And it is in this darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or comfort our own minds, when we seem to be useless and worthy of all contempt, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close to us for us to identify is stripped away from our souls. It is in this darkness that we find liberty. It is in this abandonment that we are made strong. This is the night which empties us and makes us pure.
These are the technicalities. The jetes and pirouettes.. but the music of the dance lies in the subtle signals between the steps: the fish's delivery of them, the fisherman's read of and response to them, which, if she's good, must be near telepathic. That's what takes a death-grip on your concentration. That's why your mind empties of all trivia, which, when playing a fish, includes just about everything else you could possible think of. That is what anglers live for.
The more supple vagabond, too, is sure to appear on the least rumor of such a gathering, and the next day to disappear, and go into his hole like the seventeen-year locust, in an ever-shabby coat, though finer than the farmer's best, yet never dressed.... He especially is the creature of the occasion. He empties both his pockets and his character into the stream, and swims in such a day. He dearly loves the social slush. There is no reserve of soberness in him.
Henry David Thoreau
The general policy of the past has been to drive, but the era of force must give way to that of knowledge, and the policy of the future will be to teach and to lead, to the advantage of all concerned. Henry Gantt If a man empties his purse into his head no man can take it from him. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
On its outer surface time is vulnerable to transience. Regardless of its sadness or beauty, each day empties and vanishes. In its deeper heart, time is transfiguration. Time minds possibility and makes sure that nothing is lost or forgotten. That which seems to pass away on the surface of time is in fact transfigured and housed in the tabernacle of memory.
The saving of empty beer and liquor bottles is a strange college phenomenon. I bet most of you college students reading this right now have some empties on a shelf in your room. Everyone knows how much college kids like to drink, do we really need to display it? It's a good thing, though, that this trend stops after college. Wouldn't it be weird if your parents had empty wine bottles up on their bedroom wall?
My horizon lightened, I see an old woman. Who is she? Where is she from? Bent over, the ends of her boubou tied behind her, she empties into a plastic bag the left-overs of red rice. Her smiling face tells of the pleasant day she has just had. She wants to take back proof of this to her family, living perhaps in Ouakam, Thiaroye or Pikine. Standing upright, her eyes meeting my disapproving look, she mutters between teeth reddened by cola nuts: 'Lady, death is just as beautiful as life has been.
A real Christian in an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
Catholicism is the big house of Christianity. It's got many, many rooms in it. And I've always been attracted to the rooms which are to do with prayer. The mystical strain is the strain whereby the whole day can be given over to prayer through what we call lectio divina, prayerful reading of Scripture, through practice of meditation of when one uses the imagination and the intellect with respect to images, and then finally, and most difficult of all, contemplation, where one empties the mind of all images and all ideas, all concepts, in order to be completely attentive to God.
I love the imagery of struggle. I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient. Allow me to inform you, though, that when you sit in a room with a set of other finalists, and kindly people bring a huge transparent bag of poison and plug it into your arm, and you either read or don't read a book while the venom sack gradually empties itself into your system, the image of the ardent solider is the very last one that will occur to you. You feel swamped with passivity and impotence: dissolving in powerlessness like a sugar lump in water.
You pigs, you. You rut like pigs, is all. You got the most in you, and you use the least. You hear me, you? Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties. All a you. Every you... ' [... ] Take a war to make you spend. Take a jam to make you think. Take a challenge to make you great. Rest of the time you sit around lazy, you. Pigs, you! All right, God damn you! I challenge you, me. Die or live and be great. Blow yourselves to Christ gone or come and find me, Gully Foyle, and I make you men. I make you great. I give you the stars.
Nay, we sometimes proceed so far as to trust in ourselves, and depend on our own power, strength, and abilities. Then it is that God in mere mercy interposes, and breaks us in pieces; humbles, and confounds us, and so empties us of ourselves, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Which we cannot be, without being first emptied of that arrogance and self-conceit which stand in perfect opposition to the grace of God. Hence it appears that hope is a MILITANT VIRTUE, fighting against all that confidence in ourselves; all that self-exaltation upon the score of our own gifts, merits, righteousness, prosperity, honours, and riches, in which the natural man reposes all his confidence. The business of hope is to oppose and conquer all these delusions of the devil, and to seek its rest in the sanctuary of God.
But we have, if not our understanding, our own experience, and it feels to me sealed, inviolable, ours. We have a last, deep week together, because Wally is not on morphine yet, because he has just enough awareness, just enough ability to communicate with me. I'm with him almost all day and night- little breaks, for swimming, for walking the dogs. Outside it snows and snows, deeper and deeper; we seem to live in a circle of lamplight. I rub his feet, make him hot cider. All week I feel like we're taking one another in, looking and looking. I tell him I love him and he says I love you, babe, and then when it's too hard for him to speak he smiles back at me with the little crooked smile he can manage now, and I know what it means. I play music for him, the most encompassing and quiet I can find: Couperin, Vivaldi, the British soprano Lesley Garret singing arias he loved, especially the duet from Lakme: music of freedom, diving, floating. How can this be written? Shouldn't these sentences simply be smithereened apart, broken in a hurricane? All that afternoon he looks out at us though a little space in his eyes, but I know he sees and registers: I know that he's loving us, actively; if I know nothing else about this man, after nearly thirteen years, I know that. I bring all the animals, and then I sit there myself, all afternoon, the lamps on. The afternoon's so quiet and deep it seems almost to ring, like chimes, a cold, struck bell. I sit into the evening, when he closes his eyes. There is an inaudible roaring, a rush beneath the surface of things, beneath the surface of Wally, who has now almost no surface- as if I could see into him, into the great hurrying current, that energy, that forward motion which is life going on. I was never this close to anyone in my life. His living's so deep and absolute that it pulls me close to that interior current, so far inside his life. And my own. I know I am going to be more afraid than I have ever been, but right now I am not afraid. I am face to face with the deepest movement in the world, the point of my love's deepest reality- where he is most himself, even if that self empties out into no one, swift river hurrying into the tumble of rivers, out of individuality, into the great rushing whirlwind of currents. All the love in the world goes with you.