Alive

“I like birthdays. I like them more for other people, but I’m glad we celebrate them. At the heart of it is the opportunity to tell someone “I’m glad that you were born,” which is also to say “I’m glad that you’re alive.” Those are powerful statements. The world would be a different place if we lived that way, if we said and expressed these things, more than once a year.”

– jamie tworkowski If You Feel Too Much (TWLOHA)

Present Joy

Quote from Dubliners by James Joyce in “A Little Cloud”

“He picked his way deftly through all that minute verminlike life and under the shadow of the gaunt spectral mansions in which the old nobility of Dublin had roistered.

No memory of the past touched him, for his mind was full of a present joy.”

Contentment

Quote from Dubliners by James Joyce in “Two Gallants”

“He thought how pleasant it would be to have a warm fire to sit by and a good dinner to sit down to. He had walked the streets long enough with friends and with girls. He knew what those friends were worth: he knew the girls too.

Experience had embittered his heart against the world.

But all hope had not left him. He felt better after having eaten than he had felt before, less weary of his life, less vanquished in spirit.”

Surrender

Tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner..

“To understand all is to forgive all”

– Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisted.

This quote originated somewhere else at an earlier date – Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace; I am inquisitive about it – as to its meaning.

I have reflected that to truly understand (or empathise) one must have suffered a similar situation or to a similar degree. No one would wish that upon anyone. Therefore I consider it important to note that true forgiveness is not about empathy or understanding from our own experiences, it is a giving up of one’s self – our criticisms and doubts and selfish desires – to consider another person more important than oneself. It does not require in-depth understanding but a depth of character that is reflected in Christ’s nature – to reflect the image of God.

Love is a Battlefield

A word collage of quotes from my reading today…

“Blessed be the man who took notice of me

Relative, Guardian, Redeemer of my family

Removed his sandal as a vow

to renew her life.”*

“We don’t talk much but I believe

we have a more complete communion

with one another than even lovers have.

We are two minute sparks of life

what does he know of I or I of him?

Formerly we should not have

A single thought in common

now we sit with a goose between us

and feel in unison

are so intimate

that we do not even speak.”**

*The Book of Ruth- NRSV Bible

**”All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque, p.85. (HEB London, 1986)