“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”—Henri Nouwen
“The present has nothing to do with time. If you are just here in this moment, there is no time. There is immense silence, stillness, no movement; nothing is passing, everything has come to a sudden stop.”—Osho (via purplebuddhaproject)
“You can’t force love, I realized. It’s there or it isn’t. If it’s not there, you’ve got to be able to admit it. If it is there, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love.”—Richelle Mead, Frostbite
“It is a time of quiet joy, the sunny morning. When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds, each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful if not valuable. This is no time for hurry or for bustle. Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.”—John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat (via bookmania)
“I live for coincidences. They briefly give to me the illusion or the hope that there’s a pattern to my life, and if there’s a pattern, then maybe I’m moving toward some kind of destiny where it’s all explained.”—Jonathan Ames
“Your soulmate is not someone that comes into your life peacefully. It is who comes to make you question things, who changes your reality, somebody that marks a before and after in your life. It is not the human being everyone has idealized, but an ordinary person, who manages to revolutionize your world in a second…”—Anonymous
We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
Or at least we do for a while.
Joan Didion, The White Album
I just reread this essay, and I think it’s an important one for writers to read—not to be better writers, I think, but to be better humans outside of our writing. I definitely fall victim to the need to narrativize things that happen in my life, to want to say x happened because of y because of z. And yes, life is a series of chain reactions, of “fate” or whatever you want to call it splitting off like branches on a tree because of the decisions we make. But it doesn’t all have to make sense; it doesn’t have to tie up neatly. If there’s a gun on the mantle in the proverbial first act of my life, it doesn’t have to go off in the third.
I’m having a hard time with this concept right now, given how certain negative past actions of mine are resurfacing in what seems like a karmic rage, but we—I—need to remember that life is fucking random. Dwelling on the past events that lead to our current situation is, a lot of the time, useless. I know it can sound trite, but if life is a non-narrative, there’s only moving forward.