You know, there's that silly saying 'We're born alone and we die alone' -it's nonsense. We're surrounded at birth and surrounded at death. It is in between that we're alone.
During my past career as a journalist, I relished writing obits and equally dreaded phoning relatives for the necessary facts. But to my surprise and great relief, they often wanted to talk - they wanted their recently deceased loved ones recorded in print.
Journalists who are devoted to strictly factual reporting take particular pleasure from satirical news outlets that have the liberty to laugh and even mock the hypocrisy that reporters and editors must simply observe without comment.
Many things embarrass me, but reading isnt one of them. Im not ashamed of my slightly weird collection of prison memoirs. Nor the flaky meditation books. After all, I can pretend I never read those.
The training of a journalist, of working with words for thousands of hours, is extraordinarily useful for a fiction writer.
A common defense among obituary-fanciers such as myself is that the obit is not about death at all. It is about life. This is true since an article about the condition of deadness would make for turgid reading at best.
People, it turns out, aren't a product of their own time. They're a product of the time before theirs
Remembering is the most overrated thing. Forgetting is far superior.
We enjoy this illusion of continuity and we call it memory. Which explains, perhaps, why our worst fear isn't the end of life, but the end of memories
Basically, financial reporting is this sinking hole at the centre of journalism. You start by swimming around it until finally, reluctantly, you can't fight the pull anymore and you get sucked down the drain into the biz pages.
Anything that's worth anything is complicated.
Our worst fear isn't the end of life but the end of memories.
Here is a fact: nothing in all civilization has been as productive as ludicrous ambition. Whatever its ills, nothing has created more. Cathedrals, sonatas, encyclopedias: love of God was not behind them, nor love of life. But the love of man to be worshiped by man.
Art doesn't spring from the muses alone, but from hard work.
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