“wait until you’re old, Nora,” she said,
“and then you’ll know. It’s the mixture of being content with even the smallest thing and then feeling a great dissatisfaction with everything.”
Tóibín, C. (2014) Nora Webster
Pet names are a persistent remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.
Lahiri, J. (2003) The Namesake
is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
Austen, J. (1817) Northanger Abbey
'Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.'
'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.'
White, E.B. (1952) Charlotte's Web
Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation – the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.
Fitzgerald, F. S. (1936) The Crack-Up
"I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.
And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is ... Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"
Silverstein, S. (1974) Where the Sidewalk Ends
A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses.
To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.