“A rock in our path. To hurl ourselves upon this rock as though after a certain intensity of desire had been reached it could not exist any more. Or else to retreat as though we ourselves did not exist. Desire contains something of the absolute and if it fails (once its energy has been used up) the absolute is transferred to the obstacle. This produces the state of mind of the defeated, the oppressed.”—Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (timeimmemorial)
“I love books; I read and write them for the same reason I love to talk with a friend for 10 hours, not 10 minutes (let alone, as is the case with the average Web page, 10 seconds). The longer our talk goes, ideally, the less I feel pushed and bullied into the unbreathing boxes of black and white, Republican or Democrat, us or them. The long sentence is how we begin to free ourselves from the machine-like world of bullet points and the inhumanity of ballot-box yeas or nays.”—~ Pico Iyer Los Angeles Times
It is commonly believed that with aging comes an inevitable decline from vitality to frailty. This includes feeling weak and often the loss of independence. These declines may have more to do with lifestyle choices, including sedentary living and poor nutrition, than the absolute potential of musculoskeletal aging. In this study, we sought to eliminate the confounding variables of sedentary living and muscle disuse, and answer the question of what really happens to our muscles as we age if we are chronically active. This study and those discussed here show that we are capable of preserving both muscle mass and strength with lifelong physical activity.
Two of Dieter Rams' Ten Principles of "Good Design"
Aesthetic & Unobtrusive - the rest will be taken care of.
Is aesthetic - The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Is unobtrusive - Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
An insightful confession made by Teller of Penn & Teller when discussing the lengthy development process of a new magic trick. Eugene Wallingford, who made me aware of this quote, ruminates on it in his excellent blog Knowing and Doing. An excerpt:
In many ways, I think that Teller’s simple declaration is a much better predictor of what you will enjoy in a career or avocation than other, fancier advice you’ll receive. If you love the stuff other folks never see, you are probably doing the right thing for you.
Pico Iyer Protests 21st Century Media Using the Long Sentence
Enter (I hope) the long sentence: the collection of clauses that is so many-chambered and lavish and abundant in tones and suggestions, that has so much room for near-contradiction and ambiguity and those places in memory or imagination that can’t be simplified, or put into easy words, that it allows the reader to keep many things in her head and heart at the same time, and to descend, as by a spiral staircase, deeper into herself and those things that won’t be squeezed into an either/or. With each clause, we’re taken further and further from trite conclusions — or that at least is the hope — and away from reductionism, as if the writer were a dentist, saying “Open wider” so that he can probe the tender, neglected spaces in the reader (though in this case it’s not the mouth that he’s attending to but the mind).
It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death and this is terrible. To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey to the desert. You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to lose it, to lose your personality, to be anonymous. You make yourself void. You become silence. You become more silent than the silence around you. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak.
“The key to the creative type is that he is separated out of the common pool of shared meanings. There is something in his life experience that makes him take the world as a problem; as a result he has to make personal sense out of it. This holds true for all creative people to a greater or lesser extent, but it is especially obvious with the artist. Existence becomes a problem that needs an ideal answer; but when you no longer accept the collective solution to the problem of existence, then you must fashion your own. The work of art is, then, the ideal answer of the creative type to the problem of existence as he takes it in —not only the existence of the external world, but especially his own: who he is as a painfully separate person with nothing shared to lean on. He has to answer to the burden of his extreme individuation, his so painful isolation… His creative work is at the same time the expression of his heroism and the justification of it. It is his “private religion,” as [Otto] Rank put it.”—Ernest Becker in The Denial of Death, Eloquently expanded upon by Mills Bakerhere.
“Our memories can be very unreliable. We like to think of them as indelible records of our past. But every time we pull out a scene, we fiddle with it a little bit before we put it back in. If we hate our husband now, we re-remember the wedding as less joyous; we say “He was never the right one for me anyway.” We’re constantly altering memories so the past won’t conflict with the present.”—~ Gina, played by Dianne Wiest on In Treatment