|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
because she cannot believe that I mean what I say, that I am so
rash. When I hear this oracular sentence, I am for a moment
absorbed in thought, emphasizing to myself each word separately that
I may come at the meaning of it, that I may find out by what degree
of consanguinity They are related to me, and what authority they
may have in an affair which affects me so nearly; and, finally, I am
inclined to answer her with equal mystery, and without any more
emphasis of the "they" -- "It is true, they did not make them so
recently, but they do now." Of what use this measuring of me if she
does not measure my character, but only the breadth of my shoulders,
as it were a peg to bang the coat on? We worship not the Graces,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
It was the girl who preceded him upstairs carrying an iron lamp
from the naked flame of which ascended a thin thread of smoke. Her
soiled white stockings were full of holes.
With the same quiet resolution with which he had locked the door
below, Byrne threw open one after another the doors in the
corridor. All the rooms were empty except for some nondescript
lumber in one or two. And the girl seeing what he would be at
stopped every time, raising the smoky light in each doorway
patiently. Meantime she observed him with sustained attention.
The last door of all she threw open herself.
"You sleep here, senor," she murmured in a voice light like a
Within the Tides
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
"Not at all the style of man. You understand," he insisted,
superfluously, looking hard at me.
I smiled urbanely. He seemed at a loss for a while.
"I suppose I must report a suicide."
"Suicide! That's what I'll have to write to my owners directly I get in."
"Unless you manage to recover him before tomorrow,"
I assented, dispassionately. . . . "I mean, alive."
He mumbled something which I really did not catch, and I turned my ear
to him in a puzzled manner. He fairly bawled:
"The land--I say, the mainland is at least seven miles off my anchorage."
The Secret Sharer
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
painted bowl and amber mouthpiece.
It might be apprehended, however, that as the life of the
illusion seemed identical with the vapor of the pipe, it would
terminate simultaneously with the reduction of the tobacco to
ashes. But the beldam foresaw the difficulty.
"Hold thou the pipe, my precious one," said she, "while I fill it
for thee again.
It was sorrowful to behold how the fine gentleman began to fade
back into a scarecrow while Mother Rigby shook the ashes out of
the pipe and proceeded to replenish it from her tobacco-box.
"Dickon," cried she, in her high, sharp tone, "another coal for
Mosses From An Old Manse