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.
Mr. Benedict: "After I woke up and composed myself, however, I realized the flowers must certainly be yours, Constance, to do with as you please. At any rate -- " Mr.Benedict broke off, for just then Constance jumped to her feet, snatched the bouquet from his desk, and hurled it into the wastebasket with all the force she could muster -- so hard that flower petals flew up out of the wastebasket like tiny pink butterflies. Then placing her hands against the wall to steady herself, she stomped one foot repeatedly into the wastebasket as if trying to put out a fire. "I see we are of the same opinion," said Mr. Benedict as Constance returned to her seat, and the others congratulated her on her judgment.
Adrien Bach, main character from The Maker:You know, when you’re a kid, you think you’re going to grow up to be something special, do something important. You’re not going to be a regular Joe like everybody else. But then you get out there and life starts to hit you. It hits you so many times, eventually you just can’t get up anymore. Or won’t. And then you just don’t know. Those dreams seem to fade away, and suddenly you’re not sure who you are anymore.
I woke up feeling alone, so lonely. The night before, I had cried myself to sleep. I lay there on the floor, listening to the tube trains passing beneath me. I thought, All those hundreds and thousands and millions of people. London, London - I hate you. I picked myself up and got ready.
Then the woman in the bed sat up and looked about her with wild eyes; and the oldest of the old men said: 'Lady, we have come to write down the names of the immortals,’ and at his words a look of great joy came into her face. Presently she, began to speak slowly, and yet eagerly, as though she knew she had but a little while to live, and, in English, with the accent of their own country; and she told them the secret names of the immortals of many lands, and of the colours, and odours, and weapons, and instruments of music and instruments of handicraft they held dearest; but most about the immortals of Ireland and of their love for the cauldron, and the whetstone, and the sword, and the spear, and the hills of the Shee, and the horns of the moon, and the Grey Wind, and the Yellow Wind, and the Black Wind, and the Red Wind. ("The Adoration of the Magi")
When you wake up from a dream you have only a few precious moments before the details of the dream begin to dissipate and the memory fades.Not all dreams are significant or worth remembering.But the ones that are . . . happen again.So, wait for the dream to return. And never be afraid. Instead, consider it an opportunity to learn something profound and possibly wondrous about yourself.
Every person that has lived with purpose has at one time or another answered these questions: Do you remember who you were before the world, and it's evil stole your hope? Do you remember who you wanted to be before a religion, culture or organization told you to be something you were not? Do you remember what your dream was before they told you that it was unachievable? Do you remember the moments God kept taking you back to the one thing you were best at (but you kept denying it)? Do you remember the moments He handed you the opportunity and you walked away, instead? Do you remember the moments He kept closing the doors on the one thing you wanted because it wouldn't help you? Do you remember it was all going to be okay if you simply believed, but you gave up? For every bad moment, we blamed others, kept score, got even and forgot to live. When you remember your "true self", then you can begin to walk forward once again down the road to discovery, childhood dreams and your life purpose. (Writer's Conference, 2012)
It was so cold. In the monastery. Sometimes the wind came from the sea with ice in it... It could freeze the skin off your face. Once the snow was so deep we couldn't get out of the doors to the woodshed. A monk jumped from a window. He sank into a drift and took a long time to get up. That night, they made me sleep next to the stove. I was small, thin, like a piece of birch bark. But then the Stove went out.Father Bernard took me into his cell... It was he who first gave me chalk and paper. He was so old his eyes his eyes looked as if he was crying. But he was never sad. In winter he had fewer blankets than the others. He said he didn't need them because God warmed him.(...)But even Father Bernard was cold that night. He laid me down on the bed next to him, wrapped me in an animal skin, then in his own arms. He told me stories about Jesus. How His love could wake the dead and how with Him in one's heart one could heat the world... When I woke it was light. The snow had stopped. I was warm. But he was cold. I gave him the skin but his body was stiff. I didn't know what to do. I got out a piece of paper from his chest under the bed and drew him, lying there. His face had a smile on it. I knew that God had been there when he died. That now He was in me, and because of Father Bernard I would be warm forever.
What infinite heart's-easeMust kings neglect, that private men enjoy!And what have kings, that privates have not too,Save ceremony, save general ceremony?And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st moreOf mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?What are thy rents? what are thy comings in?O ceremony, show me but thy worth!What is thy soul of adoration?Art thou aught else but place, degree and form,Creating awe and fear in other men?Wherein thou art less happy being fear'dThan they in fearing.What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!Think'st thou the fiery fever will go outWith titles blown from adulation?Will it give place to flexure and low bending?Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;I am a king that find thee, and I know'Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball,The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,The farced title running 'fore the king,The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pompThat beats upon the high shore of this world,No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,Not all these, laid in bed majestical,Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,Who with a body fill'd and vacant mindGets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,But, like a lackey, from the rise to setSweats in the eye of Phoebus and all nightSleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,And follows so the ever-running year,With profitable labour, to his grave:And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king.The slave, a member of the country's peace,Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wotsWhat watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,Whose hours the peasant best advantages.
When Josey woke up and saw the feathery frost on her windowpane, she smiled. Finally, it was cold enough to wear long coats and tights. It was cold enough for scarves and shirts worn in layers, like camouflage. It was cold enough for her lucky red cardigan, which she swore had a power of its own. She loved this time of year. Summer was tedious with the light dresses she pretended to be comfortable in while secretly sure she looked like a loaf of white bread wearing a belt. The cold was such a relief.