There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.
Do you know how magic works? The kind of magic that gets reindeer to fly in the sky? The kind that helps Father Christmas travel around the world in a single night? The kind that can stop time and make dreams come true? Hope. That's how. Without hope, there would be no magic.
I have been in love only once in my life. I suppose that makes me a romantic, in a sense. The idea that you have one true love, that no one else will compare after they have gone. It's a sweet idea, but the reality is terror itself. To be faced with all those lonely years after. To exist when the point of you has gone.
I Like The Way That when you Tilt Poems On their side They Look like Miniature Cities From A long way Away. Skyscrapers Made out Of Words.
The key to happiness - or that even more desired thing, calmness - lies not in always thinking happy thoughts. No. That is impossible. No mind on earth with any kind of intelligence could spend a lifetime enjoying only happy thoughts. They key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don't become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person.
Maybe Shakespeare was right. Maybe all the world was a stage. Maybe without the act everything would fall apart. The key to happiness wasn't being yourself, because what did that even mean? Everyone had many selves. No. The key to happiness is finding the lie that suits you best.
Music is about time,' I told her. 'It is about controlling time.' When she stopped playing, she looked thoughtful for a moment and said something like, 'I sometimes want to stop time. I sometimes want, in a happy moment, for a church bell never to ring again. I want not to ever have to go to the marker again. I want for the starlings to stop flying in the sky... But we are all at the mercy of time. We are all the strings, aren't we?
But there was a sense of something tipping out of balance. The times seemed out of joint. There was too much decadence. Too much intensity. Too much change. Too much happiness juxtaposed with too much misery. Too much wealth next to too much poverty. The world was becoming faster and louder, and the social systems were becoming as chaotic and fragmented as jazz scores. So there was a craving, in some places, for simplicity, for order, for scapegoats and for bully-boy leaders, for nations to become like religions or cults. It happened every now and then. It seemed, in the 1930s, that the whole course of humanity was at stake. As it very often does today. Too many people wanted to find an easy answer to complicated questions. It was a dangerous time to be human. To feel or to think or to care.
Toronto is the greatest and happiest city on earth, but despite that — maybe because of that — it made me unhappy, as I just lived in an apartment there, never seeing anyone. Once I went to watch the Blue Jays play baseball, but being surrounded by so many people who I knew I could never connect with was the thing that made me want to [leave].
Perhaps a wish was just a hope with better aim.
I feel a swell of pride. This. This right here is why I wanted to become a teacher. To know that it is possible to change the world for the better, in however small a way.
He smiles a little. This is the point of being a teacher. A glimmer of hope where you thought it didn't exist.
What doesn't kill you very often makes you weaker. What doesn't kill you can leave you limping for the rest of your days. What doesn't kill you can make you scared to leave your house, or even your bedroom, and have you trembling, or mumbling incoherently, or leaning with your head on a window pane, wishing you could return to the time before the thing that didn't kill you.
[…] on questioning why she looked so sad, she would remark, 'My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.' 'That's Montaigne, isn't it?' And she would give the tiniest nod. 'I quote others only in order the better to express myself,' she'd say, which was itself, I sensed, another quote.
This is the whole stupid thing about all these unblood relationships. They depend on people staying the same, standing in the same spot they were in over a decade ago, when they first met. Surely the reality is that connections between people aren't permanent, but fleeting and random, like a solar eclipse or clouds meeting in the sky. They exist in a constantly moving universe full of constantly moving objects.
And then he - Tchaikovsky - turned towards the little lectern that was on the stage, picked up his baton and held it in the air. He paused a moment. It was like watching an old wizard with a wand, summoning the energy needed to cast a spell... Time slowed inside that moment. Then the music began.
A kiss,' she said, 'is like music. It stops time... If you feel for someone, just one single kiss can stop the sparrows, they say. Do you think that can happen?' And she placed the lute beside her on the bed and kissed me and I closed my eyes and the rest of the world faded. There was nothing else. Nothing but her. She was the stars and the heavens and the oceans. There was nothing but that single fragment of time, and this bud of love we had planted inside it. And then, at some point after it started, the kiss ended, and I stroked her hair, and the church bells rang in the distance and everything in the world was in alignment.
Music is about time,’ I told her. ‘It is about controlling time.
I loved someone once. A woman. I loved her madly. Do you understand? We were together, in secret, for nearly twenty years. And we were told we couldn't talk about that love… because it was dangerous. It was dangerous to love […] There comes a time when the only way to start living is to tell the truth. To be who you really are, even if it is dangerous.
It occurred to me that human beings didn’t live beyond a hundred because they simply weren’t up for it. Psychologically, I mean. You kind of ran out. There wasn’t enough self to keep going. You grew too bored of your own mind. Of the way life repeated itself. How, after a while, there wasn’t a smile or gesture that you hadn’t seen before. There wasn’t a change in the world order that didn’t echo other changes in the world order. And the news stopped being new.