“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the intern, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Today, my twenty-third birthday, seems like a good a day to stop and reflect on the things that make life worth living. This year my birthday gift to myself is to give more space to the people and things that make life good. Happy birthday to me; may this be the best year yet…
“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out.”
David Foster Wallace’s closing words in his 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College. Today would have been his 50th birthday.
I’ve never read Infinite Jest (it’s been on my reading list for years but it’s size intimidates me) and I’ve only read a handful of his essay but I have a lot of admiration for DFW and this commencement speech he gave to Kenyon College is one of my favorite things. Today it feels fitting to reread it.