One thing that history teaches us is that we should never underestimate human stupidity…It’s one of the most powerful forces in the world…You can’t trust humans and even human leaders to do what is best for humanity. You can hope for it, but it’s not certain.
But alone in distant woods or fields, in unpretending sprout lands or pastures tracked by rabbits, even on a black and, to most, cheerless day, like this, when a villager would be thinking of his inn, I come to myself, I once more feel myself grandly related, and that the cold and solitude are friends of mine. I suppose that this value, in my case, is equivalent to what others get by churchgoing and prayer. I come to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home… It is as if I always met in those places some grand, serene, immortal, infinitely encouraging, though invisible, companion, and walked with him.
I used to sit in that green Morris chair and open the heavy dictionary on my lap, and find a new word every day. It was a big word, a word like eleemosynary or phantasmagoria – some word that, on the tongue, sounded great to me, and I would go out into the fields and I would shout those words, because it was so important that they sounded so great to me. And then eventually I began incorporating them into verses, into poems. But certainly my thought in the beginning was that there was so much joy playing with language that I couldn’t consider living without it.
🎂Happy Birthday Stanley Kunitz (July 29, 1905– May 14, 2006) In Memoriam🌹
Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood, reduced to a withering weed…And the most magical thing, the most sacred thing, is that whichever the outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable-making process of speaking and listening.
🎂 Happy Birthday Maria Popova (July 28, 1984 -)🎂
What one hopes for and how one faces the life ahead depend on how the past has been lived, not only in objective, factually verifiable terms, but also in the experience or reconstruction of the objective data in one’s remembrances. Recollection is at the mercy of all that makes us unique individuals. The styles of our personalities in numerous aspects have to do with typical cognitive and affective modes, the balance of individual experiences in affective terms, cultural identities, achievements, luck.
My Bohemian Life by Arthur Rimbaud
I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets;
My overcoat too was becoming ideal;
I travelled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal;
Oh dear me! what marvelous loves I dreamed of!
My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them.
– Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way.
My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear.
– My stars in the sky rustled softly.
And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides
On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops
Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine;
And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows,
I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics
Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!
Life is an unceasing trade-off between comfort and feeling fully alive. My experiences have taught me that perhaps the law of diminishing returns might apply to comfort – and the technologies that promise it – too.
I love the simple, complex life. While it is not a realistic solution for the mass of people now, unless we curb our addictions to more stuff, more growth, more dehumanising, distracting technologies – and more of the same – it may well be a solution for those who live through whatever comes next.