“That ‘You shall sorrow’ is both true and beautiful. I do not have the right to harden myself against the pains of life, for I ought to sorrow; but neither have I the right to dispair, for I ought to sorrow; furthermore, neither do I have the right to stop sorrowing, for I ought to sorrow. So it is also with love. You have no right to harden yourself against this emotion, for you ought to love; but neither do you have the right to love dispairingly, for you ought to love; just as little do you have the right to misuse this emotion in you, for you ought to love.”

 

—Kierkegaard, Works of Love

 

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Studs Terkel to James Baldwin, 1961: “Who are you, now?”

Baldwin: “Who, indeed. Well, I may be able to tell you who I am, but I am also discovering who I am not. I want to be an honest man. And I want to be a good writer. I don’t know if one ever gets to be what one wants to be. You just have to play it by ear and . . .    pray for rain.”

Taken from this couldn’t-be-more-wonderful piece.