All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.
It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.
“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”
You don’t have anything if you don’t have the stories.
Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.
Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.
I have seen and I know that people can be beautiful and happy without losing the ability to live on Earth. I will not and cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of mankind.
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
[For the last two years I have posted this on Word Painting on/before New Years. Now everyone seems to post it. However, since it has been a “tradition” to do so on this blog, here it is again for the third year. Cheers!)
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of flute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition.
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.
Photo credit: The Philip K. Dick Trust
“There exists, for everyone, a sentence - a series of words - that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”
― Philip K. Dick, VALIS