Quieter Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 36 quotes )
I waited for him to say something more, but he was quiet."Was there something you wanted?" I asked.He didn't answer right away, but I could feel him struggling, so I waited."If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?"It was my turn to hesitate. "I don't know everything," I hedged."You would know this. When we were walking... me and Jeb... he was telling me some things. Things he thought, but I don't know if he's right."Melanie was suddenly very in my head.Jamie's whisper was hard to hear, quieter than my breathing. "Uncle Jeb thinks that Melanie might still be alive. Inside there with you, I mean." Melanie sighed.I said nothing to either of them."I didn't know that could happen. Does that happen?" His voice broke and I could hear that he was fighting tears. He was not a boy to cry, and here I'd grieved him this deeply twice in one day. A pain pierced through the general region of my chest."Does it, Wanda?"Why won't you answer me?" Jamie was really crying now but trying to muffle the sound.I crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space between the mattress and the mat, and threw my arm over his shaking chest. I leaned my head against his hair and felt his tears, warm on my neck."Is Melanie still alive, Wanda? Please?"He was probably a tool. The old man could have sent him just for this, Jeb was smart enough to see how easily Jamie broke through my defenses.Jamie's body shook beside me. Melanie cried. She battered ineffectually at my control.But I couldn't blame this on Melanie if it turned out to be a huge mistake. I knew who was speaking now."She promised she would come back, didn't she?" I murmured. "Would Melanie break a promise to you?"Jamie slid his arms around my waist and clung to me for a long time. After a few minutes, he whispered. "Love you, Mel."She loves you, too. She's so happy that you're here and safe."He was silent long enough for the tears on my skin to dry, leaving a fine, salty dust behind.
Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go... But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense? love as distinct from "being in love"? is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriage) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God... "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
What you call passion is not a spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. Where passion dominates, that does not signify the presence of greater desire and ambition, but rather the misdirection of these qualities toward and isolated and false goal, with a consequent tension and sultriness in the atmosphere. Those who direct the maximum force of their desires toward the center, toward true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervor cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout or wave their arms. But, I assure you, they are nevertheless, burning with subdued fires.
And Peter became a tall and deep-chested man and a great warrior, and he was called King Peter the Magnificent. And Susan grew into a tall and gracious woman with black hair that fell almost to her feet and the kings of the countries beyond the sea began to send ambassadors asking for her hand in marriage. And she was called Queen Susan the Gentle. Edmund was a graver and quieter man than Peter, and great in council and judgment. he was called King Edmund the Just. But as for Lucy, she was always gay and golden-haired, and all princes in those parts desired her to be their Queen, and her own people called her Queen Lucy the Valiant.
Those who direct the maximum force of their desires towards the center, toward the true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervor cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout and wave their arms. But I assure you, they are nevertheless burning with subdued fires.
When Jennifer was here in the summer, they were at the house most days. I would say generally that as they got older they became quieter, and though I enjoyed both, I sometimes missed the giggles and shouts. The quiet voices, just low enough for me not to hear from wherever I was, rising and failing in proportion to my distance from them, frightened me. Not that I believed they were planning or recounting anything really wicked, but there was a female seriousness about them, and it was secretive, and of course I thought: love, sex. But it was more than that: it was womanhood they were entering, the deep forest of it, and no matter how many women and men too are saying these days that there is little difference between us, the truth is that men find their way into that forest only on clearly marked trails, while women move about in it like birds. So hearing Jennifer and her friends talking so quietly, yet intensely, I wanted very much to have a wife.
The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.
Surely we all occasionally buy books because of a daydream we're having--a little fantasy about the people we might turn into one day, when our lives are different, quieter, more introspective, and when all the urgent reading, whatever that might be, has been done. We never arrive at that point, needless to say....
Perhaps the cause of our contemporary pessimism is our tendency to view history as a turbulent stream of conflicts? between individuals in economic life, between groups in politics, between creeds in religion, between states in war. This is the more dramatic side of history; it captures the eye of the historian and the interest of the reader. But if we turn from that Mississippi of strife, hot with hate and dark with blood, to look upon the banks of the stream, we find quieter but more inspiring scenes: women rearing children, men building homes, peasants drawing food from the soil, artisans making the conveniences of life, statesmen sometimes organizing peace instead of war, teachers forming savages into citizens, musicians taming our hearts with harmony and rhythm, scientists patiently accumulating knowledge, philosophers groping for truth, saints suggesting the wisdom of love. History has been too often a picture of the bloody stream. The history of civilization is a record of what happened on the banks.
These struggles with the natural character, the strong native bent of the heart, may seem futile and fruitless, but in the end they do good. They tend, however slightly, to give the actions, the conduct, that turn wich Reason approves, and whic Feeling, perharps, too ofter opposes: they certainly make a difference in the general tenor of a life, and certainly make a difference in the general tenor of a life, and enable it to be better regulated, mofe equable, quieter on the surface; and it is on the surface only the common gaze will fall.
but the real enemy is the cold. It steals up on you quieter than Will, and at first you shiver and your teeth chatter and you stamp your feet and dream of mulled wine and nice hot fires. It burns, it does. Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after a while you don't have the strength to fight it. It's easier just to sit down ot go to sleep. They say you don't feel any pain toward the end. First you go weak and drowsy, and everything starts to fade, and then it's like sinking into a sea of warm milk. Peaceful, like.
Since I was in flight from religion, I assumed that my classmates had to be in flight from religion too, albeit in a quieter, savvier way than I had as yet been able to discover. Only today do I realize how mistaken I was. They were never in flight at all. Nor are their children in flight, or their grandchildren. By the time I reached by seventieth year, I used to predict, all the churches in the world would have been turned into barns or museums or potteries. But I was wrong. Behold, new churches spring up every day, all over the place, to say nothing of mosques. So Nietzsche's dictum needs to be amended: while it may be so that only the higher animals are capable of boredom, man proves himself highest of all by domesticating boredom, giving it a home.
I don't know why it is that one kind of dark can be so different from another. Real dark is thicker and quieter, it fills up the space between your jacket and your heart. It gets in your eyes. When I have to be out late at night, it's not knives and kicks I'm afraid of, though there are plenty of those behind walls and hedges. I'm afraid of the Dark. You, who walk so cheerfully, whistling your way, stand still for five minutes. Stand still in the Dark in a field or down a track. It's then you know you're there on sufferance. The Dark only lets you take one step at a time. Step and the Dark closes round your back. In front, there is no space for you until you take it. Darkness is absolute. Walking in the Dark is like swimming underwater except you can't come up for air.
Actually I am pretty pregnant with the news Sid brought me, but glad we have not spread it. The girls look very happy. With their heads bound up in babushkas they might be out of the peasant chorus of a Russian opera. Any minute now we will sing and dance to the balalaika. Charity is tall and striking; Sally smaller, darker, quieter. One dazzles, the other warms. In a couple of hours I will need sympathy, but for now I like being washed by the wind.