Friday, September 09, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 36

Romancing the Ordinary

. . . I began to reach toward an intimacy that I always sought in others.  Now I’ve found it with the least likely person—myself. (370)

I would contend that “least likely” is not an appropriate word choice because the only place one can find the kind of love we typically seek is with the self.  You hear it all of the time.  The forlorn lover laments, “I just want to be loved the way I love.”  Why can’t he love me the way I love him?  Why doesn’t she love me the way I love her? 

The answer is obvious:  you are looking to the wrong person for that kind of love.  Your beloved can love you the best way they can, which will never be the same as the way you love them.  Perhaps, there will be some small expressions of love that are similar.  He appreciates your ability to make him laugh as much as you enjoy laughing with him.  She expresses her affection with touches and gestures that echo your own.  But to expect anyone else to fulfill you is to live in endless disappointment. 

Why can’t he/she love you the way you want?  Because only you know your own heart fully and, if you are honest with yourself, half the time you aren’t even honest with yourself about what you want or need.  So when Breathnach says she found intimacy in the “least likely person,” I find it both joyous and sad.  Joyous that she found it finally in herself and sad that she didn’t realize this is where her search ought to have begun.

Simple Abundance

Women are the artists of the everyday.  (August 29)

St. Francis of Assisi explains the creative process this way:  the woman who works with her hands only is a laborer; the woman who works with her hands and her had is a craftswoman; the woman who works with her hands, her head, and her heart is an artist.  (August 29)

One of those great quotes that isn’t attributed.  Frustrating.  No doubt the original text was more patriarchal in tone but I do love the progression from laborer to craftsperson to artist.  It is no easy feat to make most of what we do something more than merely labor and I don’t think it is a stretch to suggest that many of the spiritual teachings on practicing mindfulness or the presence of God are inviting us all to be artists in everything we do, from the mundane to the ecstatic.  I also find myself appreciating just how significant motherhood truly is, for everything a mother does is infused with hands, head, and heart.  To be a mother is to be an artist in every moment.

The price we pay for authenticity may seem high, but who among us can truly afford to continue to live as a spendthrift of the self.  (September 8)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Image from this website.

Over the last half century, Otto Frank has been accused of prudishness, of being too ready to forgive the Germans, of censoring and deracinating Anne, of anti-Semitism, of sentimentality and cowardice, of greed and personal ambition. (75)

Definition of DERACINATE
1: uproot
2: to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; especially : to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from

I just love it when the mot juste is so evident.  Is there really any other word that could be used?  Perhaps a phrase but no single word so perfectly expresses the accusation.  Deracination. Great word.

Image from this website.

Here and there, simple glass vitrines display a few of the objects that remain from that period:  Miep Gies’s identity card, Edith Frank’s prayer book.  (160)

Definition of VITRINE
a glass showcase or cabinet especially for displaying fine wares or specimens

To be honest, as soon as I read the word I knew immediately to what it referred but if I had put a scene in a museum, I would have said "glass case" or something along those lines  So now I know . . . vitrine.  Again,, I love the precision of language.  

Image from this website.
. . . it’s hard to imagine even the diary’s most devoted fans working this, or any, of the bubbly longueurs of the “a” version.  (131)

Definition of LONGUEUR
a dull and tedious portion (as of a book) —usually used in plural

I couldn't help thinking about the innumerable blogs by people whose prose is dull or tedious.  No doubt, mine is as guilty as any other.  Regardless, it's interesting for Francine Prose to point out how Anne's original diary, which Frank herself edited with thoughts of publishing it sometime after the war, was bubbly--which one would expect from Anne Frank certainly--and dull and tedious.  

Image from this website.
This hortatory speech had only a limited effect on his cast.  (208)

Definition of HORTATIVE
giving exhortation : advisory

The website from which I found this image used it to explain "hortatory."  I simply couldn't resist being redundant.  To be honest, I knew what the word meant but I love sharing words that delight me and this is one of those words that excited me.  

The Charity ward at Guy's Hospital, London in the 1880s: Mr Cameron warned the health gap between rich and poor is as wide as it was in Victorian times
Image from this website
From Emma by Jane Austen

The evil of the actual disparity in their ages . . . was much increased by his constitution and habits, for having been a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, he was a much older man in ways than in years. . . .

a person of a weak or sickly constitution; especially : one whose chief concern is his or her ill health

As soon as I saw this word I sat up and took notice. Okay, I was on the bike so I was already sitting up  but I immediately knew I had to look it up because I had no clue what it meant. I could guess but I didn't want to guess.  The word certainly describes the character of Mr Woodhouse, who is endlessly anxious about the condition of the weather, the climate, what people eat and how they dress.  A rather annoying character, frankly, albeit well-meaning.  

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog for a Little Nepotism

As you all know, I'm not above sharing links to my daughter's drawings and, as you can't possibly know, I'll soon be doing something similar for one of my sons as he begins putting himself "out there," as it were.  So I'm all about the nepotism which is how I ended up over here, on Janice Erlbaum's blog.  I mentioned in a previous post (one of those "Satia Sampler Saturday" posts) that I'd written something for another blog.

Well, now you can read it.  Go there now.  Read.  Comment.  Tell Janice how amazing I am.  Or tell her how amazing she is.  Either way, let her know you were there/here/where?/I'm lost/*sigh*.

Rob pointed out the irony of my looking like I have a gun pointed at my head.  Sometimes writing does feel like that, like the only way I can make it happen is if . . . lucky for me this poster actually follows me from room to room so I always have the threat close at hand.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

What Happened?

Have you looked at your older  posts lately?

I have and something is terribly wrong with them.  With mine, I mean.  I haven't taken the time to look at anyone and everyone else's.

What I managed to figure out is that every blog post preceding 2010 is now a massive block of text.  In case you haven't noticed, I actually try to paragraph my writing every now and again but all of my paragraphs are gone.

In order to fix this mess, I'd have to edit over 600 blog posts.  For this blog alone. I have other blogs.  I'm assuming my book review blog is okay because I only created it this year but I haven't checked.  To be honest, I can't.  The thought of all of this mess is stirring up some issues I have with having an online presence and I can feel myself shutting down mentally.  It's not a good feeling and I hope that there's some simple explanation and quick fix for this because if there isn't . . . well, if there isn't there isn't.

Given my entirely too fucked up experience with being online, this is so small but small things open old wounds and some scars are still too delicate.