• I must learn to be as the bear in a cage with the stick that pokes it always, through the bars. The bear acts as if the stick is made of air, and takes no notice of it, even when it is sharpened and draws blood. I must do the same

    Ned Hayes
  • In the end, I listen to my fear. It keeps me awake, resounding through the frantic beating in my breast. It is there in the dry terror in my throat, in the pricking of the rats’ nervous feet in the darkness. Christian has not come home all the night long. I know, for I have lain in this darkness for hours now with my eyes stretched wide, yearning for my son’s return

    Ned Hayes
  • Rooks have clustered on either side of the long road. It is as if they line a grand parade route for our passage. Their black feathers are stark as soot against the white road and the snow. They stab at the ground with their strange bare bills and gray unfeathered faces. The birds are like rough-edged black stones on a string around this stripped cold neck of road. The old books tell us rooks bring the virtuous dead to heaven’s gate

    Ned Hayes
  • It was very damp and misty–which some people from outside the Pacific Northwest consider to be rain, but I do not. This is typical weather for the Pacific Northwest and Olympia. It is often wet in Olympia, but we have an average of only 49.95 inches a year of actual precipitation. That’s less than in Denver. In Olympia, the air is damp, and water collects and drips from everywhere. We do not get big downpours, but we get damp and spongy. I don’t care. It helps the trees grow, and I climb the trees

    Ned Hayes
  • Under the sanctuary are the catacombs where the dead wait for resurrection. The living do not venture there. The caverns here underneath the Sanctuary are illuminated only by dim shafts of light from the sanctuary. The walls are etched with flowers of frost, but at least I am out of the wind. Dark bays line the hall in front of me, a vast rabbit warren, each hold filled to the brim with the scent of the past

    Ned Hayes
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