Lorna Simpson, The Water Bearer, 1986.
So, she’s going to keep it real. It’s time to reset. Recharge.
And even though, I may be all broken up, I always (seriously, since I was 12) thought 24 would be special for some reason. And it will be if I want it to be. I think that is the scariest lesson I have learned. If I want it, I can make it happen – power resides in all of us. Worse, I am lucky to have choices because there are a lot of people who are not so lucky. It is mere coincidence that I was born in Berkeley and not Tehran or Mogadishu or Sarajevo. And with all our privileges, there are a lot of people afraid of sincerity, afraid to live in the trenches of life. Instead, they walk along the top looking down with their ironic detachment looking down on the teeming streams of life. And those have failed to realize this is all we have, as ludicrous and unsatisfying as it is. And they come away unhappy for they have not experienced or learned anything. It takes courage to live in spite of the chaos that threatens our sanity every day. I would rather be in the midst of it all rather than outside or above it. I’d rather be battling it out in the mud because that is where virtue matters.
Let’s finish this off with an inspirational quote: “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!”
Happy Birthday Everyone!
Lorna Simpson, The New Yorker, 2007.