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Valerie Profumo

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The whole of time would not be long enough to tell you of my joy in being married to you. Joy is not measured just by lovely things: the birth of babies, the song of birds heard together, the fun of holidays — the lyrical-love of lying with you. Joy is to be found, too, in the relief after pain shared, in the good news following bad, in the knowledge of greater closeness after disaster.
David Profumo, "Bringing the House Down", (John Murray, 2006), serialised in the Daily Telegraph, 2 September 2006.
In her 10th Wedding Anniversary letter to her husband John Profumo, written in 1965, two years after the scandal in which his adultery was revealed.

Valerie Profumo

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Though I know something about British birds I should have been lost and confused among American birds, of which unhappily I know little or nothing. Colonel Roosevelt not only knew more about American birds than I did about British birds, but he knew about British birds also. What he had lacked was an opportunity of hearing their songs, and you cannot get a knowledge of the songs of birds in any other way than by listening to them.
We began our walk, and when a song was heard I told him the name of the bird. I noticed that as soon as I mentioned the name it was unnecessary to tell him more. He knew what the bird was like. It was not necessary for him to see it. He knew the kind of bird it was, its habits and appearance. He just wanted to complete his knowledge by hearing the song. He had, too, a very trained ear for bird songs, which cannot be acquired without having spent much time in listening to them. How he had found time in that busy life to acquire this knowledge so thoroughly it is almost impossible to imagine, but there the knowledge and training undoubtedly were. He had one of the most perfectly trained ears for bird songs that I have ever known, so that if three or four birds were singing together he would pick out their songs, distinguish each, and ask to be told each separate name; and when farther on we heard any bird for a second time, he would remember the song from the first telling and be able to name the bird himself.

Edward Grey

One more instance I will give of his interest and his knowledge. We were passing under a fir tree when we heard a small song in the tree above us. We stopped and I said that was the song of a golden-crested wren. He listened very attentively while the bird repeated its little song, as its habit is. Then he said, "I think that is exactly the same song as that of a bird that we have in America"; and that was the only English song that he recognized as being the same as any bird song in America. Some time afterwards I met a bird expert in the Natural History Museum in London and told him this incident, and he confirmed what Colonel Roosevelt had said, that the song of this bird would be about the only song that the two countries had in common. I think that a very remarkable instance of minute and accurate knowledge on the part of Colonel Roosevelt. It was the business of the bird expert in London to know about birds. Colonel Roosevelt's knowledge was a mere incident acquired, not as part of the work of his life, but entirely outside it.

Edward Grey

This country’s split right now. I think if you’re a Republican, well, you’re wrong. I’m kidding, I’m kidding, I own like four Republicans in case three break down. But I think if you’re a Republican, that’s awesome; if you’re a Democrat, that’s awesome. I just think we need to vote. We need to vote a lot. My favorite thing to vote on are the initiatives, you know the propositions, where you’ll see an argument for one side and you’ll think thats a good point, and then you’ll see the argument for the other side, and you’ll think thats a good point too, and you don’t know which way to vote. I think we need a few that it’s just obvious which way to vote, right off the bat. Like wouldn’t it be cool if it was like proposition ninety-seven: Should we continue to not eat babies. Right there you’d be like, “Hell yeah, I don’t wanna eat babies, you know, I don’t have time, they’re not delicious, and it would be eating babies and that’s weird to me,” so there’s three reasons that I come up with to voting no. But the way they phrase those things when you get to the voting booth, you don’t know which way you’re voting, cause it’s like, “Should we not eat unbabies not on this not day” and you’re just sitting there like “F**k! I don’t wanna eat babies! You know?! I don’t have time, they’re not delicious, remember my reasons, I had like three.” So you vote no on it and then it’s on the news the next day, “Well, 74% of Americans have decided it’s time to eat babies.”

Kyle Cease

[On dealing with physical and emotional pain] … a friend taught me before I gave birth…“don't try to take your mind away from the pain. Go right into the centre of the pain”, because when she did that she found the pain dissipated. It's true for me anyway, but it's not always possible, I admit. It has become a valuable exercise to apply to different things in life, of not avoiding or disregarding pain or bad feelings. I just have to remember that nothing in life is ever stagnant and that this grief or ache is going to change because everything in life changes.

Jennifer Beals

In a culture where pessimism has metastasized like slow carcinoma, that crazy Irishman was backward enough to try to raise hopes, like hothouse flowers. In an era during which even judicious use of alcohol has been increasingly bad-rapped, the man who came to be known as The Mick of Time was backward enough to think that the world can look just that essential tad better when seen through a flask, brightly. (As long as you let someone else drive you home afterward.) Above all, he — and his goofball customers — believed that shared pain is lessened, and shared Joy increased.
Now he is gone. Gone back whence he came, and we are all the poorer for it. But I refuse to say that we will not see his like again. Or his love again.

Spider Robinson
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