Shadow Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1129 quotes )

That day in Chartres they had passed through town and watched women kneeling at the edge of the water, pounding clothes against a flat, wooden board. Yves had watched them for a long time. They had wandered up and down the old crooked streets, in the hot sun; Eric remembered a lizard darting across a wall; and everywhere the cathedral pursued them. It is impossible to be in that town and not be in the shadow of those great towers; impossible to find oneself on those plains and not be troubled by that cruel and elegant, dogmatic and pagan presence. The town was full of tourists, with their cameras, their three-quarter coats, bright flowered dresses and shirts, their children, college insignia, Panama hats, sharp, nasal cries, and automobiles crawling like monstrous gleaming bugs over the laming, cobblestoned streets. Tourist buses, from Holland, from Denmark, from Germany, stood in the square before the cathedral. Tow-haired boys and girls, earnest, carrying knapsacks, wearing khaki-colored shorts, with heavy buttocks and thighs, wandered dully through the town. American soldiers, some in uniform, some in civilian clothes, leaned over bridges, entered bistros in strident, uneasy, smiling packs, circled displays of colored post cards, and picked up meretricious mementos, of a sacred character. All of the beauty of the town, all the energy of the plains, and all the power and dignity of the people seemed to have been sucked out of them by the cathedral. It was as though the cathedral demanded, and received, a perpetual, living sacrifice. It towered over the town, more like an affliction than a blessing, and made everything seem, by comparison with itself, wretched and makeshift indeed. The houses in which the people lived did not suggest shelter, or safety. The great shadow which lay over them revealed them as mere doomed bits of wood and mineral, set down in the path of a hurricane which, presently, would blow them into eternity. And this shadow lay heavy on the people, too. They seemed stunted and misshapen; the only color in their faces suggested too much bad wine and too little sun; even the children seemed to have been hatched in a cellar. It was a town like some towns in the American South, frozen in its history as Lot's wife was trapped in salt, and doomed, therefore, as its history, that overwhelming, omnipresent gift of God, could not be questioned, to be the property of the gray, unquestioning mediocre.
Buried how long?The answer was always the same:?Almost eighteen years?You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?Long ago?You know that you are recalled to life?They tell me so?I hope that you care to live?I ca?t say?Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was,?Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon? Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was,?Take me to her? Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was,?I do?t know her. I do?t understand?After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig? to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.Buried how long?Almost eighteen years?I hope you care to live?I ca?t say?Dig? dig? dig? until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.Buried how long?Almost eighteen years?You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?Long ago?The words were still in his hearing just as spoken? distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life? when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.