Take it nice ‘n’ easy said the old song. ”Nice” and “easy” seem to belong together. On the other hand, there is a big difference in saying,“She is nice” from saying, “She is easy.”

“To Sethe, the future was a matter of keeping the past at bay.” Toni Morrison, Beloved.

Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film in history. It is quite a movie with a distinctive, touching (albeit somewhat confusing) story with remarkable art. And the animated people have five fingers.

“And how can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?” Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Perhaps we can bring back the T-shirt from 2002: “I never thought that I would miss Nixon.”

I was taught that it was improper and disrespectful to clap after the singing of the national anthem, but many, if not most, people do applaud at its conclusion.

“Anxious for some permanency, I guess I needed to be reminded how temporal permanency is.” Patti Smith, M Train.

While I was having a heart event, I felt that I was being whisked down a long, dark tunnel. I could do nothing to prevent my movement. Finally, I saw a blue light at the end of the darkness.  It started to pulse, and I felt myself being pulled even quicker down the tunnel towards the pulsation. But as I started to glide into that abyss, I heard a voice shout, “No!  No!  That’s New Jersey.” I returned to the living.

“Marriage is something we make from available materials.” Don DeLillo, The Names.

The man was in his 50s. He said that he now lived in Virginia but that he was raised in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn and was a retired New York City firefighter. I asked if it was hard to give up the adrenaline rush of being a fireman.  He replied, almost sounding wistful, “One day you have it, and then it is just gone.”

“The boiling point of water is straightforward, but the boiling point of societies is mysterious.” Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.

In every tennis match, whoever wins the last point wins. Remember, all you have to do is win the final point.

“Without faith, how open and beautiful and terrifying the world must have seemed to him.” Ian McEwan, The Children Act.

LT’s parents had been devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, meeting at a Kingdom Hall and getting married young.  As LT said, “JWs do not allow premarital sex.” They are also not tolerant of homosexuality, but a friend from the church “came out.” The now openly-lesbian friend was, I think the phrase is, “de-fellowshipped.”  This requires shunning by the rest of the congregation, but LT’s mother continued to be a friend to the rejected gay woman. As a result, LT’s mother was banished from the JWs as was her father.  This was a huge act of rebellion for one immersed in the church as LT’s parents were. There are all sorts of stories of courage that are not known.

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