Archive for July, 2015

July 18, 2015

spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth

I cannot at all say whether they were what men call real or what men call dream. And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth.

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis.

July 18, 2015

if we cannot persuade our friends by reasons we must be content

One of his maxims was that if we cannot persuade our friends by reasons we must be content “and not bring a mercenary army to our aid.” (He meant passions.)

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis (speaking of the Greek adviser and teacher, the Fox).

July 18, 2015

all that had then but flashed out in a glance or a gesture

She was the old Psyche still; a thousand times more her very self than she had been before the Offering. For all that had then but flashed out in a glance or a gesture, all that one meant most when one spoke her name, was now wholly present, not to be gathered up from hints nor in shreds, not some of it in one moment and some in another. Goddess? I had never seen a real woman before.

…Psyche herself was, in a manner, no one. I loved her as I would once have thought it impossible to love, would have died any death for her. And yet, it was not, not now, she that really counted. Or if she counted (and oh, gloriously she did) it was for another’s sake. The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake. And he was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming. The pillars on the far side of the pool flushed with his approach. I cast down my eyes.

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis.

July 18, 2015

she had no more dangerous enemies than us

“Did we really do these things to her?” I asked.

“Yes. All here’s true.”

“And we said we loved her.”

“And we did. She had no more dangerous enemies than us. And in that far distant day when the gods become wholly beautiful, or we at last are shown how beautiful they always were, this will happen more and more. For mortals, as you said, will become more and more jealous. And mother and wife and child and friend will all be in league to keep a soul from being united with the Divine Nature.”

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis.

July 18, 2015

her face, and her whole body, were the answer

She even seemed (but that’s impossible, I thought) taller than before. And as my lie died unspoken she looked at me with something like mockery in her face. Her mocking looks had always been some of her loveliest. …She would not answer me. Her face flushed. Her face, and her whole body, were the answer.

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis.

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July 18, 2015

grand theories that encompassed everything

She was the one who stopped him coming out with claptrap, curbed his tendency to construct grand theories that encompassed everything. She brought him down to earth.

From The Book of Strange New Things: A Novel by Michel Faber.

July 18, 2015

to remember at least a few of the things most precious to us

For in this community the past was rarely discussed. I do not mean it was taboo. I mean that it had somehow faded into a mist as dense as that which hung over the marshes. It simply did not occur to these villagers to think about the past—even the recent one.

“…Do you suppose there’s any truth in it, Axl? What Ivor was saying last night about the mist, that it was God himself making us forget? …Perhaps God’s so deeply ashamed of us, of something we did, that he’s wishing himself to forget. And as the stranger told Ivor, when God won’t remember, it’s no wonder we’re unable to do so.”

“What on this earth could we have done to make God so ashamed?”

“I don’t know, Axl. But it’s surely not anything you and I ever did, for he’s always loved us well. If we were to pray to him, pray and ask for him to remember at least a few of the things most precious to us, who knows, he may hear and grant us our wish.”

From The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

July 18, 2015

far too narrow an idea of what a vision might be

I believe that the old man did indeed have far too narrow an idea of what a vision might be. He may, so to speak, have been too dazzled by the great light of his experience to realize that an impressive sun shines on us all. Perhaps that is the one thing I wish to tell you. Sometimes the visionary aspect of any particular day comes to you in the memory of it, or it opens to you over time.

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

July 18, 2015

nothing more astonishing than a human face

In my present situation, now that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face. …It has something to do with incarnation. …Any human face is a claim on you, because you can’t help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any.

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

July 18, 2015

good at pretending to understand more than I did

I got pretty good at pretending to understand more than I did, a skill which has served me through life. …But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from.

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

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