A student came in bearing a quote from what she said was the pre-Socratic philosopher Meno. It read, “How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?” I copied it down, and it has stayed with me since. The student made big transparent photographs of swimmers underwater and hung them from the ceiling with the light shining through them, so that to walk among them was to have the shadows of swimmers travel across your body in a space that itself came to seem aquatic and mysterious. The question she carried struck me as the basic tactical question in life. The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration — how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else?

 

Rebecca Solnit

The Quiet Sun

Just as I was taught to kneel, the sun became foreign to me. How to speak after a different daylight emerges? Name that black chamber, its seamless, quiescent surface. Speak after an epoch, an apocalypse—find again that strange word for dew.

Uncover a grain of light amid the reft between us. That word you pondered and turned about, ultimately left at contact’s door.

Tell me the name of this descant, its felted slide into the sea. Tell me the name of that absented hour, the space where solar shores failed to meet.

Quietness, a virtue. Harmonic darkness without intent, the vast cosmos of what is neither felt nor seen. No light against those furloughs.

Whose name bends without my attention.

 

Sueyuen Juliette Lee

I’ve been reading up on attachment styles. I would tell you what I am but that would be telling too much 😂

It is my personal belief that romanticism has its vital part in art, but not real life and relationships. It is in every part of its function something that has debilitated us in forming healthy smart and lasting unions. I believe in love and attachment wholeheartedly. I also believe that navigating towards a successful relationship is built on skills that are practical not mystical. We need to demystify the language and narrative we have built up and believe for ourselves. If we continue to pursue the pink cloud we will not see the air that is clear that we breathe. Author/philosopher Alain de Botton is beyond fascinating but he is also a refreshing tonic to the endless jargon out there of “self love” and “instinct”. I am not saying that instinct or feeling is faulty but the means in which we utilize them is overly dependent and wrong. Take a listen.

719DE8CC-7B42-41B6-B232-0DA99BAD120CJoan Didion’s packing list, from The White Album:

TO PACK AND WEAR:
2 skirts
2 jerseys or leotards
1 pullover sweater
2 pair shoes
stockings
bra
nightgown, robe, slippers
cigarettes
bourbon
bag with: shampoo
toothbrush and paste
Basis soap, razor
deodorant
aspirin
prescriptions
Tampax
face cream
powder
baby oil

TO CARRY:
mohair throw
typewriter
2 legal pads and pens
files
house key

“This is a list which was taped inside my closet door in Hollywood during those years when I was reporting more or less steadily. The list enabled me to pack, without thinking, for any piece I was likely to do. Notice the deliberate anonymity of costume: in a skirt, a leotard, and stockings, I could pass on either side of the culture. Notice the mohair throw for trunk-line flights (i.e. no blankets) and for the motel room in which the air conditioning could not be turned off. Notice the bourbon for the same motel room. Notice the typewriter for the airport, coming home: the idea was to turn in the Hertz car, check in, find an empty bench, and start typing the day’s notes.”

—Joan Didion, “The White Album”