|The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
Strange half-lit things,
Soundless grotesques with writhing claws and wings . . .
And here a beautiful face looks down upon us;
And someone hurries before, unseen, and sings . . .
Have we seen all, I wonder, in these chambers--
Or is there yet some gorgeous vault, arched low,
Where sleeps an amazing beauty we do not know? . . '
The question falls: we walk in silence together,
Thinking of that deep vault and of its secret . . .
This lamp, these books, this fire
Are suddenly blown away in a whistling darkness.
|The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
away. An hour later, after nightfall, he repassed the
plantation, going northward in the direction from which he
had come. He was a Federal scout.
As Peyton Fahrquhar fell straight downward through the
bridge he lost consciousness and was as one already dead.
From this state he was awakened -- ages later, it seemed to
him -- by the pain of a sharp pressure upon his throat,
followed by a sense of suffocation. Keen, poignant agonies
seemed to shoot from his neck downward through every fiber of
his body and limbs. These pains appeared to flash along well
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
|The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson:
enjoyment in a world of moon-shine. Sensation does not count
for so much in our first years as afterwards; something of the
swaddling numbness of infancy clings about us; we see and
touch and hear through a sort of golden mist. Children, for
instance, are able enough to see, but they have no great
faculty for looking; they do not use their eyes for the
pleasure of using them, but for by-ends of their own; and the
things I call to mind seeing most vividly, were not beautiful
in themselves, but merely interesting or enviable to me as I
thought they might be turned to practical account in play.
Nor is the sense of touch so clean and poignant in children as