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Prime Movement (For Justin), 2014 (print available)
based on The Ancient of Days by William Blake

Prime Movement (For Justin), 2014 (print available)

based on The Ancient of Days by William Blake

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austinkleon:


William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Last night @craigmod tweeted:

If you cannot begin to empathize with someone taking their own life, I suggest reading Darkness Visible… Styron’s book is only 80 pages. Truly an important read

I picked it up last night and finished it today. Some bits, below.
On the inadequacy of the word “depression”:

When I was first aware that I had been laid low by the disease, I felt a need, among other things, to register a strong protest against the word “depression.” Depression, most people know, used to be termed “melancholia,” a word which appears in English as the year 1303 and crops up more than once in Chaucer, who in his usade seemed to be aware of its pathological nuances. “Melancholia” would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was usurped by a noun with a blank tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness.

How part of the problem with depression is that it’s somewhat beyond description, and almost impossible to fathom for those of us who haven’t experienced it:

Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self—to the mediating intellect—as to verge close to being beyond description… it has to be emphasized that if the pain were readily describable most of the countless sufferers from this ancient affliction would have been able to confidently depict for their friends and loved ones (even their physicians) some of the actual dimensions of their torment, and perhaps elicit a comprehension that has been generally lacking; such incomprehension has usually been due not to a failure of sympathy but to the basic inability of healthy people to imagine a form of torment so alien to everyday experience.

Styron, however, does what he can to describe it to us:

The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.

Recommended.

austinkleon:

William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Last night @craigmod tweeted:

If you cannot begin to empathize with someone taking their own life, I suggest reading Darkness Visible… Styron’s book is only 80 pages. Truly an important read

I picked it up last night and finished it today. Some bits, below.

On the inadequacy of the word “depression”:

When I was first aware that I had been laid low by the disease, I felt a need, among other things, to register a strong protest against the word “depression.” Depression, most people know, used to be termed “melancholia,” a word which appears in English as the year 1303 and crops up more than once in Chaucer, who in his usade seemed to be aware of its pathological nuances. “Melancholia” would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was usurped by a noun with a blank tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness.

How part of the problem with depression is that it’s somewhat beyond description, and almost impossible to fathom for those of us who haven’t experienced it:

Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self—to the mediating intellect—as to verge close to being beyond description… it has to be emphasized that if the pain were readily describable most of the countless sufferers from this ancient affliction would have been able to confidently depict for their friends and loved ones (even their physicians) some of the actual dimensions of their torment, and perhaps elicit a comprehension that has been generally lacking; such incomprehension has usually been due not to a failure of sympathy but to the basic inability of healthy people to imagine a form of torment so alien to everyday experience.

Styron, however, does what he can to describe it to us:

The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.

Recommended.

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artemisdreaming:
Kahlil Gibran - The Flow of Life

artemisdreaming:

Kahlil Gibran - The Flow of Life
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"We need beauty. But what right did I have, I kept asking myself, in a world so full of hell? In his poem, “A Brief for the Defense,” Jack Gilbert attempted an answer. “We must risk delight,” he wrote. Life contains everything. Tear gas in Ferguson. Books read on the grass. Foley’s murder. Dancing in New Orleans, till sunrise blots the stars. We’re meat—fragile and finite. But joy is survival. […]

Power seeks to enclose beauty—to make it scarce, controlled. There is scant beauty in militarized zones or prisons. But beauty keeps breaking out anyway, like the roses on that Ferguson street.

The world is connected now. Where it breaks, we all break. But it is our world, to love as it burns around us. Jack Gilbert is right. “We must risk delight” in the summer of monsters. Beauty is survival, not distraction. Beauty is a way of fighting. Beauty is a reason to fight."

— Molly Crabapple We Must Risk Delight After a Summer Full of Monsters | VICE United States (via snitnation)

(via mollycrabapple)

Quote
"You go from dream to dream inside me. You have passage to my last shabby corner, and there, among the debris, you’ve found life. I’m no longer sure which of all the words, images, dreams or ghosts are ‘yours’ and which are ‘mine.’ It’s past sorting out."

— Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (via larmoyante)

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telapathetic:

ireland is my favourite place in the world

telapathetic:

ireland is my favourite place in the world

(Source: telapathetic, via franiel32)

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Bon Iver - Holocene

(Source: youtube.com)

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The Look

It’s not about the look of anyone else in Walmart as you walk through it with your sister on a busy and noisy Sunday afternoon, part of your renewed determination to get outside more and get in better health (physical and mental).

It’s not about the look from the security guard who you think sees you clutching your anti-anxiety medication suspiciously tight in your pocket.

It’s not about the four or five people you suddenly find pressing around you in one of the aisles, or the “I need to move, I need to move” you keep repeating helplessly out loud, and the speed with which you grab what you came for and bolt away.  It’s not about the man who looks at you as if you moved so quickly because of his race, or the tears you feel coming to your eyes because you can’t tell him that you’re not afraid of him, you’re afraid of everybody.

It’s not about the blank look after the fact of the little boy in the green shirt.  It’s not about the look of the teenager on her cell phone and whether or not the person on the other end is hearing about the bald old weirdo.  It’s not about the look of the tall man and wondering if he’s seeing the overhead lights glare off your head.  It’s not even about the look of the woman in the Ramones T-shirt you walk past, as you head back to the car feeling (and probably looking) thirty seconds away from a heart attack, unable to resist mumbling “I wanna be sedated” to her.

It’s only about the look you can give yourself in the mirror when you come back home knowing that you tried today and that you will still go back out and keep trying as long as it fucking takes.

Link

alexdarke:

There’s a ritual to our nights. He lays on his back, his ipad resting on his chest, as he flips through pages of what has happened during the day. I lay on my side, studying his features contrasted against the darkness by the white glare coming from the screen.

"If you roll over, I’ll scratch your back," he’ll offer, without glancing over.

Never one to pass up that opportunity, I roll over. His hand begins lightly trailing up and down my back. At first, it’s an entirely perfunctory touch. Completely automatic. Up and down with a slight side to side. As the minutes pass, he can’t seem to help it and the touch becomes more light, vaguely wispy, and slightly exploratory. Tracing the curve of my lower back. Exploring the angles of my shoulder blades. I don’t have to roll over to see that he’s never looked away from the ipad, but the touch has changed. The intimacy of it has changed to a degree that I can almost feel what he is thinking, reading those various media, as that hand traces lightly up and down my back. The changes to the tempo or strength give hints, ripples of clues in the contact of his skin to mine. It’s that touch that sends me off to sleep most nights.

There’s a meme going around the internet that seems to make it’s way back to my line of sight around once a year. It asks you what you would say to your younger self if you were given the opportunity. Last night, as I dozed off, my husband’s hand tracing light circles on my back, I thought to myself what I’d say, to the kid I was once, just as I tipped over the edge into dreams:

"One day, you’re going to find someone who touches you and it feels like the warmth of the sun on your skin on those endless summer days you are living through…and that’s how you’ll know. One day."

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Let’s go exploring.

Let’s go exploring.

(via enervatedgrace)