Solitude? In this time of endless noise? Here’s an article on the importance of solitude.
“If [Blaise] Pascal’s observation about our inability to sit quietly in a room by ourselves is true of the human condition in general, then the issue has certainly been augmented by an order of magnitude due to the options available today.”
“Everything that has done so much to connect us has simultaneously isolated us. We are so busy being distracted that we are forgetting to tend to ourselves, which is consequently making us feel more and more alone.”
Pessoa was to have an extraordinary afterlife, as he prophesied in his poem “If I Die Young”: “roots may be hidden in the ground / But their flowers flower in the open air for all to see. / It must be so. Nothing can prevent it.” Among his belongings when he died was a large trunk, containing more than twenty-five thousand manuscript pages—the product of a lifetime of nearly graphomaniacal productivity.
Fernando Pessoa’s Disappearing Act
“Bradbury, who never used a computer or drove a car (and believed automobiles more dangerous than war), could be described by a little-known word in English derived from Portuguese, nefelibata: one who walks in the clouds. For better or for worse, we don’t as yet live in the future he imagined, and his predictions and screeds can feel quaint, if not ingenuous or tone-deaf, today. Yet at its best, his work is so imaginative that I feel able to drift off, up, for a bit, and dream.”
On the Dark, Wondrous Optimism of Ray Bradbury, By Gabrielle Bellot
According to The Independent:
Marshall McLuhan might have been one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. But he was one of its most terrible actors.
As well as being famous for his theories, many of which are known by catchy phrases like ‘the medium is the message, Professor McLuhan was also a guest star in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall.
Marshall McLuhan: Remembering the philosopher’s bizarre, unplanned Annie Hall appearance
Here are a few quotable gems from the McLuhan archive:
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”
This is a good one to think about when you’re texting your friend while walking across a crowded crosswalk in an intersection.
“Art is anything you can get away with.”
The latest David Lynch resurrection of Twin Peaks 25 years later, for example. Or most stuff in art galleries.
“The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.”
Yes, he was the one who came up with the idea of the ‘global village.’ Hello Internet.
“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”
A Kite is a Victim
By Leonard Cohen
From: The Spice-Box of Earth
A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.
A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.
A kite is the last poem you’ve written,
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.
A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.
Legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen passed away on November 10, 2016.
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
The Crack In Everything Widens: A Dirge For Leonard Cohen By Sezin Koehler
Photo from: www.leonardcohen.com
According to Rebecca Solnit on lithub.com:
“Write. There is no substitute. Write what you most passionately want to write, not blogs, posts, tweets or all the disposable bubblewrap in which modern life is cushioned … The road is made entirely out of words. Write a lot.”
“At any point in history there is a great tide of writers of similar tone, they wash in, they wash out, the strange starfish stay behind, and the conches.”
“It’s all really up to you, but you already knew that and knew everything else you need to know somewhere underneath the noise and the bustle and the anxiety and the outside instructions, including these ones.”
How to be a writer: 10 tips by Rebecca Solnit