Joan of Arc came back as a little girl in Japan, and her father told her to stop listening to her imaginary friends.
Elvis was born again in a small village in Sudan, he died hungry, age 9, never knowing what a guitar was.
Michelangelo was drafted into the military at age 18 in Korea, he painted his face black with shoe polish and learned to kill.
Jackson Pollock got told to stop making a mess, somewhere in Russia.
Hemingway, to this day, writes DVD instruction manuals somewhere in China. He’s an old man on a factory line. You wouldn’t recognise him.
Gandhi was born to a wealthy stockbroker in New York. He never forgave the world after his father threw himself from his office window, on the 21st floor.
And everyone, somewhere, is someone, if we only give them a chance.
Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.
I hope you have a book like this, a book that makes you feel sane when other forces conspire to loosen your bearings, a book that values what you value, a book that makes you laugh and nod and gives you comfort. If you think that books don’t have the power to confer validation upon their readers, then I’m afraid we’ve had very different experiences. Because although of course validation comes from a dozen other places in my life, books have their own way of reaching those hard to scratch places right in the middle of my soul (sometimes when I don’t even know that there’s a place in need of a scratch) in a way few other things can. They are intensely personal in this way, these books, and one that speaks to me with power and clarity might sound tinny and distant to you. This exclusivity is one of the reasons they’re so powerful: it sometimes feels as though they were written with us in mind.
Your heart is a great river after a long spell of rain, spilling over its banks. All signposts that once stood on the ground are gone, inundated and carried away by that rush of water. And still the rain beats down on the surface of the river. Every time you see a flood like that on the news you tell yourself: That’s it. That’s my heart.
They simply never understand,
that sometimes solitude is
one of the most beautiful things