"We live in an age when art and the things of the spirit come last. The truth still holds, however, that through dedication and devotion one achieves another kind of victory. I mean the ability to overcome one's problems, not meet them head on.

"Serve life and you will be sustained. That is a truth which reveals itself at every turn of the road.

"I speak with inner conviction because I have been through the struggle. What I am trying to emphasize is that, whatever the nature of the problem, it can only be tackled creatively. There is no book of 'openings,' as in chess lore, to be studied. To find an opening one has to make a breach in the wall -- and the wall is almost always in one's own mind. If you have the vision and the urge to undertake great tasks, then you will discover in yourself the virtues and the capabilities required for their accomplishments. When everything fails, pray! Perhaps only when you have come to the end of your resources will the light dawn. It is only when we admit our limitations that we find there are no limitations."

-- From Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch, by Henry Miller (New Directions, 1964)