Nothing happens carelessly. We’re not brought into the world without reason, even though we may never understand the reason. An infant that lives an hour, that dies before it can lay eyes on those who made it, even that soul did not live without purpose: this is my sudden certainty.
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of ‘parties’ with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
Excerpt from “Famous,” Naomi Shihab Nye