It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.
The mistake we make is to turn upon our past with angry wholesale negation. . . . The way of wisdom is to treat it airily, lightly, wantonly, and in a spirit of poetry; and above all to use its symbols, which are its spiritual essence, giving them a new connotation, a fresh meaning.
One day he was repairing the light fixture in the bathroom. He asked me to hold one of his hands and to grip the faucet of the bathtub with my other hand. I did this. Then he licked the index finger of his free hand and stuck it up into the empty socket where the lightbulb had been. As the electricity passed through him and into me and through me and was grounded in the faucet of the bathtub, my father kept saying, “Pal, I won’t hurt you. I won’t hurt you.” If I had let go of the faucet, both of us would have died. If I had let go of his hand, he would have died.
Nobody writes if he or she has had a happy childhood.
There is no such thing as a straight line. While you’re drawing a line, the world is turning. A line is an event.
All the way to heaven is heaven.
An important part of my growth was evolving from having coincidence as my religion, to where coincidence and mysticism were the same process. I remained an absurdist and an atheist. But there came a point where I realized that the most absurd thing I could do would be to develop a relationship with this deity I didn’t believe in. It was a hoax on myself. . . . So before I go on stage, I’ll say, “Please, God, help me to do a good show.” And I’ll hear this voice say, “Shut up, you superstitious fool.”
We are never deceived. We deceive ourselves.
Symbols by themselves carry no weight. But images come from the subconscious, like music you hear from another room. Maybe you hear it without noticing. Later you catch yourself humming it. That’s what art is.
Oh beauty, why are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love?
How will the world end? The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow. When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone. The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war. When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world? The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears. Where there is laughter, who can longer weep? In blessing it departs; it will not end as it began.
At the day of judgement, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done.
Like every beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies.
Beware of allowing a tactless word, a rebuttal, a rejection to obliterate the whole sky.
He liked to go from A to B without inventing letters between.