NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
8 Carlos Ruiz Zaf n
5 Steve Jobs
5 Anton Chekhov
4 Caitlin Doughty
4 Albert Camus
3 Terry Pratchett
3 Nassim Nicholas Taleb
3 Jessica Sorensen
3 J D Salinger
3 Israelmore Ayivor
3 Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3 Barry Eisler
2 William Maxwell
2 Philip Roth
2 Meg Cabot
2 Markus Zusak
2 Margaret Atwood
2 Malcolm X
2 Louise Erdrich
2 Lesley Kagen
2 Lauren Kate
2 Joseph Heller
2 John Scalzi
2 James Joyce
2 Italo Calvino
2 E Jamie
2 David Herbert Lawrence
2 Cornell Woolrich
2 Conrad Potter Aiken
2 Brigid Kemmerer
2 Babe Ruth
2 A G Howard
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:A crazy man finishes in the cemetery. ~ Juan Manuel Fangio,
2:No fruit on earth can rival the cemetery's crop ~ Jose Marti,
3:The cemetery is full of indispensable people. ~ Winston Churchill,
4:The cemetery is filled with indispensable men. ~ Charles de Gaulle,
5:Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. ~ Steve Jobs,
6:Alicia, welcome back to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
7:the cemetery is the home of those who are not here, come in. ~ Italo Calvino,
8:Losing my homies in a hurry, they're relocating to the cemetery. ~ Tupac Shakur,
9:You're going to the cemetery with your toothbrush. How Egyptian ~ Robin Williams,
10:I've never seen a Brink's truck follow a hearse to the cemetery. ~ Barbara Hutton,
11:Ignatius B. Samson, welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
12:While you are living, part of you has slipped away to the cemetery. ~ Elizabeth Hardwick,
13:If it wasn't for baseball, I'd be in either the penitentiary or the cemetery. ~ Babe Ruth,
14:They were dreamers—and they dreamt themselves into the cemetery. ~ Mary Elizabeth Braddon,
15:The cemetery’s full of irreplaceable people, as Einar Forde once said. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
16:The gloaming that closed over us the cemetery had crawled inside his skin. ~ Laurie Halse Anderson,
17:The cemetery is full of people who thought they could change themselves tomorrow. ~ Boonaa Mohammed,
18:Left love behind many years ago. Now it rests under a cross in the cemetery in Tombstone. ~ Franco Nero,
19:The cemetery is where a young hustla go to retire, and prison is where he goes to grow old. ~ Nikki Turner,
20:The wing of the Falcon brings to the king, the wing if the crow brings him to the cemetery. ~ Muhammad Iqbal,
21:The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones. ~ Emile Zola,
22:The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones. ~ mile Zola,
23:The silence of death, of the cemetery, was no punishment, but a reward for a life well lived. ~ Caitlin Doughty,
24:I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
25:I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
26:People, I realized, were what I valued, and I saw no point in being the richest man in the cemetery. ~ Peter F Drucker,
27:Why not rise from the grave and terrorize a little instead of staying buried and dead in the cemetery? ~ Daniel Handler,
28:Whoever this man was, he seemed to have less life than anyone in the cemetery. Above or below ground. ~ Anthony Horowitz,
29:He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~ Harold Wilson,
30:I realised how rich I had become and I asked myself, 'Do I really want to be the richest person in the cemetery? ~ David Rubenstein,
31:I can't count how many of my friends are in the cemetery at Normandy, the heroes are still there, the real heroes. ~ Charles Durning,
32:Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. ~ Malcolm X,
33:I think the world's a better place because Bill realized that his goal isn't to be the richest guy in the cemetery, right? ~ Steve Jobs,
34:So many people spend their lives chasing money and end up as the richest men in the cemetery. I don't want to be like that. ~ Ross Perot,
35:When I was a kid, everybody in the neighborhood picked me to be the one in jail or be in the cemetery by the time I was 20. ~ Bo Jackson,
36:For me those enchanted pages will always be the ones I found among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
37:And far away, in the room that stretched like a bridge to a nameless town, her brother, Werner, played in the cemetery snow. ~ Markus Zusak,
38:The cemetery is my sense of comfort, my sanctuary in a world of darkness, the one piece of light that i have in my life. ~ Jessica Sorensen,
39:I'll take the cemetery," Kane said. He didn't sound excited. Rather, he sounded resigned. "The club might collapse if I go. ~ Gena Showalter,
40:The wealthiest place on the planet is the cemetery, because it’s filled with brilliant ideas, potential, all wasted.” - Tony Robbins ~ Peter Voogd,
41:The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn. ~ Pope John Paul II,
42:We think that a powerful and vigorous movement is impossible without differences - "true conformity" is possible only in the cemetery. ~ Joseph Stalin,
43:the cemetery was the equivalent of the drawer marked MISC, where people were interred in the glorious expectation of nothing very much. ~ Terry Pratchett,
44:You cannot go to the cemetery and ask to be enlightened on matters of this kind, though it would ease my mind considerably if you could. ~ William Maxwell,
45:There was only the cemetery itself, spread out in the moonlight like a soft grey hallucination, a stony wilderness of Victorian melancholy. ~ Audrey Niffenegger,
46:Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me. ~ Steve Jobs,
47:Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me. ~ Steve Jobs,
48:The cemetery, my dear. The repository of the deceased. The tomb … the vault … the crypt … the resting place … the ossuary. Dig? Boot Hill, baby.” Pamela ~ Rod Serling,
49:When people asked about Hush Arbor, this was the place they meant: the cemetery, the old houses, the hanging tree. Few understood how large it really was. ~ John Hart,
50:I've got too many of my friends that retired and went home and got on a rocking chair, and about a year and a half later, I'm always going to the cemetery. ~ Red Adair,
51:The world of men and women are making merry in the cemetery grounds. They are having sexual intercourse, God bless them, and I am alone in the Land of Fuck. ~ Henry Miller,
52:And as I watched the car pull away toward the cemetery, the little white funeral flag waving good-bye, I felt blessed to be breathing, to have my heart beating. ~ Lesley Kagen,
53:Stupid bitch,' Tori muttered. 'oh let's take the necromancer with the superpowers to the cemetery. Of course you aren't going to raise the dead, you silly girl. ~ Kelley Armstrong,
54:Calzada de Calatrava, as Almadovar's brother once put it, 'is the sort of place where people spend their whole life saving for a decent gravestone in the cemetery. ~ Giles Tremlett,
55:When loneliness mastered him he would go up to the cemetery...The rest of his time was taken up with a liturgy of habits that succeeded in warding off sadness. ~ Alessandro Baricco,
56:Are you kidding me? Where else is it that you think I’m going to try and take us? McDonalds? Walmart? Oh, wait a minute, I do need to make a quick stop by the cemetery. ~ Jessica Sorensen,
57:The present was enough, though my work in the cemetery told me every day what happens when you let an unsatisfactory present go on long enough: it becomes your entire history. ~ Louise Erdrich,
58:You plan to rob the world of its treasures if you decide to die with your potentials unleashed! The world needs your leadership influence; don’t take it raw to the cemetery! ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
59:A couple of the old ladies sat down on the bench near the fountain and the bronze washerwoman. Others had ambled into the cemetery—to check out the accommodations, Tyler guessed. ~ Thomas Olde Heuvelt,
60:The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a metaphor, not just for books but for ideas, for language, for knowledge, for beauty, for all the things that make us human, for collecting memory ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
61:We lay on the grass beside the cemetery fence, kissing and shivering. Her teeth started to chatter and I pulled her against me, which made me feel like a superhero for no apparent reason. ~ Brenna Yovanoff,
62:The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley,
63:Well, let me tell you, ants are the dominant insects. They make up as much as a quarter of the biomass of all insects in the world. They are the principal predators. They're the cemetery workers. ~ E O Wilson,
64:My uncle Jimmy took liver salts twice a day for 40 years. He died on Sunday, was buried Wednesday and the following Friday they had to go to the cemetery to beat his liver to death with a stick. ~ Frank Carson,
65:If your trust is in man, your joy will soon be buried in the cemetery. If you hope is in cars, your happiness will soon be found in the mechanic shop. You are missing it if man is your hope. ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
66:My mother, God rest her soul, often warned that love closes your eyes, but marriage opens them wide. I am not sure if this is fair. Closeness without conflict, as they say, exists only in the cemetery. ~ Jacob M Appel,
67:I am surprised that many people disregard the fact that the end for almost all drug dealers ends up being the cemetery or the jail cell, we do not know of any case where a drug dealer has "retired" ~ Juan Pablo Escobar,
68:The beauty of the twentieth century is the charm of the hospital, the grace of the cemetery, of consumption and emaciation. I admit that I have submitted to it all; worse, I have loved with all my heart. ~ Jean Lorrain,
69:got up to fetch a glass of water and, assuming I’d missed the train to sleep, I went up to the study, opened the drawer in my desk and pulled out the book I had rescued from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
70:Some people are murderers of their own gifts. They wait and see their dreams suffer from deficiency of actions. The end result is that the world is robbed as they baggage their dead dreams for the cemetery! ~ Israelmore Ayivor,
71:Though man's feeling for the other-worldly often has recourse to solitude, solitude does not foster its development; rather, it is nourished by communion, to which the church is more propitious than the cemetery. ~ Andre Malraux,
72:For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive. ~ John Scalzi,
73:And so to be afraid of entering the cemetery by night was to fear not the loving ancestors who lay buried, but the gut kick of our history, which I was bracing to absorb. The old cemetery was filled with its complications. ~ Louise Erdrich,
74:One of the gravestones in the cemetery near the earliest church has an anchor on it and an hourglass, and the words In Hope. In Hope. Why did they put that above a dead person? Was it the corpse hoping, or those still alive? ~ Margaret Atwood,
75:Uh...are we going to talk about what just happened?" Victoria asked as Drake stepped over to Finn's desk to look at the map layout of the cemetery, seemingly calm about the fact that Bo and Nyx had just disappeared into thin air. ~ Katie Reus,
76:The ghosts of those who take their own lives are considered notorious wanderers. That probably explains the high walls that surround the cemetery. In the old days, they would have buried the bodies facedown to disorient them.” “The ~ Amanda Stevens,
77:At dawn, after a summary court martial, Arcadio was shot against the wall of the cemetery. In the last two hours of his life he did not manage to understand why the fear that had tormented him since childhood had disappeared. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez,
78:Are you kidding me? Where else is it that you think I’m going to try and take us? McDonalds? Walmart? Oh, wait a minute, I do need to make a quick stop by the cemetery.” Trying to choke back a laugh, I ended up letting out a snort. ~ Jessica Sorensen,
79:If it wasn't for baseball, I'd be in either the penitentiary or the cemetery. I have the same violent temper my father and older brother had. Both died of injuries from street fights in Baltimore, fights begun by flare-ups of their tempers. ~ Babe Ruth,
80:There is nothing in our book, the Qur'an, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone lays a hand on you, send him to the cemetery. ~ Malcolm X,
81:THE SLEEK BLACK AUDI ROLLED to a stop in the parking lot overlooking the cemetery, but none of the three men inside had any intention of paying respects to the dead. The hour burned past midnight, and the grounds were officially closed. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
82:The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is like the greatest, most fantastic library you could ever imagine. Its a labyrinth of books with tunnels, bridges, arches, secret sections - and its hidden inside an old palace in the old city of Barcelona. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon,
83:...a mini-hearse. It had the practicality of a mini-van and the handy carrying capacity of a hearse combined. If you get annoyed with your kids at soccer practice, you can always kill them on the way home and take them directly to the cemetery. ~ David David Katzman,
84:I smiled. “You trust me more than Cas?”
“Cas would choose a case of beer over me.”
My laughter echoed through the cemetery. “That’s not true!” I brushed the hair from my face. “The others have your back.”
“Yet you were the one who saved my life. ~ Jennifer Rush,
85:To open the gate for me there was a gravedigger I had already met at the Star of The Sweden."I am looking for Mr. Kauderer," I said to him.
He answered, " Mr. Kauderer is not here. But since the cemetery is the home of those who are not here, come in. ~ Italo Calvino,
86:This is the last time I would ever visit the cemetery or my wife's grave, but I didn't want to expend too much effort in trying to remember it. As I said, this is the place where she's never been anything but dead. There's not much value in remembering that. ~ John Scalzi,
87:It is strange how, once graves are broken and overgrown in this way, then the people in them are truly dead. The Indian Christian graves at the front of the cemetery, which are still kept up by relatives, seem by contrast strangely alive, contemporary ~ Ruth Prawer Jhabvala,
88:Most folks at Shaded Acres (actually a sun-blasted high-rise surrounded by “acres” of Brooklyn concrete) won’t take rooms on the cemetery side. But I requested this side for the same reason I always ride in the front seat: I like to see where I’m going. I ~ Laura Marx Fitzgerald,
89:I mean I think people prepared me for like a lot of green screen [in Oz the Great]. I didn't have a lot of green screen. They build most sets. When this castle was tangible, Emerald City was tangible, the forest, the woods was tangible, the cemetery, everything was there. ~ Mila Kunis,
90:The cemetery has ... an inscription: 'Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will Fear No Evil, For Thou Art With Me.' Yes, it does feel deceptively safer with two; but Thou is a slippery character. Every Thou I've known has had a way of going missing. ~ Margaret Atwood,
91:Whether my mortality caught me at twenty-eight or ninety-three, I made the choice to die content, slipped into the nothingness, my atoms becoming the very fog that cloaked the trees. The silence of death, of the cemetery, was no punishment, but a reward for a life well lived. ~ Caitlin Doughty,
92:Look, this is just the cemetery. It's got bylaws and things! It's not Transylvania! There's just dead people here! That doesn't make it scary, does it? Dead people are people who were living once! You wouldn't be so worked up if there were living people buried here, would you? ~ Terry Pratchett,
93:I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. It was the early summer of 1945, and we walked through the streets of a Barcelona trapped beneath ashen skies as dawn poured over Rambla de Santa Monica in a wreath of liquid copper. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
94:He lived his spiritual life without any communion with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died. He performed these two social duties for old dignity's sake but conceded nothing further to the conventions which regulate the civic life. ~ James Joyce,
95:On Decoration Day, while everyone else in town was at the cemetery decorating the graves of our Glorious War Dead, Willie Beaner and me, Robert Burns Hewitt, took Mabel Cramm's bloomers and run them up the flagpole in front of the town hall. That was the beginning of all my troubles. ~ Katherine Paterson,
96:When your father died, I remember standing at his grave and thinking, This is the place where I can leave my grief. It wasn't immediately, of course, but I had somewhere to go, and every time I visited the cemetery, I felt like when I got back into my car, a tiny little bit of grief was gone. ~ Karin Slaughter,
97:When we return to our breathing, we return to the present moment, our true home. There’s no need for us to struggle to arrive somewhere else. We know our final destination is the cemetery. Why are we in a hurry to get there? Why not step in the direction of life, which is in the present moment? ~ Thich Nhat Hanh,
98:And that day in the cemetery…when you were helping me into the car. I wanted you to kiss me so fucking bad-” That was all I got out before Dante surged up and captured my lips with his. There was no being eased into my first kiss with another man because Dante just took exactly what he wanted. And ~ Sloane Kennedy,
99:Be honest with yourself and with people always do everything on time. Never give up, go to your goals, even if all the bad. In this life, all really, you only need to do. The more I talk to people, the more I am convinced that in general they have one goal - to become the richest dead in the cemetery. ~ Steve Jobs,
100:Well,” her husband said, “seems he don’t agree.” Years—many years—later when he took his granddaughter for a picnic in the cemetery with a Negro gardener or two along to clean up, William Howland talked about his wife Lorena. “There was such a light to her,” he said, “all over her. I used to think ~ Shirley Ann Grau,
101:He died of leprosy at 8:00 am on April 15, 1889, aged 49. The next day, after Mass by Father Moellers at St. Philomena’s, the whole settlement followed the funeral procession to the cemetery where Damien was laid to rest under the same Pandanus tree where he had first slept upon his arrival on Moloka’i. ~ Brien Foerster,
102:What a waste of time it is to take so much care of this body, feeding it the most succulent dishes, dressing it in the most fashionable clothes, and trying to make it look younger than it really is. The body has no other destination than the cemetery where it will be burned, buried, or fed to the birds. ~ Dilgo Khyentse,
103:Her eyes—green—were bright, merciful, sometimes given to melancholy, not entirely guileless. And I’d listen to her tell me about the abandoned factories and the cemetery where she’d grown up, the places where she’d skinned her knees. And her voice took me over. This is how you find the one to break your heart. ~ Nico Walker,
104:The next day, William Lanney's much abused remains were carried in a coffin to the cemetery. The crowd of mourners was large. It included many of Lanney's shipmates, suggesting that the whaling profession in late-nineteenth-century Hobart was graced with a higher level of humanistic sensibility than the surgical profession. ~ David Quammen,
105:I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do. ~ Harry S Truman,
106:An indescribable sadness emanated from the white splendour of the staircase and balustrade; the blood-red, now almost black splendour of the carpets. The huge palms in their huge pots looked like they had recently arrived from the cemetery. Their dark green leaves also looked blackish, like wizened, perished weapons from olden days. ~ Joseph Roth,
107:By now it was nearly noon and I was hungry, so we made a quick run to Mr. Burger, a tiny carryout place a mile down the road, and wolfed down lunch standing outside the cemetery shop. We positioned ourselves upwind from the coffin, but occasionally the wind would shift and the aroma of burgers would mingle with the aroma of the Bopper. ~ William M Bass,
108:One day, I'll bring dreams to our kind, Father. They'll be in abundance everywhere, not just in the cemetery. One day, I'll free the spirits, so they can sleep inside our gardens, brushing our windows at night, and bumping against our feet in the day. I'll bring imagination to our world so everyone might always be with those they treasure. ~ A G Howard,
109:One day, I'll bring dreams to our kind, Father. They'll be in abundance everywhere, not just in the cemetery. One day, I'll free the spirits, so they can sleep inside our gardens, brushing our winddows at night, and bumping against our feet in the day. I'll bring imagination to our world so everyone might always be with those they treasure. ~ A G Howard,
110:Whose victory? What led to battle?
But Mr. Abraham forecloses on questions. “These people used to build them all the time only.”
Meaning Muslims and Hindus. Meaning heathens. Mr. Abraham, Christian child of a different intrusion, draws me with a new alacrity toward the cemetery crammed with sunken tombstones. ~ Bharati Mukherjee,
111:Cemeteries in Bohemia are like gardens. The graves are covered with grass and colourful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. When the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles... no matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery. Even in wartime, even in Hitler's time, even in Stalin's time. ~ Milan Kundera,
112:He had neither companions nor friends, church nor creed. He lived his spiritual life without any communion with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died. He performed these two social duties for old dignity's sake but conceded nothing further to the conventions which regulate the civic life. ~ James Joyce,
113:but he was afraid of being insincere and telling lies in the presence of death. It was on a fine winter’s day, shot through with sunlight. In the pale blue sky, you could sense the cold all spangled with yellow. The cemetery overlooked the town, and you could see the fine transparent sun setting in the bay quivering with light, like a moist lip. ~ Albert Camus,
114:But I’m talking about something else—I think about it a lot. At the cemetery. Some people pray loudly, others quietly. And some people say: ‘Open up, yellow sand. Open up, dark night.’ The forest might do it, but the sand never will. I’ll ask gently: ‘Ivan. Ivan, how should I live?’ But he doesn’t answer me anything, one way or the other. ~ Svetlana Alexievich,
115:Breuer gestured towards the bouquets of fresh-cut flowers that lay before many graves. "In this land of the dead, THESE are the dead, and THOSE"---he pointed to an old untended and abandoned section of the cemetery--- "those are the truly dead. No one now tends their graves because no one living has ever known them. THEY know what it means to be dead. ~ Irvin D Yalom,
116:A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. For such a long time, monks, you have experienced suffering, anguish, and disaster, and swelled the cemetery. It is enough to become disenchanted with all formations, enough to become dispassionate toward them, enough to be liberated from them. ~ Dalai Lama XIV,
117:The driver asked me if I would mind another brief detour, this time to a tombstone salesroom across the street from the cemetery.
I wasn't a Bokononist then, so I agreed with some peevishness. As a Bokononist, of course, I would have agreed gaily to go anywhere anyone suggested. As Bokonon says: 'Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. ~ Kurt Vonnegut,
118:The massive bronze gates were wide open now, too late. Inside, the cemetery had been turned into a grotesque place gleaming with high-powered searchlights, blue flashlight flares, winking pocket torches. Uniformed men were already swarming about. Red cigarette-embers showed oddly amidst the headstones here and there.
("The Street Of Jungle Death") ~ Cornell Woolrich,
119:Sister St. Saviour did, of course. But the woman, childless, stubborn, coming to the close of her life, had a mad heart. Mad for mercy, perhaps, mad for her own authority in all things—a trait Annie had come to love and admire—but mad nonetheless. Riding home from the cemetery, Sister St. Saviour had said, “It would be a different Church if I were running it. ~ Alice McDermott,
120:Constantin Demiris had arranged with the authorities for her body to be buried on the grounds of the cemetery on Psara, his private island in the Aegean. Everyone had remarked on what a beautiful, sentimental gesture it was. In fact, Demiris had arranged for the burial plot to be there so that he could have the exquisite pleasure of walking over the bitch's grave. ~ Sidney Sheldon,
121:Unable to choose how I would die physically, I could only choose how I would die mentally. Whether my mortality caught me at twenty-eight or ninety-three, I made the choice to die content, slipped into the nothingness, my atoms becoming the very fog that cloaked the trees. The silence of death, of the cemetery, was no punishment, but a rewards for a life well lived. ~ Caitlin Doughty,
122:I brought Mother back home with me. That was the exciting part, you see—going out to the cemetery at night and digging up the grave. She’d been shut up in that coffin for such a long time that at first I thought she really was dead. But she wasn’t, of course. She couldn’t be. Or else she wouldn’t have been able to communicate with me when I was in the hospital all that while. ~ Robert Bloch,
123:I grinned, and a burst of shocked laughter shoved out of me. I'd done it! I'd beaten that bitch, and could see again. I'd won. With only my blood.
I climbed to my feet, cradling my throbbing hand against my stomach, and looked out over the cemetery.
The first real thing I saw was Silla, stumbling toward me. Her hands left scarlet prints on every headstone she touched. ~ Tessa Gratton,
124:I'm going out with these old guys. One guy gave me a hickey and left his teeth in my neck. Another man, we were having a perfectly lovely dinner; he looked up and me and went: You're not my wife! Another guy died during dinner. I had to go in his pocket to get the American Express card. Then you wonder: What would he tip? Another guy said: I want you to meet my family, and took me to the cemetery. ~ Joan Rivers,
125:Everything he did, as long as you stayed in the village, whether shouting obscenities at passing children or sleeping in the cemetery, all would be remembered when they looked at you, they would say to themselves or to whomever they were with, It’s his father, you know, the crazy one, the drunk, and they couldn’t help but wonder what part of his madness had passed on to you, which part you had escaped. ~ Nick Flynn,
126:In the middle of the cemetery is a grassy plane, strangely vacant. There are no granite tombs or crumbling concrete, just a sun-washed treeless patch of green known as "No Man's Land." Here 1,500 unidentified bodies are buried. At one time, their skin burned with yellow fever; now they lie in a cool, dark place where long ago their arms and legs, hands and feet, were intertwined for eternity. ~ Molly Caldwell Crosby,
127:Immediately the sounds of the street below grew detached, distant, the meaningless echoes of urban voices whose urgent notes reached but held no sway over the park-like necropolis within. From where I stood, the cemetery seemed to have no end. It stretched out before me, a city in its own right, its myriad markers windowless tenements in miniature, laid out in still symmetry, long boulevards of the dead. ~ Barry Eisler,
128:Surrealism will usher you into death, which is a secret society. It will glove your hand, burying therein the profound M with which the word Memory begins. Do not forget to make proper arrangements for your last will and testament: speaking personally, I ask that I be taken to the cemetery in a moving van. May my friends destroy every last copy of the printing of the Speech concerning the Modicum of Reality. ~ Andre Breton,
129:Well, at first the band were simply called Horsepower, but a lot of people thought that was something to do with heroin. That really pissed me off, so I decided to put something in front of it to distract them. “I got '16' from a traditional American folk song, where a man is singing about his dead wife and 16 black horses are pulling her casket up to the cemetery. I liked the image of 16 working horses. ~ David Eugene Edwards,
130:A soft breeze settled around our shoulders as we walked into the cemetery. That same breeze made the world around us shiver a little bit. The slick green leaves of the tall trees rustled, and the long curtain of ivy dangling from the branches began to wave. When the ivy blows in the graveyard, it casts the prettiest lacelike shadows on the ground. They remind me of banners, rippling over the dearly departed in silent celebration. ~ Natalie Lloyd,
131:ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF D-Day, I was broadcasting from the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach at Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy, one of the bloodiest battlefields in American history. The cemetery is at once haunting and beautiful, with 9,386 white marble headstones in long, even lines across the manicured fields of dark green, each headstone marking the death of a brave young American. The anniversary was a somber and celebratory ~ Tom Brokaw,
132:THEY bury their dead in vaults, above the ground. These vaults have a resemblance to houses—sometimes to temples; are built of marble, generally; are architecturally graceful and shapely; they face the walks and driveways of the cemetery; and when one moves through the midst of a thousand or so of them and sees their white roofs and gables stretching into the distance on every hand, the phrase 'city of the dead' has all at once a meaning to him. ~ Mark Twain,
133:The book thief lay in bed that night, and the boy only came before she closed her eyes. He was one member of a cast, for Liesel was always visited in that room. Her papa stood and called her half a woman. Max was writing The Word Shaker in the corner. Rudy was naked by the door. Occasionally her mother stood on a bedside train platform. And far away, in the room that stretched like a bridge to a nameless town, her brother, Werner, played in the cemetery snow. ~ Markus Zusak,
134: Improvisations: Light And Snow: 04
On the day when my uncle and I drove to the cemetery,
Rain rattled on the roof of the carriage;
And talkng constrainedly of this and that
We refrained from looking at the child’s coffin on the seat before us.
When we reached the cemetery
We found that the thin snow on the grass
Was already transparent with rain;
And boards had been laid upon it
That we might walk without wetting our feet.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
135:The entire notion of biography is grounded in the arbitrary ascription of a causal relation between specified traits and subsequent events. Now consider the cemetery. The graveyard of failed persons will be full of people who shared the following traits: courage, risk taking, optimism, et cetera. Just like the population of millionaires. There may be some differences in skills, but what truly separates the two is for the most part a single factor: luck. Plain luck. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
136:Then there was the church and the villagers on the sidewalks, the red geraniums on the graves in the cemetery, Pérez fainting (he crumpled like a rag doll), the blood-red earth spilling over Maman’s casket, the white flesh of the roots mixed in with it, more people, voices, the village, waiting in front of a café, the incessant drone of the motor, and my joy when the bus entered the nest of lights that was Algiers and I knew I was going to go to bed and sleep for twelve hours. ~ Albert Camus,
137:This cemetery of Small Gods was for the people who didn’t know what happened next. They didn’t know what they believed in or if there was life after death and, often, they didn’t know what hit them. They’d gone through life being amiably uncertain, until the ultimate certainty had claimed them at the last. Among the city’s bone orchards, the cemetery was the equivalent of the drawer marked MISC, where people were interred in the glorious expectation of nothing very much. Most ~ Terry Pratchett,
138:Then there was the church and the villagers on the sidewalks, the red geraniums on the graves in the cemetery, Perez fainting (he crumpled over like a rag doll), the blood-red earth spilling over Maman's casket, the white flesh of the roots mixed in with it, more people, voices, the village, waiting in front of a cafe, the incessant drone of the motor, and my joy when the bus entered the nest of lights that was Algiers and I knew I was going to go to bed and sleep for twelve hours. ~ Albert Camus,
139:The churchyard was brick-hard clay, as was the cemetery beside it. If someone died during a dry spell, the body was covered with chunks of ice until rain softened the earth. A few graves in the cemetery were marked with crumbling tombstones; newer ones were outlined with brightly colored glass and broken Coca-Cola bottles. Lightning rods guarding some graves denoted dead who rested uneasily; stumps of burned-out candles stood at the heads of infant graves. It was a happy cemetery. The ~ Harper Lee,
140:few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return. For me those enchanted pages will always be the ones I found among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
141:The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. ~ Myles Munroe,
142:The's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner-- everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wish he wasn't there. You didn't know him. If you'd known him, you'd know what I mean. It's not too bad when the sun's out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out. ~ J D Salinger,
143:Here is how you disappear: you dive into your DNA and rip out everything but carbon. You copy. Carbon copy- see what I did there? And then you keep going. You apply to college because you're supposed to and then you complain about debt and the classes and the whole system because that's what everyone else does. You run into businessmen in untailored suits and you marry the lamest one and you move into a nice picture-perfect house full of clock hands that point at the cemetery. Don't worry. The tide will sweep you right up. ~ Amy Zhang,
144:Los Angeles didn't get like this often. He hated it when it did. And this time it was holding on. It had been brutal at the cemetery three weeks ago. His father's nine widows had looked ready to drop. The savage light had leached the color from the flowers. The savage heat had got at the mound of earth from the grave even under its staring green blanket of fake grass. He'd stayed to watch the workmen fill the grave. The earth was dry. Even the sharp walls of the grave were dry. What the hell was he doing remembering that? ~ Joseph Hansen,
145:Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel.” I could make out about a dozen human figures scattered among the library’s corridors and platforms. Some of them turned to greet me from afar, and I recognized the faces of various colleagues of my father’s, fellows of the secondhand-booksellers’ guild. To my ten-year-old eyes, they looked like a brotherhood of alchemists in furtive study. My father knelt next to me and, with his eyes fixed on mine, addressed me in the hushed voice he reserved for promises and secrets. ~ Carlos Ruiz Zaf n,
146:Consider a more extreme example than the casino experiment. Assume a collection of people play Russian roulette a single time for a million dollars—this is the central story in Fooled by Randomness. About five out of six will make money. If someone used a standard cost-benefit analysis, he would have claimed that one has an 83.33 percent chance of gains, for an “expected” average return per shot of $833,333. But if you keep playing Russian roulette, you will end up in the cemetery. Your expected return is … not computable. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
147:When Mom and Dad die, they’re taken care of by strangers in a nursing home two towns over. The kids don’t have to see them go. They don’t even have to see them after. They just get a “we’re sorry to inform you” call late that night from the institution’s management, for whom such calls are as routine as putting out the weekly garbage is for a suburban homeowner. The funeral home picks up the body. The cemetery buries it. Unless you’re a professional, you might live your whole life without seeing someone in the moment of leaving his own. ~ Barry Eisler,
148:Funerals often inspired me to consider the lives and the deaths of people who were close to me. And, in the repose of contemplation, my heart grew still. The more distant my connection with the deceased, the more I felt moved to go to the cemetery, accompanied by my own memories, to burn incense and press my palms together in devotion to those memories. So it was that as a youth, my decorous behavior at the funerals of strangers was never feigned; rather, it was a manifestation of the capacity of sadness I had within myself."
-from "The Master of Funerals ~ Yasunari Kawabata,
149:take the Paris métro to the Mairie de Clichy station and walk north along the Rue Martre, past the long blocks of shabby tire shops and falafel stands, you will eventually come to a small bridge that arches over the Seine. The bank on the far side is steep, slick with moss, and sags toward the river like an old man’s shoulders, as if it were just too weary to hold itself up anymore. Le Cimetière des Chiens—the Cemetery of Dogs—is a few steps west of the bridge, sagging on that saggy bank, under a heavy canopy of huge, drooping trees. I had come to Le Cimetière des Chiens ~ Susan Orlean,
150:It’s the cemetery where my father is already buried. “Great,” I say. “Just make sure you leave your forwarding address.” I hold the keypad away from my ear and punch the pound button. “Got another call coming in,” I lie. “At this hour?” “It’s an escort service,” I joke. “I don’t like to keep Peaches waiting . . .” “You’re going to be the death of me, Leo,” my mother says with a sigh. “Sons of Abraham Cemetery. Got it,” I say. “I love you, Ma.” “I loved you first,” she replies. “So what am I supposed to tell my podiatrist about Irene?” “If she keeps wearing heels she’ll wind ~ Jodi Picoult,
151:A little while ago I visited Omaha Beach for the second time in my life. In the intervening 26 years, nearly 20,000 tides had come and gone and little remains visible of the greatest military landing in man's history of endless warring. What's to be seen is mostly in a superb museum and a panoramic cemetery. The cemetery memorializes with dignity and grandeur the event and the dead, and moves one deeply. Before they die less precipitously and/or in lesser purpose, Americans who can should visit World War II's Normandy Beach. Such seeing and remembering helps a man's perspective. ~ Malcolm Forbes,
152:You're bored, aren't you.'
'I need constant distraction. Shall we go?'
'Uh, aren't you supposed to delegate responsibility or something? If you're not here, who's in charge?'
Skulduggery looked around and pointed to a sorcerer at the far side of the cemetery. 'He is.'
'Who is he?'
'Don't know. He looks like leadership material, though, doesn't he?'
'He's wearing a hat.'
'And that means he's a leader?'
'Leaders wear hats. It's to keep the rain off while we make important decisions. He'll do fine.'
'Shouldn't you tell him that he's in charge?'
'And spoil the surprise? ~ Derek Landy,
153:This was my thought as I followed her to the cemetery, pausing every few minutes as she and the children stopped to pick a handful of roadside flowers- weeds, for the most part- dandelions; ragwort; daisies; poppies; a stray anemone from the verge; a fistful of rosemary from someone's garden, pushing its shoots through a dry stone wall.
Of course, Vianne Rocher likes weeds. And the children- the young one especially- lent themselves to the game with glee, so that by the time we reached the place, she had a whole armful of flowers and herbs tied together with bindweed and a straggle of wild strawberry- ~ Joanne Harris,
154:The philosopher and ethicist Jonathan Glover reports the story of Odilo Globocnik, the Nazi SS leader in Lublin, Poland, who recalled an incident in which he expressed to another Nazi officer, a Major Hofle, how much it bothered him to think about the Polish children freezing to death while being transported by the Nazis from Lublin to Warsaw. He could not look at these young children without thinking of his own three-year-old niece. Hofle, he recalled, looked at me 'like [I was] an idiot.' Sometime later, Hofle’s own baby twins died of diphtheria and, at the cemetery, he cried out that it was heaven’s punishment for his misdeeds. ~ Dennis Prager,
155:Three days after that, the funeral was held, and while riding from the church to the cemetery Ava looked out the widow and noticed that everyone she passed was crying.
"Old people, college students, even the colored men at the gas station-- the soul brothers, or whatever we're supposed to call them now."
It was such an outdated term, I just had to use it myself.
"How did the soul brothers know your father?"
"That's just it," she said. "No one told us until after the burial that Kennedy had been shot. It happened when we were in the church, so that's what everyone was so upset about. The president, not my father. ~ David Sedaris,
156:Desiree the child bride, and her sister Miranda, had gone grave-robbing for a wedding gown. In the north end of the cemetery, among the palatial mausoleums with their broken windows of stained glass where the ivy crept in, was the resting place of a young woman who’d been murdered at the altar while reciting her marital vows. The decaying tombstone, among the cemetery’s most envied, was a limestone bride in despair, shoulders as slumped as a mule’s, a bouquet of lilies strewn at her feet. Though her murder, by her groom’s jealous mother, had been long in the past, everyone knew that her father had had her buried in her gown of lace and silk. ~ Timothy Schaffert,
157:The question haunts me still, and will, I suppose, until I join my parents in our final reunion. If the doctor had known what horrors awaited us not only at the cemetery that night, but in the days to come, would he still have insisted upon my company? Would he still have demanded that a mere child dive so deep into the well of human suffering and sacrifice—a literal sea of blood? And if the answer to that question is yes, then there are more terrifying monstrosities in the world than Anthropophagi. Monstrosities who, with a smile and a comforting pat on the head, are willing to sacrifice a child upon the altar of their own overweening ambition and pride. ~ Rick Yancey,
158:It seemed like a mistake. And mistakes ought to be rectified, only this one couldn't be. Between the way things used to be and the way they were now was a void that couldn't be crossed. I had to find an explanation other than the real one, which was that we were no more immune to misfortune than anybody else, and the idea that kept recurring to me...was that I had inadvertently walked through a door that I shouldn't have gone through and couldn't get back to the place I hadn't meant to leave. Actually, it was other way round: I hadn't gone anywhere and nothing was changed, so far as the roof over our heads was concerned, it was just that she was in the cemetery. ~ William Maxwell,
159:It was possible that there were other vus of which he had never heard and that one of these other vus would explain succinctly the baffling phenomenon of which he had been both a witness and a part; it was even possible that none of what he thought had taken place, really had taken place, and that he was dealing with an aberration of memory rather than of perception, that he never really had thought he had seen what he now thought he once did think he had seen, that his impression now that he once had thought so was merely the illusion of an illusion, and that he was only now imagining that he had ever once imagined seeing a naked man sitting in a tree at the cemetery. ~ Joseph Heller,
160:The dead bring us to life, vivify us, give us scale. We are the unjoined part of them and at their graves we stand at our own.
In Ruby Park Cemetery, in the once-famous silver lands of Colorado, the graves are unmarked. There is a single column of marble above a miner's daughter who died at the age of seventeen. The town of Irwin drew thousands of people in the 1870s, some from as far away as England and Scotland. The cemetery is abandoned. The mines have vanished. All but the silent warning,
'My good people as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you soon must be
Prepare yourselves to follow me.'
The dust of the pathway whitens our shoes. ~ James Salter,
161:Everywhere I traveled I saw this death space in action, and I felt what it means to be held. At Ruriden columbarium in Japan, I was held by a sphere of Buddhas glowing soft blue and purple. At the cemetery in Mexico, I was held by a single wrought-iron fence in the light of tens of thousands of flickering amber candles. At the open-air pyre in Colorado, I was held within the elegant bamboo walls, which kept mourners safe as the flames shot high. There was magic to each of these places. There was grief, unimaginable grief. But in that grief there was no shame. These were places to meet despair face to face and say, 'I see you waiting there. And I feel you, strongly. But you do not demean me. ~ Caitlin Doughty,
162:Look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, horrible poverty everywhere, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying -- yet in all the houses and on the streets there is peace and quiet; of the fifty thousand people who live in our town there is not one who would cry out, who would vent his indignation aloud. We see the people who go to market, eat by day, sleep by night, who babble nonsense, marry, grow old, good-naturedly drag their feet to the cemetery, but we do not see or hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is peaceful and quiet and only mute statistics protest. ~ Anton Chekhov,
163:I never wanted to fix things with them.” I pause, and my voice is very quiet. “I wanted out. I screwed up.”
“I don’t know, Murph.” We make the turn into the cemetery, and he hesitates, as if unsure of his next words. “I wonder if you’re just telling yourself that.”
I frown. “What?”
“I don’t think you wanted to kill yourself.”
I pull next to his car in the now-empty employee lot. “Didn’t you listen to everything I just told you?”
“Yeah. I did. Maybe you wanted to try to kill yourself, but I don’t think you wanted to actually do it.”
“What’s the difference?”
He opens the door and gets out, standing there, looking down at me. “You wore your seat belt. ~ Brigid Kemmerer,
164:It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner- everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wish he wasn't there. You didn't know him. If you'd known him, you'd know what I mean. It's not too bad when the sun's out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out. ~ J D Salinger,
165:Wait!” Juliet pulls away from her father, and once again, she’s breathless and looking up at me. “Declan.”
I hold myself at a distance. The spell is broken. “Juliet.”
She closes that distance, though, and then does one better. She grabs the front of my shirt and pulls me forward. For half a second, my brain explodes because I think we’re going to have a movie moment and she’s going to kiss me. And then it’s going to be super awkward because of her father.
But no, she’s only pulling me close to whisper. Her breath is warm on my cheek, sweet and perfect.
“We were wrong,” she says. “You make your own path.”
Then she spins, grabs her father’s hand, and leaves me there in the middle of the cemetery. ~ Brigid Kemmerer,
166:... the General Cemetery's unwritten motto is All the Names, although it should be said that, in fact, these three words fit the Central Registry like a glove, because it is there that all the names are to be found, both those of the dead and those of the living, while the cemetery, given its role as ultimate destination and ultimate depository, has to content itself only with the names of the dead. This mathematical evidence, however, is not enough to silence the keepers of the General Cemetery who, confronted by what they call their apparent numerical inferiority, usually shrug their shoulders and argue, With time and patience everyone ends up here, the Central Registry, from this point of view, is merely a tributary of the General Cemetery. ~ Jos Saramago,
167: Giorno Dei Morti
Along the avenue of cypresses,
All in their scarlet cloaks and surplices
Of linen, go the chanting choristers,
The priests in gold and black, the villagers. . .
And all along the path to the cemetery
The round dark heads of men crowd silently,
And black-scarved faces of womenfolk, wistfully
Watch at the banner of death, and the mystery.
And at the foot of a grave a father stands
With sunken head, and forgotten, folded hands;
And at the foot of a grave a mother kneels
With pale shut face, nor either hears nor feels
The coming of the chanting choristers
Between the avenue of cypresses,
The silence of the many villagers,
The candle-flames beside the surplices.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
168: Service Of All The Dead
Between the avenues of cypresses,
All in their scarlet cloaks, and surplices
Of linen, go the chaunting choristers,
The priests in gold and black, the villagers.
And all along the path to the cemetery
The round, dark heads of men crowd silently
And black-scarved faces of women-folk, wistfully
Watch at the banner of death, and the mystery.
And at the foot of a grave a father stands
With sunken head, and forgotten, folded hands;
And at the foot of a grave a woman kneels
With pale shut face, and neither hears not feels
The coming of the chaunting choristers
Between the avenues of cypresses,
The silence of the many villagers,
The candle-flames beside the surplices.
~ David Herbert Lawrence,
169:People had been studying the mystery for years. Not just the students from Duke. Aside from the local historian—who seemed to have fathomed a plausible explanation, in Lexie’s opinion—at least two other outside groups or individuals had investigated the claim in the past without success. Mayor Gherkin had actually invited the students from Duke to pay the cemetery a visit, in the hope that they wouldn’t figure it out, either. And sure enough, tourist traffic had been picking up ever since. She supposed she could have mentioned that to Mr. Marsh yesterday. But since he hadn’t asked, she hadn’t offered. She was too busy trying to ward off his advances and make it clear she wasn’t interested in him. Oh, he’d tried to be charming… well, okay, he was sort of charming in ~ Nicholas Sparks,
170: The Parents
We are your Grand-Parents, the Grown-Ups!
Covered with the cold sweats of the moon and the greensward.
Our dry wines had heart in them!
In the sunshine where there is no deception,
what does man need? To drink.
Myself: To die among barbarous rivers.
We re your Grand-Parents of the fields.
The water lies at the foot of the willows:
see the flow of the moat round the damp castle.
Let us go down to our storerooms;
afterwards, cider or milk.
Myself: To go where the cows drink.
We are your Grand-Parents; here,
take some of the liqueurs in our cupboards;
Tea and Coffee, so rare, sing in our kettles.
Look at the pictures, the flowers.
We are back from the cemetery.
Myself: Ah! To drink all urns dry!
~ Arthur Rimbaud,
171:Arthur finished his doughnut as Mrs. Tibble opened the door and turned on the porch light. She gave Arthur and D.W. a big hug.
“See you Saturday to rake leaves,” said Arthur.
“You’re still alive!” said Francine.
“I can’t believe you went in there alone,” said the Brain.
“You’re so brave,” said Sue Ellen.
“What’s in the bag?” asked Buster.
“Probably eyeballs, hearts and brains!” said Francine.
“It’s easy to find out,” said Arthur. “Just close your eyes and reach in unless you’re too scared.”
“We’ve been to every house now. Can we take the shortcut home through the cemetery?” asked D.W.
“The cemetery! On Halloween! Are you guys crazy?” asked Francine.
“Follow me,” said Arthur as he marched ahead. “The cemetery is a great place. People are just dying to get in. ~ Marc Brown,
172:All the public inscriptions in the town were painted alike, in severe characters of black and white. The jail might have been the infirmary, the infirmary might have been the jail, the town-hall might have been either, or both, or anything else, for anything that appeared to the contrary in the graces of their construction. Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material aspect of the town; fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the immaterial. The M’Choakumchild school was all fact, and the school of design was all fact, and the relations between master and man were all fact, and everything was fact between the lying-in hospital and the cemetery, and what you couldn’t state in figures, or show to be purchaseable in the cheapest market and saleable in the dearest, was not, and never should be, world without end, Amen. A ~ Charles Dickens,
173:The Buried Alive Exercise
Lie down on the floor and relax. Cross your arms over your chest in the posture of death. Imagine all of the details of your burial, as if it were to be carried out tomorrow, the only
difference being that you are being buried alive. As the situation develops in your mind – the chapel, the procession to the cemetery, the lowering of the casket, the worms in the grave – you begin tensing all of your muscles more and more in a desperate attempt to escape. But you cannot do so. Keep trying until you cannot stand it any longer, and then, using a movement that involves your entire body, throw aside the confines of the coffin, breathe deeply, and find yourself free. This movement will have a greater effect if you scream at the same time; it should be a scream that emanates from the depths of your body. ~ Paulo Coelho,
174: His awful skin
stretched out by some tradesman
is like my skin, here between my fingers,
a kind of webbing, a kind of frog.
Surely when first born my face was this tiny
and before I was born surely I could fly.
Not well, mind you, only a veil of skin
from my arms to my waist.
I flew at night, too. Not to be seen
for if I were I'd be taken down.
In August perhaps as the trees rose to the stars
I have flown from leaf to leaf in the thick dark.
If you had caught me with your flashlight
you would have seen a pink corpse with wings,
out, out, from her mother's belly, all furry
and hoarse skimming over the houses, the armies.
That's why the dogs of your house sniff me.
They know I'm something to be caught
somewhere in the cemetery hanging upside down
like a misshapen udder.
~ Anne Sexton,
175:snow-laden branches drooped down overhead and sharp twigs plucked at the puffy sleeves of his down-filled parka. It was a far cry from his usual postings, where the worst impediments were sunstroke and scorpion bites. Even though it was technically early afternoon, the sun was so dim that the light stanchions, positioned every few yards along the pathway, were all switched on, providing an eerie glow. As Slater approached the cemetery gateposts, scrawled with their anonymous plea to “Forgive me,” he glanced over toward the promontory where he could see Groves and a Coast Guardsman, cloaked in their own hazmat suits, repositioning a jackhammer to loosen whatever frozen soil still remained at the parameters previously demarcated by Kozak. The strips of wet sod that had already been removed had been laid, according to Slater’s instructions, neatly to one ~ Robert Masello,
176:Now take a look at the cemetery. It is quite difficult to do so because people who fail do not seem to write memoirs, and, if they did, those business publishers I know would not even consider giving them the courtesy of a returned phone call (as to returned e-mail, fuhgedit). Readers would not pay $26.95 for a story of failure, even if you convinced them that it had more useful tricks than a story of success.* The entire notion of biography is grounded in the arbitrary ascription of a causal relation between specified traits and subsequent events. Now consider the cemetery. The graveyard of failed persons will be full of people who shared the following traits: courage, risk taking, optimism, et cetera. Just like the population of millionaires. There may be some differences in skills, but what truly separates the two is for the most part a single factor: luck. Plain luck. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
177:I do not believe in the government of the lash, if any one of you ever expects to whip your children again, I want you to have a photograph taken of yourself when you are in the act, with your face red with vulgar anger, and the face of the little child, with eyes swimming in tears and the little chin dimpled with fear, like a piece of water struck by a sudden cold wind. Have the picture taken. If that little child should die, I cannot think of a sweeter way to spend an autumn afternoon than to go out to the cemetery, when the maples are clad in tender gold, and little scarlet runners are coming, like poems of regret, from the sad heart of the earth—and sit down upon the grave and look at that photograph, and think of the flesh now dust that you beat. I tell you it is wrong; it is no way to raise children! Make your home happy. Be honest with them. Divide fairly with them in everything. ~ Robert G Ingersoll,
178:The graveyard was at the top of the hill. It looked over all of the town. The town was hills - hills that issued down in trickles and then creeks and then rivers of cobblestone into the town, to flood the town with rough and beautiful stone that had been polished into smooth flatness over the centuries. It was a pointed irony that the very best view of the town could be had from the cemetery hill, where high, thick walls surrounded a collection of tombstones like wedding cakes, frosted with white angels and iced with ribbons and scrolls, one against another, toppling, shining cold. It was like a cake confectioner's yard. Some tombs were big as beds. From here, on freezing evenings, you could look down at the candle-lit valley, hear dogs bark, sharp as tuning forks banged on a flat stone, see all the funeral processions coming up the hill in the dark, coffins balanced on shoulders.
("The Candy Skull") ~ Ray Bradbury,
179:Three years earlier her father had been buried (irritable and impatient as he always had been) in the Fladstrand Church cemetery that bordered the lovely park, Plantagen, which shared with the cemetery its trees, shared its beech and ash and maple, in the same plot where her mother, wide eyed and confused, had lain down almost willingly two years before, where her brother had lain for thirty-five years, dazed and unwillingly after too short a life.
A dove was looking down from atop the family gravestone. It was made from metal so it could not fly away, but sometimes it went missing all the same and only a spike would remain. Someone had taken that dove, someone out there maybe had an entire collection of doves and angels and other small, Christian bronze sculptures in a cupboard at home and on long evenings would close the curtains and take them out and run his fingers gently over the smooth, cold bodies. ~ Per Petterson,
180:When the weather's nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie's grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I don't enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetery. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn't too bad when the sun was out, but twice—twice—we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner—everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wished he wasn't there. ~ J D Salinger,
181:Thinking of those times as he passed the cemetery on his way to the evening’s festivities, Gabe recalled the day Matty’s body had been found and carried home. Gabe had been young then, only eight, a rambunctious resident of the Children’s House, happiest with solitary adventures and disinterested in schoolwork. But he had always admired Matty, who had tended and helped Seer with such devotion and undertaken village tasks with energy and good humor. It had been Matty who had taught Gabe to bait a hook and cast his line from the fishing rock, Matty who had shown him how to make a kite and catch the wind with it. The day of his death, Gabe had huddled, heartbroken, in the shadow of a thick stand of trees and watched as the villagers lined the path and bowed their heads in respect to watch the litter carrying the ravaged body move slowly through. Frightened by his own feelings, he had listened mutely to the wails of grief that permeated the community. ~ Lois Lowry,
182:There was no mistaking the awesome implications of the chaplain’s revelation: it was either an insight of divine origin or a hallucination; he was either blessed or losing his mind. Both prospects filled him with equal fear and depression. It was neither déjà vu, presque vu nor jamais vu. It was possible that there were other vus of which he had never heard and that one of these other vus would explain succinctly the baffling phenomenon of which he had been both a witness and a part; it was even possible that none of what he thought had taken place, really had taken place, that he was dealing with an aberration of memory rather than of perception, that he never really had thought he had seen what he now thought he once did think he had seen, that his impression now that he once had thought so was merely the illusion of and illusion, and that he was only now imagining that he had ever once imagined seeing a naked man sitting in a tree at the cemetery. ~ Joseph Heller,
183:How could the wind be so strong, so far inland, that cyclists
coming into the town in the late afternoon looked more like
sailors in peril? This was on the way into Cambridge, up Mill
Road past the cemetery and the workhouse. On the open
ground to the left the willow-trees had been blown, driven
and cracked until their branches gave way and lay about the
drenched grass, jerking convulsively and trailing cataracts of
twigs. The cows had gone mad, tossing up the silvery weeping
leaves which were suddenly, quite contrary to all their exper-
ience, everywhere within reach. Their horns were festooned
with willow boughs. Not being able to see properly, they
tripped and fell. Two or three of them were wallowing on
their backs, idiotically, exhibiting vast pale bellies intended by
nature to be always hidden. They were still munching. A scene
of disorder, tree-tops on the earth, legs in the air, in a university
city devoted to logic and reason. ~ Penelope Fitzgerald,
184:The reasaon I'm shy of objects is because I like them. I transfer the thoughts that are against me onto them. Then these thoughts go away, unless I talk about them - just like my wariness of people. Maybe it all collects in your hair.
After I separated from my husband, in the quiet days when no one was shouting at me anymore, I started noticing other people's wariness of strangers. I saw how they combed their hair in public. In the factory, in the city, in the streets, and trams, buses, and trains, while waiting in front of a counter or standing in a line for milk and bread. People comb their hair at the movies before the light goes out, and even in the cemetery. While they're parting their hair you can see their wariness of others collecting in their combs. But they can't comb it out completely if they go on talking about it. The fear of strangers sticks to the comb and makes it greasy. People who talk about it can't get rid of their fear of strangers; their combs are always clean. ~ Herta M ller,
185:For all my biographical projects I have kept a box of lives. A box of index cards containing the details—name, occupation, dates, place of residence and any other piece of information that seems relevant—of all the significant people in the life of my subject. I never quite know what to make of my boxes of lives. Depending on my mood they either strike me as a memorial to gladden the dead (“Look!” I imagine them saying as they peer through the glass at me. “She’s writing us down on her cards! And to think we’ve been dead two hundred years!”) or, when the glass is very dark and I feel quite stranded and alone this side of it, they seem like little cardboard tombstones, inanimate and cold, and the box itself is as dead as the cemetery. Miss Winter’s cast of characters was very small, and as I shuffled them in my hands their sparse flimsiness dismayed me. I was being given a story, but as far as information went, I was still far short of what I needed. I took a blank card and began to write. ~ Diane Setterfield,
186:Sam walked cautiously around Pack Leader to see the other side. There were the insect jaws protruding from the matted fur. Two, maybe three of them.
“I came for hunter kill me,” Pack Leader said.
Sam knew this was not the original Pack Leader. Lana had killed that Pack Leader. But whether this was the second coyote to hold the title or some other coyote, he didn’t know. This one had slightly better powers of speech than the first.
“Hunter’s dead,” Sam said.
“Kill me, Bright Hands.”
Sam had no sympathy for the coyote. The coyotes had participated in the town plaza massacre. There were bodies buried in the cemetery that had been so badly ripped by coyote teeth that they were unrecognizable.
“The flying snakes cause this?” Sam asked, pointing at the awful parasites.
“Where are they?”
Pack Leader made a purely coyote growl deep in his throat. “No words.”
“Then show us,” Sam said. “Take us to them.”
“Then you burn me?”
“Then I’ll burn you. ~ Michael Grant,
187:he had seen his share of heroes, too. Major Rawls never knew everything that Owen had known; the major knew only that Owen had been a hero—he didn’t know that Owen Meany had been a miracle, too. There’s a prayer I say most often for Owen. It’s one of the little prayers he said for my mother, the night Hester and I found him in the cemetery—where he’d brought the flashlight, because he knew how my mother had hated the darkness. “‘INTO PARADISE MAY THE ANGELS LEAD YOU,’” he’d said over my mother’s grave; and so I say that one for him—I know it was one of his favorites. I am always saying prayers for Owen Meany. And I often try to imagine how I might have answered Mary Beth Baird, when she spoke to me—at Owen’s burial. If I could have spoken, if I hadn’t lost my voice—what would I have said to her, how could I have answered her? Poor Mary Beth Baird! I left her standing in the cemetery without an answer. “Do you remember how we used to lift him up?” she’d asked me. “He was so easy to lift up!” Mary Beth Baird had said to me. “He was so light—he weighed ~ John Irving,
188:Well, at any rate, all that part of it was over, though neither of them could possibly believe that father was never coming back. Josephine had had a moment of absolute terror at the cemetery, while the coffin was lowered, to think that she and Constantia had done this thing without asking his permission. What would father say when he found out? For he was bound to find out sooner or later. He always did. “Buried. You two girls had me buried!” She heard his stick thumping. Oh, what would they say? What possible excuse could they make? It sounded such an appallingly heartless thing to do. Such a wicked advantage to take of a person because he happened to be helpless at the moment. The other people seemed to treat it all as a matter of course. They were strangers; they couldn’t be expected to understand that father was the very last person for such a thing to happen to. No, the entire blame for it all would fall on her and Constantia. And the expense, she thought, stepping into the tight-buttoned cab. When she had to show him the bills. What would he say then? ~ Katherine Mansfield,
189:Twenty-two months are a long time and a lot of things can happen in them- there is time for new families to be formed, for babies to be born and even begin to talk, for a great house to rise where once there was only a field, for a beautiful woman to grow old and no one desire her any more, for an illness- for a long illness- to ripen (yet men live on heedlessly), to consume the body slowly, to recede for short periods as if cured, to take hold again more deeply and drain away the last hopes; there is time for a man to die and be buried, for his son to be able to laugh again and in the evening take the girls down the avenues and past the cemetery gates without a thought. But it seemed as if Drogo’s existence had come to a halt. The same day, the same things, had repeated themselves hundreds of times without taking a step forward. The river of time flowed over the Fort, crumbled the walls, swept down dust and fragments of stone, wore away the stairs and the chain, but over Drogo it passed in vain- it had not yet succeeded in catching him, bearing him with it as it flowed. ~ Dino Buzzati,
190:They stood on an incline in the middle of the cemetery and he stepped closer. He lifted her chin to look into her green eyes. “You lost all track of time because we were enjoying ourselves. That means the date was a success.” He leaned toward her and gave her a peck on the lips. “Now relax and I’ll take you home.” And out of nowhere, completely unplanned and unprepared, Maureen threw her arms around George’s neck and planted her lips on his. He stumbled backward a couple of steps before he came up against a large tombstone that balanced him. He was finally able to get his arms around her and hang on to her. He kissed her back, but as kisses go it wasn’t much. It was the gesture that was startling. She let him go. “Well,” he said. “You should warn me when you’re going to do that. We could have gone down the hill, then we’d have to explain a couple of broken hips. That’s more complicated than being a little late to day care.” “I don’t know what came over me,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. Just make sure it comes over you again before long. I like it.” He held out his hand. “Come on. I’ll walk you down. Slowly.” * ~ Robyn Carr,
191:He was walking back through the cemetery to his car when he came upon a black man digging a grave with a shovel. The man was standing about two feet down in the unfinished grave and stopped shoveling and hurling the dirt out to the side as the visitor approached him. He wore dark coveralls and an old baseball cap, and from the gray in his mustache and the lines in his face he looked to be at least fifty. His frame, however, was still thick and strong.
"I thought they did this with a machine," he said to the gravedigger.
"In big cemeteries, where they do many graves, a lot of times they use a machine, that's right." He spoke like a Southerner, but very matter-of-factly, very precisely, more like a pedantic schoolteacher than a physical laborer. "I don't use a machine," the gravedigger continued, "because it can sink the other graves. THe soil can give and it can crush in on the box. And you have the gravestones you have to deal with. It's just easier in my case to do everything by hand. Much neater. Easier to take the dirt away without ruining anything else. I use a real small tractor that I can maneuver easily, and I dig by hand. ~ Philip Roth,
192:I reflected how many satisfied, happy people there really are! What a suffocating force it is! You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying... Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there s not one who would cry out, who would give vent to his indignation aloud. We see the people going to market for provisions, eating by day, sleeping by night, talking their silly nonsense, getting married, growing old, serenely escorting their dead to the cemetery; but we do not see and we do not hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes...Everything is so quiet and peaceful, and nothing protests but mute statistics: so many people gone out of their minds, so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition... And this order of things s evidently necessary; evidently the happy man only feels at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. ~ Anton Chekhov,
193:Well, no, Sister Brannigan was the one putting her name on the checks to the cemetery. Someone else was making the deposits into her personal account.” “But now that she’s gone?” “I suppose the Neapolitan benefactor will have to find someone else if he wants to remain anonymous.” Bree snorted, “For a second I thought maybe it might be Bernardo.” “Well, why not? I mean, a little bank fraud isn’t likely to keep my father up at night,” Alessandro said. “But he’s in New York,” Bree reminded him. “Geography, darling?” Alessandro asked amused. “You say that with such pride it scares me,” Bree said rolling her eyes. “I love you too,” Alessandro smiled. “But no. If he was, why let us go off on this whole journey?” “It’s Bernardo. If there’s something I’ve learned about your father it’s that the rules of logic don’t apply to him. Or any other kind of rules,” Bree added, “Maybe this is all some kind of big elaborate plan and we’re gonna go home and find out he’s been keeping Francesca and Adriano frozen in his basement in one of those sci-fi freezers that they say you can buy and use to come back to life in a hundred years.” Alessandro shook his head at her, not impressed with her sense of humour. ~ E Jamie,
194: America, America!
I am a poet of the Hudson River and the heights above it,
the lights, the stars, and the bridges
I am also by self-appointment the laureate of the Atlantic
-of the peoples' hearts, crossing it
to new America.
I am burdened with the truck and chimera, hope,
acquired in the sweating sick-excited passage
in steerage, strange and estranged
Hence I must descry and describe the kingdom of emotion.
For I am a poet of the kindergarten (in the city)
and the cemetery (in the city)
And rapture and ragtime and also the secret city in the
heart and mind
This is the song of the natural city self in the 20th century.
It is true but only partly true that a city is a "tyranny of
(This is the chant of the urban metropolitan and
After the first two World Wars of the 20th century)
--- This is the city self, looking from window to lighted
When the squares and checks of faintly yellow light
Shine at night, upon a huge dim board and slab-like tombs,
Hiding many lives. It is the city consciousness
Which sees and says: more: more and more: always more.
~ Delmore Schwartz,
195:You say that about everything,” I complained, trailing after him. “Everything is a long story, too long to tell me. I suppose after two hundred years, or whatever, things get a little convoluted, but can’t you paraphrase? How do you know the Rectors?”
When we rounded the corner, it became apparent there wouldn’t be time for any stories at all, paraphrased or not. Not because the gray clouds that were hanging so threateningly overhead had burst open, the way I was half expecting them to, but because the family we’d seen earlier, along with Mr. Smith and the people holding the clipboards, were climbing into their various vehicles in the parking lot right in front of us.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal. We were just an ordinary young couple, taking a late afternoon stroll through the cemetery.
I’d forgotten that, due to the “vandalism” that had occurred there earlier in the week, the cemetery gates (which John had kicked apart in a fit of temper) had been ordered locked twenty-four hours a day by the chief of police.
So it kind of was a big deal.
Still, that didn’t explain why one of the women-the grandmother, if her gray hair was any indication-took one look at my face, made the sign of the cross, cried, “Dios mio!” then passed out cold right in front of us. ~ Meg Cabot,
196:I'd been making desicions for days.
I picked out the dress Bailey would wear forever-
a black slinky one- innapropriate- that she loved.
I chose a sweater to go over it, earrings, bracelet, necklace,
her most beloved strappy sandals.
I collected her makeup to give to the funeral director with a recent photo-
I thought it would be me that would dress her;
I didn't think a strange man should see her naked
touch her body
shave her legs
apply her lipstick
but that's what happened all the same.
I helped Gram pick out the casket,
the plot at the cemetery.
I changed a few lines
in the obituary that Big composed.
I wrote on a piece of paper what I thought
should go on the headstone.
I did all this without uttering a word.
Not one word, for days,
until I saw Bailey before the funeral
and lost my mind.
I hadn't realized that when people say so-and-so
that's what actually happens-
I started shaking her-
I thought I could wake her up
and get her the hell out of that box.
When she didn't wake,
I screamed: Talk to me.
Big swooped me up in his arms,
carried me out of the room, the church,
into the slamming rain,
and down to the creek
where we sobbed together
under the black coat he held over our heads
to protect us from the weather. ~ Jandy Nelson,
197:Freed of the burden I had been carrying, I moved on, this time circling east. Under an overpass at Nogizaka, north of Roppongi-dori, I saw a half-dozen chinpira, gaudy in sleek racing leathers, squatting in a tight semicircle, their low-slung metal motorcycles parked on the footpath alongside them. Fragments of their conversation skipped off the concrete wall to my right, the words unintelligible but the notes tuned as tight as the tricked-out exhaust pipes of their machines. They were probably jacked on kakuseizai, the methamphetamine that has been the Japanese drug of choice since the government distributed it to soldiers and workers during World War II, and of which these chinpira were doubtless both purveyors and consumers. They were waiting for the drug-induced hum in their muscles and brains to hit the right pitch, for the hour to grow suitably late and the night more seductively dark, before emerging from their concrete lair and answering the neon call of Roppongi. I watched them take notice of me, a solitary figure approaching from the southern end of what was in effect a narrow tunnel. I considered crossing the street, but a metal divider made that maneuver unfeasible. I might simply have backed up and taken a different route. My failure to do so made it more difficult for me to deny that I was indeed heading toward the cemetery. ~ Barry Eisler,
198:Using Holmes’s instructions, workmen in the employ of undertaker John J. O’Rourke filled a coffin with cement, then placed Holmes’s body inside and covered it with more cement. They hauled him south through the countryside to Holy Cross Cemetery, a Catholic burial ground in Delaware County, just south of Philadelphia. With great effort they transferred the heavy coffin to the cemetery’s central vault, where two Pinkerton detectives guarded the body overnight. They took turns sleeping in a white pine coffin. The next day workers opened a double grave and filled this too with cement, then inserted Holmes’s coffin. They placed more cement on top and closed the grave. “Holmes’ idea was evidently to guard his remains in every way from scientific enterprise, from the pickling vat and the knife,” the Public Ledger reported. Strange things began to happen that made Holmes’s claims about being the devil seem almost plausible. Detective Geyer became seriously ill. The warden of Moyamensing prison committed suicide. The jury foreman was electrocuted in a freak accident. The priest who delivered Holmes’s last rites was found dead on the grounds of his church of mysterious causes. The father of Emeline Cigrand was grotesquely burned in a boiler explosion. And a fire destroyed the office of District Attorney George Graham, leaving only a photograph of Holmes unscathed. ~ Erik Larson,
199:Of course, none of that would matter if people heard Nina and Jesper arguing at the top of their lungs. They must have returned to the island and left theirgondel on the north side. Nina’s irritated voice floated over the graves, and Matthias felt a surge of relief, his steps quickening, eager for the sight of her.
“I don’t think you’re showing proper appreciation for what I just went through,” Jesper was saying as he stomped through the cemetery.
“You spent a night at the tables losing someone else’s money,” Nina shot back. “Isn’t that essentially a holiday for you?”
Kaz knocked his cane hard against a gravestone and they both went quiet, moving swiftly into fighting stances.
Nina relaxed as soon as she caught sight of the three of them in the shadows. “Oh, it’s you.”
“Yes, it’s us.” Kaz used his cane to herd them both toward the center of the island. “And you would have heard us if you hadn’t been busy shouting at each other. Stop gawking like you’ve never seen a girl in a dress before, Matthias.”
“I wasn’t gawking,” Matthias said with as much dignity as he could muster. But for Djel’s sake, what was he supposed to look at when Nina had irises tucked between … everything.
“Be quiet, Brekker,” Nina said. “I like it when he gawks.”
“How did the mission go?” Matthias asked, trying to keep his eyes on her face. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
200:Listen up, pal, the moon is way up in the sky. Aren’t you scared? The helplessness that comes from nature. That moonlight, think about it, that moonlight, paler than a corpse’s face, so silent and far away, that moonlight witnessed the cries of the first monsters to walk the earth, surveyed the peaceful waters after the deluges and the floods, illuminated centuries of nights and went out at dawns throughout centuries . . . Think about it, my friend, that moonlight will be the same tranquil ghost when the last traces of your great-grandsons’ grandsons no longer exist. Prostrate yourself before it. You’ve shown up for an instant and it is forever. Don’t you suffer, pal? I . . . I myself can’t stand it. It hits me right here, in the center of my heart, having to die one day and, thousands of centuries later, undistinguished in humus, eyeless for all eternity, I, I!, for all eternity . . . and the indifferent, triumphant moon, its pale hands outstretched over new men, new things, different beings. And I Dead! Think about it, my friend. It’s shining over the cemetery right now. The cemetery, where all lie sleeping who once were and never more shall be. There, where the slightest whisper makes the living shudder in terror and where the tranquility of the stars muffles our cries and brings terror to our eyes. There, where there are neither tears nor thoughts to express the profound misery of coming to an end. ~ Clarice Lispector,
201:There is a story they tell, about a girl dared by her peers to venture to a local graveyard after dark. This was her folly: when they told her that standing on someone’s grave at night would cause the inhabitant to reach up and pull her under, she scoffed. Scoffing is the first mistake a woman can make.
I will show you, she said.
Pride is the second mistake.
They gave her a knife to stick into the frosty earth, as a way of proving her presence and her theory.
She went to that graveyard. Some storytellers say that she picked the grave at random. I believe she selected a very old one, her choice tinged by self-doubt and the latent belief that if she were wrong, the intact muscle and flesh of a newly dead corpse would be more dangerous than one centuries gone.
She knelt on the grave and plunged the blade deep. As she stood to run she found she couldn’t escape. Something was clutching at her clothes. She cried out and fell down.
When morning came, her friends arrived at the cemetery. They found her dead on the grave, the blade pinning the sturdy wool of her skirt to the ground. Dead of fright or exposure, would it matter when the parents arrived? She was not wrong, but it didn’t matter any more. Afterwards, everyone believed that she had wished to die, even though she had died proving that she could live.
As it turns out, being right was the third, and worst, mistake. ~ Carmen Maria Machado,
202:Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson performed a rather bizarre experiment on ants that may supplement Paul’s illustration (Rom 6:1-14). After noticing that it took ants a few days to recognize one of their crumpled nestmates as having died, he determined that ants identified death by clues of smell, not visually. As the ant’s body began to decompose, other ants would infallibly carry it out of the nest to a refuse pile. After many tries, Wilson narrowed down the precise chemical clue to oleic acid. If the ants smelled oleic acid, they would carry out the corpse; any other smell, they ignored. Their instinct was so strong that if Wilson daubed oleic acid on bits of paper, other ants would dutifully carry the paper to the ant cemetery.
In a final twist, Wilson painted oleic acid on the bodies of living ants. Sure enough, their nestmates seized them and marched them, their legs and antennae wriggling in protest, out to the ant cemetery. Thus deposited, the indignant 'living dead' cleaned themselves off before returning to the nest. If they did not remove every trace of the oleic acid, the nestmates would promptly seize them again and return them to the cemetery. They had to be certifiably alive, judged solely by smell, before being accepted back into the nest.
I think of that image, 'dead' ants acting very much alive, when I read Paul’s first illustration in Romans 6. Sin may be dead, but it stubbornly wriggles back to life. ~ Philip Yancey,
203:The cemetery watchman left the room and returned with a tray holding three small skulls and a large one. I could feel the short hairs on the back of my neck standing up of their own accord. None of them were real though; they were wood or celluloid imitations. They all had flaps that opened at the top; one was a jug and the other three steins.
The man behind the desk named the toast. 'To our Friend!' I thought he meant myself at first; he meant that shadowy enemy of all mankind, the Grim Reaper.
'We are called The Friends of Death,' he explained to me when the grisly containers had been emptied. 'To outline our creed and purpose briefly, it is this: That death is life, and life is death. We have mastered death, and no member of the Friends of Death need ever fear it. They 'die,' it is true, but after death they are buried in special graves in our private cemetery - graves having air vents, such as you discovered. Also, our graves are equipped with electric signals, so that after the bodies of our buried members begin to respond to the secret treatment our scientists have given them before internment, we are warned. Then we come and release them - and they live again. Moreover, they are released, freed of their thralldom; from then on death is an old familiar friend instead of an enemy. They no longer fear it. Do you not see what a wonderful boon this would be in your case, Brother Bud; you who have suffered so from that fear?' ("Graves For The Living") ~ Cornell Woolrich,
204:Just look at this life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, impossible poverty all around us, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lies...Yet in all the houses and streets it's quiet, peaceful; of the fifty thousand people who live in town there is not one who would cry out or become loudly indignant. We see those who go to the market to buy food, eat during the day, sleep during the night, who talk their nonsense, get married, grow old, complacently drag their dead to the cemetery; but we don't see or hear those who suffer, and the horrors of life go on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and only mute statistics protest: so many gone mad, so many buckets drunk, so many children dead of malnutrition... And this order is obviously necessary; obviously the happy man feels good only because the unhappy bear their burden silently, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It's a general hypnosis. At the door of every happy, contented man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him--illness, poverty, loss--and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen--and everything is fine. ~ Anton Chekhov,
205:PARTY POOPER I, Theresa Marie “Tessie” Finley, hereby confess that on the night of October 17th, 1959, instead of keeping my ears to the ground and my eyes peeled for suspicious goings-on in our neighborhood, the way I swore to do on the Holy Bible, I screwed up really bad. For cripessakes, any president of a blackmail and detecting society worth their salt would’ve at least poked their head outta their bedroom window at 12: 07 a.m. to see who was hollering their head off in the cemetery behind their house, “I’m warning you! Watch yourself! You’re treading on dangerous ground!” But what did I do? I acted like some dumb schmoe who doesn’t know the score. According to Chapter One in what has to be the best book ever written on the subject, Modern Detection, a private investigator is never supposed to “assume” they know something without having proof and they’re also never supposed to “let emotions cloud their judgment.” But the minute I heard that hollering over at Holy Cross, I’m ashamed to say, instead of really listening to the voice barging through our bedroom window so I could figure out who it was—I am an ace at that sort of thing—I right away “assumed” that it was Mr. Howard Howard, because every once in a while (mostly after he’s been hitting the schnapps bottle), he staggers over to the cemetery in the wee hours to collapse in a heap on his wife’s grave to bawl his eyes out and threaten God that He better give his Mrs. back ASAP or else. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I also let my emotions cloud my judgment, because Mr. Howard Howard and me, we have that in common. I could be an expert witness on sad ~ Lesley Kagen,
206:Colin. Just the name made Alessandro’s gut burn. He knew the man wanted his wife, even if Brianna was too blind to see it. The moron had been cuckolded by the paragon of supposed virtue, his wife Carrie and now he had finally opened his eyes and seen what Alessandro had known all along. Brianna put every other woman in New York to shame. No woman could come near her beauty, her passion, her fire. Colin had tossed her aside for the angelic Carrie and now he was changing his mind. Oh no you don’t, you miserable fucker. “Her friend indeed,” Bernardo drawled, his Italian accent thick with unmistakable implication. “Dat’s da truth. He no make her cry all da time.” That was directed at Alessandro, with small dark accusatory eyes. “He nice.” Alessandro couldn’t look at those eyes without feeling a sickening pang of guilt. She’s mine! He wanted to scream. Mine! Mine! Mine! “Oh yes. Very nice. He was very nice when he held her at the cemetery and very nice when he was dancing with her at Adresca.” That made Alessandro’s head lift in surprise. “Oh yes, my boy. She’s been there, cleaning up the rubble and word is that she’s working on re-opening it. Her friend Colin has been quite helpful in that endeavour.” “I don’ like how you say dat,” Will said scowling. “Really young William, I only speak the truth,” Bernardo taunted. Alessandro’s mind was racing. NO! Not Colin. He could not let that imbecile take Brianna away from him. He’d have to be eliminated somehow. Alessandro began to plot all the different ways he could ensure that Colin Neally stayed away from his wife, permanently. They all involved grisly, violent methods. He could not be allowed to win Brianna. ~ E Jamie,
207:Captain Miller lay close by where he had been hit, his back slumped against the bridge’s wall. Ryan, in anguish, was alone with his rescuer in the final moments before Miller died. Ryan watched as the captain struggled in his last moments, shot clean through one lung. The captain wouldn’t take another breath, except to grunt, “James. Earn this … earn it.” Were these dying words a final order or charge? Private Ryan has always taken it that way. These memories rivet the aged James Ryan, who now finds himself staring at the grave marker and mumbling to his dead commander. He tells Captain Miller that his family is with him. He confesses that he wasn’t sure how he would feel about coming to the cemetery today. He wants Captain Miller to know that every day of his life he’s thought of their conversation at the bridge, of Miller’s dying words. Ryan has tried to live a good life, and he hopes he has. At least in the captain’s eyes, he hopes he’s “earned it,” that his life has been worthy of the sacrifice Captain Miller and the other men made of giving their lives for his. As Ryan mutters these thoughts, he cannot help wondering how any life, however well lived, could be worthy of his friends’ sacrifice. The old man stands up, but he doesn’t feel released. The question remains unanswered. His wife comes to his side again. He looks at her and pleads, “Tell me I’ve led a good life.” Confused by his request, she responds with a question: “What?” He has to know the answer. He tries to articulate it again: “Tell me I’m a good man.” The request flusters her, but his earnestness makes her think better of putting it off. With great dignity, she says, “You are. ~ Charles W Colson,
208:One can do only so much to control one's life,' Ernestine said, and with that, a summary statement as philosophically potent as any she cared to make, she returned the wallet to her handbag, thanked me for lunch, and, gathering herself almost visibly back into that orderly, ordinary existence that rigorously distanced itself from delusionary thinking, whether white or black or in between, she left the car. Instead of my then heading home, I drove crosstown to the cemetery and, after parking on the street, walked in through the gate, and not quite knowing what was happening, standing in the falling darkness beside the uneven earth mound roughly heaped over Coleman's coffin, I was completely seized by his story, by its end and by its beginning, and, then and there, I began this book.
I began by wondering what it had been like when Coleman had told Faunia the truth about that beginning--assuming that he ever had; assuming, that is, that he had to have. Assuming that what he could not outright say to me on the day he burst in all but shouting, "Write my story, damn you!" and what he could not say to me when he had to abandon (because of the secret, I now realized) writing the story himself, he could not in the end resist confessing to her, to the college cleaning woman who'd become his comrade-in-arms, the first and last person since Ellie Magee for whom he could strip down and turn around so as to expose, protruding from his naked back, the mechanical key by which he had wound himself up to set off on his great escapade. Ellie, before her Steena, and finally Faunia. The only woman never to know his secret is the woman he spent his life with, his wife. Why Faunia? ~ Philip Roth,
209:went to the cemetery he had chosen and were driven around in a golf cart. There were no plots available next to those of Paul and Clara Jobs, and Laurene hated the other options that she was shown, where the headstones were crammed into rows on an undistinguished, flat piece of land. But like her husband, she was imaginative and willful. She pointed to a bucolic ridge crowned by one of the area’s last remaining apricot orchards, the type of grove that Jobs had loved from his childhood. It wasn’t available, she was told. There were no plans or permits to put burial plots there. That did not deter her. After much insistence, she convinced the cemetery director that her husband would eventually have his final resting place near the orchard. Steve would have been proud of her. Laurene was able, then as always, to combine her husband’s pristine taste with her own loving grace. The casket she had made was perfectly crafted and hinged, with no nails or screws. Pure and simple. At the private burial ceremony, it rested on one of the gray industrial tables from the serene design studio at Apple headquarters, where Jobs had spent so many afternoons. Jony Ive had arranged for the table to be brought to the grave-side. There were fifty or so family members and friends in attendance, and some chose to share stories. Disney’s Bob Iger, for example, told of taking a walk with Jobs around the Pixar campus just thirty minutes before the deal with Disney to be announced. Jobs told him that his cancer had returned, and only Laurene and the doctors knew; he felt he had a duty to let Iger know in case he wanted to pull out of the deal. “It was an extraordinary gesture on his part, ~ Walter Isaacson,
210:But the fact was Millat didn’t need to go back home: he stood schizophrenic, one foot in Bengal and one in Willesden. In his mind he was as much there as he was here. He did not require a passport to live in two places at once, he needed no visa to live his brother’s life and his own (he was a twin, after all). Alsana was the first to spot it. She confided to Clara: By God, they’re tied together like a cat’s cradle, connected like a see-saw, push one end, other goes up, whatever Millat sees, Magid saw and vice versa! And Alsana only knew the incidentals: similar illnesses, simultaneous accidents, pets dying continents apart. She did not know that while Magid watched the 1985 cyclone shake things from high places, Millat was pushing his luck along the towering wall of the cemetery in Fortune Green; that on February 10, 1988, as Magid worked his way through the violent crowds of Dhaka, ducking the random blows of those busy settling an election with knives and fists, Millat held his own against three sotted, furious, quick-footed Irishmen outside Biddy Mulligan’s notorious Kilburn public house. Ah, but you are not convinced by coincidence? You want fact fact fact? You want brushes with the Big Man with black hood and scythe? OK: on April 28, 1989, a tornado whisked the Chittagong kitchen up into the sky, taking everything with it except Magid, left miraculously curled up in a ball on the floor. Now, segue to Millat, five thousand miles away, lowering himself down upon legendary sixth-former Natalia Cavendish (whose body is keeping a dark secret from her); the condoms are unopened in a box in his back pocket; but somehow he will not catch it; even though he is moving rhythmically now, up and in, deeper and sideways, dancing with death ~ Zadie Smith,
211:If, uh, Luce wants to get out, someone's gonna have to help her down from the window." She drummed her fingers on the table, looking sheepish. "I made a library book barricade near the entrance in case any of the Sword & Cross-eyeds felt inclined to disrupt us."
"Dibs." Cam already had his arm slipped through the crook of Luce's elbow. She started to argue, but none of the other angels seemed to think it was a bad idea. Daniel didn't even notice.
Near the back exit, Shelby and Miles both mouthed Be careful to Luce with varying degrees of fierceness.
Cam walked her to the window, radiating warmth with his smile. He slid the glass pane up and together they looked out at the campus where they'd met, where they'd grown close, where he'd tricked her into kissing him. They weren't all bad memories...
He hopped through the window first, landing smoothly on the ledge, and he held out a hand for hers.
His grip was strong and it made her feel tiny and weightless as Cam drifted down from the ledge, two stories in two seconds. His wings were concealed, but he still moved as gracefully as if he were flying. They landed softly on the dewy grass.
"I take it you don't want my company," he said. "At the cemetery-not, you know, in general."
"Right. No, thanks."
He looked away and reached into his pocket, pulled out a tiny silver bell. It looked ancient, with Hebrew writing on it. He handed it to her. "Just ring when you want a lift back up."
"Cam," Luce said. "What is my role in all of this?"
Cam reached out to touch her cheek, then seemed to think better of it. His hand hovered in the air. "Daniel's right. It isn't our place to tell you."
He didn't wait for her response-just bent his knees and soared off the ground. He didn't even look back. ~ Lauren Kate,
212:I AM PUSHING a rusty wheelbarrow in a town where the air smells of blood and burnt flesh. The breeze brings the faint cries of those whose last breaths are leaving their mangled bodies. I walk past them. Their arms and legs are missing; their intestines spill out through the bullet holes in their stomachs; brain matter comes out of their noses and ears. The flies are so excited and intoxicated that they fall on the pools of blood and die. The eyes of the nearly dead are redder than the blood that comes out of them, and it seems that their bones will tear through the skin of their taut faces at any minute. I turn my face to the ground to look at my feet. My tattered crapes are soaked with blood, which seems to be running down my army shorts. I feel no physical pain, so I am not sure whether I’ve been wounded. I can feel the warmth of my AK-47’s barrel on my back; I don’t remember when I last fired it. It feels as if needles have been hammered into my brain, and it is hard to be sure whether it is day or night. The wheelbarrow in front of me contains a dead body wrapped in white bedsheets. I do not know why I am taking this particular body to the cemetery. When I arrive at the cemetery, I struggle to lift it from the wheelbarrow; it feels as if the body is resisting. I carry it in my arms, looking for a suitable place to lay it to rest. My body begins to ache and I can’t lift a foot without feeling a rush of pain from my toes to my spine. I collapse on the ground and hold the body in my arms. Blood spots begin to emerge on the white bedsheets covering it. Setting the body on the ground, I start to unwrap it, beginning at the feet. All the way up to the neck, there are bullet holes. One bullet has crushed the Adam’s apple and sent the remains of it to the back of the throat. I lift the cloth from the body’s face. I am looking at my own. I ~ Ishmael Beah,
213:And I thought how many satisfied, happy people really do exist in this world! And what a powerful force they are! Just take a look at this life of ours and you will see the arrogance and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak. Everywhere there's unspeakable poverty, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy and stupid lies... And yet peace and quiet reign in every house and street. Out of fifty thousand people you won't find one who is prepared to shout out loud and make a strong protest. We see people buying food in the market, eating during the day, sleeping at night-time, talking nonsense, marrying, growing old and then contentedly carting their dead off to the cemetery. But we don't hear or see those who suffer: the real tragedies of life are enacted somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is calm and peaceful and the only protest comes from statistics - and they can't talk. Figures show that so many went mad, so many bottles of vodka were emptied, so many children died from malnutrition. And clearly this kind of system is what people need. It,s obvious that the happy man feels contented only because the unhappy ones bear their burden without saying a word: if it weren't for their silence, happiness would be quite impossible. It's a kind of mass hypnosis. Someone ought to stand with a hammer at the door of every contented man, continually banging on it to remind him that there are unhappy people around and that however happy he may be at that time, sooner or later life will show him its claws and disaster will overtake him in the form of illness, poverty, bereavement and there will be no one to hear or see him. But there isn't anyone holding a hammer, so our happy man goes his own sweet way and is only gently ruffled by life's trivial cares, as an aspen is ruffled by the breeze. All's well as far as he's concerned ~ Anton Chekhov,
214:In Loving Memory
Winifred Foster Jackson
“So,” said Tuck to himself. “Two years. She’s been gone two years.” He stood up and looked around, embarrassed, trying to clear the lump from his throat. But there was no one to see him. The cemetery was very quiet. In the branches of a willow behind him, a red-winged blackbird chirped. Tuck wiped his eyes hastily. Then he straightened his jacket again and drew up his hand in a brief salute. “Good girl,” he said aloud. And then he turned and left the cemetery, walking quickly.
Later, as he and Mae rolled out of Treegap, Mae said softly, without looking at him, “She’s gone?”
Tuck nodded. “She’s gone,” he answered.
There was a long moment of silence between them, and then Mae said, “Poor Jesse.”
“He knowed it, though,” said Tuck. “At least, he knowed she wasn’t coming. We all knowed that, long time ago.”
“Just the same,” said Mae. She sighed. And then she sat up a little straighter. “Well, where to now, Tuck? No need to come back here no more.”
“That’s so,” said Tuck. “Let’s just head on out this way. We’ll locate something.”
“All right,” said Mae. And then she put a hand on his arm and pointed. “Look out for that toad.”
Tuck had seen it, too. He reined in the horse and climbed down from the wagon. The toad was squatting in the middle of the road, quite unconcerned. In the other lane, a pickup truck rattled by, and against the breeze it made, the toad shut its eyes tightly. But it did not move. Tuck waited till the truck had passed, and then he picked up the toad and carried it to the weeds along the road’s edge. “Durn fool thing must think it’s going to live forever,” he said to Mae.
And soon they were rolling on again, leaving Treegap behind, and as they went, the tinkling little melody of a music box drifted out behind them and was lost at last far down the road. ~ Natalie Babbitt,
215:Once my father told me: When a Jew prays, he is asking God a question that has no end.
Darkness fell. Rain fell.
I never asked: What question?
And now it's too late. Because I lost you, Tateh. One day, in the spring of 1938, on a rainy day that gave way to a break in the clouds, I lost you. You'd gone out to collect specimens for a theory you were hatching about rainfall, instinct, and butterflies. And then you were gone. We found you lying under a tree, your face splashed with mud. We knew you were free then, unbound by disappointing results. And we buried you in the cemetery where your father was buried, and his father, under the shade of the chestnut tree. Three years later, I lost Mameh. The last time I saw her she was wearing her yellow apron. She was stuffing things in a suitcase, the house was a wreck. She told me to go into the woods. She'd packed me food, and told me to wear my coat, even though it was July. "Go," she said. I was too old to listen, but like a child I listened. She told me she'd follow the next day. We chose a spot we both knew in the woods. The giant walnut tree you used to like, Tateh, because you said it had human qualities. I didn't bother to say goodbye. I chose to believe what was easier. I waited. But. She never came.
Since then I've lived with the guilt of understanding too late that she thought she would have been a burden to me. I lost Fitzy. He was studying in Vilna, Tateh—someone who knew someone told me he'd last been seen on a train. I lost Sari and Hanna to the dogs. I lost Herschel to the rain. I lost Josef to a crack in time. I lost the sound of laughter. I lost a pair of shoes, I'd taken them off to sleep, the shoes Herschel gave me, and when I woke they were gone, I walked barefoot for days and then I broke down and stole someone else's. I lost the only woman I ever wanted to love. I lost years. I lost books. I lost the house where I was born. And I lost Isaac. So who is to say that somewhere along the way, without my knowing it, I didn't also lose my mind? ~ Nicole Krauss,
216:There is always, for some reason, an element of sadness mingled with my thoughts of human happiness, and, on this occasion, at the sight of a happy man I was overcome by an oppressive feeling that was close upon despair. It was particularly oppressive at night. A bed was made up for me in the room next to my brother’s bedroom, and I could hear that he was awake, and that he kept getting up and going to the plate of gooseberries and taking one. I reflected how many satisfied, happy people there really are! ‘What a suffocating force it is! You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying... Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there is not one who would cry out, who would give vent to his indignation aloud. We see the people going to market for provisions, eating by day, sleeping by night, talking their silly nonsense, getting married, growing old, serenely escorting their dead to the cemetery; but we do not see and we do not hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes... Everything is quiet and peaceful, and nothing protests but mute statistics: so many people gone out of their minds, so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition... And this order of things is evidently necessary; evidently the happy man only feels at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It’s a case of general hypnotism. There ought to be behind the door of every happy, contented man some one standing with a hammer continually reminding him with a tap that there are unhappy people; that however happy he may be, life will show him her laws sooner or later, trouble will come for him—disease, poverty, losses, and no one will see or hear, just as now he neither sees nor hears others. But there is no man with a hammer; the happy man lives at his ease, and trivial daily cares faintly agitate him like the wind in the aspen-tree—and all goes well. ~ Anton Chekhov,
217:My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . .
Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week.
My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations.
When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love.
What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love. ~ Vladimir Nabokov,
218:true—helping a hurting person is a bit scary. We want to do the right thing, not the wrong thing—say what will help, not what will hurt. To add to our confusion, our friend is “not quite herself.” She’s different. We want our friend fixed and back to normal. All you have to do is care. Harold Ivan Smith described the process so well: Grief sharers always look for an opportunity to actively care. You can never “fix” an individual’s grief, but you can wash the sink full of dishes, listen to him or her talk, take his or her kids to the park. You can never “fix” an individual’s grief but you can visit the cemetery with him or her. Grief sharing is not about fixing—it’s about showing up. Coming alongside. Being interruptible. “Hanging out” with the bereaving. In the words of World War II veterans, “present and reporting for duty.” The grief path is not a brief path. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. What can you expect from a friend who is hurting? Actually, not very much. And the more her experience moves beyond a loss and closer to a crisis or trauma, the more this is true. Sometimes you’ll see a friend experiencing a case of the “crazies.” Her response seems irrational. She’s not herself. Her behavior is different from or even abnormal compared to the person not going through a major loss. Just remember, she’s reacting to an out-of-the-ordinary event. What she experienced is abnormal, so her response is actually quite normal. If what the person has experienced is traumatic she may even seem to exhibit some of the symptoms of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). And because your friend is this way, she is not to be avoided. Others are needed at this time in her life. These are responses you can expect. Your friend is no longer functioning as she once did—and probably won’t for a while. You Are Needed You are needed when a person experiences a sudden intrusion or disruption in her life. If you (or another friend) aren’t available, the only person she has to talk with for guidance, support, and direction is herself. And who wants support from someone struggling with a case of the “crazies”? But a problem may arise when your friend doesn’t realize that she needs you, at least at that particular time. Your sensitivity is needed at this point. Remember, when your friend is hurting and facing a loss, you are dealing with a loss as well, because the relationship you had with your friend has changed. It’s not the same. ~ H Norman Wright,
219:It was awful. It was three in the morning. And I finally said, “Chip, I’m not sleeping in this house.”
We were broke. We couldn’t go to a hotel. There was no way we were gonna go knock on one of our parents’ doors at that time of night.
That’s when I got an idea. We happened to have Chip’s parents’ old RV parked in a vacant lot a few blocks down. We had some of our things in there and had been using it basically as a storage unit until we moved in. “Let’s get in the RV. We’ll go find somewhere to plug it in, and we’ll have AC,” I said.
As we stepped outside, the skies opened up. It started pouring rain. When we finally got into the RV, soaking wet, we pulled down the road a ways and Chip said, “I know where we can go.” It was raining so hard we could barely see through the windshield, and all of a sudden Chip turned the RV into a cemetery.
“Why are you pulling in to a cemetery?” I asked him.
“We’re not going to the cemetery,” Chip said. “It’s just next to a cemetery. There’s an RV park back here.”
“Are you kidding me? Could this get any worse?”
“Oh, quit it. You’re going to love it once I get this AC fired up.”
Chip decided to go flying through the median between the two rows of RV parking, not realizing it was set up like a culvert for drainage and rain runoff. That RV bounced so hard that, had it not been for our seat belts, we would’ve both been catapulted through the roof of that vehicle.
“What was that?!”
“I don’t know,” Chip said.
I tried to put it in reverse, and then forward, and then reverse again, and the thing just wouldn’t move. I hopped out to take a look and couldn’t believe it. There was a movie a few years ago where the main character gets his RV caught on this fulcrum and it’s sitting there teetering with both sets of wheels up in the air. Well, we sort of did the opposite. We went across this valley, and because the RV was so long, the butt end of it got stuck on the little hill behind us, and the front end got stuck on the little hill in front of us, and the wheels were just sort of hanging there in between. I crawled back into the RV soaking wet and gave Jo the bad news.
We had no place to go, no place to plug in so we could run the AC; it was pouring rain so we couldn’t really walk anywhere to get help. And at that point I was just done. We wound up toughing it out and spending the first night after our honeymoon in a hot, old RV packed full of our belongings, suspended between two bumps in the road. ~ Joanna Gaines,
220:Her womb from her body. Separation. Her clitoris from her vulva. Cleaving. Desire from her body. We were told that bodies rising to heaven lose their vulvas, their ovaries, wombs, that her body in resurrection becomes a male body.
The Divine Image from woman, severing, immortality from the garden, exile, the golden calf split, birth, sorrow, suffering. We were told that the blood of a woman after childbirth conveys uncleanness. That if a woman's uterus is detached and falls to the ground, that she is unclean. Her body from the sacred. Spirit from flesh. We were told that if a woman has an issue and that issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be impure for seven days. The impure from the pure. The defiled from the holy. And whoever touches her, we heard, was also impure. Spirit from matter. And we were told that if our garments are stained we are unclean back to the time we can remember seeing our garments unstained, that we must rub seven substances over these stains, and immerse our soiled garments.
Separation. The clean from the unclean. The decaying, the putrid, the polluted, the fetid, the eroded, waste, defecation, from the unchanging. The changing from the sacred. We heard it spoken that if a grave is plowed up in a field so that the bones of the dead are lost in the soil of the field, this soil conveys uncleanness. That if a member is severed from a corpse, this too conveys uncleanness, even an olive pit's bulk of flesh. That if marrow is left in a bone there is uncleanness. And of the place where we gathered to weep near the graveyard, we heard that planting and sowing were forbidden since our grieving may have tempted unclean flesh to the soil. And we learned that the dead body must be separated from the city.
Death from the city. Wilderness from the city. Wildness from the city. The Cemetery. The Garden. The Zoological Garden. We were told that a wolf circled the walls of the city. That he ate little children. That he ate women. That he lured us away from the city with his tricks. That he was a seducer and he feasted on the flesh of the foolish, and the blood of the errant and sinful stained the snow under his jaws.
The errant from the city. The ghetto. The ghetto of Jews. The ghetto of Moors. The quarter of prostitutes. The ghetto of blacks. The neighborhood of lesbians. The prison. The witch house. The underworld. The underground. The sewer. Space Divided. The inch. The foot. The mile. The boundary. The border. The nation. The promised land. The chosen ones. ~ Susan Griffin,
221: A Pastoral
on the wall the dense ivy of executions
We shall meet again, in Srinagar,
by the gates of the Villa of Peace,
our hands blossoming into fists
till the soldiers return the keys
and disappear. Again we'll enter
our last world, the first that vanished
in our absence from the broken city.
We'll tear our shirts for tourniquets
and bind the open thorns, warm the ivy
into roses. Quick, by the pomegranate—
the bird will say—Humankind can bear
everything. No need to stop the ear
to stories rumored in branches: We'll hear
our gardener's voice, the way we did
as children, clear under trees he'd planted:
"It's true, my death, at the mosque entrance,
in the massacre, when the Call to Prayer
opened the floodgates"—Quick, follow the silence—
"and dawn rushed into everyone's eyes."
Will we follow the horned lark, pry
open the back gate into the poplar groves,
go past the search post into the cemetery,
the dust still uneasy on hurried graves
with no names, like all new ones in the city?
"It's true" (we'll hear our gardener
again). "That bird is silent all winter.
Its voice returns in spring, a plaintive cry.
That's when it saw the mountain falcon
rip open, in mid-air, the blue magpie,
then carry it, limp from the talons."
Pluck the blood: My words will echo thus
at sunset, by the ivy, but to what purpose?
In the drawer of the cedar stand,
white in the verandah, we'll find letters:
When the post offices died, the mailman
knew we'd return to answer them. Better
if he'd let them speed to death,
blacked out by Autumn's Press Trust
not like this, taking away our breath,
holding it with love's anonymous
scripts: "See how your world has cracked.
Why aren't you here? Where are you? Come back.
Is history deaf there, across the oceans?"
Quick, the bird will say. And we'll try
the keys, with the first one open the door
into the drawing room. Mirror after mirror,
textiled by dust, will blind us to our return
as we light oil lamps. The glass map of our country,
still on the wall, will tear us to lace—
We'll go past our ancestors, up the staircase,
holding their wills against our hearts. Their wish
was we return—forever!—and inherit(Quick, the bird
will say) that to which we belong, not like this—
to get news of our death after the world's.
(for Suvir Kaul)
~ Agha Shahid Ali,
222:If a season like the Great Rebellion ever came to him again, he feared, it could never be in that same personal, random array of picaresque acts he was to recall and celebrate in later years at best furious and nostalgic; but rather with a logic that chilled the comfortable perversity of the heart, that substituted capability for character, deliberate scheme for political epiphany (so incomparably African); and for Sarah, the sjambok, the dances of death between Warmbad and Keetmanshoop, the taut haunches of his Firelily, the black corpse impaled on a thorn tree in a river swollen with sudden rain, for these the dearest canvases in his soul's gallery, it was to substitute the bleak, abstracted and for him rather meaningless hanging on which he now turned his back, but which was to backdrop his retreat until he reached the Other Wall, the engineering design for a world he knew with numb leeriness nothing could now keep from becoming reality, a world whose full despair he, at the vantage of eighteen years later, couldn't even find adequate parables for, but a design whose first fumbling sketches he thought must have been done the year after Jacob Marengo died, on that terrible coast, where the beach between Luderitzbucht and the cemetery was actually littered each morning with a score of identical female corpses, an agglomeration no more substantial-looking than seaweed against the unhealthy yellow sand; where the soul's passage was more a mass migration across that choppy fetch of Atlantic the wind never left alone, from an island of low cloud, like an anchored prison ship, to simple integration with the unimaginable mass of their continent; where the single line of track still edged toward a Keetmanshoop that could in no conceivable iconology be any part of the Kingdom of Death; where, finally, humanity was reduced, out of a necessity which in his loonier moments he could almost believe was only Deutsch-Sudwestafrika's (actually he knew better), out of a confrontation the young of one's contemporaries, God help them, had yet to make, humanity was reduced to a nervous, disquieted, forever inadequate but indissoluble Popular Front against deceptively unpolitical and apparently minor enemies, enemies that would be with him to the grave: a sun with no shape, a beach alien as the moon's antarctic, restless concubines in barbed wire, salt mists, alkaline earth, the Benguela Current that would never cease bringing sand to raise the harbor floor, the inertia of rock, the frailty of flesh, the structural unreliability of thorns; the unheard whimper of a dying woman; the frightening but necessary cry of the strand wolf in the fog. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
223:No, he would never know his father, who would continue to sleep over there, his face for ever lost in the ashes. There was a mystery about that man, a mystery he had wanted to penetrate. But after all there was only the mystery of poverty that creates beings without names and without a past, that sends them into the vast throng of the nameless dead who made the world while they themselves were destroyed for ever. For it was just that that his father had in common with the men of the Labrador. The Mahon people of the Sahel, the Alsatians on the high plateaus, with this immense island between sand and sea, which the enormous silence was now beginning to envelop: the silence of anonymity; it enveloped blood and courage and work and instinct, it was at once cruel and compassionate. And he who had wanted to escape from the country without name, from the crowd and from a family without a name, but in whom something had gone on craving darkness and anonymity - he too was a member of the tribe, marching blindly into the night near the old doctor who was panting at his right, listening to the gusts of music coming from the square, seeing once more the hard inscrutable faces of the Arabs around the bandstands, Veillard's laughter and his stubborn face - also seeing with a sweetness and a sorrow that wrung his heart the deathly look on his mother's face at the time of the bombing - wandering though the night of the years in the land of oblivion where each one is the first man, where he had to bring himself up, without a father, having never known those moments when a father would call his son, after waiting for him to reach the age of listening, to tell him the family's secret, or a sorrow of long ago, or the experience of his life, those moments when even the ridiculous and hateful Polonius all of a sudden becomes great when he is speaking to Laertes; and he was sixteen, then he was twenty, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man and then to be born in a harder childbirth, which consists of being born in relation to others, to women, like all the men born in this country who, one by one, try to learn without roots and without faith, and today all of them are threatened with eternal anonymity and the loss of the only consecrated traces of their passage on this earth, the illegible slabs in the cemetery that the night has now covered over; they had to learn how to live in relation to others, to the immense host of the conquerors, now dispossessed, who had preceded them on this land and in whom they now had to recognise the brotherhood of race and destiny. ~ Albert Camus,
224:The crowd as silent,holding their breaths.Hot wind rustled in the trees as the ax gleamed in the sun.Luce could feel that the end was coming,but why? Why had her soul dragged her here? What insight abouther past,or the curse, could she possibly gain from having her head cut off?
Then Daniel dropped the ax to the ground.
"What are you doing?" Luce asked.
Daniel didn't answer.He rolled back his shoulders, turned his face toward the sky, and flung out her arms. Zotz stepped forward to interfere,but when he touched Daniel's shoulder,he screamed and recoiled as if he'd been burned.
Daniel's white wings unfurled from his shoulders.As they extended fully from his sides,huge and shockingly bright against the parched brown landscape, they sent twenty Mayans hurtling backward.
Shouts rang out around the cenote:
"What is he?"
"The boy is winged!"
"He is a god! Sent to us by Chaat!"
Luce thrashed against the ropes binding her wrists and her ankles.She needed to run to Daniel.She tried to move toward him,until-
Until she couldn't move anymore.
Daniel's wings were so bright they were almost unbearable. Only, now it wasn't just Daniel's wings that were glowing. It was...all of him. His entire body shone.As if he'd swallowed the sun.
Music filled the air.No,not music, but a single harmonious chord.Deafening and unending,glorious and frightening.
Luce had heard it before...somewhere. In the cemetery at Sword&Cross, the last night she'd been there,the night Daniel had fought Cam,and Luce hadn't been allowed to watch.The night Miss Sophia had dragged her away and Penn had died and nothing had ever been the same.It had begun with that very same chord,and it was coming out of Daniel.He was lit up so brightly,his body actually hummed.
She swayed where she stood,unable to take her eyes away.An intense wave of heat stroked her skin.
Behind Luce,someone cried out.The cry was followed by another,and then another,and then a whole chorus of voices crying out.
Something was burning.It was acrid and choking and turned her stomach instantly. Then,in the corner of her vision,there was an explosion of flame, right where Zotz had been standing a moment before. The boom knocked her backward,and she turned away from the burning brightness of Daniel,coughing on the black ash and bitter smoke.
Hanhau was gone,the ground where she'd stood scorched black.The gap-toothed man was hiding his face,trying hard not to look at Daniel's radiance.But it was irresistible.Luce watched as the man peeked between his fingers and burst into a pillar of flame.
All around the cenote,the Mayans stared at Daniel.And one by one,his brilliance set them ablaze.Soon a bright ring of fire lit up the jungle,lit up everyone but Luce.
"Ix Cuat!" Daniel reached for her.
His glow made Luce scream out in pain,but even as she felt as if she were on the verge of asphyxiation, the words tumbled from her mouth. "You're glorious."
"Don't look at me," he pleaded. "When a mortal sees an angel's true essence, then-you can see what happened to the others.I can't let you leave me again so soon.Always so soon-"
"I'm still here," Luce insisted.
"You're still-" He was crying. "Can you see me? The true me?"
"I can see you."
And for just a fraction of a second,she could.Her vision cleared.His glow was still radiant but not so blinding.She could see his soul. It was white-hot and immaculate,and it looked-there was no other way to say it-like Daniel. And it felt like coming home.A rush of unparalleled joy spread through Luce.Somewhere in the back of her mind,a bell of recognition chimed. She'd seen him like this before.
As her mind strained to draw upon the past she couldn't quite touch,the light of him began to overwhelm her.
"No!" she cried,feeling the fire sear her heart and her body shake free of something. ~ Lauren Kate,
225:I know you,” he added, helping to arrange the blanket over my shoulders. “You won’t drop the subject until I agree to check on your cousin, so I’ll do it. But only under one condition.”
“John,” I said, whirling around to clutch his arm again.
“Don’t get too excited,” he warned. “You haven’t heard the condition.”
“Oh,” I said, eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. Thank you. Alex has never had a very good life-his mother ran away when he was a baby, and his dad spent most of his life in jail…But, John, what is all this?” I swept my free hand out to indicate the people remaining on the dock, waiting for the boat John had said was arriving soon. I’d noticed some of them had blankets like the one he’d wrapped around me. “A new customer service initiative?”
John looked surprised at my change of topic…then uncomfortable. He stooped to reach for the driftwood Typhon had dashed up to drop at his feet. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, stiffly.
“You’re giving blankets away to keep them warm while they wait. When did this start happening?”
“You mentioned some things when you were here the last time….” He avoided meeting my gaze by tossing the stick for his dog. “They stayed with me.”
My eyes widened. “Things I said?”
“About how I should treat the people who end up here.” He paused at the approach of a wave-though it was yards off-and made quite a production of moving me, and my delicate slippers, out of its path. “So I decided to make a few changes.”
It felt as if one of the kind of flowers I liked-a wild daisy, perhaps-had suddenly blossomed inside my heart.
“Oh, John,” I said, and rose onto my toes to kiss his cheek.
He looked more than a little surprised by the kiss. I thought I might actually have seen some color come into his cheeks.
“What was that for?” he asked.
“Henry said nothing was the same after I left. I assumed he meant everything was much worse. I couldn’t imagine it was the opposite, that things were better.”
John’s discomfort at having been caught doing something kind-instead of reckless or violet-was sweet.
“Henry talks too much,” he muttered. “But I’m glad you like it. Not that it hasn’t been a lot of added work. I’ll admit it’s cut down on the complaints, though, and even the fighting amongst our rowdier passengers. So you were right. Your suggestions helped.”
I beamed up at him.
Keeper of the dead. That’s how Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton, had referred to John once, and that’s what he was. Although the title “protector of the dead” seemed more applicable.
It was totally silly how much hope I was filled with by the fact that he’d remembered something I’d said so long ago-like maybe this whole consort thing might work out after all.
I gasped a moment later when there was a sudden rush of white feathers, and the bird he’d given me emerged from the grizzly gray fog seeming to engulf the whole beach, plopping down onto the sand beside us with a disgruntled little humph.
“Oh, Hope,” I said, dashing tears of laughter from my eyes. Apparently I had only to feel the emotion, and she showed up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you behind. It was his fault, you know.” I pointed at John.
The bird ignored us both, poking around in the flotsam washed ashore by the waves, looking, as always, for something to eat.
“Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards.
“No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant. ~ Meg Cabot,
226: Spleen (I)
Pluviôse, irrité contre la ville entière,
De son urne à grands flots verse un froid ténébreux
Aux pâles habitants du voisin cimetière
Et la mortalité sur les faubourgs brumeux.
Mon chat sur le carreau cherchant une litière
Agite sans repos son corps maigre et galeux;
L'âme d'un vieux poète erre dans la gouttière
Avec la triste voix d'un fantôme frileux.
Le bourdon se lamente, et la bûche enfumée
Accompagne en fausset la pendule enrhumée
Cependant qu'en un jeu plein de sales parfums,
Héritage fatal d'une vieille hydropique,
Le beau valet de coeur et la dame de pique
Causent sinistrement de leurs amours défunts.
January, irritated with the whole city,
Pours from his urn great waves of gloomy cold
On the pale occupants of the nearby graveyard
And death upon the foggy slums.
My cat seeking a bed on the tiled floor
Shakes his thin, mangy body ceaselessly;
The soul of an old poet wanders in the rain-pipe
With the sad voice of a shivering ghost.
The great bell whines, the smoking log
Accompanies in falsetto the snuffling clock,
While in a deck of cards reeking of filthy scents,
My mortal heritage from some dropsical old woman,
The handsome knave of hearts and the queen of spades
Converse sinisterly of their dead love affair.
— Translated by William Aggeler
The Month of Rains, incensed at life, outpours
Out of her urn, a dark chill, like a penance,
Over the graveyards and their wan, grey tenants
And folk in foggy suburbs out of doors.
My cat seeks out a litter on the ground
Twitching her scrawny body flecked with mange.
The soul of some old poet seems to range
The gutter, with a chill phantasmal sound.
The big bell tolls: damp hearth-logs seem to mock,
Whistling, the sniffle-snuffle of the clock,
While in the play of odours stale with must,
Reminders of a dropsical old crone,
The knave of hearts and queen of spades alone
Darkly discuss a passion turned to dust.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
Pluviose, hating all that lives, and loathing me,
Distills his cold and gloomy rain and slops it down
Upon the pallid lodgers in the cemetery
Next door, and on the people shopping in the town.
My cat, for sheer discomfort, waves a sparsely-furred
And shabby tail incessantly on the tiled floor;
And, wandering sadly in the rain-spout, can be heard
The voice of some dead poet who had these rooms before.
The log is wet, and smokes; its hissing high lament
Mounts to the bronchial clock on the cracked mantel there;
While (heaven knows whose they were — some dropsical old maid's)
In a soiled pack of cards that reeks of dirty scent,
The handsome jack of hearts and the worn queen of spades
Talk in suggestive tones of their old love-affair.
— Translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay
November, vexed with all the capital,
whelms in a death-chill from her gloomy urn
the cold pale dead beneath the graveyard wall,
the death-doomed who in dripping houses yearn.
Grimalkin prowls, a gaunt and scurvy ghoul,
seeking a softer lair for her sojourn;
along the eaves an ancient poet's soul
shivers and wails, a ghost no eyes discern.
the whining church-bell and the log a-sputter
repeat the rheumy clock's falsetto mutter;
while in a pack of cards, scent-filled and vile,
grim relic of a dropsical old maid,
the queen of spades and knave of hearts parade
their dead amours, with many an evil smile.
— Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks
~ Charles Baudelaire,
227: Improvisations: Light And Snow
The girl in the room beneath
Before going to bed
Strums on a mandolin
The three simple tunes she knows.
How inadequate they are to tell how her heart feels!
When she has finished them several times
She thrums the strings aimlessly with her finger-nails
And smiles, and thinks happily of many things.
I stood for a long while before the shop window
Looking at the blue butterflies embroidered on tawny silk.
The building was a tower before me,
Time was loud behind me,
Sun went over the housetops and dusty trees;
And there they were, glistening, brilliant, motionless,
Stitched in a golden sky
By yellow patient fingers long since turned to dust.
The first bell is silver,
And breathing darkness I think only of the long scythe of time.
The second bell is crimson,
And I think of a holiday night, with rockets
Furrowing the sky with red, and a soft shatter of stars.
The third bell is saffron and slow,
And I behold a long sunset over the sea
With wall on wall of castled cloud and glittering balustrades.
The fourth bell is color of bronze,
I walk by a frozen lake in the dun light of dusk:
Muffled crackings run in the ice,
Trees creak, birds fly.
The fifth bell is cold clear azure,
Delicately tinged with green:
One golden star hangs melting in it,
And towards this, sleepily, I go.
The sixth bell is as if a pebble
Had been dropped into a deep sea far above me . . .
Rings of sound ebb slowly into the silence.
On the day when my uncle and I drove to the cemetery,
Rain rattled on the roof of the carriage;
And talkng constrainedly of this and that
We refrained from looking at the child's coffin on the seat before us.
When we reached the cemetery
We found that the thin snow on the grass
Was already transparent with rain;
And boards had been laid upon it
That we might walk without wetting our feet.
When I was a boy, and saw bright rows of icicles
In many lengths along a wall
I was dissappointed to find
That I could not play music upon them:
I ran my hand lightly across them
And they fell, tinkling.
I tell you this, young man, so that your expectations of life
Will not be too great.
It is now two hours since I left you,
And the perfume of your hands is still on my hands.
And though since then
I have looked at the stars, walked in the cold blue streets,
And heard the dead leaves blowing over the ground
Under the trees,
I still remember the sound of your laughter.
How will it be, lady, when there is none left to remember you
Even as long as this?
Will the dust braid your hair?
The day opens with the brown light of snowfall
And past the window snowflakes fall and fall.
I sit in my chair all day and work and work
Measuring words against each other.
I open the piano and play a tune
But find it does not say what I feel,
I grow tired of measuring words against each other,
I grow tired of these four walls,
And I think of you, who write me that you have just had a daughter
And named her after your first sweetheart,
And you, who break your heart, far away,
In the confusion and savagery of a long war,
And you who, worn by the bitterness of winter,
Will soon go south.
The snowflakes fall almost straight in the brown light
Past my window,
And a sparrow finds refuge on my window-ledge.
This alone comes to me out of the world outside
As I measure word with word.
Many things perplex me and leave me troubled,
Many things are locked away in the white book of stars
Never to be opened by me.
The starr'd leaves are silently turned,
And the mooned leaves;
And as they are turned, fall the shadows of life and death.
Perplexed and troubled,
I light a small light in a small room,
The lighted walls come closer to me,
The familiar pictures are clear.
I sit in my favourite chair and turn in my mind
The tiny pages of my own life, whereon so little is written,
And hear at the eastern window the pressure of a long wind, coming
From I know not where.
How many times have I sat here,
How many times will I sit here again,
Thinking these same things over and over in solitude
As a child says over and over
The first word he has learned to say.
This girl gave her heart to me,
And this, and this.
This one looked at me as if she loved me,
And silently walked away.
This one I saw once and loved, and never saw her again.
Shall I count them for you upon my fingers?
Or like a priest solemnly sliding beads?
Or pretend they are roses, pale pink, yellow, and white,
And arrange them for you in a wide bowl
To be set in sunlight?
See how nicely it sounds as I count them for you -'This girl gave her heart to me
And this, and this, . . . !
And nevertheless, my heart breaks when I think of them,
When I think their names,
And how, like leaves, they have changed and blown
And will lie, at last, forgotten,
Under the snow.
It is night time, and cold, and snow is falling,
And no wind grieves the walls.
In the small world of light around the arc-lamp
A swarm of snowflakes falls and falls.
The street grows silent. The last stranger passes.
The sound of his feet, in the snow, is indistinct.
What forgotten sadness is it, on a night like this,
Takes possession of my heart?
Why do I think of a camellia tree in a southern garden,
With pink blossoms among dark leaves,
Standing, surprised, in the snow?
Why do I think of spring?
The snowflakes, helplessly veering,,
Fall silently past my window;
They come from darkness and enter darkness.
What is it in my heart is surprised and bewildered
Like that camellia tree,
Beautiful still in its glittering anguish?
And spring so far away!
As I walked through the lamplit gardens,
On the thin white crust of snow,
So intensely was I thinking of my misfortune,
So clearly were my eyes fixed
On the face of this grief which has come to me,
That I did not notice the beautiful pale colouring
Of lamplight on the snow;
Nor the interlaced long blue shadows of trees;
And yet these things were there,
And the white lamps, and the orange lamps, and the lamps of lilac were there,
As I have seen them so often before;
As they will be so often again
Long after my grief is forgotten.
And still, though I know this, and say this, it cannot console me.
How many times have we been interrupted
Just as I was about to make up a story for you!
One time it was because we suddenly saw a firefly
Lighting his green lantern among the boughs of a fir-tree.
Marvellous! Marvellous! He is making for himself
A little tent of light in the darkness!
And one time it was because we saw a lilac lightning flash
Run wrinkling into the blue top of the mountain, -We heard boulders of thunder rolling down upon us
And the plat-plat of drops on the window,
And we ran to watch the rain
Charging in wavering clouds across the long grass of the field!
Or at other times it was because we saw a star
Slipping easily out of the sky and falling, far off,
Among pine-dark hills;
Or because we found a crimson eft
Darting in the cold grass!
These things interrupted us and left us wondering;
And the stories, whatever they might have been,
Were never told.
A fairy, binding a daisy down and laughing?
A golden-haired princess caught in a cobweb?
A love-story of long ago?
Some day, just as we are beginning again,
Just as we blow the first sweet note,
Death itself will interrupt us.
My heart is an old house, and in that forlorn old house,
In the very centre, dark and forgotten,
Is a locked room where an enchanted princess
But sometimes, in that dark house,
As if almost from the stars, far away,
Sounds whisper in that secret room -Faint voices, music, a dying trill of laughter?
And suddenly, from her long sleep,
The beautiful princess awakes and dances.
Who is she? I do not know.
Why does she dance? Do not ask me! -Yet to-day, when I saw you,
When I saw your eyes troubled with the trouble of happiness,
And your mouth trembling into a smile,
And your fingers pull shyly forward, -Softly, in that room,
The little princess arose
And as she danced the old house gravely trembled
With its vague and delicious secret.
Like an old tree uprooted by the wind
And flung down cruelly
With roots bared to the sun and stars
And limp leaves brought to earth -Torn from its house -So do I seem to myself
When you have left me.
The music of the morning is red and warm;
Snow lies against the walls;
And on the sloping roof in the yellow sunlight
Pigeons huddle against the wind.
The music of evening is attenuated and thin -The moon seen through a wave by a mermaid;
The crying of a violin.
Far down there, far down where the river turns to the west,
The delicate lights begin to twinkle
On the dusky arches of the bridge:
In the green sky a long cloud,
A smouldering wave of smoky crimson,
Breaks in the freezing wind: and above it, unabashed,
Remote, untouched, fierly palpitant,
Sings the first star.
~ Conrad Potter Aiken,
1.78_-_Sore_Spots, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
"My friend Freddy Lyon . . . told me a story . . . of the Volga Famine. Some A.R.A. 'higher-ups' from New York were making a tour of inspection . . . Among them was a worthy but sentimental citizen who gushed about the unhappy Russians and the poor little starving children and what a privilege it was for Mr. Lyon to be doing this noble work for humanity and so on and so forth until Lyon said he was ready to choke him . . . After lunch the visitors suggested they would like to visit the cemetary. It was, said Freddy, a horrid sight, nude, dead bodies piled up ten high like faggots, because the population was so destitute that every stitch of clothing was needed for the living. The visitors were sickened by what they saw, and even the gushing one was silent as they walked back to the Cemetery gate. Suddenly he caught Freddy by the arm. 'Look there!' he said, 'Is not that something to restore our faith in the goodness of God in the midst of all these horrors?' He pointed to a big woolly dog lying asleep on a grave with his head between his paws, and continued impressively. 'Faithful unto death and beyond. I have often heard of a dog refusing to be comforted when his master died, lying desolate on his grave, but I never thought to see such a thing my- self.' That was too much for Freddy Lyon. 'Yes,' he said cruelly, 'but look at the dog's paws and muzzle' they were stiff with clotted blood 'he's not mourning his master, he's sleeping off a meal.'
2.05_-_The_Tale_of_the_Vampires_Kingdom, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Our attention shifts to another card, which seems to want to remain unobtrusive, The Popess, and we indicate it to our neighbor with an interrogative gesture which could correspond to a question asked the gravedigger by the King, who has glimpsed a figure hooded in a nun's mantle, crouching among the graves. "Who is that old woman rummaging in the Cemetery?"
"God save us! At night a nasty tribe of women roams about here," the gravedigger must have answered, making the sign of the cross, "experts in philters and books of spells, seeking the ingredients for their witchcraft."
In the Arcanum called The Star we see the woman take off her cloak and her nun's veil. She is not old at all; she is beautiful; she is naked. The moonlight flickers with starry glints and reveals that the Cemetery's nocturnal visitor resembles the Queen. First it is the King who recognizes his wife's body, the delicate pear-shaped breasts, the soft shoulders, the generous thighs, the broad and oblong abdomen; then as soon as she raises her brow and shows her face, framed by the heavy hair loose over her shoulders, we too gape: if it were not for her ecstatic expression, which is surely not that of the official portraits, she would be absolutely identical with the Queen.
"Tell me, my good fellow, how can I free my lands from this scourge?" the King must have asked, and, immediately seized once more by a bellicose impulse (the swords' cards are always ready to remind him that the superior strength is on his side), he may have suggested: "I could easily bring out my army, trained in the strategy of encirclement and pressure, in mercilessly using sword and fire, razing to the ground, leaving not a blade of grass, a moving leaf, a living soul.'.'.'."
"Your Majesty, that would be a mistake," the gravedigger interrupts him; in his nights at the Cemetery he must have seen all sorts of unimaginable things. "When the sabbath is caught by the first ray of the rising sun, all the witches and the vampires, incubi and succubi, take flight, some transforming themselves into noctules, some into other bats, some into still other species of Chiroptera. In these guises, as I have had occasion to remark, they lose their usual invulnerability. At that moment, with this hidden trap, we shall capture the sorceress."
"I have faith in what you say, my good man. To work, then!"
the_Castle, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Hidden among the graves of the Cemetery, Hamlet thinks about Death, holding up the jawless skull of Yorick the jester. (This, then, is the roundish object the Page of Coins has in his hand!) Where the professional Fool is dead, the destructive folly that was reflected in him and found its release through ritual formulas becomes mingled with the language and actions of princes and subjects, unprotected even against themselves. Hamlet already knows that wherever he turns, he collects miscreants; do they believe him incapable of killing? Why, that is the only thing he succeeds in doing! The trouble is that he always strikes mistaken targets: when you kill, you always kill the wrong man.
The_Golden_Bough, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
mould, barley, and a sticky fluid. The barley had sprouted and sent
out shoots two or three inches long. Again, in the Cemetery at
Cynopolis "were numerous burials of Osiris figures. These were made
Verses_of_Vemana, #is Book, #Vemana, #unset
What has palm toddy to do with gentle behaviour; why all this care about appearances that are merely with a view to gaining bread? To what end is this body, which is destined to the earth of the Cemetery.
What has palm toddy to do with gentle behaviour; why all this care about appearances that are merely with a view to gaining bread? To what end is this body, which is destined to the earth of the Cemetery.