Aside

“A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?” – Steinbeck

We are the choices we make. The biggest choice is whether or not we choose to believe in the importance of our own choices, or if we rely instead on the orders of others or on some conception of fate, in either case, denying our responsibility for our own lives and shunting it off either on others or on the world around us.

I hope my choices add up to having done good well, once measured, weighed and balanced. That’s not to say all my choices have been or will be, but that I hope, and choose, to do my best to ensure most of them are.

Video

Driving to class I just had this thought: I don’t have a single clue where my life is going. I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing three months from now, let alone a year or five. AND: it’s thrilling and totally liberating. To have ever thought otherwise was only to delude myself into a false sense of control. Fuck control. I choose life. Inherent heartbreak, disappointments, risks and all.

“Choices aren’t things that happen to you, they happen when you happen on things and choose them,
So happen, so happen and happen and happen and happen,
Make habits of happening happen because happiness happens in habits of happening,
So inhabit a habit of happening,
Habadahabadababada happening ing,
If there’s sliders to play with then bump them,
If you don’t know where the rails are, how are you going to jump them?
Medium-ing is walking in the middle of a dark room and not knowing where the walls are,
So put ‘em out put ‘em out put ‘em out until you find an edge,
If you want to get loud then…,
Break it and break it and play with the breakage until all the pieces are back in a package,
And brackage and brackage until all the packages and pieces in play,
Grrr, no medium-ing, find the edges of things.” – Zefrank

Quote

“It was your two-word retranslation, Lee—‘Thou mayest.’ It took me by the throat and shook me. And when the dizziness was over, a path was open, new and bright. And my life which is ending seems to be going on to an ending wonderful. And my music has a new last melody like a bird song in the night. […] Thou mayest rule over sin,’ Lee. That’s it. I do not believe all men are destroyed. I can name you a dozen who were not, and they are the ones the world lives by. It is true of the spirit as it is true of battles—only the winners are remembered. Surely most men are destroyed, but there are others who like pillars of fire guide frightened men through the darkness. ‘Thou mayest, Thou mayest!’ What glory! It is true that we are weak and sick and quarrelsome, but if that is all we ever were, we would, millenniums ago, have disappeared from the face of the earth. A few remnants of fossilized jawbone, some broken teeth in strata of limestone, would be the only mark man would have left of his existence in the world. But the choice, Lee, the choice of winning! I had never understood it or accepted it before.”
— John Steinbeck; East of Eden