29 July 2008

Blase Pascal

“All (hu)mankind's miseries derive from not being able to sit alone in a quiet room.”

"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”

“Men despise religion; they hate it because they are afraid it may be true.”

The path...

The path out is the path in

There's no place like home...

27 July 2008

Monk E-Business


Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey, in Sparta, Wisconsin, is a Cistercian Benedictine monastery whose primary income is through their sale of ink and toner cartridges at www.lasermonks.com, coffee at www.BenevolentBlends.com, and products of other religious communities through their various websites (www.MonkEgifts.com and www.MonasteryGiftBaskets.com).

They offer high quality products at reasonable prices. Much of the profit from their work goes to charitable works throughout the world. Check them out!


h/t Monk-E

Modern Labyrinth

(A newly acquired piece at Buffalo's Albright Knox Art Gallery. The bar in the middle of it moves slowly in the circle, creating the grooves at one end and erasing them at the other, continuously. See a quick video clip of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjeGQXdt6bI) h/t BDP

Prayerfulness of heart has much to do with finding the Center then living out of that Center in everyday centeredness. Space and time for God are necessary for that centeredness that becomes habitual - the very baseline of one's personal melody in the Spirit.

I once ventured to ask a markedly prayerful married woman how she prayed. She gave a surprising answer: I just putter. She worked and accomplished tasks, but with a free interior heart - free for God, free for holy musings, and free for praying for others.

Puttering is rather right-brained; it is not highly focused, not agenda-oriented, and not a charge up a mountain. Artists, poets, writers - creative and spiritual people - need non-agenda time in which to putter and live in 'interior space' where inspiration can happen. They need to cultivate the vessel of the heart: open, empty, and ready for inspiration - gift of the Spirit.

Sr. Donald Corcoran, OSB Cam.
The Privilege of Love: Camaldolese Benedictine Spirituality

26 July 2008


Go ahead... Enter your blog... It adds a whole new spin to the world of Catholic Church Bloging...

(Especially if you have something written by Benny the XV-Izzle on it:

Why is God silent? Why does he witdraw? Why is it that jizzle tha opposite of what I wanted is happen'n? This distance between what Jesus promised n what we experience in our own lives makes you think, every time - it has tizzy effect in each generizzles fo` each single person, n even fo` me . Ill slap tha taste out yo mouf.

Each one of us has ta struggle ta work out an playa fo` himself, so thizzat in tha end he comes ta understand why God has spoken ta him precisely like that , chill yo. Augustine n otha bootylicious Christians say that God gives us what is bizzle fo` us - even wizzy we do not recognize this at first.

Often, we think that exactly tha opposite of wizzle he does would really be bizzle fo` us with the S-N-double-O-P. We hizzy ta learn ta accept this pizzath, which, on tha basis of our experience n our suffer'n, is difficult fo` us, n ta see it as tha way in which God is ballin' us fo' sheezy. God's way is often a path that enormously reshapes n remolds our life, a path in which we is truly changed n straightened out . Slap your mutha fuckin self.

To that extent, we have ta say thizzat this "Ask, n you will receive" certainly cannot mizzle tizzle I can cizzay God in as a handyman who wizzle makes mah life eazy ever time I wizzle sum-m sum-m. Or who wizzle takes away frontin' n ridin'. On tha contrary, it means tizzle God def hears me n whiznat he grants me is, in tha way known only ta hizzay what is rizzight fo` me.

God And The World
Pope Benedict XVI )



Gives Pause for Reflection...

23 July 2008


Why is God silent? Why does he withdraw? Why is it that just the opposite of what I wanted is happening? This distance between what Jesus promised and what we experience in our own lives makes you think, every time - it has that effect in each generation, for each single person, and even for me.

Each one of us has to struggle to work out an answer for himself, so that in the end he comes to understand why God has spoken to him precisely like that. Augustine and other great Christians say that God gives us what is best for us - even when we do not recognize this at first.

Often, we think that exactly the opposite of what he does would really be best for us. We have to learn to accept this path, which, on the basis of our experience and our suffering, is difficult for us, and to see it as the way in which God is guiding us. God's way is often a path that enormously reshapes and remolds our life, a path in which we are truly changed and straightened out.

To that extent, we have to say that this "Ask, and you will receive" certainly cannot mean that I can call God in as a handyman who will make my life easy ever time I want something. Or who will take away suffering and questioning. On the contrary, it means that God definitely hears me and what he grants me is, in the way known only to him, what is right for me.

God And The World
Pope Benedict XVI

20 July 2008

Today at "Barnes and Noble Booksellers"

I see this in the "Our Staff Recommends" section...

Full text: "Living Buddha, Living Christ." A fascinating comparative study that is a must for any theologist.

I wonder what "Kelly" would recommend to a theologian...
(...and why Kelly is reviewing theology books...)

19 July 2008

No place like... here.

"What's the most bogus line in Hollywood cinema? "There's no place like home." The Wizard of Oz.

It's what everybody remembers about the movie, but it doesn't resonate with the rest of the story. Think about it: Home is this desolate, gray dust bowl of a place where some nasty old lady is trying to kill your dog.

And Oz is... technicolor!

Sure, it has its problems: Poppy fields, flying monkeys, talking trees... But along the way, you make friends. Good friends. With people that you never even knew existed when you were growing up. Straw people, tin people and lions.

And you help each other realize that all the things you wanna be you already are."

-Kevin Williamson

As it is with prayer...

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet, this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of time and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life, as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was, nor forward to what it might be, but living in the present and accepting it as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continuously visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the serenity of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

h/t Wisdom Borrowed

Ark of the Covenant

Michael Rea

Forget Cliff!

The Confessions of St. Augustine
By St. Augustine
(Ultra-Condensed by Annie Berke)

St. Augustine: I was a bad boy. Damn, was I a bad boy. Not anymore, though.


Ultra-condensed Classic Books

You wife is real. Porn is not.

Don't call it 'fantasy'. Call it a disconnect with reality. Live in reality. It is so much better. Because it is... real.

A follow-up of Part 1

h/t Alive and Young

18 July 2008

The Amorities and the Jebusites haven't had much self-esteem recently either...

.. I smell a class-action suit!

'Gay' man sues Bible publishers
$70 million for emotional distress because homosexuality cast as sin
Posted: July 09, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A homosexual man who has a blog on Sen. Barack Obama's campaign website is suing two major Christian publishers for violating his constitutional rights and causing emotional pain, because the Bible versions they publish refer to homosexuality as a sin.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
Fowler filed his claim against Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Monday, alleging its Bibles' references to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of "demoralization, chaos and bewilderment," the paper said.

He filed suit against Tennessee publisher Thomas Nelson in June.

Read entire story here.

17 July 2008

See and Hear the Goodness

While gazing at the Saints, I overheard them say...

"Place yourself in Mary's hands;
she will think of everything
and provide for the needs of soul and body.
Therefore, be at peace, be at complete peace,
with unlimited confidence in her!”
St. Maximilian Kolbe

"Make yourself familiar with the angels,
and behold them frequently in spirit,
for without being seen, they are present with you."
St. Francis De Sales

"The other day--the little birds were singing in the woods. I began to weep. Poor little creatures, I thought within myself, the good God has made you to sing, and you sing. Yet man, who was created that he might love God, loves Him not!
St. John Vianney

“Let us adore Jesus in our hearts, who spent 30 years out of 33 in silence; who began his public life by spending 40 days in silence; who often retired alone to spend the night on a mountain in silence. He who spoke with authority, now spends his earthly life in silence. Let us adore Jesus in the eucharistic silence.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

A decade I found...

...while praying (through) the Rosary:

What if, in the midst of our everyday anxiety, we heard the angels calling, “Help is on the way.”

“The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.” -Oscar Wilde

“The secret to holiness is simply this: To accept every moment of your life as coming to you from the will of God.” - Fr. Walter Ciszek, who spent 5 years in solitary confinement and 12 years in a prison labor camp.

“Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny with a pure and simple glance at God’s goodness,” said St. Jeanne de Chantel.

"Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not … in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination. … To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything is a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits." ~ Page 89 of George Weigel’s, “Letters to a Young Catholic,” quoting GK Chesterton’s, “Orthodoxy.” Chesterton died in 1936. He was a journalist and novelist.

“(Sometimes) to say that it is bad is to tell the truth. To (to ever) say that it is hopeless is to lose sight of Mary.”

What if God’s dreams for us are more than anything we could have ever dreamt for ourselves?

It feels like the whole world is waiting for a miracle. And I think we would get one if we could just be still enough.

“Just think of Jesus’ 30 years when he was doing God only knows what kind of work that was so unimportant it didn’t even make it into our history books.”

Thinking about Christ’s passion, the priest said, is like baking with flour. It sticks to your heart the way flour stays on your hands.

Pio. Pio. Pio.

“Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers. Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips but with your heart; in fact on certain occasions you should speak to Him only with your heart.”

“Do not tire yourself over things that cause anxiety, preoccupation and worry. Only one thing is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.”

“Be careful never to become discouraged when you are surrounded by difficulty or infirmity. If you are experiencing some weakness, God is not abandoning you, but offering you the opportunity to grow in humility and gratitude.”

-St. Pio of Pietrelcina

16 July 2008

Barefoot in the summer time.

Earth is crammed with heaven;
Every bush aflame with God.
But only those with the courage to see
take off their shoes.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning-

Two'fer Thursday

The way to grow in holiness is to be around people more holy than ourselves. We hear their stray comments and absorb their judgment of what’s important. We listen to their prayers and find that God is bigger than we’d thought. -- Oswald Chambers

The best definition of the gospel message I ever heard is that the gospel is the permission and command to enter difficulty with hope. -- Donna Schaper, A Book of Common Power

Apparently I missed the new Blog law

... mandating this post, but since everyone and their brother has taken to posting this, I follow suit... (the second better than the first)

15 July 2008

"Thus says the LORD...

"...My weary people have found favor in the wilderness. As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you; I have drawn you in my love." Jeremiah 31:2-3

13 July 2008

Just because it is Monday...

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: E-mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give Out Over the Phone.


Artifacts of Love...

To love is to place others before you and to make their needs your priority. Do it.

When you put somebody else at the center of the frame, your entire world changes, and for the better. You begin to find your own place in the world. When you’re drawn into the lives of others, you enter their problems, their hopes, their dreams, their families. They whisk you down unimagined corridors, toward possibilities that had been hidden to you before. So resolve to do little things for others.

You don’t know where they’re going to lead but then again, you don’t have any idea where your life is going to lead. When I was your age, I had long hair, a beard and thought of myself as a socialist. You are going to pinball all over the place, from experience to experience, job to job. And I want you to remember that you’ve got company.

And that if you engage them with heart and mind, with faith and energy, you are going to find yourself on a cresting wave. It’ll carry you forward and it’ll push you under water from time to time. And some day in the dim and distant future, when you’re looking back at it, you’re not going to think about your car or your career or your gold watch. You’ll think about a chewed-up teddy bear you had as a baby or maybe your child’s smile on a special Christmas morning.

The only things that are sure to endure are the artifacts of love. So go out and build as many as you can."

- Tony Snow

h/t The dE-acon

Right here. Right now.

We must love the age we live in. It should be evident that from the point of view of faith the best age for each of us is the one in which God has placed us, the one he has given us and we must give back to him, the one in which we can give ourselves to him.

It's a great thing to be alive! A great grace simply to exist! God has chosen our age for us: this age that we receive from him and that is ours is the only age we have at our disposal. We have no right to prefer another one.

If we compare our age with those of the past, so far as we know them, ours is not the worst of them all, or even worse than many of them; it is better than many, and perhaps better than all of them. A positive point of view is the primary condition for making it better still.

Tradition: A Door to the Present
Jean Leclercq, OSB

09 July 2008

Vocations: Nature or Nurture?

In carne = In the flesh; In the meat. At the deli counter?

"...But I watch my daughter and other mothers of her generation and I see they have some strikes against them that we didn't have. They have been told insistently and quite persuasively that motherhood is a drag, that tradition is nonsense, that what people have always regarded as "women's work" is meaningless...

...I hear this sort of claptrap, and young mothers often come to me troubled because they can't answer the arguments logically or theologically. They feel, deep in their bones, that there is something terribly twisted about the whole thing but they can't put their finger on what it is.I think I know what it is. Profanity. Not swearing. I'm not talking about breaking the Third Commandment. I'm talking about treating as meaningless that which is freighted with meaning. Treating as common that which is hallowed. Regarding as a mere triviality what is really a divine design. Profanity is failure to see the inner mystery.

When women--sometimes well-meaning, earnest, truth seeking ones say "Get out of the house and do something creative, find something meaningful, something with more direct access to reality," it is a dead giveaway that they have missed the deepest definition of creation, of meaning, of reality. And when you start seeing the world as opaque, that is, as an end in itself instead of as transparent, when you ignore the Other World where this one ultimately finds its meaning, of course housekeeping (and any other kind of work if you do it long enough) becomes tedious and empty.

But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure." To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God....

...We have meekly agreed that the kitchen sink is an obstacle instead of an altar, and we have obediently carried on our shoulders the chips these reductionists have told us to carry.

This is what I mean by profanity. We have forgotten the mystery, the dimension of glory. It was Mary herself who showed it to us so plainly. By the offering up of her physical body to become the God-bearer, she transfigured for all mothers, for all time, the meaning of motherhood. She cradled, fed and bathed her baby--who was very God of very God--so that when we cradle, feed and bathe ours we may see beyond that simple task to the God who in love and humility "dwelt among us and we beheld his glory."

Those who focus only on the drabness of the supermarket, or on the onions or the diapers themselves, haven't an inkling of the mystery that is at stake here, the mystery revealed in the birth of that Baby and consummated on the Cross: my life for yours.

The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one's life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed--not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother's part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory."

(h/t snippit from Mom, Blog it!. Originally written by Elisabeth Elliot and found in full (do yourself the favor -- it's really about motherhood and fatherhood and ministry....and life) at: Mommy Life)

It is more.

"Totus Tuus. This phrase is not only an expression of piety, or simply an expression of devotion. It is more. During the Second World War, while I was employed as a factory worker, I came to be attracted to Marian devotion. At first, it had seemed to me that I should distance myself a bit from the Marian devotion of my childhood, in order to focus more on Christ. Thanks to Saint Louis of Montfort, I came to understand that true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption".

[John Paul II in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Arnoldo Mondadori Editori, 1994]

Not our own children...

By Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Towards the end of Margaret Laurence's novel, "A Jest of God," there is a particularly moving dialogue: Rachel, the story's main character, an aging, spinster teacher, is more than a little frustrated with her state in life, teaching other people's children rather than having her own.

Lamenting to another woman, who is a mother, she complains how painful it is for her as a teacher to, year after year, intimately work with and get to know the young children in her classroom only to have them soon move on to other classrooms and to grow away from her. She expresses an honest envy of women who have their own children.

The mother to whom she is speaking says in reply: "It's not so different for a parent. You also get to have young children only for a short time. They move on and grow away from you. They have their own lives. They don't belong to you. In the end, even for parents, your kids are never really your own!"

There are a number of lessons in this: The children we have are never really ours. They are given to us, in trust, for a time, a short time really, and we are asked to be mothers and fathers, stewards, mentors, guardians, teachers, priests, ministers and friends to them, but they are never really our children. They belong to somebody else, God, and to themselves more than they ever belong to us.

There is both a deep challenge and a deep consolation in understanding and accepting that.

The challenge is more obvious. If we accept this, we will be less inclined to act as "owners" of our children and we will be less prone to manipulate our children for our own ends, to see them as satellites within our own orbits, and more inclined to love, cajole, challenge and correct, even while giving them their freedom.

The consolation is not as obvious, but it is my focus here: When we realize, in the healthy sense, that our children are not really ours, we also realize that we are not alone in raising and caring for them. We are, in a manner of speaking, only foster parents. God is the real parent, whose love, care, aid and presence to our children is always in excess of our own. God's anxiety for our children is also deeper than our own.

Ultimately, you are never a single parent, even when you don't have a human spouse to help you. God, like you, is also worrying, struggling, involved, crying tears of solicitousness, trying to awaken love. What is consoling is that God can touch, challenge, soften and inspire at levels inside of a child that you cannot reach.

Moreover, your children cannot, ultimately, turn their backs on God.

They can refuse to listen to you, walk away from you, spit on your values, but there is still another parent from whom they can never walk away, whom they carry inside. Not many people, I suspect, would ever have the courage to be a parent without realizing this.

That we aren't alone in our task of parenting needs emphasis today for lots of reasons: More and more, very sincere couples are opting not to have children for fear of the world into which they would be bringing those children. They look at the world, at themselves, their inadequacy, and are frightened at what they see: "Do we really want to bring children into a world like this? We are powerless to guarantee them health, safety, security, love. It's an unfair risk to the child!"

Persons who think like this are right in their feeling of powerlessness and in their sense that they cannot guarantee health, safety, love and security to a child. But they are wrong in their feeling that they alone are responsible for effecting and guaranteeing these. God is also there and can redeem our children and make them whole beyond any tragedy that might befall them. We can risk having children since God risks it.

Finally, and perhaps most consoling of all, realizing this can do more than a little to bring some peace and joy into the hearts of those who have lost children tragically --- to accidents, but especially to suicide, drug and alcohol related deaths, and other such things that make parents second-guess, worry about their failures and betrayals, and worry about all the things they should have done.

Again, we are being asked to not forget that we are not the only parents here. When this child died, in whatever circumstance, he or she was received by hands far gentler than our own. They left our foster care and our powerlessness to fully embrace them to live with a parent who can fully embrace them and bring them to joy and wholeness that we could never quite give.

Fear not you are inadequate! You can live with that. You're only a foster parent. God is the real parent.

Know that...

...in the end, when all is revealed, it is only the lack of trust that you will regret.

Psalm 127:2 - In vain are your earlier risings, your going later to bed, eating the bread of anxiety; for he pours out blessings on his beloved while they sleep...

h/t Girl Ex Nihilo

07 July 2008

Not the man... the work!

When we are still talking about someone 1,500 years after his lifetime, when we even refer to him with titles like Father of Western Civilization or Patron of Europe, he must have been a remarkable person. But when we look back into history and try to present a picture of Benedict we are quickly disappointed.

The historical data about Benedict's life and work are uncertain and do not yield enough information to allow us a clear picture of this man. The person of Benedict constantly escapes our grasp. We cannot produce as clear a depiction as we can of, for example, St. Francis of Assisi.

What stands in the foreground is not the person of Benedict, but his work. Benedict himself disappears behind the work; his life continues in his rule for monasteries, the Regula Benedicti (Rule of Benedict). Through it he continues his effectiveness, and even today he shapes the lives of thousands of male and female monastics throughout the world.

Benedict has shaped a model of life that has been accepted over and over again through the centuries with gratitude and is seen as a way for human beings to mature as disciples of Christ.

Benedict of Nursia: His Message for Today
Anselm Grun, OSB

Famous Last Words

"I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven. In the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles" - Niccolo Machiavelli: Florentine diplomat and political philosopher, died in 1527

what goes up...

Stripper Peeps, Empty Affirmations, Shotgun weddings, and Headless waterboy statues. Have you noticed that this blog gone down hill and off track as of late?

Blame the heat....
Hopefully we'll get back on track with depth and meaning and purpose WHEN I'M NO LONGER LIVING ON THE SUN! We're hearty, thick blooded, cold-weather people... that's why we stayed here when lesser folks moved south. C'mon now... I put SPF 55 sunscreen on when it hits 60 degrees... this is a friggin joke!

(p.s. today's high was 86... but it was a humid 86... VERY humid. A 'wet heat', if you will)

Affirmation Tuesday

How awesome are you for reading this blog?

At the 'Depot. Not even on clearence...

Maybe you have to pay extra for morbid fountains?
p.s. Watch out for the dog - his shifty eyes cause me to suspect him in this!

Cheaper than Xanax...

‘Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine’ is an interactive sculpture by Yarisal and Kublitz. Experience the most satisfying feeling when a piece of China breaks into million pieces . All you have to do is insert a coin, and a piece of China will move forward and fall into the bottom of the machine, breaking, and leaving you happy and relieved of anger.

Its a shotgun shotgun shotgun wedding...

Even though the year is just half over, I opened the paper and found my early favorite for BEST CLASSIFIED AD, 2008:

3 rifles and a wedding dress: Rifle 1 - J Stevens Arms Company Bolt Action 410 Model 39A; Rifle 2 - Mossberg 500 pump action;Rifle 3 - custom built French artillery stock/Santa Fee barrel (circa 1949). Wedding dress (Ivory) suitable for fall/winter wedding. Worn once, dry cleaned and custom antiqued. Taking best offers. Call XXX-XXXX

05 July 2008

03 July 2008

02 July 2008


Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom." -- St. Toribio

At the bottom...

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness
-Honore de Balzac

Get up!

"Why do you seek rest? Don't you know you were made to labour?"
-Daj Hammarskjold

"Love turns work into rest."
-Teresa of Avila

Like Gold...

"I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is life-less and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them." -Boris Pasternak