Archive for August, 2009

Things I saw today (aching with ignored beauty)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

via Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish.

at “first glance, it’s a mere collection of ordinary moments – a falling teardrop, an escaped balloon, a dive into a pool – but I think it’s also evidence that the things we see everyday, when carefully framed, can ache with ignored beauty”

-Jonathan Lehrer, about Radiolab’s Moments by Will Hoffman

This reminds me of a beautiful quote about seeing and valuing the little things:

He was aware that common wisdom counseled that love was a malady that blinded lover’s eyes like acid. Love’s skewed sight made hard features appear harmonious, and sinners appear saints, and cowards appear heroes. Clare was by no means an original thinker but on this one point he had recently reached an opposing view: the lovers alone see what is real. When he courted June he thought it a privilege to wash dishes with her in river sand. He thought it a privilege to hold her cutaway coat, to look at Mt. Baker from her side; he thought it a privilege to hear her family stories over tea and watch her eyebrows rise and fall. Now, he knew it was.

– The Living by Annie Dillard

Things I read today (never cruel or small)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009


From the ever-interesting Levi Stahl (like me, a true Wodehouse fan):

Proust sets a conception of strength of character, of a kindness and dignity so fundamental that even when our longings make us ridiculous–as Swann’s pursuit of Odette can’t help but do–they can never make us cruel or small.
– Levi Stahl, I’vebeenreadinglately

A beautiful concept. I want to remember this: a strength of character, of a kindness and dignity so fundamental that even when our longings make us ridiculous … they can never make us cruel or small.

Things I read today (“I am compelled. I would turn away, if I could”)

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I am not fascinated. I am compelled. I would turn away, if I could.

– Ta-Nehisi Coates on his studies of the Civil War

This is how I feel. When I think about Iran, when I think about Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, when I think about Katrina (my first post on this blog), this is how I feel.

Memories I’ve never had

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Some photos of things I know I’ve never seen are so familiar (perhaps reminding me of things I have seen or places I’ve been) that they are are like memories I never had.