Friday, December 23, 2016

Hodgepodge 55/365 - Daily Quote

Seventeen years ago, in 1999, I trekked around Mont Blanc with a Wilderness Travel group. My roommate was Michael Bowen (she was a she). We got along well, but as happens with such ephemeral relationships, we did not stay in touch.

Yet I think of her often, because she gave me a lasting gift: on our trek she mentioned a daily quote that a friend of hers, David Hallerman (at least, I believe he's an actual friend), had started sending out by email the year before. When she got home, she sent me the link. I signed up. Ever since, I've received an almost-daily quote in my inbox. (Today, he maintains an archive of his postings since 2005 at The Daily Quote.)

I guess you could say it's the equivalent of what I'm doing here, in terms of a daily discipline. Only shorter.

Here's today's quote (longer than usual: usually they're just a sentence or two):


Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I've shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I'll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

—Maggie Smith


  1. Dang. This threatened to bring tears to my eyes. It's beautifully written. But haunting, too.