Instructions For A Bad Day Quotes

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We try so hard to instruct our children in all the right things―teaching good from bad, explaining choices and consequences―when in reality most lessons are learned through observation and experience. Perhaps we'd be better off training our youth to be highly observant.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
You don’t need fashion designers when you are young. Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop - the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents - that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative - wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bleach in a load of colored laundry. Follow the exact opposite of the dry cleaning instructions inside the clothes that cost the most in your thrift shop. Don’t wear jewelry - stick Band-Aids on your wrists or make a necklace out of them. Wear Scotch tape on the side of your face like a bad face-lift attempt. Mismatch your shoes. Best yet, do as Mink Stole used to do: go to the thrift store the day after Halloween, when the children’s trick-or-treat costumes are on sale, buy one, and wear it as your uniform of defiance.
John Waters (Role Models)
When cells are no longer needed, they die with what can only be called great dignity. They take down all the struts and buttresses that hold them together and quietly devour their component parts. The process is known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Every day billions of your cells die for your benefit and billions of others clean up the mess. Cells can also die violently- for instance, when infected- but mostly they die because they are told to. Indeed, if not told to live- if not given some kind of active instruction from another cell- cells automatically kill themselves. Cells need a lot of reassurance. When, as occasionally happens, a cell fails to expire in the prescribed manner, but rather begins to divide and proliferate wildly, we call the result cancer. Cancer cells are really just confused cells. Cells make this mistake fairly regularly, but the body has elaborate mechanisms for dealing with it. It is only very rarely that the process spirals out of control. On average, humans suffer one fatal malignancy for each 100 million billion cell divisions. Cancer is bad luck in every possible sense of the term.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
You will go through your life thinking there was a day in second grade that you must have missed, when the grown-ups came in and explained, everything important to other kids. they said, 'Look, you're human, you're going to feel isolated and afraid a lot of the time, nad have bad self-esteem, and feel uniquely ruined, but here is the magic phrase that will take this feeling away. It will be like a feather that will lift you out of that fear and self-consciousness every single time, all through your life.' And then they told the cildren who were there that day the magic phrase that everyone else in the world knows about and uses when feeling blue, which only you don't know, because you were home sick the day the grown-ups told the children the way the whole world works. But there was not such a day in school. No one got the instructions. That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free. Otherwise you gorw up to be someone who needs to dominate and shame others so no one will know that you weren't there the day the instructions were passed out.
Anne Lamott
We believed optimistically that Laurie was a reformed character. I told my husband, on the last day of Laurie's confinement, that actually one good scare like that could probably mark a child for life, and my husband pointed out that kids frequently have an instinctive desire to follow the good example rather than the bad, once they find out which is which. We agreed that a good moral background and thorough grounding in the Hardy Boys would always tell in the long run. ("Arch-Criminal")
Shirley Jackson (Just an Ordinary Day: The Uncollected Stories)
Father Brendan Flynn: "A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!
John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, a Parable)
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
Tired of his lack of understanding, she asked him for an unusual birthday gift: that for one day he would take care of the domestic chores. He accepted in amusement, and indeed took charge of the house at dawn. He served a splendid breakfast, but he forgot that fried eggs did not agree with her and that she did not drink café con leche. Then he ordered a birthday luncheon for eight guests and gave instructions for tidying the house, and he tried so hard to manage better than she did that before noon he had to capitulate without a trace of embarrassment. From the first moment he realized he did not have the slightest idea where anything was, above all in the kitchen, and the servants let him upset everything to find each item, for they were playing the game too. At ten o’clock no decisions had been made regarding lunch because the housecleaning was not finished yet, the bedroom was not straightened, the bathroom was not scrubbed; he forgot to replace the toilet paper, change the sheets, and send the coachmen for the children, and he confused the servants’ duties: he told the cook to make the beds and set the chambermaids to cooking. At eleven o’clock, when the guests were about to arrive, the chaos in the house was such that Fermina Daza resumed command, laughing out loud, not with the triumphant attitude she would have liked but shaken instead with compassion for the domestic helplessness of her husband. He was bitter and offered the argument he always used: “Things did not go as badly for me as they would for you if you tried to cure the sick.” But it was a useful lesson, and not for him alone. Over the years they both reached the same wise conclusion by different paths: it was not possible to live together in any way, or love in any other way, and nothing in this world was more difficult than love.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
I can teach them little things that may not be in any of the great books on writing. For instance, I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned that December is traditionally a bad month for writing. It is a month of Mondays. Mondays are not good writing days. One has had all that freedom over the weekend, all that authenticity, all those dreamy dreams, and then your angry mute Slavic Uncle Monday arrives, and it is time to sit down at your desk.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
How to be there for someone with depression or anxiety 1. Know that you are needed, and appreciated, even if it seems you are not. 2. Listen. 3. Never say ‘pull yourself together’ or ‘cheer up’ unless you’re also going to provide detailed, foolproof instructions. (Tough love doesn’t work. Turns out that just good old ‘love’ is enough.) 4. Appreciate that it is an illness. Things will be said that aren’t meant. 5. Educate yourself. Understand, above all, that what might seem easy to you –going to a shop, for instance –might be an impossible challenge for a depressive. 6. Don’t take anything personally, any more than you would take someone suffering with the flu or chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis personally. None of this is your fault. 7. Be patient. Understand it isn’t going to be easy. Depression ebbs and flows and moves up and down. It doesn’t stay still. Do not take one happy/ bad moment as proof of recovery/ relapse. Play the long game. 8. Meet them where they are. Ask what you can do. The main thing you can do is just be there. 9. Relieve any work/ life pressure if that is doable. 10. Where possible, don’t make the depressive feel weirder than they already feel. Three days on the sofa? Haven’t opened the curtains? Crying over difficult decisions like which pair of socks to wear? So what. No biggie. There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide. (Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?) Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other. In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own. I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel. Is there a tunnel?" he said.
Don DeLillo
If you eat a destroying angel, for the rest of the day you’ll feel fine. Later that night, or the next morning, you’ll start exhibiting cholera-like symptoms—vomiting, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea. Then you start to feel better. At the point where you start to feel better, the damage is probably irreversible. Amanita mushrooms contain amatoxin, which binds to an enzyme that is used to read information from DNA. It hobbles the enzyme, effectively interrupting the process by which cells follow DNA’s instructions. Amatoxin causes irreversible damage to whatever cells it collects in. Since most of your body is made of cells,4 this is bad. Death is generally caused by liver or kidney failure, since those are the first sensitive organs in which the toxin accumulates. Sometimes intensive care and a liver transplant can be enough to save a patient, but a sizable percentage of those who eat Amanita mushrooms die.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
But then, not long after, in another article, Loftus writes, "We live in a strange and precarious time that resembles at its heart the hysteria and superstitious fervor of the witch trials." She took rifle lessons and to this day keeps the firing instruction sheets and targets posted above her desk. In 1996, when Psychology Today interviewed her, she burst into tears twice within the first twenty minutes, labile, lubricated, theatrical, still whip smart, talking about the blurry boundaries between fact and fiction while she herself lived in another blurry boundary, between conviction and compulsion, passion and hyperbole. "The witch hunts," she said, but the analogy is wrong, and provides us with perhaps a more accurate window into Loftus's stretched psyche than into our own times, for the witch hunts were predicated on utter nonsense, and the abuse scandals were predicated on something all too real, which Loftus seemed to forget: Women are abused. Memories do matter. Talking to her, feeling her high-flying energy the zeal that burns up the center of her life, you have to wonder, why. You are forced to ask the very kind of question Loftus most abhors: did something bad happen to her? For she herself seems driven by dissociated demons, and so I ask. What happened to you? Turns out, a lot. (refers to Dr. Elizabeth F. Loftus)
Lauren Slater (Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century)
Next, he points out that good men are better to live among than bad men, and therefore he cannot be so foolish as to corrupt his fellow-citizens intentionally; but if unintentionally, then Meletus should instruct him, not prosecute him.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy: And Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day)
You Are Not Your Career. Your ability to follow instructions is not the secret to your success. You are hiding your best work, your best insight, and your best self from us every day. We know how much you care, and it’s a shame that the system works overtime to push you away from the people and the projects you care about. The world does not owe you a living, but just when you needed it, it has opened the door for you to make a difference. It’s too bad that so much time has been wasted, but it would be unforgivable to wait any longer. You have the ability to contribute so much. We need you, now.
Seth Godin
Obedience is freedom. Better to follow the Master’s plan than to do what you weren’t wired to do—master yourself. It is true that the thing that you and I most need to be rescued from is us! The greatest danger that we face is the danger that we are to ourselves. Who we think we are is a delusion and what we all tend to want is a disaster. Put together, they lead to only one place—death. If you’re a parent, you see it in your children. It didn’t take long for you to realize that you are parenting a little self-sovereign, who thinks at the deepest level that he needs no authority in his life but himself. Even if he cannot yet walk or speak, he rejects your wisdom and rebels against your authority. He has no idea what is good or bad to eat, but he fights your every effort to put into his mouth something that he has decided he doesn’t want. As he grows, he has little ability to comprehend the danger of the electric wall outlet, but he tries to stick his fingers in it precisely because you have instructed him not to. He wants to exercise complete control over his sleep, diet, and activities. He believes it is his right to rule his life, so he fights your attempts to bring him under submission to your loving authority. Not only does your little one resist your attempts to bring him under your authority, he tries to exercise authority over you. He is quick to tell you what to do and does not fail to let you know when you have done something that he does not like. He celebrates you when you submit to his desires and finds ways to punish you when you fail to submit to his demands. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when you’re at the end of a very long parenting day, when your children seemed to conspire together to be particularly rebellious, and you’re sitting on your bed exhausted and frustrated, you need to remember that you are more like your children than unlike them. We all want to rule our worlds. Each of us has times when we see authority as something that ends freedom rather than gives it. Each of us wants God to sign the bottom of our personal wish list, and if he does, we celebrate his goodness. But if he doesn’t, we begin to wonder if it’s worth following him at all. Like our children, each of us is on a quest to be and to do what we were not designed by our Creator to be or to do. So grace comes to decimate our delusions of self-sufficiency. Grace works to destroy our dangerous hope for autonomy. Grace helps to make us reach out for what we really need and submit to the wisdom of the Giver. Yes, it’s true, grace rescues us from us.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Set aside 10 minutes every morning, and read one chapter a day. Create one new habit for the next six weeks (not quit an old habit). Follow the weekly focuses that I set out in this book, for your new habit. Then read through the Troubleshooting, Quitting a Bad Habit and Life Struggles sections. Finally, wrap it all up with the Just Do This section at the end, which will distill all of this book into a few pages of brief instructions.
Leo Babauta (Essential Zen Habits: Mastering the Art of Change, Briefly)
With Milch fully in charge of the writing process — or, in many cases, the rewriting process — it became all-consuming. When Milch and Lewis replaced Bochco on Hill Street, Milch had developed a working method that he would continue to use for the next several decades: he would lie on the floor of the writers’ room (Milch has a bad back, which can make sitting for long periods difficult) while a typist scrolled through each script at his instruction; Milch made changes line by line, word by word. By the early days of NYPD Blue, it was understood that regardless of whose name was on the script, the bulk of the words — and, almost as importantly, their order— came from Milch.
Alan Sepinwall (The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever)
But surely the commute that defines the era was Noah's voyage aboard his eponymous ark, and to this day it remains the most epic commuting story ever told. As most people know, God felt that Earth had essentially "jumped the shark" (or "raped the angel" as they used to say back then), so rather than try to fix it, He instead decided to simply wash everyone away in a great flood and start over from scratch--just as you might do to your computer's hard drive if it has a really bad virus. So God spoke to Noah and commanded him to build an ark, aboard which he'd carry two of every animal in the world....Thus was born humankind's lust for gigantic vehicles, for God's instructions to Noah were basically the world's first car commercial, and the sales pitch was this: Large vehicles are your salvation.
BikeSnobNYC
Of course, the cadavers, in life, donated themselves freely to this fate, and the language surrounding the bodies in front of us soon changed to reflect that fact. We were instructed to no longer call them “cadavers”; “donors” was the preferred term. And yes, the transgressive element of dissection had certainly decreased from the bad old days. (Students no longer had to bring their own bodies, for starters, as they did in the nineteenth century. And medical schools had discontinued their support of the practice of robbing graves to procure cadavers—that looting itself a vast improvement over murder, a means once common enough to warrant its own verb: burke, which the OED defines as “to kill secretly by suffocation or strangulation, or for the purpose of selling the victim’s body for dissection.”) Yet the best-informed people—doctors—almost never donated their bodies. How informed were the donors, then? As one anatomy professor put it to me, “You wouldn’t tell a patient the gory details of a surgery if that would make them not consent.” Even if donors were informed enough—and they might well have been, notwithstanding one anatomy professor’s hedging—it wasn’t so much the thought of being dissected that galled. It was the thought of your mother, your father, your grandparents being hacked to pieces by wisecracking twenty-two-year-old medical students. Every time I read the pre-lab and saw a term like “bone saw,” I wondered if this would be the session in which I finally vomited. Yet I was rarely troubled in lab, even when I found that the “bone saw” in question was nothing more than a common, rusty wood saw. The closest I ever came to vomiting was nowhere near the lab but on a visit to my grandmother’s grave in New York, on the twentieth anniversary of her death. I found myself doubled over, almost crying, and apologizing—not to my cadaver but to my cadaver’s grandchildren. In the midst of our lab, in fact, a son requested his mother’s half-dissected body back. Yes, she had consented, but he couldn’t live with that. I knew I’d do the same. (The remains were returned.) In
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
DAYS ONE THROUGH SIX, ETC. You keep on asking me that – “Which day was the hardest?” Blockheads! They were all hard – And of course, since I’m omnipotent, they were all easy. It was Chaos, to begin with. Can you imagine Primeval Chaos? Of course you can’t. How long had it been swirling around out there? Forever. How long had I been there? Longer than that. It was a mess, that’s what it was. Chaos is Rocky. Fuzzy. Slippery. Prickly. As scraggly and obstreperous as the endless behind of an infinite jackass. Shove on it anywhere, it gives, then slips in behind you, like smog, like lava, like slag. I’m telling you, chaos is – chaotic. You see what I was up against. Who could make a world out of that muck? I could, that’s who – land from water, light from dark, and so on. It might seem like a piece of cake now that it’s done, but back then, without a blueprint, without a set of instructions, without a committee, could you have created a firmament? Of course there were bugs in the process, grit in the gears, blips, bloopers – bringing forth grass and trees on Day Three and not making sunlight until Day Four, that, I must say, wasn’t my best move. And making the animals and vegetables before there was any rain whatsoever – well, anyone can have a bad day. Even Adam, as it turned out, wasn’t such a great idea – those shifty eyes, the alibis, blaming things on his wife – I mean, it set a bad example. How could he expect that little toddler, Cain, to learn correct family values with a role model like him? And then there was the nasty squabble Over the beasts and birds. OK, I admit I told Adam to name them, but – Platypus? Aardvark? Hippopotamus? Let me make one thing perfectly clear – he didn’t get that gibberish from Me. No, I don’t need a planet to fall on Me, I know something about subtext. He did it to irritate Me, just plain spite – and did I need the aggravation? Well, as you know, things went from bad to worse, from begat to begat, father to son, the evil fruit of all that early bile. So next there was narcissism, then bigotry, then jealousy, rage, vengeance! And finally I realized, the spawn of Adam had become exactly like – Me. No Deity with any self-respect would tolerate that kind of competition, so what could I do? I killed them all, that’s what! Just as the Good Book says, I drowned man, woman, and child, like so many cats. Oh, I saved a few for restocking, Noah and his crew, the best of the lot, I thought. But now you’re back to your old tricks again, just about due for another good ducking, or maybe a giant barbecue. And I’m warning you, if I have to do it again, there won’t be any survivors, not even a cockroach! Then, for the first time since it was Primeval Chaos, the world will be perfect – nobody in it but Me.
Philip Appleman
We came to the city because we wished to live haphazardly, to reach for only the least realistic of our desires, and to see if we could not learn what our failures had to teach, and not, when we came to live, discover that we had never died. We wanted to dig deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to be overworked and reduced to our last wit. And if our bosses proved mean, why then we’d evoke their whole and genuine meanness afterward over vodka cranberries and small batch bourbons. And if our drinking companions proved to be sublime then we would stagger home at dawn over the Old City cobblestones, into hot showers and clean shirts, and press onward until dusk fell again. For the rest of the world, it seemed to us, had somewhat hastily concluded that it was the chief end of man to thank God it was Friday and pray that Netflix would never forsake them. Still we lived frantically, like hummingbirds; though our HR departments told us that our commitments were valuable and our feedback was appreciated, our raises would be held back another year. Like gnats we pestered Management— who didn’t know how to use the Internet, whose only use for us was to set up Facebook accounts so they could spy on their children, or to sync their iPhones to their Outlooks, or to explain what tweets were and more importantly, why— which even we didn’t know. Retire! we wanted to shout. We ha Get out of the way with your big thumbs and your senior moments and your nostalgia for 1976! We hated them; we wanted them to love us. We wanted to be them; we wanted to never, ever become them. Complexity, complexity, complexity! We said let our affairs be endless and convoluted; let our bank accounts be overdrawn and our benefits be reduced. Take our Social Security contributions and let it go bankrupt. We’d been bankrupt since we’d left home: we’d secure our own society. Retirement was an afterlife we didn’t believe in and that we expected yesterday. Instead of three meals a day, we’d drink coffee for breakfast and scavenge from empty conference rooms for lunch. We had plans for dinner. We’d go out and buy gummy pad thai and throat-scorching chicken vindaloo and bento boxes in chintzy, dark restaurants that were always about to go out of business. Those who were a little flush would cover those who were a little short, and we would promise them coffees in repayment. We still owed someone for a movie ticket last summer; they hadn’t forgotten. Complexity, complexity. In holiday seasons we gave each other spider plants in badly decoupaged pots and scarves we’d just learned how to knit and cuff links purchased with employee discounts. We followed the instructions on food and wine Web sites, but our soufflés sank and our baked bries burned and our basil ice creams froze solid. We called our mothers to get recipes for old favorites, but they never came out the same. We missed our families; we were sad to be rid of them. Why shouldn’t we live with such hurry and waste of life? We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to decrypt our neighbors’ Wi-Fi passwords and to never turn on the air-conditioning. We vowed to fall in love: headboard-clutching, desperate-texting, hearts-in-esophagi love. On the subways and at the park and on our fire escapes and in the break rooms, we turned pages, resolved to get to the ends of whatever we were reading. A couple of minutes were the day’s most valuable commodity. If only we could make more time, more money, more patience; have better sex, better coffee, boots that didn’t leak, umbrellas that didn’t involute at the slightest gust of wind. We were determined to make stupid bets. We were determined to be promoted or else to set the building on fire on our way out. We were determined to be out of our minds.
Kristopher Jansma (Why We Came to the City)
The same lesson can be learned from one of the most widely read books in history: the Bible. What is the Bible “about”? Different people will of course answer that question differently. But we could all agree the Bible contains perhaps the most influential set of rules in human history: the Ten Commandments. They became the foundation of not only the Judeo-Christian tradition but of many societies at large. So surely most of us can recite the Ten Commandments front to back, back to front, and every way in between, right? All right then, go ahead and name the Ten Commandments. We’ll give you a minute to jog your memory . . . . . . . . . . . . Okay, here they are:        1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage.        2. You shall have no other gods before Me.        3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.        4. Remember the Sabbath day, to make it holy.        5. Honor your father and your mother.        6. You shall not murder.        7. You shall not commit adultery.        8. You shall not steal.        9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.       10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor your neighbor’s wife . . . nor any thing that is your neighbor’s. How did you do? Probably not so well. But don’t worry—most people don’t. A recent survey found that only 14 percent of U.S. adults could recall all Ten Commandments; only 71 percent could name even one commandment. (The three best-remembered commandments were numbers 6, 8, and 10—murder, stealing, and coveting—while number 2, forbidding false gods, was in last place.) Maybe, you’re thinking, this says less about biblical rules than how bad our memories are. But consider this: in the same survey, 25 percent of the respondents could name the seven principal ingredients of a Big Mac, while 35 percent could name all six kids from The Brady Bunch. If we have such a hard time recalling the most famous set of rules from perhaps the most famous book in history, what do we remember from the Bible? The stories. We remember that Eve fed Adam a forbidden apple and that one of their sons, Cain, murdered the other, Abel. We remember that Moses parted the Red Sea in order to lead the Israelites out of slavery. We remember that Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his own son on a mountain—and we even remember that King Solomon settled a maternity dispute by threatening to slice a baby in half. These are the stories we tell again and again and again, even those of us who aren’t remotely “religious.” Why? Because they stick with us; they move us; they persuade us to consider the constancy and frailties of the human experience in a way that mere rules cannot.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
During the conversation she [7th-GGM, Anna Maria Hoepflinger Floerl] also talked about the guidance with which God had provided her when they started to expel the Salzburgers. She was born in the state of Bavaria and brought up in ignorance by her seriously erring mother and some relatives. However, when God recognized that He could save her soul, He saw to it that among the twelve journeyman of a papal masterbuilder from Salzburg who worked on a church in Bavaria, there was a Lutheran journeyman, called “the Lutheran,” about whose religion strange things were said. Because he got room and board at the house of her cousin, for whom she worked, she was very much aware of his Christian behavior. And, since she noticed great peace, nonconformance to the world, and diligent prayer and intercession as well as sympathy and tears when he saw the bound Evangelical Salzburgers being led past him, she had the deep desire to talk to this man secretly about his and her religious faith. One evening God arranged for her cousin to be busy with the soldiers who were accompanying the Salzburgers on their way across Bavaria, while the servants were in the tavern. She grasped this opportunity to make this knowledgeable man, who was experienced in Christianity, teach her the Evangelical truth for three hours; upon her request, he also sent her a good book, namely the Schaitberger, in a small well-secured barrel. In it, they eagerly read for three consecutive weeks at night about the Evangelical truth and her previous misunderstandings. Because the people concluded from her overall behavior, especially her absence from monthly confession, observance of brotherhood meetings, participation in pilgrimages, and telling a rosary, that she might have suspicious books, they waylaid her, took the book away from her, and threatened her with jail and death unless she stayed away from this heresy. At the priest’s instigation, her mother, in particular, behaved very badly. Finally God gave her the courage to leave, although she knew neither the way nor the area. A woman potter, also a secret Lutheran, referred her to her very close kinswoman in Austria; but there she was advised in confidence that she was to go to Salzburg rather than to pretend, in violation of her conscience, because here they searched very much after Evangelical people and books. Since the journeyman bricklayer had given her instructions on how to get to the Goldeck jurisdiction and, there, to a Lutheran family, she traveled there without a passport, like a poor abandoned sheep, in the name of God, who was her leader and guide, and she was well received. However, because the Evangelical people were being expelled at that time, she was summoned to appear before the authorities and was threatened that, if she stayed with these Evangelical people, she would enjoy neither God’s care nor any favor from the people in the Empire, but would die a horrible death. Nevertheless, she said that she would go with them regardless of what might happen to her. She preferred all misery and even death itself to renouncing God, her Savior, and the Evangelical truth. She did not start with good days, but with misery and death, as the bricklayer had told her earlier while assuring her of God’s help.
Johann Martin Boltzius
How to be there for someone with depression or anxiety 1. Know that you are needed, and appreciated, even if it seems you are not. 2. Listen. 3. Never say “pull yourself together” or “cheer up” unless you’re also going to provide detailed, foolproof instructions. (Tough love doesn’t work. Turns out that just good old “love” is enough.) 4. Appreciate that it is an illness. Things will be said that aren’t meant. 5. Educate yourself. Understand, above all, that what might seem easy to you—going to a shop, for instance—might be an impossible challenge for a depressive. 6. Don’t take anything personally, any more than you would take someone suffering with the flu or chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis personally. None of this is your fault. 7. Be patient. Understand it isn’t going to be easy. Depression ebbs and flows and moves up and down. It doesn’t stay still. Do not take one happy/bad moment as proof of recovery/relapse. Play the long game. 8. Meet them where they are. Ask what you can do. The main thing you can do is just be there. 9. Relieve any work/life pressure if that is doable. 10. Where possible, don’t make the depressive feel weirder than they already feel. Three days on the sofa? Haven’t opened the curtains? Crying over difficult decisions like which pair of socks to wear? So what. No biggie. There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
In the summer of 1966, Seale was hired to run a youth work program at the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center funded by the federal War on Poverty. Through his role as a social service provider, he came to understand even more clearly the economic and social needs of black youth. Beyond delivering services, Bobby brought his revolutionary nationalist theory to the job and used the opportunity to push up against the ideological bias in the government program. Rather than merely guiding young blacks into a government-prescribed path, he used his authority to help them stand up against oppressive authority, particularly against police brutality. One day Seale’s boss instructed him to take a group of young black men and women on a tour of the local police station. When the group arrived, the police officers pulled out notepads and pencils and started to interview the teenagers about the character of gangs in the neighborhood. Seale protested, instructing his group to remain silent and announcing that his program would not be used as a spy network to inform on people in the community. The officers claimed that they simply wanted to foster better relations with the community. In response, Seale turned the conversation around, creating an opportunity for the teenagers to describe their experiences with police brutality in the neighborhood. It was the first time the young people had had the opportunity to look white police officers in the eye and express their anger and frustration. One teenager berated the police for an incident in which several officers had thrown a woman down and beaten her in the head with billy clubs. “Say you!” said a sixteen-year-old girl, pointing at a policeman. “You don’t have to treat him like that,” Seale said to the girl. “I’ll treat him like I want to, because they done treated me so bad,” she replied. Bobby sat back as the girl grilled the officer about whether he had received proper psychiatric treatment. The officer turned red and started to shake. “The way you’re shaking now,” she said, “the way you’re shaking now and carrying on, you must be guilty of a whole lot! And I haven’t got no weapon or nothin.’”69 The poverty program provided a paycheck, some skills, and an opportunity to work with young people. But Newton and Seale were still searching for a way to galvanize the rage of the “brothers on the block.” They wanted to mobilize the ghetto the way that the Civil Rights Movement had mobilized blacks in the South. They dreamt of creating an unstoppable force that would transform the urban landscape forever. The problem was now clear to Huey and Bobby, but they did not yet have a solution. Huey and Bobby were not the only ones looking for answers.
Joshua Bloom (Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (The George Gund Foundation Imprint in African American Studies))
Specially in Nepal and Indian simultaneously in pure consciousness soul in UK, in Europe, America, Australia, Asia and few parts of Africa they tell a fable about Shreeom as a Vishnu that: There was once a great devotee of Dhurba who prayed night and day to see his God Shreeom Vishnu. The father and mother of Dhrub name are Uttanapad and Suniti respectively. The devotion is a lesson in surrendering all one's cares and worries to the Divine Shreeom Vishnu. King Uttanapada,the son of Manu had two wives, one named Suruchi who was very dear to him and the other, Suniti, to whom he was indifferent. helpless on account of the king’s neglect. One day Suniti’s son Dhruva saw Uttama, Suruchi’s son, sitting on the lap of the king, their father. When the king took up Dhurba on his lap, a jealous Suruchi severely abused the king. Dhruva went away heart-broken to his mother, who advised him that the one way to overcome the bad effects of one’s own past actions was to seek shelter at your feet. Hearing his mother’s words, Dhruva just five years old but highly sensitive and self-respecting, very faithful and devotion left the city, determined to devote himself to Vishnu Shreeom worship. He had an opportune meeting with Sage Narada and being instructed in Shreeom sacred name, then Dhurba entered the forest of Madhu, where he engaged himself in severe austerities in adoration and devotion of Shreeom. Finally because of such great devotion Shreeom appeared as a Vishnu and blessed Dhurba. Knowing this, Shreeom affectionately touched his cheek and his body with hand, was the seed of all sound and solving of all the problems of Dhruba. Shreeom had been provided all the necessary knowledge of the world to Dhurba . He then sang Shreeom Vishnu praise, having been purified and enlightened by Shreeom's touch. After many years Dhurba and his mother and father entered the region called Dhruva-loka and lived there joyfully even now as the Pole Star, the Dhruva Tara. That story is about thousands of years ago. Now again in this time Shreeom Vishnu is on earth as a human form with Sankha and Chakra and many Gods and Goddess, Brahmas, Devis, father's and mother's soul all the time, fortunate male and female divinity and Sadhus, Santas, Pandits, scientists and presidents and prime ministers of every nations, kings and queens, pure and Knowledgeable existence are with Shreeom.
Shreeom
MY SURVIVAL INSTINCTS come to the surface in other areas. Spotting the cracks so I know where I can tread. This is my reflex. There is no instruction booklet. Only I know how to fend her off, hold her back, back her down —and these impulses are automatic. Will it be a good day or a bad day? I am graceful at sidestepping perilous eventualities. I had no choice but to exist in the sea that she swam in. It was a fragile ecosystem where the temperature changed without warning. My natural shape was dissolved and I became shapeless. A plankton drifting in the current of her expectations. Unable to swim against it. And any attempt to swim away would harm her.
Ariel Leve (An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir)
Across the Reich, the Gestapo recorded increased the activity of anti-state elements. It’s kind of a helpless protest by those wretches against our celebration of victory. They organize bomb attacks against representatives of the Reich or against the civilian German population. We’ve also noticed murder-suicides. Eighty-seven civilians killed have been reported during the last week. From the Protectorate of Bohmen und Mahren, the destruction of Peter Brezovsky’s long-sought military cell was announced. From Ostmark…” “Enough,” Beck interrupted him, “I’m interested only in Brezovsky.” That name caused him discomfort. In his mind, he returned to the Bohemian Forest in 1996. It was in a different dimension, before he had used time travel. At the time, Peter Brezovsky was the only man who had passed through the Time Gate. He’d offered him a position by his side during the building of the Great German Reich. He’d refused. Too bad, he could have used a man like him. These dummies weren’t eager enough to fulfill his instructions. He also remembered Werner Dietrich, who had died in the slaughter during an inspection in the Protectorate. “… in the sector 144-5. It was a temporary base of the group. There were apparently targeted explosions of the surrounding buildings,” the man continued. “This area interests me. I want to know everything that’s happening there. Go on,” he ordered the man. He was flattered at the leader’s sudden interest. Raising his head proudly, he stretched his neck even more and continued, “For your entertainment, Herr Führer, our two settlers, living in this area from 1960, on June the twenty first, met two suspect men dressed in leather like savages. The event, of course, was reported to the local department of the Gestapo. It’s funny because during the questioning of one of Brezovsky’s men we learnt an interesting story related to these men.” He relaxed a little. The atmosphere in the room was less strained, too. He smiled slightly, feeling self-importance. “In 1942, a certain woman from the Bohemian Forest made a whacky prophecy. Wait a minute.” He reached into the jacket and pulled out a little notebook. “I wrote it down, it’ll certainly amuse you. Those Slavic dogs don’t know what to do, and so they take refuge in similar nonsense.” He opened the notebook and began to read, “Government of darkness will come. After half a century of the Devil’s reign, on midsummer’s day, on the spot where he came from, two men will appear in flashes. These two warriors will end the dominance of the despot and will return natural order to the world.” During the reading, men began to smile and now some of them were even laughing aloud. “Stop it, idiots!” screamed Beck furiously. In anger, he sprang from behind his desk and severely hit the closest man’s laughing face. A deathly hush filled the room. Nobody understood what had happened. What could make the Führer so angry? This was the first time he had hit somebody in public. Beck wasn’t as angry as it might look. He was scared to death. This he had been afraid of since he had passed through the Time Gate. Since that moment, he knew this time would come one day. That someone would use the Time Gate and destroy everything he’d built. That couldn’t happen! Never! “Do you have these men?” he asked threateningly. Reich Gestapo Commander regretted he’d spoken about it. He wished he’d bitten his tongue. This innocent episode had caused the Führer’s unexpected reaction. His mouth went dry. Beck looked terrifying. “Herr Führer,” he spoke quietly, “unfortunately…” “Aloud!” yelled Beck. “Unfortunately we don’t, Herr Führer. But they probably died during the action of the Gestapo against Brezovsky. His body, as well as the newcomers, wasn’t found. The explosion probably blew them up,” he said quickly. “The explosion probably blew them up,” Beck parodied him viciously, “and that was enough for you, right?
Anton Schulz
A man can survive ten years--but twenty-five, who can get through alive? Shukhov rather enjoyed having everybody poke a finger at him as if to say: Look at him, his term's nearly up. But he had his doubts about it. Those zeks who finished their time during the war had all been "retained pending special instructions" and had been released only in '46. Even those serving three-year sentences were kept for another five. The law can be stood on its head. When your ten years are up they can say, "Here's another ten for you." Or exile you. Yet there were times when you thought about it and you almost choked with excitement. Yes, your term really _is_ coming to an end; the spool is unwinding. . . . Good God! To step out to freedom, just walk out on your own two feet. But it wasn't right for an old-timer to talk about it aloud, and Shukhov said to Kilgas: "Don't you worry about those twenty-five years of yours. It's not a fact you'll be in all that time. But that I've been in eight full years--now that is a fact." Yes, you live with your feet in the mud and there's no time to be thinking about how you got in or how you're going to get out. According to his dossier, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov had been sentenced for high treason. He had testified to it himself. Yes, he'd surrendered to the Germans with the intention of betraying his country and he'd returned from captivity to carry out a mission for German intelligence. What sort of mission neither Shukhov nor the interrogator could say. So it had been left at that- -a mission. Shukhov had figured it all out. If he didn't sign he'd be shot If he signed he'd still get a chance to live. So he signed. But what really happened was this. In February 1942 their whole army was surrounded on the northwest front No food was parachuted to them. There were no planes. Things got so bad that they were scraping the hooves of dead horses--the horn could be soaked In water and eaten. Their ammunition was gone. So the Germans rounded them up in the forest, a few at a time. Shukhov was In one of these groups, and remained in German captivity for a day or two. Then five of them managed to escape. They stole through the forest and marshes again, and, by a miracle, reached their own lines. A machine gunner shot two of them on the spot, a third died of his wounds, but two got through. Had they been wiser they'd have said they'd been wandering in the forest, and then nothing would have happened. But they told the truth: they said they were escaped POW's. POW's, you fuckers! If all five of them had got through, their statements could have been found to tally and they might have been believed. But with two it was hopeless. You've put your damned heads together and cooked up that escape story, they were told. Deaf though he was, Senka caught on that they were talking about escaping from the Germans, and said in a loud voice: "Three times I escaped, and three times they caught me." Senka, who had suffered so much, was usually silent: he didn't hear what people said and didn't mix in their conversation. Little was known about him--only that he'd been in Buchenwald, where he'd worked with the underground and smuggled in arms for the mutiny; and how the Germans had punished him by tying his wrists behind his back, hanging him up by them, and whipping him. "You've been In for eight years, Vanya," Kilgas argued. "But what camps? Not 'specials.' You bad breads to sleep with. You didn't wear numbers. But try and spend eight years in a 'special'--doing hard labor. No one's come out of a 'special' alive." "Broads! Boards you mean, not broads." Shukhov stared at the coals in the stove and remeinbered his seven years in the North. And how he worked for three years hauling logs--for packing cases and railroad ties. The flames in the campfires had danced up there, too--at timber-felling during the night. Their chief made it a rule that any squad that had failed to meet its quota had to stay In the forest after dark.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)
See, I appreciate that you are losing your productive time to show me the positive direction & thoughts. But why you are thinking that I’m a full package of negativity? Why? You know that I’m at my work place? What kind of projects I’m working on? I have not permission to disclose this information to my family too; that’s what I can tell it to you. I left your chance for these projects. Let’s come to your every advice: 1. I believe in women helping each other feel good about themselves instead of trying to compete Answer: If you are thinking that I’m competing with other women then it’s absolutely wrong my dear. You tell me a single example at your work place to whom I had not supported. You are absolutely taking me wrong. Now I’m crying because why people are not getting me properly. You are here who is treating me so differently. You are not understanding the point I think so. What do you think that in my whole life Shall I not ask for money? Let the world take me for granted? After 5-6 year of experience, Should I remain quiet only? You were giving me the examples of development & negotiations to others? To whom you have paid much higher & satisfactory. I didn’t had problem about that. But somewhere I thought that I was dying over there. Leave about the talent, because according to you, I’ve been proven already ….& so much bad. I don’t like to discuss bad things about the people; I remains silent that doesn’t mean you are taking me like anything. Your concerned person told me everybody’s salary. On that day I was cried a lot. I remember that day now also. I let it go. I observe the deserving factor about the surrounding. I was depressed a lot. I suffered that situation near about 5-6 months. I didn’t want to trouble you in case of finance because I was connected to market situation somehow. I thought that quitting will save you. I’ll get my hike & you will get your favorite candidate on that place. You were also happy with that candidate & you also wanted to promote. So I thought as it is my existence is not matter at all to that place at all. Better to move on. But on other side I knew that you will not let me leave easily or you may not need me at all. Who knows? I didn’t know? I shared that thing with my work team & nobody other than them. I loved that people a lot, I never mind anyone’s talk, if anybody did a good job then I was the person over there who brought cadbury, chocolates for them. I never hide a single thing from them. I love them as a friend, sister, mother & even one day your head of that department gossiped about me with the help of another person, when I come to know that thing I called him & asked him the reason. There was tears in my eyes while asking, that was the return of my love to him. After 1-1.5 month I took a heavy decision. That was not easy for me. But ask every person at your place about me that I have ever tried to compete with them? Not co-operate them? Whoever they may be. Either women or men. Even I had given instructions to women about the common sensed toilet hygiene too. Please dear, don’t put the un-necessary blames. I’m kind, love you that doesn’t mean that you can say anything. I have a competitive spirit about my work, not for the other men or women. Please clean up this point dear.
Eagles
See, I appreciate that you are losing your productive time to show me the positive direction & thoughts. But why you are thinking that I’m a full package of negativity? Why? You know that I’m at my work place? What kind of projects I’m working on? I have not permission to disclose this information to my family too; that’s what I can tell it to you. I left your chance for these projects. Let’s come to your every advice: 1. I believe in women helping each other feel good about themselves instead of trying to compete Answer: If you are thinking that I’m competing with other women then it’s absolutely wrong. You tell me a single example at your work place to whom I had not supported. You are absolutely taking me wrong. Now I’m crying because why people are not getting me properly. You are here who is treating me so differently. You are not understanding the point I think so. What do you think that in my whole life Shall I not ask for money? Let the world take me for granted? After 5-6 year of experience, Should I remain quiet only? You were giving me the examples of development & negotiations to others? To whom you have paid much higher & satisfactory. I didn’t had problem about that. But somewhere I thought that I was dying over there. Leave about the talent, because according to you, I’ve been proven already ….& so much bad. I don’t like to discuss bad things about the people; I remains silent that doesn’t mean you are taking me like anything. Your concerned person told me everybody’s salary. On that day I was cried a lot. I remember that day now also. I let it go. I observe the deserving factor about the surrounding. I was depressed a lot. I suffered that situation near about 5-6 months. I didn’t want to trouble you in case of finance because I was connected to market situation somehow. I thought that quitting will save you. I’ll get my hike & you will get your favorite candidate on that place. You were also happy with that candidate & you also wanted to promote. So I thought as it is my existence is not matter at all to that place at all. Better to move on. But on other side I knew that you will not let me leave easily or you may not need me at all. Who knows? I didn’t know? I shared that thing with my work team & nobody other than them. I loved that people a lot, I never mind anyone’s talk, if anybody did a good job then I was the person over there who brought Cadbury, chocolates for them. I never hide a single thing from them. I love them as a friend, sister, mother & even one day your head of that department gossiped about me with the help of another person, when I come to know that thing I called him & asked him the reason. There was tears in my eyes while asking, that was the return of my love to him. After 1-1.5 month I took a heavy decision. That was not easy for me. But ask every person at your place about me that I have ever tried to compete with them? Not co-operate them? Whoever they may be. Either women or men. Even I had given instructions to women about the common sensed toilet hygiene too. Please dear, don’t put the un-necessary blames. I’m kind, love you that doesn’t mean that you can say anything. I have a competitive spirit about my work, not for the other men or women. Please clean up this point.
Eagles
The reason for which a work of genius is not easily admired from the first is that the man who has created it is extraordinary, that few other men resemble him. It was Beethoven’s Quartets themselves (the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth) that devoted half a century to forming, fashioning and enlarging a public for Beethoven’s Quartets, marking in this way, like every great work of art, an advance if not in artistic merit at least in intellectual society, largely composed to-day of what was not to be found when the work first appeared, that is to say of persons capable of enjoying it. What artists call posterity is the posterity of the work of art. It is essential that the work (leaving out of account, for brevity’s sake, the contingency that several men of genius may at the same time be working along parallel lines to create a more instructed public in the future, a public from which other men of genius shall reap the benefit) shall create its own posterity. For if the work were held in reserve, were revealed only to posterity, that audience, for that particular work, would be not posterity but a group of contemporaries who were merely living half-a-century later in time. And so it is essential that the artist (and this is what Vinteuil had done), if he wishes his work to be free to follow its own course, shall launch it, wherever he may find sufficient depth, confidently outward bound towards the future. And yet this interval of time, the true perspective in which to behold a work of art, if leaving it out of account is the mistake made by bad judges, taking it into account is at times a dangerous precaution of the good. No doubt one can easily imagine, by an illusion similar to that which makes everything on the horizon appear equidistant, that all the revolutions which have hitherto occurred in painting or in music did at least shew respect for certain rules, whereas that which immediately confronts us, be it impressionism, a striving after discord, an exclusive use of the Chinese scale, cubism, futurism or what you will, differs outrageously from all that have occurred before. Simply because those that have occurred before we are apt to regard as a whole, forgetting that a long process of assimilation has melted them into a continuous substance, varied of course but, taking it as a whole, homogeneous, in which Hugo blends with Molière. Let us try to imagine the shocking incoherence that we should find, if we did not take into account the future, and the changes that it must bring about, in a horoscope of our own riper years, drawn and presented to us in our youth. Only horoscopes are not always accurate, and the necessity, when judging a work of art, of including the temporal factor in the sum total of its beauty introduces, to our way of thinking, something as hazardous, and consequently as barren of interest, as every prophecy the non-fulfillment of which will not at all imply any inadequacy on the prophet’s part, for the power to summon possibilities into existence or to exclude them from it is not necessarily within the competence of genius; one may have had genius and yet not have believed in the future of railways or of flight, or, although a brilliant psychologist, in the infidelity of a mistress or of a friend whose treachery persons far less gifted would have foreseen.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
I encourage my students at times like these to get one page of anything written, three hundred words of memories or dreams or stream of consciousness on how much they hate writing—just for the hell of it, just to keep their fingers from becoming too arthritic, just because they have made a commitment to try to write three hundred words every day. Then, on bad days and weeks, let things go at that.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Every select man strives instinctively for a citadel and a privacy, where he is FREE from the crowd, the many, the majority—where he may forget "men who are the rule," as their exception;—exclusive only of the case in which he is pushed straight to such men by a still stronger instinct, as a discerner in the great and exceptional sense. Whoever, in intercourse with men, does not occasionally glisten in all the green and grey colours of distress, owing to disgust, satiety, sympathy, gloominess, and solitariness, is assuredly not a man of elevated tastes; supposing, however, that he does not voluntarily take all this burden and disgust upon himself, that he persistently avoids it, and remains, as I said, quietly and proudly hidden in his citadel, one thing is then certain: he was not made, he was not predestined for knowledge. For as such, he would one day have to say to himself: "The devil take my good taste! but 'the rule' is more interesting than the exception—than myself, the exception!" And he would go DOWN, and above all, he would go "inside." The long and serious study of the AVERAGE man—and consequently much disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad intercourse (all intercourse is bad intercourse except with one's equals):—that constitutes a necessary part of the life-history of every philosopher; perhaps the most disagreeable, odious, and disappointing part. If he is fortunate, however, as a favourite child of knowledge should be, he will meet with suitable auxiliaries who will shorten and lighten his task; I mean so-called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the commonplace and "the rule" in themselves, and at the same time have so much spirituality and ticklishness as to make them talk of themselves and their like BEFORE WITNESSES—sometimes they wallow, even in books, as on their own dung-hill. Cynicism is the only form in which base souls approach what is called honesty; and the higher man must open his ears to all the coarser or finer cynicism, and congratulate himself when the clown becomes shameless right before him, or the scientific satyr speaks out. There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the disgust—namely, whereby a freak of nature, genius is bound to some such indiscreet billy-goat and ape, as in the case of the Abbe Galiani, the profoundest, acutest, and perhaps also filthiest man of his century—he was far profounder than Voltaire, and consequently also, a good deal more silent. It happens more frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape's body, a fine exceptional understanding in a base soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors and moral physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever anyone sees, seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, sexual instinct, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any one speaks "badly"—and not even "ill"—of man, then ought the lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; he ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk without indignation. For the indignant man, and he who perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or, in place of himself, the world, God, or society), may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one is such a LIAR as the indignant man.
Friedrich Nietzsche