Is there any good reason why we cannot extend our multi-cultural generosity to include another dimension? That of time. The past, too, is another country. Its ghosts may look strange and frightening and slightly misshapen in body and mind, but all the more reason then, to welcome them to our shores.
People talk about the beauty of the spring, but I can't see it. The trees are brown and bare, slimy with rain. Some are crawling with new purple hairs. And the buds are bulging like tumorous acne, and I can tell that something wet, and soft, and cold, and misshapen is about to be born. And I am turning into a vampire.
Katie began to draw in the secrecy of her room, in anger at first, using her mother's pencils and whatever paper she could find. Sometimes, she had to steal from Nader's study to replenish her supplies, but it was worth it. She was nothing but a scribbler to begin with - scrawled lines, misshapen monsters - but slowly, she found a style.
Carla H. Krueger
Think of a potter taking a misshapen bowl from his wheel and pounding it back into the tub of clay. A soul suffers while it is being pounded in this way, and suffers until it ceases to be. You are pounded down, and that which was you gets into something else. God tries again, and tries until the Work is complete. Meanwhile you, my son, are long gone
Gingerbread I knew I had to get out of there before the icing cracked and they discovered that I'm burnt around the edges, doughy in the center, that what they thought was sugar is salt. If I was a good girl, if I could satisfy their cravings, if every dream in my misshapen head didn't bite, I might have stayed at the table. Wouldn't you run, too, from such voracious love?
The universal social pressure upon women to be all alike, and do all the same things, and to be content with identical restrictions, has resulted not only in terrible suffering in the lives of exceptional women, but also in the loss of unmeasured feminine values in special gifts. The Drama of the Woman of Genius has too often been a tragedy of misshapen and perverted power.
Anna Garlin Spencer
The intimate coupling of two men or two women is not marriage. It is a pale and misshapen counterfeit that will only serve to empty marriage of its meaning and destroy the institution that is the keystone in the arch of civilization ... Marriage is the sine qua non for healthy children and a stable society. It is 'fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race'...
D. James Kennedy
Human life-that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass, nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams.
Human life--that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass, nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Actual life was chaos, but there was something terribly logical in the imagination. It was the imagination that set remorse to dog the feet of sin. It was the imagination that made each crime bear its misshapen brood. In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished, nor the good rewarded. Success was given to the strong, failure thrust upon the weak. That was all.
Cole grasped a handful of vials and syringes with one hand and dumped them on the island in front of me. They rolled and whirled in misshapen circles on the counter surface. "Here are our options." My ears rang. "We have more than one?" "Three, precisely," Cole said. He pointed to each in turn. "That one makes you a wolf. That one makes me a wolf. That one gives us both seizures.
The mainland can stretch until it breaks at the weakest points, and those weaknesses are called faults. Each island represented a victory and a defeat: it had either pulled itself free or pulled too hard and found itself alone. Later, as these islands grew older, they turned their misfortune into virtue, learned to accept their cragginess, their misshapen coasts, ragged where they'd been torn. They acquired grace.
And I would have answered: "The knottier the branch, the more twisted and misshapen, the more bent people called it, the harder it is to find it a place among the smooth planks, the more people agree that it should be thrown on the fire, the more useless it is, the more unsuitable for anything except letting one's imagination run riot, the more I covet it, the more I yearn to weigh it in my hand, the more I long to let my whittling knife be guided by its knots and veins... Yes, bring that piece to me...
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make one almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie.
Sometimes I daydream about merging my body with my computer so that I can more fully enter the landscapes of Google Earth, lush surface world without pollution or traffic, planet seen from the vantage point of space and roving surveillance vehicles, a motionless field, magnifying the normal imperfections and irregularities of the earth so that the planet is rendered transparent, misshapen and yet intoxicating in its languishing distinction from the real.
My Lord, I find thy face apelike and thy form misshapen. Thy beard, moreover, is an offense against decency, resembling more closely the scabrous fir which doth decorate the hinder portion of a mongrel dog than a proper adornement for a human face. Is it possible that thy mother, seized by some wild lechery, did dally at some time past with a randy goat? -Mandorallen
Can human nature ever be wholly and radically transformed? Can the man whom God made good be made wicked by man? Can the soul be reshaped in its entirety by destiny and made evil because destiny is evil? Can the heart become misshapen and afflicted with ugly, incurable deformities under disproportionate misfortune, like a spinal column bent beneath a too low roof?
The fairy tale is not the conclusion, but the doorway to a more brilliant reality. Pushed onto a pedestal as the final answer their worth is misshapen and distorted. The world's story may end with a couple living happily ever after but our life in Christ enables the intimacy of the human relationship to illuminate an eternal perfection. In a balanced perspective, neither denigrated nor exalted from their intended place, fairy tales are a lovely and exhilarating part of life.
One thing they don't tell you 'bout the blues when you got 'em, you keep on fallin' 'cause there ain't no bottom, ' sings Emmylou Harris, and she may be right. Perhaps it would help to be told that there is no bottom, save, as they say, wherever and whenever you stop digging. You have to stand there, spade in hand, cold whiskey sweat beaded on your brow, eyes misshapen and wild, some sorry-ass grave digger grown bone-tired of the trade. You have to stand there in the dirty rut you dug, alone in the darkness, in all its pulsing quiet, surrounded by the scandal of corpses.
Cynthia had been on friendly terms with an eccentric librarian called Porlock who in the last years of his dusty life had been engaged in examining old books for miraculous misprints such as the substitution of "1" for the second "h" in the word "hither." Contrary to Cynthia, he cared nothing for the thrill of obscure predictions; all he sought was the freak itself, the chance that mimics choice, the flaw that looks like a flower; and Cynthia, a much more perverse amateur of misshapen or illicitly connected words, puns, logogriphs, and so on, had helped the poor crank to pursue a quest that in the light of the example she cited struck me as statistically insane. ("The Vane Sisters")
Now in sober truth there is a magnificent idea in these monsters of the Apocalypse. It is, I suppose, the idea that beings really more beautiful or more universal than we are might appear to us frightful and even confused. Especially they might seem to have senses at once more multiplex and more staring; an idea very imaginatively seized in the multitude of eyes. I like those monsters beneath the throne very much. But I like them beneath the throne. It is when one of them goes wandering in deserts and finds a throne for himself that evil faiths begin, and there is (literally) the devil to pay-to pay in dancing girls or human sacrifice. As long as those misshapen elemental powers are around the throne, remember that the thing that they worship is the likeness of the appearance of a man.
Samsa looked down in dismay at his naked body. How ill-formed it was! Worse than ill-formed. It possessed no means of self-defense. Smooth white skin (covered by only a perfunctory amount of hair) with fragile blue blood vessels visible through it; a soft, unprotected belly; ludicrous, impossibly shaped genitals; gangly arms and legs (just two of each!); a scrawny, breakable neck; an enormous, misshapen head with a tangle of stiff hair on its crown; two absurd ears, jutting out like a pair of seashells. Was this thing really him? Could a body so preposterous, so easy to destroy (no shell for protection, no weapons for attack), survive in the world?
Don't creationists ever wonder about the fact that the paleontologists found ape-like skulls with the 'human leg and foot bones,' rather than the other way around, i.e., human skulls with 'ape leg and foot bones?'... Come on, creationists, think about it! Did God hide the human skulls, only leaving behind leg and foot bones belonging to human midgets with misshapen feet, and mix such bones only with the skulls of ape-like creatures with larger cranial capacities than living apes? What a 'kidder' the creationists' God must be.
Formation may be the best name for what happens in a circle of trust, because the word refers, historically, to soul work done in community. But a quick disclaimer is in order, since formation sometimes means a process quite contrary to the one described in this book-a process in which the pressure of orthodox doctrine, sacred text, and institutional authority is applied to the misshapen soul in order to conform it to the shape dictated by some theology. This approach is rooted in the idea that we are born with souls deformed by sin, and our situation is hopeless until the authorities "form" us properly. But all of that is turned upside down by the principles of a circle of trust: I applaud the theologian who said that "the idea of humans being born alienated from the Creator would seem an abominable concept." Here formation flows from the belief that we are born with souls in perfect form. As time goes on, we subject to powers of deformation, from within as well as without, that twist us into shapes alien to the shape of the soul. But the soul never loses its original form and never stops calling us back to our birhtright integrity.
Parker J. Palmer
She wrote, in the last pages, of feeling all the evil of the neighborhood around her. Rather, she wrote obscurely, good and evil are mixed together and reinforce each other in turn. Marcello, if you thought about it, was really a good arrangement, but the good tasted of the bad and the bad tasted of the good, it was a mixture that took your breath away. A few evenings earlier, something had happened that had really scared her. Marcello had left, the television was off, the house was empty, Rino was out, her parents were going to bed. She was alone in the kitchen washing the dishes and was tired, really without energy, when there was an explosion. She had turned suddenly and realized that the big copper pot had exploded. Like that, by itself. It was hanging on the nail where it normally hung, but in the middle there was a large hole and the rim was lifted and twisted and the pot itself was all deformed, as if it could no longer maintain its appearance as a pot. Her mother had hurried in in her nightgown and blamed her for dropping it and ruining it. But a copper pot, even if you drop it, doesn't break and doesn't become misshapen like that. "It's this sort of thing, " Lila concluded, "that frightens me. More than Marcello, more than anyone. And I feel that I have to find a solution, otherwise, everything, one thing after another, will break, everything, everything.
If Shakespeare be considered as a MAN born in a rude age and educated in the lowest manner, without any instruction either from the world or from books, he may be regarded as a prodigy; if represented as a POET capable of furnishing a proper entertainment to a refined or intelligent audience, we must abate much of this eulogy. In his compositions, we regret that many irregularities, and even absurdities, should so frequently disfigure the animated and passionated scenes intermixed with them; and, at the same time, we perhaps admire the more those beauties on account of their being surrounded by such deformities. A striking peculiarity of sentiment, adapted to a single character, he frequently hits, as it were, by inspiration; but a reasonable propriety of thought he cannot for any time uphold. Nervous and picturesque expressions as well as descriptions abound in him; but it is in vain we look either for purity or simplicity of diction. His total ignorance of all theatrical art and conduct, however material a defect, yet, as it affects the spectator rather than the reader, we can more easily excuse than that want of taste which often prevails in his productions, and which gives way only by intervals to the irradiations of genius. [... ] And there may even remain a suspicion that we overrate, if possible, the greatness of his genius; in the same manner as bodies often appear more gigantic on account of their being disproportioned and misshapen.