“I see many people who disguise themselves. I know some people who say, “I’m an artist, I’m very creative, I’m different from ordinary people.” But I don’t believe those people. I like to see the strangeness or weirdness in ordinary people or ordinary scenery or ordinary, everyday life.”—Haruki Murakami (via theantidote)
“Well, the world’s a swirl of particles, isn’t it? Atoms, molecules temporarily vibrating and dancing to a certain frequency, which we are conditioned to perceive as solid forms, as “reality.” These forms, of course, are really vectors and vortexes of energy, conjurations, “charmed particles,” if you will, temporarily assuming shapes before being dispersed and dematerialized. On that level, certainly everything can and will be dematerialized, since the fate of the earth is eventual immolation by the sun, which will one day explode, dispersing everything that exists back to its original elements. The Tibetan Buddhists, the Navajo, the aborigines of Australia and many other cultures have made literal diagrams of this dispersal, which is the fate of all forms. And of course we humans are staring dematerialization in the face all the time, aren’t we? We hover on the edge of it. Life is a ghost-show, after all; we’re frail phantoms fluttering in the winds of time, soon to vanish.”—
“But while we are looking for the antidote or the medicine to cure us, that is, the new, which can only be found by plunging deep into the Unknown, we have to go on exploring sex, books, and travel, although we know that they lead us to the abyss, which as it happens, is the only place where the antidote can be found.”—Roberto Bolaño, from “Literature+Illness=Illness” (with thanks to theoreticalliving)
Inside everyone there are secret rooms. They’re cluttered and the lights are out. There’s a bed in which someone is lying with his face to the wall. In his head there are more rooms. In one, the venetian blinds shake in the approaching summer storm. Every once in a while an object on the table becomes visible: a broken compass, a pebble the color of midnight, an enlargement of a school photograph with a face in the back circled, a watch spring—each one of these items is a totem of the self. Every art is about the longing of One for the Other. Orphans that we are, we make our sibling kin out of everything we find. The labor of art is the slow and painful metamorphosis of the One into the Other.
“And people then say, ‘Well, what should be done?’ you know. The Tolstoian question, ‘What then should be done?’
Well I came up through the whole Berkeley thing in the sixties and all that and I’m very weary of hortatory political prescriptions for what should be done. I mean we saw that the best impulses in Marxism turn into the most horrifying, regimented, and totalitarian societies. Good will is not enough. So, what is to be done? I think the answer to this is not only ‘nothing’ but considerably less than nothing.[laughter] And what I mean by that is the real solutions to our problems lie in a series of negatives. Do not believe. Ideology has poisoned this planet. Ideology is bankrupt. It’s a skin game. It’s a shell game. It’s only for marks and Marx.
It is beneath your dignity as a body to get mixed up in ideology. I mean, after all, where is it writ large that talking monkeys should understand the nature of being anyway. So belief is an incredible cop-out on intellectual truth seeking. Because belief precludes believing in its opposite. And so this is a self-limitation. You become your own cop. (…) So deconditioning ourselves from belief. Some people call it cynicism. I call it good sense. I’m not a cynical person.”—Terence McKenna –Vertigo at History’s Edge (via levantine-chant)
“How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn’t, the wolves and blizzards would be at one’s throat all the sooner.”—David Mitchell, “Letters From Zedelghem,” Cloud Atlas
The longed-for is tiny, and tenuous as a syllable. In this it resembles us. In this it resembles what we’ve passed on and shucked off. Interminable as black water, Irreparable as dirt, It shadows our going forth and finds us, and then finds us out.
—Charles Wright, from “On Heaven Considered as What Will Cover Us and Stony Comforter” in A Short History of the Shadow (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002)
“As many truths as men. Occasionally, I glimpse a truer Truth, hiding in imperfect simulacrums of itself, but as I approach, it bestirs itself & moves deeper into the thorny swamp of dissent.”— David Mitchell. “The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing,” Cloud Atlas