washington, tell the officials that they were fools, and then go home.” Privately, Pais may have agreed, but he felt this would not serve as a statement to the press. So he persuaded Einstein to draft a simple statement in support of Oppenheimer—“I admire him not only as a scientist but also as a great human being”—and got him to read it to a United Press reporter over the phone.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
He had become the simple philosopher king, adored by his ragtag followers of expatriates, retirees, beatniks and natives. Despite his cultivated aura of otherworldliness, he fit comfortably into their island world. On St. John, the father of the atomic bomb had somehow found just the right refuge from his inner demons.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
Stand back. Forget what you read on the Internet. Attend to the tree before you. Observe the growth pattern of the tree. In Pruning, as in any good design, negative space plays an important role. Well-Pruned trees have an airy quality. Yuki Nara of the website Way of Maple says that a bird can fly through a well pruned Japanese maple- good standard for a fruit tree, too.
Ann Ralph (Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees)
His rationale was simple. Time was of the essence, and any bill that quickly set up legislation to oversee the domestic aspects of atomic energy would pave the way for the next step: an international agreement to ban nuclear weapons. Oppie had rapidly become a Washington insider—a cooperative and focused supporter of the Administration, guided by hope and sustained by naïveté.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
Story 7: Angry Birds In 2003, three students from Helsinki University started a video games company. They made game after game, hoping that one would be successful. After six years they’d produced 51 titles, but none of them were hits. For their 52nd game, they decided to make a simple puzzle physics game called Angry Birds. Today their company – Rovio Entertainment – has over a billion users, 500 employees and annual revenue of over $200 million. I love this story because it took them 51 failures to become a success. It’s a reminder of how… How to use this story Fairly obvious usage here. It’s a ‘stick with it’ narrative to inspire teams that haven’t been successful yet, and it’s a good ‘failure is good’ message for people who need to turn over a lot of rocks before they find what they’re looking for.
Ian Harris (Hooked On You: The Genius Way to Make Anybody Read Anything)
My days were not days of the week, bearing the stamp of any heathen deity, nor were they minced into hours and fretted by the ticking of a clock; for I lived like the Puri Indians, of whom it is said that “for yesterday, today, and tomorrow they have only one word, and they express the variety of meaning by pointing backward for yesterday forward for tomorrow, and overhead for the passing day.” This was sheer idleness to my fellow-townsmen, no doubt; but if the birds and flowers had tried me by their standard, I should not have been found wanting. A man must find his occasions in himself, it is true. The natural day is very calm, and will hardly reprove his indolence.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden: Life in the Woods - Reflections of the Simple Living in Natural Surroundings)
It is as simple as saying that nature has made birds to fly - therefore we should not raise them in cages for release at the pleasure of "gentleman hunters" positioned for the shot. Nature has made elephants and giraffe and rhinoceros to inhabit the plains - therefore we should not shoot them, stuff them, and stick them in our ballrooms for display. Nature has made whales and dolphins to swim the seas away from man - therefore we should not track them down by helicopters and attack or electrocute them from factory ships until they are almost gone from the waters. Nature has made pigs and cows and lambs and fowl to nurse from their mothers and walk and graze and mix with their kind - therefore we have no business confining and torturing and treating them like machines of our own inventions.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
White Man, to you my voice is like the unheard call in the wilderness. It is there, though you do not hear it. But, this once, take the time to listen to what I have to say. Your history is highlighted by your wars. Why is it all right for your nations to conquer each other in your attempts at domination? When you sailed to our lands, you came with your advanced weapons. You claimed you were a progressive, civilized people. And today, White Man, you have the ultimate weapons. Warfare which could destroy all men, all creation. And you allow such power to be in the hands of those few who have such little value in true wisdom. White Man, when you first came, most of our tribes began with peace and trust in dealing with you, strange white intruders. We showed you how to survive in our homelands. We were willing to share with you our vast wealth. Instead of repaying us with gratitude, you, White Man, turned on us, your friends. You turned on us with your advanced weapons and your cunning trickery. When we, the Indian people, realized your intentions, we rose to do battle, to defend our nations, our homes, our food, our lives. And for our efforts, we are labelled savages, and our battles are called massacres. And when our primitive weapons could not match those which you had perfected through centuries of wars, we realized that peace could not be won, unless our mass destruction took place. And so we turned to treaties. And this time, we ran into your cunning trickery. And we lost our lands, our freedom, and were confined to reservations. And we are held in contempt. 'As long as the Sun shall rise...' For you, White Man, these are words without meaning. White Man, there is much in the deep, simple wisdom of our forefathers. We were here for centuries. We kept the land, the waters, the air clean and pure, for our children and our children's children. Now that you are here, White Man, the rivers bleed with contamination. The winds moan with the heavy weight of pollution in the air. The land vomits up the poisons which have been fed into it. Our Mother Earth is no longer clean and healthy. She is dying. White Man, in your greedy rush for money and power, you are destroying. Why must you have power over everything? Why can't you live in peace and harmony? Why can't you share the beauty and the wealth which Mother Earth has given us? You do not stop at confining us to small pieces of rock an muskeg. Where are the animals of the wilderness to go when there is no more wilderness? Why are the birds of the skies falling to their extinction? Is there joy for you when you bring down the mighty trees of our forests? No living things seems sacred to you. In the name of progress, everything is cut down. And progress means only profits. White Man, you say that we are a people without dignity. But when we are sick, weak, hungry, poor, when there is nothing for us but death, what are we to do? We cannot accept a life which has been imposed on us. You say that we are drunkards, that we live for drinking. But drinking is a way of dying. Dying without enjoying life. You have given us many diseases. It is true that you have found immunizations for many of these diseases. But this was done more for your own benefit. The worst disease, for which there is no immunity, is the disease of alcoholism. And you condemn us for being its easy victims. And those who do not condemn us weep for us and pity us. So, we the Indian people, we are still dying. The land we lost is dying, too. White Man, you have our land now. Respect it. As we once did. Take care of it. As we once did. Love it. As we once did. White Man, our wisdom is dying. As we are. But take heed, if Indian wisdom dies, you, White Man, will not be far behind. So weep not for us. Weep for yourselves. And for your children. And for their children. Because you are taking everything today. And tomorrow, there will be nothing left for them.
Beatrice Mosionier (In Search of April Raintree - Critical Edition)
There is a tradition relating to the proceedings of St. Patrick in this place, which deserves to be noticed, as an example of the way in which Roman Catholic miracles come into existence. One of his biographers states, that when he arrived at the top of the mountain he was surrounded by vast numbers of birds; other writers, improving on this simple fact, transformed the birds into demons, and described him as driving them into the sea at the foot of the mountain. Another, again, perhaps believing reptiles and demons to belong to the same genus, adds, that all the venomous reptiles were collected there from every part of Ireland, and “in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”[56] This is firmly believed by the peasantry at the present day; and it is from such lying wonders they derive their ideas of the character and acts of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick (The Confession of St. Patrick: Translated from the Original Latin with an Introduction and Notes)
These be the wings that she flieth with. And [she] so dwelleth in standing, for she is alway in sight of God; and sitting, for she dwelleth alway in the divine will of God. Whereof should this soul have dread though she be in the world? And [though] the world, the flesh and the enemy, the fiend, and the four elements, the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth tormented her and despised her and devoured her, if it might so be, what might she lose, if God dwelled with her? Oh, is he not Almighty? Yes, without doubt, he is all might, all wisdom, and all goodness: our Father, our brother and our true friend; he is without beginning and shall be without ending, he is without comprehending but of himself, and without end was, is, and shall be, three persons and one God only. "Such is the Beloved of our souls," saith this soul.
Marguerite Porete (The Mirror of Simple Souls)
The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature.
Jbs Haldane
Of course I knew what to expect. He told me the story of his reef. Very much as Blagden had told it. Shyly, at first, as though he felt I was too young to be interested, or, perhaps, that I was listening from the point of view of a mental specialist. Well, if that old man were mad, he certainly had a good excuse for his insanity. He spoke, as usual, with a simple, courtly precision; but it was his very directness that made that old horror live with a vividness that had never appeared in Blagden’s version. If I could have written it down, word for word, as he told it, you would have given me credit for an imaginative masterpiece. I can’t, alas! All that remains with me now is the incommunicable atmosphere of an actual, intense, lonely terror — so present and compelling that it swept all consciousness of my real surroundings, the whitewashed temple and the high festoons of exotic foliage, out of my mind. “At that point,” Shellis was saying, “I felt that the quartermaster and I were looking at each other almost greedily. We weren’t civilized human beings any longer — just hungry cannibals. I determined that if anybody were going to be killed and eaten I would rather it was I.” He told me these ghastly details with a detached and dreamy coldness.
Francis Brett Young (The Cage Bird and Other Stories)
To find the Universal elements enough, to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs
Andrea Perron (House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story Volume Three)
WRITING GUIDES AND REFERENCES: A SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY The Artful Edit, by Susan Bell (Norton) The Art of Time in Memoir, by Sven Birkerts (Graywolf Press) The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard (Harper & Row) Writing with Power, by Peter Elbow (Oxford University Press) Writing Creative Nonfiction, edited by Carolyn Forché and Philip Gerard (Story Press) Tough, Sweet and Stuffy, by Walker Gibson (Indiana University Press) The Situation and the Story, by Vivian Gornick (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Intimate Journalism: The Art and Craft of Reporting Everyday Life, by Walt Harrington (Sage) On Writing, by Stephen King (Scribner) Telling True Stories, edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call (Plume) Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott (Pantheon) The Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner (Riverhead) Unless It Moves the Human Heart, by Roger Rosenblatt (Ecco) The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White (Macmillan) Clear and Simple as the Truth, by Francis-Noel Thomas and Mark Turner (Princeton University Press) Word Court, by Barbara Wallraff (Harcourt) Style, by Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb (Longman) On Writing Well, by William Zinsser (Harper & Row) The Chicago Manual of Style, by University of Chicago Press staff (University of Chicago Press) Modern English Usage, by H. W. Fowler, revised edition by Sir Ernest Gowers (Oxford University Press) Modern American Usage, by Wilson Follett (Hill and Wang) Words into Type, by Marjorie E. Skillin and Robert M. Gay (Prentice-Hall) To CHRIS, SAMMY, NICK, AND MADDIE, AND TO TOMMY, JAMIE, THEODORE, AND PENNY
Tracy Kidder (Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction)
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
How does the idea that the locative is a gestalt shift explain why some verbs allow the shift while other verbs, seemingly similar to them, do not? The key is the chemistry between the meaning of the construction and the meaning of the verb. To take a simple case, one can throw a cat into the room, but one cannot throw the room with a cat, because merely throwing something into a room can’t ordinarily be construed as a way of changing the room’s state. This chemistry applies to more subtle cases as well. Verbs that differ in their syntactic fussiness, like pour, fill, and load, all pertain to moving something somewhere, giving us the casual impression that they are birds of a feather.
Steven Pinker (The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature)
Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy)
I have always longed to be a part of the outward life, to be out there at the edge of things, to let the human taint wash away in emptiness and silence as the fox sloughs his smell into the cold unworldliness of water; to return to the town as a stranger. Wandering flushes a glory that fades with arrival. I came late to the love of birds. For years I saw them only as a tremor at the edge of vision. They know suffering and joy in simple states not possible for us. Their lives quicken and warm to a pulse our hearts can never reach. They race to oblivion. They are old before we have finished growing.
J.A. Baker (The Peregrine: The Hill of Summer & Diaries: The Complete Works of J. A. Baker)
Though he exudes culture and learning, he is at home with children, nobodies and idiots. His daily routine is so simple as to be almost primitive. It begins with a long morning prayer for the protection of the creature world against the sadistic men of science who torture and vivisect them. Without wants, he has become free as a bird, and what is more important, he is acutely aware of his hard-won freedom and rejoices in it.
Henry Miller (Stand Still Like the Hummingbird (New Directions Paperbook))
Thick, fragrant loam behind the house, where Astraia and I once dug with our bare hands to plant stolen rose cuttings. Thin gray dust on the summer wind, blown into my mouth to grit against my teeth. Father's rock collection: malachite, rhodonite, and the slab of simple limestone inlaid with the skeleton of a curious fanged bird with claws on its wings.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
She was shocked, huddled into his arms tight, and looked up to see the face of the savior. If it wasn’t for this person, she would have been pecked and eaten by the four-eyed bird as a snack. It was a sixteen or seventeen-year-old boy with a handsome face. He was wearing a white robe with a jade pendant on his waist. The clothes were simple, with a high crown and wide sleeves, unexpectedly dressed in an ancient style. The whole person looked indifferent and quaint, as if he had just walked out of an ancient tomb. Startled, she couldn’t help but blurt out: “Are you… are you a living person or a dead person?
沧月 (Zhuyan (With Prequel of Mirror) 朱颜(附镜子上卷镜前传))
Bonded, each avian mate instinctively gave the other what was needed without ego or expectation getting in the way. A simple moment of acceptance and care with no jostling for control. Why did humans always complicate things by thinking about them too hard?" -A Twisted Case of Murder
Emily Queen
It is as simple as saying that nature has made birds to fly - therefore we should not raise them in cages for release at the pleasure of "gentleman hunters" positioned for the shot. Nature has made elephants and giraffe and rhinoceros to inhabit the plains - therefore we should not shoot them, stuff them, and stick them in our ballrooms for display. Nature has made whales and dolphins to swim the seas away from man - therefore we should not track them down by helicopters and attack or electrocute them from factory ships until they are almost gone from the waters. Nature has made pigs and cows and lambs and fowl to nurse from their mothers and walk and graze and mix with their kind - therefore we have no business confining and torturing and treating them like machines of our own inventions.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
This ability to feel remorse is one of the many ways in which dogs are better than cats. Cats have the morals of Hannibal Lecter. If you come home and find your cat inside your parakeet’s cage, holding your dead parakeet in its jaws, your cat will be like, “Obviously this parakeet committed suicide.” Meanwhile your dog, if you have one, will be moping around under the cage going, “I did it! I ate the bird!
Dave Barry (Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog)
From him I learned that the order of the world had nothing to do with God, and that God had nothing to do with the world. The reason for this was quite simple. God did not exist. The cunning priests had invented Him so they could trick stupid, superstitious people. There was no God, no Holy Trinity, no devils, ghosts, or ghouls rising from graves; there was no Death flying everywhere in search of new sinners to snare. These were all tales for ignorant people who did not understand the natural order of the world, did not believe in their own powers, and therefore had to take refuge in their belief in some God.
Jerzy Kosiński (The Painted Bird)
One of the earliest and most pleasing demonstrations of complex behaviors emerging from agents following local rules was Craig Reynolds’s simulation of the motions of flocks of birds as they fly around in the evening sky feeding on insects. The fluid and flowing motions of these flocks wheeling around the sky, sometimes separating and then coming back together, avoiding collisions with each other, looks to be a supreme act of purposeful cooperation on the wing. But Reynolds achieved a surprisingly realistic simulation by assigning the individual birds just three simple rules: one is to stay near to and steer in the same direction as your nearest neighbor; the second is to follow the main heading of the group; and the third is to avoid crowding. Add to these rules a small amount of randomness to individuals’ behaviors, and flocks of “boids,” as Reynolds called them, elegantly and sublimely fly around computer screens. No one bird is directing the flock and the birds are not actively cooperating to produce it. It emerges from the simple rules.
Mark Pagel (Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind)
The world you belong to is above that or below that.” “Which is better?” I asked, out of simple curiosity. “Above or below?” “It’s not that either one is better,” he said. After a brief coughing fit, he spat a glob of phlegm onto a tissue and studied it closely before crumpling the tissue and throwing it into a wastebasket. “It’s not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there’s no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. ‘I am he and / He is me: / Spring nightfall.’ Abandon the self, and there you are.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
The multiform meanings of the Chinese word for writing, wen, illustrate well this interpenetration of human and nonhuman scripts: The word wen signifies a conglomeration of marks, the simple symbol in writing. It applies to the veins in stones and wood, to constellations, represented by the strokes connecting the stars, to the tracks of birds and quadrapeds on the ground (Chinese tradition would have it that the observation of these tracks suggested the invention of writing), to tattoos and even, for example, to the designs that decorate the turtle’s shell (“The turtle is wise,” an ancient text says—gifted with magico-religious powers—“for it carries designs on its back”). The term wen has designated, by extension, literature….3 Our first writing, clearly, was our own tracks, our footprints, our
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage))
Vendo bem, a pessoa que eu era, tinha sido fabricada algures, numa outra parte. E tudo vinha de outra parte e regressava a outra parte. Eu não sou mais do que um simples caminho por onde passa o homem que sou.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
He had become the simple philosopher king, adored by his ragtag followers of expatriates, retirees, beatniks and natives.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
We're sitting on a hill, reminiscing about our deeds. These are mesmerising moments of ease; scenes are harmonising in keys. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period. We think about the nice days from our teens; the things that we did at our free will. We're in sync with the future and past tensions. Indeed, we could enjoy the present intentions. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period. We envision our problems gone; with collisions exposed and pawned. Oh! We could enjoy this peaceful time, on this hill, watching the sunrise. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period. The beautiful birds stride pass our face. Thick cuticles blurred, striped by hours of grace. They flap their wings, forming art; tail lamps for us, bleeding hearts. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period. People of different cultures come to us. Simple, they offer their services; no Judas. Wave their hands with care; give their food to share. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period. What a sad case this is; our mindfulness is butchered. Heads are swimming between the past and the future. Opportunities to love others in truth are being missed. Communities could share true love; limiting the rifts. But we're in a state of oblivion, shunned from the view of fate in this period.
Mitta Xinindlu
SIH HSUIN BECOMES WINSTON MA: a simple engineering fix. In myths, people turn into all kinds of things. Birds, animals, trees, flowers, rivers. Why not an American named Winston?
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I often beheld the world at a great distance, or I didn't behold it at all. At every moment, birds passed by overhead that I did not see, clouds and bees, the rustling of breezes, the sun on my flesh. I lived only in the greyish, insensate world of my mind, where I tried to reason everything out and came to no conclusions. I wished to have the time to put together a world view, but there was never enough time, and also, those who had it, seemed to have had it from a very young age, they didn't begin at forty. Literature, I knew, was the only thing that could be begun at forty. If you were forty, beginning it, you could be said to be young. In everything else, I was old, all the boats were far off, away from the shore, while I was still making my way to the shore, I hadn't even found my boat yet. (...) To transform the greyish and muddy landscape of my mind into a solid and concrete thing, utterly apart from me, indeed not me at all, was my only hope. I didn't know what this solid form would be, or what shape it would take. I only knew that I had to create a powerful monster, since I was such a weak one. I had to create a monster apart from me, that knew more than I knew, had a world view, and did not get such simple words wrong.
Sheila Heti
She had the startled eyes of a wild bird. This is the kind of sentence I go mad for. I would like to be able to write such sentences, without embarrassment. I would like to be able to read them without embarrassment. If I could only do these two simple things, I feel, I would be able to pass my allotted time on this earth like a pearl wrapped in velvet. She had the startled eyes of a wild bird. Ah, but which one? A screech owl, perhaps, or a cuckoo? It does make a difference. We do not need more literalists of the imagination. They cannot read a body like a gazelle’s without thinking of intestinal parasites, zoos and smells. She had a feral gaze like that of an untamed animal, I read. Reluctantly I put down the book, thumb still inserted at the exciting moment. He’s about to crush her in his arms, pressing his hot, devouring, hard, demanding mouth to hers as her breasts squish out the top of her dress, but I can’t concentrate. Metaphor leads me by the nose, into the maze, and suddenly all Eden lies before me. Porcupines, weasels, warthogs and skunks, their feral gazes malicious or bland or stolid or piggy and sly. Agony, to see the romantic frisson quivering just out of reach, a dark-winged butterfly stuck to an over-ripe peach, and not to be able to swallow, or wallow. Which one? I murmur to the unresponding air. Which one?
Margaret Atwood (Murder in the Dark: Short Fictions and Prose Poems)
wish understanding human beings was as simple as counting the number of trees in a forest or observing how a bird glides through the air.
Stephanie Storey (Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo)
In the jungle, love is simple, like that of birds that meet one day on a branch and thereafter fly together. Two beings meet without prior plan. That same day they understand each other and the following sunrise awake together, to live thereafter inseparable under the shady forests or on the riverbanks, scorched by the sun.
Arturo Hernandez (Sangama: A Story of the Amazon Jungle)
Some subjects are in themselves, perhaps, perfectly harmless, and any amount of discussion over them would not be injurious to the faith of our young people. We are told, for example, that the theory of gravitation is at best a hypothesis, and that such is the atomic theory. These theories help to explain certain things about nature. Whether they are ultimately true cannot make much difference to the religious convictions of our young people. On the other hand, there are speculations which touch the origin of life and the relationship of God to his children. In a very limited degree that relationship has been defined by revelation, and until we receive more light upon the subject we deem it best to refrain from the discussions of certain philosophical theories which rather destroy than build up the faith of our young people. . . . There are so many demonstrated, practical, material truths, so many spiritual certainties, with which the youth of Zion should become familiar, that it appears a waste of time and means, and detrimental to faith and religion to enter too extensively into the undemonstrated theories of men on philosophies relating to the origin of life, or the methods adopted by an All-wise Creator in peopling the earth with the bodies of men, birds and beasts. Let us rather turn our abilities to the practical analysis of the soil, the study of the elements, the productions of the earth, the invention of useful machinery, the social welfare of the race, and its material amelioration; and for the rest cultivate an abiding faith in the revealed word of God and the saving principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which give joy in this world and in the world to come eternal life and salvation. Philosophic theories of life have their place and use, but it is not in the classes of the Church schools, and particularly are they out of place here or anywhere else, when they seek to supplant the revelations of God. The ordinary student cannot delve into these subjects deep enough to make them of any practical use to him, and a smattering of knowledge in this line only tends to upset his simple faith in the gospel, which is of more value to him in life than all the learning of the world without it. The religion of the Latter-day Saints is not hostile to any truth, nor to scientific search for truth. "That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy," said the First Presidency in their Christmas greeting to the Saints, "but vain philosophy, human theory and mere speculations of men we do not accept, nor do we adopt anything contrary to divine revelation or to good common sense, but everything that tends to right conduct, that harmonizes with sound morality and increases faith in Deity, finds favor with us, no matter where it may be found.
Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine: Sermons and Writings of President Joseph F. Smith (Classics in Mormon Literature))
The dramatic and the sensational seldom yield the treasures of enlightenment that the commonplace and the unpretentious often harbour unsuspected. For being as much a part of the whole as the rarity and the spectacular, the same and the ordinary miss the disadvantages of distortion and exaggeration in displaying the simple facts.
Louise de Kiriline Lawrence (Mar: A Glimpse Into the Natural Life of a Bird)
Wish I Was The silence fusses heveling my heart beats forstay steadily The thousand voices fill my head, they whisper that they want me dead With the waterfalls into the night There are things that sing and things that bite I walk and walk until I fall in the water rim Don't know the thing that might? I know they will still rain The birds that fly, they dip and rise They say they want me home by night So I'll stay longer then, I walk in so I'll reach the end I'm not outta my mind but I wish I was I'd give it all to hear the voice inside I'm not out of my mind but I wish I was I'd be outta my mind with a simple push And I ain't ready to fall To break free of these walls And I ain't ready to fall To break free of these walls I ain't ready to fall To break free of these walls
Ayla
Buddhist philosophy is an interpretation of ordinary human experience, but an interpretation which is not revealed by God nor discovered in the access of inspiration nor seen in a mystical light. Basically, Buddhist metaphysics is a very simple and natural elaboration of the implications of Buddha’s own experience of enlightenment. Buddhism does not seek primarily to understand or to “believe in” the enlightenment of Buddha as the solution to all human problems, but seeks an existential and empirical participation in that enlightenment experience. It is conceivable that one might have the “enlightenment” without being aware of any discursive philosophical implications at all.
Thomas Merton (Zen and the Birds of Appetite (New Directions))
I would not ask for more than endless flight Upon the wind and clinging to my song To be alive and well adhered to sleep Upon the clouds with their most careful bounce To see myself about and thru the night To rise up here at dawn to see the sun With all it's radiance and might to seek A brighter day if it were all so true That there exist such places left in time For me to find in my indulgent quests Where I am weightless and quite prone to flight For this is no more than a simple task. 1 am a bird to sing in skies of blue; I am an eagle strong and free to *vise. Forever in the hands of mystery I seek to find this just and brighter day.
Marc-Alexandre Gagnon
Words, no matter whether they are vocalized and made into sounds or remain unspoken as thoughts, can cast an almost hypnotic spell upon you. You easily lose yourself in them, become hypnotized into implicitly believing that when you have attached a word to something, you know what it is. The fact is: You don't know what it is. You have only covered up the mystery with a label. Everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable. This is because it has unfathomable depth. All we can perceive, experience and think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg.
Eckhart Tolle
September 30 “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10 WHAT an encouragement to pray! Our human notions would lead us to ask small things because our deservings are so small; but the Lord would have us request great blessings. Prayer should be as simple a matter as the opening of the mouth; it should be a natural, unconstrained utterance. When a man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be fervent in our supplications. Yet it also means that we may make bold with God, and ask many and large blessings at his hands. Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I am Jehovah, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Because the Lord has given us so much he invites us to ask for more, yea, to expect more. See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. Let us take in grace at every door. Let us drink it in as a sponge sucks up the water in which it lies. God is ready to fill us if we are only ready to be filled. Let our needs make us open our mouths; let our faintness cause us to open our mouths and pant; yea, let our alarm make us open our mouths with a child’s cry. The opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord himself. So be it unto us this day.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (The Chequebook of the Bank of Faith: Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use with Brief Comments)
There are many rates of vibration it seems, many degrees of density, classes and sub planes. If you draw horizontal lines to indicate some, there are others which also must be perpendicular. This assures that every thought produces a double, that at least two separate vibrations always appear. This means the majority of human thoughts are not simple. Things like absolute pure affection probably do exist but more often we find them tinged with pride, jealousy, or animal passion. In the age of chaos water equals oil and everything is simultaneous.
Carl Watson (Beneath The Empire Of The Birds)
When antigenic shift occurs, strains crop up bearing a totally new hemagglutinin spike, and sometimes also a new neuraminidase molecule, that most people have never encountered. As a result the virus may evade the antibody repertoire carried by all populations around the globe and trigger a pandemic. In today’s jet-linked world, people can spread a dangerous new virus from one part of the earth to another in a day. Such a drastic metamorphosis cannot occur through simple genetic mutation. The best-studied process leading to antigenic shift involves the mixing of two viral strains in one host cell, so that the genes packaged in new viral particles (and their corresponding proteins) come partly from one strain and partly from the other. This reassortment can take place because the genome, or genetic complement, of the influenza virus consists of eight discrete strands of RNA (each of which codes for one or two proteins). These strands are easily mixed and matched when new influenza A particles form in a dually infected cell. For instance, some influenza viruses infect both people and pigs. If a pig were somehow invaded by a human virus and by a strain that typically infected only birds, the pig might end up producing a hybrid strain that was like the human virus in every way except for displaying, say, a hemagglutinin molecule from the bird virus.
Scientific American (The Influenza Threat: Pandemic in the Making)
Simple and natural things are free from obscenity and vulgarity. The woman who lifts her breasts with a tight fitting brassier only reduces her feminine attractiveness by her efforts. The mature villager today is educated on the folk tales created by his ancestors who had drunk at the fount of experience. He enjoys, perhaps unconsciously, the beauty of woodland, river,rill, brook, montane forest, birds, beasts and fish. His likes and dislikes conditioned by nature are not complex. Simple things are devoid of unpleasantness. So, what he likes is not tainted with unpleasant qualities.
Martin Wickramasinghe (Yuganthaya)
None of the store's balloons seemed right. They offered birthday wishes, congrats on a new baby, but nothing to celebrate the reunion of a mother and child after a government-engineered separation. Then Laurie spotted some early-bird Valentine's balloons. They were red, heart-shaped, and printed with the simple words Te quiero. I love you.
Margaret Regan (Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire)
What is infinity? I haven’t a clue. But maybe that’s the whole point I’ve been attempting to explain to you. The fact that it’s not known Or seen Or heard. Infinity is every person, every being, every bird. Infinity is a simple mystery. It looks like a mystery. Tastes mysterious. Feels like something completely delirious. We cannot imagine what this sound could be. All we can imagine is infinity.
F.K. Preston
It is as simple as that. Birds fly because they have wings and so when you can’t grow the wings, you can’t be called a bird. Leaders make impacts because they create new ideas and so if you can’t think of any new innovative ideas, you can’t be a leader.
Israelmore Ayivor (Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts)
I think I might like the chance to start over somewhere new.” There was a world of meaning in that simple statement, and I suddenly felt an intense sympathy for problems I didn’t even understand and an insatiable desire to learn more about her.
Kellie McAllen (Flightless Bird (The Caged, #1))
The Saint of Assisi Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone of Assisi, better known as Francis, wanted to be a soldier. But in the year 1205, he had a vision telling him that God had other plans for him. He became a hermit, forsaking all worldly goods. Francis began to preach, drawing followers to his side. He created simple rules by which these men could live as a community under God, trying to live like Jesus. Today, the group he started, called the Franciscans, is one of the largest religious orders in the Catholic Church. By the time Francis died in 1226, some people believed that he had been an extraordinary man, able to work miracles. Within two years, the church declared him a saint. Saint Francis of Assisi thought that it was the duty of humans to care for the natural world, God’s creation. Artists today often depict Saint Francis in paintings and statues with birds and small animals around him.
Jean Blashfield Black (Italy)
Avis named her business Paradise Pastry because she imagined cathedrals. She thought about the stonemasons, glassblowers, sculptors- who gave lifetimes to the creation of beauty. Every sugar crust she rolled, every simple 'tarte Tatin' was a bit of a church. She consecrated herself to it: later, it became her tribute to her daughter and the unknown into which she'd disappeared. She had her cathedral to enter, to console her. Her friend Jean-Francoise, chef at La Petit Choux, said that her pastries would be transcendent, if only she wasn't American.
Diana Abu-Jaber (Birds of Paradise)
The baby was no longer on the verge of death; no longer would the sweet, easy tears of mourning melt it away as if it were a simple jelly. The baby continued to live, and it was oppressing Bird, even beginning to attack him. Swaddled in skin as red as shrimp which gleamed with the luster of scar tissue, the baby was beginning ferociously to live, dragging its anchor of a heavy lump. A vegetable existence? Maybe so; a deadly cactus.
Kenzaburō Ōe (A Personal Matter)
Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged? But alas! we do like cowbirds and cuckoos, which lay their eggs in nests which other birds have built, and cheer no traveller with their chattering and unmusical notes. Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter? What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men? I never in all my walks came across a man engaged in so simple and natural an occupation as building his house. We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man; it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer. Where is this division of labor to end? and what object does it finally serve? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
In the eye of simple folks of old, mountains, rivers, trees, serpents, oxen, and eagles were equally full of life; hence the deification of them. No doubt it is irrational to believe in nymphs, fairies, elves, and the like, yet still we may say that mountains stand of their own accord, rivers run as they will, just as we say that trees and grass turn their leaves towards the sun of their own accord. Neither is it a mere figure of speech to say that thunder speaks and hills respond, nor to describe birds as singing and flowers as smiling, nor to narrate winds as moaning and rain as weeping, nor to state lovers as looking at the moon, the moon as looking at them, when we observe spiritual element in activities of all this.
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
By some quirk of fate, I had been chosen—along with five others—as a candidate to be the next equerry to the Princess of Wales. I knew little about what an equerry actually did, but I did not greatly care. I already knew I wanted to do the job. Two years on loan to the royal household would surely be good for promotion, and even if it was not, it had to be better than slaving in the Ministry of Defense, which was the most likely alternative. I wondered what it would be like to work in a palace. Through friends and relatives I had an idea it was not all red carpets and footmen. Running the royal family must involve a lot of hard work for somebody, I realized, but not, surely, for the type of tiny cog that was all I expected to be. In the wardroom of the frigate, alongside in Loch Ewe, news of the signal summoning me to London for an interview had been greeted with predictable ribaldry and a swift expectation that I therefore owed everybody several free drinks. Doug, our quiet American on loan from the U.S. Navy, spoke for many. He observed me in skeptical silence for several minutes. Then he took a long pull at his beer, blew out his mustache, and said, “Let me get this straight. You are going to work for Princess Di?” I had to admit it sounded improbable. Anyway, I had not even been selected yet. I did not honestly think I would be. “Might work for her, Doug. Only might. There’re probably several smooth Army buggers ahead of me in the line. I’m just there to make it look democratic.” The First Lieutenant, thinking of duty rosters, was more practical. “Whatever about that, you’ve wangled a week ashore. Lucky bastard!” Everyone agreed with him, so I bought more drinks. While these were being poured, my eye fell on the portraits hanging on the bulkhead. There were the regulation official photographs of the Queen and Prince Philip, and there, surprisingly, was a distinctly nonregulation picture of the Princess of Wales, cut from an old magazine and lovingly framed by an officer long since appointed elsewhere. The picture had been hung so that it lay between the formality of the official portraits and the misty eroticism of some art prints we had never quite got around to throwing away. The symbolic link did not require the services of one of the notoriously sex-obsessed naval psychologists for interpretation. As she looked down at us in our off-duty moments the Princess represented youth, femininity, and a glamour beyond our gray steel world. She embodied the innocent vulnerability we were in extremis employed to defend. Also, being royal, she commanded the tribal loyalty our profession had valued above all else for more than a thousand years, since the days of King Alfred. In addition, as a matter of simple fact, this tasty-looking bird was our future Queen. Later, when that day in Loch Ewe felt like a relic from another lifetime, I often marveled at the Princess’s effect on military people. That unabashed loyalty symbolized by Arethusa’s portrait was typical of reactions in messhalls and barracks worldwide. Sometimes the men gave the impression that they would have died for her not because it was their duty, but because they wanted to. She really seemed worth it.
Patrick D. Jephson (Shadows of a Princess: An Intimate Account By Her Private Secretary)
The rate of time flow perceived by an observer in the simulated universe is completely independent of the rate at which a computer runs the simulation, a point emphasized in Greg Egan's science-fiction novel Permutation City. Moreover, as we discussed in the last chapter and as stressed by Einstein, it's arguably more natural to view our Universe not from the frog perspective as a three-dimensional space where things happen, but from the bird perspective as a four-dimensional spacetime that merely is. There should therefore be no need for the computer to compute anything at all-it could simply store all the four-dimensional data, that is, encode all properties of the mathematical structure that is our Universe. Individual time slices could then be read out sequentially if desired, and the "simulated" world should still feel as real to its inhabitants as in the case where only three-dimensional data is stored and evolved. In conclusion: the role of the simulating computer isn't to compute the history of our Universe, but to specify it. How specify it? The way in which the data are stored (the type of computer, the data format, etc.) should be irrelevant, so the extent to which the inhabitants of the simulated universe perceive themselves as real should be independent of whatever method is used for data compression. The physical laws that we've discovered provide great means of data compression, since they make it sufficient to store the initial data at some time together with the equations and a program computing the future from these initial data. As emphasized on pages 340-344, the initial data might be extremely simple: popular initial states from quantum field theory with intimidating names such as the Hawking-Hartle wavefunction or the inflationary Bunch-Davies vacuum have very low algorithmic complexity, since they can be defined in brief physics papers, yet simulating their time evolution would simulate not merely one universe like ours, but a vast decohering collection of parallel ones. It's therefore plausible that our Universe (and even the whole Level III multiverse) could be simulated by quite a short computer program.
Max Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality)
When Pais explained his mission, Einstein chuckled loudly, and then said, “The trouble with Oppenheimer is that he loves a woman who doesn’t love him—the United States government. . . . [T]he problem was simple: All Oppenheimer needed to do was go to Washington, tell the officials that they were fools, and then go home.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
4.1 Introduction A flying bird generates lift forces to counteract gravity and thrust forces to overcome drag. The magnitude of these forces can be crudely approximated using elementary physical principles. Steady flight in still air at a uniform speed and at one altitude is the simplest case. It requires balanced forces where lift equals weight and thrust equals drag as well as balanced moments of these forces about the centre of gravity. Under these relatively simple conditions the magnitude of the mechanical power involved in the generation of lift and thrust in relation to speed can be estimated. The power to generate lift is inversely proportional to flight speed and the power needed for thrust increases with the speed cubed. The total mechanical power is the sum of the lift and thrust powers and hence follows a U-shaped curve if plotted against speed. A U-shaped power curve implies that there are two optimal speeds, one where the power is minimal and a higher one where the amount of work per unit distance reaches the lowest value. The question is, does this U-shaped power curve really exist in birds?
John J. Videler (Avian Flight (Oxford Ornithology Series))
If geography and time are the warp and weft structuring (art) history, perceptual culture is like the pile of a velvet cloth that, without altering the warp or weft of the fabric, reenchants its texture and depth. It treats Islam as the Simurgh, and objects as its feathers. Like the galleries in China full of representations futilely and obsessively trying to reconstruct the bird from its feathers, the museum is a monument to our inability to feel what we are trying to represent. And yet like the three princes seeking the hand of the Chinese princess in the gallery of creation, we can also discover through objects the spirit we can never expect to pin down in our hands. With these hopes tucked in between the warp of evidence and the weft of interpretation, this book would like to quote a certain textile from a very long time ago: I exist for pleasure; Welcome! For pleasure am I; he who beholds me sees joy and well-being. This book offers complex more than simple pleasures: its many questions diverge and converge, offering iridescence to our certainties. It puts forth the pleasure of using thought as steel wool polishing our mental acumen, enabling perception beyond predetermined realities. It may be that a barzakh exists somewhere between the secular and the sacred, a peninsula of understanding in which we enter the cave of our ghurba and become in the world but not of it. If we tread lightly with a pure heart cleansed in the mirror of curiosity and wonder, it may just open its doors a bit and let us explore the glory it holds inside.
Wendy M.K. Shaw (What is 'Islamic' Art?: Between Religion and Perception)
Game of Thrones - Feast for Crows. “Ser? My lady?" said Podrick. "Is a broken man an outlaw?" "More or less," Brienne answered. Septon Meribald disagreed. "More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They've heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. "Then they get a taste of battle. "For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they've been gutted by an axe. "They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that's still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water. "If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they're fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it's just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they're fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world . . . "And the man breaks. "He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them . . . but he should pity them as well.
G R R Martin
The simple bird has the freedom to fly anywhere, and yet here we stay
J.L. Witterick
Sensations were completely different. Like the night she had run free as the wolf, Savannah now had the senses of a bird of prey. Her vision was sharp and clear, her eyes enormously wide. She spread her wings experimentally, then flapped them in the light drizzle. They were much bigger than she had anticipated. It delighted her, and she flapped them harder so she could create a wind, causing waves in the water standing in the patio. Are you having fun? Gregori’s voice held a hint of laughter. This is so cool, lifemate, she answered. Her rapidly beating wings lifted her into the air. The light mist was already passing overhead. The air was warm and heavy with the promise of moisture, but she soared high, reveling in her ability to do so. Gregori’s larger, stronger body dropped over hers, close and protective, guiding her in the direction of the bayou. As high up as they were, the sharp eyes of the raptor could spot the smallest of movements below. Details were vivid and clear. Even colors were different. Infrared vision, heat sensors— Savannah wasn’t certain what it was exactly, but the way she perceived the world was a different and unique experience. She dipped beneath Gregori and soared away from him, turning sideways and circling high above him. In her mind she could hear him swearing. As always he sounded arrogant, elegant, Old World, completely in command. Laughing, she caught a thermal and rode it up over the river. The male dropped down to cover her with his huge wings, fencing her in. Spoilsport! she accused him, her touch in his mind a whisper of lightness, of invitation to join in her fun. You are in a great deal of trouble, ma femme. He knew the threat was empty when he made it; he would give her the world. But why did she have to be such a little dare-devil all the time? Anyone choosing to live with you would have to have a sense of adventure, don’t you think? Her soft laughter played over his skin like music, like the gentle breeze blowing from the mountains in their homeland. Even within the bird’s body, he stirred to life, need and hunger rising to become a part of him. Relentless. Demanding. Savage in its intensity. It was more than simple lust. More than hunger. More than need. It was all of it merged together with a tenderness he had never conceived he could feel. When she was at her most outrageous, her most defiant, that was when his heart melted.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
As a boy, I had the privilege of realizing that nature only moves and grows in precise, turbulent, spiraling flows. As an adult, I learned that human technology, in the main, tries to suppress turbulence. Nature doesn't waste the opportunity. It exploits the energy that is rolled up in turbulence. Birds, insects, fish, and the human heart clearly demonstrate the advantage of this strategy. Humans insist on traveling in straight lines and guzzle energy. Nature travels in spirals and sips energy. Truly grasping the significance of this simple fact throws open the door to reinventing the industrial world and gives us the tools to rescue our ailing planet, populations, and economy. By adapting and applying nature's spiraling geometries, I am confident that we can halve the world's energy consumption-without sacrifice.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
This point was driven home for me for the first time when I was traveling in Asia in 1978 on a trip to a forest monastery in northeastern Thailand, Wat Ba Pong, on the Thai-Lao border. I was taken there by my meditation teacher, Jack Kornfield, who was escorting a group of us to meet the monk under whom he had studied at that forest hermitage. This man, Achaan Chaa, described himself as a “simple forest monk,” and he ran a hundred-acre forest monastery that was simple and old-fashioned, with one notable exception. Unlike most contemporary Buddhist monasteries in Thailand, where the practice of meditation as the Buddha had taught had all but died out, Achaan Chaa’s demanded intensive meditation practice and a slow, deliberate, mindful attention to the mundane details of everyday life. He had developed a reputation as a meditation master of the first order. My own first impressions of this serene environment were redolent of the newly extinguished Vietnam War, scenes of which were imprinted in my memory from years of media attention. The whole place looked extraordinarily fragile to me. On my first day, I was awakened before dawn to accompany the monks on their early morning alms rounds through the countryside. Clad in saffron robes, clutching black begging bowls, they wove single file through the green and brown rice paddies, mist rising, birds singing, as women and children knelt with heads bowed along the paths and held out offerings of sticky rice or fruits. The houses along the way were wooden structures, often perched on stilts, with thatched roofs. Despite the children running back and forth laughing at the odd collection of Westerners trailing the monks, the whole early morning seemed caught in a hush. After breakfasting on the collected food, we were ushered into an audience with Achaan Chaa. A severe-looking man with a kindly twinkle in his eyes, he sat patiently waiting for us to articulate the question that had brought us to him from such a distance. Finally, we made an attempt: “What are you really talking about? What do you mean by ‘eradicating craving’?” Achaan Chaa looked down and smiled faintly. He picked up the glass of drinking water to his left. Holding it up to us, he spoke in the chirpy Lao dialect that was his native tongue: “You see this goblet? For me, this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.”5 Achaan Chaa was not just talking about the glass, of course, nor was he speaking merely of the phenomenal world, the forest monastery, the body, or the inevitability of death. He was also speaking to each of us about the self. This self that you take to be so real, he was saying, is already broken.
Mark Epstein (Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective)
how to make notes ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Highlight at location 1584-1589 | Added on Monday, 15 June 2015 11:21:47 wanted to share my ‘colour coded’ way of remembering things with everybody, so they too could benefit. I felt like I had stumbled upon a great secret and my discovery would be hailed. I pictured it being used in schools, colleges and everywhere else as a new memory technique. I wondered why nobody else had thought of such a simple but brilliant technique earlier. As I was waiting for him to finish making the photocopies, my eyes chanced upon small glittering stickers of cartoon characters like Tw eety bird, Fairies and Garfield and some Disney characters, which children use to decorate their books and other objects. I thought the stickers would make a nice finishing touch and I bought twenty sheets. I also came across some very beautiful printed stationery and could not resist buying about eight packets of writing sheets. They looked very beautiful and ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Note at location 1596 | Added on Monday, 15 June 2015 11:24:46 cont. how to make notes ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Highlight at location 1590-1596 | Added on Monday, 15 June 2015 11:24:46 I also looked around the shop and discovered some water colours. I had last painted with water colours only in school. On an impulse, I bought a set of water colours and a set of brushes as well. It was like an urgent impulse inside my head that was driving me to buy all this stuff. They seemed absolutely essential. I reached home armed with my large bag of purchases and unpacked them carefully and arranged them all on my desk. Then I sat down and decorated the corners of each set of notes with tiny stickers of cartoon characters. I used highlighter pens and highlighted each set of the notes in my colour coded way with green, purple and orange. There were seventy sets to finish and I was like a woman possessed. I stayed up the whole night doing just this. I was a reservoir of energy. I just couldn' t stop. Strangely I did not feel even a little tired. ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Highlight at location 1617-1617 | Added on Monday, 15 June 2015 11:55:29 uncannily ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Highlight at location 1650-1650 | Added on Monday, 15 June 2015 14:48:08 besotted ========== Life Is What You Make It A Story Of Love, Hope And How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny (Preeti Shenoy) - Your Highlight at location
Anonymous
It came as a gift. A large gray bird flew up with a loud alarm call as he approached. As it gained height and wheeled away over the valley, it gave out a piping sound on three notes, which he recognized as the inversion of a line he had already scored for a piccolo. How elegant, how simple. Turning the sequence round opened up the idea of a plain and beautiful song in common time, which he could almost hear. But not quite. An image came to him of a set of unfolding steps, sliding and descending-from the trap door of a loft, or from the door of a light plane. One note lay over and suggested the next. He heard it, he had it, and then it was gone. There was a glow of a tantalizing afterimage and the fading call of a sad little tune....These notes were perfectly interdependent, little polished hinges swinging the melody through its perfect arc. He could almost hear it again as he reached the top of the angled rock slab and paused to reach into his pocket for notebook and pencil.
Steven Pinker (The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature)
Nation-watching would be simple if it could be like bird-watching.
Eric J. Hobsbawm
Pure and impure--Ritual purity/cleanness or ritual impurity/uncleanness had nothing to do with dirt, grime, germs, and such. Ritual purity/cleaness had to do with boundaries. Such boundaries created order out of chaos (Job 26:10; Psalms 104:9; Proverbs 8:29; and Jeremiah 5:22 among other verses) and so were sacred. Therefore, anything that crossed boundaries threatened order and created impurity/uncleanness. Rituals then must be performed to restore the boundaries and thus order. Such rituals could be as simple as washing with water, or they might be elaborate, involving sacrifices and other ceremonies. Impurity could occur anywhere. Bats, for instance, were in the ancient way of thinking neither bird not mammal. They crossed boundaries and were unclean. Blood should remain within the boundary of the skin. Contact with blood outside the skin created impurity since it had crossed a boundary. Often births and deaths, and always menstrual cycles, created ritual impurity, and that must be rectified by the counter ritual of washing. Nocturnal emissions for men did exactly the same thing, and also required washing.   Back to text
Terri L Fivash (Dahveed 2: Yahweh's Warrior: Author's Edition)
I wanted only what was within arm’s reach. Akos’s index finger hooked around my pinkie. The shadows disappeared as his currentgift countered mine. Yes, what was within arm’s reach was definitely enough for me. “Would you…say something in Thuvhesit?” he asked. I turned my head toward him. He was still looking up at the window, a faint smile curling his lips. Freckles dotted his nose, and one of his eyelids, right near the lash line. I hesitated with my hand just lifted off the blanket, wanting to touch him but also wanting to stay in the wanting for a moment. Then I followed the line of his eyebrow across his face with a fingertip. “I’m not a pet bird,” I said. “I don’t chirp on command.” “This is a request, not a command. A humble one,” he said. “Just say my full name, maybe?” I laughed. “Most of your name is Shotet, remember?” “Right.” He lunged at my hand with his mouth, snapping his teeth together. It startled a laugh from me. “What was hardest for you to say, when you were first learning?” “Your city names, what a mouthful,” I said as he let go of one of my hands to catch the other, holding me by pinkie and thumb with all his fingertips. He pressed a kiss to the center of my palm, where the skin was callused from holding currentblades. Strange, that something so simple, given to a hardened part of me, could suffuse me so completely, bringing life to every nerve.
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2))
Yes we have learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we have not learned the simple art of walking the earth as brothers and sisters.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The objects of earth and heaven seem to combine into a nursery tale, and our relation to things seems for a moment so simple that a dancing lunatic would be needed to do justice to its lucidity and levity. The tree above my head is flapping like some gigantic bird standing on one leg; the moon is like the eye of a cyclops. And, however much my face clouds with sombre vanity, or vulgar vengeance, or contemptible contempt, the bones of my skull beneath it are laughing for ever.
G.K. Chesterton (In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton)
When I visited my father yesterday, I went upstairs to my old room. For a time after my marriage the maid had occupied it. It was unused now, and I found in it many of the objects I had kept around me ten years ago, before I left for school. There was a Persian print over the bed, of a woman dropping a flower on her interred lover - visible in his burial gown under the stones; a bookcase my mother had bought me; a crude water color of a pitcher and glass done by Bertha, some nearly forgotten girl. I sat in the rocking chair, feeling that my life was already long enough to contain nearly forgotten periods, a loose group of undifferentiated years. Recently, I had begun to feel old, and it occurred to me that I might be concerned with age merely because I might never attain any great age, and that there might be a mechanism in us that tried to give us all of life when there was danger of being cut off. And while I knew it was absurd for me to think of my “age,” I had apparently come to a point where the perspectives of time appeared far more contracted than they had a short while ago. I was beginning to grasp the meaning of “irretrievable.” This rather ordinary and, in some ways mean, room, had for twelve years been a standard site, the bearded Persian under the round stones and the water color, fixtures of my youth. Ten years ago I was at school; and before that… It was suddenly given me to experience one of those consummating glimpses that come to all of us periodically. The room, delusively, dwindled and became a tiny square, swiftly drawn back, myself and all objects in it growing smaller. This was not a mere visual trick. I understood it to be a revelation of the ephemeral agreements by which we live and pace ourselves. I looked around at the restored walls. This place which I avoided ordinarily, had great personal significance for me. But it was not here thirty years go. Birds flew through this space. It may be gone fifty years hence. Such reality, I thought, is actually very dangerous, very treacherous. It should not be trusted. And I rose rather unsteadily from the rocker, feeling that there was an element of treason to common sense in the very objects of common sense. Or that there was no trusting them, save through wide agreement, and that my separation from such agreement had brought me perilously far from the necessary trust, auxiliary to all sanity. I had not done well alone. I doubted whether anyone could. To be pushed upon oneself entirely put the very facts of simple existence in doubt. Perhaps the war could teach me, by violence, what I had been unable to learn during those months in the room. Perhaps I could sound creation through other means. Perhaps. But things were now out of my hands. The next move was the world’s. I could not bring myself to regret it... This is my last civilian day... I am no longer to be held accountable for myself; I am grateful for that. I am in other hands, relieved of self-determination, freedom canceled. Hurray for regular hours! And for the supervision of the spirit! Long live regimentation!
Saul Bellow (Dangling Man)
When I visited my father yesterday, I went upstairs to my old room. For a time after my marriage the maid had occupied it. It was unused now, and I found in it many of the objects I had kept around me ten years ago, before I left for school. There was a Persian print over the bed, of a woman dropping a flower on her interred lover - visible in his burial gown under the stones; a bookcase my mother had bought me; a crude water color of a pitcher and glass done by Bertha, some nearly forgotten girl. I sat in the rocking chair, feeling that my life was already long enough to contain nearly forgotten periods, a loose group of undifferentiated years. Recently, I had begun to feel old, and it occurred to me that I might be concerned with age merely because I might never attain any great age, and that there might be a mechanism in us that tried to give us all of life when there was danger of being cut off. And while I knew it was absurd for me to think of my "age," I had apparently come to a point where the perspectives of time appeared far more contracted than they had a short while ago. I was beginning to grasp the meaning of “irretrievable.” This rather ordinary and, in some ways mean, room, had for twelve years been a standard site, the bearded Persian under the round stones and the water color, fixtures of my youth. Ten years ago I was at school; and before that… It was suddenly given me to experience one of those one of those consummating glimpses that come to all of us periodically. The room, delusively, dwindled and became a tiny square, swiftly drawn back, myself and all objects in it growing smaller. This was not a mere visual trick. I understood it to be a revelation of the ephemeral agreements by which we live and pace ourselves. I looked around at the restored walls. This place which I avoided ordinarily, had great personal significance for me. But nit was not here thirty years go. Birds flew through this space. It may be gone fifty years hence. Such reality, I thought, is actually very dangerous, very treacherous. It should not be trusted. And I rose rather unsteadily from the rocker, feeling that there was an element of treason to common sense in the very objects of common sense. Or that there was no trusting them, save through wide agreement, and that my separation from such agreement had brought me perilously far from the necessary trust, auxiliary to all sanity. I had not done well alone. I doubted whether anyone could/. To be pished upon oneself entirely put the very facts of simple existence in doubt. Perhaps the war could teach me, by violence, what I had been unable to learn during those months in the room. Perhaps I could sound creation through other means. Perhaps. But things were now out of my hands. The next move was the world's. I could not bring myself to regret it... This is my last civilian day... I am no longer to be held accountable for myself; I am grateful for that. I am in other hands, relieved of self-determination, freedom canceled. Hurray for regular hours! And for the supervision of the spirit! Long live regimentation!
Saul Bellow (Dangling Man)
When I visited my father yesterday, I went upstairs to my old room. For a time after my marriage the maid had occupied it. It was unused now, and I found in it many of the objects I had kept around me ten years ago, before I left for school. There was a Persian print over the bed, of a woman dropping a flower on her interred lover - visible in his burial gown under the stones; a bookcase my mother had bought me; a crude water color of a pitcher and glass done by Bertha, some nearly forgotten girl. I sat in the rocking chair, feeling that my life was already long enough to contain nearly forgotten periods, a loose group of undifferentiated years. Recently, I had begun to feel old, and it occurred to me that I might be concerned with age merely because I might never attain any great age, and that there might be a mechanism in us that tried to give us all of life when there was danger of being cut off. And while I knew it was absurd for me to think of my "age," I had apparently come to a point where the perspectives of time appeared far more contracted than they had a short while ago. I was beginning to grasp the meaning of “irretrievable.” This rather ordinary and, in some ways mean, room, had for twelve years been a standard site, the bearded Persian under the round stones and the water color, fixtures of my youth. Ten years ago I was at school; and before that… It was suddenly given me to experience one of those one of those consummating glimpses that come to all of us periodically. The room, delusively, dwindled and became a tiny square, swiftly drawn back, myself and all objects in it growing smaller. This was not a mere visual trick. I understood it to be a revelation of the ephemeral agreements by which we live and pace ourselves. I looked around at the restored walls. This place which I avoided ordinarily, had great personal significance for me. But it was not here thirty years go. Birds flew through this space. It may be gone fifty years hence. Such reality, I thought, is actually very dangerous, very treacherous. It should not be trusted. And I rose rather unsteadily from the rocker, feeling that there was an element of treason to common sense in the very objects of common sense. Or that there was no trusting them, save through wide agreement, and that my separation from such agreement had brought me perilously far from the necessary trust, auxiliary to all sanity. I had not done well alone. I doubted whether anyone could/. To be pished upon oneself entirely put the very facts of simple existence in doubt. Perhaps the war could teach me, by violence, what I had been unable to learn during those months in the room. Perhaps I could sound creation through other means. Perhaps. But things were now out of my hands. The next move was the world's. I could not bring myself to regret it... This is my last civilian day... I am no longer to be held accountable for myself; I am grateful for that. I am in other hands, relieved of self-determination, freedom canceled. Hurray for regular hours! And for the supervision of the spirit! Long live regimentation!
Saul Bellow (Dangling Man)
She lurches forward in the metal chair, smacking at her body to get the birds off, though they’re gone. Then she curls into a ball and hides her face. I reach out to touch her shoulder, to reassure her, and she hits my arm, hard. “Don’t touch me!” “It’s over,” I say, wincing--she punches harder than she realizes. I ignore the pain and run a hand over her hair, because I’m stupid, and inappropriate, and stupid… “Tris.” She just shifts back and forth, soothing herself. “Tris, I’m going to take you back to the dorms, okay?” “No! They can’t see me…not like this…” This is what Eric’s new system creates: A brave human being has just defeated one of her worst fears in less than five minutes, an ordeal that takes most people at least twice that time, but she’s terrified to go back into the hallway, to be seen as weak or vulnerable in any way. Tris is Dauntless, plain and simple, but this faction isn’t really Dauntless anymore. “Oh, calm down,” I say, more irritable than I mean to be. “I’ll take you out the back door.” “I don’t need you to…” I can see her hands trembling even as she shrugs off my offer. “Nonsense,” I say. I take her arm and help her to her feet. She wipes her eyes as I move toward the back door. Amar once took me through this door, tried to walk me back to the dormitory even when I didn’t want him to, the way she probably doesn’t want me to now. How is it possible to live the same story twice, from different vantage points?
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
You look…different,” I say. I mean to say “older,” but I don’t want to suggest that she looked young before. She may not bend in all the places that older women do, but no one could look at her face and see a child. No child has that ferocity. “So do you,” she says. “What are you doing?” Drinking, I think, but she’s probably noticed that. “Flirting with death,” I say, laughing. “Drinking near the chasm. Probably not a good idea.” “No, it isn’t.” She’s not laughing. She looks wary. Wary of what, of me? “Didn’t know you had a tattoo,” I say, scanning her collarbone. There are three black birds there--simple, but they almost look like they’re flying across her skin. “Right. The crows.” I want to ask her why she would get one of her worst fears tattooed on her body, why she would want to wear the mark of her fear forever instead of burying it, ashamed. Maybe she’s not ashamed of her fears the way I’m ashamed of mine. I look back at Zeke and Shauna, who are standing with shoulders touching at the railing. “I’d ask you to hang out with us,” I say, “but you’re not supposed to see me this way.” “What way?” she says. “Drunk?” “Yeah…well, no.” Suddenly it doesn’t seem that funny to me. “Real, I guess.” “I’ll pretend I didn’t.” “Nice of you.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))