“This letter, my very dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you, unless I shall first have terminated my earthly career; to begin, as I humbly hope from redeeming grace and divine mercy, a happy immortality.
If it had been possible for me to have avoided the interview, my love for you and my precious children would have been alone a decisive motive. But it was not possible, without sacrifices which would have rendered me unworthy of your esteem. I need not tell you of the pangs I feel, from the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish which I know you would feel. Nor could I dwell on the topic lest it should unman me.
The consolations of Religion, my beloved, can alone support you; and these you have a right to enjoy. Fly to the bosom of your God and be comforted. With my last idea; I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world.
Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me.
July 4. 1804”—
I answered that, of recent years, I’d rather lost the habit of noting my feelings, and hardly knew what to answer. I could truthfully say I’d been quite fond of Mother - but really that didn’t mean much. All normal people, I added as an afterthought, had more or less desired the death of those they loved, at some time or another.
The old magazines blog is an amazing time capsule. Beyond just showing awesome outdated advertising, it really highlights the evolution of race and gender relations over the last few decades. Thank you for the daily dashboard delight.
But of course there are all different kinds of freedom and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline and being able truly to care about other people and sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty little un-sexy ways everyday. That is real freedom.
David Foster Wallace
This is Water (2005 Kenyon College Commencement Speech)