Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Three Passions

my mom's collection of purple bottles

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.

adapted by Bertrand Russell

When I was a little girl, as far back as I can remember, I have always felt a sadness and thought something was wrong with me. In Junior High, I understood what and where this sadness was and where it came from. I then knew that there wasn't anything wrong with me at all. It was a blessing that I felt this way.


  1. My mother always saw that in me too Angela, even when I was a child. As you know I recently went through treatment for depression, but this is a different thing altogether.
    Your post stuck a chord with me, thank you..

  2. what a great post. you my dear are
    and have always been a caring person with a carrying soul.

    Love ya

  3. sorry about the typo I meant to say caring soul not carrying soul!
    that is what I get for typing to fast!

  4. Oh of the many reasons I love you, and will miss your caring gentle spirit on a personal basis.

  5. Angela, I love this. I felt that way for most of my life -- and it wasn't until I went through breast cancer that I realized what a blessing it truly has been -- that this is a gift...I wasn't "wrong", there wasn't something "wrong" with me -- it was the kind of heart I have and who I am. Thank you for posting this.

  6. This is a soul stirring post my friend...

    It leaves me breathless,

    Thank you Thank you

    With love, M

  7. beautiful you! and i love the gentleness of that photo, the purple bottles are lovely, i collect blue ones but think i may have to search out some bruised delicate purple hues, xox

  8. Your three passions show how wonderful you are. :)

  9. Hello :)
    Came here through Andrew's blog.

    I agree with what he says about this post and yes, it is indeed a blessing to feel the way you did [do]

    I can see the compassion in your eyes. Mirror of your soul.


  10. We are to bear one another's burdens. . . and sometimes it is a heavy burden for us to have a soft heart.

  11. I really enjoyed the post so much. As always you inspire me.

  12. I want to thank you all for such sweet comments you left about me.

    It is also nice to know that I am not the only one who feels this way in the world.