Author:Matthews, Anne

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things ... Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. --Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855 Patience, how it mitigates physical pain, makes it easier, more bearable, even lighter--as I myself experienced and observed during chest spasms I suffered in Bologna on May 29, 1826, where impatience and restlessness increased my pain. It's a question of non-resistance, mental resignation, a certain quieting of mind while suffering. You can sneer at this virtue or call it cowardice if you like.... When resistance ceases, troubles and suffering become easier, lighter. --Giacomo Leopardi, December 30, 1826 Michael carried back from the other side of his island the first sods of scrappy grass he had cut. Back and forth he went all morning, until he had a stack beside his shelter. Then he lifted the sods into place, twelve rows of six on the two slight inclines of the roof, beating them together with the long, flat stone he kept for the purpose.... At the abbey he had learned piety, had practised patience, been humbled by his companions' talents, strengthened by their friendship.... did they guess he still visited in his thoughts the little pond beyond the coppice, and watched the decorating of a verse, the play of creatures arrested by Conan's pen, fish and birds, snakes coiled about a letter's stem? William Trevor, The Hill Bachelors , 1997 Elm hateth man, and waiteth. (English proverb) What makes you anxious anyway? The wrongs of others? Well, consider the following: reasonable men and women are made for one another; patience is a part of justice; and no one willingly does wrong. Think of all those who filled their days with anger, suspicion, hatred, and fighting--and are now dust. Think on them and what has become of their wrongdoing. This ought to calm you down. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 170-180 A.D. You have subjected me to endless boring talk about weather, regularity, back problems, and whether something happened in 1938 or 1939, insisting that I sit quietly and listen to every word. "How's it going with you?" you said. "Oh, about the same," you replied. "Cold enough for you?"...

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