The Nun's Priest's Tale Quotes

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The temple drum is as big as a barrel, and it sits on a tall wooden platform. When you play it, you stand in front, facing the stretched hide, trying to control your breathing, which is jumping all over the place because you are so nervous. The priests and nuns are chanting by the big altar, and you listen for your cue, which is getting closer and closer. Then, at just the right moment, you take a big breath, raise your sticks, draw back your arms, and You have to get the timing just right, and even though I was scared to make a mistake in front of all those people, I think I did a pretty good job. I really like drumming. While I’m doing it, I am aware of the sixty-five moments that Jiko says are in the snap of a finger. I’m serious. When you’re beating a drum, you can hear when the BOOM comes the teeniest bit too late or the teeniest bit too early, because your whole attention is focused on the razor edge between silence and noise. Finally I achieved my goal and resolved my childhood obsession with now because that’s what a drum does. When you beat a drum, you create NOW, when silence becomes a sound so enormous and alive it feels like you’re breathing in the clouds and the sky, and your heart is the rain and the thunder. Jiko says that this is an example of the time being. Sound and no-sound. Thunder and silence.
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
As if this wasn’t enough, word spread of a new peril. Enemy troops masquerading as refugees were said to be infiltrating the lines. From now on, the orders ran, all women were to be challenged by rifle. What next? wondered Lance Bombardier Gentry; Germans in drag! Fear of Fifth Columnists spread like an epidemic. Everyone had his favorite story of German paratroopers dressed as priests and nuns. The men of one Royal Signals maintenance unit told how two “monks” visited their quarters just before a heavy bombing attack. Others warned of enemy agents, disguised as Military Police, deliberately misdirecting convoys. There were countless tales of talented “farmers” who cut signs in corn and wheat fields pointing to choice targets. Usually the device was an arrow; sometimes a heart; and in one instance the III Corps fig leaf emblem. The
Walter Lord (The Miracle of Dunkirk (Wordsworth Collection))