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Arundhati Roy’s Vows

I just clicked on Joan Halifax’s blog and found this wonderful quotation from Arundhati Roy:

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try to understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”

There’s a set of vows worth making, although I’m afraid it exceeds even my wildest imagination of my capacity (especially the never forgetting part–I forget what day it is and am grateful to Maxine cartoons for helping me laugh at myself for my forgettery).

Halifax doesn’t say where she got that quotation. I don’t think it can be from The God of Small Things, because I think I would remember that sequence of ideas if I’d seen it before. Anyway, I’m grateful for it, and though I continue to examine the vows I live by and find that exercise useful, and I’m interested to hear the vows others live by, or try to live by–the fact is I don’t put much stock in vows, for myself. I know I will forget them, just as I forget the name of the highway I’m on, during a long trip, and get lost in the scenery. Still, it’s useful to have a signpost now and then.

Speaking of being sucked into the present and forgetting where I’m going, I leave for Massachusetts on Friday morning and will see old friends and attend a workshop on Women And Film. Great fun. More on that between now and then.

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