„‚Er hat Folgendes geschrieben: ‚Der unreife Mensch kennzeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass er edel für eine Sache sterben will, der reife dadurch, dass er bescheiden für eine leben will.‘‘ Er beugte sich herüber und reichte mir den Zettel. Ich las ihn gleich, nachdem er ihn mir gegeben hatte, dann dankte ich ihm und so und steckte ihn ein. Es war nett von ihm, sich diese ganze Mühe zu machen. Wirklich. Die Sache war bloß, mir war nicht besonders danach, mich zu konzentrieren. Mann, ich war auf einmal so verdammt müde.“
– J. D. Salinger, Der Fänger im Roggen
When I decided to stop writing about five years ago I [sat] down to reread the 31 books I’d published between 1959 and 2010. I wanted to see whether I’d wasted my time. You never can be sure, you know. My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis. He was world heavyweight champion from the time I was 4 until I was 16. He had been born in the Deep South, an impoverished black kid with no education to speak of, and even during the glory of the undefeated 12 years, when he defended his championship an astonishing 26 times, he stood aloof from language. So when he was asked upon his retirement about his long career, Joe sweetly summed it up in just 10 words. “I did the best I could with what I had.”
You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone. […] It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
Maturing is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.
"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?"
"This one time I was in Hawaii with my family, and we were walking to the beach, and we came to the top of this giant hill. And I said, ‘I’m going to take it.’ And I put my skateboard down, and started rolling down the hill, and I got going so fast that the board started to shake because the trucks were loose, and toward the bottom of the hill I came to this crack, and the board got caught and I was thrown onto the pavement. I got all bruised and scraped and my mom was screaming because she’s a total freakout."
"That was the happiest moment of your life?"
"Yeah, I was just glad I took the hill."