Garland of Love
You are the only person who can consciously and exquisitely discover who you are, the only person who can live your very special life. (April 30)
Because I read this while also reading the next book, my first thought was that this would be a great Operation Beautiful quote to stick on a note and leave somewhere. It made me smile to read it and again to think of sharing it. So here it is, in my weekly quotes. I'm sharing it with you.
Very few people are blessed with fulfilling relationships with every person in their lives. But every single one of us has a choice to interact and react to the people we know in a healthy way. (68)
[I]t’s pivotal that we identify and nurture the healthy relationships in our lives. (81)
Romancing the Ordinary
Clothes don’t make the woman, but what we wear at home alone is a subtle but telling indication of where our self-esteem is at the moment. (200)
It is too easy, sometimes, to default to comfort but then the question is . . . why can't we invest in beautifully comfortable clothes? Why not buy lovely loose fitting pants and silky tops to wear around the house? I want to build a collection of pretty yoga clothes so that even when I am in my "exercise things" I look presentable not only to the world but most especially to myself.
Eros the Bittersweet
As a lover, you reach forward to a point in time called ‘then’ when you will bite into the long desired apple. Meanwhile you are aware that as soon as ‘then’ supervenes upon ‘now,’ the bittersweet moment, which is your desire, will be gone. (111)
[L]ove is an issue of control. What does it mean to control another human being? to control oneself? to lose control? (121-122)
No one in love really believes love will end. Lovers float in that ‘pure portion of anxiety,’ the present indicative of desire. They are astonished when they fall in love, they are equally astonished when they fall out of love. (124)
Even more astonished when the other person falls out of love where you believe there is still something mutual. What we rarely appreciate for ourselves is that, typically, the other who has fallen out of love was astonished one day, waking up to the realization that the love is gone. It is all so very fragile.
Midas is an image of someone stranded in his own desire, longing to touch and not to touch at the same time. . . . Perfect desire is the perfect impasse. What does the desirer want from desire? Candidly, he wants to keep on desiring. (136)
[S]erious thoughts and knowledge have their real life in philosophical conversation, not in the games of reading and writing. (142)
[L]overs and readers have very similar desires. . . . As lover you want ice to be ice and yet not melt in your hands. As reader you want knowledge to be knowledge and yet lie fixed on a written page. (145)
The beginning is not fictive. (152)
I think this is just a fascinating statement. I am enamored of it. I think there is a world of meditation in this one five word sentence.
Stories of Illness and Healing
Sometimes not knowing the extent of your limitations is a good thing. But, eventually, a time comes when it is better to acknowledge the truth–that you are, in fact, altered. At the end of two years, I finally understood that I had suffered a permanent loss. Although my body looked the same, the pieces were missing. (33)
I identify with this so deeply it is almost painful to admit that I could have written these words because they speak for me and not merely to me.
This is the hidden dilemma inside hidden disabilities. It’s a buyer’s market in the job world today: employers are looking for anyone to exploit. . . . Certainly I sashayed into my first teaching job without giving a hint of what I’d been diagnosed with. But a secret fear shadowed my early years of work. What if I couldn’t carry on? What if they didn’t like why? (57)
I handle bad scenes even better than good ones: a professional survivor and compulsive writer. (81)
Meghan O'Rourke, in her memoir The Long Goodbye, writes something similar about turning to books for answers to crises. I understand turning to words for answers. Through writing we create meaning, define our emotions, release them. Through reading we find a mirror for our experiences, a voice not our own speaking on our behalf. In both reading and writing we discover ourselves and our truth.
I wanted to be normal in my abnormality, so I locked the tears inside. And eventually I didn’t feel them anymore. (89)
In times of catastrophe we fall back on what we know. (92)
Once in the ICU, I had to keep repeating the DNR request. The state has very stringent laws, intended top help, but the system is barbaric. (176)