“Dear Ophelia, Be Patient. Love, Hamlet.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Let me fan girl for a minute. I owe Kurt Vonnegut greatly – Slaughter-House Five was the book that turned me on to writing as a serious career option because it was the first time I realized that angst, if organized correctly, could evolve into a cultural antidote. And what’s more than that, Vonnegut made some of my worst days alright. Even if he was “like a child” according to an old professor, it doesn’t seem as though that was a bad thing. His simplicity was his strength, and he knew how to find the humor in big and/or depressing questions and situations instead of turning each story into an intellectual gloom fest. So, as an admitted fan girl of a dead man, let me give you some good ones:
“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
— Cat’s Cradle
“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.
“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
“Certainly,” said man.
“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.
And He went away.”
– Cat’s Cradle
“To be is to do - Socrates
To do is to be - Sartre
Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra”
“All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
“ ‘Why me?’
‘That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?’
‘Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.’ ”
And if you want to get something lasting out of those, or if you’re feeling sad, go read any of Vonnegut’s books.