Where The Wild Things Are Quotes

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Let the wild rumpus start!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
The Peace of Wild Things When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry (The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)
There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,' Holly advised him. 'That was Doc's mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky." "She's drunk," Joe Bell informed me. "Moderately," Holly confessed....Holly lifted her martini. "Let's wish the Doc luck, too," she said, touching her glass against mine. "Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc -- it's better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
And [he] sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more...What I dread is the isolation. ... There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart. That's where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you'll always find peace.
Elizabeth Gilbert
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell what a wild, and rough, and stubborn wood this was, which in my thought renews the fear!
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Then from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat, so he gave up being king of the wild things.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can't do a handstand-- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go- We'll eat you up- we love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside?
Libba Bray
We''re all misfits here,” he says, almost proudly. “That's why I started this squat, after all.  For people like us, who don't fit in anywhere else.  Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird.  That's where art comes from, Jimmy, my friend.  From our weirdnesses and our differences, from our manic fixations, our obsessions, our passions.  From all those wild and wacky things that make each of us unique.
Terri Windling (Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #8))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I daresay, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The more I read, the more I felt connected across time to other lives and deeper sympathies. I felt less isolated. I wasn’t floating on my little raft in the present; there were bridges that led over to solid ground. Yes, the past is another country, but one that we can visit, and once there we can bring back the things we need. Literature is common ground. It is ground not managed wholly by commercial interests, nor can it be strip-mined like popular culture—exploit the new thing then move on. There’s a lot of talk about the tame world versus the wild world. It is not only a wild nature that we need as human beings; it is the untamed open space of our imaginations. Reading is where the wild things are.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
I'll eat you up!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you're terrified somebody's going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
George Axelrod
But that's the thing with death. The whisper of it descent travels fast and wide, and people must've know I'd become a corpse because nobody even came to view the body.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
And then there are the cravings.. Oh, la! A woman may crave to be near water, or be belly down, her face in the earth, smelling the wild smell. She might have to drive into the wind. She may have to plant something, pull things out of the ground or put them into the ground. She may have to knead and bake, rapt in dough up to her elbows. She may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out her voice against the mountain. She may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilt on a black marble floor. She may feel she will die if she doesn’t dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
I don't know what happens to our consciousness when we're unwound," says Connor. "I don't even know when that consciousness starts. But I do know this." He pauses to make sure all of them are listening. "We have a right to our lives!" The kids go wild. "We have a right to choose what happens to our bodies!" The cheers reach fever pitch. "We deserve a world where both those things are possible— and it's our job to help make that world.
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
The loneliest thing you can ever do is take every instance where you should grow and waste it by only thinking how could this happen to you?
Nikita Gill (Wild Embers)
He’s just a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be king
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
The void?" I'd asked, crestfallen. "it's a good thing," she said. "It's the place where things are born, where they begin. Think about how a black hole absorbs energy and then releases it into something that's new and alive.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art. LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN. I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.* Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them? I Have. I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.
Lana Del Rey
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
Money can’t buy you happiness, but happiness sure is a hell of a lot easier to find when you’re not worried about where your next meal is coming from.
Christina Lauren (Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons, #2))
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
In fact, public speaking anxiety may be primal and quintessentially human, not limited to those of us born with a high-reactive nervous system. One theory, based on the writings of the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, holds that when our ancestors lived on the savannah, being watched intently meant only one thing: a wild animal was stalking us. And when we think we're about to be eaten, do we stand tall and hold forth confidently? No. We run. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years of evolution urge us to get the hell off the stage, where we can mistake the gaze of the spectators for the glint in a predator's eye.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He'd been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The word was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was to be a secret spring - a moving oasis. He wasn't desolate, and he wasn't empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that's what being a magician was. They weren't ordinary feelings - they weren't the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
Oh, please don't go — I'll eat you up — I love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Where the wild things are is where I am most at home.
Kim Antieau
Most of all, it was the wild music that impressed Matt. It did the same thing that playing the piano had done when he was frightened and lonely. It took him into another world where only beauty existed and where he was sage from hatred and disappointment and death.
Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1))
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
One never sleepwalks through grizzlyland, dreaming of other places to be.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women" Perhaps I was born kneeling, born coughing on the long winter, born expecting the kiss of mercy, born with a passion for quickness and yet, as things progressed, I learned early about the stockade or taken out, the fume of the enema. By two or three I learned not to kneel, not to expect, to plant my fires underground where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, could be whispered to or laid down to die. Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was— a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, I find the effort useless. Do I not look in the mirror, these days, and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? Do I not feel the hunger so acutely that I would rather die than look into its face? I kneel once more, in case mercy should come in the nick of time.
Anne Sexton
An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. "You are perfectly welcome," it tells him, "during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don't blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don't cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.
Christopher Isherwood (Exhumations)
When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
If ever he had harboured a conscience in his tough narrow breast he had by now dug out and flung away the awkward thing - flung it so far away that were he ever to need it again he could never find it. High-shouldered to a degree little short of malformation, slender and adroit of limb and frame, his eyes close-set and the colour of dried blood, he is climbing the spiral staircase of the soul of Gormenghast, bound for some pinnacle of the itching fancy - some wild, invulnerable eyrie best known to himself; where he can watch the world spread out below him, and shake exultantly his clotted wings
Mervyn Peake (The Gormenghast Novels (Gormenghast, #1-3))
There is an unknown land full of strange flowers and subtle perfumes, a land of which it is joy of all joys to dream, a land where all things are perfect and poisonous.
Oscar Wilde
Slowly, she unraveled each word of the sentence: “‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
RAIN I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain. And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said- I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
And the world goes on regardless of joy or despair or one woman's fortune or one man's loss. And we can't know the lives of others. And we can't know our own lives beyond the details we can manage. And the things that change us forever happen without us knowing they would happen. And the moment that looks like the rest is the one where hearts are broken or healed. And time that runs so steady and sure runs wild outside the clocks. It takes so little time to change a lifetime and it takes a lifetime to understand the change.
Jeanette Winterson (The Gap of Time)
Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields. Some of that exclusion is due to regular old misogyny, but it’s also true that—all too often—women are the ones holding themselves back from participating in the first place. Holding back their ideas, holding back their contributions, holding back their leadership and their talents. Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’. And I don’t say this as a criticism of men, by the way. I like that feature in men—their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!” Yes, sometimes the results are ridiculous and disastrous, but sometimes, strangely enough, it works—a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps. But I’ve watched too many women do the opposite. I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, “I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.” Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves—and we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Let’s not travel to tick things off lists, or collect half-hearted semi-treasures to be placed in dusty drawers in empty rooms. Rather, we’ll travel to find grounds and rooftops and tiny hidden parks, where we’ll sit and dismiss the passing time, spun in the city’s web, ‘til we’ve surrendered, content to be spent and consumed. I need to feel a place while I’m in it.
Victoria Erickson (Edge of Wonder: Notes from the Wildness of Being)
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess
Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like... it's easy to love rain... and hawks. And it's easy to love wild plums... and the moon. But with people, seems like love's a hard thing to know. It gets all mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?" "I'm not sure, but I think you'll know. I think if it's the right person, it'll be better than rain and hawks and wild plums. Even better than the moon. I think it'll be better than all that put together.
Billie Letts (Where the Heart Is)
at least nine-tenths of all the original reality ever created lies outside the multiverse, and since the multiverse by definition includes absolutely everything that is anything, this puts a bit of a strain on things. Outside the boundaries of the universes lie the raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas, all being created and uncreated chaotically like elements in fermenting supernovas. Just occasionally where the walls of the worlds have worn a bit thin, they can leak in.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1))
I see myself abandoned, solitary, thrown into a cell without dimensions, where light and shadows are silent phantoms. Within my inner self I find the silence I am seeking. But it leaves me so bereft of any memory of any human being and of me myself, that I transform this impression into the certainty of physical solitude. Were I to cry out — I can no longer see things clearly — my voice would receive the same indifferent echo from the walls of the earth.
Clarice Lispector (Near to the Wild Heart)
Max dijo "QUIETOS" y los amansó con el truco mágico de mirar fijamente a los ojos amarillos de todos ellos sin pestañear una sola vez y se asustaron y dijeron que era el más monstruo de todos.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
The world as first seen by the child becomes his lifelong standard of excellence, mindless of the fact he is admiring the ruins of his parents.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
And the wild things...gnashed their terrible teeth ...
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Reading is where the wild things are.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
And he sailed off through night and day And in and out of weeks And almost over a year To where the wild things are.
Maurice Sendak
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot." "Oh," she said. "Oh." ..... "I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full." He smiled. "That's a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Eva seemed to be on some sort of mission to work her evil/cute baby magic on me. Ever since she'd started toddling around on those chubby little legs, she'd been targeting me, the least enthusiastic baby person in the room. I think she enjoyed the challenge, which proved that we were related. Eva would tug on my pants leg until I picked her up. And then she'd basically stare me down with those big blue-grey eyes of hers, daring me not to snuggle her. It was like facing down a tiny, diapered mastermind. And of course, I caved. I snuggled her. I babbled. I read her Where the Wild Things Are until I was hoarse. I actually found myself watching my language. Shudder.
Molly Harper
You can never rouse Harris. There is no poetry about Harris- no wild yearning for the unattainable. Harris never "weeps, he knows not why." If Harris's eyes fill with tears, you can bet it is because Harris has been eating raw onions, or has put too much Worcester over his chop. If you were to stand at night by the sea-shore with Harris, and say: "Hark! do you not hear? Is it but the mermaids singing deep below the waving waters; or sad spirits, chanting dirges for white corpses held by seaweed?" Harris would take you by the arm, and say: "I know what it is, old man; you've got a chill. Now you come along with me. I know a place round the corner here, where you can get a drop of the finest Scotch whisky you ever tasted- put you right in less than no time." Harris always does know a place round the corner where you can get something brilliant in the drinking line. I believe that if you met Harris up in Paradise (supposing such a thing likely), he would immediately greet you with: "So glad you've come, old fellow; I've found a nice place round the corner here, where you can get some really first-class nectar.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived. Because of all this he became possessed of a great pride in himself, which communicated itself like a contagion to his physical being.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
I just don't understand what you see in her," Sim said carefully. "I know she's charming. Fascinating and all of that. But she seems rather," he hesitated, "cruel." I nodded. "She is." Simmon watched me expectantly, finally said. "What? No defense for her?" "No. Cruel is a good word for her. But I think you are saying cruel and thinking of something else. Denna is not wicked, or mean, or spiteful. She is cruel." Sim was quiet for a long while before responding. "I think she might be some of those things, and cruel as well." Good, honest gentle Sim. He could never bring himself to say bad things about another person, just imply them. Even that was hard for him. He looked up at me. "I talked with Savoy. He's still not over her. He really loved her, you know. Treated her like a princess. He would have done anything for her. But she left him anyway, no explanation." "Denna is a wild thing," I explained. "Like a hind or a summer storm. If a storm blows down your house, or breaks a tree, you don't say the storm was mean. It was cruel. It acted according to its nature and something unfortunately was hurt. The same is true of Denna." "What's a hind?" "A deer." "I thought that was a hart?" "A hind is a female deer. A wild deer. Do you know how much good it does you to chase a wild thing? None. It works against you. It startles the hind away. All you can do is stay gently where you are, and hope in time that the hind will come to you.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like ... it's easy to love rain ... and hawks. And it's easy to love wild plums ... and the moon. But with people, seems like love's a hard thing to know. It gets all mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?" "I'm not sure, but I think you'll know. I think if it's the right person, it'll be better than rain and hawks and wild plums. Even better than the moon. I think it'll be better than all that put together.
Billie Letts (Where the Heart Is)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
Because you are the wild sea and unkempt storms and constellations in a world where I am the anchor for everyone I know... And you remind me that I can do impossible things.
Mary Weber (To Best the Boys)
Oh please don't go- we'll eat you up- we love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Tis a far cry from home for a poor lonely thing, O'er the deeps and wild waters of seas, Where you can't hear your dear mother's voice softly sing Like a breeze gently stirring the trees. Come home, little one, wander back here someday, I'll watch for you, each evening and morn, Through all the long season 'til I'm old and grey As the frost on the hedges at dawn. There's a lantern that shines in my window at night, I have long kept it burning for you, It glows through the dark, like a clear guiding light, And I know someday you'll see it, too. So hasten back, little one, or I will soon be gone, No more to see your dear face, But I know that I'll feel your tears fall one by one, On the flowers o'er my resting place.
Brian Jacques (Triss (Redwall, #15))
ERANNA TO SAPPHO O You wild adept at throwing! Like a spear by other things, I'd lain there beside my next of kin. Your strain flung me far. To where's beyond my knowing. None can bring me back again. Sisters think upon me as they twine, and the house is full of warm relation. I alone am out of the design, and I tremble like a supplication; for the lovely goddess all creation bowers in legend lives this life of mine. SAPPHO TO ERANNA With unrest I want to inundate you, want to brandish you, you vine-wreathed stave. Want, like death itself, to penetrate you and to pass you onwards like the grave to the All: to all these things that wait you.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The world was fucking awful. It was a wretched, desolate place, a desert of meaninglessness, a heartless wasteland, where horrific things happened all the time for no reason and nothing good lasted for long. He'd been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The world was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was to be a secret spring - a moving oasis. He wasn't desolate, and he wasn't empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that's what being a magician was. They weren't ordinary feelings - they weren't the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
Beauty was all around them. Unsuspected tintings glimmered in the dark demesnes of the woods and glowed in their alluring by-ways. The spring sunshine sifted through the young green leaves. Gay trills of song were everywhere. There were little hollows where you felt as if you were bathing in a pool of liquid gold. At every turn some fresh spring scent struck their faces: Spice ferns...fir balsam...the wholesome odour of newly ploughed fields. There was a lane curtained with wild-cherry blossoms; a grassy old field full of tiny spruce trees just starting in life and looking like elvish things that had sat down among the grasses; brooks not yet "too broad for leaping"; starflowers under the firs; sheets of curly young ferns; and a birch tree whence someone had torn away the white-skin wrapper in several places, exposing the tints of the bark below-tints ranging from purest creamy white, through exquisite golden tones, growing deeper and deeper until the inmost layer revealed the deepest, richest brown as if to tell tha all birches, so maiden-like and cool exteriorly, had yet warm-hued feelings; "the primeval fire of earth at their hearts.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6))
It is possible, of course, that I may exaggerate about them. I certainly hope that I do; for where there is no exaggeration there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding. It is only about things that do not interest one, that one can give a really unbiassed opinion; and this is no doubt the reason why an unbiassed opinion is always valueless.
Oscar Wilde (A Critic In Pall Mall: Being Extracts From Reviews And Miscellanies (1919))
I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbelieer in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even precisely what the word faith meant, in all of its complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Slowly, she unraveled each word of the sentence: “‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.’” “Oh,” she said. “Oh.” “You can read, Kya. There will never be a time again when you can’t read.” “It ain’t just that.” She spoke almost in a whisper. “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” He smiled. “That’s a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
There is no ending, no neatness... where water is concerned. It is wild, febrile, kind, ambiguous; it is dark and carries the mud, and it is clear and the cleanest thing. Too much of it kills us, and not enough kills us, and it is what makes us, mostly. Water is the cleverest substance, wily beyond the stretch of our mortal imaginations. And no matter where it is pent, no matter if it is air or liquid or solid, it will someday, inevitably, find its way out.
Lauren Groff (Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories)
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
In the hurtling pronghorn, the vanished predators have left behind a heartrending spectacle. Through the smoking displays of wild abandon runs a desperate spirit, resigned to racing pickup trucks in its eternal longing for cheetahs.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
The loneliest thing you can ever do is take very instance where you should grow and waste it by only thinking how could this happen to you?
Nikita Gill (Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion, Fire and Beauty)
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
I see all that we have ruined in order to have, all that was owned for a lifetime to be destroyed forever. Where are the sleeps that escape such dreams?
Wendell Berry (The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems)
Wild creatures somehow know where they must go, but we— we humans wander the paths of confusion. Trying to be so many things other than our true selves.
John Mark Green (Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems)
Love Song My own dear love, he is strong and bold And he cares not what comes after. His words ring sweet as a chime of gold, And his eyes are lit with laughter. He is jubilant as a flag unfurled— Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him. My own dear love, he is all my world,— And I wish I’d never met him. My love, he’s mad, and my love, he’s fleet, And a wild young wood-thing bore him! The ways are fair to his roaming feet, And the skies are sunlit for him. As sharply sweet to my heart he seems As the fragrance of acacia. My own dear love, he is all my dreams,— And I wish he were in Asia. My love runs by like a day in June, And he makes no friends of sorrows. He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon In the pathway of the morrows. He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start, Nor could storm or wind uproot him. My own dear love, he is all my heart,— And I wish somebody’d shoot him.
Dorothy Parker
A gig, I realize now, is a place where people come together and give permission for anything to happen. Things can be said and shouted and sung; people get pissed; people get kissed-there is a communal agenda of joyous wilding. These are the boardroom meetings of young people, where we establish our vibe.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
ON THE DAY I DIE On the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here, and immediately opens with a shout of joy there. --------------------------------- One who does what the Friend wants done will never need a friend. There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain. The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night. A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. ---------------------------------- Childhood, youth, and maturity, and now old age. Every guest agrees to stay three days, no more. Master, you told me to remind you. Time to go. ----------------------------------- The angel of death arrives, and I spring joyfully up. No one knows what comes over me when I and that messenger speak! ------------------------------------- When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off, I look around and see the way. At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing. -------------------------------------- Last night things flowed between us that cannot now be said or written. Only as I'm being carried out and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind, will anyone be able to read, as on the petal-pages of a turning bud, what passed through us last night. ------------------------------------- I placed one foot on the wide plain of death, and some grand immensity sounded on the emptiness. I have felt nothing ever like the wild wonder of that moment. Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain. Your desire must be disciplined, and what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Alec," Kadir said, very intensely. "I also must speak to you about "The Very Small Mouse Who Went a Very Long Way," by Courtney Gray Wiese." "What about it?" Alec said. "You did not tell me," Kadir said. "You did not warn me sufficiently." "We tried," said Alec. In bleak tones, Kadir recited, "The finest mouse will go neglected/Who is not often disinfected." "It's hard to prepare someone for it," Alec said. "You kind of have to experience it for yourself." "Indeed," said Kadir. "I am glad for "Where the Wild Things Are," at least. I have learned, after all these years, where the wild things are. They are in this Institute.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2))
I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn’t know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even precisely what the word faith meant, in all of its complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
You're going to, Clay? She whispered before he could leave. You're really going to read to me? Sure. The smile that lit Jackie's face was the first Clayton had seen from her in more than a year. It did funny things in the region of his chest. He moved toward the door but ran into the doorpost because he was staring behind him watching her. Eddie who was headed that way laughed when she witnessed it. Are you in a hurry Eddie asked noticing that he looked a little dazed. She smiled He said his voice bemused. I saw her smile. Eddie's gaze became very tender. If Jackie could see him now she'd know in an instant how much he still loved her.
Lori Wick (Where the Wild Rose Blooms (Rocky Mountain Memories, #1))
I didn’t exactly want to get divorced. I didn’t exactly not want to. I believed in almost equal measure both that divorcing Paul was the right thing to do and that by doing so I was destroying the best thing I had. By then my marriage had become like the trail in that moment when I realized there was a bull in both directions. I simply made a leap of faith and pushed on in the direction where I’d never been.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I knew now: love and destiny were two wild horses that could not be curbed. They galloped in different directions and ran down different paths where streams of desire and hope would not converge. To follow one was to betray the other. To make one happy was to break the other's heart. Yet I supposed that was part of life, a lesson we had to learn. To grow up was also to give up, and to build the future was to dissolve the past. The only thing we could do was hope for the best, to believe that the horse we chose would find us a safe destination.
Weina Dai Randel (The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon, #1))
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
But I didn't know where I wanted to go. Or what I wanted to do when I got there. I had dreams, but they were vague things with no real substance. I wanted to be famous, or really rich, or wildly successful, but that was as far as the dream went. My whole life was a fill-in-the-blank.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
The Flowers All the names I know from nurse: Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse, Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock, And the Lady Hollyhock. Fairy places, fairy things, Fairy woods where the wild bee wings, Tiny trees for tiny dames-- These must all be fairy names! Tiny woods below whose boughs Shady fairies weave a house; Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme, Where the braver fairies climb! Fair are grown-up people's trees, But the fairest woods are these; Where, if I were not so tall, I should live for good and all
Robert Louis Stevenson
Have you not sometimes noted, When we unlock some long-disuséd room With heavy dust and soiling mildew filled, Where never foot of man has come for years, And from the windows take the rusty bar, And fling the broken shutters to the air, And let the bright sun in, how the good sun Turns every grimy particle of dust Into a little thing of dancing gold? Guido, my heart is that long-empty room, But you have let love in, and with its gold Gilded all life.
Oscar Wilde (The Duchess of Padua)
One thing at a time,' said the Boy. 'You must be patient. This is a day of hope and wild revenge. Do not interrupt me. I am a courier from another world. I bring you golden words. Listen!' said the Boy. 'Where I come from there is no more fear. But there is a roaring and a bellowing and a cracking of bones. And sometimes there is silence when, lolling on your thrones, your slaves adore you.
Mervyn Peake (Boy in Darkness and Other Stories)
A sound of laughter was heard-they turned sharply. Vera Claythorne was standing in the yard. She cried out in a high shrill voice, shaken with wild bursts of laughter: "Do they keep bees on this island? Tell me that. Where do we go for honey? Ha! ha!" They stared at her uncomprehendingly. It was as though the sane well-balanced girl had gone mad right before their eyes. She went on in that high unnatural voice: "Don't stare like that! As though you thought I was mad. It's sane enough what I'm asking. Bees, hives, bees! Oh, don't you understand? Haven't you read that idiotic rhyme? It's up in all of your bedrooms-put it there for you to study! We might have come here straightaway if we'd had sense. Seven little soldiers chopping up sticks. And the next verse, I know the whole thing by heart, I tell you! Six little soldier boys playing with a hive. And that's why I'm asking-do they keep bees on this island- isn't it damned funny...?
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
Buddha once saw a jackal, a wild dog, run out of the forest where he was staying. It stood still for a while, then it ran into the underbrush, and then out again. Then it ran into a tree hollow, then out again. Then it went into a cave, only to run out again. One minute it stood, the next it ran, then it lay down, then it jumped up. The jackal had the mange. When it stood, the mange would eat into its skin, so it would run. Running, it was still uncomfortable, so it would stop. Standing, it was still uncomfortable, so it would lie down. Then it would jump up again, running to the underbrush, the tree hollow, never staying still. The Buddha said, “Monks, did you see that jackal this afternoon? Standing, it suffered. Running, it suffered. Sitting, it suffered. Lying down, it suffered. It blamed standing for its discomfort. It blamed sitting. It blamed running and lying down. It blamed the tree, the underbrush, and the cave. In fact, the problem was with none of those things. The problem was with his mange.” We are just the same as that jackal. Our discontent is due to wrong view. Because we don’t exercise sense restraint, we blame our suffering on externals. Whether we live in Thailand, America or England, we aren’t satisfied. Why not? Because we still have wrong view. Just that! So wherever we go, we aren’t content. But just as that jackal would be content wherever it went as soon as its mange was cured, so would we be content wherever we went once we rid ourselves of wrong view.
Ajahn Chah
At lunch break [from cheesemaking] I checked out the wildly colorful powder room, where a quote from Alice in Wonderland was painted on the wall: There's no use in trying,' Alice said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Barbara Kingsolver
It's hard to say where any of this ends or how it ever began, because what you eventually learn is that there is no such thing as linear. There is only this wild, fucked-up flamethrower of a collective dream in which we were all born and traveled and died.
Stephen Markley (Ohio)
Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad - when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated village of centuries ago. This was where the suicide lay; and this was the place where I was, alone - unmanned, shivering with cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again upon me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been taught, all my courage, not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright. (Dracula's Guest)
Bram Stoker (Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories)
I've been sitting here now, and do you know what I was saying to myself? If I did not believe in life, if I were to lose faith in the woman I love, if I were to lose faith in the order of things, even if I were to become convinced, on the contrary, that everything is a disorderly, damned, and perhaps devilish chaos, if I were struck even by all the horrors of human disillusionment--still I would want to live, and as long as I have bent to this cup, I will not tear myself from it until I've drunk it all. However, by the age of thirty, I will probably drop the cup, even if I haven't emptied it, and walk away...I don't know where. But until my thirtieth year, I know this for certain, my youth will overcome everything--all disillusionment, all aversion to live. I've asked myself many times: is there such despair in the world as could overcome this wild and perhaps indecent thirst for life in me, and have decided that apparently there is not--that is, once again, until my thirtieth year, after which I myself shall want no more, so it seems to me. Some snotty-nosed, consumptive moralists, poets especially, often call this thirst for life base. True, it's a feature of the Karamazovs, to some extent, this thirst for life despite all; it must be sitting in you too; but why is it base? There is still an awful lot of centripetal force on our planet, Alyosha. I want to live, and I do live, even if it be against logic. Though I do not believe in the order of things, still the sticky little leaves that come out in the spring are dear to me, the blue sky is dear to me, some people are dear to me, whom one loves sometimes, would you believe it, without even knowing why; some human deeds are dear to me, which one has perhaps long ceased believing in, but still honors with one's heart, out of old habit...I want to go to Europe, Alyosha, I'll go straight from here. Of course I know that I will only be going to a graveyard, but to the most, the most previous graveyard, that's the thing! The precious dead lie there, each stone over them speaks of such ardent past life, of such passionate faith in their deeds, their truth, their struggle, and their science, that I--this I know beforehand--will fall to the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them--being wholeheartedly convinced, at the same time, that it has all long been a graveyard and nothing more. And I will not weep from despair, but simply because I will be happy in my shed tears. I will be drunk with my own tenderness. Sticky spring leaves, the blue sky--I love them, that's all! Such things you love not with your mind, not with logic, but with your insides, your guts, you love your first young strength...
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
In conquering the fearsome beasts, the conquerors had unwittingly orphaned themselves.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
Despite what film and music would have women believe, the guys are all hopeless when it comes to the female orgasm. They learn sex from watching porn, where giving the camera a good view is the goal and no one really cares if it works for the girl, because she'll pretend it's awesome regardless. Sex happens up close, and inside, not at camera's length. Guys seem to forget that.
Christina Lauren (Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons, #2))
Science Fiction properly conceived, like all serious fiction, however funny, is a way of trying to describe what is going on, what people actually do and feel, how people relate to everything else in this vast sack, this belly of the universe, this womb of things to be and tomb of things that were, this unending story. In it, as in all fiction, there is room enough to keep even Man where he belongs, in his place in the scheme of things, there is time enough to gather plenty of wild oats and sow them, too, and sing to little Oom, and listen to Ool's joke, and watch newts, and still the story isn't over. Still there are seeds to be gathered and room in the bag of stars.
Ursula K. Le Guin
There's no being out too late in Whileaway, or up too early, or in the wrong part of town, or unescorted. You cannot fall out of the kinship web and become sexual prey for strangers, for there is no prey and there are no strangers -- the web is world-wide. In all of Whileaway there is no one who can keep you from going where you please (though you may risk your life, if that sort of thing appeals to you), no one who will follow you and try to embarrass you by whispering obscenities in your ear, no one who will attempt to rape you, no one who will warn you of the dangers of the street, no one who will stand on street corners, hot-eyed and vicious, jingling loose change in his pants pocket, bitterly bitterly sure that you're a cheap floozy, hot and wild, who likes it, who can't say no, who's making a mint off it, who inspires him with nothing but disgust, and who wants to drive him crazy.
Joanna Russ (The Female Man)
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely. Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems. In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age. At least you used to. But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Peter Godwin (When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa)
Writing is hard, you know. The fact that you’re just supposed to sit down and have a million thoughts flow into your head is crazy. You could have a week where nothing but sadness floods your mind and you can’t think of anything and then you can have one day where your mind decides to change and goes wild with happy thoughts of even the stupidest things. So if you ask me how I think of what to write, I mean, I have no idea. They come to me, and sometimes they suck, but that doesn’t mean I don’t write them down. You need to write everything. The good and the bad and the sad and the happy, because one day you’ll look to the past and decide to read what you had written a while back. and I guess when you do you’ll be reminded of the friends, the breakups, the love, the loss, the ups, the downs, the rain and the sun. and I guess by then you’ll realize that’s all part of life. and life can be shitty. but fuck it. just live. One morning, any morning, you need to wake up and say to yourself, what the hell have you been doing until now, and you need to go out and live, because frankly, that’s all life’s got to offer.
Mae Krell (All The Things I Never Said)
And in those moments where the sun is setting and the house is quiet and you are weary from the day, may you know that there is grace for you in that space, and no amount of heaviness or loneliness can take that away. And because of that grace, you are free to slow down. You are free to breathe and rest, no matter the things not sorted out. There might be some mystery here and there might be longing, wondering, and waiting. But there will also be boundless peace that goes beyond any understanding, running wild like a river through everything, no matter how heavy these moments feel. So rest easy, when everything is approaching. Tomorrow is surely coming, but in the hours in between, you are free to rest till then.
Morgan Harper Nichols
Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Odd, the words: ‘while away the time’. How to hold it fast the harder thing. Who is not fearful: where is there a staying, where in all this is there any being? Look, as the day slows towards the space that draws it into dusk: rising became upstanding, standing a laying down, and then that which accepts its lying blurs to darkness. Mountains rest, outgloried be the stars - but even there, time’s transition glimmers. Ah, nightly refuged in my wild heart, roofless, the imperishable lingers. --- Wunderliches Wort: die Zeit vertreiben! Sie zu halten, wäre das Problem. Denn, wen ängstigts nicht: wo ist ein Bleiben, wo ein endlich Sein in alledem? - Sieh, der Tag verlangsamt sich, entgegen jenem Raum, der ihn nach Abend nimmt: Aufstehn wurde Stehn, und Stehn wird Legen, und das willig Liegende verschwimmt - Berge ruhn, von Sternen überprächtigt; - aber auch in ihnen flimmert Zeit. Ach, in meinem wilden Herzen nächtigt obdachlos die Unvergänglichkeit.
Rainer Maria Rilke
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside? If you will listen I will tell you a story-one whose ghost cannot be banished by the comfort of a roaring fire, I will tell you the story of how we found ourselves in a realm where dreams are formed, destiny is chosen, and magic is as real as your handprint in the snow. I will tell you how we unlocked the Pandora's box of ourselves, tasted freedom, stained our souls with blood and choice, and unleashed a horror on the world that destroyed its dearest Order. These pages are a confession of all that has led to this cold, gray dawn. What will be now, I cannot say. Is your heart beating faster? Do the clouds seem to be gathering on the horizons? Does the skin on your neck feel stretched tight, waiting for a kiss you both fear and need? Will you be scared? Will you know the truth? Mary Dowd, April 7, 1871
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
Think of a globe, a revolving globe on a stand. Think of a contour globe, whose mountain ranges cast shadows, whose continents rise in bas-relief above the oceans. But then: think of how it really is. These heights are just suggested; they’re there….when I think of walking across a continent I think of all the neighborhood hills, the tiny grades up which children drag their sleds. It is all so sculptured, three-dimensional, casting a shadow. What if you had an enormous globe that was so huge it showed roads and houses- a geological survey globe, a quarter of a mile to an inch- of the whole world, and the ocean floor! Looking at it, you would know what had to be left out: the free-standing sculptural arrangement of furniture in rooms, the jumble of broken rocks in the creek bed, tools in a box, labyrinthine ocean liners, the shape of snapdragons, walrus. Where is the one thing you care about in earth, the molding of one face? The relief globe couldn’t begin to show trees, between whose overlapping boughs birds raise broods, or the furrows in bark, where whole creatures, creatures easily visible, live our their lives and call it world enough. What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is a possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
It took Lucy forty hours to die and we hardly left her side. . . .We spent those last hours kissing her frequently and telling her how deeply we loved her. Then I began to read Leah’s children’s books out loud to her. She had lived a storyless childhood, so I read in the last day of her life the books she had missed. I told her about Winnie the Pooh and Yertle the Turtle, took her Where the Wild Things Are, introduced her to Peter Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. Each of us took turns reading to her out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and, at the very last, Leah insisted that I tell all the Great Dog Chippie stories I had told her during our year of exile from the family in Rome.
Pat Conroy (Beach Music)
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, With shaking timber and shifting sand, Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand Than the square stones of Rome. For men are homesick in their homes, And strangers under the sun, And they lay on their heads in a foreign land Whenever the day is done. Here we have battle and blazing eyes, And chance and honour and high surprise, But our homes are under miraculous skies Where the yule tale was begun. A Child in a foul stable, Where the beasts feed and foam; Only where He was homeless Are you and I at home; We have hands that fashion and heads that know, But our hearts we lost - how long ago! In a place no chart nor ship can show Under the sky's dome. This world is wild as an old wives' tale, And strange the plain things are, The earth is enough and the air is enough For our wonder and our war; But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings And our peace is put in impossible things Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings Round an incredible star. To an open house in the evening Home shall men come, To an older place than Eden And a taller town than Rome. To the end of the way of the wandering star, To the things that cannot be and that are, To the place where God was homeless And all men are at home.
G.K. Chesterton
The river itself is not a hundred yards across, and pa and Vernon and Vardaman and Dewey Dell are the only things in sight not of that single monotony of desolation leaning with that terrific quality a little from right to left, as though we had reached the place where the motion of the wasted world accelerates just before the final precipice. Yet they appear dwarfed. It is as though the space between us were time: an irrevocable quality. It is as though time, no longer running straight before us in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, the distance being the doubling accretion of the thread and not the interval between. The mules stand, their fore quarters already sloped a little, their rumps high. They too are breathing now with a deep groaning sound; looking back once, their gaze sweeps across us with in their eyes a wild, sad, profound and despairing quality as though they had already seen in the thick water the shape of the disaster which they could not speak and we could not see.
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
When a person reaches the end of a book and says, 'I want to read that again,' what he's actually saying is that he wants to mentally merge with his favorite character and stroll among all the other creative personalities, feeding a hungry imagination through the vicarious reliving of each and every wild chapter that stirred his emotions, the whole while surrendering to a safe yet daring existence where any crazy, hopeful thing can and does happen. That's all.
Richelle E. Goodrich
It is incredibly tempting to disparage people who didn’t “change” with us. I have criticized the words of others when the same words came out of my own mouth just two years earlier, which is incredibly un-self-aware. Human insecurity wants everyone right where we are, in the same head space at the same time. We want to progress (and digress) at a comparable rate: Everyone be into this thing I’m into! Except when I’m not. Then everyone be cool. We need to get better at permission and grace. What is right for us may not be right for everyone, and we don’t have to burn down the house simply because we’ve moved our things out. Other good folks probably still live there, and until one minute ago, we did too.
Jen Hatmaker (Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life)
He gazed at her for what seemed like an eternity before reaching out to stroke her cheek. “I’d just like to forget. Forget every last thing.” Her heart beat erratically from the emotions flickering through his eyes. Need and want. Fear and hope. She couldn’t tell where one emotion ended and the next began. The only thing she could tell for certain was that, in the subtle flicker of candlelight, something had changed between them. Profoundly changed. Desire coiled in and around them like a vine and settled low in her belly. Heat blossomed over her, quashing her ability to think straight as he bent his head and touched his lips to hers. She closed her eyes to everything but the feel of his mouth on hers, in a kiss so different from their first that it astonished in comparison. This was not the wild and savage connection they had shared behind the assembly rooms. Yet, there was passion in its tenderness, and hunger in the languorous fusion of their tongues.
Anna Durbin (King of Wands)
They think I may be dangerous, and I am, but not in the way they fear. I have tasted of Paradise. Not because I wanted to. I didn't want to. But it has borne down upon me and there is no escaping it any more. All Things Are Possible. It bears down upon everyone and we run from it as hard as we can and many manage to keep it at bay, but I have not, I am condemned, now, never.... to settle... for the lesser.... ever... again. And yes, that makes me a dangerous man. They think I have become one of the wild animals at the zoo, and I have become one of the wild animals at the zoo. This is a great day.
Michael Ventura (The Zoo Where You're Fed to God)
Farrell had seen pure white drunkenness before, but not often enough to recognize it at sight. He knew the thing itself, however--the freight train rattling and lurching comically from hilarity to slobbering sorrow, picking up speed as it passed through wild, aimless anger straight on into wild sickness; and then, running smoothly and almost silently now, into a dark place of shaking and sweating and crying, and out again with no warning to where a dazzling snowy light made everything very still.
Peter S. Beagle (The Folk of the Air)
It was a careworn face. But most of the lines, if followed back like a trail, would lead to happiness. To the faces a face made when laughing or smiling, or sitting quietly enjoying the day. Though some of those lines led elsewhere. Into a wilderness, into the wild. Where terrible things had happened. Some of the lines of his face led to events inhuman and abominable. To horrific sights. To unspeakable acts. Some of them his. The lines of his face were the longitude and latitude of his life.
Louise Penny (A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #12))
Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at. My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also. When I think about religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who cannot believe: the Confraternity of the Faithless, one might call it, where on an altar, on which no taper burned, a priest, in whose heart peace had no dwelling, might celebrate with unblessed bread and a chalice empty of wine. Every thing to be true must become a religion. And agnosticism should have its ritual no less than faith. It has sown its martyrs, it should reap its saints, and praise God daily for having hidden Himself from man. But whether it be faith or agnosticism, it must be nothing external to me. Its symbols must be of my own creating. Only that is spiritual which makes its own form. If I may not find its secret within myself, I shall never find it: if I have not got it already, it will never come to me.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach. T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. . . . The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make. . . .I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Anna Quindlen (Loud and Clear)
And the world goes on regardless of joy or despair or one woman's fortune or one man's loss. And we can't know the lives of others. And we can't know our own lives beyond the details we can manage. And the things that change us forever happen without us knowing they would happen. And the moment that looks like the rest is the one where hearts are broken or healed. And time that runs so steady and sure runs wild outside of the clocks. It takes so little time to change a lifetime and it takes a lifetime to understand the change.
Jeanette Winterson (The Gap of Time)
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
We instinctively feel an overwhelming desire to take sides: organic or conventional, fair or free trade, "pure" or genetically engineered food, wild or farm-raised fish. Like most things in life, though, the sensible answer lies somewhere between the extremes, somewhere in that dull but respectable placed called the pragmatic center. To be a centrist when it comes to food is, unfortunately, to be a radical.
James McWilliams (Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly)
Taken together, the narratives of how the animals ended up at Lowry Park revealed as much about Homo sapiens as they revealed about the animals themselves. The precise details—how and where each was born, how they were separated from their mothers and taken into custody, all they had witnessed and experienced on their way to becoming the property of this particular zoo—could have filled an encyclopedia with insights into human behavior and psychology, human geopolitics and history and commerce. Lowry Park’s very existence declared our presumption of supremacy, the ancient belief that we have been granted dominion over other creatures and have the right to do with them as we please. The zoo was a living catalogue of our fears and obsessions, the ways we see animals and see ourselves, all the things we prefer not to see at all. Every corner of the grounds revealed our appetite for amusement and diversion, no matter what the cost. Our longing for the wildness we have lost inside ourselves. Our instinct to both exalt nature and control it. Our deepest wish to love and protect other species even as we scorch their forests and poison their rivers and shove them toward oblivion. All of it was on display in the garden of captives.
Thomas French (Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives)
Through her, in microcosm, the wide earth sobbed. The starglobe sank in her; the colours faded. The death-dew rose and the wild birds in her breast climbed to her throat and gathered songless, hovering, all tumult, wing to wing, so ardent for those climes where all things end.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
Sweet and Wild - Dierks Bentley Light it Up - Rev Theory Thick as Thieves - Cavo Rock You All Night Long - Royal Bliss Outlawed - Attila Thug Life - Attila Can You Feel My Heart - Bring Me the Horizon Forever in Your Hands - All That Remains You’re Not Alone - Of Mice & Men Jezebel - Memphis May Fire These Things I’ve Done - Sleeping With Sirens The Way of the Fist - Five Finger Death Punch As Diehard as They Come - Hatebreed Just Keep Breathing - We Came as Romans Dead in a Grave - Rev Theory I Survive - We Came as Romans Payback - Attila You’re the One - Rev Theory Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza - Volbeat Perfect - My Darkest Days Die For You - Otherwise Where Did the Party Go? - Fall Out Boy
Autumn Jones Lake (Road to Royalty (Lost Kings MC #1-3))
An old man emerged from the ditch, a creature Of mud and wild autumn winds capering Like a hare across a bouldered field, across And through the stillness of time unhinged That sprawls patient and unexpected in the Place where battle lies spent, unmoving and Never again moving bodies strewn and Death-twisted like lost languages tracking Contorted glyphs on a barrow door, and he read well the aftermath, the disarticulated script Rent and dissolute the pillars of self toppled Like termite towers all spilled out round his Dancing feet, and he shouted in gleeful Revelation the truth he'd found, in these Red-fleshed pronouncements - “There is peace!” He shrieked. “There is peace!” and it was No difficult thing, where I sat in the saddle Above salt-rimed horseflesh to lift my crossbow Aim and loose the quarrel, skewering the madman To his proclamation. “Now,” said I, in the Silence that followed, “Now, there is peace.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
Merit,” Catcher said, sitting beside Mallory on the couch, an arm around her shoulders. “It’s nice to see you clothed again.” “And now that she is,” Gabriel said, standing, “we should get moving.” “Where are we going, exactly?” Catcher asked. “To a land beyond space and time,” Jeff said drawing an arc in the air. “Where the rules of mortals have no meaning.” Gabriel looked up at the ceiling as if he might find patience there. “We’re going to the Brecks’ backyard. Into the woods, right here in Illinois, where most of us are quite mortal.” “Illi-noise,” Jeff said with cheeky enthusiasm. “Because the wolves will howl.
Chloe Neill (Wild Things (Chicagoland Vampires, #9))
Forests to the [early] Northern European peoples were dangerous and generous, domestic and wild, beautiful and terrible. And the forests were the terrain out of which fairy stories, one of our earliest and most vital cultural forms, evolved. The mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of the forest are both the background to and source of these tales.... Forests are places where a person can get lost and also hide -- and losing and hiding, of things and people, are central to European fairy stories in ways that are not true of similar stories in different geographies. Landscape informs the collective imagination as much as or more than it forms the individual psyche and its imagination, but this dimension is not something to which we always pay enough attention.
Sara Maitland (Gossip from the Forest)
Rhyson’s words set my heart free like a stampede of wild notes across a music staff, falling off the lines, running off the page. I’m a composition out of control, without form. Freestyled. Improvised. Unsure of where we’re going, but certain that it’s right. Sure that in the end, it will be a thing of beauty. “You
Kennedy Ryan (My Soul to Keep (Soul, #1))
Every wild thing is in tune with its surroundings, awake to its fate and in absolute harmony with the planet. Their attention is focused totally outwards. Humans, on the other hand, tend to focus introspectively on their own lives too often, brooding and magnifying problems that the animal kingdom would not waste a millisecond of energy upon. To most people, the magnificent order of the natural world where life and death actually mean something has become unrecognizable.
Lawrence Anthony (The Elephant Whisperer)
What is it that a young man wants? Where is the central source of that wild fury that boils up in him, that goads and drives and lashes him, that explodes his energies and strews his purpose to the wind of a thousand instant and chaotic impulses? The older and assured people of the world, who have learned to work without waste and error, think they know the reason for the chaos and confusion of a young man’s life. They have learned the thing at hand, and learned to follow their single way through all the million shifting hues and tones and cadences of living, to thread neatly with unperturbed heart their single thread through that huge labyrinth of shifting forms and intersecting energies that make up life—and they say, therefore, that the reason for a young man’s confusion, lack of purpose, and erratic living is because he has not “found himself.
Thomas Wolfe (The Web and the Rock)
There was once a poor shoemaker who had three fine strong sons and two pretty daughters and a third who could do nothing well, who shivered plates and tangled her spinning, who curdled milk, could not get butter to come, nor set a fire so that smoke did not pour into the room, a useless, hopeless, dreaming daughter, to whom her mother would often say that she should try to fend for herself in the wild wood, and then she would know the value of listening to advice, and of doing things properly. And this filled the perverse daughter with a great desire to go even a little way into the wild wood, where there were no plates and no stitching, but might well be a need of such things as she knew she had it in herself to perform…
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
And at night the river flows, it bears pale stars on the holy water, some sink like veils, some show like fish, the great moon that once was rose now high like a blazing milk flails its white reflection vertical and deep in the dark surgey mass wall river's grinding bed push. As in a sad dream, under the streetlamp, by pocky unpaved holes in dirt, the father James Cassidy comes home with lunchpail and lantern, limping, redfaced, and turns in for supper and sleep. Now a door slams. The kids have rushed out for the last play, the mothers are planning and slamming in kitchens, you can hear it out in swish leaf orchards, on popcorn swings, in the million-foliaged sweet wafted night of sighs, songs, shushes. A thousand things up and down the street, deep, lovely, dangerous, aureating, breathing, throbbing like stars; a whistle, a faint yell; the flow of Lowell over rooftops beyond; the bark on the river, the wild goose of the night yakking, ducking in the sand and sparkle; the ululating lap and purl and lovely mystery on the shore, dark, always dark the river's cunning unseen lips, murmuring kisses, eating night, stealing sand, sneaky. 'Mag-gie!' the kids are calling under the railroad bridge where they've been swimming. The freight train still rumbles over a hundred cars long, the engine threw the flare on little white bathers, little Picasso horses of the night as dense and tragic in the gloom comes my soul looking for what was there that disappeared and left, lost, down a path--the gloom of love. Maggie, the girl I loved.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. What is there to be or do? What's become of me or you? Are we kind or are we true? Sitting two and two, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I build a tower, boys, knowing it will rend Crack upon the hour, boys, waiting for the end? Shall I pluck a flower, boys, shall I save or spend? All turns sour, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I send a wire, boys? Where is there to send? All are under fire, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I turn a sire, boys? Shall I choose a friend? The fat is in the pyre, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I make it clear, boys, for all to apprehend, Those that will not hear, boys, waiting for the end, Knowing it is near, boys, trying to pretend, Sitting in cold fear, boys, waiting for the end? Shall we send a cable, boys, accurately penned, Knowing we are able, boys, waiting for the end, Via the Tower of Babel, boys? Christ will not ascend. He's hiding in his stable, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we blow a bubble, boys, glittering to distend, Hiding from our trouble, boys, waiting for the end? When you build on rubble, boys, Nature will append Double and re-double, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we make a tale, boys, that things are sure to mend, Playing bluff and hale, boys, waiting for the end? It will be born stale, boys, stinking to offend, Dying ere it fail, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we go all wild, boys, waste and make them lend, Playing at the child, boys, waiting for the end? It has all been filed, boys, history has a trend, Each of us enisled, boys, waiting for the end. What was said by Marx, boys, what did he perpend? No good being sparks, boys, waiting for the end. Treason of the clerks, boys, curtains that descend, Lights becoming darks, boys, waiting for the end. Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. Not a chance of blend, boys, things have got to tend. Think of those who vend, boys, think of how we wend, Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. - 'Just A Smack at Auden
William Empson (The Complete Poems)
Maybe in this nation of the flesh, Distance will hold us together, as I try to remember her bent low to the bleeding heart’s small petals, and around us, buds of wild lilies where once there was a shallow gorge that dipped into the clearing and horses claimed the fields; and that one night she couldn’t sleep, she walked into the same field to behold the stars she once named for me. Maybe now I will understand what secrets she wanted to share that night while I pretended to sleep. Years later, we returned to that place only to discover that the rains had flooded the field into a lake, as if all memory was fiction, as if memory had turned things around.
Eugene Gloria
The Doper's Dream Last night I dreamed I was plugged right in To a bubblin' hookah so high, When all of a sudden some Arab jinni Jump up just a-winkin' his eye. 'I'm here to obey all your wishes,' he told me. As for words I was trying to grope. 'Good buddy,' I cried, 'you could surely oblige me By turning me on to some dope!' With a bigfat smile he took ahold of my hand, And we flew down the sky in a flash, And the first thing I saw in the land where he took me Was a whole solid mountain of hash! All the trees was a-bloomin' with pink 'n' purple pills, Whur the Romilar River flowed by, To the magic mushrooms as wild as a rainbow, So pretty that I wanted to cry. All the girls come to greet us, so sweet in slow motion, Mourning glories woven into their hair, Bringin' great big handfuls of snowy cocaine, All their dope they were eager to share. We we dallied for days, just a-ballin' and smokin', In the flowering Panama Red, Just piggin' on peyote and nutmeg tea, And those brownies so kind to your head. Now I could've passed that good time forever, And I really was fixing to stay, But you know that jinni turned out, t'be a narco man, And he busted me right whur I lay. And he took me back to a cold, cold world 'N' now m'prison's whurever I be... And I dream of the days back in Doperland And I wonder, will I ever go free?
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
The wild is an integral part of who we are as children. Without pausing to consider what or where or how, we gather herbs and flowers, old apples and rose hips, shiny pebbles and dead spiders, poems, tears and raindrops, putting each treasured thing into the cauldron of our souls. We stir our bucket of mud as if it were, every one, a bucket of chocolate cake to be mixed for the baking. Little witches, hag children, we dance our wildness, not afraid of not knowing. But there comes a time when the kiss of acceptance is delayed until the mud is washed from our knees, the chocolate from our faces. Putting down our wooden spoon with a new uncertainty, setting aside our magical wand, we learn another system of values based on familiarity, on avoiding threat and rejection. We are told it is all in the nature of growing up. But it isn't so. Walking forward and facing the shadows, stumbling on fears like litter in the alleyways of our minds, we can find the confidence again. We can let go of the clutter of our creative stagnation, abandoning the chaos of misplaced and outdated assumptions that have been our protection. Then beyond the half light and shadows, we can slip into the dark and find ourselves in a world where horizons stretch forever. Once more we can acknowledge a reality that is unlimited finding our true self, a wild spirit, free and eager to explore the extent of our potential, free to dance like fireflies, free to be the drum, free to love absolutely with every cell of our being, or lie in the grass watching stars and bats and dreams wander by. We can live inspired, stirring the darkness of the cauldron within our souls, the source, the womb temple of our true creativity, brilliant, untamed
Emma Restall Orr
How do you get rid of unhappiness? You must release yourself from the prison you have unknowingly placed yourself in. Come to terms with the fact that there are things that you cannot control. But, just because you don’t ‘control’ something, doesn’t mean it’s going to fall to pieces. That may be the hardest part. We get bent out of shape when something happens that is out of our control, because we don’t understand why it’s happening or where it’s coming from. It’s unsettling. You put your fighting arms up and prepare to battle the world. But, stop for a moment. Think. Where are all of these things coming from? The world is not a wild, untamed place, where things are a free for all. Understand that there is a higher power running the world.
Leigh Hershkovich
To the ancients, bears symbolized resurrection. The creature goes to sleep for a long time, its heartbeat decreases to almost nothing. The male often impregnates the female right before hibernation, but miraculously, egg and sperm do not unite right away. They float separately in her uterine broth until much later. Near the end of hibernation, the egg and sperm unite and cell division begins, so that the cubs will be born in the spring when the mother is awakening, just in time to care for and teach her new offspring. Not only by reason of awakening from hibernation as though from death, but much more so because the she-bear awakens with new young, this creature is a profound metaphor for our lives, for return and increase coming from something that seemed deadened. The bear is associated with many huntress Goddesses: Artemis and Diana in Greece and Rome, and Muerte and Hecoteptl, mud women deities in the Latina cultures. These Goddesses bestowed upon women the power of tracking, knowing, 'digging out' the psychic aspects of all things. To the Japanese the bear is the symbol of loyalty, wisdom, and strength. In northern Japan where the Ainu tribe lives, the bear is one who can talk to God directly and bring messages back for humans. The cresent moon bear is considered a sacred being, one who was given the white mark on his throat by the Buddhist Goddess Kwan-Yin, whose emblem is the crescent moon. Kwan-Yin is the Goddess of Deep Compassion and the bear is her emissary. "In the psyche, the bear can be understood as the ability to regulate one's life, especially one's feeling life. Bearish power is the ability to move in cycles, be fully alert, or quiet down into a hibernative sleep that renews one's energy for the next cycle. The bear image teaches that it is possible to maintain a kind of pressure gauge for one's emotional life, and most especially that one can be fierce and generous at the same time. One can be reticent and valuable. One can protect one's territory, make one's boundaries clear, shake the sky if need be, yet be available, accessible, engendering all the same.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Our family was starting. We kept on moving with our young lives, shortly afterward and took Ben Young with us everywhere. But pretty soon Pegi started noticing that Ben was not doing the things some other babies were doing. Pegi was wondering if something was wrong. She was young, and nothing had ever gone wrong in her life. People told us kids grow at different rates and do things at different times. But as Ben reached six months old, we found ourselves sitting in a doctor's office. He glanced at us and offhandedly said, "Of course. Ben has cerebral palsy." I was in shock. I walked around in a for for weeks. I couldn't fathom how I had fathered two children with a rare condition that was not supposed to be hereditary, with tow different mothers. I was so angry and confused inside, projecting scenarios in my mind where people said something bad about Ben or Zeke and I would just attack them, going wild. Luckily that never did happen, but there was a root of instability inside me for a while. Although it mellowed with time, I carried that feeling around for years. Eventually Pegi and I, wanting to have another child after Ben, went to se an expert of the subject. That was Pegi's idea. Always organized and methodical in her approach to problems, Pegi planned an approach to our dilemma with her very high intelligence. We both loved children but were a little gun-shy about having another, to say the least. After evaluating our situation and our children, the doctor told us that probably Zeke dis not actually have CP-he likely had suffered a stroke in utero. The symptoms are very similar. Pegi and I weighed this information. To know someone like her and to make a decision about a subject as important as this with her was a gift beyond anything I have ever experienced. It was her idea, and she had guided us to this point. We made a decision together to go forward and have another child.
Neil Young (Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream)
I realized I still had my eyes shut. I had shut them when I put my face to the screen, like I was scared to look outside. Now I had to open them. I looked out the window and saw for the first time how the hospital was out in the country. The moon was low in the sky over the pastureland; the face of it was scarred and scuffed where it had just torn up out of the snarl of scrub oak and madrone trees on the horizon. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. It called to mind how I noticed the exact same thing when I was off on a hunt with Papa and the uncles and I lay rolled in blankets Grandma had woven, lying off a piece from where the men hunkered around the fire as they passed a quart jar of cactus liquor in a silent circle. I watched that big Oregon prairie moon above me put all the stars around it to shame. I kept awake watching, to see if the moon ever got dimmer or if the stars got brighter, till the dew commenced to drift onto my cheeks and I had to pull a blanket over my head. Something moved on the grounds down beneath my window — cast a long spider of shadow out across the grass as it ran out of sight behind a hedge. When it ran back to where I could get a better look, I saw it was a dog, a young, gangly mongrel slipped off from home to find out about things went on after dark. He was sniffing digger squirrel holes, not with a notion to go digging after one but just to get an idea what they were up to at this hour. He’d run his muzzle down a hole, butt up in the air and tail going, then dash off to another. The moon glistened around him on the wet grass, and when he ran he left tracks like dabs of dark paint spattered across the blue shine of the lawn. Galloping from one particularly interesting hole to the next, he became so took with what was coming off — the moon up there, the night, the breeze full of smells so wild makes a young dog drunk — that he had to lie down on his back and roll. He twisted and thrashed around like a fish, back bowed and belly up, and when he got to his feet and shook himself a spray came off him in the moon like silver scales. He sniffed all the holes over again one quick one, to get the smells down good, then suddenly froze still with one paw lifted and his head tilted, listening. I listened too, but I couldn’t hear anything except the popping of the window shade. I listened for a long time. Then, from a long way off, I heard a high, laughing gabble, faint and coming closer. Canada honkers going south for the winter. I remembered all the hunting and belly-crawling I’d ever done trying to kill a honker, and that I never got one. I tried to look where the dog was looking to see if I could find the flock, but it was too dark. The honking came closer and closer till it seemed like they must be flying right through the dorm, right over my head. Then they crossed the moon — a black, weaving necklace, drawn into a V by that lead goose. For an instant that lead goose was right in the center of that circle, bigger than the others, a black cross opening and closing, then he pulled his V out of sight into the sky once more. I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest :Text and Criticism)
I can't explain. When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Thinking back, ladies, looking back, gentlemen, thinking and looking back on my European tour, I feel a heavy sadness descend upon me. Of course, it is partly nostalgia, looking back at that younger me, bustling around Europe, having adventures and overcoming obstacles that, at the time, seemed so overwhelming, but now seem like just the building blocks of a harmless story. But here is the truth of nostalgia: we don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn’t take. Time is like wax, dripping from a candle flame. In the moment, it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape. Then the moment passes, and the wax hits the table top and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past, a solid single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held. It is impossible - no matter how blessed you are by luck or the government or some remote, invisible deity gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind - it is impossible not to feel a little sad, looking at that bit of wax. That bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take. The village, glimpsed from a train window, beautiful and impossible and impossibly beautiful on a mountaintop, and you wonder what it would be if you stepped off the train and walked up the trail to its quiet streets and lived there for the rest of your life. The beautiful face of that young man from Luftknarp, with his gaping mouth and ashy skin, last seen already half-turned away as you boarded the bus, already turning towards a future without you in it, where this thing between you that seemed so possible now already and forever never was. All variety of lost opportunity spied from the windows of public transportation, really. It can be overwhelming, this splattered, inert wax recording every turn not taken. ‘What’s the point?’ you ask. ’Why bother?’ you say. ’Oh, Cecil,’ you cry. ’Oh, Cecil.’ But then you remember - I remember! - that we are even now in another bit of molten wax. We are in a moment that is still falling, still volatile, and we will never be anywhere else. We will always be in that most dangerous, most exciting, most possible time of all: the Now. Where we never can know what shape the next moment will take. Stay tuned next for, well, let’s just find out together, shall we?
Cecil Baldwin
If only I could cry. I am beyond that. The light, the light, lending itself to empty downtown Saturday, but still the stupid insensate cars flush by oblivious to their stupidity, my silent plea. It isn't Mexico. It's not Paris. It's a painting by Hopper come to life. I am trapped inside a dead thing. Language is impossible here, even in English. Who has the arrogance to say: I'm mad, this is my crazy view of things, help me. I'm trapped in a silent world, a tableau of forty years ago. The walls are different, the tables, the heights of the veiling and the chairs. I loom above this letter. The view past the rows of cakes in the plate glass window is unfamiliar. I am a ghost. There is nothing now between me and death. Death is the unfamiliarity of everything, the strangeness of the once familiar. The same spatial configurations only the light is hollow, sick. I think I lack the energy to hit expensive discos which I don't know where they are to be rejected tonight. I look passable. My energy's low. I love to dance but despair is not a good muse. This Mexico, babe. Men who don't love you but act wildly as if they do initially. Self-involved, narcissistic men... The men drink and philosophize about pain. The women live it solo and culturelessly. No one cries, except easily, sentimentally. The devil, therefore God, exists. Oaxaca was a pushover compared to this. Pain had boundaries there. Spare us big cities, oh lord!
Maryse Holder (Give Sorrow Words: Maryse Holder's Letters From Mexico)
Naysayers at their polite best chided the rewilders for romanticizing the past; at their sniping worst, for tempting a 'Jurassic Park' disaster. To these the rewilders quietly voiced a sad and stinging reply. The most dangerous experiment is already underway. The future most to be feared is the one now dictated by the status quo. In vanquishing our most fearsome beasts from the modern world, we have released worse monsters from the compound. They come in disarmingly meek and insidious forms, in chewing plagues of hoofed beasts and sweeping hordes of rats and cats and second-order predators. They come in the form of denuded seascapes and barren forests, ruled by jellyfish and urchins, killer deer and sociopathic monkeys. They come as haunting demons of the human mind. In conquering the fearsome beasts, the conquerors had unwittingly orphaned themselves.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
 It’s weird being alone in the museum. It’s dark and eerily quiet: Only the after-hours lights are on—just enough to illuminate the hallways and stop you from tripping over your own feet—and the background music that normally plays all the time is shut off. I quickly organize the flashlights and check their batteries, and when I don’t hear Porter walking around, I stare at the phone sitting at the information desk. How many chances come along like this? I pick up the receiver, press the little red button next to the word ALL, and speak into the phone in a low voice. “Paging Porter Roth to the information desk,” I say formally, my voice crackling through the entire lobby and echoing down the corridors. Then I press the button again and add, “While you’re at it, check your shoes to make sure they’re a match, you bastard. By the way, I still haven’t quite forgiven you for humiliating me. It’s going to take a lot more than a kiss and a cookie to make me forget both that and the time you provoked me in the Hotbox.” I’m only teasing, which I hope he knows. I feel a little drunk on all my megaphone power, so I page one more thing: “PS—You look totally hot in those tight-fitting security guard pants tonight, and I plan to get very handsy with you at the movies, so we better sit in the back row.” I hang up the phone and cover my mouth, silently laughing at myself. Two seconds later, Porter’s footfalls pound down Jay’s corridor—Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! He sounds like a T. rex running from Godzilla. He races into the lobby and slides in front of the information desk, grabbing onto the edge to stop himself, wild curls flying everywhere. His grin is enormous. “Whadidya say ’bout where you want to be puttin’ your hands on me?” he asks breathlessly. “I think you have me confused with someone else,” I tease. His head sags against the desk. I push his hair away from one of his eyes. He looks up at me and asks, “You really still haven’t forgiven me?” “Maybe if you put your hands onme, I might.” “Don’t go getting my hopes up like that.” “Oh, your hopes should be up. Way up.” “Dear God, woman,” he murmurs. “And here I was, thinking you were a classy dame.” “Pfft. You don’t know me at all.” “I aim to find out. What are we still doing here? Let’s blow this place and get to the theater, fast.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
Suddenly, I was stopped by a quiet song . . Somebody stood, swaying slowly on the road, In the darkest shadow by a puddle, And low above it a small tree grew . . It might’ve been a wild cherry tree . . He kept singing, watching the puddle fill . . I dragged the pine through the water, And with my other hand steadied my sack, Where a bottle of red vino dangled . . He didn’t move, but kept on singing . . Should I have stopped there And joined his singing? . . Had he found The one happy tree? . . No one knows where it grows— Or what it looks like . . And who is allowed to recognize it? . . I never stood under it, Even to wait for rain to pass Or watch between the drops The silent froth appear . . Swaying, he kept on singing . . Otherwise, he would have fallen And the rain stopped . . He danced his own rain Under that tree . . I can’t do such things . . Perhaps it was a wolf? . .
Oleh Lysheha (The Selected Poems)
The child's heart beat: but she was growing in the wrong place inside her extraordinary mother, south of safe...she and her mother were rushed to the hospital, where her mother was operated on by a brisk cheerful diminutive surgeon who told me after the surgery that my wife had been perhaps an hour from death from the pressure of the child growing outside the womb, the mother from the child growing, and the child from growing awry; and so my wife did not die, but our mysterious child did...Not uncommon, an ectopic pregnancy, said the surgeon...Sometimes, continued the surgeon, sometimes people who lose children before they are born continue to imagine the child who has died, and talk about her or him, it's such an utterly human thing to do, it helps deal with the pain, it's healthy within reason, and yes, people say to their other children that they actually do, in a sense, have a sister or brother, or did have a sister or brother, and she or he is elsewhere, has gone ahead, whatever the language of your belief or faith tradition. You could do that. People do that, yes. I have patients who do that, yes... One summer morning, as I wandered by a river, I remembered an Irish word I learned long ago, and now whenever I think of the daughter I have to wait to meet, I find that word in my mouth: dunnog, little dark one, the shyest and quietest and tiniest of sparrows, the one you never see but sometimes you sense, a flash in the corner of your eye, a sweet sharp note already fading by the time it catches your ear.
Brian Doyle (The Wet Engine: Exploring Mad Wild Miracle of Heart)
When he crossed the line into Shelby County, he removed his badge, tossing the five-point star inside the glove box. It slid against a half-empty pint of Wild Turkey he'd forgotten was in there, clinking softly, a siren call he left unanswered for the moment. He felt naked without his beloved badge but also strangely protected by the anonymity of its absence. Without the star, he would draw no undue attention, make no advertisement of his presence to any rank-and-file Brotherhood in the county, rabid dogs always on the hunt. And no word would get back to Houston, where he was stationed, that he was poking around something, unauthorized by his superiors, something he guessed he did hold an outsize interest in as a cop, as a Texan, and as a man. In fact as long as he wasn't wearing the Rangers star, they couldn't stop him from doing any damn thing. Without the badge, he was just a black man traveling the highway alone.
Attica Locke (Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1))
What's that sound?" Fran said. Then something as big as a vulture flapped heavily down from one of the trees and landed just in front of the car.It shook itself.It turned its long neck toward the car, raised its head, and regarded us. "Goddamn it," I said.I sat there with my hands on the wheel and stared at the thing. "Can you believe it?" Fran said."I never saw a real one before." We both knew it was a peacock, sure,but we didn't say the word out loud.We just watched it.The bird turned its head up in the air and made this harsh cry again.It had fluffed itself out and looked about twice the size it'd been when it landed. "Goddamn," I said again. We stayed where we were in the front seat. The bird moved forward a little.Then it turned its head to the side and braced itself.It kept its bright, wild eye right on us.Its tail was raised, and it was like a big fan folding in and out. There was every color in the rainbow shining from that tail. "My God," Fran said quietly.She moved her hand over to my knee. "Goddamn," I said. There was nothing else to say. The bird made this strange wailing sound once more. "May- awe, may-awe!" it went.If it'd been something I was hearing late at night and for the first time, I'd have thought it was somebody dying, or else something wild and dangerous.
Raymond Carver
We can take things as slowly as you want, but you know it’s too late now to change your mind, Pierce,” he said, in a warning tone. “Of course,” I said. I could see I had approached this all wrong. Where, when you actually needed one, was one of those annoying women’s magazines with advice on how to handle your man? Although that advice probably didn’t apply to death deities. “Because the Furies are after me. And I promised you that I wouldn’t try to escape. That isn’t what I was-“ “No,” he said, with an abrupt shake of his head. “The Furies have no part in this. It doesn’t matter anymore whether or not you try to escape.” He was pacing the length of the room. A muscle had begun to twitch wildly in the side of his jaw. “I thought you knew. I thought you understood. Haven’t you read Homer?” Not again. Mr. Smith was obsessed with this Homer person, too. “No, John,” I said, with forced patience. “I’m afraid we don’t have time to study the ancient Greek poets in school anymore because we have so much stuff to learn that happened since you died, such as the Civil War and the Holocaust and making files in Excel-“ “Well, considering what they had to say about the Fates,” John interrupted, impatiently, “Homer might possibly have been of more use to you.” “The Fates?” The Fates were something I dimly remembered having been mentioned in the section we’d studied on Greek mythology. They were busybodies who presided over everyone’s destiny. “What did Homer have to say about them?” John dragged a hand through his hair. For some reason, he wouldn’t meet my gaze. “The Fates decreed that anyone who ate or drank in the realm of the dead had to remain there for all eternity.” I stared at him. “Right,” I said. “Only if they are pomegranate seeds, like Persephone. The fruit of the dead.” He stopped pacing suddenly and lifted his gaze to mine. His eyes seemed to burn through to my soul. “Pomegranate seeds are what Persephone happened to eat while she was in the Underworld,” he said. “That’s why they call them the fruit of the dead. But the rule is any food or drink.” A strange feeling of numbness had begun to spread across my body. My mouth became too dry for me to speak. “However you feel about me, Pierce,” he went on, relentlessly, “you’re stuck here with me for the rest of eternity.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess (Wilderness Journals of Everett Ruess)
One of the things I find strangest and hardest is that we were having such conversations. We should have been talking about discos and electronic mail and exams and bands. How could this have been happening to us? How could we have been huddled in the dark bush, cold and hungry and terrified, talking about who we should kill? We had no preparation for this, no background, no knowledge. We didn’t know if we were doing the right thing, ever. We didn’t know anything. We were just ordinary teenagers, so ordinary we were boring. Overnight they’d pulled the roof off our lives. And after they’d pulled off the roof they’d come in and torn down the curtains, ripped up the furniture, burnt the house and thrown us into the night, where we’d been forced to run and hide and live like wild animals. We had no foundations, and we had no secure walls around our lives any more. We were living in a strange long nightmare, where we had to make our own rules, invent new values, stumble around blindly, hoping we weren’t making too many mistakes. We clung to what we knew and what we thought was right, but all the time those things too were being stripped from us. I didn’t know if we’d be left with nothing, or if we’d left with a new set of rules and attitudes and behaviours, so that we weren’t able to recognise ourselves any more. We could end up as new, distorted, deformed creatures, with only a few physical resemblances to the people we once were.
John Marsden (The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2))
You think you know what a man is? You have no idea what a man is. You think you know what a daughter is? You have no idea what a daughter is. You think you know what this country is? You have no idea what this country is. You have a false image of everything. All you know is what a fucking glove is. This country is frightening. Of course she was raped. What kind of company do you think she was keeping? Of course out there she was going to get raped. This isn't Old Rimrock, old buddy - she's out there, old buddy, in the USA. She enters that world, that loopy world out there, with whats going on out there - what do you expect? A kid from Rimrock, NJ, of course she didn't know how to behave out there, of course the shit hits the fan. What could she know? She's like a wild child out there in the world. She can't get enough of it - she's still acting up. A room off McCarter Highway. And why not? Who wouldn't? You prepare her for life milking the cows? For what kind of life? Unnatural, all artificial, all of it. Those assumptions you live with. You're still in your olf man's dream-world, Seymour, still up there with Lou Levov in glove heaven. A household tyrannized by gloves, bludgeoned by gloves, the only thing in life - ladies' gloves! Does he still tell the one about the woman who sells the gloves washing her hands in a sink between each color? Oh where oh where is that outmoded America, that decorous America where a woman had twenty-five pairs of gloves? Your kid blows your norms to kingdom come, Seymour, and you still think you know what life is?" Life is just a short period of time in which we are alive. Meredith Levov, 1964. "You wanted Ms. America? Well, you've got her, with a vengeance - she's your daughter! You wanted to be a real American jock, a real American marine, a real American hotshot with a beautiful Gentile babe on your arm? You longed to belong like everybody else to the United States of America? Well, you do now, big boy, thanks to your daughter. The reality of this place is right up in your kisser now. With the help of your daughter you're as deep in the sit as a man can get, the real American crazy shit. America amok! America amuck! Goddamn it, Seymour, goddamn you, if you were a father who loved his daughter," thunders Jerry into the phone - and the hell with the convalescent patients waiting in the corridor for him to check out their new valves and new arteries, to tell how grateful they are to him for their new lease on life, Jerry shouts away, shouts all he wants if it's shouting he wants to do, and the hell with the rules of hte hospital. He is one of the surgeons who shouts; if you disagree with him he shouts, if you cross him he shouts, if you just stand there and do nothing he shouts. He does not do what hospitals tell him to do or fathers expect him to do or wives want him to do, he does what he wants to do, does as he pleases, tells people just who and what he is every minute of the day so that nothing about him is a secret, not his opinions, his frustrations, his urges, neither his appetite nor his hatred. In the sphere of the will, he is unequivocating, uncompromising; he is king. He does not spend time regretting what he has or has not done or justifying to others how loathsome he can be. The message is simple: You will take me as I come - there is no choice. He cannot endure swallowing anything. He just lets loose. And these are two brothers, the same parents' sons, one for whom the aggression's been bred out, the other for whom the aggression's been bred in. "If you were a father who loved your daughter," Jerry shouts at the Swede, "you would never have left her in that room! You would have never let her out of your sight!
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
Nothing in my life had prepared me for this.Not one single thing.I feel like a lad rat stuck in some horrible experiment meant to measure how I adapt to brutal forms of social segregation and weirdness.And the sad news is,I'm producing way below average results. I stand to the side of the lunchroom or cafeteria,or whatever they call it.The vegetarian lunch Paloma packed with great love and care tightly clutched in my fist,though I've no clue as to where I'm supposed to go eat it. Having already committed the most heinous crime of all by sitting at the wrong table, I'm not sure I'm up for trying again.I'm still shaken by the way those girls acted-so self-righteous and territorial,so burdened by my presence at the end of their bench. It's the seniors' table, I was told. I have no right to sit there. Ever. And that includes holidays and weekends. "Duly noted," I replied, grabbing my lunch and standing before them. "I'll do my best to steer clear of it on Christmas.Easter as well.Though Valentine's Day is a wild card I just can't commit to." And though it felt good at the time,I've no doubt it was a reckless act that only made things worse.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
I would be unfair to myself if I said I did not try. I did, even if desultorily. But desire is a curious thing. If it does not exist it does not exist and there is nothing you can do to conjure it up. Worse still, as I discovered, when desire begins to sink, like a capsizing ship it takes down a lot with it.   In our case it took down the conversation, the laughter, the sharing, the concern, the dreams and nearly - the most important thing, the most important thing - and nearly the affection too. Soon my sinking desire had taken everything else down with it to the floor of the sea, and only affection remained like the bobbing hand of a drowning man, poised perilously between life and death.   More than once she tried to seize the moment and open up the issue. She did it with a hard face and a soft face; she did it when I was idling on the terrace and when I was in the thick of my works; first thing in the morning and last thing at night.   We need to talk. Yes. Do you want to talk? Sure. What's happening? I don't know. Is there someone else? No. Is it something I did? Oh no. Then what the hell's happening? I don't know. Is there anything you want to talk to me about? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. That's what I mean - I don't know. Toc toc toc.   All the while I tried to save that bobbing hand - of affection - from vanishing. I felt somehow that if it drowned there would not be a single pointer on the wide stormy surface to show me where our great love had once stood. That bobbing hand of affection was a marker, a buoy, holding out the hope that one day we could salvage the sunken ship. If it drowned, our coordinates would be completely lost and we would not know where to even begin looking.   Even in my weird state, it was an image of such desolation that it made my heart lurch wildly.   ***   For a long time, with her immense pride in herself - in us - she did not turn to anyone for help. Not friends, not family. For simply too long she imagined this was a passing phase, but then, as the weeks rolled by, through slow accretion the awful truth began to settle on her. By then she had run through all the plays of a relationship: withdrawal, sulking, anger, seduction, inquisition, affection, threat.   Logic, love, lust. Now the epitaph was beginning to creep up on her. Acceptance. 
Tarun J. Tejpal
And he was right. Because Carlos De Vil’s brain, by way of comparison, was almost as big as Cruella De Vil’s fur-coat closet. That’s what Carlos tried to tell himself, anyway, especially when people were making him run the tombs. His first class today was Weird Science, one he always looked forward to. It was where he’d originally gotten the idea to put his machine together, from the lesson on radio waves. Carlos was not the only top student in the class—he was tied, in fact, with the closest thing he had to a rival in the whole school: the scrawny, bespectacled Reza. Reza was the son of the former Royal Astronomer of Agrabah, who had consulted with Jafar to make sure the stars aligned on more than one nefarious occasion, which was how his family had found their way to the Isle of the Lost with everyone else. Weird Science was the class where Carlos always worked the hardest. The presence of Reza, who was every bit as competitive in science lab as he was, only made Carlos work that much harder. And as annoying as everyone found Reza to be—he always had to use the very biggest words for everything, whether they were used correctly and whether he was inserting a few extra syllables where they might or might not belong—he was still smart. Very smart. Which meant Carlos enjoyed besting him. Just the other week they had been working on a special elixir, and Reza had been annoyed that Carlos had figured out the secret ingredient first. Yeah, Reza was almost as smart as he was irritating. Even now he was raising his hand, waving it wildly back and forth. Their professor, the powerful sorcerer Yen Sid,
Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost (Descendants, #1))
Casabianca" The boy stood on the burning deck Whence all but he had fled; The flame that lit the battle's wreck Shone round him o'er the dead. Yet beautiful and bright he stood, As born to rule the storm; A creature of heroic blood, A proud, though child-like form. The flames rolled on–he would not go Without his Father's word; That father, faint in death below, His voice no longer heard. He called aloud–'say, Father, say If yet my task is done?' He knew not that the chieftain lay Unconscious of his son. 'Speak, father!' once again he cried, 'If I may yet be gone!' And but the booming shots replied, And fast the flames rolled on. Upon his brow he felt their breath, And in his waving hair, And looked from that lone post of death In still yet brave despair. And shouted but once more aloud, 'My father! must I stay?' While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud, The wreathing fires made way. They wrapt the ship in splendour wild, They caught the flag on high, And streamed above the gallant child, Like banners in the sky. There came a burst of thunder sound– The boy–oh! where was he? Ask of the winds that far around With fragments strewed the sea!– With mast, and helm, and pennon fair, That well had borne their part– But the noblest thing which perished there Was that young faithful heart. Notes: Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son of the admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the Battle of the Nile), after the ship had taken fire, and all the guns had been abandoned; and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had reached the powder.
Felicia Hemans
With bare feet in the dirt, fulmia, ten times with conviction, will shake the earth to its roots, if you have the strength, Jaga’s book had told me, and the Dragon had believed it enough not to let me try it anywhere near the tower. I had felt doubtful, anyway, about conviction: I hadn’t believed I had any business shaking the earth to its roots. But now I fell to the ground and dug away the snow and the fallen leaves and rot and moss until I came to the hard-frozen dirt. I pried up a large stone and began to smash at the earth, again and again, breaking up the dirt and breathing on it to make it softer, pounding in the snow that melted around my hands, pounding in the hot tears that dripped from my eyes as I worked. Kasia was above me with her head flung up, her mouth open in its soundless cry like a statue in a church. “Fulmia,” I said, my fingers deep in the dirt, crushing the solid clods between my fingers. “Fulmia, fulmia,” I chanted over and over, bleeding from broken nails, and I felt the earth hear me, uneasily. Even the earth was tainted here, poisoned, but I spat on the dirt and screamed, “Fulmia,” and imagined my magic running into the ground like water, finding cracks and weaknesses, spreading out beneath my hands, beneath my cold wet knees: and the earth shuddered and turned over. A low trembling began where my hands drove into the ground, and it followed me as I started prying at the roots of the tree. The frozen dirt began to break up into small chunks all around them, the tremors going on and on like waves. The branches above me were waving wildly as if in alarm, the whispering of the leaves becoming a muted roaring. I straightened up on my knees. “Let her out!” I screamed at the tree: I beat on its trunk with my muddy fists. “Let her out, or I’ll bring you down! Fulmia!” I cried out in rage, and threw myself back down at the ground, and where my fists hit, the ground rose and swelled like a river rising with the rain. Magic was pouring out of me, a torrent: every warning the Dragon had ever given me forgotten and ignored. I would have spent every drop of myself and died there, just to bring that horrible tree down: I couldn’t imagine a world where I lived, where I left this behind me, Kasia’s life and heart feeding this corrupt monstrous thing. I would rather have died, crushed in my own earthquake, and brought it down with me. I tore at the ground ready to break open a pit to swallow us all.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Honey’s Cottage Miss Honey joined Matilda outside the school gates and the two of them walked in silence through the village High Street. They passed the greengrocer with his window full of apples and oranges, and the butcher with bloody lumps of meat on display and naked chickens hanging up, and the small bank, and the grocery store and the electrical shop, and then they came out at the other side of the village on to the narrow country road where there were no people any more and very few motor-cars. And now that they were alone, Matilda all of a sudden became wildly animated. It seemed as though a valve had burst inside her and a great gush of energy was being released. She trotted beside Miss Honey with wild little hops and her fingers flew as if she would scatter them to the four winds and her words went off like fireworks, with terrific speed. It was Miss Honey this and Miss Honey that and Miss Honey I do honestly feel I could move almost anything in the world, not just tipping over glasses and little things like that . . . I feel I could topple tables and chairs, Miss Honey . . . Even when people are sitting in the chairs I think I could push them over, and bigger things too, much bigger things than chairs and tables . . . I only have to take a moment to get my eyes strong and then I can push it out, this strongness, at anything at all so long as I am staring at it hard enough . . . I have to stare at it very hard, Miss Honey, very very hard, and then I can feel it all happening behind my eyes, and my eyes get hot just as though they were burning but I don’t mind that in the least, and Miss Honey . . .
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
But in situations where innovations proliferate, where group boundaries are uncertain, when the range of entities to be taken into account fluctuates, the sociology of the social is no longer able to trace actors’ new associations. At this point, the last thing to do would be to limit in advance the shape, size, heterogeneity, and combination of associations. To the convenient shorthand of the social, one has to substitute the painful and costly longhand of its associations. The duties of the social scientist mutate accordingly: it is no longer enough to limit actors to the role of informers offering cases of some well-known types. You have to grant them back the ability to make up their own theories of what the social is made of. Your task is no longer to impose some order, to limit the range of acceptable entities, to teach actors what they are, or to add some reflexivity to their blind practice. Using a slogan from ANT, you have ‘to follow the actors themselves’, that is try to catch up with their often wild innovations in order to learn from them what the collective existence has become in their hands, which methods they have elaborated to make it fit together, which accounts could best define the new associations that they have been forced to establish.
Bruno Latour (Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory)
She understood that for her to excel at Oxford she had to improve her English. Her brain was in need of words to express itself fully, the way a sapling was in need of raindrops to grow to its potential. She purchased stacks of coloured Post-it notes. On them she wrote the words she chanced upon, fell in love with and intended to use at the earliest opportunity -- just as every foreigner did, one way or another: - Autotomy: The casting off of a body part by an animal in danger - Cleft Stick (from Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings): To be in a difficult situation - Rantipole (from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow): Wild, reckless, sometimes quarrelsome person. In her first Political Philosophy essay, she wrote 'In Turkey, where daily politics is rantipole, each time the system is in a cleft stick, democracy is the first thing to be severed and sacrificed in an act of autotomy.
Elif Shafak (Havva'nın Üç Kızı)
It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name . . . That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still. (Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth)
John Eldredge (Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play)
On our way down, we passed a two-story villa, hidden in a thicket of Chinese parasol trees, magnolia, and pines. It looked almost like a random pile of stones against the background of the rocks. It struck me as an unusually lovely place, and I snapped my last shot. Suddenly a man materialized out of nowhere and asked me in a low but commanding voice to hand over my camera. He wore civilian clothes, but I noticed he had a pistol. He opened the camera and exposed my entire roll of film. Then he disappeared, as if into the earth. Some tourists standing next to me whispered that this was one of Mao's summer villas. I felt another pang of revulsion toward Mao, not so much for his privilege, but for the hypocrisy of allowing himself luxury while telling his people that even comfort was bad for them. After we were safely out of earshot of the invisible guard, and I was bemoaning the loss of my thirty-six pictures, Jin-ming gave me a grin: "See where goggling at holy places gets you!" We left Lushan by bus. Like every bus in China, it was packed, and we had to crane our necks desperately trying to breathe. Virtually no new buses had been built since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, during which time the urban population had increased by several tens of millions. After a few minutes, we suddenly stopped. The front door was forced open, and an authoritative-looking man in plainclothes squeezed in. "Get down! Get down!" he barked. "Some American guests are coming this way. It is harmful to the prestige of our motherland for them to see all these messy heads!" We tried to crouch down, but the bus was too crowded. The man shouted, "It is the duty of everyone to safeguard the honor of our motherland! We must present an orderly and dignified appearance! Get down! Bend your knees!" Suddenly I heard Jin-ming's booming voice: "Doesn'T Chairman Mao instruct us never to bend our knees to American imperialists?" This was asking for trouble. Humor was not appreciated. The man shot a stern glance in our direction, but said nothing. He gave the bus another quick scan, and hurried off. He did not want the "American guests' to witness a scene. Any sign of discord had to be hidden from foreigners. Wherever we went as we traveled down the Yangtze we saw the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution: temples smashed, statues toppled, and old towns wrecked. Litfie evidence remained of China's ancient civilization. But the loss went even deeper than this. Not only had China destroyed most of its beautiful things, it had lost its appreciation of them, and was unable to make new ones. Except for the much-scarred but still stunning landscape, China had become an ugly country.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
One day soon he’ll tell her it’s time to start packing, And the kids will yell “Truly?” and get wildly excited for no reason, And the brown kelpie pup will start dashing about, tripping everyone up, And she’ll go out to the vegetable-patch and pick all the green tomatoes from the vines, And notice how the oldest girl is close to tears 5 because she was happy here, And how the youngest girl is beaming because she wasn’t. And the first thing she’ll put on the trailer will be the bottling set she never unpacked from Grovedale, And when the loaded ute bumps down the drive past the blackberry-canes with their last shrivelled fruit, She won’t even ask why they’re leaving this time, or where they’re heading for —she’ll only remember how, when they came 10 here, she held out her hands bright with berries, the first of the season, and said: ’Make a wish, Tom, make a wish.
Bruce Dawe
I draw myself up next to her and look at her profile, making no effort to disguise my attention, here, where there is only Puck to see me. The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. Her hair the color of cliff grass rises and falls over her face in the breeze. Her expression is less ferocious than usual, less guarded. I say, “Are you afraid?” Her eyes are far away on the horizon line, out to the west where the sun has gone but the glow remains. Somewhere out there are my capaill uisce, George Holly’s America, every gallon of water that every ship rides on. Puck doesn’t look away from the orange glow at the end of the world. “Tell me what it’s like. The race.” What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both and there’s nothing like it. Once upon a time, this moment — this last light of evening the day before the race — was the best moment of the year for me. The anticipation of the game to come. But that was when all I had to lose was my life. “There’s no one braver than you on that beach.” Her voice is dismissive. “That doesn’t matter.” “It does. I meant what I said at the festival. This island cares nothing for love but it favors the brave.” Now she looks at me. She’s fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is. She asks, “Do you feel brave?” The mare goddess had told me to make another wish. It feels thin as a thread to me now, that gift of a wish. I remember the years when it felt like a promise. “I don’t know what I feel, Puck.” Puck unfolds her arms just enough to keep her balance as she leans to me, and when we kiss, she closes her eyes. She draws back and looks into my face. I have not moved, and she barely has, but the world feels strange beneath me. “Tell me what to wish for,” I say. “Tell me what to ask the sea for.” “To be happy. Happiness.” I close my eyes. My mind is full of Corr, of the ocean, of Puck Connolly’s lips on mine. “I don’t think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don’t know how you would keep it.” The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby. Puck’s voice is in my ear; her breath warms my neck inside my jacket collar. “You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn’t that what you said?” I tilt my head so that her mouth is on my skin. The kiss is cold where the wind blows across my cheek. Her forehead rests against my hair. I open my eyes, and the sun has gone. I feel as if the ocean is inside me, wild and uncertain. “That’s what I said. What do I need to hear?” Puck whispers, “That tomorrow we’ll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I’ll save the house and you’ll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner.” I say, “That is what I needed to hear.” “Do you know what to wish for now?” I swallow. I have no wishing-shell to throw into the sea when I say it, but I know that the ocean hears me nonetheless. “To get what I need.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
The earliest storytellers were magi, seers, bards, griots, shamans. They were, it would seem, as old as time, and as terrifying to gaze upon as the mysteries with which they wrestled. They wrestled with mysteries and transformed them into myths which coded the world and helped the community to live through one more darkness, with eyes wide open and hearts set alight. "I can see them now, the old masters. I can see them standing on the other side of the flames, speaking in the voices of lions, or thunder, or monsters, or heroes, heroines, or the earth, or fire itself -- for they had to contain all voices within them, had to be all things and nothing. They had to have the ability to become lightning, to become a future homeland, to be the dreaded guide to the fabled land where the community will settle and fructify. They had to be able to fight in advance all the demons they would encounter, and summon up all the courage needed on the way, to prophesy about all the requisite qualities that would ensure their arrival at the dreamt-of land. "The old masters had to be able to tell stories that would make sleep possible on those inhuman nights, stories that would counter terror with enchantment, or with a greater terror. I can see them, beyond the flames, telling of a hero's battle with a fabulous beast -- the beast that is in the hero." "The storyteller's art changed through the ages. From battling dread in word and incantations before their people did in reality, they became the repositories of the people's wisdom and follies. Often, conscripted by kings, they became the memory of a people's origins, and carried with them the long line of ancestries and lineages. Most important of all, they were the living libraries, the keepers of legends and lore. They knew the causes and mutations of things, the herbs, trees, plants, cures for diseases, causes for wars, causes of victory, the ways in which victory often precipitates defeat, or defeat victory, the lineages of gods, the rites humans have to perform to the gods. They knew of follies and restitutions, were advocates of new and old ways of being, were custodians of culture, recorders of change." "These old storytellers were the true magicians. They were humanity's truest friends and most reliable guides. Their role was both simple and demanding. They had to go down deep into the seeds of time, into the dreams of their people, into the unconscious, into the uncharted fears, and bring shapes and moods back up into the light. They had to battle with monsters before they told us about them. They had to see clearly." "They risked their sanity and their consciousness in the service of dreaming better futures. They risked madness, or being unmoored in the wild realms of the interspaces, or being devoured by the unexpected demons of the communal imagination." "And I think that now, in our age, in the mid-ocean of our days, with certainties collapsing around us, and with no beliefs by which to steer our way through the dark descending nights ahead -- I think that now we need those fictional old bards and fearless storytellers, those seers. We need their magic, their courage, their love, and their fire more than ever before. It is precisely in a fractured, broken age that we need mystery and a reawoken sense of wonder. We need them to be whole again.
Ben Okri (A Way of Being Free)
When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone. My rapture was widely shared. Like many of my countrymen, I went out to buy the best liquors for a celebration with my family and friends, only to find the shops out of stock there was so much spontaneous rejoicing. There were official celebrations as well exactly the same kinds of rallies as during the Cultural Revolution, which infuriated me. I was particularly angered by the fact that in my department, the political supervisors and the student officials were now arranging the whole show, with unperturbed self-righteousness. The new leadership was headed by Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, whose only qualification, I believed, was his mediocrity. One of his first acts was to announce the construction of a huge mausoleum for Mao on Tiananmen Square. I was outraged: hundreds of thousands of people were still homeless after the earthquake in Tangshan, living in temporary shacks on the pavements. With her experience, my mother had immediately seen that a new era was beginning. On the day after Mao's death she had reported for work at her depas'uuent. She had been at home for five years, and now she wanted to put her energy to use again. She was given a job as the number seven deputy director in her department, of which she had been the director before the Cultural Revolution. But she did not mind. To me in my impatient mood, things seemed to go on as before. In January 1977, my university course came to an end. We were given neither examinations nor degrees. Although Mao and the Gang of Four were gone, Mao's rule that we had to return to where we had come from still applied. For me, this meant the machinery factory. The idea that a university education should make a difference to one's job had been condemned by Mao as 'training spiritual aristocrats.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
There is one in this tribe too often miserable - a child bereaved of both parents. None cares for this child: she is fed sometimes, but oftener forgotten: a hut rarely receives her: the hollow tree and chill cavern are her home. Forsaken, lost, and wandering, she lives more with the wild beast and bird than with her own kind. Hunger and cold are her comrades: sadness hovers over, and solitude besets her round. Unheeded and unvalued, she should die: but she both lives and grows: the green wilderness nurses her, and becomes to her a mother: feeds her on juicy berry, on saccharine root and nut. There is something in the air of this clime which fosters life kindly: there must be something, too, in its dews, which heals with sovereign balm. Its gentle seasons exaggerate no passion, no sense; its temperature tends to harmony; its breezes, you would say, bring down from heaven the germ of pure thought, and purer feeling. Not grotesquely fantastic are the forms of cliff and foliage; not violently vivid the colouring of flower and bird: in all the grandeur of these forests there is repose; in all their freshness there is tenderness. The gentle charm vouchsafed to flower and tree, - bestowed on deer and dove, - has not been denied to the human nursling. All solitary, she has sprung up straight and graceful. Nature cast her features in a fine mould; they have matured in their pure, accurate first lines, unaltered by the shocks of disease. No fierce dry blast has dealt rudely with the surface of her frame; no burning sun has crisped or withered her tresses: her form gleams ivory-white through the trees; her hair flows plenteous, long, and glossy; her eyes, not dazzled by vertical fires, beam in the shade large and open, and full and dewy: above those eyes, when the breeze bares her forehead, shines an expanse fair and ample, - a clear, candid page, whereon knowledge, should knowledge ever come, might write a golden record. You see in the desolate young savage nothing vicious or vacant; she haunts the wood harmless and thoughtful: though of what one so untaught can think, it is not easy to divine. On the evening of one summer day, before the Flood, being utterly alone - for she had lost all trace of her tribe, who had wandered leagues away, she knew not where, - she went up from the vale, to watch Day take leave and Night arrive. A crag, overspread by a tree, was her station: the oak-roots, turfed and mossed, gave a seat: the oak-boughs, thick-leaved, wove a canopy. Slow and grand the Day withdrew, passing in purple fire, and parting to the farewell of a wild, low chorus from the woodlands. Then Night entered, quiet as death: the wind fell, the birds ceased singing. Now every nest held happy mates, and hart and hind slumbered blissfully safe in their lair. The girl sat, her body still, her soul astir; occupied, however, rather in feeling than in thinking, - in wishing, than hoping, - in imagining, than projecting. She felt the world, the sky, the night, boundlessly mighty. Of all things, herself seemed to herself the centre, - a small, forgotten atom of life, a spark of soul, emitted inadvertent from the great creative source, and now burning unmarked to waste in the heart of a black hollow. She asked, was she thus to burn out and perish, her living light doing no good, never seen, never needed, - a star in an else starless firmament, - which nor shepherd, nor wanderer, nor sage, nor priest, tracked as a guide, or read as a prophecy? Could this be, she demanded, when the flame of her intelligence burned so vivid; when her life beat so true, and real, and potent; when something within her stirred disquieted, and restlessly asserted a God-given strength, for which it insisted she should find exercise?
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Down the pool they went until finally they were bunched and crowded against the end. And the feet and wildly plunging bodies followed them. A few frogs lost their heads and floundered among the feet and got through and these were saved. But the majority decided to leave this pool forever, to find a new home in a new country where this kind of thing didn’t happen. A wave of frantic, frustrated frogs, big ones, little ones, brown ones, green ones, men frogs and women frogs, a wave of them broke over the bank, crawled, leaped, scrambled. They clambered up the grass, they dutched at each other, little ones rode on big ones, And then — horror on horror — the flashlights found them. Two men gathered them like berries. The line came out of the water and closed in on their rear and gathered them like potatoes. Tens and fifties of them were flung into the gunny sacks, and the sacks filled with tired, frightened, and disillusioned frogs, with dripping whimpering frogs. Some got away, of course, and some had been saved in the pool. But never in frog history had such an execution taken place.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row #1))
He set his hand over her lips, stopping her words. “I sent you away once.” His fingers trailed down her cheek. “There are some things that cannot be made right by simple apology. It’s not simply marriage I intend. It’s a promise. I will never be without you again.” Her heart thudded wildly in her chest. “I was hoping I could avoid the bit in the proposal where I lay out all the advantages of the match to you. There aren’t nearly enough of them. The truth is simply this: you can find a better man than I. God knows you wouldn’t have to look very hard. But I don’t believe you can find one who loves you more.” She sucked in her breath. “Love will never magically make me whole. It won’t heal old wounds. But when I’m around you, I do not feel as if I must be alone. I smile when you’re in the room and I laugh when you’re happy. I feel as if I’ve come home to you.” He slid his fingers up her arm, around her back. “There isn’t one part of me that you’ve flinched from. I don’t know why you’d marry me, but I know why I’m desperate for you. Nobody else on earth would bring me to myself as you have.
Courtney Milan
...there was one thing she would think about when she was high, one thing she would feel: that she was transparent, not invisible, but transparent. But this was the thing: she wasn’t see- through, she wasn’t transparent to light like glass or air, she was transparent to the dark. She said that’s what heroin did, it brought her down to the seafloor, the floor of an ocean trench. Relieved of the need to see, relieved of the need to breathe, she belonged to the darkness completely. It possessed her, moved through her unresisted, as though she herself were made of nothing more than water and darkness, as though she herself were nothing more than a place, a place where the current turned on itself a little and moved on...I said that was it, the big question she carried around in her, the question whether despair was the only way out, whether the only thing she could really make was her escape. That makes sense, she said, just as she said whenever she didn’t agree with my interpretation. But . . . there’s a frustration . . . I want to be clear, perfectly clear. You want to be free to stop hiding things. God, if that’s true, she said with sudden coldness, then all of this is just a load of shit. I knew then that I had overstepped and had ruined something, that I had spooked her and she would make her escape into an anodyne or trivial association. To my surprise, however, she countered and pushed ahead. You are wrong. It’s not that I want to stop hiding. It’s not that I want to come out and say the thing I have to say. Don’t you see? I want there to be nothing. Nothing to hide, and no place to put it. No things, no places. Do you see what I am saying? Can you understand that? Jesus, how could you?
DeSales Harrison (The Waters & The Wild)
Last year I had a very unusual experience. I was awake, with my eyes closed, when I had a dream. It was a small dream about time. I was dead, I guess, in deep black space high up among many white stars. My own consciousness had been disclosed to me, and I was happy. Then I saw far below me a long, curved band of color. As I came closer, I saw that it stretched endlessly in either direction, and I understood that I was seeing all the time of the planet where I had lived. It looked like a woman’s tweed scarf; the longer I studied any one spot, the more dots of color I saw. There was no end to the deepness and variety of the dots. At length, I started to look for my time, but, although more and more specks of color and deeper and more intricate textures appeared in the fabric, I couldn’t find my time, or any time at all that I recognized as being near my time. I couldn’t make out so much as a pyramid. Yet as I looked at the band of time, all the individual people, I understood with special clarity, were living at the very moment with great emotion, in intricate detail, in their individual times and places, and they were dying and being replaced by ever more people, one by one, like stitches in which whole worlds of feeling and energy were wrapped, in a never-ending cloth. I remembered suddenly the color and texture of our life as we knew it- these things had been utterly forgotten- and I thought as I searched for it on the limitless band, “that was a good time then, a good time to be living.” And I began to remember our time. I recalled green fields with carrots growing, one by one, in slender rows. Men and women in bright vests and scarves came and pulled the carrots out of the soil and carried them in baskets to shaded kitchens, where they scrubbed them with yellow brushes under running water…I saw may apples in forest, erupting through leaf-strewn paths. Cells on the root hairs of sycamores split and divided and apples grew striped and spotted in the fall. Mountains kept their cool caves, and squirrels raced home to their nests through sunlight and shade. I remembered the ocean, and I seemed to be in the ocean myself, swimming over orange crabs that looked like coral, or off the deep Atlantic banks where whitefish school. Or again I saw the tops of poplars, and the whole sky brushed with clouds in pallid streaks, under which wilds ducks flew, and called, one by one, and flew on. All these things I saw. Scenes grew in depth and sunlit detail before my eyes, and were replaced by ever more scenes, as I remembered the life of my time with increasing feeling. At last I saw the earth as a globe in space, and I recalled the ocean’s shape and the form of continents, saying to myself with surprise as I looked at the planet, “Yes, that’s how it was then, that part there we called ‘France’”. I was filled with the deep affection of nostalgia- and then I opened my eyes.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Young man,” he went on, raising his head again, “in your face I seem to read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was why I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my life, I do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving, she danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit. The medal … well, the medal of course was sold—long ago, hm … but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell some one or other of her past honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don’t condemn her for it. I don’t blame her, for the one thing left her is recollection of the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes, yes, she is a lady of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the floors herself and has nothing but black bread to eat, but won’t allow herself to be treated with disrespect. That’s why she would not overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov’s rudeness to her, and so when he gave her a beating for it, she took to her bed more from the hurt to her feelings than from the blows. She was a widow when I married her, with three children, one smaller than the other. She married her first husband, an infantry officer, for love, and ran away with him from her father’s house. She was exceedingly fond of her husband; but he gave way to cards, got into trouble and with that he died. He used to beat her at the end: and although she paid him back, of which I have authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of him with tears and she throws him up at me; and I am glad, I am glad that, though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having once been happy.… And she was left at his death with three children in a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups and downs of all sorts, I don’t feel equal to describing it even. Her relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively proud.… And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn? No, that you don’t understand yet…
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
He got into the tub and ran a little cold water. Then he lowered his thin, hairy body into the just-right warmth and stared at the interstices between the tiles. Sadness--he had experienced that emotion ten thousand times. As exhalation is to inhalation, he thought of it as the return from each thrust of happiness. Lazily soaping himself, he gave examples. When he was five and Irwin eight, their father had breezed into town with a snowstorm and come to see them where they lived with their grandparents in the small Connecticut city. Their father had been a vagabond salesman and was considered a bum by people who should know. But he had come into the closed, heated house with all the gimcrack and untouchable junk behind glass and he had smelled of cold air and had had snow in his curly black hair. He had raved about the world he lived in, while the old people, his father and mother, had clucked sadly in the shadows. And then he had wakened the boys in the night and forced them out into the yard to worship the swirling wet flakes, to dance around with their hands joined, shrieking at the snow-laden branches. Later, they had gone in to sleep with hearts slowly returning to bearable beatings. Great flowering things had opened and closed in Norman's head, and the resonance of the wild man's voice had squeezed a sweet, tart juice through his heart. But then he had wakened to a gray day with his father gone and the world walking gingerly over the somber crust of dead-looking snow. It had taken him some time to get back to his usual equanimity. He slid down in the warm, foamy water until just his face and his knobby white knees were exposed. Once he had read Wuthering Heights over a weekend and gone to school susceptible to any heroine, only to have the girl who sat in front of him, whom he had admired for some months, emit a loud fart which had murdered him in a small way and kept him from speaking a word to anyone the whole week following. He had laughed at a very funny joke about a Negro when Irwin told it at a party, and then the following day had seen some white men lightly kicking a Negro man in the pants, and temporarily he had questioned laughter altogether. He had gone to several universities with the vague exaltation of Old Man Axelrod and had found only curves and credits. He had become drunk on the idea of God and found only theology. He had risen several times on the subtle and powerful wings of lust, expectant of magnificence, achieving only discharge. A few times he had extended friendship with palpitating hope, only to find that no one quite knew what he had in mind. His solitude now was the result of his metabolism, that constant breathing in of joy and exhalation of sadness. He had come to take shallower breaths, and the two had become mercifully mixed into melancholy contentment. He wondered how pain would breach that low-level strength. "I'm a small man of definite limitations," he declared to himself, and relaxed in the admission.
Edward Lewis Wallant (The Tenants of Moonbloom)
She climbs a tree And scrapes her knee Her dress has got a tear. She waltzes on her way to mass And whistles on the stair. And underneath her wimple She has curlers in her hair! Maria's not an asset to the abbey. She's always late for chapel, But her penitence is real. She's always late for everything! Except for every meal. I hate to have to say it But I very firmly feel Maria's not an asset to the abbey! I'd like to say a word on her behalf. Maria makes me laugh. How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertigibbet! A will o' the wisp! A clown! Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, Many a thing she ought to understand. But how do you make her stay And listen to all you say, How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? When I'm with her I'm confused Out of focus and bemused, And I never know exactly where I am. Unpredictable as weather, She's as flighty as a feather, She's a darling, She's a demon, She's a lamb. She'd out-pester any pest, Drive a hornet from his nest, She can throw a whirling dervish out of whirl. She is gentle, She is wild, She's a riddle. She's a child. She's a headache! She's an angel! She's a girl. How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertigibbet! A will o' the wisp! A clown! Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, Many a thing she ought to understand. But how do you make her stay? And listen to all you say? How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? "Maria" from The Sound of Music
Rodgers & Hammerstein
On reflection, looking at shows like this and considering my own experiences, what fascinated me was that we have so many stories like this that help us empathize with monstrous men. “Yes, these men are flawed, but they are not as evil as this man.” Even more chilling, they tend to be stories that paint women as roadblocks, aggressors, antagonists, complications—but only in the context of them being a bitch, a whore, a Madonna. The women are never people. Stories about monstrous men are not meant to teach us how to empathize with the women and children murdered, but with the men fighting over their bodies. As a woman menaced by monsters, I find this particularly interesting, this erasure of me from a narrative meant to, if not justify, then explain the brokenness of men. There are shows much better at this, of course, which don’t paint women out of the story—Mad Men is the first to come to mind, and Game of Thrones—but True Detective doubled down. The women terrorized by monsters in real life are active agents. They are monster-slayers, monster-pacifiers, monster-nurturers, monster-wranglers—and some of them are monsters, too. In truth, if we are telling a tale of those who fight monsters, it fascinates me that we are not telling more women’s stories, as we’ve spun so many narratives like True Detective that so blatantly illustrate the sexist masculinity trap that turns so many human men into the very things they despise. Where are the women who fight them? Who partner with them? Who overcome them? Who battle their own monsters to fight greater ones? Because I have and continue to be one of those women, navigating a horror show world of monsters and madmen. We are women who write books and win awards and fight battles and carve out extraordinary lives from ruin and ash. We are not background scenery, our voices silenced, our motives and methods constrained to sex. I cannot fault the show’s men for forgetting that; they’ve created the world as they see it. But I can prod the show’s exceptional writers, because in erasing the narrative of those whose very existence is constantly threatened by these monsters, including trusted monsters whose natures vacillate wildly, they sided with the monsters. I’m not a bit player in a monster’s story. But with narratives like this perpetuated across our media, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how my obituary read: a catalogue of the men who sired me, and fucked me, and courted me. Stories that are not my own. Funny, isn’t it? The power of story. It’s why I picked up a pen. I slay monsters, too.
Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution)
As the Mongol warriors withdrew from the cities of the Jurched, they had one final punishment to inflict upon the land where they had already driven out the people and burned their villages. Genghis Khan wanted to leave a large open land with ample pastures should his army need to return. The plowed fields, stone walls, and deep ditches had slowed the Mongol horses and hindered their ability to move across the landscape in any direction they wished. The same things also prevented the free migration of the herds of antelope, asses, and other wild animals that the Mongols enjoyed hunting. When the Mongols left from their Jurched campaign, they churned up the land behind them by having their horses trample the farmland with their hooves and prepare it to return to open pasture. They wanted to ensure that the peasants never returned to their villages and fields. In this way, Inner Mongolia remained a grazing land, and the Mongols created a large buffer zone of pastures and forests between the tribal lands and the fields of the sedentary farmers. The grassy steppes served as ready stores of pasturage for their horses that allowed them easier access in future raids and campaigns, and they provided a ready store of meat in the herds of wild animals that returned once the farmers and villagers had been expelled.
Jack Weatherford (Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)
… the countryside and the village are symbols of stability and security, of order. Yet they are also, as I have noted, liminal spaces, at a very narrow remove from the atavistic Wild. Arcadia is not the realm even of Giorgione and of Claude, with its cracked pillars and thunderbolts, its lurking banditti; still less is it Poussin’s sun-dappled and regularised realm of order, where, although the lamb may be destined for the altar and the spit, all things proceed with charm and gravity and studied gesture; least of all is it the degenerate and prettified Arcady of Fragonard and Watteau, filled with simpering courtier-Corydons, pallid Olympians, and fat-arsed putti. (It is only family piety that prevents me from taking a poker to an inherited coffee service in gilt porcelain with bastardised, deutero-Fragonard scenes painted on the sides of every damned thing. Cue Wallace Greenslade: ‘… “Round the Horne”, with Marie Antoinette as the dairymaid and Kenneth Williams as the manager of the camp-site….’) No: Arcadia is the very margin of the liminal space between the safe tilth and the threatening Wild, in which Pan lurks, shaggy and goatish, and Death proclaims, from ambush, et in Arcadia ego. Arcadia is not the Wide World nor the Riverbank, but the Wild Wood. And in that wood are worse than stoats and weasels, and the true Pan is no Francis of Assisi figure, sheltering infant otters. The Wild that borders and penetrates Arcady is red in tooth and claw.
G.M.W. Wemyss
Softly, he said, “Why are you crying?” His words made the tears flow faster. “Kestrel.” She drew a shaky breath. “Because when my father comes home, I will tell him that he has won. I will join the military.” There was a silence. “I don’t understand.” Kestrel shrugged. She shouldn’t care whether he understood or not. “You would give up your music?” Yes. She would. “But your bargain with the general was for spring.” Arin still sounded confused. “You have until spring to marry or enlist. Ronan…Ronan would ask the god of souls for you. He would ask you to marry him.” “He has.” Arin didn’t speak. “But I can’t,” she said. “Kestrel.” “I can’t.” “Kestrel, please don’t cry.” Tentative fingers touched her face. A thumb ran along the wet skin of her cheekbone. She suffered for it, suffered for the misery of knowing that whatever possessed him to do this could be no more than compassion. He valued her that much. But not enough. “Why can’t you marry him?” he whispered. She broke her word to herself and looked at him. “Because of you.” Arin’s hand flinched against her cheek. His dark head bowed, became lost in its own shadow. Then he slipped from his seat and knelt before hers. His hands fell to the fists on her lap and gently opened them. He held them as if cupping water. He took a breath to speak. She would have stopped him. She would have wished herself deaf, blind, made of unfeeling smoke. She would have stopped his words out of terror, longing. The way terror and longing had become indistinguishable. Yet his hands held hers, and she could do nothing. He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope. “But you’ve already given your heart,” she said. His brow furrowed, then smoothed. “Oh. No, not the way you think.” He laughed a little, the sound soft yet somehow wild. “Ask me why I went to the market.” This was cruel. “We both know why.” He shook his head. “Pretend that you’ve won a game of Bite and Sting. Why did I go? Ask me. It wasn’t to see a girl who doesn’t exist.” “She…doesn’t?” “I lied.” Kestrel blinked. “Then why did you go to the market?” “Because I wanted to feel free.” Arin raised a hand to brush the air by his temple, then awkwardly let it fall. Kestrel suddenly understood this gesture she’d seen many times. It was an old habit. He was brushing away a ghost, hair that was no longer there because she had ordered it cut. She leaned forward, and kissed his temple. Arin’s hand held her lightly to him. His cheek slid against hers. Then his lips touched her brow, her closed eyes, the line where her jaw met her throat. Kestrel’s mouth found his. His lips were salted with her tears, and the taste of that, of him, of their deepening kiss, filled her with the feeling of his quiet laugh moments ago. Of a wild softness, a soft wildness. In his hands, running up her thin dress. In his heat, burning through to her skin…and into her, sinking into him.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
He said, “I want the same thing you want.” Kestrel pulled back. It wasn’t possible his words could mean what they seemed. “It hasn’t been easy for me to want it.” Arin lifted his face so that she could see his expression. A rich emotion played across his features, offered itself, and asked to be called by its name. Hope. “But you’ve already given your heart,” she said. His brow furrowed, then smoothed. “Oh. No, not the way you think.” He laughed a little, the sound soft yet somehow wild. “Ask me why I went to the market.” This was cruel. “We both know why.” He shook his head. “Pretend that you’ve won a game of Bite and Sting. Why did I go? Ask me. It wasn’t to see a girl who doesn’t exist.” “She…doesn’t?” “I lied.” Kestrel blinked. “Then why did you go to the market?” “Because I wanted to feel free.” Arin raised a hand to brush the air by his temple, then awkwardly let it fall. Kestrel suddenly understood this gesture she’d seen many times. It was an old habit. He was brushing away a ghost, hair that was no longer there because she had ordered it cut. She leaned forward, and kissed his temple. Arin’s hand held her lightly to him. His cheek slid against hers. Then his lips touched her brow, her closed eyes, the line where her jaw met her throat. Kestrel’s mouth found his. His lips were salted with her tears, and the taste of that, of him, of their deepening kiss, filled her with the feeling of his quiet laugh moments ago. Of a wild softness, a soft wildness. In his hands, running up her thin dress. In his heat, burning through to her skin…and into her, sinking into him.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
7. But what kind of love is it, really? Don't fool yourself and call it sublimity. Admit that you have stood in front of a little pile of powdered ultramarine pigment in a glass cup at a museum and felt a stinging desire. But to do what? Liberate it? Purchase it? Ingest it? There is so little blue food in nature- in fact blue in the wild tends to mark food to avoid (mold, poisonous berries)- that culinary advisers generally recommend against blue light, blue paint, and blue plates when wand where serving food. But while the color may sap appetite in the most literal sense, it feeds it in others. You might want to reach out and disturb the pile of pigment, for example, first staining your fingers with it, then staining the world. You might want to dillute it and swim in it, you might want to rouge your nipples with it, you might want to paint a virgin's robe with it. But still you wouldn't be accessing the blue of it. Not exactly. 8. Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking all desire is yearning. "We love to contemplate blue, not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it," wrote Goethe, and perhaps he is right. But I am not interested in longing to live in a world in which I already live. I don't want to yearn for blue things, and God forbid for any "blueness." Above all, I want to stop missing you. 9. So please do not write to tell me about anymore beautiful blue things. To be fair, this book will not tell you about any, either. It will not say, Isn't X beautiful? Such demands are murderous to beauty. 10. The most I want to do is show you the end of my index finger. Its muteness. 11. That is to say: I don't care if it's colorless.
Maggie Nelson
Everything in Nature ran according to its own nature; the running of grass was in its growing, the running of rivers their flowing, granite bubbled up, cooled, compressed and crumbled, birds lived, flew, sang and died, everything did what it needed to do, each simultaneously running its own race, each by living according to its own nature together, never leaving any other part of the universe behind. The world’s Holy things raced constantly together, not to win anything over the next, but to keep the entire surging diverse motion of the living world from grinding to a halt, which is why there is no end to that race; no finish line. That would be oblivion to all. For the Indigenous Souls of all people who can still remember how to be real cultures, life is a race to be elegantly run, not a race to be competitively won. It cannot be won; it is the gift of the world’s diverse beautiful motion that must be maintained. Because human life has been give the gift of our elegant motion, whether we limp, roll, crawl, stroll, or fly, it is an obligation to engender that elegance of motion in our daily lives in service of maintaining life by moving and living as beautifully as we can. All else has, to me, the familiar taste of that domineering warlike harshness that daily tries to cover its tracks in order to camouflage the deep ruts of some old, sick, grinding, ungainly need to flee away from the elegance of our original Indigenous human souls. Our attempt to avariciously conquer or win a place where there are no problems, whether it be Heaven or a “New Democracy,” never mind if it is spiritually ugly and immorally “won” and taken from someone who is already there, has made a citifying world of people who, unconscious of it, have become our own ogreish problem to ourselves, our future, and the world. This is a problem that we cannot continue to attempt to competitively outrun by more and more effectively designed technological approaches to speed away from the past, for the specter of our own earth-wasting reality runs grinning competitively right alongside us. By developing even more effective and entertaining methods of escape that only burn up the earth, the air, animals, plants, and the deeper substance of what it should mean to be human, by competing to get ahead, we have created a brakeless competition that has outrun our innate beauty and marked out a very definite and imminent “finish” line. Living in and on a sphere, we cannot really outrun ourselves anyway. Therefore, I say, the entire devastating and hideous state of the world and its constant wounding and wrecking of the wild, beautiful, natural, viable and small, only to keep alive an untenable cultural proceedance is truly a spiritual sickness, one that will not be cured by the efficient use of the same thinking that maintains the sickness. Nor can this overly expensive, highly funded illness be symptomatically kept at bay any longer by yet more political, environmental, or social programs. We must as individuals and communities take the time necessary to learn how to indigenously remember what a sane, original existence for a viable people might look like. Though there are marvellous things and amazing people doing them, both seen and unseen, these do not resemble in any way the general trend of what is going on now. To begin remembering our Indigenous belonging on the Earth back to life we must metabolize as individuals the grief of recognition of our lost directions, digest it into a valuable spiritual compost that allows us to learn to stay put without outrunning our strange past, and get small, unarmed, brave, and beautiful. By trying to feed the Holy in Nature the fruit of beauty from the tree of memory of our Indigenous Souls, grown in the composted failures of our past need to conquer, watered by the tears of cultural grief, we might become ancestors worth descending from and possibly grow a place of hope for a time beyond our own.
Martin Prechtel (The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive)
He strode forward, heedless of the murmuring that began among the women when they saw him. Then Sara turned, and her gaze met his. Instantly a guilty blush spread over her cheeks that told him all he needed to know about her intent. “Good afternoon, ladies,” he said in steely tones. “Class is over for today. Why don’t you all go up on deck and get a little fresh air?” When the women looked at Sara, she folded her hands primly in front of her and stared at him. “You have no right to dismiss my class, Captain Horn. Besides, we aren’t finished yet. I was telling them a story—” “I know. You were recounting Lysistrata.” Surprise flickered briefly in her eyes, but then turned smug and looked down her aristocratic little nose at him. “Yes, Lysistrata,” she said in a sweet voice that didn’t fool him for one minute. “Surely you have no objection to my educating the women on the great works of literature, Captain Horn.” “None at all.” He set his hands on his hips. “But I question your choice of material. Don’t you think Aristophanes is a bit beyond the abilities of your pupils?” He took great pleasure in the shock that passed over Sara’s face before she caught herself. Ignoring the rustle of whispers among the women, she stood a little straighter. “As if you know anything at all about Aristophanes.” “I don’t have to be an English lordling to know literature, Sara. I know all the blasted writers you English make so much of. Any one of them would have been a better choice for your charges than Aristophanes.” As she continued to glower at him unconvinced, he scoured his memory, searching through the hundreds of verse passages his English father had literally pounded into him. “You might have chosen Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, for example—‘fie, fie! Unknit that threatening unkind brow. / And dart not scornful glances from those eyes / to wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.’” It had been a long time since he’d recited his father’s favorite passages of Shakespeare, but the words were as fresh as if he’d learned them only yesterday. And if anyone knew how to use literature as a weapon, he did. His father had delighted in tormenting him with quotes about unrepentant children. Sara gaped at him as the other women looked from him to her in confusion. “How . . . I mean . . . when could you possibly—” “Never mind that. The point us, you’re telling them the tale of Lysistrata when what you should be telling them is ‘thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper. /thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee / and for thy maintenance commits his body / to painful labour by both sea and land.’” Her surprise at this knowledge of Shakespeare seemed to vanish as she recognized the passage he was quoting—the scene where Katherine accepts Petruchio as her lord and master before all her father’s guests. Sara’s eyes glittered as she stepped from among the women and came nearer to him. “We are not your wives yet. And Shakespeare also said ‘sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more / men were deceivers ever / one foot on sea and one on shore / to one thing constant never.’” “Ah, yes. Much Ado About Nothing. But even Beatrice changes her tune in the end, doesn’t she? I believe it’s Beatrice who says, ‘contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu! / no glory lives behind the back of such./ and Benedick, love on, I will requite thee, / taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.’” “She was tricked into saying that! She was forced to acknowledge him as surely as you are forcing us!” “Forcing you?” he shouted. “You don’t know the meaning of force! I swear, if you—” He broke off when he realized that the women were staring at him with eyes round and fearful. Sara was twisting his words to make him sound like a monster. And succeeding, too, confound her.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Pirate Lord)
Sam’s the man who’s come to chop us up to bits. No wonder I kicked him out. No wonder I changed the locks. If he cannot stop death, what good is he? ‘Open the door. Please. I’m so tired,’ he says. I look at the night that absorbed my life. How am I supposed to know what’s love, what’s fear? ‘If you’re Sam who am I?’ ‘I know who you are.’ ‘You do?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Who?’ Don’t say wife, I think. Don’t say mother. I put my face to the glass, but it’s dark. I don’t reflect. Sam and I watch each other through the window of the kitchen door. He coughs some more. ‘I want to come home,’ he says. ‘I want us to be okay. That’s it. Simple. I want to come home and be a family.’ ‘But I am not simple.’ My body’s coursing with secret genes and hormones and proteins. My body made eyeballs and I have no idea how. There’s nothing simple about eyeballs. My body made food to feed those eyeballs. How? And how can I not know or understand the things that happen inside my body? That seems very dangerous. There’s nothing simple here. I’m ruled by elixirs and compounds. I am a chemistry project conducted by a wild child. I am potentially explosive. Maybe I love Sam because hormones say I need a man to kill the coyotes at night, to bring my babies meat. But I don’t want caveman love. I want love that lives outside the body. I want love that lives. ‘In what ways are you not simple?’ I think of the women I collected upstairs. They’re inside me. And they are only a small fraction of the catalog. I think of molds, of the sea, the biodiversity of plankton. I think of my dad when he was a boy, when he was a tree bud. ‘It’s complicated,’ I say, and then the things I don’t say yet. Words aren’t going to be the best way here. How to explain something that’s coming into existence? ‘I get that now.’ His shoulders tremble some. They jerk. He coughs. I have infected him. ‘Sam.’ We see each other through the glass. We witness each other. That’s something, to be seen by another human, to be seen over all the years. That’s something, too. Love plus time. Love that’s movable, invisible as a liquid or gas, love that finds a way in. Love that leaks. ‘Unlock the door,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to love you because I’m scared.’ ‘So you imagine bad things about me. You imagine me doing things I’ve never done to get rid of me. Kick me out so you won’t have to worry about me leaving?’ ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘Right.’ And I’m glad he gets that. Sam cocks his head the same way a coyote might, a coyote who’s been temporarily confused by a question of biology versus mortality. What’s the difference between living and imagining? What’s the difference between love and security? Coyotes are not moral. ‘Unlock the door?’ he asks. This family is an experiment, the biggest I’ve ever been part of, an experiment called: How do you let someone in? ‘Unlock the door,’ he says again. ‘Please.’ I release the lock. I open the door. That’s the best definition of love. Sam comes inside. He turns to shut the door, then stops himself. He stares out into the darkness where he came from. What does he think is out there? What does he know? Or is he scared I’ll kick him out again? That is scary. ‘What if we just left the door open?’ he asks. ‘Open.’ And more, more things I don’ts say about the bodies of women. ‘Yeah.’ ‘What about skunks?’ I mean burglars, gangs, evil. We both peer out into the dark, looking for thees scary things. We watch a long while. The night does nothing. ‘We could let them in if they want in,’ he says, but seems uncertain still. ‘Really?’ He draws the door open wider and we leave it that way, looking out at what we can’t see. Unguarded, unafraid, love and loved. We keep the door open as if there are no doors, no walls, no skin, no houses, no difference between us and all the things we think of as the night.
Samantha Hunt (The Dark Dark)
She was an echo masquerading as a shadow and she followed me just the same. The night and its moon were her favor while the sunrise and sunlight the daggers that sliced her to ribbons. She looked through half closed eyes at a blind world filled with wide eyes staring at walls. She felt pity with no care while around here steamed a burden too dense to bear. In the hours before dawn her tears slide to her jaw as a soft song escapes from between her cracked lips. A barbed song of glory and woe that hugs her tight and steals her breath, each line a quiver, every word a bind. A cage in her image meant to be broken. Destroy and recreate, scar after scar shallow and deep, her dreams were her life and the nightmares her sleep. Dark circles under eyes that truly see, time while awake moves more slowly. It trickles past her, eroding her being and pulling on her delicate seams. She unravels a little each day, tucking the threads back in every which way. In the night she is flawless and clear, the moonlight dancing in swirls, throwing half formed monograms against her wall. She traces these curves and whispers her story, an imprint in an ocean of churning shadows. Her imagination plays a scene of a teary-eyed embrace on the shores of a former dream, where droplets of her soul fell wildly below, where they and her became a part of a much larger whole. A smile rips her taunt and clenched face, the memory of the feeling of an unreal embrace. She holds herself tightly in a corner with no light and shudders with every pinprick of the downpour of night. Though muffled by the glass of her self imposed flask, she hears the birds singing their song, the natural alarm of impending light. She waits patiently for the sun, counting the half seconds and making time slow, her grey eyes less than aimless and staring at the clouds. With half closed eyes now shining a golden haloed blue, she watches the sky change colors from soft to brilliant hue. The flood of life and color takes her by surprise every day and which way. The rip cuts a little more, her restless thoughts take note and pause. She just wants to scream. To swallow the vibrant light and flood her veins with all the color ever seen, a strange desire to fix what is broken and yet wanting to break. She loses count of the seconds in the wrinkles of her palms, mere dust to wind, ashes to gale. She recites the deadly seven and stops at lust, how different from love while still the same in a twisted way. Her knees press against the worn, wooden floor with no intent to pray, she just wants the numbness and the pain. There are some things right and a few that are wrong, feeling the breath of freedom tapered against the need to belong, The sun now vomits its light across the cragged horizon, illuminating manmade lines and verdurous fuzz, her rip widens in distaste and her mind frowns in disgust. Her heart hangs limp as a shattered mirror reflecting its own cracks, each inaudible beat a glimmer of a glimpse of something more than her created deceit. This is hope. In a fragile and faceted way, the reflects are abyss and ascension portrayed intertwined with no ties holding them together. She is the half second of the transition of the beat, the moment her heart begins to flex and show more than bones and maneuverable meat. She wonders about the subtle difference between spirit and soul and whether she needs only one or both to be whole. Shaking her head as if to dislodge her thoughts, they steer from the tracks and tumble and crash, destruction and turmoil birthing creation and a new path. She thinks about the way she thinks and comes full triangle, it feels right to be so jagged rather than unburdened as a circle. With a sigh and a breath, she stands against the weight of her shoulders and the unbalance of her feet. Her half closed eyes slowly fade to grey as the light and color in the sky changes and decays. She is the moments before the sun rises and sets-1-2-3
Hubert Martin