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What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) dir.  Michel Gondry

I have been too deeply conscious of the mutability and evanescence of temporal things, to give any continuous effort to anything—to be consistent in anything. My life has been whim—impulse—passion—a longing for solitude—a scorn of all things present, in an earnest desire for the future.
Edgar Allan Poe, from The Collected Letters Of Edgar Allan Poe
The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pendants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.
Ursula K. Le Guin
I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.
Sylvia Plath

1. Suffering doesn’t prove that you know what it means to care about yourself or others. What it does prove is you haven’t seen through your own ideas about caring or you wouldn’t be so careless with yourself.

2. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are right. What it does prove is you don’t really know right from wrong or you wouldn’t take your position of pain as your proof of point.

3. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are responsible. What it does prove is you have abandoned true self-responsibility or you wouldn’t treat yourself so badly.

4. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are important. What it does prove is you would rather feel like a “someone” who is miserable than be a “no one” who is free and quietly happy.

5. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are all alone in life. What it does prove is you prefer the company of unfriendly thoughts and feelings whose very nature is to isolate you from everything good.

6. Suffering doesn’t prove that the world is against you. What it does prove is you have taken sides with that which is against everything — including yourself.

7. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are real. What it does prove is you have identified with an agitated false feeling of life and confused it for the quiet fullness of real living.

8. Suffering doesn’t prove that someone else is wrong. What it does prove is you will go to any lengths, including self-destruction, to prove that you are right.

9. Suffering doesn’t prove that you are who you think you are. What it does prove is you don’t know who you really are or you would never tolerate a suffering self as an identity.

10. Suffering over your suffering doesn’t prove you want to stop suffering. What it does prove is you are afraid of the end of suffering because you think the end of it means the end of you. It does not.

Guy Finley

Stairs, 1930 © Alexander Rodchenko

"rather the dew on the window of the castle than the castle itself rather the flight of the birds rather burned than captured"

Robert Montgomery, 2013

I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America