Archive for the 'quote of the day' Category

Quote of the Day: FLORIDA

May 1, 2017

FLORIDA

I just got back from the Florida Panhandle, near Pensacola, and to me it was something like poetry. On the one hand, the reality of the Arby’s and the parking lots and the tattoo parlors and the clam shacks. One hundred feet away, on the other hand, was the beach, the impossible sugar-white sand, and the turquoise, crystal-clear ocean. It was spring break and I know that, a block away, a sophomore named Nancy from Tallahassee was vomiting under a Ferris wheel, and some other kid named Todd was jumping off the balcony of his third-floor room into the hotel swimming pool, and the ambulance was already on its way, and the blue blue ocean was minding its own eternal business. That catches the coexistence of the sacred and profane, which makes the world and makes poetry too. That juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness, of the precious and the appalling, is really important to my poetry. It’s a description of the world, and, to me, also a description of human nature, of psychological reality.

–Tony Hoagland

Quote of the day: SONGWRITING

April 27, 2017

SONGWRITING

There’s this sadness about [Katy Perry’s hit song “Teenage Dream”], where you feel young listening to it, but you feel impermanence at the same time. When I put that song on, I’m as moved as I am by anything by David Bowie, by Fleetwood Mac, by Neil Young. It lets you feel something you didn’t know you needed to feel. There’s something holy about it.

–Lorde, interviewed by Jonah Weiner in the New York Times Magazine

Quote of the day: NAMES

April 16, 2017

Quote of the day: COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN

April 15, 2017

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN

“Email, Texts, and Negative Escalation”

In our contemporary time, email and texts are so often the source for tragic separations of potentially enriching relationships. First of all, email and text are both unidirectional and don’t allow for return information to enhance or transform comprehension. We must speak to each other, especially when events or feelings are fraught. I wish that all the people of the industrial world would sign a pledge that any negative exchange that is created on email or text must be followed by a live, in-person conversation. And clearly we have a responsibility to encourage our friends and colleagues to not make negative judgments based on email or texts. So many relationships are ruined by the artificial nature of these obstructive walls, especially when one party makes a negative power-play by refusing to speak to the other in person. They then create the false problem of whether or not the two conflicted parties will speak at all, which makes addressing and progressing to the real source of anxiety impossible. Refusing to communicate has always been one of the main causes of false accusation as it guarantees negative fantasy about the other, especially in arenas that are particularly loaded like sexuality, love, community, family, materiality, group identification, gender, power, access, and violence. Email and texts don’t allow us to go through the human phases of feeling that occur when we actually communicate face to face.

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Email creates repression and anxiety. No one is seen and no one is affirmed. The only way to recreate the normal human cycle of response is to send even more short emails or texts in a row, each with an evolved position. The next one assures you that I understand, as I am afraid that you are misconstruing me. And the final one wishes you a good trip. And, sadly, I have only made it all worse by now being in the arena of what I know is going to be simplistically called “too much” when in reality it is frankly and literally not enough. Five texts are culturally stigmatized as excessive, but they only cover a minute or two of conversation. And people need interactive conversations, even short ones, in order to understand each other.

Most Americans have cell phones now. They can return phone calls on the walk from the subway station to their apartment buildings, from the car to the mall. There is no reason why people do not return phone calls except for the power-play of not answering. It certainly does not save time. It is tragic that we have evolved a social custom that people need to email in order to ask for permission to make a phone call. Just call! Emailing to ask for permission to speak privileges the rage, Supremacy, and Trauma of withholding over the human responsibility to communicate and understand. I say, let’s get back to the first one hundred years of telephone culture, where people looked up each other’s numbers and called. The now “forbidden” ten-to-twenty-minute phone conversation could save the subsequent months or years of misplaced bad feeling. All this terrible loss, for nothing.

–Sarah Schulman, Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair

Quote of the day: DETOX

March 26, 2017

DETOX

A sick psyche is a closed system, like a lake infested with algae because the circulation of water is cut off. A healthy psyche is permeable, mutable, and liable to change and exchange, feeding on what supports life. Like all such systems, psychological health depends on the capacity to endure, which is the definition of sustainability. That capacity is enhanced whenever there is pleasure.

A horse won’t drink polluted water and will walk long distances to find another water hole; but a closed, sick psyche has lost that instinct, which explains why giving good advice inevitably fails with individuals who have come more or less adapted to toxic relationships. Their unsustainable relationships are the invested lake they call home.

An algae does not have the capacity to move out of the lake while a human does but before that person can move away from toxicity, the instinct that prevents the horse from drinking polluted water has to be reactivated. This is one way of describing the goal of psychotherapy; I like to imagine our lifelong quest for wisdom as a continuous process of detoxification, a moving away from situations and relationships that can’t support life.

–Ginette Paris

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