Sleepless Nights

A good book is an island of repose, a refuge, another world to escape to.

This is the captivating read that is presently distracting my gnawing nocturnal thoughts: The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

sleepless nights 2

And here an excerpt:

While Beatrix spoke, Alma stared. How could anything be as pretty and disturbing as Prudence’s face? If beauty were truly accuracy’s distraction, as her mother had always said, what did that make Prudence? Quite possibly the least accurate and most distracting object in the known world! Alma’s sense of disquiet multiplied by the moment. She was beginning to realize something dreadful about herself, something that she had never before been given reason to contemplate: she herself was not a pretty thing. It was only by awful comparison that she suddenly came to perceive this. Where Prudence was dainty, Alma was large. Where Prudence had hair spun from golden-white silk, Alma’s hair was the color and texture of rust – and it grew, most unflatteringly, in every direction except downward. Prudence’s nose was a little blossom; Alma’s was a growing yam. On it went, from head to toe: a most miserable accounting.

After breakfast was completed, Beatrix said, “Now come, girls, and embrace each other as sisters.” Alma did embrace Prudence obediently, but without warmth. Side by side, the contrast was even more notable. More than anything, it felt to Alma, the two of them resembled a perfect little robin’s egg and a big homely pine cone, suddenly and inexplicably sharing the same nest.

The realization of all this made Alma want to weep, or fight. She could feel her face settling into a dark sulk. Her mother must have seen it, for she said, “Prudence, please excuse us while I speak to your sister for a moment.” Beatrix took Alma by the upper arm, pinching her so firmly that it burned, and escorted her into the hall. Alma felt tears coming, but forced her tears to halt, and then to halt again, and then to halt once more.

Beatrix looked down at her one natural-born child, and spoke in a voice of cool granite: “I do not intend ever again to see such a face upon my daughter as the face I have just seen. Do you understand me?”

Alma managed to say only one wavering word (“But – “) before she was cut off.

“No outbreak of jealousy or malice has ever been welcomed in God’s eyes.” Beatrix continued, “nor shall such an outbreak ever be welcomed in the eyes of your family. If you have sentiments within you that are unpleasant or uncharitable, let them fall stillborn to the ground. Become the master of yourself, Alma Whittaker. Am I understood?”

sleepless nightswe are a mess 3


  1. That sense of bodily reaching out, leaning in direction of different individuals, is embedded inside the phrase grace.” We get it from the Latin gratia, which got here from the Greek charis, which originally meant favor,” as in a gift or act of kindness that one individual extends to another, in a gesture of offering. He spoke of the grace of the households who lost relations; the grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons; the grace described in one in every of my favourite hymnals, the one we all know — Excellent Grace. He is correct to convey it up, to show us how grace might be perceived, and that it is price noticing.


      1. sometimes one does not know what reality is, the Story i am living in or the one I am reading in (see also Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder)…


  2. Hi Ralph, thanks and no, I don’t mind. It’s nearly 3 a.m. here and I’m going to bed now (and to the book…) Good night/good morning. HUGS! 🙂


  3. Hi Heila 😀 I opened up the photo of you holding your hand to your face. I really, really do feel for you. Big hug. What a photo !! I’m going to save and keep it if you don’t mind my friend. See you in a couple of months. Ralph xox ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s