We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up. We conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth, and instead, what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short term and leaves you even more vacant and empty before you did it.
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“Fixin’ to” is the national verb of Texas. Certainly you find it in use in other states, but it is particularly pervasive in Texas. For many of us it is the default verb for anything to do with the near future. If you told me I couldn’t use fixin’ to, like many Texans, I would be grammatically paralyzed for a while. I have no back up at this position. I have no other verb sitting on the on the bench ready to go in. Fixin’ to has it all – it can run, pass, stall for time and run out the clock.
Legacy. What is a Legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.
Purchasing a bottle of brandy is akin to any other brown spirit or fine wine; some are wonderful, and others resemble moonshine or hooch that can only be found in the bowels of a Texas State prison.
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.
The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost.
Too often nowadays, they [elected officials]…don’t understand their jobs in the context of the distinct forms and functions our system assigns them, but in terms of the roles they play in the culture-war theater of our politics, where the goal is not legislative bargaining or executive action or judicial review but performative outrage for a partisan audience.
Writing a book is like moving into an imaginary house. The author, the sole inhabitant, wanders from room to room, choosing the furnishings, correcting imperfections, adding new wings. Often, this space feels like a sanctuary. But sometimes it is a ramshackle fixer-upper that consumes time father than cash, or a claustrophobic haunted mansion whose intractable problems nearly drive its creator mad…
One of the literary lessons I’ve learned from pruning fruit trees every spring is that a well-pruned tree, like a well-pruned essay, doesn’t look pruned, just nicely shaped. None of what has come off is missed after a second glance, nor does any remembrance remain of what the tree looked like beforehand. Pruning does not simply encourage dendritic aesthetics and stimulate fruit production, but allows light and air to penetrate to the center of the tree, discouraging disease and pests. “He who pruned not, hateth his tree” — which proverb is related to “Everybody needeth an editor.”
It rained every day for three months, from late fall till spring… it was dank and cold, and the sky was low, like the ceiling of a coal mine, the clouds the color of asphalt. By March the low places ran with muddy water and washed whole lifetimes away, and storms tore up some parts of the South like they were held together with shoeboxes and glue. Things rusted that never had, doors swelled and jammed, and the roots of hundred-year-old trees lost their grip in the liquid soil and fell under their own weight. It even caused a kind of moldering in the mind, an absence of optimism, like we had tracked the red mud into our finer nature.
Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news…
The most beautiful people we have known, are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Inevitably, when I can’t harm the people who harmed me, I just end up harming the people who love me.
“…darkness almost always harbors some bit of goodness tucked out of sight, waiting for an unexpected light to shine, to reveal it in its deepest hiding place.”
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.