Happy 53rd Birthday, Henry Rollins!

In honor of the birthday of my favorite “aging alternative icon”, Henry Rollins, I present you with some of his best quotes that have spoken to me over the years.

If you haven’t read any of his books or experienced his spoken word shows, either live or recorded on CD, I suggest you check him out. He is amazing and speaks with total honesty and candor – Raw and unfiltered. From books like “See a Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die” to “Solopsist” and everything else before and after that, Henry has made his mark on this planet!

Henry is a world traveler extraordinaire and has been featured on shows from his own “Henry Rollins Show” on IFC to his new one on H2, “10 Things You Don’t Know About”. Henry has also been in too many feature films to list, as well as tons of guest spots on TV shows (and cartoons such as Adventure Time and Batman Beyond). He is a very busy man!

Henry’s writings have gotten me through a lot of rough patches through the years.

Thank you and Happy Birthday, Henry! You are appreciated and loved!

 

Rollins by Ben Swennert

 

“It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it’s so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn’t coma back. You’re left so alone that you can’t explain. Damn, there’s nothing like that, is there? I’ve been there and you have too. You’re nodding your head.”

 

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.”

 

“I’ll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.”

 

“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.”

 

Henry Rollins Liar

“Girls aren’t  beautiful, they’re pretty. Beautiful is too heavy a word to assign to a girl. Women are beautiful because their faces show that they know they have lost something and picked up something else.”

 

“Don’t do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.”

 

“I want a soul mate who can sit me down, shut me up, tell me ten things I don’t already know, and make me laugh. I don’t care what you look like, just turn me on. And if you can do that, I will follow you on bloody stumps through the snow. I will nibble your mukluks with my own teeth. I will do your windows. I will care about your feelings. Just have something in there.”

 

“It is sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.”

 

“It’s no surprise to me that anyone hardly tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that’s dear to you?

Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer to them? It’s so painful to be next to someone you feel so strongly about and know you can’t say the things you want to.”

 

Henry Rollins Vanity Fair

“Life will not break your heart. It’ll crush it.”

 

“They say true love only comes around once and you have to hold out and be strong until then. I have been waiting. I have been searching. I am a man under the moon, walking the streets of earth until dawn. There’s got to be someone for me. It’s not too much to ask. Just someone to be with. Someone to love. Someone to give everything to. Someone.”

 

“Half of life is fucking up, the other half is dealing with it.”

 

“You are the untold story. You are the impassioned truth wanting to scream its existence, to be forever trapped by a strong hand clapped firmly over the mouth of my soul.”

 

“Books are cool, but knowledge without mileage doesn’t mean anything to me.”

 

“The moon will never lie to anyone. Be like the moon. No one hates the moon or wants to kill it. The moon does not take antidepressants and never gets sent to prison. The moon never shot a guy in the face and ran away. The moon has been around a long time and has never tried to rip anyone off. The moon does not care who you want to touch or what color you are. The moon treats everyone the same. The moon never tries to get in on the guest list or use your name to impress others. Be like the moon. When others insult or belittle in an attempt to elevate themselves, the moon sits passively and watches, never lowering itself to anything that weak. The moon is beautiful and bright. It needs no makeup to look beautiful. The moon never shoves clouds out of its way so it can be seen. The moon needs not fame or money to be powerful. The moon never asks you to go to war to defend it. Be like the moon.”

 

Young Henry Rollins

“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.”

 

“Sometimes I would get invited to a party or to go out to dinner by one of them and I would decline. Part of me wanted to go, but those kind of outings always made me feel even more alienated than usual. Hearing them talk made me feel lonely and hateful at the same time. Lonely because I didn’t fit in, never did. When I was reminded, it hurt. And hateful because it reaffirmed what I already knew, that I was alone and on the outside.”

 

“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.”

 

“Best not to mix the past with the present. The present paints the past with gold. The past paints the present with lead.”

 

Henry Rollins Nat Geo