Anne Notations

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beyond loneliness

"Loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern world, so full of freedom, independence and our own egotistical selves."        
 - Natsume Soseki, Kokoro (a novel), 1914
Quoted in The End of Your Life Book Club
by Will Schwalbe
How contemporary is that?

There is lonely and there is alone. When Michael first began working and living in another state five years ago, I was terribly lonely - and it got worse when our youngest left for college in 2010, leaving me the only person in this house five days a week.

Somewhere along the way, I learned how to be alone without feeling desperate or incomplete. I'm still an enthusiastically social creature, as my Facebook activity attests. But I have also come to love my quiet home, walks with the dog along the shore or through neighborhood streets, the silent gaze of the waxing moon in an indigo sky after sunset. Alone, I can shed the armor of my ego and just be.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Open the door for love

"From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy.' If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry.

"That is a good sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and everything will be possible again.... With understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Be afraid

"To step more fully into courage's embrace, it may help to discover that you don't need to give up fear. Fear may be an old familiar in your life, and fear itself can be courage's best teacher. Sometimes it is only courage that allows us to acknowledge that we are afraid.

"We long for a trouble-free Eden for ourselves, and even more for our children. But they will learn courage after they leave Eden, not before, and they will learn it through their engagement with living, not through avoidance."

 - Stephanie Dowrick, Forgiveness And Other Acts Of Love

Saturday, February 08, 2014


"Mom would often talk about a refugee boy she'd met in a hospital in Afghanistan. He was the victim of a land mine and had lost a leg. She said to him that she brought greetings to him from schoolchildren in New York.

" 'Tell them not to worry about me,' this little boy told her from his hospital bed. 'I still have one leg.'"

 - Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club