black and white, pondering, thinking, think, thoughts, hope, aspirations, fear

Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life
and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sea and sky?
Why am I afraid to love, I who love?
Why am I afraid, I who am not afraid?
Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity?
Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand?
Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness?
Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship?
Why was I born without a skin? Oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or be touched.”

~ Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays

Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”  His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair.  O’Neill wrote only one comedy (Ah, Wilderness!): all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.

Source: Thank you Whiskey River for quote.  Wiki and goodreads for bio.  Black and White for image.


  1. Fear is the root of if not all then many evils. Its a protective instinct that has its use and purpose but that can also rule and ruin our lives. If this is from the Great God Brown — unfamiliar with that O’Neil play — I’d like to read it.


  2. I missed the poll and the blog name. Don’t know if you changed it or not. Did you get a new blog appearance? Seems it is a bit easier on the eyes and easier to read. But then I can’t remember.

    I changed the appearance of my blog a week or so ago, and nobody said anything. lol But if some keep coming back, I guess it doesn’t matter.


  3. That really made me think on this gloomy Saturday morning. I use to be afraid of almost nothing, but then I learned fear as I aged and got hurt. Not sure it is unhealthy unless it stops one from living the best life they can.


  4. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Powerful post. Love the image. Words to ponder on the run in the cold…


  5. As I was reading this post I felt as if I am speaking with myself. Every single word touched my heart. Loved this post.


  6. Don’t little kids start asking “Why?” as soon as they can talk? And here we are, still asking “Why?”


  7. I have nominated you for the Blog of the Year 2012 award. You can check it out here: http://klling.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/blog-of-the-year-2012/



  8. Good post. Happy New Year.


  9. I agree it is a powerful piece. Thanks for sharing. Appropriate to so many people. I was once there but hopefully less so now…


  10. This is haunting..this is all of us at times I think. Or, perhaps it is just me at times (though somehow I don’t think it would resonate with such purity if it didn’t touch the human condition in general)…


  11. David,

    I come here and am stirred- a common experience for me as a reader of your blog.

    Made me think of Auden’s passage- “We’d be rather be ruined than changed. We’d rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.”

    I often think that if only we could each be braver, the world would be transformed.

    Wishing you a wondrous New Year- and strength.



    • HI Tom. Thank you. I had not heard of Auden’s passage. Thank you for sharing. Made me stop and think a bit about his words. Profound. Truth. Happy New Year to you and your family. Dave


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