[... ] without much ardor but quite unmistakably, she was writhing her hips as if she were dancing. When he was very close, he saw' her gaping mouth: she was yawning lengthily, insatiably: the great open hole was rocking gently atop die mechanically dancing body. Jean-Marc thought: she's dancing and she's bored. He reached the seawall: down below, on the beach, he saw men with their heads thrown back releasing kites into the air. They were doing it with passion, and Jean-Marc recalled his old theory: there are three kinds of boredom: passive boredom: the girl dancing and yawning; active boredom: kite-lovers; and rebellious boredom: young people burning cars and smashing shop windows.
It's now or never. This is simple to say, but then to live like that is not easy at all, I'm sorry. You have to be aware enough so that you can see situations as they pass in front of you and be able to catch the instant, whatever it is. Many times, you just don't see the moment when you were yawning and then it's too late.
Perhaps the pleasure one feels in writing is not the infallible test of the literary value of a page; perhaps it is only a secondary state which is often superadded, but the want of which can have no prejudicial effect on it. Perhaps some of the greatest masterpieces were written while yawning.
I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing I had seen in three years. That the sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enought to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again.
If you cannot bear the silence and the darkness, do not go there; if you dislike black night and yawning chasms, never make them your profession. If you fear the sound of water hurrying through crevices toward unknown and mysterious destinations, do not consider it. Seek out the sunshine. It is a simple prescription. Avoid the darkness.
If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent.
Honore de Balzac
If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one ... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent.
Honore de Balzac
Subtly, in the little ways, joy has been leaking out of our lives. The small pleasures of the ordinary day seem almost contemptible, and glance off us lightly...Perhaps it's a good time to reconsider pleasure at its roots. Changing out of wet shoes and socks, for instance. Bathrobes. Yawning and stretching. Real tomatoes.
But should we continue to linger amid a scene so featureless and wild, or venture adown some yawning opening into the abyss beneath, where all is fiery and yet dark,-a solitary hell, without suffering or sin,-we would do well to commit ourselves to the guidance of a living poet of the true faculty,-Thomas Aird and see with his eyes.
It's a fool who thinks that having a kid is a right, which is the biggest crock of fishheads I've ever heard. You have a responsibility, not only to a person but also to a spirit because that's what a child is. A pissing, crying, yawning, giggling, laughing package of spirit that is looking for you to take the lead. It's a heck of a responsibility to look after a spirit.
Politics is clearly a not so happening topic in our young blood. I could clearly see many students yawning. Some might have been discussing the new Shakira video amongst themselves, the one shown on MTV these days. Bloody donkeys, if it was a porno movie featuring an interracial orgy, their eyes might have ogled out and ears might have become sensitive to the oohs and aahs but not for causes of the nation. Hrmpf ... youth power indeed!
Yes, Boss?' Dorcas, the last twenty or thirty years I've been a worthless, no-good parasite.' She yawned again. 'Everybody knows that.' Nevermind the flattery. There comes a time in every man's life when he has to stop being sensible--a time to stand up and be counted--strike a blow for liberty--smite the wicked.' Ummm...' So quit yawning, the time has come.' She glanced down. 'Maybe I had better get dressed.
Robert A. Heinlein
And if she liked and trusted the person who asked, she would add that yes, it was kind of a lot to deal with: her outward affect was bright and capable, and that was no illusion, but equally real was the yawning pit of exhaustion inside her. She just felt so tired sometimes. And because of everything her parents asked of her, she was ashamed of being tired. She could not, would not let the pit swallow her up, as much as she sometimes wanted it to.
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
Unfortunately, being physically equipped to hear has little to do with the actual predilection to listen. Sharing a common tongue does not ensure earnest or successful communication. Missed connections occur among hearing people all the time, splitting open countless minor chasms and yawning gulches, fissures that no vaccine or technilogical advance will ever be able to mend or prevent. That task will always fail to us.
Leah Hager Cohen
Foolish man, what do you bemoan, and what do you fear? Wherever you look there is an end of evils. You see that yawning precipice? It leads to liberty. You see that flood, that river, that well? Liberty houses within them. You see that stunted, parched, and sorry tree? From each branch liberty hangs. Your neck, your throat, your heart are all so many ways of escape from slavery [... ] Do you enquire the road to freedom? You shall find it in every vein of your body.
In America, snobs who wouldn't be seen dead with a lottery ticket play the stock market. We like to gamble. Winning, we have closed our eyes, leapt across the yawning abyss, and landed knee-deep in daisies. Even losing has a certain gloomy glamour: the gods of chance are worthy opponents; we have engaged them in hand-to-hand combat and though we lost, at least we shrank not from the contest.
We live in an era when established values are no longer valid, when prodigious discoveries are being made every year, when catastrophes of unbelievable proportions occur weekly. In ancient Greek the word "chaos" means "gaping void" or "yawning emptiness." The most effective response to the chaos in our lives is the creation of new forms of literature, music, poetry, art and cinema.
You grieve at first. And then slowly, with the yawning of the years, the disappeared gets scraped from your memory, the way your flesh can be peeled from your limbs. It's very harsh and extremely painful. But it gets done, square inch-by-square inch. Until, the skin that is your memory gets completely scarred and numbed. You live. The disappeared is detached from the dermis of remembering. And that is what is known as moving on.
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza The Unlamented
What a position of transcendent horror must that be, where the perpetrator of a great crime, till then a stranger to positive guilt, finds himself suddenly cut off, and forever, from all human sympathy, isolated from hope, the tenant of a solitary cell, and with a wide, impassable gulf yawning between him and that great brotherhood of which he has ceased to be a part--no longer regarded as a man, but as a monster in the shape of one, from whom Mercy herself turns away, and for whom Pity even has no tears!
Christian Nestell Bovee
And they heard the roaring thunder of a third brilliantly lighted express. "Are they pursuing the first travelers?" demanded the little prince. "They are pursuing nothing at all," said the switchman. "They are asleep in there, or if they are not asleep they are yawning. Only the children are flattening their noses against the windowpanes." "Only the children know what they are looking for," said the little prince. "They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry..." "They are lucky," the switchman said.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
I've never understood it, ' continued Wilfred Carr, yawning. 'It's not in my line at all; I never had enough money for my own wants, let alone for two. Perhaps if I were as rich as you or Croesus I might regard it differently.' There was just sufficient meaning in the latter part of the remark for his cousin to forbear to reply to it. He continued to gaze out of the window and to smoke slowly. 'Not being as rich as Croesus - or you, ' resumed Carr, regarding him from beneath lowered lids, 'I paddle my own canoe down the stream of Time, and, tying it to my friends' doorposts, go in to eat their dinners.' ("The Well")
It would have been better to do what everyone else does, neither taking life too seriously nor seeing it as merely grotesque, choosing a profession and practicing it, grabbing one's share of the common cake, eating it and saying, "It's delicious!" rather than following the gloomy path that I have trodden all alone; then I wouldn't be here writing this, or at least it would have been a different story. The further I proceed with it, the more confused it seems even to me, like hazy prospects seen from too far away, since everything passes, even the memory of our most scalding tears and our heartiest laughter; our eyes soon dry, our mouths resume their habitual shape; the only memory that remains to me is that of a long tedious time that lasted for several winters, spent in yawning and wishing I were dead
YO 6 O'CLOCK EVERY MORNING YOU WAKING UP YAWNING TO THE SOUND OF YOUR ALARM CLOCK ALARM ABOUT AN HOUR FROM NOW YOU SHOULD BE AT THE PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT WHICH IS ANNOYING CAUSE IT'S SO BORING YOUR CO-WORKERS ARE TALKING TOO LOUD FOR YOU TO IGNORE THEM IT AFFECTS YOUR OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE YOU WONDER WHY YOUR WORK LOAD IS SO ENORMOUS BECAUSE YOUR BOSS JUST LAID OFF THREE QUARTERS OF THE WHOLE OFFICE PEOPLE GET DEPRESSED, THEY GET ULCERS FROM THE STRESS THAT THE CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT CAUSES REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU ULTIMATELY WANNA SOLVE THIS SEEMS TO ME LIKE YOU'VE GOT ONE OF FOUR CHOICES: YOU COULD TAKE A NEW JOB OFFER FOR MORE CHIPS STICK IT OUT A LITTLE LONGER OR FORFEIT BUT MY ADVICE TO ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO QUIT IT'LL FEEL MUCH BETTER IF YOU SAY IT LIKE THIS:
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.
Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time. ~The Kreutzer Sonata
Leela: Why are we listening to them? It is a waste of time. The Doctor; It is difficult to know what will be a waste of time until after the time has been wasted, by which time it is too late. So predicting what will be a waste of time is something of a waste of time. Unless it gives you pleasure of course when it probably doesn't count as a waste of time. Leela (yawning): I am sorry I did not hear what you said, Doctor. The Doctor (smiling): That was a waste of time then.
When you listen to radio you are a witness of the everlasting war between idea and appearance, between time and eternity, between the human and the divine. Exactly, my dear sir, as the radio for ten minutes together projects the most lovely music ithout regard into the most impossible places, into respectable drawing rooms and attics and into the midst of chattering, guzzling, yawning and sleeping listeners, and exactly as it strips this music of its sensuous beauty, spoils and scratches and beslims it and yet cannot altogether destroy its spirit, just so does life, the so-called reality, deal with the sublime picture-play of the world and make a hurley-burley of it.
I erupt from the dark, crushing tunnel into a flash of light and noise. A new kind of air surrounds me, dry and cold, as they wipe the last smears of home off my skin. I feel a sharp pain as they snip something, and suddenly I am less. I am no one but myself, tiny and feeble and utterly alone. I am lifted and swungthrough great heights across yawning distances, and given to Her. She wraps around me, so much bigger and softer than I ever imagined from inside, and I strain my eyes open. I see Her. She is immense, cosmic. She is the world. The world smiles down on me, and when She speaks it's the voice of God, vast and resonant with meaning, but words unknowable, ringing gibberish in my blank white mind.
Ennui Tea leaves thwart those who court catastrophe, designing futures where nothing will occur: cross the gypsy's palm and yawning she will still predict no perils left to conquer. Jeopardy is jejune now: naive knight finds ogres out-of-date and dragons unheard of, while blase princesses indict tilts at terror as downright absurd. The beast in Jamesian grove will never jump, compelling hero's dull career to crisis; and when insouciant angels play God's trump, while bored arena crowds for once look eager, hoping toward havoc, neither pleas nor prizes shall coax from doom's blank door lady or tiger.
I came to regard my body in a new light. For the first time I apprehended the little mounds on my chest as teats for the suckling of young, and their physical resemblance to udders on cows or the swinging distensions on lactating hounds was suddenly unavoidable. Funny how even women forget what breasts are for. The cleft between my legs transformed as well. It lost a certain outrageousness, an obscenity, or achieved an obscenity of a different sort. The flaps seemed to open not to a narrow, snug dead end, but to something yawning. The passageway itself became a route to somewhere else, a real place, and not merely to a darkness in my mind. The twist of flesh in front took on a devious aspect, its inclusion overtly ulterior, a tempter, a sweetener for doing the species' heavy lifting, like the lollipops I once got at the dentist.
There is a wide yawning black infinity. In every direction the extension is endless, the sensation of depth is overwhelming. And the darkness is immortal. Where light exists, it is pure, blazing, fierce; but light exists almost nowhere, and the blackness itself is also pure and blazing and fierce. But most of all, there is very nearly nothing in the dark; except for little bits here and there, often associated with the light, this infinite receptacle is empty. This picture is strangely frightening. It should be familiar. It is our universe. Even these stars, which seem so numerous, are, as sand, as dust, or less than dust, in the enormity of the space in which there is nothing. Nothing! We are not without empathetic terror when we open Pascal's Pensees and read, 'I am the great silent spaces between worlds.' [From an undated, handwritten piece of text from the early 1950s which Sagan wrote when he was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago]
Well, ' I said. 'I could strip off my clothes and reveal to you that under my jeans and sweatshirt I'm actually wearing a tank top and short-shorts, much like Lara Croft from Tomb Raider... only mine are flame-retardant and covered in glow-in-the-dark dinosaur stickers.' No one stirred. Not even Christopher, who actually has a thing for Lara Croft. 'I know what you're thinking, ' I went on. 'Glow-in-the-dark dinosaur stickers are so last year. But I think they add a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole ensemble. It's true, short-shorts are uncomfortable under jeans and hard to get off in the ladies' room, but they make the twin thigh-holsters in which I hold my high-caliber pistols so easy to get to... ' The oven timer dinged. 'Thank you, Em, ' Mr. Greer said, yawning. 'That was very persuasive.
But, said Lewis, myths are lies, even though lies breathed through silver. No, said Tolkien, they are not... just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth. We have come from God (continued Tolkien), and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil. You mean, asked Lewis, that the story of Christ is simply a true myth, a myth that works on us in the same way as the others, but a myth that really happened? In that case, he said, I begin to understand.
Bad lovers face to face in the morning Shy apologies and polite regrets Slow dances that left no warning of Outraged glances and indiscreet yawning Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere Even presidents have newspaper lovers Ministers go crawling under covers She's no angel He's no saint They're all covered up with white washed grease paint And you say... Chorus: The teacher never told you anything but white lies But you never see the lies And you believe Oh you know you have been captured You feel so civilized And you look so pretty in your new lace sleeves The salty lips of the socialite sisters With their continental fingers that have never seen working blisters Oh I know they've got their problems I wish I was one of them They say daddy's coming home soon With his sergeant stripes and his Empire mug and spoon No more fast buck And when are they gonna learn their lesson When are they gonna stop all of these victory processions And you say...
I like the disaster of the night sky, stars spilling this way and that as if they were upturned from a glass. I like the way good madness feels. I like the way laughter always spills. That's the word for it. It never just comes, it spills. I like the word 'again'. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. I like the quiet sound a coffee cup makes when it's set down on a wooden table. So hushed. So inviting. Like morning light yawning through the window and stretching out onto the kitchen floor. I like the way girls' lips look like they're stained with berries. I like the way morning light breaks like a prism through the empty wine bottles on our dusty apartment floor. Glasses empty except for the midnight hour. I like the way blueberries stain my fingers during the summer. I like the way light hits your eyes and turns it into a color that doesn't exist anywhere else other than in this moment. I want it all. I want the breeze to call my name as it rushes down my street, looking for me. I want to feel grass underneath my bare feet and I want to feel the sun kiss freckles onto my cheeks. I want to hear you yell hello as you make your way towards me, not goodbye as you have to go. That's just a little bit about me.
Where are you taking me?' Andrew demanded, whirling on the Ferryman. His muscles tensed, hands curling in and out of fists. 'To my master.' The voice was ghostly, whispers of black ash and death, words cold and detached. He had an idea who that was but asked anyway: 'And who is your master?' No answer came. Andrew's insatiable rage rose up and swallowed his grief like a yawning ocean mouth, the darkest depths surging to the surface to form a mighty tidal wave. He closed the distance and seized the Ferryman's gaunt wrist. There was no substance, no life beneath the cloak. The Ferryman slowly turned his hooded head, and Andrew found himself looking into the black hole of a self-contained night. The olfactory of decay was a punch in the face. Andrew released the Ferryman's wrist and hastily stepped back, rocking the boat as he put distance between him and the unnatural wind spilling from the gaping orifice. Andrew shivered, the tiny hairs on his neck saluting. The cloaked head faced forward again, and the wind died away.
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting. I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again. In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating-what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy. I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain. Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
My Floating Sea" "Pastel colors reflect in my opening eyes and draw my gaze to a horizon where the waters both begin and end. This early in the day I can easily stare without blinking. The pale sea appears calm, but it is stormy just as often. I awe at the grandeur, how it expands beyond my sight to immeasurable depths. In every direction that I twist my neck, a beauteous blue is there to console me. Flowing, floating ribbons of mist form on these pale waters. In harmony they pirouette, creating a stretch of attractive, soft swirls. Swoosh! The wind, its strength in eddies and twisters, smears the art of dancing clouds, and the white disperses like startled fairies fleeing into the forest. Suddenly all is brilliant blue. The waters calm and clear. It warms me. Pleases me. Forces my eyes to close at such vast radiance. My day is spent surrounded by this ethereal sea, but soon enough the light in its belly subsides. Rich colors draw my gaze to the opposite horizon where the waters both begin and end. I watch the colors bleed and deepen. They fade into black. Yawning, I cast my eyes at tiny gleams of life that drift within the darkened waters. I extend my reach as if I could will my arm to stretch the expanse between me and eons. How I would love to brush a finger over a ray of living light; but I know I cannot. Distance deceives me. These little breathing lights floating in blackness would truly reduce me to the tiniest size, like a mountain stands majestic over a single wild flower. I am overwhelmed by it all and stare up, in love with the floating sea above my head.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliche (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliche upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.