Winter's Bone Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Winter's Bone. Here they are! All 100 of them:

you've got to burn straight up and down and then maybe sidewise for a while and have your guts scrambled by a bully and the demonic ladies, you've got to run along the edge of madness teetering, you've got to starve like a winter alleycat, you've go to live with the imbecility of at least a dozen cities, then maybe maybe maybe you might know where you are for a tiny blinking moment.
Charles Bukowski (Bone Palace Ballet: New Poems)
Never. Never ask for what ought to be offered.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
I could feel the winter shaking my bones and banging my teeth together.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
So I am not a broken heart. I am not the weight I lost or miles or ran and I am not the way I slept on my doorstep under the bare sky in smell of tears and whiskey because my apartment was empty and if I were to be this empty I wanted something solid to sleep on. Like concrete. I am not this year and I am not your fault. I am muscles building cells, a little every day, because they broke that day, but bones are stronger once they heal and I am smiling to the bus driver and replacing my groceries once a week and I am not sitting for hours in the shower anymore. I am the way a life unfolds and bloom and seasons come and go and I am the way the spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life. I am not your fault.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape---the lonliness of it---the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it---the whole story dosen't show.
Andrew Wyeth
We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
The heart's in it then, spinning dreams, and torment is on the way. The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
You got to be ready to die every day - then you got a chance.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
She had the bone structure of a bird. Wolf probably could have crushed her with his fingertips.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
I admire your tenacity, young prince. Grimalkin is not easy to find in the best of times. You must have come far to seek him out.... And this is not the first place you have searched. I can see it on your face. Why, I wonder? Why does he come so far? What is it that he desires so badly, to risk the ire of the Bone Witch? What is it you want, Ash of the Winter Court?' 'Would you believe the cat owes him money?' Puck's voice came from behind my shoulder, making me wince.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
Life meanders like a path through the woods. We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth
That first winter, when it was time for her friends to leave, the girl ventured out into the show to say goodbye, and the stunning raven-haired Squaller handed her another gift. "A blue kefta," said the math teacher, shaking her head. "What would she do with that?" "Maybe she knew a Grisha who died," replied the cook, taking note of the tears that filled the girl's eyes. They did not see the note that read, You will always be one of us.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
With a start, I realized that the room smelled like him. I had never even noticed that he had a scent. I shut my eyes and breathed deeply. What was it? The crisp edge of a winter wind. Bare branches. The smell of absence, the smell of night.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
Long, dark, and lovely she had been, in those days before her mind broke and the parts scattered and she let them go.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Pine trees with low limbs spread over fresh snow made a stronger vault for the spirit than pews and pulpits ever could.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
They are going to laugh at you and mock you and then they are going to—” “Eat me. Yes. I understand.” “You don’t seem to be grasping the meaning behind the words. This isn’t a metaphor. I’m talking about huge teeth and digestive systems.” “Fat and bones and marrow and meat,” Winter sang. “We only wanted a snack to eat.” Scarlet grunted. “You can be so disturbing.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
WINTER'S GHOST: Autumn moon incautious in the dark river Winter’s ghost walks with a covered face and silver bones wait in all animals to be bone cloth upon her shoulder wait for her happiness in that they are silver
Tamara Rendell (Mystical Tides)
This is how sudden things happened that haunted forever.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Winter mornings are made of steel; they have a metallic taste and sharp edges. On a Wednesday in January, at seven in the morning, it’s plain to see that the world was not made for Man, and definitely not for his comfort or pleasure.
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
It was a voice she had heard before, deep and raspy. It made her bones crack and splinter, made her feel the astonishing cold of a winter long since passed.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
I’d kill for you, Tess. I have killed for you. Don’t undermine me by fearing others. Fear me. Let me rule you!
Pepper Winters (Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark, #2))
It seemed my whole life was composed of these disjointed fractions of time, hanging around in one public place and then another, as if I were waiting for trains that never came. And, like one of those ghosts who are said to linger around depots late at night, asking passersby for the timetable of the Midnight Express that derailed twenty years before, I wandered from light to light until that dreaded hour when all the doors closed and, stepping from the world of warmth and people and conversation overheard, I felt the old familiar cold twist through my bones again and then it was all forgotten, the warmth, the lights; I had never been warm in my life, ever.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Ree, brunette and sixteen, with milk skin and abrupt green eyes, stood bare-armed in a fluttering yellowed dress, face to the wind, her cheeks reddening as if smacked and smacked again.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Q: Bury deep, Pile on stones, Yet I will Dig up the bones. What am I? A: Memories — A FOLK RIDDLE
Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People)
Fading light buttered the ridges until shadows licked them clean and they were lost to nightfall.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Cinder grinned."I love you too." "Why are we not moving?" said Storm, his voice rumbling through the tunnel. "We grow inpatient to shred Levana and her court into tiny, bite-size pieces. We will suck the marrow from their bones and drink their blood as if it were fine wine." Iko fixed an uncomfortable look on Cinder. "Good thing they're on our side.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Pitch-black winter nights live in my bones.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche)
She would never cry where her tears might be seen and counted against her.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
I am the land, the bones of the hills," he said fiercely, "I am the winter. When I am dead, I will come for you all in the coldest nights.
Conn Iggulden (Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Conqueror, #1))
I said shut up once already, with my mouth.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
But you must stop playing among his ghosts -- it's stupid and dangerous and completely pointless. He's trying to lay them to rest here, not stir them up, and you seem eager to drag out all the sad old bones of his history and make them dance again. It's not nice, and it's not fair.
Patricia A. McKillip (Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1))
But her attention was on the prince across from her, who seemed utterly ignored by his father and his own court, shoved down near the end with her and Aedion. He ate so beautifully, she thought, watching him cut into his roast chicken. Not a drop moved out of place, not a scrap fell on the table. She had decent manners, while Aedion was hopeless, his plate littered with bones and crumbs scattered everywhere, even some on her own dress. She’d kicked him for it, but his attention was too focused on the royals down the table. So both she and the Crown Prince were to be ignored, then. She looked at the boy again, who was around her age, she supposed. His skin was from the winter, his blue-black hair neatly trimmed; his sapphire eyes lifted from his plate to meet hers. “You eat like a fine lady,” she told him. His lips thinned and color stained his ivory cheeks. Across from her, Quinn, her uncle’s Captain of the Guard, choked on his water. The prince glanced at his father—still busy with her uncle—before replying. Not for approval, but in fear. “I eat like a prince,” Dorian said quietly. “You do not need to cut your bread with a fork and knife,” she said. A faint pounding started in her head, followed by a flickering warmth, but she ignored it. The hall was hot, as they’d shut all the windows for some reason. “Here in the North,” she went on as the prince’s knife and fork remained where they were on his dinner roll, “you need not be so formal. We don’t put on airs.” Hen, one of Quinn’s men, coughed pointedly from a few seats down. She could almost hear him saying, Says the little lady with her hair pressed into careful curls and wearing her new dress that she threatened to skin us over if we got dirty. She gave Hen an equally pointed look, then returned her attention to the foreign prince. He’d already looked down at his food again, as if he expected to be neglected for the rest of the night. And he looked lonely enough that she said, “If you like, you could be my friend.” Not one of the men around them said anything, or coughed. Dorian lifted his chin. “I have a friend. He is to be Lord of Anielle someday, and the fiercest warrior in the land.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Nobody here wants to be awful," he said. He hopped a little as he zipped up. "It's just nobody here knows all the rules yet, and that makes a rocky time.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
She was born with the winter already in her bones.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
Spring adds, summer multiplies, autumn subtracts, winter divides.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth
marriage can, should, and must evolve. Don’t be alarmed, and don’t resent it. Be patient and kind, unflaggingly. In the long run, it’s the unasked-for hot-water bottles on winter nights that matter more than the extravagant gestures.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Compose a haiku in honor of a person you admire. You are spiky spring, humming summer, wings that beat back ghosts of winter.
Laura Ruby (Bone Gap)
Grief never goes away. It just changes. At first it's like molten-hot lava dripping from your heart and hollowing you from the inside. Over time, it settles into your bones, your skin, so that you live with it, walk with it every day. Grief isn't the footprints in the snow. It's the empty spaces between.
Tyrell Johnson (The Wolves of Winter)
Tell me about the hands that broke you like tree branches. Tell me about the heart that made you a home, the barren soul that used your dry bones like kindling in the middle of winter. Tell me about the house fire, the ashes which you rose from. Tell me about your resurrection - but don't you dare tell me that you are not strong enough this time, don't you dare tell me that you cannot rise again, and again, and again.
Bianca Sparacino (Seeds Planted in Concrete)
You learn to forgive (the South) for its narrow mind and growing pains because it has a huge heart. You forgive the stifling summers because the spring is lush and pastel sprinkled, because winter is merciful and brief, because corn bread and sweet tea and fried chicken are every bit as vital to a Sunday as getting dressed up for church, and because any southerner worth their salt says please and thank you. It's soft air and summer vines, pine woods and fat homegrown tomatoes. It's pulling the fruit right off a peach tree and letting the juice run down your chin. It's a closeted and profound appreciation for our neighbors in Alabama who bear the brunt of the Bubba jokes. The South gets in your blood and nose and skin bone-deep. I am less a part of the South than it is part of me. It's a romantic notion, being overcome by geography. But we are all a little starry-eyed down here. We're Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara and Rosa Parks all at once.
Amanda Kyle Williams
Love and hate hold hands always so it made natural sense that they'd get confused by upset married folk in the wee hours once in a while and a nosebleed or bruised breast might result. But it just seemed proof that a great foulness was afoot in the world when a no-strings roll in the hay with a stranger led to chipped teeth or cigarette burns on the wrist.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
No god craves weaklings.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Lines for Winter" Tell yourself as it gets cold and gray falls from the air that you will go on walking, hearing the same tune no matter where you find yourself— inside the dome of dark or under the cracking white of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow. Tonight as it gets cold tell yourself what you know which is nothing but the tune your bones play as you keep going. And you will be able for once to lie down under the small fire of winter stars. And if it happens that you cannot go on or turn back and you find yourself where you will be at the end, tell yourself in that final flowing of cold through your limbs that you love what you are.
Mark Strand (Selected Poems of Mark Strand)
It didn't seem to be summer any more. I could feel the winter shaking my bones and banging my teeth together, and the big white hotel towel I had dragged down with me lay under my head, numb as a snowdrift.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Blessed are the powers that grant me magic. I promise to use their gift well. To help mend my world. To help mend all worlds. And should I forget to mend, Should I refuse to mend, Still I will remember To do no harm.
Janni Lee Simner (Faerie Winter (Bones of Faerie, #2))
The office Halloween party was at the Royalton last week and I went as a mass murderer, complete with a sign painted on my back that read MASS MURDERER (which was decidedly lighter than the sandwich board I had constructed earlier that day that read DRILLER KILLER), and beneath those two words I had written in blood Yep, that's me and the suit was also covered with blood, some of it fake, most of it real. In one fist I clenched a hank of Victoria Bell's hair, and pinned next to my boutonniere (a small white rose) was a finger bone I'd boiled the flesh off of. As elaborate as my costume was, Craig McDermott still managed to win first place in the competition. He came as Ivan Boesky, which I thought was unfair since a lot of people thought I'd gone as Michael Milken last year. The Patty Winters Show this morning was about Home Abortion Kits.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Numberless are the world's wonders, but none More wonderful than man; the storm gray sea Yields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high; Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven With shining furrows where his plows have gone Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions. The light-boned birds and beasts that cling to cover, The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water, All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind; The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned, Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has broken The sultry shoulders of the mountain bull. Words also, and thought as rapid as air, He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow, The spears of winter rain: from every wind He has made himself secure--from all but one: In the late wind of death he cannot stand. O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure! O fate of man, working both good and evil! When the laws are kept, how proudly his city stands! When the laws are broken, what of his city then? Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth, Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts.
Sophocles (Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3))
He asks, in a softer voice, "Does your arm still hurt?" You touch it with your hand. The big ache is gone, leaving only the little, underneath ache that will gather and swell against the bone. The blood leaks out of the vein where he grabbed you. But you say, "It's better now.
Jim Grimsley (Winter Birds)
Gail had a baby named Ned who was four months old, and a new look of baffled hurt, a left-behind sadness, like she saw that the great world kept spinning onward and away while she'd overnight become glued to her spot.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
The Dolly's around here can't be seen to coddle a snitch's family --- that's the always been our way. We're old blood, us people, and our ways was set firm long before hot shot baby Jesus ever even burped milk'n sh*& yellow.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
when'd the west set in your bones? you survive each winter like you were made for snow, a stranger to each ancestor who lights your path. your parents, dead, never taught you their language -- stranger to everything that tries to bring you home.
Fatimah Asghar (If They Come for Us)
Winds shook me apart piecemeal, flung a bone here, a bone there. My eyes became snow, my hair turned to ice; I heard it chime against my shoulders like wind-blown glass. If I spoke, words would fall from me like snow, pour out of me like black wind.
Patricia A. McKillip (Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1))
Let's say that when I was a little baby, and all my bones soft and malleable, I was put in a small Episcopal cruciform box and so took my shape. Then, when I broke out of the box, the way a baby chick escapes an egg, is it strange that I had the shape of a cross? Have you ever noticed that chickens are roughly egg-shaped?
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
You can feel it deep in your bones because it's older than your senses: the end of winter, the Earth sliding toward Spring.
Rick Yancey (The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3))
Beyond the hills, a master is who knows our secret names. With bell and bones, he’ll call us home, winter, fall or spring.
André Alexis (Fifteen Dogs (Quincunx, #2))
Minnesotans who bought scenic art usually avoided winter scenes. Hannah didn't find that surprising. Minnesota winters were long. Why would they want to buy a painting that would constantly remind them of the bone-chilling cold, the heavy snow that had to be shoveled, and the necessity of dressing up in survival gear to do nothing more than take out the garbage?
Joanne Fluke (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1))
That girl had a thousand smiles. A smile cruel as winter wind, that cut you down to shivering bone. A smile light as dove's down, just the softest hint of it across her cheek to let you know she was listening as you spoke. A smile that could make you fear, and a smile that could make you cry, and a smile that made you feel like you were the only man alive.
Jay Kristoff (Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1))
If you can master me, that look seemed to say, then you can master whatever else this wicked world might bring. I can see her now, standing amidst her deerhounds that had the same thin, lean bodies, and the same long nose and the same huntess eyes as their mistress. Green eyes, she had, with a kind of cruelty deep inside them. It was not a soft face, any more that her body was soft. She was a woman of strong lines and high bones, and that made for a good face and a handsome one, but hard, so hard. What made her beautiful was her hair and her carriage, for she stood as straight as spear and her hair fell around her shoulders like a cascade of tumbling red tangles. That red hair softened her looks, while her laughter snared men like salmon caught in basket traps. There have been many more beautiful women, and thousands who were better, but since the world was weaned I doubt there have been many more so unforgettable as Guinevere, eldest daughter of Leodegan, the exiled King of Henis Wyren. And it would have been better, Merlin always said, had she been drowned at birth.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumns trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
I will not share you." Still holding his gaze, she drove her body down onto his. Tiny threads of lightning danced over his skin in a shocking web of blue-white light. He gave a choked cry. His spine arched. His buttocks clenched tight. The tendons in his neck stood out like cords of steel. His hips surged again, powerfully, rising up to meet her downward slide. She felt the shock of it to her bones. "I will not share," she cried out fiercely, one final time as both of them shattered.
C.L. Wilson (The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1))
The tinker in his burial tree was a wonder to the birds. The vultures that came by day to nose with their hooked beaks among his buttons and pockets like outrageous pets soon left him naked of his rags and flesh alike. Black mandrake sprang beneath the tree as it will where the seed of the hanged falls and in spring a new branch pierced his breast and flowered in a green boutonnière perennial beneath his yellow grin. He took the sparse winter snows upon what thatch of hair still clung to his dried skull and hunters that passed that way never chanced to see him brooding among his barren limbs. Until wind had tolled the thinker's bones and seasons loosed them one by one to the ground below and his bleached and weathered brisket hung in that lonesome wood like a bone birdcage.
Cormac McCarthy (Outer Dark)
And beneath Cornwall, beyond and beneath this whole realm of England, beneath the sodden marshes of Wales and the rough territory of the Scots border, there is another landscape; there is a buried empire, where he fears his commissioners cannot reach. Who will swear the hobs and boggarts who live in the hedges and hollow trees, and the wild men who hide in the woods? Who will swear the saints in their niches, and the spirits that cluster at holy wells rustling like fallen leaves, and the miscarried infants dug in to unconsecrated ground: all those unseen dead who hover in winter around forges and village hearths, trying to warm their bare bones? For they too are his countrymen: the generations of uncounted dead, breathing through the living, stealing their light from them, the bloodless ghosts of lord and knave, nun and whore, the ghosts of priest and friar who feed on living England, and suck the substance from the future.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
Three years later, a new girl sits cross-legged on your bed. She tastes like a different flavor of bubblegum than you are used to. She opens up a book that you had to read in high school, and a folded picture of us falls out of chapter three. Now there are two unfinished stories resting in her lap. Inevitably, she asks, and you tell her. You say: I dated her a while back. You don’t say: Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I imagine the smell of her vanilla perfume. You say: She was younger than me. You don’t say: The sixteen summers in her bones warmed the eighteen winters my skin had weathered. You say: It’s nothing now. You don’t say: But it was everything then.
Auriel H.
She was more than my world. She was more than my lover, best friend, and partner. She was the blood in my heart, the breath in my lungs, the fucking marrow in my bones. Without her, I wouldn’t exist. Without her, my body would be nothingness: no heartbeats, no mind, no man…no animal.
Pepper Winters (Je Suis a Toi (Monsters in the Dark, #3.5))
Something about the time of year depressed him deeply. Overcast skies and cutting wind, leaves falling, dusk falling, dark too soon, night flying down before you are ready. It's a terror. It's a bareness of the soul. He hears the rustle of nuns. Here comes winter in the bone. We've set it loose on the land. There must be some song or poem, some folk magic we can use to ease this fear. Skelly Bone Pete. Here it is in the landscape and sky. We've set it loose. We've opened up the ground and here it is. He took Interstate 45 south. He didn't want them to kill Leon. He felt a saturating sense of death, a dread in the soft filling of his bones, the suckable part, approaching Galveston now.
Don DeLillo (Libra)
What if I tell you what the rock and darkness and sea beyond whispered to me, Lord of Bloodshed? How they shuddered in fear, on that island across the sea. How they trembled when she emerged. She took something - something precious. She ripped it out with her teeth. What did you wake that day in Hybern, Prince of Bastards? What came out was not what went in. How lovely she is - new as a fawn and yet ancient as the sea. How she calls to you. A queen, as my sister once was. Terrible and proud; beautiful as a winter sunrise. Nesta. Nes-ta. How the wind moans her name. Can you hear it, too? Nesta. Nesta. Nesta. What did she do, drowning in the ageless dark? What did she take?
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses Hardcover Box Set)
That first winter, when it was time for her friends to leave, the girl ventured out into the snow to say goodbye, and the stunning raven-haired Squaller handed her another gift. “A blue kefta,” said the math teacher, shaking her head. “What would she do with that?” “Maybe she knew a Grisha who died,” replied the cook, taking note of the tears that filled the girl’s eyes. They did not see the note that read, You will always be one of us.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
The Patty Winters Shows were all repeats. Life remained a blank canvas, a cliche, a soap opera. I felt lethal, on the verge of frenzy. My nightly bloodlust overflowed into my days and I had to leave the city. My mask of sanity was a victim of impending slippage. This was bone season for me and I needed a vacation. I needed to go to the Hamptons.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
The sun was low in the sky, casting slant regal light. As they plodded along, the golden radiance intensified until it seemed to emanate from every feature of the land. Trees, brush, snow, hills. She couldn’t stop looking. The road led past frozen sloughs that bristled with scorched reeds. Clutches of red willow burned. The fans and whips of branches glowed, alive. Winter clouds formed patterns against the fierce gray sky. Scales, looped ropes, the bones of fish. The world was tender with significance.
Louise Erdrich (The Night Watchman)
When the mushrooms took hold she sensed some of the gods calling to her from inside her own chest and followed their urging outside into the yard and up the sunny slope into the trees. She felt all gooey, gooey with the slobbered love of various gods gathered within, and smiling full-time went about the woods looking to collect butterflies and pet them until they gave milk, or maybe roll in the dirt until she felt China through her skin.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
The men came to mind as mostly idle between nights of running wild or time in the pen, cooking moon and gathering around the spout, with ears chewed, fingers chopped, arms shot away, and no apologies grunted ever. The women came to mind bigger, closer, with their lonely eyes and homely yellow teeth, mouths clamped against smiles, working in the hot fields from can to can't, hands tattered rough as dry cobs, lips cracked all winter, a white dress for marrying, a black dress for burying, and Ree nodded yup. Yup.
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Last night I thought I kissed the loneliness from out your belly button. I thought I did, but later you sat up, all bones and restless hands, and told me there is a knot in your body that I cannot undo. I never know what to say to these things. “It’s okay.” “Come back to bed.” “Please don’t go away again.” Sometimes you are gone for days at a time and it is all I can do not to call the police, file a missing person’s report, even though you are right there, still sleeping next to me in bed. But your eyes are like an empty house in winter: lights left on to scare away intruders. Except in this case I am the intruder and you are already locked up so tight that no one could possibly jimmy their way in. Last night I thought I gave you a reason not to be so sad when I held your body like a high note and we both trembled from the effort. Some people, though, are sad against all reason, all sensibility, all love. I know better now. I know what to say to the things you admit to me in the dark, all bones and restless hands. “It’s okay.” “You can stay in bed.” “Please come back to me again.
Donna-Marie Riley
This body is like the earth. Our bones are like mountains. Our belly is like the sea. Our flesh is like the dust and mud. The hair that grows on us is like plants, and the skin from which this hair grows is like arable land, and the area of our body where hair does not grow is akin to saline soil. Our sadness is like darkness and our laughter like sunlight. Sleep is brother to death. Our childhood is like spring, our youth like summer. Our maturity is like the autumn, our old age like the winter of life. All of our movements are like the stars moving in the sky.
Shems Friedlander (When You Hear Hoofbeats Think of a Zebra)
It is winter. Ravens are standing on a pile of bones -- black typeface on white paper picking an idea clean. It’s what I do each time I sit down to write. What else are we to do with our obsessions? Do they feed us? Or are we simply scavenging our memories for one gleaming image to tell the truth of what is hunting us? 'To write,' Marguerite Duras remarked, 'is also not to speak. It is to keep silent. It is to howl noiselessly.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
It was a cold still afternoon with a hard steely sky overhead, when he slipped out of the warm parlour into the open air. The country lay bare and entirely leafless around him, and he thought that he had never seen so far and intimately into the insides of things as on that winter day when Nature was deep in her annual slumber and seemed to have kicked the clothes off. Copses, dells, quarries and all hidden places, which had been mysterious mines for exploration in leafy summer, now exposed themselves and their secrets pathetically, and seemed to ask him to overlook their shabby poverty for a while, til they could riot in rich masquerade as before, and trick and entice him with the old deceptions. It was pitiful in a way, and yet cheering-even exhilarating. He was glad that he liked the country undecorated, hard, and stripped of its finery. He had got down to the bare bones of it, and they were fine and strong and simple. He did not want the warm clover and the play of seeding grasses; the screens of quickset, the billowy drapery of beech and elm seemed best away; and with great cheerfulness of spirit he pushed on towards the Wild Wood, which lay before him low and threatening, like a black reef in some still southern sea.
Kenneth Grahame
Winter solstice: the darkest time of the year. No sooner has he woken up in the morning than he feels the day beginning to slip away from him. There is no light to sink his teeth into, no sense of time unfolding. Rather, a feeling of doors being shut, of locks being turned. It is a hermetic season, a long moment of inwardness. The outer world, the tangible world of materials and bodies, has come to seem no more than an emanation of his mind. He feels himself sliding through events, hovering like a ghost around his own presence, as if he were living somewhere to the side of himself - not really here, but not anywhere else either. A feeling of having been locked up, and at the same time of being able to walk through walls. He notes somewhere in the margins of a thought: a darkness in the bones.
Paul Auster (The Invention of Solitude)
Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar. A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate, too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. “Oh my,” she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!
Truman Capote (A Christmas Memory)
The first time Ree kissed a man it was not a man, but Gail acting as a man, and as the kissing progressed and Gail acting as a man pushed her backwards onto a blanket of pine needles in shade and slipped her tongue deep into Ree's mouth, Ree found herself sucking on the wiggling tongue of a man in her mind, sucking that plunging tongue of the man in her mind until she tasted morning coffee and cigars and spit leaked from between her lips and down her chin. She opened her eyes then and smiled, and Gail yet acting the man roughed up her breasts with grabs and pinches, kissed her neck, murmuring and Ree said, "Just like that! I want it to be just like that!" There came three seasons of giggling and practice, puckering readily anytime they were alone, each being the man and the woman, each on top and bottom, pushing for it with grunts or receiving it with signs. The first time Ree kissed a boy who was not a girl his lips were soft and timid on hers, dry and unmoving, until finally she had to say it and did, "Tongue, honey, tongue," and the boy she called honey turned away saying, "Yuck!
Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone)
Tenways showed his rotten teeth. ‘Fucking make me.’ ‘I’ll give it a try.’ A man came strolling out of the dark, just his sharp jaw showing in the shadows of his hood, boots crunching heedless through the corner of the fire and sending a flurry of sparks up around his legs. Very tall, very lean and he looked like he was carved out of wood. He was chewing meat from a chicken bone in one greasy hand and in the other, held loose under the crosspiece, he had the biggest sword Beck had ever seen, shoulder-high maybe from point to pommel, its sheath scuffed as a beggar’s boot but the wire on its hilt glinting with the colours of the fire-pit. He sucked the last shred of meat off his bone with a noisy slurp, and he poked at all the drawn steel with the pommel of his sword, long grip clattering against all those blades. ‘Tell me you lot weren’t working up to a fight without me. You know how much I love killing folk. I shouldn’t, but a man has to stick to what he’s good at. So how’s this for a recipe…’ He worked the bone around between finger and thumb, then flicked it at Tenways so it bounced off his chain mail coat. ‘You go back to fucking sheep and I’ll fill the graves.’ Tenways licked his bloody top lip. ‘My fight ain’t with you, Whirrun.’ And it all came together. Beck had heard songs enough about Whirrun of Bligh, and even hummed a few himself as he fought his way through the logpile. Cracknut Whirrun. How he’d been given the Father of Swords. How he’d killed his five brothers. How he’d hunted the Shimbul Wolf in the endless winter of the utmost North, held a pass against the countless Shanka with only two boys and a woman for company, bested the sorcerer Daroum-ap-Yaught in a battle of wits and bound him to a rock for the eagles. How he’d done all the tasks worthy of a hero in the valleys, and so come south to seek his destiny on the battlefield. Songs to make the blood run hot, and cold too. Might be his was the hardest name in the whole North these days, and standing right there in front of Beck, close enough to lay a hand on. Though that probably weren’t a good idea. ‘Your fight ain’t with me?’ Whirrun glanced about like he was looking for who it might be with. ‘You sure? Fights are twisty little bastards, you draw steel it’s always hard to say where they’ll lead you. You drew on Calder, but when you drew on Calder you drew on Curnden Craw, and when you drew on Craw you drew on me, and Jolly Yon Cumber, and Wonderful there, and Flood – though he’s gone for a wee, I think, and also this lad here whose name I’ve forgotten.’ Sticking his thumb over his shoulder at Beck. ‘You should’ve seen it coming. No excuse for it, a proper War Chief fumbling about in the dark like you’ve nothing in your head but shit. So my fight ain’t with you either, Brodd Tenways, but I’ll still kill you if it’s called for, and add your name to my songs, and I’ll still laugh afterwards. So?’ ‘So what?’ ‘So shall I draw?
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes)
Today is the winter solstice. The planet tilts just so to its star, lists and holds circling in a fixed tension between veering and longing, and spins helpless, exalted, in and out of that fleet blazing touch. Last night Orion vaulted and spread all over the sky, pagan and lunatic, his shoulder and knee on fire, his sword three suns at the ready-for what? I won’t see this year again, not again so innocent; and longing wrapped round my throat like a scarf. “For the Heavenly Father desires that we should see,” says Ruysbroeck, “and that is why He is ever saying to our inmost spirit one deep unfathomable word and nothing else.” But what is the word? Is this mystery or coyness? A cast-iron bell hung from the arch of my rib cage; when I stirred, it rang, or it tolled, a long syllable pulsing ripples up my lungs and down the gritty sap inside my bones, and I couldn’t make it out; I felt the voiced vowel like a sigh or a note but I couldn’t catch the consonant that shaped it into sense.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Sometimes I dream about it, I’m walking down this long empty hall. My voice echoes all around, but no one answers, so I walk faster, opening doors, shouting names. I don’t even know who I’m looking for. Most nights it’s my father, but sometimes it’s Robb instead, or my little sister Arya, or my uncle. Even the ravens are gone from the rookery, and the stables are full of bones. That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It’s black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it’s not them I’m afraid of. I scream that I’m not a Stark, that this isn’t my place, but it’s no good, I have to go anyway, so I start down, feeling the walls as I descend, with no torch to light the way. It gets darker and darker, until I want to scream” -Jon Snow
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
I turned on Nikolai and kicked him hard in the shin. He yelped, but that wasn’t nearly satisfying enough. I kicked him again. “Feel better?” he asked. “Next time you try something like that, I won’t kick you,” I said angrily. “I’ll cut you in half.” He brushed a speck of lint from his trousers. “Not sure that would be wise. I’m afraid the people rather frown on regicide.” “You’re not king yet, Sobachka,” I said sharply. “So don’t tempt me.” “I don’t see why you’re upset. The crowd loved it.” “I didn’t love it.” He raised a brow. “You didn’t hate it.” I kicked him again. This time his hand snaked out like a flash and captured my ankle. If it had been winter, I would have been wearing boots, but I was in summer slippers and his fingers closed over my bare leg. My cheeks blazed red. “Promise not to kick me again, and I’ll promise not to kiss you again,” he said. “I only kicked you because you kissed me!” I tried to pull my leg back, but he kept a hard grip. “Promise,” he said. “All right,” I bit out. “I promise.” “Then we have a deal.” He dropped my foot, and I drew it back beneath my kefta, hoping he couldn’t see my idiotic blush. “Great,” I said. “Now get out.” “It’s my coach.” “The deal was only for kicking. It did not prohibit slapping, punching, biting, or cutting you in half.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
Long, long ago, (said the voice), five hundred years ago or more, on a winter's day at twilight, a young man entered the Church with a young girl with ivy leaves in her hair. There was no one else there but the stones. No one to see him strangle her but the stones. He let her fall dead upon the stones and no one saw but the stones. He was never punished for his sin because there were no witnesses but the stones. The years went by and whenever the man entered the Church and stood among the congregation the stones cried out that this was the man who had murdered the girl with the ivy leaves wound into her hair, but no one ever heard us. But it is not too late! We know where he is buried! In the corner of the south transept! Quick! Quick! Fetch picks! Fetch shovels! Pull up the paving stones. Dig up his bones! Let them be smashed with the shovel! Dash his skull against the pillars and break it! Let the stones have vengeance too! It is not too late! It is not too late!
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
Unaware of Nina, the woman paused at the riverbank and looked out over the scar on the land where the water should run. Her expression sharpened, turned desperate as she reached down to touch the child in her arms. It was a look Nina had seen in woman all over the world, especially in times of war and destruction. A bone-deep fear for her child’s future…Someday her portraits would show the world how strong and powerful women could be, as well as the personal cost of that strength… She heard Danny come up beside her. “Hey, you.” She leaned against him, feeling food about her shots. “I just love how they are with their kids, even when the odds are impossible. The only time I cry is when I see their faces with their babies. Why is that, with all we’ve seen?” “So it’s mothers you follow. I thought it was warriors.
Kristin Hannah (Winter Garden)
Almondine To her, the scent and the memory of him were one. Where it lay strongest, the distant past came to her as if that morning: Taking a dead sparrow from her jaws, before she knew to hide such things. Guiding her to the floor, bending her knee until the arthritis made it stick, his palm hotsided on her ribs to measure her breaths and know where the pain began. And to comfort her. That had been the week before he went away. He was gone, she knew this, but something of him clung to the baseboards. At times the floor quivered under his footstep. She stood then and nosed into the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom-especially the closet-her intention to press her ruff against his hand, run it along his thigh, feel the heat of his body through the fabric. Places, times, weather-all these drew him up inside her. Rain, especially, falling past the double doors of the kennel, where he’d waited through so many storms, each drop throwing a dozen replicas into the air as it struck the waterlogged earth. And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn’t acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her. And so she searched. She’d watched his casket lowered into the ground, a box, man-made, no more like him than the trees that swayed under the winter wind. To assign him an identity outside the world was not in her thinking. The fence line where he walked and the bed where he slept-that was where he lived, and they remembered him. Yet he was gone. She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self. In her life, she’d been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them, Trudy another, and Edgar, the third and most important, but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart a different way. Each of them bore different responsibilities to her and with her and required different things from her, and her day was the fulfillment of those responsibilities. She could not imagine that portion of her would never return. With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts-it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him. "ory of Edgar Sawtelle" As spring came on, his scent about the place began to fade. She stopped looking for him. Whole days she slept beside his chair, as the sunlight drifted from eastern-slant to western-slant, moving only to ease the weight of her bones against the floor. And Trudy and Edgar, encapsulated in mourning, somehow forgot to care for one another, let alone her. Or if they knew, their grief and heartache overwhelmed them. Anyway, there was so little they might have done, save to bring out a shirt of his to lie on, perhaps walk with her along the fence line, where fragments of time had snagged and hung. But if they noticed her grief, they hardly knew to do those things. And she without the language to ask.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
See, boys?” Moundshroud’s face flickered with the fire. “The days of the Long Cold are done. Because of this one brave, new-thinking man, summer lives in the winter cave.” “But?” said Tom. “What’s that got to do with Halloween?” “Do? Why, blast my bones, everything. When you and your friends die every day, there’s no time to think of Death, is there? Only time to run. But when you stop running at long last—” He touched the walls. The apemen froze in mid-flight. “—now you have time to think of where you came from, where you’re going. And fire lights the way, boys. Fire and lightning. Morning stars to gaze at. Fire in your own cave to protect you. Only by night fires was the caveman, beastman, able at last to turn his thoughts on a spit and baste them with wonder. The sun died in the sky. Winter came on like a great white beast shaking its fur, burying him. Would spring ever come back to the world? Would the sun be reborn next year or stay murdered? Egyptians asked it. Cavemen asked it a million years before. Will the sun rise tomorrow morning?” “And that’s how Halloween began?” “With such long thoughts at night, boys. And always at the center of it, fire. The sun. The sun dying down the cold sky forever. How that must have scared early man, eh? That was the Big Death. If the sun went away forever, then what?
Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree: A Halloween Classic)
These things matter to me, Daniel, says the man with six days to live. They are sitting on the porch in the last light. These things matter to me, son. The way the hawks huddle their shoulders angrily against hissing snow. Wrens whirring in the bare bones of bushes in winter. The way swallows and swifts veer and whirl and swim and slice and carve and curve and swerve. The way that frozen dew outlines every blade of grass. Salmonberries thimbleberries cloudberries snowberries elderberries salalberries gooseberries. My children learning to read. My wife's voice velvet in my ear at night in the dark under the covers. Her hair in my nose as we slept curled like spoons. The sinuous pace of rivers and minks and cats. Fresh bread with too much butter. My children's hands when they cup my face in their hands. Toys. Exuberance. Mowing the lawn. Tiny wrenches and screwdrivers. Tears of sorrow, which are the salt sea of the heart. Sleep in every form from doze to bone-weary. Pay stubs. Trains. The shivering ache of a saxophone and the yearning of a soprano. Folding laundry hot from the dryer. A spotless kitchen floor. The sound of bagpipes. The way horses smell in spring. Red wines. Furnaces. Stone walls. Sweat. Postcards on which the sender has written so much that he or she can barely squeeze in the signature. Opera on the radio. Bathrobes, back rubs. Potatoes. Mink oil on boots. The bands at wedding receptions. Box-elder bugs. The postman's grin. Linen table napkins. Tent flaps. The green sifting powdery snow of cedar pollen on my porch every year. Raccoons. The way a heron labors through the sky with such a vast elderly dignity. The cheerful ears of dogs. Smoked fish and the smokehouses where fish are smoked. The way barbers sweep up circles of hair after a haircut. Handkerchiefs. Poems read aloud by poets. Cigar-scissors. Book marginalia written with the lightest possible pencil as if the reader is whispering to the writer. People who keep dead languages alive. Fresh-mown lawns. First-basemen's mitts. Dish-racks. My wife's breasts. Lumber. Newspapers folded under arms. Hats. The way my children smelled after their baths when they were little. Sneakers. The way my father's face shone right after he shaved. Pants that fit. Soap half gone. Weeds forcing their way through sidewalks. Worms. The sound of ice shaken in drinks. Nutcrackers. Boxing matches. Diapers. Rain in every form from mist to sluice. The sound of my daughters typing their papers for school. My wife's eyes, as blue and green and gray as the sea. The sea, as blue and green and gray as her eyes. Her eyes. Her.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Last night I dreamed of the "happy hunting ground." I passed through a place of bones that looked human, but weren't--the skulls were wrong. Then I came to a place where the days were the best of every season, the sweetest air and water in spring, then the dry heat where deer make dust in the road, the fog of fall with good leaves. And you could shoot without a gun, never kill, but the rabbits would do a little dance, all as if it were a game, and they were playing it too. Then winter came with heavy powder-snow, and big deer, horses, goats and buffaloes--all white--snorted, tossed their heads, and I lay down with my Army blanket, made my bed in the snow, then dreamed within the dream. I dreamed I was at Fleety's, and she told me the bones were poor people killed by bandits, and she took me back to the place, and under a huge rock where no light should have shown, a cave almost, was a dogwood tree. It glowed the kind of red those trees get at sundown, the buds were purple in that weird light, and a madman came out with an axe and chopped at the skulls, trying to make them human-looking. Then I went back to the other side of both dreams. --from a letter to his mother, Helen Pancake, where he describes a dream that seems to encapsulate the play between violence and gentleness in his life.
Breece D'J Pancake
Wild Peaches" When the world turns completely upside down You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color. Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown. The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot. 2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold. The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass. The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass. Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter’s over. By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear. 3 When April pours the colors of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak, We shall live well — we shall live very well. The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We’ll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback. 4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There’s something in this richness that I hate. I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones. There’s something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones. I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
Elinor Wylie
There is strange, and yet not strange, is the kiss. It is strange because it mixes silliness with tragedy, and yet not strange because there is good reason for it. There is shaking by the hand. That should be enough. Yet a shaking of hands is not enough to give a vent to all kinds of feeling. The hand is too hard and too used to doing all things, with too little feeling and too far from the organs of taste and smell, and far from the brain, and the length of an arm from the heart. To rub a nose like the blacks, that we think is so silly, is better, but there is nothing good to the taste about the nose, only a piece of old bone pushing out of the face, and a nuisance in winter, but a friend before meals and in a garden, indeed. With the eyes we can do nothing, for if we come too near, they go crossed and everything comes twice to the sight without good from one or other. There is nothing to be done with the ear, so back we come to the mouth, and we kiss with the mouth because it is part of the head and of the organs of taste and smell. It is temple of the voice, keeper of breath and its giving out, treasurer of tastes and succulences, and home of the noble tongue. And its portals are firm, yet soft, with a warmth, of a ripeness, unlike the rest of the face, rosy, and in women with a crinkling of red tenderness, to the taste not in compare with the wild strawberry, yet if the taste of kisses went , and strawberries came the year round, half of joy would be gone from the world. There is no wonder to me that we kiss, for when mouth comes to mouth, in all its stillness, breath joins breath, and taste joins taste, warmth is enwarmed, and tongues commune in a soundless language, and those things are said that cannot find a shape, have a name, or know a life in the pitiful faults of speech.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
On the eleventh day, it finally stopped raining. Musashi chafed to be out in the open, but it was another week before they were able to return to work under a bright sun. The field they had so arduously carved out of the wilderness had disappeared without a trace; in its place were rocks, and a river where none had been before. The water seemed to mock them just as the villagers had. Iori, seeing no way to reclaim their loss, looked up and said, “This place is beyond hope. Let’s look for better land somewhere else.” “No,” Musashi said firmly. “With the water drained off, this would make excellent farmland. I examined the location from every angle before I chose it.” “What if we have another heavy rain?” “We’ll fix it so the water doesn’t come this way. We’ll lay a dam from here all the way to that hill over there.” ‘That’s an awful lot of work.” “You seem to forget that this is our dōjō. I’m not giving up a foot of this land until I see barley growing on it.” Musashi carried on his stubborn struggle throughout the winter, into the second month of the new year. It took several weeks of strenuous labor to dig ditches, drain the water off, pile dirt for a dike and then cover it with heavy rocks. Three weeks later everything was again washed away. “Look,” Iori said, “we’re wasting our energy on something impossible. Is that the Way of the Sword?” The question struck close to the bone, but Musashi would not give in. Only a month passed before the next disaster, a heavy snowfall followed by a quick thaw. Iori, on his return from trips to the temple for food, inevitably wore a long face, for the people there rode him mercilessly about Musashi’s failure. And finally Musashi himself began to lose heart. For two full days and on into a third, he sat silently brooding and staring at his field. Then it dawned on him suddenly. Unconsciously, he had been trying to create a neat, square field like those common in other parts of the Kanto Plain, but this was not what the terrain called for. Here, despite the general flatness, there were slight variations in the lay of the land and the quality of the soil that argued for an irregular shape. “What a fool I’ve been,” he exclaimed aloud. “I tried to make the water flow where I thought it should and force the dirt to stay where I thought it ought to be. But it didn’t work. How could it? Water’s water, dirt’s dirt. I can’t change their nature. What I’ve got to do is learn to be a servant to the water and a protector of the land.” In his own way, he had submitted to the attitude of the peasants. On that day he became nature’s manservant. He ceased trying to impose his will on nature and let nature lead the way, while at the same time seeking out possibilities beyond the grasp of other inhabitants of the plain. The snow came again, and another thaw; the muddy water oozed slowly over the plain. But Musashi had had time to work out his new approach, and his field remained intact. “The same rules must apply to governing people,” he said to himself. In his notebook, he wrote: “Do not attempt to oppose the way of the universe. But first make sure you know the way of the universe.
Eiji Yoshikawa (Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era)
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stone Sour)
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries. Personally I find the noises they make reassuring. The creaks and footsteps in the night, their little tricks of hiding things, or moving them, I find endearing, not upsettling. It makes the place feel so much more like a home. Inhabited. Apart from ghosts nothing lives here for long. No cats no mice, no flies, no dreams, no bats. Two days ago I saw a butterfly, a monarch I believe, which danced from room to room and perched on walls and waited near to me. There are no flowers in this empty place, and, scared the butterfly would starve, I forced a window wide, cupped my two hands around her fluttering self, feeling her wings kiss my palms so gentle, and put her out, and watched her fly away. I've little patience with the seasons here, but your arrival eased this winter's chill. Please, wander round. Explore it all you wish. I've broken with tradition on some points. If there is one locked room here, you'll never know. You'll not find in the cellar's fireplace old bones or hair. You'll find no blood. Regard: just tools, a washing-machine, a drier, a water-heater, and a chain of keys. Nothing that can alarm you. Nothing dark. I may be grim, perhaps, but only just as grim as any man who suffered such affairs. Misfortune, carelessness or pain, what matters is the loss. You'll see the heartbreak linger in my eyes, and dream of making me forget what came before you walked into the hallway of this house. Bringing a little summer in your glance, and with your smile. While you are here, of course, you will hear the ghosts, always a room away, and you may wake beside me in the night, knowing that there's a space without a door, knowing that there's a place that's locked but isn't there. Hearing them scuffle, echo, thump and pound. If you are wise you'll run into the night, fluttering away into the cold, wearing perhaps the laciest of shifts. The lane's hard flints will cut your feet all bloody as you run, so, if I wished, I could just follow you, tasting the blood and oceans of your tears. I'll wait instead, here in my private place, and soon I'll put a candle in the window, love, to light your way back home. The world flutters like insects. I think this is how I shall remember you, my head between the white swell of your breasts, listening to the chambers of your heart.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Meg slashed through the last of Tarquin’s minions. That was a good thing, I thought distantly. I didn’t want her to die, too. Hazel stabbed Tarquin in the chest. The Roman king fell, howling in pain, ripping the sword hilt from Hazel’s grip. He collapsed against the information desk, clutching the blade with his skeletal hands. Hazel stepped back, waiting for the zombie king to dissolve. Instead, Tarquin struggled to his feet, purple gas flickering weakly in his eye sockets. “I have lived for millennia,” he snarled. “You could not kill me with a thousand tons of stone, Hazel Levesque. You will not kill me with a sword.” I thought Hazel might fly at him and rip his skull off with her bare hands. Her rage was so palpable I could smell it like an approaching storm. Wait…I did smell an approaching storm, along with other forest scents: pine needles, morning dew on wildflowers, the breath of hunting dogs. A large silver wolf licked my face. Lupa? A hallucination? No…a whole pack of the beasts had trotted into the store and were now sniffing the bookshelves and the piles of zombie dust. Behind them, in the doorway, stood a girl who looked about twelve, her eyes silver-yellow, her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was dressed for the hunt in a shimmering gray frock and leggings, a white bow in her hand. Her face was beautiful, serene, and as cold as the winter moon. She nocked a silver arrow and met Hazel’s eyes, asking permission to finish her kill. Hazel nodded and stepped aside. The young girl aimed at Tarquin. “Foul undead thing,” she said, her voice hard and bright with power. “When a good woman puts you down, you had best stay down.” Her arrow lodged in the center of Tarquin’s forehead, splitting his frontal bone. The king stiffened. The tendrils of purple gas sputtered and dissipated. From the arrow’s point of entry, a ripple of fire the color of Christmas tinsel spread across Tarquin’s skull and down his body, disintegrating him utterly. His gold crown, the silver arrow, and Hazel’s sword all dropped to the floor. I grinned at the newcomer. “Hey, Sis.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollows of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flesh of tattered flags kindling in the doom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore. It seemed now as if, touched by human penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single, distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat rocking; which, did we deserve them, should be ours always. But alas, divine goodness, twitching the cord, draws the curtain; it does not please him; he covers his treasures in a drench of hail, and so breaks them, so confuses them that it seems impossible that their calm should ever return or that we should ever compose from their fragments a perfect whole or read in the littered pieces the clear words of truth. For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only. The nights now are full of wind and destruction; the trees plunge and bend and their leaves fly helter skelter until the lawn is plastered with them and they lie packed in gutters and choke rain pipes and scatter damp paths. Also the sea tosses itself and breaks itself, and should any sleeper fancying that he might find on the beach an answer to his doubts, a sharer of his solitude, throw off his bedclothes and go down by himself to walk on the sand, no image with semblance of serving and divine promptitude comes readily to hand bringing the night to order and making the world reflect the compass of the soul. The hand dwindles in his hand; the voice bellows in his ear. Almost it would appear that it is useless in such confusion to ask the night those questions as to what, and why, and wherefore, which tempt the sleeper from his bed to seek an answer.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Those who live in retirement, whose lives have fallen amid the seclusion of schools or of other walled-in and guarded dwellings, are liable to be suddenly and for a long while dropped out of the memory of their friends, the denizens of a freer world. Unaccountably, perhaps, and close upon some space of unusually frequent intercourse—some congeries of rather exciting little circumstances, whose natural sequel would rather seem to be the quickening than the suspension of communication—there falls a stilly pause, a wordless silence, a long blank of oblivion. Unbroken always is this blank; alike entire and unexplained. The letter, the message once frequent, are cut off; the visit, formerly periodical, ceases to occur; the book, paper, or other token that indicated remembrance, comes no more. Always there are excellent reasons for these lapses, if the hermit but knew them. Though he is stagnant in his cell, his connections without are whirling in the very vortex of life. That void interval which passes for him so slowly that the very clocks seem at a stand, and the wingless hours plod by in the likeness of tired tramps prone to rest at milestones—that same interval, perhaps, teems with events, and pants with hurry for his friends. The hermit—if he be a sensible hermit—will swallow his own thoughts, and lock up his own emotions during these weeks of inward winter. He will know that Destiny designed him to imitate, on occasion, the dormouse, and he will be conformable: make a tidy ball of himself, creep into a hole of life's wall, and submit decently to the drift which blows in and soon blocks him up, preserving him in ice for the season. Let him say, "It is quite right: it ought to be so, since so it is." And, perhaps, one day his snow-sepulchre will open, spring's softness will return, the sun and south-wind will reach him; the budding of hedges, and carolling of birds and singing of liberated streams will call him to kindly resurrection. Perhaps this may be the case, perhaps not: the frost may get into his heart and never thaw more; when spring comes, a crow or a pie may pick out of the wall only his dormouse-bones. Well, even in that case, all will be right: it is to be supposed he knew from the first he was mortal, and must one day go the way of all flesh, As well soon as syne.
Charlotte Brontë