Jimmy would judge all patience tests against that first night in Deer Island [Prison], ... He would tell himself that he could stand in place for as long as necessary -- a day or two -- to get what he wanted, because nothing could rival that long first night with the living machine of a prison grumbling and rasping all around him as the rats screeched and bedsprings creaked and screams died as soon as they were born.
And often the worst thing wasn't the victims--they were dead, after all, and beyond any more pain. The worst thing was those who loved them and survived them. Often the walking dead from now on, shell-shocked, hearts ruptured, stumbling through the remainder of their lives without anything left inside of them but blood and organs, impervious to pain, having learned nothing except that the worst things did, in fact, sometimes happen. (Mystic River)
Happiness doesn't lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home. And home is not a house-home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.
She blew a stream of smoke up at the empty clotheslines. 'These silly dreams you have when you're young. I mean, what, Katie and Brendan Harris were going ot make a life in Las Vegas? How long would that little Eden have lasted? Maybe they'd be on their second trailer park, second kid, but it would have hit them sooner or later - life isn't happily ever after and golden sunsets and shit like that. It's work. The person you love is rarely worthy of how big your love is. Because no one is worthy of that and maybe no one deserves the burden of it, either. You'll be let down. You'll be disappointed and have your trust broken and have a lot of real sucky days. You lose more than you win. You hate the person you love as much as you love him. But, shit, you roll up your sleeves and work - at everything -because that's what growing older is.
I believe in God. Maybe not the Catholic God or even the Christian one because I have a hard time seeing any God as elitist. I also have a hard time believing that anything that created rain forests and oceans and an infinite universe would, in the same process, create something as unnatural as humanity in its own image. I believe in God, but not as a he or she or an it, but as something that defines my ability to conceptualize within the rather paltry frames of reference I have on hand.