Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

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“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”
― Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

 

Antoni Arissa Untitled 1930-1936“Antoni Arissa Untitled 1930-1936 ”

 

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Living on a Hint

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.

— Henry David Thoreau

Everything is flowing – like blood in Nature’s warm heart

“Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in Nature’s warm heart.” – John Muir

Konstantin Bogaevsky

image: Konstantin Bogaevsky

Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world – Federico Garcia Lorca

 

After the Rain, 1930_s, Pál Kaczur

After the Rain, 1930’s, Pál Kaczur

Every step we take on earth
brings us to a new world.

FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA

In the Case of Good Books

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“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” 
 Mortimer J. Adler

image: Lin Kristensen acquired from Wikimedia Commons

Stargazer

stargazer

Image: ‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun.” – Hermann Hesse; Glass Bead Game

“I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.” – Hermann Hesse; Damien

“Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.” – Pythagoras

“Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.”  – Pythagoras

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Leon Spilliaert
Leon Spilliaert

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Ralph Eugene Meatyard

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”- Edith Sitwell

Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Amir” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

‘Stargazer’ - Sam Wolfe Connelly
‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of – to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others… and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.” – Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse

René Magritte - La vie privée, (The private life) 1946
René Magritte – La vie privée, (The private life) 1946

“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.” – Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Fred Stein, 1946
Fred Stein, 1946

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” – Rumi

Félix Thiollier (1842-1914): Figure contemplant les monts du Menzenc, 1895-1905.
Félix Thiollier (1842-1914): Figure contemplant les monts du Menzenc, 1895-1905.

“I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.”- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” – William S. Burroughs

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot

“It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.” – Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot

Nancy Cunard-Curtis Moffat, c. 1925
Nancy Cunard-Curtis Moffat, c. 1925

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” – Elbert Hubbard

Robert George Harris
Robert George Harris

“If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something.” – Federico Fellini

Julien Spianti, Elsewhere
Julien Spianti, Elsewhere

 

Solitary drinker Lafayette Hotel Greenwich Village New York 1948 Photo: Berenice Abbott
Solitary drinker Lafayette Hotel Greenwich Village New York 1948 Photo: Berenice Abbott

To think with a limp

“Even though she herself had walked from the wreckage unscathed, some spirit shrapnel lodged itself deep inside her, beyond the reach of surgeons, poisoning her thoughts and causing her to think with a limp.”

Rhidian Brook: The Aftermath (ISBN 9780241957479)

Andre Coquelin

photo: Andre Coquelin

Where each noise helps only to make the silence appear by displacing it (Marcel Proust)

“As for me, I feel myself living and thinking in a room where everything is the creation and the language of lives profoundly different from mine, of a taste opposite to mine, where I find nothing of my conscious thought, where my imagination is excited by feeling itself plunged into the depths of the non-ego; I feel happy only when setting foot—on the Avenue de la Gare, on the Port, or on the Place de l’Eglise—in one of those provincial hotels with cold, long corridors where the wind from outside contends successfully with the efforts of the heating system, where the detailed geographic map of the district is still the sole ornament on the walls, where each noise helps only to make the silence appear by displacing it, where the rooms keep a musty perfume which the open air comes to wash, but does not eliminate, and which the nostrils inhale a hundred times in order to bring it to the imagination, which is enchanted with it, which has it pose like a model to try to recreate it with all the thoughts and remembrances that it contains…”
― Marcel Proust

James Hart Dyke

image: James Hart Dyke