Warmth Of Other Suns Quotes

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I was leaving the South to fling myself into the unknown . . . I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps, to bloom
Richard Wright
They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done. They left.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension. I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow. In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze. I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead. But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning. There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Asimov (Adding a Dimension: Seventeen Essays on the History of Science)
It occurred to me that no matter where I lived, geography could not save me.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The measure of a man’s estimate of your strength,” he finally told them, “is the kind of weapons he feels that he must use in order to hold you fast in a prescribed place.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Sensuality does not wear a watch but she always gets to the essential places on time. She is adventurous and not particularly quiet. She was reprimanded in grade school because she couldn’t sit still all day long. She needs to move. She thinks with her body. Even when she goes to the library to read Emily Dickinson or Emily Bronte, she starts reading out loud and swaying with the words, and before she can figure out what is happening, she is asked to leave. As you might expect, she is a disaster at office jobs. Sensuality has exquisite skin and she appreciates it in others as well. There are other people whose skin is soft and clear and healthy but something about Sensuality’s skin announces that she is alive. When the sun bursts forth in May, Sensuality likes to take off her shirt and feel the sweet warmth of the sun’s rays brush across her shoulder. This is not intended as a provocative gesture but other people are, as usual, upset. Sensuality does not understand why everyone else is so disturbed by her. As a young girl, she was often scolded for going barefoot. Sensuality likes to make love at the border where time and space change places. When she is considering a potential lover, she takes him to the ocean and watches. Does he dance with the waves? Does he tell her about the time he slept on the beach when he was seventeen and woke up in the middle of the night to look at the moon? Does he laugh and cry and notice how big the sky is? It is spring now, and Sensuality is very much in love these days. Her new friend is very sweet. Climbing into bed the first time, he confessed he was a little intimidated about making love with her. Sensuality just laughed and said, ‘But we’ve been making love for days.
J. Ruth Gendler (The Book of Qualities)
Jim Crow had a way of turning everyone against one another, not just white against black or landed against lowly, but poor against poorer and black against black for an extra scrap of privilege.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
That’s why I preach today, Do not do spite,” he said. “Spite does not pay. It goes around and misses the object that you aim and comes back and zaps you. And you’re the one who pays for it.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
...they speak like melted butter and their children speak like footsteps on pavement...
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
In art, in history man fights his fears, he wants to live forever, he is afraid of death, he wants to work with other men, he wants to live forever. He is like a child afraid of death. The child is afraid of death, of darkness, of solitude. Such simple fears behind all the elaborate constructions. Such simple fears as hunger for light, warmth, love. Such simple fears behind the elaborate constructions of art. Examine them all gently and quietly through the eyes of a boy. There is always a human being lonely, a human being afraid, a human being lost, a human being confused. Concealing and disguising his dependence, his needs, ashamed to say: I am a simple human being in a too vast and complex world. Because of all we have discovered about a leaf...it is still a leaf. Can we relate to a leaf, on a tree, in a park, a simple leaf: green, glistening, sun-bathed or wet, or turning white because the storm is coming. Like the savage, let us look at the leaf wet or shining with sun, or white with fear of the storm, or silvery in the fog, or listless in too great heat, or falling in autumn, dying, reborn each year anew. Learn from the leaf: simplicity. In spite of all we know about the leaf: its nerve structure phyllome cellular papilla parenchyma stomata venation. Keep a human relation -- leaf, man, woman, child. In tenderness. No matter how immense the world, how elaborate, how contradictory, there is always man, woman, child, and the leaf. Humanity makes everything warm and simple. Humanity...
Anaïs Nin (Children of the Albatross (Cities of the Interior #2))
They traveled deep into far-flung regions of their own country and in some cases clear across the continent. Thus the Great Migration had more in common with the vast movements of refugees from famine, war, and genocide in other parts of the world, where oppressed people, whether fleeing twenty-first-century Darfur or nineteenth-century Ireland, go great distances, journey across rivers, desserts, and oceans or as far as it takes to reach safety with the hope that life will be better wherever they land.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Our Negro problem, therefore, is not of the Negro's making. No group in our population is less responsible for its existence. But every group is responsible for its continuance.... Both races need to understand that their rights and duties are mutual and equal and their interests in the common good are idential.... There is no help or healing in apparaising past responsibilities or in present apportioning of praise or blame. The past is of value only as it aids in understanding the present; and an understanding of the facts of the problem--a magnanimous understanding by both races--is the first step toward its solution.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
He smiled then, and that smile was like the sunset, stretching from one end of her existence to the other, lighting her way not by sight, but with a slow kindle inside she knew would never leave her bereft for the sun's warmth.
Joey W. Hill
How could it be that people were fighting to the death over something that was, in the end, so very ordinary?
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The people did not cross the turnstiles of customs at Ellis Island. They were already citizens. But where they came from, they were not treated as such.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The weather turned. Her skin seemed to grow a million extra pores, and all of them opened to take in the warmth and tenderness of the air. The sun on her face made her want to cry. Into all those millions of open pores came the sunshine, and other feelings as well. In and out. She was porous.
Ann Brashares
Certain living things prefer the dark, thriving in the shadows of tombstones and crypts, flowering admist the dead. Others tend toward the sun, blooming in the light, embracing the warmth.
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
I could have screamed, but I didn't. I could have fought, but I didn't. I just lay there and let it happen, wathcing the winter-white sky go gray above me. One wolf prodded his nose into my hand and agianst my cheek, casting a shadow along my face. His yellow eyes looked into mine as the other wolves moved me this way and that. I held onto those eyes for as long as I could. Yellow. And, up close, flecked brillantly with every shade of gold and hazel. I didn't want him to look away, and he didn't. I wanted to reach out and grab a hold of his ruff, but my hands stayed curled to my chest, my arms frozen to my body. I couldn't remember what it felt like to be warm. Then he was gone, without him, the other wolves closed in, too close, sufficating. Something seemed too flutter in my chest. There was no sun; there was no light. I was dying. I couldn't remember what the sky looked like. But I didn't die, I was lost in a sea of cold, and then I was reborn into a sea of warmth. I remember this: his yellow eyes. I thought I would never see them again.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Now, we ain't got nothing to do with God's business," she says, sitting back in her seat. She adjusts herself and straightens her scarf, contenting herself with whatever the day has in store.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Still it made no sense to Pershing that one set of people could be in a cage, and the people outside couldn’t see the bars.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Maybe you had to live through the worst of times to recognize the best of times when they came to you.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
In a world like ours, all we’ve got to be is the warmth of the morning sun.
Michael Bassey Johnson (Song of a Nature Lover)
for far longer: Blacks were enslaved in this country for 244 years, from 1619 to 1863. As of 2010, they have been free for 147 years.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Sometimes,” he said, “you have to stoop to conquer.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The story describes an incident during the trial of a black schoolteacher accused of disposing of a mule on which there was a mortgage. A defense witness, who was colored but looked white, took the stand and was being sworn in when the judge told the sheriff the man had been given the wrong Bible.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Over the decades, perhaps the wrong questions have been asked about the Great Migration. Perhaps it is not a question of whether the migrants brought good or ill to the cities they fled to or were pushed or pulled to their destinations, but a question of how they summoned the courage to leave in the first place or how they found the will to press beyond the forces against them and the faith in a country that had rejected them for so long. By their actions, they did not cream the American Dream, they willed it into being by a definition of their own choosing. They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few others recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
I discovered, while working on The Warmth of Other Suns, that I was not writing about geography and relocation, but about the American caste system, an artificial hierarchy in which most everything that you could and could not do was based upon what you looked like and that manifested itself north and south. I had been writing about a stigmatized people, six million of them, who were seeking freedom from the caste system in the South, only to discover that the hierarchy followed them wherever they went, much in the way that the shadow of caste, I would soon discover, follows Indians in their own global diaspora.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
And as they had been riding for as many as twenty-four hours and were nervous about missing their stop, some got off prematurely, and, it is said, that is how Newark gained a good portion of its black population, those arriving in Newark by accident and deciding to stay.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
People tend to feel happy when spring arrives, especially after a cold winter. When spring begins, however, cannot be pinpointed to one particular moment. There is no one day that clearly marks when winter ends and spring begins. Spring hides inside winter. We notice it emerging with our eyes, our skin, and other senses. We find it in new buds, a comfortable breeze and the warmth of the sun. It exists alongside winter.
Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Tales from the Café (Before the Coffee Gets Cold, #2))
They lived in big cities too distracted to care what the colored people did as long as they did it to themselves, and that was the greatest blessing of all.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Then suddenly it was gray and windy and cold and rainy and then the sleet and snow came and even if you could find the sun it seemed to have lost its warmth. From time to time Marion fiddled with a sketch pad, but her hand seemed to be moving the pencil while the rest of her was completely detached from the action. Occasionally they would attempt to resurrect their enthusiasm for the coffee house, and their other plans, but for the, most part they spent their time shooting dope and watching television or listening to music occasionally.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
Contrary to modern-day assumptions, for much of the history of the United States—from the Draft Riots of the 1860s to the violence over desegregation a century later—riots were often carried out by disaffected whites against groups perceived as threats to their survival.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler,” he wrote in his autobiography. “But I wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either. I came back to my native country, and I could not ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn’t live where I wanted. Now, what’s the difference?” It
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
​"Sure there's a hell..." I could hear him saying it now, now, as I lay here on bed with her breath in my face, and her body squashed against me... "It is the drab desert where the sun sheds neither warmth nor light and Habit force-feeds senile Desire. It is the place here mortal Want dwells with immortal Necessity, and the night becomes hideous with the groans of one and the ecstatic shrieks of the other. Yes, there is a hell, my boy, and you do not have to dig for it.
Jim Thompson (Savage Night (Mulholland Classic))
One county in Virginia—Prince Edward County—closed its entire school system for five years, from 1959 to 1964, rather than integrate.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
That the Negro American has survived at all is extraordinary —a lesser people might simply have died out, as indeed others have. — DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN,
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Something about too many people packed together and nothing to guide them makes the children worse than they used to be, to her mind.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
As the sun lives on when it sets in the warmth it has given to others, you too will live on in the hearts of those whose lives you have touched.
Matshona Dhliwayo
There appeared to be an overarching phenomenon that sociologists call a “migrant advantage.” It is some internal resolve that perhaps exists in any immigrant compelled to leave one place for another. It made them “especially goal oriented, leading them to persist in their work and not be easily discouraged,
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The revolution had come too late for him. He was in his midforties when the Civil Rights Act was signed and close to fifty when its effects were truly felt. He did not begrudge the younger generation their opportunities. He only wished that more of them, his own children, in particular, recognized their good fortune, the price that had been paid for it, and made the most of it. He was proud to have lived to see the change take place. He wasn't judging anyone and accepted the fact that history had come too late for him to make much use of all the things that were now opening up. But he couldn't understand why some of the young people couldn't see it. Maybe you had to live through the worst of times to recognize the best of times when they came to you. Maybe that was just the way it was with people.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
What few people seemed to realize or perhaps dared admit was that the thick walls of the caste system kept everyone in prison. The rules that defined a group’s supremacy were so tightly wound as to put pressure on everyone trying to stay within the narrow confines of acceptability. It meant being a certain kind of Protestant, holding a particular occupation, having a respectable level of wealth or the appearance of it, and drawing the patronizingly appropriate lines between oneself and those of lower rank of either race in that world.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
No sun—no moon! No morn—no noon— No dawn— No sky—no earthly view— No distance looking blue— No road—no street—no "t'other side the way"— No end to any Row— No indications where the Crescents go— No top to any steeple— No recognitions of familiar people— No courtesies for showing 'em— No knowing 'em! No traveling at all—no locomotion, No inkling of the way—no notion— "No go"—by land or ocean— No mail—no post— No news from any foreign coast— No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility— No company—no nobility— No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member— No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!
Thomas Hood
From where I am," the sun said, "I can see the Soul of the World. It communicates with my soul, and together we cause the plants to grow and the sheep to seek out shade. From where I am--and I'm a long way from the earth--I learned ow to love. I know that if I came even a little bit closer to the earth, everything there would die, and the Soul of the World would no longer exist. So we contemplate each other, and we want each other, and I give it light and warmth, and it gives me my reason for living.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
I don’t see one white person in this block selling drugs. They got the nerve to be mad at the blue-eyed devil. You don’t have to take those drugs and sell ’em. Nobody’s making you sell drugs. We’re the ones that’s killing ourselves. They won’t learn in this century and maybe not in the next one.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
This would suggest that the people of the Great Migration who ultimately made lives for themselves in the North and West were among the most determined of those in the South, among the most resilient of those who left, and among the most resourceful of blacks in the North, not unlike immigrant groups from other parts of the world who made a way for themselves in the big cities of the North and West.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Seemed to me a phone was an impersonal instrument. If it felt like it, it let your personality go through its wires. If it didn't want to, it just drained your personality away until what slipped through at the other end was some cold fish of a voice, all steel, copper, plastic, no warmth, no reality. It's easy to say the wrong thing on telephones; the telephone changes your meaning on you. First thing you know, you've made an enemy. Then, of course, the telephone's such a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn't want to be called. Friends were always calling, calling, calling me. Hell, I hadn't any time of my own.
Ray Bradbury (Twice 22: The Golden Apples of the Sun / A Medicine for Melancholy)
Many of the people who left the South never exactly sat their children down to tell them these things, tell them what happened and why they left and how they and all this blood kin came to be in this northern city or western suburb or why they speak like melted butter and their children speak like footsteps on pavement, prim and proper or clipped and fast, like the New World itself. Some spoke of specific and certain evils. Some lived in tight-lipped and cheerful denial. Others simply had no desire to relive what they had already left. The facts of their lives unfurled over the generations like an over-wrapped present, a secret told in syllables. Sometimes the migrants dropped puzzle pieces from the past while folding the laundry or stirring the corn bread, and the children would listen between cereal commercials and not truly understand until they grew up and had children and troubles of their own. And the ones who had half-listened would scold and kick themselves that they had not paid better attention when they had the chance.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
It (picking cotton) was like picking a hundred pounds of feathers, a hundred pounds of lint dust. It was one of the most backbreaking forms of stoop labor ever known.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Spite does not pay. It goes around and misses the object that you aim and comes back and zaps you. And you’re the one who pays for it.” LOS
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
She trusted God and nature more than any man and learned to be a better person watching the lower creatures of the earth.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
At one point, ten thousand were arriving every month in Chicago alone. It
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Anyplace but Here.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Juneteenth Day celebrations (commemorating the day the last slaves in Texas learned they were free, two years after Emancipation)
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
a newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, put this question to the ruling caste: “If you thought you might be lynched by mistake,” the paper asked, “would you remain in South Carolina?
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
From the railcar window, the land looked to be indistinguishable, one state from another, just one big flat plain, and there was nothing in nature that one could see that said colored people should be treated one way on one side of the river and a different way on the other.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
They fly from the land: W. H. Stillwell, “Exode,” Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 12, 1881. The stanza reads: “They fly from the land that bore them, as the Hebrews fled the Nile; from the heavy burthens [sic] o’er them; from unpaid tasks before them; from a serfdom base and vile.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
~A Comparison of Seasons~ Snow's unforgiving power causes some men to wish for spring's flower. Some might hate snow's bitter chill, but you love it at your own will. I see snow as something fun, but others might still long for summer's sun. You and I hate summer's heat, but we still love the warmth of a fire on our feet. Spring has jays whose virtuous songs are nice, but winter's lonely echoes are earth's frigged vice. I enjoy spring's life, yet I still love winter's seemingly harsh sorrow; sometimes I can't get out of the house, so I worry about tomorrow. I love the sight of snow and I treasure the sight of summer's river which swiftly flows. Also, winter can be cold, but we can look forward to seeing spring's life and joy unfold.
Seth D.
He bats the box like hitting the damn thing can suddenly bring light and warmth and hope back to us. His actions become more harried, more desperate, and anger radiates from him. Not at me or Gisa but the world. Long ago he called us ants, Red ants burning in the light of a Silver sun. Destroyed by the greatness of others, losing the battle for our right to exist because we are not special. We did not evolve like them, with powers and strengths beyond our limited imaginations. We stayed the same, stagnant in our own bodies. The world changed around us and we stayed the same.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
She wasn’t broken. She was made up of a thousand tiny little cracks. She was always trying to keep herself glued together. But it was hard, she felt too much. No matter what she did, her emotions seeped through, sometimes in drips, other times in floods, She felt everything, the heaviness of the clouds right before rain, the rush of the subway cars as they left the station, the feeling of goodbye as she watched someone walk away, wondering if it was the last time she would see them, the feeling of a kiss lingering on her cheek for hours. She felt the loneliness of the sun as it hung in the sky, shedding light on the day, without companion. And she longed to give as much as the sun. If she could brighten someone’s day, bestow warmth were there was cold, make someone smile, give someone hope, then for a minute, an hour, maybe even a day, the cracks would fill with love and the pain would become only a voice, reminding her that her pain was important. She knew how fragile life was, how hard, and how precious. She wanted to feel it all.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
Faith is like the sun. Some people are closer to the source of that love and light, and can bask in the warmth, while others are further away. Some look toward the light, while others face the opposite direction.
Brownell Landrum (A Chorus of Voices: DUET stories Volume III - Adult Version)
He had learned that fear when he was little and once passed the white people’s church. The kids came out of the church when they saw him. They threw rocks and bricks and called him the vilest names that could spring from a southern tongue. And he asked his grandparents, ‘What kind of god they got up inside that church?
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
To be kind is to respond with sensitivity and human warmth to the hopes and needs of others. Even the briefest touch of kindness can lighten a heavy heart. Kindness can change the lives of people" ~ Aung Sun Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Johnson devoted an entire section to racial etiquette on the highway. “When driving their own cars,” he wrote, “they were expected to maintain their role as Negros and in all cases to give whites the right-of-way.” He later added, “If there is any doubt about whose turn it is to make a move in traffic, the turn is assumed to be the white person’s.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The conviction that life has a purpose is rooted in every fibre of man, it is a property of the human substance. Free men give many names to this purpose, and think and talk a lot about its nature. But for us the question is simpler. Today, in this place, our only purpose is to reach the spring. At the moment we care about nothing else. Behind this aim there is not at the moment any other aim. In the morning while we wait endlessly lined up in roll-call square for the time to leave for work, while every breath of wind penetrates our clothes and runs in violent shivers over our defenceless bodies, and everything is grey around us, and we are grey; in the morning, when it is still dark, we all look at the sky in the east to spot the first signs of a milder season, and the rising of the sun is commented on every day: today a little earlier than yesterday, today a little warmer than yesterday, in two months, in a month, the cold will call a truce and we will have one enemy less. Today the sun rose bright and clear for the first time from the horizon of mud. It is a Polish sun, cold, white, distant, and only warms the skin, but when it dissolved the last mists a murmur ran through our colourless numbers, and when even I felt its lukewarmth through my clothes I understood how men can worship the sun.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
She put the disappointments in a lockbox in the back of her mind and lived in the moment, which is all anyone has for sure. She had learned long ago, when things were so much harder in the Old Country she left behind, that, after all she had been through, every day to her was a blessing and every breath she took a gift.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The story played out in virtually every northern city—migrants sealed off in overcrowded colonies that would become the foundation for ghettos that would persist into the next century. These were the original colored quarters—the abandoned and identifiable no-man’s-lands that came into being when the least-paid people were forced to pay the highest rents for the most dilapidated housing owned by absentee landlords trying to wring the most money out of a place nobody cared about.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The Great Migration would not end until the 1970s, when the South began finally to change—the whites-only signs came down, the all-white schools opened up, and everyone could vote. By then nearly half of all black Americans—some forty-seven percent—would be living outside the South, compared to ten percent when the Migration began.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Black passengers getting off in Washington had nothing to worry about. But for those continuing south, the crews who ran the train, the porters who helped passengers on and off, and the black passengers themselves knew to gather their things and move to the Jim Crow car up front to make sure the races were separated when the train crossed into the state of Virginia. The
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The Great Migration in particular was not a seasonal, contained, or singular event. It was a statistically measurable demographic phenomenon marked by unabated outflows of black émigrés that lasted roughly from 1915 to 1975. It peaked during the war years, swept a good portion of all the black people alive in the United States at the time into a river that carried them to all points north and west.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Our Negro problem, therefore, is not of the Negro’s making. No group in our population is less responsible for its existence. But every group is responsible for its continuance.… Both races need to understand that their rights and duties are mutual and equal and their interests in the common good are identical.… There is no help or healing in appraising past responsibilities or in present apportioning of praise or blame.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
A heavy snow fell outside. In a symbolic kind of way, snow was to Chicago what cotton was to Mississippi. It blanketed the land. It was inevitable. Both were so much a part of the landscape of either place that where you saw snow you by definition would not see cotton and vice versa. Coming to Chicago was a guarantee that you would not be picking cotton. The people sitting at the dining room table this late winter night had chosen snow over cotton.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Gregory?” I called. I couldn’t help myself. It was irrational, but I was scared to see him run from me. He turned my direction, his feet pivoting in the dirt. Warily, I crossed into the light for a moment. “Do you, um…” I inhaled deeply. “Do you think you’ll still want to be my friend tomorrow?” I held my breath and waited for his answer. Although I could feel the sunshine perceptibly tingle every inch of exposed skin, the way Gregory smiled at me produced a swell of warmth unmatchable even for the sun. “I’ll always want to be your friend, Annabelle. Do you want to be mine?” My head nodded like mad, ecstatic, all on its own. I disappeared among the shadows again and watched my new friend until he stepped around the Hopkins’ house. Then I waited until his car drove off -- Gregory and his mother headed for home. I was on a high like no other, but I’d not lost my grasp on reality entirely. I knew that the real test would come Monday. It was one thing to befriend an outcast in the privacy of the woods, but quite another to risk ridicule and reputation when surrounded by peers. This was true even for those with the biggest of hearts, which I now believed Gregory Hill to have.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher)
Ida Mae Gladney, Robert Foster, and George Starling each left different parts of the South during different decades for different reasons and with different outcomes. The three of them would find some measure of happiness, not because their children had been perfect, their own lives without heartache, or because the North had been particularly welcoming. In fact, not a single one of those things had turned out to be true. There had been sickness, disappointment, premature and unexpected losses, and, among their children, more divorces than enduring marriages, but at least the children had tried. The three who had come out of the South were left widowed but solvent, and each found some measure of satisfaction because whatever had happened to them, however things had unfolded, it had been of their own choosing, and they could take comfort in that. They believed with all that was in them that they were better off for having made the Migration, that they may have made many mistakes in their lives, but leaving the South had not been one of them.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
He pressed his forehead against the deck, hard, like a penitent pilgrim, and felt the beat of the waves transmitted through it from below like a pulse, and the heat of the sun. He smelled the sour salt smell of seawater, and he heard the hesitant footsteps of baffled people gathering around him, unsure of what to do. He heard all the other meaningless noises reality was always cheerfully making to itself, the squeaks and scrapes and thumps and drones, on and on, world without end. He took a deep breath and sat up. Away from the warmth of the goddess's body he shivered in the early morning ocean air. But even the cold felt good to him. This is life, he kept saying to himself. That was being dead, and this is being alive. That was death, this is life. I will never confuse them again.
Lev Grossman (The Magician King (The Magicians, #2))
South Shore was one of the last white strongholds on the South Side, the completion of a cycle that had begun when the migrants first arrived and started looking for a way out of the tenements. There were fifty-eight bombings of houses that blacks moved into or were about to move into between 1917 and 1921 alone, bombings having become one of the preferred methods of intimidation in the North. In neighborhood after neighborhood, with the arrival of black residents the response during the Migration years was swift and predictable.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
the worst thing that could happen to a colored child in the South was for a parent to hear that a child was acting up. There would be no appeals, the punishment swift and physical. The arbitrary nature of grown people’s wrath gave colored children practice for life in the caste system, which is why parents, forced to train their children in the ways of subservience, treated their children as the white people running things treated them. It was preparation for the lower-caste role children were expected to have mastered by puberty.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
In order to become, to be, to move, Imagine leaving here, going to a cliff above the sea. Watch the sea Dive into the air, down into the sea. Dive deep toward the bottom. Feel the entities in the sea, in the cool darkness, the pressure. Listen and communicate with them. They know the secret way of escape from here. Escape into other places far from this planet. Move up from the sea's depths. Slant up through the dark clod, up to the warmth. Move out of the sea's surface, into light. Travel through the earth's air space, out. Accelerate toward our star, the sun. Feel its radiance increase, its energy. This energy started, maintains us, is us. Enter the sun's flaming self, be its light, Be its energy, share the star as you. Be the sun, shining into space. Move away on its energy, become greater that this star. Spread as its light in all directions. Fill the universe with thee, be the universe. Be all the stars, the galaxies are your body. Be empty space spread self to infinity. Be the creative potential in the empty spaces. BE the potential, infinite in the absolute zero of nothing.
John C. Lilly (The Quiet Center: Isolation and Spirit)
An astoundingly perfect black void sat where the sun had been, surrounded by a jagged white nimbus of light that nearly brought me to tears. This was the solar corona, the hot outer edges of the sun's atmosphere that drive a flood of particles into space and generate a phenomenon known as a stellar wind, a key property of how our sun and other stars evolve. I had studied this particular aspect of stars for almost my entire life, using a dozen of the best telescopes in the world, but this was the first time I could see a star's wind with my own naked-eye. Around us, the sky was a strangely uniform dome of sunsets in every direction, and the warmth of sunlight had been replaced by an almost primal up-the-neck chill. It felt like the planet itself had been put on pause at this particular place and moment in time, a frozen moment of "look.
Emily M. Levesque (The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers)
It is, indeed, in accordance with the nature of the invisible God that He should be thus known through His works; and those who doubt the Lord's resurrection because they do not now behold Him with their eyes, might as well deny the very laws of nature. They have ground for disbelief when works are lacking; but when the works cry out and prove the fact so clearly, why do they deliberately deny the risen life so manifestly shown? Even if their mental faculties are defective, surely their eyes can give them irrefragable proof of the power and Godhead of Christ. A blind man cannot see the sun, but he knows that it is above the earth from the warmth which it affords; similarly, let those who are still in the blindness of unbelief recognize the Godhead of Christ and the resurrection which He has brought about through His manifested power in others.
Athanasius of Alexandria (On the Incarnation)
Over the course of six decades, some six million black southerners left the land of their forefathers and fanned out across the country for an uncertain existence in nearly every other corner of America. The Great Migration would become a turning point in history. It would transform urban America and recast the social and political order of every city it touched. It would force the South to search its soul and finally to lay aside a feudal caste system. It grew out of the unmet promises made after the Civil War and, through the sheer weight of it, helped push the country toward the civil rights revolutions of the 1960s.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The committee hanged the body “from an oak tree on the courthouse lawn.” People reportedly displayed Neal’s fingers and toes as souvenirs. Postcards of his dismembered body went for fifty cents each. When the sheriff cut down the body the next morning, a mob of as many as two thousand people demanded that it be rehanged. When the sheriff refused to return it to the tree, the mob attacked the courthouse and rampaged through Marianna, attacking any colored person they ran into. Well-to-do whites hid their maids or sent cars to bring their workers to safety. “We needed these people,” said a white man who sat on his porch protecting his interests with a loaded Winchester. Florida Governor David Sholtz had to call in the National Guard to quell the mob. Across
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
I think about all the ways I’ve been perceived by others over the years: as a burden, a dutiful daughter, a girlfriend, a spiteful wretch, an invalid… This is my letter to the World that never wrote to Me. “You showed what no one else could see,” I tell him. He squeezes my shoulder. Both of us are silent, looking at the painting. There she is, that girl, on a planet of grass. Her wants are simple: to tilt her face to the sun and feel its warmth. To clutch the earth beneath her fingers. To escape from and return to the house she was born in. To see her life from a distance, as clear as a photograph, as mysterious as a fairy tale. This is a girl who has lived through broken dreams and promises. Still lives. Will always live on that hillside, at the center of a world that unfolds all the way to the edges of the canvas. Her people are witches and persecutors, adventures and homebodies, dreamers and pragmatists. Her world is both circumscribed and boundless, a place where the stranger at the door may hold a key to the rest of her life. What she most wants—what she most truly yearns for—is what any of us want: to be seen. And look. She is.
Christina Baker Kline
The presence of the migrants “in such large numbers crushed and stagnated the progress of Negro life,” the economist Sadie Mossell wrote early in the migration to Philadelphia. Newly available census records suggest the opposite to be true. According to a growing body of research, the migrants were, it turns out, better educated than those they left behind in the South and, on the whole, had nearly as many years of schooling as those they encountered in the North. Compared to the northern blacks already there, the migrants were more likely to be married and remain married, more likely to raise their children in two-parent households, and more likely to be employed. The migrants, as a group, managed to earn higher incomes than northern-born blacks even though they were relegated to the lowest-paying positions. They were less likely to be on welfare than the blacks they encountered in the North, partly because they had come so far, had experienced such hard times, and were willing to work longer hours or second jobs in positions that few northern blacks, or hardly anyone else for that matter, wanted, as was the case with Ida Mae Gladney, George Swanson Starling, Robert Foster, and millions of others like them.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
There was that in the atmosphere of San Salvatore which produced active-mindedness in all except the natives. They, as before, whatever the beauty around them, whatever the prodigal seasons did, remained immune from thoughts other than those they were accustomed to. All their lives they had seen, year by year, the amazing recurrent spectacle of April in the gardens, and custom had made it invisible to them. They were as blind to it, as unconscious of it, as Domenico’s dog asleep in the sun. The visitors could not be blind to it—it was too arresting after London in a particularly wet and gloomy March. Suddenly to be transported to that place where the air was so still that it held its breath, where the light was so golden that the most ordinary things were transfigured—to be transported into that delicate warmth,
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Elizabeth von Arnim Collection)
Now she had words to dull her senses. English words, a new name, and covering it all like a warm blanket, a new life in amazing, immoderate, pulsating America. A sparkling new identity in a gilded immense new country. God had made it as easy as possible to forget him. To you, I give this, God said. I give you freedom and sun, and warmth, and comfort. I give you summers in Sheep Meadow and Coney Island, and I give you Vikki, your friend for life, and I give you Anthony, your son for life, and I give you Edward, in case you want love again. I give you youth and I give you beauty, in case you want someone other than Edward to love you. I give you New York. I give you seasons, and Christmas! And baseball and dancing and paved roads and refrigerators, and a car, and land in Arizona. I give it all to you. All I ask, is that you forget him and take it.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
To his mind there were four kinds of beautiful skin. The first he likened to porcelain: finely grained and flawless in sheen, but marked by a hardness and chill. The second he compared to snow: duller and more coarsely grained, with a deep whiteness and an inner warmth and softness that belied its cold surface. Next was what he called the textile look, what others called silken; this was the complexion most prized by Japanese women, yet it had no virtue in Mikamé’s eyes beyond a flat, smooth prettiness. To be supremely beautiful, he thought, a woman’s skin had to glow with the internal life-force of spring’s earliest buds unfolding naturally in the sun. But city women, too clever with makeup, lost that perishable, flowerlike beauty at a surprisingly early age—and rare indeed was the woman past twenty-five whose skin had kept the freshness of youth.
Fumiko Enchi (Masks)
One morning she at last succeeded in helping him to the foot of the steps, trampling down the grass before him with her feet, and clearing a way for him through the briars, whose supple arms barred the last few yards. Then they slowly entered the wood of roses. It was indeed a very wood, with thickets of tall standard roses throwing out leafy clumps as big as trees, and enormous rose bushes impenetrable as copses of young oaks. Here, formerly, there had been a most marvellous collection of plants. But since the flower garden had been left in abandonment, everything had run wild, and a virgin forest had arisen, a forest of roses over-running the paths, crowded with wild offshoots, so mingled, so blended, that roses of every scent and hue seemed to blossom on the same stem. Creeping roses formed mossy carpets on the ground, while climbing roses clung to others like greedy ivy plants, and ascended in spindles of verdure, letting a shower of their loosened petals fall at the lightest breeze. Natural paths coursed through the wood — narrow footways, broad avenues, enchanting covered walks in which one strolled in the shade and scent. These led to glades and clearings, under bowers of small red roses, and between walls hung with tiny yellow ones. Some sunny nooks gleamed like green silken stuff embroidered with bright patterns; other shadier corners offered the seclusion of alcoves and an aroma of love, the balmy warmth, as it were, of a posy languishing on a woman’s bosom. The rose bushes had whispering voices too. And the rose bushes were full of songbirds’ nests. ‘We must take care not to lose ourselves,’ said Albine, as she entered the wood. ‘I did lose myself once, and the sun had set before I was able to free myself from the rose bushes which caught me by the skirt at every step.’ They had barely walked a few minutes, however, before Serge, worn out with fatigue, wished to sit down. He stretched himself upon the ground, and fell into deep slumber. Albine sat musing by his side. They were on the edge of a glade, near a narrow path which stretched away through the wood, streaked with flashes of sunlight, and, through a small round blue gap at its far end, revealed the sky. Other little paths led from the clearing into leafy recesses. The glade was formed of tall rose bushes rising one above the other with such a wealth of branches, such a tangle of thorny shoots, that big patches of foliage were caught aloft, and hung there tent-like, stretching out from bush to bush. Through the tiny apertures in the patches of leaves, which were suggestive of fine lace, the light
Émile Zola (Delphi Complete Works of Emile Zola)
He had been the one to set the course of their lives by migrating to New York before they were born. The parts of the city that black migrants could afford—Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Bronx—had been hard and forbidding places to raise children, especially for some of the trusting and untutored people from the small-town South. The migrants had been so relieved to have escaped Jim Crow that many underestimated or dared not think about the dangers in the big cities they were running to—the gangs, the guns, the drugs, the prostitution. They could not have fully anticipated the effects of all these things on children left unsupervised, parents off at work, no village of extended family to watch over them as might have been the case back in the South. Many migrants did not recognize the signs of trouble when they surfaced and so could not inoculate their children against them or intercede effectively when the outside world seeped into their lives.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
When a man seats before his eyes the bronze face of his helmet and steps off from the line of departure, he divides himself, as he divides his ‘ticket,’ in two parts. One part he leaves behind. That part which takes delight in his children, which lifts his voice in the chorus, which clasps his wife to him in the sweet darkness of their bed. “That half of him, the best part, a man sets aside and leaves behind. He banishes from his heart all feelings of tenderness and mercy, all compassion and kindness, all thought or concept of the enemy as a man, a human being like himself. He marches into battle bearing only the second portion of himself, the baser measure, that half which knows slaughter and butchery and turns the blind eye to quarter. He could not fight at all if he did not do this.” The men listened, silent and solemn. Leonidas at that time was fifty-five years old. He had fought in more than two score battles, since he was twenty; wounds as ancient as thirty years stood forth, lurid upon his shoulders and calves, on his neck and across his steel-colored beard. “Then this man returns, alive, out of the slaughter. He hears his name called and comes forward to take his ticket. He reclaims that part of himself which he had earlier set aside. “This is a holy moment. A sacramental moment. A moment in which a man feels the gods as close as his own breath. “What unknowable mercy has spared us this day? What clemency of the divine has turned the enemy’s spear one handbreadth from our throat and driven it fatally into the breast of the beloved comrade at our side? Why are we still here above the earth, we who are no better, no braver, who reverenced heaven no more than these our brothers whom the gods have dispatched to hell? “When a man joins the two pieces of his ticket and sees them weld in union together, he feels that part of him, the part that knows love and mercy and compassion, come flooding back over him. This is what unstrings his knees. “What else can a man feel at that moment than the most grave and profound thanksgiving to the gods who, for reasons unknowable, have spared his life this day? Tomorrow their whim may alter. Next week, next year. But this day the sun still shines upon him, he feels its warmth upon his shoulders, he beholds about him the faces of his comrades whom he loves and he rejoices in their deliverance and his own.” Leonidas paused now, in the center of the space left open for him by the troops. “I have ordered pursuit of the foe ceased. I have commanded an end to the slaughter of these whom today we called our enemies. Let them return to their homes. Let them embrace their wives and children. Let them, like us, weep tears of salvation and burn thank-offerings to the gods. “Let no one of us forget or misapprehend the reason we fought other Greeks here today. Not to conquer or enslave them, our brothers, but to make them allies against a greater enemy. By persuasion, we hoped. By coercion, in the event. But no matter, they are our allies now and we will treat them as such from this moment. “The Persian!
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
The general laws of migration hold that the greater the obstacles and the farther the distance traveled, the more ambitious the migrants. “It is the higher status segments of a population which are most residentially mobile,” the sociologists Karl and Alma Taeuber wrote in a 1965 analysis of census data on the migrants, published the same year as the Moynihan Report. “As the distance of migration increases,” wrote the migration scholar Everett Lee, “the migrants become an increasingly superior group.” Any migration takes some measure of energy, planning, and forethought. It requires not only the desire for something better but the willingness to act on that desire to achieve it. Thus the people who undertake such a journey are more likely to be either among the better educated of their homes of origin or those most motivated to make it in the New World, researchers have found. “Migrants who overcome a considerable set of intervening obstacles do so for compelling reasons, and such migrations are not taken lightly,” Lee wrote. “Intervening obstacles serve to weed out some of the weak or the incapable.” The
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
What do we mean by the lived truth of creation? We have to mean the world as it appears to men in a condition of relative unrepression; that is, as it would appear to creatures who assessed their true puniness in the face of the overwhelmingness and majesty of the universe, of the unspeakable miracle of even the single created object; as it probably appeared to the earliest men on the planet and to those extrasensitive types who have filled the roles of shaman, prophet, saint, poet, and artist. What is unique about their perception of reality is that it is alive to the panic inherent in creation: Sylvia Plath somewhere named God "King Panic." And Panic is fittingly King of the Grotesque. What are we to make of a creation in which the routine activity is for organisms to be tearing others apart with teeth of all types-biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one's own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses the residue. Everyone reaching out to incorporate others who are edible to him. The mosquitoes bloating themselves on blood, the maggots, the killerbees attacking with a fury and demonism, sharks continuing to tear and swallow while their own innards are being torn out-not to mention the daily dismemberment and slaughter in "natural" accidents of all types: the earthquake buries alive 70 thousand bodies in Peru, automobiles make a pyramid heap of over 50 thousand a year in the U.S. alone, a tidal wave washes over a quarter of a million in the Indian Ocean. Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all its creatures. The soberest conclusion that we could make about what has actually been taking place on the planet for about three billion years is that it is being turned into a vast pit of fertilizer. But the sun distracts our attention, always baking the blood dry, making things grow over it, and with its warmth giving the hope that comes with the organism's comfort and expansiveness. "Questo sol m'arde, e questo m'innamore," as Michelangelo put it.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
In April, he perched on a witch hazel branch, shivering, one eye closed, waiting for the sun to warm his wings. The night had been particularly cold, the winter long, the fishing scarce. He'd been alone all the time. When the sun appeared, the warmth felt good on his wings. he lifted from his perch, wheeled, then cackled over the river, studying the surface for the slightest flash: a trout, a small shad, a frog. He lit on a willow snag downriver and sunned himself, raised his tail, shat, and called again. The days were growing longer now, the alewives ascending the streams. The year before, he'd built his nest near the estuary in a seam of clay, and soon - if she returned - the time would come for a new nest along the bank. The kingfisher fished all morning. He returned to the willow snag at noon; slept, then woke shortly after, startled by the call. Was it she? They hadn't seen each other since the summer before. He dropped from the branch, called, winged downriver, his image doubled in the water. He heard the call again, closer now. If she returned, he'd dive into the river, greet her with a fish, fly around her, feed her beak to beak. If she returned, he'd begin to exxcavate a new nest, claw clay out of the earth, arrange the perfect pile of fish bones to lay their eggs upon. He pumped his wings harder now. He heard the cackle closer, louder more insistent. he recognized her voice. She was hurling her way upriver. Any moment now: she'd fly into his vision.
Brad Kessler (Birds in Fall)
They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few others recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts. NOTES ON METHODOLOGY I began this work because of what I saw as incomplete perceptions, outside of scholarly circles, of what the Great Migration was and how and why it happened, particularly through the eyes of those who experienced it. Because it was so unwieldy and lasted for so long, the movement did not appear to rise to the level of public consciousness that, by any measure, it seemed to deserve. The first question, in my view, had to do with its time frame: what was it, and when precisely did it occur? The Great Migration is often described as a jobs-driven, World War I movement, despite decades of demographic evidence and real-world indicators that it not only continued well into the 1960s but gathered steam with each decade, not ending until the social, political, and economic reasons for the Migration began truly to be addressed in the South in the dragged-out, belated response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The second question had to do with where it occurred. The migration from Mississippi to Chicago has been the subject of the most research through the years and has dominated discussion of the phenomenon, in part because of the sheer size of the black influx there and because of the great scholarly interest taken in it by a cadre of social scientists working in Chicago at the start of the Migration. However, from my years as a national correspondent at The New York Times and my early
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Look, now, in the distance, a person, closer, it's two people, hand in hand, ankle deep in the froth. Sunrise in hair, blonde, green bikini, tall, shining. They kiss. Handsy things happening underneath hist trunks, her tongue. Who wouldn't envy such youth, who wouldn't grieve what has been lost in watching. They come up the dune, she pushing him backward, up. Study them from the balcony, holding your breath while the couple stops in a smooth bowl of sand, protected by the dunes. She pushes down his trunks, he takes off her bathing suit, top and bottom. Oh yes, you would return to your wife on hands and knees, crawl the distance of the eastern seaboard to feel her fingers once more in your hair. You are unworthy of her. Yes. No. Even as you think of flight, you're transfixed by the lovers, wouldn't dare move for fear of making them flap like birds into the blistered sky. They step into each other, and it's hard to tell where one begins and one ends. Hands in hair and warmth on warmth, into the sand her red knees raised, his body moving. It is time. Something odd happening though you are not ready for it. There is an overlap. You have seen this before, felt her breath on your nape, the heat of her beneath, and the cold damp of day on your back, the helpless overwhelm, a sense of crossing. The sex reaching it's culmination. Come. Lip bitten to blood and finish with a roar and birds shoot up and crumbles in the pink folds of an ear. Serrated coin of sun on water. Face turns skyward. Is this drizzle? It is. Sound of small sheers closing. Barely time to register the staggering beauty and here it is, the separation.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
This will not be a normal winter. The winter will begin, and it will continue, winter following winter. There will be no spring, no warmth. People will be hungry and they will be cold and they will be angry. Great battles will take place, all across the world. Brothers will fight brothers, fathers will kill sons. Mothers and daughters will be set against each other. Sisters will fall in battle with sisters, and will watch their children murder each other in their turn. This will be the age of cruel winds, the age of people who become as wolves, who prey upon each other, who are no better than wild beasts. Twilight will come to the world, and the places where the humans live will fall into ruins, flaming briefly, then crashing down and crumbling into ash and devastation. Then, when the few remaining people are living like animals, the sun in the sky will vanish, as if eaten by a wolf, and the moon will be taken from us too, and no one will be able to see the stars any longer. Darkness will fill the air, like ashes, like mist. This will be the time of the terrible winter that will not end, the Fimbulwinter. There will be snow driving in from all directions, fierce winds, and cold colder than you have ever imagined cold could be, an icy cold so cold your lungs will ache when you breathe, so cold that the tears in your eyes will freeze. There will be no spring to relieve it, no summer, no autumn. Only winter, followed by winter, followed by winter. After that there will come the time of the great earthquakes. The mountains will shake and crumble. Trees will fall, and any remaining places where people live will be destroyed. The earthquakes will be so great that all bonds and shackles and fetters will be destroyed. All of them. Fenrir, the great wolf, will free himself from his shackles. His mouth will gape: his upper jaw will reach the heavens, the lower jaw will touch the earth. There is nothing he cannot eat, nothing he will not destroy. Flames come from his eyes and his nostrils. Where Fenris Wolf walks, flaming destruction follows. There will be flooding too, as the seas rise and surge onto the land. Jormungundr, the Midgard serpent, huge and dangerous, will writhe in its fury, closer and closer to the land. The venom from its fangs will spill into the water, poisoning all the sea life. It will spatter its black poison into the air in a fine spray, killing all the seabirds that breathe it. There will be no more life in the oceans, where the Midgard serpent writhes. The rotted corpses of fish and of whales, of seals and sea monsters, will wash in the waves. All who see the brothers Fenrir the wolf and the Midgard serpent, the children of Loki, will know death. That is the beginning of the end.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
Oh I'll die I'll die I'll die My skin is in blazing furore I do not know what I'll do where I'll go oh I am sick I'll kick all Arts in the butt and go away Shubha Shubha let me go and live in your cloaked melon In the unfastened shadow of dark destroyed saffron curtain The last anchor is leaving me after I got the other anchors lifted I can't resist anymore, a million glass panes are breaking in my cortex I know, Shubha, spread out your matrix, give me peace Each vein is carrying a stream of tears up to the heart Brain's contagious flints are decomposing out of eternal sickness other why didn't you give me birth in the form of a skeleton I'd have gone two billion light years and kissed God's ass But nothing pleases me nothing sounds well I feel nauseated with more than a single kiss I've forgotten women during copulation and returned to the Muse In to the sun-coloured bladder I do not know what these happenings are but they are occurring within me I'll destroy and shatter everything draw and elevate Shubha in to my hunger Shubha will have to be given Oh Malay Kolkata seems to be a procession of wet and slippery organs today But i do not know what I'll do now with my own self My power of recollection is withering away Let me ascend alone toward death I haven't had to learn copulation and dying I haven't had to learn the responsibility of shedding the last drops after urination Haven't had to learn to go and lie beside Shubha in the darkness Have not had to learn the usage of French leather while lying on Nandita's bosom Though I wanted the healthy spirit of Aleya's fresh China-rose matrix Yet I submitted to the refuge of my brain's cataclysm I am failing to understand why I still want to live I am thinking of my debauched Sabarna-Choudhury ancestors I'll have to do something different and new Let me sleep for the last time on a bed soft as the skin of Shubha's bosom I remember now the sharp-edged radiance of the moment I was born I want to see my own death before passing away The world had nothing to do with Malay Roychoudhury Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your violent silvery uterus Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm Would I have been like this if I had different parents? Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm? Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father? Would I have made a professional gentleman of me like my dead brother without Shubha? Oh, answer, let somebody answer these Shubha, ah Shubha Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen Come back on the green mattress again As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of a magnet's brilliance I remember the letter of the final decision of 1956 The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished with coon at that time Fine rib-smashing roots were descending in to your bosom Stupid relationship inflated in the bypass of senseless neglect Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I do not know whether I am going to die Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience I'll disrupt and destroy I'll split all in to pieces for the sake of Art There isn't any other way out for Poetry except suicide Shubha Let me enter in to the immemorial incontinence of your labia majora In to the absurdity of woeless effort In the golden chlorophyll of the drunken heart Why wasn't I lost in my mother's urethra? Why wasn't I driven away in my father's urine after his self-coition? Why wasn't I mixed in the ovum -flux or in the phlegm? With her eyes shut supine beneath me I felt terribly distressed when I saw comfort seize S
Malay Roy Choudhury (Selected Poems)
Neither do I express well nor do I know how to write perfectly charming like writers do yet here I sit every night under the stars hoping one to break away so I could wish for the missing peace of my puzzle of life .. * Selfish isn't it wishing something to break so we can join ourselves  maybe thats the law of nature. One always has to give up for something to live. Tree dies  leaving the seed for a new bud behind.  Crazy! The sacrifice for one becomes the breath for the other one without even  him realizing what suffering something went through for its precious life * It gets cold fast once you decide to swim deep into your thoughts . Every thing from a star to even the buzzing of bees tell you a story about what your existence might be for but the city's lights and sound never let you realize how small yet how fascinating your existence is . We tend to forget the meaning of life even after preaching the same for others ourselves. . It feels good and at peace with nobody to bother you anymore . You can think and imagine stuff that might never be but this wonderful brain imagines  it . If not forever Atleast for sometime   you can feel the feeling you forever lust for.  Sure the usual disturbances try to lure my mind away from things but I'm used to it now . The gloominess  inside doesn't let them affect inside anymore. * The sky gets dark it really does . Maybe like the night sky's supposed to be so are my thoughts with a beating heart to support them and keep the flame of fight lit like the moon lights up the sky even if that means reflecting the harsh rays of sun. * The time flies and so do the body shivers for warmth but I feel like staying. Sure the exposed sky gives peace but it comes at a cost so I try to bargain with  it every night. She's a good at negotiating though only gives me some hours before she signal that time's over. * Hesitantly I move my numb body using the last remaining gas in  the dying  shell known as body. How much i try it won't let me stay so here I leave heartbroken once again like every other night.
PANKAJ SARPAL
He opened his eyes then, white fire flaring hotly within them. “Send me home, Legna,” he commanded her, his voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. She moved her head in affirmation even as she leaned toward him to catch his mouth once more in a brief, territorial kiss, her teeth scoring his bottom lip as she broke away. It was an incidental wound, one he could heal in the blink of an eye. But he wouldn’t erase her mark on him, and they both knew it. Finally, she stepped back, closed her eyes, and concentrated on picturing his home in her thoughts. She had been in his parlor dozens of times as a guest, always accompanied by Noah. His library, his kitchen, even the grounds of the isolated estate were well known to her. She could have sent him to any of those locations. But as she began to focus, her mind’s eye was filled with the image of a dark, elegant room she had never seen before. Hand-carved ebony-paneled walls soared up into a vast ceiling, enormous windows of intricate stained glass spilled colored light over the entire room as if a multitude of rainbows had taken up residence. It all centered around an enormous bed, the coverlet’s color indistinguishable under the blanket of colorful dawn sunlight that streamed into the room. She could feel the sun’s warmth, ready and waiting to cocoon any weary occupant who thrived on sleeping in the heat of the muted daylight sun. It was a beautiful room, and she knew without a doubt that it was Gideon’s bedroom and that he had shared the image of it with her. If she sent him there, it would be the first time she had ever teleported someone to a place she had not first seen for herself. The ability to take images of places from others’ minds for teleporting purposes was an advanced Elder ability. “You can do it,” he encouraged her softly, all of his thoughts and his will completely full of his belief in that statement. Legna kept his gaze for one last long moment, and with a flick of a wrist sent him from the room with a soft pop of moving air. She exhaled in wonder, everything inside of her knowing without a doubt that he had appeared in his bedroom, safe and sound, that very next second. Legna turned to look at her own bed and wondered how she would ever be able to sleep. Nelissuna . . . go to bed. I will help you sleep. Gideon’s voice washed through her, warming her, comforting her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. This was the connection that Jacob and Isabella shared. For the rest of the time both of them lived, each would be privy to the other’s innermost thoughts. She realized that because he was the more powerful, it was quite possible he would be able to master parts of himself, probably even hide things from her awareness and keep them private—at least, until she learned how to work her new ability with better skill. After all, she was a Demon of the Mind. It was part of her innate state of being to figure the workings of their complex minds. She removed her slippers and pushed the sleeves of her dress from her shoulders so that it sheeted off her in one smooth whisper of fabric. She closed her eyes, avoiding looking in the mirror or at herself, very aware of Gideon’s eyes behind her own. His masculine laughter vibrated through her, setting her skin to tingle. So, you are both shy and bold . . . he said with amusement as she quickly slid beneath her covers. You are a source of contradictions and surprises, Legna. My world has begun anew. As if living for over a millennium is not long enough? she asked him. On the contrary. Without you, it was far, far too long. Go to sleep, Nelissuna. And a moment after she received the thought, her eyes slid closed with a weight she could not have contradicted even if she had wanted to. Her last thought, as she drifted off, was that she had to make a point of telling Isabella that she might have been wrong about what it meant to have another to share one’s mind with.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))