The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd–The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
∆ Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet (Pantheon, 1991, originally published in 1982)
Ursula K. Le Guin said that we don't just naturally know how to create our destinies. It takes research and hard work. "All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them," she wrote. "We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don't, our lives get made up for us by other people."
Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.
| Maya Angelou