The Quintessential Figure

Eve not only deserves punishment but becomes the quintessential figure of unruly, transgressive nature, a nature that neither woman nor man can altogether contain and both would prefer to repudiate.”

— Lisa Appignanesi, Introduction to The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar

The Work is an End

If you can work in such a way that the process will be pleasurable enough that even if nothing comes of it, the work is an end in and of itself—then you’ll be ok. It’s not a means to an end, the work is an end.”

— Jia Tolentino, On writing for the sake of writing

Sad and Noble Truth

[The crucifix] stood there, crowning the rock, as it still stands on so many highway sides, vainly preaching to passers-by, an emblem of sad and noble truths: that pleasure is not an end, but an accident; that pain is the choice of the magnanimous; that it is best to suffer all things and do well.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson, Olalla

Creation and Recreation

Never before had I so realized the miracle of the continued race, the creation and recreation, the weaving and changing and handing down a fleshly elements. That a child should be born of its mother, that it should grow and clothe itself (we know not how) with humanity, and put on inherited looks, and turn its head with the manner of one ascendant, and offer its hand with a gesture of another, are wonders dulled for us by repetition.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson, Olalla

Don’t Complain

Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. Sister, those who expected to rise did not, their beds became their cooling boards, and their blankets became their winding sheets. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all, for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of that plowing that person was grumbling about. So you watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

— Maya Angelou (via swissmiss)