If I'd been a cowboy, it might've ended well.Somewhere on the ramble, I'm sure I'd have to sellMy guns along the highway. My coins to the table To make a gambler's double, I'd double debts to pay.Prob'ly shrink and slink away, It mightn't've ended well.What If I'd been a sailor? I think it might've ended well.From August to MayFor a searat of man drifting through eternal blue, aboard the finest Debris.I might've called the shanties. From daybreak to storm's set, lines stay Taught, over rhythm unbroken.But, oh, there's a schism unspoken, a mighty calling of the lee.An absentminded Pirate, unaccustomed to the sea;To the land, a traitor. I think it mightn't've ended well. What might've worked for me? What might've ended well?Soldier, to bloody sally forth through hell?Teacher of glorious stories to tell?Man of gold, or stores to sell?Lover to a gentle belle? Maybe a camel;A seashell.What mightn't've been a life where it mightn't've ended well?
Zakath stared at the floor. 'I suddenly feel very helpless,' he admitted, 'and I don't like the feeling. I've been rather effectively dethroned, you know. This morning I was the Emperor of the largest nation on earth; this afternoon, I'm going to be a vagabond.'You might find it refreshing,' Silk told him lightly.Shut up, Kheldar,' Zakath said almost absently. He looked back at Polgara. 'You know something rather peculiar?'What's that?'Even if I hadn't given my word, I'd still have to go to Kell. It's almost like a compulsion. I feel as if I'm being driven, and my driver is a blindfolded girl who's hardly more than a child.'There are rewards,' she told him.Such as what?'Who knows? Happiness, perhaps.'He laughed ironically. 'Happiness has never been a driving ambition of mine, Lady Polgara, not for a long time now.'You may have to accept it anyway,' She smiled. 'We aren't allowed to choose our rewards any more than we are our tasks. Those decisions are made for us.
Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives, mostly because they are little ones. You took this bus instead of that one and ended up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments.
What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It's just a word like house or table or any other word. Only it's a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let's fight for liberty and he can't show you liberty. He can't prove the thing he is talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it?
I have always hesitated to give advice, for how can one advise another how to act unless one knows that other as well as one knows himself? Heaven knows. I know little enough of myself: I know nothing of others. We can only guess at the thoughts and emotions of our neighbours. Each one of us is a prisoner in a solitary tower and he communicates with the other prisoners, who form mankind, by conventional signs that have not quite the same meaning for them as for himself.
A single action can cause a life to veer off in a direction it was never meant to go. Falling in love can do that, you think. And so can a wild party. You marvel at the way each has the power to forever alter an individual's compass. And it is the knowing that such a thing can so easily happen, as you did not know before, not really, that has fundamentally changed you and your son.