“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great passing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.”
–Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams
I’ve been thinking about this a lot – how to live a good life in the midst of ugliness and intractable contradictions. I remember reading somewhere that the most interesting and essential questions of life are those without answers. I like that. It means that no one has the correct answer, that you must discover and create it for yourself, which is both daunting and exciting.
Next: Adulthood vs. childhood.