One hour later Sophie was in Benedict’s sitting room, perched on the very same sofa on which she had lost her innocence just a few weeks earlier. Lady Bridgerton had questioned the wisdom (and propriety) of Sophie’s going to Benedict’s home by herself, but he had given her such a look that she had quickly backed down, saying only, “Just have her home by seven.” Which gave them one hour together. “I’m sorry,” Sophie blurted out, the instant her bottom touched the sofa. For some reason they hadn’t said anything during the carriage ride home. They’d held hands, and Benedict had brought her fingers to his lips, but they hadn’t said anything. Sophie had been relieved. She hadn’t been ready for words. It had been easy at the jail, with all the commotion and so many people, but now that they were alone . . . She didn’t know what to say. Except, she supposed, “I’m sorry.” “No, I’m sorry,” Benedict replied, sitting beside her and taking her hands in his. “No, I’m—” She suddenly smiled. “This is very silly.” “I love you,” he said. Her lips parted. “I want to marry you,” he said. She stopped breathing. “And I don’t care about your parents or my mother’s bargain with Lady Penwood to make you respectable.” He stared down at her, his dark eyes meltingly in love. “I would have married you no matter what.” Sophie blinked. The tears in her eyes were growing fat and hot, and she had a sneaking suspicion that she was about to make a fool of herself by blubbering all over him. She managed to say his name, then found herself completely lost from there. Benedict squeezed her hands. “We couldn’t have lived in London, I know, but we don’t need to live in London. When I thought about what it was in life I really needed— not what I wanted, but what I needed— the only thing that kept coming up was you.
Rarely do wonder tales end unhappily. They triumph over death. The tale begins with "Once upon a time" or "Once there was" and never really ends when it ends. The ending is actually the beginning. The once upon a time is not a past designation but futuristic: the timelessness of the tale and its lack of geographical specificity endow it with utopian connotations - "utopia" in its original meaning designated "no place," a place that no one had ever envisaged. We form and keep the utopian kernel of the tale safe in our imaginations with hope.The significance of the paradigmatic functions of the wonder tale is that they facilitate recall for teller and listeners. They enable us to store, remember, and reproduce the utopian spirit of the tale and to change it to fit our experiences and desires, owing to the easily identifiable characters who are associated with particular assignments and settings ...The characters, settings, and motifs are combined and varied according to specific functions to induce wonder, It is this sense of wonder that distinguished the wonder tales from such other oral tales as the legend, the fable, the anecdote, and the myth; it is clearly the sense of wonder that distinguishes the literary fairy tale from the moral story, novella, sentimental tale, and other modern short literary genres. Wonder causes astonishment, and as manifested in a marvelous object or phenomenon, it is often regarded as a supernatural occurrence and can be an omen or a portent, It gives rise to admiration, fear, awe, and reverence. The Oxford Universal Dictionary states that wonder is "the emotion excited by the perception of something novel and unexpected, or inexplicable; astonishment mingled with perplexity or bewildered curiosity." In the oral wonder tale, we are to wonder about the workings of the universe, where anything can happen at any time, and these happy or fortuitous events are never to be explained. Nor do the characters demand an explanation - they are opportunistic, are encouraged to be so, and if they do not take advantage of the opportunity that will benefit them in their relations with others, they are either dumb or mean-spirited. The tales seek to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition of life and to evoke in a religious sense profound feelings of awe and respect for life as a miraculous process, which can be altered and changed to compensate for the lack of power, wealth, and pleasure that is most people's lot. Lack, deprivation, prohibition, and interdiction motivate people to look for signs of fulfillment and emancipation. In the wonder tales, those who are naive and simple are able to succeed because they are untainted and can recognize the wondrous signs. They have retained their belief in the miraculous condition of nature, revere nature in all its aspects. They have hot been spoiled by conventionalism, power, or rationalism. In contrast to the humble characters, the villains are those who use words intentionally to exploit, control, transfix, incarcerate, and destroy for their benefit. They have no respect or consideration for nature and other human beings, and they actually seek to abuse magic by preventing change and causing everything to be transfixed according to their interests. Enchantment equals petrification. Breaking the spell equals emancipation. The wondrous protagonist wants to keep the process of natural change flowing and indicates possibilities for overcoming the obstacles that prevent other characters or creatures from living in a peaceful and pleasurable way.
There is pride, too, though - pride that he has done it alone. That his daughter is so curious, so resilient. There is the humility of being a father to someone so powerful, as if he were only a narrow conduit for another, greater thing. That's how it feels right now, he thinks, kneeling beside her, rinsing her hair: as though his love for his daughter will outstrip the limits of his body. The walls could fall away, even the whole city, and the brightness of that feeling would not wane.
You must have traveled all night,” she heard herself say. “I had to come back early.” She felt his lips brush her tumbled hair. “I left some things unfinished. But I had a feeling you might need me. Tell me what’s happened, sweetheart.” Amelia opened her mouth to answer, but to her mortification, the only sound she could make was a sort of miserable croak. Her self-control shattered. She shook her head and choked on more sobs, and the more she tried to stop them, the worse they became. Cam gripped her firmly, deeply, into his embrace. The appalling storm of tears didn’t seem to bother him at all. He took one of Amelia’s hands and flattened it against his heart, until she could feel the strong, steady beat. In a world that was disintegrating around her, he was solid and real. “It’s all right,” she heard him murmur. “I’m here.” Alarmed by her own lack of self-discipline, Amelia made a wobbly attempt to stand on her own, but he only hugged her more closely. “No, don’t pull away. I’ve got you.” He cuddled her shaking form against his chest. Noticing Poppy’s awkward retreat, Cam sent her a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, little sister.” “Amelia hardly ever cries,” Poppy said. “She’s fine.” Cam ran his hand along Amelia’s spine in soothing strokes. “She just needs…” As he paused, Poppy said, “A shoulder to lean on.” “Yes.” He drew Amelia to the stairs, and gestured for Poppy to sit beside them. Cradling Amelia on his lap, Cam found a handkerchief in his pocket and wiped her eyes and nose. When it became apparent that no sense could be made from her jumbled words, he hushed her gently and held her against his large, warm body while she sobbed and hid her face. Overwhelmed with relief, she let him rock her as if she were a child. As Amelia hiccupped and quieted in his arms, Cam asked a few questions of Poppy, who told him about Merripen’s condition and Leo’s disappearance, and even about the missing silverware. Finally getting control of herself, Amelia cleared her aching throat. She lifted her head from Cam’s shoulder and blinked. “Better?” he asked, holding the handkerchief up to her nose. Amelia nodded and blew obediently. “I’m sorry,” she said in a muffled voice. “I shouldn’t have turned into a watering pot. I’m finished now.” Cam seemed to look right inside her. His voice was very soft. “You don’t have to be sorry. You don’t have to be finished, either.” She realized that no matter what she did or said, no matter how long she wanted to cry, he would accept it. And he would comfort her.
Amelia and Poppy both glanced at their younger sister quizzically. “Do you know what we’re talking about, Bea?” Amelia asked. “Yes, of course. Merripen’s in love with her. I knew it a long time ago, from the way he washed her window.” “Washed her window?” both older sisters asked at the same time. “Yes, when we lived in the cottage at Primrose Place. Win’s room had a casement window that looked out onto the big maple tree— do you remember? After the scarlet fever, when Win couldn’t get out of bed for the longest time and she was too weak to hold a book, she would just lie there and watch a birds’ nest on one of the tree limbs. She saw the baby swallows hatch and learn to fly. One day she complained that the window was so dirty, she could barely see through it, and it made the sky look grayish. So from then on Merripen always kept the glass spotless. Sometimes he climbed a ladder to wash the outside, and you know how afraid of heights he is. You never saw him do that?” “No,” Amelia said with difficulty, her eyes stinging. “I didn’t know he did that.” “Merripen said the sky should always be blue for her,” Beatrix said. “And that was when I knew he … are you crying, Poppy?” Poppy used a napkin to dab at the corners of her eyes. “No. I just inh-haled some pepper.” “So did I,” Amelia said, blowing her nose.
Why not other elements besides fire, air, earth and water? There are four of them, just four, those foster parents of beings! What a pity! Why aren't there forty elements instead, or four hundred, or four thousand? How paltry everything is, how miserly, how wretched! Stingily given, aridly invented, heavily made!Why not other elements besides fire, air, earth and water? There are four of them, just four, those foster parents of beings! What a pity! Why aren't there forty elements instead, or four hundred, or four thousand? How paltry everything is, how miserly, how wretched! Stingily given, aridly invented, heavily made!
How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?” Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
I do not know, really, how we will survive without places like the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon to visit. Once in a lifetime, even, is enough. To feel the stripping down, an ebb of the press of conventional time, a radical change of proportion, an unspoken respect for others that elicits keen emotional pleasure, a quick intimate pounding of the heart.The living of life, any life, involves great and private pain, much of which we share with no one. In such places as the Inner Gorge the pain trails away from us. It is not so quiet there or so removed that you can hear yourself think, that you would even wish to; that comes later. You can hear your heart beat. That comes first.
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes.Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Estatico, cadde a sedere sul suo carico, davanti alla buca. Eccola, eccola là, eccola là, la Luna... C'era la Luna! La Luna!E Ciàula si mise a piangere, senza saperlo, senza volerlo, dal gran conforto, dalla grande dolcezza che sentiva, nell'averla scoperta, là, mentr'ella saliva pel cielo, la Luna, col suo ampio velo di luce ignara dei monti, dei piani, delle valli che rischiarava, ignara di lui, che pure per lei non aveva più paura, né si sentiva più stanco, nella notte ora piena del suo stupore.
Zen has been called the "religion before religion," which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something "greater" than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one's own true nature is "a way to lead you to your long lost home." To practice Zen means to realize one's existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To "rest in the present" is a state of magical simplicity...out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a 'Zen Buddhist', which is only another idea to be discarded like 'enlightenment,' and like 'the Buddha' and like 'God.
Is it like this everywhere you go?” Gary asked. “Pretty much.” Savannah shrugged calmly. “I don’t really mind. Peter always—” She broke off abruptly and brought the steaming cup to her mouth. Gregori could feel sorrow beating at her, a crushing stone weighing down her heart. His hand slipped down her arm to lace his fingers through hers. At once he poured warmth and comfort into her mind, the sensation of his arms around her body, holding her close. “Peter Sanders always took care of the details surrounding Savannah’s shows. He was very good at shielding her. He was murdered after her last show out in San Francisco.” He provided the information quietly to Gary. “I’m sorry,” Gary said instantly, meaning it. Her distress was evident in her large blue eyes. They shimmered with sorrow. Gregori brought Savannah’s hand to the warmth of his mouth, his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour. Your hero saved the girl, walks among the humans, and converses with a fool. That alone should bring a smile to your face. Do not weep for what we cannot change. We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm. Are you my hero, then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort, his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss. Always, for all eternity, he answered instantly, without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze. Always, mon amour.