“You seem to be reacting to your boyfriend as if he were your father,” your shrink may say stonily (unless she is a strict Freudian, in which case she’ll shut up and wait until you think of it yourself, a process that usually takes ten years. This is why strict Freudians have such lovely summer houses.).
Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I commiserate only with those who suffer in ignorance, who do not understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain.
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something that one creates.
It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.
Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
Rosiness is not a worse windowpane than gloomy gray when viewing the world.
It’s a contention of Heat Moon’s — believing, as he does, any traveler who misses the journey misses about all he’s going to get — that a man becomes his attentions. His observations and curiosity, they make and remake him.
Die in your thoughts every morning and you will no longer fear death.
Good news; but if you ask me what it is, I know not. It is a track of feet in the snow, it is a lantern showing a path, it is a door set open.
Quoting the Psalms: “Be angry, but do not sin.” Jesus was angry more than fifty percent of the time, and it’s very dangerous theology to try to improve on Jesus. The anger needs to be focused, but anger is what maintains your sanity. Anger keeps you from tolerating the intolerable.
Resist much, obey little.
. . . the heartless stupidity of those who have never known a great and terrifying poverty.
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
Nothing is more humbling than to look with a strong magnifying glass at an insect so tiny that the naked eye sees only the barest speck and to discover that nevertheless it is sculpted and articulated and striped with the same care and imagination as a zebra. Apparently it does not occur to nature whether or not a creature is within our range of vision, and the suspicion arises that even the zebra was not designed for our benefit.
A beautiful woman who is pleasing to men is good only for frightening fish when she falls into the water.
Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.
It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.
The Buddhist Sutra of Mindfulness speaks about the meditation on the corpse: meditate on the decomposition of the body, how the body bloats and turns violet, how it is eaten by worms until only bits of blood and flesh still cling to the bones. Meditate up to the point where only white bones remain, which in turn are slowly worn away and turn to dust. Meditate like that, knowing that your own body will undergo the same process. Meditate on the corpse until you are calm and at peace, until your mind and heart are light and tranquil and a smile appears on your face. Thus, by overcoming revulsion and fear, life will be seen as infinitely precious, every second of it worth living.