“A loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, and all one craves for is a warm face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart”
Albert Camus _ Plague
Originally I read this book a long time ago, when I was still in high school. At that moment in time, it didn’t make much of an impression on me. Then after a couple of years, I heard that quote in a certain TV show and just fell in love with those words. Why? Because they just spoke so deeply to me, that I watched that scene over and over again. There was beauty and there was a pain in those words. And especially sadness.
Mothers~ they carry their young for months & months- their own flesh and blood. They haven’t even met their little baby ‘n’ yet they hold an endless love for the child. They hold the next generation, carrying the world’s following line of beings. Mothers are “the closest thing to God on this earth.”
From: milk and honey
By rupi kaur
“when my mother was pregnant
with her second child i was four
i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how
my mother had gotten so big in such little time
my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and
said the closest thing to god on this earth
is a woman’s body it’s where life comes from
and to have a grown man tell me something
so powerful at such a young age
changed me to see the entire universe
rested at my mother’s feet”
This is my favorite poetic section from ‘milk and honey’ by Rupi Kaur, because it made me think about my own Mother, and how she carried not only me for months—but my younger siblings—too. This made me even appreciate the love she has for her own children much more. While my siblings and I were still in her womb- she loved us then-she still carries on showing endless and unconditonal love. That goes to show that she’s “the closest thing to God on this earth.”
A man handed me a book today. I asked if he liked it? His face lit: “metaphysical stuff.” He left, beaming. I cracked it open. And this is the beginning:
The Star Rover, Chapter 1: All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places. I have been aware of other persons in me. —Oh, and trust me, so have you, my reader that is to be. Read back into your childhood, and this sense of awareness I speak of will be remembered as an experience of your childhood. You were then not fixed, not crystalized. You were plastic, a soul in flux, a consciousness and an identity in the process of forming —Ay, of forming and forgetting.
“I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.”
-South of the border west of the sun
Till We Have Faces...
We say so easily that it would be nice to have a little more self-knowledge. To understand who we truly are and why we do what we do, why we say what we say. But are we really prepared to know the whole truth of ourselves?
In C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, one of my favorite books ever--which everyone who love to read knows such a thing cannot be said lightly--, the main character and sister of Psyche, Orual, writes a whole book accusing the gods, whom she decries bitterly saying they refuse to answer her. Then she is summoned to make her complaint before a heavenly court, but as she speaks it, her words change until the whole truth of what she meant beneath the words in her book come out of her mouth.
“At last the judge spoke.
‘Are you answered?’ he said.
‘Yes,’ said I.
The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, ‘Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.’ A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?
...[after having seen Psyche’s Bridegroom at last, the god of the mountain]
I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words; to be let out to battle against other words...”
Until all the facades are ripped
away, all the lies have been destroyed,
and all the deceit of our lives is brought to light,
we do not have faces.
“Faces” are formed by truth alone,
and it is impossible to see the truth in anything or anyone
until we ourselves have faces.
(This book is incredible. A mix of Greek myth being retold, philosophical thought, an outwardly strong and fierce but interiorly broken and lonely Queen bent on vengeance, a girl who seems crazy because her love is unworldly in how pure and unwavering it remains--who has, you could say, one foot in heaven and one on earth, betrayal, heartbreak, plot-twists. It’s got it all. I kinda spoiled the end...sorry. But it is still worth reading a million times over. I love this book. Just saying. You should read it.)
The Bell Jar
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
-"The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath
I read this book my sophomore year of high school, and it really spoke to me. My entire life, I've been indecisive about my future. To know that I'm not alone in this exact feeling comforted me somehow.
When I was 18, I had two choices: stay home and save for college or marry the love of my life. If I stayed home, I couldn't be with him for another 5 years. He was in the military, and he had to be stationed over 800 miles away. If I left and got married, I knew I would have to put off college until we were permanently settled somewhere. Both opportunities quickly approached, and the metaphorical figs were hanging in the balance.
Esther chose nothing, but I chose marriage. Still, I feel like a woman stuck in a tree, scared to choose what happens next.
Maybe it never ends; we eat one, move on, and find ourselves in front of another. To me, the thought is frightening. We are pushed onward regardless of our protests. Everyone has to choose just one or starve.
I want to pick them all and savor their sweetness, but that's impossible.
I can only hope that I never wait too long and find myself with nothing at all.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
This a poem that has always held a special place in my heart. It hangs on my family’s wall so I can smile and remember I’m loved every time I see it. It is believed to be written by Mary Stevenson.
“Romeo, The Man”
“O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften’d valour’s steel!“
His sword is drawn.
Yet, he can’t bring himself to kill
His love for her, has no boundaries!
He says, “effeminate.”
He is blind to the fact, that his masculinity is being tested.
By withholding his sword, and temper?
He is, the better man.
As young Romeo feels a sense of weakness?
In reality, it is an admirable strength.
Ghost of Christmas Past:
"These are the shadows of the things that have been. That they are what they are, do not blame me." - Charles Dickens
I have always found this to be one of the most haunting lines in all of literature. Its speaks the truth to being aware of your actions and your regrets are your own. Something only felt once your life is put in front of you.