The hardest thing of all to see is what is really there. From J.A. Baker in The Peregrine (1967).
What the mass culture really reflects …is the American bewilderment in the face of the world we live in. We do not seem to want to know that we are in the world, that we are subject to the same catastrophes, vices, joys, and follies which have baffled and afflicted mankind for ages. And this […]
C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce: Walking proved difficult. The grass, hard as diamonds to my unsubstantial feet, made me feel as if I were walking on wrinkled rock, and I suffered pains like those of the mermaid in Hans Andersen. A bird ran across in front of me and I envied it. It belonged […]
Simone Weil on her birthday. First, from Gravity and Grace (1947): Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. …We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will. The will only controls a few […]
The hills on our side of the river were green, and on the other side they were blue. They got bluer farther away. Uncle Burley said hills always looked blue when you were far away from them. That was a pretty color for hills; the little houses and barns and ﬁelds looked so neat and […]
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Opening lines from The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
If we reflect that prayer is the highest human activity—the defining purpose of human existence and the goal of human destiny—we should say that Jesus’ prayer reveals more about him as a human being than anything else he did. …In prayer a human being is engaged with existence in its fullness. First, when a person […]
Personally transcribed excerpts from “The Wisdom of Tenderness” where Krista Tippett interviews Jean Vanier in October 2007 for the NPR show On Being: An ethics of desire is good news for us at a time when we have become allergic to an ethics of law. Pleasure is not something which is just sort of fooling […]
If we are honest, one of the truest clues for finding the most important truths is surprise. The real world is strange, not simple. And if we are full of pride and prejudice, we will not explore the bushes where the best game hides. For instance, we will not explore the puzzling, repellent, or difficult […]