"We are indoctrinated with an idea that time needs to be "spent". That's why you wonder what people do when they don't do all the things you do. I tell you what: they engage with others and, more importantly, with themselves. They learn who they are and what they value. Without any effort their minds plan the future and consolidate memories of the past.
That, I think, means to be truly alive. "The unexamined life is not worth living," said Socrates. The modern version is maybe this:
The person that lives solely in emotions and information from the outside, the person that never pulls itself out of this messy reality and gives itself over to a mental spa, a time of healing and processing, a time of reflecting, feeling, thinking, seeing, worrying, planning, smiling, that person doesn't live."
“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
– Neil Gaiman
The second reason is, that imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, ridgidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent. The foxglove blossom,--a third part bud, a third part past, a third part in full bloom,--is a type of the life of this world. And in all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty. All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyse vitality.
– John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
Poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman on life: "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well."
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
— Anaïs Nin
I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn’t find the proof. It was just a feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force - a wild pain and decay - also accompanies everything.
∆ David Lynch
She who looks with the look that recognizes, that studies, respects, doesn’t take, doesn’t claw, but attentively, with gentle restlessness, contemplates and reads, caresses, bathes, makes the other gleam. Brings back to light the life that's been buried, fugitive, made too prudent. Illuminates it and sings it its names.
∆ Hélène Cixous, from Coming to Writing and Other Essays
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
— Joan Didion, Commencement Address at UC Riverside (1975)