"The truth of it is, some days feel better than others. Some days, some miles, some steps. And though a run may feel easier than it was, your legs will find a way to remind you that mileage isn’t really something you can hide from. The myth comes in the popular assumption that there is, within every willing runner, a well of energy waiting to be tapped. This promise that a switch in the brain, once turned, will make everything easy. Really, the ones who know how to dig never know if the energy will be there when they need it. They only know how to reach."
"Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important; whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time. And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader … That life - whatever else it is - is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway; wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch."
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt