Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekly Quotes 2012-3

Simple Abundance

We think of a miracle, such as a sudden physical healing, as an event.  Actually, the real miracle is not the event, but how we perceive the event in our lives.  Ask yourself which is the real miracle:  when the check finally arrives, the deadline is extended, the lawsuit is settled, the exception is made?  Or when you cope, serene and smiling in the face of unbearable circumstances, triumphantly blowing everybody’s mind—including your own—with your poise and courage?  (November 14)

If we seek divine revelation, we’ll find it, even if it occurs during a bus ride or while folding laundry.  (November 28)

You can never lose something if you never had it to begin with.  You were never in control and never will be.  Let go of that illusion so that you can cut your losses and move on.  Acceptance of the inevitable—as difficult and painful it might be today—is the first step toward an authentic trade-off.  (November 30)

It is virtually impossible to write a book on authenticity as a spiritual and creative path and not be profoundly changed by it.  (December 4)

Hold a birthday tea on July 15 in honor of the Reverend Clement Clark Moore, the author of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and start planning homemade presents.  (December 11)

I've actually marked my calendar and, while I doubt I'll have a "birthday tea" or particularly consider honoring Moore, I like the idea of thinking about homemade presents.  I always say I want to do it but then one thing and then another sneak up on me and before you know it Christmas is next week leaving not nearly enough time to make anything.

You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us?  (427)

Northanger Abbey

. . . I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding—joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be ready by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust.  . . .  Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans.  (26)

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.  I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.  (29)

In a few moments Catherine, with unaffected pleasure, assured her that she need not be longer uneasy, as the gentlemen had just left the Pump-room.
“And which way are they gone?” said Isabella, turning hastily round. “One was a very good-looking young man.”
“They went towards the churchyard.”
“Well, I am amazingly glad I have got rid of them! And now, what say you to going to Edgar’s Buildings with me, and looking at my new hat?  You said you should like to see it.”
Catherine readily agreed. “Only,” she added, “perhaps we may overtake the two young men.”
“Oh!  Never mind that.  If we make haste, we shall pass by them presently, and I am dying to shew you my hat.”
“But if we only wait a few minutes, there will be no danger of our seeing them at all.”  (32-33)

This last quote reminded me of a friend of mine, a beautiful woman who had an easy time of picking up a guy but then also seemed to follow him from place to place, from one room in a club to another, even as far as from one club to another.  And this exchange, between Catherine and Isabella, made me think of that friend.  Just a random memory.

Quoting Katherine Mansfield
I am treating you as my friend, asking you to share my present minuses in the hope that I can ask you to share my future plusses.  (251)

Quoting William Hazlitt
To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.  (253)

When we are procrastinating—‘waiting for it to become easier’—we inevitably feel bad about ourselves.  Nothing takes the place of actually doing the work, of being able to say at day’s end, ‘I accomplished that.’ (257)

It is a luxury to be in the mood to write.  It is a good day’s work to simply write.  (267)

I certainly hope that this is the beginning of my getting back into the habit of posting quotes on Fridays.  It would help, of course, if I could remember what day of the week it is.  This Friday nearly slipped through my fingers.  I have many more quotes from the books I read last year and, needless to say, I'm collecting more quotes from the books I've read this year and am even reading now.  Sixty-six pages worth!  I may start post-dating these things so they will just show up when they are supposed to be here and then I won't need to think about it week after week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday


These words are brought to you by 
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

This image found here.
Austen launches into her encomium on the female novelistic tradition when Catherine retires to read Radcliffe’s fiction—not theirs. (xv)

encomium (noun)
glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise
Definition found here.

I had a devil of a time finding an image for praise that wasn't hands raised to God so I gave up and came up with what I think is a fair compromise for the image, which clearly focuses on the quote and not the definition.  I had never heard the word encomium before and I don't see myself using it but one never knows.  Certainly, there's the argument for always choosing the most precise word and this one could actually prove to be useful.  Certainly, it's more concise than "warmly enthusiastic praise."

This image found here.
For Tilney, the malentendu demonstrates a typically feminine carelessness of thought and language, a carelessness at once regrettable and amusing. (xx)

Malentendu (noun)
a misunderstanding
Definition found here.

You know how sometimes a word is just fun to say?  This word is one of those.  Again, in context, I figured out what it meant but looking words up is fun.  I loved the discussions between Tilney and Catherine in this novel, even though I can't say this was my favorite novel by Austen.

Image found here.
[Tilney] confessed himself to have been totally mistaken in his opinion of their circumstances and character, misled by the rhodomontade of his friend to believe his father a man of substance and credit. . . . (236)

a bragging speech
Definition found here.

I had no clue what this word meant.  I looked up the etymology and it literally means "one who rolls away a mountain."  I can almost see that and certain appreciate the metaphor behind this word.  But I think it's safe to say that I'm very unlikely to ever use this word in my own writing or speech.

BTW, I highly recommend you visit the image link for this little "brag book" the blogger made because I think it is a wonderful idea, one that could easily be modified to more than a brag book for a baby.

Image found here.
Do you know, I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine in a shop window in Milsom-street just now—very like yours, only with coquelicot ribbons instead of green; I quite longed for it. (28)

coquelicot (noun)
a French vernacular name for the wild corn poppy
Definition found here.

Poppies are such an audacious flower and the symbolism of a woman comparing her red preference to another's green is the sort of subtle meaning that I love.  Now, when I read the word in the novel, I assumed it referred to a sort of fabric or pattern.  Then when I found this glorious image (by Kees van Dongen, an artist of whom I'd never heard but with whom I am now enchanted).  Doesn't that woman with her kholled eyes and red hat evoke the simple boldness of a brilliant poppy?  This is why I do enjoy creating these Wondrous Words posts because I get to learn new things, make discoveries, and just delight in the experience of it all.

MERCIER Louise Fillette Redigeant Ses Devoirs
Image found here.
. . . and to her his devoirs were speedily paid, with a mixture of joy and embarrassment which might have informed Catherine, had she been more expert in the development of other people’s feelings, and less engrossed by her own, that her brother thought her friend quite as pretty as she could do herself. (34)

devoir (noun)
duty, responsibility
Definition from here.

This is another "new to me" word and I love saying it.  I love the way it feels in my mouth--devoir.  I even like to type it.  Unfortunately, I doubt I shall be adding it to my regularly vocabulary.  I think it's because I would feel others might perceive my using it as pretentious.  Not that this prohibits me from using words with which I am comfortable but this doesn't feel comfortable so it's not likely to just be slipped in.  Then again, were I to start using it in my personal writing then it would inevitably grow more familiar and then all bets are off.
Image from this site.

Did you ever see such a little tittuppy thing in your life? (55)

Apt to tittup
Definition from here.
Tittup lively, gay, or restless behavior
Definition from here.

I don't know how or why this word fell out of use because it's so perfect. You don't even have to look it up to know what it implies. And it's fun to say.  Tittuppy.  It is not, however, fun to type.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Week That Was

This week had its gentle surprises.

On Wednesday I took the exam and I am now officially certified at the most basic level of medical billing a coding.  And because Marc’s looking for a job while doing part-time translation work, my studying didn’t cut into our time together as much as I feared it would.  The truth is, we didn’t spend a lot of time together, which was a sadness for me.  Then it occurred to me this morning, after I had hugged and kissed him farewell, that no amount of time would have been, could have been, enough.

We did have a lovely lunch at my favorite Thai place which, for some reason, used frozen vegetables.  I could taste it in my ginger chicken.  But I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before and I have long said that this place has great food.  I’ve gone there with many people and we’ve all loved the food.  So, this time I was surprisingly disappointed.  I hope that the next time I go it won’t be the same, that this was a fluke.

More importantly, however, was spending quality time with my son, talking about his job search, about where he lives, and other random things.  Saying goodbye today wasn’t easy.  I helped him pack his things which gave him room to take more than he originally thought he could.  We hugged.  Big hugs.  And then he was off.

I am not in school so no need to study.  It is a Sunday so I didn’t even try to do any work.  Instead, I curled up with some relaxing reading.  Then Bibi came over and we just had a fantabulous time.  I read a few books to her (four!) and she colored.  We watched some ballet.  She danced for me.  I showed her how to do a split.  No, I cannot do a split but I can get pretty darn close, or surprisingly close for a woman of my many years.

The truth is, we weren’t ready for her to leave when Joe and Erin arrived bearing gifts.  They gave a trowel to Bibi which is perfect timing because I am pretty sure that Rob and I will begin preparing our garden for this season’s planting.  And Bibi is absolutely going to help us now that she has a gardening tool of her very own.  She was also given a ladybug purse and even I received a little something—gold frog magnets. 

All of this because Joe and Erin celebrated their second anniversary on Saturday.  I wanted to allow them to have some quality time together which they used to go to the Botanical Gardens.  It was the perfect arrangement because Bibi wouldn’t allow me to dwell on my missing my Magic Marker.

I didn’t even know Marc was taking me out to lunch until about an hour beforehand and I didn’t know I would be Bibi-sitting today until Friday.  I wasn’t even certain I would pass the exam, in spite of the teacher’s constant assuring all of us that we would do well.  Rounding it all off are the several walks I took—two with Rob and one with Kanika—and it really has been a good week, over all.

Image from this site.
Tomorrow it’s back to business.  Kanika and I have an arrangement whereby we are holding one another accountable.  I won’t go into too much detail but it should be an interesting ride.  I also need to recommit to doing some strength training.  I hate strength training but, in the end, I’m only cheating myself.  I’ve tried to get Rob to do it with me but he likes to work out alone and, truth be told, I don’t really need a workout partner.  I just need to make doing it a priority.  So tomorrow, when I need a morning break from the things that I promised myself to do, I’ll slap on a Netflix television show (I’m open to suggestions) and I will do crunches, curls, squats, etc. while casually paying attention to the program.  Or not.  I am very bad at watching television.

Of course, now that I am officially certified, I’ll be updating my resume and creating a new cover letter, activities I loathe to do.  Does anyone enjoy updating their resume?  Cover letter?  Tomorrow I’ll begin revising and updating and, shortly after I upload the updated versions of things, no doubt I can look forward to receiving a flood of emails from fake job offers.  So my work is done but there is now new work to be accomplished. 

I’m looking forward to it.