st. lit

Nobody speaks to me. People fall in love with me, and annoy me and distress me and flatter me and excite me and—and all that sort of thing. But no one speaks to me. I sometimes think that no one can. Can you?
—  Edna St. Vincent Millay, from a letter to Arthur Davison Ficke featured in Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Library of Nicholas II, tucked away in a corner of the Winter Palace which is now the home of the Государственный Эрмитаж.

This is my favourite room at the Hermitage – there are so many (many) opulent and beautiful rooms here, but this one is one of the smallest and quietest and, in a way, the most thoughtful and carefully crafted in its atmosphere.

Reveal yourself to yourself. Do not take refuge in a mirage. Do not take refuge–hell–even in your wildest, most private truth. To keep your dignity, you will first have to re-create it. Internalize it, vitalize it, tremble before it, sleep with it. You do not need to share it just yet. You merely need to feel it severely.
—  Edna St. Vincent Millay, from a diary entry featured in Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.
—  Anthon St. Maarten