I have come home at last!
This is my real country!
I belong here.
This is the land I have been looking for all my life,
though I never knew it till now…
Come further up, come further in!
Then two wonders happened at the same moment.
One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices;
more voices than you could possibly count.
They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices.
The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars.
They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening.
One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand,
thousand points of light leaped out –
single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world.
There were no clouds.
The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time.
If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did,
you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing,
and that it was the First Voice, the deep one,
which had made them appear and made them sing.
Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe?
‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.
He’s the King, I tell you.
But I cannot tell that to this old sinner,
and I cannot comfort him either;
he has made himself unable to hear my voice.
If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings.
Oh, Adam’s son,
how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
The Road Home – Emerald Depths
It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us;
it is the very sign of His presence.
And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history —
money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery —
the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God
which will make him happy.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.
But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?
A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.
What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us,
we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.
It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen,
we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast,
for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible.
Instead of rejoicing in this glorious “impossible” which gives meaning and dignity to our lives,
we try to domesticate God,
to make his mighty actions comprehensible to our finite minds.
What the soul hardly realizes is that, unbeliever or not,
his loneliness is really a homesickness for God.
Dom Hubert Van Zeller
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing.
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness:
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another.
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone,
and so they don’t find themselves at all.
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private:
and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
What a commentary on civilization,
when being alone is being suspect;
when one has to apologize for it, make excuses,
hide the fact that one practices it -
like a secret vice.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Each of us is alone in the world.
It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness.
When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen.
Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging.
This is a slow and open-ended transition
but it is utterly vital in order
to come into rhythm with your own individuality.
Frank Weston Benson – Summer
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”
You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.
You have to go to them sometimes.
Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of
feeling safe with a person -
having neither to weigh thoughts
nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand
will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
not the kindly smile,
nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
when you discover that someone else believes in you
and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this,
in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths.
That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Louis de Bernières (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin)
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
You think your pain and your heartbreak
are unprecedented in the history of the world,
but then you read.
It was books that taught me that the things
that tormented me most were the very things
that connected me with all the people who were alive,
or who had ever been alive.
I have always imagined that Paradise
will be some kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges
When I have a little money, I buy books;
and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.
Erasmus of Rotterdam
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or
a book long enough to suit me.