“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”—Ernest Hemingway (via uncommonreaction)
“[…] For what gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have. One can no longer cheat—hide behind the hours spent at the office or at the plant (those hours we protest so loudly, which protect us so well from the pain of being alone). I have always wanted to write novels in which my heroes would say: “What would I do without the office?” or again: “My wife has died, but fortunately I have all these orders to fill for tomorrow.” Travel robs us of such refuge. Far from our own people, our own language, stripped of all our props (one doesn’t know the fare on the streetcars, or anything else), we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul-sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value. A woman dancing without a thought in her head, a bottle on a table, glimpsed behind a curtain: each image becomes a symbol. The whole of life seems reflected in it, insofar as it summarizes our own life at the moment. When we are aware of every gift, the contradictory intoxications we can enjoy (including that of lucidity) are indescribable.”—‘Love of Life’ from ’Lyrical and Critical Essays’ by Albert Camus Translated by Ellen Conroy Kennedy (via fuckyeahexistentialism)
“People often equate empathy with gentleness and passivity. But empathy is really just a cognitive walk in another person’s shoes. An empathetic person is, fundamentally, a curious and imaginative person. Empathy involves a search for understanding. And we need today’s students to understand the world better in order to respond to its seemingly intractable problems.”—“Has Empathy Become the New Scapegoat?” Time (via taylorlorenz)
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (via taylorlorenz)
“What Coontz found was even more interesting than she’d originally expected. In her fascinating Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage, she surveys 5,000 years of human habits, from our days as hunters and gatherers up until the present, showing our social arrangements to be more complex and varied than could ever seem possible. She’d long known that the Leave It to Beaver–style family model popular in the 1950s and ’60s had been a flash in the pan, and like a lot of historians, she couldn’t understand how people had become so attached to an idea that had developed so late and been so short-lived.”— All the Single Ladies by Kate Bolick in The Atlantic
10:15 am – Wake up dumbfounded as to why I would set my alarm so early on a Saturday. Clearly this is the work of my late-night self’s propensity to set ambitious weekend goals.
10:30 am – Acknowledge that I can never be a true adult if I continue to ignore my pre-bed duties and sleep with my makeup on.
11:00 am – Put my name down for and hour and a half wait at the Clinton St Bakery. Wonder how it’s possible that so many lower east siders are up at this hour; look around and realize not a single person waiting lives in the lower east side. I can just tell.
11:05 am – Come to my senses and remove my name from the list. Who was I kidding? I’m not waiting that long for biscuits…even though their biscuits are what I imagine pillows will be like in heaven.
11:45 am – Enjoy a delicious (and long overdue) brunch with Jenny. Recap our last few months apart and ingest a record amount of coffee. God I missed her.
1:15 pm – Go to the gym. Slightly judge all the people that are wasting their Saturday at the gym, myself included.
3:00 pm – Talk to Hillary on the phone and remember how much I miss living with her. I’m torn between my desire to kidnap her and bring her back to NYC and my desire to let her spread her wings. The kidnapping plot is currently winning out.
4:15 pm – Decide to walk down Orchard street to take in some of the art galleries. Sure it’s semi-raining but it’s always the right time to pretend I’m cultured.
5:00 pm – Wander into a gallery with a gold-plated phone book and what can only be considered a shrine of discarded trophies. In an effort to be totally immersed in the art, I join the others by taking off my shoes and walking on the painted tiles to read all the trophies and discover two things: a) I’m clearly NOT a germophobe and b) there are a lot of forgotten 2nd place winners in Fresno, CA.
6:15 pm – Meander back home to get ready for a late night filled with cultural activities more on par with my interests, ie, champagne and homemade guacamole for Regina’s birthday.