Take up something that you know will never bring you any returns except pleasure—in other words, allow yourself to live the way brilliant eighteenth century courtesans lived. Don’t be afraid of having a decorative life, even if all the decorations come from you.
Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death. When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death's perfect punctuation mark is a smile.
Tests and exams do not determine who is in the right standing. Tests and exams only determine who is left standing. However even if you are knocked down you can still rise again. How far you go in life does not depend on tests and exams but on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the old, sympathetic and tolerant with others who are not as strong as yourself.
That family glaze of common references, jokes, events, calamities-that sense of a family being like a kitchen midden layer upon layer of the things daily life is made of. The edifice that lovers build is by comparison delicate and one-dimensional.
That man can destroy life is just as miraculous a feat as that he can create it, for life is the miracle, the inexplicable. In the act of destruction, man sets himself above life he transcends himself as a creature. Thus, the ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate.