On Identity

1) A life that is, like any other, unlike any other.

(Neil Gaiman, American Gods)

2) No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

3) A man is only whole when he takes into account his shadow.

(Djuna Barnes)

4) We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

(The Buddha)

5) There is a wilderness we walk alone, however well companioned.

(Stephen Vincent Benét)

6) “What the hell kind of name is Yossarian?”
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his fingertips. “It’s Yossarian’s name, sir,” he explained.

(Joseph Heller, Catch-22)

7) The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

(Albert Camus)

8) Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

(Martin Luther King, Jr.)

9) The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.


10) Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

(Jean-Paul Sartre)



On Darkness

1) A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.

(James Dickey)

2) Some things you know all your life. They are so simple and true they must be said without elegance, meter and rhyme… they must be naked and alone, they must stand for themselves.

(Philip Levine)

3) I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.

(A Course in Miracles, Lesson 281)

4) And as for happiness, there’s a lot of different kinds of happiness, just as there’s a hell of a lot of different kinds of dead. Me, I’ll just take what I can get when I can get it.

(Neil Gaiman via Mr. Nancy, American Gods)

5) We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all of life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice. I don’t believe in this world of sorrow.

(E.M. Forster via Mr. Emerson, A Room with a View)

6) What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?

(George Eliot, Middlemarch)

7) One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up on your work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.

(Stephen Hawking)

8) There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.

(Charles Dickens)

9) Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

(Winston Churchill)

10) …the habit of despair is worse than despair itself.

(Albert Camus, The Plague)