Window Curtains With Quotes

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Magnus stood up and went to the window. He pushed the curtain back, letting in just enough light to silhouette his hawklike profile. "Blood," he said, half to himself. "I had a dream two nights ago. I saw a city all of blood, with towers made of bone, and blood ran in the streets like water." Simon slewed his eyes over to Jace. "Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?" "No," said Jace, "sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
There weren't any curtains in the windows, and the books that didn't fit into the bookshelf lay piled on the floor like a bunch of intellectual refugees.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore — For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore — Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door — Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; — This it is, and nothing more." Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; — Darkness there, and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" — Merely this, and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore — Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; — 'Tis the wind and nothing more." Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door — Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door — Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore — Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door — Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling, and they’re only a few steps behind you, finding the flaw, the poor weld, the place where we weren’t stitched up quite right, the place they could almost slip right into through if the skin wasn’t trying to keep them out, to keep them here, on the other side of the theater where the curtain keeps rising. I crawled out the window and ran into the woods. I had to make up all the words myself. The way they taste, the way they sound in the air. I passed through the narrow gate, stumbled in, stumbled around for a while, and stumbled back out. I made this place for you. A place for to love me. If this isn’t a kingdom then I don’t know what is.
Richard Siken (Crush)
I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on, The windows and the stars illumined, one by one, The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily, And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass; And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass, I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight, And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
Charles Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du Mal)
It's possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring—with immense, even startling power.
Raymond Carver
Politeness doesn’t require actual humanity. It’s just cultural ritual... Politeness is fancy curtains in your front window. Kindness is the home-cooked meal on your dinner table.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
I used to cover my windows in heavy curtains, never drawn. Now I danced in the sunlight on my hardwood floors.
Kimberly Novosel (Loved)
I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin...
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
I wrapped my arms around my knees and stared through the window's wavy glass. The red velvet curtains were drawn around the tiny alcove, and I was enveloped by an odd sense of peace, knowing that in twenty minutes, the halls were going to be crowded; music was going to be blaring; and I was going to go from being an only child to one of a hundred sisters, so I knew to savor the silence while it lasted.
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1))
Non...I am DANCING IN MY NUDDY-PANTS!!!' And we both laughed like loons on loon tablets. I danced for ages round the house in my nuddy-pants. Also, I did this brilliant thing-I danced in the front window just for a second whilst Mr. Across the Road was drawing his curtains. He will never be sure if he saw a mirage or not. That is the kind of person I am. Not really the kind of person who goes and raises elks in Whakatane.
Louise Rennison (Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #4))
Don't be afraid to speak out. Your human rights story could be the inspiration that opens the window to someone else's awakening. Let's draw open the curtains together.
Janine Myung Ja (Adoption Stories: Excerpts from Adoption Books for Adults)
Whenever it poured like this, Max felt as if time was pausing. It was like a cease-fire during which you could stop whatever you were doing and just stand by a window for hours, watching the performance, an endless curtain of tears falling from heaven.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1))
The Witch's Life" When I was a child there was an old woman in our neighborhood whom we called The Witch. All day she peered from her second story window from behind the wrinkled curtains and sometimes she would open the window and yell: Get out of my life! She had hair like kelp and a voice like a boulder. I think of her sometimes now and wonder if I am becoming her.
Anne Sexton
My wife loves window shopping. As for me, I’m more into curtains.
Jarod Kintz (Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life)
We rarely get to prepare ourselves in meadows or on graveled walks; we do it on short notice in places without windows, hospital corridors, rooms like this lounge with its cracked plastic sofa and Cinzano ashtrays, where the cafe curtains cover blank concrete. In rooms like this, with so little time, we prepare our gestures, get them by heart so we can do them when we're frightened in the face of Doom.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
O timid one, awaken, exert yourself, draw back the curtains your training and background have hung over the windows of your soul.
Spencer W. Kimball (Faith Precedes the Miracle)
His hand sliced through the air in a silencing motion, and he stalked to the window. "Have you seen any rats?" Her mind spun at the sudden shift of subject. "Rats?" "Rodents that resemble large mice." "I know what rats are," she gritted out. "Why?" "They're spies." He peered through the curtain into the darkness. Thick fog diffused the yellow lamplight, creating an eerie glow on the street below. "Have you seen any?" Rodent spies? The man might be hot as hell, but he was a loon. As inconspicuously as possible, Cara inched toward the door. "I didn't see any furry little James Bonds.
Larissa Ione (Eternal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #1; Demonica, #6))
Everything was comfortable, tasteful, as if the apartment were for lounging and nights by the fire. And there were so many books—on shelves, on the tables by the couch, stacked beside the large armchair before the curtained floor-to-ceiling window spanning the entire length of the great room. Smart. Educated. Cultured, if the knickknacks were any indication. There were things from across kingdoms, as if she'd picked up something everywhere she went. The room was a map of her adventures, a map of a whole different person. Aelin had lived. She'd lived, and seen and done things.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
I will simply go where it is dark again.” Addie rises, goes to the window, and draws the curtains closed, plunging the room back into lightless black. “There,” she says, feeling her way back to him. “Now it is dark again.” Luc laughs, a soft, beautiful sound, and pulls her down into the bed.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
The drab brown front of the house made it look as if it had been built from rusty spare parts. Someone always put lace curtains in the windows of dreary houses, and Nick was unsurprised to see the curtains making their attempts in every window of this place. There was a china garden gnome on the doorstep, wearing a desperate, crazy smile. "It's not so bad," Alan said. "You never take me nice places anymore, baby." said Nick, and was mildly gratified by Alan's ring of laughter, like a living bell that had been caught by surprise when it was struck.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon)
It's possible, in a poem or a short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things-- a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring-- with immense, even startling power. It is possible to write a line of seemingly innocuous dialogue and have it send a chill along the reader's spine-- the source of artistic delight, as Nabokov would have it. That's the kind of writing that most interests me.
Raymond Carver
I woke with a terrible headache and wobbled around 'till I fell out the window." "You what?" "Fell out the window. That one over there." She [Edwina] gestured to the curtain behind her. "I broke my back. My spine is all wobbly now, but it doesn't hurt.
Megan Whalen Turner (Instead of Three Wishes)
All I ever did to that apartment was hang fifty yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows, because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better, but I did not bother to weight the curtains correctly and all that summer the long panels of transparent golden silk would blow out the windows and get tangled and drenched in afternoon thunderstorms. That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and ever procrastination, every word, all of it.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
It occurred to me, as it sometimes does, that this day is over and will never be lived again, that we are only the sum of days, and when those are spent, we will not come back to this place, to this time, to these people and these colors, and I wonder whether to be sad about this or to be happy, to trust that these moments were meant for some kind of enjoyment, as a kind of blessing. And if feels, tonight, as if there is much to think about, there is much we have been given and much we have left behind. The smell of freedom is as brisk as the air through the windows. And there is a feeling that time itself has been curtained by darkness.
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
I went to bed without reading, instead staring out my window with the curtains drawn, wondering about boys. Why did they behave so oddly? One minute their teasing was relentless, and then bam!― they’d stun you with a thoughtful gesture. Either way, their actions made you want to cry. Maybe that was the intent.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher)
Then my gaze slid over the people to the blaze of green beyond the diaphanous curtains, and I felt as if I were sitting in the window of an enormous department store. The figures around me weren't people, but shop dummies, painted to resemble people and propped up in attitudes counterfeiting life.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Night-time train travel is wonderful again! No standing in the corridors for hours, no being shunted off for a troop train to pass, and above all, no black-out curtains. All the windows we passed were lighted, and I could snoop once more. I missed it so terribly during the war. I felt as if we had all turned into moles scuttling along in our separate tunnels. I don't consider myself a real peeper-they go in for bedrooms, but it's families in sitting rooms or kitchens that thrill me. I can imagine their entire lives from a glimpse of bookshelves, or desks, or lit candles, or bright sofa cushions.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
the bouquet Between me and the world you are a bay, a sail the faithful ends of a rope you are a fountain, a wind, a shrill childhood cry. Between me and the world you are a picture frame, a window a field covered in wildflowers you are a breath, a bed, a night that keeps the stars company. Between me and the world, you are a calendar, a compass a ray of light that slips through the gloom you are a biographical sketch, a book mark a preface that comes at the end. between me and the world you are a gauze curtain, a mist a lamp shining in my dreams you are a bamboo flute, a song without words a closed eyelid carved in stone. Between me and the world you are a chasm, a pool an abyss plunging down you are a balustrade, a wall a shield’s eternal pattern.
Bei Dao
The best place for this kind of training is Holland where people, convinced of their utter innocence, do not use curtains. After dusk the windows turn into little stages on which actors act out their evenings. Sequences of images bathed in yellow, warm light are the individual acts of the same production entitled 'Life'. Dutch painting. Moving lives.
Olga Tokarczuk (Flights)
BUSY old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
John Donne
She decided she wanted a cool, starchy independent life, with ruffles of humor like window curtains.
Mary McCarthy (The Group)
It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city. At all hours it was necessary to keep a lamp lighted, and Mrs. Miller lost track of the days: Friday was no different from Saturday and on Sunday she went to the grocery: closed, of course.
Truman Capote (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
I learned that music comes from the voice, the rhythm and the heart of each person, and that the musicality of those unrecorded melodies could lift the curtain of fog, pass through windows and screens to waken us as gently as a morning lullaby.
Kim Thúy (Ru)
So imagine a fire going -- wood snapping the way it does when it’s a little green — the wind rattling the windows behind the curtains -- and one of those Chopin melodies that feel like sorrow and ecstasy all mixed together pouring from the keys -- and you have my idea of happiness. Or just reading, reading and lamplight, the sound of pages turning. And so you dare to be happy. You do that thing. You dare.
Steven Millhauser
Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.
Angela Carter (Nights at the Circus)
Occasionally, events in one's life become clearer through the prism of experience, a phrase which simply means that things tend to be clearer as time goes on. For instance, when a person is just born, they usually have no idea what curtains are and spend a great deal of their first months wondering why on earth Mommy and Daddy have hung large pieces of cloth over each window in the nursery. But as the person grows older, the idea of curtains becomes clearer through the prism of experience. The person will learn the word "curtains" and notice that they are actually quite handy for keeping a room dark when it is time to sleep, and for decorating an otherwise boring window area. Eventually, they will entirely accept the idea of curtains of their own, or venetian blinds, and it is all due to the prism of experience.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
There are very few starts. Oh, some things seem to be beginnings. The curtain goes up, the first pawn moves, the first shot is fired - but that's not the start. The play, the game, the war is just a little window on a ribbon of events that may extend back thousands of years. The point is, there's always something before. It's always a case of Now Read On.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches, #4))
She opened her curtains, and looked out towards the bit of road that lay in view, with fields beyond outside the entrance-gates. On the road there was a man with a bundle on his back and a woman carrying her baby; in the field she could see figures moving - perhaps the shepherd with his dog. Far off in the bending sky was the pearly light; and she felt the largeness of the world and the manifold wakings of men to labor and endurance. She was a part of that involuntary, palpitating life, and could neither look out on it from her luxurious shelter as a mere spectator, nor hide her eyes in selfish complaining.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I brushed the curtain aside, scowling. Hadn't even spoken to the girl and I felt like a stalker staring out the window, waiting once more...waiting for what? To catch a glimpse of her? Or to better prepare myself for the inevitable meeting? If Dee saw me now, she'd be on the floor laughing. And if Ash saw me right now, she'd scratch out my eyes and blast my new neighbor into outer space.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Oblivion (Lux, #1.5))
There are curtains in the windows of our eyes! Either we open these curtains and see the world or keep the curtains closed and see only the curtains!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Never get out of bed, never go to the window, and never look behind the curtain.
Roald Dahl (The BFG)
When Crystal May woke up the next morning, she felt like she'd died and gone to heaven. She rolled over on her back, her sleepy eyes blinking in the sunlight. The window curtains were frilly and feminine, softening the light and making her feel protected from the world outside. It was mighty late, but she didn't care. Just lying there in the warm, golden light made her feel so good. She was safe here. She could feel it right down to her bones.
Carol Storm (Crystal and Gold)
When you left you left behind a field of silent flowers under a sky full of unstirred clouds...you left a million butterflies mid-silky flutters You left like midnight rain against my dreaming ears Oh and how you left leaving my coffee scentless and my couch comfortless leaving upon my fingers the melting snow of you you left behind a calendar full of empty days and seasons full of aimless wanders leaving me alone with an armful of sunsets your reflection behind in every puddle your whispers upon every curtain your fragrance inside every petal you left your echoes in between the silence of my eyes Oh and how you left leaving my sands footless and my shores songless leaving me with windows full of moistened moonlight nights and nights of only a half-warmed soul and when you left... you left behind a lifetime of moments untouched the light of a million stars unshed and when you left you somehow left my poem...unfinished. (Published in Taj Mahal Review Vol.11 Number 1 June 2012)
Sanober Khan
Men who have not been violated don’t understand what it is like to have the edges of your body blurred—to feel that every inch of your skin is a place where fingers can press, that every hole and orifice is a place where others can put parts of their bodies. When your body stops being corporeal, your soul has no place to go, so it finds the next window to escape. My soul left me when I was six. It flew away past a flapping curtain over a window. I ran after it, but it never came back. It left me alone on wet stinking mattresses. It left me alone in the choking dark. It took my tongue, my heart, and my mind. When you don’t have a soul, the ideas inside you become terrible things. They grow unchecked, like malignant monsters. You cry in the night because you know the ideas are wrong—you know because people have told you that—and yet none of it does any good. The ideas are free to grow. There is no soul inside you to stop them.
Rene Denfeld (The Enchanted)
Politeness doesn't require actual humanity. It's just cultural ritual. Kindness means you actually care and have good intentions toward a person. It means you think about them as much as you think about yourself. Politeness is fancy curtains in your front window. Kindness is the home-cooked meal on your dinner table.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
Sometimes I felt the whole world was converging on this little room. And as I became more intoxicated and frustrated I'd throw open the bedroom window as the dawn came up, and look across the gardens, lawns, greenhouses, sheds and curtained windows. I wanted my life to begin now, at this instant, just when I was ready for it.
Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia)
We walked down the back stairwell into the garden where the old breakfast table used to be. 'This was my father's spot. I call it his ghost spot. My spot used to be over there, if you remember.' I pointed to where my old table used to stand by the pool. 'Did I have a spot?' he asked with a half grin. 'You'll always have a spot.' I wanted to tell him that the pool, the garden, the house, the tennis court, the orle of paradise, the whole place, would always be his ghost spot. Instead, I pointed upstairs to the French windows of his room. Your eyes are forever there, I wanted to say, trapped in the sheer curtains, staring out from my bedroom upstairs where no one sleeps these days. When there's a breeze and they swell and I look up from down here or stand outside on the balcony, I'll catch myself thinking that you're in there, staring out from your world to my world, saying, as you did on that one night when I found you on the rock, I've been happy here. You're thousands of miles away but no sooner do I look at this window than I'll think of a bathing suit, a shirt thrown on on the fly, arms resting on the banister, and you're suddenly there, lighting up your first cigarette of the day—twenty years ago today. For as long as the house stands, this will be your ghost spot—and mine too, I wanted to say.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
She’d ceased spying upon him, that was true, but the damage was done. Every time he sat at his desk, he could feel her eyes upon him, even though he knew very well she’d shut her curtains tight. But clearly, reality had very little to do with the matter, because all he had to do, it seemed, was glance at her window, and he lost an entire hour’s work. It happened thus: He looked at the window, because it was there, and he couldn’t very well never happen to glance upon it unless he also shut his curtains tight, which he was not willing to do, given the amount of time he spent in his office. So he saw the window, and he thought of her, because, really, what else would he think of upon seeing her bedroom window? At that point, annoyance set in, because A) she wasn’t worth the energy, B) she wasn’t even there, and C) he wasn’t getting any work done because of her. C always led into a bout of even deeper irritation, this time directed at himself, because D) he really ought to have better powers of concentration, E) it was just a stupid window, and F) if he was going to get agitated about a female, it ought to be one he at least liked. F was where he generally let out a loud growl and forced himself to get back to his translation. It usually worked for a minute or two, and then he’d look back up, and happen to see the window, and the whole bloody nonsense cycled back to the beginning.
Julia Quinn (What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2))
But the address, if it ever existed, never was sent, which made me sad, there was so much I wanted to write her: that I'd sold two stories, had read where the Trawlers were countersuing for divorce, was moving out of the brownstone because it was haunted. But mostly, I wanted to tell about her cat. I had kept my promise; I had found him. It took weeks of after-work roaming through those Spanish Harlem streets, and there were many false alarms--flashes of tiger-striped fur that, upon inspection, were not him. But one day, one cold sunshiny Sunday winter afternoon, it was. Flanked by potted plants and framed by clean lace curtains, he was seated in the window of a warm-looking room: I wondered what his name was, for I was certain he had one now, certain he'd arrived somewhere he belonged. African hut or whatever, I hope Holly has, too.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
It was as if they stood at the window of some elven-tower, curtained with threaded jewels of silver and gold, and ruby, sapphire and amethyst, all kindled with an unconsuming fire.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
The sunshine filtered in through the billowing white curtains. Tatiana knew there would be only an instant, a brief flicker of time that bathed her with the possibilities of the day. In a moment it would all be gone. And in a moment it was. Still...that sun streaking through the room, the distant rumble of buses through the open window, the slight wind. This was the part of Sunday that Tatiana loved most: the beginning.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
the rain falls, catching the trailing edges of net curtains which flow out of open windows like fishing nets lowered over the backs of boats, nets hung neatly between the outside and the in, keeping floundering secrets firmly hidden...
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things)
The window was all sky without colour. The house had lost its shelter. It was night before roads were made, or houses. It was the night that dwellers in caves had watched from some high place among rocks. Then the curtain rose. They spoke.
Virginia Woolf (Between the Acts)
The house was clean, scrubbed and immaculate, curtains washed, windows polished, but all as a man does it - the ironed curtains did not hang quite straight and there were streaks on the windows and a square showed on the table when a book was moved.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I observed with disillusioned clarity the despicable nonentity of the street; its porches; its window curtains; the drab clothes, the cupidity and complacency of shopping women; and old men taking the air in comforters; the caution of people crossing; the universal determination to go on living, when really, fools and gulls that you are, I said, any slate may fly from a roof, any car may swerve, for there is neither rhyme nor reason when a drunk man staggers about with a club in his hand - that is all.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
On an impulse he went into the room and stood before the window, pushing aside the sheer curtain to watch the snow, now nearly eight inches high on the lampposts and the fences and the roofs. It was the sort of storm that rarely happened in Lexington, and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers. Tomorrow would be quiet, the world subdued and fragile, until the neighborhood children came out to break the stillness with their tracks and shouts and joy. He remembered such days from his own childhood in the mountains, rare moments of escape when he went into the woods, his breathing amplified and his voice somehow muffled by the heavy snow that bent branches low, drifted over paths. The world, for a few short hours, transformed.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
I stopped in front of a florist's window. Behind me, the screeching and throbbing boulevard vanished. Gone, too, were the voices of newspaper vendors selling their daily poisoned flowers. Facing me, behind the glass curtain, a fairyland. Shining, plump carnations, with the pink voluptuousness of women about to reach maturity, poised for the first step of a sprightly dance; shamelessly lascivious gladioli; virginal branches of white lilac; roses lost in pure meditation, undecided between the metaphysical white and the unreal yellow of a sky after the rain.
Emil Dorian (Quality of Witness: A Romanian Diary, 1937-1944)
For a moment, unseen by condemning human eyes, I gave into my fascination and let myself look at her. Her pale skin seemed to glow in the moonlight slanting through the latticed windows, her hair an inky curtain across her back and shoulders. She breathed calmly, her face unguarded in sleep, as it was when she was awake. A jet-black strand of hair came loose to fall into her eyes, and I was filled with and incomprehensible urge to brush it back.
Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1))
There were places you didn't want to walk, precautions you took that had to do with locks on windows and doors, drawing the curtains, leaving on lights. These things you did were like prayers; you did them and you hoped they would save you. And for the most part they did. Or something did; you could tell by the fact that you were still alive.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
conscience is the window of our spirit, evil is the curtain
Doug Horton
I entered my room, and undrew the window-curtains, just in time to see the sun burst in glory from his ocean-prison, and clothe the world in the light of a new day.
Lewis Carroll (Sylvie and Bruno)
Conscience is the window of our spirit, evil is the curtain. —Doug Horton
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
Words are so often like window curtains, a decorative screen put up to keep the neighbours at a distance.
Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)
She thought of the last couple of years: the boredom, the narrowness of existence, the dearth of anything to look forward to. Yet now, in a single instant, the curtains had been whipped aside, and the windows been thrown open onto a brillant view that had been there, waiting for her, all the time. A view, moreover, laden with the most marvellous possibilities and opportunities.
Rosamunde Pilcher
The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
BUSY old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school-boys and sour prentices, Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices ; Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
John Donne
What becomes of homes that have their doors bolted, windows tightly shut, and curtains drawn during the daytime with the families they house inside them desolate? Should we not call them prisons? We should!
Farah Bashir (Rumours of Spring: A Girlhood in Kashmir)
Here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage might work: Because you wear pink but write poems about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell at your keys when you lose them, and laugh, loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol, gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercials from thirty years back and sing them when vacuuming. You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents of what you packed were written inside the boxes. Because you think swans are overrated. Because you drove me to the train station. You drove me to Minneapolis. You drove me to Providence. Because you underline everything you read, and circle the things you think are important, and put stars next to the things you think I should think are important, and write notes in the margins about all the people you’re mad at and my name almost never appears there. Because you make that pork recipe you found in the Frida Khalo Cookbook. Because when you read that essay about Rilke, you underlined the whole thing except the part where Rilke says love means to deny the self and to be consumed in flames. Because when the lights are off, the curtains drawn, and an additional sheet is nailed over the windows, you still believe someone outside can see you. And one day five summers ago, when you couldn’t put gas in your car, when your fridge was so empty—not even leftovers or condiments— there was a single twenty-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, which you paid for with your last damn dime because you once overheard me say that I liked it.
Matthew Olzmann
Katie let the curtain fall back into place. Standing before the window, she felt herself let go of the old world and embrace the new. She would survive this. She would go on. That was all there was to it. She wouldn't give up without a fight. She would do whatever it took to survive.
Rhiannon Frater (The First Days (As the World Dies, #1))
In a room as big as loneliness my heart which is as big as love looks at the simple pretexts of its happiness at the beautiful decay of flowers in the vase at the saplings you planted in our garden and the song of canaries which sing to the size of a window. Ah…this is my lot this is my lot my lot is a sky that is taken away at the drop of a curtain my lot is going down a flight of disused stairs to regain something amid putrefaction and nostalgia my lot is a sad promenade in the garden of memories and dying in the grief of a voice which tells me I love your hands.
Forugh Farrokhzad
Tree At My Window Tree at my window, window tree, My sash is lowered when night comes on; But let there never be curtain drawn Between you and me. Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground, And thing next most diffuse to cloud, Not all your light tongues talking aloud Could be profound. But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed, And if you have seen me when I slept, You have seen me when I was taken and swept And all but lost. That day she put our heads together, Fate had her imagination about her, Your head so much concerned with outer, Mine with inner, weather.
Robert Frost (West-Running Brook)
Zacharias’s study bore the marks of his predecessors, whose taste had run decidedly stoicheiotical. They had had a fondness for skulls with burning lights in their eye sockets, crystal balls in which mysterious shapes came and went, and dark velvet window curtains traced with obscure runes.
Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1))
As exhausted as I was, it took time for me to settle in. The curtains in my room let in too much light, the humming of bugs and the clanging of my wind chime collection were too loud. I flipped my pillow over twice. The sheet was too heavy. I was too cold without it. I got up and shut the window. The room became stuffy. I gave up and decided to watch some television.
R.L. Naquin (Monster in My Closet (Monster Haven, #1))
UP You wake up filled with dread. There seems no reason for it. Morning light sifts through the window, there is birdsong, you can't get out of bed. It's something about the crumpled sheets hanging over the edge like jungle foliage, the terry slippers gaping their dark pink mouths for your feet, the unseen breakfast--some of it in the refrigerator you do not dare to open--you will not dare to eat. What prevents you? The future. The future tense, immense as outer space. You could get lost there. No. Nothing so simple. The past, its density and drowned events pressing you down, like sea water, like gelatin filling your lungs instead of air. Forget all that and let's get up. Try moving your arm. Try moving your head. Pretend the house is on fire and you must run or burn. No, that one's useless. It's never worked before. Where is it coming form, this echo, this huge No that surrounds you, silent as the folds of the yellow curtains, mute as the cheerful Mexican bowl with its cargo of mummified flowers? (You chose the colours of the sun, not the dried neutrals of shadow. God knows you've tried.) Now here's a good one: you're lying on your deathbed. You have one hour to live. Who is it, exactly, you have needed all these years to forgive?
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House)
Oh, lady bright! can it be right- The window open to the night? The wanton airs, from the tree-top, Laughingly through the lattice drop - The bodiless airs, a wizard rout, Flit through thy chamber in and out, And wave the curtain canopy So fitfully - so fearfully - Above the closed and fringéd lid 'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid, That, o'er the floor and down the wall, Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall! Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
Edgar Allan Poe
I go downstairs and the books blink at me from the shelves. Or stare. In a trick of the light, a row of them seems to shift very slightly, like a curtain blown by the breeze through an open window. Red is next to blue is next to cream is adjacent to beige. But when I look again, cream is next to green is next to black. A tall book shelters a small book, a huge Folio bullies a cowering line of Quartos. A child's nursery rhyme book does not have the language in which to speak to a Latin dictionary. Chaucer does not know the words in which Henry James communicates but here they are forced to live together, forever speechless.
Susan Hill (Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home)
Tell about the quality of light coming in through your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it is night and your curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north—just write. Go for ten minutes, fifteen, a half hour.
Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within)
The afternoon our story begins, the quiet parts of being alive were the busiest: wind unlocking Windows; rainlight nudging curtains apart; fresh-cut grass tickling unsocked feet. Days like this made Alice want to set off on a great adventure.
Tahereh Mafi (Furthermore (Furthermore, #1))
At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what shade of colour the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to whether they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
Here at St. Anthony’s, they have to close the curtains before it gets dark, since if a resident sees themself reflected in a window they’ll think somebody’s peeping in at them. It’s called “sun-downing.” When all the old folks get crazy at sunset.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
I get up out of bed. I pull back the old, faded curtain and open the window. I stick my head out and look up at the sky. Sure enough, a mouldy-coloured half-moon hangs in the sky. Good. We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
The moon from any window is one part whoever’s looking. The part I can’t see is everything my sister keeps to herself. One part my dead brother’s sleepless brow, the other part the time I waste, the time I won’t have. But which is the lion killed for the sake of the honey inside him, and which the wine, stranded in a valley, unredeemed? And don’t forget the curtains. Don’t forget the wind in the trees, or my mother’s voice saying things that will take my whole life to come true. One part earnest child grown tall in his mother’s doorway, and one a last look over the shoulder before leaving. And never forget it answers to no address, but calls wave after wave to a path or thirst. Never forget the candle climbing down without glancing back. And what about the heart counting alone, out loud, in that game in which the many hide from the one? Never forget the cry completely hollowed of the dying one who cried it. Only in such pure outpouring is there room for all this night.
Li-Young Lee (Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68))
When I'd looked back up at the window, the white curtain flapping in the gusty breeze, I'd felt both sadness and relief, the oppositional tug of heaviness and lightness, one lifting me up, one pushing me down. I understood then, Lulu and I had started something, something I'd always wanted, but also something I was scared of getting. Something ai wanted more of. And, also, something I wanted to get away from. The truth and its opposite.
Gayle Forman (Just One Year (Just One Day, #2))
Oliver liked to keep the windows and shutters wide open in the afternoon, with just the swelling sheer curtains between us and life beyond, because it was a 'crime' to block away so much sunlight and keep such a landscape from view, especially when you didn't have it all life long, he said. Then the rolling fields of the valley leading up to the hills seemed to sit in a rising mist of olive green: sunflowers, grapevines, swatches of lavender, and those squat and humble olive trees stooping like gnarled, aged scarecrows gawking through our window as we lay naked on my bed, the smell of his sweat, which was the smell of my sweat, and next to me my man-woman whose man-woman I was, and all around us Mafalda's chamomile-scented laundry detergent, which was the torrid afternoon world of our house.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Whoever said, Eyes are windows of the soul , didn't know what he was talking about. Eyes are curtains that prevent you from seeing. They're rabbits that climb out of a magician's hat. Eyes are the last thing you see smiling before a bullet slams into your midsection.
James Abel (White Plague (Joe Rush, #1))
Cool, your window is right across from mine!” Keefe said, opening Sophie’s curtains. “We could throw things at each other!
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
If shadows are curtains, mirrors are windows.
James Pratt
Life has dazzling beauty. To see it, open the window of the mind and remove the curtain of conformity.
Debasish Mridha
Pincushions. I'm a long time threatening to buy one. Sticking them all over the place. Needles in window curtains.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
I had kept my promise; I had found him. It took weeks of after-work roaming through those Spanish Harlem streets, and there were many false alarms—flashes of tiger-striped fur that, upon inspection, were not him. But one day, one cold sunshiny Sunday winter afternoon, it was. Flanked by potted plants and framed by clean lace curtains, he was seated in the window of a warm-looking room: I wondered what his name was, for I was certain he had one now, certain he’d arrived somewhere he belonged. African hut or whatever, I hope Holly has, too.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
Living with her taught me this: That silence is a thick and dark curtain, the kind that pulls down over a shop window; that love is the repercussion of a stone bouncing off that same window - and that pain is something you can embrace, like a rag doll nobody will ask you to share.
Judith Ortiz Cofer (The Latin Deli: Telling the Lives of Barrio Women)
She asked us to raise the curtain that was covering the window and she looked at the golden leaves of the trees. 'How lovely. I shouldn't see that from my flat!' She smiled. And both of us, my sister and I, had the same thought: it was that same smile that had dazzled us when we were little children, the radiant smile of a young woman. Where had it been between then and now?
Simone de Beauvoir (A Very Easy Death)
The silence. End of all poetry, all romances. Earlier, frightened, you began to have some intimation of it: so many pages had been turned, the book was so heavy in one hand, so light in the other, thinning toward the end. Still, you consoled yourself. You were not quite at the end of the story, at that terrible flyleaf, blank like a shuttered window: there were still a few pages under your thumb, still to be sought and treasured. Oh, was it possible to read more slowly? - No. The end approached, inexorable, at the same measured pace. The last page, the last of the shining words! And there - the end of the books. The hard cover which, when you turn it, gives you only this leather stamped with old roses and shields. Then the silence comes, like the absence of sound at the end of the world. You look up. It's a room in an old house. Or perhaps it's a seat in a garden, or even a square; perhaps you've been reading outside and you suddenly see the carriages going by. Life comes back, the shadows of leaves. Someone comes to ask what you will have for dinner, or two small boys run past you, wildly shouting; or else it's merely a breeze blowing a curtain, the white unfurling into a room, brushing the papers on a desk. It is the sound of the world. But to you, the reader, it is only a silence, untenanted and desolate.
Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria)
Now, smile-if you still can. This is your zygomatic major muscle. Each contraction pulls your flesh apart the way tiebacks hold open the drapes in your living room window. The way cables pull aside a theater curtain, your every smile is an opening night. A premiere. You unveiling yourself.
Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
It wasn't all misery. On one of our halts we lay spreadeagled on the ice and stared up at a sky blazing with the glory of the most wonderful aurora I'd ever witnessed. I groaned beneath the splendour of those silken curtains, yellow, green, and orange, billowing at the window of the heavens.
Beryl Bainbridge (The Birthday Boys)
A half-open window. Morning-fresh air carries curious sunlight into a bedroom. Flecks of dust shimmer yellow-gold. Four feet, entwined under white sheets. Joni's Blue, on the player. Delicate curtains slow-dance to Sunday's tune. Laughter. Talk of: what for breakfast? Anything. Anything at all.
Nick Miller
The library turned out to be a very pleasant place, but it was not the comfortable chairs, the huge wooden bookshelves, or the hush of people reading that made the three siblings feel so good as they walked into the room. It is useless for me to tell you all about the brass lamps in the shapes of different fish, or the bright blue curtains that rippled like water as a breeze came in from the window, because although these were wonderful things they were no what made the three children smile. The Quagmire triplets were smiling, too, and although I have not researched the Quagmires nearly as much as I have the Baudelaires, I can say with reasonable accuracy that they were smiling for the same reason.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
That was a cozy night, a happy night; lamps lit, sparkle of glasses, rain falling heavy on the roof. Outside, the treetops tumbled and tossed, with a foamy whoosh like club soda bubbling up in the glass. The windows were open and a damp cool breeze swirled through the curtains, bewitchingly wild and sweet.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Starling walked up and down the linoleum of the shabby lounge far underground. She was the only brightness in the room. We rarely get to prepare ourselves in meadows or on graveled walks; we do it on short notice in places without windows, hospital corridors, rooms like this lounge with its cracked plastic sofa and Cinzano ashtrays, where the café curtains cover blank concrete. In rooms like this, with so little time, we prepare our gestures, get them by heart so we can do them when we’re frightened in the face of Doom.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
When the sun was set I might perhaps go to sleep. I never let myself sleep during the day. Daytime sleep is a cursed slumber from which one wakes in despair. The sun will not tolerate it. If he can he will pry under your eyelids and prise them apart; and if you hang black curtains at your windows he will lay siege to your room until it is so stifling that at last you stagger with staring eyes to the window and tear back the curtains to see that most terrible of sights, the broad daylight outside a room where you have been sleeping.
Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
Frederick Buechner (Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter's Dictionary)
I go to the window, I spot a fly under the curtain, I corner it in a muslin trap and move a murderous forefinger toward it. This moment is not in the program, it's something apart, timeless, incomparable, motionless, nothing will come of it this evening or later . . . Mankind is asleep. . . . Alone and without a future in a stagnant moment, a child is asking murder for strong sensations. Since I'm refused a man's destiny, I'll be the destiny of a fly. I don't rush matters, I'm letting it have time enough to become aware of the giant bending over it. I move my finger forward, the fly bursts, I'm foiled! Good God, I shouldn't have killed it! It was the only being in all creation that feared me; I no longer mean anything to anyone. I, the insecticide, take the victim's place and become an insect myself. I'm a fly, I've always been one. This time I've touched bottom.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words: The Autobiography of Jean-Paul Sartre)
He liked however the open shutters; he opened everywhere those Mrs. Muldoon had closed, closing them as carefully afterwards, so that she shouldn't notice: he liked--oh this he did like, and above all in the upper rooms!--the sense of the hard silver of the autumn stars through the window-panes, and scarcely less the flare of the street-lamps below, the white electric lustre which it would have taken curtains to keep out. This was human actual social; this was of the world he had lived in, and he was more at his ease certainly for the countenance, coldly general and impersonal, that all the while and in spite of his detachment it seemed to give him.
Henry James (The Jolly Corner)
What does it mean to demonstrate in the streets, what is the significance of that collective activity so symptomatic of the twentieth century? In stupefaction Ulrich watches the demonstrators from the window; as they reach the foot of the palace, their faces turn up, turn furious, the men brandish their walking sticks, but “a few steps farther, at a bend where the demonstration seemed to scatter into the wings, most of them were already dropping their greasepaint: it would be absurd to keep up the menacing looks where there were no more spectators.” In the light of that metaphor, the demonstrators are not men in a rage; they are actors performing rage! As soon as the performance is over they are quick to drop their greasepaint! Later, in the 1960s, philosophers would talk about the modern world in which everything had turned into spectacle: demonstrations, wars, and even love; through this “quick and sagacious penetration” (Fielding), Musil had already long ago discerned the “society of spectacle.
Milan Kundera (The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts)
Still, I had resolved to sit and talk with him and that is what I would do. He neither offered permission nor withheld it regarding the curtains, so I stepped over to the window and pulled them apart, glancing down onto the New York streets below. The yellow cabs were driving up and down honking their horns and the view between the skyscrapers held me for a minute. I had never fallen in love with this city—even after almost seven years my head was still in Amsterdam and my heart was still in Dublin—but there were moments, like this one, when I understood why others did.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
these were authentically coarse-woven curtains, woven by people who didn’t know any other way of making curtains, who didn’t even know that their way was special, and whose way was therefore not discounted and emptied of meaning in advance. This made him very happy. It was as if he’d been looking for these curtains forever, as if he’d been waiting his whole life to wake up one morning in a room in which those coarse-woven, stem-green curtains hung over the windows.
Lev Grossman (The Magicians (The Magicians, #1))
I look out my window a lot. ​It’s just one of those things that keeps me grounded in this weird, one-with-nature kind of way. I hate curtains. They only gather dust. And I hate alarms even more. I enjoy the natural light to whisper across my face in the morning with gentle fingers, not some man-made sound that jars me into life with a harsh slap. It is the quiet moments of the morning that I savor most, in bed, looking out my window. It’s when I write my best work.
R.B. O'Brien
On our way we passed a shop where my mother always ordered flowers. As a child I liked to watch the large storefront window awash in a perpetual curtain of water which came sliding down ever so gently, giving the shop an enchanted, mysterious aura that reminded me of how in many films the screen would blur to announce that a flashback was about to occur.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
i am dead but i know the dead are not like this." the dead can sleep they don’t get up and rage they don’t have a wife. her white face like a flower in a closed window lifts up and looks at me. the curtain smokes a cigarette and a moth dies in a freeway cash as I examine the shadows of my hands. an owl, the size of a baby clock rings for me, come on come on it says as Jerusalem is hustled down crotch-stained halls. the 5 a.m. grass is nasal now in hums of battleships and valleys in the raped light that brings on the fascist birds. I put out the lamp and get in bed beside her, she thinks I’m there mumbles a rosy gratitude as I stretch my legs to coffin length get in and swim away from frogs and fortunes.
Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)
Directly overhead the Milky Way was as distinct as a highway across the sky. The constellations shown brilliantly, except the north, where they were blurred by the white sheets of the Aurora. Now shimmering like translucent curtains drawn over the windows of heaven, the northern lights suddenly streaked across a million miles of space to burst in silent explosions. Fountains of light, pale greens, reds, and yellows, showered the stars and geysered up to the center of the sky, where they pooled to form a multicolored sphere, a kind of mock sun that gave light but no heat, pulsing, flaring, and casting beams in all directions, horizon to horizon. Below, the wolves howled with midnight madness and the two young men stood in speechless awe. Even after the spectacle ended, the Aurora fading again to faint shimmer, they stood as silent and transfixed as the first human beings ever to behold the wonder of creation. Starkmann felt the diminishment that is not self-depreciation but humility; for what was he and what was Bonnie George? Flickers of consciousness imprisoned in lumps of dust; above them a sky ablaze with the Aurora, around them a wilderness where wolves sang savage arias to a frozen moon.
Philip Caputo (Indian Country)
The most fearsome monsters of all may inhabit the dark corners of our mind waiting for us to release them through our believes and gullibility. the phenomenon feeds on fear and believe. Sometimes it destroys us altogether other times it leads us upwards into the labyrinth of electromagnetic frequencies that form a curtain in the area we call windows and stalk us to drink our blood and create all kinds of mischievous beliefs and misconceptions in our feeble little terrestrial minds.
John A. Keel (The Best of John Keel: Volume I)
They walked in silence through the little streets of Chinatown. Women from all over the world smiled at them from open windows, stood on the doorsteps inviting them in. Some of the rooms were exposed to the street. Only a curtain concealed the beds. One could see couples embracing. There were Syrian women wearing their native costume, Arabian women with jewelry covering their half-naked bodies, Japanese and Chinese women beckoning slyly, big African women squatting in circles, chatting together. One house was filled with French whores wearing short pink chemises and knitting and sewing as if they were at home. They always hailed the passers-by with promises of specialities. The houses were small, dimly lit, dusty, foggy with smoke, filled with dusky voices, the murmurs of drunkards, of lovemaking. The Chinese adorned the setting and made it more confused with screens and curtains, lanterns, burning incense, Buddhas of gold. It was a maze of jewels, paper flowers, silk hangings, and rugs, with women as varied as the designs and colors, inviting men who passed by to sleep with them.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cosy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it. The black stove was polished till it gleamed. A kettle of beans was bubbling on its top and bread was baking in the oven. Sunshine slanted through the shining windows between the pink-edged curtains. The red-checked cloth was on the table. Beside the clock on its shelf stood Carrie’s little brown-and-white dog, and Laura’s sweet jewel-box. And the little pink-and-white shepherdess stood smiling on the wood-brown bracket.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, #4))
The ticking was gone from my mind and all was quiet everywhere in the world and I held the curtain like I held the sound of the bullets going into the draft horse, his favourite, in the barn, one two three, and I stood at the window in Stevie’s jacket and looked and waited and still the rain kept coming down outside one two three and I was thinking oh what a small sky for so much rain.
Colum McCann (Everything in This Country Must)
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. ...
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
God is all right—why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside his window? Of course we miss the inness, but there is a bliss of its own in waiting. What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing; what if we stand alone, or, more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness; what even if the window be not shining, because of the curtains of good inscrutable drawn across it; let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, ‘God is; Jesus is not dead; nothing can be going wrong, however it may look so to hearts unfinished in childness.’ Let us say to the Lord, ‘Jesus, art thou loving the Father in there? Then we out here will do his will, patiently waiting till he open the door. We shall not mind the wind or the rain much. Perhaps thou art saying to the Father, ‘Thy little ones need some wind and rain: their buds are hard; the flowers do not come out. I cannot get them made blessed without a little more winter-weather.’ Then perhaps the Father will say, ‘Comfort them, my son Jesus, with the memory of thy patience when thou wast missing me. Comfort them that thou wast sure of me when everything about thee seemed so unlike me, so unlike the place thou hadst left.
George MacDonald (Unspoken Sermons Series I, II, and III)
We rarely get to prepare ourselves in meadows or on graveled walks; we do it on short notice in places without windows, hospital corridors, rooms like this lounge with its cracked plastic sofa and Cinzano ashtrays, where the café curtains cover blank concrete. In rooms like this, with so little time, we prepare our gestures, get them by heart so we can do them when we’re frightened in the face of Doom.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
Yesterday morning, I awoke to a brilliant rainbow. At first, I marveled at the sky’s pink hues, and I thought how soothing it was. I haven’t had that feeling in a long time, that feeling of being at peace with myself or my life. I got out of bed to stand to pull the obligatory curtain further, the color peeking through the leaves of the oaks outside my window. Where I had been seeing grey for quite some time shone now pink. The color is hard to describe accurately. It was pink; but it bordered on a light red. It told me to come look at it.
R.B. O'Brien
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
It wasn’t beautiful. A Winter wedding is a union of elation and depression, red velvet blankets in a cheap motel room stained with semen from sex devoid of meaning, and black mold clinging to the fringe of floral shower curtains like a heap of dead forevers. You sat down at the foot of the bed, looking at me like I had already
driven away. I was thinking about watching CNN. How fucked up is that? I wanted to know that your second hand, off-white dress, and my black polyester bow tie wasn’t as tragic as a hurricane devouring a suburb, or a train derailment in no where, Virginia, ending the lives of two young college hopefuls. I was naïve. I thought that there were as many right ways to feel love as the amount of
 pubic hair, 
 belly lint, and 
scratch marks abandoned by lovers in our honeymoon suite. When you looked at me in bed that night, I put my hand on your chest to feel a little more human. I don’t know what to call you; a name does not describe the aches, or lack of. This love is unusual and comfortable. If you were to leave, I know I’d search for days, in newspapers and broadcasts, in car accidents and exposés on genocide in Kosovo. (How do I address this? How is one to feel about a love without a name?) My heart would be ambivalent, too scared to look for you behind the curtains of the motel window, outside in the abyss of powder and pay phones because I don’t know how to love you. -Kosovo
Lucas Regazzi
...you don't have to know just what people are doing and feeling to be of assistance to them. Your own life seems to you like a very small lighted room, with great darkness all around it, and you can't see out into the darkness and know what is happening there. But light and warmth from your room can go out into the darkness if you don't have the windows selfishly curtained, keep a brave fire burning, and light all the happy candles you can.
Elizabeth Goudge (Gentian Hill)
In winter you wake up in this city, especially on Sundays, to the chiming of its innumerable bells, as though behind your gauze curtains a gigantic china teaset were vibrating on a silver tray in the pearl-gray sky. You fling the window open and the room is instantly flooded with this outer, peal-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers. No matter what sort of pills, and how many, you've got to swallow this morning, you feel it's not over for you yet. No matter, by the same token, how autonomous you are, how much you've been betrayed, how thorough and dispiriting in your self-knowledge, you assume there is still hope for you, or at least a future. (Hope, said Francis Bacon, is a good breakfast but bad supper.) This optimism derives from the haze, from the prayer part of it, especially if it's time for breakfast. On days like this, the city indeed acquires a porcelain aspect, what with all its zinc-covered cupolas resembling teapots or upturned cups, and the tilted profile of campaniles clinking like abandoned spoons and melting in the sky. Not to mention the seagulls and pigeons, now sharpening into focus, now melting into air. I should say that, good though this place is for honeymoons, I've often thought it should be tried for divorces also - both in progress and already accomplished. There is no better backdrop for rapture to fade into; whether right or wrong, no egoist can star for long in this porcelain setting by crystal water, for it steals the show. I am aware, of course, of the disastrous consequence the above suggestion may have for hotel rates here, even in winter. Still, people love their melodrama more than architecture, and I don't feel threatened. It is surprising that beauty is valued less than psychology, but so long as such is the case, I'll be able to afford this city - which means till the end of my days, and which ushers in the generous notion of the future.
Joseph Brodsky
Busie olde foole, unruly Sunne; Why dost thou thus, Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us? Must to they motions lovers seasons run? Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices, Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride, Call countrey ands to harvest offices; Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clyme, Nor houres, dayes, months, which are the rags of time. Thy beames, so reverend, and strong Why shouldst thou thinke? I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke, But that I would not lose her sight so long: If her eyes have not blinded thine Looke, and tomorrow late, tell mee, Whether both the India's of spice and Myne Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with mee. Aske for those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, And thou shalt heare, All here in one bed lay. She'is all States, and all Princes, I, Nothing else is; Princes doe but play us; compar'd to this, All honor's mimique; All wealth alchimie, Thou sunne art halfe as happy'as wee, In that the world's contracted thus; Thine ages askes ease, and since thy duties bee To warme the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art every where; This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare.
John Donne
The first of these houses appeared to be occupied. The next two were vacant. Dingy curtains, soot-grey against their snowy window-sills, hung over the next. A litter of paper and refuse-abandoned by the last long gust of wind that must have come whistling round the nearer angle of the house - lay under the broken flight of steps up to a mid-Victorian porch. The small snow clinging to the bricks and to the worn and weathered cement of the wall only added to its gaunt lifelessness. ("Bad Company
Walter de la Mare (Ghost Stories (Haunting Ghost Stories))
I could have made analytical comparisons with kisses I’d had from other boys, trying to work out just why Gideon did it so much better. I might also have stopped to remember that there was a wall between us, and a confessional window through which Gideon had squeezed his head and arms, and these were not the ideal conditions for kissing. Quite apart from the fact that I could do without any more chaos in my life, after discovering only two days ago that I’d inherited my family’s time-traveling gene. The fact was, however, that I hadn’t been thinking anything at all, except maybe oh and hmm and more! That’s why I hadn’t noticed the flip-flop sensation inside me, and only new, when the little gargoyle folded his arms and flashed his eyes at me from his pew, only when I saw the confessional curtain—brown, although it had been green velvet a moment ago—did I work it out that meanwhile we’d traveled back to the present. “Hell!” Gideon moved back to his side of the confessional and rubbed the back of his head. Hell? I came down from cloud nine with a bump and forgot the gargoyle. “Oh, I didn’t think it was that bad,” I said, trying to sound as casual as possible. Unfortunately, I was rather breathless, which tended to spoil the effect. I couldn’t look Gideon in the eye, so instead I kept staring at the brown polyester curtain in the confessional.
Kerstin Gier
To materialists this world is opaque like a curtain; nothing can be seen through it. A mountain is just a mountain, a sunset just a sunset; but to poets, artists, and saints, the world is transparent like a window pane - it tells of something beyond....a mountain tells of the Power of God, the sunset of His Beauty, and the snowflake of His Purity.
Fulton J. Sheen
And they left the mellow light of the dandelion wine and went upstairs to carry out the last few rituals of summer, for they felt that now the final day, the final night had come. As the day grew late they realized that for two or three nights now, porches had emptied early of their inhabitants. The air hard a different, drier smell and Grandma was talking of hot coffee instead of iced tea; the open, white-flutter-curtained windows were closing in the great bays; cold cuts were giving way to steamed beef. The mosquitos were gone from the porch, and surely when they abandoned the conflict the war with Time was really done, there was nothing for it but that humans also forsake the battleground.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
The next morning, when Thomasin withdrew the curtains of her bedroom window, there stood the Maypole in the middle of the greek, its top cutting into the sky. It had sprung up in the night. or rather early morning, like Jack's bean-stalk. She opened the casement to get a better view of the garlands and posies that adored it. The sweet perfume of the flowers had already spread into the surrounding air, which being free from every taint, conducted to her lips a full measure of the fragrance received from the spire of blossom in its midst. At the top of the pole were crossed hoops decked with small flowers; beneath these came a milk-white zone of Maybloom;then a zone of bluebells, then of cowslips, then of lilacs, then of ragged-rosins, daffodils and so on, till the lowest stage was reached.Thomasin noticed all these, and was delighted that the May revel was to be so near.
Thomas Hardy (The Return of the Native)
BUSY old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school-boys and sour prentices, Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices ; Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. Thy beams so reverend, and strong Why shouldst thou think ? I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, But that I would not lose her sight so long. If her eyes have not blinded thine, Look, and to-morrow late tell me, Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me. Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay." She's all states, and all princes I ; Nothing else is ; Princes do but play us ; compared to this, All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy. Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we, In that the world's contracted thus ; Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ; This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
John Donne
There are very few starts. Oh, some things seem to be beginnings. The curtain goes up, the first pawn moves, the first shot is fired*—but that’s not the start. The play, the game, the war is just a little window on a ribbon of events that may extend back thousands of years. The point is, there’s always something before. It’s always a case of Now Read On.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14))
Good night. What? Those ladies behind those windows? Dream, monsieur, cheap dream, a trip to the Indies! Those persons perfume themselves with spices. You go in, they draw the curtains, and the navigation begins. The gods come down onto the naked bodies and the islands are set adrift, lost souls crowned with the tousled hair of palm trees in the wind. Try it.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Aren’t you a little young to be a captain? Not that I’m sure you weren’t wonderful at it,” I added hastily, “but Frank’s got to be your same age, and Mr. Graces and Mr. Liu are both older than you. How on earth did it happen?” He shut down. It was like a curtain being pulled across a window. This was a subject he definitely did not wish to discuss. “The title is honorary,” he said, not meeting my gaze. “I can’t stop them calling me that, even though I’ve asked them not to. I was the highest-ranking officer to survive the…accident.” Accident? I supposed this was another one of those things he didn’t want to tell me because it would make me hate him. Recognizing that dropping that particular topic-for now at least-would probably be best. I said, “John, I can warn you about the Furies. And I know exactly where the coffin is. All you have to do is take me back to Isla Huesos-just this one time, to help Alex-and I’ll never mention going there again. I’ll even,” I said, reaching up to straighten the collar of his leather jacket, which had gone askew, “forgive you for the waffles-“ John seized me by both shoulders, pulling me towards him so abruptly that Hope gave an alarmed flap of her wings. “Pierce,” he said. “Do you mean that?” When I pushed back some of the hair that had tumbled into my face and raised my dark eyes to meet his light ones, I saw that he was staring down at me with an intensity that burned. “You’ll never mention going back to Isla Huesos again if I take you there right now, this once, to talk to your cousin Alex?” he demanded. “You’ll give…cohabitation another chance?” His sudden fierceness was making me nervous. “Of course, John,” I said. “But it’s not like I have a choice.” “What if you did?” he asked, his grip tightening. I blinked. “But I can’t. You said-“ He gave me a little shake. “Never mind what I said. What if I was wrong?” I reached up to lay a hand on his cheek. It felt a little scratchy, because he hadn’t shaved. I didn’t care about stubble. What I cared about was the desperate need I saw in his eyes. The need for me. “I’d come back,” I said, simply, “to stay with you.” A second later, the late-and everything around it-was gone.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you. That's why the dark is always close by. The dark peeks around the corner and waits behind the door, and you can see the dark up in the sky almost every night, gazing down at you as you gaze up at the stars. Without a creaky roof, the rain would fall on your bed, and without a smooth, cold window, you could never see outside, and without a set of stairs, you could never go into the basement, where the dark spends its time. Without a closet, you would have nowhere to put your shoes, and without a shower curtain, you would splash water all over the bathroom, and without the dark, everything would be light, and you would never know if you needed a lightbulb.
Lemony Snicket (The Dark)
She nearly stopped forever just outside Ashton, because she came to a tiny cottage buried in a garden. I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Before the sparrow arrived, you had almost stopped thinking about flight. Then, last winter, it soared through the sky and landed in front of you, or more precisely on the windowsill of the covered balcony adjoining your bedroom. You knew the grimy window panes were caked with dead ants and dust, and smelt as sour as the curtains. But the sparrow wasn’t put off. It jumped inside the covered balcony and ruffled its feathers, releasing a sweet smell of tree bark into the air. Then it flew into your bedroom, landed on your chest and stayed there like a cold egg.
Ma Jian (Beijing Coma)
A rap on my window. I cringed. With a smirk, Luna pushed the curtains aside. She waved and opened the window. “Hey, Tristan.” “Hey, Luna. What’s up?” “Just blackmailing my sister.” “Good for you.” “You coming in?” “Ah, Ayden, are we?” Ayden eased off the bed. Finally. “Nope. Gotta go.” He started out the window. “You giving us a ride?” Luna asked. Ayden paused, straddling the sill. “You blackmailing me too?” Luna lifted a shoulder. “Nah, just asking.” “In that case, I’ll pick you up in an hour. Car preference?” “Surprise me.” “Will do.” He gave me a wink and disappeared.
A. Kirk
Duncan climbed out my bedroom window, practically falling onto the roof. After he was out, he half jumped, half fell off the roof. Finn watched him apprehensively for a moment, holding my curtain open, but he didn't follow after immediately. Instead,he straightened up, looking over at me. My anger and resolution were fading, leaving me hopeful that Finn wouldn't really leave things this way. "Once I'm out this window, lock it behind me," Finn commanded. "Make sure all the doors are locked, and never go anywhere alone. Never go anyplace at night, and if at all possible, always take Matt and Rhys with you." He looked past me for a moment, thinking of something. "Although neither of them are really good for much of anything..." His dark eyes rested on mine once again. His expression was imploring, and he raised his hand as if he meant to touch my face, but he lowered it again. "You must be careful." "Okay," I promised him. With Finn standing right in front of me, I could feel the warmth of his body and smell his cologne. His eyes were locked on mine, and I remembered the way it felt when he tangled his fingers in my hair and held me so close to him I couldn't breathe. He was so strong and controlled. In the brief moments he allowed himself to let go of his passion with me, it was the most wonderfully suffocating feeling I'd ever had. I didn't want him to leave, and he didn't want to leave. But we had both made choices we were unwilling to change. He nodded once more, breaking eye contact, and then turned and slid out the window.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
I loved my bedroom... the vanity with the warped mirror, the squat chairs without armrests, the elaborate, oriental dressing screen. I loved curving my body into the velvet sofa, books piled at my feet, the dusty, floor-length curtains pushed back from the windows so I could see the sky. At night the purple-fringed lampshades turned the light a hue somewhere between lilac and dusky plum.
April Genevieve Tucholke (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1))
I wanted to tell him that the pool, the garden, the house, the tennis court, the orle of paradise, the whole place, would always be his ghost spot. Instead, I pointed upstairs to the French windows of his room. Your eyes are forever there, I wanted to say, trapped in the sheer curtains, staring out from my bedroom upstairs where no one sleeps these days. When there’s a breeze and they swell and I look up from down here or stand outside on the balcony, I’ll catch myself thinking that you’re in there, staring out from your world to my world, saying, as you did on that one night when I found you on the rock, I’ve been happy here. You’re thousands of miles away but no sooner do I look at this window than I’ll think of a bathing suit, a shirt thrown on on the fly, arms resting on the banister, and you’re suddenly there, lighting up your first cigarette of the day—twenty years ago today. For as long as the house stands, this will be your ghost spot—and mine too, I wanted to say.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
The patterns overhead shifted so that, had she an imagination prone to hysteria, she could easily convince herself something hid in the curtains above her head. She imagined a face in the shadows and folds of fabric, a face with sad, hollow eyes. The sliver of light shining through a crack in the window curtains disappeared. Shadows deepened and swirled and the face became even more uncannily real.
Carolyn Jewel (The Spare)
She averted her eyes from his naked chest and reached up to close her window. He lifted his arms, curling his hands around the sash of his own window. Between his upraised arms, he stared at her, and his smile widened. "What's wrong, Lily? Are you shutting your window because you're afraid I'll breathe the same air you do?" She met his gaze across the short distance that separated them. "I didn't know leeches could breathe." He didn't get angry at the insult. Instead, he laughed. "You're a worthy opponent. I don't think I've ever met a woman with a quicker wit than you. If you'd been a man, there's no telling what you might have accomplished." "If I'd been a man, I'd have called you out in the fine old Southern tradition five years ago and shot you. That would have been a fine accomplishment." She slammed the window shut and closed the curtains. Daniel was right, of course. Within minutes, the room became suffocatingly hot. She desperately wanted to open the window again, but she didn't want to give him any victory, no matter how small. So, she waited in the dark as her bedroom became an oven, listening to the clock on her dressing table tick away the minutes. When the clock chimed the quarter hour twice, she got out of bed and walked to the window. He was sure to be asleep by now. She slipped the curtains open, and as quietly as possible, she raised the sash. "Told you so," a sleepy male voice murmured. Lord, she hated him.
Laura Lee Guhrke (Breathless)
Pete had stopped the car at the bottom of a long brick driveway. Tina saw a large low house that stretched across the open space. It looked like an ordinary suburban house, with white painted cladding. She could see curtains in the windows. All of them were open. Tina could imagine Lockie’s mother walking into his room every morning to open the curtains and then staring at the empty bed where her son should have been.
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
My parents kept a small cabin the mountains. It was a simple thing, just four walls, and very dark inside. A heavy felt curtain blotted out whatever light made it through the canopy of huge pines and down into the cabin's only window. There was a queen-size bed in there, an armchair, and a wood-burning stove. It wasn't an old cabin. I think my parents built it in the seventies from a kit. In a few spots the wood beams were branded with the word HOME-RITE. But the spirit of the place me think of simpler times, olden days, yore, or whenever it was that people rarely spoke except to say there was a store coming or the berries were poisonous or whatnot, the bare essentials. It was deadly quiet up there. You could hear your own heart beating if you listened. I loved it, or at least I thought I ought to love it - I've never been very clear on that distinction.
Ottessa Moshfegh (Homesick for Another World)
It drew aside the window-curtain and looked out; perhaps it saw dawn approaching, for, taking the candle, it retreated to the door. Just at my bedside, the figure stopped: the fiery eyes glared upon me-she thrust up her candle close to my face, and extinguished it under my eyes. I was aware her lurid visage flamed over mine, and I lost consciousness: for the second time in my life-only the second time-I became insensible from terror.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Sometimes it slanted against her window with a pinging sound, which meant it was close to hail, and then it was visible as tiny pellets for a moment on the pane before the pellets vanished and rolled quietly down the glass, each drop leaving its own delicate trickle. At other times it fell straight down, hardly touching the window at all, but still there beyond the glass, like a delicate, beaded curtain at the entrance to another room.
Alistair MacLeod (Island: Collected Stories)
She ran to the window and nearly ripped the curtains from their hangings as she opened them to the gray mountains and bleakness of Endovier. The guards positioned beneath the window didn’t glance upward, and she gaped at the bluish-gray sky, at the clouds slipping on their shoes and shuffling toward the horizon. I will not be afraid. For the first time in a while, the words felt true. Her lips peeled into a smile. The captain raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
He no sooner saw the woman than he saw the aftermath of her - his marriage proposal and her acceptance, the home they would set up together, the drawn rich silk curtains leaking purple light, the bed sheets billowing like clouds, the wisp of aromatic smoke winding from the chimney - only for every wrack of it - its lattice of crimson roof tiles, its gables and dormer windows, his happiness, his future - to come crashing down on him in the moment of her walking past.
Howard Jacobson
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
In the courtyard there was an angel of black stone, and its angel head rose above giant elephant leaves; the stark glass angel eyes, bright as the bleached blue of sailor eyes, stared upward. One observed the angel from an intricate green balcony — mine, this balcony, for I lived beyond in three old white rooms, rooms with elaborate wedding-cake ceilings, wide sliding doors, tall French windows. On warm evenings, with these windows open, conversation was pleasant there, tuneful, for wind rustled the interior like fan-breeze made by ancient ladies. And on such warm evenings this town is quiet. Only voices: family talk weaving on an ivy-curtained porch; a barefoot woman humming as she rocks a sidewalk chair, lulling to sleep a baby she nurses quite publicly; the complaining foreign tongue of an irritated lady who, sitting on her balcony, plucks a fryer, the loosened feathers floating from her hands, slipping into air, sliding lazily downward.
Truman Capote
Everything in the world is doing its job. The ceiling sits on the walls, the walls sit on the floor, the curtains are hanging in front of the windows; they’re all doing their jobs. But when you tell yourself a story about how reality is supposed to look, you end up arguing with the ceiling or the wall, and it’s hopeless. It’s like trying to teach a cat to bark. The cat won’t ever cooperate. “No, no,” you may tell it, “you don’t understand. You should bark. It would be so much better for you if you barked. Besides, I really need you to bark. As a matter of fact, I’m going to devote the rest of my life to teaching you how to bark.” And many years later, after all your sacrifice and devotion, the cat looks up at you and says, “Meow.
Byron Katie (A Mind at Home with Itself: How Asking Four Questions Can Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Your World Around)
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as the wind does on the sea.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Until only recently, the light that bathed the now-empty apartment had contained the smells of our life there. The kitchen window. The smiling faces of friends, the fresh greenery of the university campus as a backdrop to Sotaro's profile, my grandmother's voice on the phone when i called her late at night, my warm bed on cold mornings, the sound of my grandmother's slippers in the hallway, the color of the curtains...the tatami mat...the clock on the wall. All of it. Everything that was no longer there.
Banana Yoshimoto (Kitchen)
Brannagh Maloney had lived with disappearances all her life. They were as familiar to her as the changing of the Fundy tides. People who disappeared left cast-off shadows of themselves, murky tremblings that slunk out of corners on drizzly autumn afternoons. They lurked offstage, silent or sighing or reaching out to run a finger across her arm. They were the curtains fluttering in the window on a breezeless morning, the musty scent that arose when opening an abandoned cellar door. LET THE SHADOWS FALL BEHIND YOU (Kunati Books)
Kathy-Diane Leveille (Let the Shadows Fall Behind You: a Novel)
As I know only too well, anticipation od happiness can sometimes be as gratifying as its consummation. Even during the first months of my separation, every footstep on the pavement would have me racing to the window, and every ring of the doorbell would set my heart beating as fast as a bird's. But as the months went by without even a word, I gradually had to relinquish my hopes of seeing him again. It was not easy to do so, and I am not sure whether I have managed it entirely; however I did stop waking with that thought in my head, imagining what he was doing every hour of the day, and whether his journey would by chance take him past my door. I tried to tell myself instead that I was fortunate in my neglect; that now I needed have no fear that he would arrive and his gimlet eye start to anatomize the cushions, or the curtains, or the state of the fireplace; that now, at last, my life was my own. But truth to tell, I would have given anything to see him walk with his jaunty step up to my front door and rap out a cheerful rhythm with his silver-topped cane.
Gaynor Arnold (Girl in a Blue Dress)
The offices are decorated with neon-Louis XVI furniture and are dominated by grey, Mr. Dior’s favourite colour when he opened the famous house on avenue Montaigne back in 1947. The design is even more stunning than I remembered: both chic and understated, with lots of open space –the apex of luxury. The silk curtains dressing the window fall to the floor like ball gowns, delicate silver vases holding pink roses have been artfully placed throughout the room, and grey and white settees and oval-backed chairs provided artful seating areas.
Isabelle Lafleche (J'Adore Paris)
The dawn, even when it is cold and melancholy, never fails to shoot through my limbs as with arrows of sparkling piercing ice. I pull aside the thick curtains, and search for the first glow in the sky which shows that life is breaking through. And with my cheek leant upon the window pane I like to fancy that I am pressing as closely as can be upon the massy wall of time, which is for ever lifting and pulling and letting fresh spaces of life in upon us. May it be mine to taste the moment before it has spread itself over the rest of the world!
Virginia Woolf (The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf)
Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The lace curtains fluttered, and the sweet rich smell of Outdoors pushed through the open sash window- eucalyptus and lemon myrtle and overripe mangoes starting to boil on her father's prized tree. Vivien folded the papers back into the drawer and jumped to her feet. The sky was cloudless, blue as the ocean and drum-skin tight. Fig leaves glittered in the bright sunlight, frangipanis sparkled pink and yellow, and birds called to one another in the thick rain forest behind the house. It was going to be a stinker, Vivien realized with satisfaction, and later there'd be a storm. She loved storms: the angry clouds and the first fat drops, the rusty smell of thirsty red dirt, and the lashing rain against the walls as Dad paced back and forth on the veranda with his pipe in his mouth and a shimmer in his eyes, trying to keep his thrill in check as the palm trees wailed and flexed.
Kate Morton (The Secret Keeper)
The front door slammed and Dad said, “Aurora, sure you aren’t expecting a package?” I leaned back to find him army-crawling under the window in the living room. Like all dads do. “Already told you no, Rambo.” “The new mailman is back.” Dad reached up and pulled the curtains closed before standing up and peeking out. “Won’t come to the door.” “M shot a tranquillizer dart at the last guy.” Mom gave a tired look at M who shrugged unapologetically. “The fact that there’s a new one willing to be on our sidewalk is a miracle. Don’t scare him off, Clyde.” Dad tried to block me when I went for the curtains. “He won’t let me sign for your package. Demanded you come out in person.” “I’ll get my tranq gun!” M made for her room. “Don’t you dare!” Mom chased her. I swished back the curtains to get a look at the petrifying postman. “I find his interest in my teenage daughter creepy,” Dad grumbled. Oh, he had no idea.
A. Kirk (Drop Dead Demons (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #2))
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Pulling to a stop in front of Aly’s house, I take a deep breath. With a flick of my wrist, I cut the engine and listen to the silence. I’ve sat in this exact spot more times than I can count. In many ways, Aly’s house is like my sanctuary. A place I go when my own home feels like a graveyard. I glance up at the bedroom window of the girl who knows me better than anyone, the only person I let see me cry after Dad died. I won’t let this experiment take that or her away from me. Tonight, I’m going to prove that Aly and I can go back to our normal, easy friendship. Throwing open my door, I trudge up her sidewalk, plant my feet outside her front door, and ring the bell. “Coming!” I step back and see Aly stick her head out of her second-story window. “No problem,” I call back up. “Take your time.” More time to get my head on straight. Aly disappears behind a film of yellow curtain, and I turn to look out at the quiet neighborhood. Up and down the street, the lights blink on, filling the air with a low hum that matches the thrumming of my nerves. Across the street, old Mr. Lawson sits at his usual perch under a gigantic American flag, drinking beer and mumbling to himself. Two little girls ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac, smiling and waving. Just a normal, run-of-the-mill Friday night. Except not. I thrust my hands into my pockets, jiggling the loose change from my Taco Bell run earlier tonight, and grab my pack of Trident. I toss a stick into my mouth and chew furiously. Supposedly, the smell of peppermint can calm your nerves. I grab a second stick and shove it in, too. With the clacking sound of Aly’s shoes approaching the door behind me, I remind myself again about tonight’s mission. All I need is focus. I take another deep breath for good measure and rock back on my heels, ready to greet my best friend. She opens the door, wearing a black dress molded to her skin, and I let the air out in one big huff.
Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1))
I pray where I am, sitting by the window, looking out through the curtain at the empty garden. I don't even close my eyes. Out there or inside my head, it's an equal darkness. Or light. My God. Who Art in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within. I wish you would tell me Your Name, the real one I mean. But You will do as well as anything. I wish I knew what You were up to. But whatever it is, help me to get through it, please. Though maybe it's not our doing: I don't believe for an instant that what's going on out there is what You meant. I have enough daily bread, so I won't waste time on that. It isn't the main problem. The problem is getting it down without choking on it. Now we come to forgiveness. Don't worry about forgiving me right now. There are more important things. For instance: keep the others safe, if they are safe. Don't let them suffer too much. If they have to die, let it be fast. You might even provide a Heaven for them. We need You for that. Hell we can make for ourselves. I suppose I should say I forgive whoever did this, and whatever they're doing now. I'll try, but it isn't easy. Temptation comes next. At the Center, temptation was anything much more than eating and sleeping. Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you, Aunt Lydia used to say. Maybe I don't really want to know what's going on. Maybe I'd rather not know. Maybe I couldn't bear to know. The Fall was a fall from innocence to knowledge. I think about the chandelier too much, though it's gone now. But you could use a hook, in the closet. I've considered the possibilities. All you'd have to do, after attaching yourself, would be to lean your weight forward and not fight. Deliver us from evil. Then there's Kingdom, power, and glory. It takes a lot to believe in those right now. But I'll try it anyway. In Hope, as they say on the gravestones. You must feel pretty ripped off. I guess it's not the first time. If I were You I'd be fed up. I'd really be sick of it. I guess that's the difference between us. I feel very unreal talking to You like this. I fee as if I'm talking to a wall. I wish You'd answer. I feel so alone. All alone by the telephone. Except that I can't use the telephone. And if I could, who could I call? Oh God. It's no joke. Oh God oh God. How can I keep on living.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Anyway, she loved horses a lot, my mother. When she was growing up she had a horse she said got lonely sometimes? and he liked to come right up to the house and put his head in at the window to see what was going on. “What was his name? “Paintbox.” I’d loved it when my mother told me about the stables back in Kansas: owls and bats in the rafters, horses nickering and blowing. I knew the names of all her childhood horses and dogs. Paintbox! Was he all different colors? “He was spotted, sort of. I’ve seen pictures of him. Sometimes—in the summer—he’d come and look in on her while she was having her afternoon nap. She could hear him breathing, you know, just inside the curtains.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
What happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause … Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open … The Great American Return to Normal is coming … [but] I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
She nearly stopped forever just outside Ashton, because she came to a tiny cottage buried in a garden. I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin. . . .
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
All great, simple images reveal a psychic state. The house, even more than the landscape, is a "psychic state," and even when reproduced as it appears from the outside, it bespeaks intimacy. Psychologists generally, and Francoise Minkowska in particular, together with those whom she has succeeded interesting in the subject, have studied the drawing of houses made by children, and even used them for testing. Indeed, the house-test has the advantage of welcoming spontaneity, for many children draw a house spontaneously while dreaming over their paper and pencil. To quote Anne Balif: "Asking a child to draw his house is asking him to reveal the deepest dream shelter he has found for his happiness. If he is happy, he will succeed in drawing a snug, protected house which is well built on deeply-rooted foundations." It will have the right shape, and nearly always there will be some indication of its inner strength. In certain drawings, quite obviously, to quote Mme. Balif, "it is warm indoors, and there is a fire burning, such a big fire, in fact, that it can be seen coming out of the chimney." When the house is happy, soft smoke rises in gay rings above the roof. If the child is unhappy, however, the house bears traces of his distress. In this connection, I recall that Francoise Minkowska organized an unusually moving exhibition of drawings by Polish and Jewish children who had suffered the cruelties of the German occupation during the last war. One child, who had been hidden in a closet every time there was an alert, continued to draw narrow, cold, closed houses long after those evil times were over. These are what Mme. Minkowska calls "motionless" houses, houses that have become motionless in their rigidity. "This rigidity and motionlessness are present in the smoke as well as in the window curtains. The surrounding trees are quite straight and give the impression of standing guard over the house". Mme. Minkowska knows that a live house is not really "motionless," that, particularly, it integrates the movements by means of which one accedes to the door. Thus the path that leads to the house is often a climbing one. At times, even, it is inviting. In any case, it always possesses certain kinesthetic features. If we were making a Rorschach test, we should say that the house has "K." Often a simple detail suffices for Mme. Minkowska, a distinguished psychologist, to recognize the way the house functions. In one house, drawn by an eight-year-old child, she notes that there is " a knob on the door; people go in the house, they live there." It is not merely a constructed house, it is also a house that is "lived-in." Quite obviously the door-knob has a functional significance. This is the kinesthetic sign, so frequently forgotten in the drawings of "tense" children. Naturally, too, the door-knob could hardly be drawn in scale with the house, its function taking precedence over any question of size. For it expresses the function of opening, and only a logical mind could object that it is used to close as well as to open the door. In the domain of values, on the other hand, a key closes more often than it opens, whereas the door-knob opens more often than it closes. And the gesture of closing is always sharper, firmer, and briefer than that of opening. It is by weighing such fine points as these that, like Francoise Minkowska, one becomes a psychologist of houses.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
Josh stared at Kate. She was watching the happy couple, smiling. The warm spring breeze caught her hair and ruffled it like a shining curtain in an open window. It also caught her dress, flipping up the front and giving him an eyeful of long, slender thigh. He could remember planting kisses up that thigh, listening to her sighs as he refused to stop there. She looked ravishing, and all of a sudden he felt a surge of naughtiness, like a schoolboy passing an open box of sweets. He walked up to her, holding a handful of confetti. Slowly he pulled the front of her dress forward and stuffed the paper in the bodice, his fingers lingering against her warm, slightly damp skin. Then he patted the red satin carefully flat. Probably for slightly longer than was necessary.
Serenity Woods (Something Blue (Come Rain or Come Shine))
No, Dan.” “And you want me to go.” I looked into his eyes. “No. I don’t.” He moved closer, encouraged, and put his hand on my shoulder. “Then what do you want, Elle?” “I want you not to have to settle,” I told him. “Is that what you think I’m doing?” “I know that’s what you’ll be doing. Because if you want more from me, you’re not going to get it.” He said nothing for a long time. “When I readThe Little Prince, I thought you must be the rose. You with your four thorns, convincing me you’re able to defend yourself. But now I know you hate roses. So you must be the fox instead. So maybe what you really want is for me to tame you.” From a lot of men, that speech would have made me laugh, or roll my eyes. Then again, a lot of men wouldn’t have read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story ofThe Little Prince, or bothered to try and understand it. I reached for his hand and held it between both of mine. “The fox tells the Little Prince he is a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. Just like the flower was like a hundred thousand other flowers.” Dan tucked a strand of hair behind my ear with the hand I wasn’t holding. “But the fox asked the prince to tame him. To make it so they’d need each other and be unique to each other. And he did it.” “And then the prince went away, Dan, and left the fox bereft.” I looked down at my hands, holding his. “Would you be sad if I left you?” He asked me, and at first I wasn’t sure how I would reply. At last the answer came on breath as tremulous as a breeze wafting curtains from an open window. “Yes. I would.” He squeezed my hand. “Then I won’t.
Megan Hart (Dirty (Dan and Elle, #1))
Had Stella been named anything else, and/or had we lived in any other city besides New Orleans, my desperate call would have been just my desperate call. In that alternate universe the neighbors might have peeked from behind the curtains but they wouldn't have laughed or, worse, joined in. But you simply cannot shout the name Stella while standing under a window in New Orleans and hope for anything like an authentic or even mildly earnest moment. Literature had beaten me to this moment, had staked its flag here first, and there was nothing I could do outside in that soupy, rain-drenched alleyway that could rise above sad parody. Perhaps if she'd been named Beatrice, or Katarzyna-maybe then my life would have turned out differently. Maybe then my voice would have roused her to the window, maybe then I could have told her that I was sorry, that I could be a better man, that I couldn't promise I knew everything it meant but I loved her. Instead I stared up at that black window, shutmouthed and impotent, blinking and reblinking my eyes to flush out the rainwater. "Stella," I whispered. The French have an expression: "Without literature life is hell." Yeah, well. Life with it bears its own set of flames.
Jonathan Miles (Dear American Airlines)
It seemed as if nothing were to break that tie — as if the years were merely to compact and cement it; and as if those years were to be all the years of their natural lives. Eighteen-forty-two turned into eighteen-forty-three; eighteen-forty-three into eighteen- forty-four; eighteen-forty-four into eighteen-forty-five. Flush was no longer a puppy; he was a dog of four or five; he was a dog in the full prime of life — and still Miss Barrett lay on her sofa in Wimpole Street and still Flush lay on the sofa at her feet. Miss Barrett’s life was the life of “a bird in its cage.” She sometimes kept the house for weeks at a time, and when she left it, it was only for an hour or two, to drive to a shop in a carriage, or to be wheeled to Regent’s Park in a bath-chair. The Barretts never left London. Mr. Barrett, the seven brothers, the two sisters, the butler, Wilson and the maids, Catiline, Folly, Miss Barrett and Flush all went on living at 50 Wimpole Street, eating in the dining-room, sleeping in the bedrooms, smoking in the study, cooking in the kitchen, carrying hot-water cans and emptying the slops from January to December. The chair-covers became slightly soiled; the carpets slightly worn; coal dust, mud, soot, fog, vapours of cigar smoke and wine and meat accumulated in crevices, in cracks, in fabrics, on the tops of picture-frames, in the scrolls of carvings. And the ivy that hung over Miss Barrett’s bedroom window flourished; its green curtain became thicker and thicker, and in summer the nasturtiums and the scarlet runners rioted together in the window-box. But one night early in January 1845 the postman knocked. Letters fell into the box as usual. Wilson went downstairs to fetch the letters as usual. Everything was as usual — every night the postman knocked, every night Wilson fetched the letters, every night there was a letter for Miss Barrett. But tonight the letter was not the same letter; it was a different letter. Flush saw that, even before the envelope was broken. He knew it from the way that Miss Barrett took it; turned it; looked at the vigorous, jagged writing of her name.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
The valet blanched at the thought of four hours in a carriage. "I've sent for Dr. Fansher." As if that would shorten their errand. He gave McNaught an even look. "I never told you not to." McNaught lifted the curtain and peered out the window, letting in the pale light of dawn. He settled back on the seat. "At least there's decent inns in Carlisle." Frowning, he said, "I wish you'd told me, my Lord. I'd have packed a change of clothes." "We're not staying the night." "But we'll be the entire day on the road. Dr. Fansher would never approve of this." "With Andrew's horses, I expect we'll make good time." McNaught shook his head. "Worse than a cat after a mouse when you've got an idea in your head, you are." "My one virtue." "Small consolation when both man and mouse are dead." "So long as you bury us both at sea, I don't give a damn.
Carolyn Jewel (The Spare)
The brown autumn came. Out of doors, it brought to the fields the prodigality of the golden harvest, —to the forest, revelations of light,⁠—and to the sky, the sharp air, the morning mist, the red clouds at evening. Within doors, the sense of seclusion, the stillness of closed and curtained windows, musings by the fireside, books, friends, conversation, and the long, meditative evenings. To the farmer, it brought surcease of toil,⁠—to the scholar, that sweet delirium of the brain which changes toil to pleasure. It brought the wild duck back to the reedy marshes of the south; it brought the wild song back to the fervid brain of the poet. Without, the village street was paved with gold; the river ran red with the reflection of the leaves. Within, the faces of friends brightened the gloomy walls; the returning footsteps of the long-absent gladdened the threshold; and all the sweet amenities of social life again resumed their interrupted reign.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Kavanagh)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
Sometimes the one who dreams about Fairies mingles with the soul of the house. The thought of the hedges outside the door has stopped the ticking of the clock, and from the cellar the song of hidden woods can be heard. From deep down in the well he awakens the fibers of the beams, casts a spell on the floor boards and penetrates deep into the tapestry. He sits down in the child’s room where the garden of things tells a story about the theater of shadows. His thoughts are infused in a kettle and illustrated in a spiral of steam. The armchair flies out of the window and the curtains begin to flower. He can be heard climbing the stairs, leaving behind handfuls of visiting cards, and on each one of them is the address of a star. In the attic, his step is reduced to the dance of mice. A wreath of sparks brightens up the fireplace. The dormer window looks out onto the hopscotch of the skies… The dreamer’s soul is now so brilliant and light that it is like a spangle in a parade of Fairies
Pierre Dubois (The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries)
Night fell. The full moon shone sweetly and tremulously, bewitching and foreboding with rays which were cold and funereally silent. The heart of the Youth was filled with an apprehensive fear as he went up to his window. His hand, clutching the edge of the yellow curtain, hesitated and vacillated for a long time before he resolved to draw the curtain slowly aside. The yellow linen rustled as it slowly gathered, and its rustle was like the barely audible hissing of a serpent in the forest's undergrowth; and the thin brass rings jingled and scraped against the brass curtain rod. The Beauty stood beneath the window and looked at the window and waited. And the heart of the Youth shuddered, and he could not make out whether his heart was seized by ecstasy or terror. The black braids of the Beauty were undone and fell on her naked shoulders. A sharply outlined shadow lay on the ground beside her. Illuminated from the side by the moon, she stood like some distinct and well-defined spectre. That half of her face which was illuminated by the moon, as well as her shoulders and her arms, were deathly white, as white as her robe. The folds of her white robe were severe and dark. Dark was the azure of her eyes, mysterious her frozen smile. A smooth, burnished clasp, fastened at the shoulder, gleamed dully against the strange tranquility of her body and garments. She began to speak softly, and her words, ringing like the fine silver chains of a lighted censer, gave forth a fragrance of ambergris, musk and lily. ("The Poison Garden
Valery Bryusov (Silver Age of Russian Culture (An Anthology))
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin.” “As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed, long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I love the wild things, and the birds most of all. My education began, I am sure, the moment I was pushed free of the womb by Mother, born on Prade Ranch in the back bedroom on a late afternoon in early March-the seventh of March which is when the golden-cheeked warblers usually return to Prade Ranch after wintering down in Mexico. There would have been doves calling, as if to counter Mother's gasps and cries, and the flylike buzz of the hummingbirds (the aggressive black-chinned ones making most of the racket) at the nectar feeders just outside the open window. There would have been a breeze stirring the lace curtains. Father in the room with the doctor, and Grandfather and Chubb on the back porch, waiting for this next new part of the world to begin. Grandfather said he knew that was going to be the day, not just because of the golden-cheeked warblers' return, but because he'd heard a vermilion flycatcher buzzing-pit-zee,pit-zee-all the day before, and on into the night, well past midnight-the only time he's ever heard of that, before or since.
Rick Bass
No choice. No coincidence. Pah! We take this train on purpose." Fabbio waved his long arms dismissively. "And what about htis bump in the road?" Fabbio looked out the window. "I see no bump." Pumpkin let out a loud sigh. "'Bump in the road' is an expression." He was wearing a toga he'd found in an abandoned suitcase, tied with a curtain tie. He flounced one tassel around dramatically as he talked, smiling haughtily at Kitty from the corner of his eye. "It doesn't mean a real bump. It means-" Bump "Meay!" Somber Kitty, hissing, bounced against one of the closed windows, then landed on all fours. Pumpkin flew across the table under a cascade of dards; Beatrice and May hurtled off their bench onto the ground; Fabbio tumbled flat against the wall behind him. Scccccccccccccccrrrrrrrrrrrrrrcccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The train came to a dead halt. A bone-chilling stillness followed. The Bogey. Pumpkin whimpered and zipped under the table. Somber Kitty positioned himself between May and the rear car door. And they all readied themselves for whatever might come through it.
Jodi Lynn Anderson
In December the first frosts came with the full moon, and then my nights of vigil held a quality harder to bear. There was a sort of beauty to them, cold and clear, that caught at the heart and made me stare in wonder. From my windows the long lawns dipped to the meadows, and the meadows to the sea, and all of them were white with frost, and white too under the moon. The trees that fringed the lawns were black and still. Rabbits came out and pricked about the grass, then scattered to their burrows; and suddenly, from the hush and stillness, I heard that high sharp bark of a vixen, with the little sob that follows it, eerie, unmistakable, unlike any other call that comes by night, and out of the woods I saw the lean low body creep and run out upon the lawn, and hide again where the trees would cover it. Later I heard the call again, away in the distance, in the open park, and now the full moon topped the trees and held the sky, and nothing stirred on the lawns beneath my window. I wondered if Rachel slept, in the blue bedroom; or if, like me, she left her curtains wide. The clock that had driven me to bed at ten struck one, struck two, and I thought that here about me was a wealth of beauty that we might have shared.
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
And as we stood there, a curious thing happened: a kind of window opened in the rain, just as if a cloud had been hitched aside like a curtain, and in the space between we saw a landscape that took our breath away. The high ground along which the road ran fell away through a black, woody belt, and beyond it, for more miles than you can imagine, lay the whole basin of the Black Country, clear, amazingly clear, with innumerable smokestacks rising out of it like the merchant shipping of the world laid up in an estuary at low tide, each chimney flying a great pennant of smoke that blew away eastward by the wind, and the whole scene bleared by the light of a sulphurous sunset. No one need ever tell me again that the Black Country isn't beautiful. In all Shrophire and Radnor we'd seen nothing to touch it for vastness and savagery. And then this apocalyptic light! It was like a landscape of the end of the world, and, curiously enough, though men had built the chimneys and fired the furnaces that fed the smoke, you felt that the magnificence of the scene owed nothing to them. Its beauty was singularly inhuman and its terror – for it was terrible, you know – elemental. It made me wonder why you people who were born and bred there ever write about anything else.
Francis Brett Young (Cold Harbour)
The Shakers had indeed left the land that would become Shaker Heights long before, and by the summer of 1997 there were exactly twelve left in the world. But Shaker Heights had been founded, if not on Shaker principles, with the same idea of creating a utopia. Order—and regulation, the father of order—had been the Shakers’ key to harmony. They had regulated everything: the proper time for rising in the morning, the proper color of window curtains, the proper length of a man’s hair, the proper way to fold one’s hands in prayer (right thumb over left). If they planned every detail, the Shakers had believed, they could create a patch of heaven on earth, a little refuge from the world, and the founders of Shaker Heights had thought the same. In advertisements they depicted Shaker Heights in the clouds, looking down upon the grimy city of Cleveland from a mountaintop at the end of a rainbow’s arch. Perfection: that was the goal, and perhaps the Shakers had lived it so strongly it had seeped into the soil itself, feeding those who grew up there with a propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws. Even the teens of Shaker Heights—whose main exposure to Shakers was singing “Simple Gifts” in music class—could feel that drive for perfection still in the air.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
The only ghosts, I believe, who creep into this world, are dead young mothers, returned to see how their children fare. There is no other inducement great enough to bring the departed back. They glide into the acquainted room when day and night, their jailers, are in the grip, and whisper, "How is it with you, my child?" but always, lest a strange face should frighten him, they whisper it so low that he may not hear. They bend over him to see that he sleeps peacefully, and replace his sweet arm beneath the coverlet, and they open the drawers to count how many little vests he has. They love to do these things. What is saddest about ghosts is that they may not know their child. They expect him to be just as he was when they left him, and they are easily bewildered, and search for him from room to room, and hate the unknown boy he has become. Poor, passionate souls, they may even do him an injury. These are the ghosts that go wailing about old houses, and foolish wild stories are invented to explain what is all so pathetic and simple. I know of a man who, after wandering far, returned to his early home to pass the evening of his days in it, and sometimes from his chair by the fire he saw the door open softly and a woman's face appear. She always looked at him very vindictively, and then vanished. Strange things happened in this house. Windows were opened in the night. The curtains of his bed were set fire to. A step on the stair was loosened. The covering of an old well in a corridor where he walked was cunningly removed. And when he fell ill the wrong potion was put in the glass by his bedside, and he died. How could the pretty young mother know that this grizzled interloper was the child of whom she was in search? All our notions about ghosts are wrong. It is nothing so petty as lost wills or deeds of violence that brings them back, and we are not nearly so afraid of them as they are of us.
J.M. Barrie (The Little White Bird)
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin. As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed,long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
But trivial as are the topics they are not utterly without a connecting thread of motive. As the reader's eye strays, with hearty relief, from these pages, it probably alights on something, a bed-post or a lamp-post, a window blind or a wall. It is a thousand to one that the reader is looking at something that he has never seen: that is, never realised. He could not write an essay on such a post or wall: he does not know what the post or wall mean. He could not even write the synopsis of an essay; as "The Bed-Post; Its Significance—Security Essential to Idea of Sleep—Night Felt as Infinite—Need of Monumental Architecture," and so on. He could not sketch in outline his theoretic attitude towards window-blinds, even in the form of a summary. "The Window-Blind—Its Analogy to the Curtain and Veil—Is Modesty Natural?—Worship of and Avoidance of the Sun, etc., etc." None of us think enough of these things on which the eye rests. But don't let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence. Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try.
G.K. Chesterton (Tremendous Trifles)
Amazing. Chamberlain let his eyes close down to the slits, retreating within himself. He had learned that you could sleep on your feet on the long marches. You set your feet to going and after a while they went by themselves and you sort of turned your attention away and your feet went on walking painlessly, almost without feeling, and gradually you closed down your eyes so that all you could see were the heels of the man in front of you, one heel, other heel, one heel, other heel, and so you moved on dreamily in the heat and the dust, closing your eyes against the sweat, head down and gradually darkening, so you actually slept with the sight of the heels in front of you, one heel, other heel, and often when the man in front of you stopped you bumped into him. There were no heels today, but there was the horse he led by the reins. He did not know the name of this horse. He did not bother any more; the horses were all dead too soon. Yet you learn to love it. Isn’t that amazing? Long marches and no rest, up very early in the morning and asleep late in the rain, and there’s a marvelous excitement to it, a joy to wake in the morning and feel the army all around you and see the campfires in the morning and smell the coffee… … awake all night in front of Fredericksburg. We attacked in the afternoon, just at dusk, and the stone wall was aflame from one end to the other, too much smoke, couldn’t see, the attack failed, couldn’t withdraw, lay there all night in the dark, in the cold among the wounded and dying. Piled-up bodies in front of you to catch the bullets, using the dead for a shield; remember the sound? Of bullets in dead bodies? Like a shot into a rotten leg, a wet thick leg. All a man is: wet leg of blood. Remember the flap of a torn curtain in a blasted window, fragment-whispering in that awful breeze: never, forever, never, forever. You have a professor’s mind. But that is the way it sounded. Never. Forever. Love that too? Not love it. Not quite. And yet, I was never so alive.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
I am nothing--nothing--nothing. She was clinging to that, she found, as to a sort of anchor, because it kept her from having to face the terrible possibility that God Himself was not, and the realization of God's nothingness would be the final horror that could not be borne. Yet as time passed she knew that that possibility, too, must be faced. She must let go of the very last thing left her, the knowledge of her own nothingness, and face it. And she let go, and looked around for God and did not find Him; and then there was nothing, except the dark night. But there was the dark night. Very slowly she became conscious of it, and then she found that she was hugging it to her, wrapping herself in it as though it were a cloak to hide her in this hour of her humiliation. For a long while the night was all that she had, and then suddenly, like a sword stabbing the darkness, came a trill of music. It was a bird welcoming the dawn. That, too, was added. She drew back one of the curtains of her bed and saw a patch of grey light where the window was. That also. During the hours of the night she had been completely stripped, and now one by one a few things were being handed to her for the clothing of her naked, shivering, humiliated soul. For a few things one must have to make one decent if one was to step forth again upon the highway. For that, obviously, impossible though the task seemed to her at this moment, was what she had to do as soon as the full day came, because there wasn't anything else that she could do. She had to go on living and serving, with the living and serving stripped of all pleasure...But there would be something. There would be darkness and light, night and day, both sweet things, and music linking them together. The full glory of the dawn chorus seemed all about her...it was full day by the time she pulled back the muslin curtains that covered her window and flung it wide and leaned out, the scent of the spring earth rushing up to meet her. That also was given back...By whom?
Elizabeth Goudge (Green Dolphin Street)
After All This" After all this love, after the birds rip like scissors through the morning sky, after we leave, when the empty bed appears like a collapsed galaxy, or the wake of disturbed air behind a plane, after that, as the wind turns to stone, as the leaves shriek, you are still breathing inside my own breath. The lighthouse on the far point still sweeps away the darkness with the brush of an arm. The tides inside your heart still pull me towards you. After all this, what are these words but mollusk shells a child plays with? What could say more than the eloquence of last night’s constellations? or the storm anchored by its own flashes behind the far mountains? I remember the way your body wavers under my touch like the northern lights. After all this, I want the certainty of hidden roots spreading in all directions from their tree. I want to hear again the sky tangled in your voice. Some nights I can hear the footsteps of the stars. How can these words ever reveal the secret that waits in their sleeping light? The words that walk through my mind say only what has already passed. Beyond, the swallows are still knitting the wind. After a while, the smokebush will turn to fire. After a while, the thin moon will grow like a tear in a curtain. Under it, a small boy kicks a ball against the wall of a burned out house. He is too young to remember the war. He hardly knows the emptiness that kindles around him. He can speak the language of early birds outside our window. Someday he will know this kind of love that changes the color of the sky, and frees the earth from its moorings. Sometimes I kiss your eyes to see beyond what I can imagine. Sometimes I think I can speak the language of unborn stars. I think the whole earth breathes with you. After all this, these words are all I have to say what is impossible to think, what shy dreams hide in the rafters of my heart, because these words are only a form of touch, only tell you I have no life that isn’t yours, and no death you couldn’t turn into a life.
Richard Jackson (Resonance)
One night, when Violet’s parents had gone out, he teased her about it, whispering against her throat, “I should probably be dating girls my own age now that you’ll be over-the-hill.” Jay was stretched out on Violet’s bed as she curled against him. Violet laughed, rising to the bait. “Fine,” she challenged, pulling away and leaning up on her elbow. “I’m sure there are plenty of men my own age who would be willing to finish what you’ve started.” Jay stiffened, and Violet realized that she’d struck a nerve. “What is it?” He shook his head, and Violet thought he might say, “Nothing,” so when he answered, his words caught her off guard. “Is there someone else, Vi?” Violet frowned, baffled by the unfamiliar jealousy she saw on his face. She wondered what in the world he meant as she reached down and smoothed a strand of hair from his forehead. “What are you talking about, Jay?” His eyes met hers. “I saw you with that guy at the movies, Vi. Who was he?” Violet closed her eyes. She wasn’t ready yet. She didn’t want to tell him about the FBI, about Sara and Rafe or what she’d learned about Mike’s mother. She wondered briefly if he knew about Mike’s mom-if his friend had ever confided in him. But somehow she doubted it. Jay wasn’t like her; he didn’t keep secrets. “It’s not like that,” she explained, hoping that would be enough. Jay got up and went to the window, pushing the curtain aside. Every muscle in his body was rigid. “Like what, Vi? What’s going on? Something’s been bothering you lately. Why can’t you tell me?” He was right. She owed it to him to at least try. “I don’t know how to explain, but I just feel like everything’s changed between us-“ “Of course it’s changed, Violet, what’d you expect?” Violet tried to ignore the bitterness in his voice, telling herself she had no right to be hurt. “It used to be that I would never keep secrets from you. You were my best friend. But now that we’re dating, it’s just…different. I feel like I have to watc what I say, or you get all worried. Sometimes I just want you to be the old Jay again, so I can talk to you.” Violet crept up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her cheek against his back.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
The lady is ninety-two years old, petite, well poised, and proud. She is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and her makeup perfectly applied, in spite of the fact that she is legally blind. Today she has moved to a nursing home. Her husband of seventy years recently passed away, making this move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiles sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvers her walker to the elevator, the staff person provides a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that have been hung on her window. “I love it,” she states with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room… just wait,” the staff person says. Then Mrs. Jones speaks these words: “That does not have anything to do with it,” she gently replies. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like the room or not does not depend on how the furniture is arranged. It is how I arrange my mind that matters. I have already decided to love it. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice. I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do work. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I will focus on the new day and all of the happy memories I have stored away… just for this time in my life.
Joyce Meyer (How to Age Without Getting Old: The Steps You Can Take Today to Stay Young for the Rest of Your Life)
I have seen people paralyze their entire existence around that greatest of mysteries, shaping their every movement, their every word, in a desperate attempt to find the answers to the unanswerable. They fool themselves, either through their interpretations of ancient texts or through some obscure sign from a natural event, into believing that they have found the ultimate truth, and thus, if they behave accordingly concerning that truth, they will surely be rewarded in the afterlife. This must be the greatest manifestation of that fear of death, the errant belief that we can somehow shape and decorate eternity itself, that we can curtain its windows and place its furniture in accordance with our own desperate desires. Perhaps the greatest evil I see in this existence is when supposedly holy men prey upon the basic fears of death of the common folk to take from them. 'Give to the church!' they cry. 'Only then will you find salvation!'. Even more subtle are the many religions that do not directly ask for a person's coin, but insist that anyone of goodly and godly heart who is destined for their particular description of heaven, would willingly give that coin over. And of course, the world is ripe with 'Doomsdayers'. people who claim that the end of the world is at hand, and cry for repentance and for almost slavish dedication. I can only look on it all and sigh, for as death is the greatest mystery, so it is the most personal of revelations. We will not know, none of us, until the moment it is upon us, and we cannot truly and in good conscience convince another of our beliefs.
R.A. Salvatore (The Halfling's Gem (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #6))
Reading Chip's college orientation materials, Alfred had been struck by the sentence New England winters can be very cold. The curtains he'd bought at Sears were of a plasticized brown-and-pink fabric with a backing of foam rubber. They were heavy and bulky and stiff. "You'll appreciate these on a cold night," he told Chip. "You'll be surprised how much they cut down drafts." But Chip's freshman roommate was a prep-school product named Roan McCorkle who would soon be leaving thumbprints, in what appeared to be Vaseline, on the fifth-grade photo of Denise. Roan laughed at the curtains and Chip laughed, too. He put them back in the box and stowed the box in the basement of the dorm and let it gather mold there for the next four years. He had nothing against the curtains personally. They were simply curtains and they wanted no more than what any curtains wanted - to hang well, to exclude light to the best of their ability, to be neither too small nor too large for the window that it was their task in life to cover; to be pulled this way in the evening and that way in the morning; to stir in the breezes that came before rain on a summer night; to be much used and little noticed. There were numberless hospitals and retirement homes and budget motels, not just in the Midwest but in the East as well, where these particularly brown rubber-backed curtains could have had a long and useful life. It wasn't their fault that they didn't belong in a dorm room. They'd betrayed no urge to rise above their station; their material and patterning contained not a hint of unseemly social ambition. They were what they were. If anything, when he finally dug them out of the eve of graduation, their virginal pinkish folds turned out to be rather less plasticized and homely and Sears-like than he remembered. They were nowhere near as shameful as he'd thought.
Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections)
That night, I took a while falling asleep and when I did, I had a strange dream. She was sitting in my rocking chair and rocking herself, her dead eyes fixed on me. I lay on my bed, paralysed with fear, unable to move, unable to scream, my limbs refusing to move to my command. The room was suddenly freezing cold, the heater had probably stopped working in the night because the electricity supply had been cut and the inverter too had run out. At one point, I was uncertain whether I was dreaming or awake, or in that strange space between dreaming and wakefulness, where the soul wanders out of the body and explores other dimensions. What I knew was that I was chilled to the bones, chilled in a way that made it impossible for me to move myself, to lever myself to a sitting position in order to switch the bedside lamp on and check whether this was really happening. I could hear her in my head. Her voice was faint, feathery, and sibilant, as if she was whispering through a curtain of rain. Her words were indistinct, she called my name, she said words that pierced through my ears, words that meshed into ice slivers in my brain and when I thought finally that I would freeze to death an ice cold tiny body climbed into the quilt with me, putting frigidly chilly arms around me, and whispered, ‘Mother, I’m cold.’ Icicles shot up my spine, and I sat up, bolt upright in my bed, feeling the covers fall from me and a small indent in the mattress where something had been, a moment ago. There was a sudden click, the red light of the heater lit up, the bed and blanket warmer began radiating life-giving heat again and I felt myself thaw out, emerge from the scary limbo which marks one’s descent into another dimension, and the shadow faded out from the rocking chair right in front of me into complete transparency and the icy presence in the bed faded away to nothingness.
Kiran Manral (The Face At the Window)
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. ‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’ I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marvelling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
A man on his deathbed left instructions For dividing up his goods among his three sons. He had devoted his entire spirit to those sons. They stood like cypress trees around him, Quiet and strong. He told the town judge, 'Whichever of my sons is laziest, Give him all the inheritance.' Then he died, and the judge turned to the three, 'Each of you must give some account of your laziness, so I can understand just how you are lazy.' Mystics are experts in laziness. They rely on it, Because they continuously see God working all around them. The harvest keeps coming in, yet they Never even did the plowing! 'Come on. Say something about the ways you are lazy.' Every spoken word is a covering for the inner self. A little curtain-flick no wider than a slice Of roast meat can reveal hundreds of exploding suns. Even if what is being said is trivial and wrong, The listener hears the source. One breeze comes From across a garden. Another from across the ash-heap. Think how different the voices of the fox And the lion, and what they tell you! Hearing someone is lifting the lid off the cooking pot. You learn what's for supper. Though some people Can know just by the smell, a sweet stew From a sour soup cooked with vinegar. A man taps a clay pot before he buys it To know by the sound if it has a crack. The eldest of the three brothers told the judge, 'I can know a man by his voice, and if he won't speak, I wait three days, and then I know him intuitively.' The second brother, 'I know him when he speaks, And if he won't talk, I strike up a conversation.' 'But what if he knows that trick?' asked the judge. Which reminds me of the mother who tells her child 'When you're walking through the graveyard at night and you see a boogeyman, run at it, and it will go away.' 'But what,' replies the child, 'if the boogeyman's Mother has told it to do the same thing? Boogeymen have mothers too.' The second brother had no answer. 'I sit in front of him in silence, And set up a ladder made of patience, And if in his presence a language from beyond joy And beyond grief begins to pour from my chest, I know that his soul is as deep and bright As the star Canopus rising over Yemen. And so when I start speaking a powerful right arm Of words sweeping down, I know him from what I say, And how I say it, because there's a window open Between us, mixing the night air of our beings.' The youngest was, obviously, The laziest. He won.
Rumi
Right now he needed to concentrate on keeping himself under control. Inside, his gut churned. There was a war going on. The joy of holding his son again clashed with the waves of anger that rose higher and higher with each passing moment. He thought he had known why Pete had arrived at the farm. He had pushed the fork into the soil and watched the earth turn over sure that the truth of their tragedy was about to be laid before them. He had watched the dry earth give up the rich brown soil and wanted to stay there forever in the cold garden just watching his fork move the earth. He had not wanted to hear what Pete had to say. And now this..this..What did you call this? A miracle? What else could it be? But this miracle was tainted. He was not holding the same boy he had taken to the Easter Show. This thin child with shaved hair was not the Lockie he knew. Someone had taken that child. They had taken his child and he could feel by the weight of him they had starved him. Someone had done this to him. They had done this and god knew what else. Doug walked slowly into the house, trying to find the right way to break the news to Sarah. She was lying down in the bedroom again. These days she spent more time there than anywhere else. Doug walked slowly through the house to the main bedroom at the back. It was the only room in the house whose curtains were permanently closed. How damaged was his child? Would he ever be the same boy they had taken up to the Show ? What had been done to him? Dear God, what had been done to him? His ribs stuck out even under the jumper he was wearing. It was not his jumper. He had been dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, perfect for the warm day. He had a cap with a Bulldogs logo. What could have happened to his clothes? How long had he had the jumper?Doug bit his lip. First things first. He opened the bedroom door cautiously and looked into the gloom. Sarah was on her back. Her mouth was slightly open. She was fast asleep. The room smelled musty with the heater on. Sarah slept tightly wrapped in her covers. Doug swallowed. He wanted to run into the room whooping and shouting that Lockie was home but Sarah was so fragile he had no idea how she would react. He walked over to the window and opened the curtains. Outside it was getting dark already but enough light entered the room to wake Sarah up. She moaned and opened her eyes. ‘Oh god, Doug, please just close them. I’m so tired.’ Doug sat down on the bed and Sarah turned her back to him. She had not looked at him. Lockie opened his eyes and looked around the room. ‘Ready to say hello to Mum, mate?’ Doug asked. ‘Hi, Mum,’ said Lockie to his mother’s back. His voice had changed. It was deeper and had an edge to it. He sounded older. He sounded like someone who had seen too much. But Sarah would know it was her boy. Doug saw Sarah’s whole body tense at the sound of Lockie’s voice and then she reached her arm behind her and twisted the skin on her back with such force Doug knew she would have left a mark. ‘It’s not a dream, Sarah,’ he said quietly. ‘He’s home.’ Sarah sat up, her eyes wide. ‘Hi, Mum,’ said Lockie again. ‘Hello, my boy,’ said Sarah softly. Softly, as though he hadn’t been missing for four months. Softly, as though he had just been away for a day. Softly, as though she hadn’t been trying to die slowly. Softly she said, ‘Hello, my boy.’ Doug could see her chest heaving. ‘We’ve been looking for you,’ she said, and then she held out her arms. Lockie climbed off Doug’s lap and onto his mother’s legs. She wrapped her arms around him and pushed her nose into his neck, finding his scent and identifying her child. Lockie buried his head against her breasts and then he began to cry. Just soft little sobs that were soon matched by his mother’s tears. Doug wanted them to stop but tears were good. He would have to get used to tears.
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
Beauty Void lay the world, in nothingness concealed, Without a trace of light or life revealed, Save one existence which second knew- Unknown the pleasant words of We and You. Then Beauty shone, from stranger glances free, Seen of herself, with naught beside to see, With garments pure of stain, the fairest flower Of virgin loveliness in bridal bower. No combing hand had smoothed a flowing tress, No mirror shown her eyes their loveliness No surma dust those cloudless orbs had known, To the bright rose her cheek no bulbul flown. No heightening hand had decked the rose with green, No patch or spot upon that cheek was seen. No zephyr from her brow had fliched a hair, No eye in thought had seen the splendour there. Her witching snares in solitude she laid, And love's sweet game without a partner played. But when bright Beauty reigns and knows her power She springs indignant from her curtained bower. She scorns seclusion and eludes the guard, And from the window looks if doors be barred. See how the tulip on the mountain grown Soon as the breath of genial Spring has blown, Bursts from the rock, impatient to display Her nascent beauty to the eye of day. When sudden to thy soul reflection brings The precious meaning of mysterious things, Thou canst not drive the thought from out thy brain; Speak, hear thou must, for silence is such pain. So beauty ne'er will quit the urgent claim Whose motive first from heavenly beauty came When from her blessed bower she fondly strayed, And to the world and man her charms displayed. In every mirror then her face was shown, Her praise in every place was heard and known. Touched by her light, the hearts of angels burned, And, like the circling spheres, their heads were turned, While saintly bands, whom purest at the sight of her, And those who bathe them in the ocean sky Cries out enraptured, "Laud to God on high!" Rays of her splendour lit the rose's breast And stirred the bulbul's heart with sweet unrest. From her bright glow its cheek the flambeau fired, And myriad moths around the flame expired. Her glory lent the very sun the ray Which wakes the lotus on the flood to-day. Her loveliness made Laila's face look fair To Majnún, fettered by her every hair. She opened Shírín's sugared lips, and stole From Parvíz' breast and brave Farhád's the soul. Through her his head the Moon of Canaan raised, And fond Zulaikha perished as she gazed. Yes, though she shrinks from earthly lovers' call, Eternal Beauty is the queen of all; In every curtained bower the screen she holds, About each captured heart her bonds enfolds. Through her sweet love the heart its life retains, The soul through love of her its object gains. The heart which maidens' gentle witcheries stir Is, though unconscious, fired with love of her. Refrain from idle speech; mistake no more: She brings her chains and we, her slaves, adore. Fair and approved of Love, thou still must own That gift of beauty comes from her alone. Thou art concealed: she meets all lifted eyes; Thou art the mirror which she beautifies. She is that mirror, if we closely view The truth- the treasure and the treasury too. But thou and I- our serious work is naught; We waste our days unmoved by earnest thought. Cease, or my task will never end, for her Sweet beauties lack a meet interpreter. Then let us still the slaves of love remain For without love we live in vain, in vain. Jámí, "Yúsuf and Zulaikha". trans. Ralph T. H. Griffith. Ballantyne Press 1882. London. p.19-22
Nūr ad-Dīn 'Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī
For most people moving is a tiring experience. When on the verge of moving out to a new home or into a new office, it's only natural to focus on your new place and forget about the one you’re leaving. Actually, the last thing you would even think about is embarking on a heavy duty move out clean. However, you can be certain that agents, landlords and all the potential renters or buyers of your old home will most definitely notice if it's being cleaned, therefore getting the place cleaned up is something that you need to consider. The process of cleaning will basically depend to things; how dirty your property and the size of the home. If you leave the property in good condition, you'll have a higher the chance of getting back your bond deposit or if you're selling, attracting a potential buyer. Below are the steps you need to consider before moving out. You should start with cleaning. Remove all screws and nails from the walls and the ceilings, fill up all holes and dust all ledges. Large holes should be patched and the entire wall checked the major marks. Remove all the cobwebs from the walls and ceilings, taking care to wash or vacuum the vents. They can get quite dusty. Clean all doors and door knobs, wipe down all the switches, electrical outlets, vacuum/wipe down the drapes, clean the blinds and remove all the light covers from light fixtures and clean them thoroughly as they may contain dead insects. Also, replace all the burnt out light bulbs and empty all cupboards when you clean them. Clean all windows, window sills and tracks. Vacuum all carpets or get them professionally cleaned which quite often is stipulated in the rental agreement. After you've finished the general cleaning, you can now embark on the more specific areas. When cleaning the bathroom, wash off the soap scum and remove mould (if any) from the bathroom tiles. This can be done by pre-spraying the tile grout with bleach and letting it sit for at least half an hour. Clean all the inside drawers and vanity units thoroughly. Clean the toilet/sink, vanity unit and replace anything that you've damaged. Wash all shower curtains and shower doors plus all other enclosures. Polish the mirrors and make sure the exhaust fan is free of dust. You can generally vacuum these quite easily. Finally, clean the bathroom floors by vacuuming and mopping. In the kitchen, clean all the cabinets and liners and wash the cupboards inside out. Clean the counter-tops and shine the facet and sink. If the fridge is staying give it a good clean. You can do this by removing all shelves and wash them individually. Thoroughly degrease the oven inside and out. It's best to use and oven cleaner from your supermarket, just take care to use gloves and a mask as they can be quite toxic. Clean the kitchen floor well by giving it a good vacuum and mop . Sometimes the kitchen floor may need to be degreased. Dust the bedrooms and living room, vacuum throughout then mop. If you have a garage give it a good sweep. Also cut the grass, pull out all weeds and remove all items that may be lying or hanging around. Remember to put your garbage bins out for collection even if collection is a week away as in our experience the bins will be full to the brim from all the rubbish during the moving process. If this all looks too hard then you can always hire a bond cleaner to tackle the job for you or if you're on a tight budget you can download an end of lease cleaning checklist or have one sent to you from your local agent. Just make sure you give yourself at least a day or to take on the job. Its best not to rush through the job, just make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly, so it passes the inspection in order for you to get your bond back in full.
Tanya Smith