Most people prefer to have two advisers, one for the hour of danger, when they are afraid—and then, when things go well again, then they would prefer not to have anything to do with him, because the sight of him reminds them of how weak they were, and now they prefer to imagine that they have triumphed by dint of their own strength—not by God’s.
Hunter was skeptical that the music world was ready to be introduced to a new fortysomething rapper. He encouraged Floyd to stop looking for quick fixes and instead find a steady job in which he could develop some lasting skills. He tried to use a sports metaphor to get the idea to sink in.
“Every time you come up to the plate, you try to hit a home run,” Hunter said. “But sometimes, you just need to make sure you can get to first base, you know what I’m saying?”
Given Floyd’s people skills, Hunter suggested he find a service job, perhaps working at FedEx or UPS. He tried to encourage Floyd to believe that something good would happen if he just stuck to the plan—any plan—to make an honest living. Hunter was a Christian, and he recalled a church sermon about Jesus healing a man whose hand had withered. Before the Lord performed the miracle, he asked the man to take some initiative and stretch out his hand.
“It’s in the stretch,” Hunter told him. “That’s where the power is.”
On feeling pressure to push through his own frustrations because of what his ancestors endured
There’s so many times when things get really dark, whether it’s on a personal or societal level, the impulse is just to give up. And I think about that when I want to give up in different ways. Like, what I’m enduring is nothing compared to what my African ancestors endured, just in the sail from West Africa to the States, just that part alone, in addition to the 100 years of violent oppression and sexual assault.
And then on my white side and the Irish side, they came here from a place where they’re being starved to death. And they managed to just come out of incredibly bleak circumstances and make it across the sea and live in poverty for a couple of generations. And thank God for the GI Bill. …
I think putting it in that context is sometimes the only thing I can do that forces me to put my own frustrations and my own feelings of nihilism in perspective, because there’s an incredible strength in that, that people who endured the worst possible things that we can imagine … were able to have enough hope. Because that’s what it is — hope that tomorrow would be better. We’re talking about people whose kids were enslaved from the moment they came out of the womb. But they still had enough faith and hope that things could get better. And if they can do it, it seems insulting and disrespectful to their legacy if I don’t try to do that.
Dr. Perry Lyman: Really? Justin, I’m sorry if I contributed to any feelings of shame you may have about your thumb. I’ve been reading up on it. Medically, psychologically, there’s nothing really wrong with thumb sucking.
Justin Cobb: I don’t think I can agree with that.
Dr. Perry Lyman: No, really. Look. Justin… there was nothing wrong with you.
Justin Cobb: It felt like everything was wrong with me.
Dr. Perry Lyman: That’s ’cause we all wanna be problemless. To fix ourselves. We look for some magic solution to make us all better, but none of us really know what we’re doing. And why is that so bad? That’s all we humans can do. Guess. Try. Hope. But, Justin, just pray you don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve got the answer. Because that’s bullshit. The trick is living without an answer. I think.
[both chuckle and laugh]
Dr. Perry Lyman: [Dr. Perry chuckles and lights another cigarette] I think.
“The Middle Years” is a short story by Henry James, first published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1893. It may be the most affecting and profound of James’s stories about writers. The novelist in the tale speculates that he has spent his whole life learning how to write, so a second life would make sense, “to apply the lesson.” Second lives aren’t usually available, so the novelist says of himself and his fellow artists: “We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
“We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes.… If death ends all, we cannot meet death better.”
Fitz James Stephen, quoted in The Will to Believe, William James.
Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible; and as the test of belief is the willingness to act, one may say that faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance. It is in fact the same moral quality which we call courage in practical affairs… The Sentiment of Rationality, William James
Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you, uhh Faith, George Michael
Like Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light describes God as a “spider-god,” with Winter Light explaining the metaphor when Tomas relates the spider-god to suffering, as opposed to his previous ideas of a God of love that provides comfort. The ending may mean Tomas has decided God does not exist, or that Tomas learns he must keep his faith because all Christians, including Jesus, grapple with God’s silence. In Bergman’s view, Winter Light represents the end of his study on whether God exists, after which human love became his main concern.