Closeness Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 43 quotes )
But happiness is a difficult thing-it is, as Aristotle posited in The Nicomachean Ethics, an activity, is is about good social behavior, about being a solid citizen. Happiness is about community, intimacy, relationships, rootedness, closeness, family, stability, a sense of place, a feeling of love. And in this country, where people move from state to state and city to city so much, where rootlessness is almost a virtue ("anywhere I hang my hat...is someone else's home"), where family units regularly implode and leave behind fragments of divorce, where the long loneliness of life finds its antidote not in a hardy, ancient culture (as it would in Europe), not in some blood-deep tribal rites (as it would in the few still-hale Third World nations), but in our vast repository of pop culture, of consumer goods, of cotton candy for all-in this America, happiness is hard.
The boy was lying, fast asleep, on a rude bed upon the floor; so pale with anxiety, and sadness, and the closeness of his prison, that he looked like death; not death as it shews in shroud and coffin, but in the guise it wears when life has just departed; when a young and gentle spirit has, but an instant, fled to Heaven: and the gross air of the world has not had time to breathe upon the changing dust it hallowed.
There are stories of elopements, unrequited love, family feuds and exhausting vendettas, which everyone was drawn into, had to be involved with. But nothing is said of the closeness between two people: how they grew in the shade of each other's presence. No one speaks of that exchange of gift and character - the way a person took on and recognized in himself the smile of a lover...Where is the intimate and truthful in all this? Teenager and Uncle. Husband and lover. A lost father in his solace. And why do I want to know of this privacy? After the cups of tea, coffee, public conversations ... I want to sit down with someone and talk with utter directness, want to talk to all the lost history like that deserving lover.
He was remembering the nights he'd sat upstairs with one or both of his boys or with his girl in the crook of his arm, their damp bath-smelling heads hard against his ribs as he read aloud to them from "Black Beauty" or "The Chronicles of Narnia". How his voice alone, its palpable resonance, had made them drowsy. These were evenings, and there were hundreds of them, maybe thousands, when nothing traumatic enough to leave a scar had befallen the nuclear unit. Evenings of plain vanilla closeness in his black leather chair; sweet evenings of doubt between the nights of bleak certainty. They came to him now, these forgotten counterexamples, because in the end, when you were falling into water, there was no solid thing to reach for but your children.
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces.
The aesthetic event is something as evident, as immediate, as indefinable as love, the taste of fruit, as water. We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or a bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it further with words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?
There was a fine line between love and hate you heard that cliche all the time. But no one told you that the moment you crossed it would be the one you least expected. You'd fall in love and crack open a secret door to let your soul mate in. You just never expected such closeness one day to feel like an intrusion.
Literature presents you with alternate mappings of the human experience. You see that the experiences of other people and other cultures are as rich, coherent, and troubled as your own experiences. They are as beset with suffering as yours. Literature is a kind of legitimate voyeurism through the keyhole of language where you really come to know other people's lives--their anguish, their loves, their passions. Often you discover that once you dive into those lives and get below the surface, the veneer, there is a real closeness.
A thing there was that mattered; a thing, wreathed about with chatter, defaced, obscured in her own life, let drop every day in corruption, lies, chatter. This he had preserved. Death was defiance. Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the centre which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone. There was an embrace in death.
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
But nothing is said of the closeness between two people: how they grew in the shade of each other's presence. No one speaks of that exchange of gift and character --- the way a person took on and recognized in himself the smile of a lover. Individuals are seen only in the context of these swirling social tides.
And now, while he didn't particularly think any of these stories was a bit truer, he did realize that he didn't really know his wife at all; and that in fact the entire conception of knowing another person--of trust, of closeness, of marriage itself--while not exactly a lie since it existed someplace if only as an idea (in his parents' life, at least marginally) was still completely out-of-date, defunct, was something typifying another era, now unfortunately gone. Meeting a girl, falling in love, marrying her, moving to Connecticut, buying a fucking house, starting a life with her and thinking you really knew anything about her--the last part was a complete fiction, which made all the rest a joke.
What I felt for you was a combination of respect and affection. There was a closeness I felt through intimate interaction. The affection part is all over with. All that remains is the respect. If I put my arms around you and told you that I missed you, I would be lying. You're alright with me and I wish you well. But you're not me and that makes you one of them and you can only get so close.
Why is love beyond all measure of other human possibilities so rich and such a sweet burden for the one who has been struck by it? Because we change ourselves into that which we love, and yet remain ourselves. Then we would like to thank the beloved, but find nothing that would do it adequately. We can only be thankful to ourselves. Love transforms gratitude into faithfulness to ourselves and into an unconditional faith in the Other. Thus love steadily expands its most intimate secret. Closeness here is existence in the greatest distance from the other- the distance that allows nothing to dissolve - but rather presents the “thou” in the transparent, but “incomprehensible” revelation of the “just there”. That the presence of the other breaks into our own life - this is what no feeling can fully encompass. Human fate gives itself to human fate, and it is the task of pure love to keep this self-surrender as vital as on the first day.
The history of a city was like the history of a family—there is closeness and even affection, but death eventually separates everyone from each other. It is only the vividness of memory that keeps the dead alive forever; a writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as our personal memories.
We live in the Age of the Higher Brain, the cerebral cortex that has grown enormously over the last few millennia, overshadowing the ancient, instinctive lower brain. The cortex is often called the new brain, yet the old brain held sway in humans for millions of years, as it does today in most living things. The old brain can’t conjure up ideas or read. But it does possess the power to feel and, above all, to be. It was the old brain that caused our forebears to sense the closeness of a mysterious presence everywhere in Nature.
I think people expect too much from marriage today,' he said. 'They expect perfection. Every moment should be bliss. That's TV or movies. But that is not the human experience.. . . twenty good minutes here, forty good minutes there, it adds up to something beautiful. The trick is when things aren't so great, you don't junk the whole thing. It's okay to have an argument. It's okay that the other one nudges you a little, bothers you a little. It's part of being close to someone. But the joy you get from that same closeness--when you watch your children, when you wake up and smile at each other--that . . . is a blessing. People forget that.
Really to believe in human nature while striving to know the thousand forces that warp it from its ideal development-to call for and expect much from men and women, and not to be disappointed and embittered if they fall short- to try to do good with people rather than to them- this is my religion on its human side. And if God exists, I think that he must be in the warm sun, in the kindly actions of the people we know and read of, in the beautiful things of art and nature, and in the closeness of friendships.