Woods Walk Quotes

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You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver
The bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I've known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone.
Shel Silverstein
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a youth she's content to leave behind.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a feeling of control over her destiny... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love without losing herself.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... HOW TO QUIT A JOB, BREAK UP WITH A LOVER, AND CONFRONT A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table... or a charming inn in the woods... when her soul needs soothing... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...
Pamela Redmond Satran
Mama, Mama, help me get home I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own. I found me a werewolf, a nasty old mutt It showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut. Mama, Mama, help me get home I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own. I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreck It showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck. Mama, Mama, put me to bed I won't make it home, I'm already half-dead. I met an Invalid, and fell for his art He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart. -From "A Child's Walk Home," Nursery Rhymes and Folk Tales
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog)
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
I really like you, Midori. A lot.” “How much is a lot?” “Like a spring bear,” I said. “A spring bear?” Midori looked up again. “What’s that all about? A spring bear.” “You’re walking through a field all by yourself one day in spring, and this sweet little bear cub with velvet fur and shiny little eyes comes walking along. And he says to you, “Hi, there, little lady. Want to tumble with me?’ So you and the bear cub spend the whole day in each other’s arms, tumbling down this clover-covered hill. Nice, huh?” “Yeah. Really nice.” “That’s how much I like you.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.
Henry David Thoreau (On the Duty of Civil Disobedience)
Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene, I hardly paid it any mind. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that eighteen years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn't give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. It was the age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. The scenery was the last thing on my mind.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I don't feel particularly proud of myself. But when I walk alone in the woods or lie in the meadows, all is well.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors)
The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone." Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way.
James Finn Garner (Politically Correct Bedtime Stories)
Her time is better spent with me. The thorn wood is a path you walk alone, boy king.” “But it’s a very arduous path,” Nikolai said. “Who will carry my snacks?
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
Black bears rarely attack. But here's the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn't happen often, but - and here is the absolutely salient point - once would be enough.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
A girl Lost in the woods is a different sort of creature than a girl who walks purposefully through the trees even though she does not know her way. This girl in the woods is not lost. She is exploring.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
That's the trouble with losing your mind; by the time it's gone, it's too late to get it back.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
You point your feet out too much when you walk,” Will went on. He was busy polishing an apple on his shirtfront, and appeared not to notice Tessa glaring at him. “Camille walks delicately. Like a faun in the woods. Not like a duck.” “I do not walk like a duck.” “I like ducks,” Jem observed diplomatically. “Especially the ones in Hyde Park.” He glanced sideways at Will; both boys were sitting on the edge of the high table, their legs dangling over the side. “Remember when you tried to convince me to feed poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?” “They ate it too,” Will reminisced. “Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
On no subject are our ideas more warped and pitiable than on death. ... Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights.
John Muir (A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf)
Of all the tales in all the kingdoms in all the Woods, you had to walk into mine.
Soman Chainani (The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3))
There is a madness, yes, this is true. Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away from the protection of sanity. To walk into the wild wood of madness...
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones)
Mom! Mom. You have to smell him! It’s like… like… I don’t even know what it’s like! I was walking in the woods to scope out our territory so I could be like Dad and then it was like… whoa. And then he was all standing there and he didn’t see me at first because I’m getting so good at hunting. I was all like rawr and grr but then I smelled it again and it was him and it was all kaboom! I don’t even know! I don’t even know! You gotta smell him and then tell me why it’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth, and Mary Ellen was proof that even in the Appalachian woods I would not be spared. It became evident that she was a rarity.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
What I feel for her is a wholly different emotion. It stands and walks on its own, living and breathing and throbbing and shaking me to the roots of my being.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I left the jutra to chop wood. I began my walk through the snow, five kilometers to the tree line. That's when I saw it. A tiny silver of gold appeared between shades of gray on the horizon. I stared at the amber band of sunlight, smiling. The sun had returned. I closed my eyes. I felt Andrius moving close. "I'll see you," he said. "Yes, I will see you," I whispered "I will." I reached into my pocket and squeezed the stone.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
Just because I've walked into this crazy fantasy doesn't mean I can just abandon my other plans, much as I might want to.
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo (Halo, #1))
I wanted to quit and to do this forever, sleep in a bed and in a tent, see what was over the next hill and never see a hill again. All of this all at once, every moment, on the trail or off.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
The place is changed now, and many familiar faces are gone, but the greatest change is myself. I was a child then, I had no idea what the world would be like. I wished to trust myself on the waters and the sea. Everything was romantic in my imagination. The woods were peopled by the mysterious good folk. The Lords and Ladies of the last century walked with me along the overgrown paths, and picked the old fashioned flowers among the box and rose hedges of the garden.
Beatrix Potter (The Journal of Beatrix Potter from 1881-1897)
It was awful. It was, like, walk out to the woods, Change, stand there until enough time passed, Change back. It was about as much fun as taking a shit." "Nice analogy.
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.
Henry David Thoreau (Walking)
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a spectulator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
Henry David Thoreau
I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees
Henry David Thoreau
If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity. If there's no relationship with nature then you become a killer; then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man either for gain, for "sport," for food, or for knowledge. Then nature is frightened of you, withdrawing its beauty. You may take long walks in the woods or camp in lovely places but you are a killer and so lose their friendship. You probably are not related to anything to your wife or your husband.
J. Krishnamurti
I turned to my own bunk and examined it with a kind of appalled fascination. If the mattress stains were anything to go by, a previous user had not so much suffered from incontinence as rejoiced in it. He had evidently included the pillow in his celebrations.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.
Umberto Eco (Six Walks in the Fictional Woods)
... so this is for us. This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know because the beauty is in the act of doing it. Not what it can lead to. This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing and no one is around and they will never know but I will forever remember and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have, and this is for you who write or play or read or sing by yourself with the light off and door closed when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned and maybe no one will ever hear it or read your words or know your thoughts but it doesn’t make it less glorious. It makes it ethereal. Mysterious. Infinite. For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in and only you can decide how much it meant and means and will forever mean and other people will experience it too through you. Through your spirit. Through the way you talk. Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care and I never meant to write this long but what I want to say is: Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story. Let your very identity be your book. Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody. So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain where no one will ever hear and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar. Make your life be your art and you will never be forgotten.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what He charged for bookshelves.
Woody Allen
Have you ever seen The Last of the Mohicans?" "I love it." "Really?" I'm over the moon. We share a movie. Finally, we're on the same planet. "Don't you love the part where he says, 'Stay alive. I will find you'?" I ask. "I love that massacre scene," he says, like an excited little boy, "where they're walking down that path in the middle of nowhere and they're surrounded by the woods and you know the Indians are going to attack and it's so tense." Things that make you go hmmm.
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
Every time you look up at the stars, it’s like opening a door. You could be anyone, anywhere. You could be yourself at any moment in your life. You open that door and you realize you’re the same person under the same stars. Camping out in the backyard with your best friend, eleven years old. Sixteen, driving alone, stopping at the edge of the city, looking up at the same stars. Walking a wooded path, kissing in the moonlight, look up and you’re eleven again. Chasing cats in a tiny town, you’re eleven again, you’re sixteen again. You’re in a rowboat. You’re staring out the back of a car. Out here where the world begins and ends, it’s like nothing ever stops happening.
Bryan Lee O'Malley (Lost at Sea)
There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books . . .
George Washington Carver (George Washington Carver in his own words)
Where is Arland?" "Rapunzel decided to walk around in the woods to get 'the feel of the battleground.' He won't leave the grounds and he promises to defend the inn with 'all the strength in his body.' I told him if he gets in trouble, he should try singing prettily so his woodland friends will come to the rescue. I don't think he got it.
Ilona Andrews (Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1))
The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble -- to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consumer nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.
Philip Connors (The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009)
When evening in the Shire was grey his footsteps on the Hill were heard; before the dawn he went away on journey long without a word. From Wilderland to Western shore, from northern waste to southern hill, through dragon-lair and hidden door and darkling woods he walked at will. With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men, with mortal and immortal folk, with bird on bough and beast in den, in their own secret tongues he spoke. A deadly sword, a healing hand, a back that bent beneath its load; a trumpet-voice, a burning brand, a weary pilgrim on the road. A lord of wisdom throned he sat, swift in anger, quick to laugh; an old man in a battered hat who leaned upon a thorny staff. He stood upon the bridge alone and Fire and Shadow both defied; his staff was broken on the stone, in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Trees know when we are close by. The chemistry of their roots and the perfumes of their leaves pump out change when we're near...when you feel good after a walk in the woods, it may be that certain species are bribing you
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I walked past Malison, up Lower Main to Main and across the road. I didn’t need to look to know he was behind me. I entered Royal Wood, went a short way along a path and waited. It was cool and dim beneath the trees. When Malison entered the Wood, I continued eastward.  I wanted to place his body in hallowed ground. He was born a Mearan. The least I could do was send him to Loric. The distance between us closed until he was on my heels. He chose to come, I told myself, as if that lessened the crime I planned. He chose what I have to offer. We were almost to the cemetery before he asked where we were going. I answered with another question. “Do you like living in the High Lord’s kitchens?” He, of course, replied, “No.” “Well, we’re going to a better place.” When we reached the edge of the Wood, I pushed aside a branch to see the Temple of Loric and Calec’s cottage. No smoke was coming from the chimney, and I assumed the old man was yet abed. His pony was grazing in the field of graves. The sun hid behind a bank of clouds. Malison moved beside me. “It’s a graveyard.” “Are you afraid of ghosts?” I asked. “My father’s a ghost,” he whispered. I asked if he wanted to learn how to throw a knife. He said, “Yes,” as I knew he would.  He untucked his shirt, withdrew the knife he had stolen and gave it to me. It was a thick-bladed, single-edged knife, better suited for dicing celery than slitting a young throat. But it would serve my purpose. That I also knew. I’d spent all night projecting how the morning would unfold and, except for indulging in the tea, it had happened as I had imagined.  Damut kissed her son farewell. Malison followed me of his own free will. Without fear, he placed the instrument of his death into my hand. We were at the appointed place, at the appointed time. The stolen knife was warm from the heat of his body. I had only to use it. Yet I hesitated, and again prayed for Sythene to show me a different path. “Aren’t you going to show me?” Malison prompted, as if to echo my prayer.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night's dream under the nomad's moon.
C. JoyBell C.
Art has always been my salvation. And my gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart. And when Mozart is playing in my room, I am in conjunction with something I can’t explain — I don’t need to. I know that if there’s a purpose for life, it was for me to hear Mozart. Or if I walk in the woods and I see an animal, the purpose of my life was to see that animal. I can recollect it, I can notice it. I’m here to take note of. And that is beyond my ego, beyond anything that belongs to me, an observer, an observer.
Maurice Sendak
But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude that I didn't know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
I know a man who drives 600 yards to work. I know a woman who gets in her car to go a quarter of a mile to a college gymnasium to walk on a treadmill, then complains passionately about the difficulty of finding a parking space. When I asked her once why she didn't walk to the gym and do five minutes less on the treadmill, she looked at me as if I were being willfully provocative. 'Because I have a program for the treadmill,' she explained. 'It records my distance and speed, and I can adjust it for degree of difficulty.' It hadn't occurred to me how thoughtlessly deficient nature is in this regard.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
I love the Autumn, And yet I cannot say All the thoughts and things That make me feel this way. I love walking on the angry shore, To watch the angry sea; Where summer people were before, But now there's only me. I love wood fires at night That have a ruddy glow. I stare at the flames And think of long ago. I love the feeling down inside me That says to run away To come and be a gypsy And laugh the gypsy way. The tangy taste of apples, The snowy mist at morn, The wanderlust inside you When you hear the huntsman's horn. Nostalgia - that's the Autumn, Dreaming through September Just a million lovely things I always will remember.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.
Matthew Woodring Stover
Derek and I went out for our walk after dinner. Alone. There was an open field behind the motel and we headed there. Finally, when we were far enough from the motel, Derek led me into a little patch of woods. He hesitated then, unsure, still just holding my hand. When I stepped in front of him, though, his free hand went around my waist. "So," I said. "Seems you're going to be stuck with me for a while." He smiled. A real smile that lit up his whole face. "Good," he said. He pulled me against him. Then he bent down, breath warming my lips. My pulse was racing so fast I could barely breathe. I was sure he'd stop again and I tensed, waiting for that hesitation, stomach twisting. His lips touched mine, and still I kept waiting for him to pull back. His lips pressed against mine, then parted. And he kissed me. Really kissed me- arms tightening around me, mouth moving against mine, firm, like he'd made up his mind that this was what he wanted and he wasn't backing down again. I slid my arms around his neck. His tightened around me and he scooped me up, lifting me off his feet, kissing me like he was never going to stop, and I kissed him back the same way, like I didn't want him to ever stop. It was a perfect moment, one where nothing else mattered. All I could feel was him. All I could taste was his kiss. All I could hear was the pounding of his heart. All I could think about was him, and how much I wanted this, and how incredibly lucky I was to get it, and how tight I was going to hold onto it. This was what I wanted. This guy. This life. This me. I was never getting my old life back, and I didn't care. I was happy. I was safe. I was right where I wanted to be.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Woods are not like other spaces. To begin with, they are cubic. Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides. Woods choke off views & leave you muddled & without bearings. They make you feel small & confused & vulnerable, like a small child lost in a crowd of strange legs. Stand in a desert or prairie & you know you are in a big space. Stand in the woods and you only sense it. They are vast, featureless nowhere. And they are alive.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
He had done nothing on Christmas day, just wandered around outside in the frozen woods. Hard ground, chill winds and bare branches that looked like they'd been dipped in sugar. None of it seemed real, like walking around in a desolate dream, but one he didn't want to wake up from.
R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
A long walk. A very long walk. Sand between my toes. The rough surf at times reaching and washing away my footprints. About a mile down the beach, I sat down and started thinking back through everything Vance had told me so far. Thought about what my next moves would be. Seeing the Asian guy tomorrow and having him snoop would settle one thing in my mind. Did Vance do it or not? Crucial. Until I knew that, I didn’t want to go any further.
Behcet Kaya (Body In The Woods (Jack Ludefance, #2))
Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who's pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life? Another son might not have heard his mother's last words as a prophecy but as drug-induced gibberish, forgotten soon after. Another girl might not have told herself a love story about a drawing her brother made. Who knows if Grandma really thought the first daffodils of spring were lucky or if she just wanted to go on walks with me through the woods? Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary? Who knows where the hell Ralph is? (Sorry, Oscar.) No one knows. So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
THERE IS A LOVELY LITTLE horror story about the peasant who started through the haunted wood—the wood that was, people said, inhabited by devils who took any mortal who came their way. But the peasant thought, as he walked slowly along: I am a good man and have done no wrong. If devils can harm me, then there isn't any justice. A voice behind him said, “There isn't.
Fredric Brown
The leaves were long, the grass was green, The hemlock-umbels tall and fair, And in the glade a light was seen Of stars in shadow shimmering. Tinuviel was dancing there To music of a pipe unseen, And light of stars was in her hair, And in her raiment glimmering. There Beren came from mountains cold, And lost he wandered under leaves, And where the Elven-river rolled. He walked along and sorrowing. He peered between the hemlock-leaves And saw in wonder flowers of gold Upon her mantle and her sleeves, And her hair like shadow following. Enchantment healed his weary feet That over hills were doomed to roam; And forth he hastened, strong and fleet, And grasped at moonbeams glistening. Through woven woods in Elvenhome She lightly fled on dancing feet, And left him lonely still to roam In the silent forest listening. He heard there oft the flying sound Of feet as light as linden-leaves, Or music welling underground, In hidden hollows quavering. Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves, And one by one with sighing sound Whispering fell the beechen leaves In the wintry woodland wavering. He sought her ever, wandering far Where leaves of years were thickly strewn, By light of moon and ray of star In frosty heavens shivering. Her mantle glinted in the moon, As on a hill-top high and far She danced, and at her feet was strewn A mist of silver quivering. When winter passed, she came again, And her song released the sudden spring, Like rising lark, and falling rain, And melting water bubbling. He saw the elven-flowers spring About her feet, and healed again He longed by her to dance and sing Upon the grass untroubling. Again she fled, but swift he came. Tinuviel! Tinuviel! He called her by her elvish name; And there she halted listening. One moment stood she, and a spell His voice laid on her: Beren came, And doom fell on Tinuviel That in his arms lay glistening. As Beren looked into her eyes Within the shadows of her hair, The trembling starlight of the skies He saw there mirrored shimmering. Tinuviel the elven-fair, Immortal maiden elven-wise, About him cast her shadowy hair And arms like silver glimmering. Long was the way that fate them bore, O'er stony mountains cold and grey, Through halls of iron and darkling door, And woods of nightshade morrowless. The Sundering Seas between them lay, And yet at last they met once more, And long ago they passed away In the forest singing sorrowless.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know. Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in the day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it’s the day that is temporary. Day is the illusion. Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self. With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins. The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark’s patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out. The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow. The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
Matthew Woodring Stover
Yet at the last Beren was slain by the Wolf that came from the gates of Angband, and he died in the arms of Tinúviel. But she chose mortality, and to die from the world, so that she might follow him; and it is sung that they met again beyond the Sundering Seas, and after a brief time walking alive once more in the green woods, together they passed, long ago, beyond the confines of this world. So it is that Lúthien Tinúviel alone of the Elf-kindred has died indeed and left the world, and they have lost her whom they most loved.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
I had grown up in a house with a fence around it, and in this fence was a white smooth wooden gate, two holes bored round and low together so the dog could see through. One night, the moon high, late for me home from the school dance, I remember that I stopped, hand on the gate, and spoke so quietly to myself and to the woman that I would love that not even the dog could have heard. I don’t know where you are, but you’re living right now, somewhere on this earth. And one day you and I are going to touch this gate where I’m touching it now. Your hand will touch this very wood, here! Then we’ll walk through and we’ll be full of a future and of a past and we’ll be to each other like no one else has ever been. We can’t meet now, I don’t know why. But some day our questions will be answers and we’ll be caught in something so bright...and every step I take is one step closer on a bridge we must cross to meet.
Richard Bach (The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story)
You point your feet out too much when you walk,” Will went on. He was busy polishing an apple on his shirtfront, and appeared not to notice Tessa glaring at him. “Camille walks delicately. Like a faun in the woods. Not like a duck” “I do not walk like a duck.” “I like ducks,” Jem observed diplomatically. “Especially the ones in Hyde Park.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
eat, baby. eat. chew. please. I know it hurts. I know it doesn’t feel good. please. I know your hunger is different than mine. I know it doesn’t taste the same as mine. imagine you could grow up all over again and pinpoint the millisecond that you started counting calories like casualties of war, mourning each one like it had a family. would you? sometimes I wonder that. sometimes I wonder if you would go back and watch yourself reappear and disappear right in front of your own eyes. and I love you so much. I am going to hold your little hand through the night. just please eat. just a little. you wrote a poem once, about a city of walking skeletons. the teacher called home because you told her you wished it could be like that here. let me tell you something about bones, baby. they are not warm or soft. the wind whistles through them like they are holes in a tree. and they break, too. they break right in half. they bruise and splinter like wood. are you hungry? I know. I know how much you hate that question. I will find another way to ask it, someday. please. the voices. I know they are all yelling at you to stretch yourself thinner. l hear them counting, always counting. I wish I had been there when the world made you snap yourself in half. I would have told you that your body is not a war-zone, that, sometimes, it is okay to leave your plate empty.
Caitlyn Siehl
And in the flush of the first few days of joy I confidently tell myself (not expecting what I'll do in three weeks only) 'no more dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world, no booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks and junkies and everybody, no more I ask myself the question O why is God torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters, walk around, no more self-imposed agony...it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that after all this whole surface of the world as we know it now will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time...Yay, for this, more aloneness
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
No one can make you 'better' emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically. You have to find this for yourself. You have to taste that brutal moment when you're crying in a corner of the room, curled up on the floor and you think this is your end. You have to fight to stand up, literally. And you have to walk over to your reflection and scream, scream it all out. Then you have pick up your sword and fight and never quit. This is your life. Don't let those bastards win.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading)
I brought them up here to illustrate the point of conformity: the difficulty in maintaining your own beliefs in the face of others. Now, those of you -- I see the look in your eyes like, "I would've walked differently." Well, ask yourselves why you were clapping. Now, we all have a great need for acceptance. But you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go, "That's baaaaad." Robert Frost said, "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Tom Schulman (Dead Poets Society)
Hill House,not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it has stood for eighty years and might stand eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret. Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful, really. You have no engagements, commitments, obligations, or duties; no special ambitions and only the smallest, least complicated of wants; you exist in a tranquil tedium, serenely beyond the reach of exasperation, “far removed from the seats of strife,” as the early explorer and botanist William Bartram put it. All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge. There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods. It’s where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. The woods is one boundless singularity. Every bend in the path presents a prospect indistinguishable from every other, every glimpse into the trees the same tangled mass. For all you know, your route could describe a very large, pointless circle. In a way, it would hardly matter. At times, you become almost certain that you slabbed this hillside three days ago, crossed this stream yesterday, clambered over this fallen tree at least twice today already. But most of the time you don’t think. No point. Instead, you exist in a kind of mobile Zen mode, your brain like a balloon tethered with string, accompanying but not actually part of the body below. Walking for hours and miles becomes as automatic, as unremarkable, as breathing. At the end of the day you don’t think, “Hey, I did sixteen miles today,” any more than you think, “Hey, I took eight-thousand breaths today.” It’s just what you do.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Would you leave me alone, you walking pair of boots! Let go of my easel, you refugee from a luggage factory. If you need some wood for a toothpick, there’s a bunch of it on the porch. (Sunshine) Beth. What are you doing?...She says she was forcing you inside before it got dark and something decided to eat you. (Talon) Tell Swamp Breath I was headed this way. Why was she…Oh jeez, am I really have a conversation with a gator? (Sunshine)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter, #2))
That was just it. You never knew what lay ahead; the future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything. One minute you're walking through a dark woods, alone, and then the landscape shifts, and you see it. Something wondrous and unexpected, almost magical, that you never would have found had you not kept going. Like a new friend who feels like an old one, or a memory you'll never forget. Maybe even a carousel.
Sarah Dessen (Saint Anything)
He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and of death. He slept little and he slept poorly. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds. Lying there in the dark with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth. He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
There is no mystery in this association of woods and otherworlds, for as anyone who has walked the woods knows, they are places of correspondence, of call and answer. Visual affinities of color, relief and texture abound. A fallen branch echoes the deltoid form of a streambed into which it has come to rest. Chrome yellow autumn elm leaves find their color rhyme in the eye-ring of the blackbird. Different aspects of the forest link unexpectedly with each other, and so it is that within the stories, different times and worlds can be joined.
Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places)
She had learned, in her life, that time lived inside you. You are time, you breathe time. When she'd been young, she'd had an insatiable hunger for more of it, though she hadn't understood why. Now she held inside her a cacophony of times and lately it drowned out the world. The apple tree was still nice to lie near. They peony, for its scent, also fine. When she walked through the woods (infrequently now) she picked her way along the path, making way for the boy inside to run along before her. It could be hard to choose the time outside over the time within.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
Of course the Man was wild too. He was dreadfully wild. He didn't even begin to be tame till he met the Woman, and she told him that she did not like living in his wild ways. She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, 'Wipe your feet, dear, when you come in, and now we'll keep house.
Rudyard Kipling (Just So Stories)
Mallory!" Catcher's voice boomed down the stairs. Mallory fixed her mouth into a tight line and walked me into the kitchen. "Ignore it," she advised. "Much like the bubonic plague, it'll go away if you give it enough time." "Mallory! You weren't finished! Get back in here!" I glanced up the stairway. "You didn't leave him handcuffed to the bed or something, did you?" "Jesus, no." I incrementally relaxed, until she continued. "My headboard's a single piece of wood. There's nothing to handcuff him to.
Chloe Neill
Why are we such tortured human beings, with tears in our eyes and false laughter on our lips? If you could walk alone among those hills or in the woods or along the long, white, bleached sands, in that solitude you would know what meditation is. The ecstasy of solitude comes when you are not frightened to be alone no longer belonging to the world or attached to anything. Then, like that dawn that came up this morning, it comes silently, and makes a golden path in the very stillness, which was at the beginning, which is now, and which will be always there.
J. Krishnamurti (Meditations (Shambhala Classics))
My particular dread--the vivid possibility that left me staring at tree shadows on the bedroom ceiling night after night--was having to lie in a small tent, alone in an inky wilderness, listening to a foraging bear outside and wondering what its intentions were. I was especially riveted by an amateur photograph in Herrero's book, taken late at night by a camper with a flash at a campground out West. The photograph caught four black bears as they puzzled over a suspended food bag. The bears were clearly startled but not remotely alarmed by the flash. It was not the size or demeanor of the bears that troubled me--they looked almost comically nonaggressive, like four guys who had gotten a Frisbee caught up a tree--but their numbers. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that bears might prowl in parties. What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die, of course. Literally shit myself lifeless. I would blow my sphincter out my backside like one of those unrolling paper streamers you get at children's parties--I daresay it would even give a merry toot--and bleed to a messy death in my sleeping bag.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in The Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Imagine that one day you are out for a walk in the woods. Suddenly you see a small spaceship on the path in front of you. A tiny Martian climbs out the spaceship and stands on the ground looking up at you… What would you think? Never mind, it’s not important. But have you ever given any thought to the fact that you are a Martian yourself? It is obviously unlikely that you will ever stumble upon a creature from another planet. We do not even know that there is life on other planets. But you might stumble upon yourself one day. You might suddenly stop short and see yourself in a completely new light. On just such a walk in the woods. I am an extraordinary being, you think. I am a mysterious creature. You feel as if you are waking from an enchanted slumber. Who am I? you ask. You know that you are stumbling around on a planet in the universe. But what is the universe? If you discover yourself in this manner you will have discovered something as mysterious as the Martian we just mentioned. You will not only have seen a being from outer space. You will feel deep down that you are yourself an extraordinary being.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
Does everyone grow the way you do?" puffed Milo when he had caught up. "Almost everyone," replied Alec, and then he stopped a moment and thought. "Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up towards the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I've heard that they walk among the stars." And with that he skipped off once again toward the waiting woods.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
She'd never broken a bone, had surgery. But the worst damage didn't leave a mark. When Hellie died, it was as if someone had cut into Alex's chest, cracked her open like balsa wood. What if it really had been like that and she'd had to walk down the street bleeding, trying to hold her ribs together, her heart and her lungs and every part of her open to the world? Instead, the thing that had broken her had left no mark, no scar for her to point to and say, This is where I ended.
Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1))
Time, I think, is like walking backward away from something: say, from a kiss. First there is the kiss; then you step back, and the eyes fill up your vision, then the eyes are framed in the face as you step further away; the face then is part of a body, and then the body is framed in a doorway, then the doorway framed in the trees beside it. The path grows longer and the door smaller, the trees fill up your sight and the door is lost, then the path is lost in the woods and the woods lost in the hills. Yet somewhere in the center still is the kiss. That's what time is like.
John Crowley (Engine Summer)
But I don’t understand. Why do you want me to think that this is great architecture? He pointed to the picture of the Parthenon. That, said the Dean, is the Parthenon. - So it is. - I haven’t the time to waste on silly questions. - All right, then. - Roark got up, he took a long ruler from the desk, he walked to the picture. - Shall I tell you what’s rotten about it? - It’s the Parthenon! - said the Dean. - Yes, God damn it, the Parthenon! The ruler struck the glass over the picture. - Look,- said Roark. - The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
How then does light return to the world after the eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gradually the fields drink in red, gold, brown. Suddenly a river snatches a blue light. The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself; hangs pendent; settles and swings beneath our feet.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
A person cannot coast along in old destructive habits year after year and accept whatever comes along. A person must stand up on her own two legs and walk. Get off the bus and go get on another. Climb out of the ditch and cross the road. Find the road that s where you want to go. ... The only sermon that counts is the one that is formed by our actions. She would quit drinking and thereby show Kyle life is what you make it. A person can grab hold of her life and change things for the better. This happens all the time. We are not chips of wood drifting down the stream of time. We have oars.
Garrison Keillor (Pontoon (Lake Wobegon))
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)
The good folks mostly win, courage usually triumphs over fear, the family dog hardly ever contracts rabies: these are things I knew at twenty-five, and things I still know now, at the age of 25 x 2. But I know something else as well: there's a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters. It is good to have a voice in which the terrors of such a place can be articulated and its geography partially described, without denying the sunshine and clarity that fill so much of our ordinary lives. (viii)
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
I would like to sing someone to sleep, to sit beside someone and be there. I would like to rock you and sing softly and go with you to and from sleep. I would like to be the one in the house who knew: The night was cold. And I would like to listen in and listen out into you, into the world, into the woods. The clocks shout to one another striking, and one sees to the bottom of time. And down below one last, strange man walks by and rouses a strange dog. And after that comes silence. I have laid my eyes upon you wide; and they hold you gently and let you go when something stirs in the dark.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Book of Images)
In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature an either/or proposition--either you ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you deify it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart, as along the Appalachian Trail. Seldom would it occur to anyone on either side that people and nature could coexist to their mutual benefit--that, say, a more graceful bridge across the Delaware River might actually set off the grandeur around it, or that the AT might be more interesting and rewarding if it wasn't all wilderness, if from time to time it purposely took you past grazing cows and till fields.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
The Song of Wandering Aengus I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor, And someone called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
W.B. Yeats (The Wind Among the Reeds)
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?" Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?" I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?" His thick black eyebrows went up even farther. Did you evan intend to look for him at all?" He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?" You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?" I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light. So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back. Do you like it?" Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widened So do you like it?" When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else." His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?" I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away. Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly. My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me." I thought about it." I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?" He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
I believe in the Supreme Being, in a Creator, whatever he may be. I care little who has placed us here below to fulfil our duties as citizens and fathers of families; but I don't need to go to church to kiss silver plates, and fatten, out of my pocket, a lot of good-for-nothings who live better than we do. For one can know him as well in a wood, in a field, or even contemplating the eternal vault like the ancients. My God! mine is the God of Socrates, of Franklin, of Voltaire, and of Beranger! I am for the profession of faith of the 'Savoyard Vicar,' and the immortal principles of '89! And I can't admit of an old boy of a God who takes walks in his garden with a cane in his hand, who lodges his friends in the belly of whales, dies uttering a cry, and rises again at the end of three days; things absurd in themselves, and completely opposed, moreover, to all physical laws, which proves to us, by the way, that priests have always wallowed in turpid ignorance, in which they would fain engulf the people with them.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
And then the years were gone, and he was back at Winterfell once more, wearing a quilted leather coat in place of mail and plate. His sword was not made of wood, and it was Robb who stood facing him, not Iron Emmett. Every morning they had trailed together, since they were big enough to walk; Snow and Stark, spinning and slashing about the wards of Winterfell, shouting and laughing, sometimes crying when there was no one else to see. They were not little boys when they fought, but knights and mighty heroes. "I'm Prince Aemon the Dragonknight," Jon would call out, and Robb would shout back, "Well, I'm Florian the Fool." Or Robb would say, "I'm the Young Dragon," and Jon would reply, "I'm Ser Ryam Redwyne." That morning he called it first. "I'm Lord of Winterfell!" he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, "You can't be Lord of Winterfell, you're bastard-born. My lady mother says you can't ever be the Lord of Winterfell.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Hey Meg! Communication implies sound. Communion doesn't.' He sent her a brief image of walking silently through the woods, the two of them alone together., their feet almost noiseless on the rusty carpet of pine needles. They walked without speaking, without touching, and yet they were as close as it is possible for two human beings to be. They climbed up through the woods, coming out into the brilliant sunlight at the top of the hill. A few sumac trees showed their rusty candles. Mountain laurel, shiny, so dark a green the leaves seemed black in the fierceness of sunlight, pressed toward the woods. Meg and Calvin had stretched out in the thick, late-summer grass, lying on their backs, gazing up into the shimmering blue of sky, a vault interrupted only by a few small clouds. And she had been as happy, she remembered, as it is possible to be, and as close to Calvin as she had ever been to anybody in her life, even Charles Wallace, so close that their separate bodies, daisies and buttercups joining rather than dividing them, seemed a single enjoyment of summer and sun and each other. That was surely the purest kind of thing. Mr. Jenkins had never had that kind of communion with another human being, a communion so rich and full that silence speaks more powerfully than words.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet, #2))
What shall I give? and which are my miracles? 2. Realism is mine--my miracles--Take freely, Take without end--I offer them to you wherever your feet can carry you or your eyes reach. 3. Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown--or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers, Or among the savans--or to the _soiree_--or to the opera. Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, Or behold children at their sports, Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring--yet each distinct and in its place. 4. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
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)