Excerpt from The Disrobing
Kenneth Royal Murdoch
CRITICISMS AND WITTICISMS
Happy the man who suffers in early life; only he knows how to enjoy old age.
Music, poetry, friendship--these three have consoled me, insofar as consolation is humanly possible.
Live like an egg--always ready to hatch.
Remember with humility and contrition that if you are human, you live by killing. A life?--only if fish, bulls, kernels of wheat and strawberries give up theirs.
Amigo casado, amigo perdido.
The person who is most deeply moved and influenced by a poem is never known to the poet. Cast your bread upon the waters.
Don't try to know famous people. They are not worth the trouble. Some of them
are brilliant, of course, and creative. But those moments of their lives
pass in the intimacy of their minds. You can't share them. And often
they have such an overweening opinion of themselves that to meet them
is to be insulted.
Flattery--a kinder and probably juster name would be praise--is the lubricant of all human relations. Some people like it to be applied with subtlety, others in gross gobs. Take the measure of your victim before the action.
If you want to die young, overeat, overdrink, oversex, overwork. Go ahead: the world is too crowded already, nobody will miss you.
If you want to live, learn how. The advice sounds trivial, but it isn't; it involves long study of your own body and personality, your reactions to stress and stimulus, the conditions under which you fail or flourish, and the practice of restraint and a wise opportunism.
Maintain a few long-standing friendships--over a lifetime if possible. Let them be varied in character: fellow countrymen and foreigners, workmen and professionals, artists and men of affairs--rustic and urban, clever and dull. They will steady your life, give it continuity, pin it down to such permanence as the fleeting nature of human destiny allows.