My friend Rohit asked me the other day what my favourite quote was. (Actually, because of his Indian accent, I thought he said "coat," so by the time we understood each other, I think he was too irritated to really learn my answer...)
I've ruminated on the inquiry since however, and as bored as he was by this answer, I simply don't have one favorite quote - they're in the vein of songs for me - too many people have poetically enunciated undeniable truths, and I'm never in a position to not need to hear at least one of them.
Still, the person I turn to over and over again when I'm bewildered or confused or hurt is Kahlil Gibran. He wrote an entire book filled with pretty and piercing sentiments called The Prophet. Read it if you haven't already. Maybe it qualifies as pop-scripture by now, but it's simply too beautiful and too powerful and too slim a volume for a person to go through their life not having read it.
Anyway, I went for a stroll contemplating this Gibran quote:
"The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose."
It struck me because I wondered if, for the past long while, I'd only been staring at the thorns in a particular situation, completely overlooking the rose for what is was, but I was also thinking that the realization of a flower's outline was finally beginning to emerge.
And when I got back, I had an email waiting for me from my friend Anthony. So much of what he said confirmed to me that I'd been staring at thorns, but also that I really ought to begin seeing the beautiful gift of the situation for what it was. Of his hefty swarm of sentiments, I'll give you this one to ponder:
"One thing that everyone must be clear and honest with themselves is, besides yourself, who do you know that you can TRULY depend on at the toughest times? Who in your life do you know that inspires you to believe in the idea of unconditional love? UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Trust no one but these individuals. Give power to no one but these individuals. Even if you have fallen in love -- or think you have... true unconditional love is so clear cut there is no mistaking it for anything but what it is."
Ah, I keep dramatic company - don't I?
But, truly... it's only fitting.