from The Sea Around Us
chapter: Wind and Water
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
As long as there has been an earth, the moving masses of air that we call winds have swept back and forth across it’s surface. And for along as there has been an ocean, its waters have stirred to the passage of the winds. Most winds are the result of action of wind on water. There are exceptions, such as the tidal waves sometimes produced by earthquakes under the sea. But the winds most of us know are wind waves.
It is a confused pattern that the waves make in the open sea– a mixture of countless wave trains, intermingling, overtaking, passing or sometimes engulfing one another; each group differing from the others in the place and manner of its origin, in its speed, direction of movement; some doomed never to reach any shore, others destined to roll across half an ocean before they dissolve in thunder on a distant beach.
Out of seemingly hopeless confusion, the patient study of many men over many years has brought a surprising amount of order. While there is still much to learn about waves, and much to be done to apply what is known to man’s advantage, there is a solid basis of fact on which to reconstruct the life history of a wave, predict its behavior under all the changes circumstances of its life, and foretell its affect on human affairs.
from Esquire,2008 about the death of the novel, Gore Vidal, (1925-2012)
You hear all this whining going on, ‘Where are our great writers?’ The thing I might feel doleful about is: Where are the readers?
from June 2012 Nobel Prize Winner Lecture,
Aung San Suu Kji,
Absolute peace in our world is an unattainable goal. But it is one towards which we must continue to journey, our eyes fixed on it as a traveller in a desert fixes his eyes on the one guiding star that will lead him to salvation. Even if we do not achieve perfect peace on earth, because perfect peace is not of this earth, common endeavours to gain peace will unite individuals and nations in trust and friendship and help to make our human community safer and kinder.
from Museum of Innocence
It was the happiest moment in my life, yet I didn’t know it. Had I cherished this gift, would everything have turned out differently? Yes, if I had recognized this instant of perfect happiness, I would have held it fast and never let it slip away. I took a few seconds, perhaps, for that luminous state to enfold me, suffusing me with the deepest peace, but it seemed to last hours, even years.
from Madame Bovary
Entering, Emma felt herself enveloped by a warm aroma compounded of the scent of flowers and fine linens, the smell of meat and at the odor of truffles. The tapers in the candelabra reflected elongated flames in silver covers; cut crystal, lightly misted with vapor,sent back muted rays;bowls of flowers stood in line the whole length of the table and, on the broad plates, the napkins,folded into bishops’ bonnets,each held in the hollow between its folds a small oval roll. The red claws of lobsters overhung the edges of platters; large fruits were heaped on beds of moss in openwork baskets;quail wore their features,steam rose and in knee breeches,silk stockings,white cravat and ruffle,grave as a judge, the butler,with a flick of his spoon served each with the piece he selected.
Up from the skeleton stone walls,up from the rotting floor boards and the solid hand-hewn beams of oak of the pre-war cotton factory,dusk came. Up from the dusk the full moon came. Glowing like a fired-pine knot,it illimined the great door and soft showered the Negro shanties aligned along the single street of factory town.The full moon in the great door was an omen. Negro women improvised songs against its spell.