It's more eerie to be alone in a city that's lit up and functioning than one that's a tomb. If everything were silent, one could almost pretend to be in nature. A forest. A meadow. Crickets and birdsong. But the corpse of civilization is as restless as the creatures that now roam the graveyards.
Making 'Birdsong,' on the one hand you have how prestigious it is and the reputation of the book, which is something that's an extraordinary piece of work. Sebastian Faulkes is a genius. So you feel that responsibility when you're portraying that character that he's imagined and millions of readers have pictured.
A name with a gently exotic ring to it, like birdsong, like a grain of sand in the far-off Gobi Desert or the northern steppes, whipped up by the wind, carried by storms, swirling through the sky, travelling, crossing whole countries without knowing quite how, and ending up in the crook of my ear.
There was a good deal to be said, Hilary decided, for middle age and infirmity. The years in which one demanded much of life were left behind, together with the bitterness of not getting what one wanted. One's values, too, were altered. Gifts that once one took for granted, sunshine and birdsong, freedom from pain, sleep and one's daily bread, seemed now so extraordinarily precious.
He found that he had this sudden desperate longing for the fuming, smoky streets of Ankh-Morpork, which was always at its best in the spring, when the gummy sheen on the turbid waters of the Ankh River had a special iridescence and the eaves were full of birdsong, or at least birds coughing rhythmically
And now everything has changed once again. The air of the Close each evening is full of bird song - I've never really noticed it before. Full of birdsong and summer perfumes, full of strange glimpses and intimations just out of the corner of my eye, of longings and sadness and undefined hopes.It has a name, this sweet disturbance. Its name is Lamorna.
Did you not look upon the world this morning and imagine it as the boy might see it? And did you not recognize the mist and the dew and the birdsong as elements not of a place or a time but of a spirit? And did you not envy the boy his spirit? For you know there can be no power over him who freely gives what another would take. Such a one has the capacity to love. Freely, naively, to say I do.
God was something I did not understand the way kids who went to church did. They said God was a man in the sky with white hair and a beard like Santa. This seemed strange to me. When I thought of God, I imagined only mist over the pond, a sliver of moon in a dark sky, scatterings of stars, birdsong.
Velius--so who is she? no wait, let me guess. skin of the finest porcelain. hair of the softest silk. a voice like birdsong, a smile like sunshine, and a mouth that would sate your brightest and darkest wishes Rumbold-- You've m-met her? Velius--oh yes, my friend. we all know her. we've all pursued her. some of us have even been lucky enough to have her. we've been drunk on her sin, become fools of her favor. she might have borne a different face each time, but her name was always the same. Trouble
I remember standing in the bush above this unbelievably wild river, and thinking this is as good as it gets. Exquisite birdsong, jagged peaks of the Alps beckoning like the spires of mystical cathedrals, the smell of moisture in the beech forest like an elixir. Nature in its raw, unpredictable state - at an entirely different end of the spectrum from the confines of a test tube or comfort of a biotech lab.
...there was a blond misty boy sitting beside me, and he looked at me, and I at him, and we were not strangers: our hands moved towards each other to embrace. I never heard his voice, for we did not speak; it is a shame, I should so like the memory of it. Loneliness, like fever, thrives on night, but there with him light broke, breaking in the trees like birdsong, and when sunrise came, he loosened his fingers from mine, and walked away, that misty boy, my friend.
And then God gave me insight: this was winter. It would end, in time, but not by my own doing. My responsibility was simply to know the season, and match my actions and inactions to it. It was to learn the slow hard discipline of waiting. It was my season to believe in spite of-to believe in the absence of evidence or emotion, when there's nothing, no bud, no color, no light, no birdsong, to validate belief. It was my time to walk without sight.
Easter is... Joining in a birdsong, Eying an early sunrise, Smelling yellow daffodils, Unbolting windows and doors, Skipping through meadows, Cuddling newborns, Hoping, believing, Reviving spent life, Inhaling fresh air, Sprinkling seeds along furrows, Tracking in the mud. Easter is the soul's first taste of spring.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Water, wind and birdsong were the echoes in this quiet place of a great chiming symphony that was surging around the world. Knee-deep in grasses and moon daisies, Stella stood and listened, swaying a little as the flowers and trees were swaying, her spirit voice singing loudly, though her lips were still, and every pulse in her body beating its hammer strokes in time to the song.
The trouble was, Elizabeth thought, they did not tell the children of colonial families not to love these foreign lands, not to fall in love with their birthplaces. While parents dreamt of retiring in peace to another place called 'home', their children soaked up knowledge of the only world they knew: its different peoples, its spicy food, its birdsong, the way warm rain fell like a curtain through the palm trees. Their souls would be forever torn.
Anne M. Chappel
For he had never heard anything like it-did not know such music existed in the world-and it was hard to believe that a man he knew could play it with his own two hands. There were parts of it like birdsong, and parts like rolling thunder and hard rain, and parts that glittered like fresh snow when the sun comes out and it's so cold the air takes your breath away. And parts were like a dust devil spinning past, or a cyclone on the horizon, and all of it cried out for words that he had only read in books and had never said aloud.
Mary Doria Russell
The point of the dragonfly's terrible lip, the giant water bug, birdsong, or the beautiful dazzle and flash of sunlighted minnows,is not that it all fits together like clockwork--for it doesn'tbut that it all flows so freely wild, like the creek, that it all surges in such a free, finged tangle. Freedom is the world's water and weather, the world's nourishment freely given, its soil and sap: and the creator loves pizzazz.
It was a heavenly summer, the summer in which France fell and the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk. Leaves were never such an intense and iridescent green; sunlight glinted on flower-studded meadows as the Germans encircled the Maginot Line and overran not only France but Belgium and Holland. Birdsong filled the air in the lull between bursts of gunfire and accompanied the fleeing refugees who blocked the roads. It was as though the weather was preparing a glorious requiem for the death of Europe.
It's a weird thing, writing. Sometimes you can look out across what you're writing, and it's like looking out over a landscape on a glorious, clear summer's day. You can see every leaf on every tree, and hear the birdsong, and you know where you'll be going on your walk. And that's wonderful. Sometimes it's like driving through fog. You can't really see where you're going. You have just enough of the road in front of you to know that you're probably still on the road, and if you drive slowly and keep your headlamps lowered you'll still get where you were going. And that's hard while you're doing it, but satisfying at the end of a day like that, where you look down and you got 1500 words that didn't exist in that order down on paper, half of what you'd get on a good day, and you drove slowly, but you drove. And sometimes you come out of the fog into clarity, and you can see just what you're doing and where you're going, and you couldn't see or know any of that five minutes before. And that's magic.
In time they sank and decayed, and nothing is left of them except an occasional impression in stones, in stones now found in deserts and on high mountain peaks. Birdless forests block the sun in uninhabited lands. Insects swirl in the air. And then, in a majestic, bloodthirsty, and mighty heave, the spinal columns of the vertebrates rise as monstrous lizards and fabulous creatures; dragons flinging their fearful bellows up to a steaming sky... Slowly they become birds, birds as light as undreamt dreams. The searing roars become birdsong, whimpering flutes on warm nights.
Erik Fosnes Hansen
When the heart stops oozing blood & the outpouring is clear as water (so to speak) then you know you've turned the corner & will be well. When you look inward & all pathways are no longer dark but clearly lighted & shine like transparent drinking straws then you know you'll find your way alone. When the gray morning has nothing to do with you & doesn't weigh you down like a heavy blanket, then you know that moving will be easy again and your body will flow through time like the river it really is, smooth & deep. no rocks, no shallows to smash or catch you, keep you from moving on. When the heart slows to its normal rhythm and the beauty of birdsong at dawn doesn't make you cry because you are alone listening, then you know that everything has happened that is going to for now, and you can get on with your life & everything about it that was yours alone and always finer than anyone could ever imagine it would be without him.
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
The dark sky. A hundred million stars. More stars than I've ever seen before. My eyes let me see farther, but they don't show me the one thing I want to see. I would trade all the stars in the universe if I could just have him back again. Wind whistles through the trees nearby. Birdsong weaves in and out of the sound. The hybrids emerge from the communication building, heads tilted to the sky. And then we see the end. Godspeed's engine was nuclear; who knows what fueled the biological weapons. But they explode together. In space, they don't make the familiar mushroom cloud. They don't make the boom! of an exploding bomb. There is, against the dark sky, a brief flash of light. It is filled with colors, like a nebula or the aurora borealis, bursting like a popped bubble. Nothing else-no sound of an explosion, no tremors in the earth, no smell of smoke. Not here, on the surface of the planet. Nothing else to signify Elder's death. Just light. And then it's gone. And then he's gone.
What if the point of life has nothing to do with the creation of an ever-expanding region of control? What if the point is not to keep at bay all those people, beings, objects and emotions that we so needlessly fear? What if the point instead is to let go of that control? What if the point of life, the primary reason for existence, is to lie naked with your lover in a shady grove of trees? What if the point is to taste each other's sweat and feel the delicate pressure of finger on chest, thigh on thigh, lip on cheek? What if the point is to stop, then, in your slow movements together, and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover's face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, to experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?
UP You wake up filled with dread. There seems no reason for it. Morning light sifts through the window, there is birdsong, you can't get out of bed. It's something about the crumpled sheets hanging over the edge like jungle foliage, the terry slippers gaping their dark pink mouths for your feet, the unseen breakfast-some of it in the refrigerator you do not dare to open-you will not dare to eat. What prevents you? The future. The future tense, immense as outer space. You could get lost there. No. Nothing so simple. The past, its density and drowned events pressing you down, like sea water, like gelatin filling your lungs instead of air. Forget all that and let's get up. Try moving your arm. Try moving your head. Pretend the house is on fire and you must run or burn. No, that one's useless. It's never worked before. Where is it coming form, this echo, this huge No that surrounds you, silent as the folds of the yellow curtains, mute as the cheerful Mexican bowl with its cargo of mummified flowers? (You chose the colours of the sun, not the dried neutrals of shadow. God knows you've tried.) Now here's a good one: you're lying on your deathbed. You have one hour to live. Who is it, exactly, you have needed all these years to forgive?
Ah, I believe Schacht. Only too willingly; that's to say, I think what he says is absolutely true, for the world is incomprehensibly crass, tyrannical, moody, and cruel to sickly and sensitive people. Well, Schacht will stay here for the time being. We laughed at him a bit, when he arrived, that can't be helped either, Schacht is young and after all can't be allowed to think there are special degrees, advantages, methods, and considerations for him. He has now had his first disappointment, and I'm convinced that he'll have twenty disappointments, one after the other. Life with its savage laws is in any case for certain people a succession of discouragements and terrifying bad impressions. People like Schacht are born to feel and suffer a continuous sense of aversion. He would like to admit and welcome things, but he just can't. Hardness and lack of compassion strike him with tenfold force, he just feels them more acutely. Poor Schacht. He's a child and he should be able to revel in melodies and bed himself in kind, soft, carefree things. For him there should be secret splashings and birdsong. Pale and delicate evening clouds should waft him away in the kingdom of Ah, What's Happening to Me? His hands are made for light gestures, not for work. Before him breezes should blow, and behind him sweet, friendly voices should be whispering. His eyes should be allowed to remain blissfully closed, and Schacht should be allowed to go quietly to sleep again, after being wakened in the morning in the warm, sensuous cushions. For him there is, at root, no proper activity, for every activity is for him, the way he is, improper, unnatural, and unsuitable. Compared with Schacht I'm the trueblue rawboned laborer. Ah, he'll be crushed, and one day he'll die in a hospital. or he'll perish, ruined in body and soul, inside one of our modern prisons.