|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
but I was not sleepy; I could not have gone to sleep. I sat there,
fagged out, looking at the curtains, trying to clear my mind of the confused
sensation of being in two places at once, and greatly bothered by an
exasperating knocking in my head. It was a relief to discover suddenly
that it was not in my head at all, but on the outside of the door.
Before I could collect myself the words "Come in" were out of my mouth,
and the steward entered with a tray, bringing in my morning coffee.
I had slept, after all, and I was so frightened that I shouted,
"This way! I am here, steward," as though he had been miles away.
He put down the tray on the table next the couch and only then said,
very quietly, "I can see you are here, sir." I felt him give me a keen look,
The Secret Sharer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:
on the East is a small door for the Women; on the West a much
larger one for the Men; the South side or floor is usually doorless.
Square and triangular houses are not allowed, and for this reason.
The angles of a Square (and still more those of an equilateral
Triangle), being much more pointed than those of a Pentagon,
and the lines of inanimate objects (such as houses) being dimmer
than the lines of Men and Women, it follows that there is
no little danger lest the points of a square or triangular
house residence might do serious injury to an inconsiderate
or perhaps absent-minded traveller suddenly therefore,
running against them: and as early as the eleventh century
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions