The love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self, where we mope and mow, striking sparks, and rubbing phosphorescences out of the walls, and blowing our own breath in our own nostrils, instead of issuing to the fair sunlight of God, the sweet winds of the universe.
If you hate the war, that's fine. But you should still support the troops. They don't get to pick where they're deployed. They just gave the American people a blank check for anything up to and including the value of their lives, and the least everyone else can do is be thankful. Buy them dinner. Mow their yard. Bake them cookies.
I have four sons whom I love dearly. Suppose our lawn needed to be cut. I could say, "Boys, can you see the need? The grass is high. It's above my knees. Soon I will not be able to get to the garage. Don't you see the desperate need?" But in the final analysis, they get out the mower because their father says, "Mow the grass!" World evangelization is an imperative because Jesus said so.
Your first leader is your dad. 'course he controls your food and shelter, so, he's not really a leader, he's more of a fascist dictator. But dictators have dreams too. Your dad doesn't. He gave them up when he had you. So remember that next time you say, I don't want to cut the lawn. Just shut up and mow the grass and save the lip for your teachers.
I will destroy you. No matter how long it takes, no matter what it costs me. I won't sleep, I won't eat. I won't do anything but plot your downfall. I will mow down your men like they're weeds. I'll kill so many of them so viciously, so brutally, so horribly that no one will dare to work for you. And sooner or later, I'll get you too.
Look, I'm just this kid from Toronto who got his start in school plays. I still live with my folks who make me mow the grass and take the garbage out. Then one day, I'm on this multimillion dollar set surrounded by R2D2 and C3PO. Every nuance was surreal. The saber. A thrill. The outfit and cloak? Mind-boggling. Meeting R2D2. An out-of-body experience.
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your hair; watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it.
When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 to his younger brother, and tell him that this is "fair". Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money. When he cries, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy". Later in life he will thank you.
When a woman extends her hand for you to shake it, then you shake her hand. You do not turn it up and kiss it. And it is just so creepy. Because, you know, I handed it at this angle. I handed it at the handshake angle and so I'm not giving it to you to do whatever you want with it. I'm not loaning it to you. It's like if somebody borrowed your lawnmower and you're assuming they're going to use it to mow their lawn. You don't want to find out later they put it in the ocean!
When Isaiah predicted that spears would become pruning hooks, that's a reference to cultivating. Pruning and trimming and growing and paying close attention to the plants and whether they're getting enough water and if their roots are deep enough. Soil under the fingernails, grapes being trampled under bare feet, fingers sticky from handling fresh fruit. It's that green stripe you get around the sole of your shoes when you mow the lawn. Life in the age to come. Earthy.
Losing builds character. So, if you're the loser in your family, don't worry. 'Cos twenty years form now, that perfect can do no wrong brother of yours is going to show up at your house, bald, fat, divorced, with six kids who all hate him and he's going to ask you for money. And because of your character, you're going to look him right in the eyes and you're going to say, You know what, I'll give you some money. If you mow my lawn and detail my car. Oh yeah, then you can shampoo the tail. Loser.
The house-cat is a four-legged quadruped, the legs as usual being at the corners. It is what is sometimes called a tame animal, though it feeds on mice and birds of prey. Its colours are striped, it does not bark, but breathes through its nose instead of its mouth. Cats also mow, which you all have heard. Cats have nine liveses, but which is seldom wanted in this country, coz' of Christianity. Cats eat meat and most anythink speshuelly where you can't afford. That is all about cats." (From a schoolboy's essay, 1903.)
If Congress were to pass a 'flat' tax, you'd simply pay a fixed percentage of your income, and you wouldn't have to fill out any complicated forms, and there would be no loopholes for politically connected groups, and normal people would actually understand the tax laws, and giant talking broccoli stalks would come around and mow your lawn for free, because Congress is NOT going to pass a flat tax, you pathetic fool.
Think they work you too hard? Think of poor Ali Sard. He has to mow grass in his uncle's backyard and its quick growing grass and it grows as he mows it the faster he mows it the faster he grows it. And all that his stingy old uncle will pay for his shoving mower around the hay is piffulous pay of two dooklas a day. And Ali can't live on such piffulous pay!
TV was entertainment of the last resort. There was nothing on during the day in the summer other than game shows and soap operas. Besides, a TV-watching child was considered available for chores: take out the trash, clean your room, pick up that mess, fold those towels, mow the lawn... the list was endless. We all became adept at chore-avoidance. Staying out of sight was a reliable strategy. Drawing or painting was another: to my mother, making art trumped making beds. A third choir-avoidance technique was to read. A kid with his or her nose in a book is a kid who is not fighting, yelling, throwing, breaking things, bleeding, whining, or otherwise creating a Mom-size headache. Reading a book was almost like being invisible - a good thing for all concerned.
My old friend, what are you looking for? After years abroad you've come back with images you've nourished under foreign skies far from you own country.' 'I'm looking for my old garden; the trees come to my waist and the hills resemble terraces yet as a child I used to play on the grass under great shadows and I would run for hours breathless over the slopes.' 'My old friend, rest, you'll get used to it little by little; together we will climb the paths you once knew, we will sit together under the plane trees' dome. They'll come back to you little by little, your garden and your slopes.' 'I'm looking for my old house, the tall windows darkened by ivy; I'm looking for the ancient column known to sailors. How can I get into this coop? The roof comes to my shoulders and however far I look I see men on their knees as though saying their prayers.' 'My old friend, don't you hear me? You'll get used to it little by little. Your house is the one you see and soon friends and relatives will come knocking at the door to welcome you back tenderly.' 'Why is your voice so distant? Raise your head a little so that I understand you. As you speak you grow gradually smaller as though you're sinking into the ground.' 'My old friend, stop a moment and think: you'll get used to it little by little. Your nostalgia has created a non-existent country, with laws alien to earth and man.' 'Now I can't hear a sound. My last friend has sunk. Strange how from time to time they level everything down. Here a thousand scythe-bearing chariots go past and mow everything down
In conscious life, we achieve some sense of ourselves as reasonably unified, coherent selves, and without this action would be impossible. But all this is merely at the 'imaginary' level of the ego, which is no more than the tip of the iceberg of the human subject known to psychoanalysis. The ego is function or effect of a subject which is always dispersed, never identical with itself, strung out along the chains of the discourses which constitute it. There is a radical split between these two levels of being - a gap most dramatically exemplified by the act of referring to myself in a sentence. When I say 'Tomorrow I will mow the lawn, ' the 'I' which I pronounce is an immediately intelligible, fairly stable point of reference which belies the murky depths of the 'I' which does the pronouncing. The former 'I' is known to linguistic theory as the 'subject of the enunciation', the topic designated by my sentence; the latter 'I', the one who speaks the sentence, is the 'subject of the enunciating', the subject of the actual act of speaking. In the process of speaking and writing, these two 'I's' seem to achieve a rough sort of unity; but this unity is of an imaginary kind. The 'subject of the enunciating', the actual speaking, writing human person, can never represent himself or herself fully in what is said: there is no sign which will, so to speak, sum up my entire being. I can only designate myself in language by a convenient pronoun. The pronoun 'I' stands in for the ever-elusive subject, which will always slip through the nets of any particular piece of language; and this is equivalent to saying that I cannot 'mean' and 'be' simultaneously. To make this point, Lacan boldly rewrites Descartes's 'I think, therefore I am' as: 'I am not where I think, and I think where I am not.
I immersed myself in my relationship with my husband, in little ways at first. Dutch would come home from his morning workout and I'd bring him coffee as he stepped out of the shower. He'd slip into a crisp white shirt and dark slacks and run a little goop through his hair, and I'd eye him in the mirror with desire and a sultry smile that he couldn't miss. He'd head to work and I'd put a love note in his bag-just a line about how proud I was of him. How beautiful he was. How happy I was as his wife. He'd come home and cook dinner and instead of camping out in front of the TV while he fussed in the kitchen, I'd keep him company at the kitchen table and we'd talk about our days, about our future, about whatever came to mind. After dinner, he'd clear the table and I'd do the dishes, making sure to compliment him on the meal. On those weekends when he'd head outside to mow the lawn, I'd bring him an ice-cold beer. And, in those times when Dutch was in the mood and maybe I wasn't, well, I got in the mood and we had fun. As the weeks passed and I kept discovering little ways to open myself up to him, the most amazing thing happened. I found myself falling madly, deeply, passionately, head-over-heels in love with my husband. I'd loved him as much as I thought I could love anybody before I'd married him, but in treating him like my own personal Superman, I discovered how much of a superhero he actually was. How giving he was. How generous. How kind, caring, and considerate. How passionate. How loving. How genuinely good. And whatever wounds had never fully healed from my childhood finally, at long last, formed scar tissue. It was like being able to take a full breath of air for the first time in my life. It was transformative. And it likely would save our marriage, because, at some point, all that withholding would've turned a loving man bitter. On some level I think I'd known that and yet I'd needed my sister to point it out to me and help me change. Sometimes it's good to have people in your life that know you better than you know yourself.