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Ambivalence

  • Ambivalence is a wonderful tune to dance to. It has a rhythm all its own.

  • ... the older you grow, the more you realize that one half of you can firmly believe what the other half equally firmly refuses.

  • ... it is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing ...

  • After all human beings are like that. When they are alone they want to be with others and when they are with others they want to be alone ...

  • ... Cora felt ambivalence rise in her like a genie without wishes to bestow.

  • I felt a Cleaving in my Mind — / As if my Brain had split — / I tried to match it — Seam by Seam — / But could not make them fit.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1864, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • ... it takes a while to walk on two feet / each one going the other way.

  • ... a heart may be lifted up and cast down in the same moment, as sometimes sunshine comes while rain is falling and builds upward in the sky tall reaches of misty, unlikely beauty.

  • He had felt like a man rushing to catch a train he was anxious to miss.

  • Ambivalence is like carbon monoxide — undetectable yet deadly.

  • Sometimes I want to clean up my desk and go out and say, respect me, I'm a respectable grown-up, and other times I just want to jump into a paper bag and shake and bake myself to death.

  • I wouldn't mind being your partner if there were two of me.

  • While discretion points out the impropriety of my conduct, inclination urges me on to ruin.

  • And if sun comes / How shall we greet him? / Shall we not dread him, / Shall we not fear him / After so lengthy a / Session with shade?

  • At twenty-one, although half of one's being is still a child, reaching back into the past, clinging stubbornly to the known, the safe, the remembered way, the other half is tearing itself loose, kicking aside restraints and bondage, pursuing with complete selfishness and egotism its own ends and aims.

  • Beneath the surface of our daily life, in the personal history of many of us, there runs a continuous controversy between an Ego that affirms and an Ego that denies.

  • I love you no matter what you do, but do you have to do so much of it?

  • Had she a family crest, Bess had once told her, the motto would read, 'On the Other Hand ...'

  • What if you leave and never return, / and worse, what if you return and never leave. / I fear being alone, but what if I tell you that / even more I fear never being alone.

  • I used to loathe ambivalence; now I adore it. Ambivalence is my new best friend.

  • At that moment, I missed my mother more than I had ever imagined possible and wanted only to live somewhere quiet and beautiful with her alone, but also at that moment I wanted only to see her lying dead, all withered and in a coffin at my feet.

  • I love my man, / I'm a liar if I say I don't. / But I'll quit my man, / I'm a liar if I say I won't.