Grandmother Quotes (displaying: 91 - 120 of 279 quotes )
Men can do nothing without the make-believe of abeginning. Even science, the strict measurer, is obliged to startwith a make-believe unit, and must fix on a point in the stars'unceasing journey when his sidereal clock shall pretend that timeis at Nought. His less accurate grandmother Poetry has always beenunderstood to start in the middle; but on reflection it appearsthat her proceeding is not very different from his; since Science, too, reckons backward as well as forward, divides his unit intobillions, and with his clock-finger at Nought really sets offin medias res. No retrospect will take us to the truebeginning; and whether our prologue be in heaven or on earth, it isbut a fraction of that all-presupposing fact with which our storysets out.
This torture inflicted on her by my great-aunt, the sight of my grandmother's vain entreaties, of her feeble attempts, doomed in advance, to remove the liqueur-glass from my grandfather's hands -- all these were things of the sort to which, in later years, one can grow so accustomed as to smile at them and to take the persecutor's side resolutely and cheerfully enough to persuade oneself that it is not really persecution; but in those days they filled me with such horror that I longed to strike my great-aunt. And yet, as soon as I heard her "Bathilde! Come in and stop your husband drinking brandy," in my cowardice I became at once a man, and did what all we grown men do when face to face with suffering and injustice: I preferred not to see them.
I could have had one life but insteads I had another because of this book my grandmother protected. What a miracle is that? I was taught to love beautiful things. I had a language in which to consider beauty. Later that extended to the opera, to the ballet, to architecture I saw, and even later still I came to realize that what I had seen in the paintings I could see in the fields or a river. I could see it in people. All of that I attribute to this book.
He had never liked October. Ever since he had first lay in the autumn leaves before his grandmother's house many years ago and heard the wind and saw the empty trees. It had made him cry, without a reason. And a little of that sadness returned each year to him. It always went away with spring. But, it was a little different tonight. There was a feeling of autumn coming to last a million years. There would be no spring. ("The October Game")
And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven...Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She'd read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people's houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family.
SEASONS PASSED, FALL AND WINTER and spring and summer. Leaves blew in through the open door of Lucius Clarke’s shop, and rain, and the green outrageous hopeful light of spring. People came and went, grandmothers and doll collectors and little girls with their mothers. Edward Tulane waited. The seasons turned into years. Edward Tulane waited. He repeated the old doll’s words over and over until they wore a smooth groove of hope in his brain: Someone will come; someone will come for you.
The change will do you good,” she said simply, when he had finished; “and you must be sure to go and see Ellen,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes with her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone she might have employed in urging him not to neglect some irksome family duty. It was the only word that passed between them on the subject; but in the code in which they had both been trained it meant: “Of course you understand that I know all that people have been saying about Ellen, and heartily sympathize with my family in their effort to get her to return to her husband. I also know that, for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, you have advised her against this course, which all the older men of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree in approving; and that it is owing to your encouragement that Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kind of criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probably gave you this evening, the hint that has made you so irritable… Hints have indeed not been wanting; but since you appear unwilling to take them from others, I offer you this one myself, in the only form in which well-bred people of our kind can communicate unpleasant things to each other: by letting you understand that I know you mean to see Ellen when you are in Washington, and are perhaps going there expressly for that purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, I wish you to do so with my full and explicit approval—and to take the opportunity of letting her know what the course of conduct you have encouraged her in is likely to lead to.” Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when the last word of this mute message reached him. She turned the wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed on the sulky flame. “They smell less if one blows them out,” she explained, with her bright housekeeping air. On the threshold she turned and paused for his kiss.
The boat was vacuum-packed with Albanians, four generations to a family: great-grandmother, air-dried like a chilli pepper, deep red skin and a hot temper; grandmother, all sun-dried tomato, tough, chewy, skin split with the heat; getting the kids to rub olive oil into her arms; mother, moist as a purple fig, open everywhere - blouse, skirt, mouth, eyes, a wide-open woman, lips licking the salt spray flying from the open boat. Then there were the kids, aged four and six, a couple of squirs, zesty as lemons.
What do you mean, 'Angle of Repose?' she asked me when I dreamed we were talking about Grandmother's life, and I said it was the angle at which a man or woman finally lies down. I suppose it is; and yet ... I thought when I began, and still think, that there was another angle in all those years when she was growing old and older and very old, and Grandfather was matching her year for year, a separate line that did not intersect with hers. They were vertical people, they lived by pride, and it is only by the ocular illusion of perspective that they can be said to have met. But he had not been dead two months when she lay down and died too, and that may indicate that at that absolute vanishing point they did intersect. They had intersected for years, for more than he especially would ever admit.
Nothing in my life ever seemed to fade away or take its rightful place among the pantheon of experiences that constituted my eighteen years. It was all still with me, the storage space in my brain crammed with vivid memories, packed and piled like photographs and old dresses in my grandmother’s bureau. I wasn’t just the madwoman in the attic — I was the attic itself. The past was all over me, all under me, all inside me.
You are very clever,' said the old man shyly. 'I would like to eat your brains, one day,'For some reason the books of etiquette that Daphne's grandmother had forced on her didn't quite deal with this. Of course, silly people would say to babies, 'You're so sweet I could gobble you all up!', but that sort of nonsense seemed less funny when it was said by a man in war paint who owned more than one skull. Daphne, cursed with good manners, settled for, 'It's very kind of you to say so.
Small animals are a great problem. I wish God had never created small animals, or else that He had made them so they could talk, or else that He'd given them better faces. Space. Take moths. They fly at the lamp and burn themsleves, and then they fly right back again. It can't be instinct, because it isn't the way it works. They just don't understand, so they go right on doing it. Then they lie on their backs and all their legs quiver, and then they're dead. Did you get all that? Does it sound good?""Very good," Grandmother said. Sophia stood up and shouted, "Say this: say I hate everything that dies slow! Say I hate everything that won't let you help! Did you write that?
As recently as fifty years ago my grandmother was picking cotton with bleeding fingers. I think about her all the time while I'm getting overpaid to sit at a computer, eat Chinese takeout, and think up things in my pajamas, The half century separating my fingers, which are moisturized with cucumber lotion and type eighty words per minute, and her bloody digits is an ordinary Land of Opportunity parable, and don't think I don't appreciate it.
Men call women faithless, changeable, and though they say it in jealousy of their own ever-threatened sexual honor, there is some truth in it. We can change our life, our being; no matter what our will is, we are changed. As the moon changes yet is one, so we are virgin, wife, mother, grandmother. For all their restlessness, men are who they are; once they put on the man's toga they will not change again; so they make a virtue of that rigidity and resist whatever might soften it and set them free.