The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off
Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,Shakespeare, Hamlet
Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
15. From Maximus: mastery of self and vacillation in nothing; cheerfulness in all circumstances and especially in illness. A happy blend of character, mildness with dignity, readiness to do without complaining what is given to be done. To see how in his case everyone believed ‘he really thinks what he says, and what he does he does without evil intent’; not to be surprised or alarmed; nowhere to be in a hurry or to procrastinate, not to lack resource or to be depressed or cringing or on the other hand angered or suspicious. To be generous, forgiving, void of deceit. To give the impression of inflexible rectitude rather than of one who is corrected. The fact too that no one would ever have dreamed that he was looked down on by him or would have endured to conceive himself to be his superior. To be agreeable also (in social life).
43. One thing gives joy to one man, another to another; it is my joy if I keep my governing self intact, not turning my back on any human being not on anything that befalls men, but seeing everything with kind eyes, welcoming and employing each occasion according to its merits.
61. Enter into the governing self of every man and permit every other man to enter into your own.
The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone
If my true love, she won’t have meWild Mountain Thyme
I will surely find another
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Maggie Nelson, Bluets
238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.
239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. “Love is not consolation,” she wrote. “It is light.”
240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.
How clearly I have seen my condition, yet how childishly I have acted. How clearly I still see it, and yet show no sign of improvement.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
For the heart, life is simple: it beats for as long as it can. Then it stops.Karl Ove Knausgård, My Struggle: Book One
Back then he was convinced that if he merely focused on what was going on inside of him, his heart would finally stop of its own accord. That if he intensely concentrated his feelings on one fixed point, like a lens focused on paper, bursting it into flames, his heart would suffer a fatal blow. More than anything he hoped for this. But months passed, and contrary to his expectation, his heart didn’t stop. The heart apparently doesn’t stop that easily.Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Die Vermessung der Welt (2012)
Aber ich bezweifle, dass man an deiner Seite glücklich sein kann.
Du hast zu viel zu tun. Jemand wie du sollte nicht heiraten. Ich glaube, dass du Kraft und Leben aus den Menschen deiner Umgebung ziehsst wie die Erde aus der Sonne oder das Meer aus den Flüssen. Ich fühle mich geehrt und ich bin gerührt, und es kann auch sein, dass ich dich liebe, aber ich sage trotzdem Nein.
Mit einer Absage hab ich gerechnet, aber nicht mit so einer guten Begründung. Gedenken Sie meiner.
Fahren Sie weg?
Ich reise nach Königsberg. Ich muss jemanden aufsuchen. Es gibt zwei Arten,verstanden zu werden. Durch die wahre Liebe und durch die reine Vernunft.