I want moonlight


Everywhere you look these days you see something on how to be happy — how to manifest abundance, desires and success, find your bliss. […]

Whatever happened to experiencing the grace of melancholy, which requires reflection: a sort of mental steeping, like tea? What if all this cheerful advice only makes you feel inadequate? What if you were born morose?

Melancholy, distinguished from grief, is not caused by events, like losing your job, the passing of beloved pets, your miscarriages or health problems. Nor does it vanish when you receive excellent news, like a big film star optioning your novel, or being invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Venice for the Biennale.

Melancholy is more … ephemeral.

It visits you like a mist, a vapor, a fog. It is generally uninvited. And as some people are born into royalty, wealth and prestige, others inherit a disposition for sadness. […]

Should melancholy descend, you may as well welcome it, wear your finest lounging outfit; give it your finest fainting couch or chaise to lounge in, or that hammock stretched between two elm trees. Let it settle in.


I want moonlight.

~ Laren Stover, A Case For Melancholy

Credits: Photo via Sweet Senderipity

Lift it. Lift it way up.


My mood suddenly lifted.
The day was crisp and bright,
the atmosphere quivering with life,
like the translucent strands of a rare aquatic species
with long, flowing tentacles,
lappets flowing vertically from a jellyfish’s bell.
Would that human energy could materialize in such a way.
I imagine such strands waving horizontally
from the edges of my black coat.

~ Patti Smith, M Train


Just do it.


Source: mennyfox55


A good trade.


In mid-November I flew to Madrid. […] In Cartagena we made a pit stop at a restaurant called Juanita. […] I was sitting at the bar, having lukewarm coffee and a bowl of marinated beans warmed in possibly the first microwave ever made, when I realized some guy had sidled up to me.

He opened a well-worn oxblood wallet to reveal a solitary lottery ticket with the number 46172. I didn’t get the feeling it was a winning number, but in the end I paid six euros for it, which was a lot for a lottery ticket. Then he sat down next to me, ordered a beer and a plate of cold meatballs, and paid for them with my euros. We ate together in silence. Then he got up, looked me straight in the face, and grinned, saying buena suerte. I smiled back and wished him luck as well.

It occurred to me that my ticket may be worthless, but I didn’t care. I was willingly drawn into the whole scene, like a random character in a B. Traven novel. Lucky or not, I went along with the part I was targeted to play: the pigeon who gets off a bus at a pit stop on the road to Cartagena, hit on to invest in a suspiciously limp lottery ticket. The way I look at it is that fate touches me and some rumpled straggler has a repast of meatballs and warm beer. He is happy, I feel at one with the world— a good trade.

~ Patti Smith, ‘Her Name was Sandy’ from the M Train


What Motivates a Modern Nun?


[…] Which provoked a question: What could lead a personable young woman from a happy family to give up everything — especially at a moment when women have never had as many opportunities before them?

It’s a reasonable question.

Yet amid the palpable jubilance of this jam-packed basilica, it is clear that this question is the wrong one. There are no sad sacks or martyrs on this altar today. These are happy, excited women. What is it they believe they have found?

Sister Bethany says it’s the “peace in your heart” that comes from knowing you are where you are meant to be. In this case it’s a place so countercultural, it’s almost un-American. For in a nation founded upon the God-given right to the pursuit of happiness, these sisters vow to put the happiness of others before their own. […]

~ William McGurn, What Motivates a Modern Nun?

Photo Source: Thank you Doug @ Eclecticitylight. Image from the 1947 film titled: “Black Narcissus


I fought the wolves of patience



I fought the wolves of patience
just to let it lie down.

See these waters they’ll pull you up,
Oh if you’re bolder than the darkness.
My my, let these songs be an instrument to cut,
Oh spaces ‘tween the happiness and the hardness […]

What we found
Down these roads that wander as lost as the heart,
Is a chance to breathe again, a chance for a fresh start…

~ Ben Howard, These Waters


This whole thing is not about heroism. It’s about decency.


Roger Cohen, NY Times: Mow The Law:

[…] I am less interested in the inspirational hero than I am in the myriad doers of everyday good who would shun the description heroic; less interested in the exhortation to “live your dream” than in the obligation to make a living wage.

In Camus’ book, “The Plague,” the doctor at the center of the novel, Bernard Rieux, battles pestilence day after day. It is a Sisyphean task. At one point he says, “I have to tell you this: This whole thing is not about heroism. It’s about decency. It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.”

Asked what decency is, he responds: “In general, I can’t say, but in my case I know that it consists of doing my job.” Later, he adds, “I don’t think I have any taste for heroism and sainthood. What interests me is to be a man.”

In the everyday task at hand, for woman or man, happiness lurks.

Don’t miss entire op-ed column by Roger Cohen, Mow The Law

Riding Metro-North. Pre-Game.


3:45 am, Tuesday morning.
I’m up.
Should be tired.
Not tired.
Body is saying “Go!”
Zeke stirs at my feet, and leans in.

Mental flotsam. But there it is again.

I jump in the shower.
I close my eyes, and linger in the sauna.

How do you know it isn’t?

I walk down the hall.
Behind door 1, Eric sleeps after a night out with friends.
Behind door 2, Rachel is wrapped under two comforters. She’s well into the final act of her dream.

You could be squarely in the middle of it, right now.

[Read more…]

Sunday Morning


~ Georges Perec, Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

Source: Invisible Stories


I like the list because it contains the seeds of its own undoing


My favorite passage in the book is a reprinting of Johnny Cash’s to-do list: “Not smoke. Kiss June. Not kiss anyone else. Cough. Pee. Eat. Not eat too much. ­Worry. Go see Mama. Practice piano.” I like the list because it contains the seeds of its own undoing. Habits have an eternal appeal because they remove the element of choice. They hold out the promise that in the future we can improve ourselves almost automatically just by moving through our days, like the evolved operating system in the Spike Jonze movie “Her.” But Johnny Cash understands that temptation is not a virus we can remove. His list isn’t linear, it’s circular. He will never turn into June. He will always be Johnny, and every day he will cough, pee and eat. Just as every day he will have to resist the urge to kiss someone else.

~ Hanna Rosin, Book Review of Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before”