T.G.I.F.

As he grew older, his life turned into an agreeable routine, with enough human contact to sustain and divert, but not disturb, him. He knew the contentment of feeling less. His emotional life was recast as a social life. He was on nodding and smiling terms with many… He prized stoicism and calm, which he had achieved less through some exercise of philosophy, more from a slow growth within him; a growth like coral, which in most weathers was strong enough to keep out the ocean breakers. Except when it wasn’t.

~ Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Alfred A. Knopf, April 17, 2018)


Art: Phenomenon no. 1 by WanJim Gim (Seoul, Korea)

Comments

  1. This gave me a lump in my throat. (And your new banner photo is very soothing…)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me too Lori. And thank Susan for banner. Photo from South Beach last week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just ordered the book. And kudos to Susan!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Loved the book.

          Like

        • Everyone in the Village, every grown-up—or rather, every middle-aged person—seemed to do crosswords… Clearly, this supposedly harmless pastime was about more than solving cryptic clues and filling in the answers. My analysis identified the following elements: 1) the desire to reduce the chaos of the universe to a small, comprehensible grid of black-and-white squares; 2) the underlying belief that everything in life could, in the end, be solved; 3) the confirmation that existence was essentially a ludic activity; and 4) the hope that this activity would keep at bay the existential pain of our brief sublunary transit from birth to death.

          ~ Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Alfred A. Knopf, April 17, 2018)

          Liked by 3 people

        • “Because once you had been through certain things, their presence inside you never really disappeared.”

          ~ Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Alfred A. Knopf, April 17, 2018)

          Liked by 2 people

        • First love fixes a life forever: this much I have discovered over the years. It may not outrank subsequent loves, but they will always be affected by its existence. It may serve as model, or as counterexample. It may overshadow subsequent loves; on the other hand, it can make them easier, better. Though sometimes, first love cauterises the heart, and all any searcher will find thereafter is scar tissue. “We were chosen by lot.” I don’t believe in destiny, as I may have said. But I do believe now that when two lovers meet, there is already so much prehistory that only certain outcomes are possible. Whereas the lovers themselves imagine that the world is being reset, and that the possibilities are both new and infinite.

          ~ Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Alfred A. Knopf, April 17, 2018)

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with WLS…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Living in peace

    Liked by 1 person

  4. floating.

    p.s. i am a “crossword-er”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    What an amazing graphic!! What inspiring words ….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. …one of my insights: no one should be jealous of someone’s first loves (whether a parent or sexual) because these loves have deepened us and helped us become as loving as we are now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christie says:

      Agreeing with Valerie: I too thought of parents as the first love…Julian Barnes, though I think wasn’t considering the parents…/// regarding first emotional and or sexual love – “Though sometimes, first love cauterises the heart, and all any searcher will find thereafter is scar tissue.” sad and at times true, the crushing heartbreak some can not let go of…life certainly is a journey filled with milestone experience that are common though so individually,unique…grief, joy, the day to day and growth. I also agree with Valerie, in that jealously and or resentment have no place in relationships…everyone has a past that life is built on…and hopefully they had enough of a good past that can override the difficult and all goodness should be treasured, individually and if in a relationship the partner should repect their partners past experiences…

      Like

  7. Beautiful new banner – not that I didn’t adore the previous one…. 🙂 My thanks to Susan!

    Funny co-incidence: I love Julian Barnes’ books and only last week I have put it in my ‘saved basket’ because it isn’t available yet here. He’s an outstanding writer and your choice of words by him is just a sign of his greatness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christie says:

    The photo so appropriate for me..dealing with searing heel & arch pain…so I am planted on the couch, weather inclement also, thus I have plenty of time to think, talk, read and writing…(and I’ll confess indulging in those sugary treats)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Stoic, is his middle name in fact!

    Never attempted a crossword puzzle, never bought a lottery ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That quotation expresses the type of wisdom I would like convey. He found the words. Words could not come to me. His world is calm and he is in good terms with himself. I am reminded of Blaise Pascal’s “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Thank you David

    Liked by 1 person

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