Tension means hurry, fear, doubt. Tension means a constant effort to protect, to be secure, to be safe. Tension means preparing for the tomorrow now, or for the afterlife - afraid tomorrow you will not be able to face the reality, so be prepared. Tension means the past that you have not lived really but only somehow bypassed; it hangs, it is a hangover, it surrounds you.
Non-violent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored... I am not afraid of the word tension. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, and there is a type of constructive tension that is necessary for growth.
Martin Luther King
Crying, that is, sobbing is the earliest and deepest way to release tension. Infants can cry almost from the moment of birth, and do so easily following every stress that produces a state of tension in the body... Human beings are the only creatures who can react in this way to stress and tension. Most probably, they are the only ones who need this form of release.
Almost everyone seems concerned with the need to relax tension. However, relaxation of tension, which everyone thinks is good, is not easily distinguished from relaxing ones guard, which almost everyone thinks is bad. Relaxation, like Miltown, is not an end in itself. Not all danger comes from tension. The reverse relation, to be tense where there is danger, is only rational.
Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
Martin Luther King
In desire, there must be some small amount of tension. And that tension comes with the unknown, the unpredictable. You can close yourself off at home and say, "Whew, at last I'm in a place where I don't have to worry," or you can keep yourself open to the mystery and elusiveness of your partner.
There is no ideal length, but you develop a little interior gauge that tells you whether or not you're supporting the house or detracting from it. When a piece gets too long, the tension goes out of it. That word —tension —has an animal insistence for me. A piece of writing rises and falls with tension. The writer holds one end of the rope and the reader holds the other end —is the rope slack, or is it tight? Does it matter to the reader what the next sentence is going to be?
John Jeremiah Sullivan
I have sometimes wondered also whether in people like me who come to the boil fast (soupe au lait, the French call this trait, like a milk soup that boils over) the tantrum is not a built-in safety valve against madness or illness. ... The fierce tension in me, when it is properly channeled, creates the good tension for work. But when it becomes unbalanced I am destructive. How to isolate that good tension is my problem these days. Or, put in another way, how to turn the heat down fast enough so the soup won't boil over!
Foreword: Life is tension or the result of tension: without tension the creative impulse cannot exist. If human life be taken as the result of tension between the two polarities night and day, night, the negative pole, must share equal importance with the positive day. At night, under the influence of cosmic radiations quite different from those of the day, human affairs are apt to come to a crisis. At night most human beings die and are born. Sleep Has His House describes in the night-time language certain stages in the development of one individual human being. No interpretation is needed of this language we have all spoken in childhood and in our dreams; but for the sake of unity a few words before every section indicate the corresponding events of the day.
The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it's just busyness, But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.
The emphasis is on community, on participating in more and more programs and events, on meeting more and more people. It's a constant tension for many introverts that they're not living that out. And in a religious world, there's more at stake when you feel that tension. It doesn't feel like 'I'm not doing as well as I'd like.' It feels like 'God isn't pleased with me.'
Between men and women, all the time there is tension. I feel it. A woman walks down the street, and I'm going back, and suddenly there is this tension. I just walk down the street, we were just on the way. And she thinks I'm a rapist. And now I feel guilty, even though I'm a damn poor did not.
The tension of opposites: Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.
To be sure, man's search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how
Viktor E. Frankl
The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess, holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure. For when youth and beauty have gone, she will find that the place-between, once occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness. Â