Go into a room where the shutters are always shut (in a sick-room or a bed-room there should never be shutters shut), and though the room be uninhabited-though the air has never been polluted by the breathing of human beings, you will observe a close, musty smell of corrupt air-of air unpurified by the effect of the sun's rays.
I think a lot about Big Mind-Small Mind, expansive, wide-lens consciousness and contracted, introverted consciousness. I have moments-we all do-when just being alive is a pleasure and a miracle. They feel like moments when the shutters of the mind are open so I can look out. It also feels as if those same shutters have no hooks to fix them in an open position. One small wind and bang-they slam shut.
It was darker in the tower than any place Devnee had ever been. The dark had textures, some velvet, some satin. The dark shifted positions. The dark continued to breathe. The breath of the tower lifted her clothing like the flaps of a tent, and sounded in her ears like falling snow. It's the wind coming through the double shutters, Devnee told herself. But how could the wind come through? There were glass windows between the inside and outside shutters. Or were there? The windows weren't just holes in the wall, were they? What if there was no glass? What if things crawled through those open louvers, crept into the room, blew in with the cold that fingered her hair? What creatures of the night could slither through those slats? She had not realized how wonderful glass was, how it protected you and kept you inside. She knew something was out there.
Caroline B. Cooney
Tonight. After the reaping, everyone is supposed to celebrate. And a a lot of people do, out of relief that their children have been spared for another year. But at least two families will pull their shutters, lock their doors, and try to figure out how they will survive the painful weeks to come.
But of what use is it to be whitewashed and trim outside, to have pleasant creepers and tidy shutters, when inside one's soul wanders through empty rooms, mournfully shivers in damp and darkness, is hungry and no one brings it food, is cold and no one lights a fire, is miserable and tired and there's no chair to sit on?
Elizabeth von Arnim
And remember, Wallis, there's something the matter with Mr. Allan's shutters. They won't always close the sunshine out as they should." Wallis almost winked, if an elderly, mutton-chopped servitor can be imagined as winking. "No, ma'am, " he promised. Something wrong with 'em. I'll remember, ma'am.
It's the loneliest feeling in the world-to find yourself standing up when everybody else is sitting down. To have everybody look at you and say, 'What's the matter with him?' I know. I know what it feels like. Walking down an empty street, listening to the sound of your own footsteps. Shutters closed, blinds drawn, doors locked against you. And you aren't sure whether you're walking toward something, or if you're just walking away.
Robert E. Lee
Joy and grief are never far apart. In the same street the shutters of one house are closed, while the curtains of the next are brushed by shadow of the dance. A wedding-party returns from church, and a funeral winds to its door. The smiles and the sadness of life are the tragi-comedy of Shakespeare. Gladness and sighs brighten and dim the mirror he beholds.
Robert Aris Willmott
But why was the room suddenly becoming so dark? It was the middle of the afternoon. With a supreme effort Giuseppe Corte, who felt himself paralyzed with a strange lethargy, looked at the clock on the nightstand beside the bed. It was 3:30. He turned his head in the other direction and saw that the shutters, in obedience to some mysterious command, were closing slowly, blocking the passage of light.
I have at least the whole of my life to answer a question: Who am I? And who is the other? A gust of wind at dawn? A motionless landscape? A trembling leaf? A coil of white smoke above a mountain? I write all these words and I hear the wind, not outside, but inside my head. A strong wind, it rattles the shutters through which I enter the dream.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Love Is a curious thing. Sometimes it barrels into you, leaves you breathless. Other times, it comes in- to your life, a tentative beam of morning sun sneaking through the blinds, and you think this light isn't possible. The shutters are drawn. Night should linger on. I don't feel like waking. Yet the room comes slowly lit. Sleep slithers away, and at last you can no longer deny the dawning.
Perhaps I will die too, she told herself, and the thought did not seem so terrible to her. If she flung herself from the window, she could put an end to her suffering, and in the years to come the singers would write songs of her grief. Her body would lie on the stones below, broken and innocent, shaming all those who had betrayed her. Sansa went so far as to cross the bedchamber and throw open the shutters ... but then her courage left her, and she ran back to her bed, sobbing.
George R. R. Martin
I hover over the expensive Scotch and then the Armagnac, but finally settle on a glass of rich red claret. I put it near my nose and nearly pass out. It smells of old houses and aged wood and dark secrets, but also of hard, hot sunshine through ancient shutters and long, wicked afternoons in a four-poster bed. It's not a wine, it's a life, right there in the glass.
Occasionally I looked up towards some vast old apartment with its shutters still open and where amphibious men and women, adapting themselves each evening to living in an element different from their daytime one, swam about slowly in the dense liquid which at nightfall rises incessantly from the wells of lamps and fills the rooms to the brink of their walls of stone and glass, and as they moved about in it, their bodies sent forth unctuous golden ripples.
The shops in High Street still have their metal grilles down, blank-eyed and sleeping. My name is scrawled across them all. I'm outside Ajay's newsagent's. I'm on the expensive shutters of the health food store. I'm massive on Handie's furniture shop, King's Chicken Joint and the Barbecue Cafe. I thread the pavement outside the bank and all the way to Mothercare. I've possessed the road and am a glistening circle at the roundabout.
It was nearly lunch-time before Blackie had finished and went in search of T. Chaos had advanced. The kitchen was a shambles of broken glass and china, the dining-room was stripped of parquet, the skirting was up, the door had been taken off its hinges, and the destroyers had moved up a floor. Streaks of light came in through the closed shutters where they worked with the seriousness of creators - and destruction after all is a form of creation. A kind of imagination had seen this house as it had now become. ("The Destructors")
Most people, when they imagine New England, think about old colonial homes, white houses with black shutters, whales, and sexually morbid WASPs with sensible vehicles and polite political opinions. This is incorrect. If you want to get New England right, just imagine a giant mullet in paint-stained pants and a Red Sox hat being pushed into the back of a cruiser after a bar fight.
In my years of photography I have learned that many things can be sensed, seen, shaped, or resolved in a realm of quiet, well in advance of, or between, the actual clicking of shutters and the sloshing of films and papers in chemical solutions. I work to attain a state of heart, a gentle space offering inspirational substance that could purify one's vision. Photography, like music, must be born in the unmanifest world of the spirit.
I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on, The windows and the stars illumined, one by one, The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily, And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass; And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass, I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight, And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
How well I know what I mean to do When the long dark Autumn evenings come, And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue? With the music of all thy voices, dumb In life's November too! I shall be found by the fire, suppose, O'er a great wise book as beseemeth age, While the shutters flap as the cross-wind blows, And I turn the page, and I turn the page, Not verse now, only prose!
He liked however the open shutters; he opened everywhere those Mrs. Muldoon had closed, closing them as carefully afterwards, so that she shouldn't notice: he liked-oh this he did like, and above all in the upper rooms!-the sense of the hard silver of the autumn stars through the window-panes, and scarcely less the flare of the street-lamps below, the white electric lustre which it would have taken curtains to keep out. This was human actual social; this was of the world he had lived in, and he was more at his ease certainly for the countenance, coldly general and impersonal, that all the while and in spite of his detachment it seemed to give him.
The clouds were flying fast, the wind was coming up in gusts, banging some neighboring shutters that had broken loose, twirling the rusty chimney-cowls and weathercocks, and rushing round and round a confined adjacent churchyard as if it had a mind to blow the dead citizens out of their graves. The low thunder, muttering in all quarters of the sky at once, seemed to threaten vengeance for this attempted desecration, and to mutter, "Let them rest! Let them rest!
I left the bed as she had left it, unmade and rumpled, coverlets awry, so that her body's print might rest still warm beside my own. Until the next day I did not go to bathe, I wore no clothes and did not dress my hair, for fear I might erase some sweet caress. That morning I did not eat, nor yet at dusk, and put no rouge nor powder on my lips, so that her kiss might cling a little longer. I left the shutters closed, and did not open the door, for fear the memory of the night before might vanish with the wind.
It was not a bed with curtains, but a bed with doors like shutters. This may not seem like a nice way of having a bed, but we would all be glad of the wooden curtains about us at night if we lived in such a cottage, on the side of a hill along which the wind swept like a wild river. Through the cottage it would be streaming all night long. And a poor woman with a cough, or a man who has been out in the cold all day, is very glad of such a place to lie in, and leave the the rest of the house to the wind and the fairies.
Everything I pick up seems to lure me away. Everything I do in my daily life begins to feel like striking wet matches. The need to travel is a mysterious force. A desire to 'go' runs through me equally with an intense desire to 'stay' at home. An equal and opposite thermodynamic principle. When I travel, I think of home and what it means. At home I'm dreaming of catching trains at night in the gray light of Old Europe, or pushing open shutters to see Florence awaken. The balance just slightly tips in the direction of the airport.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. He used to mess my hair and call me "little sister," she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.
George R. R. Martin
What a lovely thing a rose is!" He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects. "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion, " said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
Arthur Conan Doyle
I have read of a gentleman who owned a so fine house in London, and when he went for months of summer to Switzerland and lock up his house, some burglar came and broke window at back and got in. Then he went and made open the shutters in front and walk out and in through the door, before the very eyes of the police. Then he have an auction in that house, and advertise it, and put up big notice; and when the day come he sell off by a great auctioneer all the goods of that other man who own them. Then he go to a builder, and he sell him that house, making an agreement that he pull it down and take all away within a certain time. And your police and other authority help him all they can. And when that owner come back from his holiday in Switzerland he find only an empty hole where his house had been. This was all done en re¨gle; and in our work we shall be en re¨gle too. We shall not go so early that the policemen who have then little to think of, shall deem it strange; but we shall go after ten o'clock, when there are many about, and such things would be done were we indeed owners of the house.
What agony he suffered as he watched that light, in whose golden atmosphere were moving, behind the closed sash, the unseen and detested pair, as he listened to that murmur which revealed the presence of the man who had crept in after his own departure, the perfidy of Odette, and the pleasures which she was at that moment tasting with the stranger. And yet he was not sorry that he had come; the torment which had forced him to leave his own house had lost its sharpness when it lost its uncertainty, now that Odette's other life, of which he had had, at that first moment, a sudden helpless suspicion, was definitely there, almost within his grasp, before his eyes, in the full glare of the lamp-light, caught and kept there, an unwitting prisoner, in that room into which, when he would, he might force his way to surprise and seize it; or rather he would tap upon the shutters, as he had often done when he had come there very late, and by that signal Odette would at least learn that he knew, that he had seen the light and had heard the voices; while he himself, who a moment ago had been picturing her as laughing at him, as sharing with that other the knowledge of how effectively he had been tricked, now it was he that saw them, confident and persistent in their error, tricked and trapped by none other than himself, whom they believed to be a mile away, but who was there, in person, there with a plan, there with the knowledge that he was going, in another minute, to tap upon the shutter. And, perhaps, what he felt (almost an agreeable feeling) at that moment was something more than relief at the solution of a doubt, at the soothing of a pain; was an intellectual pleasure.
GIRL YOU WAKE ME TO THE SMELL OF BUTTER SUNLIGHT SHONE THROUGH WOODEN SHUTTERS NAKED SEX AND CUFFED BREAST EARLY MORNING BACK TO TEST POURING RAIN AND RUBBER SUIT COTTON SOCKS AND RUBBER BOOTS I SPRINT ACROSS THE PARKING LOT 'CAUSE THAT DAY WE WERE UNPREPARED DRIED OUR SOCKS AND ON THE STAIRS SOUND OF RAIN IS RAIN IN GUTTERS LIGHTNING SEVEN SECONDS THUNDER A MILD SNACK LATE EVENING HUNGER DVDS AND VCRS FISH TANKS AND JELLY JARS THE STORM PASSES THE ROOM OURS THE SUMMER TIMES AND YOU MOVE SAFETY BELT IN SUMMER CARS LIGHTNING BUGS TO DIE IN JARS THE AIR CONDITIONER SAVING GRACE GRASS STAINS AND FLUSHED FACE REFRESHING LIKE A GLASS OF MILK YOUR SHAVEN LEGS WERE LIKE SILK YOU KISS ME LIKE A BON VOYAGE A SECRET SOUVENIR COLLAGE OVERALLS AND WATER PARKS T-TOPS AND BABY SHARKS DRAGON ROLLS AND FROZEN JUICE MAKING OUT IN PHOTO BOOTHS A LOVELY SATURDAY NIGHT ALONE FULL OF FILMS AND BAKING PIES NOT COTTON SWABS AND BLOODY LIES I'LL PAY YOU BACK IN PLASTIC EYES
Buck 65 Remix
If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective. We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe. Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day-the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening? It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we're miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn't seasoned just the way we like. When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we're up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first. In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.
Peeta, ' I say lightly. 'You said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?' 'Oh, let's see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up, ' Peeta says. 'Your father? Why?' I ask. 'He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner, '' Peeta says. 'What? You're making that up!' I exclaim. 'No, true story, ' Peeta says. 'And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.'' 'That's true. They do. I mean, they did, ' I say. I'm stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it's a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. 'So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent, ' Peeta says. 'Oh, please, ' I say, laughing. 'No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew-just like your mother-I was a goner, ' Peeta says. 'Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.' 'Without success, ' I add. 'Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck, ' says Peeta. For a moment, I'm almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we're supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta's story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don't remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father's death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? 'You have a... remarkable memory, ' I say haltingly. 'I remember everything about you, ' says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. 'You're the one who wasn't paying attention.' 'I am now, ' I say. 'Well, I don't have much competition here, ' he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can't. It's as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, 'Say it! Say it!' I swallow hard and get the words out. 'You don't have much competition anywhere.' And this time, it's me who leans in.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too- And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight- 'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore