Friday, February 29, 2008

A few quotes

Weather report. MINUS 20 degrees out this morning.

From The Forest Lover

"Has it ever occurred to you that to clutch at life fearfully, unwilling to spend it, is not a form of gratitude to God for life?" P350 Note: this is a fictional Emily speaking to her sister.

I respond strongly to this quote. Often it has seemed to me that I clutch fearfully and do not spend life. At times I have not lived my life fully using my talents and skills to create something strong and firm in the world. I timidly hide in my house or room and do not go forth.

I see this too in my family who are hermits, fearful often and retiring. (Although in his younger days Dad was a physician, Chief of Pathology at a Connecticut hospital and teacher at Yale--once retired he RETIRED from an outward life). My family does not spend and this includes money. They clutch things and although Dad was always generous towards his children, my parents seemed to withdraw from being generous (with time, talents etc) with the larger world and with themselves once Dad retired. They bought next to nothing, never traveled, rarely did anything I would consider fun, never went to movies (they didn't understand movies they said) or concerts or anything much.

Yet when I asked them about this they said they were doing what they wanted and were happy. I know this sounds like I'm complaining about how they lived their life. I think it's more I am looking at it and knowing I do not want to fall into this same way of living. I think it is in my genes to withdraw and not spend so I am going against a sort of innate tendancy. But, like this fictional Emily, I also have a part of me that wants to spend life while I am able.

9 comments:

Mary Richmond said...

so interesting to look at where we've come from and then to look forward to where we might be going and where we want to go, isn't it?

sukipoet said...

I guess this being up here with all my relatives gives me another chance to reflect forwards and backwards. I lived at least 5 hours from my parents all my adult life and I worked hard to turn around my negativity and be different from my background assumptions. Yet here I am in the boondocks, land locked in snow and ice. Hmm. What does it all mean?

Forever Young said...

certain things about our families we cannot ever escape and yet other things we can change completely, sometimes hard to know which to absorb and which to toss...
one of my favourite sayings is 'different strokes for different folks'.

human being said...

A beautiful qoute and a magnificent reflection on it.
Suki, I loved the way you extended generosity to other aspects of life, such as time, talent,...

I should say you are so brave and talented for you have managed to stand somewhere far from your genes! And sure you can achieve much more since you are conscious of what you want. And this makes all the difference.

Love you so much dear brave and giving friend, Suki.

sukipoet said...

Forever YOung. And the amazing thing about my mom is that she seems to have changed from a person who thinks 'My way or the highway" to a person who understands "different strokes for different folks." If she had died a couple of years ago I would never have seen this aspect of her. i do admire her courage and her letting go of so much need to control.

human being, yes I stood far from my genes (love that phrase) yet wonder are these habitual behaviours still in there clawing to be supreme. Will genes win out over environment? Because I am in a tunnel vision right now, I can't imagine how to shape my future so that I have some of what I want. I know though it is important to live each day to the fullest no matter where I am. I will try to do that.

Cris in Oregon said...

I missed this yesterday. But this is so us. Comfortable in the country and enjoying it. But sometimes getting out of the rut will rear its ugy head up and make me want to shake things up a bit, but I married a man just like my Mom who was a hermit too. My Dad was a very outgoing person who loved to travel and my Mom hated it, so I have both in me, but for some reason I can be content as long as I have people around me to interact with. In person or on the and my computer. Its the people who keep me going. Intersting subject here.

Cris in Oregon said...

PS..If I were stuck living somewhere snowed in for most of the winter with quiet people like you are doing, I think I would go stark raving nuts. so what you are doing is showing your love of your family better then you could ever display it any other way. Your giving up something for awhile to give yourself to your family in need. Thats pretty powerful.

Patti said...

Great Quote Suki. It does make you look at your life and see where you're holding back either by genetic predisposition, choice or circumstance. Soon the snow will melt and Spring will ignite your spark once more.

human being said...

Sure you can,Suki. Sure you can.
Our personality is not a rectangle of genes and environment... Now they say it's got another side: Our personal will.
And you've got that .... cuz you know hope and cuz you can express yourself by your art and words and poems... you are on the right track to enjoy your life to the fullest.
Love to you.