“And all my days are trances, and all my nightly dreams are where thy grey eye glances, and where thy footstep gleams— in what ethereal dances, by what eternal streams.”—Edgar Allan Poe (To One in Paradise)
“I think a book should be judged 10 years later, after reading and re-reading it. I was always defined as too erudite and philosophical, too difficult. Then I wrote a novel that is not erudite at all, that is written in plain language, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, and among my novels it is the one that has sold the least. So probably I am writing for masochists. It’s only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged.”—Umberto Eco in The Guardian (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
“I believe that the biggest problem with Black Friday is not people’s desire to have goods at cheap prices (though god knows a more economically just society would de-escalate the situation as more people’s time would be worth more than getting up at 3AM to buy a toy), but that we allow our corporate gods to play such an obvious con on the public. A little legislation to rein it in—-for instance, by outlawing sales that last only a few hours and requiring any store advertising one to have a salesperson specifically hand out rain checks to anyone who got there after they sold out——could go a long way. But even if the excesses of Black Friday were curtailed, I think the pepper spraying incident is a harbinger of what has become of this country. One day it’s a person of color caught jay-walking. Then it’s protesters sitting peacefully at UC Davis. Then it’s a crowd of bargain-hungry shoppers on Black Friday. What next? Are we all in danger of being doused with pepper spray for having the nerve to be in line in front of someone at the coffee shop? Are we going to see someone whip out the pepper spray on a retail worker who they want to move faster? The notion that inconvenience can be met with physical violence, as long as it’s packaged in a neat weapon that keeps your hands clean like pepper spray, has been introduced to our society. And this incident at Wal-Mart suggests it’s going viral.”—Amanda Marcotte, Pepper spray for your convenience | pandagon.net (via dendroica)
“In the end, I think the relationships that survive in this world are the ones where two people can finish each other’s sentences. Forget drama and torrid sex and the clash of opposites. Give me banter any day of the week.”—Douglas Coupland (via paperlover)
The aesthetic “wabi sabi” is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West. If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi. [Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object.
Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.
In today’s Japan, the meaning of wabi sabi is often condensed to ″wisdom in natural simplicity.″ In art books, it is typically defined as ″flawed beauty. From an engineering or design point of view, “wabi” may be interpreted as the imperfect quality of any object, due to inevitable limitations in design and construction/manufacture especially with respect to unpredictable or changing usage conditions.
“This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)
“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It’s like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean backward trying—only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers.”—Madeleine L’Engle (via cite-belle)
In the first few months after bringing Nola home, she consistently surprised us in every way. Our “junkyard dog,” she of dubious lineage and dangerous reputation, was more elaborate with her affection than any canine either of us had ever owned—more than all those retrievers, spaniels, hounds, terriers, and shepherds put together. If we were in any danger at all, it was the danger of having our faces licked off, the danger of drowning in slobber.
Wherever one of us went, Nola trundled alongside, and wherever we reclined together, Nola wedged between us like a balloon at a seventh-grade dance, curling into a bizarre contortion that we now call the “pit ball.” She dutifully checked the perimeter of whatever room we happened to be in. She groomed us and nuzzled us and rolled onto her side to spoon when we watched movies. Since we could never seem to peel her off of us, I joked that we might as well put a bonnet on her and start pushing her around in a stroller. (When I was at home alone at night, however, I didn’t exactly mind having a pit bull at my side. Potential intruders didn’t need to know that she was a love sponge.)
“More fundamental than religion is our basic human spirituality. We have a basic human disposition towards love, kindness and affection, irrespective of whether we have a religious framework or not. When we nurture this most basic human resource – when we set about cultivating those basic inner values which we all appreciate in others, then we start to live spiritually.”—Dalai Lama (via usgroovykids)
“The folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes, obviously Muslims would be people you’d look at… not exclusively, but these are things that you profile to find your most likely candidate.”—
Rick Santorum, answering Wolf Blitzer’s question as to whether he’d endorse profiling for anti-terrorism on the grounds of ethnicity or religion. (via shortformblog)