…although people get paid to do their jobs, you cannot pay someone to do their job passionately and wholeheartedly. Those qualities are not for sale; they are themselves gifts that can only be given freely, and are in many, many fields.
REBECCA SOLNIT, The Faraway Nearby. Viking. p. 120
CITY PARK LIBRARY OPENS JULY 15
My new library project. Opening this month.
Art has to be a kind of confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people. This has happened to every one of us, I’m sure. You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discovered it happened 100 years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that they are alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important. Most of us, no matter what we say, are walking in the dark, whistling in the dark. Nobody knows what is going to happen to them from one moment to the next, or how one will bear it. This is irreducible. And it’s true for everybody. Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. They have to disturb the peace. Otherwise, chaos.
JAMES BALDWIN [in an interview in 1961] via
If “almost nothing ever happens” in a Charles Wright poem, as the poet David Baker once put it (admiringly), such moments of vision can contain the whole universe. “When you’re really going, everything you see feeds into your grinder,” Mr. Wright said. “You’re alive to everything around you.”
Charles Wright Named America’s Poet Laureate – NYTimes.com
It’s like traveling. The more you think about your next trip, the more excited you get. You have a list of places you’re supposed to visit and within the first hour at your new destination, you find something else and you miss everything else on your list. But you’re there because you had a plan. The failed plan is the reason why you started the journey in the first place.
Andrés Neuman [via]