River-Secrets

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Shengsi, an archipelago of almost 400 islands at the mouth of China’s Yangtze river, holds a secret shrouded in time – an abandoned fishing village being reclaimed by nature. These photos by Tang Yuhong, a creative photographer based in Nanning, take us into this lost village on the beautiful archipelago.

If you’re looking for a new book or series to read, please check out The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. I absolutely adore this series. The first book, The Goose Girl, can be standalone, but my favorite is the third book, River Secrets.

If you have difficulty concentrating while reading, don’t fret! This series has full cast audiobooks—honestly I love the audiobooks so much that sometimes I randomly listen to my favorite chapters.

The stories are intricate and descriptive and the characters are wonderful. I highly, highly recommend this series!!

He knew the ocean was huge because he had been told so, but he could only see the thin line of it before the horizon clamped down. There was no grandeur, not like seeing a mountain; nothing to surround him and make him feel changed, as when he entered a wood or stood in the midst of a snowstorm. Even so, the sea felt bigger than the weather, older than ruins. The sight rustled at his soul.
Up the waves rolled, back they fell, like breath pushed out and pulled back in. The hushing noise made his bones feel soft, his eyes drowsy. He thought he could lie in the sand and forget who he was, let the water and the sound of the water unstitch his soul from his body and send it floating away to see what the dead see.
—  River Secrets, by Shannon Hale

lurkeymclurker  asked:

(For the head cannon thing) Gimli son of Gloin

  • In addition to his not-inconsiderable skill with diplomacy, music, warcraft, poetry, and geology, Gimli is also inexplicably good at swimming. 
  • Well, “inexplicably” according to Legolas, who regards water with a great wariness and whom no amount of coaxing, cajoling, or hand-holding will convince to go further from the riverbank than the reach of his arms. 
  • It is Frodo who first gives explanation for Legolas’ aversion—I suppose you will not have bathed much in the Enchanted River, Frodo says, when Legolas pointedly refuses to wade out into Bruinen with the rest of them. 
    • Legolas stares at him until Frodo stammers, In Bilbo’s stories it was black, and foul—a cursed thing. The dwarf who fell in would not wake for days, and had to be carried. Is that…not…?
    • We do not compel you, mellon, Aragorn cuts in, to save Frodo from turning any more red about his ears. Pray you watch our things on the banks, and warn off any hopeful-thieves. 
    • They stopped teasing Legolas about not bathing with them, after that.)
  • Nevertheless, Gimli is a strong swimmer—not only because he floats like a cork, thank you, Master Pippin. 
  • He rescues a spluttering Merry from an undertow once, diving deep and dragging him to the surface, treading water until Merry catches his breath again, hiccuping from swallowed water and hacking, weeping. (It is well, Gimli murmurs brusquely once they reach shore, wrapping Merry in Boromir’s borrowed cloak. You are well, stop your tears, little one.
  • Afterwards, when the danger has passed and the stories of it are already growing up in its place, Boromir claps him on the shoulder. Well done, Master Dwarf, Boromir says, and his face is even kindlier in firelight. You must tell me where you learnt. My uncle, who is Lord of Dol Amroth taught my brother and myself, so we might swim in the Great Sea—but you have no sea, in the Lonely Mountain.
  • Gimli demurs, and speaks of Long Lake, but—
  • (Legolas sees. They have only one another a fortnight or two, but he can see this, the way Gimli raises his shield and deflects a blow he will not bear. It is a most elegant thing, more subtle and gentle than any sally of the court of Thranduil. Legolas is envious of his grace, of him.)
    • (Legolas is jealous of him. Easily confused with envy, but distinct. Jealousy is envy married with covetousness, wanting-to-be as much as wanting. But Legolas does not know how much, not yet.)
  • It is more than several fortnights later, when Legolas asks. The Ring is gone, burnt to so much sulfur in Mount Doom, and the Fellowship is dissolved, the War brought to its soft and quiet ending—but Legolas remembers.
  • And swimming? he interjects, as Gimli speaks of all that keeps him so engaged, now that he is Lord of the Glittering Caves. And Gimli’s expression softens, and he smiles, as thought they are sharing a jest. 
  • Yes, he says, and he leads Legolas down, down into the deepest depths of the Caves, until it is just Legolas and Gimli with the dark pressing in on every side.
  • The cave Gimli shows Legolas is enormous, bigger than the White Hall at Minas Tirith, and at the heart of it is an underground lake. The native Men say the heart of Middle Earth is water, Gimli says, lighting a series of crystalline lamps. They throw strange shadows across the water. Because there’s no end, the lake seems to just go on and on, deeper and deeper
  • Gimli picks up a stone from the shore of this great underground lake, and tosses it into the water—Legolas sucks in a sharp breath, watching the water ripple and catch light—
    • The ripples burn with a blue fire that he cannot find reason for, except it must be magic. It does not surprise him, that Gimli Son of Gloin, Ringbearer, Master of the Glittering Caves should be magic. It is…why should it surprise him?
  • It is common, Gimli says, and Legolas can feel him watching his face. It is common, for there to be rivers and lakes, at the heart of caves. This is where I learned to swim. In the secret rivers of the Lonely Mountain.
  • Legolas allows himself to be led edge of the vast lake, darkness pressing in on every side except where the lamps cut through the black. There is the occasional flare of blue light out on the water. Legolas—stepping out of heavy boots and shedding his tunic and cloak, until it is just them, Legolas and Gimli and their bare skin shivering in the damp and cold. 
  • Legolas follows Gimli into the lake, out past where the smooth cave falls away from their feet. The water is cold, but Gimli’s hand is hot, and 
    • Legolas is not afraid.
  • Everywhere they touched is liquid blue light. It licks at Legolas’ ankles, moving with his spread fingers. Gimli takes a breath and dives down in a haze of blue light, surfacing only to grin at Legolas breathless, giddy. 
  • There, shivering in the dark heart of the earth, Legolas has laughed, and felt as though he’s emerged in another world, another earth entirely, somewhere far far away. Somewhere where it was just Gimli and he, and the cold water, and light.
  • (Of course I must take you with me, Legolas says, as they prepare to set off across to the Great Sea, to another world where Durin’s sons have never been welcomed. You are a much stronger swimmer than I, after all. What if I fall overboard?
    • Gimli is smiling so broadly his cheeks hurt. Of course, amrâlimê.)
How to make America Great in 16 easy steps

1. I M P E A C H. T R U M P. self explanatory

2. Stop 👏🏾letting 👏🏾billionaires 👏🏾rig 👏🏾elections


Overturn Citizens United, ban campaign contributions and let one voice equal one vote


3. Stop spending 50% of all our tax money on war.

Stop killing civilians in the Middle East, and use the extra trillion dollars to reinvest in the Arab world, America’s urban and rural schools, and make college free.

4. LET REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS IN!

Refugees and immigrants are usually skilled, open businesses, create innovation and grow the economy. They are also HUMAN BEINGS fleeing war and death and need us to be there for them.

5. Stop putting (black and Latino) kids in prison for nonviolent drug offenses.

Start weakening gangs by legalizing drugs and offering addiction and job training programs.

*bonus: this also greatly reduces gun violence everywhere, especially in large cities*

6. don't👏🏾let👏🏾cops👏🏾get👏🏾away👏🏾with👏🏾shit👏🏾

Put murderers in jail, whether they have a badge or not. Demilitarize police forces, and train officers deescalation tactics. Make sure officers come from the communities they serve. Rebuild trust through human contact with police.

7. end the mass shooting™ Era.

Castrate the NRA. Create an Australia style gun buyback program. Stop letting 14 year olds buy AKs at guns shows. Mandate “safe gun” tech.

*hidden bonus: kindergarteners, churchgoers and the general public will no longer be murdered en masse on a monthly basis. How wacky is that?!?*

8. stop allowing people to go bankrupt because they got sick or hurt

Create a single payer health care system like those in Norway, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K.,
Kuwait, Sweden, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, the Netherlands, Austria, The UAE, Finland, Slovenia, Denamark, Luxembourg, France, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

9. pay👏🏾women👏🏾the👏🏾same👏🏾amount👏🏾of👏🏾money👏🏾as👏🏾men👏🏾 yea like wtf? It’s 2017. 10. LET WOMEN HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN BODIES. Again, wtf?!?

11. Don’t let oil and gas companies destroy the Earth for profit.

Implement a carbon tax, and use the money to invest in renewables, and climate change research.

12. Create 25 million jobs, and revive the American Dream.

Spur a National WWII style mobilization to build renewable energy, manufacture electric cars, invest in organic vertical farming, and clean up our polluted oceans, Lakes and rivers.

*secret bonus: this also keeps our kids from having to live in a dystopian hellscape lol*

13. PAY REPARATIONS to African and Native Americans, just like you did to settlers and slaveowners before/after the Civil War.

14. Close Guantanamo bay, and amend the constitution to ban torture

15. Get Involved(cliche but immensely important) protest, call your representatives, and get involved with organizations like moveleft, Indivisible, and Justice Democrats that push for real and radical improvements to our country.

16. Don’t let cynicism and pessimism cloud your judgement.

If you’re reading this right now and thinking; “okay but nahhhhhhh, none of this can happen in America”, your brain is tricking you. Human evolutionary psychology makes it hard for people to envision a future that is radically different from the past or present, but change can happen fast and is often more radical than you expect. Don’t sit on the sidelines and let the future be decided by the likes of Trump, Bannon, and oil companies. speak up. ACT.

and most importantly,

VOTE

Glorious Gems of MP - The Gwalior Fort and Man Singh Palace

Most of what I remembered about the great city of Gwalior came from my 5th or 6th grade history textbook. And my memories were as foggy as the evening of the day I landed in MP.

Excited to be in Gwalior for the first time, I was just in time to catch the Light and Sound show at the Man Singh Palace also known as the Man Mandir Palace. And what a majestic show it was -   under the open sky, the palace lit up in wonderful colours, the history of the city rendered in the baritone of Amitabh Bachchan! It was nothing less than a grand theatre!  

Built in 8th century, the fort stands tall upon the Gopachal hill. The exact period of the fort’s construction is not clear, but historians say that it started in the 8th Century. According to the folklore, one day Suraj Sen who suffered from leprosy, found himself very thirsty atop the hill. Sant Gwalipa offered him sacred water from a pond, which cured him of the disease. Out of gratitude, Suraj Sen fortified the hilltop and named the citadel Gwalior to honour the saint.

Around the 15th century, the fort came under Man Singh Tomar, a king who was known as one of the greatest connoisseur of art and music. He transformed the fort into a grand architectural marvel that even Babur referred it as the “pearl amongst the fortresses of India”. After being captured by the Mughals, the fort was used as a jail. By the end of their reign, they had destroyed almost everything precious. Finally, in 18th Century, it flourished again in the hands of Maharaja Scindia.

Today, the monument is a huge fortress sprawling across an area of 3 square km surrounded by a concrete wall of sandstone. It comprises of six palaces, three temples, and several water tanks. One of its most famous temples is Teli-ka-Mandir built in the Dravidian style with an exquisite sculpted exterior. Another fascinating temple is the Saas-Bahu Temple, with two asymmetrical pillars. The other palaces are Jahangir Mahal, the Karan Palace, the Shah Jahan Mahal and the Gurjari Mahal, built by Man Singh for Mrignayani, his favourite wife. Gurjari Mahal currently is an archeological museum with an impressive collection, some of which dates back to 1st century AD.

Totally engrossed in the stories, I had walked down the lanes of history. I looked around to see the most beautiful view - a modern cityscape of Gwalior. The city was lit up!

Early next morning, I returned to witness the monument and relive all the stories I had heard the night before. We started off our visit with the Man Mandir palace or the Chit Mandir for the rich ceramic mosaics encrusting its facade. It was absolutely breathtaking made out of sandstone with stunning motifs on coloured tiles- everything speaking volumes about craftsmanship beyond time. My guide Puneet ji narrated many more wonderful tales that described the symbolism of the motifs as well as showed me the secret little telephonic tunnel the king used to converse with his queens.

The Diwan-e-aam and Diwan-e-khas music halls made for the queens to see performances while honouring the purdah system, have some exquisite grillwork. Lotus, which signifies Lord Brahma is a motif that keeps re-appearing across numerous places. 

The royal seal can also be seen in the main hall.

Raja Man Singh’s  bedroom has beautiful brackets which once held stunning mirror work like a Sheesh Mahal. Taking cue from this, I began reimagining the grandeur of the place.

I could also see the Gurjari Mahal situated below the palace, which was built as one of the conditions set by Mrignayani to marry Raja Man Singh. The other two conditions were that she should get water from her village river (which was the secret of her strength and beauty) at the new palace, and that she would fight each war alongside the King.

A leap into history, the Man Singh Palace has left me inspired in many many ways.

About the artist

Neethi Goldhawk is an independent illustrator and textile print designer who loves drawing all things dreamy, inspired by nature and life. She has illustrated for platforms like Redbull Amaphiko and Launchora. Her pen name (Goldhawk) was concocted in the crowded space of her mind full of absurd characters, who are but little children at heart. She is an avid Tumblr blogger and can be found here

By Neethi Goldhawk

late july– balmy nights, languid light, warm skin and cool cotton. we press our feet to wet grass, down on the banks where dragonflies shimmer in the afterglow. you humming, the old river thrumming, warm wine going straight to my head. we pick clover, jasmine, aster; we wade knee-deep in the water and listen; bird songs drifting, willows hushing, dusk falling fig-blue overhead. all around us the smell of damp earth, lilac. the river murmuring a secret; quietly we murmur ours back.

1688 map of North America by Venetian mapmaker Coronelli, showing California as an island. This misconception had been disproven as early as 1539 by Spanish explorer Francisco Ulloa (who explored up the Gulf to the end of the Colorado River), but Spain kept secret its discovery that the Baja Peninsula was not an island.

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This scenery was of a kind that was not familiar to Strike. The sweeping masses of granite, these rolling hills, had an alien grandeur in their bareness, in their calm spaciousness. He had spent much of his childhood perched on the coast, with the taste of salt in the air: this was a place of woodland and river, mysterious and secretive in a different way from St. Mawes, the little town with its long smuggling history, where colorful houses tumbled down to the beach. (Career of Evil)

Cormoran I ❤ CORNWALL Strike

Like/reblog if you watch Pretty Little Liars

Looking for new people to talk to with similar interests so like/reblog and hit me up!

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book aesthetics: River Secrets by Shannon Hale

“Her smile was peculiar - it made her nose wrinkle, not as though she smelled something unpleasant, but more that she was so amused, her whole face wanted to be a part of the smile.”