October 21, 2010

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

The “road to perfection” sounds so binding and final. I get hung up on that word, “perfection” and overlook the fact that that’s just the name of the road. - Betty Duffy

Darwin and I used to send each other tomes of agonized love, rich with all the cliches of the genre. I believe I fancied myself a great stylist. Upon sorting out our closet preparatory to the move, I found a box (a shoe box!) full of this old correspondence. As I paged through his letters and mine, I felt a sensation akin to that of the unfortunates subjected to the Total Perspective Vortex. Passages that once seemed so eloquent and incendiary now paraded with all the grace of a herd of hormonal elephants. The most engaging bits were the parts I tossed off as stupid filler: minutiae about family life or the weather or work. The most fascinating letter of all was one Darwin sent me from Greece, simply describing the place and his travels there. And I burned with shame to recall that at the time I'd sulked because I thought he didn't write enough about ME. - Cat of Darwin Catholic

When you go into the hospital for a risky surgery, you have to face the Big Nothing. They crack you open, and you can read the writing on the walls of your arteries. A slow recovery, big scar up your chest, short of breath, no energy—you can’t help but think. You’re warmed up by death’s proximity, softened up. You rewrite your will, amend for your mistakes. You call your kids to gather round, you tell people the important stuff, you appreciate the very little things, like urinating. But now—pfff. No risk, no fuss, one afternoon, in and out, and your heart condition is all better, and back you scurry to play golf and yell at the valet and expect your children to apologize first. Total up all the love produced by invasive surgery and subtract all the love prevented by speedy laser surgeries. That’s love lost. - Arthur Phillips novel "The Song is You"

Isn’t it exactly as I feared, that if I kept beating on that glass ceiling of my mediocrity, I’d one day burst through into the realm of holiness where all the holy people scrub the corners of their houses with toothbrushes and listen to classical music, and read only books written before 1945 with an imprimatur? - Betty Duffy

This year, whenever I approached an aid station during an ultra[marathon], I'd call out "whiskey". At Massanutten, a worker at the mile 40 aid station pulled out a flask, and poured me a half shot of bourbon, which I chased with a shot of Coke. Boy, did the next three miles of road pass painlessly! - co-worker/runner

On Facebook, links and status updates posted to one's wall are visible to everyone in one's network. Which, of course, runs counter to the most basic rule of having more than two friends in the world: you don't talk about everything with everyone. - Darwin Catholic

At the four corners of a child's bed stand Perseus and Roland, Sigurd and St. George. If you withdraw the guard of heroes you are not making him rational; you are only leaving him to fight the devils alone. For the devils, alas, we have always believed in. The hopeful element in the universe has in modern times continually been denied and reasserted; but the hopeless element has never for a moment been denied. - GK Chesterton

Inch by inch, reading the book, doing about a meditation a week, saying the Rosary, showing up at Mass during the week—practicing devotion—the decision to organize the sock drawer was somehow a manifestation of a new freedom—freedom from my chronic “No.” - Betty Duffy

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