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Nov
3rd
Sun
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The present is the instant in which the future crumbles into the past.
Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist and poet (1899-1986), paraphrased by Susan Sontag in Letter to Borges
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Everything made now is either a replica or a variant of something made a little time ago and so on back without break to the first morning of human time. This continuous connection of time must contain lesser divisions. The narrative historian always has the privilege of deciding that continuity cuts better into certain lengths than into others. He never is required to defend his cut, because history cuts anywhere with equal ease, and a good story can begin anywhere the teller chooses.
George Kubler, an American art historian and among the foremost scholars on the art of Pre-Columbian America and Ibero-American Art (1912-1996), The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962, p.2.
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" "Take the familiar "tick-tock", of the clock. Well, the clock doesn’t go "tick-tock" at all; it goes "tick-tick", every tick producing the same sound. It’s just that our consciousness runs two successive ticks into single "tick-tock" experience - but only if the duration between ticks is less than about three seconds. A really big pendulum clock just goes "tock…tock…tock…", whereas a bedside clock chatters away: "ticktockticktock…" "
Paul Davies, an English physicist, writer and broadcaster, a professor at Arizona State University, About Time Einstein Unfinished Revolution, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1995, p. 265-266.
Nov
2nd
Sat
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But how carve way i’ the life that lies before,
If bent on groaning ever for the past?”

— Robert Browning, Balaustion’s Adventure, Smith, Elder and co, 1871, p. 140.

The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful
past! (…)

And yet—she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life’s best, with our eyes upturn’d
Whither life’s flower is first discern’d,
We, fix’d so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity

— Robert Browning, The Last Ride Together

“[T]he flowers of the future-in-the-present are far brighter than this southern gaudy melon-flower here and now. (…) [I]t is the pregnancy of the present that makes it meaningful. (…)

Like the bird the poet of this lyric sings twice over so as to recapture the first moment, to bind his day together, to redeem the past from its pastness, to put futurity into the present."

— Clyde de L. Ryals about Browning’s "Home-Thoughts, From Abroad" in Becoming Browning. The Poems and Plays of Robert Browning, 1833-1846, Ohio State University Press, 1983 p. 214
Robert Browning, English poet and playwright (1812-1889)
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My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold and anything else is just a waste of time.
Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, interviewed by John Jurgensen in Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009.
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Q: Is there a line between art and science, and where does it start to blur?

Cormac McCarthy: “There’s certainly an aesthetic to mathematics and science. It was one of the ways Paul Dirac got in trouble. He was one of the great physicists of the 20th century. But he really believed, as other physicists did, that given the choice between something which was logical and something which was beautiful, they would opt for the aesthetic as being more likely to be true.

When [Richard] Feynman put together his updated version of quantum electrodynamics, Dirac didn’t think it was true because it was ugly. It was messy. It didn’t have the clarity, the elegance, that he associated with great mathematical or physical theory. But he was wrong. There’s no one formula for it.” “
Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, interviewed by John Jurgensen in Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009.
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Q: What kind of things make you worry?

Cormac McCarthy: “If you think about some of the things that are being talked about by thoughtful, intelligent scientists, you realize that in 100 years the human race won’t even be recognizable. We may indeed be part machine and we may have computers implanted. It’s more than theoretically possible to implant a chip in the brain that would contain all the information in all the libraries in the world. As people who have talked about this say, it’s just a matter of figuring out the wiring. Now there’s a problem you can take to bed with you at night. (…)

Well, I don’t know what of our culture is going to survive, or if we survive. If you look at the Greek plays, they’re really good. And there’s just a handful of them. Well, how good would they be if there were 2,500 of them? But that’s the future looking back at us. Anything you can think of, there’s going to be millions of them. Just the sheer number of things will devalue them. I don’t care whether it’s art, literature, poetry or drama, whatever. The sheer volume of it will wash it out. I mean, if you had thousands of Greek plays to read, would they be that good? I don’t think so.” “
Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, interviewed by John Jurgensen in Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009. Photo: Cormac McCarthy
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Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it — so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.

As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. In business sometimes prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
Elbert Hubbard, was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher (1856-1915), as quoted from Electrical Review (c. 1895), this was later published as part of various works by Hubbard, including FRA Magazine : A Journal of Affirmation (1915)
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If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.
Elbert Hubbard, was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher (1856-1915) cited in Pearl S. Buck: The Final Chapter, Etc Publications, 1989, p. 168.
Oct
19th
Sat
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"What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order.

It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape. His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world. He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love.” “
Leonard Cohen is a Canadian Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist, Beautiful Losers (1966) (Photo)
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There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen is a Canadian Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
Sep
29th
Sun
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Eventually we’ll lose the pixel, as it fades beyond our bulky vision. And that will be a tremendous shame.
—  Cennydd Bowles, Columnist for A List Apart, at Twitter, February 1, 2012.
Aug
28th
Wed
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… all experience delivered in such detail that the fictions seemed facts, and the facts? The facts insisted on themselves.
Christine Schutt, American novelist and short story writer, Prosperous Friends, Grove Press, 2012.
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I can only meditate when I am walking,’ wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the fourth book of his Confessions, ‘when I stop I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.’ Søren Kierkegaard speculated that the mind might function optimally at the pedestrian pace of three miles per hour, and in a journal entry describes going out for a wander and finding himself ‘so overwhelmed with ideas’ that he ‘could scarcely walk’. Christopher Morley wrote of Wordsworth as ‘employ[ing] his legs as an instrument of philosophy’ and Wordsworth of his own ‘feeling intellect’. Nietzsche was typically absolute on the subject — ‘Only those thoughts which come from walking have any value’ — and Wallace Stevens typically tentative: ‘Perhaps / The Truth depends on a walk around a lake.
Robert Macfarlane, British travel writer, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, Hamish Hamilton, 2012 (via invisiblestories)