In a bull market, one must avoid the error of the preening duck that quacks boastfully after a torrential rainstorm, thinking that its paddling skills have caused it to rise in the world. A right-thinking duck would instead compare its position after the downpour to that of the other ducks on the pond.
The greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are unable to reimagine our lives differently from what they are right now. We hold on desperately to the status quo, afraid that if we let go, we will be swept away by the torrential undercurrents of our emptiness.
There was a time in our lives when we were so close that nothing seemed to obstruct our friendship and brotherhood, and only a small footbridge separated us. Just as you were about to step on it, I asked you "Do you want to cross the footbridge to me?" - Immediately you did not want to anymore; and when I asked you again you remained silent. Since then mountains and torrential rivers and whatever separates and alienates have been cast between us, and even if we wanted to get together, we couldn't. But when you now think of that little footbridge, words fail you and you sob and marvel.
Irvin D. Yalom
...trust in Creation which is made fresh daily and doesn't suffer in translation. This God does not work in especially mysterious ways. The sun here rises and sets at six exactly. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly. A bird raises its brood in the forest and a greenheart tree will only grow from a greenheart seed. He brings drought sometimes followed by torrential rains and if these things aren't always what I had in mind, they aren't my punishment either. They're rewards, let's say for the patience of a seed.
If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through that shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
From Flood, Flash, and Pheromones-coming soon: In the torrential downpour with water swirling that threatened to pull her down, she didn't see the voice's owner. The hurricane had blessed the entire city with a surprise drenching. All weather reports had predicted it to pass over with sporadic rainfall but that didn't happen. The storm settled over Houston as if it had no intention to move on. Cassie flailed in panic as the roof of her car disappeared under the water twenty feet beyond. She prayed once more that the container in it was watertight. And that she'd see her car again. Then she concentrated on living. Where had the voice come from?
Shelley K. Wall
February. Get ink, shed tears. Write of it, sob your heart out, sing, While torrential slush that roars Burns in the blackness of the spring. Go hire a buggy. For six grivnas, Race through the noice of bells and wheels To where the ink and all you grieving Are muffled when the rainshower falls. To where, like pears burnt black as charcoal, A myriad rooks, plucked from the trees, Fall down into the puddles, hurl Dry sadness deep into the eyes. Below, the wet black earth shows through, With sudden cries the wind is pitted, The more haphazard, the more true The poetry that sobs its heart out.
He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.
Two monks were once travelling together down a wet and muddy road. The rain was torrential, making it almost impossible to walk along the path. As the two men were trudging along, a beautiful girl dressed in silk appeared. She was unable to cross the path and looked distressed. 'Let me help you', said the older monk. He picked her up and carried her over the mud. His younger male companion did not utter a word that night until they reached their lodging temple. Then after hours of restrained conversation, the younger monk exclaimed: 'We monks do not touch females; it is too tempting for us and can create a bad outcome'. The older monk looked into the younger monks eyes and said, 'I left the girl on the road. Are you still carrying her?' This ancient Zen story illustrates beautifully how so many of us are trapped in the habit of constantly 're-living' the past in our minds, thus dishonouring the present moment. The young monk wasted hours distressing himself with judgment, speculation, anxiety, resentment and ultimately self-perpetuated unhappiness as a direct result of not being mindful.
The evening was a string of miserable minutes strung together in tiny clusters. Three minutes for a man shot through the shoulder; Ellis put first a finger in the entry wound and then another in the exit and when his fingers touched, he decided the man was only lightly injured and didn't need a surgeon. Three minutes to set a broken wrist and splint it with a strip of cowhide and a piece of wood from a sycamore tree. Two minutes to tourniquet a leg, then extract a piece of wire deep in the meat of it. A minute to peek under a pink, saturated bandage several inches below a slender belly button; he saw thin, red water leaking from a hole and smelled urine, knew the ball had breached the bladder. It would either heal or it wouldn't, but nothing to do about it so he set the soul aside, a case not to be operated upon. He turned a man's head looking for the source of a trickle of blood and had ten terrible minutes trying to stop torrential bleeding from under his clavicle; frantic moments during which he could get neither a finger nor a clamp around the pulsating source. All bleeding stops eventually though, and the case did not violate the rule. He took two minutes to settle his own breathing, then four minutes sewing a torn scalp, and half a minute saying a prayer over a fat, cigar-shaped dead man. After awhile, he had the impression he wasn't seeing men, but parts-an exploded chest, a blood swolled thigh, a busted jaw with its teeth spat to the wind or swallowed. It was more than a man could take and a lot less than there was to be seen.
The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows. You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity. If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?