My eyes are bright, my hair has come loose from its ribbon, and Stella's scarf is waving around my neck. But that's not what I see when I look at the picture. I see three unlikely friends holding hands. And Ryan, Kenny, and Melanie are standing behind us, rapt. And in the sky above us, I see a miracle.
But in reality, with Mr. Ellison there is an essence of probity about him; unlike Dorian Grey, him and his hidden portrait are both wonderful. When he speaks there is a certain intonation he gets that reveals so much about him, that you can't help but to feel rapt, and so few get to hear his unspoken thought because they are fixated on the bling and the big show.
Avra Amar Filion
You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-obje ct look.
W. H. Auden
Father may have been wanting in some things, but here he was masterful. Night upon night, I marveled at his power to hold listeners in rapt attention. He could tell a story with such detail, such flourish, that afterwards a man could swear it had been his own memory, and not a tale at all.
All right, so there he is, our representative to the world, Mr. Western Civilization, in codpiece and pantyhose up there on the boards, firing away at the rapt groundlings with his blank verses, not less of a word-slinger and spellbinder than the Bard himself and therefore not to be considered too curiously on such matters as relevance, coherence, consistency, propriety, sanity, common decency.
Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling's father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.
As Ariel recounted the events of her dream, two magnificent, batlike wings grew from the backs of her shoulders, stretched as if preparing to fly, then retreated back into their host. The sound heard when the wings disappear is the giggling of Alanna, who watched the event much the same way I did, in rapt wonder.
Don A. Martinez
This is a lot more satisfying, " he said, "when I have intelligent life whom I can render awed, rapt with attention for my clever verbosity." The ugly lizard-crab-thing on the next rock over clicked its claw, an almost hesitant sound. "Your right, of course, " Wit said. "My usual audience isn't particularly intelligent. That was also the obvious joke, however, so shame on you.
Myriads of individuals, each one unique, live out their lives in rapt intercourse with one another, contribute their heart's pulses to the universal music, and presently vanish, giving place to others. All this age-long sequence of private living, which is the actual tissue of humanity's flesh, I cannot describe. I can only trace, as it were, the disembodied form of its growth.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover- But the cat himself knows, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
Whenever the truth is uncovered, the artist will always cling with rapt gaze to what still remains covering even after such uncovering; but the theoretical man enjoys and finds satisfaction in the discarded covering and finds the highest object of his pleasure in the process of an ever happy uncovering that succeeds through his own efforts.
Judging from the way they sat and goggled at the drag on the stage it was obvious that they were indulging in delightful fantasies that brought to them substantial memories of the girls they had left behind in London or Manchester. As the Quartermaster Captain lisped after performing before a particularly rapt audience: 'I bet there were more standing pricks than snotty noses tonight'. Astonishingly, I suspect he was right. We probably helped to keep the home fires of passion burning.
In his first summers, forsaking all his toys, my son would stand rapt for nearly an hour in his sandbox in the orchard, as doves and redwings came and went on the warm wind, the leaves dancing, the clouds flying... the child was not observing; he was at rest in the very center of the universe, a part of things, unaware of endings and beginning, still in unison with the primordial nature of creation, letting all light and phenomena pour through.
The rapt pupil will be forgiven for assuming the Tsar of Death to be wicked and the Tsar of Life to be virtuous. Let the truth be told: There is no virtue anywhere. Life is sly and unscrupulous, a blackguard, wolfish, severe. In service to itself, it will commit any offense. So, too, is Death possessed of infinite strategies and a gaunt nature- but also mercy, also grace and tenderness. In his own country, Death can be kind.
Catherynne M. Valente
In anything fit to be called by the name of reading, the process itself should be absorbing and voluptuous; we should gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images, incapable of sleep or of continuous thought. The words, if the book be eloquent, should run thenceforward in our ears like the noise of breakers, and the story, if it be a story, repeat itself in a thousand coloured pictures to the eye.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.
There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of head or hands. Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance.
Henry David Thoreau
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
He leant his two elbows on his knees, and his chin on his hands and remained rapt in dumb meditation. On my inquiring the subject of his thoughts, he answered gravely 'I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do!' 'For shame, Heathcliff!' said I. 'It is for God to punish wicked people; we should learn to forgive.' 'No, God won't have the satisfaction that I shall, ' he returned. 'I only wish I knew the best way! Let me alone, and I'll plan it out: while I'm thinking of that I don't feel pain.
He leant his two elbows on his knees, and his chin on his hands and remained rapt in dumb meditation. On my inquiring the subject of his thoughts, he answered gravely 'I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do!' 'For shame, Heathcliff!' said I. 'It is for God to punish wicked people; we should learn to forgive.' 'No, God won't have the satisfaction that I shall,' he returned. 'I only wish I knew the best way! Let me alone, and I'll plan it out: while I'm thinking of that I don't feel pain.
Darren played with the ice cream before raising a spoonful to his mouth. I watched him lick it before he wrapped his lips around the spoon, closing his eyelids and savoring the flavor on his tongue. He slowly withdrew the spoon from his mouth and opened his eyes. He smiled coyly at my rapt attention. I just wanted to reach across the table, grab a fistful of his hair and lick the ice cream right out of his mouth.
Let me twine Mine arms about that body, where against My grained ash an hundred times hath broke And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip The anvil of my sword, and do contest As hotly and as nobly with thy love As ever in ambitious strength I did Contend against thy valour. Know thou first, I loved the maid I married; never man Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here, Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart Than when I first my wedded mistress saw Bestride my threshold.
No spiritual exercise is such a blending of complexity and simplicity. It is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try, yet the sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high. It is as appropriate to the aged philosopher as to the little child. It is the ejaculation of a moment and the attitude of a lifetime. It is the expression of the rest of faith and of the fight of faith. It is an agony and an ecstasy. It is submissive and yet importunate. In the one moment it lays hold of God and binds the devil. It can be focused on a single objective and it can roam the world. It can be abject confession and rapt adoration.
John F. MacArthur Jr.
His gaze slid toward the back of the sanctuary and collided with Joanna, standing silently in the doorway. You... Crockett's voice tapered off. For a moment, all he could do was stare. Her rapt attention, the tiny smile that brought into relief the freckles dusting her cheekbones, the way the light passed through the doorway behind her to see her hair ablaze beneath the prim straw bonnet she wore. Yet it was her inner light that captured him the most. The serenity of her features. The glow in her blue eyes. This was a woman of authentic spirituality. No wonder the Master Weaver had chosen her to be the central thread to anchor his new tapestry.
They met me in the day of success: and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor;' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.
When music sounds, gone is the earth I know, And all her lovelier things even lovelier grow; Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies. When music sounds, out of the water rise Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes, Rapt in strange dream burns each enchanted face, With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place. When music sounds, all that I was I am Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came; And from Time's woods break into distant song The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.
Walter de La Mare
Sometimes Edith came into the room and sat on the bed beside him and they talked. They talked of trivial things - of people they knew casually, of a new building going up on the campus, of an old one torn down; but what they said did not seem to matter. A new tranquility had come between them. It was a quietness that was like the beginning of love; and almost without thinking, Stoner knew why it had come. They had forgiven themselves for the harm they had done each other, and they were rapt in a regard of what their life together might have been. Almost without regret he looked at her now; in the soft light of late afternoon her face seemed young and unlined. If I had been stronger, he thought; if I had known more; if I could have understood. And finally, mercilessly, he thought: if I had loved her more. As if it were a long distance it had to go, his hand moved across the sheet that covered him and touched her hand. She did not move; and after a while he drifted into a kind of sleep.
A strange thing happened to me in my dream. I was rapt into the Seventh Heaven. There sat all the gods assembled. As a special dispensation I was granted the favor to have one wish. "Do you wish for youth, " said Mercury, "or for beauty, or power, or a long life; or do you wish for the most beautiful woman, or any other of the many fine things we have in our treasure trove? Choose, but only one thing!" For a moment I was at a loss. Then I addressed the gods in this wise: "Most honorable contemporaries, I choose one thing - that I may always have the laughs on my side." Not one god made answer, but all began to laugh. From this I concluded that my wish had been granted and thought that the gods knew how to express themselves with good taste: for it would surely have been inappropriate to answer gravely: your wish has been granted.
Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller's wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance. I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works. For the most part, I minded not how the hours went. The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.
Henry David Thoreau
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey - All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter - But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - Names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover - But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
Horse Frightened by a Lion depicts a majestic stallion in a very different situation. Stubbs painted this magnetic masterpiece to illustrate the nature of the sublime, which was one of his era's most popular philosophical concepts, and its relation to a timelessly riveting feeling: fear. The magnificent horse galloping through a vast wilderness encounters the bottom-up stimulus of a crouching predator and responds with a dramatic display of what psychologists mildly call "negative emotion." The equine superstar's arched neck, dilated eyes, and flared nostrils are in fact the very picture of overwhelming dread. The painting's subject matter reflects he philosopher Edmund Burke's widely circulated Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, which asserts that because "terror" is unparalleled in commanding "astonishment, " or total, single-pointed, -indeed, rapt-attention, it is "the ruling principle of the sublime.
I am puffed clay, blown up and set down. That I fall like Adam is not surprising; I plunge, waft, arc, pour, and dive. The surprise is how good the wind feels on my face as I fall. And the other surprise is that I ever rise at all. I rise when I receive, like grass. I didn't know, I have never known, what spirit it is that descends into my lungs and flaps near my heart like an eagle rising. I name it full-of-wonder, highest good, voices. I shut my eyes and saw a tree stump hurled by wind, an enormous tree stump sailing sideways across my vision, with a wide circular brim of roots and soil like a tossed top hat. And what if those grasshoppers had been locusts descending, I thought, and what if I stood awake in a swarm? I cannot ask for more than to be so wholly acted upon, flown at, and lighted on in throngs, probed, knocked, even bitten. A little blood from the wrists and throats is the price I would willingly pay for that pressure of clacking weights on my shoulders, for the scent of deserts,- for being so in the clustering thick of things, rapt and enwrapped in the rising and falling real world.
Xerxes, I read, 'halted his unwieldy army for days that he might contemplate to his satisfaction' the beauty of a single sycamore. You are Xerxes in Persia. Your army spreads on a vast and arid peneplain... you call to you all your sad captains, and give the order to halt. You have seen the tree with the lights in it, haven't you? You must have. Xerxes buffeted on a plain, ambition drained in a puff. Your men are bewildered... there is nothing to catch the eye in this flatness, nothing but a hollow, hammering sky, a waste of sedge in the lee of windblown rocks, a meager ribbon of scrub willow tracing a slumbering watercourse... and that sycamore. You saw it; you will stand rapt and mute, exalted, remembering or not remembering over a period of days to shade your head with your robe. 'He had its form wrought upon a medal of gold to help him remember it the rest of his life.' We all ought to have a goldsmith following us around. But it goes without saying, doesn't it, Xerxes, that no gold medal worn around your neck will bring back the glad hour, keep those lights kindled so long as you live, forever present? Pascal saw it; he grabbed pen and paper and scrawled the one word, and wore it sewn in his shirt the rest of his life. I don't know what Pascal saw. I saw a cedar. Xerxes saw a sycamore.
On the doorstep Adele met Tony Limpsfield. She hurried him into her motor, and told the chauffeur not to drive on. "News!" she said. "Lucia's going to have a lover." "No!" said Tony in the Riseholme manner "But I tell you she is. He's with her now." "They won't want me then, " said Tony. "And yet she asked me to come at half-past five." "Nonsense, my dear. They will want you, both of them... Oh Tony, don't you see? It's a stunt." Tony assumed the rapt expression of Luciaphils receiving intelligence. "Tell me all about it, " he said. "I'm sure I'm right, " said she. "Her poppet came in just now, and she held his hand as women do, and made him draw his chair up to her, and said he scolded her. I'm not sure that he knows yet. But I saw that he guessed something was up. I wonder if he's clever enough to do it properly... I wish she had chosen you, Tony, you'd have done it perfectly. They have got-don't you understand?-to have the appearance of being lovers, everyone must think they are lovers, while all the time there's nothing at all of any sort in it. It's a stunt: it's a play: it's a glory." "But perhaps there is something in it, " said Tony. "I really think I had better not go in." "Tony, trust me. Lucia has no more idea of keeping a real lover than of keeping a chimpanzee. She's as chaste as snow, a kiss would scorch her. Besides, she hasn't time. She asked Stephen there in order to show him to me, and to show him to you. It's the most wonderful plan; and it's wonderful of me to have understood it so quickly. You must go in: there's nothing private of any kind: indeed, she thirsts for publicity." Her confidence inspired confidence, and Tony was naturally consumed with curiosity. He got out, told Adele's chauffeur to drive on, and went upstairs. Stephen was no longer sitting in the chair next to Lucia, but on the sofa at the other side of the tea-table. This rather looked as if Adele was right: it was consistent anyhow with their being lovers in public, but certainly not lovers in private. "Dear Lord Tony, " said Lucia-this appellation was a halfway house between Lord Limpsfield and Tony, and she left out the "Lord" except to him-"how nice of you to drop in. You have just missed Adele. Stephen, you know Lord Limpsfield?" Lucia gave him his tea, and presently getting up, reseated herself negligently on the sofa beside Stephen. She was a shade too close at first, and edged slightly away. "Wonderful play of Tchekov's the other day, " she said. "Such a strange, unhappy atmosphere. We came out, didn't we, Stephen, feeling as if we had been in some remote dream. I saw you there, Lord Tony, with Adele who had been lunching with me." Tony knew that: was not that the birthday of the Luciaphils?
Fairy tales, fantasy, legend and myth... these stories, and their topics, and the symbolism and interpretation of those topics... these things have always held an inexplicable fascination for me, " she writes. "That fascination is at least in part an integral part of my character - I was always the kind of child who was convinced that elves lived in the parks, that trees were animate, and that holes in floorboards housed fairies rather than rodents. You need to know that my parents, unlike those typically found in fairy tales - the wicked stepmothers, the fathers who sold off their own flesh and blood if the need arose - had only the best intentions for their only child. They wanted me to be well educated, well cared for, safe - so rather than entrusting me to the public school system, which has engendered so many ugly urban legends, they sent me to a private school, where, automatically, I was outcast for being a latecomer, for being poor, for being unusual. However, as every cloud does have a silver lining - and every miserable private institution an excellent library - there was some solace to be found, between the carved oak cases, surrounded by the well-lined shelves, among the pages of the heavy antique tomes, within the realms of fantasy. Libraries and bookshops, and indulgent parents, and myriad books housed in a plethora of nooks to hide in when I should have been attending math classes... or cleaning my room... or doing homework... provided me with an alternative to a reality I didn't much like. Ten years ago, you could have seen a number of things in the literary field that just don't seem to exist anymore: valuable antique volumes routinely available on library shelves; privately run bookshops, rather than faceless chains; and one particular little girl who haunted both the latter two institutions. In either, you could have seen some variation upon a scene played out so often that it almost became an archetype: A little girl, contorted, with her legs twisted beneath her, shoulders hunched to bring her long nose closer to the pages that she peruses. Her eyes are glued to the pages, rapt with interest. Within them, she finds the kingdoms of Myth. Their borders stand unguarded, and any who would venture past them are free to stay and occupy themselves as they would.
She ran her hands, butterfly fashion, over the keys. "A little morsel of Stravinski?" she said. It was in the middle of the morsel that Adele came in and found Lucia playing Stravinski to Mr. Greatorex. The position seemed to be away, away beyond her orbit altogether, and she merely waited with undiminished faith in Lucia, to see what would happen when Lucia became aware to whom she was playing... It was a longish morsel, too: more like a meal than a morsel, and it was also remarkably like a muddle. Finally, Lucia made an optimistic attempt at the double chromatic scale in divergent directions which brought it to an end, and laughed gaily. "My poor fingers, " she said. "Delicious piano, dear Adele. I love a Bechstein; that was a little morsel of Stravinski. Hectic perhaps, do you think? But so true to the modern idea: little feverish excursions: little bits of tunes, and nothing worked out. But I always say that there is something in Stravinski, if you study him. How I worked at that little piece, and I'm afraid it's far from perfect yet." Lucia played one more little run with her right hand, while she cudgelled her brain to remember where she had seen this man before, and turned round on the music-stool. She felt sure he was an artist of some kind, and she did not want to ask Adele to introduce him, for that would look as if she did not know everybody. She tried pictures next. "In Art I always think that the Stravinski school is represented by the Post-Cubists, " she said. "They give us pattern in lines, just as Stravinski gives us patterns in notes, and the modern poet patterns in words. At Sophy Alingsby's the other night we had a feast of patterns. Dear Sophy-what a curious mixture of tastes! She cares only for the ultra-primitive in music, and the ultra-modern in Art. Just before you came in, Adele, I was trying to remember the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight, those triplets though they look easy have to be kept so level. And yet Sophy considers Beethoven a positive decadent. I ought to have taken her to Diva's little concert-Diva Dalrymple-for I assure you really that Stravinski sounded classical compared to the rest of the programme. It was very creditably played, too. Mr.-" what was his name?-"Mr Greatorex." She had actually said the word before her brain made the connection. She gave her little peal of laughter. "Ah, you wicked people, " she cried. "A plot: clearly a plot. Mr. Greatorex, how could you? Adele told you to come in here when she heard me begin my little strummings, and told you to sit down and encourage me. Don't deny it, Adele! I know it was like that. I shall tell everybody how unkind you've been, unless Mr. Greatorex sits down instantly and magically restores to life what I have just murdered." Adele denied nothing. In fact there was no time to deny anything, for Lucia positively thrust Mr. Greatorex on to the music stood, and instantly put on her rapt musical face, chin in hand, and eyes looking dreamily upwards. There was Nemesis, you would have thought, dealing thrusts at her, but Nemesis was no match for her amazing quickness. She parried and thrust again, and here-what richness of future reminiscence-was Mr. Greatorex playing Stravinski to her, before no audience but herself and Adele who really didn't count, for the only tune she liked was "Land of Hope and Glory"... Great was Lucia!