We can not be found until we are lost. The experience of being lost separates one way of being from another, much the way oceans separate continents. A person who has not had the experience of being lost has not explored much of life.


Facts engage our attention when they serve to flesh out an inner fiction that already holds us in its thrall. So the invention of a new inner fiction is the invention of a new domain of inquiry.


A father is a rumor of the world. A father bears before his children’s eyes the whole weight of the responsibility of the silence of history. A father is caught between the tenderness of children and the terror of the world. It is not at all uncommon for a son or daughter to get to know his or her father in later years as a tender, frightened man who pretended to be neither. The fathers who remove themselves from relationship with their children until their children are no longer infants or toddlers but already little separate people often do so out of fear of activating their own envy of what very little ones can claim by right of entitlement. These removals are a complex amalgam of abandonment and protection. Fatherhood is many lifetimes, many commingled lifelines in the...


Except in extremity, we rarely beg for what we truly need. We are most radical when we acknowledge the simplicity of our aims and urges. If we hate our own needs, we will find ourselves needing to hate more and more. We have to meet our needs in the sense of making their acquaintance before we can meet them in the sense of using them to make satisfaction possible. If someone provides us with what we have needed desperately for a long time, we are sure to respond not just with love and gratitude but also with hatred and resentment, because they have, as we experience it, been so slow in coming. What possible excuse can they give us for their...


When we listen to music, we submerge ourselves in a specific mental medium in which we move as easily as and gracefully as whales or dolphins do in water. At the end of the concert, as in a relay race, the conductor passes the baton to each one of us and we are left to carry the music on in our minds to its intimate and ultimate destination. Music is the mammalian quest for...


To part is not just to die a little, as the French would have it, but also to be born a little. It is this contradiction at the core of the experience that makes it so confusing for us.