Family's Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 67 quotes )
Marrying cousins was astoundingly common into the nineteenth century, and nowhere is this better illustrated than with the Darwins and their cousins the Wedgwoods (of pottery fame). Charles married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood, daughter of his beloved Uncle Josiah. Darwin's sister Caroline, meanwhile, married Josiah Wedgwood III, Emma's brother and the Darwin siblings' joint first cousin. Another of Emma's brothers, Henry, married not a Darwin but a first cousin from another branch of his own Wedgwood family, adding another strand to the family's wondrously convoluted genetics. Finally, Charles Langton, who was not related to either family, first married Charlotte Wedgwood, another daughter of Josiah and cousin of Charles, and then upon Charlotte's death married Darwin's sister Emily, thus becoming, it seems, his sister-in-law's sister-in-law's husband and raising the possibility that any children of the union would be their own first cousins.
I gave examples from my clinical practice of how love was not wholly a thought or feeling. I told of how that very evening there would be some man sitting at a bar in the local village, crying into his beer and sputtering to the bartender how much he loved his wife and children while at the same time he was wasting his family's money and depriving them of his attention. We recounted how this man was thinking love and feeling love--were they not real tears in his eyes?--but he was not in truth behaving with love.
Each generation was a rehearsal of the one before, so that that family gradually formed the repetitive pattern of a Greek fret, interrupted only once in two centuries by a nine-year-old boy who had taken a look at his prospects, tied a string around his neck with a brick to the other end, and jumped from a footbridge into two feet of water. Courage aside, he had that family's tenacity of purpose, and drowned, a break in the pattern quickly obliterated by the calcimine of silence.
It sounded old. Deserve. Old and tired and beaten to death. Deserve. Now it seemed to him that he was always saying or thinking that he didn't deserve some bad luck, or some bad treatment from others. He'd told Guitar that he didn't 'deserve' his family's dependence, hatred, or whatever. That he didn't even 'deserve' to hear all the misery and mutual accusations his parents unloaded on him. Nor did he 'deserve' Hagar's vengeance. But why shouldn't his parents tell him their personal problems? If not him, then who? And if a stranger could try to kill him, surely Hagar, who knew him and whom he'd thrown away like a wad of chewing gum after the flavor was gone--she had a right to try to kill him too. Apparently he though he deserved only to be loved--from a distance, though--and given what he wanted. And in return he would be... what? Pleasant? Generous? Maybe all he was really saying was: I am not responsible for your pain; share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness.
It is also essential that good men and women not be educated and propagandized into believing that real evil is a myth and that all malevolent behavior is merely the result of a broken family's or a failed society's shortcomings, amenable to cure by counseling and by the application of new economic theory.
She's afraid to tell me anything important, knowing I'll only turn around and write about it. In my mind, I'm like a friendly junkman, building things from the little pieces of scrap I find here and there, but my family's started to see things differently. Their personal lives are the so-called pieces of scrap I so casually pick up, and they're sick of it. More and more often their stories begin with the line "You have to swear you'll never repeat this." I always promise, but it's generally understood that my word means nothing.
Don't put down too many roots in terms of a domicile. I have lived in four countries and I think my life as a writer and our family's life have been enriched by this. I think a writer has to experience new environments. There is that adage: No man can really succeed if he doesn't move away from where he was born. I believe it is particularly true for the writer.
I don't mean to be like some old guy from the olden days who says, "I walked thirty miles to school every morning, so you kids should too." That's a statement born of envy and resentment. What I'm saying is something quite different. What I'm saying is that by having very little, I had it good. Children need a sense of pulling their own weight, of contributing to the family in some way, and some sense of the family's interdependence. They take pride in knowing that they're contributing. They learn responsibility and discipline through meaningful work. The values developed within a family that operates on those principles then extend to the society at large. By not being quite so indulged and "protected" from reality by overflowing abundance, children see the bonds that connect them to others.
Family businesses that have been around for generations are suddenly closing their doors, and while I'm not comparing my situation or my family's situations to theirs, the fact that my father's business, which has been around for 30 years, might not be around, it gives me a perspective that makes me want to fight even harder for a lot of people.