OMG. OH MY GOD. Have you read Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed yet?!? This book is such a power house of wonderful bad assness. If you haven’t read this book you must. Really. It left me, a non crier, sobbing at Laguardia, sipping my tea and reading this line over and over: “My mother’s last word to me clanks inside me like an iron bell that someone beats at dinnertime: love, love, love, love, love.”
So for your Friday, here are some quotes to kick start your weekend.
On Love: “It is not so incomprehensible as you pretend, sweet pea. Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor and “loaded with promises and commitments” that we may or may not want or keep. The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”
On Forgiveness: “Forgiveness doesn’t sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.”
On the MFA: “I hope when people ask what you’re going to do with your English degree and/or creative writing degree you’ll say: ‘Continue my bookish examination of the contradictions and complexities of human motivation and desire;’ or maybe just: ‘Carry it with me, as I do everything that matters.’ And then smile very serenely until they say, ‘Oh.”
On the Life Path You Didn’t Choose: “I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”
On Art: “Art isn’t anecdote. It’s the consciousness we bring to bear in our lives.”
On the Man + Baby Dream: “Oh, the dream. The goddamned man + baby dream. Written by the High Commission on Heterosexual Love and Sexual Reproduction and practiced by couples across the land, the dream’s a bitch if you’re a maternally inclined straight female and not living it by the age of thirty-seven — a situation of a spermicidally toxic flavor. Of course you want to bring out your six-shooter every time you see another bloated mom hoisting up another pinched-faced spawn on Facebook. You want the dream too!”
On the Writing Process: “Writing is hard….Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”
On God: “To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising–the very half that makes rising necessary–is having first been nailed to the cross.”
On Your Life: “The fuck is your life. Answer it.”
On Writing as a Career: “Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.”
Featured image from here.