The ancient school on Luly, he learned, was older than

the name of the rock, older than the language of humans. It rose out of rock like something sculpted by wind, shaped by storm. It was never silent. Sea frothed and boomed constantly around it. Gulls with their piercing voices cried tales passed down from bards who spoke the forgotten language of birds. Seals, lifting their faces out of the waves, told other tales to the wind. Wind answered, sometimes lightly, sometimes roaring out of the northern hinterlands like the sound of all the magic there, if it had one word to speak, and a voice to speak it with. Then the rock would sing in answer, its own voice too deep to be heard, a song that could be felt, running from stone into bone, and from there into the heart, to be transformed into the language of dreams, of poetry. Rook heard the rock sing again the first night he slept there. Later, out of stone, he made his first song.

Song for the Basilisk,
Patricia A. McKillip

The world thinks we idealize our friend, and tells us that love is proverbially blind.

Not so: it is only love that sees… We only see what dull eyes never see at all. If we wonder what another man sees in his friend, it should be the wonder of humility, not the supercilious wonder of pride. He sees something which we are not permitted to witness. Beneath and amongst what looks only like worthless slag, there may glitter the pure gold of a fair character. That anybody in the world should be got to love us, and to see in us not what colder eyes see, not even what we are but what we may be, should of itself make us humble and gentle in our criticism of others’ friendships. Our friends see the best in us, and by that very fact call forth the best from us.

Friendship, Hugh Black

{x}

There is a subtle state most dedicated urban walkers know,

a sort of basking in solitude – a dark solitude punctuated with encounters as the night sky is punctuated with stars. In the country one’s solitude is geographical – one is altogether outside of society, so solitude has a sensible geographical explanation, and then there is a kind of communion with the nonhuman. In the city, one is alone because the world is made up of strangers, and to be a stranger surrounded by strangers, to walk along silently bearing one’s secrets and imagining those of the people one passes, is among the starkest of luxuries. This uncharted identity with its illimitable possibilities is one of the distinctive qualities of urban living, a liberatory state for those who come to emancipate themselves from family and community expectation, to experiment with subculture and identity. It is an observer’s state, cool, withdrawn, in with senses sharpened, a good state for anybody who needs to reflect or create. In small doses melancholy, alienation, and introspection are among life’s most refined pleasures. (186)

The Solitary Stroller and the City, Rebecca Solnit

{x}

“This is the heaven of the gods who sleep. All those that are not worshipped now are asleep.”

“Then does Time not kill the gods?”

“No. But for three or four thousand years a god is worshipped and for three or four he sleeps. Only Time is wakeful always.”

“But they that teach us of new gods, are they not new?”

“They hear the old ones stirring in their sleep being about to wake, because the dawn is breaking and the priests crow. These are the happy prophets: unhappy are they that hear some old god speak while he sleeps still being deep in slumber, and prophesy and prophesy and no dawn comes, they are those that men stone saying, ‘Prophesy where this stone shall hit you, and this.’”

“Then shall Time never slay the gods.”

“They shall die by the bedside of the last man.”

A Shop in Go-By Street, Lord Dunsany

Chilandar was a work of their conception […]

 […] but, like their vineyards, it was all merely an image of another, dreamed-of city. And the cenobites carried that other, celestial city inside them, and in them it was inviolable and did not depend on earthly buildings; rather, they depended on it and were built in its mirror image. The cenobites themselves were the city, and it could be destroyed only by destroying them. Thanks to this city inside them, they ever forgot who they were, and they know they would be the same tomorrow, too…

Landscape Painted With Tea, Book One,
Milorad Pavic