Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthday Meme

C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, and Madeleine L'Engle were all born on this day. Magistramater is doing a meme that you might find fun to answer. Since I'm reading a Madeleine L'Engle book right now, I thought I'd share a few quotes from it.

from The Crosswicks Journals, Book 1, A Circle of Quiet

  • Cooking is the only part of housekeeping I manage with any grace; it's something like writing a book: you look in the refrigerator and see what's there, choose all the ingredients you need, and a few your husband thinks you don't need, and put them all together to concoct a dish. Vacuum cleaners are simply something more for me to trip over; and a kitchen floor, no matter how grubby, looks better before I wax it. The sight of a meal's worth of dirty dishes, pots, and pans makes me want to run in the other direction.
  • ...over and over again we hear "like" misused this way: I feel like I'm going to throw up; well, you know, Mother, like I really do need it because...; tell it like it is. Every time, "like" is misused, it is weakened as a simile.
    I'm not against changes in the language. I love new words...I've just discovered "widdershins": against the direction of the sun. In Crosswicks the bath water runs out clockwise; in Australia, widdershins. I love anything that is going to make language richer and stronger. But when words are used in way that is going to weaken the language, it has nothing to do with the beautiful way that they can wriggle and wiggle and develop and enrich our speech, but instead it is impoverishing, diminishing. If our language is watered down, then mankind becomes less human, and less free--
  • So my hope, each day as I grow older, is that this will never be simply chronological aging - which is a nuisance and frequently a bore...but that I will also grow into maturity, where the experience which can be acquired only through chronology will teach me how to be more aware, open, unafraid to be vulnerable, involved, committed, to accept disagreement without feeling threatened (repeat and underline this one) to understand that I cannot take myself seriously until I stop taking myself seriously - to be, in fact, a true adult.

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