“Listening is a masochist endeavor. To do it right you have to put everything down. Not just your phone, even pen and paper. There is nothing to hold on to when you truly listen. You have to use your full attention, registering everything that you see and hear. You have to slow down your self-perception and focus on the outside, on what you do not understand. Compared to how we usually operate, this is like focusing on pain. Like diving into boredom. In order to see the other in slow motion, you need to stop the camera of self-perception that makes you the star, and speed up the camera that records the outside. Listening requires the patience to recognize your feelings in other people’s words, no matter how trivial, dark and empty their language may seem. It requires you to become someone else while you listen. Listening requires that you accept the nuisance of not understanding and still pay attention. Listening is the first step.”—Oliver Reichenstein/ IA (via wang-kevin)
"All of us failed to match our dream of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That’s why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course he won’t, which is why this condition is healthy. Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide."- William Faulkner, "The Art of Fiction No. 12"
“Especially my childhood…I spent quite a lot of time on my own walking the mountains in Iceland and the hills and just hearing music in my head. And being euphoric and very on a high and very self-contained and self-sufficient. And then once in a while going to school and doing these kind of things -and trying to take part in conversation with the other humans and just finding it a bit boring really and a bit not making a lot of sense a lot of the time because people saying one thing and then did completely different things. They loved some people and hung out with other people. And so I ended up always going back on my hill.” –Björk, NPR World Cafe Interview, 2000
“I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially all night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.”—Ernest Hemingway, Winner Take Nothing (via porcelinas)
TAGORE: Instruments are used, not for harmony, but for keeping time and adding to the volume and depth. Has melody suffered in your music by the imposition of harmony? EINSTEIN: Sometimes it does suffer very much. Sometimes the harmony swallows up the melody altogether. TAGORE: Melody and harmony are like lines and colors in pictures. A simple linear picture may be completely beautiful; the introduction of color may make it vague and insignificant. Yet color may, by combination with lines, create great pictures, so long as it does not smother and destroy their value. EINSTEIN: It is a beautiful comparison; line is also much older than color. It seems that your melody is much richer in structure than ours. Japanese music also seems to be so.
“She says, yes, she wants to become the ends of your nerves, she wants you to touch with her fingers, to see with her eyes, to create images with her, to climb with her up Lingshan, she wants to look down on the whole of your soul from the peak of Lingshan, including secrets of which you are ashamed, hidden in the darkest corners.”—
"A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet ‘for sale’, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence - briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing - cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society." - Eric Fromm
“A lot can go wrong
if you sleep or think, but the trees go on waving
their broken little hands.”—Wendy Xu, “And Then It Was Less Bleak Because We Said So” from You Are Not Dead. (via literarymiscellany)
“Learn how to meditate on paper. Drawing and writing are forms of meditation. Learn how to contemplate works of art. Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know how to meditate not only when you have a book in your hand but when you are waiting for a bus or riding in a train.”—Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)
“For though I’m small, I know many things,
and my body is an endless eye
through which, unfortunately, I see everything.”—Gloria Fuertes, “Now,” translated from the Spanish by Brian Barker. (via literarymiscellany)