When I remember you, you’re a phantom on the other side of the road. I must see the green man before I may get my chance walk away. I’m waiting for permission to extinguish my intermittent thoughts of you.
I hate how the past lingers around me like fog when I walk down this road.
How silently it speaks to me. How it ripples at my resolve. How much, even now it may come-up behind me at any time and cause me to stumble.
I hate how you always pretended you had not noticed. I wish I could have said anything at all that might have stuck to you. Like your ghost clings to my thoughts, and the way your words are still near whenever I’m alone someplace.
I remember watching you blush as the girl on the table danced. You tried so hard not to seem embarrassed. But it wasn’t amusing in the slightest.I had not yet worked out why your reactions irked me.
I can remember that when you asked me to get you some water,I felt I was falling of the edge, and I was sinking so far down, and all my anger for you left me for an instant…
Why was I trying to work you out?
I know it doesn’t matter; but I can remember the way your handwriting curled, and the r pointed upwards.
I know it doesn’t matter.
But I can remember your face when I close my eyes, and sometimes when I open them…and sometimes when I sleep. Although you are just a phantom who has never given me a clue.
I don’t know why I still try to figure you out, or why sometimes my anger grows back.
“Only those with no imagination, and no grounding in reality, would deny the possibility that they will live forever. It’s possible that many reading these words will never die. Let’s assume, though, that we all have a set number of days to indent the world with our beliefs, to find and create the beauty that only a finite existence allows for, to wrestle with the question of purpose and wrestle with our answers.
We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.
Most of the time, most people are not crying in public, but everyone is always in need of something that another person can give, be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to such needs. There are as many ways to do this as there are kinds of loneliness, but all of them require attentiveness, all of them require the hard work of emotional computation and corporeal compassion. All of them require the human processing of the only animal who risks “getting it wrong” and whose dreams provide shelters and vaccines and words to crying strangers.
We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.”—Jonathan Safran Foer, “How Not to Be Alone” (via whatokay)
“المدن رائحة: عكا رائحة اليود البحري والبهارات. حيفا رائحة الصنوبر والشراشف المجعلكة. موسكو رائحة الفودكا على الثلج. القاهرة رائحة المانجو والزنجبيل. بيروت رائحة الشمس والبحر والدخان والليمون. باريس رائحة الخبز الطازج والأجبان ومشتقات الفتنة. دمشق رائحة الياسمين والفواكة المجففة. تونس رائحة مسك الليل والملح. الرباط رائحة الحناء والبخور والعسل. وكل مدينة لا تُعرفُ من رائحتها لا يُعوَّل على ذكراها. وللمنافي رائحة مشتركة هي رائحة الحنين إلى ما عداها… رائحة تتذكر رائحة أخرى. رائحة متقطعة الأنفاس، عاطفيّة تقودك كخارطة سياحية كثيرة الاستعمال إلى رائحة المكان الأول. الرائحة ذاكرةٌ وغروب شمس. والغروب هنا توبيخ الجمال للغريب”—"Cities are smells: Acre is the smell of iodine and spices. Haifa is the smell of pine and wrinkled sheets. Moscow is the smell of vodka on ice. Cairo is the smell of mango and ginger. Beirut is the smell of the sun, sea, smoke, and lemons. Paris is the smell of fresh bread, cheese, and derivations of enchantment. Damascus is the smell of jasmine and dried fruit. Tunis is the smell of night musk and salt. Rabat is the smell of henna, incense and honey. A city that cannot be known by its smell is unreliable. Exiles have a shared smell: the smell of longing for something else; a smell that remembers another smell. A painting, nostalgic that guides you, like a worn tourist map, to the smell of the original place. A smell is a memory and a setting sun. Sunset, here, is beauty rebuking the stranger. But to love the sunset is not, as they say, one of the attributes of exile.” - Mahmoud Darwish, In the presence of Absence (via darksilenceinsuburbia)
“The issue of craft is the difference between good and great. When you go from good to great, there’s this element of delight and magic that has to happen in design… That’s where great design comes from — great design changes us. We smile, we laugh.”—
When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art.