Familiarity Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 87 quotes )
But when fundamentals are doubted, as at present, we must try to recoverthe candour and wonder of the child; the unspoilt realism and objectivity of innocence. Or if we cannot do that, wemust try at least to shake off the cloud of mere custom and see the thing as new, if only by seeing it as unnatural. Things that may well be familiar so long as familiarity breeds affection had much better become unfamiliar when familiarity breeds contempt. For in connection with things so great as are here considered, whatever our view of them, contempt must be a mistake. Indeed contempt must be an illusion. We must invoke the most wild and soaring sort ofimagination; the imagination that can see what is there.
The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around.
There is one thing that, more than any other, throws people absolutely off their balance? the thought that you are dependent upon them. This is sure to produce an insolent and domineering manner towards you. There are some people, indeed, who become rude if you enter into any kind of relation with them; for instance, if you have occasion to converse with them frequently upon confidential matters, they soon come to fancy that they can take liberties with you, and so they try and transgress the laws of politeness. This is why there are so few with whom you care to become more intimate, and why you should avoid familiarity with vulgar people. If a man comes to think that I am more dependent upon him than he is upon me, he at once feels as though I had stolen something from him; and his endeavor will be to have his vengeance and get it back. The only way to attain superiority in dealing with men, is to let it be seen that you are independent of them.
Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline, intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life, guarded by exact observation of the vegetables and animals of his own country against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves? with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him. To fill up the measure desired, he wanted nothing but a greater familiarity with the technical language of the natural sciences, and readiness in the astronomical observations necessary for the geography of his route. To acquire these he repaired immediately to Philadelphia, and placed himself under the tutorage of the distinguished professors of that place.
This recognition of the truth we get in the artist’s work comes to us as a revelation of new truth. I want to be clear about that. I am not referring to the sort of patronizing recognition we give a writer by nodding our heads and observing, “Yes, yes, very good, very true—that’s just what I’m always saying.” I mean the recognition of a truth that tells us something about ourselves that we had not been always saying, something that puts a new knowledge of ourselves withint our grasp. It is new, startling, and perhaps shattering, and yet it comes to us with a sense of familiarity. We did not know it before, but the moment the poet how shown it to us, we know that, somehow or other, we had always really known it.
Fear is an unavoidable element of the mortal condition. Creation in all its ravishing beauty, with its infinite baroque embellishments and subtle charms, with all the wonders that it offers from both the Maker and the made, with all its velvet mystery and with all the joy we receive from those we love here, so enchants us lack we lack the imagination, less than the faith, to envision an even more dazzling world beyond, and therefore even if we believe, we cling tenaciously to this existence, to sweet familiarity, fearful that all conceivable paradises will prove wanting by comparison.
Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we rceive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best--if you like, it 'works' best--when, through long familiarity, we don't have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance.
Each evening, I ached for the shelter of my tent, for the smallest sense that something was shielding me from the entire rest of the world, keeping me safe not from danger, but from vastness itself. I loved the dim, clammy dark of my tent, the cozy familiarity of the way I arranged my few belongings all around me each night.
In the neuter austerity of that terrain all phenomena were bequeathed a strange equality and no one thing nor spider nor stone nor blade of grass could put forth claim to precedence. The very clarity of these articles belied their familiarity, for the eye predicates the whole on some feature or part and here was nothing more luminous than another and nothing more enshadowed and in the optical democracy of such landscapes all preference is made whimsical and a man and a rock become endowed with unguessed kinship.
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
On the human imagination events produce the effects of time. Thus he who has travelled far and seen much is apt to fancy that he has lived long; and the history that most abounds in important incidents soonest assumes the aspect of antiquity. In no other way can we account for the venerable air that is already gathering around American annals. When the mind reverts to the earliest days of colonial history, the period seems remote and obscure, the thousand changes that thicken along the links of recollections, throwing back the origin of the nation to a day so distant as seemingly to reach the mists of time; and yet four lives of ordinary duration would suffice to transmit, from mouth to mouth, in the form of tradition, all that civilized man has achieved within the limits of the republic.....Thus, what seems venerable by an accumulation of changes is reduced to familiarity when we come seriously to consider it solely in connection with time.
I think the invitation offered the non-black reader is to join us in this expression of our familiarity and via that joining, come to understand that when black people come together to celebrate and rejoice in black critical thinking, we do so not to exclude or to separate, but to participate more fully in world community. However, we must first be able to dialogue with one another, to give one another subject-to-subject recognition that is an act of resistance that is part of the decolonizing, anti-racist process.
With Cats, some say, one rule is true: Don’t speak till you are spoken to. Myself, I do not hold with that — I say, you should ad-dress a Cat. But always keep in mind that he Resents familiarity. I bow, and taking off my hat, Ad-dress him in this form: O Cat! But if he is the Cat next door, Whom I have often met before (He comes to see me in my flat) I greet him with an oopsa Cat! I think I've heard them call him James — But we've not got so far as names.