All the accounts of the burial of Jesus are somber, laced through with the silence of grief, the shock that violence does to one's soul, even experienced vicariously in the body of another who is loved. They are written as though they are dirges, laments hidden in the silences and spaces between the words.
On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, it is some consolation that the man most responsible for that terrible morning will not be smiling smugly to himself as satellite TV brings to the leafy boulevards of Abbottabad the somber images of New Yorkers commemorating those who perished in the Twin Towers.
The anniversary of Hiroshima, should be a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit.
You don't necessarily have to be in love with this weather to get through it well. It's about attitude. Instead of seeing a gray sky and thinking gray equals bleak and sad and depressing, try something else. Try, when the skies are gray, there's a somber beauty to the landscape. Put a positive spin on it.
His face went somber for half a second, and then it dissolved into an absolutely wonderful and fearless laugh. The old Ronan Lynch's laugh. No, it was better than that one, because this new one had just a hint of darkness beneath it. This Ronan knew there was crap in the world, but he was laughing anyway.
I want you cool and regal, earthy and impertinent, spoiling for a fight and abashed at your own temper. I want you flushed with exertion and rosy with sleep. I want you teasing and provocative, somber and thoughtful. I want every emotion, every mood, every year in a lifetime to come. I want you beside me, to encourage and argue with me, to help me and let me help you. I want to be your champion and lover, your mentor and student.
A lot of times we associate Greenpeace and climate change and shrinking polar caps with heavy-handed, weighty material. It's somber stuff. But with Funny Or Die we thought we could put an interesting take on it. Make it a little more palatable, especially for young people who tune into the website.
She walked in somber seclusion, unable to connect with women despite her heart's desire to do so while being shadowed by men who hungered for the indefinable; and while she yearned for friendship, they yearned for something more and what she had been in search of remained removed from her, and the more she erected barriers, the more they crossed them and each time they did, she turned from them and hid.
Donna Lynn Hope
I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a somber grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was a unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, and of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony.
I suddenly recall the arpeggios of laughter lilting across the tender, springtime grass-gay-welling, far-floating, fluent, spontaneous, a bell-like feminine fluting, then suppressed; as though snuffed swiftly and irrevocably beneath the quiet solemnity of the vespered air now vibrant with somber chapel bells.
It was one of those somber evenings when the sighing of the wind resembles the moans of a dying man; a storm was brewing, and between the splashes of rain on the windows there was the silence of death. All nature suffers in such moments; the trees writhe in pain and twist their heads; the birds of the fields cower under the bushes; the streets of cities are deserted.
Alfred de Musset
I heard the bells from the future churches, the children playing and laughing in the schoolyards ... and here was an almond tree in bloom before me: I must reach out and cut a flowering branch. For, by believing passionately in something which still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired, whatever we have not irrigated with our blood to such a degree that it becomes strong enough to stride across the somber threshold of nonexistence.
Every man is occasionally visited by the suspicion that the planet on which he is riding is not really going anywhere; that the Force which controls its measured eccentricities hasn't got anything special in mind. If he broods on this somber theme long enough he gets the doleful idea that the laughing children on a merry-go-round or the thin, fine hands of a lady's watch are revolving more purposely than he is.
That's the thing about being a Labrador retriever - you were born for fun. Seldom was your loopy, freewheeling mind cluttered by contemplation, and never at all by somber worry; every day was a romp. What else could there possibly be to life? Eating was a thrill. Pissing was a treat. Shitting was a joy. And licking your own balls? Bliss. And everywhere you went were gullible humans who patted and hugged and fussed over you.
To express the love of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colors, their mingling and their opposition, the mysterious vibrations of Kindred tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of light tone against a somber background; to express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance.
Vincent Van Gogh
A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then-the glory-so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished.
As we have said, robust souls are sometimes almost, but not entirely, overthrown by strokes of misfortune....Despair has steps leading upward. From total depression we rise to despondency, from despondency to affliction, from affliction to melancholy. Melancholy is a twilight state in which suffering transmutes into a somber joy....Melancholy is the enjoyment of being sad.
I am an American, Chicago born "" Chicago, that somber city "" and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. But a man's character is his fate, says Heraclitus, and in the end there isn't any way to disguise the nature of the knocks by acoustical work on the door or gloving the knuckles.
Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber as a word was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.
The job has its grandeurs, yes. There is the exultation of arriving safely after a storm, the joy of gliding down out of the darkness of night or tempest toward a sun-drenched Alicante or Santiago; there is the swelling sense of returning to repossess one's place in life, in the miraculous garden of earth, where are trees and women and, down by the harbor, friendly little bars. When he has throttled his engine and is banking into the airport, leaving the somber cloud masses behind, what pilot does not break into song?
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Combining the experience of a seasoned university president with the analysis of a respected legal scholar, Derek Bok explores what he concludes are 'signs of excessive commercialization in every part of the university.' His somber assessment of the current state of athletics, scientific research, and distance education, and his call for review and restraint, should engage the attention of every faculty senate in the country. He has given us a timely, candid, courageous, and important book.
Frank H. T. Rhodes
And even to me, one who likes life, it seems butterflies and soap bubbles and whatever is of their kind among human beings know most about happiness. To see these light, foolish, delicate, sensitive little souls fluttering-that seduces Zarathustra to tears and songs. I would only believe in a god who knew how to dance. And when I saw my devil, there I found him earnest, thorough, deep, somber; it was the spirit of gravity - through him all things fall. Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughing. Up, let us kill the spirit of gravity!
The environmental crisis is somber evidence of an insidious fraud hidden in the vaunted productivity and wealth of modern, technology-based society. This wealth has been gained by rapid short-term exploitation of the environmental system, but it has blindly accumulated a debt to nature-a debt so large and so pervasive that in the next generation it may, if unpaid, wipe out most of the wealth it has gained us.
Where had I heard this wind before Change like this to a deeper roar? What would it take my standing there for, Holding open a restive door, Looking down hill to a frothy shore? Summer was past and day was past. Somber clouds in the west were massed. Out in the porch's sagging floor, leaves got up in a coil and hissed, Blindly struck at my knee and missed. Something sinister in the tone Told me my secret must be known: Word I was in the house alone Somehow must have gotten abroad, Word I was in my life alone, Word I had no one left but God.
The Dark Stranger nodded in agreement knowing the time had come for the boys to know more, but it would not be tonight. He grabbed Kinsu's arm, nodded again, and then ran off into the night. With Chase and Rhee standing behind Kinsu, whose hair was briefly whipped from the air flying from the Dark Stranger's cape, they understood that they were all alone. They had no clues to a dramatic puzzle which had simply been forced upon them. 'Unbelievable, ' said Kinsu. And they all walked away feeling somber, drained, and still wondering, who was that girl?
We must, with God's help, eradicate the deadly poison of the demon of anger from the depths of our souls. So long as he dwells in our hearts and blinds the eyes of the heart with his somber disorders, we can neither discriminate what is for our good, nor achieve spiritual knowledge, nor fulfill our good intentions, nor participate in true life; and our intellect will remain impervious to the contemplation of the true, divine light; for it is written, 'Man's anger does not bring about the righteousness of God' (Jms. 1:20).
The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night color. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.
Autumn. It's crispness, it's anticipation, it's melancholia, it's cool breezes replacing summer's heat. It's long days in the field, a harvest festival when work's done, a cheering crowd in a football stadium, chrysanthemums punctuating a somber landscape. It's Halloween highjinx, pumpkins grinning toothy smiles, the crack of pecan pressed against pecan. It's the first curls of woodsmoke, fresh blisters from pushing a rake. It's crisp and fresh and mellow and snug, solemn and melancholy. And it's very, very welcome.
Good Housekeeping Magazine
I'd heard of Evergreen Care Center before. Cass and I had always made fun of the stupid ads they ran on TV, featuring some dragged-out woman with a limp perm and big, painted-on circles under her eyes, downing vodka and sobbing uncontrollably. "We can't heal you at Evergreen", the very somber voiceover said. "But we can help you to heal yourself." It had become our own running joke, applicable to almost anything. "Hey Cass, "I'd say, "hand me that toothpaste." "Caitlin," she'd say, her voice dark and serious. "I can't hand you the toothpaste. But I CAN help you hand the toothpaste to yourself.
I'd heard of Evergreen Care Center before. Cass and I had always made fun of the stupid ads they ran on TV, featuring some dragged-out woman with a limp perm and big, painted-on circles under her eyes, downing vodka and sobbing uncontrollably. "We can't heal you at Evergreen", the very somber voiceover said. "But we can help you to heal yourself." It had become our own running joke, applicable to almost anything. "Hey Cass, "I'd say, "hand me that toothpaste." "Caitlin, " she'd say, her voice dark and serious. "I can't hand you the toothpaste. But I CAN help you hand the toothpaste to yourself.
It's not that we had no heart or eyes for pain. We were all afraid. We all had our miseries. But to despair was to wish for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable... What was worse, to sit and wait for our own deaths with proper somber faces? Or to choose our own happiness? "So we decided to hold parties and pretend each week had become the new year. Each week we could forget past wrongs done to us. We weren't allowed to think a bad thought. We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told the best stories. And each week we could hope to be lucky. That hope was our only joy. And that's how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck.
The moon had spread over everything a thin layer of silver-over the rank grass, over the mud, upon the wall of matted vegetation standing higher than the wall of a temple, over the great river I could see through a somber gap glittering, glittering, as it flowed broadly by without a murmur. All this was great, expectant, mute, while the man jabbered about himself. I wondered whether the stillness on the face of the immensity looking at us two were meant as an appeal or as a menace. What were we who had strayed in here? Could we handle that dumb thing, or would it handle us? I felt how big, how confoundedly big, was that thing that couldn't talk, and perhaps was deaf as well. What was in there?
America hadn't really been suited for its long and tiresome role as the Last Superpower, the World's Policeman. As a patriotic American, Oscar was quite content to watch other people's military coming home in boxes for a while. The American national character wasn't suited for global police duties. It never had been. Tidy and meticulous people such as the Swiss and the Swedes were the types who made good cops. America was far better suited to be the World's Movie Star. The world's tequila-addled pro-league bowler. The world's acerbic, bipolar stand-up comedian. Anything but a somber and tedious nation of socially responsible centurions.
The sun rose and said to me, 'Be a ray of sunshine for someone today.' The wind nudged at my back and said to me, 'Blow a kiss to someone today.' The rain wet my cheek and said to me, 'Dry a tear on a somber face today.' The soil fed grass at my feet and said to me, 'Add pleasure to a life today.' The ocean washed ashore and said to me, 'Calm the tempest of a troubled soul today.' The mountain trembled and said to me, 'Soften a heart of stone today.' The moon lit the night and said to me, 'Show the way with your simple giving.' So I went and did as they bid me do. And the sun shone brightly on me. And the wind caressed my face. And the rain washed away my stains. And the soil made a rose garden along my path. And the ocean carried me from shore to shore. And the mountain sheltered me from storms. And the moon smiled down on me. I've come to realize I can never give enough to recompense what I get in return.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Tegularius was a willful, moody person who refused to fit into his society. Every so often he would display the liveliness of his intellect. When highly stimulated he could be entrancing; his mordant wit sparkled and he overwhelmed everyone with the audacity and richness of his sometimes somber inspirations. But basically he was incurable, for he did not want to be cured; he cared nothing for co-ordination and a place in the scheme of things. He loved nothing but his freedom, his perpetual student status, and preferred spending his whole life as the unpredictable and obstinate loner, the gifted fool and nihilist, to following the path of subordination to the hierarchy and thus attaining peace. He cared nothing for peace, had no regard for the hierarchy, hardly minded reproof and isolation. Certainly he was a most inconvenient and indigestible component in a community whose idea was harmony and orderliness. But because of this very troublesomeness and indigestibility he was, in the midst of such a limpid and prearranged little world, a constant source of vital unrest, a reproach, an admonition and warning, a spur to new, bold, forbidden, intrepid ideas, an unruly, stubborn sheep in the herd.
Seeing that I would never manage to fall asleep, I arose, lit a candle, and after dressing went outside. Beneath the dull glow of the winter moon the snow glowed like pale blue china. The sidewalks sparkled weakly beneath the rays of the flickering street lamps; the benumbed streets slumbered forlornly. I walked, passing one corner after the other, and suddenly found myself on the edge of town. Further, beyond the square, an endless expanse began to glisten with a somber silverness. I stopped just before the gates. My intent gaze could distinguish nothing in the distant white expanse. Before me rose the imposing bank of the Volga like a gigantic snowdrift. So barren and uninviting was this deserted view resembling eternity that my heart contracted. I turned to the right and approached quite close to the monastery enclosure. From behind the bronze gates, glimmered a dense net of crosses and gravestones. The ancient eyes of the church gazed forbiddingly down on me, and with an eerie feeling I thought of the monks sleeping at this moment in tomb-like cells together with corpses. Were any of them thinking of the hour of death on this night? ("Lamia")
You see that God deems it right to take from me any claim to merit for what you call my devotion to you. I have promised to remain forever with you, and now I could not break my promise if I would. The treasure will be no more mine than yours, and neither of us will quit this prison. But my real treasure is not that, my dear friend, which awaits me beneath the somber rocks of Monte Cristo, it is your presence, our living together five or six hours a day, in spite of our jailers; it is the rays of intelligence you have elicited from my brain, the languages you have implanted in my memory, and which have taken root there with all of their philological ramifications. These different sciences that you have made so easy to me by the depth of the knowledge you possess of them, and the clearness of the principles to which you have reduced them - this is my treasure, my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. Believe me, and take comfort, this is better for me than tons of gold and cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra firma, and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech, - which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever be free, - so fills my whole existence, that the despair to which I was just on the point of yielding when I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; this - this is my fortune - not chimerical, but actual. I owe you my real good, my present happiness; and all the sovereigns of the earth, even Caesar Borgia himself, could not deprive me of this.
We should go back inside, " she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess, " he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa, " he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will, " she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No, " he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...