gravity and grace

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself." -Walt Whitman

The paradox of memory is the same as that referred to by the ‘hermeneutic circle’: the past structures the present through its legacy, but it is the present that selects this legacy, preserving some aspects and forgetting others, and which constantly reformulates our image of this past by repeatedly recounting the story.

Paolo Jedlowski, from “Memory and Sociology,” in Time Society (vol. 10, no. 1, March 2001)

(via an-itinerant-poet)

The capacity to pay attention to an afflicted person is something very rare, very difficult; it is nearly a miracle. It is a miracle. Nearly all those who believe they have this capacity do not. Warmth, movements of the heart, and pity are not sufficient.

Simone Weil, Waiting for God (via quotes-shape-us)

(via alienlandings)

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.

Nikola Tesla


I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. […]  I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially all night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.

— Ernest Hemingway, from “The Sea Change” in Winner Take Nothing. Scribner, 1933

For some time I have never said what I believed, and never believed what I said, and if I do sometimes happen to say what I think, I always hide it among so many lies that it is hard to recover it.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.

Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems (via petrichour)

(via petrichour)

Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.

― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden, Selected Poems (via journalofanobody)