Lewis Thomas On The Earth

LewisThomas (November 25, 1913 – December 3, 1993)

LewisThomas (November 25, 1913 – December 3, 1993)

I have been trying to think of the earth as a kind of organism, but it is no go. I cannot think of it this way. It is too big, too complex, with too many working parts lacking visible connections. The other night, driving through a hilly, wooded part of southern New England, I wondered about this. If not like an organism, what is it like, what is it most like? Then, satisfactorily for that moment, it came to me: it is most like a single cell.

Victor Frankl On Attitude

Victor Frankl (March 26,  1905– September 02, 1997

Victor Frankl (March 26,  1905– September 02, 1997

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Kahlil Gibran On Race

Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931)

Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931)

Said a sheet of snow-white paper, "Pure was I created, and pure will I remain for ever. I would rather be burnt and turn to white ashes than suffer darkness to touch me or the unclean to come near me."

The ink-bottle heard what the paper was saying, and it laughed in its dark heart; but it never dared to approach her. And the multicolored pencils heard her also, and they too never came near her.

And the snow-white sheet of paper did remain pure and chaste for ever - pure and chaste - and empty.

Sylvia Plath On Happiness

 Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932– February 11, 1963) Photo Credit: Plath, Sylvia. Bell Jar. New York, N.Y: Harper and Row, 1971. Photo Back Cover

 Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932– February 11, 1963)

Photo Credit: Plath, Sylvia. Bell Jar. New York, N.Y: Harper and Row, 1971. Photo Back Cover

 "Come on, give us a smile."

I sat on the pink velvet love seat in Jay Cee's office, holding a paper rose and facing the magazine photographer....I didn't want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn't know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I'd cry for a week....

"Show us how happy it makes you to write a poem.”

Patricia Carroll-Mathes On Another Lovely Day

Patricia Carroll-Mathes (January 20, 1942 -)

Patricia Carroll-Mathes (January 20, 1942 -)

“Thank you for another lovely day,”    
you said, as we drove to yet another   
temporary lodging.    
These days are hard,    
but you make them easier.  
The smoke that permeates our clothes,  
the darkened rooms smelling of disaster.  
The charred remains of two lives  
loving books, music, and art.  
Two  sisters, the sweet and the serious,  
resident ladies of South Street.  
Their ogee frames blackened,  
their likenesses consumed.  
The intensity of their lives,  
gone with the intensity of heat.  
Lives vanish, objects melt,  
yet the memory persists.  
The resident ladies of South Street.  
Their time is past.  
My life is now.  
To feel, to mourn, to recover,   
and to love again.    
To know that I love beautiful things.    
Yet things are only such.      
My life is rich, in love, and in caring,      
Knowing so, is the gift.

Ludwig van Beethoven On Genius

Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770–March 26, 1827)

Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770–March 26, 1827)

The true artist has no pride. He sees unfortunately that art has no limits; he has a vague awareness of how far he is from reaching his goal; and while others may perhaps admire him, he laments the fact that he has not yet reached the point whither his better genius only lights the way for him like a distant sun.

Knut Hamsun On Language

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952)

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952)

Language must resound with all the harmonies of music. The writer must always, at all times, find the tremulous word which captures the thing and is able to draw a sob from my soul by its very rightness. A word can be transformed into a color, light, a smell. It is the writer's task to use it in such a way that it serves, never fails, can never be ignored.

Leo Rosten On Writing

Leo Rosten (April 11, 1908 – February 19, 1997) 

Leo Rosten (April 11, 1908 – February 19, 1997) 

A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate.  Behind the need to communicate is the need to share.  Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.  The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved.  And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.

Helen Fisher On Love As Addiction

Helen Fisher (May 31, 1945 -)


Helen Fisher (May 31, 1945 -)

If the love object breaks off the relationship, the lover experiences signs of drug withdrawal, including protest, crying spells, lethargy, anxiety, insomnia or hyper-somnia, loss of appetite or binge eating, irritability, and loneliness. Lovers, like addicts, also often go to extremes, sometimes doing degrading or physically dangerous things to win back the beloved. And lovers relapse the way drug addicts do. Long after the relationship is over, events, people, places, songs, or other external cues associated with their abandoning sweetheart can trigger memories and renewed craving.

Teju Cole On Photography

 Teju Cole (June 27, 1975 -)

 Teju Cole (June 27, 1975 -)

Photography is inescapably a memorial art. It selects, out of the flow of time, a moment to be preserved, with the moments before and after falling away like sheer cliffs. … [Photography] is about retention: not only the ability to make an image directly out of the interaction between light and the tangible world but also the possibility of saving that image. A shadow thrown onto a wall is not photography. But if the wall is photosensitive and the shadow remains after the body has moved on, that is photography. Human creativity, since the beginning of art, has found ways to double the visible world. What photography did was to give the world a way to double its own appearance: the photograph results directly from what is, from the light that travels from a body through an aperture onto a surface.

But when the photograph outlives the body — when people die, scenes change, trees grow or are chopped down — it becomes a memorial. And when the thing photographed is a work of art or architecture that has been destroyed, this effect is amplified even further. A painting, sculpture, or temple, as a record of both human skill and emotion, is already a site of memory; when its only remaining trace is a photograph, that photograph becomes a memorial to a memory. Such a photograph is shadowed by its vanished ancestor.