Virginity is now a mere preamble or waiting room to be got out of as soon as possible; it is without significance. Old age is similarly a waiting room, where you go after life's over and wait for cancer or a stroke. The years before and after the menstrual years are vestigial: the only meaningful condition left to women is that of fruitfulness.
We all carry around so much pain in our hearts. Love and pain and beauty. They all seem to go together like one little tidy confusing package. It's a messy business, life. It's hard to figure--full of surprises. Some good. Some bad.
We are a spectacular, splendid manifestation of life. We have language. . . . We have affection We have genes for usefulness, and usefulness is about as close to a 'common goal' of nature as I can guess at. And finally, and perhaps best of all, we have music.
We are here to add to the sum of human goodness. To prove the thing exists. And however futile each individual act of courage or generosity, self-sacrifice or grace-it still proves the thing exists. Each act adds to the fund. It needs replenishment. Not only because evil flourishes, and is, most indefensibly, defended. But because goodness is no longer a respectable aim in life. The hound of hell, envy, has driven it from the house.