Strange, too?

Frida Kahlo, 1930s-40s

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” ~ Frida Kahlo

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Neurotic Stars

Everything we think of as great has come to us from neurotics. It is they and they alone who found religions and create great works of art.

The world will never realize how much it owes to them, and what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it. ~ Marcel Proust

Cover Expressions

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Designer Gareth Pugh

Perhaps part of the uncanny allure of fashionable clothing resides in the paradoxical impact of its expressiveness: the act of covering up with mere dead matter–cloth, fur, leather, or even metal when it is ingeniously shaped to the purpose–appears to reveal something magical about the life inside.” ~ Joseph Roach

Not Really Ours

atomic_rhythm_portraitEvery atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you.

We each so atomatically numberous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare.

A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name.

~ Bill Bryson

Artwork by Jimmy C. (link)

Divergent Green

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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy
is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
Some see nature all ridicule and deformity…
and some scarcely see nature at all.
But to the eyes of the man of imagination,
nature is imagination itself.”~ William Blake

Writing in the Dark

Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?

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In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness.

Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way to both depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.

~David Foster Wallace

What is Music?

What is music? This question occupied my mind for hours last night before I fell asleep. The very existence of music is wonderful, I might even say miraculous.

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Artwork by Pat Perry (link)

Its domain is between thought and phenomena. Like a mediator, it hovers between spirit and matter, related to both and yet differing from each.

It is spirit, but it is spirit subject to the measurement of time.

It is matter, but it is matter that can be dispense with space.

~ Heinrich Heine

Power Struggles

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle…. if there is no struggle, there is no progress.

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Artwork by Steven Shaheen (link)

Those who profess to the favor of freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a mortal one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

Power concedes nothing without a demand.

Find out just what any people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those they oppress.

~ Frederick Douglass