Thursday, December 12, 2002

Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature.
---The Medieval World View By William R. Cook and Ronald B. Herzman

Sunday, October 20, 2002

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
- - - Henri Nouwen "Out of Solitude"
"How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, `What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?' and you say, `Oh, nothing' and then you go and do it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
--Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, October 06, 2002

I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect.
--Madelein L'Engle (A Circle of Quiet)

Monday, September 30, 2002

O for a muse of fire
That would ascend the brightest heaven of invention
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"
- Henry V, Act One, Scene One
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
Who'll decide where to go.
--Dr. Seuss Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Sunday, September 29, 2002

"I don't like work--no man does--but I like what is in work-the chance
to find yourself. your own reality-for yourself, not for others-what no
other man can ever know."
-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
"My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone. I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists - I wish to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings who are only the objects of pity and that kind of love, which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt."
- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men and A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Sunday, August 18, 2002

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that
station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show..."
-Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were
and the person you become. There are no maps of the change.
You just come out the other side. Or you don't.
- Stephen King, "The Stand"

Sunday, August 04, 2002

"We had the stars up there," said Huck, "And we use to lie on our backs and look up at them and discuss 'bout whether they was made or just happened. Jim he allowed that the stars was made, but I allowed they just happened."
--Mark Twain, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire
cat in a tree.'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' was his response.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn't matter.'"
-- Lewis Carroll, From Alice in Wonderland

Sunday, July 07, 2002

"Since that moment it is all up with me. My last remaining shreds of
happiness and self-confidence have been blown to the winds, I can do no
more. Yes, I am unhappy; I freely admit it, I seem a lamentable and
absurd figure even to myself. And that I cannot bear. I shall make an
end of it. Today, or tomorrow, or some time, I will shoot myself.
My first impulse, my first instinct, was a shrewd one: I would make copy
of the situation, I would contribute my pathetic sickness to the swell
of literature of unhappy love. But that was all folly. One does not die
of an unhappy love affair; one revels in it. [ . . . ] But what is
destroying me is that hope has been destroyed with the destruction of
all pleasure in myself.I cease to write, fling the pen from me -- full
of disgust, full of disgust! I will make an end of it -- alas, that is
an attitude too heroic for a dilettante. In the end I shall go on
living, eating, sleeping; I shall gradually get used to the idea that I
am dull, that I cut a wretched and ridiculous figure."

-Thomas Mann, The Dilettante, in Stories of Three Decades

Friday, June 07, 2002

What stillness in this predawn hour. The air is cold. In all our life of preparation we are unprepared for this new hour filled with emptiness. How thick the darkness behind which hides the animal cry. I know what is there, hidden from my stare. Grief's weeping. Deeper emptiness.

Grief wails like a scarecrow in the wild night, beckoning the wind to clothe his gaunt shell. With his outstretched arms he is gathering eyes for his disguise. I had not known that Grief had such gentle eyes--eyes reflecting my uncle's eyes, my mother's eyes, all the familiar lost eyes of Love that are not his and that he dons as a mask and a mockery.

This body of grief is not fit for human habitation. Let there be flesh. The song of mourning is not a lifelong song.

from Obasan By Joy Kogawa

Thursday, June 06, 2002

There is a silence that cannot speak.

There is a silence that will not speak.

Beneath the grass the speaking dreams and beneath the dreams is a sensate sea. The speech that frees comes forth from that amniotic deep. To attend its voice, I can hear it say, is to embrace its absence. But I fail the task. The word is stone.

I admit.

I hate the stillness. I hate the stone. I hate the sealed vault with its cold icon. I hate the staring into the night. The questions thinning into space. The sky swallowing the echoes.

Unless the stone bursts with telling, unless the seed flowers with speech, there is in my life no living word. The sound I hear is only sound. White sound. Words, when they fall, are pockmarks on the earth. They are hailstones seeking an underground stream.

If I could follow the stream down and down to the hidden voice, would I come at last to the freeing word? I ask the night sky but the silence is steadfast. There is no reply.

-- Obasan By Joy Kogawa --

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
-- (from Macbeth V, v, 17) by William Shakespeare, English playwright (1564 — 1616)
She lives in a dream world. Like she on some Fantasy
Island kinda trip. She simple, really, and don't
understand that life is like a jigsaw puzzle. That you
have to see the whole picture and then put it together
piece by piece. Janelle want it all in one lump. That's
why she's always trying to latch on to somebody to give
it to her. Her husband that died spoiled her, gave her
too much of everything. p42
"A day late and a dollar short," by Terry McMillan, publ
2001.