How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.
How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it two when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.
Monch was on no simple retreat. The journey he had plotted for himself was much longer, and took him many buckets away from Appollon to Angarr's Sorrow, the land of fetid bogs in southeastern Sarthiss. This was a world far away from everything he knew... from everyone he knew. Granted, the list of people he knew was exceptionally short, especially since Monch was horrible with names and only slightly less horrible with faces. Regardless, he did not wish to accidentally advertise his inexperience to anyone he might possibly know, which is why he travelled so far afield. There were ruins in the swamps, ruins hidden under years of neglect and heavy with decay. Things lurked in those ruins, inhuman beasts with forbidden hungers. He intended to use the dangers of the swamps as the whetstone that would hone his abilities to a razor-keen edge. Monch would test his blade against and come back all the stronger... or dead. No... that wasn't right. Given the fact that he was immortal, death really wasn't an option. So then, he would come back stronger... or something something horrible. Monch decided to fill in those particular details later on, when he had time to ponder his autobiography at length. He would tidy up that particular idiom later.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.
But the future is unknown, and stands before a man like autumnal fogs rising from the swamps; birds fly foolishly up and down in it with flapping wings, never recognizing each other, the dove seeing not the vulture, nor the vulture the dove, and no one knowing how far he may be flying from destruction.
We cannot enter into alliance with neighbouring princes until we are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country - its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps. We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless we make use of local guides.
Swamps where cedars grow and turtles wait on logs but not for anything in particular; fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still; orchards so old they have forgotten where the farmhouse is. In the north I have eaten my lunch in pastures rank with ferns and junipers, all under fair skies with a wind blowing.
Words may be either the servants or masters. If the former they may safely guide us in the way of truth. If the latter they intoxicate the brain and lead into swamps of thought where there is no solid footing. Among the sources of those innumerable calamities which from age to age have overwhelmed mankind, may be reckoned as one of the principal, the abuse of words.
the values ascribed to the Indian will depend on what the white writer feels about Nature, and America has always had mixed feelings about that. At one end of the spectrum is Thoreau, wishing to immerse himself in swamps for the positive vibrations; at the other end is Benjamin Franklin, who didn't like Nature. [p.91]
the mangrove killfish, lives in South American and southern US coastal swamps that can either dry up or become so toxic that the fish has to find refuge in the mud or by flipping and jumping across land. Amazingly, its skin and gills change so the killfish can breathe air and survive out of the water for as long as ten weeks.
You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they're not living, breathing people any more. It's not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you, and makes you want to cry in the wrong places, and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It's just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don't know. It's like you become ... a doughnut instead of a bun
She leaned her uninjured shoulder against his plump, furry behind and shoved while she bitched to herself, "Four years at the military academy, two years at Kansas State University, survival camp in the swamps of Alabama, more schooling in Florida, and then torture endurance training with the Mossad and all so I could heave a bear's ass into a helicopter. Unfreaking real.
There are, forever, swamps to be drained, cities to be created, mines to be exploited, children to be fed ... But the conquest of the physical world is not man's only duty. He is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself. The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through vast forests, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.
James A. Baldwin
To love a swamp, however, is to love what is muted and marginal, what exists in the shadows, what shoulders its way out of mud and scurries along the damp edges of what is most commonly praised. And sometimes its invisibility is a blessing. Swamps and bogs are places of transition and wild growth, breeding grounds, experimental labs where organisms and ideas have the luxury of being out of the spotlight, where the imagination can mutate and mate, send tendrils into and out of the water.
Out of the choked Devonian waters emerged sight and sound and the music that rolls invisible through the composer's brain. They are there still in the ooze along the tideline, though no one notices. The world is fixed, we say: fish in the sea, birds in the air. But in the mangrove swamps by the Niger, fish climb trees and ogle uneasy naturalists who try unsuccessfully to chase them back to the water. There are things still coming ashore.
Wisdom: The first error is that of the southern people, and it consists in holding that these eastern and western places are real places. ... give no quarter to that thought, whether it threatens you with fear, or tempts you with hopes. For this is Superstition and all who believe it will come in the end to the swamps to the south and the jungles to the far south. Part of the same error is to think that the Landlord is a real man
C. S. Lewis
As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
William S. Burroughs
This is a unique aquarium in that a large portion of its collection features freshwater species, and it specializes in fish, amphibians and reptiles from the southwestern part of the country. The River Journey exhibit transports visitors from the Appalachian highlands through ponds, rivers and swamps, all the way to the seacoast. The recently added Ocean Journey exhibit allows visitors to sample a variety of saltwater environments.
The physical domain of the country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also. And from the study of things underfoot, and from reading and thinking, came a kind of exploration, myself and the land. In time the two became one in my mind. With the gathering force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I faced in myself a passionate and tenacious longing--- to put away thought forever, and all the trouble it brings, all but the nearest desire, direct and searching.
As a rule, you see, I'm not lugged into Family Rows. On the occasions when Aunt is calling Aunt like mastodons bellowing across premieval swamps and Uncle James's letter about Cousin Mabel's peculiar behaviour is being shot round the family circle ('Please read this carefully and send it on Jane') the clan has a tendency to ignore me. It's one of the advantages I get from being a bachelor - and, according to my nearest and dearest, practically a half-witted bachelor at that.
P. G. Wodehouse
He almost danced to the fridge, found the three least hairy things in it, put them on a plate and watched them intently for two minutes. Since they made no attempt to move within that time he called them breakfast and ate them. Between them they killed a virulent space disease he'd picked up without knowing it in the Flargathon Gas Swamps a few days earlier, which otherwise would have killed off half the population of the Western Hemisphere, blinded the other half, and driven everyone else psychotic and sterile, so the Earth was lucky there.
As a believer, I know that Jesus Christ has a plan and it's not going to be my plan. It's not always succeeding and looking back it's amazing looking back to see how God works in mysterious ways, not always good ways, rough ways but those rough times, those rough patches, and those swamps and all those things that I went through are looking back, were such an incredible life lessons for me not only to shape and build me as an athlete but most importantly, my character as a person.
The elegant and beautiful Lotus flower must toil through the mud and mire of murky swamps and shadowy waters of darkness before it can finally bloom. Above the fray of struggle yet firmly rooted in rugged beginnings, it ultimately lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sun of triumph. So no matter what you've endured or where you come from... you are no different and no less beautiful. There is simply no greater beauty than when a flower blossoms despite its tough and humble beginnings. ~Jason Versey
With calm, knowledgeable precision, Daniel Ziblatt wades into the adjacent swamps of federalism and nineteenth-century European history, emerging with hands full of gems. Beneath the tangle of great statesmen and national culture he discovers conflicting regional political interests, sharp regional variations in political capacity, fearful defenses against excessive democracy, coercive conquest of weak states, and unintended consequences galore. Read, think, and learn.
She said, "Daddy thinks that all the world's magic is almost evolved out." I thought of Roebuck Lake, its swamps and sloughs and loblollies and breaks of cypress and cane, its sunken treetops and stobs and bream beds and sleepy gar rolling over and over and over, its baptizing pools and bridges and mussels and mosquitoes and turkey vultures and, now in the drought, the gray flaking mud-flats and logs crowded with turtles and sometimes a fat snake yawning its tame old cottony mouth like a well-fed dog in a pen. I said, "Is that what the freak show is?" She said, "Dirty miracles.
The funny thing about my procrastination was that I was almost done with the screenplay. I was like a person who had fought dragons and lost limbs and crawled through swamps and now, finally, the castle was visible. I could see tiny children waving flags on the balcony; all I had to do was walk across a field to get to them. But all of a sudden I was very, very sleepy. And the children couldn't believe their eyes as I folded down to my knees and fell to the ground face-first, with my eyes open. Motionless, I watched ants hurry in and out of a hole and I knew that standing up again would be a thousand times harder than the dragon or the swamp and so I did not even try. I just clicked on one thing after another after another.
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are at its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of people be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved integrity. Do not lose your knowledge that our proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it's yours.
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.
I mean, in the last few months alone, I've been pinned in a big set of white-water rapids, been bitten by an angry snake in a jungle, had a close escapewith a big mountain rockfall, narrowly avoided being eaten by a huge croc in the Australian swamps, and had to cut away from my main parachute and come down on my reserve, some five thousand feet above the Arctic plateau. When did all this craziness become my world? It's as if - almost accidentally - this madness had become my life. And don't get me wrong - I love it all. The game, though, now, is to hang on to that life. Every day is the most wonderful of blessings, and a gift that I never, ever take for granted. Oh, and as for the scars, broken bones, aching limbs and sore back? I consider them just gentle reminders that life is precious - and that maybe, just maybe, I am more fragile than I dare to admit.
APPROACH Rain is falling. Winter approaches. I drive towards it. In the slow rain. In the semi-darkness. Cello music is playing in the car. The deep sad sound of the cello. It almost swamps me. Routine endeavours to swamp me. The everyday paying of bills. But I paint men walking in a city of icebergs and crystal. Some of the icebergs are red. I paint a woman swimming in green wavy water. Surrounded by desert mesas. Bright orange in the sunlight. With darker orange for shadows. I paint two people. With purple and pink and yellow and blue circles overlapping the boundaries of their bodies. Dancing. Life is not ordinary. When I see you tonight I will press my lips to your eyelids. Each one in turn. I will rub my fingertips over the skin on the back of your hands and around your wrists. I will sigh. I will growl. I will whinny. I will gallop into your smile. One sharp foot after the other.
At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world's word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does utter a peep - just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don't do it. There is a vibrancy to the silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life's length to listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression: instead, it is all there is.
No matter what a person does to cover up and conceal themselves, when we write and lose control, I can spot a person from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina a mile away even if they make no exact reference to location. Their words are lush like the land they come from, filled with nine aunties, people named Bubba. There is something extravagant and wild about what they have to say - snakes on the roof of a car, swamps, a delta, sweat, the smell of sea, buzz of an air conditioner, Coca-Cola - something fertile, with a hidden danger or shame, thick like the humidity, unspoken yet ever-present. Often when a southerner reads, the members of the class look at each other, and you can hear them thinking, gee, I can't write like that. The power and force of the land is heard in the piece. These southerners know the names of what shrubs hang over what creek, what dogwood flowers bloom what color, what kind of soil is under their feet. I tease the class, "Pay no mind. It's the southern writing gene. The rest of us have to toil away.
By 2030, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, fish farming will dominate fish supplies. Given how wrong the FAO has been in the past-saying catches were going up when, in fact, they were going down-this statement is worth examining carefully. When you do, you find it to be an observation of previous trends, not a reflection of what could happen or what people might want-in the same way as Red Delicious was once far and away the most popular apple in the United States because it was basically the only apple you could get. The FAO is simply observing that fish farming is the fastest growing form of food production in the world-growing at 9 percent a year and by 12-13 percent in the United States. Nobody is asking us whether we want this. It is just happening. The continued destruction of mangrove swamps in poor countries to provide shrimp for people living in rich countries is simply the market operating in a vacuum untroubled by ethics. It is a reflection of what will go on happening if we do not find ways of exercising any choice in the matter.
The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon, and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared. Soon, however, they too began to pale before a splendour in the east, and the advent of the dawn declared itself in the newborn blue of heaven. Quieter and yet more quiet grew the sea, quiet as the soft mist that brooded on her bosom, and covered up her troubling, as in our tempestuous life the transitory wreaths of sleep brook upon a pain-racked soul, causing it to forget its sorrow. From the east to the west sped those angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light from breast and wing. On they sped out of the darkness, perfect, glorious; on, over the quiet sea, over the low coast-line, and the swamps beyond, and the mountains above them; over those who slept in peace and those who woke in sorrow; over the evil and the good; over the living and the dead; over the wide world and all that breathes or as breathed thereon.
H. Rider Haggard
[..]Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species." Yes? Why is that?" Because it means the end of innovation, " Malcolm said. "This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behaviour. We innovate new behaviour to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. [..]