Happy Birthday, Alfred de Musset

You’re like a lighthouse shining beside the sea of humanity, motionless. 
All you can see is your own reflection in the water. You’re alone, so you think it’s a vast, magnificent panorama. 
You haven’t sounded the depths. You simply believe in the beauty of God’s creation. But I have spent all this time in the water, diving deep into the howling ocean of life, deeper than anyone. 
While you were admiring the surface, I saw the shipwrecks, the drowned bodies, the monsters of the deep.

-Alfred de Musset (1810-1857)

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I’ll never forget the first book I held in my hands by the Parisian writer, Alfred de Musset. I had just left Montmartre in Paris, heading toward The Champ de Mars; my eyes scouring the rows of book vendors lining the cobblestone streets. Henry Miller, Voltaire, Gustave Flaubert, Alexandre Dumas, Gaston Leroux. And then I saw de Musset…and fell in love with his words in a way that I knew I would never be able to love another human being. Such a deep, subterranean sadness washed over me, and yet I was filled with joy; for I was exactly where I was supposed to be. In that moment, on this earth, in this life. What a powerful moment in my existence. And I hope that everyone else in this world has the courage to also create an experience just as extreme and so very profound.

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