bright blue flash of lightning enveloped Nathaniel's field of view, just as the pod struck the ground with a deafening crunch, slamming his body forward and ripping away the protective restraints that previously held him in place. Covered in blood, Nathaniel fell from the now-open door of the pod, cradling the back of his head with both hands.
No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes-forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'd mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection), but still unique.
There was a day when you could identify a NASCAR Ford, Chevrolet, or Dodge and they actually looked like "stock cars." Now they are pod machines, slick on the outside but still powered by the same Neanderthal carbureted pushrod V-8s that have been under their hoods for half a century. If this is real auto racing, then the WWF ought to be part of the Olympics.
If you want, you can have a coffin made out of cardboard or wicker or papier mache. There's one like a seed pod, or you could buy one that doubles as both a bookcase and a coffin. During your life, you stand it in your living room, and then after you die, the books are taken out and your body put in their place and the whole thing buried.
I always listen to all kinds of different music from different years. I listen to the contemporary, but once in a while into eighties, you know just for fun, and sometimes classical too. So I have this big mix on my i-pod... Amy Winehouse, Gwen Stefani, OutKast, Jay-Z. I listen to trance, pop, everything. It really depends on my mood.
Catherine" she paused. I waited, tapping my finger on my desk. Then she spoke words that had me almost falling out of my chair. "I've decided to come to your wedding." I actually glanced at my phone again to see if I'd been mistaken and it was someone else who'd called me. "Are you drunk?" I got out when I could speak. She signed. "I wish you wouldn't marry that vampire, but I'm tired of him coming between us." Aliens replaced her with a pod person, I found myself thinking. That's the only explanation
Frozen peas can be shelled very fast with a wringer-type washer. Put a pan on one side of the wringer to catch the peas and the pods go on through. You will think peas will go through the wringer and be mashed the moment the pod hits the wringer, but they will pop out before they go through. A very fast job can be done this way.
Change blows through the branches of our existence. It fortifies the roots on which we stand, infuses crimson experience with autumn hues, dismantles Winter's brittle leaves, and ushers Spring into our fertile environments. Seeds of evolution burst from their pod cocoons and teardrop buds blossom into Summer flowers. Change releases its redolent scent, attracting the buzz of honey bees and the adoration of discerning butterflies.
[...] Tess and I are a good match. She understands intimately where I came from. She can cheer me up on my darkest days. It's as if she came perfectly happy home instead of what Kaede just told me. I feel a relaxing warmth at the thought, realizing suddenly how much I'm anticipating meeting up with Tess again. Where she goes, I go, and vice versa. Peas in a pod. Then there's June. Even the thought of her name makes it hard for me to breathe. I'm almost embarrassed by my reaction. Are June and I a good match? No. It's the first word to pop into my mind. And yet, still.
[... ] Tess and I are a good match. She understands intimately where I came from. She can cheer me up on my darkest days. It's as if she came perfectly happy home instead of what Kaede just told me. I feel a relaxing warmth at the thought, realizing suddenly how much I'm anticipating meeting up with Tess again. Where she goes, I go, and vice versa. Peas in a pod. Then there's June. Even the thought of her name makes it hard for me to breathe. I'm almost embarrassed by my reaction. Are June and I a good match? No. It's the first word to pop into my mind. And yet, still.
Recuerdas cuando pod??as volar. Cuando la palabra que usabas m??s era porqu??. Cuando tus super heroes nunca mor??an. Cuando los pensamientos y los sue??os llov??an desde el cielo. Cuando casi cualquier cosa te hacia llorar. Cuando no hab??a absolutamente nada que no pudieras intentar. Cuando saltabas con ambos pies y gritabas banzai. Porqu?? crecer y tener que decir adi??s. Ahora yo me quedo aqu?? solo, solo yo, yo mismo Yo.
When I throw back my head and howl People (women mostly) say But you've always done what you want, You always get your way - A perfectly vile and foul Inversion of all that's been. What the old ratbags mean Is I've never done what I don't. So the shit in the shuttered chateau Who does his five hundred words Then parts out the rest of the day Between bathing and booze and birds Is far off as ever, but so Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod (Six kids, and the wife in pod, And her parents coming to stay)... Life is an immobile, locked, Three-handed struggle between Your wants, the world's for you, and (worse) The unbeatable slow machine That brings what you'll get. Blocked, They strain round a hollow stasis Of havings-to, fear, faces. Days sift down it constantly. Years. -The Life with the Hole in It
I was there to get a Ph.D. in English literature. That's not true. I was there to read a lot of books and to discuss them with bright, insightful, book-loving people, an expectation that I pretty quickly learned was about as silly as it could be. Certainly there were other people who loved books, I'm sure there were, but whoever had notified them ahead of time that loving books was not the point, was, in fact, a hopelessly counterproductive and naive approach to the study of literature, neglected to notify me. It turned out that the point was to dissect a book like a fetal pig in biology class or to break its back with a single sentence or to bust it open like a milkweek pod and say, "See? All along it was only fluff, " and then scatter it into oblivion with one tiny breath.
Marisa de los Santos
The guide invited the crowd to imagine that they were looking across a desert at a mountain range on a day that was twinkling bright and clear. They could look at a peak or a bird or cloud, at a stone right in front of them, or even down into a canyon behind them. But among them was this poor Earthling, and his head was encased in a steel sphere which he could never take off. There was only one eyehole through which he could look, and welded to that eyehole were six feet of pipe. "This was only the beginning of Billy's miseries in the metaphor. He was also strapped to a steel lattice which was bolted to a flatcar on rails, and there was no way he could turn his head or touch the pipe. The far end of the pipe rested on a bi-pod which was also bolted to the flatcar. All Billy could see was the little dot at the end of the pipe. He didn't know he was on a flatcar, didn't even know there was anything peculiar about his situation. "The flatcar sometimes crept, sometimes went extremely fast, often stopped-went uphill, downhill, around curves, along straightaways. Whatever poor Billy saw through the pipe, he had no choice but to say to himself, 'That's life.
Advice" I must do as you do? Your way I own Is a very good way, and still, There are sometimes two straight roads to a town, One over, one under the hill. You are treading the safe and the well-worn way, That the prudent choose each time; And you think me reckless and rash to-day Because I prefer to climb. Your path is the right one, and so is mine. We are not like peas in a pod, Compelled to lie in a certain line, Or else be scattered abroad. 'T were a dull old world, methinks, my friend, If we all just went one way; Yet our paths will meet no doubt at the end, Though they lead apart today. You like the shade, and I like the sun; You like an even pace, I like to mix with the crowd and run, And then rest after the race. I like danger, and storm, and strife, You like a peaceful time; I like the passion and surge of life, You like its gentle rhyme. You like buttercups, dewy sweet, And crocuses, framed in snow; I like roses, born of the heat, And the red carnation's glow. I must live my life, not yours, my friend, For so it was written down; We must follow our given paths to the end, But I trust we shall meet-in town.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
CANIBUS THE CONTINUOUS, DECIDUOUS LYRICIST A MENACE TO MUSIC THAT'S MASTERED EVERY STYLE THAT I SPIT. A FUGITIVE AGAINST THE MUSIC BIZ, THE DAMAGE IS PUNITIVE, BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT MY COMMUNITIVE EFFORTS GOT 'EM PISSED! SILENCE IS GOLDEN, A SIGN THAT MY KNOWLEDGE IS GROWING. I'M A SHOW 'EM, FUCK THE PROMOTION, THESE POEMS OPEN DOOR FOR THE CHOSEN. IN THESE MOMENTS OF ECONOMIC EROSION, THE GLOBAL ECONOMY'S BROKEN, CAUSE OUR LEADERS CONTROL IT. THEY SAY WE OWE THEM BUT EVERYTHING THAT WE OWN HAS BEEN STOLEN. SO DON'T BE MAD AT THE SOLDIERS, YOU FOLLOW ORDERS TOO, DON'T YOU? YOU NEVER MAKE A DIFFERENCE BEING A VOTER, THE ARE THE CONTROLLERS, YOU JUST A WARM BLOODED PROMOTER. YOU'RE JUST A PEA IN A POD, WITH THE NEED TO BELIEVE IN GOD BUT GOD DON'T NEED GUNS OR BOMBS. YOU NEED FREEDOM TO BE OPPRESSED, KNOWLEDGE FOR THE INTELLECT, POSITIVE EFFECTS WHAT COME OUT OF OUR COMMON RESPECT. ALL COLORS, ALL CREEDS ALL KINDS, ALL BREEDS, ONE LAW, ONE LOVE, IF WE WANT WORLD PEACE. IT ALL STARTS WITH BEING STILL, BUT BEING STILL LONG ENOUGH TO FEEL BUT BEING REAL ENOUGH TO FOLLOW YOUR WILL.
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks, ' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.