Sunday, March 23, 2008

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

I started reading Alan Alda's book last week, not so much because I'm a big Alda fan (I am a Hawkeye Pierce fan, and loved his Arnie Vinnick character in the last season of West Wing--for more than just the name), but because I love the title. And the book takes a nice twisting of the memoirs thing by weaving in old speeches Alda has given at various points along the way. Here's a couple of quotes I like:

"Terrifying myself, it turns out, is one of the ways I have of feeling alive. It gives a sense of accomplishment to my life."

I find myself here too. It's why I like roller coasters and scary movies. It's why I want to jump out of an airplane someday. There is really a sense of accomplishment in facing down fear.

On meeting holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal:

"No matter what the world had done to [the Jews], through their tears, they could find something to laugh at. There was almost no pain that couldn't be eased by humor. The ability to translate misery into something else gave them power over it."

There's a lot of truth in that last sentence! Translating misery into something else--that's the real definition of joy, I think.

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