|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
circumscribing the view of the men, drenching their bodies,
oppressing their souls, taking their breath away with booming
gusts, deafening, blinding, driving, rushing them onwards in a
swaying ship towards our coasts lost in mists and rain.
The caprice of the winds, like the wilfulness of men, is fraught
with the disastrous consequences of self-indulgence. Long anger,
the sense of his uncontrolled power, spoils the frank and generous
nature of the West Wind. It is as if his heart were corrupted by a
malevolent and brooding rancour. He devastates his own kingdom in
the wantonness of his force. South-west is the quarter of the
heavens where he presents his darkened brow. He breathes his rage
The Mirror of the Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
symptom of gayety, to which Ginevra replied by a smile.
"Ah ca!" said Piombo, as they left the table, "your mother has called
my attention to the fact that for some weeks you have stayed much
longer than usual at the studio. It seems that painting is more to you
than your parents--"
"Ginevra is preparing some surprise for us, I think," said the mother.
"A picture of your own! will you bring us that?" cried the Corsican,
clapping his hands.
"Yes, I am very much occupied at the studio," replied Ginevra, rather
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:
to commit Laughing Anne's child to the care of his wife. And there
poor, good Davidson made a fatal move. He didn't want to tell her
the whole awful story, since it involved the knowledge of the
danger from which he, Davidson, had escaped. And this, too, after
he had been laughing at her unreasonable fears only a short time
"'I thought that if I told her everything,' Davidson explained to
me, 'she would never have a moment's peace while I was away on my
"He simply stated that the boy was an orphan, the child of some
people to whom he, Davidson, was under the greatest obligation, and
Within the Tides
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
"On you?" says Buck, winking solemn. "Don't you go and try to make 'em
believe at the office you said that. Thanks. We can't spare the time,
I reckon. So long."
And me and Buck slides out the door; and that's the way the Golconda
Company went into involuntary liquefaction.
If you had seen me and Buck the next night you'd have had to go to a
little bum hotel over near the West Side ferry landings. We was in a
little back room, and I was filling up a gross of six-ounce bottles
with hydrant water colored red with aniline and flavored with
cinnamon. Buck was smoking, contented, and he wore a decent brown
derby in place of his silk hat.