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THE SENSELESSNESS OF SUFFERING 



"What really raises one's indignation against suffering
is not suffering intrinsically, but the
senselessness of suffering."
—Friedrich Nietzsche

"A sad soul can kill you quicker,
far quicker, than a germ."
—John Steinbeck

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.'
I do not agree.  The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone."
—Rose Kennedy

"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good
must suffer with him."
—Euripides

"Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of overcoming it."
—Helen Keller

"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create,
to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and
to be greater than our suffering."
—Ben Okri

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars."
—Kahlil Gibran

HEROES 


When I begin to feel frustrated by encroaching banality and mediocrity,
it often helps to contemplate those heroic figures who inspire.
Here are some of them:

William Adama
Douglas Adams
Josef Albers
Muhammad Ali
Louis Armstrong
Paul Atreides
Johann Sebastian Bach
Burt Bacharach
Chet Baker
Maria Bamford
Basho
The Batman
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bill Bell
Irving Berlin
Leonard Bernstein

Wendell Berry
Brian Blade
Eubie Blake
James Bond
Anthony Bourdain
Lester Bowie
Ray Bradbury
Johannes Brahms
Clifford Brown
James Brown
Joseph Campbell
George Carlin
Hoagy Carmichael
Carmine Caruso
Johnny Cash
Tony Cennamo
Marc Chagall
Raymond Chandler
Don Cheadle
Doc Cheatham
Louis CK
Patsy Cline
Jimmy Cobb
Leonard Cohen
Ornette Coleman
John Coltrane
Frank Columbo
Sarah Connor
Paolo Conte
Silvio Dante
Dave the Philosopher
Miles Davis
Philip K. Dick
Emily Dickinson
Eihei Dogen
Nick Drake
Tyler Durden
Lawrence Durrell
Clint Eastwood
Eeyore
Harry "Sweets" Edison
T. S. Eliot
Duke Ellington
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bill Evans
Art Farmer
Felix the Cat
Boba Fett
Atticus Finch
Ella Fitzgerald
Aretha Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Lester Freamon
Morgan Freeman
Robert Frost
Hal Galper
Mohandas Gandhi
Paul Gauguin
Marvin Gaye
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Stan Getz
Kahlil Gibran
Raylan Givens
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Darrell Grant
Green Lantern
Christopher Guest
Charlie Haden
Hafiz
Herbie Hancock
Harold (& The Purple Crayon)
Tom Harrell
Robert A. Heinlein
Ernest Hemingway
Joe Henderson
Jimi Hendrix
Bernard Herrmann
Bill Hicks
Alfred Hitchcock
Hit Girl
Billie Holiday
Lena Horne
Aldous Huxley
Icarus
William James
Keith Jarrett
Quincy Jones
James Joyce
Will Kane
Orrin Keepnews
John F. Kennedy
Jack Kerouac
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Evel Knievel
Ray Kurzweil
Tyrion Lannister
Bruce Lee
Stan Lee
John Lennon
Abbey Lincoln
Booker Little
David Lynch
Joseph Maddy
Gustav Mahler
Louis Malle
Nelson Mandela
Thomas Mann
Frank Marocco
Marc Maron
Abraham Maslow
Bill Matheny
Henri Matisse
Carson McCullers
Mr. McFeely
Marian McPartland
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Arthur Miller
Henry Miller
Bryan Mills
Joni Mitchell
Thelonious Monk
James Moody
Morpheus
Eddie Muller
Gerry Mulligan
Will Munny
Anne-Sophie Mutter
Willie Nelson
Pablo Neruda
Mary Oliver
Charlie Parker
Sam Pate
Nicholas Payton
Astor Piazolla
Pablo Picasso
Herb Pomeroy
Alexander Pushkin
Prometheus
Samuel Ramey
Christopher Reeve
Rainer Maria Rilke
James Rockford
Gene Roddenberry
Will Rogers
Sonny Rollins
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mark Rothko
Bertrand Russell
Ryōkan
Lisbeth Salander

May Sarton
Lalo Schifrin
Maurice Sendak
Rod Serling
Woody Shaw
Jack Sheldon
Wayne Shorter
Frank Sinatra
Derek Sivers
Allen Smith
Mr. Spock
Mary Stallings
Wallace Stevens
Detective Mike Stone
Igor Stravinsky
Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III
Shunryu Suzuki
Andrei Tarkovsky
Donna Tartt
Clark Terry
Henry David Thoreau
J. R. R. Tolkien
Leo Tolstoy
Desmond Tutu
Mark Twain
Lao Tzu
Morihei Ueshiba
Ultraman
John Updike
Vincent Van Gogh
Ack Van Rooyen
Kurt Vonnegut
Tom Waits
Ben Webster
Simone Weil
Orson Welles
Kenny Werner
Kenny Wheeler
Walt Whitman
Oscar Wilde
Nancy Wilson
Stevie Wonder
Lester Young

HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY 



Happy 50th Anniversary to the Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Spider-Man,
the Mighty Thor and the Invincible Iron Man, all created in 1962
by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers,
Don Heck and Larry Lieber.

You four were among my favorite babysitters when I was a kid.
I never dreamed you'd all become movie stars in my adulthood!

Good for you.

STAND BESIDE HER (AND GUIDE HER) 


"Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for 'the universal brotherhood of man' with his mouth."
—Mark Twain

"Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior
to all others because you were born in it."
—George Bernard Shaw

“Patriotism doesn’t automatically equal conservatism.”
—Tony Stark

INVICTUS by William E. Henley 



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

MIST ACHES 


“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice;
had I abided by it I might have been saved
from some of my most valuable mistakes.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay

"It was when I found out
I could make mistakes
that I knew I was onto something."
—Ornette Coleman

"This is holy work for me.
There's little room for mistakes,
and less for forgiveness."
—The Batman

TO BE HUMAN 


"You know, we have a saying on Earth. We say 'I'm only human.' We say it because we're vulnerable. We say it because we know we're afraid. But it doesn't mean we're weak."
—Hal Jordan

"There are certain things men must do to remain men."
—James T. Kirk

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
—Robert A. Heinlein

FACE THE FEAR 


"In order to learn the important lessons in life,
one must, each day, surmount a fear."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
—Paul Atreides

"Fear is the enemy of will. Will is what makes you take action.
Fear is what stops you and makes you weak.
I'm a Green Lantern. I fear nothing."
—Sinestro
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