I saw how little it weighed on the scale of things
whether I lived or died,
though my life was precious to me.
And of those two thoughts
I forged a mood by which I stood ready
to grasp each smallest chance to live
Yet in which I cared not too much
whether I saved myself for not.
by that mood, as I think, I did live;
It has been so good a friend to me
that I have endeavored to wear it ever since,
succeeding not always, but often.
Gene Wolfe; Severian, Chapter 9: The Liege of Leaves