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One of the famous Hanging Teddy Bears of Valencia...

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Have salt in yourself, wait patiently.

What the molt is for birds, the time when they change their plumage, is what adversity or misfortune is for humans, a difficult time.  You can stay in this molting period, you can also come out of it like a new man, but nevertheless this is not something to be done in public, it is hardly a laughing matter, which is why you need to hide away.  Well, so be it.

If now you can forgive a man for devoting himself to a thorough study of pictures, you must admit that a love of books is as sacred as a love of Rembrandt, and I even think that the two complement each other.

So what do you want?  Does what happens inside show on the outside?  There is such a great fire in one's soul, and yet nobody ever comes to warm themselves there, and passersby see nothing but a little smoke coming from the top of the chimney, and go on their way.

So then, what to do?  Stoke up that fire inside, have salt in yourself, wait patiently, yet with how much impatience, wait for the hour, when someone might want to come and sit down by it—and to stay there, how should I know?  Let anyone who believes in God wait for the hour that will come sooner or later.

Now for the moment everything has been going wrong for me, and this has been the case for some considerable time, and may well stay like this for some time in the future, but it is also possible that after everything appears to be going awry, things will improve later.  I am not counting on it, perhaps it will not happen, but if there should be some change for the better, I would count that as so much gain, I would be pleased, I would say, “At last!  So there was something there after all.


— from Letter 133, July 1880, in Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890, edited by H. Anna Suh.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[venerd́ 20 febbraio 2015 ore 20:03:20] []

Everybody always has poems for after.

A friend writes from a place that is so far away and so close.  What do you tell someone who's walking the road to this club that you are in.  This school of the suddenly-motherless.

You look up words that work better than ‘club’ and ‘school.’  Bird-words like brood and dole and fall.  A huddle of penguins and a lamentation of swans.  A piteousness of doves.  A watch of nightingales.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[domenica 08 febbraio 2015 ore 09:10:15] []

Sent from my iPhone; please excuse idiocy and psychos.

(Also known as: “Sent from my iPhone; please excuse the fact that I can't be bothered to re-read my email to you and see if it makes any sense at all.”)

I watch emails come in like water from a coughing faucet.  All spurt and dirt and not nearly enough to get wet with.

I watch people write like it's a race for the send button.  Nanosecond-wise and posterity-foolish.

I watch emails come in like clumsy punches.  Quick and never to-the-point (or never to the right one).

In small, violent increments, I watch people whittle away at their time, and at whatever respect you might have had for their communication skills, their coherence, their class.

Then I get an email from someone like Jeannie or Moira.  It has shape and it has substance.  It fills its own skin and it's full of finished thought.  All complete sentences, all kinds of capitalization where it needs to be, and all-solid punctuation — everything that makes you feel like you got the good china, the Sunday wine.  Poured slowly — or at least with care, and at least in paragraphs, real paragraphs — turns of phrase and touches of metaphor that read like something you would want to read. Like something you would like to read.

Slow down everybody.  That message will not self-destruct in five seconds.  Don't make me wish it would.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[venerd́ 06 febbraio 2015 ore 18:32:15] []