“He liked the late afternoon light as it dimmed
In the living room, and wouldn’t switch on
The electric lights until past eight o’clock.
His wife complained, called him cheerless, but
It wasn’t a case of melancholy; he just liked
The way things looked in air growing darker
So gradually and imperceptibly that it seemed
The very element in which we live. Every man
And woman deserves one true moment of greatness
And this was his, this Dutch interior, entered
And possessed, so tranquil and yet so busy
With details: the couple’s shed clothes scattered
On the backs of armchairs, the dog chasing a shoe,
The wide open window, the late afternoon light.”—
Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. Oh Holy One, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your Presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in…
“There are those who receive as birthright an adequate or at least unquestioned sense of self and those who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis.”—
“It is reported that about 30% of the world’s population is unemployed. That’s worse than the Great Depression, but it’s now an international phenomenon. You have 30% of the world unemployed, a huge amount of work that needs to be done just rebuilding the society alone. The people who are unemployed want to do the work, but the system is such a catastrophic failure that it cannot bring together idle hands and work. This is all hailed as a great success, and it is a great success - for a very small sector of the population.”—Noam Chomsky (via fyeahnoamchomsky)
The piece below was written by Marina Keegan ‘12 for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012’s commencement exercises last week. Keegan died in a car accident on Saturday. She was 22.
Always the promising ones. Always those I yearn to know, laugh with, love, read to, read with, create with, etc. And yet, there is love. To love one you never knew and love them always, as if to say they were, each, unique loves of your life. The tangible is out of reach, but the intangible sparks new drive and passion into tomorrow. Not only must this resonate, it must never subside, or else all is for naught. I carry this love as with other loves. An outspoken voice was silenced. It was more than promising, as Harold Bloom said of her. There was more than activism, acting, playwriting, fiction writing, and leadership. There was more hope with her living among us. One is reminded of mortality in the event of tragedy. I’ll now carry this love into tomorrow and try to live up to its potential. I’ll visit all my loves’ places of rest one day and leave a kiss, as with Oscar Wilde’s grave. The soul weeps, yet there is sunshine, and songbirds sing, so I leave words to feeling and feeling to this piece of music - the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony - as a means of remembrance and expression of my love.
“I could not think of being unkind, even to a mortal enemy. It would hurt me. I see so much unkindness in the world, and there is no excuse for me to add to it. When you love God, and when you see God in every soul, you cannot be mean. If someone behaves hurtfully toward you, think of the best ways to behave lovingly toward him…”—
“I have no fear of losing you, for you aren’t an object of my property, or anyone else’s. I love you as you are, without attachment, without fears, without conditions, without egoism, trying not to absorb you. I love you freely because I love your freedom, as well as mine.”—
“Our story is the story of the universe and every piece of everyone, of everything you love, everything you hate, the thing you hold most precious, was assembled by the forces of nature in the first few minutes of the life of the universe, transformed in the hearts of stars or created in their fiery deaths. And when you die those pieces will be returned to the universe in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. What a wonderful thing it is to be a part of that universe and what a story - what a majestic story.”—
This week, prolific science fiction and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman — quick to admit that he himself never went to college — gave a pitch perfect, funny, and inspirational commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. We think it’s applicable way beyond the confines of university however: as Gaiman wrote on his blog, the speech covered “everything I could think of that someone starting out on a career in the arts right now might need to know.” Which, to be honest, is mostly this: ”Make good art.” Even when your cat’s just exploded — no, especially then. Click through to watch the video of Gaiman’s speech, and then get out there and start creating.
“This is probably going to get quoted in every publication just because I said it. And I’m not even saying anything. I’m not talking about my films, I’m not talking about my life, and I’m not talking about the world. And yet, the media will print it simply because I said it. And at this moment in time, I bet there is an artist around the corner of this hotel, on the street, with a mind far beyond ours, but we will never listen to him simply because he has not appeared in a movie. And that is what is fucked up about our culture.”—