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Greatness of the soul.

Over the years, I’ve tried to make it a point to encourage you to take care of the body that carries the soul. Not that I won’t continue to cheer us on in the fight for bodily stewardship, but the more I study and grow and fail, the more certain I am that while the body carries the soul, it’s the soul that protects the body; not the other way around.

John Ortberg writes, “The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob. In some ways, in some cases, the more the body revolts, the more the soul shines through.” He goes on to say that the “greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodes.” (Word.)

That particular quote came on the heels of a story about Patricia. Patricia suffered from the effects of diabetes, a heart attack and two strokes. She went blind and lost both legs…all in her thirties. But before she died, she led a team to build a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. At her funeral, alongside Secretary of State James Baker, standing in reverent respect were – of course – the homeless. “The only thing I can depend on with my body is that it will fail me. Somehow my body is mine, but it’s not me,” she said.

Greatness of soul. I’d say that’s our theme.

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Short Story: Tomorrow is too Far by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Tomorrow is too Far by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a short story I read in Prospect online.

Only your cousin Dozie knows who killed your brother Nonso

Here a girl is reminishing about something which happened 13 years ago. It was the summer her brother Nonso died. She has gone bask to that plae, where her brother had died. She again meets her ousin Dozie. She has alway been in love with him. Their granmother had preferred her brother over them. He being, her daughter’s son, and she being a mere girl. Even when grandmama was dying, she thought of Nonso, talked of Nonso, even though Dozie was her all this while..

You turn away. There is a long silence while you watch the column of black ants making its way up the trunk, each ant carrying a bit of white fluff, creating a black-white pattern. You feel a rush…

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Short story #24. The Arrangers of Marriage (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Returning Reader

Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the queen of spades.

Story: The Arrangers of Marriage, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [from The Granta Book of the African Short Story]

Comments: I first read this story in Adichie’s short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck, a few years ago.  It is about a young Nigerian woman just come to New York where her new husband, also Nigerian, is a medical intern.  The marriage has been arranged between their two families.  It deals with her reactions to many surprising things – the first one being that the “house” her husband had spoken of turns out to be “a furniture-challenged flat”.  There quickly follows her discovery of the extent to which her “new husband” (this is how she refers to him throughout the story) wants to become Americanized and to cast off many aspects of their Nigerian culture.  There is…

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of love and action

It is not the love of our neighbour, it is not the love of mankind, which upon many occasions prompts us to the practice of those divine virtues. It is a stronger love, a more powerful affection, which generally takes place upon such occasions; the love of what is honourable and noble, of the grandeur, and dignity, and superiority of our own characters.

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Rilke on what it means to love

To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. For this reason young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered close about their lonely, timid, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and so loving, for a long while ahead and far on into life, is — solitude, intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves. Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate — ?), it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world for himself for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things. Only in this sense, as the task of working at themselves (“to hearken and to hammer day and night”), might young people use the love that is given them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must save and gather for a long, long time still), is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives as yet scarcely suffice.