Winter Sayings And Quotes

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I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Albert Camus
My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
someone will remember us I say even in another time
Sappho (If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho)
Thorne scoffed. “Careful is my middle name. Right after Suave and Daring.” “Do you even know what you're saying half the time?” asked Cinder.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
A man says a lot of things in summer he doesn't mean in winter.
Patricia Briggs (Dragon Blood (Hurog, #2))
Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it.
Richard Adams (Watership Down)
I guess I'm trying to say, Grab anything that goes by. It may not come around again.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
You say potato; I say potahto...' 'I say integrity; you say deceit.
Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1))
Roads Go Ever On Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains in the moon. Roads go ever ever on, Under cloud and under star. Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen, And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green, And trees and hills they long have known. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. The Road goes ever on and on Out from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone. Let others follow, if they can! Let them a journey new begin. But I at last with weary feet Will turn towards the lighted inn, My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Captain?" "Cress." She couldn't not say it, although she realized he was right.It was sort of scary. Much scarier than it had been the first time she'd told him, out in the desert. It was different now. It was real. "I'm in love with you." He chuckled. "I should hope so, after all that." He leaned forward and pressed a kiss against her temple. "And I love you too.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
They say it grows so cold up here in winter that a man’s laughter freezes in his throat and chokes him to death,” Ned said evenly. “Perhaps that is why the Starks have so little humor.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Darwin says people like you need to die.” (Carrow)
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain." And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Dine with me,” Luc says as winter gives way to spring. “Dance with me,” he says as a new year begins. “Be with me,” he says, at last, as one decade slips into the next
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Now... Just run.' [said the Doctor.] One of the things you learn very quickly around the Doctor is never to question him when he says that word. You just run. It's almost like breathing.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
My dear, In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. Truly yours, Albert Camus” I like this because only one part is usually quoted but the full quote has such symmetry.
Albert Camus
Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota Territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat. After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered. Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles. It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt’s eventful life. But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina. I often think of that when I hear people say they haven’t time to read.
David McCullough
Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours.
Robert Byrne
Ah, Evie,” she heard him say softly, “I must have a heart, after all…because right now it aches like the devil.” “Only your heart?” she asked ingenuously, making him laugh. He lowered her to the bed, his eyes sparkling wickedly. “Also a few other things,” he conceded. “And as my wife, it’s your duty to ease all my aches.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
He could say nothing. He had no right to be there, he had already been profoundly changed, he was no good at small talk, she was half naked, it was dawn and he loved her.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
This is what I mean when I say I would like to swim against the stream of time: I would like to erase the consequences of certain events and restore an initial condition. But every moment of my life brings with it an accumulation of new facts, and each of these new facts bring with it consequences; so the more I seek to return to the zero moment from which I set out, the further I move away from it. . . .
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, ‘What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.’ Yes, evil often seems to surpass good. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I must still have hope.
Vincent van Gogh
I went to a tattoo parlor and had YES written onto the palm of my left hand, and NO onto my right palm, what can I say, it hasn't made my life wonderful, its made life possible, when I rub my hands against each other in the middle of winter I am warming myself with the friction of YES and NO, when I clap my hands I am showing my appreciation through the uniting and parting of YES and NO, I signify "book" by peeling open my hands, every book, for me, is the balance of YES and NO, even this one, my last one, especially this one. Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.
Jonathan Safran Foer
You’re my obsession, I’m your possession You own the deepest part of me You crawled into the darkness, set my monster free So scream, bleed, call out to me But never say stop, never flee
Pepper Winters (Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark, #2))
Hair is gray and the firers are burning. So many dreams on the shelf. You say I wanted you to be proud of me. I always wanted that myself.
Tori Amos
She is our moon. Our tidal pull. She is the rich deep beneath the sea, the buried treasure, the expression in the owl's eye, the perfume in the wild rose. She is what the water says when it moves.
Patricia A. McKillip (Solstice Wood (Winter Rose, #2))
Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
Linda Hogan (Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World)
Let's say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don't worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you're the one who shot him.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
yet if you had a desire for good or beautiful things and your tongue were not concocting some evil to say shame would not hold down your eyes but rather you would speak about what is just
Sappho (If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho)
Men who watch, and say little, very often are much wiser than the men they serve.
Susanna Kearsley (The Winter Sea (Slains, #1))
I do understand that you can look into someone’s eyes,” I heard myself saying, “and suddenly know that life will be impossible without them. Know that their voice can make your heart miss a beat and that their company is all your happiness can ever desire and that their absence will leave your soul alone, bereft and lost.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then - in truth - it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Lately I've become so damned distracted that I can't make a decision about anything. I can't think clearly. I've got knots in my stomach, and constant pains in my chest, and whenever I see you talking to any man, or smiling at anyone, I go insane with jealousy. I can't live this way. I—" He broke off and stared at her incredulously. "Damn it, Evie, what is there for you to smile about?" "Nothing," she said, hastily tucking the sudden smile back into the corners of her mouth. "It's just… it sounds as if you're trying to say that you love me.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
It is not for men and women to presume what the Lord wishes. That way lies evil, when men put themselves too high, saying, I know what God wants, for it is also what I want.
Katherine Arden (The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy, #3))
To say goodbye, is to die a little. To say good morning, is a hope for a new sunshine in a cloudy winter.
Nabil TOUSSI
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it say that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better pushing right back.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
On my canvas of life, you bring colors of love and joy, Just like in winters, The setting sun brings beams of red and purple to the sky.
Hareem Ch (Muse Buzz)
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))
I need you to know I never meant it. I said it because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to say, but it didn’t mean anything. And it’s different with you. This is the first time I’ve been scared. Scared you’ll change your mind. Scared I’ll screw it up. Aces, Cress, I’m terrified of you.” Her stomach fluttered. He didn’t look terrified. “Here’s the thing.” Thorne crawled over her legs and lay down beside her, boots and all. “You deserve better than some thief who’s going to end up in jail again. Everyone knows it. Even I know it. But you seem determined to believe I’m actually a decent guy who’s halfway worthy of you. So, what scares me most”—he twisted a lock of her hair between his fingers—“is that someday even you will realize that you can do better.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
But you are crazy.” “I know.” She lifted a small box from the basket. “Do you know how I know?” Scarlet didn't answer. “Because the palace walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.” She shrugged, as if this were a perfectly normal thing to say. “No one believes me, but in some corridors, the blood has gotten so thick there's nowhere safe to step. When I have to pass through those places, I leave a trail of bloody footprints for the rest of the day, and then I worry that the queen's soldiers will follow the scent and eat me up while I'm sleeping. Some nights I don't sleep very well.” Her voice dropped to a haunted whisper, her eyes taking on a brittle luminescence. “But if the blood was real, the servants would clean it up. Don't you think?
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
In our era, it is not enough to be tolerant. You tolerate mosquitoes in the summer, a rattle in an engine, the gray slush that collects at the crosswalk in winter. You tolerate what you would rather not have to deal with and wish would go away. It is no honor to be tolerated. Every spiritual tradition says love your neighbor as yourself, not tolerate them.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
It is growing cold. Winter is putting footsteps in the meadow. What whiteness boasts that sun that comes into this wood! One would say milk-colored maidens are dancing on the petals of orchids. How coldly burns our sun! One would say its rays of light are shards of snow, one imagines the sun lives upon a snow crested peak on this day. One would say she is a woman who wears a gown of winter frost that blinds the eyes. Helplessness has weakened me. Wandering has wearied my legs.
Roman Payne
Do you know what you’re going to say to Levana?” Kai crouched beside her, elbows braced against his knees. “I’m going to tell her I’ve fallen for one of my captors and the wedding is off.” Cinder’s arm froze. He smirked. “At least, that’s what I wish I could tell her.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Piglet was so excited at the idea of being Useful that he forgot to be frightened any more, and when Rabbit went on to say that Kangas were only Fierce during the winter months, being at other times of an Affectionate Disposition, he could hardly sit still, he was so eager to begin being useful at once.
A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1))
Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold? The tree says to the leaf: "That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
You are a terrible liar. You do want this. Just as badly as I do.” My mouth opened, but no words came out. “You want this as badly as you want to go to ALA this winter.” Now my jaw was on the floor. “You don’t even know what ALA is!” “American Library Association midwinter event,” he said, grinning proudly. “Saw you obsessing over it on your blog before you got sick. I’m pretty sure you said you’d give up your firstborn child to go.” Yeah, I kind of did say that. Daemon eyes flashed. “Anyway, back to the whole you wanting me part.” I shook my head, dumbfounded. “You do want me.” Taking a deep breath, I struggled with my temper… and my amusement. “You are way too confident.” “I’m confident enough to wager a bet.” “You can’t be serious.” He grinned. “I bet that by New Year’s Day, you will have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, and irrevocably—” “Wow. Want to throw another adverb out there?” My cheeks were burning. “How about irresistibly?” I rolled my eyes and muttered, “I’m surprised you know what an adverb is.” “Stop distracting me, Kitten. Back to my bet—by New Year’s Day, you’ll have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, irrevocably, and irresistibly in love with me.” Stunned, I choked on my laugh. “And that you dream about me.” He released my arm and folded his, cocking an eyebrow. “I bet you’ll even admit that. Probably even show me your notebook with my name circled in hearts—” “Oh, for the love of God…” Daemon winked. “It’s on.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
Who is to say, in the end, that the three guardians of Russia are not a witch, a frost-demon, and a chaos-spirit? I find it fitting.
Katherine Arden (The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3))
No one ever said that you would live to see the repercussions of everything you do, or that you have guarantees, or that you are not obliged to wander in the dark, or that everything will be proved to you and neatly verified like something in science. Nothing is: at least nothing that is worthwhile. I didn't bring you up only to move across sure ground. I didn't teach you to think that everything must be within our control or understanding. Did I? For, if I did, I was wrong. I fyou won't take a chance, then the powers you refuse because you cannot explain them, will, as they say, make a monkey out of you.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
A disturbing thought hits me,"but then our only neighbor would be Haymich!" "Ah, that'll be nice,"says Peeta, tightening his arms around me."You and me and Haymich. Very cozy. Picnics, birthdays. long winters around the campfire retelling old Hunger Games tales." "I told you he hates me!" I say, but I can't help laughing at the image of Haymich becoming my new pal. "Only sometimes. When he's sober, I've never heard him say one negative thing about you," says Peeta. He's never sober!" I protest. That's right. Who am I thinking of? Oh, I know. It's Cinna who likes you. But that's mainly because you didn't try to run when he set you in fire," says Peeta. "On the other hand, Haymich ... well, if I were you, I'd avoid Haymich completely. He Hates you." " I thought that you said I was his favorite," I say. "He hates me more," says Peeta, "I don't think people in general are his sort of thing.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
That drew a mocking laugh from Lillian. “Really, someone should tell St. Vincent that he’s a living cliché. He has become the embodiment of everything they say about reformed rakes.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Do me a favor, Princess. The next time someone says they're going to kill you, don't just let them. -page 244 of Winter
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Nobody these days holds the written word in such high esteem as police states do,' Arkadian Porpirych says. 'What statistic allows one to identify the nations where literature enjoys true consideration better than the sums appropriated for controlling it and suppressing it? Where it is the object of such attentions, literature gains an extraordinary authority, inconceivable in countries where it is allowed to vegetate as an innocuous pastime, without risks.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
What’s your tattoo?” I asked quietly, remembering how my friend noticed he had one. He didn’t say anything for a moment, or ask how I knew, but then he answered, “A decaying snowflake.” I raised my eyebrows. A decaying… “Why?” I asked. “Because of Winter by Walter de la Mare,” he replied softly. “Something still beautiful, even after what I did to her.
Penelope Douglas (Kill Switch (Devil's Night, #3))
Emperor, right." she retacked the curtain "That's weird to say, after eighteen years of listening to celebrity gossip feeds go on and on about 'Earth's favorite prince'". She claimed one of the lumpy sofa cushions, curling her legs beneath her. "I had a picture of him taped to my wall when I was fifteen. Grand-mere cut it off a cereal box." Wolf scowled. "Of course, half the girls in the world probably have had that same picture from that same cereal box." Wolf scrunched his shoulders against his neck, and Scarlet grinned, teasing. "Oh, no. You're not going to have to fight him for pack dominance now are you? Come here." She beckoned him with a wave of her hand and he was at her side in half a second, the glower softening as he pulled her against his chest.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
I can't imagine a world where the man holding a sword does not have the last say over the man without one.
Evan Winter (The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1))
You see, there's a drill: 1. I [Amy] will say 'Right then, let's go and rescue him [Rory].' 2. The Doctor will say 'Ah yes, but...' 3. And then he'll list the fourteen things that we have to do before we resuce Rory 4. And why they're all more important than rescuing Rory 5. The list normally includes wounded puppies 6. An exploding bus full of grannies 7. You know what I mean 8. So we'll go and do those instead 9. Cos they're all so important 10. And Rory has to come last.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
The universe will express itself as long as somebody will be able to say, "I read, therefore it writes.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Nobody had ever said to me before, "You need to live a life that you can cope with, not the one that other people want. Start saying no. Just do one thing a day. No more than two social events in a week." I owe my life to him.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
Calm down," Rafa says. "Yeah," I say, "because you're an expert at patience." "Which is why I look to you to set the example." "Oh, fuck off.
Paula Weston (Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3))
I heard you've been having some problems with your girlfriend." Headmistress Northcutt says. "No," I say. "Not at all." Audrey broke up with me after the winter holiday, exhausted by my moodiness. It's impossible to have problems with a girlfriend who's no longer mine.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
I want to say something but shame prevents me yet if you had a desire for good or beautiful things and your tongue were not concocting some evil to say, shame would not hold down your eyes but rather you would speak about what is just
Sappho (If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho)
Poetry And it was at that age... Poetry arrived in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don’t know how or when, no, they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence, but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night, abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone, there I was without a face and it touched me. I did not know what to say, my mouth had no way with names my eyes were blind, and something started in my soul, fever or forgotten wings, and I made my own way, deciphering that fire and I wrote the first faint line, faint, without substance, pure nonsense, pure wisdom of someone who knows nothing, and suddenly I saw the heavens unfastened and open, planets, palpitating planations, shadow perforated, riddled with arrows, fire and flowers, the winding night, the universe. And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, I felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke free on the open sky.
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
Since September it's just gotten colder and colder. There's less daylight now, I've noticed too. This can only mean one thing - the sun is going out. In a few more months the Earth will be a dark and lifeless ball of ice. Dad says the sun isn't going out. He says its colder because the earth's orbit is taking us farther from the sun. He says winter will be here soon. Isn't it sad how some people's grip on their lives is so precarious that they'll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face an occasional bleak truth?
Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin and Hobbes, #1))
In the summer heat the reapers say, “We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Birds are flyin' south for winter. Here's the Weird-Bird headin' north, Wings a-flappin', beak a-chatterin', Cold head bobbin' back 'n' forth. He says, "It's not that I like ice Or freezin' winds and snowy ground. It's just sometimes it's kind of nice To be the only bird in town.
Shel Silverstein
Someone will remember us I say Even in another time
Sappho (If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho)
Puddleglum,' they've said, 'You're altogether too full of bobance and bounce and high spirits. You've got to learn that life isn't all fricasseed frogs and ell pie. You want something to sober you down a bit. We're only saying it for your own good, Puddleglum.' That's what they say. Now a job like this --a journey up north just as winter's beginning looking for a prince that probably isn't there, by way of ruined city nobody's ever seen-- will be just the thing. If that doesn't steady a chap, I don't know what will.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
Because you are more to me now. Because you keep secrets like a kami and I’m curious what you hide. Because you are lonely and scared and I don’t understand why. Because you trust me when you know you shouldn’t. Because I believe you when you say you will keep your word.
Annette Marie (Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy, #1))
I-I’m not making advances,” she told him as she flattened herself against his chest. “You’re just an available s-source of heat.” “So you say,” St. Vincent replied lazily, tucking the quilt more tightly around them both. “However, during the past quarter hour you’ve been fondling parts of my anatomy that no one’s ever dared to touch before.” “I v-very much doubt that.” She burrowed even further into the depths of his coat, and added in a muffled voice, “You’ve probably been h-handled more than a hamper at Fortnum and Mason.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
John: "Poor John. Who says poor John? Don't everybody sob at once! My God, if I went up in flames there's not a living soul who'd pee on me to put the fire out!" Richard: "Let's strike a flint and see.
James Goldman (The Lion in Winter)
[When] he's here, he's always reading. He says books stop time. I myself think he's crazy...Don't tell anyone, but when he reads something that he likes he gets real happy, turns on the music, and dances by himself, or with a broom sometimes.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Say it. Say you’re mine.
Pepper Winters (Destroyed)
How can the mind be so imperfect?" she says with a smile. I look at my hands. Bathed in the moonlight, they seem like statues, proportioned to no purpose. "It may well be imperfect," I say, "but it leaves traces. And we can follow those traces, like footsteps in the snow." "Where do the lead?" "To oneself," I answer. "That's where the mind is. Without the mind, nothing leads anywhere." I look up. The winter moon is brilliant, over the Town, above the Wall. "Not one thing is your fault," I comfort her.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
Grand Mage,” Ghastly said, as he put the map away, “did you know the sparrow flies south for the winter?” “What an odd thing to say,” Ravel said, and as he turned, he snapped his palm against the air and Paloma slammed into the wall.” …..“What do you know,” Ravel said, breathing a little faster, “Skulduggery’s silly little code actually works.
Derek Landy (Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, #7))
Well, what do you want me to say?' The Doctor was so angry he was almost hovering. 'Well done on marrying the only male nurse not to have a full set of Barbara Streisand records? Why did you pick him, anyway? Were there no flight attendants in your village?' 'Only Jeff,' [Amy replied]. 'Ah.'... 'I picked Rory, always Rory, because he is just like you,' I [Amy] yelled at him. 'He is sweet and understanding and funny and he always tries to do the right thing. Plus you both run the same way.' 'We do not.' 'Do so.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
The book I'm looking for,' says the blurred figure, who holds out a volume similar to yours, 'is the one that gives the sense of the world after the end of the world, the sense that the world is the end of everything that there is in the world, that the only thing there is in the world is the end of the world.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
I wonder what kinds of songs Preston's father sang to him." Zach raised his eyebrows. "I wonder if he's in a cell humming them to himself right now." I should have said something-done something. He was in a dark place, there in the moonlight. But before I could say a word, Zach took a deep breath and looked up at the fortress. "I wonder if I should join him.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees, When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor, The highwayman comes riding-- Riding--riding-- The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door. Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard, He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred, He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there But the landlord's black-eyed daughter-- Bess, the landlord's daughter-- Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
Alfred Noyes (The Highwayman)
What’s it say about a person when they know they have a problem but never do anything to fix it?” Eric smiled. “That they’re human.
Jay Bell (Something Like Winter (Something Like, #3))
I live in a house over there on the Island, and in that house there is a man waiting for me. When he drove up at the door I drove out of the dock because he says I’m his ideal.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
You could say I am flawed. Marked. A malfetto. While my sister emerged from the fever unscathed, I now have only a scar where my left eye used to be. While my sister’s hair remained a glossy black, the strands of my hair and lashes turned a strange, ever-shifting silver, so that in the sunlight they look close to white, like a winter moon, and in the dark they change to a deep gray, shimmering silk spun from metal.
Marie Lu (The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1))
I found out I was in love with you, winter before last," she said. "I wasn't going to say anything about it because - well, you know. If you'd felt anything like that for me, you'd have known I did. But it wasn't both of us. So there was no good in it. But then, when you told us you're leaving ... At first I thought, all the more reason to say nothing. But then I thought, that wouldn't be fair. To me, partly. Love has a right to be spoken. And you have a right to know that somebody loves you. That somebody has loved you, could love you. We all need to know that. [...]
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (Hainish Cycle, #6.6))
The Führer's judgement will be proved right - again.' 'Of course it will, Erik.' 'He has never yet been wrong!' 'A man thought he could fly, so he jumped off the top of a ten-storey building, and as he fell past the fifth floor, flapping his arms uselessly in the air, he was heard to say: So far, so good!
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
She serves me a piece of it a few minutes out of the oven. A little steam rises from the slits on top. Sugar and spice - cinnamon - burned into the crust. But she's wearing these dark glasses in the kitchen at ten o'clock in the morning - everything nice - as she watches me break off a piece, bring it to my mouth, and blow on it. My daughter's kitchen, in winter. I fork the pie in and tell myself to stay out of it. She says she loves him. No way could it be worse.
Raymond Carver
Evie picked up the smallest of the rings and tried it on the fourth finger of her left hand. It fit perfectly. Raising it closer to her face, she examined the design. It was the simplest of all the rings, a polished gold band engraved with the words Tha Gad Agam Ort. “What does this mean?” she asked MacPhee. “It says, ‘My love is upon ye.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security. For birds and animals, as for poor men, winter is another matter. Rabbits, like most wild animals, suffer hardship.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
You are so good at this interrogating stuff, I’d love to take notes,” I say as I pull out my notepad and write at the top: A How-To Guide to Being Evil.
Alice Winters (How to Vex a Vampire (VRC: Vampire Related Crimes, #1))
Up in the hills we say that autumn kisses you, but winter fucks you hard.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
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))
It would have been better to do what everyone else does, neither taking life too seriously nor seeing it as merely grotesque, choosing a profession and practicing it, grabbing one's share of the common cake, eating it and saying, "It's delicious!" rather than following the gloomy path that I have trodden all alone; then I wouldn’t be here writing this, or at least it would have been a different story. The further I proceed with it, the more confused it seems even to me, like hazy prospects seen from too far away, since everything passes, even the memory of our most scalding tears and our heartiest laughter; our eyes soon dry, our mouths resume their habitual shape; the only memory that remains to me is that of a long tedious time that lasted for several winters, spent in yawning and wishing I were dead
Gustave Flaubert (November)
I KNEW IT WAS OVER when tonight you couldn't make the phone ring when you used to make the sun rise when trees used to throw themselves in front of you to be paper for love letters that was how i knew i had to do it swaddle the kids we never had against january's cold slice bundle them in winter clothes they never needed so i could drop them off at my mom's even though she lives on the other side of the country and at this late west coast hour is assuredly east coast sleeping peacefully her house was lit like a candle the way homes should be warm and golden and home and the kids ran in and jumped at the bichon frise named lucky that she never had they hugged the dog it wriggled and the kids were happy yours and mine the ones we never had and my mom was grand maternal, which is to say, with style that only comes when you've seen enough to know grace like when to pretend it's christmas or a birthday so she lit her voice with tiny lights and pretended she didn't see me crying as i drove away to the hotel connected to the bar where i ordered the cheapest whisky they had just because it shares your first name because they don't make a whisky called baby and i only thought what i got was what i ordered i toasted the hangover inevitable as sun that used to rise in your name i toasted the carnivals we never went to and the things you never won for me the ferris wheels we never kissed on and all the dreams between us that sat there like balloons on a carney's board waiting to explode with passion but slowly deflated hung slave under the pin- prick of a tack hung heads down like lovers when it doesn't work, like me at last call after too many cheap too many sweet too much whisky makes me sick, like the smell of cheap, like the smell of the dead like the cheap, dead flowers you never sent that i never threw out of the window of a car i never really owned
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
I, too, feel the need to reread the books I have already read," a third reader says, "but at every rereading I seem to be reading a new book, for the first time. Is it I who keep changing and seeing new things of which I was not previously aware? Or is reading a construction that assumes form, assembling a great number of variables, and therefore something that cannot be repeated twice according to the same pattern? Every time I seek to relive the emotion of a previous reading, I experience different and unexpected impressions, and do not find again those of before. At certain moments it seems to me that between one reading and the next there is a progression: in the sense, for example, of penetrating further into the spirit of the text, or of increasing my critical detachment. At other moments, on the contrary, I seem to retain the memory of the readings of a single book one next to another, enthusiastic or cold or hostile, scattered in time without a perspective, without a thread that ties them together. The conclusion I have reached is that reading is an operation without object; or that its true object is itself. The book is an accessory aid, or even a pretext.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Drugs is a government game, Bilal. A way to rob us of our best black men, our army. Everyone who plays the game loses. Then they get you right back where we started, in slavery! Then they get to say "This time you did it to yourself." I won't play that game.
Sister Souljah (The Coldest Winter Ever (The Coldest Winter Ever, #1))
If you think about it, reading is a necessarily individual act, far more than writing. If we assume that writing manages to go beyond the limitations of the author, it will continue to have a meaning only when it is read by a single person and passes through his mental circuits. Only the ability to be read by a given individual proves that what is written shares in the power of writing, a power based on something that goes beyond the individual. The universe will express itself as long as somebody will be able to say, "I read, therefore it writes.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
God spreads the heavens above us like great wings And gives a little round of deeds and days, And then come the wrecked angels and set snares, And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams, Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes Half shuddering and half joyous from God's peace; And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears, Who flattered Edane's heart with merry words. Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house! Let me have all the freedom I have lost; Work when I will and idle when I will! Faeries, come take me out of this dull world, For I would ride with you upon the wind, Run on the top of the dishevelled tide, And dance upon the mountains like a flame. I would take the world And break it into pieces in my hands To see you smile watching it crumble away. Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun, Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn, Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew, But now the indissoluble sacrament Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll But your white spirit still walk by my spirit. When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin, My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken My mother carries me in her golden arms; I'll soon put on my womanhood and marry The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell When I was born for the first time? The wind blows out of the gates of the day, The wind blows over the lonely of heart, And the lonely of heart is withered away; While the faeries dance in a place apart, Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring, Tossing their milk-white arms in the air; For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing Of a land where even the old are fair, And even the wise are merry of tongue; But I heard a reed of Coolaney say-- When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung, The lonely of heart is withered away.
W.B. Yeats (The Land of Heart's Desire)
It looks like something out of Whittier's "Snowbound,"' Julia said. Julia could always think of things like that to say.
Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4))
As the season changes, we learn to adapt.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice -- they won't hear you otherwise -- "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything: just hope they'll leave you alone.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
[T]he success of every novel -- if it's a novel of action -- depends on the high spots. The thing to do is to say to yourself, "What are my big scenes?" and then get every drop of juice out of them." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
Thank you for saving him," Evie heard herself say to Westcliff, still staring at her husband. The earl slid her a sideways glance. "You saved him, Evie on the night you offered to marry him. Which is evidence, I suppose, that moments of lunacy can occasionally lead to positive results. [...]
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
WINTER SPOILER KINDA Cinder stared at his whitened knuckles and struggled for something meaningful to say. Her grand plan of revolution and change had just begun and already she felt like a failure. This seemed worse than failing the people of Luna, though. She'd failed the people she cared about most in the universe. Finally, she whispered, "I'm so sorry, Thorne." "Yeah," he said. "Me too.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Westcliff thinks that St. Vincent is in love with you.” Evie choked a little and didn’t dare look up from her tea. “Wh-why does he think that?” “He’s known St. Vincent from childhood, and can read him fairly well. And Westcliff sees an odd sort of logic in why you would finally be the one to win St. Vincent’s heart. He says a girl like you would appeal to…hmm, how did he put it?…I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something like… you would appeal to St. Vincent’s deepest, most secret fantasy.” Evie felt her cheeks flushing while a skirmish of pain and hope took place in the tired confines of her chest. She tried to respond sardonically. “I should think his fantasy is to consort with as many women as possible.” A grin crossed Lillian’s lips. “Dear, that is not St. Vincent’s fantasy, it’s his reality. And you’re probably the first sweet, decent girl he’s ever had anything to do with.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
All problems with writing and performing come from fear. Fear of exposure, fear of weakness, fear of lack of talent, fear of looking like a fool for trying, for even thinking you could write in the first place. It's all fear. If we didn't have fear, imagine the creativity in the world. Fear holds us back every step of the way. A lot of studies say that despite all our fears in this country - death, war, guns, illness - our biggest fear is public speaking. What I am doing right now. And when people are asked to identify which kind of public speaking they are most afraid of, they check the improvisation box. So improvisation is the number-one fear in America. Forget a nuclear winter or an eight-point nine earthquake or another Hitler. It's improv. Which is funny, because aren't we just improvising all day long? Isn't our whole life just one long improvisation? What are we so scared of?
Lily King (Writers & Lovers)
Don't get me started on the whole Doctor-Amy-Rory thing. It's kind of like... I dunno. Suppose you'd always fancied Ryan Reynolds. That's fine, yeah. You meet someone else, who is maybe not Ryan Reynolds, but perhaps he's got the same goofy smile. And you think, 'Yeah, that's it, I'm happy.' Then Ryan Reynolds himself roars up in a camper van and says 'Hey guys! Let's all go on a road trip. Bring the boyfriend! It'll be fun.' Only Ryan Reynolds doesn't save the universe. Well, not at weekends. So I guess that's my life. Crammed in a camper van, sneaking the odd glance at Ryan, squeezing the hand of my lovely husband...
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
It appears that I am willing to put with many things for the sake of Jamie Watson . . . I can tell he’s hiding a laugh when he curls his mouth in like he’s eating a lemon. Sometimes I say terrible things just to see him do it . . . He flagellates himself rather a lot, as this narrative shows. He shouldn’t. He is lovely and warm and quite brave and a bit heedless of his own safety and by any measure the best man I’ve ever known. I’ve discovered that I am very clever when it comes to caring about him, and so I will continue to do so. Later today I will ask him to spend the rest of winter break at my family’s home in Sussex . . . Watson will say yes, I’m sure of it. He always says yes to me. – Charlotte
Brittany Cavallaro (A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1))
DCI Horner's advice to Jack Spratt: "Remember, m'boy," his old boss had said, eyes twinkling, "that if anyone tries to get the better of you, stand up straight and say to yourself in an imperious air, 'I am the new Mrs. de Winter now!' You'll find it works wonders.
Jasper Fforde
I abandoned the plan to make millions from the spell when I realised that people would finally realise their cats are selfish little bastards who only care about themselves. There would have been mass feline abandonment if they heard what their pets really have to say.
Helen Harper (Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic, #1))
I can't wait." Kian pressed my hands to his lips. "I love you with all my heart, all my being, all of myself. Whatever my mother says, whatever the law says, you are still my intended. I can feel it. Feel it the way I feel the power of Winter Magic in my blood. It is a truth more ancient than any laws, any magic. We can still communicate telepathically, with our minds, which is one magic of love. When you have love for someone, and it is returned, lovers can communicate through the mind - as long as we have that connection, we will never be truly parted. Promise me that, Breena.
Kailin Gow
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Why can’t you go back to playing princess?” “I never played princess.” “Are you kidding?” he says. “Whenever Heather’s mom took the two of you to the parade, you wore your fanciest dress, pretending to be the Winter Queen.” “Exactly!” I say. “Queen, not princess. You raised me better than that.
Jay Asher (What Light)
They say you only really appreciate a garden once you reach a certain age, and I suppose there is a truth in that. It’s probably something to do with the great circle of life. There seems to be something miraculous about seeing the relentless optimism of new growth after the bleakness of winter, a kind of joy in the difference every year, the way nature chooses to show off different parts of the garden to its full advantage.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Pray all you want - heaven can't hear you. It's not going to stop the winter because you are cold, and it's not going to make the earth smaller because you don't want to walk so far. You pray for rain and it rains, but your prayer has nothing to do with it. Sometimes you don't pray and it rains anyway. What do you say then? If you act wisely, good things tend to happen. Act like fool and bad things tend to happen. Don't thank or curse heaven - it's just the natural result of your own actions. If you want to have a better life, educate yourself and think carefully about the consequences of your actions.
Xun Kuang
When they ask why we stayed together for so long I say, I don’t know. I just know that we cried at the exact same time in every movie. I know we blushed everyday for the first two years. I know I always stole the covers and she never woke me up. I know the exact look on her face, the first night she used my toothbrush. The next day, I brushed my teeth like thirtysome times, ‘cause I didn’t want to let her go. You have to understand when it hurt to love her, it hurt the way the light hurts your eyes in the middle of the night, but I had to see, even through the ruin, if what we were burying were seeds. There were so many plants in our house, you could rake the leaves even through that winter when I was trying to make angels in the snow of her cold shoulder. She was still leaving love notes in my suitcase; I’d always find them.
Andrea Gibson
I suppose the fundamental distinction between Shakespeare and myself is one of treatment. We get our effects differently. Take the familiar farcical situation of someone who suddenly discovers that something unpleasant is standing behind them. Here is how Shakespeare handles it in "The Winter's Tale," Act 3, Scene 3: ANTIGONUS: Farewell! A lullaby too rough. I never saw the heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour! Well may I get aboard! This is the chase: I am gone for ever. And then comes literature's most famous stage direction, "Exit pursued by a bear." All well and good, but here's the way I would handle it: BERTIE: Touch of indigestion, Jeeves? JEEVES: No, Sir. BERTIE: Then why is your tummy rumbling? JEEVES: Pardon me, Sir, the noise to which you allude does not emanate from my interior but from that of that animal that has just joined us. BERTIE: Animal? What animal? JEEVES: A bear, Sir. If you will turn your head, you will observe that a bear is standing in your immediate rear inspecting you in a somewhat menacing manner. BERTIE (as narrator): I pivoted the loaf. The honest fellow was perfectly correct. It was a bear. And not a small bear, either. One of the large economy size. Its eye was bleak and it gnashed a tooth or two, and I could see at a g. that it was going to be difficult for me to find a formula. "Advise me, Jeeves," I yipped. "What do I do for the best?" JEEVES: I fancy it might be judicious if you were to make an exit, Sir. BERTIE (narrator): No sooner s. than d. I streaked for the horizon, closely followed across country by the dumb chum. And that, boys and girls, is how your grandfather clipped six seconds off Roger Bannister's mile. Who can say which method is superior?" (As reproduced in Plum, Shakespeare and the Cat Chap )
P.G. Wodehouse (Over Seventy: An Autobiography with Digressions)
He has been in her heart for so long it is as if she knows him already, but she doesn't. She does not know what to say or how to say it, and suddenly she is afraid that there is a wrong way to move forward, a mistake that once made cannot be undone.
Kristin Hannah (Winter Garden)
All men have parties and are pals who never let each other down. A pal can say terrible things which are forgotten the next day. A pal never forgives, he just forgets, and a woman forgives but never forgets. That's how it is. That's why women aren't allowed to have parties. Being forgiven is very unpleasant.
Tove Jansson (A Winter Book)
Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. Not something serious like I'll never kill anyone or I'll never invade Russia in the winter. Usually, it's something less earth-shattering. I'll never cheat on her. I'll never work at a job I hate. I'll never give up on my dreams. We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it. That's why it's so hard when we break that promise we make to ourselves. Sage Hendricks was my line.
Brian Katcher (Almost Perfect)
Okay, you know, is it weird to get so depressed watching a children’s Christmas special— Oh, wait, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, that’s not a good word. It’s not just “sadness,” the way one feels sad at a film or a funeral. It’s more of a plummeting quality. Or the way, you know, the way that light gets in winter just before dusk, or the way she is with me. All right, at the height of lovemaking, you know, the very height, when she’s starting to climax, and she’s really responding to you now, you know, her eyes widening in that way that’s both, you know, surprise and recognition, which not a woman alive could fake or feign if you really look intently at her, really see her. And I don’t know, this moment has this piercing sadness to it, of the loss of her in her eyes. And as her eyes, you know, widen to their widest point and as she begins to climax and arch her back, they close. You know, shut, the eyes do. And I can tell that she’s closed her eyes to shut me out. You know, I become like an intruder. And behind those closed lids, you know, her eyes are now rolled all the way around and staring intently inward into some void where l, who sent them, can’t follow.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
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
Try it alone now," he said. "I taught you when you were six. You were a fine little rider then. Do you remember?" "No!" said Azalea. "You remembered how to ride last winter," said the King quietly. He had his arms crossed. "You rode very well, one night last winter, if I remember." The horse beneath Azalea shifted, and she clutched to keep her balance. "That was nearly a year ago," she stammered. "Some things are burned into one's memory." The King helped her down gently onto solid ground, and didn't say another word.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
In The Wisdom of Insecurity, Watts makes a case that always convinces me, but which I always seem to forget: that life is, by its very nature, uncontrollable. That we should stop trying to finalise our comfort and security, and instead find a radical acceptance of the endless, unpredictable change that is the very essence of this life. Our suffering, he says, comes from the fight we put up against this fundamental truth.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
Did you say you were going into Tir Na Nog? Lemme guess - you met with our lovely queen, she threatened to turn you into lemurs or something ridiculous and then she told you to go complete some ludicrously impossible task for her. Am I right?” When we nodded, he shook his head. “I thought so. Well, you know what this means, don’t you?” “Yes.” Keirran’s eyes were hard as he faced Puck, his expression one of grim determination. “We have to find a way into Winter.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2))
Sir," returned Mrs. Sparsit, " I cannot say that i have heard him precisely snore, and therefore must not make that statement. But on winter evenings, when he has fallen asleep at his table, I have heard him, what I should prefer to describe as partially choke. I have heard him on such occasions produce sounds of a nature similar to what may be heard in dutch clocks. Not," said Mrs. Sparsit, with a lofty sense of giving strict evidence, " That I would convey any imputation on his moral character. Far from it.
Charles Dickens (Hard Times)
At the beginning of all love there is a private treaty each of the lovers make with himself or herself, an agreement to set aside what is wrong with the other for the sake of what is right. Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life's wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold. When that warmth is born in the heart the imperfections of the beloved are as nothing, less than nothing, and the secret treaty with oneself is easy to sign. The voice of doubt is stilled. Later, when love fades, the secret treaty looks like folly, but if so, it's a necessary folly, born of lovers' belief in beauty, which is to say, in the possibility of the impossible thing, true love.
Salman Rushdie (Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights)
The Pomegranate The only legend I have ever loved is the story of a daughter lost in hell. And found and rescued there. Love and blackmail are the gist of it. Ceres and Persephone the names. And the best thing about the legend is I can enter it anywhere. And have. As a child in exile in a city of fogs and strange consonants, I read it first and at first I was an exiled child in the crackling dusk of the underworld, the stars blighted. Later I walked out in a summer twilight searching for my daughter at bed-time. When she came running I was ready to make any bargain to keep her. I carried her back past whitebeams and wasps and honey-scented buddleias. But I was Ceres then and I knew winter was in store for every leaf on every tree on that road. Was inescapable for each one we passed. And for me. It is winter and the stars are hidden. I climb the stairs and stand where I can see my child asleep beside her teen magazines, her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit. The pomegranate! How did I forget it? She could have come home and been safe and ended the story and all our heart-broken searching but she reached out a hand and plucked a pomegranate. She put out her hand and pulled down the French sound for apple and the noise of stone and the proof that even in the place of death, at the heart of legend, in the midst of rocks full of unshed tears ready to be diamonds by the time the story was told, a child can be hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance. The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured. The suburb has cars and cable television. The veiled stars are above ground. It is another world. But what else can a mother give her daughter but such beautiful rifts in time? If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift. The legend will be hers as well as mine. She will enter it. As I have. She will wake up. She will hold the papery flushed skin in her hand. And to her lips. I will say nothing.
Eavan Boland
...Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God's own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway....They'll speak our names in hushed tones, 'those guys are animals' they'll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet! We can, by God, let our demons loose and just wail on!
John L. Parker Jr. (Once a Runner)
I straighten and stretch my neck side to side. ‘I really need to hit something.’ Rafa’s mouth quirks. ‘I know what you need.’ ‘In your dreams.’ I know where this is going: it’s been the same banter for about five decades now. Usually he saves it for an audience. ‘In my dreams, Gabe, you end up slick with sweat and moaning.’ ‘I have food poisoning?’ He laughs, a beer halfway to his lips. Condensation drips from the bottle. He’s completely at ease here: three-quarter cargoes, frayed t-shirt, bare feet. ‘I’m just saying that if you need distracting, I’m your man.’ ‘If I wanted to go places everyone else has been, Rafa, I’d take a trip to Disneyland.’ He leans in closer. ‘Yeah, but don’t you want to know why everyone loves Space Mountain?
Paula Weston (Burn (The Rephaim, #4))
...a woman's voice said, "if you've reached this message and you weren't trying to contact Regin the Radient" - Regin? -"then I know three things about you. One of my half sisters just tooled your ass and never wants to see you again. B. You're pop-culturally illiterate enough not to know this number is a song. And three, you'll never tell another male about this humiliating prank, so the number trick can be continued indefinitely. If however, you called for moi, then say something to amuse me after the beep." ..Just as he was about to unleash his wrath in a message, a computerized voice said, "Mailbox is full.
Kresley Cole (Deep Kiss of Winter (Includes: Immortals After Dark, #7; Alien Huntress, #3.5))
There have been times when I felt that I might die of loneliness. People sometimes say they might die of boredom, that they're dying for a cup of tea, but for me, dying of loneliness is not a hyperbole. When I feel like that, my head drops and my shoulders slump and I ache, I physically ache, for human contact - I truly feel that I might tumble to the ground and pass away if someone doesn't hold me, touch me. I don't mean a lover - this recent madness aside, I had long since given up on any notion that another person might love me that way - but simply a human being. The scalp massage at the hairdresser, the flu jab I had last winter - the only time I experience touch is from people whom I am paying, and they are almost wearing disposable gloves at the time. I'm merely stating the facts.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others. So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!...
Primo Levi (If This Is a Man • The Truce)
I notice he doesn't have his meteorite bag and see out the window it's probably going to pour any minute, but wee need to et out of here. Immediately. "We're going to search for meteorites," I say, like that's what most people do on winter mornings. I never really told either of them too much about last summer, which is reflected in both of their flummoxed faces. But who freaking cares? Not us. In a flash, we're through the door, across the street and into the woods, running for no reason and laughing for no reason and totally out of breath and out of our minds when Brian catches me by my shirt, whips me around, and with one strong hand flat against my chest, he pushes me against a tree and kisses me so hard I go blind.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
A young girl, a freshman, I met in a bar in Cambridge my junior year at Harvard told me early one fall that “Life is full of endless possibilities.” I tried valiantly nog to choke on the beer nuts I was chewing while she gushed this kidney stone of wisdom, and I calmly washed them down with the rest of a Heineken, smiled and concentrated on the dart game that was going on in the corner. Needless to say, she did not live to see her sophomore year.That winter, her body was found floating in the Charles River, decapitated, her head hung from a tree on the bank, her hair knotted around a low-hanging branch, three miles away.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Sabine stood up, satisfied that her friends were safe and content. When she moved, Calla lifted her head. Her eyes focused in Sabine's direction. Despite the distance between them, Sabine Could have sworn Calla was looking right at her. The white wolf's ears flicked back and forth. She lifted her muzzle and howled. The sound filled Sabine with a mixture of sweetness and sorrow. The other wolves joined the song, their familiar voices blending in the winter air. Sabine watched them from another minute, then she turned and walked back to Ethan. "Everything okay?" he asked. She handed him the binoculars. "They're happy. So I'm happy." ... She turned, listening to the song carried on the stiff winter breeze. Nev's voice rose about the other wolves' as the chorus of howls wove through the air. Sabine wondered if somehow they knew she was here, and if they might be saying good-bye or if they were asking her to stay.
Andrea Cremer (Bloodrose (Nightshade #3; Nightshade World #6))
Andras Riedlmayer described a colleague who survived the siege of Sarajevo. In the winter, the scholar and his wife ran out of firewood, and so began to burn their books for heat and cooking. 'This forces one to think critically,' Riedlmayer remembered his friend saying. 'One must prioritize. First you burn old college textbooks, which you haven't read in thirty years. Then there are the duplicates. But eventually, you're forced to make tougher choices. Who burns today: Dostoevsky or Proust?' I asked Riedlmayer if his friend had any books left when the war was over. 'Oh yes,' he replied, his face lit by a flickering smile. 'He still had many books. Sometimes, he told me, you look at the books and just choose to go hungry.
Matthew Battles
Lovers, forget your love, And list to the love of these, She a window flower, And he a winter breeze. When the frosty window veil Was melted down at noon, And the caged yellow bird Hung over her in tune, He marked her through the pane, He could not help but mark, And only passed her by, To come again at dark. He was a winter wind, Concerned with ice and snow, Dead weeds and unmated birds, And little of love could know. But he sighed upon the sill, He gave the sash a shake, As witness all within Who lay that night awake. Perchance he half prevailed To win her for the flight From the firelit looking-glass And warm stove-window light. But the flower leaned aside And thought of naught to say, And morning found the breeze A hundred miles away.
Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken and Other Poems)
I love the inconvenience the same way that I sneakingly love a bad cold: the irresistible disruption to mundane life, forcing you to stop for a while and step outside your normal habits. I love the visual transformation it brings about, that recolouring of the world into sparkling white, the way that the rules change so that everybody says hello as they pass. I love what it does to the light, the purplish clouds that loom before it descends, and the way it announces itself from behind your curtains in the morning, glowing a diffuse whiteness that can only mean snow. Heading out in a snowstorm to catch the flakes on my gloves, I love the feeling of it fresh underfoot. I am rarely childlike and playful except in snow. It swings me into reverse gear.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
You’re thinking, maybe it would be easier to let it slip let it go say ”I give up” one last time and give him a sad smile. You’re thinking it shouldn’t be this hard, shouldn’t be this dark, thinking love could flow easily with no holding back and you’ve seen others find their match and build something great together, of each other, like two halves fitting perfectly and now they achieve great things one by one, always together, and it seems grand. But you love him. Love him like a black stone in your chest you couldn’t live without because it fits in there. Makes you who you are and the thought of him gone—no more—makes your chest tighten up and maybe this is your fairytale. Maybe this is your castle. You could get it all on a shiny piece of glass with wooden stools and a neverending blooming garden but that’s not yours. This is yours. The cracks and the faults, the ugly words in the winter walking home alone and angry but falling asleep thinking you love him. This is your fairy tale. The quiet in the hallway, wishing for him to turn around, tell you to stay, tell you to please don’t go I need you like you need me and maybe it’s not a Jane Austen novel but this is your novel and your castle and you can run from it your whole life but this is here in front of you. Maybe nurture it? Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an hour or two. This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed. It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone. Be that someone for him. That’s your fairy tale. This is your castle. Now move in. Build a home. Build a house. Build a safety around things you love. It’s yours if you make it so. Welcome home, sweet girl, it will be all be fine.
Charlotte Eriksson
Shall I show you the half-dozen other rooms in this hospital where these scenes are repeated? And what of the other hospitals? Printing House Square is small and tame. Even in the private institutions uptown you can see a show just like this: there is nothing as disgusting as an obese cadaver in which all the futile pleasures of many years finally arise to fill it full-blown with stinking rotten gases. The city is burning and under siege. And we are in a war in which everyone is killed and no one is remembered." "What am I supposed to do, then," Peter Lake asked, "if it's like you say?" "Is there someone you love?" "Yes." "A woman?" "Yes." "Then go home to her." "And who will remember her?" "No one. That's just the point. You must take care of all that now.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Red Fox The red fox crosses the ice intent on none of my business. It's winter and slim pickings. I stand in the bushy cemetery, pretending to watch birds, but really watching the fox who could care less. She pauses on the sheer glare of the pond. She knows I'm there, sniffs me in the wind at her shoulder. If I had a gun or dog or a raw heart, she'd smell it. She didn't get this smart for nothing. She's a lean vixen: I can see the ribs, the sly trickster's eyes, filled with longing and desperation, the skinny feet, adept at lies. Why encourage the notion of virtuous poverty? It's only an excuse for zero charity. Hunger corrupts, and absolute hunger corrupts absolutely, or almost. Of course there are mothers, squeezing their breasts dry, pawning their bodies, shedding teeth for their children, or that's our fond belief. But remember - Hansel and Gretel were dumped in the forest because their parents were starving. Sauve qui peut. To survive we'd all turn thief and rascal, or so says the fox, with her coat of an elegant scoundrel, her white knife of a smile, who knows just where she's going: to steal something that doesn't belong to her - some chicken, or one more chance, or other life.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
The principle I always go on in writing a novel is to think of the characters in terms of actors in a play. I say to myself, if a big name were playing this part, and if he found that after a strong first act he had practically nothing to do in the second act, he would walk out. Now, then, can I twist the story so as to give him plenty to do all the way through? I believe the only way a writer can keep himself up to the mark is by examining each story quite coldly before he starts writing it and asking himself it is all right as a story. I mean, once you go saying to yourself, "This is a pretty weak plot as it stands, but if I'm such a hell of a writer that my magic touch will make it okay," you're sunk. If they aren't in interesting situations, characters can't be major characters, not even if you have the rest of the troop talk their heads off about them." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
And all the spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed, desired, and compromised solitude, remain indelible within us and precisely because the human being wants them to remain so. He knows instinctively that this space identified with his solitude is creative; that even when it is forever expunged from the present, when, henceforth, it is alien to all the promises of the future, even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic. We return to them in our night dreams. These retreats have the value of a shell. And when we reach the very end of the labyrinths of sleep, when we attain to the regions of deep slumber, we may perhaps experience a type of repose that is pre-human; pre-human, in this case, approaching the immemorial. But in the daydream itself, the recollection of moments of confined, simple, shut-in space are experiences of heartwarming space, of a space that does not seek to become extended, but would like above all still to be possessed. In the past, the attic may have seemed too small, it may have seemed cold in winter and hot in summer. Now, however, in memory recaptured through daydreams, it is hard to say through what syncretism the attic is at once small and large, warm and cool, always comforting.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
What is the colour of Christmas? Red? The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon, Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast? Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter? One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, For the true colour of Christmas is Black. Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight. I am not sure who wrote this. I got it from page nine of “A Book of Christmas” by William Sansom. Google didn’t help. It is rather true I think, that the true color of Christmas is black. For like the author said in succeeding sentences “The table yellow with electric light, the fire by which stories are told, the bright spangle of the tree- they all blazé out of shadow and out of a darkness of winter
William Sansom
Reading," he says, "is always this: there is a thing that is there, a thing made of writing, a solid material object, which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that is not present, something else that belongs to the immaterial, invisible world, because it can only be thought, imagined, or because it was once and is no longer, past, lost, unattainable, in the land of the dead...." "Or that is not present because it does not yet exist, something desire, feared, possible or impossible," Ludmilla says. "Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be....
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Let’s say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don’t worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you’re the one who shot him. He had been a big, twitchy guy with veiny skin stretched over swollen biceps, a tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. Teeth filed into razor-sharp fangs-you know the type. And you’re chopping off his head because, even with eight bullet holes in him, you’re pretty sure he’s about to spring back to his feet and eat the look of terror right off your face. On the follow-through of the last swing, though, the handle of the ax snaps in a spray of splinters. You now have a broken ax. So, after a long night of looking for a place to dump the man and his head, you take a trip into town with your ax. You go to the hardware store, explaining away the dark reddish stains on the broken handle as barbecue sauce. You walk out with a brand-new handle for your ax. The repaired ax sits undisturbed in your garage until the spring when, on one rainy morning, you find in your kitchen a creature that appears to be a foot-long slug with a bulging egg sac on its tail. Its jaws bite one of your forks in half with what seems like very little effort. You grab your trusty ax and chop the thing into several pieces. On the last blow, however, the ax strikes a metal leg of the overturned kitchen table and chips out a notch right in the middle of the blade. Of course, a chipped head means yet another trip to the hardware store. They sell you a brand-new head for your ax. As soon as you get home, you meet the reanimated body of the guy you beheaded earlier. He’s also got a new head, stitched on with what looks like plastic weed-trimmer line, and it’s wearing that unique expression of “you’re the man who killed me last winter” resentment that one so rarely encounters in everyday life. You brandish your ax. The guy takes a long look at the weapon with his squishy, rotting eyes and in a gargly voice he screams, “That’s the same ax that beheaded me!” IS HE RIGHT?
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
WHAT THE LIVING DO Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of. It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off. For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking, I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve, I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it. Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning. What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it. But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless: I am living. I remember you.
Marie Howe (What the Living Do: Poems)
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))
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.
Because the night you asked me, the small scar of the quarter moon had healed - the moon was whole again; because life seemed so short; because life stretched out before me like the halls of a nightmare; because I knew exactly what I wanted; because I knew exactly nothing; because I shed my childhood with my clothes - they both had years of wear in them; because your eyes were darker than my father's; because my father said I could do better; because I wanted badly to say no; because Stanly Kowalski shouted "Stella...;" because you were a door I could slam shut; because endings are written before beginnings; because I knew that after twenty years you'd bring the plants inside for winter and make a jungle we'd sleep in naked; because I had free will; because everything is ordained; I said yes.
Linda Pastan
The willow is full plumage and is no help, with its insinuating whispers. Rendevous, it says. Terraces; the sibilants run up my spine, a shiver as if in fever. The summer dress rustles against the flesh of my thighs, the grass grows underfoot, at the edges of my eyes there are movements, in the branches; feathers, flittings, grace notes, tree into bird, metamorphosis run wild. Goddesses are possible now and the air suffuses with desire... Winter is not so dangerous. I need hardness, cold, rigidity; not this heaviness, as if I'm a melon on a stem, this liquid ripeness.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember. The wild roses flower in the woods. Your hand is torn on the bushes gathering the mulberries and strawberries you refresh yourself with. You run to catch the young hares you flay with stones from the rocks to cut them up and eat all hot and bleeding. You know how to avoid meeting a bear on the track. You know the winter fear when you hear the wolves gathering. But you can remain seated for hours in the treetops to await morning. You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.
Monique Wittig (Les Guérillères)
A dam inside my own heart opened up, and the feelings of heaviness and unease lifted like wind against the winter sky. I loved him. I loved his slow wit and his gruff demeanor and his tender disposition. I loved his endless empathy and his world-weary cynicism and his innocence. I loved that he was a walking, breathing paradox. I loved his lank hair and his iron earring and the tooth missing at the back of his mouth. I loved the way he laughed, music incomparable to any song, and the way he smiled, like you could see the child in him and the animal in him and the man in him all at once. I loved that he listened to crappy music, the kind that made me want to put my head through a wall, and I loved the charcoal stains on his knuckles and the pencils he tucked behind his ears. I loved that he told me to shut up as though I could actually say anything. I loved that he made me feel as though I could. I loved his short fingers and his rough palms and his long legs and his flat belly. I loved that he liked to read Kerouac but didn't know how to pronounce Kerouac. I loved his brown skin and his blue tattoos and his tempestuous blue eyes. I loved that he loved the land. I loved him. I loved him. Oh, God. I loved him.
Rose Christo (Looks Over (Gives Light, #2))
Google, his mother says. The new new found land. Not so long ago it was only the mentally deranged, the unworldly pedants, the imperialists and the naivest of schoolchildren who believed that encyclopaediae gave you any equivalence for the actual world, or any real understanding of it. And door-to-door salesmen sold them, and they were never to be trusted. And even the authorized encyclopaediae, even them we never mistook for or accepted as any real knowledge of the world. But now the world trusts search engines without a thought. The canniest door-to-door salesmen ever invented. Never mind foot in the door. Already right at the heart of the house.
Ali Smith (Winter (Seasonal Quartet, #2))
There is, of course, always the personal satisfaction of writing down one's experiences so they may be saved, caught and pinned under glass, hoarded against the winter of forgetfulness. Time has been cheated a little, at least in one's own life, and a personal, trivial immortality of an old self assured. And there is another personal satisfaction: that of the people who like to recount their adventures, the diary-keepers, the story-tellers, the letter-writers, a strange race of people who feel half cheated of an experience unless it is retold. It does not really exist until it is put into words. As though a little doubting or dull, they could not see it until it is repeated. For, paradoxically enough, the more unreal an experience becomes - translated from real action into unreal words, dead symbols for life itself - the more vivid it grows. Not only does it seem more vivid, but its essential core becomes clearer. One says excitedly to an audience, 'Do you see - I can't tell you how strange it was - we all of us felt...' although actually, at the time of incident, one was not conscious of such a feeling, and only became so in the retelling. It is as inexplicable as looking all afternoon at a gray stone of a beach, and not realizing, until one tries to put it on canvas, that is in reality bright blue.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (North to the Orient)
You're going to be okay," Winter said reassuringly. You don't understand," Leven snapped. What don't I understand?" Winters voice was stern. "Sorry you feel bad, but its not like you just met a person so beautiful that now you feel completely worthless." What?" Leven said. "What are you talking about?" Isaw the way you fell over yourselves to stare at her." That was Geth." Don't argue, you two," Geth said. Were not arguing." Leven felt light-headed. No," Winter confirmed. "We're just...." Winter looked at Leven. Leven looked right back at her. Winters cheeks burned red and her green eyes outshone Leven's. The two of them stared at one other. Leven closed his eyes. What are you doing?" Geth asked, concerned. Winter closed her eyes too and leaned closer. Both of them looked panicked and out of control, but it didn't stop them from moving closer and kissing each other. Clovers jaw dropped and he pulled something out of his void just so he could let go of it in shock. Even Geth looked caught off guard, as if he'd been given news that he never thought he'd hear in his lifetime. Leven stumbled back and looked at Winter. His face was almost as red as hers. He looked at Geth and Clover and then back to Winter. Well that was interesting," Clover said happily. I don't know what....." Leven tried to say. No, I......" Winter said. "Its not you.... it's just that my... I think I left something down below.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra (Leven Thumps, #4))
Been thinking of my grandfather, whose wayward brilliance skipped my father’s generation. Once, he showed me an aquatint of a certain Siamese temple. Don’t recall its name, but ever since a disciple of the Buddha preached on the spot centuries ago, every bandit king, tyrant, and monarch of that kingdom has enhanced it with marble towers, scented arboretums, gold-leafed domes, lavished murals on its vaulted ceilings, set emeralds into the eyes of its statuettes. When the temple finally equals its counterpart in the Pure Land, so the story goes, that day humanity shall have fulfilled its purpose, and Time itself shall come to an end. To men like Ayrs, it occurs to me, this temple is civilization. The masses, slaves, peasants, and foot soldiers exist in the cracks of its flagstones, ignorant even of their ignorance. Not so the great statesmen, scientists, artists, and most of all, the composers of the age, any age, who are civilization’s architects, masons, and priests. Ayrs sees our role is to make civilization ever more resplendent. My employer’s profoundest, or only, wish is to create a minaret that inheritors of Progress a thousand years from now will point to and say, “Look, there is Vyvyan Ayrs!” How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn’t, the wolves and blizzards would be at one’s throat all the sooner.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
And she knew for the first time that someone can wire your skin in a single evening, and that love arrives not by accumulating to a moment, like a drop of water focused on the tip of a branch - it is not the moment of bringing your whole life to another - but rather, it is everything you leave behind. At that moment. Even that night, the night he touched one inch of her in the dark, how simply Avery seemed to accept the facts - that they were on the edge of lifelong happiness and, therefore, inescapable sorrow. It was as if, long ago, a part of him had broken off inside, and now finally, he recognised the dangerous fragment that had been floating in his system, causing him intermittent pain over the years. As if he could now say of that ache: "Ah. It was you.
Anne Michaels (The Winter Vault)
In my opinion, the best time to be alive is always right now. People are aways whining about how they were born in the wrong century, but they really haven't thought things through. They picture the old castle they wish they could live in, but they don't think about the drafts in the winter or the pitch darkness at night, or all the spiders and the lice. They can't imagine the everyday pain of a life without movies or recorded music or... or... Interet videos about cats. And don't even get me started on women who idealize the past. Do you have any idea what it was like to be a woman even a hundred years ago? Horrible! And a hundred years before that, the situation practically defies description. We might as well have been slaves. Trussed up in hoop skirts and corsets, married off like racehorses. Good riddance to history, I say!
Tommy Wallach (Thanks for the Trouble)
Some enterprising rabbit had dug its way under the stakes of my garden again. One voracious rabbit could eat a cabbage down to the roots, and from the looks of things, he'd brought friends. I sighed and squatted to repair the damage, packing rocks and earth back into the hole. The loss of Ian was a constant ache; at such moments as this, I missed his horrible dog as well. I had brought a large collection of cuttings and seeds from River Run, most of which had survived the journey. It was mid-June, still time--barely--to put in a fresh crop of carrots. The small patch of potato vines was all right, so were the peanut bushes; rabbits wouldn't touch those, and didn't care for the aromatic herbs either, except the fennel, which they gobbled like licorice. I wanted cabbages, though, to preserve a sauerkraut; come winter, we would want food with some taste to it, as well as some vitamin C. I had enough seed left, and could raise a couple of decent crops before the weather turned cold, if I could keep the bloody rabbits off. I drummed my fingers on the handle of my basket, thinking. The Indians scattered clippings of their hair around the edges of the fields, but that was more protection against deer than rabbits. Jamie was the best repellent, I decided. Nayawenne had told me that the scent of carnivore urine would keep rabbits away--and a man who ate meat was nearly as good as a mountain lion, to say nothing of being more biddable. Yes, that would do; he'd shot a deer only two days ago; it was still hanging. I should brew a fresh bucket of spruce beer to go with the roast venison, though . . . (Page 844)
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
Now I see things differently. It took me some time, but I know the secret now. Freedman Town serves a good purpose -- not for the people who live there, Lord knows; people stuck there by poverty, by prejudice, by laws that keep them from moving or working. Freedman Town's purpose is for the rest of the world. The world that sits, like Martha, with dark glasses on, staring from a distance, scared but safe. Create a pen like that, give people no choice but to live like animals, and then people get to point at them and say 'Will you look at those animals? That's what kind of people those people are.' And that idea drifts up and out of Freedman Town like chimney smoke, black gets to mean poor and poor to mean dangerous and all the words get murked together and become one dark idea, a cloud of smoke, the smokestack fumes drifting like filthy air across the rest of the nation.
Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines)
Once the process of falsification is set in motion, it won't stop. We're in a country where everything that can be falsified has been falsified: paintings in museums, gold ingots, bus tickets. The counterrevolution and the revolution fight with salvos of falsification: the result is that nobody can be sure what is true and what is false, the political police simulate revolutionary actions and the revolutionaries disguise themselves as policemen." And who gains by it, in the end?" It's too soon to say. We have to see who can best exploit the falsifications, their own and those of the others: whether it's the police or our organization." The taxi driver is pricking up his ears. You motion Corinna to restrain herself from making unwise remarks. But she says, "Don't be afraid. This is a fake taxi. What really alarms me, though, is that there is another taxi following us." Fake or real?" Fake, certainly, but I don't know whether it belongs to the police or to us.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
THE POEMS OF OUR CLIMATE I Clear water in a brilliant bowl, Pink and white carnations. The light In the room more like a snowy air, Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow At the end of winter when afternoons return. Pink and white carnations - one desires So much more than that. The day itself Is simplified: a bowl of white, Cold, a cold porcelain, low and round, With nothing more than the carnations there. II Say even that this complete simplicity Stripped one of all one's torments, concealed The evilly compounded, vital I And made it fresh in a world of white, A world of clear water, brilliant-edged, Still one would want more, one would need more, More than a world of white and snowy scents. III There would still remain the never-resting mind, So that one would want to escape, come back To what had been so long composed. The imperfect is our paradise. Note that, in this bitterness, delight, Since the imperfect is so hot in us, Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.
Wallace Stevens
Here are the sounds of Wear. It rattles stone on stone. It sucks its teeth. It sings. It hisses like the rain. It roars. It laughs. It claps its hands. Sometimes I think it prays. In winter, through the ice, I've seen it moving swift and black as Tune, without a sound. Here are the sights of Wear. It falls in braids. It parts at rocks and tumbles round them white as down or flashes over them in silver quilts. It tosses fallen trees like bits of straw yet spins a single leaf as gentle as a maid. Sometimes it coils for rest in darkling pools and sometimes it leaps its banks and shatters in the air. In autumn, I've seen it breathe a mist so thick and grey you'd never know old Wear was there at all. Each day, for years and years, I've gone and sat in it. Usually at dusk I clamber down and slowly sink myself to where it laps against my breast. Is it too much to say, in winter, that I die? Something of me dies at least. First there's the fiery sting of cold that almost stops my breath, the aching torment in my limbs. I think I may go mad, my wits so outraged that they seek to flee my skull like rats a ship that's going down. I puff. I gasp. Then inch by inch a blessed numbness comes. I have no legs, no arms. My very heart grows still. These floating hands are not my hands. The ancient flesh I wear is rags for all I feel of it. "Praise, Praise!" I croak. Praise God for all that's holy, cold, and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness. And as you race to spill into the sea, praise him yourself, old Wear. Praise him for dying and the peace of death. In the little church I built of wood for Mary, I hollowed out a place for him. Perkin brings him by the pail and pours him in. Now that I can hardly walk, I crawl to meet him there. He takes me in his chilly lap to wash me of my sins. Or I kneel down beside him till within his depths I see a star. Sometimes this star is still. Sometimes she dances. She is Mary's star. Within that little pool of Wear she winks at me. I wink at her. The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
Frederick Buechner (Godric)
His thumb caressed her cheek. His eyes held her, warm and strong. “I, Christian James, take you, Violet Mary, to be my wife. To have, to hold. To love, honor, and cherish. To amuse, to pleasure, to make smile and laugh. To dance with, at every opportunity. To respect always, and tease on occasion. To confide in, whenever need be. To treasure, protect, admire—” She couldn’t help but give a nervous laugh. “I don’t think these words are in the vows.” “They’re in my vows,” he said gravely. “But in the interests of time, I shall to return to form. All that richer-poorer, sickness-health business goes without saying. And I will gladly forsake all others, so long as we both shall live.” His hand slid back into her hair, grasping tight. Raw emotion roughened his voice. “I need a lifetime with you.
Tessa Dare (Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5))
It's a physical sickness. Etienne. How much I love him. I love Etienne. I love it when he cocks an eyebrow whenever I say something he finds clever or amusing. I love listening to his boots clomp across my bedroom ceiling. I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent. I love that. I love sitting beside him in physics. Brushing against him during lands. His messy handwriting on our worksheets. I love handing him his backpack when class is over,because then my fingers smell like him for the next ten minutes. And when Amanda says something lame, and he seeks me out to exchange an eye roll-I love that,too. I love his boyish laugh and his wrinkled shirts and his ridiculous knitted hat. I love his large brown eyes,and the way he bites his nails,and I love his hair so much I could die. There's only one thing I don't love about him. Her. If I didn't like Ellie before,it's nothing compared to how I feel now. It doesn't matter that I can count how many times we've met on one hand. It's that first image, that's what I can't shake. Under the streeplamp. Her fingers in his hair. Anytime I'm alone, my mind wanders back to that night. I take it further. She touches his chest. I take it further.His bedroom.He slips off her dress,their lips lock, their bodies press,and-oh my God-my temperature rises,and my stomach is sick. I fantasize about their breakup. How he could hurt her,and she could hurt him,and of all the ways I could hurt her back. I want to grab her Parisian-styled hair and yank it so hard it rips from her skull. I want to sink my claws into her eyeballs and scrape. It turns out I am not a nice person. Etienne and I rarely discussed her before, but she's completely taboo now. Which tortures me, because since we've gotten back from winter break, they seem to be having problems again. Like an obsessed stalker,I tally the evenings he spend with me versus the evening he spends with her. I'm winning.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
1. Are her lips like the hot chocolate your mother made During the winter months when you were seven? Or have you not tasted her well enough to find the fine granules of cocoa that lightly come with each kiss? 2. Do you know her favorite songs? Not when she is happy, but when she is sad. What music reaches inside her ribcage and softly consoles her heart? 3. When she is sad, are you on the phone or are you at her door? Words do not wipe away tears, fingers do. 4. Do you know all the things that keep her up at night? Do you know why she has gone three days without sleep? Do you know of the insurmountable waves of sadness that wash over her like a tsunami? 5. Do you know the things to say that will calm her heartbeat? The places to touch? The places to love? 6. Everytime you see her do you kiss her like it’s the last time but love her like it’s the first? 7. Do you love her? 8. Do you love her?
Nishat Ahmed
It's a simple choice! We can all be good boys and wear our letter sweaters around and get our little degrees and find some nice girl to settle, you know, down with... Take up what a friend of ours calls the hearty challenges of lawn care... Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the hearts of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God's own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race satan himslef till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straight away... They'll speak our names in hushed tones, 'those guys are animals' they'll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a guy, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet! We can, by god, let out demons loose and just wail on!
John L. Parker Jr. (Once a Runner)
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
Love Letter" Not easy to state the change you made. If I'm alive now, then I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it, Staying put according to habit. You didn't just tow me an inch, no- Nor leave me to set my small bald eye Skyward again, without hope, of course, Of apprehending blueness, or stars. That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake Masked among black rocks as a black rock In the white hiatus of winter- Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure In the million perfectly-chisled Cheeks alighting each moment to melt My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears, Angels weeping over dull natures, But didn't convince me. Those tears froze. Each dead head had a visor of ice. And I slept on like a bent finger. The first thing I was was sheer air And the locked drops rising in dew Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay Dense and expressionless round about. I didn't know what to make of it. I shone, mice-scaled, and unfolded To pour myself out like a fluid Among bird feet and the stems of plants. I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once. Tree and stone glittered, without shadows. My finger-length grew lucent as glass. I started to bud like a March twig: An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg. From stone to cloud, so I ascended. Now I resemble a sort of god Floating through the air in my soul-shift Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
Sylvia Plath (Crossing the Water)
Jacin’s fingers curled around his knife. It was torture. Jacin looked more afraid than when he’s stood on trial. More afraid than when his torso had been stripped raw from the lashings. This was the last time she would ever see him. This was her last moment. Her last breath. Suddenly, all of the politics and all of the games stopped mattering. Suddenly, she felt daring. “Jacin,” she said, with a shaky smile. “You must know. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love you. I don’t think such a time ever existed.” His eyes filled with a thousand emotions. But before he could say whatever he would say, before he could kill her, Winter grabbed the front of his shirt with both hands and kissed him. He thawed much quicker than shed expected. Almost instantly, like he’d been waiting for this moment, he grabbed her hips and pulled her against him with a possessiveness that overwhelmed her. His lips were desperate and starved as he leaned into the kiss, pressing her against the rail. She gasped, and he deepened the kiss, threading one hand into the hair at the nape of her neck. Her head swam, muddles with heat and a lifetime of desire. Jacin’s other hand abandoned her hip. She heard the ring of steel as the knife was pulled from its scabbard. Winter shuddered and kissed him harder, filling it with every fantasy she’d ever had. Jacin’s hand slipped out of her hair. His arm encircled her. He held her against him like he couldn’t get close enough. Like he meant to absorb her body into his. Releasing his shirt, Winter found his neck, his jaw. She felt the tips of his hair on her thumbs. He made a noise and she couldn’t tell if it was desire or pain or regret or a mix of everything. His arm tensed against her back. His weight shifted as he raised the knife.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Upon seeing Evie, her friends rushed toward her with unladylike squeals, and Evie let out her own laughing shriek as they collided in a circle of tightly hugging arms and exuberant kisses. In their shared excitement, the three young women continued to exclaim and scream, until someone burst into the room. It was Cam, his eyes wide, his breathing fast, as if he had come at a dead run. His alert gaze flashed across the room, taking in the situation. Slowly his lean frame relaxed. "Damn," he muttered. "I thought something was wrong." "Everything is fine, Cam," Evie said with a smile, while Annabelle kept an arm around her shoulders. "My friends are here, that's all." Glancing at Sebastian, Cam remarked sourly, "I've heard less noise form the hogs at slaughter time." There was a sudden suspicious tension around Sebastian's jaw, as if he were fighting to suppress a grin. "Mrs. Hunt, Miss Bowman, this is Mr. Rohan. You must pardon his lack of tact, as he is..." "A ruffian?" Daisy suggested innocently. This time Sebastian could not prevent a smile. "I was going to say 'unused to the presence of ladies at the club.'" "Is that what the are?" Cam asked, casting a dubious glance at the visitors, his attention lingering for a moment on Daisy's small face. Pointedly ignoring Cam, Daisy spoke to Annabelle. "I've always heard that Gypsies are known for their charm. An unfounded myth, it seems." Cam's golden eyes narrowed into tigerish slits.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
How do you know they're magic and not some mechanical device of the dwarves?" Tanis asked, sensing that Tas was hiding something. Tas gulped. He had been hoping Tanis wouldn't ask him that question. "Uh," Tas stammered, "I---I guess I did sort of happened to, uh, mention them to Raistilin one night when you were all busy doing something else. He told me they might be magic. To find out, he said one of those weird spells of his and they--uh--began to glow. That meant they were enchanted. He asked me what they did and I demonstated and he said they were 'glasses of true seeing.' The dwarven magic-users of old made them to read books written in other languages and--" Tas stopped. "And?" Tanis pursued. "And--uh--magic spellbooks." Tas's voice was a whisper. "And what else did Raistlin say?" "That if I touched his spellbooks or even looked at them sideways, he'd turn me into a cricket and s-swallow m-me whole," Tasselhoff stammered. He looked up at Tanis with his wide eyed. "I belived him, too." Tanis shook his head. Trust Raistlin to come up with a threat awful enough to quensh the curiosity of a kender.
Margaret Weis (Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #2))
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
If I were you, Mr. Lascelles," said Childermass, softly, "I would speak more guardedly. You are in the north now. In John Uskglass's own country. Our towns and cities and abbeys were built by him. Our laws were made by him. He is our minds and hearts and speech. Were it summer you would see a carpet of tiny flowers beneath every hedgerow, of a bluish-white colour. We call them John’s Farthings. When the weather is contrary and we have warm weather in winter or it rains in summer the country people say that John Uskglass is in love again and neglects his business. And when we are sure of something we say it is as safe as a pebble in John Uskglass’s pocket.” Lascelles laughed. “Far be it from me, Mr. Childermass, to disparage your quaint country sayings. But surely it is one thing to pay lip-service to one’s history and quite another to talk of bringing back a King who numbered Lucifer himself among his allies and overlords? No one wants that, do they? I mean apart from a few Jihannites and madmen?” “I am a North Englishman, Mr. Lascelles,” said Childermass. “Nothing would please me better than that my King should come home. It is what I have wished for all my life.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
All through the winter months, Rose kept up the practice of sitting by the fire with Peter and a book telling him stories. The doctor stopped to listen one afternoon out of curiosity, and heard her say, “…then the Mermaid said to the Pirate, ‘I would rather perish with the boy than go with you.’ And the Pirate said, ‘So be it,’ and sealed them both up inside the treasure chest. Then the pirate’s crew got together to lift the chest up, and with a nod from their captain, they cast the chest overboard into the sea. The chest was so heavy, it sank in the water in spite of the air inside, and in seconds it was gone from view, disappearing into the deep blue depths. If the boy and the mermaid were unable to free themselves, they would surely perish.” Peter’s eyes were wide with interest. “But- I can’t tell you what happened- you’ll have to find out next time.” She stopped and closed the book. Peter shook his head and put his hand on the book. She laughed and said, “You want to hear more now, do you?
Christopher Daniel Mechling (Peter: The Untold True Story)
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
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)
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
Raw emotions and the need to hold him close overwhelmed me. Every part of ached for him-my mind, my soul and my body. Without hesitation, i closed the gap between us and pressed my lips eagerly to his. Noah's hands were everywhere, my hair, my face, my back, and for the love of all things holy, my breasts. My hands roamed his glorious body just as greedily. After drugging me with delicious kisses for not nearly long enough, his warm lips skimmed my throat and kissed down the center of my breasts, causing me to arch my back and lose my ever loving mind. Without meaning to, i moaned and whispered his name when his hands wandered to my thighs and set my world and blood on fire. Noah eased me back into the bed and my hair sprawled all around me. "I love how you smell," he whispered as he suckled my earlobe. "I love how beautiful you are." I reclaimed his lips and hooked a leg around his as we moved in rhythm with each other. In between frantic kisses, i whispered the words, "I love you". Because i did. Noah listened to me. He made me laugh and he made me feel special. He was strong and warm and caring and...everything. I loved him. I loved him more than i'd ever loved another person in my life. Every muscle in my body froze when Noah stopped kissing and stare down at me with wide eyes. He caressed my cheek twice over and tilted his head. "Make love to me, Echo. I've never made love." No way. Noah's experienced reputation walked down the hallway before he did. "But..." Noah cut me off with a kiss. "Yes, but never love. Just girls who didn't mean anything" You..." His tongue teased my bottom lip, thawing my body. "Are everything. I got tested over winter break and i'm clean and i've got protection." He reached to the side of the bed and magically produced a small orange square. I froze again. Sensing my hesitation, Noah kissed my lips slowly while stroking my cheek. "And since break?" I asked. "There's been no one," he whispered against my lips. "I met you soon after and i could never think of touching anyone else." I loved him and we were together. I entwined my fingers in his hair and pulled his head back to mine, but the second his hand touched the waist of my jeans, my heart shook and my hands snapped out to stop him. "Please. Wait. Noah..." Oh, God, i was actually going to say it. "I'm a virgin." Now Noah froze. "But you were with Luke." A faint smile grew on my lips. I was typically the tongue-tied one and found it amusing to see him confused for once. "That's why we broke up. I wasn't ready." He shifted his body off of mine and tuckled me close against his warmth. I laid my head on his chest and listened to the comforting sound of his beating heart. Noah ran his hand through my hair. "I'm glad you told me. This needs to be right for you and i'll wait, for as long as you need.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Dear Patton: I've been feeling blue lately but I wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the amount of rain we've had over the last few weeks. What are your thoughts on that? Ms. Diller Cary, NC Dear Ms. Diller: Rain can have a profound effect on someone inclined toward melancholy. I live in Los Angeles, and, as of this writing, we've just experienced three weeks of unending late-winter storms. The sky has been a limitless bowl of sludgy, hopeless gray. The ground, soaked and muddy, emits burbly, hissing spurts with every step, which sound like a scornful parent who sees no worth, hope, or value in their offspring. The morning light through my bedroom window promises nothing but a damp, unwelcoming day of thankless busywork and futile, doomed chores. My breakfast cereal tastes like being ostracized. My morning coffee fills my stomach with dread. What's the point of even answering this question? The rain--it will not stop. Even if I say something that will help you--which I won't, because I'm such a useless piece of shit--you'll eventually die and I'll die and everyone we know will die and this book will turn to dust and the universe will run down and stop, and dead dead dead dead dead. Dead. Read Chicken Soup for the Soul, I guess. Dead. Dead dead. Patton
Patton Oswalt
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 (First Law World, #5))
Just that winter she had found herself saying to a young woman who worked with her at the tasting bar on Saturdays that between a man and a woman there was always one person who was stronger than the other one. 'That doesn't mean the weaker one doesn't love the stronger,' she'd pleaded. The girl looked at her blankly. But for my mother what mattered was that as she spoke, she had suddenly identified herself as the weaker one. This revelation sent her reeling. What had she thought all those years but the opposite? She pulled her chair as close to his head as she could and laid her face on the edge of his pillow to watch him breathing, to see the flutter of the eye beneath his eyelid when he dreamed. How could it be that you could love someone so far from home? She had put billboards and roads in between them, throwing roadblocks behind her and ripping off the rearview mirror, and thought that that would make him disappear? erase their life and children? It was so simple, as she watched him, as his regular breathing calmed her, that she did not even see it happening at first. She began to think of the rooms in our house and the hours that she had worked so hard to forget spent inside of them. Like fruit put up in jars and forgotten about, the sweetness seemed even more distilled as she returned. There on that shelf were all the dates and silliness of thier early love, the braid that began to form of their dreams, the solid root of a burgeoning family. The first solid evidence of it all. Me.
Alice Sebold
I walked past the lady in yellow robes and the maid bringing her a letter, past the soldier with a magnificent hat and the girl smiling at him, thinking of warm lips, brown eyes, blue eyes. Her brown eyes stopped me. It's the painting from whose frame a girl looks out, ignoring her beefy music teacher, whose proprietary hand rests on her chair. The light is muted, winter light, but her face is bright. I looked into her brown eyes and I recoiled. She was warning me of something-- she had looked up from her work to warn me. Her mouth was slightly open, as if she had just drawn a breath in order to say to me, "Don't!" I moved backward, trying to get beyond the range of her urgency. But her urgency filled the corridor. "Wait," she was saying, "wait! Don't go!" ... She had changed a lot in sixteen years. She was no longer urgent. In fact, she was sad. She was young and distracted, and her teacher was bearing down on her, trying to get her to pay attention. But she was looking out, looking for someone who would see her. This time I read the title of the painting: Girl Interrupted at Her Music. Interrupted at her music.- as my life had been, interrupted in the music of being seventeen, as her life had been, snatched and fixed on canvas: one moment made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments, whatever they would be or might have been. What life can recover from that? I had something to tell her now "I see you," I said. My boyfriend found me crying in the hallway. "What's the matter with you?" he asked. "Don't you see, she's trying to get out," I said, pointing at her.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
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
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter. And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, And three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins, But there was no information, and so we continued And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory. All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down This set down This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.
T.S. Eliot
That's the real distinction between people: not between those who have secrets and those who don't, but between those who want to know everything and those who don't. This search is a sign of love, I maintain. It's similar with books. Not quite the same, of course (it never is); but similar. If you quite enjoy a writer's work, if you turn the page approvingly yet don't mind being interrupted, then you tend to like that author unthinkingly. Good chap, you assume. Sound fellow. They say he strangled an entire pack of Wolf Cubs and fed their bodies to a school of carp? Oh no, I'm sure he didn't; sound fellow, good chap. But if you love a writer, if you depend upon the drip-feed of his intelligence, if you want to pursue him and find him -- despite edicts to the contrary -- then it's impossible to know too much. You seek the vice as well. A pack of Wolf Cubs, eh? Was that twenty-seven or twenty-eight? And did he have their little scarves sewn up into a patchwork quilt? And is it true that as he ascended the scaffold he quoted from the Book of Jonah? And that he bequeathed his carp pond to the local Boy Scouts? But here's the difference. With a lover, a wife, when you find the worst -- be it infidelity or lack of love, madness or the suicidal spark -- you are almost relieved. Life is as I thought it was; shall we now celebrate this disappointment? With a writer you love, the instinct is to defend. This is what I meant earlier: perhaps love for a writer is the purest, the steadiest form of love. And so your defense comes the more easily. The fact of the matter is, carp are an endangered species, and everyone knows that the only diet they will accept if the winter has been especially harsh and the spring turns wet before St Oursin's Day is that of young minced Wolf Cub. Of course he knew he would hang for the offense, but he also knew that humanity is not an endangered species, and reckoned therefore that twenty-seven (did you say twenty-eight?) Wolf Cubs plus one middle-ranking author (he was always ridiculously modest about his talents) were a trivial price to pay for the survival of an entire breed of fish. Take the long view: did we need so many Wolf Cubs? They would only have grown up and become Boy Scouts. And if you're still so mired in sentimentality, look at it this way: the admission fees so far received from visitors to the carp pond have already enabled the Boy Scouts to build and maintain several church halls in the area.
Julian Barnes (Flaubert's Parrot)
Not to waste the spring I threw down everything, And ran into the open world To sing what I could sing... To dance what I could dance! And join with everyone! I wandered with a reckless heart beneath the newborn sun. First stepping through the blushing dawn, I crossed beneath a garden bower, counting every hermit thrush, counting every hour. When morning's light was ripe at last, I stumbled on with reckless feet; and found two nymphs engaged in play, approaching them stirred no retreat. With naked skin, their weaving hands, in form akin to Calliope's maids, shook winter currents from their hair to weave within them vernal braids. I grabbed the first, who seemed the stronger by her soft and dewy leg, and swore blind eyes, Lest I find I, before Diana, a hunted stag. But the nymphs they laughed, and shook their heads. and begged I drop beseeching hands. For one was no goddess, the other no huntress, merely two girls at play in the early day. "Please come to us, with unblinded eyes, and raise your ready lips. We will wash your mouth with watery sighs, weave you springtime with our fingertips." So the nymphs they spoke, we kissed and laid, by noontime's hour, our love was made, Like braided chains of crocus stems, We lay entwined, I laid with them, Our breath, one glassy, tideless sea, Our bodies draping wearily. We slept, I slept so lucidly, with hopes to stay this memory. I woke in dusty afternoon, Alone, the nymphs had left too soon, I searched where perched upon my knees Heard only larks' songs in the trees. "Be you, the larks, my far-flung maids? With lilac feet and branchlike braids... Who sing sweet odes to my elation, in your larking exaltation!" With these, my clumsy, carefree words, The birds they stirred and flew away, "Be I, poor Actaeon," I cried, "Be dead… Before they, like Hippodamia, be gone astray!" Yet these words, too late, remained unheard, By lark, that parting, morning bird. I looked upon its parting flight, and smelled the coming of the night; desirous, I gazed upon its jaunt, as Leander gazes Hellespont. Now the hour was ripe and dark, sensuous memories of sunlight past, I stood alone in garden bowers and asked the value of my hours. Time was spent or time was tossed, Life was loved and life was lost. I kissed the flesh of tender girls, I heard the songs of vernal birds. I gazed upon the blushing light, aware of day before the night. So let me ask and hear a thought: Did I live the spring I’d sought? It's true in joy, I walked along, took part in dance, and sang the song. and never tried to bind an hour to my borrowed garden bower; nor did I once entreat a day to slumber at my feet. Yet days aren't lulled by lyric song, like morning birds they pass along, o'er crests of trees, to none belong; o'er crests of trees of drying dew, their larking flight, my hands, eschew Thus I'll say it once and true… From all that I saw, and everywhere I wandered, I learned that time cannot be spent, It only can be squandered.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
ONCE UPON A time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. As he grew old, he began to wonder which should inherit the kingdom, since none had married and he had no heir. The king decided to ask his daughters to demonstrate their love for him. To the eldest princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” She loved him as much as all the treasure in the kingdom. To the middle princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” She loved him with the strength of iron. To the youngest princess he said, “Tell me how you love me.” This youngest princess thought for a long time before answering. Finally she said she loved him as meat loves salt. “Then you do not love me at all,” the king said. He threw his daughter from the castle and had the bridge drawn up behind her so that she could not return. Now, this youngest princess goes into the forest with not so much as a coat or a loaf of bread. She wanders through a hard winter, taking shelter beneath trees. She arrives at an inn and gets hired as assistant to the cook. As the days and weeks go by, the princess learns the ways of the kitchen. Eventually she surpasses her employer in skill and her food is known throughout the land. Years pass, and the eldest princess comes to be married. For the festivities, the cook from the inn makes the wedding meal. Finally a large roast pig is served. It is the king’s favorite dish, but this time it has been cooked with no salt. The king tastes it. Tastes it again. “Who would dare to serve such an ill-cooked roast at the future queen’s wedding?” he cries. The princess-cook appears before her father, but she is so changed he does not recognize her. “I would not serve you salt, Your Majesty,” she explains. “For did you not exile your youngest daughter for saying that it was of value?” At her words, the king realizes that not only is she his daughter—she is, in fact, the daughter who loves him best. And what then? The eldest daughter and the middle sister have been living with the king all this time. One has been in favor one week, the other the next. They have been driven apart by their father’s constant comparisons. Now the youngest has returned, the king yanks the kingdom from his eldest, who has just been married. She is not to be queen after all. The elder sisters rage. At first, the youngest basks in fatherly love. Before long, however, she realizes the king is demented and power-mad. She is to be queen, but she is also stuck tending to a crazy old tyrant for the rest of her days. She will not leave him, no matter how sick he becomes. Does she stay because she loves him as meat loves salt? Or does she stay because he has now promised her the kingdom? It is hard for her to tell the difference.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
The Jumblies I They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea! And when the Sieve turned round and round, And every one cried, 'You'll all be drowned!' They called aloud, 'Our Sieve ain't big, But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig! In a Sieve we'll go to sea!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. II They sailed away in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a riband by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast; And every one said, who saw them go, 'O won't they be soon upset, you know! For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long, And happen what may, it's extremely wrong In a Sieve to sail so fast!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. III The water it soon came in, it did, The water it soon came in; So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat, And they fastened it down with a pin. And they passed the night in a crockery-jar, And each of them said, 'How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our Sieve we spin!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. IV And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown. 'O Timballo! How happy we are, When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar, And all night long in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail, In the shade of the mountains brown!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. V They sailed to the Western Sea, they did, To a land all covered with trees, And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart, And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart, And a hive of silvery Bees. And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws, And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree, And no end of Stilton Cheese. Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. VI And in twenty years they all came back, In twenty years or more, And every one said, 'How tall they've grown! For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore!' And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And every one said, 'If we only live, We too will go to sea in a Sieve,--- To the hills of the Chankly Bore!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
Edward Lear
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
1 The summer our marriage failed we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car. We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea, talking about which seeds to sow when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt, downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers, and there was a joke, you said, about old florists who were forced to make other arrangements. Delphiniums flared along the back fence. All summer it hurt to look at you. 2 I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going in different directions.” As if it had something to do with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down how love empties itself from a house, how a view changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks, it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings? You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles. 3 On our last trip we drove through rain to a town lit with vacancies. We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met five other couples—all of us fluorescent, waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency of the motor that would lure these great mammals near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long, creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker: In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves. Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me? His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening. The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates. Again and again you patiently wiped the spray from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good troopers used to disappointment. On the way back you pointed at cormorants riding the waves— you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic, the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure whales were swimming under us by the dozens. 4 Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument, the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning, washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved sitting with our friends under the plum trees, in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time, how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying to describe the ways sex darkens and dies, how two bodies can lie together, entwined, out of habit. Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire, on an old couch that no longer reassures. The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest and found ourselves in fog so thick our lights were useless. There’s no choice, you said, we must have faith in our blindness. How I believed you. Trying to imagine the road beneath us, we inched forward, honking, gently, again and again.
Dina Ben-Lev
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)
California during the 1940s had Hollywood and the bright lights of Los Angeles, but on the other coast was Florida, land of sunshine and glamour, Miami and Miami Beach. If you weren't already near California's Pacific Coast you headed for Florida during the winter. One of the things which made Miami such a mix of glitter and sunshine was the plethora of movie stars who flocked there to play, rubbing shoulders with tycoons and gangsters. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between the latter two. Miami and everything that surrounded it hadn't happened by accident. Carl Fisher had set out to make Miami Beach a playground destination during the 1930s and had succeeded far beyond his dreams. The promenade behind the Roney Plaza Hotel was a block-long lovers' lane of palm trees and promise that began rather than ended in the blue waters of the Atlantic. Florida was more than simply Miami and Miami Beach, however. When George Merrick opened the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables papers across the country couldn't wait to gush about the growing aura of Florida. They tore down Collins Bridge in the Gables and replaced it with the beautiful Venetian Causeway. You could plop down a fiver if you had one and take your best girl — or the girl you wanted to score with — for a gondola ride there before the depression, or so I'd been told. You see, I'd never actually been to Florida before the war, much less Miami. I was a newspaper reporter from Chicago before the war and had never even seen the ocean until I was flying over the Pacific for the Air Corp. There wasn't much time for admiring the waves when Japanese Zeroes were trying to shoot you out of the sky and bury you at the bottom of that deep blue sea. It was because of my friend Pete that I knew so much about Miami. Florida was his home, so when we both got leave in '42 I followed him to the warm waters of Miami to see what all the fuss was about. It would be easy to say that I skipped Chicago for Miami after the war ended because Pete and I were such good pals and I'd had such a great time there on leave. But in truth I decided to stay on in Miami because of Veronica Lake. I'd better explain that. Veronica Lake never knew she was the reason I came back with Pete to Miami after the war. But she had been there in '42 while Pete and I were enjoying the sand, sun, and the sweet kisses of more than a few love-starved girls desperate to remember what it felt like to have a man's arm around them — not to mention a few other sensations. Lake had been there promoting war bonds on Florida's first radio station, WQAM. It was a big outdoor event and Pete and I were among those listening with relish to Lake's sultry voice as she urged everyone to pitch-in for our boys overseas. We were in those dark early days of the war at the time, and the outcome was very much in question. Lake's appearance at the event was a morale booster for civilians and servicemen alike. She was standing behind a microphone that sat on a table draped in the American flag. I'd never seen a Hollywood star up-close and though I liked the movies as much as any other guy, I had always attributed most of what I saw on-screen to smoke and mirrors. I doubted I'd be impressed seeing a star off-screen. A girl was a girl, after all, and there were loads of real dolls in Miami, as I'd already discovered. Boy, was I wrong." - Where Flamingos Fly
Bobby Underwood (Where Flamingos Fly (Nostalgic Crime #2))
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)