there was apparent in all a sort of anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a consciousness of some great, unfathomable mystery being accomplished... the most solemn mystery in the world was being accomplished. Evening passed, night came on. And the feeling of suspense and softening of the heart before the unfathomable did not wane, but grew more intense. No one slept.
That's what I always wanted to know. Why would some fella be willing to do something generous for a kid he doesn't even know?' Rodney asked. 'Have to say I'm surprised, Mr. Burton. Of all the people on the face of the earth, ' he said, his voice softening, 'I figured if anyone knew the answer to that one, it'd be you.
There is something to me very softening in the presence of a woman, some strange influence, even if one is not in love with them, which I cannot at all account for, having no very high opinion of the sex. But yet, I always feel in better humor with myself and every thing else, if there is a woman within ken.
I say, Watson,' he whispered, 'would you be afraid to sleep in the same room as a lunatic, a man with softening of the brain, an idiot whose mind has lost its grip?' 'Not in the least,' I answered in astonishment. 'Ah, that's lucky,' he said, and not another word would he utter that night.
Arthur Conan Doyle
I say, Watson, ' he whispered, 'would you be afraid to sleep in the same room as a lunatic, a man with softening of the brain, an idiot whose mind has lost its grip?' 'Not in the least, ' I answered in astonishment. 'Ah, that's lucky, ' he said, and not another word would he utter that night.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Caricatures are an important part of our culture of debate. They should defuse political spats through humor and irony. It is about making a strong statement but softening it with a wink. So Danes do not get too upset about caricatures. None of us is interested in insulting Muslims.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
A cigarette is a roll of paper, tobacco, and drugs, with a small fire on one end and a large fool at the other. Some of its chief benefits are cancer of the lips and stomach, softening of the brain, funeral procesions, and families shrouded in gloom and grief. Although a great many people know this, they still smoke in order to appear sophisticated.
This wobbly world host to insects and lint and a thousand pithy ways to feel unserious each minute It brings about a great softening of the mind, like the clouded edges of sea glass (this filter you could download and apply) A poultice or an opiate, rigidly individual. Alone and erasing sentences to splinters. (Poem No. 5)
Erin J. Watson
A conservative party that reshapes its self-presentation according to the suggestions of the liberal media, of course, may very well get what such lack of courage deserves. Having been told by their opponents for years that the key to Republican victory was a softening of the message and more smiles, Republicans have now apparently taken a big dose of this medicine. One might counsel more caution in accepting medicine from one's enemies.
We pledge our loyalty; we affirm our determination to be of good courage; we declare, sometimes even publicly, that come what may we will do the right thing, that we will stand for the right cause, that we will be true to ourselves and to others. Then the pressures begin to build. Sometimes these are social pressures. Sometimes they are personal appetites. Sometimes they are false ambitions. There is a weakening of the will. There is a softening of discipline. There is capitulation. And then there is remorse, self-accusation, and bitter tears of regret.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Do I perceive a softening in your heart for me, damoiselle?" He laughed at her scowl. "Beware maid. I will tell you true. After you will come another and then another. There are no strings that can tether me to any woman. So guard your heart." "My lord, you greatly exaggerate your appeal, " she replied indignantly. "If I fell anything for you, 'tis hatred. You are the enemy and you are to be despised as such." "Indeed?" He smiled slowly into her eyes. "Then tell me, damoiselle, do you always kiss the enemy so warmly?
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Historical romance is still very strong in the market. Writers of historical romance are making the bestselling lists on a regular basis and careers are growing. However, since there is much more variety in romance today, the total sales of historicals might be down from their peak. The talk of the market softening is a reflection of this, and of the fact that one does not see big growth in this area of the market.
...once again we face a paradox, for it appears that softening your heart and gently tending its wounds will protect you from evil. Building a fortress and defending yourself behind it will only make you more vulnerable. Healing your own heart is the single most powerful thing you can do to change the world. Your own transformation will enable you to withdraw so completely from evil that you contribute to it by not one word, one thought, or one breath. This healing process is like recovering your soul.
By softening our attitudes, practicing mercy and compassion, we transform our lives by transforming other people's experience of us. Send love before you when you enter a room, and people will subconsciously feel it; they'll be prone to show greater kindness in return. That's how love makes things work better in our lives; it realigns the reactions of people and things around us.
Nobody could catch cold by the sea; nobody wanted appetite by the sea; nobody wanted spirits; nobody wanted strength. Sea air was healing, softening, relaxing - fortifying and bracing - seemingly just as was wanted - sometimes one, sometimes the other. If the sea breeze failed, the seabath was the certain corrective; and where bathing disagreed, the sea air alone was evidently designed by nature for the cure.
You do not have to have money to attract money, but you cannot feel poor and attract money. The key is, you have to find ways of improving the way you feel from right where you stand before things can begin to change: By softening your attention to the things that are going wrong, and by beginning to tell stories that lean more in the direction of what you want instead of in the direction of what you have got, your vibration will shift; your point of attraction will shift - and you will get different results.
He could hear her ramping up and rather than letting it happen, he silenced her the best way he knew hos. He lowered his head to hers, slowly, so she could see him coming. Her lips parted, in anticipation, in fear, out of breathlessness or a need to speak, he didn't care. He pressed his against them and heard her quick intake of breath. Her hands went up to his neck and she pulled herself closer, her mouth softening against his, opening, until they were necking like the pair of teenagers they had been, urgently, desperately, the rest of the world falling away until it was only them, no one else mattering, nothing necessary to their survival but that they hold on, hold on, hold on to each other and never let go.
In the course of this story, and very soon now, it will be necessary to make some disclosures about Mr. Krupper of a nature too coarse to be dealt with very directly in a work of such brevity. The grossly naturalistic details of a life, contained in the enormously wide context of that life, are softened and qualified by it, but when you attempt to set those details down in a tale, some measure of obscurity or indirection is called for to provide the same, or even approximate, softening effect that existence in time gives to those gross elements in the life itself. When I say that there was a certain mystery in the life of Mr. Krupper, I am beginning to approach those things in the only way possible without a head-on violence that would disgust and destroy and which would actually falsify the story. ("Hard Candy")
His hair was shorter than I remembered, tawny in this half-light, the tousled edges casually framing the clean, commanding lines of his face. His mouth, normally so stern was relaxed now and as I stared a slight sweet smile touched his lips, its curve softening the straight strong lines of his nose and brow. Finally, inevitably, I met his eyes and felt a connection that seared straight through me, down through my soles and away. Those eyes, darker than mine, the darkest blue, dark and as impenetrable as glaciers. Tonight he was real, so very real that my heart thumped, my blood sang, my legs shook.
The snow filled the air with a soft grey-blue mist, softening the wind and gunfire, bringing the earth and sky together into one swaying blur. The snow fell on Bach's shoulders; it was as though flakes of silence were falling on the still Volga, on the dead city, on the skeletons of horses. It was snowing everywhere, on earth and on the stars; the whole universe was full of snow. Everything was disappearing beneath it: guns, the bodies of the dead, filthy dressings, rubble, scraps of twisted iron. This soft, white snow settling over the carnage of the city was time itself; the present was turning into the past, and there was no future.
Emperor, right." she retacked the curtain "That's weird to say, after eighteen years of listening to celebrity gossip feeds go on and on about 'Earth's favorite prince'". She claimed one of the lumpy sofa cushions, curling her legs beneath her. "I had a picture of him taped to my wall when I was fifteen. Grand-mere cut it off a cereal box." Wolf scowled. "Of course, half the girls in the world probably had that same picture from that same cereal box." Wolf scrunched his shoulders against his neck, and Scarlet grinned, teasing. "Oh, no. You're not going to have to fight him for pack dominance now are you? Come here." She beckoned him with a wave of her hand and he was at her side in half a second, the glower softening as he pulled her against his chest.
Or I would be the rain itself, wreathing over the island, mingling in the quiet of moist places, filling its pores with its saturated breaths. And I would be the wind, whispering through the tangled woods, running airy fingers over the island's face, tingling in the chill of concealed places, sighing secrets in the dawn. And I would be the light, flinging over the island, covering it with flash and shadow, shining on rocks and pools, softening to a touch in the glow of dusk. If I were the rain and wind and light, I would encircle the island like the sky surrounding earth, flood through it like a heart driven pulse, shine from inside it like a star in flames, burn away to blackness in the closed eyes of its night. There are so many ways I could love this island, if I were the rain.
God's forgot that ever I lived... He's forgot... and He never cared, nohow... " He smoothed her brown, rough-palmed hand; he held her hands to keep her from jerking herself away from his admonishing: "Oh, 'tis not true, the words yere a-sayin', Cean Smith; and well ye know it. Never does He forget a child o' His'n. 'Tis His children that forget that He is rememberin'. Get on yere knees and climb on them up to the shelter o' His arms. Knock on His ears with yere prayers. Creep into His arms, Cean Smith, and lay yere head on His bosom, and He'll hold ye closer than inny man ye ever love can ever hold ye. He'll lay His hand on yere head and ye'll stop yere restless fightin' against His will. He'll shut yere pitiful little mouth from complainin' against Him. Ye'll hush and be comforted... " She dared him to prove his saying: "Then pray fer Him to do them things fer me!" He prayed; and when he had finished, Cean's will was as water to God's will, and Cean's tears were softening and healing to her heart.
Michael grew silent, his gaze softening as he looked from me to Will, and a dim light of hope flickered in my heart. 'You would mourn for him.' 'Yes, I said. 'I would mourn him forever with a broken heart. This human soul has given me so many blessings and curses. I'm the only one of our kind who has ever felt the most perfect happiness and the truest sorrow - because of this soul. My love for my Guardian is one of those blessings. It's not a curse.' 'You can, ' I promised. 'Please trust me. I need all the help I can get, and that includes yours. If you kill my Guardian, then I will never forgive you. I can't be at war with you too. Please, please, Michael, my brother. Don't kill him... A tear caught on the edge of my lips. 'Do you love me as your sister?' His mouth opened to reply, but nothing came out. 'It's okay, ' I whispered. 'You're worried about me, because you love me. Don't be afraid of feeling anything. our Father made us this way. He wouldn't make a mistake.' 'I... , ' Michael said, and emotion spilled over his face. His brow furrowed with exhaustion and he seemed overwhelmed by what he felt. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again. 'You are my sister, Gabriel.' 'Then don't do this.' I begged him. He was quiet again for several agonising moments, returning to his emotionless state. 'Keep him. I have faith in you, Sister. Will and I breathed sighs of relief, but it was a few seconds before Michael withdrew his sword. His expression remained unchanging as he lifted Will's death warrant.
Courtney Allison Moulton
Fear of the Dark I've always been prone to worry and anxiety, but after I became a mother, negotiating joy, gratitude, and scarcity felt like a full-time job. For years, my fear of something terrible happening to my children actually prevented me from fully embracing joy and gratitude. Every time I came too close to softening into sheer joyfulness about my children and how much I love them, I'd picture something terrible happening; I'd picture losing everything in a flash. At first I thought I was crazy. Was I the only person in the world who did this? As my therapist and I started working on it, I realized that 'my too good to be true' was totally related to fear, scarcity, and vulnerability. Knowing that those are pretty universal emotions, I gathered up the courage to talk about my experiences with a group of five hundred parents who had come to one of my parenting lectures. I gave an example of standing over my daughter watching her sleep, feeling totally engulfed in gratitude, then being ripped out of that joy and gratitude by images of something bad happening to her. You could have heard a pin drop. I thought, Oh, God. I'm crazy and now they're all sitting there like, 'She's a nut. How do we get out of here?' Then all of the sudden I heard the sound of a woman toward the back starting to cry. Not sniffle cry, but sob cry. That sound was followed by someone from the front shouting out, 'Oh my God! Why do we do that? What does it mean?' The auditorium erupted in some kind of crazy parent revival. As I had suspected, I was not alone.
When an animal dies, another of the same species may cling to the body, eat the body, or look bored. Bees expel dead bodies from the hive or, if that is impossible, embalm them in honey. Elephants "say" a ritualistic good-bye, and touch their dead before slowly walking away. Corvids often accept the death of a companion without much fuss, but they at times have 'funerals, ' where scores of birds lament over the corpse of a deceased crow. But it is a bit odd that people should investigate whether animals 'comprehend death, ' as if human beings understood what it means to die. Is death a prelude to reincarnation? A portal to Heaven or Hell? Complete extinction? Union with all life? Or something else? All of these views can at times be comforting, yet people usually fear death, quite regardless of what they claim to believe. In the natural world, killing seems a casual affair. Human beings, of course, kill on a massive scale, but most of us can only kill, if at all, by softening the impact of the deed through rituals such as drink or prayer. The strike of a spider, a heron, or a cat is swift and, seemingly, without inhibition or remorse. They pounce with a confidence that could indicate ignorance, indifference, or else profound knowledge. Could this be, perhaps, because animals cannot conceive of killing, since they are not aware of death? Could it be because they understand death well, far better than do human beings? If animals envision the world not in terms of abstract concepts but sensuous images, the soul might appear as a unique scent, a rhythmic motion, or a tone of voice. Death would be the absence of these, though without that absolute finality that we find so severe. Perhaps the heron that snaps a fish thinks his meal lives on, as he one day will, in the form of currents in the pond.
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn't be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn't feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror's reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. 'Who are you?' I'd ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn't me. I'd watch my lips moving and say it again, 'Who are you?
Adelia began to get cross. Why was it women who were to blame for everything-everything, from the Fall of Man to these blasted hedges? 'We are not in a labyrinth, my lord, ' she said clearly. 'Where are we, then?' 'It's a maze.' 'Same difference.' Puffing at the horse: 'Get back, you great cow.' 'No, it isn't. A labyrinth has only one path and you merely have to follow it. It's a symbol of life or, rather, of life and death. Labyrinths twist and turn, but they have a beginning and an end, through darkness into light.' Softening, and hoping that he would, too, she added, 'Like Ariadne's. Rather beautiful, really.' 'I don't want mythology, mistress, beautiful or not, I want to get to that sodding tower. What's a maze when it's at home?' 'It's a trick. A trick to confuse. To amaze.' 'And I suppose Mistress Clever-boots knows how to get us out?' 'I do, actually.' God's rib, he was sneering at her, sneering. She'd a mind to stay where she was and let him sweat. 'Then in the name of Christ, do it.' 'Stop bellowing at me, ' she yelled at him. 'You're bellowing.' She saw his teeth grit in the pretense of a placatory smile; he always had good teeth. Still did. Between them, he said, 'The Bishop of Saint Albans presents his compliments to Mistress Adelia and please to escort him out of this hag's hole, for the love of God. How will you do it?' 'My business.' Be damned if she'd tell him. Women were defenseless enough without revealing their secrets. 'I'll have to take the lead.' She stumped along in front, holding Walt's mount's reins in her right hand. In the other was her riding crop, which she trailed with apparent casualness so that it brushed against the hedge on her left. As she went, she chuntered to herself. Lord, how disregarded I am in this damned country. How disregarded all women are... Ironically, the lower down the social scale women were, the greater freedom they had; the wives of laborers and craftsmen could work alongside their men-even, sometimes, when they were widowed, take over their husband's trade. Adelia trudged on. Hag's hole. Grendel's mother's entrails. Why was this dreadful place feminine to the men lost in it? Because it was tunneled? Womb-like? Is this woman's magic? The great womb? Is that why the Church hates me, hates all women? Because we are the source of all true power? Of life? She supposed that by leading them out of it, she was only confirming that a woman knew its secrets and they did not. Great God, she thought, it isn't a question of hatred. It's fear. They are frightened of us. And Adelia laughed quietly, sending a suggestion of sound reverberating backward along the tunnel, as if a small pebble was skipping on water, making each man start when it passed him. 'What in hell was that?' Walt called back stolidly, 'Reckon someone's laughing at us, master.' 'Dear God.