After my mother died I grew so angry with the sparrows.
What’s the point in you? What’s with all this flapping about, so happy, in your dust bath?
All that life pumping around your delicate, inane veins achieving what exactly?
When we could put it to far, far better use.
A man who lies to himself is more easily offended than anyone else. For it is sometimes very pleasant to take offence, isn’t it?
And yet he knows that no one has offended him and that he has invented the offence himself, that he has lied just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated to make himself look big and important, that he has fastened on a phrase and made a mountain out of a molehill – he knows it all and yet is the first to take offence, he finds pleasure in it and feels mightily satisfied with himself, and so reaches the point of enmity….
Dostoyevsky – Father Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov
(Just seemed apt in these troubled and troubling times……)
I’ve become my own advert. I’m kind. I never lose my cool. Everyone thinks I’m the funniest guy ever. I’m making good headway as a result. My only worry is this: I’m starting to see through my own hype. And I’m pretty sure I’m now way outside the warranty date.
Albert watches the Christmas shoppers jostling through the market stalls. When you’re in a crowd, he reflects, there’s no need to prove who you are. It’s only when you head for the extreme edges that questions start to be asked- say, when crossing a national border. Or marriage. Or death.
How spread out they were at the start! How open and warm they were, yearning to tell each other where they were born and their hopes for the future, desperate to show each other off to all their friends. Come, see! Behold! Is this not a thing of dazzling greatness?
An now? Now they can’t even speak of what they did today or their plans for tomorrow. They have gnarled in on themselves to become something cold, small and impenetrable.
“We’re all in this alone,” he said one evening. “That’s the truth of the matter.”
And she just looked at him.
Think you know someone?
Think you have the full picture?
Nah, you just have little dots. You join them up and say – look, a person!
But think about those constellations at night. You actually see a big dipper up there? Nope, me neither.
Dots and hope: that’s all we have.