Monday, February 23, 2009

From Severe Mercy:

"But feelings-feelings were emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But, then-this was awful!-maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself: showing one's emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least partly, is emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, than one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love-a great love...If he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain-if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice-and he suspected there was-a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe,, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths."

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