We spend a third of our life on mattresses. We sleep, dream, cuddle, fuck, drink coffee, read, recover, and die on them. We stain them. We piss on them as kids. Dab blood from them with cold rags. We make them in the morning. Living in a city means walking by abandoned mattresses on a regular basis. In Berlin, someone would tag them with black spray paint shit like “IT’S OVER” or “LOVE IS A MAD DOG FROM HELL.” I like how this one’s stained by whoknowshowmany years, but through a tear, some silky beauty’s still intact.
Why fear beauty?
… I’m more tree than woman. My limbs are old, mean branches. Occasionally a lost flower blossoms on my hand, but quickly withers and drops to the ground.”
-Sabrina Orah Mark
And the question began to arise: What if I don’t have kids? Maybe this record is everything I want to say to my child whether I have them or not. And then, Who am I a parent to if I have no child? And maybe the point of what it really means — expanding, or working on yourself — is to begin with this one specific person you call “Mother.” And as you grow, you see Mother everywhere. You have a nonspecific feeling you call Mother. And it becomes very animistic — it becomes the ocean, it becomes the Sun, and it becomes other people. And for me, without a doubt literature has been a Mother, music has been a Mother. And art has been a Mother.”
-Devendra Banhart on Ma in the LA Review of Books
I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don’t think it’s a privilege or an indulgence. It’s not even a quest. I think it’s almost like knowledge, which is to say, it’s what we were born for. I think finding, incorporating, and then representing beauty is what humans do. With or without authorities telling us what it is. I think it would exist in any case. The startle and the wonder of being in this place! … Some of it’s natural, some of it’s man-made. Some of it is a mere glance. It’s an absolute necessity. I don’t think we can do without it any more than we can do without dreams or oxygen.”
-Toni Morrison on beauty in The Paris Review
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.”
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Neither the spider has planned for the leaf nor the leaf for the spider—and yet there they are, an accidental pendulum propelled by the same forces that cradle the moons of Jupiter in orbit, animated into this ephemeral early-morning splendor by eternal cosmic laws impervious to beauty and indifferent to meaning, yet replete with both to the bewildered human consciousness beholding it.”
Words are like that, they deceive, they pile up, it seems they do not know where to go, and, suddenly, because of two or three or four that suddenly come out, simple in themselves, a personal pronoun, an adverb, a verb, an adjective, we have the excitement of seeing them coming irresistibly to the surface through the skin and the eyes and upsetting the composure of our feelings, sometimes the nerves that cannot bear it any longer…”
– José Saramago