When I pray, I never pray for myself, always for others, or else I hold a silly, naive, or deadly serious dialogue with what is deepest inside me, which for the sake of convenience I call God. Praying to God for something for yourself strikes me as being too childish for words. To pray for another’s well-being is something I find childish as well; one should only pray that another should have enough strength to shoulder his burden. If you do that, you lend him some of your own strength.
A garden I tend whose blossom never existed.
I remember hearing years ago that there was a big Hollywood film about the life of Christ being made in Rome. They were shooting the Last Supper, and the director came on the set ready to shoot, and he looked up and there was Christ in the middle and the apostles sitting around the table, and the director started yelling, “Where’s John the Baptist?” A very embarrassed assistant director said, “Excuse me, John the Baptist wasn’t in the Last Supper.” And the director went purple with rage, saying, “When I’m asking where he is, I don’t want to be told where he isn’t.” How deep-rooted our perceptions can be.
I begin with what was always gone.
Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery; it is not words that make it so in life, but words have to make it so in a story. Brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to.
Children seldom have a proper sense of their own tragedy, discounting and keeping hidden the true horrors of their short lives, humbly imagining real calamity to be some prestigious drama of the grown-up world.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
We must cultivate and defend particularity, individuality, and irregularity — life. Human beings do not have a future in the collectivism of bureaucratic states or in the mass society created by capitalism. Every system, by virtue as much of its abstract nature as of its pretension to totality, is the enemy of life. As a forgotten Spanish poet, Jose Moreno Villa, put it with melancholy wit: “I have discovered in symmetry the root of much iniquity.”
I wonder how we learn to live with our faces? They must hide so much pain, so many deep trenches of blood, so much that would terrorize and drive others away, if they could see it. The struggle to control it articulates the face
The way out is through the door you came in.
More than any other time in history, mankind faces the crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. I pray we have the wisdom to choose wisely.
I have never met anybody who wasn’t against war. Even Hitler and Mussolini were, according to themselves.
Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody.
Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.