Make for yourself a world you can believe in.
It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one - the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with their worlds’ creations and continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed soufflés and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately and meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.
— Jonathan Safran Foer, A Convergence Of Birds
-Rainer Maria Rilke
A real human is somebody who feels and who expresses his or her feelings. This may sound easy. It isn’t. A lot of people think or believe or know what they feel—-but that’s thinking or believing or knowing: not feeling. And being real is feeling—-not just knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but it’s very difficult to learn to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody - but - yourself. To be nobody - but -yourself— in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. As for communicating nobody-but-yourself to others, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t real can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as just being just like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time—and whenever we do it, we are not real. If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve loved just once with a nobody-but-yourself heart, you”ll be very lucky indeed. And so my advice to all young people who wish to become real is: do something easy, like dreaming of freedom—unless you’re ready to commit yourself to feel and work and fight till you die.
-e e cummings
There are no pirates sailing through the dawn on a ship made out of pearls. Arthur laid his sword down a long time ago. The heroes only live in sentences now.
-a boy I wish I did not care for
Each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen - these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. And I mean, yeah, once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable…But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And it’s only in that time that we can see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs.
-thoughts detained - John Green, Paper Towns
Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous
(and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable list!),
but one of these days there’ll be nothing left with which to venture forth.
Another day without words. Another night without love. Another minute spent pondering. Another second lost waiting. Another breath without feeling. And another tick of the heart to remind myself, “What are you beating for?” Hope, my friends. Hope.
Do or die, you’ll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
Go and try, you’ll never break me
We want it all, we want to play this part
I won’t explain, or say I’m sorry
I'm unashamed, I’m gonna show my scar
Give a cheer, for all the broken
Listen here, because it’s who we are
I'm just a man, I'm not a hero
Just a boy, who's meant to sing this song...
We'll carry on
We'll carry on
Until my heart it can't contain it
The anthem won't explain it
-My Chemical Romance, 'Welcome to the Black Parade'
-Rainer Maria Rilke