My peak? Would I even have one? I hardly had had anything you could call a life. A few ripples. some rises and falls. But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death.
She said, 'It's not life or death, the labyrinth.''Um, okay. So what is it?''Suffering,' she said. 'Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?...Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It'st the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.
With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? - A.Y.'I'm going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,' he said.'Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don't want us to forget Alaska, and I don't want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we're trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers--how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called 'people's rotten lots in life.