When one has not had a good father, one must create one.
I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in fifty years what my father taught me by example in one week.
When one makes children unhappy, one is a criminal and runs the risk of killing them. When one makes them happy, one does right, but one runs the risk of making them silly, presumptuous, and insolent.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.
Always take out your watch when a child asks you the time.
Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.
Fear was my father, Father Fear His look drained the stones.
When the Nandi men are away on a foray, nobody at home may pronounce the names of the absent warriors; they must be referred to as birds.
Father’s birthday. He would have been ninety-six, ninety-six, yes, today; and could have been ninety-six, like other people one has known: but mercifully was not. His life would have utterly ended mine.
A man can deceive his fiancée or his mistress as much as he likes, and in the eyes of the woman he loves, an ass may pass for a philosopher; but a daughter is a different matter.
What was it, this being “a good father”? To love one’s sons and daughters was not enough; to carry in one’s bone and blood a pride in them, a longing for their growth and development — this was not enough. One had to be a ready companion to games and jokes and outings to earn from the world this accolade. The devil with it.
I could not point to any need in childhood as strong as that for a father’s protection.
Everything is relevant. I call it loving.
Look. This is your world! You can’t not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don’t hesitate — look! Open your eyes. Don’t blink, and look, look — look further.
Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.
Her father was waiting. When she saw him, she felt the usual shift in her feelings. A lift, a jump, a tug. Pleasure, but not totally. Love, but not completely. Dependence. Fear, familiarity, identification. That’s part of me there, walking along. Tree from which I sprang. His spasm produced me. Shake of his body and here I am. . . .
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
You teach your daughters the diameters of the planets, and wonder when you have done that they do not delight in your company.
The thing to remember about fathers is, they’re men.