What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me & incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode.

So forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.

Technology provides the potential, by use of well-produced books, film, television, and interactive computer-controlled systems of various kinds. These, and other developments, provide many opportunities for expanding our minds-or else for deadening them. The human mind is capable of vastly more than it is often given the chance to achieve. Sadly, these opportunities are all to frequently squandered, and the minds of neither young nor old are provided the openings that they undoubtedly deserve.

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid….He must be the best man in his world, and a good enough man for any world.” from Raymond Chandler’s, “The Simple Act of Murder.

Some bruises you wear like badges of honour: when you got it playing rugby, or quad racing, or falling off something while drunk, no opportunity is lost to show off a good contusion. A bruise inflicted by someone else, however, is a whole other story: it’s like a big flashing arrow marking you out as punchable, and before long there’ll be boys queuing up to add bruises of their own, as if they’d just been waiting for somebody to show them it could be done.

History, in the end, is only another kind of story, and stories are different from the truth. The truth is messy and chaotic and all over the place. Often it just doesn’t make sense. Stories make things make sense, but the way they do that is to leave out anything that doesn’t fit. And often that is quite a lot.

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