June 2011

On Words #14

"…in search of some elusive word or phrase which might best describe the indescribable." -L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

On Friendship #16

"'I did not mean to quarrel,' said Rosamond, putting on her hat.
'Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends?'" -George Eliot, Middlemarch

On Love #19

"And, in that mood, he was grateful to be in love. When you are in love, things make even more sense, he thought." -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (Translated by Alan R. Clarke)

On Happiness #25

"Baines wasn't really happy; he was only watching happiness from close to instead of from far away." -Graham Greene, "The Basement Room"

On Sadness #1

"'You have to protect yourself from sadness. Sadness is very close to hate.'" -Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Souls: Second Look

"Oh, mother, if only you knew how I am forging a soul! How fortunate to have these two years! I am fighting, fighting, and I am making a self, in great pain, often, as for a birth, but it is right that it should be so, and I am being refined in the fires of pain and love." -Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

"The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it's all written there." -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (Translated by Alan R. Clarke)

"'Souls have complexions too: what will suit one will not suit another.'" -George Eliot, Middlemarch

"A hidden soul seemed to be flowing forth from Rosamond's fingers; and so indeed it was, since souls live on in perpetual echoes…" -George Eliot, Middlemarch

"He tried to weigh his soul to see if it was a poet's soul. Melancholy was the dominant note of his temperament, he thought, but it was a melancholy tempered by recurrences of faith and resignation and simple joy. If he could give expression to it in a book of poems perhaps men would listen." -James Joyce, "A Little Cloud"

"There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand." -Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"It is only when one has grown old and dull that the soul is heavy and refuses to rise." -Kate Douglas Wiggins, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

"It has come to my attention that your soul is in need of saving. Well, with all of your vice and your scorn. You spend a lot of time doing bad things, don't you? You might be asking yourself. How can I get into heaven? The truth is, there is no way. There is no heaven. The answer to Man's most asked question therefore has no answer. Let me tell you a story…" -Dorothea Lasky, "Dear Friend,"

"…Once at a funeral, a man had died
And with the prayers said, his soul flew up in a hurry
Like it had been let out of something awful
It was strangely colored, that soul.
And it was a funny shape and a funny temperature.
As it blew away, all of us looking felt the cold." -Dorothea Lasky, "Love Poem"

On Friendship #15

"'But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.'" -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince (Translated by Katherine Woods)

Souls: First Look

"'I wonder what a soul…a person's soul…would look like,' said Priscilla dreamily.
'Like that, I should think,' answered Anne, pointing to a radiance of sifted sunlight streaming through a birch tree. 'Only with shape and features of course. I like to fancy souls as being made of light. And some are all shot through with rosy stains and quivers…and some have a soft glitter like moonlight on the sea…and some are pale and transparent like mist at dawn.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

"'I read somewhere once that souls were like flowers,' said Priscilla.
'Then your soul is a golden narcissus,' said Anne, 'and Diana's is like a red, red rose. Jane's is an apple blossom, pink and wholesome and sweet.'
'And our own is a white violet, with purple streaks in its heart,' finished Priscilla." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

"'Anybody is liable to rheumatism in her legs, Anne. It's only old people who should have rheumatism in their souls, though. Thanks goodness, I never have. When you get rheumatism in your soul you might as well go and pick out your coffin.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

"She had one of those souls that are always tied to the stake, burning in the suffering of the world around them." -L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside

"The body grows slowly and steadily but the soul grows by leaps and bounds. It may come to its full stature in an hour." -L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside

"'Lord, Lord!' he said to himself out loud, stretching and opening his eyes. 'The death of the soul.' The words attached themselves to some scene, to some room, to some past he had been dreaming of. It became clearer; the scene, the room, the past he had been dreaming of." -Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"…but it was her manner that annoyed him; timid; hard; something arrogant; unimaginative; prudish. 'The death of the soul.' He had said that instinctively, ticketing that moment as he used to do — the death of her soul." -Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"'Better lose your life than your soul…'" -Louisa May Alcott, Jo's Boys

"…I have a knocking woodpecker in my heart and I think I have three souls
One for love one for poetry and one for acting out my insane self
Not insane but boring but perpendicular but untrue but true
The three rarely sing together take my hand it's active
The active ingredient in it is a touch…" -Kenneth Koch, "Alive for an Instant"

On Love #18

"'…but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.'" -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Dreams and Dreaming #10

Hamlet: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and
count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that
I have bad dreams.
Guildenstern: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for
the very substance of the ambitious is merely the
shadow of a dream.
Hamlet: A dream itself is but a shadow. -William Shakespeare, Hamlet

On Words #13

"'Jane, the most awful as well as the most beautiful things in the world can be said in three words or less…I love youhe is gonehe is comeshe is deadtoo late…and life is illumined or ruined.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Jane of Lantern Hill

On Friendship #14

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." -Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

On Happiness #24

"'If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man.'" -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (Translated by Alan R. Clarke)

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