ms.hooper muses

theparisreview:

“I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t understand what I understand, were it not for certain books. I’m thinking of the great question of nineteenth-century Russian literature: how should one live? A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.”
—Susan Sontag, born today in 1933.

theparisreview:

“I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t understand what I understand, were it not for certain books. I’m thinking of the great question of nineteenth-century Russian literature: how should one live? A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.”

Susan Sontag, born today in 1933.

(via thesearethethoughts)

Keith Jarrett

—Falling In Love With Love

literaryjukebox:

He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of loving each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.

Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude

Song: “Falling in Love with Love” by Keith Jarrett

I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.

—Charles de Lint (via light-essence)

(via catherinewillis)


In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy British and European lovers exchanged eye miniatures, love tokens that captured the gaze of the recipients significant other. They were worn on the lapel as to be close to the heart.
Less than 1,000 are thought to exist, often both the owner of the piece and the subject within it are never identified.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy British and European lovers exchanged eye miniatures, love tokens that captured the gaze of the recipients significant other. They were worn on the lapel as to be close to the heart.

Less than 1,000 are thought to exist, often both the owner of the piece and the subject within it are never identified.

(Source: nzafro, via catherinewillis)

thesearethethoughts:

ANTILAMENTATION by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,b
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it.
Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

(x)

The World’s First Pictures of Snowflakes

What you see above are not drawings. They are the first pictures of snowflakes ever taken. An ambitious young man with a camera and microscope wanted to show the world just how unique snowflakes are, and he did. He became to be known as “The Snowflake Man”.

In 1885 at the age of 20, Wilson Bentley was a farmer and a self-taught photographer who lived his entire life in the small town of Jericho in Vermont. He gave the world its first ever photograph of a snowflake. Bentley captured over 5,000 snowflakes, or more correctly snow crystals, on film. Despite the fact that he rarely left Jericho, thousands of Americans knew him as “The Snowflake Man” or simply “Snowflake Bentley”. Our belief that no two snowflakes are alike is true and was proved by Bentley’s work. The expression stems from a line in a 1925 report in which he remarked, “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost.”

It started with a microscope his mother gave him at the age 15 which opened up the world of the very small to young Wilson. A lover of winter, he made plans to use his microscope to view snowflakes. His initial investigations proved both fascinating and frustrating as he tried to observe the short-lived flakes. Wanting to share his discoveries, he began by sketching what he saw, accumulating several hundred sketches by his 17th birthday. When his father purchased a camera for his son, Wilson combined it with his microscope, and he went on to make his first successful photo micrograph of a snow crystal on January 15, 1885.

via odditiesoflife

(Source: odditiesoflife, via catherinewillis)

Buddhism holds that everything is in a constant state of flux. Thus the question is whether we are to accept change passively and be swept away by it or whether we are to take the lead and create positive changes on our own initiative. While conservatism and self-protection might be likened to winter, night and death, the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize ideals evokes images of spring, morning and birth.

21st December: Daily Encouragement

Daisaku Ikeda

(via dailyfaithpracticestudy-nmhrk)