"At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: “The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.”
In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing - not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.
Each baby, then, is a unique collision - a cocktail, a remix - of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.
When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes - we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare"
Happy birthday, beloved children’s book author Ruth Krauss (July 25, 1901–July 10, 1993)! Celebrate with Open House for Butterflies, her final and loveliest collaboration with Maurice Sendak.
Brilliant: Open Culture digs up the perfect Japanese word for our “guilt pile” of unread materials. Best approached with another untranslatable Japanese concept, wu-wei.
Amelia Earhart, born on this day in 1897, on marriage – the bold, ahead-of-its-time letter she sent to her future husband the day before their wedding.
Artist Yayoi Kusama in her studio in the psychiatric hospital in Tokyo and back in the days in her New York studio.
Having suffered nervous disorders and hallucinations since childhood, Kusama has chosen to live in a Tokyo psychiatric hospital for the past 38 years, and has built herself a studio opposite. Health permitting, she still makes a daily journey from the hospital to her studio to paint.
excerpts from Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots directed by Heather Lenz
I must say I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark in the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen while Mendl (genius though he is) looms over her like a hulking gorilla - yet without question, without fail, always, and invariably: she’s exceedingly lovely. Why? Because of her purity. - The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, dir. by Wes Anderson)
(Source: saoirseronanworld, via subtlehits)
"A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do."
Do you think it’s a question of how much you balance that drive to achieve with being present and enjoying the moment?
You know, it’s funny because I frequently get emails from young people starting out and asking, “How do I make a successful website or start my own thing?” And, very often, it’s tied to some measure of success that’s audience-based or reach-based. “How do you build up to seven million readers a month or two million Facebook fans?” But the work is not how to get that size of an audience or those numbers. That’s just the byproduct of what Lewis Hyde calls “creative labor,” which is really our inner drive. The real work is how not to hang your self-worth, your sense of success and merits, the fullness of your heart, and the stability of your soul on those numbers—on that constant positive reinforcement and external validation. That’s the only real work, and the irony is that the more “successful” you get, by either by your own standards or external standards, the harder it is to decouple all of those inner values from your work. I think we often confuse the doing for the being.