A poem needs disguises. It needs secrets. It thrives on the tension between what is said and not said; it prefers the oblique, the implied, the ironic, the suggestive; when it speaks, it wants you to lean forward a little to overhear; it wants you to understand things only years later.
J. D. McClatchy
Rose lived the same life I did, but she doesn't have PTSD. No bad dreams, no missing memories. Sometimes I'm jealous that she seems to deal with everything better than I do. But then I'll catch her with this hollow look in her eyes and think maybe she just disguises everything for my benefit. Maybe she's broken on the inside too.
I once laughed at the vanity of women of thirty or forty who whitened their ruddy old skin with lead, but now I know such salves are not disguises for old crones who wish to catch a young husband. Instead they are only a mask we wear so that we can, for a little while, still recognize ourselves.
Superman comics are a fable, not of strength, but of disintegration. They appeal to the preadolescent, (sic) mind not because they reiterate grandiose delusions, but because they reiterate a very deep cry for help. Superman's two personalities can be integrated only in one thing: only in death. Only Kryptonite cuts through the disguises of both wimp and hero, and affects the man below the disguises. And what is Kryptonite? Kryptonite is all that remains of his childhood home. It is the remnants of that destroyed childhood home, and the fear of those remnants, which rule Superman's life. The possibility that the shards of that destroyed home might surface prevents him from being intimate- they prevent him from sharing the knowledge that the wimp and the hero are one. The fear of his childhood home prevents him from having pleasure. He fears that to reveal his weakness, and confusion, is, perhaps indirectly, but certainly inevitably, to receive death from the person who received that information. [... ] Far from being invulnerable, Superman is the most vulnerable of beings, because his childhood was destroyed. He can never reintegrate himself by returning to that home- it is gone. It is gone and he is living among aliens to whom he cannot even reveal his rightful name.
It was our passion for words and our ardent desire to write that drew me and Michael together, and the same that drove us apart. Michael wanted to be a great playwright, like the former master Molie¨re. He had high ambitions and scorned what I wrote as frivolous and feminine. 'All these disguises and duels and abductions, ' he said contemptuously, one day a year or so after our affair began, slapping down the pile of paper covered with my sprawling handwriting. 'All these desperate love affairs. And you wish me to take you seriously.' 'I like disguises and duels.' I sat bolt upright on the edge of my bed. 'Better than those dreary boring plays you write. At least something happens in my stories.' 'At least my plays are about something.' 'My stories are about something too. Just because they aren't boring doesn't mean they aren't worthy.' 'What are they about? Love' He clasped his hands together near his ear and fluttered his eyelashes.' 'Yes, love. What's wrong with writing about love? Everyone longs for love.' 'Aren't there enough love stories in the world without adding to them? 'Isn't there enough misery and tragedy?' Michael snorted with contempt. 'What's wrong with wanting to be happy? 'It's sugary and sentimental.' 'Sugary? I'm not sugary.' I was so angry that I hurled my shoes at his head.
I think that there are so many women who understand nothing about clothes and they should try and understand themselves before they start putting on disguises: they should stand in front of the mirror for a day, two days or three, and find out what they have which is beautiful, interesting: what they should show: hair, neck, arms, or hands.
Wounded vanity knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as it is driven from one field unfurls it in another, never admitting that there is a shade less honor in the second field than in the first, or in the third than in the second.
Helen Hunt Jackson
If we consider what happens in conversation, in reveries, in remorse, in times of passion, in surprises, in the instructions of dreams, wherein often we see ourselves in masquerade,--the droll disguises only magnifying and enhancing a real element, and forcing it on our distinct notice,--we shall catch many hints that will broaden and lighten into knowledge of the secret of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to forgive the world for its beauty, which merely disguises its ugliness; for its gentleness, which merely cloaks its cruelty; for its illusion of continuity, seamlessly, as the night follows the day, so to speak- whereas in reality life is a series of brutal raptures, falling upon your defenseless hands, like the blows of a woodman's axe?
I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits.... Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gipsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola's. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum.
We need limitations and temptations to open our inner selves, dispel our ignorance, tear off disguises, throw down old idols, and destroy false standards. Only by such rude awakenings can we be led to dwell in a place where we are less cramped, less hindered by the ever-insistent External. Only then do we discover a new capacity and appreciation of goodness and beauty and truth.
God is in everyone and everything. When we save each other or guide each other or just love each other, we are doing God's work. So God dresses in Eskimo clothing or other disguises, and responds to us whether or not we are aware enough to hear, see, or feel God's loving guidance. Everything is a tool of God, from DNA to the weather.
The life of Dumas is not only a monument of endeavour and success, it is a sort of labyrinth as well. It abounds in pseudonyms and disguises, in sudden and unexpected appearances and retreats as unexpected and sudden, in scandals and in rumours, in mysteries and traps and ambuscades of every kind.
William Ernest Henley
Here is all the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated. In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Here are all your familiar spirits-your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day. Have no fear now-we shall find him out and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!
The child--a skilled actor with a hundred masks: a different one for his mother, father, grandmother or grandfather, for a stern or lenient teacher, for the cook or maid, for his own friends, for the rich and poor. Naive and cunning, humble and haughty, gentle and vengeful, well behaved and willful, he disguises himself so well that he can lead us by the nose.
Where this age differs from those immediately preceding it is that a liberal intelligentsia is lacking. Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion, and such truisms as that a machine-gun is still a machine-gun even when a "good" man is squeezing the trigger have turned into heresies which it is actually becoming dangerous to utter.
The people of the U.S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprized in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching agst every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings.
When the truth is ugly, people try to keep it hidden, because they know if revealed, the damage it will do. So they conceal it within sturdy walls or they place it behind closed doors or they obscure it with clever disguises but truth, no matter how ugly, always emerges. And someone we care about always ends up getting hurt. And someone else will revel in their pain and that's the ugliest truth of all.
His ally was the age-old, unending human search for truth and security. In the first century as the twenty first, some were devout, some superstitious, others were frankly materialistic, even though in that age they paid lip service to the gods. Others, contemptuous of religion, believed only in mankind. But at heart, when disguises were torn away and defenses broken, lay the same anxieties and hopes.
John Charles Pollock
He, the true writer, is the department store dummy at the very center of the whole establishment, the one left alone on display all night, a price tag stapled to every piece of clothing they've yanked onto him, binoculars and frog flippers included. He is the neutral, generic human form, the gray center who must always assume disguises - in order to be seen and, therefore, to feel himself.
I could wish to spy the nakedness of their hearts, and through the different disguises of customs, climates, and religion, find out what is good in them, to fashion my own by. It is for this reason that I have not seen the Palais Royal - nor the facade of the Louvre - nor have attempted to swell the catalogues we have of pictures, statues, and churches - I conceive every fair being as a temple, and would rather enter in, and see the original drawings and loose sketches hung up in it, than the Transfiguration of Raphael itself.
Over time, years of meditation gave me glimpses of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life. I experienced that on one level we are alone, separate, apart from everyone and everything; on another level, we are the Self in different disguises, different names and forms, a part of everyone and everything. This experience of interconnectedness is part of spiritual traditions and the perennial wisdom in virtually all religions and cultures.
It is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity - the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension - can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion...
Disguise is central to God's way of dealing with us human beings. Not because God is playing games with us but because the God who is beyond our knowing makes himself known in the disguise of what we can know. The Christian word for this is revelation, and the ultimate revelation came by incarnation. ... God is the master of disguises, in order that we might see.
Richard John Neuhaus
I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful; for not only every man has, in the mighty mass of the world, great numbers in the same condition with himself, to whom his mistakes and miscarriages, escapes and expedients, would be of immediate and apparent use; but there is such a uniformity in the state of man, considered apart from adventitious and separable decorations and disguises, that there is scarce any possibility of good or ill but is common to human kind.
Nothing is so easy as to deceive one's self when one does not lack wit and is familiar with all the niceties of language. Language is a prostitute queen who descends and rises to all roles. Disguises herself, arrays herself in fine apparel, hides her head and effaces herself; an advocate who has an answer for everything, who has always foreseen everything, and who assumes a thousand forms in order to be right. The most honorable of men is he who thinks best and acts best, but the most powerful is he who is best able to talk and write
Criticism is above all a gift, an intuition, a matter of tact and flair; it cannot be taught or demonstrated--it is an art. Critical genius means an aptitude for discerning truth under appearances or in disguises which conceal it; for discovering it in spite of the errors of testimony, the frauds of tradition, the dust of time, the loss or alteration of texts. It is the sagacity of the hunter whom nothing deceives for long, and whom no ruse can throw off the trail.
Henri Frederic Amiel
What we want is never simple. We move among the things we thought we wanted: a face, a room, an open book and these things bear our names - now they want us. But what we want appears in dreams, wearing disguises. We fall past, holding out our arms and in the morning our arms ache. We don't remember the dream, but the dream remembers us. It is there all day as an animal is there under the table, as the stars are there.
What We Want What we want is never simple. We move among the things we thought we wanted: a face, a room, an open book and these things bear our names - now they want us. But what we want appears in dreams, wearing disguises. We fall past, holding out our arms and in the morning our arms ache. We don't remember the dream, but the dream remembers us. It is there all day as an animal is there under the table, as the stars are there.
Da Vinci was as great a mechanic and inventor as were Newton and his friends. Yet a glance at his notebooks shows us that what fascinated him about nature was its variety, its infinite adaptability, the fitness and the individuality of all its parts. By contrast what made astronomy a pleasure to Newton was its unity, its singleness, its model of a nature in which the diversified parts were mere disguises for the same blank atoms.
Ruthless man: you begin by slaying the animal and then you devour it, as if to slay it twice. It is not enough. You turn against the dead flesh, it revolts you, it must be transformed by fire, boiled and roasted, seasoned and disguised with drugs; you must have butchers, cooks, turnspits, men who will rid the murder of its horrors, who will dress the dead bodies so that the taste decieved by these disguises will not reject what is strange to it, and will feast on corpses, the very sight of which would sicken you.
The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate; those soft intervals of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his natural dimensions, and throws aside the ornaments or disguises which he feels in privacy to be useless incumbrances, and to lose all effect when they become familiar. To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.
The traditional gender ideals of the strong-silent man who plays his cards close to his chest and the mysterious woman who disguises her feelings with coyness go so far as to make a virtue of being unavailable and secretive. But wholehearted intimacy can develop only where two people are equally forthcoming and self-revelatory. To take the risk of loving, we must become vulnerable enough to test the radical proposition that knowledge of another and self-revelation will ultimately increase rather than decrease love. It is an awe-ful risk.
It is the illusion of magic and the magic of illusion that we are primarily interested in- not the privy tricks or the key to the secrets themselves. We seek the bafflement, the contradictions, the amusements, and the innumerable emotions that ripple uneasily through the audience. It is not knowledge we are after, but mystery and disguises. We want to gaze at the impossible. We are hungry for surprises, astonishment. In short, we are looking for a true story, but one impossible to explain in all its complexity. When we discover that story, we shall have found- magic.