June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected the senses like a once beautiful color, faded away into a poor weak stain. So sunken and suppressed it was, that it was like a voice underground. So expressive it was, of a hopeless and lost creature, that a famished traveller, wearied out by lonely wandering in a wilderness, would have remembered home and friends in such a tone before lying down to die.”

Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

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Books books books.

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

I can’t WAIT to work through this list of books to read in your twenties … any favorites?

May 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.

Jack Keruoac

On words.

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

The power of a conversation cannot be underestimated. When polled at the beginning of class if we had sympathy for Jane Austen’s heroine, Fanny Price, in the first volume of Mansfield Park, only a small minority of my class said yes. After an in-depth discussion about Fanny’s character and circumstances, we were asked the same question and the majority of the class expressed that they were sympathetic to Fanny. Fanny, you’re no Elizabeth Bennet, but you’ll do.

On reading nooks.

March 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Reading nooks: a small space to cuddle up with Hemingway, Verghese, H. Lee or Austen. A place to stretch out or ball up into a sea of pillows. A place to let the mind wander. A place to feel like time doesn’t exist. A place of your own or a place to share. A tiny piece of paradise.

When I have a home of my own, I want it to have a reading nook. This nook can be under a staircase, in a tiny room, a part of a hallway, in the garden or on the porch – it just must be. My nook will have room enough to stretch out like a lion or cuddle up like a small kitty. It will also be crowded with fluffy white pillows and a soft cozy throw. It will be my own little escape.

 

March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Until that moment I’d thought I could have it both ways: to be one of them, and also my husband’s wife. What conceit! I was his instrument, his animal. Nothing more. How we wives and mothers do perish at the hands of our own righteousness. I was just one more of those women who clamp their mouths shut and wave the flag as their nation rolls off to conquer another in war. Guilty or innocent, they have everything to lose. They are what there is to lose. A wife is the earth itself, changing hands, bearing scars.

We would all have to escape Africa by a different route. Some of us are in the ground now and some are above it, but we’re all women, made of the same scarred earth. I study my grown daughters now, for signs they are resting in some kind of peace. How did they manage? When I remain hounded by judgement? The eyes in the trees open onto my dreams. In daylight they watch my crooked hands while I scratch the soil in my little damp garden. What do you want from me? When I raise up my crazy old eyes and talk to myself, what do you want me to tell you?”

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

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