Others will enter the gates of the ferry, and cross from shore to shore; Others will watch the run of the flood-tide; Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east; Others will see the islands large and small; Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high; A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them, Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring in of the flood-tide, the falling back to the sea of the ebb-tide.
It avails not, neither time or place—distance avails not; I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence; I project myself—also I return—I am with you, and know how it is.
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt; Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd; Just as you are refresh’d by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refresh’d; Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood, yet was hurried; Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships, and the thick-stem’d pipes of steamboats, I look’d.
I too many and many a time cross’d the river, the sun half an hour high; I watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls—I saw them high in the air, floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies, I saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies, and left the rest in strong shadow, I saw the slow-wheeling circles, and the gradual edging toward the south.
Excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
Photograph: Car ferry turning in ice, Detroit River (c.1880-1901).
change was the only consistent thing remaining in the woman’s life.
& THE SUNLIGHT GLITTERED AS IT WASHED OVERthe rooftops as morning dew did the grass, the midday sun high and hanging in a sky dotted only by wispy clouds of white. Nimble fingers dressed in ebony inked symbols and precious jewelries played in the sun’s rays, flicking idly through the air at the maiden’s side as she traveled through the city with a refined elegance pressed against her curvaceous figure. Adorned in onyx fabrics flawlessly stitched together by the hands of Dalaran’s finest seamstresses, she appeared just as the higher classes did, a nefarious smirk dancing along sanguine-painted lips within the shadows of a billowing cowl as the click of crimson-soled heels reverberated off the cracked cobblestones of the city’s streets. She was on a mission, and the confidence radiating from her immaculately decorated form was far from unyielding as the woman carried herself with a regal poise towards the heart of the city, causing those within her way to step aside and bow their heads in reverence. No questions were asked and, in truth, none needed to be– theyknew.
It didn’t take long before the measured stride brought her just before twin oak doors that rose upwards towards their marble frame, as though judging the dame with mismatched hues who stared evenly back. Beyond their barricade was the beginning of an era, the continuation of a legacy, and the promise of a newfound hope that caused her blackened lungs to swell as she inhaled the crisp air, hand reaching now for the silver handle that made the wood swing into the foyer. I should’ve asked Zari to accompany me, or at least invested in another communication device… Then she could chitter to me about how lackluster this place’s design is while easing my nerves away, thought the woman as she entered soundlessly, rolling a shoulder clad in sable material inlaid with a golden decadence that had been impeccably woven along the trim of her shroud and gowns, shining still even in the low-lighting of the building. Given her silence, it makes me wonder if that letter ever reached her. How curious, continued the stream of mindful consciousness while she walked gracefully across the wooden floorboards, pausing only when she reached the office that waited with a door ajar for the maiden to enter.
For honour and glory, family and freedom. For helping, for teaching, for progressing. For change, for strength, for unity. For your own peace of mind and the renewal of a purpose.
The sigh that escaped her parted lips was not dutiful but in relief, approaching the desk so similarly styled to the one her and Little Sparrow had sat at the night previous, discussing what it was that caused the Admiral to venture into the depths of pious politics. Lowering herself into an ivory seat cushion, nails the colour of midnight drummed idly along the chair’s arm as a richly toned leg rose to settle across the other’s thigh, her left palm inching outwards to smooth the fabrics of her robes. If anything could be said, it was that the woman dressed the part, not a hair out of place and going so far as to bear the crest of her inheritance around a slender neck that curved curiously as a sound in the hall made itself apparent, the hidden gaze of the predator ticking to the side to watch someone else enter.
“Lady Vitae! I’m g-glad you f-f-found your way here!” Stuttered the blonde, taken aback by the matron’s presence in her office as she curtsied before quickly shuffling around her desk, sitting down in the chair opposite. Feathery strands of the platinum hair were tucked behind an ear and fidgeting digits darted forward, collecting a quill that teetered from side to side in her grasp. “What i-is it that you s-seek my assistance with?” Inquired a woman who couldn’t be much older than the Admiral herself, cerulean eyes bright and full of mirth that spoke of her energy where twitching lips could not, seemingly unnerved by the one who sat across from her. An awkward silence stretched on before the Lady’s fingers ceased their tapping, knitting together to fold in her lap while disparate hues lifted, studying the girl before loosing a small laugh.
“Well…” The word was thick with Pandaren honey and just as sweet, dripping off the maiden’s silver tongue as the events that lead her here came to fruition in the recesses of her mind– a question, a confession, an answer. In the secrecy of her hood, a genuine smile was born that told tales of benevolence one thought not possible from the aristocrat, shifting her position slightly to promote a straightened spine and squared shoulders while she regarded the bookkeeper. “There is a girl. She is young, but she is full of life, and there are many good things that could come of her existence. I have taken to calling her ‘Little Sparrow’ because of her freedom and the way she has impacted my life, though she is without a proper family to be associated with at a legal point. It can be said that we have talked much about what the future could possibly bring, so…”
With a raised brow and a tilt of her head, the listening girl leaned forward, hanging on to the end of the woman’s trailing words. “… So?” She repeated and in return, was met with another light laugh, the Admiral’s hand rolling delicately through the air to indicate everything and nothing, all at once.
“I would like to begin the process of adoption. Do you mind helping me with that?”