an axe for the frozen sea

  hey guys, just thought i’d whip together a list of some of my favourite authors most motivational   quotes. i especially love using these in bullet journal spreads. hope everyone is having a wonderful new year!            


          oscar wilde 

  “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” 

  “always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much” 

  “with freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?” 

  “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” 

  “be yourself; everyone else is already taken” 

  “to live is the rarest thing in the world. most people exist, that is all” 

  “it is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it" 

  "you can never be overdressed or overeducated” 

  “yes: i am a dreamer. for a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world”


          fyodor dostoyevsky

   "there is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it" 

  “power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare” 

  “happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it” 

  “the cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month”

  “to live without hope is to cease to live” 


         james joyce 

  “i am tomorrow, or some future day, what i establish today. i am today what i established yesterday or some previous day” 

  “a man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors… are the portals of discovery” 

  “he found in the world without as actual what was in his world within as possible” 

  “life is the great teacher” 


         charles dickens 

  “the sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on” 

  “there are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast”“a loving heart is the truest wisdom” 

  “i ask only to be free. the butterflies are free” 

  “we forge the chains we wear in life” 

  “an idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself” 

  “no one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else” 


         franz kafka 

  “start with what is right, rather than with what is acceptable” 

  “anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old” 

  “logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live” 

  “a book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us” 

  “believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made” 

  “my ‘fear’ is my substance, and probably the best part of me” 


         ivan turgenev 

  “we sit in the mud, my friend, and reach for the stars” 

  “if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin” 

  “time sometimes flies like a bird, and sometimes crawls like a worm, but people may be unusually happy when they do not even notice if time has gone quickly or slowly” 

  “don’t be ruled by others; to belong to oneself- the whole savour of life lies in that” 

  “we’re young, we’re not monsters, no fools: we’ll conquer happiness for ourselves” 


         george orwell 

  “happiness can exist only in finding acceptance" 

  "the essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection” 

  “freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” 


         victor hugo 

  “laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face” 

  “music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent” 

  “curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery” 

  “to learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark” 

  “to love beauty is to see light” 

  “adversity makes men” 

  “our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds” 

  “there is nothing like a dream to create the future” 

  “all the forces in the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come”

  “perseverance, secret of all triumphs”

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” - Franz Kafka

I only set 1 book goal for 2017 reading challenge. I did it too last year. I realize reading for me is not about quantity anymore. I look at books as my new learning resources rather than just a soon to be forgotten stories

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? …we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
—  Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak, 1904.

Marx: you quote this part of a letter written by Franz Kafka: “The books we need are the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that makes us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves….a book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us” Is this the purpose you want your poetry to serve?

Sexton: Absolutely. I feel it should do that. I think it should be a shock to the senses. It should almost hurt.

Anne Sexton, from an interview with Patricia Marx featured in No Evil Star

Imagine you and Ivar getting through your struggles together.

Request for @ ateliefloresdaprimavera

Summary: You’re Floki’s daughter and in love with Ivar. You have struggles with the fact that Floki wants you to come raid with Björn while Ivar has struggles about the return of his father. You don’t want to go for Ivar but you, out of love, helping him get over his fear for water.
Notes: Love and Fluff
Words: 2184

Hope you all like it! If you have a request, don’t by shy to ask. I don’t bite. ;-)


You watched the wrinkles in the water surface while your father was again cursing his own hands for missing with his hammer. As a boatbuilder of Kattegat Floki had a lot of things on his mind, one of those things was the request of Björn to make enough ships so he could travel the Mediterranean Sea. You hadn’t noticed that your father was stopped cursing so you looked away from the water towards him. He stood with you mother, who carefully nursed his wound, they were in a discussion and when they both looked towards you they felt silent. You knew your father would go with Björn now that Ragnar was dissapeared. And your mother … you looked back to your hands were you had a little pawn carved out of wood. You had the skills of your father, for sure. It didn’t took your mother and father long to come sit beside you. “Y/n.” Helga said while stroking your hair. You looked at her for you looked the other way towards your fahter.
“Your mother is coming to.” He began. You looked at Helga who smiled as if she just gave you the biggest present.
“And?” You didn’t understand what they were saying.
“You have to come to.” Your mother explained. You looked down at the wooden pawn again and bited your lip.
“I want to stay.” You said after a couple of minutes.
“Why? You will be a lot safer if you come with us. The gods are granting this to us all.” Helga wispered while rubbing your back.
“I don’t want to.”
“Because of Ivar?” Floki spitted in the sand.
“Maybe.” You answered. Ivar was your closest friend and more, you loved him. After al those years together while growing up there was nobody who knew you better than him. But your father, overprotective as always, didn’t liked the idea.
“He’s dangerous.” Floki said. Yes, Ivar was, but not to you, never to you. Floki didn’t want to lose you, you were his most valuable possesion besides your mother and in his eyes Ivar maked you reckless.
“Not to me.” You replied calm. Arguing with your father was worse than protesting against your mother who never got angry with you.
“I don’t want to go. I don’t like all the traveling and I sure don’t want to raid. Can’t I just stay here? Take care of the place?” You begged. Helga puched a strand of hair behind your ear and nodded.
“What?” Floki reacted immidiatly. You stood up and walked to the woods before it got any worse.

You waked up because somebody pushed his hand over your lips and nose. You started panicking and tried to get the hand away before you could see who’s hand it was. “Y/n.” He wispered. You searched around until you found his deep blue eyes. Ivar laid a finger against his lips before he removed his hand.
“What are you doing here?” You asked quietly. The moonlight shined throught a split in the roof over his head, his eyes almost sparkled now. But he looked troubled and because of that you were on high alert.
“What do you think I’m doing.” He smiled. You looked towards the door, afraid that your father would notice his presence. He sat beside the bed, on the ground. You turned on you stomach, brought you head a little closer to his.
“You never come to visit me at night.”
“Maybe I just wanted to see you?” He asked while pulling up his shoulders. You smiled a little bit.
“I know you better than that Ivar, never forget that.” You said, you eyes observing his. He reacted a little, as if he let a shield drop before you.
“Can we speak?”
“I wanted to speak you to.” You reacted, his eyes grew more concerned.
“What is it?” His fingertips barely touched your cheek but still, you closed your eyes a little bit.
“Not here.” You gave a prommesing look towards the door before getting up.

The sand felt cold under your feet. You looked at Ivar who laid beside you and stared to the stars and the moon. “They want me to go raiding with Björn.” You began. Ivar maked his eyes loose from the sky en pushed his body right. “What? Why? You going?” He already sounded upset. Ivar did not give much about the world, yes he loved his parents and brothers but it was not to compare with what he feels for you.
“They both go, it would keep me safe they said, if I come with them. But I don’t want to.” You stared again to the water until you felt Ivar’s touch on your elbows.
“Why not?”
“Because of you?” You answered. His face softed a little bit and you smiled tender. “I can’t leave you here Ivar, even if I wanted to go. You wouldn’t survive without me.” You joked at the last. He chuckled and shook his head right after.
“Yes, I need you Y/n but I would’t take away your dreams, if you want to go you should.” He said softly. You stared at his legs for a moment before looking back at him.
“Everything I dream of is right here.” You pointed to the surroundings.
 “That includes me?” He asked while resting his head against your upper arm. You smiled and moved your head closer, pressing a little kiss on his lips.
“That includes especially you.” You tenderly said. He sighed and laid back again.
“Father is back.”
“Ragnar?” You asked confused.
“He wants to go to Engeland, asked all my brothers but not me.” You heared the frustration in his voice. You turned on your stomach and laid down beside him, your fingers playing in the sand.  
“Would you go if he asked?” You asked carefull. You knew that it was a very difficult subject for Ivar.
“I hate the water.” He answered. You nodded and stared at the sand, trying to wrap your head around everything you both just said. He was honest, he hated water but you knew he would do everything for a journey with his father. So if he goes … what is keeping you here than? “Y/n, can we go sailing tomorrow?” He asked after a little while.
“I’m not an expert.”
“But I trust you, more than I truts Ubbe or Hvitserk.” He got futher. You looked at him and nodded.
“If my father sees you getting in a boat with me he will kill me, you know that right?” You laughed.
“He is to protective over you.”
“Well, so are you. I knew there was something compairing about you two.” You joked. Your laugh died away when his hand stroked your cheek.
“That’s because I love you y/n.” He wispered. You felt weak inside. You laid your head on his shoulder only to feel a kiss against your forehaid. “Mother is asking when you come to visit again.”
“Tomorrow, I promise.” You replied.
“Can I stay?” He wispered. You turned your head a little and looked at him. “Father will kill me for sure then.”
“He first has to kill me then.” He said right after. You smiled ans stared in his ocean blue eyes because there was no star or sea as bright as his eyes when he was with you.

Sigurd did it again. You walked the couple of steps to the great Hall when you heared Ivar calling out to his brother. Sigurd came outside, with that childish smile on his face. You hated Sigurd, because of what he always said to Ivar. But you didn’t show it. You crossed each other when there flew an axe right between you. It was ment for Sigurd, you were sure of that but a few inches and it were your legs. “Y/n!” Ivar yelled. You and Sigurd stood frozen to the ground and both looked at Ivar who crawled outside. He looked furious and that was proberly an understatement.
“Next time you throw an axe little brother, be sure that there is nothing precious around.” Sigurd smiled. You saw Ivar clenshing his teeth together while Sigurd was walking away.
“Let him go.” You said. Ivar looked up at you, angry and you just smiled calm and comforting.
“I’ve could hurt you.” He murmered.
“You didn’t.” You knew he wouldn’t show his affection for you in front of others so you followed him back inside. What you didn’t expect was to see Ragnar. “Y/n.” Ragnar greeted you with a warm embrace. “I see what you mean to my son.” He followed. You didn’t know what to say but when you looked at Ivar you saw that little smile you loved.
“It’s nice to see you again.” You respectfully said. Ragnar shook his had and walked out, rather dreamy. You looked how Ragnar walked away before turning back to Ivar. “You sure want to do this?” You asked a little worried about his earlier conflict with Sigurd.
“Yes.” Was his short answer. You looked how he crawled outside, still frustrated. It was only a matter of time for he would spill the beans. The whole way to the little boat of your father you walked in silence. He angry and frustrated, you patience as always. Both your parents weren’t home so there was no one to hold you back. Ivar pulled his body up to the egde of the boat, conflict all over in his eyes.
“We don’t have to do this now.”
“Yes we do.” He replied harsh.
“Don’t get mad on me for what Sigurd said.” You adviced him. He closed his eyes and shook his head while he was leading his anger away in his body. You crouched beside him and laid your hand on his jaw. “Ivar.” You wispered. He opened his eyes, all soft and vulnerable again.
“Sigurd and his poison words, fathers return, you leaving, I don’t,” he felt silent and rested his head on his arm what was on the edge of the boat.
“Who said I’m leaving?”
“Helga, this morning to my mother.” He aswered. You bited your lip again, looked in the boat and then back to Ivar.
“Get in.” You commanded. He didn’t protested and pulled his body in the boat. You pushed the boat in the water and then jumped in. Ivar began to row and you wachted how he carefully tried to ingnore the fact he was on water. “Look at me Ivar.” You pointed towards your own body. He did it and you saw his body relax a little while his strong arms brought you both further over the water.
“It isn’t that bad.” He said after a long time of nothing except for staring at each other. You were so far from home that nowbody could interrupt you.
“Sea is worse.” You didn’t want to lie, he had to know what he would face if he would go with his father.
“Your not helpfull.” He protested. You smiled and let your head rest on your hand while watching him.
“I’m always helpfull.” You disacreed with him.
 “What would I do without you?” He asked. He stopped rowing and you steady walked towards him, sat on his lap. He wraped his arms around your middle and looked at you with such an admiration you felt your heart skipping a beat. “You would survive.” You wrapt your arm over his shoulder and let your fingertops rest on his jawline.
“You could get much better than me.” He suggested. You closed your eyes because of what he said, again.
“Ivar,” you began with a loving voice. “You’ve always been my best friend, even when we were kids we spended so much time together. And that friendship is the most valuable thing I have in my live. For me you’re no cripple, you could protect me just like any other man. Why are you always douthing that?” You stroked your fingers over his jaw, neck … gentle.
“I can’t understand why you can be so patience, so loving, so not afraid. You don’t deserve somebody like me, always angry and frustrated.” He looked away, into the water and you smiled for yourself.
“That patience comes from having a father like mine. And your not angry or frustrated with me.” You wispered. He was stil looking to the water. “Ivar.” You forced his head back so you could watch him. “Kiss me?” You wispered. He looked in your eyes, the conflict he had still troubeling him. But he kissed you, and it was a kiss were you didn’t need to look out for somebody to see it. You felt your heart grow while the warmth spread through your body.
“I love you Y/n.” He wispered against your skin, his lips traveling down your neck, pressing soft kisses on your collarbone. You wished you could be on this pleace forever, only the two of you, no secrets, no hiding, no protective father or concerned mother. Just you and Ivar, because that felt right, it was the only thing that felt good in your entire life.

Hope this was any good?

Word Prompts // Sea
  1. “I love you more than there are stars in the sky and fish in the sea.
  2.   “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
  3. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”
  4. “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
  5. “For whatever we lose, it’s always our self we find in the sea.
  6. “I know of a cure for everything: salt water…in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.
  7. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”
  8. “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.”
  9. “My course is set for an uncharted sea.
  10. “Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.”
  11. “The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?”
  12. “I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.”
  13. “I probably would have sat there all day, trying to remember my name, but then the sea demons came.”
  14. “Be careful seaweed brain.”
  15. “Like the god of the sea.
  16. “Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
  17. I am a siren, a mermaid; I know that I am beautiful while basking on the ocean’s waves and I know that I can eat flesh and bones at the bottom of the sea.
  18. “A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.”
  19. “Little islands are all large prisons; one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow.”
  20. “Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”
  21. “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps.”
  22. “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”
  23. “We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land.”
  24. “We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
  25. “The sea does not like to be restrained. ”
  26. “The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas.
  27. “Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
  28. “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
  29. “How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake.”
  30. “Plenty more fish in the sea.
  31. “Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
  32. “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
  33. “The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.”
  34. “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.”
  35. “ It was like drowning, drowning in seas of green.”
  36. “My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea.
  37. “I still don’t understand what a sea god would be doing in Atlanta.“
  38. “It’s hard to tell the difference between sea and sky, between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.”
  39. “I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.”
  40. “I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air.”
  41. “As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” 
  42. “I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea.
  43. “I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.” 
  44. “When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.” 
  45. “The sea is nothing but a library of all the tears in history.” 
  46. “We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”
  47. “We drift on a chartless, resistless sea.
  48. “The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.
  49. “And if my Sea of Tranquility were real, it would be this place, here, with him.”
  50. “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
  51. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
  52. “I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.”
  53. “When sadness was the sea, you were the one that taught me to swim”
  54. “The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the Living Infinite. ”
  55. “The sea is everything.”
  56. “The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the Living Infinite. ”
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that makes us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
—  Franz Kafka, in a letter to Oskar Pollak, featured in Letters to Friends, Family and Editors
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.
—  Franz Kafka
Letters & Questions Part lll

“Do I love Tarquin? It’s too new to tell but I think that I could love him, easily. Things with Tarquin are light, easy, and I have no worries or stress when I’m with him. We have dinners with friends, sail by the moonlight, talk, and even joke. It’s not complicated” said Nesta.

Cassian gave her a level look “Would we have been complicated?”

“Yes, we already were, there would never have been just us. It would always include her, Mor. She didn’t want us to be close and you’ve been hers for 500 years, Cassian, I can’t compare to that. You know what I don’t want too either, I don’t want to compete for your attention or love. You say she’s only a friend but she has laid claim to you and she let me it. I have to be okay with that. I am okay with that.” Nesta tried to look at Cassian with some sort of empathy but she couldn’t, he needed to hear this apparently.

“Well I’m not. ”

“Why though?”

“Because you’re my mate” he nearly snarled at her.

Nesta merely snorted at this revelation. “Oh please, I am not.”

“You are, you’re just refusing to acknowledge our bond but it’s what you are Nesta. I’ve wanted to tell you. I wanted to go to the human lands, find you and tell you. I didn’t know you were still here, falling in love with Tarquin.”

“Everyone in the NC knows where I am, how do you not? Haven’t you asked Azriel or Rhysand? Mor knew, she talks to Amren. What about my sisters? Why didn’t you talk to them?”

“I assumed. I’ve been gone for months. I’ve had to fix the Illyrian camps, train the new commands, visit the families of the dead. I had to realign the legions. I asked Mor and she said you were fine. I thought you were doing fine in the human realm.”

“It always comes down to Mor. I think that she is the one you should be talking too, not me” she took a sip of her juice and a bite of melon.

Cassian stood and paced back and forth across the balcony. “Is there anything I can say or do to change your mind?”

“Not at the moment General.”

“Why can’t you address me by name?”

“Cassian, I was just trying to keep this as impersonal as possible.”

“Mother’s tits Nesta, really?” He yelled.

A knock at the door and Amren entered.

“Cassian I was just walking past when I heard you’re lovely voice coming through the walls. Tell me, why are you here, pestering Nesta.” Amren’s eyes gleamed with delight. She loved getting on Cassian’s nerves.

“She, she, she denies that we barely know each other, keeps calling me General, says there is nothing between us, thinks Mor and I have something going on, and she denies that she is my mate.” This all came out in an anguished voice that Amren had rarely heard, she wasn’t sure how to react. She had all these new feelings. Cauldron how did they deal with this?

“Nesta, is all this true?” Amren asked.

“Of course. It’s been 6 months Amren, have I mentioned this over grown bay that is currently throwing a temper tantrum in my room.” Nesta kept her voice cool and light.

At this Amren looked away from Nesta and towards Cassian. “She has not. I’m sorry.” She hated feeling sorry for him.

Cassian sat down at the table again and drained his juice. Amren snapped her fingers and wine appeared in front of him. He poured a glass of that and drained it too.

“Tarquin” Amren said “has sent me to find out if you will be staying for dinner tonight and if you’ll need a room.”

“I don’t know” Cassian grumbled.

“Cassian” Nesta tried not to sound too exasperated “if you’d like to stay for dinner stay. If you want to go to Velaris go. No one is going to beg you to stay or force you away.” Nesta poured herself a glass of wine.

“I’ll have dinner but I won’t stay the night. Could you let Tarquin know Amren?” Amren simply nodded and winnowed away.

“So, an I to entertain you for the rest of the day?”

“No, I’m content to sit here if you have something else to do.”

“I don’t, I was going to go on a walk later but I can do that later tonight.”

“With Tarquin?”

“Yes, with Tarquin. We often walk on the beach after dinner…” Nesta’s voice trailed off. Cassian sounded defeated. She could make one day with him, well 5 hours. “I’ll sit here with you if that’s okay?”

“It is. Maybe we could just talk or play a game.”

Intriguing, “what game?”

“Well it’s usual 20 questions but that’s a lot. Let’s just ask each other questions and answer truthfully.”

“That’s not a game Cassian. That’s an honest conversation.”

“Well, let’s do that. I’ll start, something easy. My favorite color is red. What’s yours?”

Nesta tapped a finger against her glass. “Red huh? Is that because of that dress Mor always wears” he groaned. “It’s gray, charcoal gray nearly black.”

“Now you ask a question” Cassian said.

“We aren’t explaining our color choices?”

“Is that you question? Why is red my favorite color?”

“No! I can think of something better than that. Okay okay I got it? How many people have you slept with?”

“People?” He snorted. “You’re assuming that I’ve slept with men too?”

“You’ve had 500 years, why not?” This was stated quite flatly, deadpan.

“35 females, no males, 7 threesomes with no males. If I found a male that I’d be interested in I’d go for it but it’s been 500 years so I’m not holding my breathe.”

“35? That’s it? I mean you should have at least 400.”

“I’m not a slut Nesta Archeron, besides these all aren’t one night stands.”

“Okay, who was the best?” She asked a little too enthusiastically.

“Sorry Sweetheart, my turn” he laughed as Nesta pouted, her bottom lip jutting out slightly. “Are you still a virgin?”

“Yes.”

“Nesta, may I ask a follow-up?”

“No. Who was your best liver and how long did it last?”

“That has a follow-up question.”

“Doesn’t. Continue” she smiled, she really was enjoying herself.

“Not many stand out but I guess Daya. She was from Monteserre, on the continent. She had short blonde hair, big brown eyes, and a large mouth” he grinned. “We were on and off for a few decades. She was a blacksmith by day and a siren at night, all glam. Then she met her mate. A male from the Autumn Court. I heard she died about 20 years back. Not sure how, don’t want to know how. She was a good female and I the cauldron gave her a good life.” He shrugged as if it had been nothing at all. She knew it that wasn’t true.

“Have you ever been in love?”

“No” Cassian waved an arm at her to elaborate. “Fine. As a human I was engaged to a man named Tomas. Feyre warned me of his family but I already knew that his father beat his mother and that no one ever tried to stop it. I broke it off and it didn’t end well. We fought and he… I got away. I think I could fall in love with Tarquin though. It’s nice and easy here. I love lounging on the boats at night and sipping champagne until dawn, I’ve never had anything like this.”

Cassian looked thoughtful but just nodded.

“What’s your favorite food?”

“Anything meat” Nesta laughed.

“What a male thing to say General.”

“Meat, ale, and women” they both laughed.

“Nesta what is your favorite book and why?”

Nesta’s face went as red as his siphons. “It’s a book from the human realm, cauldron boil me. Love on the High Seas. It’s about a rogue pirate that scores conquest at sea and stuff.”

“OMG! Have you made Tarquin into your fantasy pirate?” Cassian was howling with laughter.

“Keep your voice down” Nesta hissed. “I would never turn Tarquin into a pirate.”

“Not roguish enough?”

“Tarquin is a gentleman” Cassian just laughed.

“I won’t be able to look at him with a straight face ever again.”

“You have too! Cassian! You said you’d stay for dinner.” Nesta would magically tape his mouth shut if she had too.

“Don’t worry these secrets are just between us.”

Nesta breathes a sigh of relief. “My turn” she said.

“No… its mine.”

“No, you asked if I turned Tarquin into my fantasy pirate.”

“Fine. It’s your turn sweetheart” he chuckled.

“Cassian? If you were stuck on an island alone what 3 things would you bring with you?”

“Can I bring another person?”

“No! 3 things not people.”

“Okay, so an axe to cut firewood, a fishing pole, and Love on the High Seas, for entertainment purposes only.” Nesta threw a chunk of melon at him that Cassian caught in his mouth.

“So Nesta what 3 things can you not live without, not people but things?”

“I’ve developed a liking for frozen strawberries in my champagne, my favorite pillows and blankets, and Love on the High Seas for its entrainment value only.” They both burst out laughing.

“I might to borrow this book.”

“I’ll send you a new one. My binding is falling apart.”

They laughed again.

“My turn, Cassian, what is your greatest ambition?”


“To lay in bed with you” Nesta stopped laughing as he caught her eye “after we’ve acted out your favorite scene from Love on the High Seas.”

She was red all over and she’d covered her eyes but she couldn’t stop giggling. “That is not your dearest ambition, it can’t be. You just learned of this very inspirational book.”

“ And it inspired me to make it my dearest ambition.”

“You’re such a rogue” she laughed.

“Could be your rogue” he became serious.

“No you can’t. I’m seeing someone, and it’s not just someone, he’s the High Lord of Summer.”

“That, sweetheart, is an excuse.” Cassian popped another melon chunk into his mouth.

“If we were together and went back to Velaris it wouldn’t be like this.”

“Like what Nesta?”

“Fun. I’m having fun with you Cassian. But there would be family dinners and Mor and it would make things very awkward for Amren here.”

“Amren is a big girl and we are mates. Even Tarquin can’t be mad at that, plus it’s only been a week. Doesn’t Tarquin deserve someone that is staying for him because of him and because it’s easy? That isn’t fair to him is it?”

“No Cassian it’s not fair but I also love the Summer Court.”

“Hypothetically, let’s say you and I were to marry and mate tonight” Nesta gasped. “Just listen, I will buy a house on the sea. It’s colder but it’s still pretty, and it’s gray. We can hide out in the mountains for a week while we house hunt. There are tons of little sea side villages. We don’t have to live in Velaris.

I can talk to Mor with Rhys and Feyre, there’s no reason for her to come to our home unless there’s an emergency. I do have to work with her though and She has been my friend for 500 years and I can’t just stop that. She’s family and I love her like a sister or cousin, nothing more.

You know they’ll insist on family dinners but we don’t have to go to every single one.

Don’t stay here because it’s easy. Come with me because I love you. I can’t give you a perfect life with a palace on the sea, I wish I could Nesta but I can guarantee that I will give you a life full of love through the good times and the hard times. What do you say, come home with me.”

“Give me 10 minutes. I have to tell Tarquin I’m leaving with my mate, soon to husband.” Nesta winked at him and winnowed away.

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.
—  Franz Kafka
Turbulent Indigo
Joni Mitchell with Wayne Shorter
Turbulent Indigo

J.M. 1994 Interview featuring van Gogh paintings: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oqUYMkOp4M

“I think an artist is born. Certainly he can be groomed a little and he can be exposed to things, but he’s a bit of a canary in a coal mine; he is always an outsider, he must have an alien eye. These things are part of nature, not of education. Of all the descriptions of what art’s function is, the one I like the best is that…and it doesn’t matter which field of the arts, “Art is an axe for the frozen sea within.” So if it sings, whew, the ice is broken and something dormant is released in the viewer or listener.”