Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Martin Luther King Jr.
It's probably for the best, I told myself. How would I have said goodbye to Mal anyway? Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. Make sure to write!
'What are you smiling at?'
I whirled, peering into the gloom. The Darkling's voice seemed to float out of the shadows. He walked down to the stream, crouching on the bank to splash water on his face and through his dark hair.
'Well?' he asked, looking up at me.
'Myself,' I admitted.
'Are you that funny?'
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer's long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn't touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come floating around my face, catching my arms and throat till I began to drown. So I just didn't stop.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
What are you smiling at?”
I whirled, peering into the gloom. The Darkling’s voice seemed to float out of the shadows. He walked down to the stream, crouching on the bank to splash water on his face and through his dark hair.
“Well?” he asked, looking up at me.
“Myself,” I admitted.
“Are you that funny?”
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
I thought that a man can be an enemy of other men, of the moments of other men, but not of a country: not of fireflies, words, gardens, streams of water, sunsets.
Jorge Luis Borges
Do not turn me
if you cannot promise
to be my stream.
There are moments we return to, now and always. Family is like water - it has a memory of what it once filled, always trying to get back to the original stream.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
Dying was nothing and he had no picture of it nor fear of it in his mind. But living was a field of grain blowing in the wind on the side of a hill. Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing. Living was a horse between your legs and a carbine under one leg and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths
Muhammad Ali (Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times)
Mist to mist, drops to drops. For water thou art, and unto water shalt thou return.
Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Don't waste water even if you were at a running stream
I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs, a very endearing sight, I'm sure you'll agree. And even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged onto a half submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
Know what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of today. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of Baptism; it is to believe in belief; it is to be so little that elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child had its fairy godmother in its soul.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
People dread silence because it is transparent; like clear water, which reveals every obstacle—the used, the dead, the drowned, silence reveals the cast-off words and thoughts dropped in to obscure its clear stream. And when people stare too close to silence they sometimes face their own reflections, their magnified shadows in the depths, and that frightens them. I know; I know.
Janet Frame (Scented Gardens for the Blind)
As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
Being the Stream
Meditation is not just a rest or retreat from the turmoil of the
stream or the impurity of the world. It is a way of being the stream,
so that one can be at home in both the white water and the eddies.
Meditation may take one out of the world, but it also puts one totally
Think of the sound you make when you let go after holding your breath for a very, very long time. Think of the gladdest sound you know: the sound of dawn on the first day of spring break, the sound of a bottle of Coke opening, the sound of a crowd cheering in your ears because you're coming down to the last part of a race--and you're ahead. Think of the sound of water over stones in a cold stream, and the sound of wind through green trees on a late May afternoon in Central Park. Think of the sound of a bus coming into the station carrying someone you love.
Then put all those together.
Gary D. Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars)
oh child", spoke papa tenderly."Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears.They can be healing waters and a stream of joy.Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.
William Paul Young
He scrambled to grab a hose and pointed it at us. A pathetic stream of water trickled out.
What are you going to do? Giguhl said. Moisten us?
Jaye Wells (The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2))
There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
Each person, human or no, is bound to every other in a reciprocal relationship. Just as all beings have a duty to me, I have a duty to them. If an animal gives its life to feed me, I am in turn bound to support its life. If I receive a stream’s gift of pure water, then I am responsible for returning a gift in kind. An integral part of a human’s education is to know those duties and how to perform them.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
William Wordsworth (Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood)
I believe . . . that the petal of a flower or a tiny worm on the path says far more, contains far more than all the books in the library. One cannot say very much with mere letters and words. Sometimes I'll be writing a Greek letter, a theta or an omega, and tilt my pen just the slightest bit; suddenly the letter has a tail and becomes a fish; in a second it evokes all the streams and rivers of the world, all that is cool and humid, Homer's sea and the waters on which Saint Peter wandered; or becomes a bird, flaps its tail, shakes out its feathers, puffs itself up, laughs, flies away. You probably don't appreciate letters like that, very much, do you, Narcissus? But I say: with them God wrote the world.
Hermann Hesse (Narcissus and Goldmund)
How you refill. Lying there. Something like happiness, just like water, pure and clear pouring in. So good you don’t even welcome it, it runs through you in a bright stream, as if it has been there all along.
Peter Heller (The Dog Stars)
We like to put sacred texts in flowing waters, so I rolled it up, tied it to a piece of wood, placed a dandelion on top, and floated it in the stream which flows into the Swat River. Surely God would find it there.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
He was floating with his head down, blood streaming from a bullet hole in the back of his neck.
Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story)
He gazes down at me, his eyes wide and panicked, and all we can hear is the steady stream of water as it flows over us in the shower. “You love me,” I whisper. His eyes widen further and his mouth opens. He takes a huge breath, as if winded. He looks tortured-vulnerable. “Yes,” he whispers. “I do.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
I wish to cup knowledge in my hand and drink it as one drinks water by the side of the stream.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes whey are the best words the heart can speak.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Owls hoot in B flat, cuckoos in D, but the water ousel sings in the voice of the stream. She builds her nest back of the waterfalls so the water is a lullaby to the little ones. Must be where they learn it.
Karen Joy Fowler (Sarah Canary)
The gods made the earth for all men t' share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. "My trees," they said, "you can't eat them apples. My stream, you can't fish here. My wood, you're not t' hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I'll chop 'em off, but maybe if you kneel t' me I'll let you have a sniff." You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t' be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t' kneel.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
A positive mind is like a powerful stream of water that is gathering volume and force from hundreds of tributaries all along its course. The further on it goes the greater its power, until when it reaches its goal, that power is simply immense. A negative mind, however, would be something like a stream, that the further it flows the more divisions it makes, until, when it reaches its goal, instead of being one powerful stream, it has become a hundred, small, weak, shallow streams.
Christian D. Larson
Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances. On silvery sandbanks hippos and alligators sunned themselves side by side. The broadening waters flowed through a mob of wooded islands; you lost your way on that river as you would in a desert, and butted all day long against shoals, trying to find the channel, till you thought yourself bewitched and cut off forever from everything you had known once -somewhere- far away in another existence perhaps. There were moments when one's past came back to one, as it will sometimes when you have not a moment to spare to yourself; but it came in the shape of an unrestful and noisy dream, remembered with wonder amongst the overwhelming realities of this strange world of plants, and water, and silence. And this stillness of life did not in the least resemble a peace. It was the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention. It looked at you with a vengeful aspect.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence . . .
Wallace Stegner (The Sound of Mountain Water)
Have you ever stood where a stream spills into a river? The two become one. They laugh over the stones together, twist through the sharp canyons together, plunge down the waterfalls together. It is the same when a man and woman love one another. It is not always a pleasant thing, but when it happens, a man has little to say about it. Women, like streams, can be smooth one minute and make a man feel like he’s swimming through white water the next.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
The thing about love is that you will never run out of it. It's an ever-flowing river. So go ahead and LOVE. What are you saving all this love for — death?
The land has a memory.
Every stream and river runs with a confession of sorts, history whispered over rocks, lifted in the beaks of birds at a stream, carried out to the sea. Buffalo thunder across plains whose soil was watered with the blood of battles long since relegated to musty books on forgotten shelves. Fields once strewn with blue and gray now flower with uneasy buds. The slave master snaps the lash, and generations later, the ancestral scars remain.
Under it all, the dead lie, remembering.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
From the moment we’re born we’re constantly dying, not only with each stage of life but also one day at a time. Our bodies are no longer the ones to which our mothers gave birth, as Marcus put it. Nobody is the same person he was yesterday. Realizing this makes it easier to let go: we can no more hold on to life than grasp the waters of a rushing stream.
Donald J. Robertson (How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius)
In order to elucidate especially and most clearly the origination of this error (...) let us imagine a man who, while standing on the street, would say to himself:
"It is six o'clock in the evening, the working day is over. Now I can go for a walk, or I can go to the club; I can also climb up the tower to see the sunset; I can go to the theater; I can visit this friend or that one; indeed, I also can run out of the gate, into the wide world, and never return. All of this is strictly up to me, in this I have complete freedom. But still I shall do none of these things now , but with just as free a will I shall go home to my wife".
This is exactly as if water spoke to itself: "I can make high waves (yes! in the sea during a storm), I can rush down hill (yes! in the river bed), I can plunge down foaming and gushing (yes! in the waterfall), I can rise freely as a stream of water into the air (yes! in the fountain), I can, finally boil away and disappear (yes! at a certain temperature); but I am doing none of these things now, and am voluntaringly remaining quiet and clear water in the reflecting pond.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essay on the Freedom of the Will)
The Master Speed
No speed of wind or water rushing by
but you have speed far greater. You can climb
back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
and back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
but in the rush of everything to waste,
that you may have the power of standing still--
off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
From one another once you are agreed
that life is only life forevermore
together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Buddhist say that thoughts are like drops of water on the brain; when you reinforce the same thought, it will etch a new stream into your consciousness, like water eroding the side of a mountain. Scientist confirm this bit of folk wisdom: our neurons break connections and form new pathways all the time. Even if you've been programmed to fear death, that particular pathway isn't set in stone. Each of us is responsible for seeking out new knowledge and creating mental circuits.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers.
Are people like that? I wondered. Am I like that? Always me, like the river itself, always flowing but always different, like the water flowing in the river, sometimes walking steadily along andante, sometimes surging over rapids furioso, sometimes meandering wit hardly any visible movement tranquilo, lento, ppp pianissimo, sometimes gurgling giacoso with pleasure, sometimes sparkling brillante in the sun, sometimes lacrimoso, sometimes appassionato, sometimes misterioso, sometimes pesante, sometimes legato, sometimes staccato, sometimes sospirando, sometimes vivace, and always, I hope, amoroso.
Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
Understanding is like water flowing in a stream. Wisdom and knowledge are solid and can block our understanding
Thich Nhat Hanh
Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind goes walking, and about the walls it goes.
What news from the West, oh wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?
‘I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.’
Oh, Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar.
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.
From the mouth of the sea the South Wind flies,
From the sand hills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans
What news from the South, oh sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.
‘Ask me not where he doth dwell--so many bones there lie
On the white shores and on the black shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!’
Oh Boromir! Beyond the gate the Seaward road runs South,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey seas mouth.
From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides,
And past the roaring falls
And loud and cold about the Tower its loud horn calls.
What news from the North, oh mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.
‘Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls, bore him upon its breast.’
Oh Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls until the end of days.
The waters of the stream played the part of the orchestra, and the sunlight provided the dancers. Every now and then a crescendo of wind highlighted the symphony in the clearing by the creek.
Edward Mooney Jr.
He picked up the letter Q and hurled it into a distant privet bush where it hit a young rabbit. The rabbit hurtled off in terror and didn’t stop till it was set upon and eaten by a fox which choked on one of its bones and died on the bank of a stream which subsequently washed it away.
During the following weeks Ford Perfect swallowed his pride and struck up a relationship with a girl who had been a personnel officer on Golgafrincham, and he was terribly upset when she suddenly passed away as a result of drinking water from a pool that had been polluted by the body of a dead fox.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
Where am I going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on a hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.
If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on the water as blue as air.
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"
Where am I going? The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all.
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."
If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"
Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
A.A. Milne (When We Were Very Young (Winnie-the-Pooh, #3))
Then the boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by within my hand's reach, yet I durst not handle it. It waded deep, as if it were heavily burdened, and it seemed to me as it passed under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water, from which came the light; and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep.
A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. it was Boromir, my brother, dead. I knew his gear, his sword, his beloved face. One thing only I missed: his horn. One thing only I knew not: a fair belt, as it were of linked golden leaves, about his waist.
Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir! But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was, and yet no dream, for there was no waking.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
Why was he alive on Earth? Very often the meaning was obscured. Very often it required some digging. The meaning of his life was an elusive stream of water hundreds of feet below the surface, and he would periodically drop a bucket down the well, fill it, bring it up and drink from it. But this did not sustain him for long.
Dave Eggers (A Hologram for the King)
Fish, amphibian, and reptile, warm-blooded bird and mammal-each of us carries in our veins a salty stream in which the elements sodium, potassium, and calcium are combined in almost the same proportions as in sea water.
Rachel Carson (The Sea Around Us)
Like all who are impassioned, I take blissful delight in losing myself, in fully experiencing the thrill of surrender. And so I often write with no desire to think, in an externalized reverie, letting the words cuddle me like a baby in their arms. They form sentences with no meaning, flowing softly like water I can feel, a forgetful stream whose ripples mingle and undefine, becoming other, still other ripples, and still again other. Thus ideas and images, throbbing with expressiveness, pass through me in resounding processions of pale silks on which imagination shimmers like moonlight, dappled and indefinite.
Sometimes by a woodland stream he watched the water rush over the pebbled bed, its tiny modulations of bounce and flow. A woman's body was like that. If you watched it carefully enough you could see how it moved to the rhythm of the world, the deep rhythm, the music below the music, the truth below the truth. He believed in this hidden truth the way other men believed in God or love, believed that truth was in fact always hidden, that the apparent, the overt, was invariably a kind of lie.
Salman Rushdie (The Enchantress of Florence)
To the Technocrats: Have mercy on us. Relax a bit, take time out for simple pleasures. For example, the luxuries of electricity, indoor plumbing, central heating, instant electronic communication and such, have taught me to relearn and enjoy the basic human satisfactions of dipping water from a cold clear mountain stream; of building a wood fire in a cast-iron stove; of using long winter nights for making music, making things, making love; of writing long letters, in longhand with a fountain pen, to the few people on this earth I truly care about.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Behold how the stream flows to the sea, and the flowing waters will return no more; thus, my brother, do your days pass away, and you approach to death; pleasures pass, amusements pass, pomp, praises, acclamations pass; and what remains?
Alfonso María de Liguori
The Thames Shouldered its way past Blackfriars Bridge, impatient with the ancient piers, no longer the passive stream that slid past Chelsea Marina, but a rush of ugly water that had scented the open sea and was ready to make a run for it.
J.G. Ballard (Millennium People)
The buckets emptied quickly, and men from different squads took turns bringing water from the gully that lay towards the city, where, in the feeble shade of emaciated mulberries, a muddy stream lived out its last days in the diabolical heat.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
Down by the stream in back of 124 her footprints come and go, come and go. They are so familiar. Should a child, an adult place his feet in them, they will fit. Take them out and they disappear again as though nobody ever walked there.
By and by all trace is gone, and what is forgotten is not only the footprints but the water too and what it is down there. The rest is weather. Not the breath of the disremembered and unaccounted for, but wind in the eaves, or spring ice thawing too quickly. Just weather. Certainly no clamor for a kiss.
Toni Morrison (Beloved (Beloved Trilogy, #1))
All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring's center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood, the streaming red dots in the goldfish's tail.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
She’d never encountered any stories as intricate or compelling as the stories he gave her, nor anything that made her sigh when she read it. She liked best the stories about people becoming other things. Stories where women became swans or echoes. In the evenings, when Finn disappeared into the mysterious recesses of the laboratory, Cat went out to the garden or down to the river and wondered what it would be like to be a stream of water, a cypress tree, a star burning a million miles away.
Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Mad Scientist’s Daughter)
We are attempting to play God, when maybe God put us
here in the first place.” Father Tomas’s words by the stream came back to me. I could see his stick in the
river, the water dividing on either side. “We can only move forward with what we have been given. Negotiate
the river of life. Of time. And we’ve been given this,” I pleaded, waving at our circle. “Family. Love. Joy. Life.
Can we not embrace it, for as long as we have it? Isn’t it what we all most dearly want, deep down?
Lisa Tawn Bergren
You taste of the cool water that hides deep in a stream. You taste of the night air, soft and scented and mysterious. The taste of you drives me wild. I want to be with you, be inside you, shout to the world that you are mine at the same time I want to keep you hidden where you will exist only for me. You make me feel invincible, little bird.
Katie MacAlister (Playing With Fire (Silver Dragons, #1))
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
Memories of the past year came tumbling down on me. The recent changes and reverses were almost overwhelming. I was learning that life flowed like a river. When the run-off was normal, the water ran smoothly. But if there came a downpour, it gushed. In the likeness to a flooding river, life events were caught up in the course of the devouring stream.
Mary Margaret Jensen (Against the Grain)
She had had affairs over the years ... but she had never been pregnant, never been a mother or a wife and it was only when she realized that it was too late, that it could never be, that she understood what it was that she had lost. Pamela's life would go on after she was dead, her descendants spreading through the world like the waters of a delta, but when Ursula died she would simply end. A stream that ran dry.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
Listening to her, one experienced a deep uneasiness as of having avoided an urgent responsibility, like someone who, walking at night along the banks of a stream, catches a glimpse in the water of a white face or a moving limb and turns quickly away, refusing to help or to search for help. We all see the faces in the water. We smother our memory of them, even our belief in their reality, and become calm people of the world; or we can neither forget or help them. Sometimes by a trick of circumstances or dream or a hostile neighborhood of light we see our own face.
Janet Frame (Faces in the Water)
O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain, and the brook that leaps from hill to plain; but better than rain or rippling streams is Water Hot that smokes and steams.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
They drink from streams whose waters taste like tears, and indeed each swallow fills them with a few heartbeats of deep sadness.
Peadar Ó Guilín (The Call (The Call, #1))
A nothing day full of
Little fish stream
by, a river in water.
James Schuyler (Selected Poems)
As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.
Also at times, on the surface of streams,
And grow and burst
And have no meaning at all
Except that they’re water?bubbles
Growing and bursting.
Alberto Caeiro (The Keeper of Sheep)
For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water
Isaiah Bible ESV
You are water, whirling water,
Yet still water trapped within,
Come, submerge yourself within us,
We who are the flowing stream.
Rumi (Love: The Joy That Wounds: The Love Poems of Rumi)
You shall suffer for ever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle! And you shall be loved by my lovers, courted by my courtiers. You shall be the queen of all men that have green eyes, whose necks also I have clasped in my nocturnal caresses; of those who love the sea, the sea that is immense, tumultuous and green, the formless and multiform streams, the place where they are not, the woman whom they do not know, sinister flowers that resemble the censers of a strange religion, perfumes that confound the will; and the savage and voluptuous animals which are the emblems of their dementia.
...one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I'm sure you'll agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged onto a half submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
Terry Pratchett (Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37; Rincewind, #8))
Bellamy Plunged Into The Lake and Closed The Distance Between Them With a Few
Powerful Strokes. He'd Boasted About Teaching Himself To Swim. During His Treks to The Stream and For Once He Had'nt Been
He Disappeared Under The Water,Just Long Enough for Clarke To Feel a Flicker of Worry
then His Hand Grasped Her Wrist and She Squealed as He Spun Her Around. Expecting
Him to Splash Her in Retaliation,But Bellamy
Just Stared at Her For a Moment Before Raising a Hand and Running His Fingers Along Her Neck "No Gills Yet" He Said Softly
Kass Morgan (Day 21 (The 100, #2))
Coffee, my delight of the morning; yoga, my delight of the noon. Then before nightfall, I run along the pleasant paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg. For when air cycles through the lungs, and the body is busy at noble tasks, creativity flows like water in a stream: the artist creates, the writer writes.
He strips me to my last nakedness, that underskin of mauve, pearlized satin, like a skinned rabbit; then dresses me again in an embrace so lucid and encompassing it might be made of water. And shakes over me dead leaves as if into the stream I have become.
Sometimes the birds, at random, all singing, strike a chord.
His skin covers me entirely; we are like two halves of a seed, enclosed in the same integument. I should like to grow enormously small, so that you could swallow me, like those queens in fairy tales who conceive when they swallow a grain of corn or a sesame seed. Then I could lodge inside your body and you would bear me.
Angela Carter (The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories)
Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system... They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man’s career with cool, cautious self-possession...
Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst,
we cannot have it all,
or want it all.
In its abundance
it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill,
while it flows
through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us,
except we keep returning to its rich waters
willing to die,
into the commonwealth of its joy.
And then finally the magic flowed, but not the same way as when the Dragon’s spell-lessons dragged it in a rush out of me. Instead it seemed to me the sound of the chanting became a stream made to carry magic along, and I was standing by the water’s edge with a pitcher that never ran dry, pouring a thin silver line into the rushing current.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
let’s live suddenly without thinking
under honest trees,
does.the brain of cleverly-crinkling
-water pursues the angry dream
of the shore. By midnight,
scratches the skin of the organised hills
an edged nothing begins to prune
let’s live like the light that kills
and let’s as silence,
because Whirl’s after all:
(after me)love,and after you.
I occasionally feel vague how
vague idon’t know tenuous Now-
spears and The Then-arrows making do
our mouths something red,something tall
The streams of salt water continued to flow freely from my eyes and over my cheeks.
“There’s a female approaching,” David warned.
“I can’t,” I whimpered.
Nely Cab (Creatura (Creatura, #1))
I felt clean, all the bone-beaked loneliness birds banished, their rocky nests turned to river stones. Cool, clear water bubbled over them, streams in the desert.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
It is only into the thirst of an empty soul that the streams of living waters flow. Ever thirsting is the secret of never thirsting.
Andrew Murray (Abide in Christ)
True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it. — William Penn
Richard J. Foster (Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christ)
The air was full of their scent, sweet and heady, and it seemed to me as though their very essence had mingled with the running waters of the stream, and become one with the falling rain and the dank rich moss beneath our fee
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
I was born in a country of brooks and rivers, in a corner of Champagne, called Le Vallage for the great number of its valleys. The most beautiful of its places for me was the hollow of a valley by the side of fresh water, in the shade of willows...My pleasure still is to follow the stream, to walk along its banks in the right direction, in the direction of the flowing water, the water that leads life towards the next village...Dreaming beside the river, I gave my imagination to the water, the green, clear water, the water that makes the meadows green. ...The stream doesn’t have to be ours; the water doesn’t have to be ours. The anonymous water knows all my secrets. And the same memory issues from every spring.
Gaston Bachelard (Water and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter (The Bachelard Translations))
A bay is a noun only if water is dead. When bay is a noun, it is defined by humans, trapped between its shores and contained by the word. But the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live. “To be a bay” holds the wonder that, for this moment, the living water has decided to shelter itself between these shores, conversing with cedar roots and a flock of baby mergansers. Because it could do otherwise—become a stream or an ocean or a waterfall, and there are verbs for that, too. To be a hill, to be a sandy beach, to be a Saturday, all are possible verbs in a world where everything is alive. Water, land, and even a day, the language a mirror for seeing the animacy of the world, the life that pulses through all things, through pines and nuthatches and mushrooms. This is the language I hear in the woods; this is the language that lets us speak of what wells up all around us.[…]
This is the grammar of animacy.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
Life to be bearable must be lived intensely. Through it a continuous stream of emotion passes. Though that emotion is ever changing as flowing water changes, it at least bears us along on a current that gives the illusion of continuity and permanence. But analyze life, tear its trappings off, lay it bare with thought, with logic, with philosophy, and its emptiness is revealed as a bottomless pit; its nothingness frankly confesses to nothingness, and Despair comes to perch in the soul.
This dim coolness of my room was to the broad daylight of the street what the shadow is to the sunbeam, that is to say equally luminous, and presented to my imagination the entire panorama of summer, which my senses, if I had been out walking, could have tasted and enjoyed only piecemeal; and so it was quite in harmony with my state of repose which (thanks to the enlivening adventures related in my books) sustained, like a hand reposing motionless in a stream of running water, the shock and animation of a torrent of activity.
Toward the back of the small property, Twentymile Creek flows through a ravine two to three feet deep and three times as wide. The waters of the creek, high and vigorous from recent rains, purl noisily around stones bearded with green moss and swatched with lichen. There she finds the body, stretched across the frothing stream.
Hank Quense (The King Who Disappeared)
Begin. Keep on beginning. Nibble on everything.
Take a hike. Teach yourself to whistle. Lie.
The older you get the more they'll want your stories.
Make them up. Talk to stones. Short-out electric
fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon. Learn
how to die. Eat moonshine pie. Drink wild geranium
tea. Run naked in the rain. Everything that happens
will happen and none of us will be safe from it.
Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night.
Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the
top of the highest tree until you come to the branch
where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast.
Wear them on your forehead. Lick the mountain's
bare shoulder. Measure the color of days
around your mother's death. Put your hands over
your face and listen to what they tell you.
They were walking beside the stream and the Lion went before them: and he became so beautiful, and the music so despairing, that Jill did not know which of them it was that filled her eyes with tears.
Then Aslan stopped, and the children looked into the stream. And there, on the golden gravel of the bed of the stream, lay King Caspian, dead, with the water flowing over him like liquid glass. His long white beard swayed in it like water-weed. And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
It's your duty to use what influence you have, unless you want to drift through life like a fish belly-up on the stream"
"I wish I could believe that life really is something more than a stream that carries us along, belly-up"
"Alright, if it's a stream, you're still free to be in this part of it or that part, aren't you? The water will divide again and again. If you bump, and tussle, and fight, and make use of whatever advantages you might have-"
"Oh, that's fine, I'm sure, when you have advantages."
"You'd find them everywhere, if you ever bothered to look!
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
The Patrician took a sip of his beer. “I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect I never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining on mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built into the nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
Terry Pratchett (Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37; Rincewind, #8))
The first woman who ever wept
was appalled at what stung
her eyes and ran down her cheeks.
How was it possible?
Hadn't she and the man
spent many days moving
upland to where the grass
flourished, where the stream
quenched their thirst with sweet water?
How could she have carried these sea drops
as if they were precious seeds;
where could she have stowed them?
She looked at the watchful gazelles
and the heavy-lidded frogs;
she looked at glass-eyed birds
and nervous, black-eyed mice.
None of them wept, not even the fish
that dripped in her hands when she caught them.
Not even the man. Only she
carried the sea inside her body.
Lisel Mueller (Alive Together)
Notice how each particle moves.
Notice how everyone has just arrived here
from a journey.
Notice how each wants a different food.
Notice how the stars vanish as the sun comes up,
and how all streams stream toward the ocean.
Look at the chefs preparing special plates
for everyone, according to what they need.
Look at this cup that can hold the ocean.
Look at those who see the face.
Look through Shams’ eyes
into the Water that is
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
As early as 1930 Schoenberg wrote: "Radio is an enemy, a ruthless enemy marching irresistibly forward, and any resistance is hopeless"; it "force-feeds us music . . . regardless of whether we want to hear it, or whether we can grasp it," with the result that music becomes just noise, a noise among other noises. Radio was the tiny stream it all began with. Then came other technical means for reproducing, proliferating, amplifying sound, and the stream became an enormous river. If in the past people would listen to music out of love for music, nowadays it roars everywhere and all the time, "regardless whether we want to hear it," it roars from loudspeakers, in cars, in restaurants, in elevators, in the streets, in waiting rooms, in gyms, in the earpieces of Walkmans, music rewritten, reorchestrated, abridged, and stretched out, fragments of rock, of jazz, of opera, a flood of everything jumbled together so that we don't know who composed it (music become noise is anonymous), so that we can't tell beginning from end (music become noise has no form): sewage-water music in which music is dying.
Milan Kundera (Ignorance)
Some days I like to wander to old and warn our places, forests ripped apart by man and streams that carry stagnant water where it use to flow. There is a sense of clarity in these places, a reflection of who I am or atleast who I have been. Broken, yet still incredibly beautiful.
We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course. If I'd never met Mr. Tanaka, my life would have been a simple stream flowing from our tipsy house to the ocean. Mr. Tanaka changed all that when he sent me out into the world.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.
There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.
I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.
And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
you breathe differently down here.
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.
This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
A mile below the lowest cloud, rock breaches water and the sea begins.
It has been given many names. Each inlet and bay and stream has been classified as if it were discrete. But it is one thing, where borders are absurd. It fills the space between stones and sand, curling around coastlines and filling trenches between the continents.
China Miéville (The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2))
Laila remembered how Mammy had dropped to the ground, how she’d screamed, torn at her hair. But Laila couldn’t even manage that. She could hardly move. She could hardly move a muscle.
She sat on the chair instead, hands limp in her lap, eyes staring at nothing, and let her mind fly on. She let it fly on until it found the place, the good and safe place, where the barley fields were green, where the water ran clear and the cottonwood seeds danced by the thousands in the air; where Babi was reading a book beneath an acacia and Tariq was napping with his hands laced across his chest, and where she could dip her feet in the stream and dream good dreams beneath the watchful gaze of gods of ancient, sun-bleached rock.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
The place had enormous possibilities. He realized that at once. The stream, of course, was perfect for sailing toy boats, for skipping stones, and, in the event of failing inspiration, for falling into. Several of the trees appeared to have been specifically designed for climbing, and one huge, white old birch overhanging the stream promised the exhilarating combination of climbing a tree and falling into the water, all at one time.
David Eddings (Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, #1))
He wanted to scream at his parents, to hit them, to elicit from them something - some melting into grief, some loss of composure, some recognition that something large had happened, that in Hemming's death they had lost something vital and necessary to their lives. He didn't care if they really felt that way or not: he just needed them to say it, he needed to feel that something lay beneath their imperturbable calm, that somewhere within them ran a thin stream of quick, cool water, teeming with delicate lives, minnows and grasses and tiny white flowers, all tender and easily wounded and so vulnerable you couldn't see them without aching for them.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Where's your dog?" Peter's voice came from within the gushing stream of water. Justin thought he must have misheard.
"Isn't he with you today?" Justin looked at Peter.
"Ha bloody ha." Peter stuck his head out of the stream of water, features dripping. He smiled shyly.
"I love greyhounds." Justin stared.
"My dog is imaginary."
"Oh." Peter looked interested. "That's unusual." Justin put his head under the water. When he emerged, Peter was still looking at him.
"Less work," Peter offered, cheerily. "If the dog's imaginary, I mean. Not so much grooming, feeding, et cetera.
Meg Rosoff (Just in Case)
This man was gorgeous. I'm mentioning this because women live their lives secretly waiting for their lives to become movies. We act like men are the ones shallow enough to desire an unending stream of beautiful women but really, if a charismatic narcissist beautiful bad boy man actually desires us, seems to choose us, we go to pieces. We suddenly feel like we are finally in that movie rather than a life. Just what we always wanted. To be chosen by the best looking man in the room. Rhett Butler. Even though we are of course smarter and more mature and more together than to ever want that. Or admit it.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water)
No device of the printer's art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson's standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub.
The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled -- cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom.
The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me.
I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches...'
The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet's fault.'
It was mine, I suppose,' Emerson said mildly.
Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?'
No,' said Emerson.
He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)
Elizabeth Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5))
All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject of great floods. It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Do not make an excuse that you have not opportunities to do anything for the glory of God, for the interest of the Redeemer's kingdom, and for the spiritual benefit of your neighbors. If your heart is full of love, it will find vent; you will find or make ways enough to express your love in deeds. When a fountain abounds in water it will send forth streams.
Jonathan Edwards (Charity and Its Fruits (Jonathan Edwards Collection))
A lover has four streams inside, of water, wine, honey, and milk. Find those in yourself, and pay no attention what so-and-so says about such-and-such. The rose does not care if someone calls it a thorn, or a jasmine. Ordinary eyes categorize human beings, That one is a Zoroastrian. This one, Muslim. Walk instead with the other vision given you, your first eyes.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
Flow gently, sweet Afton,
amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee
a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep
by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton,
disturb not her dream.
Thou stock dove whose echo
resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistly blackbirds
in yon thorny den,
Thou green crested lapwing
thy screaming forbear,
I charge you, disturb not
my slumbering fair.
How lofty, sweet Afton,
thy neighboring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses
of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander
as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's
sweet cot in my eye.
How pleasant thy banks
and green valleys below,
Where, wild in the woodlands,
the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild evening
weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades
my Mary and me.
Thy crystal stream, Afton,
how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where
my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters
her snowy feet lave,
As, gathering sweet flowerets,
she stems thy clear wave.
Flow gently, sweet Afton,
amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river,
the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep
by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton,
disturb not her dreams.
I watched the water swirl away entirely before I twisted my head to look at him. His fingers were gentle, but firm where he’d fisted them in my hair. “You never failed them,” I rasped. “I did … horrible things to ensure that.” Those violet eyes near-glowed in the dim light. “So did I.” My sweat clung like blood—the blood of those two faeries— I pivoted, barely turning in time. His other hand stroked long, soothing lines down the curve of my back, as over and over I yielded my dinner. When the latest wave had ebbed, I breathed, “The flames?” “Autumn Court.” I couldn’t muster a response. At some point, I leaned against the coolness of the nearby bathtub and closed my eyes. When I awoke, sun streamed through the windows, and I was in my bed—tucked in tightly to the fresh, clean sheets.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter.
He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase.
Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane.
The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway.
The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone.
John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air--
Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness.
Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason.
Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal.
"You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted.
Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe."
"So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them.
Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan.
At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk.
Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing.
He'd caught her.
......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile.
There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time.
God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadow of his head.
The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin's Day.
A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.
There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.
Unwearied then were Durin's folk;
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang,
And at the gates the trumpets rang.
The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold;
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin's halls;
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.
-The Song of Durin
Eccolo!” he exclaimed.
At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end.
“Courage!” cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. “Courage and love.”
She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.
Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone.
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her…
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
As Chuang-tzu says, “It may be attained but not seen,” or, in other words, felt but not conceived, intuited but not categorized, divined but not explained. In a similar way, air and water cannot be cut or clutched, and their flow ceases when they are enclosed. There is no way of putting a stream in a bucket or the wind in a bag. Verbal
Alan W. Watts (Tao: The Watercourse Way)
Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water.
“Pathetic,” he said. “That’s what it is. Pathetic.”
He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again.
“As I thought,” he said. “No better from THIS side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that’s what it is.”
There was a crackling noise in the bracken behind him, and out came Pooh.
“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it IS a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all WHAT?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush. ...I’m not complaining, but There It Is.
Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature-the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
... as a breath of wind or some echo rebounds from smooth, hard surfaces and returns to the source from which it issued, so the stream of beauty passes back into its possessor through his eyes, which is its natural route to the soul; arriving there and setting him all aflutter, it waters the passages of the feathers and causes the wings to grow, and fills the soul of the loved one in his turn with love.
In this world, the only easy path is the course of least resistance. This is the path always taken by a stream of water as it seeks lower and lower ground. It will never go over an obstacle, and even when it has to go around one, water will always find the easiest way around, the way that requires as little work as possible. This, you have have noticed, is what makes rivers crooked, and it makes men and women crooked too. The easy path never goes anywhere but downward, and spiritually, that is not the direction we want to go. Worthwhile destinations always take extra effort.
Gary Henry (Reaching Forward Daily Motivation to Move Ahead More Steadily)
My legs carried me away form that girl, desperate to leave her behind. My stride picked up, and the tears streamed with the water and sweat. I cried for the little girl who lost he father but never had a mother. I cried for the girl who only wanted to be accepted, but was never enough. I cried for the girl who suffered unfathomable pain at the hands of hate. I cried for the girl who deserved to be loved but didn't know how.
Rebecca Donovan (Out of Breath (Breathing, #3))
I squatted by the water as it flowed over the tumbled rocks, thought how far they must've come to have settled in the concrete channel, the stream clear and melodious, the smell of fresh water. I didn't want to think about my mother anymore.
I'd rather think about the way the willows and the cottonwoods and palms broke their way through the concrete, growing right out of the flood control channel, how the river struggled to re-establish itself. A little silt was carried down, settled. A seed dropped into it, sprouted. Little roots shot downward. The next thing you had trees, shrubs, birds.
My mother once wrote a poem about rivers. They were women, she wrote. Starting out small girls, tiny streams decorated with wildflowers. They were torrents, gouging paths through sheer granite, flinging themselves off cliffs, fearless and irresistible. Later, they grew fat servicable, broad slow curves carrying commerce and sewage, but in their unconscious depths catfish gorged, grew the size of barges, and in the hundred-year storms, they rose up, forgetting the promises they made, the wedding vows, and drowned everything for miles around. Finally they gave out, birth-emptied, malarial, into a fan of swamps that met the ocean.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
The point is this: that the stream of memory may lead you to the river of understanding. And understanding, in turn, may be a tributary to the river of forgiveness. Perhaps, Dominick, you have yet to emerge fully from the pond where you swam that morning so long ago. And perhaps, when you do, you will no longer look into the water and see the reflection of a son of a bithc.
Wally Lamb (I Know This Much Is True)
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?
Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 percent of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
I had no fear of the stream's perils, and I listened with the greatest contentment to the quiet slap of water on rocks, the running whisper of the current, and the taps and creaks and croaks that rose with the mist around me. Overhead swing the glittering stars, and the bright moon shone down and lit the curling ripples of the water. At no time in my life had I been in greater danger from the elements, and yet if I learned that heaven is such as that night was, I should deem it a joy worth the dying.
Clare B. Dunkle (The House of Dead Maids)
Before the Battle:
Music of whispering trees
Hushed by the broad-winged breeze
Where shaken water gleams;
And evening radiance falling
With reedy bird-notes calling.
O bear me safe through dark, you low-voiced streams.
I have no need to pray
That fear may pass away;
I scorn the growl and rumble of the fight
That summons me from cool
Silence of marsh and pool,
And yellow lilies islanded in light.
O river of stars and shadows, lead me through the night.
Siegfried Sassoon (The War Poems)
Oh, Geralt,’ he heard Ciri’s voice. ‘How delightful it is here… Pity you can’t see. There are so many flowers. And birds. Can you hear them singing? Oh, there’s so many of them. Heaps. Oh, and squirrels. Careful, we’re going to cross a stream, over a stone bridge. Don’t fall in. Oh, so many little fishes! Hundreds. They’re swimming in the water, you know. So many little animals, oh my. There can’t be so many anywhere else.’ ‘There can’t,’ he muttered. ‘Nowhere else. This is Brokilon.’ ‘What?’ ‘Brokilon. The Last Place.’ ‘I don’t understand.’ ‘No one understands. No one wants to understand.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.7))
Slavery is not an indefinable mass of flesh. It is a particular, specific enslaved woman, whose mind is active as your own, whose range of feeling is as vast as your own; who prefers the way the light falls in one particular spot in the woods, who enjoys fishing where the water eddies in a nearby stream, who loves her mother in her own complicated way, thinks her sister talks too loud, has a favorite cousin, a favorite season, who excels at dressmaking and knows, inside herself, that she is as intelligent and capable as anyone.
It was an evening of torment, and I remember only one other thing about it. At some point after everyone was asleep, I wandered away from the inn in a daze and ended up on the sea cliffs, staring out into the darkness with sound of the roaring water below me. The thundering of the ocean was like a bitter lament. I seemed to see beneath everything a layering of cruelty I have never known was there. The howling of the wind and shaking of the trees seemed to mock me. Could it really be that the stream of my life had divided forever.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
Rupert Brooke (The Old Vicarage, Grantchester)
The mermaids came to me finally, in the pink hours of my life. They are my consolation. For them I dove with arms outstretched, my life streaming out behind me, a leap against all proprieties and expectations, but a leap that was somehow saving and necessary. How can I ever explain or account for that? I dove, and a pair of invisible arms simply appeared, unstinting arms, like the musculature of grace suddenly revealing itself. They caught me after I hit the water, bearing me not to the surface but to the bottom, and only then pulling me up.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
THE STOLEN CHILD
Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Away with us he's going,
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
W.B. Yeats (Crossways)
Siddhartha saw it hurrying, the river, which consisted of him and his loved ones and of all people, he had ever seen, all of these waves and waters were hurrying, suffering, towards goals, many goals, the waterfall, the lake, the rapids, the sea, and all goals were reached, and every goal was followed by a new one, and the water turned into vapour and rose to the sky, turned into rain and poured down from the sky, turned into a source, a stream, a river, headed forward once again, flowed on once again.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
I am a child throwing rocks into the stream.
Challenging the rushing water.
Raising my fist and daring fate to do it worst.
I am a dancer in the waves of the ocean.
Swaying in time with the tide.
Pirouetting, the current my only friend.
I am the sun, rising across the canyon
Ascending, and shinning down.
Giving the illusion of perception and motion.
I am thoughts like a rolling river.
Water cascading over the rocks of my soul.
Shaping, forming, conforming.
I am the peace of the rain forest.
Basking in solitude
Tranquil, serene, transfixing angles.
Reflecting from within.
Dripping and dropping. Shaking it off.
I am the dust of the galaxy.
Yearning to know itself.
I am the wind.
A storm brewing from within.
Tosha Michelle (Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle.: A Poet's Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal)
He didn't really care if they felt that way or not: he just needed them to say it, he needed to feel that something lay beneath their imperturbable calm, that somewhere within them ran a thin stream of quick, cool water, teeming with delicate lives, minnows and grasses and tiny white flowers, all tender and easily wounded and so vulnerable you couldn't see them without aching for them.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Spring comes to the Australian Alps like an invisible spirit. There is not the tremendous surge of upthrust life that there is in the lowland valleys, and no wild flowers bloom in the snow mountains till the early summer, but there is an immense stirring of excitement. A bright red and blue lowrie flits through the trees; snow thaws, and the streams become full of foaming water; the grey, flattened grass grows upwards again and becomes greener; wild horses start to lose their winter coats and find new energy; wombats sit, round and fat, blinking in the evening sunshine; at night there is the cry of a dingo to its mate.
the toilet is an intimacy
only shared with parents when you are young
and once again when they are older
and with lovers when say on a Sunday
morning stretching into the bathroom
you wake to the sound of stream into bowl
and go to hug the naked body
stood with its back to you and kiss the neck
and taste the whole of the night on there
and smell the morning’s pale yellow loss
and take the whole of him in your hand
and feel the water moving through him
and knowing that this is love the prone flesh
what we expel from the body and what we let inside
Andrew McMillan (Physical)
Bellamy Plunged Into The Lake and Closed The Distance Between Them With a Few
Powerful Strokes. He'd Boasted About Teaching Himself To Swim. During His Treks to The Stream and For Once He Had'nt Been
He Disappeared Under The Water,Just Long Enough for Clarke To Feel a Flicker of Worry
then His Hand Grasped Her Wrist and She Squealed as He Spun Her Around. Expecting
Him to Splash Her in Retaliation,But Bellamy
Just Stared at Her For a Moment Before Raising a Hand and Running His Fingers Along Her Neck "No Gills Yet" He Said Softly”
Kass Morgan (Day 21 (The 100, #2))
I sit down by the river.
Its incessant flow has polished the rocks carried from the top of the mountain. The aqueous caress, that has unrolled for millions of years the liquid ribbon from the summits towards the plains, keeps the freshness of the youth.
The July sun heats the trees on the shore, while the stream of water refreshes the air; Two breaths which mingle without opposing one another. The foliage softly sways under the summer breeze, tuning its movement to that of the fiery wave.
Won by a palpable peace, thank you Mother Nature, I dive into my book.
A time later, which seems infinite to me, the sky becomes darker, I raise my head.
How many hours have passed during which, indifferent to the human time, the cascading water has descended from the mountain? How much water has passed in front of me? How many beings have quenched their thirst there, and get their lives out from it?
How long after my small passage on Earth will have been forgotten, the river will continue to flow, to carry its rocks, to erode the mountain until it becomes a plain, to spread life like a vein of the Earth ?
This is in the natural order of things--the time of life we've now entered. The afternoon, as Jung called it. Thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life. Are we unprepared simply because preparation is not possible? ... We learn--if we are lucky we learn--as we go.
... we are in the center of the stream. Much has already happened, and has formed the shape of our lives as surely as water shapes rock. Much lies ahead of us. We can't see what's coming. We can't know it. All we have is our hope that all will be well, and our knowledge that it won't always be so. We live in the space between this hope and this knowledge.
Life keeps coming at us. Fleeing it is pointless, as is fighting. What I have begun to learn is that there is value in simply standing there--this too--whether the sun is shining, or the wind whipping all around. [pp.239-240]
Dani Shapiro (Devotion: A Memoir)
But I awoke at three, feeling terribly sad, and feeling rebelliously that I didn't want to study sadness, madness, melancholy, and despair. I wanted to study triumphs, the rediscoveries of love, all that I know in the world to be decent, radiant, and clear. Then the word "love", the impulse to love, welled up in me somewhere above my middle. Love seemed to flow from me in all directions, abundant as water--love for Cora, love for Flora, love for all my friends and neighbors, love for Penumbra. This tremendous flow of vitality could not be contained within its spelling, and I seemed to seize a laundry marker and write "luve" on the wall. I wrote "luve" on the staircase, "luve" on the pantry, "luve" on the oven, the washing machine, and the coffeepot, and when Cora came down in the morning (I would be nowhere around) everywhere she looked she would read "luve", "luve", "luve." Then I saw a green meadow and a sparkling stream. On the ridge there were thatched-roof cottages and a square church tower, so I knew it must be England. I climbed up from the meadow to the streets of the village, looking for the cottage where Cora and Flora would be waiting for me. There seemed to have been some mistake. No one knew their names. I asked at the post office, but the answer here was the same. Then it occurred to me that they would be at the manor house. How stupid I had been! I left the village and walked up a sloping lawn to a Georgian house, where a butler let me in. The squire was entertaining. There were twenty-five or thirty people in the hall, drinking sherry. I took a glass from a tray and looked through the gathering for Flora and my wife, but they were not there. Then I thanked my host and walked down the broad lawn, back to the meadow and the sparkling brook, where I lay on the grass and fell into a sweet sleep.
That night in bed I was thinking about the way creeks and streams operate. They start off little, gurgling and bubbling and jumping over rocks and stuff, full of energy, going all over the place. Then they get older and bigger, become rivers, take a more definite course, stick to their path, know where they're going, get slower and wider. And eventually they reach the ocean and become part of this vast mysterious world of water that stretches away forever.
Yep, just like people.
John Marsden (While I Live (The Ellie Chronicles, #1))
The blue mountains are constantly walking." Dōgen is quoting the Chan master Furong. -- "If you doubt mountains walking you do not know your own walking."
-- Dōgen is not concerned with "sacred mountains" - or pilgrimages, or spirit allies, or wilderness as some special quality. His mountains and streams are the processes of this earth, all of existence, process, essence, action, absence; they roll being and non-being together. They are what we are, we are what they are. For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. Roots, stems, and branches are all equally scratchy. No hierarchy, no equality. No occult and exoteric, no gifted kids and slow achievers. No wild and tame, no bound or free, no natural and artificial. Each totally its own frail self. Even though connected all which ways; even because connected all which ways. This, thusness, is the nature of the nature of nature. The wild in wild.
So the blue mountains walk to the kitchen and back to the shop, to the desk, to the stove. We sit on the park bench and let the wind and rain drench us. The blue mountains walk out to put another coin in the parking meter, and go down to the 7-Eleven. The blue mountains march out of the sea, shoulder the sky for a while, and slip back to into the waters.
Gary Snyder (Practice of the Wild)
The water beneath the Temple was both actual and metaphorical, existing as springs and streams, as spiritual energy, and as a symbol of the receptive or lunar aspect of nature.
The meaning of that principle is too wide and elusive for it to be given any one name, so in the terminology of ancient science it was given a number, 1,080. Its polar opposite, the positive, solar force in the universe, was also referred to as a number 666.
These two numbers, which have an approximate golden-section relationship of 1:1.62, were at the root of the alchemical formula that expressed the supreme purpose of the Temple. Its polar opposite, the positive, solar force in the universe, was also referred to as a number 666. Not merely was it used to generate energy from fusion of atmospheric and terrestrial currents, but it also served to combine in harmony all the correspondences of those forces on every level of creation.
John Michell (The Dimensions of Paradise: Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order on Earth)
But why live in these environments at all? What possessed fish to get out of the water or live in the margins? Think of this: virtually every fish swimming in these 375-million-year-old streams was a predator of some kind. Some were up to sixteen feet long, almost twice the size of the largest Tiktaalik. The most common fish species we find alongside Tiktaalik is seven feet long and has a head as wide as a basketball. The teeth are barbs the size of railroad spikes. Would you want to swim in these ancient streams?
Neil Shubin (Your Inner Fish: a Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body)
The river reflected whatever it chose of sky and bridge and burning tree, and when the undergraduate had oared his boat through the reflections they closed again, completely, as if they had never been. There one might have sat the clock round lost in thought. Thought --to call it by a prouder name than it deserved-- had let its line down into the stream. It swayed, minute after minute, hither and thither among the reflections and the weeds, letting the water lift it and sink it until --you know the little tug -- the sudden conglomeration of an idea at the end of one's line: and then the cautious hauling of it in, and the careful laying of it out? Alas, laid on the grass how small, how insignificant this thought of mine looked; the sort of fish that a good fisherman puts back into the water so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth cooking and eating.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Old Man River!
That seems far too austere a name
For something made of mirth and rage.
O, roiling red-blood river vein,
If chief among your traits is age,
You're a wily, convoluted sage.
Is "old" the thing to call what rings
The vernal heart of wester-lore;
What brings us brassy-myth made kings
(And preponderance of bug-type things)
To challenge titans come before?
Demiurge to a try at Avalon-once-more!
And what august vitality
In your wide aorta stream
You must have had to oversee
Alchemic change of timber beam
To iron, brick and engine steam.
Your umber whiskey waters lance
The prideful sober sovereignty
Of faulty-haloed Temperance
And wilt her self-sure countenance;
Yes, righteousness is vanity,
But your sport's for imps, not elderly.
If there's a name for migrant mass
Of veteran frivolity
That snakes through seas of prairie grass
And groves of summer sassafras,
A name that flows as roguishly
As gypsy waters, fast and free,
It's your real name, Mississippi.
Tracy J. Butler (Lackadaisy: Volume #1 (Lackadaisy, #1))
The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him. In a sort of panic he pushed the palms of his hands into his eyes and tried to bring up a picture of the waters lapping on Sherry Island and the moonlit veranda, and gingham on the golf-links and the dry sun and the gold color of her neck's soft down. And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning. Why, these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer.
For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished.
“Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."
He's supposed to know that.
When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.
When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
"Did somebody die?"
When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.
Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?
When he says, "Ours is a transitional era,"
"that's very original of you," she replies,
dry as the martini he is sipping.
They fight all the time
What do I owe you?
Let's start with an apology
Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter."
It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,
"and you can quote me on that,"
which sounds great in an English accent.
One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
another nine times.
When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
airport in a foreign country with a jeep.
When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that
she's two hours late
and there's nothing in the refrigerator.
When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.
When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
Far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all
too fleeting day lingered lovingly on sea and strand, on the proud
promontory of dear old Howth guarding as ever the waters of the bay, on
the weedgrown rocks along Sandymount shore and, last but not least, on the
quiet church whence there streamed forth at times upon the stillness the
voice of prayer to her who is in her pure radiance a beacon ever to the
stormtossed heart of man, Mary, star of the sea.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
How are you giving it magic?” he said, through his teeth.
“I already found the path!” I said. “I’m just staying on it. Can’t you—feel it?” I asked abruptly, and held my hand cupping the flower out towards him; he frowned and put his hands around it, and then he said, “Vadiya rusha ilikad tuhi,” and a second illusion laid itself over mine, two roses in the same space—his, predictably, had three rings of perfect petals, and a delicate fragrance.
“Try and match it,” he said absently, his fingers moving slightly, and by lurching steps we brought our illusions closer together until it was nearly impossible to tell them one from another, and then he said, “Ah,” suddenly, just as I began to glimpse his spell: almost exactly like that strange clockwork on the middle of his table, all shining moving parts. On an impulse I tried to align our workings: I envisioned his like the water-wheel of a mill, and mine the rushing stream driving it around. “What are you—” he began, and then abruptly we had only a single rose, and it began to grow.
And not only the rose: vines were climbing up the bookshelves in every direction, twining themselves around ancient tomes and reaching out the window; the tall slender columns that made the arch of the doorway were lost among rising birches, spreading out long finger-branches; moss and violets were springing up across the floor, delicate ferns unfurling. Flowers were blooming everywhere: flowers I had never seen, strange blooms dangling and others with sharp points, brilliantly colored, and the room was thick with their fragrance, with the smell of crushed leaves and pungent herbs. I looked around myself alight with wonder, my magic still flowing easily. “Is this what you meant?” I asked him: it really wasn’t any more difficult than making the single flower had been. But he was staring at the riot of flowers all around us, as astonished as I was.
He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Durga is the strength and protective power in nature, Lakshmi is its beauty. As Kali is the darkness of night and the great dissolve into nirvana, Lakshmi is the brightness of day and the expansiveness of teeming life. She can be found in rich soil and flowing waters, in streams and lakes that teem with fish. She is one of those goddesses whose signature energy is most accessible through the senses. You can detect her in the fragrance of flowers or of healthy soil. You can see her in the leafed-out trees of June and hear her voice in morning birdsong. If Durga is military band music and Kali heavy metal, Lakshmi is Mozart. She’s chocolate mousse, satiny sheets, the soft feeling of water slipping through your fingers. Lakshmi is growth, renewal, sweetness.
Sally Kempton (Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga)
On the mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
The Akielon march into the fort was the flow of a single red stream, except that whereas water swirled and swelled, it was straight and unyielding.
Their arms and legs were crudely bare, as if war was an act of flesh impacting on flesh. Their weapons were unadorned, as if they had brought only the essentials required for killing. Rows and rows of them, laid out with mathematical precision. The discipline of feet marching in unison was a display of power, and violence, and strength.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night's impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.
Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost;
Thro' this unbounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.
Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner's expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.
Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air ;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell - beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.
When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav'n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean's boiling flood
Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.
Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of Wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency.
To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force,
When the keen north-wind's freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.
Anne Bannerman (Poems by Anne Bannerman.)
He was waiting there for her beside the pool - a great black horse with shoulders like polished ebony and the water still streaming from his mane and tail. Morag stood and looked at him for a long moment. The great horse looked at her and never moved.
“Will you trust me?” he had asked her the evening before, and she had trusted him then. She trusted him now, and so she walked towards him. She grasped his mane, and still the black horse never moved. She stood on a stone beside him, swung herself onto his back, and the black horse moved.
Mollie Hunter (The Kelpie's Pearls)
Creation groans, awaiting the revelation of the sons of God. It remembers, I think, in dreams, the wonders of the sinless, perfect world. You can hear it in the wild tinkle of the wind through the beech leaves, the splashing of water through cold, crystal streams, the beauty of a hind poised against the sky on a hilltop, and al through heartbreaking, beautiful things that surround us each day. They are memories, dear Indi, memories of long-lost days when God walked with man and all was well [...]
But all these beauties we see are but dreams in the night, whispers of a hope to come beyond the end of this Age, that wonderful Other Thing. [...] God will not settle for imperfection, but He works His own ways in His own time. That is what we are living for, that is what stirs our sweet dreams each night, both us and the world, and that is what keeps us going through the dark: knowing that a morning is coming. And while we love the beauty of our world, we must remember that it is only a type, a shadow thing, very faintly resembling what is to come.
Jennifer Freitag (The Shadow Things)
Every moment the patches of green grew bigger and the patches of snow grew smaller. Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow. Soon, wherever you looked, instead of white shapes you saw the dark green of firs or the black prickly branches of bare oaks and beeches and elms. Then the mist turned from white to gold and presently cleared away altogether. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down on to the forest floor and overhead you could see a blue sky between the tree tops.
Soon there were more wonderful things happening. Coming suddenly round a corner into a glade of silver birch trees Edmund saw the ground covered in all directions with little yellow flowers- celandines. The noise of water grew louder. Presently they actually crossed a stream. Beyond it they found snowdrops growing.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
Once he told me that the hard part is finding the clay, the raw material of the story. It takes work to harvest clay. You have to go to a stream and grab a bucket of mud, mix it with water, sift out the rougher sediment, pour off the water, allow the moisture to seep through a cloth for days. That’s your first draft. After that you get to flop the clay onto the pottery wheel and turn it into something better than mud, hopefully something both useful and beautiful. That’s revision. Whether you’re writing a song or a story, you have to shape it and reshape it, scrap it and start over, always working it as close as it can get to the thing it wants to become. But first you need that muddy lump, the first draft.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
And to the flour
add water, only
a thin stream whispering gathered
rains of a reticent winter.
And to the flour add oil, only
a glistening thread snaking through
ridges and ravines of what
sifts through your fingers,
what sinks, moist and burdened
between your palms.
And in the kneading
hinge forward, let the weight
of what you carry on your shoulders,
the luster of your language, shade
of your story press into the dough.
And to the dough bring
the signature of your fingertips, stretch
the canvas before you, summer linen
of wheat and autumn velvet of olive oil,
smooth like a map
of silence and fragrance,
of invisible terrains of memory.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
That maybe I’m the answer,’ I blurted. ‘To healing your heart. I could … you know, be your boyfriend. As Lester. If you wanted. You and me. You know, like … yeah.’ I was absolutely certain that up on Mount Olympus, the other Olympians all had their phones out and were filming me to post on Euterpe-Tube. Reyna stared at me long enough for the marching band in my circulatory system to play a complete stanza of ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’. Her eyes were dark and dangerous. Her expression was unreadable, like the outer surface of an explosive device. She was going to murder me. No. She would order her dogs to murder me. By the time Meg rushed to my aid, it would be too late. Or worse – Meg would help Reyna bury my remains, and no one would be the wiser. When they returned to camp, the Romans would ask, What happened to Apollo? Who? Reyna would say. Oh, that guy? Dunno, we lost him. Oh, well! the Romans would reply, and that would be that. Reyna’s mouth tightened into a grimace. She bent over, gripping her knees. Her body began to shake. Oh, gods, what had I done? Perhaps I should comfort her, hold her in my arms. Perhaps I should run for my life. Why was I so bad at romance? Reyna made a squeaking sound, then a sort of sustained whimper. I really had hurt her! Then she straightened, tears streaming down her face, and burst into laughter. The sound reminded me of water rushing over a riverbed that had been dry for ages. Once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. She doubled over, stood upright again, leaned against a tree and looked at her dogs as if to share the joke. ‘Oh … my … gods,’ she wheezed. She managed to restrain her mirth long enough to blink at me through the tears, as if to make sure I was really there and she’d heard me correctly. ‘You. Me? HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant's Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
You would -- you would take him into Your heaven, my lord?" asked Ingrey in astonishment and outrage. "He slew, not in defense of his own life, but in malice and madness. He tried to steal powers not rightly given to him. If I guess right, he plotted the death of his own brother. He would have raped Ijada, if he could, and killed again for his sport!"
The Son held up his hands. Luminescent, they seemed, as if dappled by autumn sun reflecting off a stream into shade. "My grace flows from me as a river, wolf-lord. Would you have me dole it out in the exact measure that men earn, as from an apothecary's dropper? Would you stand in pure water to your waist, and administer it by the scant spoon to men dying of thirst on a parched shore?"
Ingrey stood silent, abashed, but Ijada lifted her face, and said steadily, "No, my lord, for my part. Give him to the river. Tumble him down in the thunder of Your cataract. His loss is no gain of mine, nor his dark deserving any joy to me."
The god smiled brilliantly at her. Tears slid down her face like silver threads: like benedictions.
"It is unjust," whispered Ingrey. "Unfair to all who -- who would try to do rightly...."
"Ah, but I am not the god for justice," murmured the Son. "Would you both stand before my Father instead?
Lois McMaster Bujold (The Hallowed Hunt (World of the Five Gods, #3))
I found myself drawn to biology, with all its frustrating yet fascinating complexities. When I was twelve, I remember reading about axolotls, which are basically a species of salamander that has evolved to remain permanently in the aquatic larval stage. They manage to keep their gills (rather than trading them in for lungs, like salamanders or frogs) by shutting down metamorphosis and becoming sexually mature in the water. I was completely flabbergasted when I read that by simply giving these creatures the “metamorphosis hormone” (thyroid extract) you could make the axolotl revert back into the extinct, land-dwelling, gill-less adult ancestor that it had evolved from. You could go back in time, resurrecting a prehistoric animal that no longer exists anywhere on Earth. I also knew that for some mysterious reason adult salamanders don’t regenerate amputated legs but the tadpoles do. My curiosity took me one step further, to the question of whether an axolotl—which is, after all, an “adult tadpole”—would retain its ability to regenerate a lost leg just as a modern frog tadpole does. And how many other axolotl-like beings exist on Earth, I wondered, that could be restored to their ancestral forms by simply giving them hormones? Could humans—who are after all apes that have evolved to retain many juvenile qualities—be made to revert to an ancestral form, perhaps something resembling Homo erectus, using the appropriate cocktail of hormones? My mind reeled out a stream of questions and speculations, and I was hooked on biology forever. I found mysteries and possibilities everywhere.
V.S. Ramachandran (The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human)
In the discoveries of science the harmony of the spheres is also now the harmony of life. And as the eerie illumination of science penetrates evermore deeply into the order of nature, the cosmos appears increasingly to be a vast system finely tuned to generate life and organisms of biology very similar, perhaps identical, to ourselves. All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology - that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as a fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact.
Four centuries after the scientific revolution apparently destroyed irretrievably man's special place in the universe, banished Aristotle, and rendered teleological speculation obsolete, the relentless stream of discovery has turned dramatically in favor of teleology and design, and the doctrine of the microcosm is reborn. As I hope the evidence presented in this book has shown, science, which has been for centuries the great ally of atheism and skepticism, has become at last, in the final days of the second millennium, what Newton and many of its early advocates had so fervently wished - the "defender of the anthropocentric faith.
Michael Denton (Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe)
As you go down the water,’ he said, ‘you will find that the trees will fail, and you will come to a barren country. There the River flows in stony vales amid high moors, until at last after many leagues it comes to the tall island of the Tindrock, that we call Tol Brandir. There it casts its arms about the steep shores of the isle, and falls then with a great noise and smoke over the cataracts of Rauros down into the Nindalf, the Wetwang as it is called in your tongue. That is a wide region of sluggish fen where the stream becomes tortuous and much divided. There the Entwash flows in by many mouths from the Forest of Fangorn in the west. About that stream, on this side of the Great River, lies Rohan. On the further side are the bleak hills of the Emyn Muil. The wind blows from the East there, for they look out over the Dead Marshes and the Noman-lands to Cirith Gorgor and the black gates of Mordor.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
He picked up the letter Q and hurled it into a distant privet bush where it hit a young rabbit. The rabbit hurtled off in terror and didn’t stop till it was set upon and eaten by a fox which choked on one of its bones and died on the bank of a stream which subsequently washed it away. During the following weeks Ford Prefect swallowed his pride and struck up a relationship with a girl who had been a personnel officer on Golgafrincham, and he was terribly upset when she suddenly passed away as a result of drinking water from a pool that had been polluted by the body of a dead fox. The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
Nothing on the horizon; nothing in heaven.
He implores the expanse, the waves, the seaweed, the reef; they are deaf. He beseeches the tempest; the imperturbable tempest obeys only the infinite.
Around him darkness, fog, solitude, the stormy and non- sentient tumult, the undefined curling of those wild waters. In him horror and fatigue. Beneath him the depths. Not a point of support. He thinks of the gloomy adventures of the corpse in the limitless shadow. The bottomless cold paralyzes him. His hands contract convulsively; they close, and grasp nothingness. Winds, clouds, whirlwinds, gusts, useless stars! What is to be done? The desperate man gives up; he is weary, he chooses the alternative of death; he resists not; he lets himself go; he abandons his grip; and then he tosses forevermore in the lugubrious dreary depths of engulfment.
Oh, implacable march of human societies! Oh, losses of men and of souls on the way! Ocean into which falls all that the law lets slip! Disastrous absence of help! Oh, moral death!
The sea is the inexorable social night into which the penal laws fling their condemned. The sea is the immensity of wretchedness.
The soul, going down stream in this gulf, may become a corpse. Who shall resuscitate it?
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
FAUSTUS. Ah, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damn'd perpetually!
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come;
Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
O lente,172 lente currite, noctis equi!
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd.
O, I'll leap up to my God!—Who pulls me down?—
See, see, where Christ's blood streams in the firmament!
One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah, my Christ!—
Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ!
Yet will I call on him: O, spare me, Lucifer!—
Where is it now? 'tis gone: and see, where God
Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows!
Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!
Then will I headlong run into the earth:
Earth, gape! O, no, it will not harbour me!
You stars that reign'd at my nativity,
Whose influence hath allotted death and hell,
Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist.
Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud[s],
That, when you173 vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths,
So that my soul may but ascend to heaven!
[The clock strikes the half-hour.]
Ah, half the hour is past! 'twill all be past anon
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ's sake, whose blood hath ransom'd me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
A hundred thousand, and at last be sav'd!
O, no end is limited to damned souls!
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
Ah, Pythagoras' metempsychosis, were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be chang'd
Unto some brutish beast!174 all beasts are happy,
For, when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolv'd in elements;
But mine must live still to be plagu'd in hell.
Curs'd be the parents that engender'd me!
No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer
That hath depriv'd thee of the joys of heaven.
[The clock strikes twelve.]
O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell!
[Thunder and lightning.]
O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found!
My God, my god, look not so fierce on me!
Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I'll burn my books!—Ah, Mephistophilis!
[Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS.]
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
And the days move on and the names of the months change and the four seasons bury one another and it is spring again and yet again and the small streams that run over the rough sides of Gormenghast Mountain are big with rain while the days lengthen and summer sprawls across the countryside, sprawls in all the swathes of its green, with its gold and sticky head, with its slumber and the drone of doves and with its butterflies and its lizards and its sunflowers, over and over again, its doves, its butterflies, its lizards, its sunflowers, each one an echo-child while the fruit ripens and the grotesque boles of the ancient apple trees are dappled in the low rays of the sun and the air smells of such rotten sweetness as brings a hunger to the breast, and makes of the heart a sea-bed, and a tear, the fruit of salt and water, ripens, fed by a summer sorrow, ripens and falls … falls gradually along the cheekbones, wanders over the wastelands listlessly, the loveliest emblem of the heart’s condition. And the days move on and the names of the months change and the four seasons bury one another and the field-mice draw upon their granaries. The air is murky, and the sun is like a raw wound in the grimy flesh of a beggar, and the rags of the clouds are clotted. The sky has been stabbed and has been left to die above the world, filthy, vast and bloody. And then the great winds come and the sky is blown naked, and a wild bird screams across the glittering land. And the Countess stands at the window of her room with the white cats at her feet and stares at the frozen landscape spread below her, and a year later she is standing there again but the cats are abroad in the valleys and a raven sits upon her heavy shoulder. And every day the myriad happenings. A loosened stone falls from a high tower. A fly drops lifeless from a broken pane. A sparrow twitters in a cave of ivy. The days wear out the months and the months wear out the years, and a flux of moments, like an unquiet tide, eats at the black coast of futurity. And Titus Groan is wading through his boyhood.
Mervyn Peake (The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy)
It was the moths that first revealed the change. Grey-tipped whispers in the moonlit night. Two or three here, a single one there. White ones slipping through the darkness, silent and seemingly harmless, but present. Growing in numbers until they erupted the quiet like flutters of falling ash. There was a music in their silence. The kind of music that attached itself to hums and vibrations in the waters of the earth.
The hums, the vibrations, all but imperceptible. With the dawn the moths vanished, leaving a broken land in their wake. The Elian River leaked out into fissures of streams and brooks that first appeared as watery cracks throughout the Faeran Valley. So small at first, we didn't recognize the difference.
But as the months and years passed, the Elian slipped further and deeper into the growing fractures of earth the moths had left. Trails of watery branches and veins that broke the ground until it couldn't sustain life any longer.
This is what we have against the Bremistans. The land is delicate now, brittle like old bones. And I fear it is aging beyond our ability to heal it....
Debi Cimo (Delicate The alchemy of Emily Greyson)
When the Path Is Blocked When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way. We are each a mountain for the other to climb, and often our path to love is interrupted by a mishap or a problem or something unexpected that needs attending. We tend to call these unexpected things in life “obstacles.” Often the thing in the way comes from another person: a stubbornness falls like a tree blocking where we want to go, or a sadness comes like a flash flood to muddy the road between us, or just as we go to rest in the clearing we have prepared, we are bitten by something hiding in the undergrowth. Thus, in daily ways, we have this constant choice: to see each other as the stubborn, muddy, biting thing that blocks our way, or to back up and take in the whole person as we would a mountain in its entirety, dizzy when looking up into its majesty. When we are blocked in our closeness with another, we have this constant opportunity: to raise our eyes and behold each other completely, then to kneel and lift the fallen tree, or cross the flooded path, or pluck and toss the biting thing. We have the chance to keep climbing, so we might cup the water that runs from each other, so we might quench our thirst as from a mountain stream, knowing that love like water comes softly through the hardest places.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
By the middle of the afternoon it had rained so much that the drains were overflowing, clogged up with leaves and newspapers.
The water built up until it was sliding across the road in great sheets, rippled by the wind and parted like a football crowd by passing cars.
I was shocked by the sheer volume of water that came pouring out of the darkness of the sky.
Watching the weight of it crashing into the ground made me feel like a very young child, unable to understand what was really happening.
Like trying to understand radio waves, or imagining computers communicating along glass cables.
I leant my face against the window as the rain piled upon it, streaming down in waves, blurring my vision, making the shops opposite waver and disappear.
There was a time when I might have found this exhilarating, even miraculous, but not that day.
That day it made me nervous and tense, unable to concentrate on anything while the noise of it clattered against the windows and the roof.
I kept opening the door to look for clear skies, and slamming it shut again.
And then around teatime, from nowhere, I smashed all the dirty plates and mugs into the washing-up bowl.
Something swept through me, swept out of and over me, something unstoppable, like water surging from a broken tap and flooding across the kitchen floor.
I don't quite understand why I felt that way, why I reacted like that.
I wanted to be saying it's just something that happens.
But I was there, that day, slamming the kitchen door over and over again until the handle came loose.
Smacking my hand against the worktop, kicking the cupboard doors, throwing the plates into the sink.
Going fuckfuckfuck through my clenched teeth.
I wanted someone to see me, I wanted someone to come rushing in, to take hold of me and say hey hey what are you doing, hey come on, what's wrong.
But there was no one there, and no one came.
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things)
mainland of America, the Wampanoags of Massasoit and King Philip had vanished, along with the Chesapeakes, the Chickahominys, and the Potomacs of the great Powhatan confederacy. (Only Pocahontas was remembered.) Scattered or reduced to remnants were the Pequots, Montauks, Nanticokes. Machapungas, Catawbas, Cheraws, Miamis, Hurons, Eries, Mohawks, Senecas, and Mohegans. (Only Uncas was remembered.) Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty million invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most of which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature—the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
After Jericho's illness crippled him and his parents had abandoned him to the state, it was Will who'd stepped in as guardian. He had sheltered Jericho, fed and clothed him, and taught his ward what he could about running the museum and about Diviners. For that, Jericho supposed he owed him a debt. But Will hadn't given Jericho the parts that mattered most. He hadn't given himself. The two of them had never gone fishing in a cold stream early on a summer's day and shared their thoughts on love and life while they watched the sun draw the curling morning mist from the water. They'd never discussed how to find one's place in the world, never talked of fathers and sons, or what makes someone a man. No. He and Will spoke in newspaper articles about ghosts. They conversed through the careful curation of supernatural knickknacks. And Jericho couldn't help but feel cheated at how little he'd gotten when he'd needed so much more.
Why was there so much silence between men?
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.
But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence…
In other words, I’m about convinced now that there is need for a new organization in our world. The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment‐‐men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Martin Luther King Jr.
You must know, my loved one, that there are beings in the elements which almost appear like mortals, and which rarely allow themselves to become visible to your race. Wonderful salamanders glitter and sport in the flames; lean and malicious gnomes dwell deep within the earth; spirits, belonging to the air, wander through the forests; and a vast family of water spirits live in the lakes and streams and brooks. In resounding domes of crystal, through which the sky looks in with its sun and stars, these latter spirits find their beautiful abode; lofty trees of coral with blue and crimson fruits gleam in their gardens; they wander over the pure sand of the sea, and among lovely variegated shells, and amid all exquisite treasures of the old world, which the present is no longer worthy to enjoy; all these the floods have covered with their secret veils of silver, and the noble monuments sparkle below, stately and solemn, and bedewed by the loving waters which allure from them many a beautiful moss-flower and entwining cluster of sea grass. Those, however, who dwell there, are very fair and lovely to behold, and for the most part, are more beautiful than human beings. Many a fisherman has been so fortunate as to surprise some tender mermaid, as she rose above the waters and sang. He would then tell afar of her beauty, and such wonderful beings have been given the name of Undines. You, however, are now actually beholding an Undine.
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (Undine)
once there was a beautiful young panther who had a co-wife and a husband. Her name was Lara and she was unhappy because her husband and her co-wife were really in love; being nice to her was merely a duty panther society imposed on them. They had not even wanted to take her into their marriage as co-wife, since there were already perfectly happy. But she was an "extra" female in the group and that would not do. Her husband sometimes sniffed her breath and other emanations. He even, sometimes, made love to her. but whenever this happened, the co-wife, whose name was Lala, became upset. She and the husband, Baba, would argue, then fight, snarling and biting and whipping at each other's eyes with their tails. Pretty soon they'd become sick of this and would lie clutched in each other's paws, weeping.
I am supposed to make love to her, Baba would say to Lala, his heartchosen mate. She is my wife just as you are. I did not plan things this way. This is the arrangement that came down to me.
I know it, dearest, said Lala, through her tears. And this pain that I feel is what has come down to me. Surely it can't be right?
These two sat on a rock in the forest and were miserable enough. But Lara, the unwanted, pregnant by now and ill, was devastated. Everyone knew she was unloved, and no other female panther wanted to share her own husband with her. Days went by when the only voice she heard was her inner one.
Soon, she began to listen to it.
Lara, it said, sit here, where the sun may kiss you. And she did.
Lara, it said, lie here, where the moon can make love to you all night long. and she did.
Lara, it said, one bright morning when she knew herself to have been well kissed and well loved: sit here on this stone and look at your beautiful self in the still waters of this stream.
Calmed by the guidance offered by her inner voice, Lara sat down on the stone and leaned over the water. She took in her smooth, aubergine little snout, her delicate, pointed ears, her sleek, gleeming black fur. She was beautiful! And she was well kissed by the sun and well made love to by the moon.
For one whole day, Lara was content. When her co-wife asked her fearfully why she was smiling, Lara only opened her mouth wider, in a grin. The poor co-wife ran trembling off and found their husband, Baba, and dragged him back to look at Lara.
When Baba saw the smiling, well kissed, well made love to Lara, of course he could hardly wait to get his paws on her! He could tell she was in love with someone else, and this aroused all his passion.
While Lala wept, Baba possessed Lara, who was looking over his shoulder at the moon.
Each day it seemed to Lara that the Lara in the stream was the only Lara worth having - so beautiful, so well kissed, and so well made love to. And her inner voice assured her this was true.
So, one hot day when she could not tolerate the shrieks and groans of Baba and Lala as they tried to tear each other's ears off because of her, Lara, who by now was quite indifferent to them both, leaned over and kissed her own serene reflection in the water, and held the kiss all the way to the bottom of the stream.
Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost,
May seem as if it should have been a quarry—
Great monolithic knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
And there’s a story in a book about it:
Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels
The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest,
The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.
You must not mind a certain coolness from him
Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain.
Nor need you mind the serial ordeal
Of being watched from forty cellar holes
As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins.
As for the woods’ excitement over you
That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves,
Charge that to upstart inexperience.
Where were they all not twenty years ago?
They think too much of having shaded out
A few old pecker-fretted apple trees.
Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone’s road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home. The only field
Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall.
First there’s the children’s house of make-believe,
Some shattered dishes underneath a pine,
The playthings in the playhouse of the children.
Weep for what little things could make them glad.
Then for the house that is no more a house,
But only a belilaced cellar hole,
Now slowly closing like a dent in dough.
This was no playhouse but a house in earnest.
Your destination and your destiny’s
A brook that was the water of the house,
Cold as a spring as yet so near its source,
Too lofty and original to rage.
(We know the valley streams that when aroused
Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.)
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,
So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.
(I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
These were the rains that drove people close to the walls, under the balconies, or sent them dashing madly through the squares, and drenched the fluttering ribbons and bright trappings of the horses so that their flanks were streaked with delicate watercolors. The storms washed the streets so that little streams of brown water went roaring along the gutters toward the sea, and thundered on the roofs of the cafés where people were crowded together laughing in the steam and half darkness. I loved those rains; they were of the sort that is welcomed by everyone, preceded by hot, oppressive hours of stillness; they came the way storms come in the islands but did not last as long, and often the sun came out when they had passed. I was happy whenever the rain caught me walking about in the streets, for then I would rush into the nearest café, along with all the others who were escaping from the weather, all of us crushing laughing through the doors. The rain allowed me to go anywhere, to form quick, casual friendships, forced to share one of the overcrowded tables, among the beaming waiters who pushed good-naturedly through the throngs carrying cups of steaming apple cider.
Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria)
We heard of this woman who was out of control. We heard that she was led by her feelings. That her emotions were violent. That she was impetuous. That she violated tradition and overrode convention. That certainly her life should not be an example to us. (The life of the plankton, she read in this book on the life of the earth, depends on the turbulence of the sea) We were told that she moved too hastily. Placed her life in the stream of ideas just born. For instance, had a child out of wedlock, we were told. For instance, refused to be married. For instance, walked the streets alone, where ladies never did, and we should have little regard for her, even despite the brilliance of her words. (She read that the plankton are slightly denser than water) For she had no respect for boundaries, we were told. And when her father threatened her mother, she placed her body between them. (That because of this greater heaviness, the plankton sink into deeper waters) And she went where she should not have gone, even into her sister's marriage. And because she imagined her sister to be suffering what her mother had suffered, she removed her sister from that marriage. (And that these deeper waters provide new sources of nourishment) That she moved from passion. From unconscious feeling, allowing deep and troubled emotions to control her soul. (But if the plankton sinks deeper, as it would in calm waters, she read) But we say that to her passion, she brought lucidity (it sinks out of the light, and it is only the turbulence of the sea, she read) and to her vision, she gave the substance of her life (which throws the plankton back to the light). For the way her words illuminated her life we say we have great regard. We say we have listened to her voice asking, "of what materials can that heart be composed which can melt when insulted and instead of revolting at injustice, kiss the rod?" (And she understood that without light, the plankton cannot live and from the pages of this book she also read that the animal life of the oceans, and hence our life, depends on the plankton and thus the turbulence of the sea for survival.) By her words we are brought to our own lives, and are overwhelmed by our feelings which we had held beneath the surface for so long. And from what is dark and deep within us, we say, tyranny revolts us; we will not kiss the rod.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
It has often given my pleasure to observe, that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected fertile, wide-spreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters form a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind them together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation of their various ties. With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice, that Providence has been pleased to give us this one connected country to one united people -a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by they their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.
John Jay (The Federalist Papers)
When the world turns completely upside down
You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore
Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore;
We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town,
You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown
Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color.
Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor,
We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown.
The winter will be short, the summer long,
The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot,
Tasting of cider and of scuppernong;
All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all.
The squirrels in their silver fur will fall
Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot.
The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass
Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold.
The misted early mornings will be cold;
The little puddles will be roofed with glass.
The sun, which burns from copper into brass,
Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold
Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold
Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass.
Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover;
A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year;
The spring begins before the winter’s over.
By February you may find the skins
Of garter snakes and water moccasins
Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear.
When April pours the colors of a shell
Upon the hills, when every little creek
Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake
In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell,
When strawberries go begging, and the sleek
Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak,
We shall live well — we shall live very well.
The months between the cherries and the peaches
Are brimming cornucopias which spill
Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black;
Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches
We’ll trample bright persimmons, while you kill
Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback.
Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
There’s something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate,
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There’s something in my very blood that owns
Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,
A thread of water, churned to milky spate
Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,
Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves;
That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath,
Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
I think if you wanted a peaceful marriage and orderly household, you should have proposed to any one of the well-bred simpletons who've been dangled in front of you for years. Ivo's right: Pandora is a different kind of girl. Strange and marvelous. I wouldn't dare predict-" She broke off as she saw him staring at Pandora's distant form. "Lunkhead, you're not even listening. You've already decided to marry her, and damn the consequences."
"It wasn't even a decision," Gabriel said, baffled and surly. "I can't think of one good reason to justify why I want her so bloody badly."
Phoebe smiled, gazing toward the water. "Have I ever told you what Henry said when he proposed, even knowing how little time we would have together? 'Marriage is far too important a matter to be decided with reason.' He was right, of course."
Gabriel took up a handful of warm, dry sand and let it sift through his fingers. "The Ravenels will sooner weather a scandal than force her to marry. And as you probably overheard, she objects not only to me, but the institution of marriage itself."
"How could anyone resist you?" Phoebe asked, half-mocking, half-sincere.
He gave her a dark glance. "Apparently she has no problem. The title, the fortune, the estate, the social position... to her, they're all detractions. Somehow I have to convince her to marry me despite those things." With raw honesty, he added, "And I'm damned if I even know who I am outside of them."
"Oh, my dear..." Phoebe said tenderly. "You're the brother who taught Raphael to sail a skiff, and showed Justin how to tie his shoes. You're the man who carried Henry down to the trout stream, when he wanted to go fishing one last time." She swallowed audibly, and sighed. Digging her heels into the sand, she pushed them forward, creating a pair of trenches. "Shall I tell you what your problem is?"
"Is that a question?"
"Your problem," his sister continued, "is that you're too good at maintaining that façade of godlike perfection. You've always hated for anyone to see that you're a mere mortal. But you won't win this girl that way." She began to dust the sand from her hands. "Show her a few of your redeeming vices. She'll like you all the better for it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I have raised you to respect every human being as singular. And you must extend that same respect into the past. Slavery is not an indefinable mass of flesh. It is a particular, specific enslaved woman whose mind is as active as your own, whose range of feelings as vast as your own, who prefers the way the light falls in one particular spot in the woods, who enjoys fishing where the water eddys in the nearby stream, who loves her mother in her own complicated way, thinks her sister talks to loud, has a favorite cousin, a favorite season, who excels at dress making, and knows inside herself that she is as intelligent and capable as anyone.
Slavery is the same woman born in a world that loudly proclaims its love of freedom and describes this world in essential texts. A world in which these same professors hold this woman a slave. Hold her mother a slave, her father a slave, her daughter a slave.
And when this woman peers back into the generations, all she sees is the enslaved. She can hope for more. She can imagine some future for her grandchildren, but when she dies, the world, which is really the only world she can really know, ends. For this woman enslavement is not a parable, it is damnation, it is the never ending night, and the length of that night is most of our history. Never forget that we were enslaved in this country longer than we have been free. Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains, whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Chris loved to look at every type of plant, animal, and bug he hadn’t seen before on the trail and point out those he did recognize. He enjoyed walking along small streams, listening to the water as it traveled, and searching for eddies where we could watch the minnows scurry amongst the rocks. On one Shenandoah trip, while we were resting at a waterfall, eating our chocolate-covered granola bars and watching the water pummel the rocks below, he said, “See, Carine ? That’s the purity of nature. It may be harsh in its honesty, but it never lies to you”.
Chris seemed to be most comfortable outdoors, and the farther away from the typical surroundings and pace of our everyday lives the better. While it was unusual for a solid week to pass without my parents having an argument that sent them into a negative tailspin of destruction and despair, they never got into a fight of any consequence when we were on an extended family hike or camping trip. It seemed like everything became centered and peaceful when there was no choice but to make nature the focus. Our parents’ attention went to watching for blaze marks on trees ; staying on the correct trail ; doling out bug spray, granola bars, sandwiches, and candy bars at proper intervals ; and finding the best place to pitch the tent before nightfall. They taught us how to properly lace up our hiking boots and wear the righ socks to keep our feet healthy and reliable. They showed us which leaves were safe to use as toilet paper and which would surely make us miserable downtrail. We learned how to purify water for our canteens if we hadn’t found a safe spring and to be smart about conserving what clean water we had left.
At night we would collect rocks to make a fire ring, dry wood to burn, and long twigs for roasting marshmallows for the s’more fixings Mom always carried in her pack. Dad would sing silly, non-sensical songs that made us laugh and tell us about the stars.
Carine McCandless (The Wild Truth: A Memoir)
[The goal is] "liberation from the bondage of rebirth. According to the Vedantists the self, which they call the atman and we call the soul, is distinct from the body and its senses, distinct from the mind and its intelligence; it is not part of the Absolute, for the Absolute, being infinite, can have no parts but the Absolute itself. It is uncreated; it has existed form eternity and when at least it has cast off the seven veils of ignorance will return to the infinitude from which it came. It is like a drop of water that has arisen from the sea, and in a shower has fallen into a puddle, then drifts into a brook, finds its way into a stream, after that into a river, passing through mountain gorges and wide plains, winding this way and that, obstructed by rocks and fallen trees, till at least it reaches the boundless seas from which it rose."
"But that poor little drop of water, when it has once more become one with the sea, has surely lost its individuality."
"You want to taste sugar, you don't want to become sugar. What is individuality but the expression of our egoism? Until the soul has shed the last trace of that it cannot become one with the Absolute."
"You talk very familiarly of the Absolute, Larry, and it's an imposing word. What does it actually signify to you?"
"Reality. You can't say what it is ; you can only say what it isn't. It's inexpressible. The Indians call it Brahman. It's not a person, it's not a thing, it's not a cause. It has no qualities. It transcends permanence and change; whole and part, finite and infinite. It is eternal because its completeness and perfection are unrelated to time. It is truth and freedom."
"Golly," I said to myself, but to Larry: "But how can a purely intellectual conception be a solace to the suffering human race? Men have always wanted a personal God to whom they can turn in their distress for comfort and encouragement."
"It may be that at some far distant day greater insight will show them that they must look for comfort and encouragement in their own souls. I myself think that the need to worship is no more than the survival of an old remembrance of cruel gods that had to be propitiated. I believe that God is within me or nowhere. If that's so, whom or what am I to worship—myself? Men are on different levels of spiritual development, and so the imagination of India has evolved the manifestations of the Absolute that are known as Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and by a hundred other names. The Absolute is in Isvara, the creator and ruler of the world, and it is in the humble fetish before which the peasant in his sun-baked field places the offering of a flower. The multitudinous gods of India are but expedients to lead to the realization that the self is one with the supreme self.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this.
If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.
Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?
But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?
Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
If love wants you; if you’ve been melted
down to stars, you will love
with lungs and gills, with warm blood
and cold. With feathers and scales.
Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy
you’ll want to breathe with the spiral
calls of birds, while your lashing tail
still gropes for the waes. You’ll try
to haul your weight from simple sea
to gravity of land. Caught by the tide,
in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments
suffocating in both water and air.
If love wants you, suddently your past is
obsolete science. Old maps,
disproved theories, a diorama.
The moment our bodies are set to spring open.
The immanence that reassembles matter
passes through us then disperses
into time and place:
the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons.
The mother who hears her child crying upstairs
and suddenly feels her dress
wet with milk.
Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog
tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew
before we were loved there,
the places left fallow when we’re born,
waiting for experience to find its way
into us. The night crossing, on deck
in the dark car. On the beach wehre
night reshaped your face.
In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet,
moss like velvet spread over splintered forms.
The instant spray freezes
in air above the falls, a gasp of ice.
We rise, hearing our names
called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon
an escutcheon on the shield of sky.
The current that passes through us, radio waves,
electric lick. The billions of photons that pass
through film emulsion every second, the single
submicroscopic crystal struck
that becomes the phograph.
We look and suddenly the world
A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky.
But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate
by the rear-view mirror
of the moon; if we continue to reach
both for salt and for the sweet white
nibs of grass growing closest to earth;
if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also
driving through the canyon at night,
all around us the hidden glow of limestone
erased by darkness; if still we sish
we’d waited for morning,
we will know ourselves
Not in the mirrors of waves
or in the corrading stream,
not in the wavering
glass of an apartment building,
not in the looming light of night lobbies
or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen
or in the motel where we watched meteors
from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open,
turned stars to rain.
We will become
of choking on fur
and armour, animals
will refuse the divided longings
in our foreing blue flesh.
In your hands, all you’ve lost,
all you’ve touched.
In the angle of your head,
every vow and
broken vow. In your skin,
every time you were disregarded,
every time you were received.
Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field,
mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem.
The branch that’s released when the bird lifts
or lands. In a summer kitchen.
On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
But all of a sudden the scene changed; it was the memory, no longer of old impressions but of an old desire, only recently reawakened by the Fortuny gown in blue and gold, that spread before me another spring, a spring not leafy at all but on the contrary suddenly stripped of its trees and flowers by the name that I had just murmured to myself: “Venice”; a decanted springtime, which is reduced to its own essence and expresses the lengthening, the warming, the gradual unfolding of its days in the progressive fermentation, no longer, now, of an impure soil, but of a blue and virginal water, springlike without bud or blossom, which could answer the call of May only by the gleaming facets fashioned and polished by May, harmonising exactly with it in the radiant, unalterable nakedness of its dusky sapphire. Likewise, too, no more than the seasons to its flowerless creeks, do modern times bring any change to the Gothic city; I knew it, even if I could not imagine it, or rather, imagining it, this was what I longed for with the same desire which long ago, when I was a boy, in the very ardour of departure, had broken and robbed me of the strength to make the journey: to find myself face to face with my Venetian imaginings, to observe how that divided sea enclosed in its meanderings, like the sinuosities of the ocean stream, and urbane and refined civilization, but one that, isolated by their azure girdle, had evolved independently, had had its own schools of painting and architecture, to admire that fabulous garden of fruits and birds in coloured stone, flowering in the midst of the sea which kept it refreshed, lapped the base of the columns with its tide, and, like a somber azure gaze watching in the shadows, kept patches of light perpetually flickering on the bold relief of the capitals.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
The Congregating of Stars
They often meet in mountain lakes,
No matter how remote, no matter how deep
Down and far they must stream to arrive,
Navigating between the steep, vertical piles
Of broken limestone and chert, through shattered
Trees and dry bushes bent low by winter,
Across ravines cut by roaring avalanches
Of boulders and ripping ice.
Silently, the stars have assembled
On the surface of this lost lake tonight,
Arranged themselves to match the patterns
They maintain in the highest spheres
Of the surrounding sky.
And they continue on, passing through
The smooth, black countenance of the lake,
Through that mirror of themselves, down through
The icy waters to touch the perfect bottom
Stillness of the invisible life and death existing
In the nether of those depths.
Sky-bound- yet touching every needle
In the torn and sturdy forest, every stone,
Sharp, cracked along the ragged shore- the stars
Appear the same as in ancient human ages
On the currents of the old seas and the darkened
Trails of desert dunes, Orion’s belt the same
As it shone in Galileo’s eyes, Polaris certain above
The sails of every mariner’s voyage. An echoing
Light from the Magi’s star, that bacon, might even
Be shining on this lake tonight, unrecognized.
The stars are congregating, perhaps
in celebration, passing through their own
names and legends, through fogs, airs,
and thunders, the vapors of winter frost
and summer pollens. They are ancestors
of transfiguration, intimate with all the eyes
of the night. What can they know?
Pattiann Rogers (Quickening Fields)
As we advance in the spiritual life and in the practice of systematic self-examination we are often surprised by the discovery of vast unknown tracts of the inner life of the soul. They seem like great plains stretching out in mystery and wrapt in mists that sometimes for a moment lift, or sweep off and leave one looking for one brief instant upon great reaches of one’s own life, unknown, unmeasured, unexplored. Men stand at such moments breathless in wonder and in awe gazing upon these great tracts upon which they have never looked before, with kindling eyes and beating hearts; and while they look the mists steal back till all is lost to sight once more and they are left wondering if what they saw was reality, or the creation of their fancy. Or sometimes they see, not far-stretching plains which fill the soul with an awestruck sense of its expansiveness and of how much has been left absolutely uncultivated, not these plains but mountain peaks climbing and reaching upwards till lost in the heavens, echoing it may be with the voice of many streams whose waters fertilize and enrich those small tracts of the soul’s life which have been reclaimed and cultivated and which many a man has thought to be his whole inner self, though he never asked himself whence those rich streams had their source. Now he sees how their source lay in unmeasured heights of his own inner being whose existence he never dreamed of before. In one brief instant they have unveiled themselves. He looks again, and they are shut out from his eyes, there is no token visible that he possesses such reaches, such heights of life. The commonplaces of his existence gather in and crowd upon him, the ordinary routine of life settles down upon him, limiting and confining him on all sides, the same unbroken line measures his horizon, such as he has always known it, the same round of interests and occupations crowd in upon his hours and fill them, the pressure of the hard facts of life upon him are as unmistakable and as leveling as ever, bidding him forget his dreams and meet and obey the requirements of the world in which he lives. And yet the man who has caught but a momentary glimpse of that vast unknown inner life can never be the same as he was before; he must be better or worse, trying to explore and possess and cultivate that unknown world within him, or trying—oh, would that he could succeed!—to forget it. He has seen that alongside of, or far out beyond the reach of, the commonplace life of routine, another life stretches away whither he knows not, he feels that he has greater capacities for good or evil than he ever imagined. He has, in a word, awakened with tremulous awe to the discovery that his life which he has hitherto believed limited and confined to what he knew, reaches infinitely beyond his knowledge and is far greater than he ever dreamed.
Basil W. Maturin (Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline)
The Onondaga Nation schools recite the Thanksgiving Address, a river of words as old as the people themselves, known in Onondaga language as the Words That Come Before All Else. This ancient order of protocol sets gratitude as the highest priority. The gratitude is directed straight to the ones who share their gifts with the world. (excerpt)
‘Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.
We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love, and respect. Now our minds are one.
We give thanks to all of the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings. We know its power in many forms—waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans, snow and ice. We are grateful that the waters are still here and meeting their responsibility to the rest of Creation. Can we agree that water is important to our lives and bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to the Water? Now our minds are one.
Standing around us we see all the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who each have their own instructions and uses. Some provide shelter and shade, others fruit and beauty and many useful gifts. The Maple is the leader of the trees, to recognize its gift of sugar when the People need it most. Many peoples of the world recognize a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind we greet and thank the Tree life. Now our minds are one.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
Poem in October"
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
In the still sleeping town and set forth.
My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.
A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.
Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
Away but the weather turned around.
It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels
And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Still in the water and singingbirds.
And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.
Dylan Thomas (Collected Poems)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)