When a power elite wants to destroy an enemy nation, it turns to propaganda experts to fashion a program of hate. What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even kill them? It requires a “hostile imagination,” a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear. The image of a dreaded enemy threatening one’s personal well-being and the society’s national security emboldens mothers and fathers to send sons to war and empowers governments to rearrange priorities to turn plowshares into swords of destruction.
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
You are adorable, mademoiselle. I study your feet with the microscope and your soul with the telescope.
She loved with so much passion as she loved with ignorance. She did not know whether it were good or evil, beneficent or dangerous, necessary or accidental, eternal or transitory, permitted or prohibited: she loved.
That color on you reminds me of my aunt’s lipstick when I was a young girl
It stuck to her teeth and she’d lick it off with one swipe of her tongue
It left an imprint of her lips on the water glasses, like pink fog
That color on you reminds me of my big sister’s shoelaces
She double doggy eared them but they somehow always got loose
One day she tripped on them and busted her lip
She ran into the house with blood on her hands, and it looked like that color on you
It reminds me of a bird whose nest a boy stole in my neighborhood,
and when the bird learned she lost her eggs, she became sad
I tried to feed her worms, but she didn’t move
I opened her mouth, and when I looked inside, her tongue looked like that color on you
Which reminds me of my grandmother’s scarf
It was the most expensive thing she owned, because my father got it for her birthday
She perfumed it and wore it on special occasions, like Sunday mornings when we’d go to church
And she sat me by her side and told me to put my hands together and pray
I closed my eyes to imagine God but all I could see was the pink of my lids
That color on you
Reminds me of the rose bushes that lined my driveway
My big sister and I rubbed the velvety petals between our fingers and placed them between the pages of books
And after some days, we crushed them into potpourri and wrapped them with white mesh and tied them with a string
We wanted the house to smell nice
And maybe my mother would have worn a hue
Like that color on you
It is what one does with his attention that defines him, and because art is the best ordering we have of human attention, there can be no truly meaningful life without the dimension of art.
The words we know and the ways we use them reveal much of what we are: the objects we know, the emotions we feel, the ideas we think – all that gives us conscious being.
Man can have but one interest in nature, namely to see himself, reflected or interpreted there.
Two centuries ago when a great man appeared, people looked for God’s purpose in him; today we look for his press agent…Among the ironic frustrations of our age, none is more tantalizing than these efforts of ours to satisfy our extravagant expectations of human greatness. Vainly do we make scores of artificial celebrities grow where nature planted only a single hero.
I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.