Language Lover Quotes

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I have no words. Sixteen languages, but no words. -Vishous
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
I begin to long for some little language such as lovers use, broken words, inarticulate words, like the shuffling of feet on pavement.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
I am a lover of truth, a worshiper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance.
Stephen Fry
Wrath dragged Beth into his arms and hugged her hard, talking in that other language again. When he pulled back, he ended the monologue with something like leelan. Beth: "Is that vampire talk for bitch?
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
Audre Lorde
The more familiar two people become, the more the language they speak together departs from that of the ordinary, dictionary-defined discourse. Familiarity creates a new language, an in-house language of intimacy that carries reference to the story the two lovers are weaving together and that cannot be readily understood by others.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
To try to write love is to confront the muck of language; that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive (by the limitless expansion of the ego, by emotive submersion) and impoverished (by the codes on which love diminishes and levels it).
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
you can not fully read a book without being alone. But through this very solitude you become intimately involved with people whom you might never have met otherwise, either because they have been dead for centuries or because they spoke languages you cannot understand. And, nonetheless, they have become your closest friends, your wisest advisors, the wizards that hypnotize you, the lovers you have always dreamed of. -Antonio munoz molinas, "the power of the pen
Cornelia Funke (Inkdeath (Inkworld, #3))
Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is "I desire you," and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Isn’t the most sensitive point of this mourning the fact that I must lose a language — the amorous language? No more ‘I love you’s.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language. Without her to talk to, there was nothing to say.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
In the Old Language, she hissed, “If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find you where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.” That last word was drawn out, until its syllable was lost in more growling. Dead silence. Until Doc Jane said dryly, “Annnnd this is why they say the female of the species is more dangerous than the male.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
Maybe language is kind, giving us these double meanings. Maybe it's trying to teach us a lesson, that we can always be two things at once.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Our hearts speak the same language but more importantly our souls share the same voice.
Nikki Rowe
When a man is in love how can he use old words? Should a woman desiring her lover lie down with grammarians and linguists? I said nothing to the woman I loved but gathered love's adjectives into a suitcase and fled from all languages.
نزار قباني
Why do I constantly feel as if all of you are speaking a foreign language? What is ‘grabbing a burger at the Hard Rock’ supposed to mean? (Julian) The Hard Rock Café is a restaurant. (Grace) You eat at a place that advertises its food is hard as a rock? (Julian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
Oh my God..." Xhex's heart stopped as she looked at him in the mirror. Across his upper back, in a glorious spread of black ink...in a declaration that didn't whisper but shouted...in a billboard-size front with flourishes... Her name in the Old Language.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
A day or two after my love pronouncement, now feral with vulnerability, I sent you the passage from Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes in which Barthes describes how the subject who utters the phrase “I love you” is like “the Argonaut renewing his ship during its voyage without changing its name.” Just as the Argo’s parts may be replaced over time but the boat is still called the Argo, whenever the lover utters the phrase “I love you,” its meaning must be renewed by each use, as “the very task of love and of language is to give to one and the same phrase inflections which will be forever new.
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Love and translation look alike in their grammar. To love someone implies transforming their words into ours. Making an effort to understand the other person and, inevitably, to misinterpret them. To construct a precarious language together.
Andrés Neuman
What the—Have you been crying?" Tohrment demanded. "Are you all right? Dear God, is it the baby?" "Tohr, relax. I'm a female, I cry at matings. It's in the job description." There was the sound of a kiss. "I just don't want anything to upset you, leelan." 'Then tell me the brothers are ready." "We are." "Good. I'll bring her out." "Leelan ? " "What?" There were low words spoken in their beautiful language. "Yes, Tohr," Wellsie whispered. "And after two hundred years, I'd mate you again. In spite of the fact that you snore and you leave your weapons all over our bedroom.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
The Old Language really was beautiful, Blay thought. Staring at the symbols, for one brief, ridiculous moment he imagined his own name across Qhuinn's shoulders, carved into that smooth skin in the manner of the mating ritual. Never going to happen. They were destined to be best friends...which, compared to strangers, was something huge. Compared to lovers? It was the cold side of a locked door.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
I can do everything with my language but not with my body. What I hide by my language, my body utters. I can deliberately mold my message, not my voice. By my voice, whatever it says, the other will recognize "that something is wrong with me". I am a liar (by preterition), not an actor. My body is a stubborn child, my language is a very civilized adult...
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Erotic play discloses a nameless world which is revealed by the nocturnal language of lovers. Such language is not written down. It is whispered into the ear at night in a hoarse voice. At dawn it is forgotten.
Jean Genet (The Thief's Journal)
One thing, though," Qhuinn murmured. "What?" The voice that came out his throat was unlike anything he'd ever heard from himself before. "If any guy breaks your heart or treats you like shit, I will bust him apart with my bare hands and leave his broken, bloody body for the sun." Blay's laughter rumbled around the tiled walls. "Of course you will--" "I'm dead fucking serious." Blay's blue eyes shot over his shoulder. "If there are any who dare to hurt you," Qhuinn growled in the Old Language, "I shall see them staked afore me and shall leave their bodies in ruin.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
It's all right Vishous" she said "It's going to be all right." "I do not crave this." But he needed it before he became a danger to himself and others. "I know. And I love you, too." " You are a blessing beyond measure," He pronounced in the Old Language. And then he bowed to her and turned away. -Marissa and Vishous
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
I write to find strength. I write to become the person that hides inside me. I write to light the way through the darkness for others. I write to be seen and heard. I write to be near those I love. I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper. I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear. I write past the embarrassment of exposure. I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal. I write myself out of nightmares. I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings. I write to remember. I write knowing conversations don’t always take place. I write because speaking can’t be reread. I write to sooth a mind that races. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand. I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide. I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long. I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be. I write to provide a legacy. I write to make sense out of senselessness. I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding. I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers. I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time. I write because God loves stories. I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.
Shannon L. Alder
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of spirit on the body. Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell. and the lily, how passionately it needs some wild darling! At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language door and open the lovers window. The moon won’t use the door, only the window.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.
Stephen Fry
I'm swimming in your cadences that you permeate my very language.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I thought English is a strange language. Now I think French is even more strange. In France, their fish is poisson, their bread is pain, and their pancake is crepe. Pain and poison and crap. That's what they have every day.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
Here you are, obsessed with romantic language-a language invented for expression between lovers-and you use it to spread animosity.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers)
What if the point of life has nothing to do with the creation of an ever-expanding region of control? What if the point is not to keep at bay all those people, beings, objects and emotions that we so needlessly fear? What if the point instead is to let go of that control? What if the point of life, the primary reason for existence, is to lie naked with your lover in a shady grove of trees? What if the point is to taste each other's sweat and feel the delicate pressure of finger on chest, thigh on thigh, lip on cheek? What if the point is to stop, then, in your slow movements together, and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover's face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, to experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
You can not fully read a book without being alone. But through this very solitude you become intimately involved with people whom you might never have met otherwise, either because they have been dead for centuries or because they spoke languages you cannot understand. And, nonetheless, they have become your closest friends, your wisest advisors, the wizards that hypnotize you, the lovers you have always dreamed of.
Antonio Muñoz Molina
What kind of a world do we live in that has room for dog yoga but not for Esperanto?
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
Humans invent an imaginary lover and put that mask over the face of the body in their bed. That is the tragedy of language my friend. Those who know each other only through symbolic representations are forced to imagine each other. And because their imagination is imperfect, they are often wrong.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
I’ll take you home whenever you want,” he says. “But if you want to stay, and you wake up screaming, it’s okay. I’ll make sure you’re okay. And if you want to stay, and then change your mind, I don’t mind driving you back at four a.m.” I read once that not everyone thinks in words. I was shocked, imagining these other people who don’t use language to make sense of everyone and everything, who don’t automatically organize the world into chapters, pages, sentences. Looking into Charlie’s face, I understand it. The way a crush of feeling and feathery impressions can move through your body, bypassing your mind. How a person can know there’s something worth saying but have no concept of what exactly that is. I’m not thinking in words.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
The job of the linguist, like that of the biologist or the botanist, is not to tell us how nature should behave, or what its creations should look like, but to describe those creations in all their messy glory and try to figure out what they can teach us about life, the world, and, especially in the case of linguistics, the workings of the human mind.
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
I need a little language such as lovers use, words of one syllable such as children speak when they come into the room and find their mother sewing and pick up some scrap of bright wool, a feather, or a shred of chintz. I need a howl; a cry. When the storm crosses the marsh and sweeps over me where I lie in the ditch unregarded I need no words. Nothing neat. Nothing that comes down with all its feet on the floor. None of those resonances and lovely echoes that break and chime from nerve to nerve in our breasts making wild music, false phrases. I have done with phrases.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely. During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me." "If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
The hardest thing is being with other people - it's like they're on a different wavelenght, but only you know it. They talk about their lives and what's wrong with them, and you kind of, like, just let them go. It's a whole different language, and you've got to remember that you can only respond in their mother tongue. It's really hard to relate.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
You like it,” he says. There’s a glint in his eyes, like he understands something I don’t. “You like that nickname." And . . . I kind of do. It hasn’t felt irritating in a while. It’s only his, a language only we have, even if it’s a reference I don’t understand.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow (Rowan & Neil, #1))
Lovers' language, give me an exact and poetic comparison to say what those eyes of Capitu were like. No image comes to mind that doesn't offend against the rules of good style, to say what they were and what they did to me. Undertow eyes? Why not? Undertow. That's the notion that the new expression put in my head. They held some kind of mysterious, active fluid, a force that dragged one in, like the undertow of a wave retreating from the shore on stormy days. So as not to be dragged in, I held onto anything around them, her ears, her arms, her hair spread about her shoulders; but as soon as I returned to the pupils of her eyes again, the wave emerging from them grew towards me, deep and dark, threatening to envelop me, draw me in and swallow me up.
Machado de Assis (Dom Casmurro)
In the Old Language, she hissed, "If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
yarn, n. Maybe language is kind, giving us these double meanings. Maybe it's trying to teach us a lesson, that we can always be two things at once. Knit me a sweater out of your best stories. Not the day's petty injustices. Not the glimmer of a seven-eights-forgotten moment from your past. Not something that somebody said to somebody, who then told it to you. No, I want a yarn. It doesn't have to be true.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Love me. As a mother who had fed you on her breasts. Like a lover who teased you with them. Like a friend on whose chest you laid your head and wept. Love me.
Tatjana Ostojic (Moments of Eros: Poetry as the Language of Desire)
The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping. She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity. But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle. Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch. It was Zsadist. His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
The truth of the matter is that—by an exorbitant paradox—I never stop believing that I am loved. I hallucinate what I desire. Each wound proceeds less from a doubt than from a betrayal: for only the one who loves can betray, only the one who believes himself loved can be jealous: that the other, episodically, should fail in his being, which is to love me—that is the origin of all my woes. A delirium, however, does not exist unless one wakens from it(there are only retrospective deliriums): one day, I realize what has happened to me: I thought I was suffering from not being loved, and yet it is because I thought I was loved that I was suffering; I lived in the complication of supposing myself simultaneously loved and abandoned. Anyone hearing my intimate language would have had to exclaim, as of a difficult child: But after all, what does he want?
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Here's the deal. You eat some lunch, at least something light that will help you keep your energy up, then we'll talk." "About what? We've already conversed today-twice-in the language you're fluent in: Fuckese." Deke fought a smile. "You probably meant that as a slur, but somehow I'm complemented." "You would be," she muttered.
Shayla Black (Decadent (Wicked Lovers, #2))
And what do you know, John's hands flew through the positions of ASL in various l-got-this combinations. "Is he deaf" the guy behind the cash register asked in a stage whisper. As if someone using American Sign Language was some kind of freak. "No. Blind." "Oh." As the man kept staring, Qhuinn wanted to pop him. "You going to help us out here or what?" "Oh ... yeah. Hey, you got a tattoo on your face." Mr. Observant moved slowly, like the bar codes on those bags were creating some kind of wind resistance under his laser reader. "Did you know that?" Really. "I wouldn't know." ''Are you blind, too?" No filter on this guy. None. "Yeah, I am." "Oh, so that's why your eyes are all weird." "Yeah. That's right." Qhuinn took out a twenty and didn't wait for change-murder was just a liiiiiittle too tempting. Nodding to John, who was also measuring the dear boy for a shroud, Qhuinn went to walk off. "What about your change ?" the man called out. "I'm deaf, too. I can't hear you." The guy yelled more loudly, "I'll just keep it then, yeah?" "Sounds good," Qhuinn shouted over his shoulder. Idiot was stage-five stupid. Straight up.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
she was a book lover who enjoyed reading aloud to her baby. She liked the idea that, even before he understood them, he might begin with the most beautiful words, that he’d build language from a foundation of literature and poetry.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Trains are relentless things, aren't they, Monsieur Poirot? People are murdered and die, but they go on just the same. I am talking nonsense, but you know what I mean." "Yes, yes, I know. Life is like a train, Mademoiselle. It goes on. And it is a good thing that that is so." "Why?" "Because the train gets to its journey's end at last, and there is a proverb about that in your language, Mademoiselle." "'Journey's end in lovers meeting.'" Lenox laughed. "That is not going to be true for me." "Yes--yes, it is true. You are young, younger than you yourself know. Trust the train, Mademoiselle, for it is le bon Dieu who drives it." The whistle of the engine came again. "Trust the train, Mademoiselle," murmured Poirot again. "And trust Hercule Poirot. He knows.
Agatha Christie (The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6))
There is a third truth, which only the mature lover will be able to hear. My spouse’s criticisms about my behavior provide me with the clearest clue to her primary love language.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
There's something about you, Your eyes speak a story in a language only known to my soul. The kind of communication we as humans dream about, the one that reaches into the core of who you are and loves you for it. It doesn't appear often or by accident & when it happens you just know " There's something about you ".
Nikki Rowe
There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers.
Edith Hamilton
I wrote too many poems in a language I did not yet know how to speak But I know now it doesn't matter how well I say grace if I am sitting at a table where I am offering no bread to eat So this is my wheat field you can have every acre, Love this is my garden song this is my fist fight with that bitter frost tonight I begged another stage light to become that back alley street lamp that we danced beneath the night your warm mouth fell on my timid cheek as i sang maybe i need you off key but in tune maybe i need you the way that big moon needs that open sea maybe i didn't even know i was here til i saw you holding me give me one room to come home to give me the palm of your hand every strand of my hair is a kite string and I have been blue in the face with your sky crying a flood over Iowa so you mother will wake to Venice Lover, I smashed my glass slipper to build a stained glass window for every wall inside my chest now my heart is a pressed flower and a tattered bible it is the one verse you can trust so I'm putting all of my words in the collection plate I am setting the table with bread and grace my knees are bent like the corner of a page I am saving your place
Andrea Gibson
Lovers are not at their best when it matters. Mouths dry up, palms sweat, conversation flags and all the time the heart is threatening to fly from the body once and for all. Lovers have been known to have heart attacks. Lovers drink too much from nervousness and cannot perform. They eat too little and faint during their fervently wished consummation. They do not stroke the favoured cat and their face-paint comes loose. This is not all. Whatever you have set store by, your dress, your dinner, your poetry, will go wrong. How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps, but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange? Travellers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home. Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel along the blood vessels, who come to the cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation. We who were fluent find life is a foreign language. Somewhere between the swamp and the mountains. Somewhere between fear and sex. Somewhere between God and the Devil passion is and the way there is sudden and the way back is worse.
Jeanette Winterson (The Passion)
Therefore am I still / A lover of the meadows and the woods, / And mountains; and of all that we behold / From this green earth; of all the mighty world / Of eye and ear, both what they half create / And what perceive; well pleased to recognize / In nature and the language of the sense, / The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse/ The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul / Of all my moral being.
William Wordsworth (Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey)
Before you judge me as some kind of 'anything goes' language heathen, let me just say that I'm not against usage standards. I don't violate them when I want to sound like an educated person, for the same reason I don't wear a bikini to a funeral when I want to look like a respectful person. There are social conventions for the way we do lots of things, and it is to everyone's benefit to be familiar with them. But logic ain't got nothin' to do with it.
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
Does 'submissive' mean 'baby' in your language, Master Mason? Because I'll have you know ----.... "No, but Dominant does mean lover, caretaker, disciplinarian, and whatever else the situation warrants.
Bianca Sommerland (Game Misconduct (The Dartmouth Cobras, #1))
Well, of course I’ve tried lavender. And pulling my memory out, ribbonlike and dripping. And shrieking into my pillow. And writing the poems. And making more friends. And baking warm brown cookies. And therapy. And intimacy. And pictures of rainbows. And all of the movies about lovers and the terrible things they do to each other. And watching the ones in other languages. And leaving the subtitles off. And listening to the language. And forgetting my name. And feeling the dirt on my skin. And screaming in the shower. And changing my shampoo. And living alone. And cutting my hair. And buying a turtle. And petting the cat. And traveling. And writing more poems. And touching a different body. And digging a grave. And digging a grave. Of course, I’ve tried it. Of course I have.
Yasmin Belkhyr
Close the language door and open the lovers window. The moon won’t use the door, only the window.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
How to repulse a demon (an old problem)? The demons, especially if they are demons of language (and what else could they be?) are fought by language. Hence I can hope to exorcise the demonic word which is breathed into my ears (by myself) if I substitute for it (if I have the gifts of language for doing so) another, calmer word (I yield to euphemism). Thus: I imagined I had escaped from the crisis at last, when behold -- favored by a long car trip -- a flood of language sweeps me away, I keep tormenting myself with the thought, desire, regret, and rage of the other; and I add to these wounds the discouragement of having to acknowledge that I am falling back, relapsing; but the French vocabulary is a veritable pharmacopoeia (poison on one side, antidote on the other): no, this is not a relapse, only a last soubresaut, a final convulsion of the previous demon.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
How many Lojbanists does it take to change a broken light-bulb?” goes the old Lojban joke. “Two: one to decide what to change it into and one to decide what kind of bulb emits broken light.
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
Maybe that was why the French called orgasms “las petites morts”: because the things that bring us passion tend to slip past our defenses, to creep insidiously into every facet of our consciousnesses and kill us as ruthlessly, and efficiently, as any drug.
Nenia Campbell (Cease and Desist (The IMA, #4))
Maybe I not need feeling lonely, because I can talk to other "me." Is like seeing my two pieces of lips speaking in two languages at same time. Yes, I not lonely, because I with another me. Like Austin Powers with his Mini Me
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
And when we fall, God quickly lifts us up, leaping out into our lives like a mother playing peek-a-boo with her child, reassuring the baby with her touch. And when we have been strengthened by God’s action in our lives, then we choose with all our consciousness to serve God and be God’s lovers, endlessly. But
Julian of Norwich (All Shall Be Well: A Modern-Language Version of the Revelation of Julian of Norwich)
In the context of the English language, there were many more important words than “in.” There were fancy words, historic words, words that meant life or death. There were multi-syllabic tongue-twisters that required a sort out before speaking, and mission-critical pivotals that started wars or ended wars…and even poetic nonsensicals that were like a symphony as they left the lips. Generally speaking, “in” did not play with the big boys. In fact, it barely had much of a definition at all, and, in the course of its working life, was usually nothing but a bridge, a conduit for the heavy lifters in any given sentence. There was, however, one context in which that humble little two-letter, one-syllable jobbie was a BFD. Love. The difference between someone “loving” somebody versus being “in love” was a curb to the Grand Canyon. The head of a pin to the entire Midwest. An exhale to a hurricane.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
Instead of resisting to changes, surrender. Let life be with you, not against you. If you think ‘My life will be upside down’ don’t worry. How do you know down is not better than upside? A good man complains of no one; he does not look to faults. A life without love is of no account. Don't ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western…divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water. The universe is a complete unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile. Most of conflicts and tensions are due to language. Don't pay so much attention to the words. In love’s country, language doesn't have its place. Love's mute
Shams Tabrizi
What the eye is to the lover — that particular, ordinary eye he or she is born with - language - whatever language history has made his or her mother-tongue — is to the patriot. Through that language, encountered at mother's knee and parted with only at the grave, pasts are restored, fellowships are imagined, and futures dreamed.
Benedict Anderson
The strangest thing about humans is the way they pair up, males and females. Constantly at war with each other, never content to leave each other alone. They never seem to grasp the idea that males and females are separate species with completely different needs and desires, forced to come together only to reproduce Of course you feel that way. Your mates are nothing but mindless drones, extensions of yourself, without their own identity. We know out lovers with perfect understanding. Humans invent an imaginary lover and put that mask over the face of the body in their bed. That is the tradegy of language, my friend. Those who know each other only through symbolic representations are forced to imagine each other. And because their imagination is imperfect, they are often wrong, This is the source of their misery. And some of their strength, I think. Your people and mine, each for their own evolutionary reasons, mate with vastly unequal partners. Our mates are always, hopelessly, our intellectual inferiors. Humans mate with beings who challenge their supremcy. They have conflicts between mates, not because their communication is inferior to ours, but because they commune with each other at all.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
..perhaps all our lovers are merely hints and symbols; vagabond languages scrawled on gate-posts and paving stones along the weary road that others have trampled before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond each other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
We used to spend hours talking. We never got tired of talking, never raun out of topics - novels, the world, scenery, language. Our conversations were more open and intimate than ane lovers'.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
In addition to her boulangerie and fromagerie French, she knew enough of the language to realize that the title of Rodin’s sculpture, Le Baiser in French, was part of its subversion. For baiser in French could mean either the innocence of a kiss or the animalistic quality of a f*ck. One could say le baiser and refer to a kiss, but if one said, Baise-moi, one was begging to be f*cked. Both innocence and begging were wrapped up in the embrace of these two lovers whose lips never touched: frozen together, yet separated for all eternity. Julia wanted to free them from their frozen embrace, and she secretly hoped her thesis would allow her to do so.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
Among lovers, only those with wings flee this worldly cage before death comes. The condition of these lovers is hard to recount, for such souls speak a different tongue. The one who learns and speaks their language will hold the elixir of happiness at Simorgh's court.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
I didn't mean to make you cry-" "Oh, God...Zsadist, I love you." His eyes flared so wide, his brows nearly hit his hairline. "What...?" "I love you." "Say that again." "I love you." "Again...please," he whispered. "I need to hear it...again." "I love you..." His response was to start praying to the Scribe Virgin in the Old Language. -Lover Awakened
J.R. Ward
Lovers find secret places inside this violent world where they make transactions with beauty. Reason says, Nonsense. I have walked and measured the walls here. There are no places like that. Love says, There are. Reason sets up a market and begins doing business. Love has more hidden work. Hallaj steps away from the pulpit and climbs the stairs of the gallows. Lovers feel a truth inside themselves that rational people keep denying. It is reasonable to say, Surrender is just an idea that keeps people from leading their lives. Love responds, No. This thinking is what is dangerous. Using language obscures what Shams came to give. Every day the sun rises out of low word-clouds into burning silence.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (Bridge to the Soul: Journeys Into the Music and Silence of the Heart)
People enjoy inventing slogans which violate basic arithmetic but which illustrate “deeper” truths, such as “1 and 1 make 1” (for lovers), or “1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 1” (the Trinity). You can easily pick holes in those slogans, showing why, for instance, using the plus-sign is inappropriate in both cases. But such cases proliferate. Two raindrops running down a window-pane merge; does one plus one make one? A cloud breaks up into two clouds -more evidence of the same? It is not at all easy to draw a sharp line between cases where what is happening could be called “addition”, and where some other word is wanted. If you think about the question, you will probably come up with some criterion involving separation of the objects in space, and making sure each one is clearly distinguishable from all the others. But then how could one count ideas? Or the number of gases comprising the atmosphere? Somewhere, if you try to look it up, you can probably fin a statement such as, “There are 17 languages in India, and 462 dialects.” There is something strange about the precise statements like that, when the concepts “language” and “dialect” are themselves fuzzy.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid)
The variety of shape, pattern, and color found in the languages of the world is a testament to the wonder of nature, to the breathtaking array of possibilities that can emerge, tangled and wild, from the fertile human endowments of brain and larynx, intelligence and social skills.
Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language)
You're the ghost of royalty imposing love You are the queen and king combining everything Intertwining like a ring around the finger of a girl I'm just a singer, you're the world All I can bring ya Is the language of a lover ((Bella Luna))
Jason Mraz
It’s scary. This love thing. The sweet vulnerability of extension. The naked of ‘here I am’. The tentative reaching of outstretched arms. The wide open of hope…Teach me how to be loved. Let me show you how to love me well. School me in the workings of your heart, in the language of your bones. Let my open palm memorize the shape of your face. Tell me the stories of your scars so I can trace them with the honor of understanding. I have been loved by those who didn’t care to discover all that I am. Will you be the one to see me whole?
Jeanette LeBlanc
The two lovers walked among the willow trees, and the oneness of each was a language speaking of the oneness of both; and an ear listening in silence to the inspiration of love; and a seeing eye seeing the glory of happiness. "Astarte has brought back our souls to this life so that the delights of love and the glory of youth might not be forbidden us, my beloved.
Kahlil Gibran (A Tear and a Smile)
Romantic obsession is my first language. I live in a world of fantasies, infatuations and love poems. Sometimes I wonder if the yearning I’ve felt for others was more of a yearning for yearning itself. I’ve pined insatiably and repeatedly: for strangers, new lovers, unrequited flames. While the subjects changed, that feeling always remained. Perhaps, then, I have not been so infatuated with the people themselves, but with the act of longing. from “Life without Longing,” The New York Times (9 February 2019)
Melissa Broder
The body which will be loved is in advance selected and manipulated by the lens, subjected to a kind of zoom effect which magnifies it, brings it closer, and leads the subject to press his nose to the glass: is it not the scintillating object which a skillful hand causes to shimmer before me and will hypnotize me, capture me? This “affective contagion,” this induction, proceeds from others, from the language, from books, from friends: no love is original. (Mass culture is a machine for showing desire: here is what must interest you, it says, as if it guessed that men are incapable of finding what to desire by themselves.)
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Welcome to the real world of marriage, where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror, where arguments center on which way the toilet paper comes off and whether the lid should be up or down. It is a world where shoes do not walk to the closet and drawers do not close themselves, where coats do not like hangers and socks go AWOL during laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers can become enemies, and marriage a battlefield.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
Language-lovers know that there is a word for every fear. Are you afraid of wine? Then you have oenophobia. Tremulous about train travel? You suffer from siderodromophobia. Having misgivings about your mother-in-law is pentheraphobia, and being petrified of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth is arachibutyrophobia. And then there’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s affliction, the fear of fear itself, or phobophobia.
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
Today Means Amen Dear you, whoever you are, however you got here, this is exactly where you are supposed to be. This moment has waited its whole life for you. This moment is your lover and you are a soldier. Come home, baby, it's over. You don't need to suffer anymore. Dear you, this moment is your surprise party. You are both hiding in the dark and walking through the door. This moment is a hallelujah. This moment is your permission slip to finally open that love letter you've been hiding from yourself, the one you wrote when you were little when you still danced like a sparkler at dusk. Do you remember the moment you realized they were watching? When you became ashamed of how much light you were holding? When you first learned how to unlove yourself? Dear you, the word today means amen in every language. Today, we made it. Today, I'm going to love you. Today, I'm going to love myself. Today, the boxcutter will rust in the garbage. The noose will forget how to hold you, today, today-- Dear you, and I have always meant you, nothing would be the same if you did not exist. You, whose voice is someone's favorite voice, someone's favorite face to wake up to. Nothing would be the same if you did not exist. You, the teacher, the starter's gun, the lantern in the night who offers not a way home, but the courage to travel farther into the dark. You, the lover, who worships the taste of her body, who is the largest tree ring in his heart, who does not let fear ration your love. You, the friend, the sacred chorus of how can I help. You, who have felt more numb than holy, more cracked than mosaic. Who have known the tiles of a bathroom by heart, who have forgotten what makes you worth it. You, the forgiven, the forgiver, who belongs right here in this moment. You, this clump of cells, this happy explosion that happened to start breathing, and by the grace of whatever is up there, you got here. You made it this whole way: through the nights that swallowed you whole, the mornings that arrived in pieces. The scabs, the gravel, the doubt, the hurt, the hurt, the hurt is over. Today, you made it. You made it. You made it here.
Sierra DeMulder (Today Means Amen)
So he was always in the town at one place or another, drinking, knocking about with the men he knew. It really wearied him. He talked to barmaids, to almost any woman, but there was that dark, strained look in his eyes, as if he were hunting something. Everything seemed so different, so unreal. There seemed no reason why people should go along the street, and houses pile up in the daylight. There seemed no reason why these things should occupy the space, instead of leaving it empty. His friends talked to him: he heard the sounds, and he answered. But why there should be the noise of speech he could not understand.
D.H. Lawrence (Sons and Lovers)
I love you... I love you without needing you, I love you without wanting you. I love you for being you. Because, you see, needing you is a necessity; and wanting you is a desire. But being, is as it is. And so, you as you are, this as it is, is as it is just fine. I guess the next level will be, I love you... with no explanation. Simply because I'm lost at words for you, and even if I found words, none of them would explain. Like a man who speaks another language trying to communicate, so will I be a love that feels an unexplainable feeling, trying to explain. I can't... And that's okay.
Israel S. Dudley
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
Nina remembered the first time she'd seen Matthias in a moonlit Kaelish wood. His beauty had seemed unfair to her. In another life, she might have believed he was coming to rescue her, a shining saviour with golden hair and eyes the pale blue of northern glaciers. But she'd known the truth of him by the language he spoke, and by the disgust on his face every time his eyes lighted on her. Matthias Helvar was a drüskelle, one of the Fjerdan witchhunters tasked with hunting down Grisha to face trial and execution, though to her he'd always resembled a warrior Saint, illuminated in gold.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Mystery the moon A hole in the sky A supernatural nightlight So full but often right A pair of eyes, a closin' one, A chosen child of golden sun A marble dog that chases cars To farthest reaches of the beach and far beyond into the swimming sea of stars A cosmic fish they love to kiss They're giving birth to constellation No riffs and oh, no reservation. If they should fall you get a wish or dedication May I suggest you get the best For nothing less than you and I Let's take a chance as this romance is rising over before we lose the lighting Oh bella bella please Bella you beautiful luna Oh bella do what you do Do do do do do You are an illuminating anchor Of leagues to infinite number Crashing waves and breaking thunder Tiding the ebb and flows of hunger You're dancing naked there for me You expose all memory You make the most of boundary You're the ghost of royalty imposing love You are the queen and king combining everything Intertwining like a ring around the finger of a girl I'm just a singer, you're the world All I can bring ya Is the language of a lover Bella luna, my beautiful, beautiful moon How you swoon me like no other May I suggest you get the best Of your wish may I insist That no contest for little you or smaller I A larger chance happened, all them they lie On the rise, on the brink of our lives Bella please Bella you beautiful luna Oh bella do what you do Bella luna, my beautiful, beautiful moon How you swoon me like no other, oh oh oh ((Bella Luna))
Jason Mraz
I cannot write myself. What, after all, is this "I" who would write himself? Even as he would enter into the writing, the writing would take the wind out of his sails, would render him null and void -- futile; a gradual dilapidation would occur, in which the other's image, too, would be gradually involved (to write on something is to outmode it), a disgust whose conclusion could only be: what's the use? what obstructs amorous writing is the illusion of expressivity: as a writer, or assuming myself to be one, I continue to fool myself as to the effects of language: I do not know that the word "suffering" expresses no suffering and that, consequently, to use it is not only to communicate nothing but even, and immediately, to annoy, to irritate (not to mention the absurdity). Someone would have to teach me that one cannot write without burying "sincerity" (always the Orpheus myth: not to turn back). What writing demands, and what any lover cannot grant it without laceration, is to sacrifice a little of his Image-repertoire, and to assure thereby, through his language, the assumption of a little reality. All I might produce, at best, is a writing of the Image-repertoire; and for that I would have to renounce the Image-repertoire of writing -- would have to let myself be subjugated by my language, submit to the injustices (the insults) it will not fail to inflict upon the double Image of the lover and of his other. The language of the Image-repertoire would be precisely the utopia of language: an entirely original, paradisiac language, the language of Adam -- "natural, free of distortion or illusion, limpid mirror of our sense, a sensual language (die sensualische Sprache)": "In the sensual language, all minds converse together, they need no other language, for this is the language of nature.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
For I have learned To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green earth; of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create, And what perceive; well pleased to recognise In nature and the language of the sense, The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being.
William Wordsworth (Lyrical Ballads)
There are still souls for whom love is the contact of two poetries, the fusion of two reveries. The epistolary novel expresses love in a beautiful emulation of images and metaphors. To tell a love, one must write. One never writes too much. How many lovers, upon returning home from the tenderest of rendezvous, open their writing desks! Love is never finished expressing itself, and it expresses itself better the more poetically it is dreamed. The reveries of two solitary souls prepare the sweetness of loving. A realist passion will see nothing there but evanescent formulas. But just the same it is no less true that great passions are prepared by great reveries. The reality of love is mutilated when it is detached from all its unrealness.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos)
Style still matters, for at least three reasons. First, it ensures that writers will get their message across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose. When the effort fails, the result can be calamitous-as Strunk and White put it, "death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram." Governments and corporations have found that small improvements in clarity can prevent vast amounts of error, frustration, and waste, and many countries have recently made clear language the law of the land. Second, style earns trust. If readers can see that a writer cares about consistency and accuracy in her prose, they will be reassured that the writer cares about those virtues in conduct they cannot see as easily. Here is how one technology executive explains why he rejects job applications filled with errors of grammar and punctuation: "If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use it's, then that's not a learning curve I'm comfortable with." And if that isn't enough to get you to brush up your prose, consider the discovery of the dating site OkCupid that sloppy grammar and spelling in a profile are "huge turn-offs." As one client said, "If you're trying to date a woman, I don't expect flowery Jane Austen prose. But aren't you trying to put your best foot forward?" Style, not least, adds beauty to the world. To a literate reader, a crisp sentence, an arresting metaphor, a witty aside, an elegant turn of phrase are among life's greatest pleasures. And as we shall see in the first chapter, this thoroughly impractical virtue of good writing is where the practical effort of mastering good writing must begin.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
What we seek in travel is neither discovery nor trade but rather a gentle deterritorialization: we want to be taken over by the journey - in other words, by absence. As our metal vectors transcend meridians, oceans and poles, absence takes on a fleshy quality. The clandestineness of the depths of private life gives way to annihilation by longitude and latitude. But in the end the body tires of not knowing where it is, even if the mind finds this absence exalting, as if it were a quality proper to itself. Perhaps, after all, what we seek in others is the same gentle deterritorialization that we seek in travel. Instead of one's own desire, instead of discovery, we are tempted by exile in the desire of the other, or by the desire of the other as an ocean to cross. The looks and gestures of lovers already have the distance of exile about them; the language of lovers is an expatriation in words that are afraid to signify; and the bodies of lovers are a tender hologram to eye and hand, offering no resistance and hence susceptible of being crisscrossed, like airspace, by desire. We move around with circumspection on a mental planet of circumvolutions, and from our excesses and passions we bring back the same transparent memories as we do from our travels.
Jean Baudrillard
Hear me now or regret it later: Everything you write must be read aloud. Once all the context items are in place, this is the final test for any written piece...Do not neglect your sense of hearing in the process of writing and reading. As a longtime teacher of English as a foreign language, I can tell you on good authority that you have been listening to the English language at least five or six years longer than you have been writing and reading. And, most probably, your ears also had eighteen or more years of familiarity with the language before you began to read or write with a writer's sensibility. For these reasons, your ears know when things sound okay, good, beautiful, strange, awkward, or just plain bad, before your eye can pick up on such things...Your written voice should burn with the fire of fervent prayer, soothe like a friend's voice during a late-night phone call, alure like a lover's whisper. You must, through your accessible, infinitely read-aloudable voice, make your audience into an insatiable reader of your words.
Jiro Adachi
Hear me now or regret it later: Everything you write must be read aloud. Once all the context items are in place, this is the final test for any written piece... Do not neglect your sense of hearing in the process of writing and reading. As a longtime teacher of English as a foreign language, I can tell you on good authority that you have been listening to the English language at least five or six years longer than you have been writing and reading. And, most probably, your ears also had eighteen or more years of familiarity with the language before you began to read or write with a writer's sensibility. For these reasons, your ears know when things sound okay, good, beautiful, strange, awkward, or just plain bad, before your eye can pick up on such things... Your written voice should burn with the fire of fervent prayer, soothe like a friend's voice during a late-night phone call, alure like a lover's whisper. You must, through your accessible, infinitely read-aloudable voice, make your audience into an insatiable reader of your words.
Jiro Adachi
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other (Growing Deeper))
The thing that weighed on him most, however, was the irrationality of the world in which he now found himself. To some extent he was a prisoner of his own training. As a historian, he had come to view the world as the product of historical forces and the decisions of more or less rational people, and he expected the men around him to behave in a civil and coherent manner. But Hitler’s government was neither civil nor coherent, and the nation lurched from one inexplicable moment to another. Even the language used by Hitler and party officials was weirdly inverted. The term “fanatical” became a positive trait. Suddenly it connoted what philologist Victor Klemperer, a Jewish resident of Dresden, described as a “happy mix of courage and fervent devotion.” Nazi-controlled newspapers reported an endless succession of “fanatical vows” and “fanatical declarations” and “fanatical beliefs,” all good things. Göring was described as a “fanatical animal lover.” Fanatischer Tierfreund. Certain very old words were coming into darkly robust modern use, Klemperer found. Übermensch: superman. Untermensch: sub-human, meaning “Jew.” Wholly new words were emerging as well, among them Strafexpedition—“punitive expedition”—the term Storm Troopers applied to their forays into Jewish and communist neighborhoods. Klemperer detected a certain “hysteria of language” in the new flood of decrees, alarms, and intimidation—“This perpetual threatening with the death penalty!”—and in strange, inexplicable episodes of paranoid excess, like the recent nationwide search. In all this Klemperer saw a deliberate effort to generate a kind of daily suspense, “copied from American cinema and thrillers,” that helped keep people in line. He also gauged it to be a manifestation of insecurity among those in power. In late July 1933 Klemperer saw a newsreel in which Hitler, with fists clenched and face contorted, shrieked, “On 30 January they”—and here Klemperer presumed he meant the Jews—“laughed at me—that smile will be wiped off their faces!” Klemperer was struck by the fact that although Hitler was trying to convey omnipotence, he appeared to be in a wild, uncontrolled rage, which paradoxically had the effect of undermining his boasts that the new Reich would last a thousand years and that all his enemies would be annihilated. Klemperer wondered, Do you talk with such blind rage “if you are so sure of this endurance and this annihilation”?
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)