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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1155 days, 1 hour, 27 minutes, 39 seconds ago

The Act Or Practice Of Quoting

Sundays are usually my go-to days for stimulating quotations posts… but I’m feeling the need to drop some wisdom on that ass.  Neither wisdom nor that ass shall be bound by mere calendars.  Quote me on that.

Crossroads

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rain
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,
and smoke going
upward, always up.

~ Joyce Sutphen

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

~ Nelson Mandela

There
Where the elegaic fisherbird stabs and paddles
In the pebbly dab-filled
Shallow and sedge, and ‘dilly dilly,’ calls the loft hawk,
‘Come and be killed,’
I open the leaves of the water at a passage
Of psalms and shadows among the pincered sandcrabs prancing

~ Dylan Thomas, from “Over Sir John’s Hill”

Only the educated are free.

~ Epictetus

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so. I admire you, beloved, for the trap you’ve set. It’s like a final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.

~ Frank O’Hara, from “Meditations in an Emergency”

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

~ Plutarch

I will not serve that in which I no longer believe.

~ James Joyce, from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Saying Your Names

Imagine a room,
a sudden glow. Here is my hand, my heart,
my throat, my wrist. Here are the illuminated
cities at the center of me, and here is the center
of me, which is a lake, which is a well that we
can drink from, but I can’t go through with it.
I just don’t want to die anymore.

~ Richard Siken

it is not your loving, even if your mouth
was forced wide open by your own voice—learn

to forget that passionate music. It will end.
True singing is a different breath, about
nothing. A gust inside the god. A wind.

~ Ranier Maria Rilke, from “Sonnets to Orpheus, I.3”

Like works of literature, mathematical ideas help expand our circle of empathy, liberating us from the tyranny of a single, parochial point of view.

~ Daniel Tammet

Life pro tip of the fucking day: be the guy who is always doing something interesting.

~ via Fucking Homepage (seriously)

“”s

 

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.  What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

~ Aaron Siskind

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

~ Cecil Beaton

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera.  You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.

~ Ansel Adams

Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.

~ Andy Warhol

We, too, can divide ourselves, it’s true.
But only into flesh and a broken whisper.
Into flesh and poetry.

The throat on one side, laughter on the other,
quiet, quickly dying out.

Here the heavy heart, there, non omnis moriar—
just three little words, like a flight’s three feathers.

The abyss doesn’t divide us.
The abyss surrounds us.

~ Wislawa Szymborska, from “Autonomy”

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 you, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Separation

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

~ W. S. Merwin

If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment … all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I have been astonished that men could die
martyrs for their religion –
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.

~ John Keats

Yes: I am a dreamer.  For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

~ Oscar Wilde

photo by Napoleon Sarony, 1882