An artist, a man, a failure, MUST PROCEED. Proceed: not succeed. With success, as any world or unworld comprehends it, he has essentially nothing to do. If it should come, well and good: but what makes him climb to the top of the tent emphatically isn’t ‘a billion empty faces’. Even success in his own terms cannot concern him otherwise than as a stimulus to further, and a challenge to more unimagineable, self-discovering – ‘The chairs will all fall by themselves down from the wire’; and who catches or who doesn’t catch them is none of his immortal business. One thing, however, does always concern this individual: fidelity to himself.
- e. e. cummings
The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.
- George Santayana
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
- Henry Miller
This is the greatest mystery of the human mind - the inductive leap. Everything falls into place, irrelevancies relate, dissonance becomes harmony, and nonsense wears a crown of meaning. But the clarifying leap springs from the rich soil of confusion, and the leaper is not unfamiliar with pain.
- John Steinbeck
So long as men praise you, you can only be sure that you are not yet on your own true path but on someone else’s.
You wouldn’t be so concerned about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they did.