Maybe it's stress or anger or adrenaline or disillusionment or a bullying nature or simple fear of getting killed themselves, but there is a problem if a cop cannot tell the difference between a menacing gangster and the far more common person they encounter whose life is a little frayed and messy.
One of my many horrors is to become the man with the frayed jacket and unfastened flies standing at the Co-op counter with egg on his shirt and more too because the mirror in the hall has given up the ghost. A shipwrecked man without an anchor in the world except in his own liquid thoughts where time has lost its sequence.
To his lasting credit, President Reagan never wavered. He recognized the strategic importance of staying the course, both in terms of denying Moscow the military hegemony it sought in Western Europe and of restoring the will, cohesiveness, and security of the NATO alliance, so badly frayed during the turbulent 1970s.
O America, I am your Liberty, and you are that huddled mass yearning to breathe free. I am your Lighthouse, the One beaconing [yea, beckoning], and you are that wayfarer-strayed, grayed, and frayed ... Now, return, you tempest-tost; lift up your gaze to the lighted torch aloft the golden door and come home.
I often feel an aversion, even disgust at the same words written and spoken over and over - at the same expressions, phrases, and metaphors repeated. And the worst is, when I listen to myself I have to admit that I too endlessly repeat the same things. They're so horribly frayed and threadbare, these words, worn out by constant overuse. Do they still have any meaning?
Maria Edgeworth grumbled against vandals who ruined immortal works by quoting the life out of them. "How far our literature may in future suffer from these blighting swarms, will best be conceived by a glance at what they have already withered and blasted of the favourite productions of our most popular poets." Shakespeare, Milton, and Dryden, scissored, patched, and frayed.
I have always been inspired by the dream of America-families in the country, weathered trucks and farmhouses; sailing off the coast of Maine; following dirt roads in an old wood-paneled station wagon; a convertible filled with young college kids sporting crew cuts and sweatshirts and frayed sneakers.
And if you're going to criticize me for not finishing the whole thing and tying it up in a bow for you, why, do us both a favor and write your own damn book, only have the decency to call it a romance instead of a history, because history's got no bows on it, only frayed ends of ribbons and knots that can't be untied. It ain't a pretty package, but then it's not your birthday that I know of so I'm under no obligation to give you a gift.
Orson Scott Card
I grow old though pleased with my memories The tasks I can no longer complete Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past I offer no apology only this plea: When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt That I might keep some child warm And some old person with no one else to talk to Will hear my whispers And cuddle near
It was her favorite story, that she remembers, but she would be hard-pressed to retell it now, faithfully, as it had been told to her. All she could recall were frayed, sleep-watered images of a forgotten castle in the middle of a wild forest, stone statues, crimson roses, and a dark, animal presence never seen, but which stained her memory of the tale, even past its edges to the daylight after.
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart. That's where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you'll always find peace.
Is this what it's like, I thought then, and think now: a little blood here, a chomp there, and still we live, trampling the grass? Must everything whole be nibbled? Here was a new light on the intricate texture of things in the world, the actual plot of the present moment in time after the fall: the ways we living are nibbled and nibbling- not held aloft on a cloud in the air but bumbling pitted and scarred and broken through a frayed and beautiful land.
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.
As anyone who has received or dispensed psychotherapy knows, it's a profession whose mainspring is love. Nearly everyone who visits a therapist has a love disorder of one sort or another, and each has a story to tell - of love lost or denied, love twisted or betrayed, love perverted or shackled to violence. Broken attachments litter the office floors like pick-up sticks. People appear with frayed seams and spilling pockets.
I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...
Children who are decked with prince's robes and who have jeweled chains round their necks lose all pleasure in play; their dress hampers them at every step. In fear that it may be frayed, or stained with dust, they keep themselves from the world and are afraid ever to move. Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of finery, if it keep one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it rob one of the right of entrance to the great fair of common human life.
I am not good at noticing when I'm happy, except in retrospect. My gift, or fatal flaw, is for nostalgia. I have sometimes been accused of demanding perfection, of rejecting heart's desires as soon as I get close enough that the mysterious impressionistic gloss disperses into plain solid dots, but the truth is less simplistic than that. I know very well that perfection is made up of frayed, off-struck mundanities. I suppose you could say my real weakness is a kind of long-sightedness: usually it is only at a distance, and much too late, that I can see the pattern.
It was a strange feeling going into a church I did not know for a service that I did not really believe in, but once inside I couldn't help a feeling of warmth and security. Outside there were wars and road accidents and murders, striptease clubs and battered babies and frayed tempers and unhappy marriages and people contemplating suicide and bad jokes, but once in St. Martin's there was peace. Surely people go to church not to involve themselves in the world's problems but to escape from them.
Every year, in the deep midwinter, there descends upon this world a terrible fortnight. ... every shop is a choked mass of humanity ... nerves are jangled and frayed, purses emptied to no purposes, all amusements and all occupations suspended in favor of frightful businesses with brown paper, string, letters, cards, stamps, and crammed post offices. This period is doubtless a foretaste of whatever purgatory lies in store for human creatures.