But once upon a time - that would be our time - a telephone cord seemed like nothing less than a lifeline.
It was your attachment to the outside world and, even more than that, your attachment to the people you loved, or wanted to love, or tried to love.
Everything about it was fitting - the way it curled in on itself, the way it got so easily tangled, the way you could pull it only so far before it kept you in place.
Twisted and knotted and essential.
Then, all of a sudden, those pea-green lawns where the first scarlet poppies were flowering, those canary-yellow fields which striped the tawny hills sloping down to a sea full of azure glints, all seemed so trivial to me, so banal, so false, so much in contrast with Ayl's person, with Ayl's world, with Ayl's idea of beauty, that I realized her place could never have been out here. And I realized, with grief and fear, that I had remained out here, that I would never again be able to escape those gilded and silvered gleams, those little clouds that turned from pale blue to pink, those green leaves that yellowed every autumn, and that Ayl's perfect world was lost forever, so lost I couldn't even imagine it any more, and nothing was left that could remind me of it, even remotely, nothing except perhaps that cold wall of gray stone.
Bea did not want a new mother. She'd hardly even seen the one she once had, except for glimpses out the window when her mother was climbing into a carriage to go off to a party. She'd been as beautiful as an angel, all sparkling and laughing in her lovely gowns, but not much use.
Imagine the universe is like this cloth.” Philippos said, lifting up an old rag off the ground. “There are thousands of tiny threads woven in tiny, little patterns. If you follow one thread it will lead you to the end, but also you’ll see that more threads are connected to it. What if you decide to follow another? Where would that lead you? And if you cut one thread, what would happen to the cloth then? Would it fray until it fell apart? Or would it just change pattern?” he paused thoughtfully. “Wielders like you can see those possibilities. You can follow the threads and see where they begin and end, where and how they connect with everything else and what might happen if something changes along the way.
The Clown turned his powdered face to the mirror.
"If to be fair is to be beautiful," he said, "who can compare with me in my white mask?"
"Who can compare with him in his white mask?" I asked Death beside me.
"Who can compare with me?" said Death, "for I am paler still."
"You are very beautiful," sighed the Clown, turning his powdered face from the mirror.