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I wish they would use English instead of Greek words. When I want to know why a leaf is green, they tell me it is coloured by "chlorophyll," which at first sounds very instructive; but if they would only say plainly that a leaf is coloured green by a thing which is called "green leaf," we should see more precisely how far we had got.
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Because this exact leaf had to grow in that exact way, in that exact place, so that precise wind could tear it from that precise branch and make it fly into this exact face at that exact moment. And, if just one of those tiny little things had never had happened, I'd never have met ya. Which makes this leaf the most important leaf in human history
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Life often goes along in a stream. The details float by like a leaf on a river. The current is pushing and pulling the leaf, but we do not see it because we are standing on the banks of the river. There are moments when the leaf is caught up in little eddies. Events pile up. They gather like twigs-like flotsam and jetsam-caught up in the stream of life. Time blocks and unblocks in little bursts at such places. Information pours through like water. The details crystallize. Various pressures and turbulences in the river, pouring into the sea of life, push and pull, but we do not see it. We do not see the leaf or the pushing and pulling.
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Just as it is certain that one leaf is never totally the same as another, so it is certain that the concept "leaf" is formed by arbitrarily discarding these individual differences and by forgetting the distinguishing aspects. This awakens the idea that, in addition to the leaves, there exists in nature the "leaf": the original model according to which all the leaves were perhaps woven, sketched, measured, colored, curled, and painted-but by incompetent hands, so that no specimen has turned out to be a correct, trustworthy, and faithful likeness of the original model.
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You can learn from an ordinary bamboo leaf what ought to happen. It bends lower and lower under the weight of snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. Stay like that at the point of highest tension until the shot falls from you. So, indeed, it is: when the tension is fulfilled, the shot must fall, it must fall from the archer like snow from a bamboo leaf, before he even thinks it.
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Nature, when undisturbed, is never monotonous, you know. Even when using green, the most frequent color on her palette, she throws in contrasting tints by way of expression, and you will seldom see two sides of a leaf of the same hue, and the leaf stem frequently gives a good dash of bronze or purple.
Mabel Osgood Wright
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Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
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To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you're limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.
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Molecules form and dissolve, returning to the primordial soup of atoms. But consciousness survives the death of the molecules on which it rides. What was once a bundle of energy in a sunbeam turns into a leaf, only to fall and change again into soil. The change of state crosses many boundaries. A sunbeam is invisible, whereas leaves and soil are visible.A leaf is alive and growing, whereas sunbeams aren't.the colors of light, leaf, and soil are different, and so on. But all these transformations exist as constructs of the mind.The actual energy present in the sunbeam experiences no change at all.
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, I found the whole modern world talking scientific fatalism; saying that everything is as it must always have been, being unfolded without fault from the beginning. The leaf on the tree is green because it could never have been anything else. Now, the fairy-tale philosopher is glad that the leaf is green precisely because it might have been scarlet. He feels as if it had turned green an instant before he looked at it.
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There is a force of exultation, a celebration of luck, when a writer finds himself a witness to the early morning of a culture that is defining itself, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, in that self-defining dawn, which is why, especially at the edge of the sea, it is good to make a ritual of the sunrise.
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From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom... It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep.
Zora Neale Hurston
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Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold? The tree says to the leaf: "That's the cycle of life. You may think you're going to die, but you live on in me. It's thanks to you that I'm alive, because I can breathe. It's also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing.
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Each leaf that brushed his face deepened his sadness and dread. Each leaf he passed he'd never pass again. They rode over his face like veils, already some yellow, their veins like slender bones where the sun shone through them. He had resolved himself to ride on for he could not turn back and the world that day was as lovely as any day that ever was and he was riding to his death.
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A woman once described a friend of hers as being such a keen listener that even the trees leaned toward her, as if they were speaking their innermost secrets into her listening ears. Over the years I've envisioned that woman's silence, a hearing full and open enough that the world told her its stories. The green leaves turned toward her, whispering tales of soft breezes and the murmurs of leaf against leaf.
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A Colder breeze lifted a dead leaf to the roof and sent it scuttling merrily on its way to catch in my hair. It crackled dry and brittle when Chris plucked it out and held it, just staring down at a dead maple leaf as if his very life depended on reading its secret for knowing how to blow in the wind. No arms, no legs, no wings... bit it could fly when dead.
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John dear!" said I in the gentlest voice, "the key is down by the front steps, under a plantain leaf!" That silenced him for a few moments. Then he said-very quietly indeed, "Open the door, my darling!" "I can't, " said I. "The key is down by the front door under a plantain leaf!" And then I said it again, several times, very gently and slowly, and said it so often that he had to go and see, and he got it of course, and came in.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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A leaf that falls into a stream (or a leaf we intentionally drop into a stream) just where the water disappears into the ground...will come out again at the next opening, because the underground stream has faithfully carried it there, though during this journey it has been beyond the reach of any outside interference. In the same way, an idea that has been introduced into our minds (or that we ourselves have intentionally introduced) will produce its effects after longer or shorter subconscious development.
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Once you change the technology - from a film camera to a video camera, or from an 8-mm camera to 16 mm - you change completely the content. With 8 mm, a leaf on a tree will be made up of maybe four grains. So it's very impressionistic, almost like Seurat. If you switch to 16 mm, the technology gives you hundreds of grains on that leaf.
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The light struck upon the trees in the garden, making one leaf transparent and then another. One bird chirped high up; there was a pause; another chirped lower down. The sun sharpended the walls of the house, and rested like the tip of a fan upon a white blind and made a fingerprint of a shadow under the leaf by the bedroom window. The blind stirred slightly, but all within was dim and unsubstantial. The birds sang their blank melody outside.
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Yet the leaf is the chief product and phenomenon of Life: this is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all dependent on the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that they live by money. They think energy is generated by the circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a vast leaf colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests.
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Lola writes in her notebook: Leaf-fleas are even worse. Someone said, They don't bite people, because people don't have leaves. Lola writes, When the sun is beating down, they bite everything, even the wind. And we all have leaves. Leaves fall off when you stop growing, because childhood is all gone. And they grow back when you shrivel up, because love is all gone. Leaves spring up at will, writes Lola, just like tall grass. Two or three children in the village don't have any leaves, and those have a big childhood. A child like that is an only child, because it has a father and a mother who have been to school. The leaf-fleas turn older children into younger ones - a four-year-old into a three-year-old, a three-year-old into a one-year-old. Even a six-months-old, writes Lola, and even a newborn. And the more little brothers and sisters the leaf-fleas make, the smaller the childhood becomes.
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Does a caterpillar sit on the same leaf when it's a butterfly? No! It goes for a little fly and sees something of the world. Does the tadpole stay in the same pond once it's a frog? No! It stretches its legs, goes for a jump, explores other waters. Did Cinderella go back cleaning hearths once she married the prince?... Transformation means moving forward. If a butterfly stays on the same leaf and a frog stays in the same pond, then they may as well have stayed a caterpillar or a tadpole. There was no point in metamorphosing.
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The earth will never be the same again Rock, water, tree, iron, share this greif As distant stars participate in the pain. A candle snuffed, a falling star or leaf, A dolphin death, O this particular loss A Heaven-mourned; for if no angel cried If this small one was tossed away as dross, The very galaxies would have lied. How shall we sing our love's song now In this strange land where all are born to die? Each tree and leaf and star show how The universe is part of this one cry, Every life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.
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When the days become longer and there is more sunshine, the grass becomes fresh and, consequently, we feel very happy. On the other hand, in autumn, one leaf falls down and another leaf falls down. The beautiful plants become as if dead and we do not feel very happy. Why? I think it is because deep down our human nature likes construction, and does not like destruction. Naturally, every action which is destructive is against human nature. Constructiveness is the human way. Therefore, I think that in terms of basic human feeling, violence is not good. Non-violence is the only way.
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O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; Tomorrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not averse to being beguiled, Beguile us in the way you know. Release one leaf at break of day; At noon release another leaf; One from our trees, one far away.
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She's kept her love for him as alive as the summer they first met. In order to do this, she's turned life away. Sometimes she subsists for days on water and air. Being the only known complex life-form to do this, she should have a species named after her. Once Uncle Julian told me how the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you're limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father. And to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.
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We ask the leaf, "Are you complete in yourself?" And the leaf answers, "No, my life is in the branches." We ask the branch, and the branch answers, "No my life is in the root." We ask the root, and it answers, "No my life is in the trunk and the branches and the leaves. Keep the branches stripped of leaves, and I shall die," So it is with the great tree of being. Nothing is completely and merely individual.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
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Lyon knew she wasn't aware she was being watched, either. She wouldn't have eaten the leaf otherwise, or reached for another. "Sir, which one is Princess Christina?" Andrew asked Lyon, just as Rhone started in choking on his laughter. Rhone has obviously been watching Christina, too. "Sir?" "The blond-headed one," Lyon muttered, shaking his head. He watched in growing disbelief as Christina daintily popped another leaf into her mouth. "Which blond-headed one?" Andrew persisted. "The one eating the shrubs.
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