Junichiro Tanizaki On Beauty

9FC56356-1DBF-4024-AC49-A0D1487057D5Junichiro Tanizaki (July 24, 1886–July 30, 1965)

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty…The quality that we call beauty … must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows toward beauty’s ends.

Ntozake Shange On Magic

F2838FD6-DFD6-4FF1-9332-8892A548259FNtozake Shange (October 18, 1948 – October 27, 2018)

my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958

my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot

what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away    cuz
colored chirren believin in magic
waz becomin politically dangerous for the race
& waznt nobody gonna be made white
on the spot just
from a clap of my daddy’s hands

& the reason i’m so peculiar’s
cuz i been studyin up on my daddy’s technique
& everythin i do is magic these days
& it’s very colored
very now you see it/ now you
dont mess wit me
i come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies
on our side
i’ll listen to yr problems
help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin spouse
make yr grandma’s stay in heaven more gratifyin
ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son
how to clean his room

YES YES YES    3 wishes is all you get
scarlet ribbons for yr hair
benwa balls via hong kong
a miniature of machu picchu

all things are possible
but aint no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you white
i mean
this is blk magic
you lookin at
& i’m fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life
& you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it
love it/ bein colored/

Photo Credit: Cast photo from the movie “Colored Girls.” Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular. Directed by Tyler Perry. Original play by Ntozake Shange. (Source IMDb)

Watch the trailer For Colored Girls here.

Note: Ntozake Shange and I were classmates at Trenton Central High School (1963 – 1966). I was her escort to the Debutant Ball. 🌹In Memoriam my friend.🌹

Simone Weil On Ends And Means

06067-img_4678Simone Weil (February 03, 1909 – August 24, 1943)

Everywhere, without exception, all the things that are generally considered ends are in fact, by nature, by essence, and in a most obvious way, mere means. One could cite countless examples of this from every area of life: money, power, the state, national pride, economic production, universities, etc., etc…. Goodness alone is an end.

Jhumpa Lahiri On Dying

lahi_9780307265746_jkt_ap1Jhumpa Lahiri (July 11, 1967 -)

“This is the worst part,” she told me once. “You’re holding your breath, thinking it’s still ahead, but this really is the worst of it, for you and for her.” At the time, her words had not soothed me; I could imagine nothing worse than the moment my mother no longer drew air in and out of her lungs, no longer took us in through her weary eyes. I could imagine nothing worse than not being able to look at her face every day, its beauty grossly distorted but never abandoning her. But in the days after my mother’s death I realized that Mrs. Gharibian had been right, there had been nothing worse than waiting for it to come, that the void that followed was easier to bear than the solid weight of those days.