Just yesterday, I was looking at the catalog of a nearby college. I couldn’t believe the courses they are offering. How to use a computer. How to make a good investment. How to get a good job. How to, how to. There was hardly one course to make the inner man grow. If you suggest that a course in ancient history may play a role in a person’s growth, they laugh at you.
Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. . . . Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for . . . success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.
This is my last message to you: in sorrow, seek happiness.
I walk out; I see something, some event that would otherwise have been utterly missed and lost; or something sees me, some enormous power brushes me with its clean wing, and I resound like a beaten bell.
A great part of courage is having done the thing before.
When you look back at the anguish, suffering, and traumas in your life, you’ll see that these are the periods of biggest growth. After a loss that brings you dreadfully painful months, you are a different man, a different woman. Many years later, they will be able to look back and see the positive things — togetherness in their family, faith, or whatever — that came out of their pain.
It is only the happy who are hard, Gilles. I think perhaps it is better for the world if . . . one has a broken heart. One is then quick to recognize it elsewhere.
The “kingdom of heaven” is a condition of the heart — not something that comes “upon the earth” or “after death.”
To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on nine different floors.
Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalized.
A cow does not know how much milk it has until the milkman starts working on it. Then it looks round in surprise and sees the pail full to the brim. In the same way a writer has no idea how much he has to say till his pen draws it out of him. Thoughts will then appear on the paper that he is amazed to find that he has possessed.
Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
When we first heard the astounding story of Johannes Elias Alder, we fell silent and thought, How many magnificent people — philosophers, thinkers, poets, sculptors, and musicians — must the world have lost, just because they were never allowed to learn their genuine skill? And we mused further that Socrates might not have been the supreme thinker, Jesus the greatest expression of love, Leonardo the most splendid sculptor, or Mozart the most sublime musician; that other names might have determined the course of the world. Then we grieved for those unknown people, born and yet, as long as they lived, unborn.
For the night was not impartial. No, the night loved some more than others, served some more than others.
Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.