Biodiesel seems to be the answer to a lot of our prayers. Not only can it help the U.S. economy, our unwanted dependence on foreign oil, and the gasping environment, it could also help the family farmers out of this tragic dilemma they have found themselves in through no fault of their own.
I've got some deep scars from a little black heart that's miles away
I sent it packing after I saw what it did and I couldn't believe
And now my chest hurts from the hole that I dug, it's getting harder to breathe
I'm really gasping, wishing I could turn back and that would fix everything
The Early November
I sent it packing after I saw what it did and I couldn't believe
And now my chest hurts from the hole that I dug, it's getting harder to breathe
I'm really gasping, wishing I could turn back and that would fix everything
Before the next minute had passed, they had all fallen to the ground. Just like that. As though someone had reached inside and turned off a switch. "What happened?" Matt asked, gasping. I went from one person to the next, trying to wake them up, but they were all dead, wrote Daft Donald.
And we did, and it wasn't bad. We ate the whole stupid can, we were so hungry. And when it started to get dark you pointed to the sky, and told me there was a star for every thing you loved about me.' I'm gasping, feeling as though I am about to drown; I'm reaching for him blindly, grabbing at his collar.
But sometimes, unexpectedly, grief pounded over me in waves that left me gasping; and when the waves washed back, I found myself looking out over a brackish wreck which was illumined in a light so lucid, so heartsick and empty, that I could hardly remember that the world had ever been anything but dead.
Love, the deadliest of all things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't. But that isn't it, exactly. The condemner and the condemned. The executioner; the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you God. Love: It will kill you and save you, both.
I'd never seen anything more beautiful - even as I ran, gasping and screaming, I could appreciate that. And the last seven months meant nothing. And his words in the forest meant nothing. And it did not matter if he did not want me. I would never want anything but him, no matter how long I lived.
When the immense drugged universe explodes In a cascade of unendurable colour And leaves us gasping naked, This is no more than the ectasy of chaos: Hold fast, with both hands, to that royal love Which alone, as we know certainly, restores Fragmentation into true being. Ecstasy of Chaos
Girls don't fight fair. They pull your hair and gauge you and pinch you; then they run off gasping to mommy when you try and defend yourself with a fist. Then you get locked into time out, and for what? No, my friend, the secret is, don't snap at the bait. Let it dangle. Swim around it. Laugh it off. After a while they've given up and try to lure someone else.
Wendelin Van Draanen
Paneloux is a man of learning, a scholar. He hasn't come in contact with death; that's why he can speak with such assurance of the truth-with a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. He'd try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its goodness.
some of my happiest funniest times have been spent in offices. Perhaps because the work was mudane, even the tiniest of distractions become wildly hilarious and wonderful. Actually, I'd say that 90 per cent of my doubled-over-gasping-with-laughther-laughing-so-much-that-you-can't-breathe-and-you-think-you-might-die laughing has occurred during slow days in offices.
Brush strokes write poetry harmonized through the cords of an artist's imagination. Color, contrast, simple compassion splattered across paper leaves tainted with the melody of the silent wind. Gasping, grasping, simply glancing at the souls of those who were not blessed with the visionary sight of inspirational artistry.
Laura S. Al Bast
We're only passers-by, and all you can do is love what you have in your life. A person has to fight the meanness that sometimes comes with you when you're born, sometimes grows if you aren't in lucky surroundings. It's our challenge to fend it off, leave it behind us choking and gasping for breath in the mud. It's our task to seek out something with truth for us, no matter if there is a hundred-mile obstacle course in the way, or a ramshackle old farmhouse that binds and binds.
Why grace? Because some days, it's the only thing we have in common. Because it's the one thing I'm certain is real. Because it's the reason I'm here. Because it's the oxygen of religious life, or so says a musician friend of mine, who tells me, 'Without it, religion will surely suffocate you.' Because so many of us are gasping for air and grasping for God, but fleeing from a kind of religious experience that has little to do with anything sacred or gracious.
For the scientist, at exactly the moment of discovery-that most unstable existential moment-the external world, nature itself, deeply confirms his innermost fantastic convictions. Anchored abruptly in the world, Leviathan gasping on his hook, he is saved from extreme mental disorder by the most profound affirmation of the real.
The fish, whose tail was nipped, separated itself from the group and began to appear sickly, most likely from stress, Coal reasoned. He refused to be this fish, or the belly up fish, or the blue fish gasping for air. Rather, he resolved to be the other fish, the one who found purpose and meaning despite the unnatural environment, despite depending upon keepers for survival.
I've wanted you from the moment I first saw you in the museum. Before that. I wanted every part of you from the first time I felt you, your presence. I want you in the sky, and against the earth. I want to kiss you again, I want to touch you, I want to feel you in my arms and I want to hear you gasping my name when I'm inside you. I want all that, and I want it badly. Every time I look at you, I want it. So you're going to have to become used to that, Rue. It won't change." (Christoff to Rue)
Standing in the nordic nook of the kitchen, I can gaze down at the flimsy-limbed joggers heading south towards the Park. It's nearly as bad as New York. Some of these gasping fatsos, these too-little-too-late artists, they look as though they're running up rising ground, climbing ground. My generation, we started all this. Before, everyone was presumably content to feel like death the whole time. Now they want to feel terrific for ever.
Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain... The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion... and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself--ultimate cost for perfect value
Robert A. Heinlein
We are living in a science-fiction nightmare where children are gasping for breath on bad-air days because somebody gave money to a politician. And my children and the kids of millions of other Americans can no longer go fishing and eat their catch because somebody gave money to a politician.
Robert F. Kennedy
Personally, I always wondered about authors and celebrities who loudly declared there was no God. It was usually when they were healthy and popular and being listened to by crowds. What happens, I wondered, in the quiet moments before death? By then, they have lost the stage, the world has moved on. If suddenly, in their last gasping moments, through fear, a vision, a late enlightenment, they change their minds about God, who would know?
When she was eighteen years old she had almost drowned in the Kennebec River, not because of the pummeling current, but because she couldn't come up with a casual phrase with which to call for rescue. "Help!" was such a cliche. By the time she was willing to scream, she had no breath left, and it was just blind luck that somebody saw her gasping and floundering and pulled her to shore. "Why didn't you say something?" they wanted to know, and she said, "I'm not a screamer." "Jesus, " said one of them, "couldn't you have made an exception this one time?" "Apparently not, " she said.
It seems to me absolutely true, that our world, which appears to us the surface of all things, is really the bottom of a deep ocean: all our trees are submarine growths, and we are weird, scaly-clad submarine fauna, feeding ourselves on offal like shrimps. Only occasionally the soul rises gasping through the fathomless fathoms under which we live, far up to the surface of the ether, where there is true air.
D. H. Lawrence
Nothing in all nature is so lovely and so vigorous, so perfectly at home in its environment, as a fish in the sea. Its surroundings give to it a beauty, quality, and power which are not its own. We take it out, and at once a poor, limp dull thing, fit for nothing, is gasping away its life. So the soul, sunk in God, living the life of prayer, is supported, filled, transformed in beauty, by a vitality and a power which are not its own.
We'll bury our mothers and fathers - shuttling our children off for sleepovers, jumping on red-eyes, telling eachother stories that hurt to hear, about gasping, agonal breaths, hospice nurses, scars and bruises and scabs, and how skin papers shortly after a person passes. We will nod in agreement that it is as much an honor to witness a person leave this world as it is to watch a person come into it.
There is an old song which asserts 'the best things in life are free.' Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted...and get it without toil, without sweat, without tears. Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.
Robert A. Heinlein
His eyes go wide while a gasp of wonder passes his lips. He turns his body fully toward us. His lips moving like a fish out of water, gasping for breath. He gives his head a shake and stutters out, 'Mer-mermaids. There are fish with women's bodies or-women with fish bodies sitting upon the rocks. I-I never knew...
How ignorant we are! How ignorant everyone is! We can cut across only a small area of the appallingly expanding fields of knowledge. No human being can know more than a tiny fraction of the whole. It must have been satisfactory in ancient times when one's own land seemed to be the universe; when research studies, pamphlets, books did not issue in endless flow; when laboratories and scientists were not so rapidly pushing back frontiers of knowledge that the process of unlearning the old left you gasping for breath.
Mary Barnett Gilson
Life is flinching in the midst of breathing, gasping at the thought of dying. It's climbing ropeless up sheer rock faces, groping for the next finger-hole of hope. Steady on! Only a thousand feet to go and after that a jungle, a minefield, a rapids. (Can I stop smiling now?) Once, not long ago, I was flung off the cliff of the moment, thrust into an illicit relationship with destiny, an affair not of my making. Was I making love or being raped? The lines were fuzzy.
Sam, " she said. "I'm trying!" "Sam, " she repeated. "No, " he spat, hearing her tone. "No!" He began screaming for help then. Celaena pressed her face to one of the holes in the grate. Help wasn't going to come-not fast enough. "Please, " Sam begged as he beat and yanked on the grate, he tried to wedge another dagger under the lid. "Please don't." She knew he wasn't speaking to her. The water hit her neck. "Please, " Sam moaned, his fingers now touching hers. She'd have one last breath. Her last words. "Take my body home to Terrasen, Sam, " she whispered. And with a gasping breath, she went under.
Sarah J. Maas
Of all the deep longings, this ache for missing intimacy, cuts through sharply, like a scream in a silent room, like the last gasping breath under a stifling mask, like the huge lump in the throat that one is unable to swallow. This deep ache to be held, to know touch both the casual and intense variety, to catch an eye in answering laughter, to merge into oneness, to sing through existence in resonance with another, to simply be in deep love in openness. to live and die in intimacy and vulnerability in a loved one's arms. And, you ache alone...
Like Sylvia Plath, Natalie Jeanne Champagne invites you so close to the pain and agony of her life of mental illness and addiction, which leaves you gasping from shock and laughing moments later: this is both the beauty and unique nature of her storytelling. With brilliance and courage, the author's brave and candid chronicle travels where no other memoir about mental illness and addiction has gone before. The Third Sunrise is an incredible triumph and Natalie Jeanne Champagne is without a doubt the most important new voice in this genre.
Okay. Now my skin is really prickling. I've read all the Harry Potter books, all five of them. I don't remember any half-blood prince. "What's this?" Trying to sound casual, I point at the ad, "What's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?" "That's the latest book, " Garth the other trainee, says. "It came out ages ago." I can't help gasping. "There's a sixth Harry Potter?" "There's a seventh out soon!" Diana steps forward eagerly. "And guess what happens at the end of book six-" "Shh!" exclaims Nicole, the other nurse. "Don't tell her!
Okay. Now my skin is really prickling. I've read all the Harry Potter books, all five of them. I don't remember any half-blood prince. "What's this?" Trying to sound casual, I point at the ad, "What's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?" "That's the latest book," Garth the other trainee, says. "It came out ages ago." I can't help gasping. "There's a sixth Harry Potter?" "There's a seventh out soon!" Diana steps forward eagerly. "And guess what happens at the end of book six-" "Shh!" exclaims Nicole, the other nurse. "Don't tell her!
Percy pulled Annabeth close and kissed her... long enough for it to get really awkward for Piper, though she said nothing. She thought about the old rule of Aphrodite's cabin: that to be recognized as a daughter of the love goddess, you had to break someone's heart. Piper had long ago decided to change that rule. Percy and Annabeth were a perfect example of why. You should have to make someone's heart whole. That was a much better test. When Percy pulled away, Annabeth looked like a fish gasping for air. 'The Rivalry end here, ' Percy said. 'I love you, Wise Girl.
We always look for Christ amid magnificence. But... Christ has a history of showing up amide the unlovely. Born in a dirty stall. Crowned with thorns. Died gasping on a shameful cross atop a jagged rise. We don't need to be beautiful for Christ to take us in. He is equally at home when we're broken-down and dirty. It's like George Herbert wrote: 'And here in dust and dirt, O here, The lilies of God's love appear.' We think magnificence is in short supply, that dust and dirt choke out the lilies. But that's not true and never was. Lilies may root in dirt, but they reach for heaven-and in the reaching, reveal their magnificence. -chapter 24
I see that I am inwardly fashioned for faith and not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear and doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry my being is gasping for breath - these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence I breath freely - these are my native air.
E. Stanley Jones
It's funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.
You should not have too many people waiting on you, you should have to do most things for yourself. Hotel service is embarrassing. Maids, waiters, bellhops, porters and so forth are the most embarrassing people in the world for they continually remind you of inequities which we accept as the proper thing. The sight of an ancient woman, gasping and wheezing as she drags a heavy pail of water down a hotel corridor to mop up the mess of some drunken overprivileged guest, is one that sickens and weighs upon the heart and withers it with shame for this world in which it is not only tolerated but regarded as proof positive that the wheels of Democracy are functioning as they should without interference from above or below. Nobody should have to clean up anybody else's mess in this world. It is terribly bad for both parties, but probably worse for the one receiving the service.
I used to think I didn't need anyone. I used to think that I could be complete all alone. I tried to shut my eyes to how frozen I was becoming from the cold shards of glass, as they sank down into my heart and blinded me. I had nothing to be obsessed with, because I had no possessions. That was the only thing that comforted me against my fear of the dismal reality. But... I was lonely... I was sad. And I was desolate. I was supposed to be complete, even when alone... but I just couldn't be. I didn't even have someone's name to call out when I was all alone in the darkness. I wanted to tell that certain someone... because I only had one possession... because I was the only thing to protect or lose... I clasped it tightly to my chest. I couldn't afford to let anyone take it away from me. I wanted to tell that special person that I've only been gasping for breath on that painfully cold winter night, bundled up just like that. And I wanted to tell him that I never wanted to go back to that frozen, snow-covered world. And now, I long for our hearts to thaw together, side by side, flushed red and pulsing with love... and to soon become one.
On June 23, 1942, there was a group of French Jews in a German prison, on Polish soil. The first person I took was close to the door, his mind racing, then reduced to pacing, then slowing down, slowing down... Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each would that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear. I took them all away, and if there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away. Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye. They ere French, they were Jews, and they were you.
Late-Flowering Lust My head is bald, my breath is bad, Unshaven is my chin, I have not now the joys I had When I was young in sin. I run my fingers down your dress With brandy-certain aim And you respond to my caress And maybe feel the same. But I've a picture of my own On this reunion night, Wherein two skeletons are shewn To hold each other tight; Dark sockets look on emptiness Which once was loving-eyed, The mouth that opens for a kiss Has got no tongue inside. I cling to you inflamed with fear As now you cling to me, I feel how frail you are my dear And wonder what will be- A week? or twenty years remain? And then-what kind of death? A losing fight with frightful pain Or a gasping fight for breath? Too long we let our bodies cling, We cannot hide disgust At all the thoughts that in us spring From this late-flowering lust.
Our historical pastime is the direct satisfaction of inflicting pain. There are lines in Nekrassov describing how a peasant lashes a horse on the eyes, 'on its meek eyes, ' everyone must have seen it. It's peculiarly Russian. He describes how a feeble little nag has foundered under too heavy a load and cannot move. The peasant beats it, beats it savagely, beats it at last not knowing what he is doing in the intoxication of cruelty, thrashes it mercilessly over and over again. 'However weak you are, you must pull, if you die for it.' The nag strains, and then he begins lashing the poor defenceless creature on its weeping, on its 'meek eyes.' The frantic beast tugs and draws the load, trembling all over, gasping for breath, moving sideways, with a sort of unnatural spasmodic action- it's awful in Nekrassov. But that only a horse, and God has horses to be beaten.
The savage rushing of the river seemed to be inside her head, inside her body. Even when the oarswomen, their guides, were speaking to her, she had the impression she couldn't quite hear them because of the roar. Not of the river that did indeed roar, just behind them, close to the simple shelter they'd made for her, but because of an internal roar as of the sound of a massive accumulation of words, spoken all at once, but collected over a lifetime, now trying to leave her body. As they rose to her lips, and in response to the question: Do you want to go home? she leaned over a patch of yellow grass near her elbow and threw up. All the words from decades of her life filled her throat. Words she had said or had imagined saying or had swallowed before saying to her father, dead these many years. All the words to her mother. To her husbands. Children. Lovers. The words shouted back at the television set, spreading its virus of mental confusion. Once begun, the retching went on and on. She would stop, gasping for breath, rest a minute, and be off again. Draining her body of precious fluid... Soon, exhausted, she was done. No, she had said weakly, I don't want to go home. I'll be all right now.
I told her about the best and the worst. The slow and sleepy places where weekdays rolled past like weekends and Mondays didn't matter. Battered shacks perched on cliffs overlooking the endless, rumpled sea. Afternoons spent waiting on the docks, swinging my legs off a pier until boats rolled in with crates full of oysters and crayfish still gasping. Pulling fishhooks out of my feet because I never wore shoes, playing with other kids whose names I never knew. Those were the unforgettable summers. There were outback towns where you couldn't see the roads for red dust, grids of streets with wandering dogs and children who ran wild and swam naked in creeks. I remembered climbing ancient trees that had a heartbeat if you pressed your ear to them. Boomboom-boomboom. Dreamy nights sleeping by the campfire and waking up covered in fine ash, as if I'd slept through a nuclear holocaust. We were wanderers, always with our faces to the sun.
He rolled his eyes and took my hand. His hand was hard and calloused, tough with muscle and old scars. The night settled around us like a blanket. I could hear the water lapping against the dock. We were totally alone. 'You're... , ' he began, and I waited, heart throbbing in my throat. 'Such a pain, ' he concluded. 'What?' I asked, just as his head swooped in and his mouth touched mine. I tried to speak, but one of Fang's hands held the back of my head, and he kept his lips pressed against me, kissing me softly but with a Fanglike determination. Oh, jeez, I thought distractedly. Jeez, this is Fang, and me, and... Fang tilted his head to kiss me more deeply, and I felt totally lightheaded. Then I remembered to breathe through my nose, and the fog cleared a tiny bit. Somehow we were pressed together, Fang's arms around me now, sliding under my wings, his hands flat against my back. It was incredible. I loved it. I loved him. It was a total disaster. Gasping, I pulled back. 'I, uh-, ' I began oh so coherently, and then I jumped up, almost knocking him over, and raced down the dock. I took off, flying fast, like a rocket.
Stephen nodded. 'Tell me, ' he said, in a low voice, some moments later. 'Were I under naval discipline, could that fellow have me whipped?'He nodded towards Mr Marshall. 'The master?' cried Jack, with inexpressible amazement. 'Yes, ' said Stephen looking attentively at him, with his head slightly inclined to the left. 'But he is the master... ' said Jack. If Stephen had called the sophies stem her stern, or her truck her keel, he would have understood the situation directly; but that Stephen should confuse the chain of command, the relative status of a captain and a master, of a commissioned officer and a warrant officer, so subverted the natural order, so undermined the sempiternal universe, that for a moment his mind could hardly encompass it. Yet Jack, though no great scholar, no judge of a hexameter, was tolerably quick, and after gasping no more than twice he said, 'My dear sir, I beleive you have been lead astray by the words master and master and commander- illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged- no, no; you shall not be flogged, ' he added, gazing with pure affection, and with something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so very far beyond anything that even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.
How very like you, Puck.' Ash's voice came from a great distance, and the room started to spin. 'Offer them a taste of faery wine, and act surprised when they're consumed by it.' That struck me as hilarious, and I broke into hysterical giggles. And once I began, I couldn't stop. I laughed until I was gasping for breath, tears streaming down my face. My feet itched and my skin crawled. I needed to move, to do something. I tried standing up, wanting to spin and dance, but the room tilted violently and I fell, still shrieking with laughter. Somebody caught me, scooping me off my feet and into their arms. I smelled frost and winter, and heard an exasperated sigh from somewhere above my head. 'What are you doing, Ash?' I heard someone ask. A familiar voice, though I couldn't think of his name, or why he sounded so suspicious. 'I'm taking her back to her room.' The person above me sounded wonderfully calm and deep. I sighed and settled into his arms. 'She'll have to sleep off the effects of the fruit. We'll likely be here another day because of your idiocy.' The other voice said something garbled and unintelligible. I was suddenly too sleepy and light-headed to care. Relaxing against the mysterious person's chest, I fell into a heady sleep.
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still! And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride; And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail: And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
George Gordon Lord Byron
Imagine you are Siri Keeton: You wake in an agony of resurrection, gasping after a record-shattering bout of sleep apnea spanning one hundred forty days. You can feel your blood, syrupy with dobutamine and leuenkephalin, forcing its way through arteries shriveled by months on standby. The body inflates in painful increments: blood vessels dilate; flesh peels apart from flesh; ribs crack in your ears with sudden unaccustomed flexion. Your joints have seized up through disuse. You're a stick-man, frozen in some perverse rigor vitae. You'd scream if you had the breath. Vampires did this all the time, you remember. It was normal for them, it was their own unique take on resource conservation. They could have taught your kind a few things about restraint, if that absurd aversion to right-angles hadn't done them in at the dawn of civilization. Maybe they still can. They're back now, after all- raised from the grave with the voodoo of paleogenetics, stitched together from junk genes and fossil marrow steeped in the blood of sociopaths and high-functioning autistics. One of them commands this very mission. A handful of his genes live on in your own body so it too can rise from the dead, here at the edge of interstellar space. Nobody gets past Jupiter without becoming part vampire.
Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today, insolvent; seeking to curry favor, to get custom, by how many modes, only not state-prison offences; lying, flattering, voting, contracting yourselves into a nutshell of civility or dilating into an atmosphere of thin and vaporous generosity, that you may persuade your neighbor to let you make his shoes, or his hat, or his coat, or his carriage, or import his groceries for him; making yourselves sick, that you may lay up something against a sick day, something to be tucked away in an old chest, or in a stocking behind the plastering, or, more safely, in the brick bank; no matter where, no matter how much or how little.
Henry David Thoreau
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways-the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days-that's something else.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, You can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands, Or windows for mirrors. Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, You can let them touch you. Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle, a door, a sandwich, a Pulitzer, another woman - But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian, or a muse, or a promise, or a victim or a snack. You are a woman - Skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat You are not made of metaphors, Not apologies, not excuses. If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, You can let them hold you. All day they practice keeping their bodies upright. Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural, Still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, Admit they don't have the answers they thought they would by now. Some men will want to hold you like the answer. You are not the answer. You are not the problem. You are not the poem, or the punchline, or the riddle, or the joke. Woman, if you grow up the type of woman men want to love, You can let them love you. Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, It is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realising you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope after the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart. You learn to sing along. It is hard to stop loving the ocean, Even after it's left you gasping, salty. So forgive yourself for the decisions you've made, The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night, And know this. Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You are born to build.
Simon whispered to me, 'But is everything okay?' 'No, ' Tori said. 'I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I've been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.' 'Undying gratitude?' Simon looked at me. 'Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.' I smiled. 'I'll remember that.' 'Oh, right. You must be starving.' Simon reached into his pockets. 'I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren't the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.' 'Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.' Derek passed a bar to Tori. 'Because you aren't supposed to have those, are you?' I said. 'Which reminds me... ' I took out the insulin. 'Derek said it's your backup.' 'So my dark secret is out.' 'I didn't know it was a secret.' 'Not really. Just not something I advertise.'... 'Backup?' Tori said. 'You mean he didn't need that?' 'Apparently not, ' I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. 'You guys thought... ' 'That if you didn't get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you'd be dead?' I said. 'Not exactly, but close. You know, the old 'upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication' twist. Apparently, it still works.' 'Kind of a letdown, then, huh?' 'No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.' 'All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.' He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. 'Chloe? Is that you?' He coughed. 'Do you have my insulin?' I placed it in his outstretched hand. 'You saved my life, ' he said. 'How can I ever repay you?' 'Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.' He held up a piece of fruit. 'Would you settle for a bruised apple?' I laughed.
The Type Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands. Or windows. Or mirrors. Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, you can let them touch you. Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman. But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian. Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack. You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat. You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses. If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, you can let them hold you. All day they practice keeping their bodies upright- even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, admit they do not have the answers they thought they would have by now; some men will want to hold you like The Answer. You are not The Answer. You are not the problem. You are not the poem or the punchline or the riddle or the joke. Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love, You can let them love you. Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along. It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty. Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this: Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You were born to build.
The tavern keeper, a wiry man with a sharp-nosed face, round, prominent ears and a receding hairline that combined to give him a rodentlike look, glanced at him, absentmindedly wiping a tankard with a grubby cloth. Will raised an eyebrow as he looked at it. He'd be willing to bet the cloth was transferring more dirt to the tankard then it was removing. "Drink?" the tavern keeper asked. He set the tankard down on the bar, as if in preparation for filling it with whatever the stranger might order. "Not out of that, " Will said evenly, jerking a thumb at the tankard. Ratface shrugged, shoved it aside and produced another from a rack above the bar. "Suit yourself. Ale or ouisgeah?" Ousigeah, Will knew, was the strong malt spirit they distilled and drank in Hibernia. In a tavern like this, it might be more suitable for stripping runt than drinking. "I'd like coffee, " he said, noticing the battered pot by the fire at one end of the bar. "I've got ale or ouisgeah. Take your pick." Ratface was becoming more peremptory. Will gestured toward the coffeepot. The tavern keeper shook his head. "None made, " he said. "I'm not making a new pot just for you." "But he's drinking coffee, " Will said, nodding to one side. Inevitably the tavern keeper glanced that way, to see who he was talking about. The moment his eyes left Will, an iron grip seized the front of his shirt collar, twisting it into a knot that choked him and at the same time dragged him forward, off balance, over the bar, . The stranger's eyes were suddenly very close. He no longer looked boyish. The eyes were dark brown, almost black in this dim light, and the tavern keeper read danger there. A lot of danger. He heard a soft whisper of steel, and glancing down past the fist that held him so tightly, he glimpsed the heavy, gleaming blade of the saxe knife as the stranger laid it on the bar between them. He looked around for possible help. But there was nobody else at the bar, and none of the customers at the tables had noticed what was going on. "Aach... mach co'hee, " he choked. The tension on his collar eased and the stranger said softly, "What was that?" "I'll... make... coffee, " he repeated, gasping for breath. The stranger smiled. It was a pleasant smile, but the tavern keep noticed that it never reached those dark eyes. "That's wonderful. I'll wait here.
Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people- the novelist's world, not the poet's. I've lived there. I remember what the city has to offer; human companionship, major league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, 'next year, I'll start living... next year I'll start my life.' Innocence is a better world. Innocence sees that this is it, and finds it world enough, and time. Innocence is not the prerogative of infants and puppies, and far less of mountains and fixed stars, which have no prerogatives at all. It is not lost to us; the world is a better place than that. Like any other of the spirit's good gifts, it is there if you want it, free for the asking, as has been stressed by stronger words than mine. It is possible to pursue innocence as hounds pursue hares; singlemindledly, driven by a kind of love, crashing over creeks, keening and lost in fields and forests, circling, vaulting over hedges and hills wide-eyed, giving loud tongue all unawares to the deepest, most incomprehensible longing, a root-flame in the heart, and that warbling chorus resounding back from the mountains, hurling itself from ridge to ridge over the valley, now faint, now clear ringing the air through which the hounds tear, open-mouthed, the echoes of their own wails dimly knocking in their lungs. What I call innocence is the spirit's unselfconscious state at any moment of pure devotion to any object. It is at once a receptiveness and total concentration. One needn't be, shouldn't be reduced to a puppy. If you wish to tell me that the city offers galleries, I'll pour you a drink and enjoy your company while it lasts; but I'll bear with me to my grave those pure moments at the Tate (was it the Tate?) where I stood planted, open-mouthed, born, before that one particular canvas, that river, up to my neck, gasping, lost, receding into watercolor depth and depth to the vanishing point, buoyant, awed, and had to be literally hauled away. These are our few live seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present.