When you have an emotion you are recruiting a variety of mechanisms that came in the long history of evolution, long before emotions arose, and those mechanisms all had to do with how an organism manages its life.
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.
I am angry that I starved my brain and that I sat shivering in my bed at night instead of dancing or reading poetry or eating ice cream or kissing a boy, or maybe a girl with gentle lips and strong hands. I’m learning how to be angry and sad and lonely and joyful and excited and afraid and happy. I am learning how to taste everything.
Underneath this city, there is another city, one more modern, more recent in its origin. Here, in these dark tunnels where pomegranates fall, all these thoughts fly around like moths, lured by light, by sweet smell of decay, trapping themselves by their own free choice in the confined space of their making: It can’t already be June, it can’t already be Monday, that’s what they say, that’s what people keep muttering to themselves this morning as they cradle the last of the sleep in their coffee cups, for the precious moments in which they huddle in themselves before they must sign off their lives to something they don’t believe in, to something they think they cannot escape from. As they rock in the rhythm of the train, someone thinks, A moth in spider’s nest, though she does not see the intricate weaving of the thin threads, ready to untangle between our fingers, snapping the threads. But it’s like this: It’s already June, I’m already 28 and I haven’t done anything, many are talking, comforting us in these minutes of our lives when we descend down to darkness, to darkness so dark that we are helpless, our bodies swaying left to right, left to right as if we’re rocking in prayer, but we are not praying. We’re boxed in the freight, we’re boxed in a subway car, this is the death train, but unlike them, forced away from their homes because of blood, we chose this train, we chose to be on it, we are boxed in, we’re as helpless, we tell ourselves, positioning ourselves to the gravity, the pull of the train. Our highest dreams thrown out like our last night’s dinner, a woman’s dream flies past, landing silently on the subway floor like the last note of an aria, I wish someone loved me, I wish He loved me, a thought so light it floats quietly down, hovers an inch or two above the floor, then lands, landing as someone steps on it. I wish somebody loved me, but I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough, she closes her thoughts from us, she looks down to the book on her lap, the thick one, heavy like her sadness, but she doesn’t stop her reading, the thick book stays where it is, the woman, though, reads so little, doesn’t really read, just daydreams, her hopes going where we are going, she stays where she is, on the seat across. We are all going somewhere we have to each day, pulled by the invisible strings, and we say, I can go no other place, this is where I belong. No, we go to places only if we must, but must is a habit, after all, we can go anywhere as long as we let ourselves, anywhere we want to, only if we want to, she can stretch her arms as if in flight, and leave, leave this train, this city…only if she wants to. We think there’s no way out, our lives guided by some invisible lines only fate has right to hold, right to control. But we are closer to grace, we are closer to where we were before we were born, before we forgot the songs, before we forgot the promises, we are closer to grace in the darkness of our own making, we are not of time—only if we let it, only if we let the watch unshackle us, but we forget, as we have forgotten, as soon as we open our eyes. Many are called and many do not hear.
Text reads: When you look at the kind of schooling that’s all about superior results and “raising the bar,” you tend to find a variety of unwelcome consequences: less interest in learning for its own sake, less willingness to take on challenging tasks (since the point is to produce good results, not to take intellectual risks), more superficial thinking … and more cheating. -Alfie Kohn (Feel-Bad Education)
Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor.
I don’t want to add elements to an album just to be part of the latest or hippest trend but which have no rotation to the underlying emotions or feelings of the lyric. I don’t want to do something just to make the songs more commercial. You need to maintain the integrity of each song.