So what if Brian made me feel like fireworks were going off inside me. He could also make me feel like a big fat clod of heartsick dirt. It was like he could take any emotion I had and make it ten times stronger. Which is great when it's happiness but pretty darn awful if it's anything sad.
Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Of two men looking at a green field, one estimates its yield in bushels and calculates the price of the bushels in silver and in gold. The other drinks the greenness of the field with his eye, and kisses every blade with his thought, and fraternizes in his soul with every rootlet and pebble, and every clod of earth.
Back in the 1930s, when men with handlebar moustaches played football in long johns and tails, and the ball was a spherical clod of bitumen, did fans weep in the stands when their team lost? No. They limited their responses to a muttered 'blast' or a muted 'hurrah' before going home to smoke a pipe and lean on the mantelpiece.
For this world has neither worth nor weight with God; so slight it is, it weighs not with God so much as a pebble or a single clod of earth; as I am told, God has created nothing more hateful to Him than this world, and from the day He created it He has not looked upon it, so much He hates it.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
It is sad to see how the most of men neglect their precious souls, turning their backs upon the glorious gospel, and little minding a crucified Jesus, when, in the meanwhile, their bodies are well provided for, their estates much regarded, and the things of this present life are highly prized, as if the darling was of less value than a clod of earth; an immortal soul, than a perishing body; a precious Saviour, than unsatisfying creatures.
It is the reflection of my face. Often in these lost days I study it: I can understand nothing of this face. The faces of others have some sense, some direction. Not mine. I cannot even decide whether it is handsome or ugly. I think it is ugly because I have been told so. But it doesn't strike me. At heart, I am even shocked that anyone can attribute qualities of this kind to it, as if you called a clod of earth or a block of stone beautiful or ugly.
LEONATO Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband. BEATRICE Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
I divested myself of despair and fear when I came here. Now there is no more catching one's own eye in the mirror, there are no bad books, no plastic, no insurance premiums, and of cours eno illness. Contrition does not exist, nor gnashing of teeth. No one howls as the first clod of earth hits the casket. The poor we no longer have with us. Our calm hearts strike only the hour, and God, as promised, proves to be mercy clothed in light.
Stars are good too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed last night I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me. Then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into thee midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could've held out a little longer, maybe I could've got one.
And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
I've witnessed, incognito, the gradual collapse of my life, the slow foundering of all I wanted to be. I can say, with a truth that needs no flowers to show it's dead, that there's nothing I've wanted - and nothing in which I've placed, even for a moment, the dream of only that moment - that hasn't disintegrated below my windows like a clod of dirt that resembled stone until it fell from a flowerpot on a high balcony. It would even seem that Fate has always tried to make me love or want things just so that it could show me, on the very next day, that I didn't have and could never have them.
For Poesy alone can tell her dreams, With the fine spell of words alone can save Imagination from the sable charm And dumb enchantment. Who alive can say, 'Thou art no Poet may'st not tell thy dreams?' Since every man whose soul is not a clod Hath visions, and would speak, if he had loved And been well nurtured in his mother tongue. Whether the dream now purpos'd to rehearse Be poet's or fanatic's will be known When this warm scribe my hand is in the grave.
Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix forever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.
William C. Bryant
The reflection, the verisimilitude, of life that shines in the fleshly cells from the soul source is the only cause of man's attachment to his body; obviously he would not pay solicitous homage to a clod of clay. A human being falsely identifies himself with his physical form because the life currents from the soul are breath-conveyed into the flesh with such intense power that man mistakes the effect for a cause, and idolatrously imagines the body to have life of its own.
The great piano virtuoso Paderewski was once playing before an audience of the rich and the royal. After a brilliant performance, an elegant lady waxed ecstatic over the great artist. She said, "Ah Maestro, you are a genius!" Paderewski tartly replied, "Ah yes, madam, but before I was a genius I was a clod!" What he was saying was that his present acclaim was not handed to him on a silver platter. He, too, was once a little boy laboriously practicing his scales. And even at his peak, behind every brilliant performance there were countless hours of practice and preparation.
I should be inclined, therefore, as I have hinted before, to consider the world and this life as the mighty process of God, not for the trial, but for the creation and formation of mind, a process necessary to awaken inert, chaotic matter into spirit, to sublimate the dust of the earth into soul, to elicit an ethereal spark from the clod of clay. And in this view of the subject, the various impressions and excitements which man receives through life may be considered as the forming hand of his Creator, acting by general laws, and awakening his sluggish existence, by the animating touches of the Divinity, into a capacity of superior enjoyment. The original sin of man is the torpor and corruption of the chaotic matter in which he may be said to be born.
Thomas Robert Malthus
A child, obeying his father and mother, goes wherever he is told, east or west, south or north. And the yin and yang - how much more are they to a man than father or mother! Now that they have brought me to the verge of death, if I should refuse to obey them, how perverse I would be! What fault is it of theirs? The Great Clod burdens me with form, labors me with life, eases me in old age, and rests me in death. So if I think well of my life, for the same reason I must think well of my death. When a skilled smith is casting metal, if the metal should leap up and say, 'I insist upon being made into a Moye!' he would surely regard it as very inauspicious metal indeed. Now, having had the audacity to take on human form once, if I should say, 'I don't want to be anything but a man! Nothing but a man!', the Creator would surely regard me as a most inauspicious sort of person. So now I think of heaven and earth as a great furnace, and the Creator as a skilled smith. Where could he send me that would not be all right? I will go off to sleep peacefully, and then with a start I will wake up.