The real fault is to have faults and not try to mend them.
The admiration of his peers as a man rather than as a mere politician came easily to Bentsen as it had never come to men like Nixon or Clinton, who had to hold positions of power to gain respect.
All of them bending themselves to listen though, ‘Pray heaven that the inside of my mind not be exposed,’ for each thought, ‘The others are feeling this. They are outraged and indignant with the government about the fishermen. Whereas, I feel nothing at all.’
“Burząc pomniki, oszczędzajcie cokoły. Zawsze mogą się przydać.”
Translated as “When smashing monuments, save the pedestals – they always come in handy.”
[T]he only sin which we never forgive in each other is difference of opinion.
The second time my grandmother caught me vomiting, she didn’t wait in the hall; she sat on my bed paging through the copy of The Rise of Silas Lapham that she’d found on my nightstand. Her voice was raspy with morning as she said, “Close the door.” When I had, she said, “That was very foolish of me before, wasn’t it? Thinking you were trying to lose weight.”
I stood by the bureau and said nothing.
“We’ll go to Chicago, and we’ll have it taken case of. Next week, likely. I need to make a few calls. You can do as you see fit, but I’d advise against saying anything to your parents. I just can’t imagine what purpose it would serve.”
I felt an impulse then to express incomprehension, except that I did comprehend. At night, when I listened to “Lonesome Town,” I knew. She was right.
“Isn’t it – ” I hesitated. “Isn’t it illegal?”
“Certainly, and it happens all the time. You can’t legislate human nature.”
“You don’t think that I should have it?”
Quietly, she said, “I think it would kill you. If the circimstances were different, I would say, ‘Go live at a girls’ home in Minnesota, go to California.’ But you don’t have the strength. You’ll be strong again, but you’re not strong now.”
As she spoke, I could feel my lips curling out, the tears welling in my eyes, I whispered, “I’m sorry for disappointing you.”
“Come sit by me,” she said, and when I did, she rubbed my back, the palm of her hand sweeping over the white cotton of my nightgown. After a moment, she said, “We have to make mistakes. It’s how we learn compassion for others.” She paused. “You don’t need to tell me whose it is. That doesn’t matter.”
During the years Dena and Andrew had been together, I’d often marveled at both the swiftness and randomness of their coupling. Ostensibly, he’d had no interest in Dena, and hours later, he’d become hers. It seemed to be a lesson in something, but I wasn’t sure what – an argument for aggression, perhaps, for the bold pursuit of what you wanted? Or proof of most people’s susceptibility to persuasion? Or just confirmation of their essential fickleness? After I’d read Andrew’s note, was I supposed to have immediately marched up to him and staked my claim? Had my faith in our pleasantly murky future been naive, had I been passive or a dupe? These questions were of endless interest to me for several years; I thought of them at night after I’d said my prayers and before I fell asleep. And then, once high school started, I became distracted.
Man’s great misfortune is that he has no organ, no kind of eyelid or brake, to mask or block a thought when he wants to.