Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine.
Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave.
When they were in school, Peter used to say that everything you do is a self-portrait.
Other animals do not need a purpose in life. A contradiction to itself, the human animal cannot do without one. Can we not think of the aim of life as being simply to see?
I am not a stupid woman. I am aware that there is a world out there that functions without regard to me. There are wars and budgets and bombings and vast dimensions of wealth and greed and ambition and corruption.
For the first time I noticed – as I would notice repeatedly during my ordeal, between one throe of agony and the next – that my suffering was taking place in a grand setting.
The day had gone by just as days go by. I had killed it in accordance with my primitive and retiring way of life. I had worked for an hour or two and perused the pages of old books. I had had pains for two hours, as elderly people do.
‘To tell the truth, I never had it so good,’ he wrote. ‘But I lacked the strength of character to bear such joy.’ That was hardly a joke. When a man’s breast feels like a cage from which all the dark birds have flown – he is free, he is light.