By overwhelming consensus, our culture locates the primary difficulty of relationships in finding the ‘right’ person rather than in knowing how to love a real – that is, a necessarily rather unright – human being.
The possibility of an alternative love story is a reminder that the life we are leading is only one of a myriad of possible lives and it is the impossibility of leading them all that plunges us into sadness.
Writing a book has about it some of the anxiety of telling a joke and having to wait several years to know whether or not it was funny.
When you feel sad, you are participating in a venerable experience, to which I, this monument, am dedicated. Your sense of loss and disappointment, of frustrated hopes and grief at your own inadequacy, elevate you to serious company. Do not ignore of throw away your grief
Whereas we can say something sensible and polite to any stranger, it is only in the presence of the lover we wholeheartedly believe in that can we date to be extravagantly and boundlessly unreasonable.
If we were entirely sane, if madness did not have a serious grip on one side of us, other people’s tragedies would hold a great deal less interest for us.
… what Ruskin judged to be the twin purposes of art: to make sense of pain and to fathom the sources of beauty.
established views have frequently emerged not through a process of faultless reasoning, but through centuries of intellectual muddle. There may be no good reason for things to be the way they are.
One’s doing well if age improves even slightly one’s capacity to hold on to that vital truism: “This too shall pass.
Our lives are not the measure of all things: consider sublime places for a reminder of human insignificance and frailty.