Quality Quotes #8

“Truly, life is the misery we endure between disappointments.”
Joe Abercrombie, uttered by Superior of the Inquisition Sand dan Glokta in Last Argument of Kings (The First Law trilogy #3).

My office remains piled with this week’s accumulated detritus, but I’ve made sufficient progress this morning to justify a brief blogging break.  I’ve been annoyed these past few months because I’ve been too busy to post to my blog.  I’m gratified to see its traffic picking up.

I’m fortunate to have lived a life of relative ease and comfort, so my quote today in no way reflects my own attitude or thinking.  But I’m out here amongst folks whose lives are truly miserable.  I meet with them almost every day, counsel them, hear their stories, and do the best I can to hold them accountable while trying to help them learn strategies to make their lives a little less miserable. And one needn’t spend much time on WordPress to see how very many blogs here fit into the mental health niche, written by people whose misery & suffering is so acute they’re hardly able to face getting out of bed in the morning.

The character Sand dan Glokta was the dashing, handsome, heroic scion of a wealthy family of nobility and a decorated war hero who was captured by his enemies.  He was held in their dungeons for two years and subjected daily to the cruelest forms of physical, mental, and emotional torture and was left a physically wasted, crippled, disfigured shell of a man but retained his sharp wit and clever, calculating mind.  His every breath, every step, every moment, is ceaseless, searing agony. He’s still young though no longer spry, but he raises quite the ruckus regardless.

What do y’all think about Glokta’s statement?  Is life truly the misery we endure between disappointments?  Or is it not quite as bad as all that? Please share your thoughts in my “Comments” section.  I hope, at least, that your life is a whole lot better than simply endurable.

Take care, be well, and happy blogging!



–Via FOWC for Friday, 2/21/20, “progress”
–Via Ragtag Daily Prompts for 2/19/20, “traffic”, & 2/21/20, “annoying”
–Via Your Daily Word Prompts for 2/19/20, “ruckus”, & 2/20/20, “spry”

14 thoughts on “Quality Quotes #8

  1. The dull answer is going to be: ‘it depends’, of course. But surely it’s an optimist / pessimist thing? For many, it life good bits with bad bits, or bad bits with good bits?


  2. I don’t agree with the statement – disappointments teach valuable lessons if we’re willing to look at it that way. I can imagine in your line of work the quote is something many likely embrace? Thank you for your efforts to help them see the alternatives and how their choices contribute. Have you read, “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. I just received it as a gift. It has interesting lessons in it. It’s kind of cliche’. With all of your background in reading, I’d be curious to hear your take on the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… I looked up The Traveler’s Gift on Goodreads just now. I don’t much care for the self-help & inspirational genres so don’t read much in either. So my take on that title is, “I hope Shelley’s not offended that I’m not inclined to read it.” Don’t let that stop you from making recommendations in the future, though; I do sometimes dabble outside my areas of interest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries – if I hadn’t been gifted the book to read and requested to give feedback on it, I wouldn’t have chosen it either ;-). It’s not like Mike Perry’s books or others I’ve enjoyed reading lately. 🙂 I’ll give you another option next time I think you’d enjoy the book!


  3. It’s an interesting quote, Denny. I can see how many would view life this way. Each of us creates a unique path – how could we not? We live with unique abilities and experiences. I feel very fortunate. Yes, there are horrible things that happen to people. I believe, though, that the worst suffering comes from our reaction to the horrible things. There’s Buddhist illustration of this idea. A warrior is shot in the chest with an arrow and that causes him to suffer. But if he inserts another arrow in the same place, that is a more intense suffering. (That’s my rough paraphrase!) Like Shelley commented, disappointments and even physical pain can teach us valuable lessons. Last summer I broke both my wrists and that became a fruitful learning experience – a reasons to be grateful. Wonderful post, Denny. I hope you work load lessens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, LuAnne. Ouch, I’m sorry about your wrists and hope you’re all healed up.

      Most people who have sufficient support networks of family, friends, & peers around them do respond well to horrible trauma and learn valuable lessons from their healing journey.

      Sadly, there are millions of people, even right here in America, who have never known anything but constant suffering & trauma, who’ve come from long family histories of it, and who’ve learned through oft-repeated, bitter disappointment that there is no one, no way, to get help & healing, and no hope for future relief except what they can grab for themselves by any means necessary, even (especially) at the expense of others, often their own children.

      I don’t mean to sound so bleak; I myself am usually upbeat & more often optimistic than pessimistic. But it’s hard out there for the working poor, homeless, and generationally impoverished, all of which we have far too many of in a country where there are thousands of multi-millionaires and dozens, perhaps hundreds now, of billionaires.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Denny, you are right. I have a strong support group of family and friends. Not everyone has that advantage. I’m sure in your line of work, you see some people who have gone through hell. I used to work at a homeless shelter helping people write resumes. I heard some stories that broke my heart. Yet, I have to say that even though their circumstances were bleak probably 80% of our clients were optimistic and grateful and just positive. What broke my heart is that in every new group, about a third of the clients were children. I agree with you. Something is wrong in this country where 1% of our population has more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. (I may not have my statistics right.) Let’s hope this election will turn things around a bit. We are all connected and we should take care of each other. I am glad that middle TN has you as a probation officer (or is it parole?). The criminal justice systems needs intelligent, caring people like you taking care of so many who have been marginalized. I appreciate you taking the time to send such a thoughtful response.


  4. Great post, Denny. It’s got me thinking what I can actively do to ensure my life remains more than endurable. This pandemic has made me appreciate some of the better parts of life – mostly nature. I’m not as spry as I used to be, though I remain firmly lively and I’m definitely known to cause a ruckus. I’m liking Glotka, he reminds me an awful lot of Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sophia. Yeah, it’s hard not to like Glokta. I’m sure you’re a whole lot more spry than I am, young lady! Last week, I knocked the cobwebs off my & The Girl’s bicycles, and we’ve been enjoying getting to ride around the neighborhood since. Stay safe & sane!


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