“Which foolish man was it who said love was simple?” she murmured. “Ah, yes, it was Rodolphe. But which Rodolphe?”
If the butterflies in your stomach die, send yellow death announcements.
“Listen,” F. Jasmine said. “What I’ve been trying to say is this. Doesn’t it strike you as strange that I am I, and you are you? I am F. Jasmine Addams. And you are Bernie Sadie Brown. And we can look at each other, and touch each other, and stay together year in and year out in the same room. Yet always I am I, and you are you. And I can’t ever be anything else but me, and you can’t be anything else but you. Have you ever thought of that? And does it seem to you strange?”
We cannot be truly close to others without giving them the key to what disturbs us.
For the wonderful thing about saints is that they were human. They lost their tempers, got hungry, scolded God, were egotistical or testy or impatient in their turns, made mistakes and regretted them. Still, they went on doggedly blundering toward heaven.
Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time. We are in it now.
What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear; that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could arise in the heart of the simplest person; that they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today.
To be sure, the dog is loyal. But why, on that account, should we take him as an example? He is loyal to men, not to other dogs.
The Sufis advise us to speak only after our words have managed to pass through three gates. At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are these words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate we ask, “Are they necessary?” At the last gate, we ask, “Are they kind?”
At the boundary, life blossoms.
One bright, moonlit night a messenger thrust a note into the ante-room where I was staying. On a sheet of magnificent scarlet paper, I read the words, “There is nothing.” It was the moonlight that made this so delightful; I wonder whether I would have enjoyed it at all on a rainy night.
I can tell you only that beauty cannot be expressed or explained in a theory or an idea, that it moves by its own law, that it is God’s way of comforting His broken children.
If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.
Don’t just do something, Buddha said, stand there!
I am on a platform at the train station, in the evening, waiting for an aunt from Bucharest. There are many people. I have a crescent roll, which I have not dared to eat because it seemed too enormous. I hold it in my hand, contemplating it, displaying it, congratulating myself for having it. When the train arrives at the station, our group begins to move, and I am left alone for a second. Out of nowhere, there emerges a little boy of about five or six who snatches away my roll! He watches me for a second, with a mischievous smile, then thrusts the roll into his mouth and disappears. I am so startled that I can neither speak nor move. That event revealed to me the terrible power of skill and daring.