Aphorism #15

“I see life as a roadside inn where I have to stay until the coach from the abyss pulls up.  I don’t know where it will take me, because I don’t know anything.  I could see this inn as a prison, for I’m compelled to wait in it; I could see it as a social centre, for it’s here that I meet others.  But I’m neither impatient nor common.  I leave who will to stay shut up in their rooms, sprawled out on beds where they sleeplessly wait, and I leave who will to chat in the parlors, from where their songs and voices conveniently drift out here to me.  I’m sitting at the door, feasting my eyes and ears on the colours and sounds of the landscape, and I softly sing – for myself alone – wispy songs I compose while waiting.”

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), The Book of Disquiet

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Aphorism #14, advice for new year

“Celebrate messes — these are where the goods are. Put something on the calendar that you know you’ll be terrible at, like dance lessons, or a meditation retreat, or boot camp. Go to a poetry slam. Go to open mike, and read the story you wrote about the hilariously god-awful family reunion, even though it could be better, and would hurt Uncle Ed’s feelings if he read it, which he isn’t going to.” Anne Lamott

Aphorisms #11 & 12, on fluid identity

“What is it that makes a person the very person that she is, herself alone and not another, an integrity of identity that persists over time, undergoing changes and yet still continuing to be – until she does not continue any longer – at least not unproblematically?” Rebecca Goldstein

“When I look most transparent is probably when I have just come out of the fire.” Anais Nin