Respite Quotes (displaying: 1 - 18 of 18 quotes )
Memories particularly of when they weren’t being what parents are nine-tenths of the time, the taskmasters, the examples, the moral authorities, the nags of pick-that-up and you’re-going-to-be-late, keepers of the diary of her duties and routines, memories, rather, of when they found one another afresh, beyond the tensions between parental mastery and inept childish uncertainty, of those moments of respite in a family’s life when they could reach one another in calm
It seemed now as if, touched by human penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single, distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat rocking, which did we deserve them, should be ours always. But alas, divine goodness, twitching the cord, draws the curtain; it does not please him; he covers his treasures in a drench of hail, and so breaks them, so confuses them that it seems impossible that their calm should ever return or that we should ever compose from their fragments a perfect whole or read in the littered pieces the clear words of truth. For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only.
The town of ? represented the earth, with its sorrows and its graves left behind, yet not out of sight, nor wholly forgotten. The ocean, in everlasting but gentle agitation, and brooded over by a dove-like calm, might not unfitly typify the mind and the mood which then swayed it. For it seemed to me as if then first I stood at a distance, and aloof from the uproar of life; as if the tumult, the fever, and the strife, were suspended; a respite granted from the secret burthens of the heart; a sabbath of repose; a resting from human labours. Here were the hopes which blossom in the paths of life, reconciled with the peace which is in the grave; motions of the intellect as unwearied as the heavens, yet for all anxieties a halcyon calm: a tranquility that seemed no product of inertia, but as if resulting from mighty and equal antagonisms; infinite activities, infinite repose.
Life seems to be a process of replacing one anxiety with another and substituting one desire for another--which is not to say that we should never strive to overcome any of our anxieties or fulfil any of our desires, but rather to suggest that we should perhaps build into our strivings an awareness of the way our goals promise us a respite and a resolution that they cannot, by definition, deliver.
That may be true," I thought, "But they don't have digital cable or Internet access, so really what's the point of being alive?" Civilized life, with all its threats and potential dooms, is too much to bear without the respite of three hundred channels. True, Osama bin Laden may very well send nuclear-bomb-filled suitcases on Amtrak trains into Penn Station, but until then: "I Love the 80s on VH1.
For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a 'fianc,' why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
Our contemporaries are constantly wracked by two warring passions: they feel the need to be led and the desire to remain free. Unable to destroy either of these contrary instincts, they seek to satisfy both at once. They imagine a single, omnipotent, tutelary power, but one that is elected by the citizens. They combine centralization with popular sovereignty. This gives them some respite. They console themselves for being treated as wards by imagining that they have chosen their own protectors. Each individual allows himself to be clapped in chains because that the other end of the chain is held not by a man or a class but by the people themselves.
Now the same mystery which often veils from our eyes the reason for a catastrophe envelops just as frequently, when love is in question, the suddenness of certain happy solutions, such as had been brought to me by Gilberte's letter. Happy, or at least seemingly happy, for there are few that can really be happy when we are dealing with a sentiment of such a kind that any satisfaction we can give it does no more, as a rule, than dislodge some pain. And yet sometimes a respite is granted us, and we have for a little while the illusion of being healed.
The worst of it is that I am perpetually being punished for nothing; this governor loves to punish, and he punishes by taking my books away from me. It's perfectly awful to let the mind grind itself away between the upper and nether millstones of regret and remorse without respite; with books my life would be livable -- any life.