Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Context: My brother, Andrew, is bald. Port Elizabeth is a small town in South Africa where we grew up.

I’d just like to say how incredibly beautiful the bride’s maids look today. And I’d also like to specifically point out how beautiful the married couple look, especially Alicia, from her dress to her hair, and Andrew as well, from his suit to his… to his suit.

First off, I should probably be mentioning that this is in fact my second time as best man for Andrew and Alicia, the first time being at the commitment ceremony we held in Port Elizabeth. I thought they would’ve learnt their lesson as well but apparently not.

Which leads me to suspect that maybe my mike wasn’t on last time or maybe no one was really paying attention.

Anyway, I’d still like to start out here like I started out then by saying that today is the ultimate expression of love and to celebrate that love with Andrew and Alicia, I’d like to invite you to lean over and hug the person nearest you. Today’s a special day and everyone deserves a hug.

Now slowly start to caress their neck and lick their ear.

That’ll be the last joke I carry across from then but not the last story.

In the beginning…

Andrew’s basic approach to life can be summed up by an experience he had when he was young, driving with my father. He refused to stop trying to play with the car cigarette lighter and eventually my father pushed the lighter in and when it was glowing hot, took it out, showed it to him and said “Look Andrew. Hot.”

And of course, Andrew went “tshhhhhh” (sticking his finger straight into it)

Which just goes to show that experience is the best teacher as to the best of my knowledge, Andrew has never purposely stuck his finger into a cigarette lighter since then.

This is just one example of my father teaching valuable lessons to young children.

When it was my turn to learn a valuable lesson, my father called me over and told me he wanted to see how strong I was. So naturally I, excitedly, asked him how I could do this. He said “Put your fist in front of your face like this and try and keep it there, I’m going to try pull it away” Bearing in my mind that I was probably around 8 at the time, I managed to knock myself onto the floor when he let go. 20 years later, if thinks I’m going to do something stupid, he still says “Or you could put your fist in front of your face.”

That story didn’t feature the groom but it does give you an idea of prestige and the fine stock he comes from. It also allows me to say that Andrew is not putting his fist in front of his face and Alicia, I can promise you that you aren’t either. Instead, you have put your hearts in front of your faces, and as long as neither of you let go, no one will end up on the floor, crying for their mother.

And that is the worst metaphor anyone’s ever used in a wedding speech.

Another example of Andrew’s character shone through when, one day, Andrew and John, who’s sitting over there at table 9, were delivering all the left-over booze from their last high school dance to John’s father’s liquor store. I wanted to go with but there wasn’t any space in the car. So I said “I’ll ride on the roof.” Keep in mind, we grew up in Port Elizabeth, so this seemed like a perfectly valid idea to me at the time.

The trick to riding on the roof of a car is to dig your fingers into the gap between the door and the windows on either side and to anticipate which way the driver is going to turn. We came to a four-way stop and I expected my brother either to stop or to go straight through it, bearing in mind how young and stupid we were at the time. Andrew, turned right. I, carried on forwards.
I remember making eye contact with a young woman who had stopped at the stop street and noticing that the ground was coming up to meet me rapidly and I remember thinking to myself that this is going to hurt. It did. After I’d finished sliding across the gravel, bumped into the pavement and rolled into the stop sign, bleeding with great vigor, the young woman got out of her car and, instead of immediately offering me first aid, said “I hope you’ve learned your lesson” which was a justifiable thing to say but I of course unleashed a verbal tirade upon her that would’ve made a sailor blush.

Several minutes later, John in the passenger seat, turned to Andrew and said “I don’t think your brother’s on the roof anymore.”

He took me home and put me in the shower and managed to get me bandaged up eventually. We told my mother I’d fallen off a skateboard and we kept that lie going for around 15 years, up until she heard me tell this story for the first time at the commitment ceremony a few months ago.

Which just goes to show that Andrew’s the type of guy who’ll let you ride on the roof of his car and then bandage you up and lie for 15 years for you, when you fall off.

To keep with tradition, I’ll now share another story that she doesn’t know about.

The first word I learned to spell was my name, Iain. And as children do, I liked to practice writing my name, normally with crayons or black marker pen, on various items throughout our home and it took me a while to figure out how they always knew it was me but I did eventually, which is why the second word I learned how to spell was Andrew, which I practiced in toothpaste on the back of my father’s favourite chair.

So, for his suffering, he deserves to marry a woman as beautiful and wonderful as Alicia.
Andrew and I had a life filled with many remarkable adventures growing up. And now he’s embarking on the greatest adventure of all, with Alica. And that, my friends, is beautiful.

Andrew, it’s an honour to have served with you and I couldn’t wish for a better brother, Alicia is a very lucky woman and the only person as lucky as her today, is you, because of how truly wonderful and beautiful she is in every sense of the word and I look forward to calling her my sister.

There’s time for one last story and this is the latest story I have in my Big Book Of Andrew and it’s fitting that I close on it.

Someone came up to me after the commitment ceremony we had in Port Elizabeth and said “Iain, you can see by the way Andrew spoke about Alicia that they really love each other.” And I said “I know.” And they said “No, like really –really- love each other” and I said again “I know.”

Enjoy your happy life together because it will be blessed, beautiful and full of love. This, I, and anyone who looks at you, know.

All she has to do is knock against you to find out you're empty.

All quotes from 'The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss -- Part three

So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past: IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon'tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglassI'venever-lovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgive me...

There was a time when it wasn't uncommon to use a piece of string to guide words that otherwise might falter on the way to their destinations. Shy people carried a little bundle of string in their pockets, but people considered loudmouths had no less need for it, since those used to being overheard by everyone were often at a loss for how to make themselves heard by someone. The physical distance between two people using a string was often small; sometimes the smaller the distance, the greater the need for the string.

Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person's silence.

I locked and unlocked and that's what I did. For picking a lock where I came from I was a thief, but here in America I was a professional. ... I'm no Houdini. And yet. In my loneliness it comforts me to think that the world's doors, however closed, are never truly locked to me.


I thought of a time, the summer before, when we were thirteen and stood on the roof of his building, the tar soft under our feet, our tongues in each other's mouths while he gave me a lesson in the Shklovsky school of Russian kissing. Now we'd known each other for two years, the side of my calf was touching his shins, and his stomach was against my ribs. He said, "I don't think it's end of world to be my girlfriend." I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. It took seven languages to make me; it would be nice if I could have spoken just one. But I couldn't, so he leaned down and kissed me.

For God's sake, he thought. Where is your head? What in the world could you offer a girl like that, don't be a fool, you've let yourself fall apart, the pieces have got lost, and now there's nothing left to give, you can't hide it forever, sooner or later she'll figure out the truth: you're a shell of a man, all she has to do is knock against you to find out you're empty.

Give him a jelly and a powdered, I said. And I'll have a small coffee. The man in the paper hat paused. It's cheaper if you get a medium. America, God bless it. All right, I said. Make it a medium.

Perhaps that is what it means to be a father--to teach your child to live without you. If so, no one was a greater father than I.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You're changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit.

All quotes from 'The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss -- Part Two

"I may be a fool but I'm not desperate."

"The moment had passed, the door between the lives we could have led and the lives we led had shut in our faces. Or better to say, in my face. Grammar of my life: as a rule of thumb, wherever there appears a plural, correct for singular. Should I ever let slip a royal We, put me out of my misery with a swift blow to the head."

"Sometimes you need a stroke of genius and, lo and behold, genius comes and strokes you."

"If I had a camera," I said, "I'd take a picture of you every day. That way I'd remember how you looked every single day of your life." "I look exactly the same." "No, you don't. You're changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit. If I could, I'd keep a record of it all." "If you're so smart, how did I change today?" "You got a fraction of a millimeter taller, for one thing. Your hair grew a fraction of a millimeter longer. And your breasts grew a fraction of a--" "They did not!" "Yes, they did." "Did NOT!" "Did too." "What else, you big pig?" "You got a little happier and also a little sadder." "Meaning they cancel each other out, leaving me exactly the same." "Not at all. The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also become a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and the saddest you've ever been in your whole life." "How do you know?" "Think about it. Have you ever been happier than right now, lying here in the grass?" "I guess not. No." "And have you ever been sadder?" "No." "It isn't like that for everyone, you know. Some people, like your sister just get happier and happier everyday. And some people, like Beyla Asch, just get sadder and sadder. And some people, like you, get both." "What about you? Are you the happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you."

"It had been a long time since anyone had given me a gift. A feeling of happiness nudged my heart. That I can wake up each morning and warm my hands on a hot cup of tea. That I can watch the pigeons fly. That at the end of my life, Bruno has not forgotten me."

I am a desert island.

A heart can hallucinate if it's completely starved for love. It can make monsters seem like angels.

“Come away with me, he said, we will live on a desert island. I said, I am a desert island. It was not what he had in mind.”
--Margaret Atwood
“I’ve always said that one night, I’m going to find myself in some field somewhere, I’m standing on grass, and it’s raining, and I’m with the person I love, and I know I’m at the very point I’ve been dreaming of getting to. ”
--Drew Barrymore

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;— it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”
--Jane Austen

Everything in moderation.

"I don't exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor."
--Joan Rivers

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Just remember to breathe.

The long way to you is still tied to me
But it brought me to you
I keep wanting to give you
What is already yours
It is the morning
Of the mornings together
Breath of summer
Oh my found one
The sleep in the same current
And each waking to you
When I open my eyes
You are what I wanted to see
--W.S. Merwin, 'A Birthday'

Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best; and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries, or cherries, the rich spurt in the back of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing. Give me the lover who yanks open the door of his house and presses me to the wall in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I'm drenched and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload and begin their delicious diaspora through the cities and small towns of my body. ... I want this world. I want to walk into the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along like I'm nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass, and I want to resist it. I want to go staggering and flailing my way through the bars and back rooms, through the gleaming hotels and the weedy lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks where dogs are let off their leashes in spite of the signs, where they sniff each other and roll together in the grass. I want to lie down somewhere and suffer for love until it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again and put on that little black dress and wait for you, yes you, to come over here and get down on your knees and tell me just how fucking good I look.
--Kim Addonizio, 'For Desire'

I am not a patient person. When I can actually find something I want, I can find a way to get it. I like to play by the rules but have been known to bend them from time to time, when it counts. It is a way of saying I did not come here to lose. I brush my teeth when I am upset. I have not been that hungry lately. This might not be pretty but I have got to find a way to fight, to beat the odds, to prove to you I am worth it. I am learning to keep my damn mouth shut, to be a quiet thing every day even though it's eating me up inside. I will not say a word. I am trying.

Every time I meet someone new I want to start my entire life over again just for them.

"I'm partly somebody else trying to fit in and say the right things and do the right thing and be in the right place and wear what everybody else is wearing. Sometimes I think we're all trying to be shadows of each other, trying to buy the same records and everything even if we don't like them."
--'Go Ask Alice'

This is no longer about which route to take on the way back home. This is much more serious and more like a long line at the public bathroom; everyone is pissed off. I am only going to tell you this once and then I will tell you again because this is the type of thing you have little choice in, it's the flip of a coin and you're wiping the salt off your hands from the peanuts on the airplane saying I'm sorry and saying I am not sorry anymore. The house is in fact not on fire. I stand up and tape it to the wall but that does not mean I will see you soon. There is a dream some place that I gobble up and then it's gone. A life spent looking for you and all the excuses and I'm okays, then my own hands then just remember to breathe. Don't stop now.

In the beginning and at the end
We are everywhere and nowhere.

Friday, March 20, 2009

All quotes from 'The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss -- Part One

"Bruno, my old faithful. I haven't sufficiently described him. Is it enough to say he is indescribable? No. Better to try and fail than not to try at all. The soft down of your white hair lightly playing about your scalp like a half-blown dandelion. Many times, Bruno, I have been tempted to blow on your head and make a wish. Only a last scrap of decorum keeps me from it. Or perhaps I should begin with your height, which is very short. On a good day you barely reach my chest. Or shall I start with the eyeglasses you fished out of a box and claimed as your own, enormous round things that magnify your eyes so that your permanent response appears to be a 4.5 on the Richter? They're women's glasses, Bruno! I've never had the heart to tell you. Many times I've tried. And something else. When we were boys you were the greater writer. I had too much pride to tell you then. But. I knew. Believe me when I say, I knew it then as I know it now. It pains me to think how I never told you, and also to think of all you could have been. Forgive me, Bruno. My oldest friend. My best. I haven't done you justice. You have given me such company at the end of my life. You, especially you, who might have found the words for it all."

"I shouldn't make up everything, because that makes it hard to believe anything."

"It didn't matter if I found the words, and more than that, I knew it would be impossible to find the right ones."

"My heart is weak and unreliable. When I go it will be my heart. I try to burden it as little as possible. If something is going to have an impact, I direct it elsewhere. My gut, for example, or my lungs, which might seize up for a moment but have never yet failed to take another breath. ... The pancreas I reserve for being struck by all that's been lost. It's true that there's so much, and the organ is so small. But. You would be surprised how much it can take, all I feel is a quick sharp pain an then it's over. ... Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don't know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgetting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist: my knees. ... To everything a season, to every time I've woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all. Every morning, a little more."

"Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. ... Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. What if I die? she asked. Even then, he said. For her sixteenth birthday he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. What's this? he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle, and she'd look it up. And this? he'd ask, kissing her elbow. Elbow! What kind of word is that? and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. ... Later--when things happened that they could never have imagined--she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?"

"I was never a man of great ambition. I cried too easily. I didn't have a head for science. Words often failed me. While others prayed I only moved my lips."

"She spent a lot of time in the library reading hundreds of books and not making any friends."

When I said I was going up to my room she'd call after me, "What can I do for you I love you so much," and I always wanted to say, but never said: Love me less.

"Sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you're limiting yourself at first, but after awhile you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky."

"My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world."

"Sometimes pages of the dictionaries come loose and gather at her feet, shallon, shallop, shallot, shallow, shalom, sham, shaman, shamble, like the petals of an immense flower. When I was little, I thought that the pages on the floor were words she would never be able to use again, and I tried to tape them back in where they belonged, out of fear that one day she would be left silent."

"My mother is lonely even when we're around her, but sometimes my stomach hurts when I think about what will happen to her when I grow up and go away to start the rest of my life. Other times I imagine I'll never be able to leave at all."

When I was little my mother used to get a certain look in her eyes and say, "One day you're going to fall in love." I wanted to say, but never said: Not in a million years.

"If you remember the first time you saw her, you also remember the last. ... She was gone, and all that was left was the space where you'd grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence. For a long time, it remained hollow. Years, maybe. And when at last it was filled again, you knew that the new love you felt for a woman would have been impossible without her. If it weren't for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it."

"Every time she tries to leave, knowing it's what has to be done, the boy stops her, begging like a fool. And so she always returns, no matter how often she leaves or how far she goes, appearing soundlessly behind him and covering his eyes with her hands, spoiling for him anyone who could ever come after her."

"If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms--if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body--it's because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what's inside and what's outside, was so much less."

You can't love anybody else until you love yourself.

"This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life."

Fall in love with the world & it will swoop you up in its arms & smother you with kisses. You will get all your joy & excitement back a million times over…even when you feel hard & cold & angry, you have more love to give away than you could ever believe possible. It is infinite like galaxies. Just give it away. Imagine cartoon hearts in hot pink & vivid red floating out of your chest & popping over the heads of everyone, showering them with hope & blessings & encouragement, and your life will begin to change. It will become this sparkling carousel of magic & wonder.

I don't know myself enough to know anybody else in the way they want me to. I don't think about myself enough to think about others in the way they want me to. You can't love anybody else until you love yourself.

I like words.

This makes sense to me. I like words. They are like someone who knows exactly what to do with their hands. It feels so good it hurts a little. Outside there is a pool I could go swimming the way a body moves under water. I want to tell you everything.

Frozen, forgetful again. The part where I lose my head, the scene where I'm supposed to speak. But instead I sit and listen again. I'm stuck with these cards, I guess. Leaping from this cliff in my thoughts, I fly like the stones in my heart. Drowning in doubt for what reason. I sit so patiently, drenched in what you want me to be. I can't escape. I'm ready now, come get me.
--Kelly Clarkson, 'Ready'

Be happy.

"I'm happiest when I'm boring."
--Lauren Conrad

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
--Anne Frank

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
--C. S. Lewis

To see you would be for a hundred summers to begin at once.

You must do the thing you cannot do.

"I don't know yet what I am capable of doing, but, by God, I have genius -- I know it too well to blush behind it."
--Thomas Wolfe

"What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us."
--Julie Cameron

"You’ll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do."
--David Foster Wallace

When you throw dirt, you lose ground.

"What I've learned is not to change who you are, because eventually you're going to run out of new things to become."
--Taylor Swift

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you cannot do.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

There are too many streets, too many names, too many fights, too many instances of bodies pressing, too many mornings with snow piling up against the window. Sometimes I don’t know which is worse - worrying that you will forget me, or the fact that you don’t.

"People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public.”
--Bryan White

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The shoes are for dancing, not running away.

All quotes by author Francesca Lia Block

“A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven’t eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs.”

"You are in my blood. I cant help it. We can't be anywhere except together."

"Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth."

"Everything was chocolate ice cream and kisses and wind."

"The wishes might not come true the way you think they will, not everything will be perfect, but love will come because it always does, because why else would it exist and it will make everything hurt a little less. You just have to believe in yourself."

"But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away."

"What shall we do, all of us? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?"

"Do you know when they say soul-mates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. 'Soul-mate wanted'. It doesn't mean too much now. But soul mates -- think about it. When your soul -- whatever that is anyway -- something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape -- when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to -- even if you can't be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul's wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. It must be like all the weddings in the world -- gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets, showers of roses. And after that happens -- that's it, this is it."

"Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you on this earth. Sometimes you catch them. They can be the hands of the people you love. They can be your pets -- pups with funny names, cats with ferocious old souls. The thing that keeps you here can be your art. It can be things you have collected and invested with a certain sense of meaning. A flowered, buckled treasure chest of secrets. Shoes that make you taller and, therefore, closer to the heavens. A suit that belonged to your fairy godmother. A dress that makes you feel a little like the Goddess herself. Sometimes you keep falling; you don't catch anything. Sometimes you fall, spinning through space, grasping for the things that keep you here. Sometimes you catch them. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes they catch you."

Love isn't an act, it's a whole life.

"Dear Nintendo, We need a new Mario game, where you rescue the princess in the first ten minutes, and for the rest of the game you try and push down that sick feeling in your stomach that she's 'damaged goods', a concept detailed again and again in the profoundly sex negative instruction booklet, and when Luigi makes a crack about her and Bowser, you break his nose and immediately regret it. When Peach asks you, in the quiet of her mushroom castle bedroom 'do you still love me?' you pretend to be asleep. You press the A button rhythmically, to control your breath, keep it even."
--Joey Comeau

"Love isn't an act, it's a whole life. It's staying with her now because she needs you; it's knowing you and she will still care about each other when sex and daydreams, fights and futures -- when all that's on the shelf and done with. Love -- why, I'll tell you what love is: it's you at seventy-five and her at seventy-one, each of you listening for the other's step in the next room, each afraid that a sudden silence, a sudden cry, could mean a lifetime's talk is over."
--Brian Moore

“Some people never say the words ‘I love you’. It’s not their style to be so bold. Some people never say those words: ‘I love you’ But, like a child, they’re longing to be told.”
--Paul Simon

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I am trying not to want to be someone I can't. It has always felt right to want stillness. And you, who is always moving. Who, for me, is still here. In the house. In the wood bed. In my resting hands.


Because instead of a light being at the end of this tunnel, there is me.

I have to remember to breathe when you make that face.

You're the only reason I keep on coming home.

"When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning."
--Neil Gaiman

Today I found myself staring at a nowhere pinpoint on the wall in front of me, silently whispering to myself inside my head, Breathe in. Breathe out. Just...breathe.

It was one of those uncommon moments. Those times when you don't wish for something else. For even one thing to be different. When you have no other needs and no worries. Where your insides are calm. And everything you were ever restless about, anything that had ever given you angst, is quieted to stillness.

It's just another day.

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark."
--Agnes Demile

“Life isn’t supposed to be an all or nothing battle between misery and bliss. Life isn’t supposed to be a battle at all. And when it comes to happiness, well, sometimes life is just okay, sometimes it’s comfortable, sometimes wonderful, sometimes boring, sometimes unpleasant. When your day’s not perfect, it’s not a failure or a terrible loss. It’s just another day.”
--Barbara Sher

You are wasting your whole life trying to survive.

I believe we write our own stories and each time we think we know the end, we don't. Perhaps luck exists somewhere between the world of planning, the world of chance, and the peace that comes from knowing that you just can't know it all. You know, life's funny that way. Once you let go of the wheel, you might end up right where you belong.

At heart, I have always been a coper.

And if you could change it would you? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t change one second of the journey because if it wasn’t for that journey I wouldn’t be at the exact place that I am right now. And that thought scares me because I like where I’m at right now. If it wasn’t for the pain, I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have right now, if it wasn’t for the struggle I wouldn’t appreciate what’s to come. If it wasn’t for the risk, I would be left wondering for the rest of my life what if? So no, I don’t regret a single second of anything I’ve experienced the past year because I learned the realities of life. Sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes love isn’t strong enough, and sometimes you have no control over what happens in your life. And I think knowing that puts me ahead of the game.

"At heart, I have always been a coper, I've mostly been able to walk around with my wounds safely hidden, and I've always stored up my deep depressive episodes for the weeks off when there was time to have an abbreviated version of a complete breakdown. But in the end, I'd be able to get up and on with it, could always do what little must be done to scratch by."
--Elizabeth Wurtzel

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell."
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

Your love will be safe with me.

This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization. It’s the sound of the unlocking and the lift away. Your love will be safe with me.
--Bon Iver

"The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along."

"Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doin’ great. So relax. And love yourself today."
--Neale Donald Walsch

I believe that somewhere, our train is still rushing through time. Rushing through space. And we are still on board. Somewhere. Because a world this rich and wonderful, a world this vast and remarkable -- a world like this, is surely vast enough to contain that simple possibility. Someday, somehow -- in a dream, on the other side of the looking-glass, in another life -- then and there. There will be mouths and tongues, fingertips to skin, soft voices and sighs, quiet smiles and reckless laughter. There will be you. There will be me. And there will be space for infinity.

"Is this not the true romantic feeling; not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you."
--Thomas Wolfe

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and suns and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants... have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
--Walt Whitman

My ship comes in.

Happiness is the friend who'll dance with you to the song that's not meant for dancing.

I can sit back and relax. My favorite song comes on the radio. He realizes that we're perfect for one another. The sun breaks through the clouds. The flowers blossom and bloom. The rain stops. I land my dream job. I live somewhere tropical. I'm discovered. My ship comes in. I win the lottery.

Without silence words lose their meaning.

And I scream as loud as anyone, but when asked to make a point, I tend to whisper.

Talking to yourself -- that's actually more like listening than speaking.

Share silence across static-filled phone lines, across oceans. Anything.

"Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure."
--Henri Nouwen