Tolkien: Peril, sorrow, and the shadow of death can bestow dignity and sometimes wisdom
Robert Bly: To live means to pick up particles of death

Zuo Zhuan: The bravery of the scribes


The grand scribe wrote, “Cui Zhu assassinated his ruler.” Cui Zhu put him to death. The scribe’s younger brothers succeeded him and wrote the same thing, and so two more persons were killed. Another younger brother again wrote it, whereupon Cui Zhu desisted. The scribe of the south, having heard that the grand scribes had all died, clutched the bamboo strips* and set out. When he heard that the record had already been made, he turned back.


25th year of Lord Xiang of Lu, Zuo Zhuan (3rd century BC or older, ancient China)


大史書曰: ”崔杼弒其君。“ 崔杼殺之。 其弟嗣書,而死者二人。其弟又書。乃舍之。南史氏問大史盡死,執簡以往 問既書矣,乃還。





*Books were then written on bamboo strips.


Photo by the Knight Foundation of banners from a march by Mexican journalists in 2010, protesting the murders of fellow reporters. More than 900 journalists have been killed since then worldwide.


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