“She was gone, and all that was left was the space you’d grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence. For a long time, it remained hollow.”—Nicole Krauss, The History of Love (via sleepyhyung)
“The sky was made so clear that sometimes, at night, you can see the far blue edge of forever behind distant suns. Yet, nothing’s that clear here, and I’m sitting right next to you.”—Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You (via 4mbivalent)
“often she had seemed to herself to be moving among those vanished figures of old books and pictures, an invisible ghost among the living, better acquainted with them than with her own friends. she very nearly lost consciousness that she was a separate being, with a future of her own.”—Virginia Woolf, Night And Day (via mirroir)
Folding her arms and closing her eyes, Hatsumi sank back into the corner of the seat. Her small gold earrings caught the light as the taxi swayed. Her midnight blue dress seemed to have been made to match the darkness of the cab. Every now and then her thinly daubed, beautifully formed lips would quiver slightly as if she had caught herself on the verge of talking to herself. Watching her, I could see why Nagasawa had chosen her as his special companion. There were any number of women more beautiful than Hatsumi, and Nagasawa could have made any of them his. But Hatsumi had some quality that could send a tremor through your heart. It was nothing forceful. The power she exerted was a subtle thing, but it called forth deep resonances. I watched her all the way to Shibuya, and wondered, without ever finding an answer, what this emotional reverberation that I was feeling could be.
It finally hit me some dozen or so years later. I had come to Santa Fe to interview a painter and was sitting in a local pizza parlor, drinking beer and eating pizza and watching a miraculously beautiful sunset. Everything was soaked in brilliant red—my hand, the plate, the table, the world—as if some special kind of fruit juice had splashed down on everything. In the midst of this overwhelming sunset, the image of Hatsumi flashed into my mind, and in that moment I understood what that tremor of the heart had been. It was a kind of childhood longing that had always remained—and would forever remain—unfulfilled. I had forgotten the existence of such innocent, all-but-seared-in longing: forgotten for years to remember what such feelings had ever existed inside of me. What Hatsumi had stirred in me was a part of my very self that had long lain dormant. And when the realization struck me, it aroused such sorrow I almost burst into tears. She had been an absolutely special woman. Someone should have done something—anything—to save her.
But neither Nagasawa nor I could have managed that. As so many of those I knew had done, Hatsumi reached a certain stage in her life and decided—almost on the spur of the moment—to end it. Two years after Nagasawa left for Germany, she married, and two years after that she slashed her wrists with a razor blade.
It was Nagasawa, of course, who told me what had happened. His letter from Bonn said this: “Hatsumi’s death has extinguished something. This is unbearably sad and painful, even to me.” I ripped his letter to shreds and threw it away. I never wrote to him again.
“Photography is no different. Again, I don’t want to commercialize, commodify, or finance-ify (??) photography because there are MFAs up in here reading this wearing V-necks and Urban Outfitters cardigans, and they all just heavily sighed, but let’s be real here folks. Photographers provide a unique service: we need to be professionals at performing under pressure, not great situations, time crunches, bad light, rolling with the punches, and making awesome work through all of these obstacles. This means rising to the occasion and being very dependable at taking awesome, engaging, unique photographs under a range of situations beyond our control, even if the subject gives us only 5 minutes, even if we’re jetlagged, even if it’s dumping rain, even if the absolute fucking last thing we want to do is go out and make some photographs, we’ve gotta go out and perform.”—Jake Stangel (via dannybites)
“Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that’s when you get shooting stars.”—Vladimir Nabokov (via wordsonawhitescreen)
“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”—Albert Camus (via larmoyante)
But it seems to me that the enthusiasm for this current edition of bullshit is alarmingly intense. It’s not enough for people to merely assert their beliefs; instead they feel compelled to argue that the evidence is so insurmountable, the proof so indisputable, that it’s not even worth talking about any more. And I’ve seen that same kind of spectacularly misplaced confidence every time the subject comes up. Gender differences are a fact, get used to it, people insist, and you can almost hear the white knuckled scream. The earth revolves around the sun, E=mc2, and women evolved to be bad at math. It’s indisputable.
I’ll surprise no one here when I say that from a big-picture sociological perspective, I think this is a reaction to feminism. For men, it’s a reaction to the relative success of feminism, which has succeeded in threatening (though not dislodging) male privilege and in demanding (but not achieving) equal opportunity for women. The EPBS [evolutionary psychology bullshit] frees men from the guilt induced by feminism; it reassures them that that they’re at the top of the heap because of their innate qualities rather than because of male privilege; it lets them know that they don’t have to make any further concessions to women’s demands.
For women, it’s a reaction to the relative failure of feminism. Feminism teaches us that we have the right to live as full, free human beings, but our still-sexist society makes this impossible. That hurts. It’s painful as hell. And for those women who aren’t fully up on feminist analysis of how patriarchy works, the EPBS sings a soothing song: feminism was wrong, it was a lie, and the reason men won’t do the laundry or take care of the children or listen to you when you talk or give you a job or be faithful to you or treat you like a human being instead of a sex toy is because of evolution. That’s just how things are. You can’t change it, so there’s no point in worrying about it. Just give in. Get a labiaplasty, pick up the dirty socks yourself, look on the bright side. And smile more.
”—from the always fantastic Violet Socks on evolutionary psychology and its role in upholding sexist norms (via dorispavic)
“She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living or dying. After so many years running from fear, fleeing crazily, uselessly, she was finally coming to a halt. At the same time she seemed to be recovering her roots, and the sap rose anew in her body, which was no longer trembling. Pressing her whole belly against the parapet, leaning toward the wheeling sky, she was only waiting for her pounding heart to settle down, and for the silence to form in her. The last constellations of stars fell in bunches a little lower on the horizon of the desert, and stood motionless. Then, with an unbearable sweetness, the waters of the night began to fill her, submerging the cold, rising gradually to the center of her being, and overflowing wave upon wave to her moaning mouth. A moment later, the whole sky stretched out above her as she lay with her back against the cold earth.”—Albert Camus (via moldavia)