If there is one lesson that I have learned during my life as an analyst, it is the lesson that what my patients tell me is likely to be true - that many times when I believed that I was right and my patients were wrong, it turned out, though often only after a prolonged search, that my rightness was superficial whereas their rightness was profound.
I don't know what good composition is.... Sometimes for me composition has to do with a certain brightness or a certain coming to restness and other times it has to do with funny mistakes. There's a kind of rightness and wrongness and sometimes I like rightness and sometimes I like wrongness.
When the Holy Spirit comes to live within you, He will come with the ability to produce righteousness. Righteousness is the nature of God, which when imparted to the human spirit, produces the rightness of God in the human spirit. It gives man right standing with God; it gives him the ability to stand in the presence of God without a sense of guilt, inferiority or condemnation. It means rightness in God. The righteousness of God is wrought in you.
Any evaluation which implies rightness or wrongness is a tragic, suicidal expression of an unmet need. Tragic, first because it decreases our likelihood of getting our need met! Even if we think it. And secondly, because it increases the likelihood of violence. That's why I'm suggesting any evaluation which implies rightness or wrongness is a tragic, suicidal expression of an unmet need. Say the need! Learn a need-consciousness.
Marshall B. Rosenberg
Writing does produce a very unique satisfaction. There are times when I'm writing that it's frustrating or appalling or difficult, but when it goes well, it goes really well, and there is a feeling of rightness, like I'm doing the thing I was meant to do, almost in a mystical way, like I'm at an appropriate angle to the world.
Your deepest, darkest sins and your shameful secrets are simply irrelevant when it comes to the counterintuitive, ecstatic announcement of the gospel. So are your goodness, your rightness, your church attendance, and all of the wise, moral, mature decisions you have made and actions you have taken.
At some point, I picked up an old library copy of 'To The Lighthouse' someone had bought for 25 cents. I began to read and didn't stop until the sun had blistered my back. A mysterious rightness, a beautiful submerged truth had invaded me, one that has ever since seemed slightly beyond my grasp.
Inevitably, anytime we are too vulnerable we feel the need to protect ourselves from further wounds. So we resort to sarcasm, cutting humor, criticism - anything that will keep from exposing the tenderness within. Each partner tends to wait on the initiative of the other for love, only to be disappointed but also confirmed as to the rightness of the accusations made.
Composition is a side issue. Its role in my selection of photographs is a negative one at best. By which I mean that the fascination of a photograph is not in its eccentric composition but in what it has to say: its information content. And, on the other hand, composition always also has its own fortuitous rightness.
Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant.
Spencer W. Kimball
They'd been forged of the same ore, two sides of the same golden, scarred coin. She'd know it when she spied him atop the execution plataform. She couldn't explain it. No one could understand that instant bond, that soul-deep assurance and rightness, unless they, too, had experienced it. But she owned no explanations to anyone - not about Aedion.
Sarah J. Maas
Can you remember how you felt when you were communicating through your artwork? Not just the sense of completion, but the sense of rightness- the sense that you had brought to life something that could live beyond your sphere of being, that held in it far more potential than you ever realized you were imbuing in the work?
Charles de Lint
He is the wise man who has by perfect living gained the instinct of rightness by which he guides himself, whether in thought or action, who has found that centre of balance which is always over his point of contact with circumstances. He is the man whom Nature pours the riches of all her instincts.
Nilakanta Sri Ram
If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there would be no evil-all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.
Spencer W. Kimball
As far back as she could remember, a phantom life had mocked her with its impenetrable "something else," but now it was the opposite. Here, in the circle of Akiva's presence, even as they spoke of war and siege and enduring enmity, she felt herself being drawn into the warm absoluteness and rightness of him, like he was both place and person and, contrary to all reason, exactly where she was supposed to be.
It is not a dreamlike state, but the somehow insulated state, that a great musician achieves in a great performance. He's aware of where he is and what he's doing, but his mind is on the playing of his instrument with an internal sense of rightness - it is not merely mechanical, it is not only spiritual; it is something of both, on a different plane and a more remote one.
To believe in explanations is good, because it means you may believe also that beneath the chaotic, mindless jumble of everything, beneath the horrible disjunction you feel at every moment between you and all you are not, there dwells in the universe a secret harmony, a coherence and rightness like a balanced equation that's out of reach for now but some day will reveal itself in its entirety.
Just that, is one of those uncommon moments, those times when you don't wish for something else, for even one thing to be different; when you have no other needs or worries, where your insides are calm, and everything you were ever restless about, anything that had ever given you angst, is quieted to stillness. No steel ball in your chest, no breathless fear. No blue numbness of nearly passing out, no nagging doubts of the backstage mind. All of that, forgotten. It is just rightness, so rare.
From its aptly noirish title on, Martin Preib's The Wagon has rightness of authenticity about it. From the perspective of a cop he fashions a compelling view of the Chicago Algren once called 'the dark city.' There's a unique quality to his essays which manage to be broodingly meditative even as their narrative drive keeps you turning pages.
I have often had a retrospective vision where everything in my past life seems to fall with significance into logical sequence. Intuition, suspicion, or confidence in new ventures; there is a strange strain within me when advantage is not taken of some situation, the immediacy of recognition of the rightness or wrongness of a mood, a response, a decision - they are so often valid that I am increasingly convinced that we have yet to grasp the reality of existence.
If you want to save capitalism there is only one type of argument that you should adopt, the only one that has ever won in any moral issue: the argument from self-esteem. Check your premises, convince yourself of the rightness of your cause, then fight for capitalism with full, moral certainty.
Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. and yet... and yet you act as if there is some ideal order in the world, as if there is some... some rightness in the universe by which it may be judged.
I shall not lie!" Eilonwy cried, "not for this traitor and deserter." "It is not for him, " Taran said quietly, "but for the sake of our quest." "It isn't right, " Eilonwy began, tears starting in her eyes. "We do not speak of rightness, " Taran answered. "We speak of a task to be finished.
When we evaluate the rightness or wrongness of actions or behavior, we need to ask ourselves if that behavior will edify""build up""ourselves or someone else, or if it will tear down. The question is not what we can get away with, but what is healthy and edifying. When it is all said and done, are we edified spiritually? Have we been built up and strengthened in our relationship with the Lord or with our spouse, or have we been weakened? Do we come away encouraged or discouraged, confident or filled with a sense of guilt or shame? Is our conscience clean?
No man - prince, peasant, pope - has all the light, who says else is a mountebank. I claim no private lien on truth, only a liberty to seek it, prove it in debate, and to be wrong a thousand times to reach a single rightness. It is that liberty they fear. They want us to be driven to God like sheep, not running to him like lovers, shouting joy!
Profoundness, genius, spontaneity, merit, nobility, ingenuity, voice propriety, feeling, discernment, sensibility, good taste, great tone, rightness, courtliness, vivacity, boldness, style, freshness, harmony, perfection, imagination, purity, correctness. The greatest writer of all times. God's most astonishing creation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mozart in his music was probably the most reasonable of the world's great composers. It is the happy balance between flight and control, between sensibility and self-discipline, simplicity and sophistication of style that is his particular province... Mozart tapped once again the source from which all music flows, expressing himself with a spontaneity and refinement and breath-taking rightness that has never since been duplicated.
The event is not what you should be working on. You should be working on your response or reaction to an event. You either react to it - that means you become victimized, and you say this thing is happening to you - or you respond to it and say the solution must come through you - that's where you stay focused, not on the rightness, wrongness, fairness of the event, but on the appropriateness of your response.
This, at last, was where things were as they ought to be. Everything was in its place -- the tree, the earth underneath, the rock, the moss. In autumn, it would be right; in winter under the snow, it would be perfect in its wintriness. Spring would come again and miracle within miracle would unfold, each at its special pace, some things having died off, some sprouting in their first spring, but all of equal and utter rightness.
Observance of customs and laws can very easily be a cloak for a lie so subtle that our fellow human beings are unable to detect it. It may help us to escape all criticism, we may even be able to deceive ourselves in the belief of our obvious righteousness. But deep down, below the surface of the average man's conscience, he hears a voice whispering, 'There is something not right,' no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or by the moral code.
Your natural instinct, from your broadest Nonphysical perspective, is to know your power. Fear is a vibration when you feel powerless. Your natural instinctual Nonphysical vibration is to know your worthiness, know your rightness, know your value. And the feeling of fear is always when you are contradicting that thought.
Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in the seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God, because if there be one, he must approve of the homage of reason rather than that of blindfolded fear...Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness, but the uprightness of the decision.
There were people thrice her size on the Trenton platform and she looked admiringly at one of them, a woman in a very short skirt. She thought nothing of slender legs shown off in miniskirts--it was safe and easy, after all, to display legs of which the world approved--but the fat woman's act was about the quiet conviction that one shared only with oneself, a sense of rightness that others failed to see.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices. It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.
The buzzard has nothing to fault himself with. Scruples are alien to the black panther. Piranhas do not doubt the rightness of their actions. The rattlesnake approves of himself without reservations. The self-critical jackal does not exist. The locust, alligator, trichina, horsefly live as they live and are glad of it. The killer whale's heart weighs one hundred kilos but in other respects it is light. There is nothing more animal-like than a clear conscience on the third planet of the Sun.
An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. Idolatry functions widely inside religious communities when doctrinal truth is elevated to the position of a false god. This occurs when people rely on the rightness of their doctrine for their standing with God rather than on God himself and his grace. It is a subtly but deadly mistake. The sign that you have slipped into this form of self-justification is that you become what the book of Proverbs calls a 'scoffer'.
Causes: As important a fact as any individual cause on earth is the vital incapacity of the human individual to distinguish between genuine cause and one which is foisted upon him by pressure, environment, propaganda, conditioning. If people had the sense they pretend to have, they would seek this fundamental distinction perceptible. Hardly anyone makes this effort. This is partly because it is an invisible but powerful part of their culture to teach that conditioned emotionality and 'causes' whose necessity, urgency or rightness is only conditioned into them, are necessarily, right.
A man who knows a thing, recognizes a given danger, and sees with his own eyes the possibility of a remedy, damned well has the duty and the obligation not to work 'silently', but to stand up openly against the evil and for its cure. If he does not do so then he is a faithless, miserable weakling who fails either from cowardice or from laziness and incompetence....Every last agitator who possesses the courage to defend his opinions with manly forth-rightness, standing on a tavern table among his adversaries, accomplishes more than a thousand of these lying, treacherous sneaks.
George Lincoln Rockwell
She understood now that while it had been wrong to kill Cansrel, it had also been right. The boy with the strange eyes had helped her to see the rightness of it. The boy who'd killed Archer. Some people had too much power and too much cruelty to live. Some people were too terrible, no matter if you loved them; no matter that you had to make yourself terrible too, in order to stop them. Some things just had to be done. I forgive myself, though Fire. Today, I forgive myself.
Certitude leads to violence. This is a proposition that has an easy application and a difficult one. The easy application is to ideoologues, dogmatists, and bullies-people who think that their rigtness justifies them in imposing on anyone who does not happen to suscribe to their particular ideology, dogma or notion of turf. If the conviction of rightness is powerful enough, resistance to it will be met, sooner or later by force. There are people like this in every sphere of life, and it is natural to feel that the world would be a better place without them!
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Certitude leads to violence. This is a proposition that has an easy application and a difficult one. The easy application is to ideoologues, dogmatists, and bullies--people who think that their rigtness justifies them in imposing on anyone who does not happen to suscribe to their particular ideology, dogma or notion of turf. If the conviction of rightness is powerful enough, resistance to it will be met, sooner or later by force. There are people like this in every sphere of life, and it is natural to feel that the world would be a better place without them!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The vainglory of wishing to understand is dangerous, immoral and, above all, old-fashioned. The modern way - perhaps the final way - is to say: Go forward, without knowing why, as quickly as possible, towards an unknown goal! To act and think are opposites which identify one only in the Absolute. To accomplish all one's movements - of the head, the arms, the legs - without ever quite attaining the status of a puppet, but with a certainty that gives one a feeling of rightness: that is what is nowadays held up as the ideal. Be citizens of Universal activity! Forget to be conscious of ourselves! The blind horse gallops without hesitation, not knowing where it is going, not caring where it has been: so let up put out our eyes!
Remy de Gourmont
ART The world is full of confusion and contradiction. We cannot expect to do anything that is absolutely right. We can only measure rightness by the truth within ourselves. And our own truth will never be quite the same as somebody else's. I wish that I could touch you and be sure that it was the right thing to do. I only want to touch you briefly. Just once so that you will know. We are flesh and blood and full of faults. But we are also full of warmth. The world is full of confusion but there is compassion in its midst. communication via simple touch can transmit so much of us in just one minute. Like a painting or a piece of music. I want to touch your soul. I only wish I could be sure it was the right thing to do.
The universe and the events in it are thus perfect examples to imitate. However, no matter how perfect the example is, everyone will draw and interpret objects according to their abilities. Charles Lako, commenting on aesthetics once said, that the magnificent scene at sunset would remind a farmer of the rather unaesthetic thought of dinner; the physicist, not of beauty or ugliness, but of the rightness or wrongness of the analysis of a matter. Thus, for Lalo, the sunset is beautiful only for those who are aware of beauty. Therefore, only those who see with God and hear with God can appreciate the beauty that spreads throughout existence as their senses are tuned to the spiritual realms.
M. Fethullah Gulen
All right, " said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little-" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES. "So we can believe the big ones?" YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING. "They're not the same at all!" YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET-Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME... SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED. "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-" MY POINT EXACTLY.
Then he was there, turned half toward her with a guarded expression etched across his face. She didn't stop or even slow her step. When she reached him, she grabbed the front of his shirt in both fists, pulling him to her, pushing her mouth up into his. Heat swirled through her as she pulled his face even closer, tighter. His arms wound around her and their bodies melded with a rightness she didn't bother to question. Her lips filled with the sweetness of his mouth and Tamani held her against him as if he could somehow pull her inside him, make her part of him. And for a moment, she did feel like a part of him. As if their kiss bridged the gap between the two worlds, even if only for that one brief, sparkling moment. A sigh that held the weight of years shuddered out of Tamani as their faces drew apart. "Thank you, " Tamani whispered, almost too quiet to be heard.
Many [Tudor-era religious radicals] believed then, exactly as Christian fundamentalists do today, that they lived in the 'last days' before Armageddon and, again just as now, saw signs all around in the world that they took as certain proof that the Apocalypse was imminent. Again like fundamentalists today, they looked on the prospect of the violent destruction of mankind without turning a hair. The remarkable similarity between the first Tudor Puritans and the fanatics among today's Christian fundamentalists extends to their selective reading of the Bible, their emphasis on the Book of Revelation, their certainty of their rightness, even to their phraseology. Where the Book of Revelation is concerned, I share the view of Guy, that the early church fathers released something very dangerous on the world when, after much deliberation, they decided to include it in the Christian canon." [From the author's concluding Historical Note]
The vulgar modern argument used against religion, and lately against common decency, would be absolutely fatal to any idea of liberty. It is perpetually said that because there are a hundred religions claiming to be true, it is therefore impossible that one of them should really be true. The argument would appear on the face of it to be illogical, if anyone nowadays troubled about logic. It would be as reasonable to say that because some people thought the earth was flat, and others (rather less incorrectly) imagined it was round, and because anybody is free to say that it is triangular or hexagonal, or a rhomboid, therefore it has no shape at all; or its shape can never be discovered; and, anyhow, modern science must be wrong in saying it is an oblate spheroid. The world must be some shape, and it must be that shape and no other; and it is not self-evident that nobody can possibly hit on the right one. What so obviously applies to the material shape of the world equally applies to the moral shape of the universe. The man who describes it may not be right, but it is no argument against his rightness that a number of other people must be wrong.
The argument that there are just wars often rests on the social system of the nation engaging in war. It is supposed that if a 'liberal' state is at war with a 'totalitarian' state, then the war is justified. The beneficent nature of a government was assumed to give rightness to the wars it wages... Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt were liberals, which gave credence to their words exalting the two world wars, just as the liberalism of Truman made going into Korea more acceptable and the idealism of Kennedy's New Frontier and Johnson's Great Society gave an early glow of righteousness to the war in Vietnam. What the experience of Athens suggests is that a nation may be relatively liberal at home and yet totally ruthless abroad. Indeed, it may more easily enlist its population in cruelty to others by pointing to the advantages at home. An entire nation is made into mercenaries, being paid with a bit of democracy at home for participating in the destruction of life abroad.
You see what I am driving at. The mentally handicapped do not have a consciousness of power. Because of this perhaps their capacity for love is more immediate, lively and developed than that of other men. They cannot be men of ambition and action in society and so develop a capacity for friendship rather than for efficiency. They are indeed weak and easily influenced, because they confidently give themselves to others; they are simple certainly, but often with a very attractive simplicity. Their first reaction is often one of welcome and not of rejection or criticism. Full of trust, they commit themselves deeply. Who amongst us has not been moved when met by the warm welcome of our boys and girls, by their smiles, their confidence and their outstretched arms. Free from the bonds of conventional society, and of ambition, they are free, not with the ambitious freedom of reason, but with an interior freedom, that of friendship. Who has not been struck by the rightness of their judgments upon the goodness or evil of men, by their profound intuition on certain human truths, by the truth and simplicity of their nature which seeks not so much to appear to be, as to be. Living in a society where simplicity has been submerged by criticism and sometimes by hypocrisy, is it not comforting to find people who can be aware, who can marvel? Their open natures are made for communion and love.
There is some firm place in me which knows that what happened to Wally, whatever it was, whatever it is that death is as it transliterates us, moving us out of this life into what we can't know, is kind. I shock myself, writing that. I know that many deaths are anything but gentle. I know people suffer terribly... I know many die abandoned, unseen, their stories unheard, their dignity violated, their human worth ignored. I suspect that the ease of Wally's death, the rightness of it, the loving recognition which surrounded him, all made it possible for me to see clearly, to witness what other circumstances might obscure. I know, as surely as I know anything, that he's all right now. And yet. And yet he's gone, an absence so forceful it is itself a daily hourly presence. My experience of being with Wally... brought me to another sort of perception, but I can't stay in that place, can't sustain that way of seeing. The experience of knowing, somehow, that he's all right, lifted in some kind process that turns at the heart of the world, gives way, as it must, to the plain aching fact that he's gone. And doubt. And the fact that we can't understand, that it's our condition to not know. Is that our work in the world, to learn to dwell in such not-knowing? We need our doubt so as to not settle for easy answers. Not-knowing pushes us to struggle after meaning for ourselves... Doubt's lesson seems to be that whatever we conclude must be provisional, open to revision, subject to correction by forces of change. Leave room, doubt says, for the unknowable, for what it will never quite be your share to see. Stanley Kunitz says somewhere that if poetry teaches us anything, it is that we can believe two completely contradictory things at once. And so I can believe that death is utter, unbearable rupture, just as I know that death is kind.
It had been his opinion that it might serve his country if the Chinese and his men saw that he was not afraid to die. For the comprehension of our age and the part treason has played in it, it is necessary to realize there are many English people who would have felt acutely embarrassed if they had to read aloud the story of this young man's death, or to listen to it, or comment on it in public. They would have admitted that he had shown extreme capacity for courage and self-sacrifice, and that these are admirable qualities, likely to help humanity in the struggle for survival; but at the same time he would not please them. They would have felt more at ease with many of the traitors in this book. They would have conceded that on general principles it is better not to lie, not to cheat, not to betray; but they also would feel that Water's heroism has something dowdy about it while treason has a certain style a sort of elegance, or as the vulgar would say, 'sophistication'. William Joyce would not have fallen within the scope of their preference, but the cause for that would be unconnected with his defense of the Nazi cause. The people who harbor such emotions find no difficulty in accepting French writers who collaborated with the Germans during the war. It would be Joyce's readiness to seal his fate with his life which they would have found crude and unappetizing. But Alan Nunn May, and Fuchs, Burgess, and Maclean would seem in better taste. And concerning taste there is no argument. Those who cultivate this preference, would not have been prepared to defend these men's actions if they were set down in black and white. They would have admitted that it is not right for a man to accept employment from the state on certain conditions and break that understanding, when he could have easily obtained alternative employment in which he would not have to give any such undertaking; and that it is even worse for an alien to induce a country to accept him as a citizen when he is homeless and then conspire against its safety by handing over the most lethal secret it possesses to a potential enemy of aggressive character. But, all the same, they would have felt that subtlety was on the side of the traitors, and even morality. To them the classic hero, like poor young Terence Waters, was hamming it. People who practice the virtues are judged as if they had struck the sort of false attitude which betrays an incapacity for art; while the people who practice the vices are judged as if they had shown the subtle rightness of gesture which is the sign of the born artist.
Without thinking, I step a little closer, reaching out slowly to slide a fingertip over the largest petal of the lily tattoo on her lower back. Instantly a vibration moves up my arm, and I swear the mark on my hand burns against my skin. I clench my fingers into a fist, but I don't step away. 'Did you feel that?' she asks. I shake my head. 'I don't know.' I feel so much, always so much. She takes my hand and brings it to her side again, resting it on the violets. I look at the purple flowers between my fingers and feel the heat of her skin, the way it slides beneath my palm, soft as silk. And that vibration moves through my arm again. Her breath quickens. I find myself moving closer as her blue eyes go wide with wonder. My heart stutters and my chest aches with some unknown need. 'Are you doing this?' I ask. Is she making me want this? 'No, ' she breathes. The smell of her turns to spice, sharp and warm, and I know I'm sensing her now, even through the block in the house. We stand like that for an eternity, still as statues on the outside, but inside I'm running, running toward a place I've never been. I should be terrified. But all I feel is strength. Rightness. And then Kara moves, her hands skimming up my chest, testing the boundaries. Her palms slide to my shoulders, her fingers tracing the line of the muscles in my arms, down to my waist. She grips my shirt, stretching it a little, waiting for me to tell her to stop. But I watch her lift it, let her pull it up, raising my arms, and I even take the last of it off myself, dropping it to the floor. We breathe, staring at each other. The vibrations move between us. My left arm buzzes with them. I think she's doing it. Whatever's happening, it's her. I reach up and brush my marked knuckles across her cheek, amazed at the feel of her, the way her eyes seem to see everything, the way she pulls me into her. I can't seem to remember why I shouldn't kiss her. And kiss her. And... I kiss her, taking her face in both hands, skimming my thumb over her jaw as she leans into the touch, reaching out to curl her fingers around the back of my neck. I have to remind myself to breathe. I need more of her. The emotions roll over me in a rush, a tangle of sensation and movement, heat and sugar and heady aromas. I grip her tighter. Her nails dig into my shoulders. My hands slide down her spine. The kiss deepens, goes on forever, until I can barely see sense. I explore her shape, the feel of her ribs, the textures and taste of her skin on my tongue as I kiss her neck, her shoulders, her chest. As I draw trembling gasps from her lips, she grips me so hard it hurts. Our bodies mesh. Our breath mingles in frenzied desperation. Nothing else exists except her. Her warmth. Her spice. Her.
Rachel A. Marks
You sometimes hear people say, with a certain pride in their clerical resistance to the myth, that the nineteenth century really ended not in 1900 but in 1914. But there are different ways of measuring an epoch. 1914 has obvious qualifications; but if you wanted to defend the neater, more mythical date, you could do very well. In 1900 Nietzsche died; Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams; 1900 was the date of Husserl Logic, and of Russell's Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. With an exquisite sense of timing Planck published his quantum hypothesis in the very last days of the century, December 1900. Thus, within a few months, were published works which transformed or transvalued spirituality, the relation of language to knowing, and the very locus of human uncertainty, henceforth to be thought of not as an imperfection of the human apparatus but part of the nature of things, a condition of what we may know. 1900, like 1400 and 1600 and 1000, has the look of a year that ends a saeculum. The mood of fin de sie¨cle is confronted by a harsh historical finis saeculi. There is something satisfying about it, some confirmation of the rightness of the patterns we impose. But as Focillon observed, the anxiety reflected by the fin de sie¨cle is perpetual, and people don't wait for centuries to end before they express it. Any date can be justified on some calculation or other. And of course we have it now, the sense of an ending. It has not diminished, and is as endemic to what we call modernism as apocalyptic utopianism is to political revolution. When we live in the mood of end-dominated crisis, certain now-familiar patterns of assumption become evident. Yeats will help me to illustrate them. For Yeats, an age would end in 1927; the year passed without apocalypse, as end-years do; but this is hardly material. 'When I was writing A Vision, ' he said, 'I had constantly the word "terror" impressed upon me, and once the old Stoic prophecy of earthquake, fire and flood at the end of an age, but this I did not take literally.' Yeats is certainly an apocalyptic poet, but he does not take it literally, and this, I think, is characteristic of the attitude not only of modern poets but of the modern literary public to the apocalyptic elements. All the same, like us, he believed them in some fashion, and associated apocalypse with war. At the turning point of time he filled his poems with images of decadence, and praised war because he saw in it, ignorantly we may think, the means of renewal. 'The danger is that there will be no war... Love war because of its horror, that belief may be changed, civilization renewed.' He saw his time as a time of transition, the last moment before a new annunciation, a new gyre. There was horror to come: 'thunder of feet, tumult of images.' But out of a desolate reality would come renewal. In short, we can find in Yeats all the elements of the apocalyptic paradigm that concern us.