não é nada

There we lived for a time, a time incapable of passing, in a space one could not even think of measuring. A passing of time outside of Time, a space that knew nothing of the usual habits of real space… O futile companion of my tedium, what hours of happy disquiet seemed to be ours! Hours of ashen wit, days of spatial longing, inner centuries of outer landscapes… And we did not ask ourselves what it was for, because we took pleasure in knowing it wasn’t for anything.”

-Fernando Pessoa
The Book of Disquiet

Their conversation is like a gently wicked dance: sound meets sound, curtsies, shimmies, and retires. Another sound enters but is upstaged by still another: the two circle each other and stop. Sometimes their words move in lofty spirals; other times they take strident leaps, and all of it is punctuated with warm-pulsed laughter—like the throb of a heart made of jelly.”

-Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye

psychic hygiene

He had already learned by experience that faith and doubt belonged together, that they govern each other like inhaling and exhaling, and that his very advances in all aspects of the Game’s microcosm naturally sharpened his eyes to all the dubiousness of the Game.”

-Hermann Hesse
Magister Ludi

They relate, and they conflict. And here lies the mystery of eroticism… To have a fierce kind of intimacy, you have to be able to take risks. The risk is that not everything about you will be liked by your partner. One of the strange concepts of the romantic ideal is that of unconditional love. Doesn’t exist. Never existed, for that matter. Love is conditional. Completely. It’s not a popular idea… but Love is a verb. It’s not a permanent state of enthusiasm. It’s an actual practice. And that practice gets repeated, all the time.”

-Esther Perel
The Erotic Is an Antidote to Death

blinking

What I really wanted to say was that a monster is not such a terrible thing to be. From the Latin root monstrum, a divine messenger of catastrophe, then adapted by the Old French to mean an animal a myriad of origins: centaur, griffin, satyr. To be a monster is to be a hybrid signal, a lighthouse: both shelter and warning at once.”

-Ocean Vuong
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

The truth is that there are two ways in which the future can become obsolete. One is through the inability to imagine the New: in this model, the idea of building a Tower never occurs to us; we are content to stay on the ground. The other happens when the New becomes so perpetual and unrelenting, when the construction of the Tower becomes so consuming, that we no longer have the luxury or the inclination to look up… You cannot have a future without a sense of the past, and there is no quicker way to make both obsolete than by insisting on the urgency and the singularity of the present.”

Meghan O’Gieblyn on deep time
and Long Now’s 10,000-year clock

confronted

Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty and the ability to feel; the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty… He is not, after all, merely a number of a Society or a Group or a deploration conundrum to be explained by Science. He is—and how old-fashioned the words sound!—something more than that, something resolutely indefinable, unpredictable. In overlooking, denying, evading his complexity—which is nothing more than the disquieting complexity of ourselves—we are diminished and we perish; only within this web of ambiguity, paradox, this hunger, danger, darkness, can we find at once ourselves and the power that will free us from ourselves… Our passion for categorization, life neatly fitted into pegs, has led to an unforeseen, paradoxical distress: confusion, a breakdown of meaning.”

-James Baldwin
Everybody’s Protest Novel

in motion

To be passing is to live; to remain and continue is to die… in sculpture, architecture, and painting the finished form stands still, but even so the eye finds pleasure in the form only when it contains a certain lack of symmetry, when, frozen in stone as it may be, it looks as if it were in the midst of motion… For when we fail to see that our life is change, we set ourselves against ourselves and become like Ouroboros, the misguided snake, who tried to eat his own tail. Ouroboros is the perennial symbol of all vicious cycles, of every attempt to split our being asunder and make one part conquer the other… Released from the circle of attempted self-love, the mind of man draws the whole universe into its own unity as a single dewdrop seems to contain the entire sky.

-Alan Watts
The Wisdom of Insecurity