She had witnessed the world's most beautiful things, and allowed herself to grow old and unlovely. She had felt the heat of a leviathan's roar, and the warmth within a cat's paw. She had conversed with the wind and had wiped soldier's tears. She had made people see, she'd seen herself in the sea. Butterflies had landed on her wrists, she had planted trees. She had loved, and let love go. So she smiled.
It is the delight of vulgar talent to dazzle and to bind the beholder. But true genius seeks to defend us from itself. True geniuswill not impoverish, but will liberate, and add new sense. If a wise man should appear in our village, he would create, in those who conversed with him, a new consciousness of wealth, by opening their eyes to unobserved advantages; he would establish a sense of immovable equality, calm us with assurances that we could not be cheated; as every one would discern the checks and guarantees of condition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The party was at its peak and everyone was taking full advantage of the moment. Each lady had her eye on a certain marked beau. Elegant women conversed with eligible men, handsome and well bred. Ruby felt sorry for the under-endowed ladies and plain girls, who stood together in a small group with their mothers. Passing by the conniving little circle, she heard too clearly the strategies they had concocted. They were like vultures hunting for rotten meat. Mothers sent out their girls to meet the wealthiest and nearly deceased men of the ton.
Oh, but once my memories had pulsed with the blood-heat of life. In desperation, I forced myself to recall that once, I had walked with kings and conversed in languages never heard in this land. Once I had stood at the prow of a Sea Wolf ship and sailed oceans unknown to seamen here. I had ridden horses through desert lands, and dined on exotic foods in Arab tents. I had roamed Constantinople's fabled streets, and bowed before the Holy Roman Emperor's throne. I had been a slave, a spy, a sailor. Advisor and confidant of lords, I had served Arabs, Byzantines, and barbarians. I had worn captive's rags, and the silken robes of a Sarazen prince. Once I had held a jeweled knife and taken a life with my own hand. Yes, and once I had held a loving woman in my arms and kissed her warm and willing lips... Death would have been far, far better than the gnawing, aching emptiness that was now my life.
Stephen R. Lawhead