It was right after 9/11 and I decided to walk around the grounds of the Pentagon, because I had never been there. Out of nowhere comes this speeding camouflaged golf cart and this guy starts yelling at me, 'What do you think you're doing!' The guy wrote my name down and began to follow me before I got really scared and took off as fast as I could.
Small Moth... She's slicing ripe white peaches into the Tony the Tiger bowl and dropping slivers for the dog poised vibrating by her foot to stop their fall when she spots it, camouflaged, a glimmer and then full on- happiness, plashing blunt soft wings inside her as if it wants to escape again.
The strain of constant adaptation to so many fearful events and discoveries is already too much to bear with sanity; one has to keep pretending to slip successfully into the new mould; a time will come when the tailored and camouflaged mind breaks beneath the burden; the stick insect in our brains no longer cares to resemble a twig on the same habitual human tree in the mere hope that it may survive extinction.
These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us. A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
Neil L. Andersen
Compared with mammals, birds have relatively large eyes. In simple terms, a bigger eye means better vision, and excellent vision is essential for avoiding collisions in flight, or for capturing fast-moving or camouflaged prey. Birds' eyes, however, are deceptive - they are bigger than they look.
Nowhere has truth such a short life as in Sicily; a fact has scarcely happened five minutes before its genuine kernel has vanished, been camouflaged, embellished, disfigured, squashed, annihilated by imagination and self interest; shame, fear, generosity, malice, opportunism, charity, all the passions, good as well as evil, fling themselves onto the fact and tear it to pieces; very soon it has vanished altogether.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
The night stayed outside. She was surprised. She opened her mouth but no sound came out. Instead, blue things flew in, pieces of glass or tin, or necklaces of blue diamond, perhaps. The air was the blue of a pool when there are shadows, when clouds cross the turquoise surface, when you suspect something contagious is leaking, something camouflaged and disrupted. There is only this infected blue enormity, elongating defiantly. The blue that knows you and where you live and it's never going to forget.
The subject matter covered in Carmina stays pretty basic: love, lust, the pleasures of drinking and the heightened moods evoked by springtime. These primitive and persistently relevant themes are nicely camouflaged by the Latin and old German texts, so the listener can actually feign ignorance while listening to virtually X-rated lyrics. (Veni Veni Venias! Come, come come now!)The music itself toggles between huge forces and a single voice, juxtaposing majesty and intimacy with ease...
Who would appreciate such candor? No one. None of us really likes honesty. We prefer deception -but only when it is unabashedly flattering or artfully camouflaged. Groups seem to need to believe that they are superior to others and that they have a purpose greater than just passing along their genes to the next generation. Individuals seem to need similar delusions - about who they are and why they do what they do. They need heroes, however fraudulent... Studies show that people are more likely to accept the opinion of a confident con man than the cautious view of someone who actually knows what he is talking about. And professionals who form overconfident opinions on the basis of incorrect readings of the facts are more likely to succeed than their more competent peers who display greater doubt. What's more, deception works best, according to studies by psychologists, when the person doing the deceiving is fool enough to be deceived, too; that is, when he believes his own lies. That is why incompetent leaders - who are naive enough to fall for their own guff - are such a danger to civilized life. If they are modern leaders, they must also delude themselves into thinking they know how to make the world a better place. Invariably, the answers they propose to problems are ones that bubble up from their own vanity, the essence of which is to make the rest of the world look just like them!
I grabbed a shard of glass and spun around, brandishing it in front of me. It was a pretty, stippled blue piece, nice and sharp. 'Hold on, tiger. I give up.' A bear of a man stood in front of me, hands raised in mock surrender- well, except for the shotgun in his right hand. He towered well over six feet and was shaped like a linebacker, one who'd gone a little too long between haircuts. Dark curls hugged the collar of a basic black T-shirt that almost camouflaged a black shoulder holster holding some type of nasty-looking black handgun. It all matched his black jeans and boots. He looked like the poster child for an upscale GQ mercenary. The only shred of color on him was his eyes, and they were dark brown. Mr. Monochromatic. He laid the shotgun on the table near the door and stepped back, hands up, watching me from beneath hooded lids. A lesser woman would have noticed the thick muscles moving under his tanned skin when he raised his arms, or the T-shirt that fit just snugly enough to send a girl's thoughts to the Promised Land. Good thing I don't notice stuff like that. 'If you want to search me for more weapons, I'm game.' My eyes shot back to his, and I felt my cheeks flush, hot and bothered on the way to angry. Leave it to a guy to open his mouth and ruin a perfectly good moment.
Seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours. It is all still the same. Or it no longer is. If I were to ask what has changed, perhaps nothing, but conceivably everything would be the befitting reply. I no longer feel the same. Loss preceded me, alienating my soul from the body. I feel I am gliding through an alley making a journey from the known towards the unknown. There is a deep abyss inside where sometime back, my heart used to beat and a noisy, rusty old machine has replaced my mind; solitarily creating useless noise. I don't remember what day it is and since when have I been lying here. It must have been yesterday... or was it day before. I cannot recollect anything except the dull throbbing pain inside my brain. I can see the time, almost 9: 45, difficult to say which time of the day it is. The bigger hand is soon going to overshadow the smaller hand. It looks like a game of cat and mouse; the bigger hand chasing the smaller one. Anyone stronger in terms of physical appearance, money, power, fame or name tramples upon the weak ones - that is the rule of the world. There are only two possible reasons behind it, love or hate. When you love someone you want to control everything that person does and hence, sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly you squash them like melons. While on the other hand in the case of hate, there is no need to specify the reason for walking over someone like that. Hate is a strong reason in itself. I am confused as to what crushed me, was it love or hate? I somehow don't like the sound of it - love, it in itself smells of treachery, for love is not a pure emotion. Lust and hatred are the only pure emotions. Love is camouflaged, for needs and desires. Desires - they are magical in their own way. They can be innocent. They can be monstrous. But they exist, no matter what, and many such needs and desires make us helpless slaves of the same. We hide these desires either in the realms of our mind or in the dusty corners of our hearts for we are scared... what if someone finds out what we desire. We give them identities so as to not let the real thing show. The only thing visible on the front is a mask we wear to deceive people or that's what I thought. For I was deceived while I believed I am the deceiver. Or was I not? I debated as my mind once again tried to enter a sleep-induced trance.
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait-there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu