And whatever it is that keeps widening your heart, that's Mary, too, not only the power inside you but the love. And when you get down to it, Lily, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love - but to persist in love.
I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called 'bee yard etiquette'. She reminded me that the world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places. Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.
If you need something from somebody always give that person a way to hand it to you.
The world will give you that once in awhile, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.
People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It's that hard.
There is nothing perfect...only life.
I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.
Look, I know you meant well creating the world and all, but how could you let it get away from you like this? How come you couldn't stick with your original idea of paradise? People's lives were a mess.
How do we accomplish this matter of gathering life together in God? We must begin primarily by refocusing our attention keeping our minds and hearts directed toward God. The essence of the centered life is attention to God in all we think, say and do. It is the growing realization of His presence in our most down-to-earth living.
we need not avoid our active lives, but simply bring to them a new vision and shift of gravity. for in the center we are rooted in god's love. in such a place there is no need for striving and impatience and dashing about seeking approval.
He'd gone to church for forty years and was only getting worse. It seemed like this should tell God something.
Knowing can be a curse on a person's life. I'd traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn't know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can't ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.
There's release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there's nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at last, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.
I can't explain that, except to say there's release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there's nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at least, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.
I stared at the trunks of books on the library floor, remembering the pangs I’d once had for a profession, for some purpose. The world had been such a beckoning place once.
They say in extreme moments time will slow, returning to its unmoving core, and standing there, it seemed as if everything stopped. Within the stillness, I felt the old, irrepressible ache to know what my point in the world might be. I felt the longing more solemnly than anything I’d ever felt, even more than my old innate loneliness. What came to me was the fleur de lis button in the box and the lost girl who’d put it there, how I’d twice carried it from Charleston to Philadelphia and back, carried it like a sad, decaying hope.
I laid my palm on the second square – the woman in the field and the slaves flying in the air over her head. All that hope in the wind.
...he felt God the same way arthritic monks felt rain coming in their joints. He felt only a hint of him.
I now understand that writing fiction was a seed planted in my soul, though I would not be ready to grow that seed for a long time.
My mother was a good Catholic -- she went to mass twice a week at St. Mary's in Richmond, but my father was an Orthodox Eclectic.