I haven’t posted an encouraging quote for awhile but I crossed paths with this one via Brain Pickings a couple of days ago and it seems eminently appropriate for the times we’re living in. To say the zeitgeist has been getting me down is an understatement. I keep coming back to the conviction that community, connection, and love is the only thing that can save me – us – from chaos and despair.
I have been saying it to myself in much less poetic and profound ways than Tennessee Williams does here, though. This is a beautifully wrapped reminder of what it means to be human.
About a year ago I saw a video from the 1979 World Disco Finals in my Facebook feed. During a period in which I was feeling increasingly disappointed in the human race, it cheered (and entertained) me immeasurably. So much so that I shared it on this blog.
The 1980 follow up was just brought to my attention, and it has likewise instilled in me fresh hope in the midst of deep worry and despair. Watch it, forget your cares, and fall back in love with living, guaranteed:
They may not attain the same heights of grandeur as the World Disco Finals, but here are some nevertheless interesting links to go into your weekend with:
Here are some U.S. museums that offer magical-sounding sleepovers.
Cambridge Dictionary made its choice for 2017 word of the year, and it depresses me.
22 over-the-top dramatic dining experiences around the world.
The New York Times rounded up the best recently released travel books.
A map that shows how long it takes an English speaker to learn the most popular languages in Europe.
A compendium of cool travel tattoos.
The 10 best American national parks to visit this winter.
A cartoon that I can relate to, and a pick-me-up for language learners.
Scientists are developing technology for languages about which linguists know nothing.
Through crowdsourcing, this website maps every record shop in the world.
Can you guess the world’s most Instagrammed places?
This “apology generator” skewers the language of statements by celebrity sexual predators (the site calls them pervs; i call them criminals).
A linguistic mystery solved, i.e. why French and Americans count building levels differently.
Have a good one!
I harbor a very strong fear of posting cheesy* motivational quotes by multi-millionaire self-help gurus on my blog, but since everything I want is on the other side of that fear, I’m doing it anyway.
*yet powerful, practical, and true
I’m not sure whether anxiety and depression are feelings, or mental states that keep you at a distance from your feelings. Regardless, a big old ball of anxiety tinged with despair has been hanging over me like that little Zoloft cloud lately, and every which way I’ve tried to fight it – or not fight it and simply get through it – has failed miserably…
…including posting this quote. Oh well. Maybe it’ll work for you.
(I don’t know whether this rightly belongs in the “inspiration and encouragement” category, but I don’t have one called “let’s all feel like shit together,” so it’ll have to do.)
I just finished the childhood classic, “The Wind in the Willows,” and though its thematic focus is on the comforts of home, of course the quote that called out to me is all about the pleasures of taking off.
(Photo under quote: Daniel Axelson)
I’m not at liberty to say how this quote applies to me but suffice it to say that it does, and that I love it, and that it has helped me immensely over the past couple of months. Paying it forward…
Happy hump day, people.
I made a decision this week that felt like a huge risk, moving me from a place of relative safety with no future, to a transitional (and incredible) next step without any security or commitment. Even though I feel 100% certain that I did the right thing, I’m still hugely anxious about opening the door to a world of unknowns.
It was in this context that, walking home last night, I stopped short at the sight of two humongous lines of text painted on a brownstone’s living room wall, which I spied through the curtain-less bay window (almost as though it were staged as a message for passersby). In bright white lettering against a dark blue background were the words:
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
It spoke to me in a visceral way – I was not exactly sure what it meant to me but my body responded immediately. I let out a noise halfway between a sob and an exclamation. I may have cocked my head to one side and nodded vehemently to no one in particular. I guess I just needed that affirmation that it’s okay to choose the less clear option when it nevertheless feels right. It’s empowering to think you can be confused and correct at the same time.
When I got home I looked up the line and found that the whole quote is even more apropos to my current situation:
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.
I love everything about that. It may just become my mantra for the next few months.
I’m sort of cheating since it’s 12:06 on Thursday morning, but let’s just pretend it’s not daylight savings time yet and it’s still hump day for another 54 minutes… Because it’s never too late to be the inspirational quote-poster I want to be.
Reminding myself to be a warrior today.
Today’s words of wisdom come from an unlikely source: my favorite anti-hero, Werner Herzog, who reminds us that life is violent and painful and that the times we’re living in are particularly banal and bleak. It’s very freeing, actually.
Unfortunately I cannot take credit for the inspired creation above. It comes from this Tumblr of Werner Herzog motivational posters. Best Internet discovery in years.
More brilliant madness by and about Werner Herzog, if you ever need a giggle:
One of my favorite pieces of writing, ever.
Continuing an interview after being shot by an air rifle.
Laugh out loud musings on adventure.