“What if it turns out that a life isn’t defined by who you belong to or where you came from, by what you wished for or whom you’ve lost, but instead by the moments you spend getting from each of these places to the next?”—Jodi Picoult
"For God’s sake, if I learned anything during this damn trial it’s that the only way someone can leave you is if you let them. And I’m not doing that, Dee. It may look like that today, or tomorrow, or even a month from now, but one day you’re going to wake up and see that this whole time you’ve been gone, you’ve only been headed back to where you started. And I’ll be there, waiting." He leans forward and kisses me once, feather-light, on the lips. "It’s not like I’m letting you go, " he murmurs. "I’m just trusting you enough to come back. " -Eric sending Delia to Fitz
“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”—Nelson Mandela (via avenuewaltz)
“She’s in a world of her own. She demands authenticity of herself and others. Originality bores her but her mind is lively. She mistrusts what isn’t sincere and open.”—Masculin Féminin (1966) dir. by Jean-Luc Godard (via c-ovet)
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
"Break out about your dreams. Break out about the passion you have for changing the world. Break out about how you feel about things. Never hold back. Refuse to be in the shadows as you step out into this life.”
“There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good. So here is what I wanted to tell you today:
Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.”—
n. a recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night—an overdue task, a nagging guilt, a looming and shapeless future—that circles high overhead during the day, that pecks at the back of your mind while you try to sleep, that you can successfully ignore for weeks, only to feel its presence hovering outside the window, waiting for you to finish your coffee, passing the time by quietly building a nest.
“The moments of the past do not remain still; they retain in our memory the motion which drew them towards the future, towards a future which has itself become the past, and draw us on in their train.”—Marcel Proust (via man-of-prose)
“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in ‘sadness,’ ‘joy,’ or ‘regret.’ Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, ‘the happiness that attends disaster.’ Or: ‘the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.’ I’d like to show how ‘intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members’ connects with ‘the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.’ I’d like to have a word for ‘the sadness inspired by failing restaurants’ as well as for ‘the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.’ I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.”—Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (via waxenneat)