Regarding Mother Quotes

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Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I'm just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, "Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?" Anaïs Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is 'escape.' Just banish that and you'll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you're in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything.... We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one's sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it's what we want to do. You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
Anaïs Nin
Time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is-in the blink of an eye, a mother can see the child again as they were when they were born, when they learned how to walk, as they were at any age-at any time, even when the child is fully grown or a parent themselves.
Diana Gabaldon
It made him feel indispensable and needed - even if the fact that Jocelyn didn't appear to care wheather he slept in her daughter's bed or not did underscore that Clary's mother apparently regarded him as about sexually threatening as a goldfish.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world's most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
if you are unwilling to endure your own suffering even for an hour, and continually forestall all possible misfortune, if you regard as deserving of annihilation, any suffering and pain generally as evil, as detestable, and as blots on existence, well, you have then, besides your religion of compassion, yet another religion in your heart (and this is perhaps the mother of the former)-the religion of smug ease. Ah, how little you know of the happiness of man, you comfortable and good-natured ones! For happiness and misfortune are brother and sister, and twins, who grow tall together, or, as with you, remain small together!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
But what I really long to know you do not tell either: what you feel, although I've given you hints by the score of my regard. You like me. You wouldn't waste time or paper on a being you didn't like. But I think I've loved you since we met at your mother's funeral. I want to be with you forever and beyond, but you write that you are too young to marry or too old or too short or too hungry---until I crumple your letters up in despair, only to smooth them out again for a twelfth reading, hunting for hidden meanings.
Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #1))
When people grow up in a home where extramarital sex is condoned, they’re much less likely to regard it as a deal-breaker. Jacqueline Bouvier’s father, ‘Black Jack,’ confided in her about his female conquests, even going so far as to play a game with Jackie when he visited her at boarding school. She would point to a classmate’s mother, and Jack would respond, ‘Yes’ or ‘Not yet’ — answering the silent question, had he slept with that one?
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Eight Political Wives)
His mother regarded her life patiently, as if it were a long moment that she had to endure.
John Williams (Stoner)
The lie that is known to be a lie is half eradicated, but the lie that even intelligent persons regard as a sacred fact – the lie that has been inculcated around a mother’s knee – is more dangerous to contend against than a creeping pestilence.
Ragnar Redbeard (MIght Is Right)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really this proposition: that nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover she is a step-mother.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Theoretically, I can imagine that someday we will regard or children not add creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, and also our own lives, than our parents were ever able to.
Alice Miller (For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence)
The World has a First Cause, which may be regarded as the Mother of the World. When one has found the Mother, one can know the Child. Knowing the Child and still keeping the Mother, to the end of his days he shall suffer no harm.
Lao Tzu (The Sayings Of Lao Tzu)
His gaze narrowed and she could see his hands twitching again like he’d love nothing more than to throttle her. She was beginning to think it was an affliction of his. Did he go around wanting to choke the life out of everyone or was she special in that regard? “I’m afraid ’tis an urge that is entirely original to you,” the laird barked. She clamped her mouth shut and closed her eyes. Mother Serenity had vowed one day Mairin would regret her propensity to blurt out her least little thought. Today just might be that day.
Maya Banks (In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1))
How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if...every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up in true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.
Gordon B. Hinckley
I have noticed,” she said slowly, “that time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is—in the blink of an eye, the mother can see the child again as it was when it was born, when it learned to walk, as it was at any age—at any time, even when the child is fully grown and a parent itself.
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
a woman who contributes to the life of mankind by the occupation of motherhood is taking as high a place in the division of human labor as anyone else could take. If she is interested in the lives of her children and is paving the way for them to become fellow men, if she is spreading their interests and training them to cooperate, her work is so valuable that it can never be rightly rewarded. In our own culture the work of a mother is undervalued and often regarded as a not very attractive or estimable occupation. It is paid only indirectly and a woman who makes it her main occupation is generally placed in a position of economic dependence. The success of the family, however, rests equally upon the work of the mother and the work of the father. Whether the mother keeps house or works independently, her work as a mother does not play a lower role than the work of her husband.
Alfred Adler (WHAT LIFE COULD MEAN TO YOU (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 196))
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? (Just to give you an idea, Proust's reply was 'To be separated from Mama.') I think that the lowest depth of misery ought to be distinguished from the highest pitch of anguish. In the lower depths come enforced idleness, sexual boredom, and/or impotence. At the highest pitch, the death of a friend or even the fear of the death of a child.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
If I may be pardoned for suggesting the obvious, I do so only because the obvious is not observed in so many instances. The obvious includes four imperatives with reference to children: (1) love them, (2) teach them, (3) respect them, and (4) pray with them and for them... How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if every father looked upon his children as the most precious of his assets, if he led them by the power of his example in kindness and love, and if in times of stress he blessed them by the authority of the holy priesthood; and if every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord...
Gordon B. Hinckley
No single bad person regards themselves as a bad person.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Selfish Genie: A Satirical Essay on Altruism)
I shall try to persuade first the Rulers and soldiers, and then the rest of the community, that the upbringing and education we have given them was all something that happened to them only in a dream. In reality they were fashioned and reared, and their arms and equipment manufactured, in the depths of the earth, and Earth herself, their mother, brought them up, when they were complete, into the light of day; so now they must think of the land in which they live as their mother and protect her if she is attacked, while their fellow citizens they must regard as brothers born of the same mother earth…. That is the story. Do you know of any way of making them believe it?” “Not in the first generation,” he said, “but you might succeed with the second, and later generations.
Plato (The Republic)
We like to stress the commonness of heroes. Essences seem undemocratic. We feel oppressed by the call to greatness. We regard an interest in glory or perfection as a sign of mental unhealthiness, and have decided that high achievers, who are called overachievers, owe their surplus ambition to a defect in mothering (either too little or too much). We want to admire but think we have a right not to be intimidated. We dislike feeling inferior to an ideal. So away with ideals, with essences. The only ideals allowed are healthy ones -- those everyone may aspire to, or comfortably imagine oneself possessing.
Susan Sontag (The Volcano Lover)
And this was what worried her the most: nothing had ever felt as comfortable, as easy, as good as being with her parents, her family. No one, it seemed, would ever regard her with the same enthusiastic awe as her mother; the same quiet, feverish pride as her father. It aroused concern within that she was slated for a lifetime of disappointment from the outside.
Claire Lombardo (The Most Fun We Ever Had)
When wealth occupies a higher position than wisdom, when notoriety is admired more than dignity, when success is more important than self-respect, the culture itself overvalues "image" and must be regarded as narcissistic.
Karyl McBride (Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Whosoever does not believe in the existence of a sixth sense has clearly not regarded their own mother. How it is they know all they know about you, even those secrets you locked away so tightly in the most hidden compartments of your heart, remains one of the great mysteries of the world. And they don't just know—they know instantly.
Narissa Doumani
The social prestige of wine at table and at the club must be destroyed through lofty example and polite ridicule; forces which are not always available, and for whose successful operation much time will be required. But the outstanding fact remains, that the world has come to regard liquor in a new and clearer light. Our next generation of poets will contain but few Anacreons, for the thinking element of mankind has robbed the flowing bowl of its fancied virtues and fictitious beauties. The grape, so long permitted to masquerade as the inspirer of wit and art, is now revealed as the mother of ruin and death. The wolf at last stands divested of its sheep’s clothing.
H.P. Lovecraft
It is precisely because I valued myself that I was unwilling to remain miserable in a school and whole social environment that did not fit my needs. It is because the housewife had regard for herself that she refused to tolerate any longer a marriage that so totally limited her freedom and repressed her personality. It is because the businessman cared for himself that he was no longer willing to nearly kill himself in order to meet the expectations of his mother.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The appearance of a pest should be regarded as a warning from Mother Earth to put our house in order.
Albert Howard (The Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture (Culture of the Land))
Matilda had never once stopped to think about where Miss Honey might be living. She had always regarded her purely as a teacher, a person who turned up out of nowhere and taught at school and then went away again. Do any of us children, she wondered, ever stop to ask ourselves where our teachers go when school is over for the day? Do we wonder if they live alone, or if there is a mother at home or a sister or a husband?
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
At length the Turk turned to Larry: 'You write, I believe?' he said with complete lack of interest. Larry's eyes glittered. Mother, seeing the danger signs, rushed in quickly before he could reply. 'Yes, yes' she smiled, 'he writes away, day after day. Always tapping at the typewriter' 'I always feel that I could write superbly if I tried' remarked the Turk. 'Really?' said Mother. 'Yes, well, it's a gift I suppose, like so many things.' 'He swims well' remarked Margo, 'and he goes out terribly far' 'I have no fear' said the Turk modestly. 'I am a superb swimmer, so I have no fear. When I ride the horse, I have no fear, for I ride superbly. I can sail the boat magnificently in the typhoon without fear' He sipped his tea delicately, regarding our awestruck faces with approval. 'You see' he went on, in case we had missed the point, 'you see, I am not a fearful man.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy, #1))
The next visit I paid to Nancy Brown was in the second week in March: for, though I had many spare minutes during the day, I seldom could look upon an hour as entirely my own; since, when everything was left to the caprices of Miss Matilda and her sister, there could be no order or regularity. Whatever occupation I chose, when not actually busied about them or their concerns, I had, as it were, to keep my loins girded, my shoes on my feet, and my staff in my hand; for not to be immediately forthcoming when called for, was regarded as a grave and inexcusable offence: not only by my pupils and their mother, but by the very servant, who came in breathless haste to call me, exclaiming 'You're to go to the school-room directly, mum- the young ladies is WAITING!!' Climax of horror! actually waiting for their governess!!!
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey (Penguin Classics))
My mother was, for the most part, delighted with my brother and regarded him with the bemused curiosity of a brood hen discovering she has hatched a completely different species. 'I think it was very nice of Paul to give me this vase,' she once said, arranging a bouquet of wildflowers into the skull-shaped bong my brother had left on the kitchen table. 'It's nontraditional, but that's the Rooster's way. He's a free spirit, and we're lucky to have him.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
You still read fairy tales?" "Every part of the human condition is packaged neatly in fairy tales. Every bit of culture that makes us who we are." She tutted at him. "When I was a girl, such things were regarded with respect." "I've always had trouble with that," he replied dryly. Rina scoffed and settled down on the floor. "I know. But one day you'll learn it. All virtues not granted at birth are taught to you by life, one way or another. My mother told me that.
K. Ancrum (The Wicker King (The Wicker King, #1))
It was not very long after this that there occurred the first of the mysterious events that rid us at last of the captain, though not, as you will see, of his affairs. It was a bitter cold winter, with long, hard frosts and heavy gales; and it was plain from the first that my poor father was little likely to see the spring. He sank daily, and my mother and I had all the inn upon our hands, and were kept busy enough without paying much regard to our unpleasant guest.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island)
Here is Abraham Lincoln’s touching condolence letter to 22-year-old Fanny McCullough, the daughter of a long-time friend: “Dear Fanny It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before. Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother. Your sincere friend, A. Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
It's Salvation. When Jen told me I had a vision. A vision Rena. I think I saw the blessed mother smiling and she was hold ing a loofa. [In regards to moving out of dorms and having three bathrooms between 4 roomates]
Nora Roberts (Blue Smoke)
The personal love Christ has for you is infinite - the small difficulty you have regarding the church is finite.... What is happening on the surface of the church will pass, but Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Mary Poplin (Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service (Veritas Books))
The fathers of the fatherless children are the ones who abandon and neglect their sons and daughters. They are not held responsible for their part in regards to helping raise their children. Where is the justice for our sons and daughters? Father of the fatherless children, you are a sorry excuse for a man.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
Adèle is not answerable for either her mother's faults or yours; I have a regard for her, and now that I know she is, in a sense, parentless – forsaken by her mother and disowned by you, sir – I shall cling closer to her than before. How could I possibly prefer the spoiled pet of a wealthy family, who hate her governess as a nuisance, to a lonely little orphan, who leans towards her as a friend?
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother and even such a small creature as I finds an intimate place in their midst. Therefore that which extends throughout the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature. All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions.
Mary Evelyn Tucker (Journey of the Universe)
I have learned that the point of life's walk is not where or how far I move my feet but how I am moved in my heart. If I walk far but am angry toward others as I journey, I walk nowhere. If I conquer mountains but hold grudges against others as I climb, I conquer nothing. If I see much but regard others as enemies, I see no one.
Anasazi Foundation (The Seven Paths: Changing One's Way of Walking in the World)
Border crossings in the Balkans, where bitter wars have been waged, were not regarded as pleasurable; in many places, they weren't even possible, and one avoided them. But, while riding in the droshky and later, when we dismounted, we saw the most luxuriant orchards and vegetable gardens, dark-violet eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, gigantic pumpkins and melons; I couldn't get over my amazement at all the different things that grew here. "That's what it's like here", said Mother, "a blessed land. And it's a civilized land, no one should be ashamed of being born here.
Elias Canetti (Die gerettete Zunge: Geschichte einer Jugend)
When my father was vigorous and lucid, (my mother) regarded medicine as her wily ally in a lifelong campaign to keep old age, sickness, and death at bay. Now ally and foe exchanged masks. Medicine looked more like the enemy, and death the friend. (p. 184)
Katy Butler (Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death)
I have noticed,” she said slowly, “that time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
I had always regarded Manhattan the way an orphan might think of the mother who had laid him on the doorstep of a mosque: it meant nothing to me but also everything.
Hisham Matar (The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between)
Our children forever changed our relationships with our mothers. Pity replaced the mild contempt with which we had previously regarded them, and we loved them as we never had before, as we could only love ourselves, because despite our best intentions we had become them.
Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno)
Something seems to happen to people when they meet a journalist, and what happens is exactly the opposite of what one would expect. One would think that extreme wariness and caution would be the order of the day, but in fact childish trust and impetuosity are far more common. The journalistic encounter seems to have the same regressive effect on a subject as the psychoanalytic encounter. The subject becomes a kind of child of the writer, regarding him as a permissive, all-accepting, all-forgiving mother, and expecting that the book will be written by her. Of course, the book is written by the strict, all-noticing, unforgiving father.
Janet Malcolm (The Journalist and the Murderer)
...out of despair I decided to follow this horror through. I stared down at what I was already grasping in my hand, like an ape; I wrapped myself in the dust and took off my trousers. Interwoven joy and terror strangled me within. I strangled and I gasped from pleasure. The more those pictures terrified me, the more intense was my excitement at the sight of them. After days of accumulating alarms, tensions, suffocations, I was beyond withstanding my own ignominy. I invoked it and I blessed it. It was my inevitable fate: my joy was all the greater since, with regard to life, I had long since entrenched myself in an attitude of suffering, and now, in the throes of delight, I progressed even farther into vileness and degradation.
Georges Bataille (My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man)
Self-esteem is the way you regard yourself as either being worth your mother’s while to care for you, protect you and keep you safe and alive, to be present for you when you need her to meet your needs – or not.
Kevin Solomons (Born to be Worthless: The Hidden Power of Low Self-Esteem)
The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great “brotherhood.” It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to “the best that is within us.” It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.
Arthur W. Pink (Satan and His Gospel (Arthur Pink Collection))
And just as the child gradually breaks off the habit of regarding his mother only as a means of satisfying his own desires and learns to love her for her own sake, so the worshipper after a struggle has reached an attitude of mind in which he desires God for himself and not as a means of fulfillment of his own wishes.
Eugene H. Peterson (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society (The IVP Signature Collection))
Why does Lewis Black have so much hatred for goodness? I do not know. Because I am not a trained psychologist, I think it would be unethical for me to attempt to analyze him. But based upon his feelings regarding candy corn, I think it is safe to assume that he hates freedom, hates himself, and wants to fuck his mother.
Michael Ian Black (My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face)
Young Anthony had one picture of his father and mother together—so often had it faced his eyes in childhood that it had acquired the impersonality of furniture, but every one who came into his bedroom regarded it with interest.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office. 2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm. 3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
I am wounded. I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next. I think of your grandmother calling me and noting how you were growing tall and would one day try to “test me.” And I said to her that I would regard that day, should it come, as the total failure of fatherhood because if all I had over you were my hands, then I really had nothing at all. But, forgive me, son, I knew what she meant and when you were younger I thought the same. And I am now ashamed of the thought, ashamed of my fear, of the generational chains I tried to clasp onto your wrists. We are entering our last years together, and I wish I had been softer with you. Your mother had to teach me how to love you—how to kiss you and tell you I love you every night. Even now it does not feel a wholly natural act so much as it feels like ritual. And that is because I am wounded. That is because I am tied to old ways, which I learned in a hard house. It was a loving house even as it was besieged by its country, but it was hard. Even in Paris, I could not shake the old ways, the instinct to watch my back at every pass, and always be ready to go.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I’ve alway been struck by how little adults understand children, even their own fathers and mothers. Nothing should be kept from children on the pretext that they’re little and it’s too soon for them to know. Such a sad, wretched idea! Children themselves are well aware that their parents regard them as as too small and uncomprehending, when actually they understand everything. Adults don’t realize that children can give extremely valuable advice in the most difficult situations. Heavens! When that pretty little bird looks at you, so happy and trusting, you are ashamed to betray it!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
in 3000 spain, france, the british isles and old europe, the lives of people centered on nature and motherhood. they honored mother nature, mother earth and mother creator. women were revered as the givers of life. as creators, they were thought to be connected to diety. statues of the goddesses of these early people were of full-breasted women with bodies clearly depicting the ballooning abdomen of women about to give birth. these primal people regarded birthing as the highest manifestation of nature. when a woman gave birth, everyone gathered around her in the temple for the "celebration of life." birthing was a religious rite, and not at all the painful ordeal it came to be years later.
Marie F. Mongan (HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method)
Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them "The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females"; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them "Murder your mother," and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same. Say to them "It is not improbable that a period may arrive when the narrow if once useful distinction between the anthropoid homo and the other animals, which has been modified on so many moral points, may be modified also even in regard to the important question of the extension of human diet"; say this to them, and beauty born of murmuring sound will pass into their face. But say to them, in a simple, manly, hearty way "Let's eat a man!" and their surprise is quite surprising. Yet the sentences say just the same thing.
G.K. Chesterton (Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State)
I cannot pretend that I understood my mother at the end of her life. I was trying to follow the goals she had set me even though she had rejected them for herself. I took the following to be her death poem: Why do we suffer so in the world? Just regard life as the short bloom of the mountain cherry. Over the years, my opinion of this poem changed. At first I considered it another lament in the pessimistic mode she so often adopted. Then one day I realized it was actually joyous, and my entire understanding of her was transformed. In the end she had no more sorrow than does a cherry blossom at its falling.
Liza Dalby
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
My mother was widely loved, and rightly so – and widely regarded as too sweet for words. Well, she had them buffaloed. Any woman who could out-stubborn a dachshund deserved to be accorded the wary and respectful affection the dachshund gave her.
Markham Shaw Pyle
But perhaps the abuse of such people as yourself and Marianne will make amends for the regard of Lady Middle- ton and her mother. If their praise is censure, your censure may be praise, for they are not more undiscerning, than you are prejudiced and unjust.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
Implicit [in the psychiatric literature] is a set of normative assumptions regarding the father's prerogatives and the mother's obligations within the family, The father, like the children, is presumed to be entitled to the mother's love, nurturance, and care. In fact, his dependent needs actually supersede those of the children, for if a mother falls to provide the accustomed intentions, it is taken for granted that some other female must be found to take her place. The oldest daughter is a frequent choice... The father's wish, indeed his right, to continue to receive female nurturance, whatever the circumstances, is accepted without question.
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))
As regards the origin of God, my own idea is that having realized the limitations of man, his weaknesses and shortcoming having been taken into consideration, God was brought into imaginary existence to encourage man to face boldly all the trying circumstances, to meet all dangers manfully and to check and restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God both with his private laws and parental generosity was imagined and painted in greater details. He was to serve as a deterrent factor when his fury and private laws were discussed so that man may not become a danger to society. He was to serve as a father, mother, sister and brother, friend and helpers when his parental qualifications were to be explained. So that when man be in great distress having been betrayed and deserted by all friends he may find consolation in the idea that an ever true friend was still there to help him, to support him and that He was almighty and could do anything. Really that was useful to the society in the primitive age. The idea of God is helpful to man in distress.
Bhagat Singh (Why I am an Atheist)
We should no longer allow a mother to be defined as "just a mom". It is on her back that great nations are built. We should no longer allow any woman's voice to be drowned out or disregarded. As we affirm other women, and as we teach our sons, husbands and friends to hold them in the highest regard, we honor both the mothers whose shoulders we've stood on and the daughters who will one day stand tall on ours.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know for Sure)
Heaven is my father and earth is my mother, and I, a small child, find myself placed intimately between them. What fills the universe I regard as my body; what directs the universe I regard as my nature. All people are my brothers and sisters; all things are my companions.70
Jeremy Lent (The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe)
But then there was school and work and the doctor and the dentist and the Internet. There she was not a parent but a mom, a species held in somber, near-spirtual regard while for all practical purposes steadily crushed by the forces of public policy, like the American bison.
Chelsey Johnson (Stray City)
Often, her mate is the child of a narcissist, already indoctrinated to regard exploitation and disregard as love. Others lured by the narcissistic aura are those in whom healthy childhood exhibitionism has been repressed. . . . If the parent puts the child to shame for showing off, the need for attention gets repressed into the unconscious. Repression means that the need is not satisfied and continues to press for expression in the adult without her being aware of it. The repressed adult may select an exhibitionistic mate to achieve vicarious satisfaction.
Elan Golomb (Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self)
The place Joanne is building inside [herself] has rooms for all of this. Not just rooms. Beautiful ones. For Karl and Jerry and Karen and Nate in his cowboy hat and the hot-tub guy and movie directors and old-lady healers and people trying to love their asses and people who think they're stupid for it. In these rooms, each thing that looks crazy or stupid will be like a drawing you give your mother, regarded with complete acceptance and put on the wall. Not because it is good but because it is trying to understand something. In these rooms, there will be understanding. In these rooms, each madness and stupidity will be unfolded from its knot and smoothed with loving hands until the true thing inside lies revealed.
Mary Gaitskill (Veronica)
Rather, a woman is regarded as owing her human capacities to particular people, often men or his children within heterosexual relationships that also uphold white supremacy, and who are in turn deemed entitled to her services. This might be envisaged as the de facto legacy of coverture law—a woman’s being “spoken for” by her father, and afterward her husband, then son-in-law, and so on. And it is plausibly part of what makes women more broadly somebody’s mother, sister, daughter, grandmother: always somebody’s someone, and seldom her own person. But this is not because she’s not held to be a person at all, but rather because her personhood is held to be owed to others, in the form of service labor, love, and loyalty.
Kate Manne (Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny)
The town reacted to us as its inhabitants had reacted to all things new before our coming. It regarded us a while without curiosity but with caution, and after we were seen to be harmless (and children) it closed in around us, as a real mother embraces a stranger's child. Warmly, but not too familiarly.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
As a working definition of art, I lean toward Tolstoy's: "Art is a human activity having for it's purpose the transmission to other of the highest and best feelings to which mankind has risen." It seems to me that, regarding agrarian art, the farther it moves away from the natural world, especially when the main goal is money profits, the more difficult it becomes for it to reflect "the highest and best feelings" of humanity. The same is true of, of course, of agriculture itself. The farther it tries to remove itself from nature in search of money, the more it moves away from the highest and healthiest kinds of food.
Gene Logsdon (The Mother of All Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse (Culture Of The Land))
The happiness of my existence, its unique character perhaps can be found in its fatefulness: to speak in a riddle, as my father I have already died, as my mother I still live and grow old. This double origin taken as it were from the highest and lowest rungs of the ladder of life at once decadent and beginning — this if anything explains that neutrality, that freedom from bias in regard to the general problem of existence which perhaps distinguishes me. My nose is more sensitive than any man that has yet lived as to signs of ascent or decline. In this domain I am a true master — I know both sides for I am both sides.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
Father had stretched out his long legs and was tilting back in his chair. Mother sat with her knees crossed, in blue slacks, smoking a Chesterfield. The dessert dishes were still on the table. My sisters were nowhere in evidence. It was a warm evening; the big dining-room windows gave onto blooming rhododendrons. Mother regarded me warmly. She gave me to understand that she was glad I had found what I had been looking for, but that she and father were happy to sit with their coffee, and would not be coming down. She did not say, but I understood at once, that they had their pursuits (coffee?) and I had mine. She did not say, but I began to understand then, that you do what you do out of your private passion for the thing itself. I had essentially been handed my own life. In subsequent years my parents would praise my drawings and poems, and supply me with books, art supplies, and sports equipment, and listen to my troubles and enthusiasms, and supervise my hours, and discuss and inform, but they would not get involved with my detective work, nor hear about my reading, nor inquire about my homework or term papers or exams, nor visit the salamanders I caught, nor listen to me play the piano, nor attend my field hockey games, nor fuss over my insect collection with me, or my poetry collection or stamp collection or rock collection. My days and nights were my own to plan and fill.
Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
Vera had held this body when it was moments old, had washed, fed, clothed it, and on her best days she couldn't look at her daughter without swelling with self-regard for having given birth to someone so worthy of love. Now that body had grown beyond the jurisdiction of her protection. Though it was rarely deployed in Vera's emotional vocabulary, she could think of no better word than wonder to describe the startling closeness of just standing here beside her child. Forget Lydia's poor choices. Forget the demons Vera could only guess at. The very fact Lydia was alive gave her mother the faith to believe she had done this one thing right.
Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno)
Because of the violence that has been at work in my family for generations, I can't name one relative who believes that he or she is loveable, worthy of kindness, deserving of care, attention, gentleness. This is what violence does; it squeezes us down into creatures we are not meant to be, so self-loathing and fearful that it hurts too much to hope, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, for things to begin badly, or end badly. Moments of joy and pleasure regarded with suspicion.
Anna Camilleri (I Am a Red Dress: Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother, and a Daughter)
I should like to direct the attention of artists. A constant producer, a man who is a "mother" in the grand sense of the term, one who no longer knows or hears of anything except pregnancies and childbeds of his spirit, who has no time at all to reflect and make comparisons with regard to himself and his work, who is also no longer inclined to exercise his taste, but simply forgets it, letting it take its chance of standing, lying or falling -- perhaps such a man at last produces works on which he is then quite unfit to pass a judgment: so that he speaks and thinks foolishly about them and about himself. This seems to me almost the normal condition with fruitful artists.
Friedrich Nietzsche
In this regard I find myself dubious about the politics of women’s peace groups, for example, which celebrate maternality as the basis for engaging in antimilitarist work. I do not see the mother with her child as either more morally credible or more morally capable than any other woman. A child can be used as a symbolic credential, a sentimental object, a badge of self-righteousness. I question the implicit belief that only “mothers” with “children of their own” have a real stake in the future of humanity.
Zinzi Clemmons (What We Lose)
The summer of 1950 was the hottest in living memory, with high humidity and temperatures above 100 F. My mother had been washing every day, and she was attacked for this, too. Peasants, especially in the North where Mrs. Mi came from, washed very rarely, because of the shortage of water. In the guerrillas, men and women used to compete to see who had the most 'revolutionary insects' (lice). Cleanliness was regarded as un proletarian When the steamy summer turned into cool autumn my father's bodyguard weighed in with a new accusation: my mother was 'behaving like a Kuomintang official's grand lady' because she had used my father's leftover hot water. At the time, in order to save fuel, there was a rule that only officials above a certain rank were entitled to wash with hot water. My father fell into this group, but my mother did not. She had been strongly advised by the women in my father's family not to touch cold water when she came near to delivery time. After the bodyguard's criticism, my father would not let my mother use his water. My mother felt like screaming at him for not taking her side against the endless intrusions into the most irrelevant recesses of her life.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Here he found Stephen looking frowsty and discontented - there was nothing that more thoroughly persuaded Jack of his friend's innocence with regard to Mrs Fielding than this three days' beard, this vile old wig - and Stephen said to him 'If the woman does not issue a more Christian invitation in two minutes, I shall drink that,' - pointing to the gunroom's coffee, weak, insipid, only just luke-warm. 'She has asked us to take chocolate with her. Chocolate at this time in the morning, dear Mother of God. Suff on her.
Patrick O'Brian (Treason's Harbour (Aubrey & Maturin, #9))
He reaches forward slowly, to lift the pen from my lax grip. Wearily I regard the faltering trail of ink it has tracked down my page. I have seen that shape before, I think, but it was not ink then. A trickle of drying blood on the deck of a Red-Ship, and mine the hand that spilled it? Or was it a tendril of smoke rising black against a blue sky as I rode too late to warn a village of a Red-Ship raid? Or poison swirling and unfurling yellowly in a simple glass of water, poison I had handed someone, smiling all the while? The artless curl of a strand of woman's hair left upon my pillow? Or the trail of a man's heels left in the sand as we dragged the bodies from the smoldering tower at Sealbay? The track of a tear down a mother's cheek as she clutched her Forged infant to her despite his angry cries? Like Red-Ships, the memories come without warning, without mercy.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
Mothers of the fathers of the fatherless children, you are a mother, therefore, you should truly understand and be sincere regarding where the mother of your son’s children is coming from. Not to mention, grandparents, you are not helping your son by making undercover moves. More so, you are hindering him from being a father, and you are helping him stray off track even further. As mothers, we have to work together for a far greater change than being biased and taking someone’s side, especially knowing they are in the wrong.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
•  The child has a primary need from the very beginning of her life to be regarded and respected as the person she really is at any given time. •  When we speak here of “the person she really is at any given time,” we mean emotions, sensations, and their expression from the first day onward. •  In an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for her feelings, the child, in the phase of separation, will be able to give up symbiosis with the mother and accomplish the steps toward individuation and autonomy. •  If they are to furnish these prerequisites for the healthy development of their child, the parents themselves ought to have grown up in such an atmosphere. If they did, they will be able to assure the child the protection and well-being she needs to develop trust. •  Parents who did not experience this climate as children are themselves deprived; throughout their lives they will continue to look for what their own parents could not give them at the appropriate time—the presence of a person who is completely aware of them and takes them seriously. •  This search, of course, can never fully succeed, since it relates to a situation that belongs irrevocably to the past, namely to the time right after birth and during early childhood.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
At a university where self-regard flows like mother’s milk through the hallways, Gerschenkron was a mythic figure. He
Alex Beam (The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship)
His Grace regarded his oldest daughter and the way Ben Portmaine hovered around the girl, clucking and fussing like a mother hen—or a particularly smitten rooster.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
The bloody red head emerged. The white sheet turned crimson. The infant sat up. Unfurling soft, white feathered wings, the newborn demigoddess regarded the world around her with large, beguiling blue eyes. As if satisfied with what she saw, she seized her own umbilical cord between her small, sharp teeth and severed her tie with her mother with one, quick bite.
Georgina Anne Taylor (Bewitchments and Betrayals (The Taint, #2))
I knew she was leaving. I knew we were never going to date long-distance. I knew that we wouldn't have been able to be like this back when were were dating, so there was no use in regretting what hadn't happened. I suspected that what happens in hotel rooms rarely lasts outside of them. I suspected that when something was a beginning and an ending at the same time, that meant it could only exist in the present... ..It was snowing outside, anointing the air with a quiet wonder shared by all passersby. When I got back to my mother's apartment, I was a mixture of giddy thrill-happiness and muddle gut-confusion-- I didn't want to leave anything regarding Sofia to chance, and at the same time I was enjoying this step away from it.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
In 'The Female Eunuch' I argued that motherhood should not be treated as a substitute career; now I would argue that motherhood should be regarded as a genuine career option, that is to say, as paid work and, as such, as an alternative to other paid work. What this would mean is that every woman who decides to have a child would be paid enough to raise that child in decent circumstances.
Germaine Greer (The Whole Woman)
It is not fashionable anymore, I suppose, to have a regard for one's mother in the way my brother and I had then, in the mid-1950s, when the noise outside the window was mostly wind and sea chime.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
The moon fled eastward like a frightened dove, while the stars changed their places in the heavens, like a disbanding army. 'Where are we?' asked Gil Gil. 'In France,' responded the Angel of Death. 'We have now traversed a large portion of the two bellicose nations which waged so sanguinary a war with each other at the beginning of the present century. We have seen the theater of the War of Succession. Conquered and conquerors both lie sleeping at this instant. My apprentice, Sleep, rules over the heroes who did not perish then, in battle, or afterward of sickness or of old age. I do not understand why it is that below on earth all men are not friends? The identity of your misfortunes and your weaknesses, the need you have of each other, the shortness of your life, the spectacle of the grandeur of other worlds, and the comparison between them and your littleness, all this should combine to unite you in brotherhood, like the passengers of a vessel threatened with shipwreck. There, there is neither love, nor hate, nor ambition, no one is debtor or creditor, no one is great or little, no one is handsome or ugly, no one is happy or unfortunate. The same danger surrounds all and my presence makes all equal. Well, then, what is the earth, seen from this height, but a ship which is foundering, a city delivered up to an epidemic or a conflagration?' 'What are those ignes fatui which I can see shining in certain places on the terrestrial globe, ever since the moon veiled her light?' asked the young man. 'They are cemeteries. We are now above Paris. Side by side with every city, every town, every village of the living there is always a city, a town, or a village of the dead, as the shadow is always beside the body. Geography, then, is of two kinds, although mortals only speak of the kind which is agreeable to them. A map of all the cemeteries which there are on the earth would be sufficient indication of the political geography of your world. You would miscalculate, however, in regard to the population; the dead cities are much more densely populated than the living; in the latter there are hardly three generations at one time, while, in the former, hundreds of generations are often crowded together. As for the lights you see shining, they are phosphorescent gleams from dead bodies, or rather they are the expiring gleams of thousands of vanished lives; they are the twilight glow of love, ambition, anger, genius, mercy; they are, in short, the last glow of a dying light, of the individuality which is disappearing, of the being yielding back his elements to mother earth. They are - and now it is that I have found the true word - the foam made by the river when it mingles its waters with those of the ocean.' The Angel of Death paused. ("The Friend of Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Ghostly By Gaslight)
The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place. Thus, instead of stretching their hands skyward to implore the mercy of celestial divinities, American Indians preferred to walk barefoot on the Earth: The Lakota was a true Naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him. Walking, by virtue of having the earth’s support, feeling its gravity, resting on it with every step, is very like a continuous breathing in of energy. But the earth’s force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. And the earth’s rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other. A last source of energy, after the heart and the Earth, is landscapes. They summon the walker and make him at home: the hills, the colours, the trees all confirm it. The charm of a twisting path among hills, the beauty of vine fields in autumn, like purple and gold scarves, the silvery glitter of olive leaves against a defining summer sky, the immensity of perfectly sliced glaciers … all these things support, transport and nourish us.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
You know all of the young gentlemen better than I do,” Lady Manston continued. “Are there any we should avoid?” All of them, George wanted to say. ''What about Ashbourne’s son?'' “No.” “No?” his mother echoed. “No, as in you don’t have an opinion?” “No, as in no. He is not for Billie.” Who, George could not help but note, was watching the mother-son exchange with an odd mix of curiosity and alarm. “Any particular reason?” Lady Manston asked. “He gambles,” George lied. Well, maybe it wasn’t a lie. All gentlemen gambled. He had no idea if the one in question did so to excess. “What about the Billington heir? I think he —” “Also no.” His mother regarded him with an impassive expression. “He’s too young,” George said, hoping it was true. “He is?” She frowned. “I suppose he might be. I can’t remember precisely.
Julia Quinn (Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1))
Devaluation of the Earth, hostility towards the Earth, fear of the Earth: these are all from the psychological point of view the expression of a weak patriarchal consciousness that knows no other way to help itself than to withdraw violently from the fascinating and overwhelming domain of the Earthly. For we know that the archetypal projection of the Masculine experiences, not without justice, the Earth as the unconscious-making, instinct-entangling, and therefore dangerous Feminine. At the same time the projection of the masculine anima is mingled with the living image of the Earth archetype in the unconscious of man; and the more one-sidedly masculine man's conscious mind is the more primitive, unreliable, and therefore dangerous his anima will be. However, the Earth archetype, in compensation to the divinity of the archetype of Heaven and the Father, that determined the consciousness of medieval man, is fused together with the archaic image of the Mother Goddess. Yet in its struggle against this Mother Goddess, the conscious mind, in its historical development, has had great difficulty in asserting itself so as to reach its – patriarchal - independence. The insecurity of this conscious mind-and we have profound experience of how insecure the position of the conscious mind still is in modern man-is always bound up with fear of the unconscious, and no well-meaning theory "against fear" will be able to rid the world of this deeply rooted anxiety, which at different times has been projected on different objects. Whether this anxiety expresses itself in a religious form as the medieval fear of demons or witches, or politically as the modern fear of war with the State beyond the Iron Curtain, in every case we are dealing with a projection, though at the same time the anxiety is justified. In reality, our small ego-consciousness is justifiably afraid of the superior power of the collective forces, both without and within. In the history of the development of the conscious mind, for reasons which we cannot pursue here, the archetype of the Masculine Heaven is connected positively with the conscious mind, and the collective powers that threaten and devour the conscious mind both from without and within, are regarded as Feminine. A negative evaluation of the Earth archetype is therefore necessary and inevitable for a masculine, patriarchal conscious mind that is still weak. But this validity only applies in relation to a specific type of conscious mind; it alters as the integration of the human personality advances, and the conscious mind is strengthened and extended. A one-sided conscious mind, such as prevailed in the medieval patriarchal order, is certainly radical, even fanatical, but in a psychological sense it is by no means strong. As a result of the one-sidedness of the conscious mind, the human personality becomes involved in an equally one-sided opposition to its own unconscious, so that actually a split occurs. Even if, for example, the Masculine principle identifies itself with the world of Heaven, and projects the evil world of Earth outwards on the alien Feminine principle, both worlds are still parts of the personality, and the repressing masculine spiritual world of Heaven and of the values of the conscious mind is continually undermined and threatened by the repressed but constantly attacking opposite side. That is why the religious fanaticism of the representatives of the patriarchal World of Heaven reached its climax in the Inquisition and the witch trials, at the very moment when the influence of the archetype of Heaven, which had ruled the Middle Ages and the previous period, began to wane, and the opposite image of the Feminine Earth archetype began to emerge.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)
I could feel Monika nudging me furiously at this point, but I refused to look at her. I wasn’t feeling particularly reverent about my mother’s deadness, or about the vicar, but I do despise that ghastly, ‘You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?’ approach to religious occasions. As a young man, I often goaded my believing friends with crudely logical questions about God. But as the years have passed, I have found myself hankering more and more for a little cosy voodoo in my life. Increasingly, I regard my atheism as a regrettable limitation. It seems to me that my lack of faith is not, as I once thought, a triumph of the rational mind, but rather, a failure of the imagination - an inability to tolerate mystery: a species, in fact, of neurosis. There is no chance of my being converted, of course - it is far too late for that. But I wish it wasn’t.
Zoë Heller (Everything You Know)
You will not be able rationally to read the Gospel and regard the Crucifixion as an afterthought or an anti-climax or an accident in the life of Christ; it is obviously the point of the story like the point of a sword, the sword that pierced the heart of the Mother of God. And you will not be able rationally to read the story of a man presented as a Mirror of Christ without understanding his final phase as a Man of Sorrows,
G.K. Chesterton (St. Francis of Assisi)
He was a precocious and delicate little boy, quivering with the malaise of being unloved. When we played, his child's heart would come into its own, and the troubled world where his vague hungers went unfed and mothers and fathers were dim and far away--too far away to ever reach in and touch the sore place and make it heal--would disappear, along with the world where I was not sufficiently muscled or sufficiently gallant to earn my own regard.
Harold Brodkey
The Mother of God is asked to 'pray zealously to her Son and her God,' and the words of the psalm are put into her mouth:'My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. for He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.' It is because of her child that she says this, He will magnify her ('For He that is mighty hath done to me great things'): He is her glory. Any woman could say it. For everyone of them, God is in her child. Mothers of great men must have been familiar with this feeling, but then, all women are mothers of great men-it isn't their fault if life disappoints them later.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
We heard of this woman who was out of control. We heard that she was led by her feelings. That her emotions were violent. That she was impetuous. That she violated tradition and overrode convention. That certainly her life should not be an example to us. (The life of the plankton, she read in this book on the life of the earth, depends on the turbulence of the sea) We were told that she moved too hastily. Placed her life in the stream of ideas just born. For instance, had a child out of wedlock, we were told. For instance, refused to be married. For instance, walked the streets alone, where ladies never did, and we should have little regard for her, even despite the brilliance of her words. (She read that the plankton are slightly denser than water) For she had no respect for boundaries, we were told. And when her father threatened her mother, she placed her body between them. (That because of this greater heaviness, the plankton sink into deeper waters) And she went where she should not have gone, even into her sister's marriage. And because she imagined her sister to be suffering what her mother had suffered, she removed her sister from that marriage. (And that these deeper waters provide new sources of nourishment) That she moved from passion. From unconscious feeling, allowing deep and troubled emotions to control her soul. (But if the plankton sinks deeper, as it would in calm waters, she read) But we say that to her passion, she brought lucidity (it sinks out of the light, and it is only the turbulence of the sea, she read) and to her vision, she gave the substance of her life (which throws the plankton back to the light). For the way her words illuminated her life we say we have great regard. We say we have listened to her voice asking, "of what materials can that heart be composed which can melt when insulted and instead of revolting at injustice, kiss the rod?" (And she understood that without light, the plankton cannot live and from the pages of this book she also read that the animal life of the oceans, and hence our life, depends on the plankton and thus the turbulence of the sea for survival.) By her words we are brought to our own lives, and are overwhelmed by our feelings which we had held beneath the surface for so long. And from what is dark and deep within us, we say, tyranny revolts us; we will not kiss the rod.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
The imported discovery, that human nature is too good to be made better by discipline, that children are enticed from the right way by religious instruction, and driven from it by the rod, and kept in thraldom by the conspiracy of priests and legislators, has united not a few in the noble experiment of emancipating the world by the help of an irreligious, ungoverned progeny. The indolent have rejoiced in the discovery that our fathers were fools and bigots, and have cheerfully let loose their children to help on the glorious work; while thousands of families, having heard from their teachers, or believing, in spite of them, that morality will suffice both for earth and heaven, and not doubting that morality will flourish without religion, have either not reared the family altar, or have put out the sacred fire, and laid aside together the rod and the Bible, as superfluous auxiliaries in the education of children. From the school, too, with pious regard for its sacred honors, the Bible, by some, has been withdrawn, lest, by a too familiar knowledge of its contents, children should learn to despise it; as if ignorance were the mother of devotion, and the efficacy of laws depended upon their not being understood.
Lyman Beecher
Upon the whole, I commend my own conduct in this affair extremely, and regard it as a very happy instance of circumspection and tenderness. Some mothers would have insisted on their daughter's accepting so good an offer on the first overture; but I could not reconcile it to myself to force Frederica into a marriage from which her heart revolted, and instead of adopting so harsh a measure merely propose to make it her own choice, by rendering her thoroughly uncomfortable till she does accept him--but enough of this tiresome girl.
Jane Austen (Lady Susan)
I believe there is nothing that our better nature needs more absolutely than music, no other art of perfection possesses that strange power of gliding into our every emotion and forming a part of it; poetry, we can only enjoy at times when the spirit is attuned to it, either by calmness, joy, or certain sorts of emotion; but in times of intense grief, who could command one's attention to listen to poetry however beautiful, who could but cast a glance upon the most perfect paintings or even regard the loveliness of flowers, their very brightness of hue would make discord in the heart, & seem unkindly gay; but whose sorrow is not soothed by music, the loud mellow organ peals, with its bewildering solemnity sinks into the soul, mixes with most powerful feelings, calms & sanctifies it in happiness our joys are expressed & increased by music from the sweet lullaby, sung by a low voiced mother, to the last sad requiem at the grave, music has been unceasingly the soul's true panacea. Music that on our spirit gentlier lies Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.
Pauline Decaradeuc Heyward (A Confederate Lady Comes of Age: The Journal of Pauline DeCaradeuc Heyward, 1863-1888)
My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip. I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister,—Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Some call me nature, others call me Mother Nature. ... How you choose to live each day, whether you regard me or disregard me, doesn't really matter to me. One way or other, your actions will determine your fate, not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?
Conservation International
More than economic dependency of the wife and children on the husband and father is needed to preserve the institution of the authoritarian family [and its support of the authoritarian state]. For the suppressed classes, this dependency is endurable only on condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is suspended as completely as possible in women and in children. The wife must not figure as a sexual being, but solely as a child-bearer. Essentially, the idealization and deification of motherhood, which are so flagrantly at variance with the brutality with which the mothers of the toiling masses are actually treated, serve as means of preventing women from gaining a sexual consciousness, of preventing the imposed sexual repression from breaking through and of preventing sexual anxiety and sexual guilt-feelings from losing their hold. Sexually awakened women, affirmed and recognized as such, would mean the complete collapse of the authoritarian ideology. Conservative sexual reform has always made the mistake of merely making a slogan of "the right of woman to her own body," and not clearly and unmistakably regarding and defending woman as a sexual being, at least as much as it regards and defends her as a mother. Furthermore, conservative sexual reform based its sexual policies predominantly on the function of procreation, instead of undermining the reactionary view that equates sexuality and procreation.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
As you say, DeWar, our shame comes from the comparison. We know we might be generous and compassionate and good, and could behave so, yet something else in our nature makes us otherwise." She smiled a small, empty smile. "Yes, I feel something I recognise as love. Something I remember, something I may discuss and mill and theorise over." She shook her head. "But it is not something I know. I am like a blind woman taking about how a tree must look, or a cloud. Love is something I have a dim memory of, the way someone who went blind in their early childhood might recall the sun, or the face of their mother. I know affection from my fellow whore-wives, DeWar, and I sense regard from you and feel some in return. I have a duty to the Protector, just as he feels he has a duty to me. As far as that goes, I am content. But love? That is for the living, and I am dead.
Iain M. Banks (Inversions (Culture, #6))
Initiation asks the son to move his love energy away from the attractive mother to the relatively unattractive serpent father. All that is ashes work. When a man enters this stage he regards Descent as a holy thing, he increases his tolerance for ashes, eats dust as snake do, increases his stomach for terrifying insights, deepens his ability to digest the evil facts of history, accepts the job of working seven years under the ground, leaves the granary at will through the rat’s hole, bites on cinders, learns to shudder, and follows the voice of the old mole below the ground.
Robert Bly (Iron John: A Book About Men)
When the aged Tobias of the Old Testament felt his end drawing near, he called his son and gave him wise counsels. Regarding his mother, he admonished him in this touching manner: “Honour thy mother all the days of her life: for thou must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for thee.
Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
Perhaps for one second you would sit on the lid of your irreducible ego and listen to me. I regard you, masculine or feminine, as the greatest genius the world has ever produced. I agree you have a superior knowledge of your own affairs and are far more capable than the Consulate, for example, of weighing up the risks. Suppose even, for the sake of conjecture, that I don’t give a brass bagcheek whether the first Tartar you meet doesn’t drag you back to his tents and elect you Broody Mother to the whole bloody tribe. All I am saying is that, first, if anything happens to you, I’ve got to face Francis Crawford and also your uncle.
Dorothy Dunnett (Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4))
Profitable as it was to him, Jefferson hated slavery. He regarded it as a curse to Virginia and wished to see it abolished throughout the United States. Not, however, in his lifetime. He said that his generation was not ready for such a step. He would leave that reform to the next generation of Virginians, and was sure they would make Virginia the first southern state to abolish slavery. He thought the young men coming of age in postwar Virginia were superbly qualified to bring the American Revolution to this triumphant conclusion because, as he said, these young men had “sucked in the principles of liberty as if it were their mother’s milk.”18
Stephen E. Ambrose (Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West)
I was regarded as fair-looking for one of my race, and for four years a white man—I spare the world his name—had base designs upon me. I do not care to dwell upon this subject, for it is one that is fraught with pain. Suffice it to say, that he persecuted me for four years, and I—I—became a mother. The child of which he was the father was the
Elizabeth Keckley (Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House)
MAMA: My mother taught me that you can follow behind everyone and walk in the dust, or you can walk ahead through the unbroken thorny brush. You may get blood on your ankles, but you arrive first and not covered in the residue of others. This land is fertile and blessed in many regards, and the men ain’t the only one’s entitled to its bounty.
Lynn Nottage
The too tender mother, the too indulgent father, the too generous and affectionate friend, may sometimes, perhaps, on account of the softness of their natures, be looked upon with a species of pity, in which, however, there is a mixture of love, but can never be regarded with hatred and aversion, nor even with contempt, unless by the most brutal and worthless of mankind. It is always with concern, with sympathy and kindness, that we blame them for the extravagance of their attachment. There is a helplessness in the character of extreme humanity which more than any thing interests our pity. There is nothing in itself which renders it either ungraceful or disagreeable. We only regret that it is unfit for the world, because the world is unworthy of it, and because it must expose the person who is endowed with it as a prey to the perfidy and ingratitude of insinuating falsehood, and to a thousand pains and uneasinesses, which, of all men, he the least deserves to feel, and which generally too he is, of all men, the least capable of supporting.
Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
Worldwide, gods tend to look like their human worshippers, e.g., in this case, black-skinned. Interestingly, all around the Mediterranean the Christian Madonna and Child appear in very old images and statuary as black, like their Egyptian predecessors: Examples may be found in the Cathedral at Moulins, the Chapel of the Virgin at Loretto, the Church of St. Stephen at Genoa, that of St. Francisco at Pisa and in many other places. There is "scarcely an old church in Italy where some remains of the black virgin and black child are not to be met with." In this regard, "the black god Chrishna was but a symbol of the Sun, and...the black virgin mother was nothing more than the virgin of the constellations, painted black..."146
D.M. Murdock (Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled)
A child, obeying his father and mother, goes wherever he is told, east or west, south or north. And the yin and yang - how much more are they to a man than father or mother! Now that they have brought me to the verge of death, if I should refuse to obey them, how perverse I would be! What fault is it of theirs? The Great Clod burdens me with form, labors me with life, eases me in old age, and rests me in death. So if I think well of my life, for the same reason I must think well of my death. When a skilled smith is casting metal, if the metal should leap up and say, 'I insist upon being made into a Moye!' he would surely regard it as very inauspicious metal indeed. Now, having had the audacity to take on human form once, if I should say, 'I don't want to be anything but a man! Nothing but a man!', the Creator would surely regard me as a most inauspicious sort of person. So now I think of heaven and earth as a great furnace, and the Creator as a skilled smith. Where could he send me that would not be all right? I will go off to sleep peacefully, and then with a start I will wake up.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
Gifford took her damp hand and pushed a ring onto her finger. "I give myself to you." "I receive you." It sounded more like a croak. "And I, Jane Grey, hereby declare my devotion to you. I swear to love you, parley with you, be faithful to you, and make you the happiest man in the world." The original version of the vow her mother had suggested had said "obey you" but that simply would not do. It was enough that Jane had agreed to keep the word love where she had tried to insert the phrase "feel some sort of emotion", but with obey she could not bend. She would consult him regarding decisions. She didn't have to listen to him after that. And she would be faithful. She might try to make him happy, unless he insisted on being unreasonable.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
Not one word was said by Moses or Aaron as to the wickedness of depriving a human being of his liberty. Not a word was said in favor of liberty. Not the slightest intimation that a human being was justly entitled to the product of his own labor. Not a word about the cruelty of masters who would destroy even the babes of slave mothers. It seems to me wonderful that this God did not tell the king of Egypt that no nation could enslave another, without also enslaving itself; that it was impossible to put a chain around the limbs of a slave, without putting manacles upon the brain of the master. Why did he not tell him that a nation founded upon slavery could not stand? Instead of declaring these things, instead of appealing to justice, to mercy and to liberty, he resorted to feats of jugglery. Suppose we wished to make a treaty with a barbarous nation, and the president should employ a sleight-of-hand performer as envoy extraordinary, and instruct him, that when he came into the presence of the savage monarch, he should cast down an umbrella or a walking stick, which would change into a lizard or a turtle; what would we think? Would we not regard such a performance as beneath the dignity even of a president? And what would be our feelings if the savage king sent for his sorcerers and had them perform the same feat? If such things would appear puerile and foolish in the president of a great republic, what shall be said when they were resorted to by the creator of all worlds? How small, how contemptible such a God appears!
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Perched upon the stones of a bridge The soldiers had the eyes of ravens Their weapons hung black as talons Their eyes gloried in the smoke of murder To the shock of iron-heeled sticks I drew closer in the cripple’s bitter patience And before them I finally tottered Grasping to capture my elusive breath With the cockerel and swift of their knowing They watched and waited for me ‘I have come,’ said I, ‘from this road’s birth, I have come,’ said I, ‘seeking the best in us.’ The sergeant among them had red in his beard Glistening wet as he showed his teeth ‘There are few roads on this earth,’ said he, ‘that will lead you to the best in us, old one.’ ‘But you have seen all the tracks of men,’ said I ‘And where the mothers and children have fled Before your advance. Is there naught among them That you might set an old man upon?’ The surgeon among this rook had bones Under her vellum skin like a maker of limbs ‘Old one,’ said she, ‘I have dwelt In the heat of chests, among heart and lungs, And slid like a serpent between muscles, Swum the currents of slowing blood, And all these roads lead into the darkness Where the broken will at last rest. ‘Dare say I,’ she went on,‘there is no Place waiting inside where you might find In slithering exploration of mysteries All that you so boldly call the best in us.’ And then the man with shovel and pick, Who could raise fort and berm in a day Timbered of thought and measured in all things Set the gauge of his eyes upon the sun And said, ‘Look not in temples proud, Or in the palaces of the rich highborn, We have razed each in turn in our time To melt gold from icon and shrine And of all the treasures weeping in fire There was naught but the smile of greed And the thick power of possession. Know then this: all roads before you From the beginning of the ages past And those now upon us, yield no clue To the secret equations you seek, For each was built of bone and blood And the backs of the slave did bow To the laboured sentence of a life In chains of dire need and little worth. All that we build one day echoes hollow.’ ‘Where then, good soldiers, will I Ever find all that is best in us? If not in flesh or in temple bound Or wretched road of cobbled stone?’ ‘Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘This blood would cease its fatal flow, And my surgeon could seal wounds with a touch, All labours will ease before temple and road, Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘Crows might starve in our company And our talons we would cast in bogs For the gods to fight over as they will. But we have not found in all our years The best in us, until this very day.’ ‘How so?’ asked I, so lost now on the road, And said he, ‘Upon this bridge we sat Since the dawn’s bleak arrival, Our perch of despond so weary and worn, And you we watched, at first a speck Upon the strife-painted horizon So tortured in your tread as to soak our faces In the wonder of your will, yet on you came Upon two sticks so bowed in weight Seeking, say you, the best in us And now we have seen in your gift The best in us, and were treasures at hand We would set them humbly before you, A man without feet who walked a road.’ Now, soldiers with kind words are rare Enough, and I welcomed their regard As I moved among them, ’cross the bridge And onward to the long road beyond I travel seeking the best in us And one day it shall rise before me To bless this journey of mine, and this road I began upon long ago shall now end Where waits for all the best in us. ―Avas Didion Flicker Where Ravens Perch
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
It is an illusion that we were ever alive, Lived in the houses of mothers, arranged ourselves By our own motions in a freedom of air. Regard the freedom of seventy years ago. It is no longer air. The houses still stand, Though they are rigid in rigid emptiness. Even our shadows, their shadows, no longer remain. The lives these lived in the mind are at an end. They never were . . . The sounds of the guitar Were not and are not. Absurd. The words spoken Were not and are not. It is not to be believed. The meeting at noon at the edge of the field seems like An invention, an embrace between one desperate clod And another in a fantastic consciousness, In a queer assertion of humanity: A theorem proposed between the two— Two figures in a nature of the sun, In the sun’s design of its own happiness, As if nothingness contained a métier, A vital assumption, an impermanence In its permanent cold, an illusion so desired That the green leaves came and covered the high rock, That the lilacs came and bloomed, like a blindness cleaned, Exclaiming bright sight, as it was satisfied, In a birth of sight. The blooming and the musk Were being alive, an incessant being alive, A particular being, that gross universe.
Wallace Stevens
This is what I do.” I had written three books. It was only after I finished Song of Solomon that I thought, “Maybe this is what I do only.” Because before that I always said that I was an editor who also wrote books or a teacher who also wrote. I never said I was a writer. Never. And it’s not only because of all the things you might think. It’s also because most writers really and truly have to give themselves permission to win. That’s very difficult, particularly for women. You have to give yourself permission, even when you’re doing it. Writing every day, sending books off, you still have to give yourself permission. I know writers whose mothers are writers, who still had to go through a long process with somebody else—a man or editor or friend or something—to finally reach a point where they could say, “It’s all right. It’s okay.” The community says it’s okay. Your husband says it’s okay. Your children say it’s okay. Your mother says it’s okay. Eventually everybody says it’s okay, and then you have all the okays. It happened to me: even I found a moment after I’d written the third book when I could actually say it. So you go through passport and customs and somebody asks, “What do you do?” And you print it out: WRITE.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
Philosophy, as defined by Fichte, is the "science of sciences." Its aim was to solve the problems of the world. In the past, when all exact sciences were in their infancy, philosophy had to be purely speculative, with little or no regard to realities. But if we regard philosophy as a Mother science, divided into many branches, we find that those branches have grown so large and various, that the Mother science looks like a hen with her little ducklings paddling in a pond, far beyond her reach; she is unable to follow her growing hatchlings. In the meantime, the progress of life and science goes on, irrespective of the cackling of metaphysics. Philosophy does not fulfill her initial aim to bring the results of experimental and exact sciences together and to solve world problems. Through endless, scientific specialization scientific branches multiply, and for want of coordination the great world-problems suffer. This failure of philosophy to fulfill her boasted mission of scientific coordination is responsible for the chaos in the world of general thought. The world has no collective or organized higher ideals and aims, nor even fixed general purposes. Life is an accidental game of private or collective ambitions and greeds.
Alfred Korzybski (Manhood of Humanity: The Science and Art of Human Engineering (Classic Reprint))
According to my file, I was abandoned on the steps of the children’s home in Telbury with a birth certificate tucked inside the shawl. The certificate stated my name, date of birth, and place of birth—which was Aldabury Maternity Hospital—and my birth mother’s name and address. All I have is my first name and date and place of birth. Everything else regarding my birth mother on the certificate seems to be false.
Lorna Peel (The Image of Her)
On one occasion Jimmy is said to have given the elderly, impoverished mother of a young hood five thousand dollars. The woman’s son was said to have owed his mother the money but had refused to pay her. Jimmy was apparently so incensed at this lack of regard for motherhood that he gave the woman the five thousand in the morning, claiming it was from her son, and then allegedly killed the woman’s son before dusk.
Nicholas Pileggi (Wiseguy: The 25th Anniversary Edition)
I thought the holy writings were interesting, clever, sometimes even beautiful, but they also seemed clearly to be invented, invented and put into words by someone who was very smart and perhaps a little sly. The most convincing things they spoke of, which regarded the way we ought to move through life, seemed to have little to do with my mother’s superstitions and the daily offerings of incense and expensive foods.
Meng Jin (Little Gods)
The police are not witlings; they will know that each of you may have had a private reason for your reserve not relevant to their investigation; but they will also know that if one of you was involved with Carol Mardus regarding the baby, and if you killed Ellen Tenzer, you would certainly have omitted her name from your list and you would not have identified the picture. So they will be importunate with all of you.
Rex Stout (The Mother Hunt (Nero Wolfe, #38))
Animals think differently from men with respect to females; with them the female is regarded as the productive being. There is no paternal love among them, but there is such a thing as love of the children of a beloved, and habituation to them. In the young, the females find gratification for their lust of dominion; the young are a property, an occupation, something quite comprehensible to them, with which they can chatter: all this conjointly is maternal love, - it is to be compared to the love of the artist for his work. Pregnancy has made the females gentler, more expectant, more timid, more submissively inclined; and similarly intellectual pregnancy engenders the character of the contemplative, who are allied to women in character: they are the masculine mothers. Among animals the masculine sex is regarded as the beautiful sex.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
Trees stand at the heart of ecology, and they must come to stand at the heart of human politics. Tagore said, Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. But people—oh, my word—people! People could be the heaven that the Earth is trying to speak to. “If we could see green, we’d see a thing that keeps getting more interesting the closer we get. If we could see what green was doing, we’d never be lonely or bored. If we could understand green, we’d learn how to grow all the food we need in layers three deep, on a third of the ground we need right now, with plants that protected one another from pests and stress. If we knew what green wanted, we wouldn’t have to choose between the Earth’s interests and ours. They’d be the same!” One more click takes her to the next slide, a giant fluted trunk covered in red bark that ripples like muscle. “To see green is to grasp the Earth’s intentions. So consider this one. This tree grows from Colombia to Costa Rica. As a sapling, it looks like a piece of braided hemp. But if it finds a hole in the canopy, the sapling shoots up into a giant stem with flaring buttresses.” She turns to regard the image over her shoulder. It’s the bell of an enormous angel’s trumpet, plunged into the Earth. So many miracles, so much awful beauty. How can she leave so perfect a place? “Did you know that every broadleaf tree on Earth has flowers? Many mature species flower at least once a year. But this tree, Tachigali versicolor, this one flowers only once. Now, suppose you could have sex only once in your entire life. . . .” The room laughs now. She can’t hear, but she can smell their nerves. Her switchback trail through the woods is twisting again. They can’t tell where their guide is going. “How can a creature survive, by putting everything into a one-night stand? Tachigali versicolor’s act is so quick and decisive that it boggles me. You see, within a year of its only flowering, it dies.” She lifts her eyes. The room fills with wary smiles for the weirdness of this thing, nature. But her listeners can’t yet tie her rambling keynote to anything resembling home repair. “It turns out that a tree can give away more than its food and medicines. The rain forest canopy is thick, and wind-borne seeds never land very far from their parent. Tachigali’s once-in-a-lifetime offspring germinate right away, in the shadow of giants who have the sun locked up. They’re doomed, unless an old tree falls. The dying mother opens a hole in the canopy, and its rotting trunk enriches the soil for new seedlings. Call it the ultimate parental sacrifice. The common name for Tachigali versicolor is the suicide tree.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
Darya Alexandrovna, in a dressing jacket, and with her now scanty, once luxuriant and beautiful hair fastened up with hairpins on the nape of her neck, with a sunken, thin face and large, startled eyes, which looked prominent from the thinness of her face, was standing among a litter of all sorts of things scattered all over the room, before an open bureau, from which she was taking something. Hearing her husband's steps, she stopped, looking towards the door, and trying assiduously to give her features a severe and contemptuous expression. She felt she was afraid of him, and afraid of the coming interview. She was just attempting to do what she had attempted to do ten times already in these last three days—to sort out the children's things and her own, so as to take them to her mother's—and again she could not bring herself to do this; but now again, as each time before, she kept saying to herself, "that things cannot go on like this, that she must take some step" to punish him, put him to shame, avenge on him some little part at least of the suffering he had caused her. She still continued to tell herself that she should leave him, but she was conscious that this was impossible; it was impossible because she could not get out of the habit of regarding him as her husband and loving him. Besides this, she realized that if even here in her own house she could hardly manage to look after her five children properly, they would be still worse off where she was going with them all. As it was, even in the course of these three days, the youngest was unwell from being given unwholesome soup, and the others had almost gone without their dinner the day before. She was conscious that it was impossible to go away; but, cheating herself, she went on all the same sorting out her things and pretending she was going.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Artemis was a goddess of the hunt, and also of the wild animals that she hunted.  She demonstrated the principles of conservation by being the protectress of young animals, ensuring the propagation of the species.  References were frequently made to Artemis in regard to this role.  Hence she is Artemis sovereign of all creatures,[ccxx] and Artemis Agrotera [of the wilderness], Potnia Theron [Lady of wild beasts].[ccxxi] In his manual for hunters, Xenophon describes the prayer the hunter spoke as he released the hunting hounds, "To thee thy share of this chase, Lord Apollo; and thine to thee, O Huntress Queen!"[ccxxii] As well as protecting young animals Artemis also protected their mothers, and hunting female animals could have fatal consequences.  On one occasion a hunter called Saron of Troizenos was chasing a doe when it swam into the sea.  He drowned and his body washed up at the grove of Artemis at the Phoibaian lagoon.
Sorita d'Este (Artemis: Virgin Goddess of the Sun, Moon & Hunt)
Wendy sat by herself in the kitchen, regarding the notebook and the abandoned and untouched tea plates. Madeleines were all the rage right now and it had been wonderful spending the afternoon trying to make them with Mother, but after the first day they had sort of dried out and become a little tasteless. She picked one up and tentatively dipped it in her cooling tea, then nibbled its now soft edge. Much better. They almost tasted a little bit like sunshine- like warm, exotic days...
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning)
The reader who is familiar with the First Edition will note, in the Second Edition, a very slight and subtle shift of focus, a change of emphasis, in the direction of Pragmatism. Some of the later Chapters, if read uncritically, could even lead to a sort of optimism regarding Man’s ultimate ability to take charge of Systems—those created by his own hand as well as those originated by Mother Nature. The reader is hereby warned that any such optimism is the reader’s own responsibility.
According to the gospels, Christ healed diseases, cast out devils, rebuked the sea, cured the blind, fed multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, walked on the sea, cursed a fig tree, turned water into wine and raised the dead. How is it possible to substantiate these miracles? The Jews, among whom they were said to have been performed, did not believe them. The diseased, the palsied, the leprous, the blind who were cured, did not become followers of Christ. Those that were raised from the dead were never heard of again. Can we believe that Christ raised the dead? A widow living in Nain is following the body of her son to the tomb. Christ halts the funeral procession and raises the young man from the dead and gives him back to the arms of his mother. This young man disappears. He is never heard of again. No one takes the slightest interest in the man who returned from the realm of death. Luke is the only one who tells the story. Maybe Matthew, Mark and John never heard of it, or did not believe it and so failed to record it. John says that Lazarus was raised from the dead. It was more wonderful than the raising of the widow’s son. He had not been laid in the tomb for days. He was only on his way to the grave, but Lazarus was actually dead. He had begun to decay. Lazarus did not excite the least interest. No one asked him about the other world. No one inquired of him about their dead friends. When he died the second time no one said: “He is not afraid. He has traveled that road twice and knows just where he is going.” We do not believe in the miracles of Mohammed, and yet they are as well attested as this. We have no confidence in the miracles performed by Joseph Smith, and yet the evidence is far greater, far better. If a man should go about now pretending to raise the dead, pretending to cast out devils, we would regard him as insane. What, then, can we say of Christ? If we wish to save his reputation we are compelled to say that he never pretended to raise the dead; that he never claimed to have cast out devils. We must take the ground that these ignorant and impossible things were invented by zealous disciples, who sought to deify their leader. In those ignorant days these falsehoods added to the fame of Christ. But now they put his character in peril and belittle the authors of the gospels. Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one savior, one inspired book, and but one little narrow grass-grown path that leads to heaven. Why did he not again enter the temple and end the old dispute with demonstration? Why did he not confront the Roman soldiers who had taken money to falsely swear that his body had been stolen by his friends? Why did he not make another triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Why did he not say to the multitude: “Here are the wounds in my feet, and in my hands, and in my side. I am the one you endeavored to kill, but death is my slave”? Simply because the resurrection is a myth. The miracle of the resurrection I do not and cannot believe. We know nothing certainly of Jesus Christ. We know nothing of his infancy, nothing of his youth, and we are not sure that such a person ever existed. There was in all probability such a man as Jesus Christ. He may have lived in Jerusalem. He may have been crucified; but that he was the Son of God, or that he was raised from the dead, and ascended bodily to heaven, has never been, and, in the nature of things, can never be, substantiated.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Hobbes's natural philosophy is of the type classically represented by Democritean-Epicurean physics. Yet he regarded, not Epicurus or Democritus, but Plato, as "the best of the ancient philosophers." What he learned from Plato's natural philosophy was not that the universe cannot be understood if it is not ruled by divine intelligence. Whatever may have been Hobbes's private thoughts, his natural philosophy is as atheistic as Epicurean physics. What he learned from Plato's natural philosophy was that mathematics is "the mother of all natural science." By being both mathematical and materialistic-mechanistic, Hobbes's natural philosophy is a combination of Platonic physics and Epicurean physics. From his point of view, premodern philosophy or science as a whole was "rather a dream than science" precisely because it did not think of that combination. His philosophy as a whole may be said to be the classic example of the typically modern combination of political idealism with a materialistic and atheistic view of the whole.
Leo Strauss (Natural Right and History (Walgreen Foundation Lectures))
Then, quite sharply, it occurred to her that the Director never talked about Religion; nor did the Dimbles nor Camilla. They talked about God. They had no picture in their minds of some mist steaming upward: rather of strong, skilful hands thrust down to make, and mend, perhaps even to destroy. Supposing one were a thing after all—a thing designed and invented by Someone Else and valued for qualities quite different from what one had decided to regard as one’s true self? Supposing all those people who, from the bachelor uncles down to Mark and Mother Dimble, had infuriatingly found her sweet and fresh when she wanted them to find her also interesting and important, had all along been simply right and perceived the sort of thing she was? Supposing Maleldil on this subject agreed with them and not with her? For one moment she had a ridiculous and scorching vision of a world in which God Himself would never understand, never take her with full seriousness. Then, at one particular corner of the gooseberry patch, the change came.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3))
Impressive socioeconomic advancement has been made and the black middle class has grown, but wide black-white gaps remain, not only with regard to income but also respecting educational achievement, labor-force participation, incarceration rates, and other measures. While blacks were steadily increasing their numbers in Congress and among elected officials at the state and local levels in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, black welfare dependency rose, as did black teen unemployment, black crime, and black births to single mothers.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
The case I’m working on involves mind control of a child who claims Aquino abused her. She has stun gun prod marks and claims to have been sexually assaulted at Bohemian Grove. And that’s just the beginning. Another mother, Denise Beaumont, has a lawsuit before the Santa Cruz Grand Jury regarding molestation of her daughter and government cover-up. Her case includes a massive letter writing campaign reaching out to many of the same people in DC that you did, from Louis Sullivan at the Department of Human Services to the White House.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
Above all, we must stop declaring what is patently untrue, that Americans, through some rare good fortune, escaped the burden of class that prevailed in the mother country of England. Far more than we choose to acknowledge, our relentless class system evolved out of recurring agrarian notions regarding the character and potential of the land, the value of labor, and critical concepts of breeding. Embarrassing lower-class populations have always been numerous, and have always been seen on the North American continent as waste people.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
Where there are so many negroes upon places as upon ours," wrote an Alabama woman to the governor, "it is quite necessary that there should be men who can and will controle them, especially at this time." Faced with the prospect of being left with sixty slaves, a Mississippi planter's wife expressed similar sentiments. "Do you think," she demanded of GovernorJohn Pettus, "that this woman's hand can keep them in check?" Women compelled to assume responsibility over slaves tended to regard their new role more as a duty than an opportunity.
Drew Gilpin Faust (Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War: Women of the Slave-Holding South in the American Civil War)
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
Was that what it meant to be a daughter? To have hair that smelled of your mother? To use the same soap? Or was it a shared passion, a shared frustration? Meg had never wanted to kneel in the dirt and plant bulbs like her mum; she longed to be considered - not with kindness, but with curiosity, with regard for her thoughts, with respect for her words. Was that what the mess on the floor was? Evidence of a curious mind? Fragments of frustration? An effort to understand and explain? Were Meg’s longings akin to Esme and was that what it meant to be a daughter?
Pip Williams (The Dictionary of Lost Words)
Mr. Britten is a farmer with substantial property, very prosperous,” she told me. “And since the death of poor Mrs. Britten, he is in sore need of a wife for himself and a mother for his little ones. You would be mother of six!” I tilted my head and regarded her thoughtfully as I considered my reply. In the end, I chose unvarnished truth. “Mrs. Clutterthorpe, I can hardly think of any fate worse than becoming the mother of six. Unless perhaps it were plague, and even then I am persuaded a few disfiguring buboes and possible death would be preferable to motherhood.
Deanna Raybourn (A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1))
After Mary confessed that dream to him, Jack got to wondering how women felt about motherhood once their children are grown and didn't need them anymore. How do they close the storybooks, box up the toys, and pack up the memories of the deeply lived-in childhoods of their babies? Childhoods that fly by quickly and selfishly, without regard to a mother's unconditional love and sacrifice. How does a mother go on being a mother when one day she wakes up and finds that her arms are empty and her grown children are walking away from her without so much as a glance back?
Lilli Jolgren Day (The Wonder of Ordinary Magic)
As I walked toward the front door, a little motion to the left caught my eye. Jenny Sells stood in the hallway, a silent wraith. She regarded me with luminous green eyes, like her mother’s, like the dead aunt whose namesake she was. I stopped and faced her. I’m not sure why. “You’re the wizard,” she said, quietly. “You’re Harry Dresden. I saw your picture in the newspaper, once. The Arcane.” I nodded. She studied my face for a long minute. “Are you going to help my mom?” It was a simple question. But how do you tell a child that things just aren’t that simple, that some questions don’t have simple answers—or any answer at all? I looked back into her too-knowing eyes, and then quickly away. I didn’t want her to see what sort of person I was, the things I had done. She didn’t need that. “I’m going to do everything I can to help your mom.” She nodded. “Do you promise?” I promised her. She thought that over for a moment, studying me. Then she nodded. “My daddy used to be one of the good guys, Mr. Dresden. But I don’t think that he is anymore.” Her face looked sad. It was a sweet, unaffected expression. “Are you going to kill him?” Another simple question. “I don’t want to,” I told her. “But he’s trying to kill me. I might not have any choice.” She swallowed and lifted her chin. “I loved my Aunt Jenny,” she said. Her eyes brightened with tears. “Momma won’t say, and Billy’s too little to figure it out, but I know what happened.” She turned, with more grace and dignity than I could have managed, and started to leave. Then said, quietly, “I hope you’re one of the good guys, Mr. Dresden. We really need a good guy. I hope you’ll be all right.” Then she vanished down the hall on bare, silent feet.
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
When the angels of the Bible spoke to human beings, did they speak in words? I don’t think so. I think the angels said nothing, but they were heard in the purest silence of the human spirit, and were understood beyond words. On a more human scale there are many things beyond. A mother watches her child leave home. Her heart is still. Her eyes are full of tears and prayer. That is beyond. An old man with wrinkled hands is carrying his grandchild. With startled eyes the baby regards his grandfather. The old man, with the knowledge of Time’s sadness in his heart, and with love in his eyes, looks down at the child. The meeting of their eyes. That is beyond. A famous writer, feeling his life coming to an end, writes these words: ‘My soul looks back and wonders – just how I got I got over.’ A young woman, standing on a shore, looks out into an immense azure sea rimmed with the silver line of the horizon. She looks out into the obscure heart of destiny, and is overwhelmed by a feeling both dark and oddly joyful. She may be thinking something like this: ‘My soul looks forward and wonders- just how am I to get across.’ That is beyond.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
It turns out that French parents don’t start their babies off on bland, colorless grains. From the first bite, they serve babies flavor-packed vegetables. The first foods that French babies typically eat are steamed and pureed green beans, spinach, carrots, peeled zucchini, and the white part of leeks. American babies eat vegetables, too, of course, sometimes even from the start. But we Anglophones tend to regard vegetables as obligatory vitamin-delivery devices and mentally group them in a dull category called “vegetables.” Although we’re desperate for our kids to eat vegetables, we don’t always expect them to.
Pamela Druckerman (Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting))
Paco Fuentes," Mrs. Peterson says, pointing to the table behind Mary. The handsome young man with pale blue eyes like his mother's and smoky black hair like his father's takes his assigned seat. Mrs. Peterson regards her new student over the glasses perched on her nose. "Mr. Fuentes, don't think this class will be a piece of cake because your parents got lucky and developed a medication to halt the progression of Alzheimer's. Your father never did finish my class and he flunked one of my tests, although I have a feeling your mother was the one who should have failed. But that just means I'll expect extra from you.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
I think I should have enjoyed meeting your mother. How a woman could manage to raise two domineering tyrants like you and Mikhail is beyond me.” His dark eyes laughed at her. “But we are charismatic, sexy, handsome, and always right.” Raven hooked her foot around his chair and sent him crashing to the floor. Hands on hips, she regarded him with a superior glint. “Carpathian men are vain, dear brother-in-law,” she proclaimed, “but not too bright.” Jacques glared up at her with mock ferocity. “You have a mean streak in you, woman. Whatever happened to a soft, sweet, Yes, my lord, you’re always right?” “Try the Dark Ages. Your age is showing.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
I fancy my father thought me an odd child, and had little fondness for me; though he was very careful in fulfilling what he regarded as a parent's duties. But he was already past the middle of life, and I was not his only son. My mother had been his second wife, and he was five-and-forty when he married her. He was a firm, unbending, intensely orderly man, in root and stem a banker, but with a flourishing graft of the active landholder, aspiring to county influence: one of those people who are always like themselves from day to day, who are uninfluenced by the weather, and neither know melancholy nor high spirits. I held him in great awe, and appeared more timid and sensitive in his presence than at other times; a circumstance which, perhaps, helped to confirm him in the intention to educate me on a different plan from the prescriptive one with which he had complied in the case of my elder brother, already a tall youth at Eton. My brother was to be his representative and successor; he must go to Eton and Oxford, for the sake of making connexions, of course: my father was not a man to underrate the bearing of Latin satirists or Greek dramatists on the attainment of an aristocratic position. But intrinsically, he had slight esteem for "those dead but sceptred spirits"; having qualified himself for forming an independent opinion by reading Potter's Aeschylus, and dipping into Francis's Horace. To this negative view he added a positive one, derived from a recent connexion with mining speculations; namely, that scientific education was the really useful training for a younger son. Moreover, it was clear that a shy, sensitive boy like me was not fit to encounter the rough experience of a public school. Mr. Letherall had said so very decidedly. Mr. Letherall was a large man in spectacles, who one day took my small head between his large hands, and pressed it here and there in an exploratory, suspicious manner - then placed each of his great thumbs on my temples, and pushed me a little way from him, and stared at me with glittering spectacles. The contemplation appeared to displease him, for he frowned sternly, and said to my father, drawing his thumbs across my eyebrows - 'The deficiency is there, sir-there; and here,' he added, touching the upper sides of my head, 'here is the excess. That must be brought out, sir, and this must be laid to sleep.' I was in a state of tremor, partly at the vague idea that I was the object of reprobation, partly in the agitation of my first hatred - hatred of this big, spectacled man, who pulled my head about as if he wanted to buy and cheapen it. ("The Lifted Veil")
George Eliot (The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics))
The Count of Monte Cristo, Edgar Allan Poe, Robinson Crusoe, Ivanhoe, Gogol, The Last of the Mohicans, Dickens, Twain, Austen, Billy Budd…By the time I was twelve, I was picking them out myself, and my brother Suman was sending me the books he had read in college: The Prince, Don Quixote, Candide, Le Morte D’Arthur, Beowulf, Thoreau, Sartre, Camus. Some left more of a mark than others. Brave New World founded my nascent moral philosophy and became the subject of my college admissions essay, in which I argued that happiness was not the point of life. Hamlet bore me a thousand times through the usual adolescent crises. “To His Coy Mistress” and other romantic poems led me and my friends on various joyful misadventures throughout high school—we often sneaked out at night to, for example, sing “American Pie” beneath the window of the captain of the cheerleading team. (Her father was a local minister and so, we reasoned, less likely to shoot.) After I was caught returning at dawn from one such late-night escapade, my worried mother thoroughly interrogated me regarding every drug teenagers take, never suspecting that the most intoxicating thing I’d experienced, by far, was the volume of romantic poetry she’d handed me the previous week. Books became my closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
J. M. W. Turner is regarded by many as Britain’s greatest artist, whose works have become iconic symbols of the Romantic art movement. He became known as ‘the painter of light’, due to his increasing interest in brilliant colours and the contrast between light and dark in his many landscapes and seascapes. Turner was born on 23 April 1775 in London. His father, William Turner (1745-1829), was a barber and wig maker and his mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. In 1785, his mother suffered from severe mental illness and was admitted first to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street in 1799 and then Bethlem Hospital in 1800, where she died four years later.
J.M.W. Turner (Delphi Collected Works of J. M. W. Turner (Illustrated) (Masters of Art Book 5))
You must also know clearly what you want out of the situation, and be prepared to clearly articulate your desire. It’s a good idea to tell the person you are confronting exactly what you would like them to do instead of what they have done or currently are doing. You might think, “if they loved me, they would know what to do.” That’s the voice of resentment. Assume ignorance before malevolence. No one has a direct pipeline to your wants and needs—not even you. If you try to determine exactly what you want, you might find that it is more difficult than you think. The person oppressing you is likely no wiser than you, especially about you. Tell them directly what would be preferable, instead, after you have sorted it out. Make your request as small and reasonable as possible—but ensure that its fulfillment would satisfy you. In that manner, you come to the discussion with a solution, instead of just a problem. Agreeable, compassionate, empathic, conflict-averse people (all those traits group together) let people walk on them, and they get bitter. They sacrifice themselves for others, sometimes excessively, and cannot comprehend why that is not reciprocated. Agreeable people are compliant, and this robs them of their independence. The danger associated with this can be amplified by high trait neuroticism. Agreeable people will go along with whoever makes a suggestion, instead of insisting, at least sometimes, on their own way. So, they lose their way, and become indecisive and too easily swayed. If they are, in addition, easily frightened and hurt, they have even less reason to strike out on their own, as doing so exposes them to threat and danger (at least in the short term). That’s the pathway to dependent personality disorder, technically speaking.198 It might be regarded as the polar opposite of antisocial personality disorder, the set of traits characteristic of delinquency in childhood and adolescence and criminality in adulthood. It would be lovely if the opposite of a criminal was a saint—but it’s not the case. The opposite of a criminal is an Oedipal mother, which is its own type of criminal.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It's a shame your mother didn't opt for something more extravagant," Akiko says, examining her nails. "When you get married, please make sure there are at least some guests to see our dresses. This is a waste of Oscar de la Renta," Noriko adds, glancing down meaningfully. "Thank you," I say sincerely. "For all you did for us. For my mom. For me." I regard them intently, liquid gathering in my eyes. "It's not a big deal," Akiko says with a sniff, clearly uncomfortable. Human emotions. So messy. "Um," Noriko says to Akiko. "I think she's going to try to hug us." Before they can object, I wrap them up in my arms, embracing them both. Akiko pats my back awkwardly, and Noriko is stiff. "I love you," I say, releasing them. "And I know you love me, too.
Emiko Jean (Tokyo Dreaming (Tokyo Ever After, #2))
The common attachment and regard of a mother, nay, mere habit, will make her beloved by her children, if she does nothing to incur their hate. Even the restraint she lays them under, if well directed, will increase their affection, instead of lessening it; because a state of dependence being natural to the sex, they perceive themselves formed for obedience." This is begging the question; for servitude not only debases the individual, but its effects seem to be transmitted to posterity. Considering the length of time that women have been dependent, is it surprising that some of them hug their chains, and fawn like the spaniel? "These dogs," observes a naturalist, "at first kept their ears erect; but custom has superseded nature, and a token of fear is become a beauty.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
So, I know what the ladies like,” Dad said. “I used to be a bad boy myself.” Kami raised her eyebrows. “Oh, you were?” “I won’t go into it, because I know you honor and respect me as your parent, and I don’t want to spoil your illusions,” said Dad. “Also I don’t want to give you any ideas. Let’s just say there were fires.” “Dad! You set fires?” “Fires happened,” said Dad. “And then there was your mother. She had no time for any of that. She didn’t try to reform me. She wasn’t allured by my wiles.” “You had wiles?” Kami inquired, with even more disbelief than she’d shown regarding the fires. “Damn good wiles,” said Dad. “And I was smoother than that sullen blond kid too. Way smoother.” There was a glint in his eye. “You were saying about Mum?” Kami asked hastily.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
The law of Kia is its ever original purpose, undetermined, without change the emanations, through our conception they materialize and are of that duality, man takes this law from this refraction, his ideas-reality. With what does he balance his ecstasy? Measure for measure by intense pain, sorrow, and miseries. With what his rebellion? Of necessity slavery! Duality is the law, realization by suffering, relates and opposes by units of time. Ecstasy for any length of time is difficult to obtain, and laboured heavily for. Various degrees of misery alternating with gusts of pleasure and emotions less anxious, would seem the condition of consciousness and existence. Duality in some form or another is consciousness as existence. It is the illusion of time, size, entity, etc.-the world's limit. The dual principle is the quintessence of all experience, no ramification has enlarged its early simplicity, but is only its repetition, modification or complexity, never is its evolution complete. It cannot go further than the experience of self-so returns and unites again and again, ever an anti-climax. Forever retrogressing to its original simplicity by infinite complication is its evolution. No man shall understand "Why" by its workings. Know it as the illusion that embraces the learning of all existence. The most aged one who grows no wiser, it may be regarded as the mother of all things. Therefore believe all experience to be illusion, and the law of duality. As space pervades an object both in and out, similarly within and beyond this ever-changing cosmos, there is this secondless principle.
Austin Osman Spare (The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy)
these fond parents were not blind to the value of education it was that they realized only its external value. That is to say, they could not look beyond the fact that education enabled folk to get on in the world so far as the acquisition of rank, crosses, and money was concerned. Certain evil rumours had arisen regarding the necessity of learning not only one's letters, but also various branches of science which until now had remained unknown to the world of Oblomovka; but, as I say, the good folk of that place had only the dimmest, the remotest, comprehension of any internal demand for education, and therefore desired to secure for their little Ilya only certain showy advantages, and no more--to wit, a fine uniform, and the getting of him into the Civil Service (his mother even foresaw him become a provincial governor!).
Ivan Goncharov (Oblomov)
[Funeral sermon, 02/08/1880] How is it with this young man here? Well, I wish it were otherwise; I wish he had lived a very good Saint, which, however, he did not do. We have not come here to indulge in any kind of false sentimentality. He was a drunkard; that is a truth and many of you know it. . . . His father lived up to the Gospel, and died strong in the faith; and his mother has been a very good woman, so far as I know; I have never known anything against her. This boy has caused her a great deal of trouble; and I have been sorry for him. Well, should we tell things? Yes, always; that day is not far distant when the coverings will be taken from the face of all people, and we shall all stand naked, as it were, before God--both you and I and this young man. Well this boy,--I call him a boy, he is a young man, and is a nephew of mine by marriage; and I would not want to say anything about him on that account, neither would I falsify the young man on that account; but let us tell things and understand them as they are. . . . I would say, I do not utter these things to cause any unpleasant feeling in the bosom of the family; they cannot help it. If I could have helped it, I would; if the mother could have helped it, she would; if the sister could have helped it, she would; if the friends could have helped it, they would. . . . We are now talking not to the dead, but to the living. I would say, Let us avoid these evils, they lead down to death; let us seek to live our religion, to obey the laws of God and keep his commandments. And in regard to the future, we leave that in the hands of the Almighty who doeth all things well; and we will do all we can to promote the comfort of the living and the dead.
John Taylor
A of my parents floats into my head the moment I close my eyes. Once when I was about 11 I stopped at the doorway to my parents bedroom to watch them make the bed together. My father smiled at my mother as the pulled the sheets back and pulled them back in perfect synchronicity. I knew by the way he looked at her that he held her in a higher regard than he did himself no selfishness or insecurity kept him from seeing the full extent of her goodness as it so often with the rest of us. That love might only be possible in Abmigation. I do not know my father Erudite born Abnigation grown he often found it difficult to live up to the demands of his chosen faction just as I did but he tried and he knew true selflessness when he saw it." Tris saw the true meaning of love through her parents versus Tobias only saw abuse and grief and his perception of what a relationship or love should be is obviously be.
Veronica Roth
Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that "order of love," as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: "Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church." This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact.
Pope Pius XI (Casti Connubii: On Christian Marriage)
A sincere man who sits down at night and pens that which his soul believes to be right, that which his soul tells him will be good for humanity, is exercising a power over the world that is beneficial. We should hail that expression of greatness, of goodness, with thanksgiving. But the insincere man, the man who will sit down at night and distort facts, who will wilfully misrepresent truth, who is a traitor to the divine within him which is calling, nay longing for truth, what shall we say of that man? He is publishing falsehoods to the world, giving poison to young, innocent souls who are longing for truth. Oh, there is no condemnation too strong for the hypocrite, for the betrayer of Christ. We will not condemn him, but God will, in His justice; He must. Too much time is taken up by our young people, and by our older ones, too, in reading useless pamphlets, useless books; "It is worse than useless," says Farrar, in that excellent little work on "Great Books:". . . . Men in Israel, it is time that we take a stand against vile literature. It is poisonous to the soul. It is the duty of a parent to put the poison, that is in the house, on the highest shelf, away from that innocent little child who knows not the danger of it. It is the duty of the parent also to keep the boy's mind from becoming polluted with the vile trash that is sometimes scattered--nay, that is daily distributed among us. There is inconsistency in a man's kneeling down with his family in prayer, and asking God to bless the leader of our Church, and then put into the hands of the boy, who was kneeling there, a paper that calls the leader a hypocrite. It ought not to be done; it is poison to the soul. How can we tell? May be those are the great men who are writing the scurrilous articles, and these whom they attack are not the great men? Some may say: Give the children an opportunity to hear both sides. Yes, that is all well and good; but if a man were to come into your home and say to you that your mother is not a good woman, you would know he lied; wouldn't you? And you wouldn't let your children hear him. If a man came and told you that your brother was dishonest, and you had been with him all your life and knew him to be honest, you would know the man lied. So when they come and tell you the Gospel is a hypocritical doctrine, taught by this organization, when they tell you the men at the head are insincere, you know they lie; and you can take the same firm stand on that, being sincere yourself as you could in regard to your mother and brother. Teach your children, your boys and girls everywhere, to keep away from every bad book and all bad literature, especially that which savors of hatred, or envy, or malice, that which bears upon it the marks of hypocrisy, insincerity, edited by men who have lost their manhood.
David O. McKay
There is a light adversarial relationship between publishers and authors that I think probably works effectively. But that’s why I was very quiet about writing. I don’t know what made me write it. I think I just wanted to finish the story so that I could have a good time reading it. But the process was what made me think that I should do it again, and I knew that that was the way I wanted to live. I felt very coherent when I was writing that book. But I still didn’t call myself a writer. And it was only with my third book, Song of Solomon, that I finally said—not at my own initiative I’m embarrassed to tell you but at somebody else’s initiative—“This is what I do.” I had written three books. It was only after I finished Song of Solomon that I thought, “Maybe this is what I do only.” Because before that I always said that I was an editor who also wrote books or a teacher who also wrote. I never said I was a writer. Never. And it’s not only because of all the things you might think. It’s also because most writers really and truly have to give themselves permission to win. That’s very difficult, particularly for women. You have to give yourself permission, even when you’re doing it. Writing every day, sending books off, you still have to give yourself permission. I know writers whose mothers are writers, who still had to go through a long process with somebody else—a man or editor or friend or something—to finally reach a point where they could say, “It’s all right. It’s okay.” The community says it’s okay. Your husband says it’s okay. Your children say it’s okay. Your mother says it’s okay. Eventually everybody says it’s okay, and then you have all the okays. It happened to me: even I found a moment after I’d written the third book when I could actually say it. So you go through passport and customs and somebody asks, “What do you do?” And you print it out: WRITE.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
But he refused to answer when addressed in English and forbade the speaking of English in his home. His daughters understood very little German. (Their mother insisted that the girls speak only English in the home. She reasoned that the less they understood German, the less they would find out about the cruelty of their father.) Consequently, the four daughters grew up having little communion with their father. He never spoke to them except to curse them. His Gott verdammte came to be regarded as hello and good-bye. When very angry, he’d call the object of his temper, Du Russe! This he considered his most obscene expletive. He hated Austria. He hated America. Most of all he hated Russia. He had never been to that country and had never laid eyes on a Russian. No one understood his hatred of that dimly known country and its vaguely known people. This was the man who was Francie’s maternal grandfather. She hated him the way his daughters hated him. *
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Leaving off her rock kicking, Daisy regarded Lillian with a frown. “I’ve been wondering…why are we so determined to marry into the peerage, and live in a huge crumbly old house and eat slimy English food, and try to give instructions to a bunch of servants who have absolutely no respect for us?” “Because it’s what Mother wants,” Lillian replied dryly. “And because no one in New York will have either of us.” It was an unfortunate fact that in the highly striated New York society, men with newly earned fortunes found it quite easy to marry well. But heiresses with common bloodlines were desired neither by the established blue bloods nor by the nouveau riche men who wanted to better themselves socially. Therefore, husband hunting in Europe, where upper-class men needed rich wives, was the only solution. Daisy’s frown twisted into an ironic grin. “What if no one will have us here either?” “Then we’ll become a pair of wicked old spinsters, romping back and forth across Europe.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Up to this moment in her life, Audrey had never evinced the slightest sentimentality about children. Insofar as she had recognized them as an independent category of personhood, she had tended to think of them as trainee humans. Inadequate adults. She loved her own daughters well enough - wanted them to be happy and so forth - but they had failed to inspire in her that mad, lioness passion to which other mothers so preeningly testified. She was still in some shock regarding the servility of motherhood - the sheer, thankless drudgery of it. All the cleaning up of messes she had made and preparing meals she did not want to eat. She fed her girls regularly and diligently brushed their teeth twice a day and made sure they were more or less appropriately dressed for the weather, but beyond a dull sense of satisfaction at having fulfilled her maternal duties, she received no pleasure from performing these tasks. Try as she might, she she could not feel her daughters' happiness and sorrows as her own.
Zoë Heller (The Believers)
We knew Benevolence was a tender virtue and mother-like. If upright Rectitude and stern Justice were peculiarly masculine, Mercy had the gentleness and the persuasiveness of a feminine nature. We were warned against indulging in indiscriminate charity, without seasoning it with justice and rectitude. Masamuné expressed it well in his oft-quoted aphorism, “Rectitude carried to excess hardens into stiffness; Benevolence indulged beyond measure sinks into weakness.” Fortunately Mercy was not so rare as it was beautiful, for it is universally true that “the bravest are the tenderest, the loving are the daring.” Bushi no nasaké—the tenderness of a warrior—had a sound which appealed at once to whatever was noble in us; not that the mercy of a samurai was generically different from the mercy of any other being, but because it implied mercy where mercy was not a blind impulse, but where it recognized due regard to justice, and where mercy did not remain merely a certain state of mind, but where it was backed with power to save or kill.
Inazō Nitobe (Bushido: The Soul of Japan (AmazonClassics Edition))
But it’s a pretense, it’s artificial,” Adelia protested. “Love, honor, respect. When are they ever extended to everyday women? I doubt if that boy actually practices what he’s singing. It’s… it’s a pleasant hypocrisy.” “Oh, I have a high regard for hypocrisy,” the little nun said. “It pays lip service to an ideal which must, therefore, exist. It recognizes that there is a Good. In its own way, it is a token of civilization. You don’t find hypocrisy among the beasts of the field.” “What good does the Good do if it is not adhered to?” “That is what I have been wondering,” Mother Edyve said calmly. “And I have come to the conclusion that perhaps the early Christians wondered it, too, and perhaps that Eleanor, in her fashion, has made a start by setting a brick in a foundation on which, with God’s help, our daughters’ daughters can begin to build a new and better Jerusalem.” “Not in time for Emma,” Adelia said. “No.” Perhaps, Adelia thought drearily, it was only a very old woman who could look hopefully on a single brick laid in a wasteland.
Ariana Franklin (The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death, #2))
For the poverty in which my mother and father lived, for the failure of the mill, all the hard times, for the awful sheep, for constant tiredness, thank you, my God! For lips, which I was feeding too much, for the dirty noses of the children, for the guarded sheep, I thank you! Thank you, my God, for the prosecutor and the police commissioner, for the policemen, and for the harsh words of Father Peyramale! For the days in which you came, Mary, for the ones in which you did not come, I will never be able to thank you…only in Paradise. For the slap in the face, for the ridicule, the insults, and for those who suspected me for wanting to gain something from it, thank you, my Lady. For my spelling, which I never learned, for the memory that I never had, for my ignorance and for my stupidity, thank you. For the fact that my mother died so far away, for the pain I felt when my father instead of hugging his little Bernadette called me, “Sister Marie-Bernard”, I thank you, Jesus. I thank you for the heart you gave me, so delicate and sensitive, which you filled with bitterness. For the fact that Mother Josephine proclaimed that I was good for nothing, thank you. For the sarcasm of the Mother Superior: her harsh voice, her injustices, her irony and for the bread of humiliation, thank you. Thank you that I was the privileged one when it came to be reprimanded, so that my sisters said, “How lucky it is not to be Bernadette.” Thank you for the fact that it is me, who was the Bernadette threatened with imprisonment because she had seen you, Holy Virgin; regarded by people as a rare animal; that Bernadette so wretched, that upon seeing her, it was said, “Is that it?” For this miserable body which you gave me, for this burning and suffocating illness, for my decaying tissues, for my de-calcified bones, for my sweats, for my fever, for my dullness and for my acute pains, thank you, my God. And for this soul which you have given me, for the desert of inner dryness, for your night and your lightening, for your silences and your thunders, for everything. For you - when you were present and when you were not—thank you, Jesus.
Bernadette Soubirous
Tradition has it that late in life Epictetus retired from teaching introduction and withdrew to the peace and quiet of family life, under conditions imposed by old age: that is, he became a parent by adopting rather than fathering a child, and took into his home a female servant to serve as a kind of surrogate mother to the child and domestic servant for himself. That he had absented himself from family life for so long shows that he regarded philosophy as a jealous mistress who demanded practically all his time and attention, which family life would not allow. That this renunciation of family life represented a real sacrifice is suggested by the fact that he took to it immediately upon retiring. He evidently thought he had earned the comforts of home after devoting most of his life to improving the lives of others – the successive generations of students who had passed through his school. We have no more news of Epictetus beyond this. After creating this version of a family he was evidently content to settle into it and live out the balance of his years in obscurity.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings (Classics))
Earlier I described the component stages of sleep. Here, I reveal the attendant virtues of each. Ironically, most all of the "new," twenty-first century discoveries regarding sleep were delightfully summarized in 1611 in Macbeth, act two, scene two, where Shakespeare prophetically states that sleep is "the chief nourisher in life's feast."* Perhaps, with less highfalutin language, your mother offered similar advice, extolling the benefits of sleep in healing emotional wounds, helping you learn and remember, gifting you with the solutions to challenging problems, and preventing sickness and infection. Science, it seems has simply been evidential, providing proof of everything your mother, and apparently Shakespeare, knew about the wonders of sleep. ---------------------------------- *"Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, source labour's bath Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast,--" William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Folger Shakespeare Library (New York: Simon & Schuster; first edition, 2003).
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
I finish off the wine and attempt to write. I must write, I have to write. Writing is why I’m here. I stare at my open notebook, blank for all but one badly drawn eye. A few swirls. The words I don’t know scratched over and over again. Surrounded by limp flowers. I long for my first writing office, the waiting area of the hair salon where my mother worked when I was a child. I wrote with such feverish abandon on that sagging couch between the dusty Buddha and the dustier fake flowers, beneath framed photos of women smiling under impossibly, painfully elaborate arrangements of hair. Clients would sit in waiting area chairs nearby, pretending to read magazines but all the while regarding me askance, a lanky child in a Swamp Thing T-shirt clutching her mermaid journal close, staring at them through bangs I barely ever let my mother cut. I was afraid she’d gouge out my eyes. Whatcha workin’ on there? they might ask me. Uncovering your secret shame, I thought. Don’t mind my daughter, my mother would say as she led them to a chair, tilted their heads back into a wash sink where they’d immediately close their eyes.
Mona Awad (Bunny)
The communists believe that they have found the path to deliverance from our evils. According to them, man is wholly good and is well-disposed to his neighbour; but the institution of private property has corrupted his nature. The ownership of private wealth gives the individual power, and with it the temptation to ill-treat his neighbour; while the man who is excluded from possession is bound to rebel in hostility against his oppressor. If private property were abolished, all wealth held in common, and everyone allowed to share in the enjoyment of it, ill-will and hostility would disappear among men. Since everyone’s needs would be satisfied, no one would have any reason to regard another as his enemy; all would willingly undertake the work that was necessary.I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communist system; I cannot enquire into whether the abolition of private property is expedient or advantageous. But I am able to recognize that the psychological premisses on which the system is based are an untenable illusion. In abolishing private property we deprive the human love of aggression of one of its instruments, certainly a strong one, though certainly not the strongest; but we have in no way altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in its nature. Aggressiveness was not created by property. It reigned almost without limit in primitive times, when property was still very scanty, and it already shows itself in the nursery almost before property has given up its primal, anal form; it forms the basis of every relation of affection and love among people (with the single exception, perhaps, of the mother’s relation to her male child). If we do away with personal rights over material wealth, there still remains prerogative in the field of sexual relationships, which is bound to become the source of the strongest dislike and the most violent hostility among men who in other respects are on an equal footing. If we were to remove this factor, too, by allowing complete freedom of sexual life and thus abolishing the family, the germ-cell of civilization, we cannot, it is true, easily foresee what new paths the development of civilization could take; but one thing we can expect, and that is that this indestructible feature of human nature, will follow it there.
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
There was however one real romance in his [J. Gresham Machen's] life, though unhappily it was not destined to blossom into marriage. One would never have learned of it from the files of his personal letters since it seems that he did not trust himself to write on the subject, extraordinary though that may seem when one considers how fully he confided in his mother. He did tell his brother Arthur about it, and in a conference concerning the projected biography in March, 1944, the elder brother told me that the story to be complete would have to include a reference to Gresham's one love affair. He identified the lady by name, as a resident of Boston, and as "intelligent, beautiful, exquisite." He further stated that apparently they were utterly devoted to each other for a time, but that the devotion never developed into an engagement to be married because she was a Unitarian. Miss S., as she may be designated, made a real effort to believe, but could not bring her mind and heart to the point where she could share his faith. On the other hand, as Arthur Machen hardly needed to add, Gresham Machen could not possibly think of uniting his life with one who could not come to basic agreement with him with regard to the Christian faith. . . . Machen had been advising her with respect to study of the Bible. He must have counseled her to read the Gospels through consecutively. He had a copy of his course of Bible study prepared for the Board of Christian education especially bound for her. He sent her copies of his books as they appeared. He had copies of Dr. Erdman's little commentaries and other books sent to her. On her part she indicated an interest in these things, but evidently it was stimulated more by the desire to please Machen than by an earnest agitation of spirit. At any rate her mind was set awhirl as she read some of the books and she was forced to come to the conclusion that, judged by his views as set forth for example in Christianity and Liberalism, published in 1923, if she was a Christian at all, she was a pretty feeble one. How tragic an ending to Machen's one real romance or approach to it! It does serve to underscore once again, however, how utterly devoted he was to his Lord. He could be counted upon in the public and conspicuous arenas of conflict but also in the utterly private relations of life to be true to his dearly-bought convictions.
Ned B. Stonehouse
In what way can it act as master? Through scores of incarnations, the ‘self ’ we end up with is derived from the attributes with which we endow our God, the abstract Ego or conceptive principles. All conception is a denial of the Kiã, and hence we human beings are its opposition, our own evil. As we are the offspring of ourselves, we are the conflict between whatever we deny and assert of the Kiã. It would seem that we cannot be too careful in our choice, for it determines the body we inhabit. Thus forever from ‘self ’ do I fashion the Kiã, which may be without likeness, but which may be regarded as the truth. From this process is the bondage made, and not through intellect shall we be free from it. The law of Kiã is always its own original purpose, undetermined by anything else, and its emanations are unchanging. Through our own conceptive process things materialize, and take their nature from that duality. Human beings take their law from this refraction, and their ideas create their reality. With what do they balance their ecstasy? They pay measure for measure with intense pain, sorrow, and miseries. With what do they balance their rebellion? Of necessity, with slavery! Duality is the law, and realization by experience relates and opposes by units of time. Ecstasy for any length of time is difficult to obtain, and takes a lot of work. The conditions of consciousness and existence would seem to be various degrees of misery alternating with gusts of pleasure and some more subtle emotions. Consciousness of existence consists of duality in some form or other. From it are created the illusions of time, size, entity, etc.: the world’s limit. The dual principle is the quintessence of all experience, and no ramification has enlarged its primordial simplicity, but can only be its repetition, modification or complexity: its evolution can never be complete. It can never go further than the experience of self, so returns and unites again and again, ever an anti-climax. Its evolution consists of forever returning to its original simplicity by infinite complication. No man shall understand its ‘reason why’ by looking at its workings. Know it as the illusion that embraces the learning of all existence. It is the most aged one who grows no wiser, and is the mother of all things. Therefore believe all ‘experience’ to be an illusion, and the result of the law of duality. Just as space pervades an object both inside and outside it, similarly within and beyond this ever-changing cosmos, there is this single principle.
Austin Osman Spare (Book of Pleasure in Plain English)
I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God. (5) What a way to go. What a way to pray as you go. In Luke’s account of the Crucifixion, the words of Psalm 31:5 are the last Jesus prayed before he gave up his spirit and died.118 Some biblical scholars believe these words were also the first prayer every Jewish mother taught her child to pray before going to sleep at night. When Jesus prayed this prayer on the cross, he added “Father” to it. Jesus died, it seems, the way a child falls to sleep in his father’s arms.119 Falling to sleep has long been regarded as a prefigurement, a kind of rehearsal for dying. My mother taught me a prayer as a child that I prayed at night. For years it was a comfort, a sweet, innocuous palliative, until I thought about the words I was praying: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” That bit about dying before I wake kept me awake, but not indefinitely. As anxious as I got about the possibility of dying while I slept, I still succumbed to sleep. I eventually had to give up and let go. The choice was not whether to fall into sleep but how: in trust and hope or in fear and despair. The same is true when it comes to dying.
Ben Patterson (God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms)
As much depended on the priest's willingness to listen to his imploring cry, a leprous Israelite would often go up to the spot whence he could call on him desponding or fearful. And the priest, however willing, might be busy so as not to be able to come at once. As, with most wistful eye, the man gazes on the living, cheerful camp, he sees one and another meet the priest and pour some message or entreaty into his ear—so that the priest is detained, and hurried away to this and that part of the camp, while the trembling, weary leper waits at the gate. In this we see that our high priest hath the pre-eminence— never too busy—never unwilling—never unable. "He waits that he may be gracious." (Isa. 30.18). Neither the business nor the bliss of heaven will detain him from a wretched soul. He who in the days of his flesh forgot to eat, and even ceased to feel faintness, when a soul stood before him in his leprosy, has nothing now to keep him from instant compassion. He who on the cross, under the dark shade of the approaching cloud of wrath and of death, heard the heaving of his mother's bosom and the rush of anguish through her heart—has nothing now to hinder him freely to direct his ever ready compassions towards the coming leper. Even as this is true in regard to those already come, so also is it to the coming.
Andrew A. Bonar
What were you singing?" Merritt asked. "A lullaby?" "An old song from the islands, about a selkie." Seeing the word was unfamiliar, he explained, "A changeling, who looks like a seal in the water but takes the form of a man on land. In the song he woos a human maiden, who gives birth to his son. Seven years later, he comes back to take the child." Keir hesitated before adding absently, "But before they leave, the selkie tells the mother he'll give the boy a gold chain to wear on his neck, so she'll recognize him if they meet someday." "Are she and her son ever reunited?" Merritt asked. Keir shook his head. "Someone brings her the gold chain one day, and she realizes he's dead. Shot by-" He broke off as he saw Merritt's face begin to crumple. "Och," he exclaimed softly. "No... dinna do that..." "It's so terribly sad," she said in a watery voice, damning herself for being emotional. A chuckle broke from Keir as he moved closer. "I won't tell you the rest, then." His hand cupped the side of her face, his thumb wiping an escaping tear. "'Tis only a song, lass. Ah, you've a tender heart." His blue eyes sparkled as he looked down at her. "I warn you, no more tears or I'll have to put you on my shoulder and pat you asleep as I did the bairnie." It left Merritt temporarily speechless, that he sincerely seemed to believe she would regard that as a threat.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
Falling in love has been often regarded as the supreme adventure, the supreme romantic accident. In so much as there is in it something outside ourselves, something of a sort of merry fatalism, this is very true. Love does take us and transfigure and torture us. It does break our hearts with an unbearable beauty, like the unbearable beauty of music. But in so far as we have certainly something to do with the matter; in so far as we are in some sense prepared to fall in love and in some sense jump into it; in so far as we do to some extent choose and to some extent even judge—in all this falling in love is not truly romantic, is not truly adventurous at all. In this degree the supreme adventure is not falling in love. The supreme adventure is being born. There we do walk suddenly into a splendid and startling trap. There we do see something of which we have not dreamed before. Our father and mother do lie in wait for us and leap out on us, like brigands from a bush. Our uncle is a surprise. Our aunt is, in the beautiful common expression, a bolt from the blue. When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world that we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.
G.K. Chesterton (In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton)
a Confucian declaration of faith, a profoundly religious articulation of the meaning of being human; Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and even such a small creature as I finds an intimate place in their midst. Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature. All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions. … Even those who are tired, infirm, crippled, or sick; those who have no brothers or children, wives or husbands, are all my brothers [and sisters] who are in distress and have no one to turn to. When the time comes, to keep him from harm—this is the care of a son. To rejoice in Heaven and to have no anxiety—this is filial piety at its purest. One who knows the principles of transformation will skillfully carry forward the undertakings [of Heaven and Earth], and one who penetrates spirit to the highest degree will skillfully carry out their will. Do nothing shameful in the recesses of your own house and thus bring no dishonor to them. Preserve your mind and nourish your nature and thus (serve them) with untiring effort. … Wealth, honor, blessing, and benefits are meant for the enrichment of my life, while poverty, humble station, and sorrow are meant to help me to fulfillment. In life I follow and serve [Heaven and Earth]. In death I will be at peace.
Arvind Sharma (Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Preeminent Scholars from Each Tradition)
For a second he thought she might chuckle, and honest to God he didn't know what he would do if she did. "Grey, society didn't give you that scar. A woman you treated with no more regard than your dirty stockings gave you that scar. You cannot blame the actions of one on so many." HIs fingers tightened into fists at his side. "I do not blame all of society for her actions, of course not." "How could you? You don't even know who it was, do you?" "No." But he had suspicions. He was almost completely certain it had been Maggie-Lady Devane. He'd broken her heart the worst of them all. "Of course you don't." Suddenly her eyes were very dark and hard. "I suspect it could be one of a large list of names, all women who you toyed with and cast aside." A heavy chill settled over Grey's chest at the note of censure, and disapproval in her tone. He had known this day would come, when she would see him for what he truly was. He just hadn't expected it quite so soon. "Yes," he whispered. "A long list indeed." "So it's no wonder you would rather avoid society. I would too if I had no idea who my enemies were. It's certainly preferable to apologizing to every conquest and hope that you got the right one." She didn't say it meanly, or even mockingly, but there was definitely an edge to her husky voice. "Is this what we've come to, Rose?" he demanded. "You've added your name to the list of the women I've wronged?" She laughed then, knocking him even more off guard. "Of course not. I knew what I was getting myself into when I hatched such a foolhardy plan. No, your conscience need not bear the weight of me, grey." When she moved to stand directly before him, just inches away, it was all he could do to stand his ground and not prove himself a coward. Her hand touched his face, the slick satin of her gloves soft against his cheek. "I wish you would stop living under all this regret and rejoin the world," she told him in a tone laden with sorrow. "You have so much to offer it. I'm sure society would agree with me if you took the chance." Before he could engineer a reply, there was another knock at the door. Rose dropped her hand just as her mother stuck her head into the room. "Ah, there you are. Good evening, Grey. Rose, Lord Archer is here." Rose smiled. "I'll be right there, Mama." When the door closed once more, she turned to Grey. "Let us put an end to this disagreeable conversation and put it in the past where it belongs. Friends?" Grey looked down at her hand, extended like a man's. He didn't want to take it. In fact, he wanted to tell her what she could do with her offer of friendship and barely veiled insults. He wanted to crush her against his chest and kiss her until her knees buckled and her superior attitude melted away to pleas of passion. That was what he wanted.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
At the heart of the Seven Principles approach is the simple truth that happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company. These couples tend to know each other intimately—they are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes, and dreams. They have an abiding regard for each other and express this fondness not just in the big ways but through small gestures day in and day out. Take the case of hardworking Nathaniel, who is employed by an import business and works very long hours. In another marriage, his schedule might be a major liability. But he and his wife, Olivia, have found ways to stay connected. They talk or text frequently throughout the day. When she has a doctor’s appointment, he remembers to call to see how it went. When he has a meeting with an important client, she’ll check in to see how it fared. When they have chicken for dinner, she gives him drumsticks because she knows he likes them best. When he makes blueberry pancakes for the kids on Saturday morning, he’ll leave the blueberries out of hers because he knows she doesn’t like them. Although he’s not religious, he accompanies her to church each Sunday because it’s important to her. And although she’s not crazy about spending a lot of time with their relatives, she has pursued a friendship with Nathaniel’s mother and sisters because family matters so much to him.
John M. Gottman (The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert)
Lady Rose, you grow lovelier every time I see you.” Had it been a stranger who spoke she might have been flustered, but since it was Archer, Grey’s younger brother, she merely grinned in response and offered her hand. “And your eyesight grows poorer every time you see me, sir.” He bowed over her fingers. “If I am blind it is only by your beauty.” She laughed at that, enjoying the good-natured sparkle in his bright blue eyes. He was so much more easy-natured than Grey, so much more full of life and flirtation. And yet, the family resemblance could not be denied even if Archer’s features were a little thinner, a little sharper. How would Grey feel if she found a replacement for him in his own brother? It was too low, even in jest. “Careful with your flattery, sir,” she warned teasingly. “I am trolling for a husband you know.” Archer’s dark brows shot up in mock horror. “Never say!” Then he leaned closer to whisper. “Is my brother actually fool enough to let you get away?” Rose’s heart lurched at the note of seriousness in his voice. When she raised her gaze to his she saw only concern and genuine affection there. “He’s packing my bags as we speak.” He laughed then, a deep, rich sound that drew the attention of everyone on the terrace, including his older brother. “Will you by chance be at the Devane musicale next week, Lord Archer?” “I will,” he remarked, suddenly sober. “As much as it pains me to enter that viper’s pit. I’m accompanying Mama and Bronte. Since there’s never been any proof of what she did to Grey, Mama refuses to cut the woman. She’s better than that.” Archer’s use of the word “cut” might have been ironic, but what a relief knowing he would be there. “Would you care to accompany Mama and myself as well?” He regarded her with a sly smile. “My dear, Lady Rose. Do you plan to use me to make my brother jealous?” “Of course not!” And she was honest to a point. “I wish to use your knowledge of eligible beaux and have you buoy my spirits. If that happens to annoy your brother, then so much the better.” He laughed again. This time Grey scowled at the pair of them. Rose smiled and waved. Archer tucked her hand around his arm and guided her toward the chairs where the others sat enjoying the day, the table before them laden with sandwiches, cakes, scones, and all kinds of preserves, cream, and biscuits. A large pot of tea sat in the center. “What are you grinning at?” Grey demanded as they approached. Archer gave his brother an easy smile, not the least bit intimidated. “Lady Rose has just accepted my invitation for both she and her dear mama to accompany us to the Devane musicale next week.” Grey stiffened. It was the slightest movement, like a blade of grass fighting the breeze, but Rose noticed. She’d wager Archer did too. “How nice,” he replied civilly, but Rose mentally winced at the coolness of his tone. He turned to his mother. “I’m parched. Mama, will you pour?” And he didn’t look at her again.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Princess,” he said with a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth, “why are you sitting here by yourself?” Rose heaved a sigh, her pudgy hands sifting through the glittering buttons on the string. Locating her favorite, the perfume button, she lifted it to her nose and smelled. “I'm waiting for Maude,” she said glumly. “She's giving Mama her medicine, and then we're to take supper in the nursery.” “Medicine,” Zachary repeated, frowning. Why in hell did Holly have need of medicine? She had been perfectly fine not two hours ago when they had ended their dance lesson. Had she met with some kind of accident? “For her megrims.” The child rested her chin in her hands. “And now there's no one to play with. Maude will try, but she's too tired to be much fun. She'll put me to bed early. Oh, I don't like it when Mama is ill!” Zachary regarded the child with a thoughtful scowl, wondering if it was possible for someone to develop megrims, an incapacitating case of them, in a mere two hours. What had caused them? All thoughts of his evening activities vanished abruptly. “Princess, you stay here,” he muttered. “I'm going to visit your mother.” “Will you?” Rose looked at him hopefully. “Can you make her better again, Mr. Bronson?” The innocent faith in the question somehow twisted his heart and made him laugh at the same time. He reached down and clasped his hand gently over the top of her dark head. “I'm afraid not, Rose. But I can make certain she has everything she needs.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Evidently Nehru, though a nationalist at the political level, was intellectually and emotionally drawn to the Indus civilization by his regard for internationalism, secularism, art, technology and modernity. By contrast, Nehru’s political rival, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, neither visited Mohenjo-daro nor commented on the significance of the Indus civilization. Nor did Nehru’s mentor, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, India’s greatest nationalist leader. In Jinnah’s case, this silence is puzzling, given that the Indus valley lies in Pakistan and, moreover, Jinnah himself was born in Karachi, in the province of Sindh, not so far from Mohenjo-daro. In Gandhi’s case, the silence is even more puzzling. Not only was Gandhi, too, an Indus dweller, so to speak, having been born in Gujarat, in Saurashtra, but he must surely also have become aware in the 1930s of the Indus civilization as the potential origin of Hinduism, plus the astonishing revelation that it apparently functioned without resort to military violence. Yet, there is not a single comment on the Indus civilization in the one hundred large volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. The nearest he comes to commenting is a touching remark recorded by the Mahatma’s secretary when the two of them visited the site of Marshall’s famous excavations at Taxila, in northern Punjab, in 1938. On being shown a pair of heavy silver ancient anklets by the curator of the Taxila archaeological museum, ‘Gandhiji with a deep sigh remarked: “Just like what my mother used to wear.
Andrew Robinson (The Indus)
We will always be black, you and I, even if it means different things in different places. France is built on its own dream, on its collection of bodies, and recall that your very name is drawn from a man who opposed France and its national project of theft by colonization. It is true that our color was not our distinguishing feature there, so much as the Americanness represented in our poor handle on French. And it is true that there is something particular about how the Americans who think they are white regard us—something sexual and obscene. We were not enslaved in France. We are not their particular “problem,” nor their national guilt. We are not their niggers. If there is any comfort in this, it is not the kind that I would encourage you to indulge. Remember your name. Remember that you and I are brothers, are the children of trans-Atlantic rape. Remember the broader consciousness that comes with that. Remember that this consciousness can never ultimately be racial; it must be cosmic. Remember the Roma you saw begging with their children in the street, and the venom with which they were addressed. Remember the Algerian cab driver, speaking openly of his hatred of Paris, then looking at your mother and me and insisting that we were all united under Africa. Remember the rumbling we all felt under the beauty of Paris, as though the city had been built in abeyance of Pompeii. Remember the feeling that the great public gardens, the long lunches, might all be undone by a physics, cousin to our rules and the reckoning of our own country, that we do not fully comprehend.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of the world. But their wallets always waited cold sober in the cloakroom while the Icelandic purse lay open for all in the middle of the table. Our men were the greater Vikings in this regard. “Reputation is king, the rest is crap!” my Bæring from Bolungarvík used to say. Every evening had to be legendary, anything else was a defeat. But the morning after they turned into weak-willed doughboys. But all the same I did succeed in loving them, those Icelandic clodhoppers, at least down as far as their knees. Below there, things did not go as well. And when the feet of Jón Pre-Jón popped out of me in the maternity ward, it was enough. The resemblances were small and exact: Jón’s feet in bonsai form. I instantly acquired a physical intolerance for the father, and forbade him to come in and see the baby. All I heard was the note of surprise in the bass voice out in the corridor when the midwife told him she had ordered him a taxi. From that day on I made it a rule: I sacked my men by calling a car. ‘The taxi is here,’ became my favourite sentence.
Hallgrímur Helgason
Open it.” Obeying, she lifted the lid. The box was lined with red velvet. Pulling aside a protective layer of cloth, she uncovered a tiny gold pocket watch on a long chain, the casing delicately engraved with flowers and leaves. A glass window on the hinged front cover revealed a white enamel dial and black hour and minute markers. “It belonged to my mother,” she heard Devon say. “It’s the only possession of hers that I have. She never carried it.” Irony edged his voice. “Time was never important to her.” Kathleen glanced at him in despair. She parted her lips to speak, but his fingertips came to her mouth with gentle pressure. “Time is what I’m giving you,” he said, staring down at her. His hand curved beneath her chin, compelling her to look at him. “There’s only one way for me to prove that I will love you and be faithful to you for the rest of my life. And that’s by loving you and being faithful to you for the rest of my life. Even if you don’t want me. Even if you choose not to be with me. I’m giving you all the time I have left. I vow to you that from this moment on, I will never touch another woman, or give my heart to anyone but you. If I have to wait sixty years, not a minute will have been wasted--because I’ll have spent all of them loving you.” Kathleen regarded him with wonder, a perilous warmth rising until it pushed fresh tears from her eyes. Cradling her face in both hands, Devon bent to kiss her in a brush of soft fire. “That being said,” he whispered, “I hope you’ll consider marrying me sooner rather than later.” Another kiss, slow and devastating. “Because I long for you, Kathleen, my dearest love. I want to sleep with you every night, and wake with you every morning.” His mouth caressed her with deepening pressure until her arms curled around his neck. “And I want children with you. Soon.” The truth was there, in his voice, his eyes, on his lips. She could taste it.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Stepfather—January 6, 1980 In addition to imitation mayonnaise, fake fur, sugar substitutes and plastic that wears like iron, the nuclear family has added another synthetic to its life: step-people. There are stepmothers, stepfathers, stepsons and stepdaughters. The reception they get is varied. Some are looked upon as relief pitchers who are brought in late but are optimistic enough to try to win the game. Some are regarded as double agents, who in the end will pay for their crimes. There are few generalizations you can make about step-people, except they’re all locked into an awkward family unit none of them are too crazy about. I know. I’ve been there. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I became a hyphenated child a few years after my “real” father died. I was the only stepchild in North America to have a stepfather who had the gall to make me go to bed when I was sleepy, do homework before I went to school, and who yelled at me for wearing bedroom slippers in the snow. My real father wouldn’t have said that. My stepfather punished me for sassing my mother, wouldn’t allow me to waste food and wouldn’t let me spend money I didn’t have. My real father wouldn’t have done that. My stepfather remained silent when I slammed doors in his face, patient when I insisted my mother take “my side” and emotionless when I informed him he had no rights. My real father wouldn’t have taken that. My stepfather paid for my needs and my whims, was there through all my pain of growing up...and checked himself out of the VA hospital to give me away at my wedding. My real father...was there all the time, and I didn’t know it. What is a “real” mother, father, son or daughter? “Real” translates to something authentic, genuine, permanent. Something that exists. It has nothing to do with labor pains, history, memories or beginnings. All love begins with one day and builds. “Step” in the dictionary translates to “a short distance.” It’s shorter than you think.
Erma Bombeck (Forever, Erma)
My mother made me into the type of person who is at ease standing in the middle of moving traffic, the type of person who ends up having more adventures and making more mistakes. Mum never stopped encouraging me to try, fail and take risks. I kept pushing myself to do unconventional things because I liked the reaction I got from her when I told her what I'd done. Mum's response to all my exploits was to applaud them. Great, you're living your life, and not the usual life prescribed for a woman either. Well done! Thanks to her, unlike most girls at the time, I grew up regarding recklessness, risk-taking and failure as laudable pursuits. Mum did the same for Vida by giving her a pound every time she put herself forward. If Vida raised her hand at school and volunteered to go to an old people's home to sing, or recited a poem in assembly, or joined a club, Mum wrote it down in a little notebook. Vida also kept a tally of everything she'd tried to do since she last saw her grandmother and would burst out with it all when they met up again. She didn't get a pound if she won a prize or did something well or achieved good marks in an exam, and there was no big fuss or attention if she failed at anything. She was only rewarded for trying. That was the goal. This was when Vida was between the ages of seven and fifteen, the years a girl is most self-conscious about her voice, her looks and fitting in, when she doesn't want to stand out from the crowd or draw attention to herself. Vida was a passive child – she isn't passive now. I was very self-conscious when I was young, wouldn't raise my voice above a whisper or look an adult in the eye until I was thirteen, but without me realizing it Mum taught me to grab life, wrestle it to the ground and make it work for me. She never squashed any thoughts or ideas I had, no matter how unorthodox or out of reach they were. She didn't care what I looked like either. I started experimenting with my clothes aged eleven, wearing top hats, curtains as cloaks, jeans torn to pieces, bare feet in the streets, 1930s gowns, bells around my neck, and all she ever said was, 'I wish I had a camera.
Viv Albertine (To Throw Away Unopened)
The children were pining for their father. They were dreaming about him. Though she had brought them up like they were her very life, though they knew nothing about their father, though their father did not even know about their birth or growing up—they wanted him. Sons needed to grow up inheriting their father’s name. She was Janaki—daughter of Mother Earth. Yet, she became Janaki—daughter of Janaka—under his care. These boys would get recognition only when they were regarded as Rama’s offspring. Rama was Dasarathi—‘of Dasaratha’—he was fond of that name, revered it and took pride in it. These children too wanted that kind of acknowledgement. It was indeed the order of the world. But would that happen? Would Rama embrace these children? Would he give them his name? Would he acknowledge them as descendants of his family? If that did not happen, how these innocent hearts would grieve! If Rama accepted them as his children and took them to Ayodhya, what would happen to her? She had left her father who loved her like his own life and taken Rama’s hand. Rama, whom she loved like her own life, had let go of her hand. These children whom she had brought up, caring for them like her own life—would she be able to hold on to them? Should she even attempt to do that? Would they remain in her grasp even if she did? Would they not run to their father if he called them? What did she have, other than the disgrace that Rama, bowing to public opinion, had heaped on her? In comparison, Rama had a kingdom—which was so dear to him that he could not give it up even for her sake. Would these children give up such a kingdom for her sake? Would their kshatriya blood allow them to do that? Sita’s mind was in turmoil. As a mother she had no power over them. Power never fascinated her anyway. She only had love—she loved her father; she loved Rama; she loved her children. There was no desire for power in any of those relationships. She did not want it. These children were nature’s gift to her. She had raised them like fawns. When fawns grow up, they go off into the forest, never to return. These children too … Sita struggled to rein in her mind.
Volga (The Liberation of Sita)
Writers take and remake everything we see around us: we metabolize the details of our loved ones, alter time and memory, shapeshift our personal and physical differences into transformative images that, when done with care, can create a world that feels more than accurate, but real. Doing this requires that we watch and listen to one another with great attention, something we’re generally discouraged from doing lest we come off as stalkers. From the time we’re children, we’re taught it’s rude to stare, nosy to eavesdrop; you can’t just root around in other people’s journals and closets and minds. I can’t ask my colleagues what they really think and feel about their marriages or children, because that’s private, and privacy requires that I pretend to believe what both strangers and loved ones tell me. Being polite means, ironically, paying less attention to the people I want to be close to, bypassing their foibles and idiosyncrasies and quiet outrages in the name of communal goodwill. But writing requires we pay attention to others at a level that can only be classified as rude. The writer sees the button trailing by its single thread on the pastor’s shirt; she tastes the acid sting behind a mother’s compliment. To observe closely leads the writer to the radical recognition of what both binds her to and separates her from others. It will push her to hear voices she’s been taught should remain silent. Oftentimes, these voices, and these truths, reveal something equally powerful, and profoundly unsettling, about ourselves. I want to end this letter to you by proposing something that some critics and sociologists might reject out of hand, which is the possibility that White people, too, might, by paying close attention to the voices around them and inside themselves, be able to experience double consciousness. If double consciousness is in part based on the understanding of the systemic power of Whiteness, and if it is also the realization that one’s self-regard can never be divorced from the gaze of others, then the practice of double consciousness might be available to everyone, including those who constitute the majority.
Paisley Rekdal (Appropriate: A Provocation)
What is the matter with her?” Lillian asked Daisy, bewildered by her mother’s docile manner. It was nice not to have to scrap and spar with Mercedes, but at the same time, now was when Lillian would have expected Mercedes to mow her over like a charging horse brigade. Daisy shrugged and replied puckishly, “One can only assume that since you’ve done the opposite of everything she has advised, and you seem to have brought Lord Westcliff up to scratch, Mother has decided to leave the matter in your hands. I predict that she will turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to anything you do, so long as you manage to keep the earl’s interest.” “Then… if I steal away to Lord Westcliff’s room later this evening, she won’t object?” Daisy gave a low laugh. “She would probably help you to sneak up there, if you asked.” She gave Lillian an arch glance. “Just what are you going to do with Lord Westcliff, alone in his room?” Lillian felt herself flush. “Negotiate.” “Oh. Is that what you call it?” Biting back a smile, Lillian narrowed her eyes. “Don’t be saucy, or I won’t tell you the lurid details later.” “I don’t need to hear them from you,” Daisy said airily. “I’ve been reading the novels that Lady Olivia recommended… and now I daresay I know more than you and Annabelle put together.” Lillian couldn’t help laughing. “Dear, I’m not certain that those novels are entirely accurate in their depiction of men, or of… of that.” Daisy frowned. “In what way are they not accurate?” “Well, there’s not really any sort of… you know, lavender mist and the swooning, and all the flowery speeches.” Daisy regarded her with sincere disgruntlement. “Not even a little swooning?” “For heaven’s sake, you wouldn’t want to swoon, or you might miss something.” “Yes, I would. I should like to be fully conscious for the beginning, and then I should like to swoon through the rest of it.” Lillian regarded her with startled amusement. “Why?” “Because it sounds dreadfully uncomfortable. Not to mention revolting.” “It’s not.” “Not what? Uncomfortable, or revolting?” “Neither,” Lillian said in a matter-of-fact tone, though she was struggling not to laugh. “Truly, Daisy. I would tell you if it were otherwise. It’s lovely. It really is.” Her younger sister contemplated that, and glanced at her skeptically. “If you say so.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Cam closed the door and leaned back against it, letting his caressing gaze fall on the small, tense form of his wife. He knew little of these matters. In both Romany and gadjo cultures, pregnancy and childbirth were a strictly female domain. But he did know that his wife was uneasy in situations she had no control over. He also knew that women in her condition needed reassurance and tenderness. And he had an inexhaustible supply of both for her. “Nervous?” Cam asked softly, approaching her. “Oh no, not in the slightest; it’s an ordinary circumstance, and only to be expected after—” Amelia broke off with a little gasp as he sat beside her and pulled her into his arms. “Yes, I’m a bit nervous. I wish … I wish I could talk to my mother. I’m not exactly certain how to do this.” Of course. Amelia liked to manage everything, to be authoritative and competent no matter what she did. But the entire process of childbearing would be one of increasing dependence and helplessness, until the final stage, when nature took over entirely. Cam pressed his lips into her gleaming dark hair, which smelled like sweetbriar. He began to rub her back in the way he knew she liked best. “We’ll find some experienced women for you to talk to. Lady Westcliff, perhaps. You like her, and God knows she would be forthright. And regarding what you’re going to do … you’ll let me take care of you, and spoil you, and give you anything you want.” He felt her relax a little. “Amelia, love,” he murmured, “I’ve wanted this for so long.” “Have you?” She smiled and snuggled tightly against him. “So have I. Although I had hoped it would happen at a more convenient time, when Ramsay House was finished, and Poppy was betrothed, and the family was settled—” “Trust me, with your family there will never be a convenient time.” Cam eased her back to lie on the bed with him. “What a pretty little mother you’ll be,” he whispered, cuddling her. “With your blue eyes, and your pink cheeks, and your belly all round with my child …” “When I grow large, I hope you won’t strut and swagger, and point to me as an example of your virility.” “I do that already, monisha.” Amelia looked up into his smiling eyes. “I can’t imagine how this happened.” “Didn’t I explain that on our wedding night?” She chuckled and put her arms around his neck. “I was referring to the fact that I’ve been taking preventative measures. All those cups of nasty-tasting tea. And I still ended up conceiving.” “Rom,” he said by way of explanation, and kissed her passionately.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
I think we all collectively have gone a little crazy. We worry about the wrong things. I have an acquaintance, Christy, whose twelve–year–old son managed to get into a very violent PG–13 movie. I don’t know how many machine–gunnings, explosions, and killings this boy wound up witnessing. As I recall, the boy had nightmares for a week afterward. That disturbed his mother—but not as much as if her son had stumbled into a different kind of movie. “At least there wasn’t any sex,” she said with dead–serious concern. “No,” I said, “probably not a single bare breast.” I didn’t add that most societies do not regard the adult female breast as being primarily an object of sexual desire. After all, it’s just a big gland that makes milk in order to feed hungry babies. “You know what I’m talking about,” she snapped. “I mean graphic sex.” We were sitting in a café drinking tea. She cut off the volume of her speech at the end of her sentence, whispering and exaggerating the consonants of S–E–X as if she needed me to read her lips—as if giving voice to this word might disturb our neighbors and brand her as a deviant. “I don’t think children should see that kind of thing,” she added. “What should children see?” I asked her. I am not arguing that we should let our children buy tickets to raunchy movies. I never let my daughters bring home steamy videos or surf the Internet for porn. But something is wrong when sex becomes a dirty word that we don’t even want our children to hear. Why must we regard almost anything sexual as tantamount to obscene? I think many of us are like Christy. We wouldn’t want our children—even our very sexual teenagers—to see certain kinds of movies, even if they happened to be erotic masterpieces, true works of art. It wouldn’t matter if a movie gave us a wonderful scene of a wife and a husband very lovingly making love with the conscious intention of engendering new life. It wouldn’t matter that sex is life, and therefore must be regarded as sacred as anything could possibly be. It wouldn’t even matter that not one of us could have come into the world but for the sexual union of our fathers and our mothers. If a movie portrayed a man and woman in the ecstatic dance of love—actually showed naked bellies and breasts, burning lips and adoring eyes and the glistening, impassioned organs of sex—most people I know would rather their children watch the vile action movie. They would rather their “innocent” sons and daughters behold the images of bloody, blasted bodies, torture, murder, and death.
David Zindell (Splendor)
Raven paced restlessly across the floor of the cabin, sending Jacques a little self-mocking smile. “I’m very good at waiting.” “I can see that,” Jacques agreed dryly. “Come on, Jacques”— Raven made the length of the room again, turned to face him—“ don’t you find this even a little bit nerve-racking?” He leaned lazily back in his chair, flashing a cocky grin. “Being caged up with a beautiful lunatic, you mean?” “Ha, ha, ha. Do all Carpathian males think they’re stand-up comedians?” “Just those of us with sisters-in-law who bounce off walls. I feel like I am watching a Ping-Pong ball. Settle down.” “Well, how long does something like this take? I thought he implied he’d be in and out of the hospital in two minutes, Jacques. What could have gone wrong? Mikhail was very upset.” “Mikhail did not actually say anything went wrong, did he?” Jacques asked, blankly innocent. Raven’s large blue-violet eyes settled on Jacques’s face thoughtfully. Jacques squirmed under her suspicious, steady gaze. There was far too much intelligence in her enormous eyes to suit him. He held up a placating hand. “Now, Raven.” “Don’t you now-Raven me. That brother of yours, worm that he is, male chauvinist unequaled in modern times, told you something he didn’t tell me, didn’t he?” Leaning back with studied casualness, Jacques tipped his chair to a precarious angle and raised an eyebrow. “Women have vivid imaginations. I think you have a suspicious nature due to your American upbringing.” “Intellect, Jacques, not imagination,” she corrected sweetly. “My American upbringing made me incredibly intelligent, and believe me, I can spot one of your pathetic Carpathian plots to protect the helpless woman from information you consider would make her fragile little delicate self unnecessarily fearful.” He grinned at her. “Carpathian males understand the fragile nature of women’s nerves. Women— especially American women— just cannot take the adversity that we men can.” “I think I should have enjoyed meeting your mother. How a woman could manage to raise two domineering tyrants like you and Mikhail is beyond me.” His dark eyes laughed at her. “But we are charismatic, sexy, handsome, and always right.” Raven hooked her foot around his chair and sent him crashing to the floor. Hands on hips, she regarded him with a superior glint. “Carpathian men are vain, dear brother-in-law,” she proclaimed, “but not too bright.” Jacques glared up at her with mock ferocity. “You have a mean streak in you, woman. Whatever happened to a soft, sweet, Yes, my lord, you’re always right?” “Try the Dark Ages.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Consider: Anyone can turn his hand to anything. This sounds very simple, but its psychological effects are incalculable. The fact that everyone between seventeen and thirty-five or so is liable to be (as Nim put it) “tied down to childbearing,” implies that no one is quite so thoroughly “tied down” here as women, elsewhere, are likely to be—psychologically or physically. Burden and privilege are shared out pretty equally; everybody has the same risk to run or choice to make. Therefore nobody here is quite so free as a free male anywhere else. Consider: A child has no psycho-sexual relationship to his mother and father. There is no myth of Oedipus on Winter. Consider: There is no unconsenting sex, no rape. As with most mammals other than man, coitus can be performed only by mutual invitation and consent; otherwise it is not possible. Seduction certainly is possible, but it must have to be awfully well timed. Consider: There is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protective/protected, dominant/submissive, owner/chattel, active/passive. In fact the whole tendency to dualism that pervades human thinking may be found to be lessened, or changed, on Winter. The following must go into my finished Directives: when you meet a Gethenian you cannot and must not do what a bisexual naturally does, which is to cast him in the role of Man or Woman, while adopting towards him a corresponding role dependent on your expectations of the patterned or possible interactions between persons of the same or the opposite sex. Our entire pattern of sociosexual interaction is nonexistent here. They cannot play the game. They do not see one another as men or women. This is almost impossible for our imagination to accept. What is the first question we ask about a newborn baby? Yet you cannot think of a Gethenian as “it.” They are not neuters. They are potentials, or integrals. Lacking the Karhidish “human pronoun” used for persons in somer, I must say “he,” for the same reasons as we used the masculine pronoun in referring to a transcendent god: it is less defined, less specific, than the neuter or the feminine. But the very use of the pronoun in my thoughts leads me continually to forget that the Karhider I am with is not a man, but a manwoman. The First Mobile, if one is sent, must be warned that unless he is very self-assured, or senile, his pride will suffer. A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience. Back
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness)
Their Graces bought me, you know. They’d acquired my brother Devlin the year before, and my mother, inspired by this development, threatened to publish all manner of lurid memoirs regarding His Grace.” Acquired her brother? As if he were a promising yearling colt or an attractive patch of ground? “You are going to burden me with the details of your family past, I take it?” “You are the man who glories in details.” Without the least rude inflection, she made it sound like a failing. “My point is that my mother sold me. She could just as easily have sold me to a brothel. It’s done all the time. Unlike your sisters, Mr. Hazlit, I do not take for granted the propriety with which I was raised. You may ignore it if you please; I will not.” She had such a lovely voice. Light, soft, lilting with a hint of something Gaelic or Celtic… exotic. The sound of her voice was so pretty, it almost disguised the ugliness of her words. “How old were you?” “Five, possibly six. It depends on whether I am truly Moreland’s by-blow or just a result of my mother’s schemes in his direction.” Six years old and sold to a brothel? The food he’d eaten threatened to rebel. “I’m… sorry.” For calling her a dollymop, for making her repeat this miserable tale, for what he was about to suggest. She turned her head to regard him, the slight sheen in her eyes making him sorrier still. Sorrier than he could recall being about anything in a long, long time. Not just guilty and ashamed, but full of regret—for her. The way he’d been full of regret for his sisters and powerless to do anything but support them in their solitary struggles. He shoved that thought aside, along with the odd notion that he should take Magdalene Windham’s hand in some laughable gesture of comfort. He passed her his handkerchief instead. “This makes the stated purpose of my call somewhat awkward.” “It makes just about everything somewhat awkward,” she said quietly. “Try a few years at finishing school when you’re the daughter of not just a courtesan—there are some of those, after all—but a courtesan who sells her offspring. I realized fairly early that my mother’s great failing was not a lack of virtue, but rather that she was greedy in her fall from grace.” “She exploited a child,” Hazlit said. “That is an order of magnitude different from parlaying with an adult male in a transaction of mutual benefit.” “Do you think so?” She laid his handkerchief out in her lap, her fingers running over his monogrammed initials. “Some might say she was protecting me, providing for me and holding the duke accountable for his youthful indiscretions.” Despite her mild tone, Hazlit didn’t think Miss Windham would reach those conclusions. She might long to, but she wouldn’t. By the age of six a child usually had the measure of her caretakers. And to think of Maggie Windham at six… big innocent green eyes, masses of red hair, perfect skin… in a brothel. “I
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
Burbank's power of love, reported Hall, "greater than any other, was a subtle kind of nourishment that made everything grow better and bear fruit more abundantly. Burbank explained to me that in all his experimentation he took plants into his confidence, asked them to help, and assured them that he held their small lives in deepest regard and affection." Helen Keller, deaf and blind, after a visit to Burbank, wrote in Out­ look for the Blind: "He has the rarest of gifts, the receptive spirit of a child. When plants talk to him, he listens. Only a wise child can understand the language of flowers and trees." Her observation was particularly apt since all his life Burbank loved children. In his essay "Training of the Human Plant," later published as a book, he an­ticipated the more humane attitudes of a later day and shocked authori­tarian parents by saying, "It is more important for a child to have a good nervous system than to try to 'force' it along the line of book knowledge at the expense of its spontaneity, its play. A child should learn through a medium of pleasure, not of pain. Most of the things that are really useful in later life come to the children through play and through association with nature." Burbank, like other geniuses, realized that his successes came from having conserved the exuberance of a small boy and his wonder for everything around him. He told one of his biographers: 'Tm almost seventy-seven, and I can still go over a gate or run a foot race or kick the chandelier. That's because my body is no older than my mind-and my mind is adolescent. It has never grown up and I hope it never will." It was this quality which so puzzled the dour scientists who looked askance at his power of creation and bedeviled audiences who expected him to be explicit as to how he produced so many horticultural wonders. Most of them were as disappointed as the members of the American Pomological Society, gathered to hear Burbank tell "all" during a lecture entitled "How to Produce New Fruits and Flowers," who sat agape as they heard him say: In pursuing the study of any of the universal and everlasting laws of nature, whether relating to the life, growth, structure and movements of a giant planet, the tiniest plant or of the psychological movements of the human brain, some conditions are necessary before we can become one of nature's interpreters or the creator of any valuable work for the world. Preconceived notions, dogmas and all personal prejudice and bias must be laid aside. Listen patiently, quietly and reverently to the lessons, one by one, which Mother Nature has to teach, shedding light on that which was before a mystery, so that all who will, may see and know. She conveys her truths only to those who are passive and receptive. Accepting these truths as suggested, wherever they may lead, then we have the whole universe in harmony with us. At last man has found a solid foundation for science, having discovered that he is part of a universe which is eternally unstable in form, eternally immutable in substance.
Peter Tompkins (The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man)
maternal love, the most successful object of the religious imagination of romantic art. For the most part real and human, it is yet entirely spiritual, without the interest and exigency of desire, not sensuous and yet present: absolutely satisfied and blissful spiritual depth. It is a love without craving, but it is not friendship; for be friendship never so rich in emotion, it yet demands a content, something essential, as a mutual end and aim. Whereas, without any reciprocity of aim and interests, maternal love has an immediate support in the natural bond of connection. But in this instance the mother’s love is not at all restricted to the natural side. In the child which she conceived and then bore in travail, Mary has the complete knowledge and feeling of herself; and the same child, blood of her blood, stands all the same high above her, and nevertheless this higher being belongs to her and is the object in which she forgets and maintains herself. The natural depth of feeling in the mother’s love is altogether spiritualized; it has the Divine as its proper content, but this spirituality remains lowly and unaware, marvellously penetrated by natural oneness and human feeling. It is the blissful maternal love, the love of the one mother alone who was the first recipient of this joy. Of course this love too is not without grief, but the grief is only the sorrow of loss, lamentation for her suffering, dying, and dead son, and does not, as we shall see at a later stage,[9] result from injustice and torment from without, or from the infinite battle against sins, or from the agony and pain brought about by the self. Such deep feeling is here spiritual beauty, the Ideal, human identification of man with God, with the spirit and with truth: a pure forgetfulness and complete self-surrender which still in this forgetfulness is from the beginning one with that into which it is merged and now with blissful satisfaction has a sense of this oneness. In such a beautiful way maternal love, the picture as it were of the Spirit, enters romantic art in place of the Spirit itself because only in the form of feeling is the Spirit made prehensible by art, and the feeling of the unity between the individual and God is present in the most original, real, and living way only in the Madonna’s maternal love. This love must enter art necessarily if, in the portrayal of this sphere, the Ideal, the affirmative satisfied reconciliation is not to be lacking. There was therefore a time when the maternal love of the blessed Virgin belonged in general to the highest and holiest [part of religion] and was worshipped and represented as this supreme fact. But when the Spirit brings itself into consciousness of itself in its own element, separated from the whole natural grounding which feeling supplies, then too it is only the spiritual mediation, free from such a grounding, that can be regarded as the free route to the truth; and so, after all, in Protestantism, in contrast to mariolatry in art and in faith, the Holy Spirit and the inner mediation of the Spirit has become the higher truth.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel