The act of writing should not be accompanied by the sense of an audience, someone peering over your shoulder, but in nonfiction I think it's almost imperative that you identify an audience so you can confirm or challenge or undermine whatever ideas or prejudices they might have about your subject.
Their [artists'] essential effort is to catapult themselves wholly, without holding back one bit, into a course of action without having any idea where they will end up. They are like riders who gallop into the night, eagerly leaning on their horse's neck, peering into a blinding rain. And they have to do it over and over again.
The way he looks at me makes me ache, but it isn't fair. He hurt me first. He caused this ache from the start. This inside out, churning pain that feels mental and physical now. I fiddle with my hands, peering up at him again, and all I can think is, God, I wish he'd stop staring at me like that.
Vera had not sensed my approach. She was peering into the instrument and turning knobs with child-like seriousness and ineptitude. It was obvious that she had never used a microscope before. I stole closer to her, and then I said, "Boo!" She jerked her head away from the eyepiece. "Hello, " I said. "You scared me to death, " she said. "Sorry, " I said, and I laughed. These ancient games go on and on. It's nice they do.
Although still viewed as lovely and alluring by many, Winston Churchill's mother shocked society when at 46 she married a man 20 years her junior. Most malicious of the many jibes launched at her was that of one lady who went about peering into perambulators. When asked her reason, she replied, "I am searching for my future husband."
What's your name?" "What?" I asked, squinting at the light. "Your name." I recognized Dr. Olendzki peering over me. "You know my name." "I want you to tell me." "Rose. Rose Hathaway." "Do you know your birthday?" "Of course I do. Why are you asking me such stupid things? Did you lose my records?" Dr. Olendzki gave an exasperated sigh and walked off.
Before Sept. 11, the idea that Americans would voluntarily agree to live their lives under the gaze of a network of biometric surveillance cameras, peering at them in government buildings, shopping malls, subways and stadiums, would have seemed unthinkable, a dystopian fantasy of a society that had surrendered privacy and anonymity.
The old man was peering intently at the shelves. 'I'll have to admit that he's a very competent scholar.' Isn't he just a librarian?' Garion asked, 'somebody who looks after books?' That's where all the rest of scholarship starts, Garion. All the books in the world won't help you if they're just piled up in a heap.
It's when most of the guests have gone that the party really gets interesting - peering under the table and into the bath to see who's stayed and what shape they're in. It is then that those who are still conscious divulge things you had not known before: sometimes about themselves, sometimes about other people and sometimes about you. It does not necessarily make pleasant hearing but it is always fascinating. In the relaxed atmosphere, in the wake of the hubbub, they unwind and grow confidential - nay, indiscreet. If they are not already, they end up as your closest friends.
Alice Thomas Ellis
She stooped for a stone and dropped it down. 'Fancy being where that is now, ' she said, peering into the blackness; 'fancy going round and round like a mouse in a pail, clutching at the slimy sides, with the water filling your mouth, and looking up to the little patch of sky above.' 'You had better come in, ' said Benson, very quietly. 'You are developing a taste for the morbid and horrible.' ("The Well")
The greatest gift . . . is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now-this day-this hour.
Charles Macomb Flandrau
Perhaps there's another, much larger story behind the printed one, a story that changes just as our own world does. And the letters on the page tell us only as much as we'd see peering through a keyhole. Perhaps the story in the book is just the lid on a pan: It always stays the same, but underneath there's a whole world that goes on - developing and changing like our own world.
You're going to have to drive off the road and park behind thoses bushes," I instructed Vee. Vee leaned forward, peering into the darkness. "Is that a ditch between me and the bushes ?" "It's not very deep. Trust me, we'll clear it." "Looks deep to me. This is a Neon we're talking about, not a Hummer.
what's your name?" what?" i asked, squinting at the light. your name." I reconized Dr. Olendzki peering over me. you know my name." I want you to tell me." Rose. Rose Hathaway." Do you know your birthday?" Of course I do. Why are you asking me such stupid things? Did you lose my records?" Dr. Olendzki gave an exasperated sigh and walked off, taking the annoying light with her. "I think she's fine,
The plain below was just visible; infinitely vague and distant. Peering down between the boulders Irma could see the glint of water and tiny figures coming and going through drifts of rosy smoke, or mist. 'Whatever can those people be doing do there like a lot of ants?' Marion looked over her shoulder. 'A surprising number of human beings are without purpose. Although it's probable, of course, that they are performing some necessary function unknown to themselves.
I love you, Rylann." He cupped her face, peering down into her eyes. "And now I finally have a good answer to the one question everyone always asks me--why I hacked into Twitter. I didn't know it at the time... but I did it to find you again." She leaned into him, curling her fingers around his shirt. "That may be the best justification I've ever heard for committing a crime." She looked up at him, her eyes shining. "And I love you, too, you know.
Seconds passed, then... La Dorada skulked into view. She was half-mummified, but sodden. Gooey. Regin let out a low whistle. "The Mummy Returns meets Dingoes Ate My Face."- -La Dorada swung her head around, peering at Regin with her one eye. "Okay. That's freaky. Lookit, Gollum, if you spring me, I'll help you find your precious.
Muses are fickle, and many a writer, peering into the voice, has escaped paralysis by ascribing the creative responsibility to a talisman: a lucky charm, a brand of paper, but most often a writing instrument. Am I writing well? Thank my pen. Am I writing badly? Don't blame me blame my pen. By such displacements does the fearful imagination defend itself.
What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch telescope at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or a 500,000-year-old stone tool in one's hand, standing before the immense chasm of space and time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist who gazed upon the face of the universe's creation and did not blink?
Isn't it a riddle . . . and awe-inspiring, that everything is so beautiful? Despite the horror. Lately I've noticed something grand and mysterious peering through my sheer joy in all that is beautiful, a sense of its creator . . . Only man can be truly ugly, because he has the free will to estrange himself from this song of praise. It often seems that he'll manage to drown out this hymn with his cannon thunder, curses and blasphemy. But during this past spring it has dawned upon me that he won't be able to do this. And so I want to try and throw myself on the side of the victor.
The best thing about Sassy Seats is that grandmothers cannot figure out how they work and are in constant fear of the child's falling. This often makes them forget to comment on other aspects of the child's development, like why he is not yet talking or is still wearing diapers. Some grandmothers will spend an entire meal peering beneath the table and saying, "Is that thing steady?" rather than, "Have you had a doctor look at that left hand?
He reaches over a goat that's come between us and grabs my hand. "Don't let go!" he orders. Harper's hand is dry and soothing, while mine is sweaty with fear. We've never held hands before. I think about what it means in the village when boys and girls only a few years older then Harper and me wander around with their hands clasped together. They're always peering dreamily into each other's eyes, sneaking sky kisses...and soon after, there's a wedding.
She was left to beg for mercy only to burn in torment again the next day. She was a weed struggling through cracks of concrete, unwanted, undesired, crushed and abused under trampling feet. She would never see the sun. She would never be free. She would always be a solitary candle in the dark, cold without a flame to warm it, forever peering out at the world through a laminated sheet of glass too thick to penetrate. When she died, if she was ever allowed, no one would ever know. She would pass a faded ghost of a girl abandoned by all.
Sometimes I have a notion that what might improve the situation is to have women take over the occupations of government and trade and to give men their freedom. Let them do what they are best at. While we scrawl interoffice memos and direct national or extranational affairs, men could spend all their time inventing wheels, peering at stars, composing poems, carving statues, exploring continents -- discovering, reforming, or crying out in a sacramental wilderness. Efficiency would probably increase, and no one would have to worry so much about the Gaza Strip or an election.
And then it struck him what lay buried far down under the earth on which his feet were so firmly planted: the ominous rumbling of the deepest darkness, secret rivers that transported desire, slimy creatures writhing, the lair of earthquakes ready to transform whole cities into mounds of rubble. These, too, were helping to create the rhythm of the earth. He stopped dancing and, catching his breath, stared at the ground beneath his feet as though peering into a bottomless hole.
Now she realized that she was not peering at a so-dark-blue-it-looked-black ocean, but rather she was looking straight through miles of incredibly clear water at something enormous and black in its nethermost depths. Maybe it was the bottom--so deep that not even light could touch it. And yet, down in those impossible depths, she thought she could see tiny lights sparkling. She stared uncertainly at the tiny glimmerings. They seemed almost like scattered grains of sand lit from within; in some places they clustered like colonies, faint and twinkling. Like stars...
Now she realized that she was not peering at a so-dark-blue-it-looked-black ocean, but rather she was looking straight through miles of incredibly clear water at something enormous and black in its nethermost depths. Maybe it was the bottom-so deep that not even light could touch it. And yet, down in those impossible depths, she thought she could see tiny lights sparkling. She stared uncertainly at the tiny glimmerings. They seemed almost like scattered grains of sand lit from within; in some places they clustered like colonies, faint and twinkling. Like stars...
We got half the doggone MIT college of engineering here, and nobody who can fix a doggone /television/?" Dr. Joseph Abernathy glared accusingly at the clusters of young people scattered around his living room. That's /electrical/ engineering, Pop," his son told him loftily. "We're all mechanical engineers. Ask a mechanical engineer to fix your color TV, that's like asking an Ob-Gyn to look at the sore on your di-ow!" Oh, sorry," said his father, peering blandly over gold-rimmed glasses. "That your foot, Lenny?
Reelfoot is, and has always been, a lake of mystery.In places it is bottomless. Other places the skeletons of the cypress-trees that went down when the earth sank, still stand upright so that if the sun shines from the right quarter, and the water is less muddy than common, a man, peering face downward into its depths, sees, or thinks he sees, down below him the bare top-limbs upstretching like drowned men's fingers, all coated with the mud of years and bandaged with pennons of the green lake slime.
Irvin S. Cobb
A sematary, " I say. "A what?" Viola says, looking round at all the square stones marking out their graves. Must be a hundred, maybe two, in orderly rows and well-kept grass. Settler life is hard and it's short and lotsa New World people have lost the battle. "It's a place for burying dead folk, " I say. Her eyes widen. "A place for doing what?" "Don't people die in space?" I ask. "Yeah, " she says. "But we burn them. We don't put them in holes." She crosses her arms around herself, mouth and forehead frowning, peering around at the graves. "How can this be sanitary?
When things are good, it is because we remember a time when they were not. When there was pain. But now the pain is gone, so things are 'good'. When we hurt, it is because we recall a time when we did not. When there was no pain. But now we suffer, so things are 'bad'. The tiger sipped from the cup, peering at the boy over the rim. Stars swirled in its eyes. 'Good. Bad. The cup holds both.
It wasn't until Hope fluttered over and landed at Alex's feet, peering questioningly up at him, that he finally tore his hands away from his eyes.Oh, my God, he said, sounding disgusted. Why is there a bird looking at me?That's Miss Oliviera's bird, Henry volunteered cheerfully. The captain gave it to her as a present.Kayla punched me in the arm. John's got his captain's license? she whispered. You are so lucky. Frank says he just loads cargo.I glanced at Frank. I wondered if Kayla would like him as much if she knew the cargo he loaded was human souls.
In order for a god to be all-knowing, he must know even the fact of his own omniscience. But can he do this? He may know the totality of facts constituting the world; call this Y. But in order to know that he has mastered Y, he must also know that 'There are no facts unknown to me' - and this is beyond Y. It seems impossible that a god (or anyone) could ever be sure that nothing exists beyond his ken. It makes no sense to imagine [a god] arriving at this limit, peering beyond it (at what?), and satisfying himself no further facts exist. But without this certainty he cannot be sure of his own omniscience, and so does not know everything. A theist might argue that his god has created all the facts in existence. But an omniscient god would have to be sure of even this - that he is the sole creator, and that there are no facts unknown to him. And how could he come to this knowledge?
I spent my summers at my grandparents' cabin in Estes Park, literally next door to Rocky Mountain National Park. We had a view of Longs Peak across the valley and the giant rock beaver who, my granddad told me, was forever climbing toward the summit of the mountain. We awoke to mule deer peering in the windows and hummingbirds buzzing around the red-trimmed feeders; spent the days chasing chipmunks across the boulders of Deer Mountain and the nights listening to coyotes howling in the dark.
Mary Taylor Young
Something else emerges from this discussion about us as human individuals: we're not fixed, stable intellects riding along peering at the world through the lenses of our eyes like the pilots of people-shaped spacecraft. We are affected constantly by what's going on around us. Whether our flexibility is based in neuroplasticity or in less dramatic aspects of the brain, we have to start acknowledging that we are mutable, persuadable and vulnerable to clever distortions, and that very often what we want to be is a matter of constant effort rather than attaining a given state and then forgetting about it. Being human isn't like hanging your hat on a hook and leaving it there, it's like walking in a high wind: you have to keep paying attention. You have to be engaged with the world.
A raging, glowering full moon had come up, was peering down over the side of the sky well above the patio. That was the last thing she saw as she leaned for a moment, inert with fatigue, against the doorway of the room in which her child lay. Then she dragged herself in to topple headlong upon the bed and, already fast asleep, to circle her child with one protective arm, moving as if of its own instinct. Not the meek, the pallid, gentle moon of home. This was the savage moon that had shone down on Montezuma and Cuauhtemoc, and came back looking for them now. The primitive moon that had once looked down on terraced heathen cities and human sacrifices. The moon of Anahuac. ("The Moon Of Montezuma")
I've got two neptunes here, " said Harry after a while, frowning down at his piece of parchment, "that can't be right, can it?" "Aaaaah, " said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney's mystical whisper, "when two neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry... " Seamus and Dean, who were working nearby, sniggered loudly, though not loud enough to mask the excited squeals from Lavender Brown- "Oh Professor, look! I think I might've gotten an unexpected planet! Oooh, which one's that, Professor?" "It is Uranus, my dear, " said Professor Trelawney, peering down at the chart. "Can I get a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" said Ron.
Then she did see it there - just a face, peering through the curtains, hanging in midair like a mask. A head-scarf concealed the hair and the glassy eyes stared inhumanly, but it wasn't a mask, it couldn't be. The skin had been powdered dead-white and two hectic spots of rouge centered on the cheekbones. It wasn't a mask. It was the face of a crazy old woman. Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head.
Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that opened up on every side, and in the future. The silent darkness, the featureless unknown, were more dread than all the terrors that imagination had mustered. Peering, the mind could see nothing sure, nothing in all human experience to be grasped as certain, except uncertainty itself; nothing but obscurity gendered by a thick haze of theories. Man's science was a mere mist of numbers; his philosophy but a fog of words. His very perception of this rocky grain and all its wonders was but a shifting and a lying apparition. Even oneself, that seeming-central fact, was a mere phantom, so deceptive, that the most honest of men must question his own honesty, so insubstantial that he must even doubt his very existence.
And there, row upon row, with the soft gleam of flowers opened at morning, with the light of this June sun glowing through a faint skin of dust, would stand the dandelion wine. Peer through it at the wintry day - the snow melted to grass, the trees were reinhabitated with bird, leaf, and blossoms like a continent of butterflies breathing on the wind. And peering through, color sky from iron to blue. Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in your veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in
They gathered after mass, sang hymns and read. Everyone had grown even more serene; beneath the sisters' kerchiefs it was as if there were no faces. When they met Daryushka - it was as if they bowed down lower. She was walking in the Spirit. Daryushka was entirely serene. She was thinking of nothing, had turned within herself, peering inside; and inside her all was smiling ever so gently. After the storm clear days came, frosty, crackling, clear days. Snow and sky, snow and sky, and the sky was even brighter, whiter, from the snow - and the snow sparkled with blue fires from the sky. Daryushka went down to the river with buckets, to the ice-hole. She went down to the landing alone... Snow, and sky, and brilliance... ("He Has Descended")
Perhaps the rest of the world was gone. It was the most plausible answer. Heaven knows she couldn't see or think of anyone else. That must be the answer, they were the only two people left, as the Earth spun into a timeless abyss. Claire once read time doesn't pass at normal speeds within a black hole. If one were to travel into a black hole for only moments and return again, centuries would have passed. That explained the sensation she felt, once again peering into his dark gaze. She wouldn't look away; she'd trained herself better than that. Then again, she reasoned, it wasn't an option. She couldn't divert her gaze if she wanted. The hold upon her stare was stronger than any ropes or chains made by man. Claire knew from experience, submitting to the hold was her best chance at survival. Fighting was a futile waste of energy.
I never heard communism seriously propounded or argued; perhaps I was too deeply preoccupied with my own dissipations; and, as it turned out in the end it was a way of thought that I was denied or spared by a geographical fluke. From the end of these travels till the War, I lived, with a year's interruption, in Eastern Europe, among friends whom I must call old-fashioned liberals. They hated Nazi Germany; but it was impossible to look eastwards for inspiration and hope, as their western equivalents-peering from afar, and with the nightmare of only one kind of totalitarianism to vex them-felt able to do. For Russia began only a few fields away, the other side of a river; and there, as all her neighbours knew, great wrong was being done and terrible danger lay. All their fears came true. Living among them made me share those fears and they made stony ground for certain kinds of grain.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Standing there, peering around his room, Pete realized something that should have dawned on him years ago: Science really did suck. (Russell was right.) There just wasn't any point to it. Sure, in its most altruistic distillation, science saved lives-but when had it ever made those lives worth living? The cold machine called science's sole purpose, and Pete knew it now, was to drain the wonder out of things, to sap the imagination of its juices, to rob possibilities from dreamers. Science explained without ever getting to the crux of the matter, locking us all into a single paradigm of thought: that all we are is randomly accumulated stardust hanging out on a larger clump of randomly accumulated stardust that is spiraling out and away from other chunks of randomly accumulated stardust, on a collision course with an empty infinity.
And then as the little plane climbed higher and Olive saw spread out below them fields of bright and tender green in this morning sun, farther out the coastline, the ocean shiny and almost flat, tiny white wakes behind a few lobster boats-then Olive felt something she had not expected to feel again: a sudden surging greediness for life. She leaned forward, peering out the window: sweet pale clouds, the sky as blue as your hat, the new green of the fields, the broad expanse of water-seen from up here it all appeared wondrous, amazing. She remembered what hope was, and this was it. That inner churning that moves you forward, plows you through life the way the boats below plowed the shiny water, the way the plane was plowing forward to a place new, and where she was needed.
A shell in the pit, " said I, "if the worst comes to worst will kill them all." The intense excitement of the events had no doubt left my perceptive powers in a state of erethism. I remember that dinner table with extraordinary vividness even now. My dear wife's sweet anxious face peering at me from under the pink lampshade, the white cloth with it silver and glass table furniture-for in those days even philosophical writers had luxuries-the crimson-purple wine in my glass, are photographically distinct. At the end of it I sat, tempering nuts with a cigarette, regretting Ogilvy's rashness, and denouncing the shortsighted timidity of the Martians. So some respectable dodo in the Mauritius might have lorded it in his nest, and discussed the arrival of that shipful of pitiless sailors in want of animal food. "We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.
"You care about her, " I say with unexpected twang of envy. In my long-lost memories of us as children, it was always just the two of us. We 'got' each other on every level. Morpheus made me feel adored, special, important. I never considered him doing the same for someone else as a man. "Morpheus, what is she to you?" He doesn't answer. Not aloud, anyway. His expression is hazy and troubled, and the jewels around his eyes twinkle from silver to black, like stars peering down on a storm-swept night. Alice's confession from the trial comes back to me: "Ivory was, in fact, very fond of Mr.Caterpillar." Judging by how Morpheus looked at the queen just now, by how she looked at him, he returned to her castle after his metamorphosis. I imagine his elegant fingers tracing her skin, his soft lips on hers. That stab of envy evolves to something much uglier-a covetous twist of emotion I can't even put a name to. What's wrong with me? Why should i care about Morpheus's love life, when I finally kissed Jeb after all these years?
In the great cities we see so little of the world, we drift into our minority. In the little towns and villages there are no minorities; people are not numerous enough. You must see the world there, perforce. Every man is himself a class; every hour carries its new challenge. When you pass the inn at the end of the village you leave your favourite whimsy behind you; for you will meet no one who can share it. We listen to eloquent speaking, read books and write them, settle all the affairs of the universe. The dumb village multitudes pass on unchanging; the feel of the spade in the hand is no different for all our talk: good seasons and bad follow each other as of old. The dumb multitudes are no more concerned with us than is the old horse peering through the rusty gate of the village pound. The ancient map-makers wrote across unexplored regions, 'Here are lions.' Across the villages of fishermen and turners of the earth, so different are these from us, we can write but one line that is certain, 'Here are ghosts.' ("Village Ghosts")
Somewhere in the distance I hear the bucket clatter to the floor. I plunge the knife into his head, again and again. His arms lash out blindly, getting in the way. Blood mixes with water cascading to the floor. Meathead staggers to his feet, pulling off his shirt, trying to peel away the agony, but his skin comes away with it, leaving a raw, red mess. There's a shrill alarm and the sound of pounding feet. I hurl the knife through the bars at the window. A blur of dark faces converge in my vision, fists and feet, punching and kicking. Meathead's mates are yanking me off, trying to hurt me. Screws come rushing and soon they're everywhere as I'm half-carried, half-dragged along the corridor. 'Blimey, ' a thought comes from somewhere in all the chaos, 'I've only been out a day and already I'm heading straight back down the chokey!' The last thing I see, as a screaming Meathead is hurried to the hospital, is my cellmate in the middle of the crowd peering worriedly after me. Course he's worried! The stinky bastard is wondering where his next bit of scag is coming from!
They stood in the courtyard of Swangard Palace, too cold to be comfortable despite the sun, and they looked fully on one another, knowing that they were friends, and would always be. A lot of water under this bridge too, Mark thought, with something like awe. He was growing older. Old enough to feel the current of what had been flowing under him, leading to his future. Old enough to look back over his shoulder, and see his past behind him, and grieve for what was gone, and honour its memory. He felt, suddenly, how much it would hurt him if Val died; felt an echo of that pain, knowing that the Valerian he had known, fluffy and peering and hapless and altogether wonderful: this Valerian was already dying. Not physically, of course, but the man he remembered from that first night in Swangard Palace would be gone the next time they met, though his ghost would linger on in Val forever, and in their memories. Three cheers for ghosts, Mark thought. Three cheers for the dead. Of course Val would be much the same: better, even. As full of wonder and delight, with big pockets full of puzzles and fascinating stories about the lives of ants and ingenious designs for windmills that would do your washing. And they would still be friends, excellent friends. It could even be better next time. But it would never be the same.