“Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don’t go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one’s memory. And yet, I can’t remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it. Before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squalling, with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there’s only one direction. And time is its only measure.”
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Listen: you are not yourself, you are crowds of others, you are as leaky a vessel as was ever made…
The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart, and even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an uprooted small corner of evil.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done
Sometimes if you move carefully through the forest, breathing like the ones in the old stories, who could cross a shimmering bed of leaves without a sound, you come to a place whose only task is to trouble you with tiny but frightening requests, conceived out of nowhere but in this place beginning to lead everywhere. Requests to stop what you are doing right now, and to stop what you are becoming while you do it, questions that can make or unmake a life, questions that have patiently waited for you, questions that have no right to go away.