"If the universe is indeed 12.5 billion years old and the most you as an individual can hope for is 100 years, and there's more billions of years to come, the only victory is to live fully and completely, to be totally alive every moment you're here. Do whatever you can to make this planet less brutal and squalid. Ask questions that make a difference, work for justice. Make your short burst of life count.

"The reason I was able to survive the grief of Carl's death is that the authenticity of what we experienced together was so pure. I learned that if you really love someone you should be very nice to them, because what's really going to haunt you after they die is the times you were grumpy to them, or didn't take an opportunity to show your love.

"If you feel like what was between you was totally cool, that you did everything you could with the time you had, that you lived fully and ethically, then your sadness is tempered by thankfulness."

-Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan's widow
kyra_ojosverdes: (sad)
Ruminations on the intersection between internal and external worlds. Cut for length. )
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

-- Mary Oliver



September 2007

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