Sketches In Stillness Quotes

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Alone with Rolfe, Celaena raised her sword. “Celaena Sardothien, at your service.” The pirate was still staring at her, his face pale with rage. “How dare you deceive me?” She sketched a bow. “I did nothing of the sort. I told you I was beautiful.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
But for some reason she had left off the metal mask, and though Adrian knew he shouldn't assign it any significance, he couldn't help it. Without the mask, he still didn't see her as Nightmare. He could only see Nova. Nova, who had betrayed him a hundred different ways. But still Nova.
Marissa Meyer (Supernova (Renegades, #3))
But why is it still there? Why is it there at all?" I flipped my palm over several times, shook it, but the faint blue tattoo was still there. "You can see it, right? Like right now, you can see it?" "Yes. It hasn't faded." Seth leaned forward, catching my hand. "Stop shaking it like it's a damn Etch-A-Sketch. That doesn't make them disappear.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pure (Covenant, #2))
Oh. Wow.' 'What?' He held my hand up between us. 'Look.' I squinted at my hands. 'I don't see anything.' Sighing, he flipped my hand over, and my jaw hit the ground. A faint blue line marked the center of my palm with a smaller line through it. It would've looked like a cross, except the horizontal line was slanted. 'Oh. My. Gods.' I jerked my hand away, scrambling back. 'I have a rune on my hand. It's an Apollyon rune, isn't it.' Seth rested his hands on his knees. 'I think so. I have one like that.' 'But why is it still there? Why is it there at all?' I flipped my palm over several times, shook it, but the faint blue tattoo was still there. 'You can see it, right? Like right now, you can see it?' 'Yes. It hasn't faded.' Seth leaned forward, catching my hand. 'Stop shaking it like it's a damn Etch-A-Sketch. That doesn't make them disappear.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pure (Covenant, #2))
Jeb releases my fingers and cups my face in his hands, barely touching me, like I'm breakable. "It's me I'm losing control of. Hundreds of sketches, and I still can't get enough of your face." He traces the dimple in my chin with his thumb. "Your neck." His palm moves along my throat. "Your..." Both hands find my waist and drag me off the table so we're standing toe to toe. " I'm not wasting another second drawing you," he whispers against my lips, "when I can touch you instead." He presses his mouth to mine.
A.G. Howard
There was no sign of Plato, and I was told later that he had gone to live in his Republic, where he was cheerfully submitting to his own Laws. [...] None of the Stoics were present. Rumour had it that they were still clambering up the steep hill of Virtue [...]. As for the Sceptics, it appeared that they were extremely anxious to get there, but still could not quite make up their minds whether or not the island really existed.
Lucian of Samosata (Satirical Sketches)
You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait - a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich may be the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the "values," with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candlelight, when all the house is still.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.
Katsushika Hokusai
standing on a stool on his wondrously functional pre-Libya legs, the bullet that would sever his spinal cord still twenty-five years away but already approaching: a woman giving birth to a child who will someday pull the trigger on a gun, a designer sketching the weapon or its precursor, a dictator making a decision that will spark in the fullness of time into the conflagration that Frank will go overseas to cover for Reuters, the pieces of a pattern drifting closer together.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
...it is never safe to classify the souls of one's neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait -- a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the 'values,' with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candle-light, when all the house is still.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. This is something Lorne [Michaels] has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. (And I’m from a generation where a lot of people died on waterslides, so this was an important lesson for me to learn.) You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV. What I learned about ‘bombing’ as an improviser at Second City was that bombing is painful, but it doesn’t kill you. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over. What I learned about bombing as a writer at Saturday Night is that you can’t be too worried about your ‘permanent record.’ Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets. But you’re also going to write some real shit nuggets. And unfortunately, sometimes the shit nuggets will make it onto the air. You can’t worry about it. As long as you know the difference, you can go back to panning for gold on Monday.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
the unlikeliest of saviors. Flame, you saved me from him. From that life… from never knowing what it was like to hold hands. To kiss and to make such sweet love that it still feels like a dream. You have no idea how special you are to me.” Maddie held up our joined hands and said, “Even now, looking at these hands, I am terrified this is all in my head, that being here with you, is just another fantasy that will never be realized. That I am sitting at my window, sketching a future I pray will happen, before I blink and discover it is all in my head, that I must be content to simply watch you from afar.
Tillie Cole (Souls Unfractured (Hades Hangmen, #3))
From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were—I have not seen As others saw—I could not bring My passions from a common spring— From the same source I have not taken My sorrow—I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone— And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— Then—in my childhood—in the dawn Of a most stormy life—was drawn From ev’ry depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still— From the torrent, or the fountain— From the red cliff of the mountain— From the sun that ’round me roll’d In its autumn tint of gold— From the lightning in the sky As it pass’d me flying by— From the thunder, and the storm— And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view—
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and other sketches of horror, Vol. 1)
But the sight of the two people getting into the taxi and the satisfaction it gave me made me also ask whether there are two sexes in the mind corresponding to the two sexes in the body, and whether they also require to be united in order to get complete satisfaction and happiness? And I went on amateurishly to sketch a plan of the soul so that in each of us two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man's brain the man predominates over the woman, and in the woman's brain the woman predominates over the man. The normal and comfortable state of being is that when the two live in harmony together, spiritually co-operating. If one is a man, still the woman part of his brain must have effect; and a woman also must have intercourse with the man in her. Coleridge perhaps meant this when he said that a great mind is androgynous. It is when this fusion takes place that the mind is fully fertilized and uses all its faculties. Perhaps a mind that is purely masculine cannot create, any more than a mind that is purely feminine, I thought.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
...Nina, uncrumpling a piece of paper from her pocket and smoothing it onto the table. A sketch of Matthias looked back at them. “We need to get out of town as soon as possible.” “Damn it,” Jesper said. “Kaz and Wylan are still in the lead.” He gestured to where they’d pasted up the rest of the wanted posters: Jesper, Kaz, and Inej were all there. Van Eck hadn’t yet dared to plaster Kuwei Yul-Bo’s face over every surface in Ketterdam, but he’d had to maintain the pretense of searching for his son, so there was also a poster offering a reward for Wylan Van Eck’s safe return. It showed his old features, but Jesper didn’t think it was much of a likeness. Only Nina was missing. She’d never met Van Eck, and though she had connections to the Dregs, it was possible he didn’t know of her involvement. Matthias examined the posters. “One hundred thousand kruge!” He shot a disbelieving glower at Kaz. “You’re hardly worth that.” The hint of a smile tugged at Kaz’s lips. “As the market wills it.” “Tell me about it,” said Jesper. “They’re only offering thirty thousand for me.” “Your lives are at stake,” said Wylan. “How can you act like this is a competition?” “We’re stuck in a tomb, merchling. You take the action where you find it
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
James was sixteen, Cam seventeen, perhaps. She had looked round for someone who was not there, for Mrs. Ramsay, presumably. But there was only kind Mrs. Beckwith turning over her sketches under the lamp. Then, being tired, her mind still rising and falling with the sea, the taste and smell that places have after long absence possessing her, the candles wavering in her eyes, she had lost herself and gone under. It was a wonderful night, starlit; the waves sounded as they went upstairs; the moon surprised them, enormous, pale, as they passed the staircase window. She had slept at once.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
But even while Rome is burning, there’s somehow time for shopping at IKEA. Social imperatives are a merciless bitch. Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell.  See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still “needed” for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a love seat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffeetable and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy, and don’t these look nice, whadda you call ’em, throat pillows? Oh, throw pillows. Well that makes more sense. And now that I think about it I’m going to want my apartment to be “my style,” you know: my own motif, so I need certain decoratives to spruce up the decor, but wait, what is my style exactly, and do these stainless-steel picture frames embody that particular style? Does this replica Matisse sketch accurately capture my edgy-but-professional vibe? Exactly how “edgy” am I? What espresso maker defines me as a man? Does the fact that I’m even asking these questions mean I lack the dangling brass pendulum that’d make me a “man’s man”? How many plates/cups/bowls/spoons should a man own? I guess I need a diningroom table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
When he was creating this picture, Leonardo da Vinci encountered a serious problem: he had to depict Good - in the person of Jesus - and Evil - in the figure of Judas, the friend who resolves to betray him during the meal. He stopped work on the painting until he could find his ideal models. One day, when he was listening to a choir, he saw in one of the boys the perfect image of Christ. He invited him to his studio and made sketches and studies of his face. Three years went by. The Last Supper was almost complete, but Leonardo had still not found the perfect model for Judas. The cardinal responsible for the church started to put pressure on him to finish the mural. After many days spent vainly searching, the artist came across a prematurely aged youth, in rags and lying drunk in the gutter. With some difficulty, he persuaded his assistants to bring the fellow directly to the church, since there was no time left to make preliminary sketches. The beggar was taken there, not quite understanding what was going on. He was propped up by Leonardo's assistants, while Leonardo copied the lines of impiety, sin and egotism so clearly etched on his features. When he had finished, the beggar, who had sobered up slightly, opened his eyes and saw the picture before him. With a mixture of horror and sadness he said: 'I've seen that picture before!' 'When?' asked an astonished Leonardo. 'Three years ago, before I lost everything I had, at a time when I used to sing in a choir and my life was full of dreams. The artist asked me to pose as the model for the face of Jesus.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym)
And aye, beside her stalks her amarous knight! Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn, And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn, His hindward charms glean an unearthly white, Ah! thus thro' broken clouds at night's high Noon Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest-moon!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Biographia Literaria: The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life & Opinions)
He placed a pinch of snow on his tongue and thought of making snow ice cream with Frank and their mother when they were small boys - 'First you stir in the vanilla' - Frank standing on a stool on his wondrously functional pre-Libya legs, the bullet that would sever his spinal cord still twenty-five years away but already approaching: a woman giving birth to a child who will someday pull the trigger on a gun, a designer sketching the weapon or its precursor, a dictator making a decision that will spark in the fullness of time into the conflagration that Frank will go overseas to cover for Reuters, the pieces of a pattern drifting closer together.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
I worked with a sketch artist, but I was driving fast when I saw the suspect, so the drawing came out blurry.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
Solitude, the one natural resource still undowered of alphabets, is so far recognized as valuable only by ornithologists and cranes.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
Then on a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over the rimrocks, sit quietly and listen for a wolf to howl, and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it- a vast pulsing harmony- its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
Because I live in south Florida I store cans of black beans and gallons of water in my closet in preparation for hurricane season. I throw a hurricane party in January. You’re my only guest. We play Marco Polo in bed. The sheets are wet like the roof caved in. There’s a million of me in you. You try to count me as I taste the sweat on the back of your neck. I call you Sexy Sexy, and we do everything twice. After, still sweating, we drink Crystal Light out of plastic water bottles. We discuss the pros and cons of vasectomies. It’s not invasive you say. I wrap the bedsheet around my waist. Minor surgery you say. You slur the word surgery, like it’s a garnish on a dish you just prepared. I eat your hair until you agree to no longer talk about vasectomies. We agree to have children someday, and that they will be beautiful even if they’re not. As I watch your eyes grow heavy like soggy clothes, I tell you When I grow up I’m going to be a famous writer. When I’m famous I’ll sign autographs on Etch-A-Sketches. I’ll write poems about writing other poems, so other poets will get me. You open your eyes long enough to tell me that when you grow up, you’re going to be a steamboat operator. Your pores can never be too clean you say. I say I like your pores just fine. I say Your pores are tops. I kiss you with my whole mouth, and you fall asleep next to my molars. In the morning, we eat french toast with powdered sugar. I wear the sugar like a mustache. You wear earmuffs and pretend we’re in a silent movie. I mouth Olive juice, but I really do love you. This is an awesome hurricane party you say, but it comes out as a yell because you can’t gauge your own volume with the earmuffs on. You yell I want to make something cute with you. I say Let me kiss the insides of your arms. You have no idea what I just said, but you like the way I smile.
Gregory Sherl
This one is bigger than the other by at least a quarter,” he said. “That’s perspective,” Will replied stubbornly. “The left one is closer, so it looks bigger.” “If it’s perspective, and it’s that much bigger, your handcart would have to be about five meters wide,” Horace told him. “Is that what you’re planning?” Again, Will studied the drawing critically. “No. I thought maybe two meters. And three meters long.” He quickly sketched in a smaller version of the left wheel, scrubbing over the first attempt as he did so. “Is that better?” “Could be rounder,” Horace said. “You’d never get a wheel that shape to roll. It’s sort of pointy at one end.” Will’s temper flared as he decided his friend was simply being obtuse for the sake of it. He slammed the charcoal down on the table. “Well, you try drawing a perfect circle freehand!” he said angrily. “See how well you do! This is a concept drawing, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Malcolm chose that moment to enter the room. He had been outside, checking on MacHaddish, making sure the general was still securely fastened to the massive log that held him prisoner. He glanced now at the sketch as he passed by the table. “What’s that?” he asked. “It’s a walking cart,” Horace told him. “You get under it, so the spears won’t hit you, and go for a walk.” Will glared at Horace and decided to ignore him. He turned his attention to Malcolm. “Do you think some of your people could build me something like this?” he asked. The healer frowned thoughtfully. “Might be tricky,” he said. “We’ve got a few cart wheels, but they’re all the same size. Did you want this one so much bigger than the other?” Now Will switched his glare to Malcolm. Horace put a hand up to his face to cover the grin that was breaking out there. “It’s perspective. Good artists draw using perspective,” Will said, enunciating very clearly. “Oh. Is it? Well, if you say so.” Malcolm studied the sketch for a few more seconds. “And did you want them this squashed-up shape? Our wheels tend to be sort of round. I don’t think these ones would roll too easily, if at all.” Truth be told, Malcolm had been listening outside the house for several minutes and knew what the two friends had been discussing. Horace gave vent to a huge, indelicate snort that set his nose running. His shoulders were shaking, and Malcolm couldn’t maintain his own straight face any longer. He joined in, and the two of them laughed uncontrollably. Will eyed them coldly. “Oh, yes. Extremely amusing,” he said.
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
But her comment still cut, reminding me of the thorns I drew in my garden sketches. Raw, and doubly painful because they’re attached to flowers. Barbed comments hurt more when they come from a neighbor or a friend.
Saadia Faruqi (A Place at the Table)
What would the new teacher, representing France, teach us? Railroading? No. France knows nothing valuable about railroading. Steamshipping? No. France has no superiorities over us in that matter. Steamboating? No. French steamboating is still of Fulton's date--1809. Postal service? No. France is a back number there. Telegraphy? No, we taught her that ourselves. Journalism? No. Magazining? No, that is our own specialty. Government? No; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Nobility, Democracy, Adultery the system is too variegated for our climate. Religion? No, not variegated enough for our climate. Morals? No, we cannot rob the poor to enrich ourselves.
Mark Twain (Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches)
Recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind. Wildlife in American Culture The culture of primitive peoples is often based on wildlife.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There)
Debbie Downer" was one of the few sketches where I broke, and I remember watching Heratio Sanz laugh so hard that tears squirted out of his eyes. I still believe that sketch may be a cure for low-level depression if watched regularly.
Amy Poehler
Magozzi was still smiling, which seemed absolutely inappropriate given the information he was about to deliver, but when had life ever been anything but a sketch in light and dark? Suffer the dark, go to the light whenever it's there.
P.J. Tracy (Nothing Stays Buried (Monkeewrench, #8))
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?" "Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can." "You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?" "We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me." Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice. "Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?" He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said. Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo. And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be. "It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue. Not that I could say any of that. Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it." "Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers. Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Standard DNA is shot through the oil industry, as are Standard’s dominant traits: a penchant for pinching pennies, an eagerness to devour and expand, a mistrust and even hatred of government regulation, a vaguely delusional sense of higher calling, and a wary respect for innovation. Worth keeping these traits in mind, because they’ve gone on to shape the modern world. They still function as a character sketch—or maybe a psychological profile—of the richest, most powerful, and most destructive industry on the globe.
Rachel Maddow (Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth)
I turn the pages slowly, seeing each detail of the uniform. The carefully tailored layers of body armor, the hidden weapons in the boots and belt, the special reinforcements over my heart. On the final page, under a sketch of my mockingjay pin, Cinna’s written, I’m still betting on you.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I will here give a brief sketch of the progress of opinion on the Origin of Species. Until recently the great majority of naturalists believed that species were immutable productions, and had been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of pre existing forms. Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers (Aristotle, in his "Physicae Auscultationes" (lib.2, cap.8, s.2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me), "So what hinders the different parts (of the body) from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food; since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish." We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.), the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our ‘air’ (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be ‘high’, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd. Of course, such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as ‘given’ things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on the linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already ‘there’, somewhere: not of ‘inventing’. Of course, I made up and even wrote lots of other things (especially for my children). Some escaped from the grasp of this branching acquisitive theme, being ultimately and radically unrelated: Leaf by Niggle and Farmer Giles, for instance, the only two that have been printed. The Hobbit, which has much more essential life in it, was quite independently conceived: I did not know as I began it that it belonged. But it proved to be the discovery of the completion of the whole, its mode of descent to earth, and merging into ‘history’. As the high Legends of the beginning are supposed to look at things through Elvish minds, so the middle tale of the Hobbit takes a virtually human point of view – and the last tale blends them.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
I scurry out to the three-way mirror. With an extra-large sweatshirt over the top, you can hardly tell that they are Effert’s jeans. Still no Mom. I adjust the mirror so I can see reflections of reflections, miles and miles of me and my new jeans. I hook my hair behind my ears. I should have washed it. My face is dirty. I lean into the mirror. Eyes after eyes after eyes stare back at me. Am I in there somewhere? A thousand eyes blink. No makeup. Dark circles. I pull the side flaps of the mirror in closer, folding myself into the looking glass and blocking out the rest of the store.   My face becomes a Picasso sketch, my body slicing into dissecting cubes. I saw a movie once where a woman was burned over eighty percent of her body and they had to wash all the dead skin off. They wrapped her in bandages, kept her drugged, and waited for skin grafts. They actually sewed her into a new skin.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
He makes a careful inventory of his thoughts and decides that he isn’t unhappy. He just desires no further movement, for the time being. If there’s pleasure in action, there’s peace in stillness. He spends his days walking on the beach, sketching, contemplating the sea from the porch, reading, playing
Emily St. John Mandel (Sea of Tranquility)
It's me I'm losing control of. Hundreds of sketches, and still can't get enough of your face." He traces the dimple in my chin with his thumb. "Your neck." His palm moves along my throat. "Your..." both hands find my waist and drag me off the table so we're standing toe tote. "I'm not wasting another second drawing you," he whispers against my lips, "when I can touch you instead." He presses his mouth to mine. A spark, hot and electric, jumps between us. Shock and sensation shimmer through me, aglow with his heat ad flavor. Six year of secret desire. Six years of denying that he's the orbit of my world. To think, he's been running from me, too.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Looking back into childhood is like turning a telescope the wrong way around. Everything appears in miniature, but with a clarity it probably does not deserve; moreover it has become concentrated and stylized, taking shape in symbolism. Thus it is that I sometimes see my infant self as having been set down before a blank slate on which to construct a map or schema of the external world, and as hesitantly beginning to sketch it, with many false starts and much rubbing-out, the anatomy of my universe. Happiness and sorrow, love and friendship, hostility, a sense of guilt and more abstract concepts still, must all find a place somewhere, much as an architect lays out the plan of a house he is designing - hall, dining-room and bedrooms - but must not forget the bathroom. In a child’s map, too, some of the rooms are connected by a serving-hatch, while others are sealed off behind baize doors. How can the fragments possibly be combined to make sense? Yet this map or finished diagram, constructed in the course of ten or twelve years’ puzzling, refuses to be ignored, and for some time to come will make itself felt as bones through flesh, to emerge as the complex organism which adults think of as their philosophy of life. Presumably it has its origins in both heredity and enviorment. So with heredity I shall begin.
Frances Partridge (Love in Bloomsbury: Memories)
He recalls a lot of family worry about what he was going to do, and while he still sent in the occasional sketch to radio shows, he acknowledges that his confidence was extremely low. Despite his subsequent success and wealth, this propensity for a lack of confidence has continued. “I have terrible periods of lack of confidence,” he explains. “I just don’t believe I can do it and no evidence to the contrary will sway me from that view. I briefly did therapy, but after a while I realised it is just like a farmer complaining about the weather. You can’t fix the weather—you just have to get on with it.” So has that approach helped him? “Not necessarily,” he shrugs.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt)
It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of Kant's depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography, [Footnote: Physical Geography, in opposition to Political.] chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler’s, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,—even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).
Thomas de Quincey (Biographies and Biographic Sketches (Collected Writings, Vol 4))
He was asked to draw a rabbit that wouldn’t keep still as he drew it—as soon as it had paws it scratched itself luxuriously and then went hopping off around the page, nibbling at the other questions, so that he had to chase it with the pencil to finish filling in the fur. He wound up pacifying it with some hastily sketched radishes and then drawing a fence around it to keep it in line.
Lev Grossman (The Magicians (The Magicians, #1))
When we start designing something, we sketch out ideas with a big, thick Sharpie marker, instead of a ballpoint pen. Why? Pen points are too fine. They’re too high-resolution. They encourage you to worry about things that you shouldn’t worry about yet, like perfecting the shading or whether to use a dotted or dashed line. You end up focusing on things that should still be out of focus.
Jason Fried (ReWork)
Save for the accident of her low birth, Peg might have been a person of fashion; a vibrant beauty, painted by an academician in oils. Intending to make a quick end to it, I started mixing the lily green I had made especially from crushed flowers, hoping exactly to tint her eyes, rattling my tiny brush in the jar. Then I subjected her to my closest gaze. "Your eyes," I said, musingly. "They are a very unusual green; in different lights they reflect brown and blue. Do they perhaps reflect whatever light falls on them?" Peg replied that she couldn't say. "Do, please, sit very still." I looked very hard, then used my green with a wash of yellow ochre to tint the iris, and a ring of burnt umber. A pinprick of white titanium gave them startling life. I was happy with them; surely even Peg would admire her lively cat-like eyes.
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
During my stay in London I resided for a considerable time in Clapham Road in the neighbourhood of Clapham Common... One fine summer evening I was returning by the last bus 'outside' as usual, through the deserted streets of the city, which are at other times so full of life. I fell into a reverie (Träumerei), and 10, the atoms were gambolling before my eyes! Whenever, hitherto, these diminutive beings had appeared to me, they had always been in motion: but up to that time I had never been able to discern the nature of their motion. Now, however, I saw how, frequently, two smaller atoms united to form a pair: how the larger one embraced the two smaller ones: how still larger ones kept hold of three or even four of the smaller: whilst the whole kept whirling in a giddy dance. I saw how the larger ones formed a chain, dragging the smaller ones after them but only at the ends of the chain. I saw what our past master, Kopp, my highly honoured teacher and friend has depicted with such charm in his Molekular-Welt: but I saw it long before him. The cry of the conductor 'Clapham Road', awakened me from my dreaming: but I spent part of the night in putting on paper at least sketches of these dream forms. This was the origin of the 'Structural Theory'.
August Kekulé
Ned waved him off and studied the map in front of him. That sense of unease remained even after Harcroft had taken himself off. In the dim light, the pencil marks seemed child's sketches, failing to capture some basic truth of reality. The numbers still didn't cast up into a proper sum in his head. Two and two came together, but they only managed to whisper dark intimations amongst themselves, hinting at the possibility of a distant four.
Courtney Milan (Trial by Desire (Carhart, #2))
Michael, in a motel in Twentynine Palms, a gun in his hands. Not at Meredith's, painting in an explosion of new creation. Not over on Sunset, digging through the record bins, or at Launderland separating the darks and lights. Not at the Chinese market, looking at the fish with their still-bright eyes. Not at the Vista watching an old movie. Not sketching down at Echo Park. He was in a motel room in Twentynine Palms, putting a bullet in his brain.
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
What I remember most clearly is how it felt. I’d just finished painting a red fire engine-like the one I often walked past near my grandparents’ house. Suddenly the teachers, whose names I've long forgotten, closed in on my desk. They seemed unusually impressed, and my still dripping fire engine was immediately and ceremoniously pinned up. I don’t know what they might have said, but their unexpected attention and having something I’d made given a place of honor on the wall created an overwhelming and totally unfamiliar sense of pride inside me. I loved that feeling, and I wanted to feel it again and again. That desire, I suppose, was the beginning of my career. I have no idea where my fire engine painting ended up, but I never forgot the basic layout. Several decades later, it served as the inspiration for this sketch for an illustration in a book called Why the chicken crossed the Road.
David Macaulay
By December 1975, a year had passed since Mr. Harvey had packed his bags, but there was still no sign of him. For a while, until the tape dirtied or the paper tore, store owners kept a scratchy sketch of him taped to their windows. Lindsey and Samuel walked in the neighboorhood or hung out at Hal's bike shop. She wouldn't go to the diner where the other kids went. The owner of the diner was a law and order man. He had blown up the sketch of George Harvey to twice its size and taped it to the front door. He willingly gave the grisly details to any customer who asked- young girl, cornfield, found only an elbow. Finallly Lindsey asked Hal to give her a ride to the police station. She wanted to know what exactly they were doing. They bid farewell to Samuel at the bike shop and Hal gave Lindsey a ride through a wet December snow. From the start, Lindsey's youth and purpose had caught the police off guard. As more and more of them realized who she was, they gave her a wider and wider berth. Here was this girl, focused, mad, fifteen... When Lindsey and Hal waited outside the captain's office on a wooden bench, she thought she saw something across the room that she recognized. It was on Detective Fenerman's desk and it stood out in the room because of its color. What her mother had always distinguished as Chinese red, a harsher red than rose red, it was the red of classic red lipsticks, rarely found in nature. Our mother was proud of her ability fo wear Chinese red, noting each time she tied a particular scarf around her neck that it was a color even Grandma Lynn dared not wear. Hal,' she said, every muscle tense as she stared at the increasingly familiar object on Fenerman's desk. Yes.' Do you see that red cloth?' Yes.' Can you go and get it for me?' When Hal looked at her, she said: 'I think it's my mother's.' As Hal stood to retrieve it, Len entered the squad room from behind where Lindsey sat. He tapped her on the shoulder just as he realized what Hal was doing. Lindsey and Detective Ferman stared at each other. Why do you have my mother's scarf?' He stumbled. 'She might have left it in my car one day.' Lindsey stood and faced him. She was clear-eyed and driving fast towards the worst news yet. 'What was she doing in your car?' Hello, Hal,' Len said. Hal held the scarf in his head. Lindsey grabbed it away, her voice growing angry. 'Why do you have m mother's scarf?' And though Len was the detective, Hal saw it first- it arched over her like a rainbow- Prismacolor understanding. The way it happened in algebra class or English when my sister was the first person to figure out the sum of x or point out the double entendres to her peers. Hal put his hand on Lindsey's shoulder to guide her. 'We should go,' he said. And later she cried out her disbelief to Samuel in the backroom of the bike shop.
Alice Sebold
For certainly when I saw the couple get into the taxi-cab the mind felt as if, after being divided, it had come together again in natural fusion. The obvious reason would be that it's natural for the sexes to co-operate. One has a profound, if irrational, instinct in favour of the theory that the union of man and woman makes for the greatest satisfaction, the most complete happiness. But the sight of the two people getting into the taxi and the satisfaction it gave me made me also ask whether there are two sexes in the mind corresponding to the two sexes in the body, and whether they also require to be united in order to get complete satisfaction and happiness? And I went on amateurishly to sketch a plan of the soul so that in each of us two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man's brain the man predominates over the woman, and in the woman's brain the woman predominates over the man. The normal and comfortabe state of being is that when the two live in harmony together, spiritually co-operating. If one is a man, still the woman part of his brain must have effect; and a woman also must have intercourse with the man in her. Coleridge perhaps meant this when he said that a great mind is androgynous. It is when this fusion takes place that the mind is fully fertilized and uses all its faculties. Perhaps a mind that is purely masculine cannot create, any more than a mind that is purely feminine.
Virginia Woolf
Frank standing on a stool on his wondrously functional pre-Libya legs, the bullet that would sever his spinal cord still twenty-five years away but already approaching: a woman giving birth to a child who will someday pull the trigger on a gun, a designer sketching the weapon or its precursor, a dictator making a decision that will spark in the fullness of time into the conflagration that Frank will go overseas to cover for Reuters, the pieces of a pattern drifting closer together.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest. All that is set forth in books, all that seems so terribly vital and significant, is but an iota of that from which it stems and which it is within everyone’s power to tap. Our whole theory of education is based on the absurd notion that we must learn to swim on land before tackling the water. It applies to the pursuit of the arts as well as to the pursuit of knowledge. Men are still being taught to create by studying other men’s works or by making plans and sketches never intended to materialize. The art of writing is taught in the classroom instead of in the thick of life. Students are still being handed models which are supposed to fit all temperaments, all kinds of intelligence. No wonder we produce better engineers than writers, better industrial experts than painters. My encounters with books I regard very much as my encounters with other phenomena of life or thought. All encounters are configurate, not isolate. In this sense, and in this sense only, books are as much a part of life as trees, stars or dung. I have no reverence for them per se. Nor do I put authors in any special, privileged category. They are like other men, no better, no worse. They exploit the powers given them, just as any other order of human being. If I defend them now and then — as a class — it is because I believe that, in our society at least, they have never achieved the status and the consideration they merit. The great ones, especially, have almost always been treated as scapegoats.
Henry Miller (The Books in My Life)
Exciting news,” she said. “Today we’re going to study three different types of chemical bonds: ionic, covalent, and hydrogen. Why learn about bonds? Because when you do you will grasp the very foundation of life. Plus, your cakes will rise.” From homes all over Southern California, women pulled out paper and pencils. “Ionic is the ‘opposites attract’ chemical bond,” Elizabeth explained as she emerged from behind the counter and began to sketch on an easel. “For instance, let’s say you wrote your PhD thesis on free market economics, but your husband rotates tires for a living. You love each other, but he’s probably not interested in hearing about the invisible hand. And who can blame him, because you know the invisible hand is libertarian garbage.” She looked out at the audience as various people scribbled notes, several of which read “Invisible hand: libertarian garbage.” “The point is, you and your husband are completely different and yet you still have a strong connection. That’s fine. It’s also ionic.” She paused, lifting the sheet of paper over the top of the easel to reveal a fresh page of newsprint.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
The sketchbook was still open on the table and I rushed to it. It was the one that Edward used over the summer of 1862. I had sat beside him while he made those very lines on that piece of cotton paper: studies for the painting he had planned, something he had been thinking about for years. On the following pages, I knew, were his sketches of the clearing in the woods and the fairy mound and a stone croft by the river, and at the bottom corner of one, in loose scratched lines, the heart he had penned, and the ship on the wide sea, as we spoke excitedly of our plans.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
William Shakespeare. She knew him. They were,the three of them-Lucinda,Daniel,and Shakespeare-friends. There had been a summer afternoon when Daniel had taken Lucinda to visit Shakespeare at his home in Stratford. Toward sunset,they'd sat in the library,and while Daniel worked on his sketches at the window, Will had asked her question after question-all the while taking furious notes-about when she'd first met Daniel, how she felt about him, whether she thought she could one day fall in love. Aside from Daniel,Shakespeare was the only one who knew the secret of Lucinda's indentity-her gender-and the love the players shared offstage. In exchange for his discretion,Lucinda was keeping the secret that Shakespeare was present that night at the Globe. Everyone else in the company assumed that he was in Stratford, that he'd handed over the reins of the theater to Master Fletcher.Instead,Will appeared incognito to see the play's opening night. When she returned to his side,Shakespeare gazed deep into Lucinda's eyes. "You've changed." "I-no,I'm still"-she felt the soft brocade around her shoulders. "Yes, I found the cloak." "The cloak,is it?" He smiled at her, winked. "It suits you.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
For a long while I could find no game; finally, a landrail flew out of an extensive oak thicket which was completely overgrown with wormwood. I fired: the bird turned over in the air and fell. Hearing the shot, Kasyan quickly covered his face with his hand and remained stock-still until I had reloaded my gun and picked up the shot bird. Just as I was preparing to move farther on, he came up to the place where the bird had fallen, bent down to the grass which had been sprinkled with several drops of blood, gave a shake of the head and looked at me in fright. Afterwards I heard him whispering: ‘A sin! ’Tis a sin, it is, a sin!
Ivan Turgenev (Sketches from a Hunter's Album: The Complete Edition (Classics))
PROCRASTINATION The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow ... Tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the day after tomorrow, Maybe I could do it then; but not today ... No, nothing today; today I can’t. The confused persistence of my objective subjectivity, The sleep of my real life, intercalated, Anticipated, infinite weariness— I’m worlds too weary to catch a trolley— That kind of soul ... Only the day after tomorrow ... Today I want to prepare, I want to prepare myself for tomorrow, when I’ll think about the next day ... That’d be decisive. I’ve already got the plans sketched out, but no, today I’m not making any plans ... Tomorrow’s the day for plans. Tomorrow I’ll sit down at my desk to conquer the world; But I’ll only conquer the world the day after tomorrow ... I feel like crying, I suddenly feel like crying a lot, inside ... That’s all you’re getting today, it’s a secret, I’m not talking. Only the day after tomorrow ... When I was a kid the Sunday circus diverted me every week. Today all that diverts me is the Sunday circus from all the weeks of my childhood ... The day after tomorrow I’ll be someone else, My life will triumph, All my real qualities—intelligent, well-read, practical— Will be gathered together in a public notice ... But the public notice will go up tomorrow ... Today I want to sleep, I’ll make a fair copy tomorrow ... For today, what show will repeat my childhood to me? Even if I buy tickets tomorrow, The show would still really be the day after tomorrow ... Not before ... The day after tomorrow I’ll have the public pose I will have practiced tomorrow. The day after tomorrow I’ll finally be what I could never be today. Only the day after tomorrow ... I’m sleepy as a stray dog's chill. I’m really sleepy. Tomorrow I’ll tell you everything, or the day after tomorrow ... Yes, maybe only the day after tomorrow ... By and by ... Yes, the old by and by ...
Fernando Pessoa
Truth, says instrumentalism, is what works out, that which does what you expect it to do. The judgment is true when you can "bank" on it and not be disappointed. If, when you predict, or when you follow the lead of your idea or plan, it brings you to the ends sought for in the beginning, your judgment is true. It does not consist in agreement of ideas, or the agreement of ideas with an outside reality; neither is it an eternal something which always is, but it is a name given to ways of thinking which get the thinker where he started. As a railroad ticket is a "true" one when it lands the passenger at the station he sought, so is an idea "true," not when it agrees with something outside, but when it gets the thinker successfully to the end of his intellectual journey. Truth, reality, ideas and judgments are not things that stand out eternally "there," whether in the skies above or in the earth beneath; but they are names used to characterize certain vital stages in a process which is ever going on, the process of creation, of evolution. In that process we may speak of reality, this being valuable for our purposes; again, we may speak of truth; later, of ideas; and still again, of judgments; but because we talk about them we should not delude ourselves into thinking we can handle them as something eternally existing as we handle a specimen under the glass. Such a conception of truth and reality, the instrumentalist believes, is in harmony with the general nature of progress. He fails to see how progress, genuine creation, can occur on any other theory on theories of finality, fixity, and authority; but he believes that the idea of creation which we have sketched here gives man a vote in the affairs of the universe, renders him a citizen of the world to aid in the creation of valuable objects in the nature of institutions and principles, encourages him to attempt things "unattempted yet in prose or rhyme," inspires him to the creation of "more stately mansions," and to the forsaking of his "low vaulted past." He believes that the days of authority are over, whether in religion, in rulership, in science, or in philosophy; and he offers this dynamic universe as a challenge to the volition and intelligence of man, a universe to be won or lost at man’s option, a universe not to fall down before and worship as the slave before his master, the subject before his king, the scientist before his principle, the philosopher before his system, but a universe to be controlled, directed, and recreated by man’s intelligence.
Holly Estil Cunningham (An Introduction to Philosophy)
You lie still and you go on watching: words cannot express the delight and quiet, and how sweet is the feeling that creeps over your heart. You go on watching, and that deep, clear azure brings a smile to your lips as innocent as the azure itself, as innocent as the clouds passing across it, and as if in company with them there passes through your mind a slow cavalcade of happy recollections, and it seems to you that all the while your gaze is travelling farther and farther away and drawing all of you with it into that calm, shining infinity, making it impossible for you to tear yourself away from those distant heights, from those distant depths …
Ivan Turgenev (Sketches from a Hunter's Album: The Complete Edition (Classics))
Once, he had hugged her. At the time, she had thought it didn’t help, but she’d been wrong. So she held on now, and kept holding on, though he became even less recognizable as Ronan Lynch for a little bit. Then, after a while, the scream gave way to quiet. She could feel his body quivering. Like a pencil sketch, it conveyed misery with the smallest of gestures. And then there was nothing at all, just stillness. Finally, she realized he was hugging her, too, tightly. There was a strange sort of magic to being a person holding another person after not being held by someone for a long time. There was another strange sort of magic to understanding you’d been using words and silence the wrong way for a long time.
Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy, #3))
Spiritually, too, he passed for a typical Dorimarite; though, indeed, it is never safe to classify the souls of one’s neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwittingly giving you for a portrait — a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich may be the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the “values,” with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candlelight, when all the house is still.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
That awkward moment when you realize you’ve lived your entire life inside of a picture.” ~Peregrine Storke~ It was raining when my mother pulled up to the simple two-level brick home. Drops of water pounded on the roof of her beat up red Toyota, the sound both ominous and comfortable, before tunneling down her windows in rivers and tiny tributaries. The damp infiltrated the interior, soaking my skin despite the vehicle surrounding us. Rain was never simple this time of year in Louisiana. It always came followed by lightning, thunder, and a myriad of warnings. Leaves blew against the windshield, still full and green from summer, and I watched as one of them stuck against the glass, the leaf’s veins prominent. I wanted to sketch the way it looked now, alone and surrounded by tears, but there was no time. “Don’t forget to call me when you get there,” Mom murmured. Her knuckles were white against the steering wheel, her lips pinched. She wouldn’t cry. Mom seldom cried, she
R.K. Ryals (The Story of Awkward)
Once, during one of my lessons with Gervais, I was sketching Michelangelo’s David, from a plate in a book. Only, I could not capture the muscles of the forearm at all.” “Him again?” He heaved a bored sigh as he turned another page. “Gervais stood up”-Sophia pushed back from the table and rose to her feet-“wrenched off his coat, and rolled his shirtsleeve up to the elbow.” She placed her hand flat on the table, directly in front of Gray. “He took my hand and dragged my fingers over every slope and sinew of his arm.” As she spoke, Sophia traced the tendons of her planted wrist with her free hand. When she skimmed her fingers up to the hollow of her elbow, she heard his breath catch. Good. More progress. “And after touching them,” she said, “I had no trouble sketching those muscles at all.” Gray snapped his book shut, tossed it aside, and stared up at her in challenge. The dark intensity in his eyes gave Sophia a heartbeat’s pause. Slowly, she stretched one hand toward his face. “Now…hold perfectly still.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
He liked how brave she was—that dauntless courage she’d had when she faced off against Gargoyle at the trials. The lack of hesitation to chase after Hawthorn or take out the Detonator. The bravery that veered just a bit toward recklessness. Sometimes he wished he could be more like her, always so confident in her own motivations that she didn’t mind bending the rules from time to time. That’s how Adrian felt when he was the Sentinel. His conviction that he knew what was right gave him the courage to act, even when he would have hesitated as Adrian or Sketch. But Nova never hesitated. Her compass never seemed to falter. He liked that she defied the rules of their society—refusing to bend for the Council, when so many others would have been falling over themselves to impress them. Refusing to apologize for their decision to go after the Librarian, despite the protocols, because she believed wholeheartedly that they made the right choice with the options they’d been given. He liked that she’d destroyed him at every one of those carnival games. He liked that she hadn’t flinched when he brought a dinosaur to life in the palm of her hand. He liked that she’d raced into the quarantine to help Max, despite having no clue what she was going to do when she got there, only that she had to do something. He liked that she showed compassion for Max, sometimes even indignation for the way his ability was being used—but never pity. He even liked the way she feigned enthusiasm for things like the Sidekick Olympics, when it was clear she would have rather been doing just about anything else. But no matter how long the growing list of things that attracted him to Nova McLain had become, he still found her feelings toward him to be a mystery, with an annoying shortage of evidence to support the theory that maybe, just maybe, she sort of liked him too. A smile here. A blush there. It was an infuriatingly short list. He was probably reading into things. It didn’t matter, he told himself again and again. He couldn’t risk getting too close to anyone right now.
Marissa Meyer (Archenemies (Renegades #2))
The roof. We order a bunch of food, grab some blankets, and head up to the roof for a picnic. A daylong picnic in the flower garden that tinkles with wind chimes. We eat. We lie in the sun. I snap off hanging vines and use my newfound knowledge from training to practice knots and weave nets. Peeta sketches me. We make up a game with the force field that surrounds the roof — one of us throws an apple into it and the other person has to catch it. No one bothers us. By late afternoon, I lie with my head on Peeta’s lap, making a crown of flowers while he fiddles with my hair, claiming he’s practicing his knots. After a while, his hands go still. “What?” I ask. “I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever,” he says. Usually this sort of comment, the kind that hints of his undying love for me, makes me feel guilty and awful. But I feel so warm and relaxed and beyond worrying about a future I’ll never have, I just let the word slip out. “Okay.” I can hear the smile in his voice. “Then you’ll allow it?
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
You've circled the globe to find yourself in the Globe,milady." Bill sketched a little bow. "The Globe Theatre?" Luce ducked as the woman in front of her discarded a gnawed-on turkey leg by tossing it over her shoulder. "You mean, like, Shakespeare?" "Well, he claims to be retired. You know those artist types. So moody." Bill swooped down near the ground, tugging at the hem of her dress and humming to himself. "Othello happened here," Luce said, taking a moment to let it all sink in. "The Tempest. Romeo and Juliet. We're practically standing in the center of all the greatest love stories ever written." "Actually,you're standing in walnut shells." "Why do you have to be so glib about everything? This is amazing!" "Sorry,I didn't realize we'd need a moment of bardolatry." His words came out lisped because of the needle clipped between his jagged teeth. "Now stand still." "Ouch!" Luce yelped as he jabbed sharply into her kneecap. "What are you doing?" "Un-Anachronizing you.These folks'll pay good money for a freak show, but they're expecting it to stay onstage.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
The page begins with the person’s picture. A photo if we can find it. If not, a sketch or painting by Peeta. Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim’s cheek. My father’s laugh. Peeta’s father with the cookies. The color of Finnick’s eyes. What Cinna could do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like a bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count. Haymitch finally joins us, contributing twenty-three years of tributes he was forced to mentor. Additions become smaller. An old memory that surfaces. A late primrose preserved between the pages. Strange bits of happiness, like the photo of Finnick and Annie’s newborn son. We learn to keep busy again. Peeta bakes. I hunt. Haymitch drinks until the liquor runs out, and then raises geese until the next train arrives. Fortunately, the geese can take pretty good care of themselves. We’re not alone. A few hundred others return because, whatever has happened, this is our home. With the mines closed, they plow the ashes into the earth and plant food. Machines from the Capitol break ground for a new factory where we will make medicines. Although no one seeds it, the Meadow turns green again. Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games: Four Book Collection (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes))
For Albertine’s death to have suppressed my suffering, the mortal blow would have had to kill her not only in Touraine, but within me. There, she had never been more alive. To enter inside us, people have been obliged to take on the form and to fit into the framework of time; appearing to us only in successive instants, they have never managed to reveal to us more than one aspect, print more than a single photograph of themselves at a time. This is no doubt a great weakness in human beings, to consist in a simple collection of moments; yet a great strength too; they depend on memory, and our memory of a moment is not informed of everything that has happened since, the moment which it registered still lives on and, with it, the person whose form was sketched within it. And then this fragmentation not only makes the dead person live on, it multiplies her forms. In order to console myself, I would have had to forget not one but innumerable Albertines. When I had succeeded in accepting the grief of having lost one of them, I would have to begin again with another, with a hundred others.
Marcel Proust (The Fugitive: In Search of Lost Time, Volume 6 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition))
Look, nobody’s parents are perfect,” he says finally. “I mean, Niko’s parents let him transition when he was like nine, and they’ve always been super cool about it, but his mom still won’t let him tell his grandpa. And she’s constantly bugging him to move back to Long Island because she wants him to be closer to the family, but he likes it in the city, and they fight about it all the time.” “I didn’t know that.” “Yeah, but at least she’s trying, you know? People like my parents, though, like your mom’s parents—that’s another level. I mean, I wanted to go to art school, and my parents were like, great, you can sketch buildings, and then you can take over the firm one day, and no, we’re not paying for therapy. And when I couldn’t do what they wanted, that was just it. They cut off the money and told me not to come home. They care about how it looks. They care about what they can circle jerk about with their idiot fucking Ivy League friends. But the minute you need something—like, actually need something—they’ll let you know just how much of a disappointment you are for asking.” August has never thought of it quite that way.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
When I finally calmed down, I saw how disappointed he was and how bad he felt. I decided to take a deep breath and try to think this thing through. “Maybe it’s not that bad,” I said. (I think I was trying to cheer myself up as much as I was trying to console Chip.) “If we fix up the interior and just get it to the point where we can get it onto the water, at least maybe then we can turn around, sell it, and get our money back.” Over the course of the next hour or so, I really started to come around. I took another walk through the boat and started to picture how we could make it livable--maybe even kind of cool. After all, we’d conquered worse. We tore a few things apart right then and there, and I grabbed some paper and sketched out a new layout for the tiny kitchen. I talked to him about potentially finishing an accent wall with shiplap--a kind of rough-textured pine paneling that fans of our show now know all too well. “Shiplap?” Chip laughed. “That seems a little ironic to use on a ship, doesn’t it?” “Ha-ha,” I replied. I was still not in the mood for his jokes, but this is how Chip backs me off the ledge--with his humor.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
No, I didn't. But I was aware that I was embarked on an epic. In the case of the Bradstreet poem, I didn't know. The situation with that poem was this. I invented the stanza in '48 and wrote the first stanza and the first three lines of the second stanza, and then I stuck. I had in mind a poem roughly the same length as another of mine, “The Statue”—about seven or eight stanzas of eight lines each. Then I stuck. I read and read and read and thought and collected notes and sketched for five years until, although I was still in the second stanza, I had a mountain of notes and draftings—no whole stanzas, but passages as long as five lines. The whole poem was written in about two months, after which I was a ruin for two years. When I finally got going, I had this incredible mass of stuff and a very good idea of the shape of the poem, with the exception of one crucial point, which was this. I'll tell you in a minute why and how I got going. The great exception was this: It did not occur to me to have a dialogue between them—to insert bodily Henry into the poem . . . Me, to insert me, in my own person, John Berryman, I, into the poem . . .
John Berryman
...the letters begin to cross vast spaces in slow sailing ships and everything becomes still more protracted and verbose, and there seems no end to the space and the leisure of those early nineteenth century days, and faiths are lost and the life of Hedley Vicars revives them; aunts catch cold but recover; cousins marry; there is the Irish famine and the Indian Mutiny, and both sisters remain, to their great, but silent grief, for in those days there were things that women hid like pearls in their breasts, without children to come after them. Louisa, dumped down in Ireland with Lord Waterford at the hunt all day, was often very lonely; but she stuck to her post, visited the poor, spoke words of comfort (‘I am sorry indeed to hear of Anthony Thompson's loss of mind, or rather of memory; if, however, he can understand sufficiently to trust solely in our Saviour, he has enough’) and sketched and sketched. Thousands of notebooks were filled with pen and ink drawings of an evening, and then the carpenter stretched sheets for her and she designed frescoes for schoolrooms, had live sheep into her bedroom, draped gamekeepers in blankets, painted Holy Families in abundance, until the great Watts exclaimed that here was Titian's peer and Raphael's master! At that Lady Waterford laughed (she had a generous, benignant sense of humour); and said that she was nothing but a sketcher; had scarcely had a lesson in her life—witness her angel's wings, scandalously unfinished. Moreover, there was her father's house for ever falling into the sea; she must shore it up; must entertain her friends; must fill her days with all sorts of charities, till her Lord came home from hunting, and then, at midnight often, she would sketch him with his knightly face half hidden in a bowl of soup, sitting with her notebook under a lamp beside him. Off he would ride again, stately as a crusader, to hunt the fox, and she would wave to him and think, each time, what if this should be the last? And so it was one morning. His horse stumbled. He was killed. She knew it before they told her, and never could Sir John Leslie forget, when he ran down-stairs the day they buried him, the beauty of the great lady standing by the window to see the hearse depart, nor, when he came back again, how the curtain, heavy, Mid-Victorian, plush perhaps, was all crushed together where she had grasped it in her agony.
Virginia Woolf
You are like me, you will die too, but not today: you, incommensurate, therefore the hours shine: if I say to you “To you I say,” you have not been set to music, or broadcast live on the ghost radio, may never be an oil painting or Old Master’s charcoal sketch: you are a concordance of person, number, voice, and place, strawberries spread through your name as if it were budding shrubs, how you remind me of some spring, the waters as cool and clear (late rain clings to your leaves, shaken by light wind), which is where you occur in grassy moonlight: and you are a lily, an aster, white trillium or viburnum, by all rights mine, white star in the meadow sky, the snow still arriving from its earthwards journeys, here where there is no snow (I dreamed the snow was you, when there was snow), you are my right, have come to be my night (your body takes on the dimensions of sleep, the shape of sleep becomes you): and you fall from the sky with several flowers, words spill from your mouth in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt-sweet (trees and seas have flown away, I call it loving you): home is nowhere, therefore you, a kind of dwell and welcome, song after all, and free of any eden we can name.
Reginald Shepherd
Ronan Lynch was becoming a jagged, shaggy horror of a thing. She could feel the same wordless dread that the Lace invoked rising in her. Hennessy hugged him. She didn't even know where the impulse came from. She was not a sentimental hugger. She had not been hugged as a child, unless the hug was being emotionally weaponized for later. And Ronan Lynch did not seem like the sort of person who would care about getting a hug. Giving someone care and receiving it were two unrelated actions. At first it did not seem to do anything. Ronan kept screaming. The hug had not made him appear more human. He seemed more like Bryde than ever--and not Bryde when he was his most man-shaped. He just seemed like a dream entity that hated everything. "Ronan Lynch, you asshole," Hennessy said. Once, he'd hugged her. At the time, she had thought it didn't help, but she'd been wrong. So she held on now, and kept holding on, though he became even less recognizable as Ronan Lynch for a little bit. Then, after a while, the scream gave way to quiet. She could feel his body quivering. Like a pencil sketch, it conveyed misery with the smallest of gestures. And then there was nothing at all, just stillness. Finally, she realized he was hugging her, too, tightly. There was a strange sort of magic to being a person holding another person after not being held by someone for a long time. There was another strange sort of magic to understand you'd been using words and silence the wrong way for a long time.
Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy, #3))
When I finally calmed down, I saw how disappointed he was and how bad he felt. I decided to take a deep breath and try to think this thing through. “Maybe it’s not that bad,” I said. (I think I was trying to cheer myself up as much as I was trying to console Chip.) “If we fix up the interior and just get it to the point where we can get it onto the water, at least maybe then we can turn around, sell it, and get our money back.” Over the course of the next hour or so, I really started to come around. I took another walk through the boat and started to picture how we could make it livable--maybe even kind of cool. After all, we’d conquered worse. We tore a few things apart right then and there, and I grabbed some paper and sketched out a new layout for the tiny kitchen. I talked to him about potentially finishing an accent wall with shiplap--a kind of rough-textured pine paneling that fans of our show now know all too well. “Shiplap?” Chip laughed. “That seems a little ironic to use on a ship, doesn’t it?” “Ha-ha,” I replied. I was still not in the mood for his jokes, but this is how Chip backs me off the ledge--with his humor. Then I asked him to help me lift something on the deck, and he said, “Aye, aye, matey!” in his best pirate voice, and slowly but surely I came around. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but by the end of that afternoon I was actually a little bit excited about taking on such a big challenge. Chip was still deflated that he’d allowed himself to get duped, but he put his arm around me as we started walking back to the truck. I put my head on his shoulder. And the camera captured the whole thing--just an average, roller-coaster afternoon in the lives of Chip and Joanna Gaines. The head cameraman came jogging over to us before we drove away. Chip rolled down his window and said sarcastically, “How’s that for reality TV?” We were both feeling embarrassed that this is how we had spent our last day of trying to get this stinkin’ television show. “Well,” the guy said, breaking into a great big smile, “if I do my job, you two just landed yourself a reality TV show.” What? We were floored. We couldn’t believe it. How was that a show? But lo and behold, he was right. That rotten houseboat turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
Ionic is the ‘opposites attract’ chemical bond,” Elizabeth explained as she emerged from behind the counter and began to sketch on an easel. “For instance, let’s say you wrote your PhD thesis on free market economics, but your husband rotates tires for a living. You love each other, but he’s probably not interested in hearing about the invisible hand. And who can blame him, because you know the invisible hand is libertarian garbage.” She looked out at the audience as various people scribbled notes, several of which read “Invisible hand: libertarian garbage.” “The point is, you and your husband are completely different and yet you still have a strong connection. That’s fine. It’s also ionic.” She paused, lifting the sheet of paper over the top of the easel to reveal a fresh page of newsprint. “Or perhaps your marriage is more of a covalent bond,” she said, sketching a new structural formula. “And if so, lucky you, because that means you both have strengths that, when combined, create something even better. For example, when hydrogen and oxygen combine, what do we get? Water—or H2O as it’s more commonly known. In many respects, the covalent bond is not unlike a party—one that’s made better thanks to the pie you made and the wine he brought. Unless you don’t like parties—I don’t—in which case you could also think of the covalent bond as a small European country, say Switzerland. Alps, she quickly wrote on the easel, + a Strong Economy = Everybody Wants to Live There. In a living room in La Jolla, California, three children fought over a toy dump truck, its broken axle lying directly adjacent to a skyscraper of ironing that threatened to topple a small woman, her hair in curlers, a small pad of paper in her hands. Switzerland, she wrote. Move. “That brings us to the third bond,” Elizabeth said, pointing at another set of molecules, “the hydrogen bond—the most fragile, delicate bond of all. I call this the ‘love at first sight’ bond because both parties are drawn to each other based solely on visual information: you like his smile, he likes your hair. But then you talk and discover he’s a closet Nazi and thinks women complain too much. Poof. Just like that the delicate bond is broken. That’s the hydrogen bond for you, ladies—a chemical reminder that if things seem too good to be true, they probably are.” She walked
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
Another day, sheltering beneath trees in a rain-shower, I uncovered a doorway long obliterated by undergrowth. After pulling shrubbery aside, I stepped inside a long deserted summerhouse, fronted by cracked marble columns and ironwork, the rear extending deep into the hillside. Though still filthy, even after I cleared away the tenacious vines, the windowpanes gave sufficient greenish light for me to sketch indoors. In a cobwebbed corner stood a gardener's burner that must once have coaxed oranges or other delicate shrubs to life. With that alight, I found a chair and sat with my shawl muffled around me as I sketched. The marble statues that lined the walls were fine copies of the Greek masters, with muscular limbs and serene faces, though sadly disfigured with a blueish-green patina. As an exercise, I copied a figure of a handsome boy, admiring the sculptor's rendering of tensed muscle, the body frozen just an instant before extending in action. My mind drifted to Michael, the uncertainty hanging over us, my urges to please him, my need to move beyond this stupid impasse. As I sketched the statue's blind eyes I half-heartedly followed his line of sight. I stood and looked more closely at the statue. "What are you looking at?" I said out loud. A green stain blotted the boy's cheek, ugly but also strangely beautiful, for the color was a peacock's viridian. For the first time I noticed the description, "HARPOCRATES- SILENCE", engraved on the pediment, and had a vague recollection of a Roman boy-god who personified that virtue. He held one index finger raised coyly to his lips, while his other hand pointed towards a low arch in the wall. I paced over to the spot at which he pointed. The niche was filled with gardener's trellis that I removed with rising excitement. Behind stood an oak doorway set low in the wall. As I lifted the latch, it opened onto a blast of chilly darkness. Lighting the stub of a candle at the stove, I propped the door open and ventured inside. At once I knew this was no gardeners' store, but another tunnel burrowing into the hillside. Setting forth with the excitement of new discovery, my footsteps rang out and my breath fogged before me in clouds. The place had a mossy, mineral smell, and save for the dripping of water, was silent. Though at first the tunnel ran straight, it soon descended an incline, and my feet splashed into muddy puddles. Who, I wondered, had last passed through that door?
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
The Poetry that Searches Poetry that paints a portrait in words, Poetry that spills the bottled emotions, Gives life to the feelings deep inside, Breaks through all the times wept, To sweep you in a whirling ecstatic delight. The chiseled marble of language, The paint spattered canvas, Where colors flow through words, Where emotions roll on a canvas, And it all begins with you. The canvas that portrays the trembling you, Through the feelings that splash, Through the words that spatter, All over the awaiting canvas. Such is the painting sketched with passion, Colored with the heart's unleashed emotions. The poetry that reads your trembling heart, The poetry that feeds the seed of your dreams, That poetry that reveals light within rain, Takes you to a place where beauty lies in stain. The poetry that whispers- "May you find the stars, in a night so dark, May you find the moon, so rich with silver, May you sip the madness and delight In a night berserk with a wailing agony". Such words that arise from spilling emotions, So recklessly you fall, in love with life again. So, you rise shedding your fears, To chase after your dreams, As you hear thunder in the rain, That carries your pain, Through the painting of words, colored with courage, Splashed with ferocity, amidst the lost battles. Such is the richest color splash in words, Laid down on papers, that stayed so empty, For ages and ages. At times, you may feel lost, Wandering homeless in the woods, But poetry that you write, To drink the moonlight and madness, Poetry that you spill on a canvas with words, Calls you to fall, for life again. The words that evoke the intense emotions, The painting that gives the richest revelation, The insight that deepens in a light so streaming, Is the poetry that reveals the truth and beauty, In a form so elemental, in a way so searching, For a beauty so emotive, Which trembles, With the poetry's deepest digging. The words that take your eyes to sleep, The poetry that stills your raging feelings, Is the portrait of words that carries you, In emotions bottled within, held so deep, For an era so long. Forgotten they seemed, yet they arose, With the word's deepest calling, To the soul sleeping inside. The poetry that traces your emotions with words, Is a poetry that traces your soul with its lips, To speak a language that your heart understands. The Ecstatic Dance of Soul Copyright 2020 Jayita Bhattacharjee
Jayita Bhattacharjee
Excerpt from Storm’s Eye by Dean Gray With a final drag and drop, Jordan Rayne sent his latest creation winging its way toward the publisher. He looked up, squinted at that little clock in the right hand corner of his monitor, and removed his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose. His cover art was finished and shipped, just in time for lunch. He sighed and stood, rolling his shoulders and bending side to side, his back cracking in protest as the muscles loosened after having been hunched over the screen for so long. Sam raised his head, tilting it enquiringly at him, and Jordan laughed. “Yeah, I know what you want, some lunch and a nice long walk along the beach, hmm?” Jordan smiled fondly at the furry ball of energy he’d saved from certain death. With his mom’s recent death it was just Sam and him in the house. Sometimes he wondered what kept him here, now that the last thread tethering him to the island was severed. Sam limped over and nuzzled at his hand. When Jordan had first found him out on the main road, hurt and bleeding, he hadn’t been sure the pooch would make it. Taylor, his best friend and the local vet, had done what she could. At the time, Jordan simply didn’t have the deep pockets for the fancy surgery needed to mend Sam’s leg perfectly, he could barely afford the drugs to keep his mom in treatment. So they’d patched him up as well as they could, Taylor extending herself further than he could ever repay, and hoped for the best. The dog had made a startling recovery, urged on by plenty of rest and good food and lots of love, and had flourished, the slight limp now barely noticeable. Jordan’s conscience still twinged as he watched Sam limp over to his dish, but he had barely been keeping things together at the time. He had done the best he could. He’d done his best to find Sam’s real owners as well, papering downtown Bar Harbor with a hand-drawn sketch of the dog, but to no avail. The only thing it had prompted was one kind soul wanting to buy the illustration. But no one had ever come forward to claim the “goldendoodle,” which Taylor had told him was a golden retriever/standard poodle cross. Who had a dog breed like that anyway? Summer people! Jordan shook his head, grinning at the dog’s foolish antics, weaving in and around his legs like he was still a little pup instead of the fifty-pound fuzzball he actually was now. So without meaning to at all, Sam had drifted into Jordan’s life and stayed, a loyal, faithful companion.
Dean Gray
Outside the snapdragons, cords of light. Today is easy as weeds & winds & early. Green hills shift green. Cardinals peck at feeders—an air seed salted. A power line across the road blows blue bolts. Crickets make crickets in the grass. We are made & remade together. An ant circles the sugar cube. Our shadow’s a blown sail running blue over cracked tiles. Cool glistening pours from the tap, even on the edges. A red wire, a live red wire, a temperature. Time, in balanced soil, grows inside the snapdragons. In the sizzling cast iron, a cut skin, a sunny side runs yellow across the pan. Silver pots throw a blue shadow across the range. We must carry this the length of our lives. Tall stones lining the garden flower at once. Tin stars burst bold & celestial from the fridge; blue applause. Morning winds crash the columbines; the turf nods. Two reeling petal-whorls gleam & break. Cartoon sheep are wool & want. Happy birthday oak; perfect in another ring. Branch shadows fall across the window in perfect accident without weight. Orange sponge a thousand suds to a squeeze, know your water. School bus, may you never rust, always catching scraps of children’s laughter. Add a few phrases to the sunrise, and the pinks pop. Garlic, ginger, and mangoes hang in tiers in a cradle of red wire. That paw at the door is a soft complaint. Corolla of petals, lean a little toward the light. Everything the worms do for the hills is a secret & enough. Floating sheep turn to wonder. Cracking typewriter, send forth your fire. Watched too long, tin stars throw a tantrum. In the closet in the dust the untouched accordion grows unclean along the white bone of keys. Wrapped in a branch, a canvas balloon, a piece of punctuation signaling the end. Holy honeysuckle, stand in your favorite position, beside the sandbox. The stripes on the couch are running out of color. Perfect in their polished silver, knives in the drawer are still asleep. A May of buzz, a stinger of hot honey, a drip of candy building inside a hive & picking up the pace. Sweetness completes each cell. In the fridge, the juice of a plucked pear. In another month, another set of moths. A mosquito is a moment. Sketched sheep are rather invincible, a destiny trimmed with flouncy ribbon. A basset hound, a paw flick bitching at black fleas. Tonight, maybe we could circle the floodwaters, find some perfect stones to skip across the light or we can float in the swimming pool on our backs—the stars shooting cells of light at each other (cosmic tag)—and watch this little opera, faults & all.
Kevin Phan (How to Be Better by Being Worse)
If a season like the Great Rebellion ever came to him again, he feared, it could never be in that same personal, random array of picaresque acts he was to recall and celebrate in later years at best furious and nostalgic; but rather with a logic that chilled the comfortable perversity of the heart, that substituted capability for character, deliberate scheme for political epiphany (so incomparably African); and for Sarah, the sjambok, the dances of death between Warmbad and Keetmanshoop, the taut haunches of his Firelily, the black corpse impaled on a thorn tree in a river swollen with sudden rain, for these the dearest canvases in his soul's gallery, it was to substitute the bleak, abstracted and for him rather meaningless hanging on which he now turned his back, but which was to backdrop his retreat until he reached the Other Wall, the engineering design for a world he knew with numb leeriness nothing could now keep from becoming reality, a world whose full despair he, at the vantage of eighteen years later, couldn't even find adequate parables for, but a design whose first fumbling sketches he thought must have been done the year after Jacob Marengo died, on that terrible coast, where the beach between Luderitzbucht and the cemetery was actually littered each morning with a score of identical female corpses, an agglomeration no more substantial-looking than seaweed against the unhealthy yellow sand; where the soul's passage was more a mass migration across that choppy fetch of Atlantic the wind never left alone, from an island of low cloud, like an anchored prison ship, to simple integration with the unimaginable mass of their continent; where the single line of track still edged toward a Keetmanshoop that could in no conceivable iconology be any part of the Kingdom of Death; where, finally, humanity was reduced, out of a necessity which in his loonier moments he could almost believe was only Deutsch-Sudwestafrika's (actually he knew better), out of a confrontation the young of one's contemporaries, God help them, had yet to make, humanity was reduced to a nervous, disquieted, forever inadequate but indissoluble Popular Front against deceptively unpolitical and apparently minor enemies, enemies that would be with him to the grave: a sun with no shape, a beach alien as the moon's antarctic, restless concubines in barbed wire, salt mists, alkaline earth, the Benguela Current that would never cease bringing sand to raise the harbor floor, the inertia of rock, the frailty of flesh, the structural unreliability of thorns; the unheard whimper of a dying woman; the frightening but necessary cry of the strand wolf in the fog.
Thomas Pynchon (V.)
And what is the popular color for gowns this Season?” he asked with a smile when it became necessary to announce himself. She gave a little start, and when she raised her face to look up at him, her cheeks were pink, her eyes wide. She looked, for lack of a better comparison, like a child caught doing something she oughtn’t. “Oh! Hello, Grey.” She glanced away. “Um, blue seems to be very favorable this year.” Arching a brow, he nodded at the periodical in her hand. “Beg pardon. I thought you were reading a ladies’ magazine.” “I am,” she replied with a coy smile. “But fashion is not one of its main areas of interest.” With an expression like hers-very much like the Cheshire cat in that book by Lewis Carroll-he doubted it was an article on housekeeping that put such becoming color in her cheeks. “May I?” he asked, holding out his hand. Her grip on the magazine tightened, reluctant to give it up. “Only if you promise not to tell Mama you saw me reading it.” Oh, this was trouble. Still, it was none of his business what a grown woman of three and twenty read. He was curious, that was all. “I promise.” She hesitated, then put the pages into his hand. Placing his fingers between the thin sheaves to mark her spot, Grey flipped to the cover. Christ on a pony! The magazine looked fairly harmless-the sketch on the front showed a demure young lady in a stylish gown and hat, sitting on a park bench. Only upon closer inspection could one notice that the object of her attention-and rapturous smile-was the young man bathing in the lake just on the edge of the page. He was bare-chested-quite possibly bare everywhere, but that key part of anatomy was carefully hidden with a line of text that read, “Ten ways to keep a gentleman at home-and in bed.” He didn’t want to see what she was reading. He had heard of this magazine before. Voluptuous was a racy publication for women, filled with erotic stories, advice, and articles about sexual relationships, how to conduct oneself to avoid scandal, etc. He could take her to task for reading it, but what would be the point? No doubt the information in it would serve her wisely someday. He gave the magazine back to her. “I have to confess, I’m a little surprised to find you reading such…material.” She shrugged. “I was curious. My parents were so happy in their marriage, so very much the opposite of most of what I’ve heard. If I’m to make a match as good as theirs, I need to know as much as I can about how to have a satisfying marriage.” Grey almost groaned. The image of Rose “satisfying” herself filled his mind with such clarity it was difficult to remember he’d never actually seen such a delightful sight. His body stiffened at the delectable images his mind conjured, and he had to fold his hands in front of him to hide his growing arousal.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
We tend to be unaware that stars rise and set at all. This is not entirely due to our living in cities ablaze with electric lights which reflect back at us from our fumes, smoke, and artificial haze. When I discussed the stars with a well-known naturalist, I was surprised to learn that even a man such as he, who has spent his entire lifetime observing wildlife and nature, was totally unaware of the movements of the stars. And he is no prisoner of smog-bound cities. He had no inkling, for instance, that the Little Bear could serve as a reliable night clock as it revolves in tight circles around the Pole Star (and acts as a celestial hour-hand at half speed - that is, it takes 24 hours rather than 12 for a single revolution). I wondered what could be wrong. Our modern civilization does not ignore the stars only because most of us can no longer see them. There are definitely deeper reasons. For even if we leave the sulphurous vapours of our Gomorrahs to venture into a natural landscape, the stars do not enter into any of our back-to-nature schemes. They simply have no place in our outlook any more. We look at them, our heads flung back in awe and wonder that they can exist in such profusion. But that is as far as it goes, except for the poets. This is simply a 'gee whiz' reaction. The rise in interest in astrology today does not result in much actual star-gazing. And as for the space programme's impact on our view of the sky, many people will attentively follow the motions of a visible satellite against a backdrop of stars whose positions are absolutely meaningless to them. The ancient mythological figures sketched in the sky were taught us as children to be quaint 'shepherds' fantasies' unworthy of the attention of adult minds. We are interested in the satellite because we made it, but the stars are alien and untouched by human hands - therefore vapid. To such a level has our technological mania, like a bacterial solution in which we have been stewed from birth, reduced us. It is only the integral part of the landscape which can relate to the stars. Man has ceased to be that. He inhabits a world which is more and more his own fantasy. Farmers relate to the skies, as well as sailors, camel caravans, and aerial navigators. For theirs are all integral functions involving the fundamental principle - now all but forgotten - of orientation. But in an almost totally secular and artificial world, orientation is thought to be un- necessary. And the numbers of people in insane asylums or living at home doped on tranquilizers testifies to our aimless, drifting metaphysic. And to our having forgotten orientation either to seasons (except to turn on the air- conditioning if we sweat or the heating system if we shiver) or to direction (our one token acceptance of cosmic direction being the wearing of sun-glasses because the sun is 'over there'). We have debased what was once the integral nature of life channelled by cosmic orientations - a wholeness - to the ennervated tepidity of skin sensations and retinal discomfort. Our interior body clocks, known as circadian rhythms, continue to operate inside us, but find no contact with the outside world. They therefore become ingrown and frustrated cycles which never interlock with our environment. We are causing ourselves to become meaningless body machines programmed to what looks, in its isolation, to be an arbitrary set of cycles. But by tearing ourselves from our context, like the still-beating heart ripped out of the body of an Aztec victim, we inevitably do violence to our psyches. I would call the new disease, with its side effect of 'alienation of the young', dementia temporalis.
Robert K.G. Temple (The Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago)
To paint after nature is to transfer three-dimensional corporeality to a two-dimensional surface. This you can do if you are in good health and not colorblind. Oil paint, canvas, and brush are material and tools. It is possible by expedient distribution of oil paint on canvas to copy natural impressions; under favorable conditions you can do it so accurately that the picture cannot be distinguished from the model. You start, let us say, with a white canvas primed for oil painting and sketch in with charcoal the most discernible lines of the natural form you have chosen. Only the first line may be drawn more or less arbitrarily, all the others must form with the first the angle prescribed by the natural model. By constant comparison of the sketch with the model, the lines can be so adjusted that the lines of the sketch will correspond to those of the model. Lines are now drawn by feeling, the accuracy of the feeling is checked and measured by comparison of the estimated angle of the line with the perpendicular in nature and in the sketch. Then, according to the apparent proportions between the parts of the model, you sketch in the proportions between parts on the canvas, preferably by means of broken lines delimiting these parts. The size of the first part is arbitrary, unless your plan is to represent a part, such as the head, in 'life size.' In that case you measure with a compass an imaginary line running parallel to a plane on the natural object conceived as a plane on the picture, and use this measurement in representing the first part. You adjust all the remaining parts to the first through feeling, according to the corresponding parts of the model, and check your feeling by measurement; to do this, you place the picture so far away form you that the first part appears as large in the painting as the model, and then you compare. In order to check a given proportion, you hold out the handle of your paintbrush at arm's length towards this proportion in such a way that the end of the thumbnail on the handle coincides with the other end of the proportion. If then you hold the paintbrush out towards the picture, again at arm's length, you can, by the measurement thus obtained, determine with photographic accuracy whether your feeling has deceived you. If the sketch is correct, you fill in the parts of the picture with color, according to nature. The most expedient method is to begin with a clearly recognizable color of large area, perhaps with a somewhat broken blue. You estimate the degree of matness and break the luminosity with a complimentary color, ultramarine, for example, with light ochre. By addition of white you can make the color light, by addition of black dark. All this can be learned. The best way of checking for accuracy is to place the picture directly beside the projected picture surface in nature, return to your old place and compare the color in your picture with the natural color. By breaking those tones that are too bright and adding those that are still lacking, you will achieve a color tonality as close as possible to that in nature. If one tone is correct, you can put the picture back in its place and adjust the other colors to the first by feeling. You can check your feeling by comparing every tone directly with nature, after setting the picture back beside the model. If you have patience and adjust all large and small lines, all forms and color tones according to nature, you will have an exact reproduction of nature. This can be learned. This can be taught. And in addition, you can avoid making too many mistakes in 'feeling' by studying nature itself through anatomy and perspective and your medium through color theory. That is academy.
Kurt Schwitters (The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology)
One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration. The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism, which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The changes that have occurred have been changes in kind. A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd. Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say-it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be—and some have indeed argued this—that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.
Ernest Gellner (Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History)
One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration. The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism, which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The changes that have occurred have been changes in kind. A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd. Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say - it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be — and some have indeed argued this — that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.
Ernest Gellner (Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History)
One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration. The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism, which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The changes that have occurred have been changes in kind. A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd. Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say-it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be—and some have indeed argued this—that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.
Ernest Gellner (Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History)
[…] Under such auspices, in 1835, he went to Canaan Academy, at Canaan, New Hampshire, Rev. William Scales, principal; he was kindly received into the family of George Kimball, Esq. There he first met Miss Julia Williams, formerly a pupil of Miss Prudence Crandall, Canterbury, Connecticut, who was imprisoned for teaching colored girls; Miss Williams subsequently became his wife. Among the pupils at the Academy were his old schoolmates, Alexander Crummell and Thomas S. Sydney. They joyfully entered upon their studies, penetrated with the hopes of a race to whom the higher branches of human learning had hitherto been a sealed book. But the spirit of caste, which we have already spoken of, as being, in the rural districts, still stronger against the education of colored youth than in the cities, soon concentrated its malign influence upon this Academy. In August of the same year (1835) a mob assembled in Canaan, and with the aid of ninety-five yoke of oxen and two days’ hard labor, finally succeeded in removing the Academy from its site and afterwards they destroyed it by fire. The same mob surrounded the house of Mr Kimball and fired shot into the room occupied by Garnet: to add to the mean atrocity of the act, he was at that time, in consequence of increasing lameness, obliged to use a crutch in walking, and was confined to his room by a fever. But neither sickness, nor infirmity, nor the howling of the mob could subdue his fiery spirit; he spent most of the day in casting bullets in anticipation of the attack, and when the mob finally came he replied to their fire with a double-barrelled shot-gun, blazing from his window, and soon drove the cowards away. Henry Highland Garnet, A memorial discourse; delivered in the hall of the House of Representatives, Washington City, D.C. on Sabbath, February 12, 1865. With an introduction by James McCune Smith, M.D. (Philadelphia: Joseph M. Wilson, 1865), pp 29-30 [The quote is from Smith's biographical sketch of Garnet]
James McCune Smith (A Memorial Discourse By Reverend Henry Highland Garnet (1865))
One of the best ways to ensure that you are creating an effective main character is to spend some time really getting to know her. Some writers do this by writing a simple character sketch about their main character, detailing her likes and dislikes, her goal, her motivation, her age and personal history, and her physical qualities. (The character worksheet on page 90 guides you in writing a character sketch.) Other writers find it easier to let their characters “talk” to them by writing a letter from their main character to themselves. Some writers prefer “interviewing” the main character as if she were actually in the same room. Still others write a character statement in which the character speaks in first person about herself. These latter exercises have the advantage of actually establishing that character's voice. Both methods will allow you to get to know your character more intimately. And, while all of the character traits and details that you develop during this exercise probably won't be worked into the story, you'll know them, and this will help you maintain your character consistently and help you focus the character's motivation.
Tracey E. Dils (You Can Write Children's Books)
With sin gone, what need of a Savior? What need of theology? What need, finally, of a church? As Sweet comments, “With everything gone, there was little reason for people to stay.”65 Of course, it took a while for the churches to empty out; indeed, it is still happening. But the result should have surprised no one. The more shocking phenomenon is that evangelical churches in many cases are tracking a similar path. Consider how many “conservatives” enjoy Robert Shuller. That brand of “gospel” cannot last. Weigh how many presentations of the gospel have been “eased” by portraying Jesus as the One who fixes marriages, ensures the American dream, cancels loneliness, gives us power, and generally makes us happy. He is portrayed that way primarily because in our efforts to make Jesus appear relevant we have cast the human dilemma in merely contemporary categories, taking our cues from the perceived needs of our day. But if we follow Scripture, and understand that the fundamental needs of the race are irrefragably tied to the Fall, we will follow the Bible as it sets out God’s gracious solution to that fundamental need; and then the gospel we preach will be less skewed by the contemporary agenda. (What this means for our preaching, in practical terms, I will sketch in chapter 12.) To put the matter bluntly: If you begin with perceived needs, you will always distort the gospel. If you begin with the Bible’s definition of our need, relating perceived needs to that central grim reality, you are more likely to retain intact the gospel of God.
D.A. Carson (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism)
Josefina had grown up hearing tales of treasures hidden by thieves, gold mines with secret entrances, jars of coins buried by old men afraid of being robbed. She’d always enjoyed these legends, shared by good storytellers when shadows were long and imaginations ran high. She’d never heard of anyone actually finding lost treasure. But she’d never seen a map marked with landmarks and strange sketches, either. Josefina tried to push the image of the map from her mind so that she could go to sleep, but it was no use. Finally, afraid she might wake her sisters, she got up. Wrapping her rebozo around her shoulders against the cool night breeze, she tiptoed out of the sala. She lit a candle and crept to the storeroom where she and Teresita kept their remedios and dyes. Josefina loved the musty-spicy smells of the plant bundles hanging from poles overhead. She loved seeing bins and gourds and baskets filled with supplies that might help ward off illness or cure disease. Sitting on a banco, she savored the peaceful stillness. She could feel her muscles relaxing. Soon she would be ready for sleep. Then an unexpected sound jerked Josefina upright. The candle fell to the hard earthen floor and snuffed out. In the sudden darkness, Josefina strained to hear the sound that had disturbed her. There it was again! A faint crying sound. Was one of her sisters awake? Was Francisca in the courtyard, weeping for Ramón? Josefina cocked her head, but when she heard the sound again, she was sure it came from outside the house. Josefina stepped closer to the window, carefully avoiding a basket of pumpkin stems. Pressing a palm against the wall, she held her breath. And the sound came again, drifting through the open window above her head—a woman’s sob, low and full of anguish. Josefina’s bones turned to ice. Only one woman roamed at night, weeping and wailing: the ghost, La Llorona!
Kathleen Ernst (Secrets in the Hills: A Josefina Mystery (American Girl))
All this effort for a man who doesn’t even care,” Daisy muttered to herself, thinking dire thoughts about Matthew Swift. Llandrindon sat a few yards away on the rim of a garden fountain, obediently holding still as she sketched his portrait. She had never been particularly talented at sketching, but she was running out of things to do with him. “What was that?” the Scottish lord called out. “I said you have a fine head of hair!
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
When we start designing something, we sketch out ideas with a big, thick Sharpie marker, instead of a ball-point pen. Why? Pen points are too fine. They’re too high-resolution. They encourage you to worry about things that you shouldn’t worry about yet, like perfecting the shading or whether to use a dotted or dashed line. You end up focusing on things that should still be out of focus. A Sharpie makes it impossible to drill down that deep. You can only draw shapes, lines, and boxes. That’s good. The big picture is all you should be worrying about in the beginning.
Brian Christian (Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions)
Worshipping the genius out of vanity. Because we think well of ourselves, but in no way expect that we could ever make the sketch to a painting by Raphael or a scene like one in a play by Shakespeare, we convince ourselves that the ability to do so is quite excessively wonderful, a quite uncommon accident, or, if we still have a religious sensibility, a grace from above. Thus our vanity, our self-love, furthers the worship of the genius, for it does not hurt only if we think of it as very remote from ourselves, as a miracle (even Goethe, who was without envy, called Shakespeare his star of the farthest height, recalling to us that line, "Die Sterne, die begehrt man nicht"—one does not covet the stars).9 But those insinuations of our vanity aside, the activity of the genius seems in no way fundamentally different from the activity of a mechanical inventor, a scholar of astronomy or history, a master tactician. All these activities are explained when one imagines men whose thinking is active in one particular direction; who use everything to that end; who always observe eagerly their inner life and that of other people; who see models, stimulation everywhere; who do not tire of rearranging their material. The genius, too, does nothing other than first learn to place stones, then to build, always seeking material, always forming and reforming it. Every human activity is amazingly complicated, not only that of the genius: but none is a "miracle." From where, then, the belief that there is genius only in the artist, orator, or philosopher? That only they have "intuition" (thus attributing to them a kind of magical eye glass, by which they can see directly into "being")?10 It is evident that men speak of genius only where they find the effects of the great intellect most agreeable and, on the other hand, where they do not want to feel envy. To call someone "divine" means "Here we do not have to compete." Furthermore, everything that is complete and perfect is admired; everything evolving is underestimated. Now, no one can see in an artist's work how it evolved: that is its advantage, for wherever we can see the evolution, we grow somewhat cooler. The complete art of representation wards off all thought of its evolution; it tyrannizes as present perfection. Therefore representative artists especially are credited with genius, but not scientific men. In truth, to esteem the former and underestimate the latter is only a childish use of reason.
Friedrich Nietzsche
When two fixed points are projected in succession on a screen they are seen as two traces of a single movement in which they even lose their distinct existence. Here what happens is that the external forces insert themselves into a system of equivalents that is ready to function and in which they operate upon us, like signs in a language, not by arousing their uniquely correspondent significations but, like mileposts, in a process which is still unfolding, or as though they were picking out a path which, as it were, inspired them from a distance. Thus perception is already expression. But this natural language does not isolate; it does not ''bring out" what is expressed, but allows it to adhere in its own way more to the "perceptual chain" than to the "verbal chain." When Gestalt theorists show that the perception of motion depends upon numerous figural moments and ultimately on the whole structure of the field, they are sketching in the same way as the perceiving subject a sort of thinking apparatus which is his incarnate and habitua! being. The accomplishment of motion and change of location emanate from a field structure apart from which they are unintelligible.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Éloge de la philosophie (Collection Folio / Essais))
Alright, Captain Stan,” I said as I grabbed a slip of parchment. “Stealth destruction is your primary operative, which means none of my weapons are ideal. Lucky for you, though, I was onto something before that last channeling gem mysteriously killed itself.” Stan made a point of avoiding my gaze as he focused intently on the blank page in front of us, and I snorted as I began sketching out the elemental degree mapping. Then I drew the beginnings of a rune Dragir had helped me balance when I stopped by House Quyn about the rockets, and when I finished the last line, I shifted the paper to present it to Stan. “This is an altered form of the fireball rune I’ve been using for the 1911s,” I explained. “According to Dragir, this seventeenth degree will counter the flash of the flames, so while they’ll still be burning, they won’t give off a blaze. I have no idea how that’s supposed to work, but we’ll have to see when we do our first trial run. This line that intersects both the sixty-fourth and eleventh degrees is the silencing method we’re going with. Ideally, not even a crackle will give you away. Initially, I was gonna make you a fun little flamethrower, but--” Stan nodded vigorously as he rubbed his hands together, and I sent him an apologetic smirk. “I don’t think it’s gonna work, though,” I continued, and the little metal man deflated. “I know, but your intelligence last night got me thinking, and despite how powerful this rune will be, it doesn’t change the fact that tiny elemental degree lines tend to be less powerful. Using a weapon your size, you could be standing there all day trying to burn up one engraving with an exterior flame attack. Now that we know you’re up against foot-tall defensive runes, though, I’ve decided we need to pack a bigger punch straight into your target without running out the clock. Ideally, these burns should be able to carry on with the same strength while Solana books it to the next target, and one jet of enchanted flames doesn’t accomplish that.” Stan could see the logic, and I could tell he was trying not to look too bummed out about the flamethrower. “I think you’ll like our alternative option, though,” I assured him, “because I already have a highly effective way of achieving our goal, and if this balance of silencing elements works as it should, then it logically follows that its properties would transfer to whatever it’s being channeled through. For example, a bullet.” Now, Stan slowly looked up at me, and I sent him an evil grin. “That’s right, buddy,” I confirmed. “It’s miniature gun time.” The little metal man shot to his feet, and the way he exalted like a maniac with his arms out wide and his head thrown back made me wonder if this was his version of a villainous laugh. Then he started gunning down every scrap of metal in the shop with his invisible guns, and I briefly questioned if I was making a poor decision.
Eric Vall (Metal Mage 14 (Metal Mage, #14))
Tere is signification when we submit the data of the world to a "coherent deformation." That convergence of all the visible and intellectual vectors of the painting towards the same signification, X, is already sketched out in the painter's perception. It begins as soon as he perceives—that is, as soon as he arranges certain gaps or fissures, figures and grounds, a top and a bottom, a norm and a deviation in the inaccessible plenum of things. In other words, as soon as certain elements of the world take on the value of dimensions to which from then on we relate all the others and in whose language we express them. For each painter, style is the system of equivalences that he makes for himself for the work which manifests the world he sees. It is the universal index of the "coherent deformation" by which he concentrates the still scattered meaning of perception and makes it exist expressly. The work is not brought to fulfilment far from things and in some intimate laboratory to which the painter and the painter alone has the key. Whether he is looking at real flowers or paper flowers, he always goes back to his world, as if the principle of the equivalences by means of which he is going to manifest it had been buried there since the beginning of time.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
It will perhaps be asked how I am able to extend the compresence of bodies to minds, and whether I do not do so through a turning back upon myself which restores projection or introjection. ls it not within myself that I learn that an "Empfindbarkeit" and sensorial fields presuppose a consciousness or a mind? But in the first place this objection assumes that another person can be mind for me in exactly the same sense as I am for myself, and after аll nothing is less certain—others' thought is never wholly a thought for us. Furthermore, this objection would imply that the problem here is to constitute a different mind, whereas the one who is constituting is as yet only animate flesh himself; nothing prevents us from reserving for the stage when he will speak and listen the advent of another person who also speaks and listens. But above all this objection would ignore the very thing that Husserl wanted to say; that is, that there is no constituting of a mind for a mind, but of a man for a man. By the effect of a singular eloquence of the visible body, Einfühlung goes from body to mind . When a different behavior or exploring body appears to me through a first "intentional encroachment," it is the man as a whole who is given to me with all the possibilities (whatever they may be ) that I have in my presence to myself in my incarnate being, the unimpeachable attestation. I shall never in all strictness be able to think the other person's thought. I can think that he thinks; I can construct, behind this mannequin, a presence to self modeled on my own; but it is still my self that I put in it, and it is then that there really is 'introjection.' On the other hand, I know unquestionably that that man over there sees, that my sensible world is also his, because I am present at his seeing, it is visible in his eyes' grasp of the scene. And when I say I see that he sees, there is no longer here (as there is in "I think that he thinks" ) the interlocking of two propositions... If the other person is to exist for me, he must do so to begin with in an order beneath the order of thought. For my perceptual opening to the world, which is more dispossession than possession, claims no monopoly of being and institutes no death struggle of consciousness. My perceived world and the half-disclosed things before me have in their thickness what it takes to supply more than one sensible subject with "states of consciousness"; they have the right to many other witnesses besides me. When a comportment is sketched out in this world which already goes beyond me, this is only one more dimension in primordial being, which comprises them all... The other person is not impossible, because the sensible thing is open. The other person becomes actual when a different comportment and a different gaze take possession of my things. And this articulation of a different corporeality in my world is itself effected without introjection; because my sensible existents—through their aspect, configuration, and camal texture—were already bringing about the miracle of things which are things by the fact that they are offered to a body, and were already making my corporeality a proof of being. Man can create the alter ego which "thought " cannot create, because he is outside himself i n the world and because outside himself in the world and because one ek-stasis is compossible vnth other ek-stases. And that possibility is fulfilled in perception as vinculum of brute being and a body. The whole riddle of Einfühlung lies in its initial, "esthesiological" phase; and it is solved there because it is a perception. He who "posits" the other man is a perceiving subject, the other person's body is a perceived thing, and the other person himself is "posited" as "perceiving. " It is never a matter of anything but co-perception.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Signs)
Did you really think that the world was made for your sake ? You need to understand that in my works, in my ordinances , and in my operations ,with very few exceptions ,I always had and still have in mind something quite other than the happiness or unhappiness of men. When I hurt you in any way or by any means , I am not aware of it , except very seldom; just as usually , if I please you or benefit you , I do not know of it ; and I have not as you believe ,made certain things , nor do I perform certain actions to please you or to help you . And finally ,even if I happened to exterminate your whole race , I would not be aware of it. Obviously you have given no thought to the fact that the life of this universe is a perpetual circle of production and destruction , the two connected in such a way that each continually serves the other, to ensure the conservation of the world , which as soon as one or the other of them ceased to be would likewise disintegrate. So the world itself would be harmed if anything in it was free from suffering. From 'dialogue between nature and an icelander ' Reproduced from 'the soul of the marionette' John N. Gray
Giacomo Leopardi (Essays And Dialogues Of Giacomo Leopardi: With Biographical Sketch (1882))
Seeing how much hope my father still cherished for my prospects as an artist, I felt like starting over in painting. I began sketching again.
Akira Kurosawa (Something Like An Autobiography)