Janitor Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary's mother had accepted him as her son's lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she'd barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she'd hunted through her son's drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. '... And yet, ' he whispered, 'The janitor at school-remember him? Mr. Feeney? -he'd openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers... ' What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions-the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he'd become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both-Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. 'The irony, ' he said, '... is that now that I'm this blind man, it's clearer to me than it's ever been before. What's the line? 'Was blind but now I see... '' He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. 'You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought... said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message... That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I'm fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness-That's what makes me sad. Everyone's so scared to be happy.' 'I know what you mean, ' I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. 'No you don't, ' he said. 'You mustn't. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you're afraid.' 'I'm not afraid. It's more like... ' I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. 'I'll give you what I learned from all this, ' he said. 'Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.

Wally Lamb
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.

Mary Rose O'Reilley
Oleh akibat ketidak-berpihakan, ketidak-beruntungan, ketidak-terpilihan, ketidak-sesuaian, ketidak-terjawaban doa-doa, kegagalan, keterlepasan, isolasi dan kehilangan. Perlahan kamu mulai menyadari sebuah fakta, bahwa kamu ternyata tidak spesial. Simply tidak ada yang spesial dari diri kamu. Biasa saja. Cuma satu dari milyaran organisme yang terserak di perairan purba yang tak berbatas. Biasa. Biasa. Biasa. Biasa. Biasa. Biasa. Dan biasa. Seperti produk massal. Tissue toilet yang diganti setiap hari oleh petugas janitor. Lahir, mengkonsumsi, kerja, mengkonsumsi, berkembang biak, mengkonsumsi, kerja, mengkonsumsi lalu mati. Mati pun tidak pasti apakah tetap mati, ataukah kembali lagi ke bentuk awal, lahir. Begitu seterusnya. Berulang terus dan terus sampai entah kapan. Cuma serangkaian episode dari keberulangan setiap hari. Seperti sebuah roll film yang sama yang digunakan untuk merekam bermacam adegan yang berbeda setiap harinya. Adegan pertama dihapus, lalu ditindih kembali untuk bertukar dengan adegan kedua. Adegan kedua berganti yang ketiga, dan begitu seterusnya. Sebuah keberulangan yang berbeda terus menerus, tetapi tetap pada hakikatnya adalah sebuah roll film yang sama. Dalam satu gulungan besar yang sama. Dalam satu format yang serupa. Sebuah kebeluman yang terus menerus.. Banal dan tanpa makna.. Lalu, apakah sesuatu yang selamanya 'belum selesai' masih dapat dikatakan sebagai sesuatu yang spesial? Spesial itu cuma akal-akalan pemasar. Kamu spesial kalau beli produk ini, kalau beli produk itu, kalau pakai parfum ini, kalau pakai kosmetik itu, kamu spesial itu kalau dalam sehari minimal ada satu kali transaksi digerai starbucks, kamu spesial itu kalau kamu pakai iphone 6 bahkan sebelum produknya keluar di pasar lokal, kamu spesial itu kalau kamu member fitness center, tentu kamu lebih spesial lagi kalau pakai personal trainer, kamu spesial kalau kamu fashionable, kalau kamu tech savvy, kalau kamu club hopper, kamu spesial itu kalau kamu kelihatan aktif berkeringat dalam trend lari kekinian yang hampir separuhnya berisi aktivitas narsis dan konsumsi bermacam produk running shoes, kamu spesial itu cuma kalau kamu pakai brand ini, pakai brand itu, kalau ini, kalau itu, kalau, kalau, kalau, kalau dan kalau.. Spesial itu cuma ada dalam quotes-quotes yang dikasih latar gambar pemandangan, kamu bisa comot-comot dari pinterest atau instagram lalu pasang sebagai profile picture di sosial media milikmu. Pun spesial bersemayam dalam kolase omong kosong yang dirangkum buku-buku swa-bantu atau dalam kutipan ayat dari kitab suci dalam status blackberry teman-teman kamu yang berusaha kelihatan religius, tapi jauh sekali dari makna religius dalam perilaku sehari-hari. Jadi, dari pada ngga ada habisnya memikirkan jawaban dari pertanyaan mengapa kamu tidak spesial? Mungkin kamu harusnya berfikir, buat apa jadi spesial? Harus banget ya jadi spesial? Harus banget ya beda dengan yang lain? Apa perlu banget jadi beda? Emang kalau ngga ada satu pun dari kita yang spesial, kenapa? Kalau kita semua ternyata sama, memangnya kenapa? Kalau kita semua berebut jadi spesial, lalu siapa yang mau berada di posisi tidak spesial? kalau semua spesial, apakah masih spesial namanya? Sudah, sekarang terima saja, bahwa ngga ada yang spesial dari diri kamu, dan seluruh kehidupan kamu yang begitu membosankan.. hidup ngga akan pernah repot-repot berusaha untuk menjaga perasaan kamu. Apalagi susah payah menempatkan kamu di posisi yang 'spesial'. Things happen because they need to happen. Spesial itu cuma soal kamu memberi bentuk pada makna. Tentang bagaimana kamu ingin dimaknai, tentang bagaimana kamu ingin diperlakukan, tentang bagaimana (anehnya) kamu ingin menerima kembali perlakuan yang kamu inginkan justru dengan cara memberikan perlakuan itu kepada yang lain diluar diri kamu. Tentang omong kosong soal konsep memberi untuk merima lebih banyak..

Ayudhia Virga
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