…Being an unhappy person does not mean you must be sad or dark. You can be interested, instead of happy. You can be fascinated instead of happy.
…holes are interesting things. As it happens, we human beings are able to live just fine with many holes of many sizes and shapes. Pleasure, love, compassion, fulfillment; these things do not leak out of holes of any size. So we can be filled with holes and loss and wide expanses of unhealed geography—and we can also be excited by life and in love and content at the exact same moment.
“They buy poetry like gang members
buy guns — for aperture, caliber,
heft and defense. They sit on the floor
in the stacks, thumbing through Keats
and Plath, Levine and Olds, four boys
in a bookstore, black glasses, brackish hair,
rumpled shirts from the bin at St. Vincent de Paul.
One slides a warped hardback
from the bottom shelf, the others
scoot over to check the dates,
the yellowed sheaves ride smooth
under their fingers.
One reads a stanza in a whisper,
another turns the page, and their heads
almost touch, temple to temple — toughs
in a huddle, barbarians before a hunt, kids
hiding in an alley while sirens spiral by.
When they finish reading one closes
the musty cover like the door
on Tutankhamen’s tomb. They are savage
for knowledge, for beauty and truth.
They crawl on their knees to find it.”—Dorianne Laux, “Savages” (via fleurishes)
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson (via kingsrow)
By that I mean you have to win whatever it is that matters to you by your own strength and in your own way.
Like it or not, you are alone in a forest, just like all those fairy tales that begin with a hero who’s usually stupid but somehow brave, or who might be clever, but weak as a straw, and away he goes (don’t worry about the gender), cheered on by nobody, via the castles and the bears, and the old witch and the enchanted stream, and by and by (we hope) he’ll find the treasure.”