If you have to walk along a dark mountain path, don't you prefer to have a flashlight to shine on the path ahead? I would suggest that it is possible to have that flashlight in life all the time. What does a flashlight give us? Light. That is, a flashlight sheds light. It is like the faculty of attention-if we turn our full attention to something, we learn more about that thing. We are seeing it with more light. Our attention is our 'flashlight.' So it's all about how much and how fun an attention we consciously bring to life. This quality of attention doesn't make us hesitant, or slow to decide, particularly-just as the flashlight doesn't make us hang back on the trail. So, how do we get to the better quality of attention? With attention! That is, we turn our attention on our attention; we start by trying to see how we don't pay attention. We sort of keep that light on ourselves. 'Know thyself' has been an honored ancient teaching, and it's still a cornerstone of the world's greatest philosophies. If you watch yourself honestly, in a detached way-not guilt-tripping yourself when you screw up-you gradually learn where it was that you were just blundering along, reacting sort of mechanically, and being asleep even as you were in your waking day. Another way to make this happen is by returning your whole attention to the present-to what's happening now, in this moment, and this moment, and on-within yourself and around you.
James L. Harmon
I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient. There's nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light. We are supposed to be capable of anything. I like that. Because there might come a day when there is no flashlight, there is no gun, there is no guiding hand. And I want to be ready.
I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient. There's nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light. We are supposed to be capable of anything. I like that. Because their might come a day when there is no flashlight, there is no gun, there is no guiding hand. And I want to be ready.
When Rae got back, she spread her empty hands wide and said "Okay, guess where I hid it." She even turned around for me, but I couldn't see a bulge big enough to hide a flashlight. With a grin, she reached down the front of her shirt into the middle of her bra, and pulled out a flashlight with flourish. I laughed. "Cleavage is great," she said. "Like an extra pocket.
There's another disadvantage to the use of the flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets it tends to separate a man from the world around him. If I switch it on my eyes adapt to it and I can see only the small pool of light it makes in front of me; I am isolated. Leaving the flashlight in my pocket where it belongs, I remain a part of the environment I walk through and my vision though limited has no sharp or definite boundary.
The most important element of breaking into a house is a flashlight, a flashlight will keep ya' on target. You don't wanna be stummblin' around, and it will make it alot crista-crystal-cleaner and crystal like surranwrap you S.O What?, and I'll never tell you a lie 'cause we're gonna get you through this successfully and you wanna have all the stuff were givin' ya now.
Well finish your story anyway." Where was I?" The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses." Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people. And Father started giggling, " Castle continued. He couldn't stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?" asked Castle. Nope." 'Son, ' my father said to me, 'someday this will all be yours.
Henry flopped onto his bed, and his steam leaked slowly out. He began telling himself a story in his head. It was about how just and kind and understanding he was. It was about right he had been, how necessary his tone and word choice. It was about a girl who just didn't understand, who was completely ignorant. Then, for some reason, the narrator of the story included an incident in which Henry ha pushed an envelope into a strange place just to see what would happen. It hadn't even been an accident. The incident did not fit with the rest of the story, so Henry tried to ignored it. He couldn't ignore it, so he tried to explain it. Completely different things. The post office was obviously not dangerous. It was yellow. I just wanted to see what the mailman would do. The flashlight was stupid. I didn't shine a flashlight into the post office. She didn't even act sorry. I would have acted sorry. I always act sorry when people get upset. She didn't even care that I probably saved her life. She didn't know. She was unconscious. Oh, shut up.
Four billion people on this earth, but my imagination is still the same. It's bad with large numbers. It's still taken by particularity. It flits in the dark like a flashlight, illuminating only random faces while all the rest go blindly by, never coming to mind and never really missed. . . . I can't tell you how much I pass over in silence.
A child who's got the habit will start reading under the covers with a flashlight, " she said. "If the parents are smart, they'll forbid the child to do this, and thereby encourage her. Otherwise she'll find a peer who also has the habit, and the two of them will keep it a secret between them.
It's like a flashlight on a life raft in the middle of the Atlantic -- good luck finding it. But if there's nearly $3 trillion floating around, and you can hit it with products that relate to Japanese investors' culture and objectives -- a savings and income orientation -- then you're talking about a significant business opportunity.
There is power in naming racism for what it is, in shining a bright light on it, brighter than any torch or flashlight. A thing as simple as naming it allows us to root it out of the darkness and hushed conversation where it likes to breed like roaches. It makes us acknowledge it. Confront it.
If my life were a corny horror movie, and the heroine was lost and alone, trapped in an underwater cave, what would happen next? If you guessed, "She drops her flashlight, and it hits a rock and breaks, leaving her in utter darkness," you would be right. But I bet you didn't guess the part about an attack by a giant octopus.
With acting, I started very young, and I'd performed for a lot of children in boarding schools, late at night after the dormitory lights were out. I'd have a flashlight, and I'd be Count Dracula, or Shakespeare, or Yogi Bear, and leap from bunk to bunk. I loved the laughter; I liked the way it made people feel.
C. C. H. Pounder
But the plans were on display... ' 'On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.' 'That's the display department.' 'With a flashlight.' 'Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.' 'So had the stairs.' 'But look, you found the notice, didn't you?' 'Yes, ' said Arthur, 'yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.
But the plans were on display... " "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a flashlight." "Ah, well, the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice, didn't you?" "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.
If people work together, if they can keep a cooperative spirit and use their ingenuity and balance it all with good humor and good will, then there's nothing to be afraid of. That's the sappy part of it, ... On the other hand, every Halloween for many years when my kids were trick-or-treating I would put on my 'Ghostbusters' jumpsuit with a police flashlight to protect all the kids from ghosts.
There were once two sisters who were not afriad of the dark because the dark was full of the other's voice across the room, because even when the night was thick and starless they walked home together from the river seeing who could last the longest without turning on her flashlight, not afraid because sometimes in the pitch of night they'd lie on their backs in the middle of the path and look up until the stars came back and when they did, they'd reach their arms up to touch them and did.
Some bands blow it before they even play. The most important moment of any show is when a band walks out with the red amp lights glowing, the flashlight that shows each performer the way to his spot on the stage. It's crucial not to blow it. It sets the tempo of the show; it affects everyone's perception of the band.
For a good ten minutes or so we stand there with the flashlight burning the grave with light. The whole time, I'm trying to guess where and exactly how he died and, more to the point, realizing that poor old Milla's been without him for sixty-years. I can tell. No other man has entered her life. Not the way her Jimmy did. She's been waiting sixty years for Jimmy to come back. And now he has.
Moon In the Window I wish I could say I was the kind of child who watched the moon from her window, would turn toward it and wonder. I never wondered. I read. Dark signs that crawled toward the edge of the page. It took me years to grow a heart from paper and glue. All I had was a flashlight, bright as the moon, a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.
Only man is a narcissistic enough species to think that a highly evolved alien life force would travel across billions and billions of light-years- a group of aliens so intelligent, so insouciant, so utterly above it all, they feel no need whatsoever to equip their spacecraft with windows so that they can gaze out on all that celestial beauty-but then immediately upon landing, their first impulse is to get in some hick's ass with a flashlight.
Slowly, he lifts the flashlight. Her shorts are torn and frayed, her shirt ripped from chest to naval, exposing her black bra and dirty stomach. And then he raises the light so it reflects off her face, off the crimson tears streaming from the girl's eyes. Her boney hands fly up to protect her face, and her head tilts sharply as she hisses.
You know sometimes when I walk into your room with a flashlight or a candle?' I nodded. 'Well, love is like that. Light doesn't have to announce it's way into a room or ask the darkness to leave. It just is. It walks ahead of you, and the darkness rolls back like a tide.' She waved her hand across the room. 'It has to 'cause darkness can't be where light is.
Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, books had no real existence in our world. Like seeds in the beak of a bird waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. they lie dormant hoping for the chance to emerge.They want us to give them life.
School did give me one of the greatest gifts of my life, though. I learned how to read, and for that I remain thankful. I would have died otherwise. As soon as I was able, I read, alone. Under the covers with a flashlight or in my corner of the attic""I sought solace in books. It was from books that I started to get an inkling of the kinds of assholes I was dealing with. I found allies too, in books, characters my age who were going through or had triumphed against the same bullshit.
School did give me one of the greatest gifts of my life, though. I learned how to read, and for that I remain thankful. I would have died otherwise. As soon as I was able, I read, alone. Under the covers with a flashlight or in my corner of the attic-I sought solace in books. It was from books that I started to get an inkling of the kinds of assholes I was dealing with. I found allies too, in books, characters my age who were going through or had triumphed against the same bullshit.
We've turned off all the lights in the living room to make hand shadows. We've got this big flashlight aimed at the wall. I make the silhouette of my hand into a duck. Robin makes his into a rabbit. Now my duck kisses his rabbit And-POOF!- it turns into a turkey. And for some reason this strikes us as hysterically funny. But you probably had to be there.
Reading is performance. The reader--the child under the blanket with a flashlight, the woman at the kitchen table, the man at the library desk--performs the work. The performance is silent. The readers hear the sounds of the words and the beat of the sentences only in their inner ear. Silent drummers on noiseless drums. An amazing performance in an amazing theater.
Ursula K. Le Guin
When I first entered the school, I was all set to tie my hair in a ponytail, get a fake tan, and write my homework in pink gel ink. I was prepared to hear girls bragging nonchalantly about the BMWs and diamond earrings they recieved for their birthday. I almost looked forward to hearing the flashlight-wielding nuns tell me to "leave room for the holy ghost" when I danced lewedly with messy-haired prep-school boys
OH THE EVENING DESCENDS AND CONCEALS AND REVEALS SHADOWS AH SORROW GROWS BEST HERE, YOU KNOW? AND I DON'T THINK YOU CARE AT ALL I KISS THE WALL NOW, GIVE A DARK LOOK....KEEP BLINKIN OH THOUGH IT'S DARK OUT YOUR EYES ARE DECEIVING I SAW A FLASHLIGHT TURN ON IN THE EVENING SO YOU CAN SEE IN THE NIGHT BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND SO LEAD US THROUGH SUFFERING AND THORN A CALM WITHOUT FORM DESCENDS AND CONCEALS AND VEILS OUR SIGHT
He was the first to reach the aircraft, and he went for the door that by some miracle was facing outward and not into the concrete wall. Wrenching the thing open, and getting out his flashlight, he didn't know what to expect inside""smoke? Fumes? Blood and body parts? Zsadist was sitting rigid in a backward-facing seat, his big body strapped in, both hands locked on the armrests. The Brother was staring straight ahead and not blinking. "Have we stopped moving?" he said hoarsely
The world is changing because we're changing it. And that makes me understand, at least, what kind of person I'd like to be. A person can seek ways, whether big or small, to heal the world. That, to me, is spirituality and one's 'soul.' Not some disembodied eternal wishfulness but a way of being that, most days, I can work on. Life is like walking with a flashlight on a dark night. You can't see your destination, but each step illuminates the next few steps, and, taking one after another, you can get where you need to go. Only now, we'll need to quicken our pace if we are to avoid major upheaval in this century. It's up to us not just as individuals but as citizens of nations and of the world.
She wrote poetry constantly; that was her "work". She was a slow bleeder and she slaved over it for long, exhausting hours, and many a middle of a night I could hear her creaking around the dead house with a pen in one hand, a clipboard and a flashlight in the other, refining her poems, jotting down the lines of a conceit. Writing never came easy for her; it gave her calluses. She never courted the muses, she wrestled them, mauled them all over the house and came up, after weeks of peripatetic labor, with a slim Spencerian sonnet, fourteen lines of imagistic jabberwocky.
Stories come alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth. Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
Lily?' She couldn't see his face, but she knew his eyes were on her. She could feel them. A beat passed. Then another. He flicked the flashlight on, his eyes zooming in on her mouth. 'Don't suppose you're scared enough of the dark to leave.' She shook her head. 'I don't suppose you're planning on leaving me on my own.' A smile, then, 'You might cheat.' He tugged their linked hands and leaned the slightest bit closer. 'True, ' she breathed, mirroring his movement. 'I wouldn't trust you if our roles were reversed.' Inches from his face, she admired the curve of his top lip. 'What are you doing, Black?' 'I think, ' he whispered back, his warm breath fanning over her lips, 'I'm going to have to kiss you, McIntire.
Finally I find it, the book, but as I'm pulling it out of the stack I hear a noise coming from my toy room. It sounds like scratching or scraping maybe and my mind instantly goes to the possibility that maybe it's a monster or a dragon or something else with claws. My hand shakes a little as I stand up and turn back toward the room. When I step into it, I feel the wind hit my cheeks. I shine the light around and notice one of the windows is open. I don't understand why. I didn't open it and I don't think it was open when I came down here. What if it was a monster? I sweep the flashlight around the room at all my toys as I start back toward the corner. Then the light lands on something tall... I hear voices. Ones that don't sound like they belong to a monster, but just people. But that's what they end up being. Terrible, horrible monsters.
-A Word On Statistics- Out of every hundred people, those who always know better: fifty-two. Unsure of every step: almost all the rest. Ready to help, if it doesn't take long: forty-nine. Always good, because they cannot be otherwise: fourwell, maybe five. Able to admire without envy: eighteen. Led to error by youth (which passes): sixty, plus or minus. Those not to be messed with: four-and-forty. Living in constant fear of someone or something: seventy-seven. Capable of happiness: twenty-some-odd at most. Harmless alone, turning savage in crowds: more than half, for sure. Cruel when forced by circumstances: it's better not to know, not even approximately. Wise in hindsight: not many more than wise in foresight. Getting nothing out of life except things: thirty (though I would like to be wrong). Balled up in pain and without a flashlight in the dark: eighty-three, sooner or later. Those who are just: quite a few, thirty-five. But if it takes effort to understand: three. Worthy of empathy: ninety-nine. Mortal: one hundred out of one hundred a figure that has never varied yet.
I just didn't get it- even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one hand and a lemon (the moon) in the other, her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight. I just couldn't grasp it- this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly no one could even see themselves moving. I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enough I could be the one person to feel what no one else could, sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears. Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck, even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange, I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive. I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap, 'The world doesn't revolve around you!' The earth was fragile and mostly water, just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it, just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me. Looking back on that third grade science demonstration, I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures- especially people who have an understanding of the excruciating crawl of the world, who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoning and the tininess that it is to be one of us. But not me-even now I wouldn't mind being god, the force who spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo. I wouldn't mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit, or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I'm told. Not doing it the second time I'm told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I'm old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don't know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn't fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that's not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I'm called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV's volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I'm going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly's doll's hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don't grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don't see until it's too late. Giving my mother's good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine's Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don't fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don't like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth's eating a candy bar I didn't pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn't put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.