Hello, there. I tell ya — well! Great crowd. Great crowd. Beautiful. I tell ya.

My wife said to me the other day, she said, “I hate you” and I said, “Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

I get no respect, you know?

I was at the dentist’s office the other day and the dentist said, “It’s halitosis,” and I said, “The knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance.”

I can’t win, you know what I mean?

The other night I was at the bar and the bartender said, “You’re cut off!” and I said, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I tell ya. No respect at all. No. None.

My wife’s been cheating on me and when I confronted her she said, “You’re a slob and a deadbeat and a schmuck.” I said, “To be loved means to be consumed. To love is to give light with inexhaustible oil. To be loved is to pass away, to love is to endure.”

I get no respect. It’s rough.

When I was a boy I was always getting in trouble. My dad said to me, “What’re you good for?” I told him, “Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change. What is it like, such intensity of pain? If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine. In this uncontainable night, be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses, the meaning discovered there. And if the world has ceased to hear you, say to the silent earth: I flow. To the rushing water, speak: I am.”

I tell ya. What am I gonna do?

My wife said to me, “You’re the ugliest man alive.” I said, “The highest form of love is to be the protector of another person’s solitude.”

I tell ya. Life isn’t easy. It ain’t. I get no respect.