You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Friday, January 21, 2011


A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps up on them; infirmities follow; shames and humiliations bring down their prides and vanities; those they love are taken from them and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The burden of pain, care, misery grows heavier year by year; at length ambition is dead; vanity is dead; longing for release is in their place. It comes at last -- the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them -- and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence...Then another myriad takes their place.

Mark Twain,  The Autobiography of Mark Twain

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