If there’s a thing, a scene, maybe, an image that you want to see real bad, that you need to see but it doesn’t exist in the world around you, at least not in the form that you envision, then you create it so that you can look at it and have it around, or show it to other people who wouldn’t have imagined it because they perceive reality in a more narrow, predictable way. And that’s it. That’s all an artist does.
There’s no way to really preserve a person when they’ve gone and that’s because whatever you write down it’s not the truth, it’s just a story. Stories are all we’re ever left with in our head or on paper: clever narratives put together from selected facts, legends, well edited tall tales with us in the starring roles
unnameable,” but there’s a certain kind of balance achieved in certain works of art that feels like satiety, a place to rest, and there are others that are like a tear in the cosmos, that open up something raw in us, wonder or terror or longing. I suppose that’s why people who write about aesthetics want to distinguish between the beautiful and sublime… Beauty sends out ripples, like a pebble tossed in a pond, and the ripples as they spread seem to evoke among other things a stirring of curiosity. The aesthetic effect of a Vermeer painting is a bit like that. Some paradox of stillness and motion. Desire appeased and awakened.
That’s what artists and athletes do day in and day out. Whether you see them at work or not the process is ongoing. They are working to achieve their heart’s desire to either enlighten or entertain anyone who cares to watch or listen. Some of them achieve glory but others just do it because they love to and they are driven to.When something, anything, interferes with that desire, their sense of self is jeopardized and they have to struggle to hang on to their identity. That’s the real cost involved in producing a painting, writing a novel, or hitting over .300 for the season.
There’s all this pressure in our society to be beautiful, to be strong, to be sexy. So we spend our time and money on trying to become these things. We put on the high heels, the suits, the makeup, the mask. Then, we feel more awkward than confident, so we drink away our anxieties. That doesn’t make us look any sexier – it just makes us stop caring about how we look.Everyone is beautiful. Everyone is sexy. Everyone is strong. It’s lunacy. We’re all running around trying to become something that we already are.You know what’s really sexy? A person who’s 100% comfortable with themselves. And you know what’s really funny? It is just as time consuming and difficult to learn to accept yourself as it is to pretend to be someone else. The only difference is – with self acceptance, one day, it’s not hard anymore. One day, you feel like your sexiest, strongest self just rolling out of bed in the morning.You’re either going to spend the little time you have in your life on trying to know yourself or trying to hide yourself. The choice is yours. You can’t do both.And you know what’s really amazing about choosing self-love? You’ll be setting an example for all the people around you and all the kids of the coming generation. You’ll be part of a revolution to take back the precious moments of our lives out of the hands of shame-inducing advertisers and back into the hands and hearts of real people like you, like me, like all of us.I know you’ve dreamt about changing the world. So this is your chance. Learn to love yourself, accept yourself, and unleash your strongest, sexiest self. It’s in there. You just have to believe it.
There’s something deep in the heart of every person that wantsto protect culture. The only thing about my pending career thatwas changed because of 9/11 was that I began to see it was the community,not the librarian, that was important to the library. Librarianswere only as important as the community they inspired. If Iwas going to continue with this career, my job wouldn’t be to protectinformation, it would be to bring the community together andinspire them to appreciate everything a library stands for.
Last reason for reading horror: it’s a rehearsal for death. It’s a way to get ready. People say there’s nothing sure but death and taxes. But that’s not really true. There’s really only death, you know. Death is the biggie. Two hundred years from now, none of us are going to be here. We’re all going to be someplace else. Maybe a better place, maybe a worse place; it may be sort of like New Jersey, but someplace else. The same thing can be said of rabbits and mice and dogs, but we’re in a very uncomfortable position: we’re the only creatures—at least as far as we know, though it may be true of dolphins and whales and a few other mammals that have very big brains—who are able to contemplate our own end. We know it’s going to happen. The electric train goes around and around and it goes under and around the tunnels and over the scenic mountains, but in the end it always goes off the end of the table. Crash.
If there’s one thing you learn from me, after hearing about just under one year of my life can it be that you should do whatever makes you happy. People can bring you down, people can bully you, can cheat on you but if you are doing whatever makes you happy they’ll never break you. Like you saw Jacob cried but he went back fighting, no way was he going to drop out that course, it was what he wanted to do in his life and Noah was as happy as always when he told us about Stephen, because he knew although that hurt him he was about to go onto bigger and better things. Oh and never let people hold you back, ever. Mason wouldn’t be going to university this September if he had and he wouldn’t be doing what makes him happy (see full circle). And most of all, always have the courage to stand up and say I am what I am, never apologize for who you are or who you love and always take a chance because you never know what could happen and although some people call it cliché, it’s okay to fall in love with your best friend because sometimes having your best friend as your lover is the best thing you could ask for. I promise. It’s also perfectly acceptable to dress up as a women on a weekly basis and singing popular songs as long as it makes you happy doing so.
The thing in jazz that will get Bix Beiderbecke out of his bed at two o’clock in the morning, pick that cornet up and practice into the pillow for another two or three hours, or that would make Louis Armstrong travel around the world for fifty plus years non stop, just get up out of his sick bed, crawl up on the bandstand and play, the thing that would make Duke Ellington, the thing that would make Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Mary Lou Williams, the thing that would make all of these people give their lives for this, and they did give their lives, is that it gives us a glimpse into what America is going to be when it becomes itself. And this music tells you that it will become itself. And when you get a taste of that, there’s just nothing else you’re going to taste that’s as sweet.
There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.
Insanity is the ability to communicate your ideas. It’s as if you were in a foreign country, able to see and understand everything that’s going on around you but incapable of explaining what you need to know or of being helped, because you don’t understand the language they speak there.
There’s no way that Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand droople billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way! There’s no way that these people should own planes and there people don’t have houses. Apartments. Shacks. Drawers. Pants! I know you’re rich. I know you got 40 billion dollars, but can you just keep it to one house? You only need ONE house. And if you only got two kids, can you just keep it to two rooms? I mean why have 52 rooms and you know there’s somebody with no room?! It just don’t make sense to me. It don’t.
I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose......Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
There’s one thing about getting somebody to help you though…you got to take whatever it looks like - their kind of help. And you can’t be choosin what you like and don’t like. Help is a take it or leave it kind of thing, and if you can’t take it like it comes, might as well leave it, cause it’s gonna be more trouble than it’s worth.
What a skeletal wreck of man this is.Translucent flesh and feeble bones,the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes.Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear.When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at alaundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now.We all have a little sin that needs venting,virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are rippedfrom the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve?When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned.For the rest of us, there is always Sunday.The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath,so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book.To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers.A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life andcounting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube,and hope you get a taste.WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR?WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP!I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we?Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do,and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs,haven’t felt like this in years.The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go,and punch me into the dead spout again.That’s where you go when there’s no one else around,it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there?Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse,and a finger on the trigger.CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT!Government is another way to say better…than…you.It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick,it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food,but you can’t touch the silverware.Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for.Humph, isn’t that sweet?And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way,and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little,when your gaffer taped in themiddle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening.SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!I’m sorry, I could go on and on buttheir times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident.Forget the freak, your just nature.Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort,and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run.Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Here is a story that’s stranger than strange. Before we begin you may want to arrange:a blanket, a cushion, a comfortable seat,and maybe some cocoa and something to eat.I’ll warn you, of course, before we commence, my story is eerie and full of suspense, brimming with danger and narrow escapes, and creatures of many remarkable shapes.Dragons and ogres and gorgons and more, and creatures you’ve not even heard of before. And faraway places? There’s plenty of those! (And menacing villains to tingle your toes.)So ready your mettle and steady your heart. It’s time for my story’s mysterious start...
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it.I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones.You are spirit and power and image of God.And you have been given Today.
You see? I don’t know what ‘mature’ means, either, and you could talk all night and I still wouldn’t know. It’s all just words to me, Frank. I watch you talking and I think: Isn’t that amazing? He really does think that way; these words really do mean something to him. Sometimes it seems I’ve been watching people talk and thinking that all my life. And maybe it means there’s something awful the matter with me, but it’s true.
A kiss is such an amazing thing -- So simple, so complex. The only human act that gives while it receives. Mouth to mouth, it almost seems the eating of one another. Maybe that’s all we are, food for each other. Why, I believe there’s a poem in there somewhere. Another kiss to inspire my muse, Desirée, and I’ll tell you something else you don’t know.