Skyline Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Skyline. Here they are! All 100 of them:

It wasn’t until a few minutes later, when she was sitting on her bed staring at the Boston skyline and chewing on her lunch, that Olive realized that the protein bar Adam had given her was covered in chocolate.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.
Nora Ephron (Heartburn)
At times, silence can be a welcoming and hospitable partner when we can let loose, and the flow of time is sending a comforting wave of sound vibrations gently opening the skyline. ("A gap of silence")
Erik Pevernagie
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
When we are able to break free from the imprisonment of our little, small self-thinking and dare to face the essence of life, we recognize we are never at home with ourselves. We are always on the road. By challenging the unknown and the unidentified we are capable of opening our skyline. ("Transcendental journey")
Erik Pevernagie
People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn't know were there, even the ones they wouldn't have thought to call beautiful themselves.
Hilary T. Smith (Wild Awake)
A star shoots bleeding across the skyline, a companion to the black wind. Silence comes sweeping across everything.
Joë Bousquet
No hemming or hawing, no hinting or manipulation, no sledgehammer–subtlety may hold us back from claiming a climate of transparency and capturing an untainted and luminescent skyline, when the boldness of the truth is coming defiantly to the fore. ("Did not expect it would ever happen there" )
Erik Pevernagie
How long do you think it takes for someone to fall out of love?” He studies the skyline. “A day? A month? I’m asking because I don’t have any experience with it.” What the fuck? I fold my arms to keep from giving in to the impulse to jab him with the sharp point of my elbow. “I’m asking,” he continues, his throat working as he swallows, “because I think it will take you all of a heartbeat once you know.
Rebecca Yarros (Iron Flame (The Empyrean, #2))
He looked longingly out the window at the towering skyline of New York City and thought about jumping. It would hurt less than following orders.
Kelly Moran (Ghost of You (Phantoms #3))
Yesterday and tomorrow cross and mix on the skyline. The two are lost in a purple haze. One forgets, one waits.
Carl Sandburg
She was going to leave a trail of blood over the skyline.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
If we suffer from dependent happiness, we are caught up in a vicious circle of expectation and deception. Constantly seeking more and never feeling truly satisfied makes people crabby and edgy instead of finding a skyline to living up to peace of mind. (“The infinite Wisdom of Meditation“)
Erik Pevernagie
For me, it feels like driving from truth into a lie, from adulthood to childhoold. I watch the land of pavement and glass and metal turn into an empty field. The snow is falling softly now, and I can faintly see the city's skyline up ahead, the buildings just a shade darker than the clouds.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
I know for sure that I will always compare every city skyline to New York's. Just as I will always compare every boy to Daniel.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
All night sheetlightning quaked sourceless to the west beyond the midnight thunderheads, making a bluish day of the distant desert, the mountains on the sudden skyline stark and black and livid like a land of some other order out there whose true geology was not stone but fear.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
A city sparkles in the night How can it glow so bright? The neighborhoods surround the soft florescent light Designer skyline in my head Abstract and still well-read You went from numbered lines to buildings overhead
Owl City
It agitates me that the skyline there is forever our limit, I long for the power of unlimited vision...If I could behold all I imagine.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
He was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons. You could see a bare tree on the skyline bent by the wind, holding up twisted branches and bent twigs, and suddenly its formless form would resolve itself into that of the trickster.
A.S. Byatt (Ragnarok: The End of the Gods)
White Sky. Trees fading at the skyline, the mountains gone. My hands dangled from the cuffs of my jacket as if they weren’t my own. I never got used to the way the horizon there could just erase itself and leave you marooned, adrift, in an incomplete dreamscape that was like a sketch for the world you knew -the outline of a single tree standing in for a grove, lamp-posts and chimneys floating up out of context before the surrounding canvas was filled in-an amnesia-land, a kind of skewed Heaven where the old landmarks were recognizable but spaced too far apart, and disarranged, and made terrible by the emptiness around them.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
As I contemplated the skyline this double feeling came to me as one thought, pressing in from either side of the bridge, impossible for me to reconcile: It is ludicrous for anyone to live here and I can never leave.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
the ragged skyline of the city resembled the disturbed encephalograph of an unresolved mental crisis.
J.G. Ballard
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn’t have known.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
Georgie took out her phone. 'I want to take a picture of you two.' She held up her phone and motioned for us to get together. Darcy and I lined up against the railing. 'No, I need you closer together to get you both in the photo,' she instructed. I had taken countless pictures on the waterfront and I knew that if you were getting the skyline in the background, you didn't need to be that close. Darcy put his arm around my shoulder and we leaned in. I slipped my arm around his waist and I noticed how easily I fit into the little nook on his side. 'Oh, hold on, I'm having problems.' Georgie played with her phone for a few moments while we just stood there in our posed embrace. 'Georgie...' She looked up at her brother and blushed. 'Um, I think it works now.
Elizabeth Eulberg (Prom & Prejudice)
Someday I will stop being young and wanting stupid tattoos. There are 7 people in my house. We each have different genders. I cut my hair over the bathroom sink and everything I own has a hole in it. There is a banner in our living room that says “Love Cats Hate Capitalism.” We sit around the kitchen table and argue about the compost pile and Karl Marx and the necessity of violence when The Rev comes. Whatever the fuck The Rev means. Every time my best friend laughs I want to grab him by the shoulders and shout “Grow old with me and never kiss me on the mouth!” I want us to spend the next 80 years together eating Doritos and riding bikes. I want to be Oscar the Grouch. I want him and his girlfriend to be Bert and Ernie. I want us to live on Sesame Street and I will park my trash can on their front stoop and we will be friends every day. If I ever seem grouchy it’s just because I am a little afraid of all that fun. There is a river running through this city I know as well as my own name. It’s the first place I’ve ever called home. I don’t think its poetry to say I’m in love with the water. I don’t think it’s poetry to say I’m in love with the train tracks. I don’t think it’s blasphemy to say I see God in the skyline. There is always cold beer asking to be slurped on back porches. There are always crushed packs of Marlboro’s in my back pockets. I have been wearing the same patched-up shorts for 10 days. Someday I will stop being young and wanting stupid tattoos.
Clementine von Radics
And there, among the ruined splendor of Skyline Palace, Adamat saw a god weep for the hero of Adro.
Brian McClellan (The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage #3))
Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide hijackers learn that the huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language.
Chris Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
He fell in love with Manhattan's skyline, like a first-time brothel guest falling for a seasoned professional. He mused over her reflections in the black East River at dusk, dawn, or darkest night, and each haloed light-in a tower or strung along the jeweled and sprawling spider legs of the Brooklyn Bridge's spans-hinted at some meaning, which could be understood only when made audible by music and encoded in lyrics.
Arthur Phillips (The Song Is You)
That’s Manhattan today—all the money goes up top, while the infrastructure wastes away from neglect. The famous skyline is a cheap trick now, a sleight-of-hand to draw your eye from the truth, as illusory as a bodybuilder with osteoporosis.
Andrew Vachss (Mask Market (Burke #16))
From the floor, I see the tops of the Philadelphia skyline out of her window. Staring at it, I realize that the night sky isn't really black, which is the way I've always thought of it. It's actually a dark shade of blue, the darkest possible.
Siobhan Vivian (Same Difference)
When we got to the marina we saw this beautiful boat named Tara waiting for us. Fredo, Carin, Ryan, Dan, Kenny, Allison, my mom, and me were all together to enjoy that extraordinary day. As the boat pulled away from the city, its skyline vanished into the horizon. The captain took us to this area where we sailed through caves and lush hilly landscapes. All of a sudden, the captain pushed the throttle all the way down and we started bombing across the water like we were in a James Bond movie. Everyone's hair was blowing all over the place, especially the girls'. Of course, mine was perfect (ha,ha), but theirs ended up looking like the worst case of bed head I've seen! It was so funny.
Justin Bieber (Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started)
But we didn’t, not in the moonlight, or by the phosphorescent lanterns of lightning bugs in your back yard, not beneath the constellations we couldn’t see, let alone decipher, or in the dark glow that replaced the real darkness of night, a darkness already stolen from us, not with the skyline rising behind us while a city gradually decayed, not in the heat of summer while a Cold War raged, despite the freedom of youth and the license of first love—because of fate, karma, luck, what does it matter?—we made not doing it a wonder, and yet we didn’t, we didn’t, we never did.
Stuart Dybek
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lambsquarter, cutgrass, saw brier, nutgrass, jimson-weed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping Charlie, butterprint, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads nodding in a soft morning breeze like a mother’s hand on your check. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak’s thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A Sunflower, four more one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers.
David Foster Wallace
It was growing dark on this long southern evening, and suddenly, at the exact point her finger had indicated, the moon lifted a forehead of stunning gold above the horizon, lifted straight out of filigreed, light-intoxicated clouds that lay on the skyline in attendant veils. Behind us, the sun was setting in a simultaneous congruent withdrawal and the river turned to flame in a quiet duel of gold....The new gold of moon astonishing and ascendant, he depleted gold of sunset extinguishing itself in the long westward slide, it was the old dance of days in the Carolina marshes, the breathtaking death of days before the eyes of children, until the sun vanished, its final signature a ribbon of bullion strung across the tops of water oaks.
Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides)
It is still strange to see the skyline. I have never seen an absence that's so physical. It's possible I will see the absence for the rest of my life, even when there is something else there. Which is ok. The thing to remember when looking at an absence is that you are standing outside of it.
David Levithan (Love Is the Higher Law)
Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar, Dancing on the light from star to star. Far across the moonbeam I know that's who you are, I saw your brown eyes turning once to fire. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. I am just a dreamer, but you are just a dream, You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. You are just a dreamer, and I am just a dream. You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. The song was written in July 1975 after Young had just undergone an operation on his vocal chords after a cocaine-fueled night with friend. "We were all really high, fucked up. Been out partying. Wrote it sitting up at Vista Point on Skyline. Supposed to be the highest point in San Mateo County, which was appropriate. I wrote it when I couldn't sing. I was on voice rest. It was nuts - I was whistling it. I wrote a lot of songs when I couldn't talk.
Neil Young
Maybe we're just falling stars, we once danced in the same skyline looking down at the world. And we've fallen like all others, from near and far, we've gathered together, but separated by time and space, keeping a part of that light that we've came with and spreading it in this dark world that we've chosen to live in, in order to shine some light and love around. Maybe we've chosen to believe one truth today, and find it to be false tomorrow. Maybe we're trying to not get attached to the idea that we now know it all. At night, we see the truth of where we've fallen from, gazing in that night sky full of distant stars, constellations, planets, the reflection of the sun on the moon, all with their own stories to tell. Sometimes we wonder why would we leave such a mysterious place, with an infinite amount of stories and wonders. Maybe it's because as stars we could've only seen each other's light from afar, but here we can listen more carefully to each other's story, embrace each other and kiss, discover more and more of what can be seen when infinite star dust potential is put into one body and given freedom to walk the Earth and wander, love and enjoy every moment until coming back. Maybe in the morning, we'll only see one star shining up there and forget the others. Maybe that is also how life and death is, and the beauty of the sunrise and sunset that come in between, our childhood years and old years, when we reflect on the stars that we once were and that we will once again be. Maybe, just maybe.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
We lost the skyline We stepped right off the map Drifted into black space And let the clocks relapse.
Steven John Wilson
It has become a secret habit, me, the city skyline, the comfort of the dark, the anonymity, and the knowledge that up here nobody knows who I am
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
But I also got more than one city, one hood inside me. And anyone who wants to get to know me has to know how to appreciate the multiple skylines.
Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High)
I breathed in the night air that was or was not laced with anachronistic blossoms and felt the small thrill I always felt to a lesser or greater degree when I looked at Manhattan’s skyline and the innumerable illuminated windows and the liquid sapphire and ruby of traffic on the FDR Drive and the present absence of the towers.
Ben Lerner (10:04)
I remember being stunned at the New York skyline as I drove over this big freeway, coming across the flats in Seacaucus. All of a sudden it was looming up in front of me and I almost lost control of the car. I thought it was a vision.
Hunter S. Thompson (Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream)
The panorama-city is a 'theoretical' (that is, visual) simulacrum, in short a picture, whose condition of possibility is an oblivion and a misunderstanding of practices.
Michel de Certeau (The Practice of Everyday Life)
Cause at night the sun in retreat, Made the skyline look like crooked teeth, In the mouth of a man who was devouring, us both.
Death Cab for Cutie
The sidewalks flash silver with mica. Skyline smeared with geese. By way of recognition I lost the sound of your voice.
Ryan Murphy (Down with the Ship)
How long do you think it takes for someone to fall out of love?” He studies the skyline. “A day? A month? I’m asking because I don’t have any experience with it.
Rebecca Yarros (Iron Flame (The Empyrean, #2))
The skylines lit up at dead of night, the air-conditioning systems cooling empty hotels in the desert and artificial light in the middle of the day all have something both demented and admirable about them. The mindless luxury of a rich civilization, and yet of a civilization perhaps as scared to see the lights go out as was the hunter in his primitive night.
Jean Baudrillard (America)
How’d this happen?” Melody asked in a stunned whisper. She never expected to fall in love and certainly not this swiftly or with this much finality. “We just met.” “I don’t believe that,” Clay argued as he turned her palm over in his and traced the lines of it with the pad of his finger. “I’m pretty sure we’ve known each other forever. Seeing you the first time was like coming home, and there ain’t been anything to happen since that’s disabused me of the notion.” “Yeah,” Melody agreed, the bright skyline blurring to a sea of vibrant color. She remembered seeing Clay in Hal’s Diner the first time. Alone and eating his turkey, she’d been compelled to reach out to him. “Do you really believe in soul mates?” “I do now.
Kele Moon (Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts, #1))
so full of life and activity, was the sky-line of that accursed city, lurid and spattered with blood (93)
Émile Zola
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A sunflower, four more, one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers. Some crows come overhead then, three or four, not a murder, on the wing, silent with intent, corn-bound for the pasture's wire beyond which one horse smells at the other's behind, the lead horse's tail obligingly lifted. Your shoes' brand incised in the dew. An alfalfa breeze. Socks' burrs. Dry scratching inside a culvert. Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se. NO HUNTING. The shush of the interstate off past the windbreak. The pasture's crows standing at angles, turning up patties to get at the worms underneath, the shapes of the worms incised in the overturned dung and baked by the sun all day until hardened, there to stay, tiny vacant lines in rows and inset curls that do not close because head never quite touches tail. Read these.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
While walking back to the highway I stop, choke back a sob, my throat tightens. "I just want to..." Facing the skyline, through all the baby talk, I murmur, "keep the game going." As I stand, frozen in position, an old woman emerges behind a Threepenny Opera poster at a deserted bus stop and she's homeless and begging, hobbling over, her face covered with sores that look like bugs, holding out a shaking red hand. "Oh will you please go away?" I sigh. She tells me to get a haircut.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
The single window had once provided a view of the Columbus skyline, but I’d spray-painted it completely black a few days after I moved in. I’d decided that everything outside the window was a distraction from my quest,
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
The moon was starting to set, limning the graves of Black Veil, a miniature skyline etched in silver. Her braid had come uncoiled down her back. He imagined wrapping it around his hand, rubbing his thumb over the pattern of its plaits.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
His last election night was on the wide-open stretch of Zilker Park, against the backdrop of the Austin skyline. He remembers everything. He was eighteen years old in his first custom-made suit, corralled into a hotel around the corner with his family to watch the results while the crowd swelled outside, running with his arms open down the hallway when they called 270. He remembers it felt like his moment, because it was his mom and his family, but also realizing it was, in a way, not his moment at all, when he turned around and saw Zahra's mascara running down her face. He stood next to the stage set into the hillside of Zilker and looked into eyes upon eyes upon eyes of women who were old enough to have marched on Congress for the VRA in '65 and girls young enough never to have known a president who was a white man. All of them looking at their first Madam President.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
what twists or rage greater than we could ever guess had savaged skylines, thousands of lives?
Naomi Shihab Nye (19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East)
Ten kilometers away, the lights of New York glowed on the skyline like a dawn frozen in the act of breaking.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
Leonardo had also been wrestling with the question of why the sky appears blue, and around that time he had correctly concluded that it had to do with the water vapor in the air. In the Saint Anne painting, he portrays the sky’s luminous and misty gradations of blue as no other painter had done. The recent cleaning of the painting fully reveals the magical realism, veiled in vapors, of his distant mountains and skyline.
Walter Isaacson (Leonardo da Vinci)
When Kleiner showed me the sky-line of New York I told him that man is like the coral insect — designed to build vast, beautiful, mineral things for the moon to delight in after he is dead.
H.P. Lovecraft
Sitting here on the steps of the Supreme Court smoking weed, under the “Equal Justice Under Law” motto, staring into the stars, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. It’s that all the buildings are more or less the same height and there’s absolutely no skyline, save for the Washington Monument touching the night sky like a giant middle finger to the world.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
It’s amazing how well you can get to know a person if you actually pay attention. People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a floodlit statue or a skyline. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.
Hilary T. Smith (Wild Awake)
What I miss is the feeling that nothing has started yet, that the future towers over the past, that the present is merely a planning phase for the gleaming architecture that will make up the skyline of the rest of my life. But what I forget is the loneliness of all that. If everything is ahead then nothing is behind. You have no ballast. You have no tailwinds either. You hardly ever know what to do, because you’ve hardly done anything. I guess this is why wisdom is supposed to be the consolation prize of aging. It’s supposed to give us better things to do than stand around and watch in disbelief as the past casts long shadows over the future.
Meghan Daum
Meanwhile, we have carved out a place for ourselves among the dead; the glittering pinnacles of commerce rise along the skyline, their foundations sunk in a charnel house; and the lost lie forgotten below us as, overhead, we persaude ourselves that we are immortal and carry on the business of life.
Catharine Arnold (Necropolis: London and Its Dead)
An uninterrupted view of the Paris skyline was spread out before her, like a giant landscape painting rendered in shades of blue-grey, charcoal and purple-tinted umber; the dreamy palette of shifting shadows at twilight. The blue hour.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
Urban Indians feel at home walking in the shadow of a downtown building. We came to know the downtown Oakland skyline better than we did any sacred mountain range, the redwoods in the Oakland hills better than any other deep wild forest.
Tommy Orange (There There)
The sun dropped beneath the horizon and then detonated, torching the racks of clouds stacked up above the downtown skyline. Wyatt had forgotten how quickly, in the vast empty sky of the southern plains, the ordinary could turn so flamboyant.
Lou Berney (The Long and Faraway Gone)
I've traveled the world, seen sunsets and mountains and city skylines. And my idea of love has been constantly changing, but if it means anything, I like the way love feels, when I look at you and it's like I have the whole world right beside me.
Courtney Peppernell (I Hope You Stay)
There’s a saying that when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.
Louis L'Amour (The Sky-Liners and Galloway (2-Book Bundle) (Sacketts))
In LA, you can’t do anything unless you drive. Now I can’t do anything unless I drink. And the drink-drive combination, it really isn’t possible out there. If you so much as loosen your seatbelt or drop your ash or pick your nose, then it’s an Alcatraz autopsy with the questions asked later. Any indiscipline, you feel, any variation, and there’s a bullhorn, a set of scope sights, and a coptered pig drawing a bead on your rug. So what can a poor boy do? You come out of the hotel, the Vraimont. Over boiling Watts the downtown skyline carries a smear of God’s green snot. You walk left, you walk right, you are a bank rat on a busy river. This restaurant serves no drink, this one serves no meat, this one serves no heterosexuals. You can get your chimp shampooed, you can get your dick tattooed, twenty-four hour, but can you get lunch? And should you see a sign on the far side of the street flashing BEEF-BOOZE – NO STRINGS, then you can forget it. The only way to get across the road is to be born there. All the ped-xing signs say DON’T WALK, all of them, all the time. That is the message, the content of Los Angeles: don’t walk. Stay inside. Don’t walk. Drive. Don’t walk. Run!
Martin Amis (Money)
Of course it might have been some other city, had circumstances been different and the time been different and had I been different, might have been Paris or Chicago or even San Francisco, but because I am talking about myself I am talking here about New York. That first night I opened my window on the bus into town and watched for the skyline, but all I could see were the wastes of Queens and big signs that said MIDTOWN TUNNEL THIS LANE and then a flood of summer rain (even that seemed remarkable and exotic, for I had come out of the West where there was no summer rain), and for the next three days I sat wrapped in blankets in a hotel room air-conditioned to 35 degrees and tried to get over a bad cold and a high fever. It did not occur to me to call a doctor, because I knew none, and although it did occur to me to call the desk and ask that the air conditioner be turned off, I never called, because I did not know how much to tip whoever might come—was anyone ever so young? I am here to tell you that someone was. All I could do during those three days was talk long-distance to the boy I already knew I would never marry in the spring. I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
as we watched seaward-moving ships pass between the cliffs of burning skyline, she said: 'years from now, years and years, one of those ships will bring me back, me and my nine Brazillian brats, because yes, they must see this, these lights, the river-- I love New York, even though it isn't mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.' And I said: 'Do shut up,' for I felt infuriatingly left out-- a tugboat in a dry-dock while she, glittery voyager of secure destination steamed down the harbor with whistles whistling and confetti in the air.
Truman Capote
Alex and Conner looked up and saw a large city-limits sign above them. The sign read: BIG CITY, USA POPULATION 7,654,321 Once the handwritten words finished constructing the new dimension, the twins saw that the highway led to an enormous city a couple of miles in the distance. It had the tallest and leanest skyscrapers Alex had ever seen; the skyline looked more lie a bundle of pencils and pens than a row of buildings. "Big City, USA?" Alex asked. "You couldn't come up with anything more original than that?" "It was supposed to be a placeholder until I came up with a better name, but Big City, USA, grew on me," Conner said.
Chris Colfer (An Author's Odyssey (The Land of Stories, #5))
I was near-delirious. Gazing up at the pillared skyline, I knew that I was surveying a tremendous work of man. Buying myself a drink in the smaller warrens below, in all their ethnic variety (and willingness to keep odd and late hours, and provide plentiful ice cubes, and free matchbooks in contrast to English parsimony in these matters), I felt the same thing in a different way. The balance between the macro and the micro, the heroic scale and the human scale, has never since ceased to fascinate and charm me. Evelyn Waugh was in error when he said that in New York there was a neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistook for energy. There was, rather, a tensile excitement in that air which made one think—made me think for many years—that time spent asleep in New York was somehow time wasted. Whether this thought has lengthened or shortened my life I shall never know, but it has certainly colored it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Behind him she saw something which by contrast with the alien incalculable figure before her, was close and real. It was something which she understood, something which she could never do without, or be without, for it seemed as though it were her own self, her own body, at which she gazed and which lay so intimately upon the skyline. Gormenghast. The long, notched outline of her home. It was now his background. It was a screen of walls and towers pocked with windows. He stood against it, an intruder, imposing himself so vividly, so solidly, against her world, his head overtopping the loftiest of its towers.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
The window logs Kilburn’s skyline. Ungentrified, ungentrifiable. Boom and bust never come here. Here bust is permanent. Empty State Empire, empty Odeon, graffiti-streaked sidings rising and falling like a rickety roller coaster. Higgledy-piggledy rooftops and chimneys, some high, some low, packed tightly, shaken fags in a box. Behind the opposite window, retreating Willesden. Number 37. In the 1880s or thereabouts the whole thing went up at once – houses, churches, schools, cemeteries – an optimistic vision of Metroland. Little terraces, faux-Tudor piles. All the mod cons! Indoor toilet, hot water. Well-appointed country living for those tired of the city. Fast-forward. Disappointed city living for those tired of their countries.
Zadie Smith (NW)
Remember this, I told myself. Remember how quiet today is. I had the newspaper, which I would keep for years, and I was on my way to lunch in Chinatown by myself. As I contemplated the skyline this double feeling came to me as one thought, pressing in from either side of the bridge, impossible for me to reconcile: It is ludicrous for anyone to live here and I can never leave.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
Across the river there was a low red and gold grove of sassafras with hills of dark blue trees behind it and an occasional pine jutting over the skyline. Behind, in the distance, the city rose like a cluster of warts on the side of the mountain. The birds revolved downward and dropped lightly in the top of the highest pine and sat hunch-shouldered as if they were supporting the sky.
Flannery O'Connor (A Good Man Is Hard To Find)
Anybody may blame me who likes, when I add further, that, now and then, when I took a walk by myself in the grounds; when I went down to the gates and looked through them along the road; or when, while Adele played with her nurse, and Mrs. Fairfax made jellies in the storeroom, I climbed the three staircases, raised the trap-door of the attic, and having reached the leads, looked out afar over sequestered field and hill, and along dim sky-line - that then I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen - that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach.
Charlotte Brontë
And then one day we found ourselves in a cornfield. After that it seemed like the whole world was made of corn. It was just the same cornfield over and over. I got to thinking that we'd suddenly be out of it and the Manhattan skyline would pop right up on the other side. But that never happened. The corn went on forever. But eventually we hit the slave state of Missouri, with its constant panorama of rural beauty.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset. It was built of a bright brick throughout; its sky-line was fantastic, and even its ground plan was wild. It had been the outburst of a speculative builder, faintly tinged with art, who called its architecture sometimes Elizabethan and sometimes Queen Anne, apparently under the impression that the two sovereigns were identical. It was described with some justice as an artistic colony, though it never in any definable way produced any art. But although its pretensions to be an intellectual centre were a little vague, its pretensions to be a pleasant place were quite indisputable. The stranger who looked for the first time at the quaint red houses could only think how very oddly shaped the people must be who could fit in to them. Nor when he met the people was he disappointed in this respect. The place was not only pleasant, but perfect, if once he could regard it not as a deception but rather as a dream. Even if the people were not "artists," the whole was nevertheless artistic. That young man with the long, auburn hair and the impudent face -- that young man was not really a poet; but surely he was a poem. That old gentleman with the wild, white beard and the wild, white hat -- that venerable humbug was not really a philosopher; but at least he was the cause of philosophy in others. That scientific gentleman with the bald, egg-like head and the bare, bird-like neck had no real right to the airs of science that he assumed. He had not discovered anything new in biology; but what biological creature could he have discovered more singular than himself? Thus, and thus only, the whole place had properly to be regarded; it had to be considered not so much as a workshop for artists, but as a frail but finished work of art. A man who stepped into its social atmosphere felt as if he had stepped into a written comedy.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday)
I breathe in... The sights and smells Of this city I’ve come to know... So well I gaze... Across the turquoise ocean Where the waves Liberate my spirit... From its shell I breathe in... The brilliant sky line Where the birds Emerge shyly From the dappled sunshine I breathe in... The gently... Blowing winds That soothe me Like a mother, around her child I breathe in... The sounds of laughter Pure and pretty Like the golden-green butterfly I’m always after I breathe in... The closeness, I have always shared With people, Who almost knew me, Almost cared I breathe in... The comfort Of my home, The safe walls, The scents of childhood On the pillows I breathe in...the silence Of my own heart Aching with tenderness... With memories.. Of home I breathe... in... The fragrance Of love, and moist sand The one... His roses left... On both my hands And I just keep on breathing Every moment As much as I can Preserving it, in my body For the day It can’t So I breathe in.. Once again.. Feeling life's energy Fizzing through my cells Never knowing What awaits me Or what's going to happen to me.. Next I breathe in This moment... Knowing it's either life Or it's death I close my eyes, And breathe in Just believing in myself.
Sanober Khan (A touch, a tear, a tempest)
Back in the age of empires, pharaohs built pyramids and kings constructed castles, enshrining their divine right to rule. In the medieval era, monasteries and cathedrals loomed large across Europe, reflecting the power of the Church. With the emergence of the nation-state in the eighteenth century, capitols and courthouses took center stage in urban plans and skylines. By the twentieth century and the age of corporations, skyscrapers towered above everything—monuments to the barons and banks that built them. Today, silicon campuses designed by celebrity architects claim the spotlight. Power has now been harnessed in the physical world by those who invented our virtual ones.
Jamie Wheal (Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World That's Lost Its Mind)
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn't have known. The only things I noticed were silver bracelets on women's wrists and popsicle sticks in potted rubber plants. There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night. No car, no car stereo, no silver bracelets, no shuffling, no dark blue tweed suits. My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card. Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless—a one-dimensional wafer. Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic. Indecipherable except to some machine. My first circuit must have been wearing thin. My real memories were receding into planar projection, the screen of consciousness losing all identity.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
It’s the tiniest moment, just when the sun peaks above the skyline, but the moons still visible—when darkness and light can co-exist. It reminds me of hope, and that I wasn’t alone or lost in this world. A reminder that anything is possible, even between two beings such as the sun and moon who only meet for a fraction of a second. During that small moment, together, they can create something so beautiful across the sky. I hoped that could be me, you know? That I wasn’t all bad, and possibly I could do something beautiful with my life too.
Nicole Fiorina (Now Open Your Eyes (Stay with Me, #3))
Ever since, New York has existed for me simultaneously as a map to be learned and a place to aspire too--a city of things and a city of signs, the place I actually am and the place I would like to be even when I am here. As a kid, I grasped that the skyline was a sign that could be, so to speak, relocated to New Jersey--a kind of abstract, receding Vision whose meaning would always be "out of reach," not a concrete thing signifying "here you are." Even when we are established here, New York still seems a place we aspire to. Its life is one thing--streets and hot dogs and brusqueness--and its symbols, the lights across the way, the beckoning skyline, are another. We go on being inspired even when we're most exasperated.
Adam Gopnik (Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York)
Among other things, I've taken up smoking. Ana says I should stop with the good girl/bad girl stuff, and obviously she's right, but sometimes when I have a cigarette in my hand and the streets are dangerously empty and I've had a few drinks after my shift and I am noticing the lights that are on in different apartments, lighting stairways and whole buildings, blinking red on the skyline, I think about the nights on the island when I was content to stand alone outside the house, listening to the god horns in that soft blackness, and tasting the air, sweet with salt.
Aoibheann Sweeney (Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking)
Rallick will kill you,” Murillio said levelly. “Nonsense.” Kruppe placed the mask over his face. “How will the lad ever recognize Kruppe?” Murillio studied the man’s round body, the faded red waistcoat, gathered cuffs, and the short oily curls atop his head. “Never mind.” He sighed. “Excellent,” Kruppe said. “Now, please accept these two masks, gifts from your friend Kruppe. A trip is saved, and Baruk need not wait any longer for a secret message that must not be mentioned.” He replaced his mask in its box, then spun round to study the eastern skyline. “Off to yon alchemist’s abode, then. Good evening, friend—” “Wait a minute,” Murillio said, grasping Kruppe’s arm and turning him round. “Have you seen Coll?” “Why, of course. The man sleeps a deep, recovering sleep from his ordeals.’Twas healed magically, Sulty said. By some stranger, yet. Coll himself was brought in by yet a second stranger, who found a third stranger, who in turn brought a fifth stranger in the company of the stranger who healed Coll. And so it goes, friend Murillio. Strange doings, indeed. Now, Kruppe must be off. Goodbye, friend—” “Not yet,” Murillio snarled. He glanced around. The street was still empty. He leaned close. “I’ve worked some things out, Kruppe. Circle Breaker contacting me put everything into order in my mind. I know who you are.” “Aaai!” Kruppe cried, withdrawing. “I’ll not deny it, then! It’s true, Murillio, Kruppe is Lady Simtal connivingly disguised.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
I exist on an imaginary tightrope and must watch every step, lest I fall into the cold, dark abyss. I live in constant fear of the future, in fear that the inevitable will take place,and I live in constant fear of the past, in fear that what has already happened will happen again. How can the present exist in such a world?
Francis Fesmire (Nashville Skyline)
The ride had begun. The theatre and club spectaculars seemed to stick up into the sky at all sorts of crazy angles, probably because most of them were planted diagonally on rooftops. Follow Thru, Whoopee, Show Boat, El Fay Club, Club Richman, Texas Guinan's. It gave the town the appearance of standing on its ear. ("The Number's Up")
Cornell Woolrich
Sometimes your body aches and you feel like lead and it’s easier to pull your covers all the way over your head and pray that you never wake up but it’s very important that you do.  So if you don’t feel beautiful when you open your eyes  I hope this reminds you that I think you are.  Just try to remember this too  In the moments you feel alone and every mountain is too great for all the answers left unknown and convinced it is always too late.  There is happiness in this life one day these troubles will fade all your strength is in the skyline no matter how heavy your heart weighs. And some days it seems hope and despair take turns but despite all our sadness the sun always returns.  I just wanted you to know that I’ll never care. How far you push me away  Because when I told you that I would stay, I meant it. And a little damaged  But you’re not hopeless  I know who you are.  I love who you are  And that’s why I’ll stay. 
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts, #1))
leaving. So you leave, and there is an urge to look back, to look back just once as the sunset fades, to see that severe New England skyline one final time — the spires, the Standpipe, Paul with his axe slung over his shoulder. But maybe it's not such a good idea to look back. All the stories say so — look what happened to Lot's wife. Best not to look back. Best to believe there will be happily ever afters all the way around — and so there may be; who is to say there will not be such endings? Not all boats which sail away into darkness never find the sun again, or the hand of another child; if life teaches anything at all, it teaches that there are so many happy endings that the man who believes there is no God needs his rationality called into serious question.
Stephen King (It)
What I’m about to tell you,” Elliott told me, “ninety-nine percent of people in the world will never understand.” For the first time all week, it was just the two of us. Elliott had told Austin he wanted to talk to me one-on-one. We were standing on a rooftop lounge during sunset, looking out at the Manhattan skyline. “You see, most people live a linear life,” he continued. “They go to college, get an internship, graduate, land a job, get a promotion, save up for a vacation each year, work toward their next promotion, and they just do that their whole lives. Their lives move step by step, slowly and predictably. “But successful people don’t buy into that model. They opt into an exponential life. Rather than going step by step, they skip steps. People say that you first need to ‘pay your dues’ and get years of experience before you can go out on your own and get what you truly want. Society feeds us this lie that you need to do x, y, and z before you can achieve your dream. It’s bullshit. The only person whose permission you need to live an exponential life is your own. “Sometimes an exponential life lands in your lap, like with a child prodigy. But most of the time, for people like you and me, we have to seize it for ourselves. If you actually want to make a difference in the world, if you want to live a life of inspiration, adventure, and wild success—you need to grab on to that exponential life—and hold on to it with all you’ve got.
Alex Banayan (The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World's Most Successful People Launched Their Careers)
And then there's the gun itself. No man in his right mind will play with a gun. I've seen show-offs doing fancy spins and all that. No real gun-fighter ever did. With a hair-trigger, he'd be likely to blow a hole in his belly. The gun-fighter knows enough of guns to be wary of them. He treats them with respect. A pistol was never made for anything except killing, and a gunfighter never draws a gun unless to shoot, and he shoots to kill.
Louis L'Amour (The Sky-Liners (The Sacketts, #11))
We stay in that sunshine, on that marvellous summit, for an hour and an era. We don’t talk much. Up there, language seems impossible, impertinent, sliding stupidly off this landscape. Its size makes metaphor and simile seem preposterous. It is like nowhere I have ever been. It shucks story, leaves the usual forms of meaning-making derelict. Glint of ice cap, breach of whales, silt swirls in outflows, sapphire veins of a crevasse field. A powerful dissonance overtakes my mind, whereby everything seems both distant and proximate at the same time. It feels as if I could lean from that summit and press a finger into the crevasses, tip a drop of water from the serac pool, nudge a berg along the skyline with my fingertip. I realize how configured my sense of distance has become from living so much on the Internet, where everything is in reach and nothing is within touch. The immensity and the vibrancy of the ice are beyond anything I have encountered before. Seen in deep time – viewed even in the relatively shallow time since the last glaciation – the notion of human dominance over the planet seems greedy, delusory. Up there on that summit, at that moment, gazing from the Inner Ice to the berg-filled sea, the idea of the Anthropocene feels at best a conceit, at worst a perilous vanity. I recall the Inuit word I first heard in northern Canada: ilira, meaning ‘a sense of fear and awe’, and also carrying an implication of the landscape’s sentience with it. Yes. That is what I feel here. Ilira.
Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey)
There’s a theory,” said Anna, handing him a cup of tea as she climbed back into bed, “that we are all Atlanteans.” “Who?” “Us. San Franciscans.” Edgar grinned indulgently, bracing himself for another yarn. Anna caught it. “Do you want to hear it … or are you getting stuffy on me?” “Go ahead. Tell me a story.” “Well … in one of our last incarnations, we were all citizens of Atlantis. All of us. You, me, Frannie, DeDe, Mary Ann…” “Are you sure she’s out of the building?” “She’s gone to her switchboard. Will you relax?” “O.K. I’m relaxed.” “All right, then. We all lived in this lovely, enlightened kingdom that sank beneath the sea a long time ago. Now we’ve come back to this special peninsula on the edge of the continent … because we know, in a secret corner of our minds, that we must return together to the sea.” “The earthquake.” Anna nodded. “Don’t you see? You said the earthquake, not an earthquake. You’re expecting it. We’re all expecting it.” “So what does that have to do with Atlantis?” “The Transamerica Pyramid, for one thing.” “Huh?” “Don’t you know what dominated the skyline of Atlantis, Edgar … the thing that loomed over everything?” He shook his head. “A pyramid! An enormous pyramid with a beacon burning at the top!
Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1))
The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides And a dark wind blows The government is corrupt And we're on so many drugs With the radio on and the curtains drawn We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine And the machine is bleeding to death The sun has fallen down And the billboards are all leering And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles It went like this: The buildings tumbled in on themselves Mothers clutching babies Picked through the rubble And pulled out their hair The skyline was beautiful on fire All twisted metal stretching upwards Everything washed in a thin orange haze I said, "Kiss me, you're beautiful - These are truly the last days" You grabbed my hand And we fell into it Like a daydream Or a fever We woke up one morning and fell a little further down For sure it's the valley of death I open up my wallet And it's full of blood
Efrim Menuck
The couple in the Skyline came to mind. Why did I have this fixation on them? Well, what else did I have to think about? By now, the two of them might be snoozing away in bed, or maybe pushing into commuter trains. They could be flat character sketches for a TV treatment: Japanese woman marries Frenchman while studying abroad; husband has traffic accident and becomes paraplegic. Woman tires of life in Paris, leaves husband, and returns to Tokyo, where she works in Belgian or Swiss embassy. Silver bracelets, a memento from her husband. Cut to beach scene in Nice: woman with the bracelets on left wrist. Woman takes bath, makes love, silver bracelets always on left wrist. Cut: enter Japanese man, veteran of student occupation of Yasuda Hall, wearing tinted glasses like lead in Ashes and Diamonds. A top TV director, he is haunted by dreams of tear gas, by memories of his wife who slit her wrist five years earlier. Cut (for what it's worth, this script has a lot of jump cuts): he sees the bracelets on woman's left wrist, flashes back to wife's bloodied wrist. So he asks woman: could she switch bracelets to her right wrist? "I refuse," she says. "I wear my bracelets on my left wrist.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
The Three-Decker "The three-volume novel is extinct." Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail. It cost a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail; But, spite all modern notions, I found her first and best— The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest. Fair held the breeze behind us—’twas warm with lovers’ prayers. We’d stolen wills for ballast and a crew of missing heirs. They shipped as Able Bastards till the Wicked Nurse confessed, And they worked the old three-decker to the Islands of the Blest. By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of Cook, Per Fancy, fleetest in man, our titled berths we took With maids of matchless beauty and parentage unguessed, And a Church of England parson for the Islands of the Blest. We asked no social questions—we pumped no hidden shame— We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came: We left the Lord in Heaven, we left the fiends in Hell. We weren’t exactly Yussufs, but—Zuleika didn’t tell. No moral doubt assailed us, so when the port we neared, The villain had his flogging at the gangway, and we cheered. ’Twas fiddle in the forc’s’le—’twas garlands on the mast, For every one got married, and I went ashore at last. I left ’em all in couples a-kissing on the decks. I left the lovers loving and the parents signing cheques. In endless English comfort by county-folk caressed, I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest! That route is barred to steamers: you’ll never lift again Our purple-painted headlands or the lordly keeps of Spain. They’re just beyond your skyline, howe’er so far you cruise In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws. Swing round your aching search-light—’twill show no haven’s peace. Ay, blow your shrieking sirens to the deaf, gray-bearded seas! Boom out the dripping oil-bags to skin the deep’s unrest— And you aren’t one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest! But when you’re threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail, At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale, Calm as the Flying Dutchman, from truck to taffrail dressed, You’ll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest. You’ll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread; You’ll hear the long-drawn thunder ’neath her leaping figure-head; While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine! Hull down—hull down and under—she dwindles to a speck, With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck. All’s well—all’s well aboard her—she’s left you far behind, With a scent of old-world roses through the fog that ties you blind. Her crew are babes or madmen? Her port is all to make? You’re manned by Truth and Science, and you steam for steaming’s sake? Well, tinker up your engines—you know your business best— She’s taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!
Rudyard Kipling
He stood hat in hand over the unmarked earth. This woman who had worked for his family fifty years. She had cared for his mother as a baby and she had worked for his family long before his mother was born and she had known and cared for the wild Grady boys who were his mother's uncles and who had all died so long ago and he stood holding his hat and he called her his abuela and he said goodbye to her in Spanish and then turned and put on his hat and turned his wet face to the wind and for a moment he held out his hands as if to steady himself or as if to bless the ground there or perhaps as if to slow the world that was rushing away and seemed to care nothing for the old or the young or rich or poor or dark or pale or he or she. Nothing for their struggles, nothing for their names. Nothing for the living or the dead. In four days' riding he crossed the Pecos at Iraan Texas and rode up out of the river breaks where the pumpjacks in the Yates Field ranged against the skyline rose and dipped like mechanical birds. Like great primitive birds welded up out of iron by hearsay in a land perhaps where such birds once had been…..The desert he rode was red and red the dust he raised, the small dust that powdered the legs of the horse he rode, the horse he led. In the evening a wind came up and reddened all the sky before him. There were few cattle in that country because it was barren country indeed yet he came at evening upon a solitary bull rolling in the dust against the bloodred sunset like an animal in sacrificial torment. The bloodred dust blew down out of the sun. He touched the horse with his heels and rode on. He rode with the sun coppering his face and the red wind blowing out of the west across the evening land and the small desert birds flew chittering among the dry bracken and horse and rider and horse passed on and their long shadows passed in tandem like the shadow of a single being. Passed and paled into the darkening land, the world to come.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
What I miss is the feeling that nothing has started yet, that the future towers over the past, that the present is merely a planning phase for the gleaming architecture that will make up the skyline of the rest of my life. But what I forget is the loneliness of all that. If everything is ahead then nothing is behind. You have no ballast. You have no tailwinds either. You hardly ever know what to do, because you’ve hardly done anything. I guess this is why wisdom is supposed to be the consolation prize of aging. It’s supposed to give us better things to do than stand around and watch in disbelief as the past casts long shadows over the future. The problem, I now know, is that no one ever really feels wise, least of all those who actually have it in themselves to be so. The Older Self of our imagination never quite folds itself into the older self we actually become. Instead, it hovers in the perpetual distance like a highway mirage. It’s the destination that never gets any closer even as our life histories pile up behind us in the rearview mirror. It is the reason that I got to forty-something without ever feeling thirty-something. It is why I hope that if I make it to eighty-something I have the good sense not to pull out those old CDs. My heart, by then, surely would not be able to keep from imploding. My heart, back then, stayed in one piece only because, as bursting with anticipation as it was, it had not yet been strained by nostalgia. It had not yet figured out that life is mostly an exercise in being something other than what we used to be while remaining fundamentally—and sometimes maddeningly—who we are.
Meghan Daum (The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion)