La casa dell’artista, olio su tela di Umberto Moggioli, 1918
The Artist’s House, Oil on canvas, 1918
I saw this painting in July while in Venice. I love the light and the warmth that it radiates. I love how the mother and the daughter are working so attentively and yet are clearly enjoying each other’s company. There is a great sense of peace and comfort. There is also a great sense of welcome. The door is open and the table is set. Such beauty and simplicity.
sometimes there’s a crazy one in the street. he lifts his feet carefully as he walks. he ponders the mystery of his own anus. while the American dollar collapses against the German mark he’s thinking of Bette Davis and her old movies.
it’s good to bring thought to bear on things arcane and forbidden. if only we were crazy enough to be willing to ignore our mechanical and static perceptions we’d know that a half-filled coffee cup holds more secrets than, say, the Grand Canyon.
sometimes there’s a crazy one walking in the street. he slips past walks with a black crow on his shoulder is not worried about alarm clocks or approval.
however, almost everybody else is sane, knows the answers to all the unanswerable questions. we can park our automobiles carve a turkey with style and can laugh at every feeble joke.
the crazy ones only laugh when there is no reason to laugh.
in our world the sane are too numerous, too submissive.
we are instructed to live lives of boredom. no matter what we are doing – screwing or eating or playing or talking or climbing mountains or taking baths or flying to India we are numbed, sadly sane.
when you see a crazy one walking in the street honor him but leave him alone. stand out of the way. there’s no luck like that luck nothing else so perfect in the world let him walk untouched remember that Christ also was insane.
Because you know and I know that a song can save your life. We know that we don’t say it much, but it’s true. When you are dark and despairing a song comes and makes you weep as you think yes yes yes. When you are joyous a song comes to top off the moment and make you think the top of your head will fly off from sheer fizzing happy. A song makes you sob with sadness for such pain and loss as throbs inside the bars of the song. A song roars that we will not be defeated by murder but we will stand together and rise again, brothers and sisters! A song makes your heart stagger that you found someone to love with such an ache and pang. A song comes—how amazing and sweet and glorious that is! And this is not even to get into how amazing and miraculous music itself is, the greatest of all arts. But this evening, haunted by a song that slid out of the radio and lit up your heart, we pray in thanks that there are such fraught wild holy moments as this one. And so: amen.
when you think about how often it all goes wrong again and again you begin to look at the walls and yearn to stay inside because the streets are the same old movie and the heroes all end up like old movie heroes: fat ass, fat face and the brain of a lizard.
it’s no wonder that a wise man will climb a 10,000 foot mountain and sit there waiting living off of berry bush leaves rather than bet it all on two dimpled knees that surely won’t last a lifetime and 2 times out of 3 won’t remain even for one long night.
mountains are hard to climb. thus the walls are your friends. learn your walls.
what they have given us out there in the streets is something that even children get tired of.
stay within your walls. they are the truest love.
build where few others build. it’s the last way left.
your life is your life don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission. be on the watch. there are ways out. there is light somewhere. it may not be much light but it beats the darkness. be on the watch. the gods will offer you chances. know them. take them. you can’t beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes. and the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. your life is your life. know it while you have it. you are marvelous the gods wait to delight in you.
Said one oyster to a neighbouring oyster, “I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.”
And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, “Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”
At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, “Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbour bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty.”
And what, in fact, is dignity? In those Who have it pure, it is the soul’s repose, The base of character—no mere reserve That springs from pride, or want of mental nerve. The dignity that wealth, or station, breeds, Or in the breast on base emotion feeds, Is easy weighed, and easy to be sized—A bastard virtue, much to be despised.
True dignity is like a summer tree. Beneath whose shade both beast, and bird, and bee, When by the heated skies oppressed, may come, And feel, in its magnificence, at home; Or rather like a mountain which forgets Itself in its own greatness, and so lets Vast armies fuss and fight upon its sides, While high in clouds its peaceful summit hides, And from the voiceless crest of glistening snow, Pours trickling fatness on the fields below; Repellant force, that daunts obtrusive wrong, And woos the timid steps of right along; And hence a garb which magistrates prepare, When called to judge, and really seem to wear. In framing character on whate’er plan, ‘Tis always needed to complete the man, The job quite done, and Dignity without, Is like an apple pie, the fruit left out.