By Joanne Pixelart
Christmas epigraph: “Find out what you love and let it kill you.” --Charles Bukowski
“Circumstances never make life unbearable; only lack of meaning and purpose do that." --after Victor Frankl
“A mind stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” --after Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Thrift is the wealth of the poor and the wisdom of the rich.” --French proverb
“Life is simple; we complicate it.” --after Confucius
“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” --Albert Einstein
“Do you remember the future, Doctor? Well, forget it!” --Firesign Theater
“The only way to live is to grow. The only way to grow is to change. The only way to change is to learn. The only way to learn is to crawl along open ground under fire.” --after C. Joybell and Quentin Crisp
“A life spent making mistakes is more honorable than a life spent doing nothing, and more useful.” --after G.B. Shaw
“A wise man learns from others' mistakes, a fool only from his own.” --Latin proverb
“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” --Kahlil Gibran, master of chiasmus
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask 'What if I fall?'
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
“When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.” --Arundhati Roy
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” --Albert Camus
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” --T.S. Eliot
“Here are the options: to exercise self-restraint, or to dissolve in a soup of twitching impulses and be no more a discrete entity.” --Sir Harry O. Triggerman
“Falling in love is not a choice. Staying in love is.” --maybe Torin Rush
“We must believe in free will -- we have no choice!” --Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl
“Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.” --William Shakespeare (Hamlet iii.2)
C.S. Lewis said something like “If it’s happiness you seek, Christianity is not for you.” That’s arresting, of course, but it relies on a special definition of happiness, along the lines of “rich, well-fed, laughing, and well-spoken of.” By contrast, in Christian thinking, the “happy” ones are the poor in spirit, the mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, and the persecuted. If that’s your kind of “happiness,” Christianity is for you, and good luck with it.
“Jade” has three meanings in one of its senses: (1) a broken-down, vicious, or worthless horse, a plug; (2) a low or shrewish woman, a wench, a termagant; and (3) a flirtatious girl, a minx.
Some admirers of Nietzsche focus on aspects of his philosophy they find inspirational or otherwise congenial (Supermen, transvaluation of all values, will to power) but which are not so basic to his schema as, say, eternal recurrence.
Others count him a seer who forecast the coming of the “new barbarians” and the 20th-century world wars at a time when elites foresaw only unending progress.
Still others see his importance to philosophy is as a lived spiritual crisis.
Even if I were utterly out of sympathy with his philosophy, I could not, in the end, fail to honor a man whose last sane act before his final mental breakdown was trying to stop a cart driver from mercilessly whipping an exhausted horse. Merry Christmas, Friedrich, wherever you are.
“Perhaps I’ll die upon this train.” --Man of Constant Sorrow
“There is no giving so thorough as forgiving.” --Garry Grimhorse
“Art is a lie that reveals the truth.” --lost citation
“Someone who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.” --Dave Barry (the "Waiter Rule”)
“Give a man a mask and he will become his true self.” --another version of the Waiter Rule
I have a similar rule that I call the “airplane rule”: if you are always late for appointments with me, but you have never missed a plane, I take it personally, because I know you can be on time when it’s important enough to you. (I have missed a plane, so when I’m late meeting you, I’m not dissing you in particular, I’m just disorganized.)
“To know a man, give him power.” --Anonymous
“Treat everyone as if, starting tomorrow, he or she would own you.” --Roy Marshrigger
Bespoke advice for jerks: “Never mind being your authentic self; always put up a fake front of politeness and good fellowship.”
“You know you’re middle-aged when every new person you meet reminds you of someone else.” --after Ogden Nash
“Gifts are oddly distributed. If you have intelligence, you will never know happiness.” --after Ernest Hemingway
“Always examine the dice.” --Groucho Marx’s advice on living
“One always imagines that one’s social mask is one’s true face. It never is.” --after Shusaku Endo
“The mask of celebrity eats into the face.” --after John Updike
“Chumps make the best husbands. Unhappy marriages come from the husbands having brains.” --P.G. Wodehouse
“We enter and leave this life crying ‘What will become of me?’” --Margery Gorrish
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, do not go gently into that good night.