You see I thought love got easier over the years so it didn’t hurt so bad when it hurt, or feel so good when it felt good. I thought it smoothed out and old people hardly noticed it. I thought it curled up and died, I guess. Now I saw it rear up like a whip and lash.
The great thing is to last and get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.
Everyone has a talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty.
Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.
My books are the books that I am, the confused man, the negligent man, the reckless man, the lusty, obscene, boisterous, scrupulous, lying, diabolically truthful man that I am.
The late F. W. H. Meyers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but on being pressed, replied: “Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn’t talk about such unpleasant subjects.”
In this world we live in a mixture of time and eternity. Hell would be pure time.
Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
Eat chocolate now. After you’re dead there isn’t any.
Sundays are terrible because it is clear that there is no one in charge of the world. And this knowledge leaves you drifting around, grappling with unfulfilled expectations and vague yearnings.
Time is a great traitor who teaches us to accept loss.
Day after day, O God of my life, shall I stand before You face to face? With folded hands, O God of all worlds, shall I stand before You face to face? Under Your great sky, in solitude and silence, with humble heart, shall I stand before You face to face? In this laborious world of Yours, tumultuous with toil and struggle, among hurrying crowds, shall I stand before You face to face? And when my work shall be done in this world, O God of Gods, alone and speechless, shall I stand before You face to face?
How do I work? I grope.
The pitcher cries for work to carry and a person for work that is real.
It is the best work that He wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I think He must prefer quality to quantity.
I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.
I think that the dying pray at the last not please but thank you, as a guest thanks his host at the door. Falling from airplanes the people are crying thank you, thank you, all down the air; and the cold carriages draw up for them on the rocks.
On his deathbed he had asked, still insatiable, to be lifted up in order that he could catch through the window a glimpse of one more spring.