Attending a reading by Terrance Hayes at the Harvard Book Store the other day, I happened to sit next to Simon Constam. We happened to get to talking, and we happened to discover that we both write and read aphorisms. As Simon said, "the odds are astronomical against two people interested in aphorisms just happening to sit down beside each other." So here, against the odds, is a selection of some of the aphorisms Simon subsequently shared with me, drawn from his manuscript-in-progress...

Exile is, like everything else, too much of a good thing.

Night after night all the things that do not change / Are startled by the changes that light brings.

Eventually you ignore the traffic, even the sirens, even the disturbances in the apartment next door. The classical guitarist cannot hear the squeaking of the strings.

Uncertainty disappears into habit.

Go and see what you don’t know is there.

Strength is the ability to forgive oneself for weakness.