But this you must know: the violent murder of a mother- when a boy is at the tender age, when he is just discovering girls- it is a terrible thing. confusingly mixed up with all the things feminine, it leaves a charred residue on the soul, like the black marks found at the bottom of a burned pot. no matter how much you scrub and scrub the pot bottom with steel wool and cleansers, the scars, they are permanent
Richard C. Morais
Thus, it comes to pass, that a certain room in a certain old hall, where a certain bad lord, baronet, knight, or gentleman, shot himself, has certain planks in the floor from which the blood will not be taken out. You may scrape and scrape, as the present owner has done, or plane and plane, as his father did, or scrub and scrub, as his grandfather did, or burn and burn with strong acids, as his great-grandfather did, but, there the blood will still be - no redder and no paler - no more and no less - always just the same.
This. I live in this place, make porridge, scrub toilets, do laundry, and for days, weeks, I am brave and I do get out of bed and I think on this. I study this, the full life, the being fully ready for the end. I start to think that maybe there is a way out of nightmares to dreams? Maybe?
Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we're a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that's our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.
I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.
A line will take us hours maybe; / Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, / Our stitching and unstitching has been naught... Better go down upon your marrow-bones / And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones... For to articulate sweet sounds together / Is to work harder than all these, and yet / Be thought an idler by the noisy set...
William Butler Yeats
Al walks in, and I don't even have to ask him to help me, he just walks over and strips bedding with me. i will have to scrub the frame later. Al carries the stack of sheets to the trash and together we walk toward the training room. "Ignore him," Al says. "He's an idiot, and if you don't get angry, he'll stop eventually.
When I was nine years old, living on the south side of Chicago, my father was a minister and my mother used to scrub floors. I had seven brothers and four sisters. I told my mama, 'One of these days I'm going to be big and strong and buy you a beautiful house.' That's all I've ever wanted to do with my life, is to take care of my mother.
It seemed a strange thing to him, when earth was earth and rain was rain, that scrawny pines should grow in the scrub, while by every branch and lake and river there grew magnolias. Dogs were the same everywhere, and oxen and mules and horses. But trees were different in different places.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
To clean your face thoroughly, even do a scrub, and let it sit and make sure your pores are clean before you go to club. If it sits on your face overnight, dirt just builds up. Even just laying there the whole night, stuff gets on your face, so anything else there is just really not good.
You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities.
Gordon B. Hinckley
I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way any more.
For some reason, I kept trying to see how much pubic hair he had. It was all matted and kind of orange, like something you use to scrub soap scum. When he caught me looking, he told me that the landlord on the show - Mr. Furley or whatever his name was - didn't try hard enough. 'That guy doesn't try hard enough, Steve, ' he said. I felt weirdly ashamed when he said that. So much so that I went into his room and urinated on his bed.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won't come in. If you challenge your own, you won't be so quick to accept the unchallenged assumptions of others. You'll be a lot less likely to be caught up in bias or prejudice or be influenced by people who ask you to hand over your brains, your soul or your money because they have everything all figured out for you.
And that's what we'll do every day. If you or your friends spray-paint obscenities on our walls, we'll scrub them off, and the people will come. if you break our windows, we'll fix them, and the people will come. If you hurt us, we'll wash off the blood, slap on some bandages and the people will come... any wound you inflict, we'll stitch up. We're not going to stop, no matter what you do. This work is too important. Too many lives are at stake.
Robert J. Wiersema
As if on cue, a line of silhouettes emerged from behind a desert scrub-shapes that moved like cats. They wandered through the landscape of corpses, touching each with a gentle nudge. They grew closer, and it became clear that Chuluum was leading the other cats on their sorrowful homage, giving the fallen librarians the honor they deserved.
everything was fresh, green and particularly beautiful. Afternoon light, filtering between remnants of monsoon clouds, picked out gullies and spot-lit patches of forest and scrub on the convoluted ridges of the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Or, after a rainstorm, wisps of clouds clung to the trees as if scared to let go. Behind, himals peeked out shyly between the clouds.
And yet ... But what if ... I want to do something impossible. Something astounding and unheard of. I want to scrub the moss off the Space Shuttle and fly Julie to the moon and colonise it, or float a capsized cruise ship to some distant island where no one will protest us, or just harness the magic that brings me into the brains of the Living and use it to bring Julie into mine, because it's warm in here, it's quiet and lovely, and in here we aren't an absurd juxtaposition, we are perfect.
Do not consider any act of service as demeaning. Sweeping the streets, for example, is not below your dignity. Do you not sweep the floor of your homes? Do you not scrub and wash off dirt? When you undertake such tasks, the villagers will also gladly share in them. Why feel ashamed to be good? The ridicule that may be cast on you has been the reward of many saints. It will soon fade away. Muhammad was driven out of Mecca by those who could not appreciate his teachings. Jesus was crucified. But their names resound in the heart of millions.
Sathya Sai Baba
The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil's fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.
I couldn't help but think, as I watched him, of the barrels of toxic fluids that had accrued behind Hal's bike shop where the scrub lining the railroad tracks had offered local companies enough cover to dump a stray contaner or two. Everything had been sealed up, but things were beginning to leak out. I had come to both pity and respect Len in the years since my mother left. He followed the physical to try to understand things that were impossible to comphrehend. In that, I could see, he was like me.
In the ninth and tenth centuries the Vikings invaded Britain from Scandinavia and settled in large numbers. Their language, which we call Old Norse, was at least partly comprehensible to the English, who did not hesitate to take over hundreds of words from it: skirt, window, scrub, sky, give, hit, kick, scatter, scrape, skill, scowl, score, fellow, want, skin, knife, law, happy, ugly, wrong and even the pronouns they and them.
I am above the forest region, amongst grand rocks & such a torrent as you see in Salvator Rosa's paintings vegetation all a scrub of rhodods. with Pines below me as thick & bad to get through as our Fuegian Fagi on the hill tops, & except the towering peaks of P. S. that, here shoot up on all hands there is little difference in the mt scenery —here however the blaze of Rhod. flowers and various colored jungle proclaims a differently constituted region in a naturalists eye & twenty species here, to one there, always are asking me the vexed question, where do we come from?
Joseph Dalton Hooker
But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you're half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it's so grunged up with living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you'll never be brave again. Unfortunately, there are not so many facilities in the world that proveide the kind of services we do. So most people go around with grimy machinery, when all it would take is a bit of spit and polish to make them paladins once more, bold knights and true.
Catherynne M. Valente
... laws governing pollution tend to move pollutants from one medium to another. So, for example, we scrub SO2 from power plants only to dispose toxic sludge on land. We "clean" water only to disperse toxic-laced solids on farmland or landfills. Pollution control becomes a kind of giant shell game by which we move pollutants between air, water, groundwater, and land.
David W. Orr
I am above the forest region, amongst grand rocks and such a torrent as you see in Salvator Rosa's paintings vegetation all a scrub of rhodos. with Pines below me as thick and bad to get through as our Fuegian Fagi on the hill tops, and except the towering peaks of P. S. [perpetual snow] that, here shoot up on all hands there is little difference in the mt scenery-here however the blaze of Rhod. flowers and various colored jungle proclaims a differently constituted region in a naturalist's eye and twenty species here, to one there, always are asking me the vexed question, where do we come from? [Letter to Charles Darwin 24 Jun 1849]
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose, keep in touch (or don't), care about birthdays, waste and lose time, brush their teeth, feel nostalgia, scrub stains, have religions and political parties and laws, wear keepsakes, apologize years after an offense, whisper, fear themselves, interpret dreams, hide their genitalia, shave, bury time capsules, and can choose not to eat something for reasons of conscience. The justifications for eating animals and for not eating them are often identical: we are not them.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Laine slowly rolled out of bed. The queen size was one of the few new things in the house. But now, even the new bed felt tainted. It was an inner-spring monument to lies, a petri dish of mendacity she had shared with her faithless husband, and shared now with creeping dreams that flew from the light but left harsh scratches and diseased black feathers. Laine promised herself that, as soon as, she could, she would rid herself of this house, this bed, her clothes, her jewelry - everything but the flesh she lived in. She would scrub herself clean and flee to start a new life whose first and only commandment would be: Never let thyself be lied to again.
Stephen M. Irwin
Remember our friend Mark?" Wylan winced. Let's say the mark is a tourist walking through the Barrel. He's heard it's a good place to get rolled, so he keeps patting his wallet, making sure it's there, congratulating himself on just how alert and cautious he;s being. No fool he. Of course every thime he pats his back pocket or the front of his coat, what is he doing? He's telliing every thief on the Stave exactly where he keeps his scrub." "Saints, " grumbled Nina. "I've probably done that." "Everyone does, " said Inej. Jesper lifted a brow. "Not everyone." "That's only because you never have anything in your wallet, " Nina shot back. "Mean." "Factual." "Facts are for the unimaginative, " Jesper said with a dismissive wave.
6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, and I still don't know which month it was then or what day it is now. Blurred out lines from hangovers to coffee Another vagabond lost to love. 4am alone and on my way. These are my finest moments. I scrub my skin to rid me from you and I still don't know why I cried. It was just something in the way you took my heart and rearranged my insides and I couldn't recognise the emptiness you left me with when you were done. Maybe you thought my insides would fit better this way, look better this way, to you and us and all the rest. But then you must have changed your mind or made a wrong because why did you leave? 6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, and I still don't know which month it was then or what day it is now. I replace cafes with crowded bars and empty roads with broken bottles and this town is healing me slowly but still not slow or fast enough because there's no right way to do this. There is no right way to do this. There is no right way to do this.
HOLD UP, MONEY TALK SO YOU KNOW WHAT? AIN'T NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT, YE AIN'T GOT ENOUGH CUZ ROCK STAR DRUGS BREAK A BITCH HEART, NO LOVE EMMA WATTS, CHARLIE SHEEN, FUCKIN WITH NO SCRUB NIGGAS WANT CONNECTS, GOT NO PLUGS NIGGA SAY THEY HIGH, GOT NO BUZZ POPSICLE NIGGAS WANNA TALK SHIT THEN SAY YOU FROZE UP YOUNG NIGGAS WANNA POP PILLS, JUST PO UP WENT ON A BANG, WENT ON A BANG BITCHES CAME FOR ME AND MY NIGGA EASY THREW THAT BITCH OUT, GOT THAT HOE ONE WAY SAID SHE TRYNA STAY, TOLD THAT BITCH NO WAY THAT'S A PREME NIGGA, B RIPPER, GRIM REAPER I DON'T GET MAD BITCH, I JUST GET EVEN T-RAW MAGICIAN, I DON'T GOTTA TRICK OR TREAT IT THAT FERRARI CALIFORNIA MAKE A BITCH A BELIEVE
A large piece of lead floated out of Bobby head, followed by dark chunks of what could only be pieces of Bobby's brain. The torrent started up again. It flowed steady rather than pulsed with his heart. I knew from that, and from the amount of blood, that it was that mofo vein bleeding. And probably more than a small tear if the amount of blood was telling. I thought there had to be a hole the size of Montana in that thing. "Jesus Mother Mary" I said, then "Stitch!" The scrub tech slapped a needle holder into my palm, a curved needle and silk stitch clamped into the end of it. I might have closed my eyes-I've been told I do that sometimes in surgery when I'm trying to visualize something-though if so I don't remember doing it. I took that needle and aimed it into the pool of blood. "Suck here Joe, right here." When I thought I could see something, something gray and not black red, I plunged the pointy end of the needle through whatever the visible tissue was and looped it out again. I cinched it down and tied it quick, then repeated the maneuver again after adjusting slightly for lighting, sweating, my own bounding heartbeat, and the regret I wasn't wearing my own diaper. We're losing, I thought.
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.
GONE TO STATIC it sounds better than it is, this business of surviving, making it through the wrong place at the wrong time and living to tell. when the talk shows and movie credits wear off, it's just me and my dumb luck. this morning I had that dream again: the one where I'm dead. I wake up and nothing's much different. everything's gone sepia, a dirty bourbon glass by the bed, you're still dead. I could stumble to the shower, scrub the luck of breath off my skin but it's futile. the killer always wins. it's just a matter of time. and I have time. I have grief and liquor to fill it. tonight, the liquor and I are talking to you. the liquor says, 'remember' and I fill in the rest, your hands, your smile. all those times. remember. tonight the liquor and I are telling you about our day. we made it out of bed. we miss you. we were surprised by the blood between our legs. we miss you. we made it to the video store, missing you. we stopped at the liquor store hoping the bourbon would stop the missing. there's always more bourbon, more missing tonight, when we got home, there was a stray cat at the door. she came in. she screams to be touched. she screams when I touch her. she's right at home. not me. the whisky is open the vcr is on. I'm running the film backwards and one by one you come back to me, all of you. your pulses stutter to a begin your eyes go from fixed to blink the knives come out of your chests, the chainsaws roar out from your legs your wounds seal over your t-cells multiply, your tumors shrink the maniac killer disappears it's just you and me and the bourbon and the movie flickering together and the air breathes us and I am home, I am lucky I am right before everything goes black
AND I BE GETTING COMMENTS LIKE "HOP, WHAT'S THE HOLD UP WITH YOUR NEW SHIT MAN YOU BE TAKING FOREVER SON YO I'M A STOP WAITING I'M GETTING MY HOPES UP WITH YOUR WORK ETHIC IT AIN'T GON' EVER COME YOU HAD THE XXL COVER IN 2012 AND I THOUGHT YOU WOULD SOON PREVAIL BUT NIGGA, YOU AIN'T DOING WELL YOU HIT US WITH THAT ILL MIND SHIT AND THAT WAS COOL AS HELL BUT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ALBUM YOU AIN'T EVER GOT NO NEWS TO TELL YOUR WHOLE CAREER IS JUST A TRAIN WRECK YOU TOURED AROUND THE WORLD FOR 3 YEARS BUT YOU ALWAYS PERFORMED THE SAME SET I BEEN ASKED YOU TO COME TO MY CITY BUT YOU AIN'T CAME YET I GUESS YOU AIN'T IN IT FOR LOVE YOU JUST WANT THAT PAY CHECK IF I WAS YOU, THEN I WOULDN'T BE TOO PROUD YOU SIGNED DIZZY NOT TOO LONG AGO AND HE'S BIGGER THAN YOU NOW YOU SAID YOU SAVING HIP HOP WELL SAVE THIS SHIT AND ALL I HEAR IS WACK NIGGAS AND I HATE THIS SHIT HOMIE I STOPPED BEING A SCRUB BECAUSE OF YOU I STOPPED PLAYING THESE BITCHES IN THE CLUB AND FELL IN LOVE BECAUSE OF YOU MY DAD HEARD YOUR SONG AND HE STOPPED DOING DRUGS BECAUSE OF YOU I LEARNED TO RAP AND EVEN BUILT A LIL BUZZ BECAUSE OF YOU BUT YOU TAKE IT FOR GRANTED THINKING YOU HAVE IT MADE SITTING BACK IN THE SHADE HOPSIN, THERE'S PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE TO SAVE THIS IS BEYOND MUSIC YOU SPEAK LIFE INTO THESE MOTHERFUCKERS HOP, YOU HAVE A GIFT, SO WHEN YOU GON' USE IT?" DAMN, I HAVE THAT MUCH OF AN IMPACT? MY RHYMES DID THAT? SOMETIMES, I REALLY FEEL MY SHIT'S WACK THAT'S WHY I KICK BACK BUT FUCK THIS SHIT, YO WHERE MY PEN AT? I'M ABOUT TO KILL THIS SHIT AND MAKE NIGGAS JUST WANNA QUIT RAP I'M CAUSING HAVOC LAYING THE RAPPERS LIKE A HAMMOCK IF I WANT THE FUCKING PLANET, I CAN HAVE IT NOW TRY TO SNATCH IT ONLY GOD CAN STOP MY VIOLENT HABITS YOU NIGGAS AVERAGE I AIN'T EVEN IN MY PRIME AND STILL I'M TWICE THE SAVAGE
It was said that the Old Folk controlled the power of fire, among other things, but that was in the Long and Long Ago. Before that, the fathers of the Old Folk caught a spark with flint and steel and their own desire to live. It was also said that the world was a great wheel, and everything came round to what it once had been, and so Steven Boughmount knelt in the snow with rocks in his hands, trying to catch a flame. He was having little luck. Just over the low hills, beyond this scrub of forest, the village was warm and sleeping behind its wall. That's where I should be, Steven thought as he scraped the edge of one rock against the other. Not in bed, not yet, but stretched out in my chair with my feet up, a pipe smoking just right in my hand and Heather curled up beside me. The boys are all asleep, but maybe we'll stay up for a while. Maybe we'll move to the bedroom, maybe not. That's where I should be, not up to my ass in snow trying to light a fire. 'C'mon, bastard, ' he said, and drug the sharp edge of the rock in his right hand against the flat of the one in his left. A white spark flew, and then died before it could reach the stripped branches and dried moss he had laid out on the frozen ground. Snow crunched somewhere off to the left of him. Steven heard soft, bare footsteps. They were coming, all right. And they were in a hurry, running toward a village protected by two drunks on either side of a leaning gate. That was why Steven sat in the snow. When the Guards slept, the Hunters went to work. And what sounded like a whole clan of goblins was passing him by because he couldn't get a damn fire lit. Steven drew his sword. It was called Fangodoom, given to him by his mother just before she died. Fangodoom was a dwarf blade, of steel mined and forged deep within the Lyme Mountains centuries ago. Goblins near, the blade all but gleamed though there wasn't any moon. Again he wondered if this would be the last time, and again he knew that if it was, it was. His hand turned into a fist on the hilt of his weapon, and he prayed. 'Lord, make me Your hammer.
This tub is for washing your courage... When you are born your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you're half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it's so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you'll never be brave again. Unfortunately, there are not many facilities in your world that provide the kind of services we do. So most people go around with grimy machinery, when all it would take is a bit of a spit and polish to make them paladins once more, bold knights and true... This tub is for washing your wishes... For the wishes of one's old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes. Even when one finds oneself in Fairyland and not at home at all, it is not always so easy to catch the world in its changing and change with it... Lastly, we must wash your luck. When souls queue up to be born, they all leap up at just the last moment, touching the lintel of the world for luck. Some jump high and can seize a great measure of luck; some jump only a bit and snatch a few loose strands. Everyone manages to catch some. If one did not have at least a little luck, one would never survive childhood. But luck can be spent, like money, and lost, like a memory; and wasted, like a life. If you know how to look, you can examine the kneecaps of a human and tell how much luck they have left. No bath can replenish luck that has been spent on avoiding an early death by automobile accident or winning too many raffles in a row. No bath can restore luck lost through absentmindedness and overconfidence. But luck withered by conservative, tired, riskless living can be pumped up again-after all, it is only a bit thirsty for something to do.
Catherynne M. Valente
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind, water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
I realized I still had my eyes shut. I had shut them when I put my face to the screen, like I was scared to look outside. Now I had to open them. I looked out the window and saw for the first time how the hospital was out in the country. The moon was low in the sky over the pastureland; the face of it was scarred and scuffed where it had just torn up out of the snarl of scrub oak and madrone trees on the horizon. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. It called to mind how I noticed the exact same thing when I was off on a hunt with Papa and the uncles and I lay rolled in blankets Grandma had woven, lying off a piece from where the men hunkered around the fire as they passed a quart jar of cactus liquor in a silent circle. I watched that big Oregon prairie moon above me put all the stars around it to shame. I kept awake watching, to see if the moon ever got dimmer or if the stars got brighter, till the dew commenced to drift onto my cheeks and I had to pull a blanket over my head. Something moved on the grounds down beneath my window - cast a long spider of shadow out across the grass as it ran out of sight behind a hedge. When it ran back to where I could get a better look, I saw it was a dog, a young, gangly mongrel slipped off from home to find out about things went on after dark. He was sniffing digger squirrel holes, not with a notion to go digging after one but just to get an idea what they were up to at this hour. He'd run his muzzle down a hole, butt up in the air and tail going, then dash off to another. The moon glistened around him on the wet grass, and when he ran he left tracks like dabs of dark paint spattered across the blue shine of the lawn. Galloping from one particularly interesting hole to the next, he became so took with what was coming off - the moon up there, the night, the breeze full of smells so wild makes a young dog drunk - that he had to lie down on his back and roll. He twisted and thrashed around like a fish, back bowed and belly up, and when he got to his feet and shook himself a spray came off him in the moon like silver scales. He sniffed all the holes over again one quick one, to get the smells down good, then suddenly froze still with one paw lifted and his head tilted, listening. I listened too, but I couldn't hear anything except the popping of the window shade. I listened for a long time. Then, from a long way off, I heard a high, laughing gabble, faint and coming closer. Canada honkers going south for the winter. I remembered all the hunting and belly-crawling I'd ever done trying to kill a honker, and that I never got one. I tried to look where the dog was looking to see if I could find the flock, but it was too dark. The honking came closer and closer till it seemed like they must be flying right through the dorm, right over my head. Then they crossed the moon - a black, weaving necklace, drawn into a V by that lead goose. For an instant that lead goose was right in the center of that circle, bigger than the others, a black cross opening and closing, then he pulled his V out of sight into the sky once more. I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.