houses in the shape of other things

THE SIGNS AS HOUSE M.D. QUOTES

Aries: If nobody hates you, you’re doing something wrong.

Taurus: Everybody’s happy until they unwrap the pretty present and find they got a wall clock in the shape of Africa.

Gemini: The advantage of being a freak, it makes you stronger

Cancer: Did you come for my feelings? Because I left ‘em in my other pants.

Leo: I cared for eight seconds. Then I got distracted.

Virgo: If you talk to God, you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic.

Libra: Your testosterone levels are below Bieber.

Scorpio: There’s no such thing. Our bodies break down, sometimes when we’re ninety, sometimes before we’re even born, but it always happens and there’s never any dignity in it. I don’t care if you can walk, see, wipe your own ass, it’s always ugly. Always! You can live with dignity, you can’t die with it.

Sagittarius: Hi! This is Gregory House. I can’t take your call at the moment, please leave a message. If this is Wilson, I’m fine, not suicidal, not on drugs, coping very well with the loss of my last patient. So feel free to go about your day without worry. BEEEEEP!

Capricorn: Life is pain! I wake up every morning, I’m in pain! I go to work with pain! Do you know how many times I wanted to just give up? How many times I thought about ending it?

Aquarius: Sometimes the best gift is the gift of never seeing you again.

Pisces: Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

So it’s widely known that J.R.R. Tolkien was extremely critical of/dissatisfied with the state of academia in his time, and he also believed that linguistics, history, and literature were three facets of the same discipline that lost important context if considered individually.

Well I finally got around to reading his valedictory address, and oh my god if it isn’t the saltiest thing ever written.

Tolkien on scientific linguistics:
“ … forming what one might call our ‘hydroponic’ department.”

Tolkien on using undergrads as research assistants:
“Whatever may have been found useful in other spheres, there is a distinction between accepting the willing labor of many humble persons in building an English house and the erection of a pyramid with the sweat of degree-slaves.”

Tolkien on the process of getting a degree:
“… a 'planned economy’, under which so much research time is stuffed into more or less standard skins and turned out in sausages of a size and shape approved by our own little printed cookery book… . I should hesitate to accuse anyone of planning it with foresight.”

Tolkien on pop-culture studies:
“We now have on our hands one thousand two hundred years of recorded English letters, a long unbroken line, indivisible, no part of which can without loss be ignored.”

Tolkien on student accommodation:
“Meanwhile many of the better students wish to spend more time in a university; more time in learning things, in a place where that process is (or should be) approved and given facilities… . But alas! those with the more eager minds are not necessarily those who possess more money.”

demonicmiracles  asked:

How do you create layouts for towns/villages without it being the typical rectangle shape?

Think about how the town came about. Think about how most towns come about. They don’t start as a metropolis. They typically grow along one or two main roads, or perhaps between a road and a water source. They can be shaped by rivers or cliff-sides, plateaus, or other land forms.

(My drawing tablet is on the other end of the house so excuse my laziness for not getting up to go get it and, thus, the crudeness of the following illustrations.)

If you’ve ever driven through a tiny little town that’s nestled on a highway, then you’ll notice that it sort of dwindles in and out on either side. A town starts out because the local people need a post office, groceries, a church, etc. Sometimes that’s all they ever need. Sometimes, people start moving in and from there, the town will grow.

Now, with a larger, expanding town, you’ll find yourself needing a power plant (that and other such industrial plants will be outside of town, most of the time), a hospital, schools, lots of houses. While developments will sometimes happen in rectangles, they don’t have to. And when you stick a bunch of rectangles together, the final product will often look nothing like a rectangle.

The growth will happen in waves, so development won’t always be one road at a time, they’ll add big parts in sections. But there will always be the edges of town that kind of fade away, whether because of shrinking or growing. 

(Sometimes, that old part that was the original town will remain untouched or will be preserved so that it’s always got that history thing.)

You can also google search “aerial views of small towns” and get an idea of how real-life towns are shaped. 

Also, and this might be a silly suggestion, but play SimCity. See what happens when you have to build a functioning town. It’ll help you brainstorm, at the very least!

Happy writing!

When you think of Henry VIII, you probably picture Dom DeLuise in a dress. It’s a fair picture.

Turkey drumstick in one hand, lady parts in the other – that’s how we like our H8. But Henry didn’t start out as a house-shaped humping machine. Before he lost the battle with tautness, Henry was as athletic and handsome as an NBA pool party. He wasn’t just a monarch sitting on a throne; he ruled jousting tournaments and tennis courts and won Mr. Sexy Legs of 1525. Yet none of those endeavors explain this incredible … thing.

Sometime around 1511, the Holy Roman Emperor commissioned master armor craftsman Konrad Seusenhofer to create this steampunk amalgamation of fear and awesome as a gift for young King Henry. This is real. You are not dreaming. King Henry VIII once wore the mask above in all seriousness, probably at court pageants and as a way to shock a male heir out of his wife’s womb. It eventually worked. Probably because of those baby tombstones posing as teeth.

5 Artifacts That Will Shatter Your Image of the Middle Ages

  • Simplified Guide to Sexualities
  • Homosexual: Attraction to houses, apartments, and other residential buildings
  • Heterosexual: Attraction to diploid cells with two different alleles
  • Bisexual: Attraction to things that come in pairs, like shoes or chopsticks
  • Pansexual: Attaction to the ancient Greek god of the wild
  • Asexual: Attraction to playing cards
  • Demisexual: Attraction to exactly one half of someone
  • Polysexual: Attraction to closed shape made up of straight line segments

NOW WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON IN HERE??? 

Of course it’s obvious what’s going on in here. It’s another one of those four monitored house-shaped terminal thingies.

Despite the sarcastic tone of the text box, this thing really is old hat to us since we’ve been following the Exiles around. For John on the other hand, it feels like he’s gotten a peak behind the curtain so to speak. The Veil is kind of the “back end” of the game, and normally you don’t let your players see that sort of thing. There’s something just slightly foreboding about that.

anonymous asked:

Headcannons for viktor and christophe. If s/o rlly loved sunflowers and grew one in their backyard so that they had something like a task to do (watering the sunflower) since it was something that their therapist told them they should do when they did therapy years ago, and how all out viktor/christophe would go with incorporating sunflowers into s/o's anniversary/birthday. (Ex, would they buy a whole boque of sunflowers, or just one, if you get my drift?) ~🌸

Viktor:

-Decorates the whole freaking house with sunflowers

-S/o will start to get slightly sick of them

-He just wants them to be happy


Chris:

-Only buys them a simple flower, since he doesn’t want to overdo it

-He’ll probably make other things related to sunflowers, though

-Like a cake in the shape of it, or a brooch

y'all regardless of any of the story content of steven universe or your opinions about its politics, the production method of different storyboarders bringing their own styles to different episodes is not “inconsistency” but a deliberate creative choice? the fact that the character designs are so distinct and recognizable across the styles of different artists instead of each being limited to an extremely specific house style is nothing but a good thing for the animation industry. it’s also not new, adventure time has been doing it for years to great effect. if every frame of animation had the characters showing the exact same proportions, shapes and colours, it would look like family guy. you can’t knock it for its art when it has categorically good design and animation just because you’ve decided you hate it for other reasons

sortinghatchats does Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We sorted the original trilogy (Han, Luke, Leia, etc.) and the prequel trilogy (Padme, Anakin, Obi Wan, etc.) here. Take a look!

For those who are new to the sortinghatchats system, our basics post is here. But to sum it up: the way we play this game, your “primary” house is WHY you do things and your “secondary” house is HOW

Note: I’m sorting purely off movie canon, not the extra canonical details of the companion novel and comics, etc -Inky

Rey, who has shaped her whole life around waiting for her family to come back for her, is a Hufflepuff Primary. She is desperate for community, and patiently, determinedly waiting for it. She is also (another Hufflepuff trait) willing to fight for any person or sentient who crosses her path. She’s indiscriminate in her willingness to help others, even when she has so little to share.

The thing that carries her off Jakku is that BB-8 and Finn need her. Hufflepuffs have a tendency to need-base– to help the people who need it first, rather than doing the Slytherin thing of prioritizing their favorite and beloved people first. Even knowing her family might come back, Finn and BB-8’s needs do what even constant starvation and exhaustion never could: drive her off Jakku.

Then, the thing that keeps her from going straight back to Jakku after is a) the new family she’s found in Finn and b) the promise of a new family, destiny, and community in Luke and the Jedi Order. Offered a new community to fall in love with and a new home on the Falcon, Rey is finally able to let go of the possibility of her family’s return, which she has been clinging to desperately for so long.

While Rey’s got a blunt sort of personality (charging at Finn with BB-8, etc), I think that’s more of a sign of her passionate Hufflepuff Primary than a Gryffindor Secondary. While Rey certainly charges at things (a common Gryff Secondary indicator), the stuff that seems to really define her is her steady work ethic, cleverness, and her skills with droids, ships, and circuits– a Ravenclaw Secondary’s traits of collected knowledge, skills, and tools.

Over her years scavenging on Jakku, Rey has picked up a vast and easy knowledge of ships’ innards that she is able to apply cleverly and effectively throughout the story. She fixes the Falcon, winning her Han’s respect and affection. She uses the inside of the battle station as a jungle gym. She hacks the doors inside Han’s transport, saving Finn from the rathtars/tentacle-y monster things. Many of her victories come from previously gathered skills and knowledges, so well-learned that she can apply them to great effect.

In her final fight with Kylo what tips the battle in her favor is her memory of and application of Maz’s teachings– she closes her eyes, she listens for the Force, and it is that (not her affection and worry for Finn, not her anger over Han, not her inner goodness) that lets her succeed. And it is her existing skills with the staff that had helped her hold out that long against a trained opponent.

Now, leaving everything else behind, Rey’s off to Luke’s island of angsty solitude to shore up a new set of skills for her Ravenclaw Secondary, which was already pretty impressive to begin with. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say this kid’s gonna grow up to be one badass Jedi.

From what we have seen so far, Finn’s a Slytherin Primary.

(There’s some argument to be made that he’s a REALLY BURNED Hufflepuff Primary who doesn’t think anyone’s a person other than Rey, and that he’ll un-burn over the course of the series… but that’s a way more complex argument. From what we have seen so far, the simplest sorting for Finn is Slytherin.)

But the things that drive Finn are this: a) his survival and eventually b) Rey’s wellbeing. The epiphany moment that drives him to leave the First Order is triggered by the death of his friend, who leaves the iconic red handprint on him. However, when he and Poe escape the station, Finn fires guiltlessly on other Stormtroopers, implying that his loyalty and grief are specific to individuals. It’s not a general sense of empathy or morality that drives him.

This trend follows when it comes to Rey’s rescue as well. Finn lies about his ability to help the Resistance in order to get himself on the ground to find Rey. Trusting his intel, General Leia sends men, women, and other sentients to risk their lives. Finn is gambling not just those fighters’ lives but also the lives of the whole threatened planet– and he’s not even gambling. While he, Han, Chewie, and Rey do manage to get the shields down and the base destroyed in the end, that was never Finn’s plan. He wanted to save Rey, and he carelessly and callously risks peoples’ lives, promising a chance at victory he provides almost as an afterthought.

This makes Finn a loyal friend, and a little bit of a loose cannon. If he follows the theme of other heroic Slytherins in this series, he’s likely to grow a much more Puff-seeming or Gryff-seeming morality system for the sake of friends like Rey and Poe. (See: Han Solo, re: Luke and Leia’s sake). While Slytherins can easily have independent moralities, Star Wars seems to really like Slytherins building moralities primarily for the sake of their loved ones. Anakin not doing that for Padme is one of the things that doomed him, thematically speaking.

As for the HOW: Finn’s a Gryffindor Secondary– he charges at things. When he wants to get out of the station, he kidnaps/frees the enemy Resistance pilot, ripping off his helmet in an alcove and blurting out his intentions. He drops himself on the battle station to find Rey with no plan at all, assuming if he just goes in and tries that something will work out– and it does. At a cost.

Finn’s also got that general Gryffindor Secondary trait of being so obviously genuine that people believe him even when they maybe shouldn’t. Poe, BB-8, Rey, Leia, and the Alliance in general trust him– they steal spaceships with him and attack space stations on his word. It’s only Han, our other Slytherin/Gryffindor (a theme in these movies– Anakin was one as well), who immediately susses Finn out as an obvious liar. (And even then, Han knows the thing Finn would like to do most is come clean).

That’s an important factor, here– that your secondary is about what you want to do and what you feel you should do, rather than perhaps what you actually do. Finn lies a lot in this movie, but he doesn’t seem to really want to, and he’s happiest and most effective when he’s blindingly, passionately honest in his intentions. I’m looking forward to see what this kid grows up into.

OK, so we barely see any of Poe. I really liked him and hope we get more, but for now this is a very… extrapolated sorting of him. 

Poe’s got a sass on him to make any Slytherin Secondary proud, but I think his jibes with Kylo Ren come from a Slytherin Secondary performance rather than that actually being a part of him. That sort of banter is something he’s learned and put on, and it’s not in the end a very useful part of his personality at all, except for winning movie-going audiences over. The skills that actually make Poe important are just that– skills, as a fighter pilot, a droid-speaker, and a resistance fighter. 

When Finn and Poe are escaping, Poe explains that he can fly anything. He gets into a First Order ship and not only knows enough about its functionality that he can fly it himself but also knows it well enough that he can talk Finn through manning the guns. This seems… a little above and beyond. 

Ravenclaw Secondaries succeed at things not just because they are prepared for what comes, but because they are prepared for things they didn’t actually expect to happen. 

They collect skills, knowledge, and tools because they love filling their pockets, metaphorically speaking (or not), not always because they are expecting utility to come out of them later. Poe loves what he does, and the skills that come in handy for him he didn’t necessarily know would be useful when he collected them. 

(I could also easily see him as a hard-working, reliable, friendly Hufflepuff Secondary, though, so… let’s see what the rest of the trilogy brings us). 

As far as primary, the WHY– my best guess is Gryffindor. He seems to believe in the cause and to believe in people in a particularly engaging, earnest way. What’s driving Poe doesn’t seem to be the communal-loyalty of a Hufflepuff, or the measured, deliberate idealism of a Ravenclaw, or the pointed selfishnesses and loyalties of a Slytherin. But there’s still a lot of Poe we haven’t seen, so I’m gonna take a rain check before I’m willing to die on the hill of Gryffindor Primary Poe.

Kylo Ren is a Ravenclaw Primary (sorry Ravenclaws). He’s not a lost Hufflepuff looking for community (though that would have been one easy way for Snoke to steal him); he’s not a certain Gryffindor or even a broken one; he’s not a Slytherin driven by ambition for his own self and his loved ones. Kylo thinks he knows what is true. He’s figured it out– with twisted, manipulative help from Snoke– and now he’s killing himself (and others) to live by those truths. 

It’s particularly apparent in his conversation with his grandpa’s melted old helmet– little Ben Solo is torn up inside about how his gut and instincts are pulling him toward the Light, when he intellectually knows that the Dark Side and power are the correct side. Where Gryffindors feel dirty if they bloodlessly weigh morals and ignore their gut screaming against it (“You can talk yourself into anything. But some things are just wrong,” some Gryffs might explain), Ravenclaws feel selfish and wrong to if they ignore their logical conclusions just because it makes them feel bad in their tummy. 

When Kylo feels himself faltering in his belief, he sees his gut impulses away from the Dark Side as a flaw, and as something he needs to fight against. It is his intellectual belief in the Dark Side that he prioritizes and chooses to devote himself to. 

Though trying to get his father to bring Ben back into the fold was a good gamble, it was never going to work. Kylo’s gut screaming at him not to do it–those mixed loyalties tearing him apart inside–was only ever going to encourage him to shove those feelings down more and look to his logical, learned system for what to do. The thing that matters most is to do right, to do true, and Kylo believes that that truth is something that lives outside himself in the Dark Side of the Force. He will sacrifice all his own loves and griefs and his own self to serve it. The tattered remains of his love for Han (and his similarly complicated hate for Han) only got in the way. That murder was a moment of ascendancy for Kylo, in a twisted way. It was a test of strength and he passed. 

Kylo’s Ravenclaw Primary is also apparent in some of his final interactions with Rey. Seeing that she is like him– powerful– he is certain she will see the truth of his ways and change to his side (“you need a teacher!”) if only he can explain it over the clash their lightsabers. Ravenclaw Primaries, especially immature ones like Kylo, often believe if other people just think long enough and well enough that they will of course come to that Ravenclaw’s own conclusions– and not just agree with them but change to live by those truths, too. 

Too bad for Kylo, but a) his Ravenclaw system is stupid and b) Rey’s a Hufflepuff, kids, this ain’t gonna fly. 

He seems to have inherited his parents’ (and grandfather’s) shouty, blunt Gryffindor Secondary– though both Leia and Han carry (and carried) it more effectively than Ben has yet learned to. But he has a tendency to blast through things, to shout, to leap without thinking. He shoves into people’s heads, stalks down corridors, yells, slashes. He’s a blunt force weapon, but Star Wars as a universe seems to like those okay, so he’s probably going to grow up to be decently formidable.

tl;dr
Rey: Hufflepuff Primary/Ravenclaw Secondary
Finn: Slytherin Primary/Gryffindor Secondary
Poe: Gryffindor Primary/Ravenclaw Secondary (Slytherin Secondary performance)
Ben Solo/Kylo Ren: Ravenclaw Primary/Gryffindor Secondary

sorta-phantastic  asked:

Anyways hey about Valentine's day, I can just imagine Jack and Felix being v adorable and actually decorating their house(s) for it with little hearts everywhere and being all adorable and buying heart shaped treats for each other while cuddling all day and being very sweet and romantic and just being an amazing couple. And at night Fe taking Jack out on a romantic date to a movie or a cafe and yeah. I'll stop now. (Sorry, it was just a cute thought I had randomly)

i love the decorating thing omg yes i love all of this

i’m feeling weirdly proud of myself for taking such good care of most of my clothes bc it means they’re in great shape to donate. i’m still not used to having many clothes especially clothes that are stylish or look good on me but it’s actually been years now that i’ve had both: clothes that look good and enough that i’m not wearing the same thing every other day (even tho i clearly do that now out of inclination and shamelessness, but that helps me clear out everything).

i have SO MANY clothes and i think i finally found an okay venue for the swap.

and i cleaned my house again. it’s nice. if only studying was as easy to do stoned as cleaning is.

so familiar a gleam (Zimbits)

@icosahedonist​ wanted Jack and Bitty getting together in the Collective Unconscious/soulmate dream AU.  So she gets it. :)  2700 words, rated Teen, TW for some gore.

(Previously: True dreams about your soulmate are very rareWinter Solstice approaches.  The team dreams into each other.)

Keep reading

Oh man… I had a weirdly complex dream with a lot of backstory I can’t remember. I know part of it involved two brothers, both rulers of different kingdoms. One lived underground in this nightmarish world of chaos and poison. The other lived in my house and had chosen a relatively normal human life.

The young daughter of the normal brother was inconsolable because her pet cat had died. Her father tried to give her a new one, but she refused to even look at it because she was afraid of loving it only to watch it die someday. So her dad did the logical thing and dropped a kitten through a manhole-shaped portal to the underworld, in the hopes that it would absorb a mixture of formaldehyde and magic that would make it immortal. His brother brought it back up, looking faux-angry, and demanded to know why he was trespassing and if old treaties were being broken.

“Please,” the human brother begged, “I just want something that will outlive my daughter’s love.” He took the kitten (now glowing green) and went home.

The dream switched to my perspective. I ran from door to door, checking locks and creating barricades in case anything tried to come through. It was set years later, and the daughter was a teenager. She turned out to be gay. Initially, her father didn’t want her to bring her girlfriend home, but I reasoned with him until he relented. “It’s crawling with monsters out there,” I said. “If you let that girl die because you were too stupid and bigoted to accept her, your daughter’s hatred will outlive you.”

The girls rushed inside and clung to each other. I guided them to a different room with a meaningful look at the father, who still looked stiff and uncomfortable. “Thanks,” said the girls, as soon as he was out of sight.

Then the daughter gave the other girl a quick kiss. The other girl smiled broadly. Too broadly. Her mouth spread across her face inhumanly wide, splitting at the cheeks. From inside her mouth emerged a bright green eye and rows and rows of teeth. I stood transfixed in horror as a creature emerged from the human shape like a snake shedding its skin, until the girl’s body was nothing but a crumpled husk on the floor. The monster was the same bright green as the kitten had been.

“I GOT INSIDE,” it said, and then ate us both like a corrosive acid.

Then I woke up.

Things about Matt Murdock that I’m 110% sure are canon
  • he either gets groceries delivered or has none in his house, because who has time for that anyway? plus it’s really hard to shop for things when you can’t tell them apart other than their shape, so if he did go shopping, he’d have to take someone (Foggy) with him
  • one of his closets is filled solely with his daredevil outfits and canes. because he keeps throwing them away. (seriously Matt, idk how you can afford to keep buying new things when you take on clients for free)
  • his outfits get torn up a lot, but he never learned to sew fabric (he knows how to sew skin, but he’s pretty sure it’s not the same) and then there’s also the issue of getting the blood out, so most of his black outfits get thrown out when they get ruined.
  • when Foggy moved all the furniture across the hall in uni, Matt totally knew it, but he played along because Foggy was so proud of himself for doing it and because he knew it would be worth it to hear him laugh.
  • Matt loves when Foggy narrates people’s actions, and Foggy continues even after he finds out Matt can sometimes tell. (cause he can’t always)
  • like all 67 of Foggy’s family members came to graduation, and you can bet that they all loved Matt and squeezed his cheeks and told him how proud they were of their Franklin’s best friend and how he was valedictorian. because they knew all about him from Foggy and knew he was the kid from hell’s kitchen who saved that old man and was blinded. most of Foggy’s cousins hit on Matt, and at least three asked him out. he politely declined them all.
  • the only thing Matt’s good at cooking is breakfast food. good for his girlfriends if they stay the night, but bad for any other time. seriously. it’s awful. Foggy’s cooking is a bit better, but he’s still jealous of Matt’s ability to make a perfect omelette without being able to see it. like, really.
Abby’s First Valentine.

@jonrhysokeefe

It was strange, Abigail had been alone for so long that she and Devin often were each-other’s valentines, with cute construction paper cards and she would make cookies with hearts and buy chocolates that they ate together.

But this year things were different, there was a man in the house… Devin’s father, Jon, handsome actor, and the man Abby had mourned for five years.

Now he shared her bed, he walked Devin to school with her, and though she knew he would go soon to LA, but she would relish the moments she had.

This morning she made heart shaped pancakes with strawberries and blueberries, and fried eggs in heart shapes, with sausage, She let Jon sleep in, fed Devin his breakfast early (giving him his card and a special lunch) then walked him to school, and came home in time to take Jon’s tray up to him.

to grieve in other verbs, by kimberly grey

Tie the ribbon around yourself & see how long it holds. You are alive & have just begun to wrestle. There are other ways to fly. You’re trying to marry human & loss, trying to shape & peel the wound. Find a place to house large things. The walrus lost its hands to evolution, so it taught itself to roll. Now you hover over the earth. You’re barely. The ground did soften & forgive & still, you’re winter. There’s no shame in wanting to be useful again. You yoyo & furl. You dress in other people’s clothes. And the light? It cannot tell you from a hermit or horsefly. Today, in Manhattan, not a single person died. How’s that for hope? You must understand the history of loss did not begin with you. You’ve got to spit out this thing that you chew & chew. To hurt is a way to love, I thought you knew.

Some things I want to see in the next acnl game

•indicator to show where other people are in your town and on the island
•ability to chose your skin color, weight, and height
•ability to change eye shape after creating character
•ability to change which of your characters is the mayor
•MORE UCHI VILLAGERS
•more flower types
•long hairstyles
•different tree types (birch, spruce, jungle)
•CHOOSE WHERE YOUR VILLAGERS PUT THEIR HOUSES WHEN THEY MOVE IN
•be able to build a little beach house on the island
•be able to have multiple towns on a single cartridge
•more space to save designs/qr’s
•more pocket space
•get rid of that ugly balloon set
•pwps on the beach
•make the color of clothing / accessories customizable

All things have the capacity for speech – all beings have the ability to communicate something of themselves to other beings. Indeed, what is perception if not the experience of this gregarious, communicative power of things, wherein even ostensibly ‘inert’ objects radiate out of themselves, conveying their shapes, hues, and rhythms to other beings and to us, influencing and informing our breathing bodies though we stand far apart from those things?

Not just animals and plants, then, but tumbling waterfalls and dry riverbeds, gusts of wind, compost piles and cumulus clouds, freshly painted houses (as well as houses abandoned and sometimes haunted), rusting automobiles, feathers, granite cliffs and grains of sand, tax forms, dormant volcanoes, bays and bayous made wretched by pollutants, snowdrifts, shed antlers, diamonds, and daikon radishes, all are expressive, sometimes eloquent and hence participant in the mystery of language. Our own chatter erupts in response to the abundant articulations of the world: human speech is simply our part of a much broader conversation.

It follows that the myriad things are also listening, or attending, to various signs and gestures around them. Indeed, when we are at ease in our animal flesh, we will sometimes feel we are being listened to, or sensed, by the earthly surroundings. And so we take deeper care with our speaking, mindful that our sounds may carry more than a merely human meaning and resonance. This care – this full-bodied alertness – is the ancient, ancestral source of all word magic. It is the practice of attention to the uncanny power that lives in our spoken phrases to touch and sometimes transform the tenor of the world’s unfolding.


― David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology