His brother maintained that what sent people backing away was neither his size nor his mother's blood, but solely the expression on his face. To test Samuel's theory, Charles had tried smiling - and then solemnly reported to Samuel that he had been mistaken. When Charles smiled, he told Samuel, people just ran faster.
Violet heard the coughing and came running back. She sank down on the bench beside Rose, putting her arm around the older girl and holding a handkerchief to Rose's lips. "What happened?" she asked Galen, her tone just shy of being accusatory. "I am so sorry, Your Highness," Galen said, backing away. "I made her laugh, and–" "You made her laugh?" Violet's eyes widened. "She hasn't laughed in weeks!" She smiled at Galen and gave Rose's shoulders a little squeeze.
MR.GOUDY: I believe you testified that you backed away from Aaron Wharton. MR.COGBURN: That is right. MR.GOUDY: You were backing away? MR.COGBURN: Yes sir. He had that ax raised. MR.GOUDY: Which direction were you going? MR.COGBURN: I always go backwards when I am backing up.
And stop doing that,” he said. “Backing away, giving me that look.” Like you’re scaring me? Maybe you are.” He stepped back so fast he wobbled and caught himself, and the look on his face—It vanished in a second, the scowl returning. I’d never hurt you, Chloe. You should know—” He stopped. Paused. Then wheeled and started walking away. “Next time? Handle it yourself. I’m done taking care of you.
Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. This retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes unlived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came.
He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss. He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he's moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice. Are you despairing or rejoicing?