When there is long, there has to be short.
They do not exist through their own nature.
Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland of Advice
I’m not a widow, but I re-stumbled across the below paragraph from the story “Probate” by Joyce Carol Oates and cannot get over how beautifully written and poignant an excerpt it is. Her collection of short stories, Sourland, is teeming with memorably beautiful and painful quotes, but, for some reason, this one always leaps out at me.
The widow’s mistake had been, her husband had been her life. She was a tree whose roots had become entwined with the roots of an adjacent tree, a seemingly taller and stronger tree, and these roots had become entwined inextricably. To free the living tree from the dead tree would require an act of violence that would damage the living tree. It would require an act of imagination. Easier to imagine suttee. Easier to imagine swallowing handfuls of barbiturates, old painkiller medications in the medicine cabinet. I can’t do this. I can’t be expected to do this. I am not strong enough.
Joyce Carol Oates, “Probate” from her short story collection, Sourland
Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.
Cormac McCarthy – No Country for Old Men
This week’s quote is somewhat similar in meaning to the one from last week – only shorter.
The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt
Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame on us gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather, who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given.
Zeus in The Odyssey