I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one… . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil… . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward.
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
Growing up is a trap,” snapped Dr. Robbins. “When they tell you to shut up, they mean stop talking. When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing. Reach a nice level plateau and settle there, predictable and unchanging, no longer a threat.
― Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell.
― Rollo May
The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
― Mark Twain
Here’s what I think. We all want someone to build a fort with. We want somebody to swap crayons with and play hide-and-seek with and live out imaginary stories with. We start out getting that from our family. Then we get it from our friends. And then, for whatever reasons, we get it in our heads that we need to get that feeling- that intimacy- from a single someone else. We call if growing up. But really, when you take sex out of it, what we want is a companion. And we make that so damn hard to find.
― David Levithan, Are We There Yet?
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
― Andrew Boyd
There are only shades of gray. Black and white are nothing more than lofty ideals in our minds, the standards by which we try to judge things, and map out our place in the world in relevance to them. Good and evil, in their purest form, are as intangible and forever beyond our ability to hold in our hand as any Fae illusion. We can only aim at them, aspire to them, and hope not to get so lost in the shadows that we can no longer aim for the light.
― Karen Marie Moning