How do we live inspite of the inevitable. How do we live FULLY inspite of the inevitable.
How do we live in the constant knowledge that we will not live on earth always.
How do we come into being, how do we live and how do we die. How do we come into being, how do we live fully and how do we die, die complete.
Idea – if we cut ourselves off from great sorrow, we cust ourselves off from great joy.
We only know light as a comparision to darkness. (true?)
There is only a certain amount that we want to know. Wierd human condition. We all know that we are going to die, but we all have made a pack with each other to pretend that we do not know we are going to die until….
MR. HENRY: I’ve heard other stories of musicians who I admired terrifically, who are much more gifted than myself, and who suffered much more indignity than I’ve ever been asked to suffer. And yet, you still — we push on as if we’re supposed to be exempt, and then we’re shocked when we learn that we’re not.
MS. TIPPETT: I think that’s a good — I kind of wanted to come back around to Thomas Merton. And you also quoted Thomas Merton. And I think this follows on what you just said about that you were moved by this — these lines of him that if you — who are you writing for? Like, “If you write for God, you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men, you may make some money, and you may give someone a little joy, and you may make a noise in the world for a little while. If you write only for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written, and after ten minutes you’ll be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.” [laughs]
MR. HENRY: [laughs]
MS. TIPPETT: And there you go, using — talking about God again. But I did just want to ask you, what was it about that captured you and spoke to you in terms of what you’ve learned about who you’re writing for and why?
MR. HENRY: Oh, I know that when I read that, it related instantly in my mind to something that I had read earlier from Buckminster Fuller of whom I am a terrific admirer. And as an inventor, as a philosopher, as an architect, as a social scientist, his thought was, “I am exponentially more successful when I am working for the good of the most people. When I was trying to serve myself, I wasn’t successful at all. When I worked to benefit ten people, I was that much more successful. When my work was to benefit a thousand people, I was that much more successful. And when I thought that the work that I was doing would benefit all mankind, I was infinitely beyond my imagination successful.” And when I read that from Merton, I thought it was sort of the same idea. As soon as I am taking my focus off my own finite being and pointing my lens out, I’m still filtering my work through my own experience.