“[I want it that way, friend -
I am going far away alone, neither with you nor with any other shadow in the darkness.] Only I will be engulfed by the darkness; the world will belong to me, myself, wholly.”—Lu Xun, from “The Shadow’s Farewell” translated by Huiwen (Helen) Zhang (submitted by Huiwen Zhang)
“Psychological problems probably account for the vast majority of difficulties or discouragements for a musician at every stage of their careers, and most of these should be avoidable. So often it boils down to inflated or distorted egos: the excessive desire to be admired, successful, or praised. There’s a sense in which these desires contain perfectly natural reflexes for us as human beings, both sheer survival techniques and also a matter of common sense and mental stability. But there’s also the potential here for enormous strain and self-destruction. If we walk on to the stage, or into a lesson, with an excessive hunger for approval or adulation we stifle something inside us. Aside from any moral or cultural distaste one might have for boastful, egotistical people, such self-absorption rarely makes sense from a purely practical standpoint. It’s like driving on the highway and looking too closely at the car in the next lane – the lack of perspective is dizzying and dangerous. Or like seeing reality in a mirror – observing ourselves only through the eyes of others and their approval or lack of it. The great pianist, Egon Petri, once said that we would never be nervous if we were humble. It’s not a matter of not caring, or of being a shrinking violet, but of practical mental health.
This is a battle with the self which is never completely won, and each defeat can be a further source of discouragement! I’m certainly far from victory and constantly have to remind myself again and again of these issues. But that bad masterclass, that failed audition, that vicious review, that memory lapse can pass us by unscathed if we can try to transcend the debris of our wounded egos. Whatever musical talent we have, whether great or modest, will flourish better in the larger garden of ultimate reality than in the cramped plant-pots of our own small worlds. To reach beyond ourselves in achievement is an ambition which can best be achieved by looking beyond our ‘selves’. That is after all what ‘ecstasy’ means, to stand outside: not as an ‘outsider’ but as one passionately involved, with a perspective that’s as large as the reality it aims to contemplate.”—StephenHough.com | Writings | Problems Playing the Piano? (via sonateharder)
“The dominant group creates its own stories, as well. The stories, or narratives told by the ingroup remind it of its identity in relation to outgroups, and provide it with a form of shared reality in which its own superior position is seen as natural.
The stories of outgroups aim to subvert that reality. In civil rights, for example, many in the majority hold that any inequality between blacks and whites is due either to cultural lag or inadequate enforcement of currently existing beneficial laws - both of which are easily correctable. For many minority persons, the principal instrument of their subordination is neither of these. Rather, it is the prevailing mindset by means of which members of the dominant group justify the world as it is, that is, with whites on top and browns and blacks at the bottom.
Stories, parables, chronicles, and narratives are powerful means for destroying mindset - the bundle of presuppositions, received wisdoms, and shared understandings against a background of which legal and political discourse takes place. These matters are rarely focused on. They are like eyeglasses we have worn a long time. They are nearly invisible; we use them to scan and interpret the world and only rarely examine them for themselves. Ideology - the received wisdom - makes current social arrangements seem fair and natural. Those in power sleep well at night - their conduct does not seem to them like oppression.
The cure is storytelling (or, as I shall sometimes call it, counterstorytelling). As Derrick Bell, Bruno Bettelheim, and others show, stories can shatter complacency and challenge the status quo. Stories told by underdogs are frequently ironic or satiric; a root word for “humor” is humus - bringing low, down to earth. […] But stories and counterstories can serve an equally important destructive function. They can show that what we believe is ridiculous, self-serving, or cruel.”—Richard Delgado, “Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative” (via thisiswhitehistory)
Don’t get me wrong, I love Dolly, but doesn’t the line you do something to me that I can’t explain become suddenly affecting in this cover? A lot of versions have embraced the cheesiness, but Feist and the Constantines strip it down, everything is nothing if you’ve not no one. It makes you appreciate the sweetness of the lyrics, they transcend the genre. Sail away with me to another world, and we rely on each other, uh-uh.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
Pärt has often spoken of his work as the interweaving of two currents: one is suffering, the other consolation. One is sin, the other is forgiveness. One is human, the other is divine. These lines are always discernable, always intertwined in his music.
“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”—
“In compensation for considerable disgust, despondency, and boredom—such as living in solitude without friends, books, duties, or passions necessarily entails—we are given those quarter-hours of deepest communion with ourselves and nature. Those who completely barricade themselves from boredom, barricade themselves from themselves as well: they will never get to drink the most refreshingly potent draught from the their own innermost fountain.”—Friedrich Nietzsche (via michaeldx4)
…if I had known free spirits are burning deities
I’d have stayed away from you
If I could…
Built a moat around my heart
Cloaked my soul and shut my eyes from your radiance
I am burning.
A beautiful fire has set me alight
You came into my life a far away wind blowing on foreign land
Carrying the smell of sweetened love with you
If I had known you would fan my spirit I’d have sought counsel from the four winds
and travelled earlier to find you
Look how I blush the colour of your soul
The colour of my heart before you came dancing to the sound of my name..
Do you love someone with depression? If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression.
“I want to break out — to leave this cycle of infection and death. I want to be taken in love: so taken that you and I, and death, and life, will be gathered inseparable, into the radiance of what we would become…”—Thomas Pynchon (via observando)
“Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain, in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal’s black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.”—Vladimir Nabokov, “A Letter That Never Reached Russia” From The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (via liquidnight)
-pace. the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission- to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.