Obsession. It starts with a spark. A flicker. At the strike of a match. Lying dormant in most of us, obsession feasts on the fumes, breathes in the smoky scent, curing around and in on itself. Building. We pet it, nurse it into existence. It is ours. All ours. A coveted perfection. And when it refuses to be ignored, it rages. It roars to life. A building inferno. Consuming. We are but pawns to its deceptive power. Though we attempt to guide it, caress it tenderly into a loving beauty, it can not be controlled. It’s a haunted, vengeful lover. Like a wildfire devouring life within it’s path, we can only follow it’s carnal trail.
Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung? The dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature's highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we're expected! But there is no such place, that's why it's called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.
We’ve been so busy with these things we let ourselves think actually mattered, but they don’t. There’s no such thing as the right career, or morality, or destiny, or fate. There’s only life. And whether you honor it or ignore it. It’s ironic, but in trying to find God we’ve been ignoring life.
I believe we must do things in our lives for the right reasons, because we enjoy doing them, with no expectation of getting something back in return. Otherwise, we are constantly being disappointed." She moved her turquoise bracelet back and forth on her wrist. "So I had two sons, John and Richard, because I wanted to, not because I thought they would rescue me in old age. I got out of all social organizations and clubs in my fifties so I could spend time with my grandchildren, not because they would give something back to Jack and me later on, but because that was what I wanted to do--and I have loved doing it. Believe me, these have been selfish decisions.
Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.
hasn’t got a damn thing to do with anything, ‘cause all it has to do with is nothing. Nothingness. Okay? It doesn’t develop the mind, it dissolves the mind. Self-improvement? Forget it, baby. It erases the self. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. What good is it? Good for nothing. Excellent for nothing. Yes, Lord, but when you get down to nothing, you get down to ultimate reality. It’s then and exactly then that you’re sensing the true nature of the universe, you’re linked up with the absolute Absolute, son, and unless you’re content with blowing smoke up your butt all your life, that there’s the only place to be.
We modern human beings are looking at life, trying to make some sense of it; observing a 'reality' that often seems to be unfolding in a foreign tongue--only we've all been issued the wrong librettos. For a text, we're given the Bible. Or the Talmud or the Koran. We're given Time magazine, and Reader's Digest, daily papers, and the six o'clock news; we're given schoolbooks, sitcoms, and revisionist histories; we're given psychological counseling, cults, workshops, advertisements, sales pitches, and authoritative pronouncements by pundits, sold-out scientists, political activists, and heads of state. Unfortunately, none of these translations bears more than a faint resemblance to what is transpiring in the true theater of existence, and most of them are dangerously misleading. We're attempting to comprehend the spiraling intricacies of a magnificently complex tragicomedy with librettos that describe the barrom melodramas or kindergarten skits. And when's the last time you heard anybody bitch about it to the management?
You and your siblings are the most precious part of my life. And of all my children, you have the most potential to go anywhere you wish in this world – your test scores and grades have always been among the highest of your peers. But it’s clear now that you cannot reach your full potential in Syria.
But the fantasy kingdom and trappings of success soon lost their luster, as I discovered that the most prestigious and remunerative of my resume's way stations was also the most tedious and unfulfilling I had ever experienced. This paradox only made me more morose about modernity. Why was I going to watch my hairline recede in front of two-thousand-line spreadsheets staring at me from cold, glowing monitors? Why was everyone in my office apparently so happy to be spending so many hours there, when the things they really cared about - people, pets, pastimes - were all relegated to a few photographs on their desks? That seemed to be the formula: spend the best years of your life in an office with photos of what you really care about.
You know that point in your life when you realize that the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore… All of the sudden, even though you have some place to put your shit, that idea of home is gone… Or maybe it's like this rite of passage… You will never have that feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start. It’s like a cycle or something. Maybe that’s all family really is: a group of people that miss the same imaginary place.