Do Everything in Truth

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Implora Pace

Nachtmahr (1790), Johann Heinrich Füssli

Hush’d are the winds, and still the evening gloom,
Not e’en a zephyr wanders through the grove,
Whilst I return to view my Margaret’s tomb,
And scatter flowers on the dust I love.
Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,
That clay where once such animation beam’d;
The king of terrors seiz’d her as his prey,
Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem’d.
Oh ! could that king of terrors pity feel,
Or Heaven reverse the dread decree of fate,
Not here the mourner would his grief reveal,
Not here the muse her virtues would relate.
But wherefore weep ! her matchless spirit soars,
Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day,
And weeping angels lead her to those bowers,
Where endless pleasures virtuous deeds repay.
And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign !
And madly God-like Providence accuse !
Ah ! no far fly from me attemps so vain,
I’ll ne’er submission to my God refuse.
Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear,
Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous face;
Still they call forth my warm affection’s tear,
Such sorrow brings me honour, not disgrace.

– Lord Byron, On The Death Of A Young Lady

A Consummate Artist

I just wanted you to know
I loved you better than your own kin did
From the very start
I don’t blame you much for wanting to be free
I just wanted you to know

1437

The month of Ramadan is the world’s most widespread fast and yet its teachings are minimised, neglected and even betrayed (through literal application of rules that overlooks their ultimate objective). […] The philosophy of fasting calls upon us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves. To fast is to identify our dependencies, and free ourselves from them.

— Tariq Ramadan

There is No Accident

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’

— Jackson Pollock

autumn-rhythm

La Tristesse Durera Toujours

De sterrennacht, Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

There was a sentence in your letter that struck me, “I wish I were far away from everything, I am the cause of all, and bring only sorrow to everybody, I alone have brought all this misery on myself and others.” These words struck me because that same feeling, just the same, not more nor less, is also on my conscience.

— Vincent Van Gogh, Dear Theo

I am Not What I am

Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.

— Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Blue Flesh & Blood

The Blind Man's Meal (1903), Pablo Picasso
The Blind Man’s Meal (1903), Pablo Picasso

Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts.

— Tennessee Williams

Fugit Inreparabile Tempus

Lion of Lucerne

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you