How many of you, I asked the people in my class, which of you want to give your lives and be writers? I was trembling from coffee, or cigarettes, or the closeness of faces all around me. (Is that what we live for? I thought; is this the only final beauty: the color of any skin in any light, and living, human eyes? All hands rose to the question. You, Nick? Will you? Margaret? Randy? Why do I want them to mean it?) And then I tried to tell them what the choice must mean: you can’t be anything else. You must go at your life with a broadax… They had no idea what I was saying. (I have two hands, don’t I? And all this energy, for as long as I can remember. I’ll do it in the evenings, after skiing, or on the way home from the bank, or after the children are asleep…) They thought I was raving again. It’s just as well.                                                    Annie Dillard. Holy the Firm

Self-portrait, 2009.

This is powerful: Chimamanda Adichie on “The Danger of a Single Story.”



Advertisements