Archive for the 'quote of the day' Category

Quote of the day: VIRTUE

May 28, 2019


And yet, or just for this reason, it’s so fascinating to be a woman. It’s an adventure that takes such courage, a challenge that’s never boring. You’ll have so many things to engage you if you’re born a woman. To begin with, you’ll have to struggle to maintain that if God exists he might even be an old woman with white hair or a beautiful girl. Then you’ll have to struggle to explain that it wasn’t sin that was born on the day when Eve picked an apple, what was born that day was a splendid virtue called disobedience.

–Oriana Fallaci, Letter to a Child Never Born

Quote of the day: GRIEF

April 28, 2019


The playwright asked for the floor… But when McCraney talked, he didn’t talk about the play [Choir Boy] or the dialogue. Instead, he talked about grief. Casually, as though it were something that just came to his mind. He explained what it felt like to lose his mother at 22. He did not talk about how she died, and he hinted only a little at the complexity of their relationship; this address was not autobiographical. It was to do with emotions. McCraney described how grief lives in a person’s body, how it settles there. He explained its half-life, the unreliable nature of its decay. He talked about the phenomenon, when grieving a loved one, in which you begin to have memories of times after their death that you think they must have been present for. Remember when I won an Academy Award for my movie, and you were so proud? And then he talked about how things like that make you grieve their absence all over again, and how that grief catches you unawares, taking over your body when you least expect it. It sits in a small reservoir beneath your heart. It whispers to you at odd hours and yells at you in quiet ones.

–Carvell Wallace writing about Tarell Alvin McCraney in the New York Times

Quote of the Day: CONFIDENCE

March 16, 2019


Schumer has always been anchored by a core of confidence, as the photo here of her running naked across a park demonstrates. She said she always knew she would be famous and once gave back a $1 million book advance because she believed in herself and figured she would get more money when she was more famous in a few years. She was right…But what about those who lack this self-assurance, who can’t shake off the insults that women deal with every day online? Schumer pauses here. “I want to think on that,” she said: “How do you rise from that?” Less than a minute later, she returns to the question: “Therapy, meditation, weed.”

— Jason Zinoman, “Amy Schumer Doesn’t Care What You Think. Honest,” New York Times

photo by Heather Sten for the New York Times

Quote of the Day: BLUES

March 12, 2019


The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy, but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism.

–Ralph Ellison

Funny thing about the blues—you play ’em ’cause you got ’em. But, when you play ’em, you lose ’em.

–Buddy Guy

photo by Stefan Ruiz

Quote of the Day: WITNESS

March 10, 2019


To witness is to ignore as little as possible. Because a judgment so often impairs the ability to notice what doesn’t conform with it, the witness chooses for the time being to keep judgment at a distance.

If she watches a documentary about a singer’s alleged history of child abuse, she doesn’t fall back on the clichéd excuse that she couldn’t look away from it. She admits that she chose to look. Having chosen, she has a responsibility to herself to notice what she sees — the changing colors of the singer’s umbrellas as he goes each day into court, the leather chair in which the accuser sits before the camera.

It’s the thoughtless stare — agape, gawking, able to absorb only the most salacious aspects of the story — that leads to the quick high and nauseating crash of outrage. But the witness, by maintaining her sensitivity to these neutral details, and not only to the fraught allegations, breaks the habit of shaming and allows herself to fashion her own moral response.

Too often we may feel ourselves trapped in the jury box, but we put ourselves there, and we can choose instead to sit in the chair of the witness. Freed from the responsibility to deliver a verdict, our new role is to separate assumption from knowledge. Watching this way, whether on the page or on the street, releases us from the tyranny of our own estimations, even regarding people who have behaved in ways we might otherwise consider wicked.

It is a no less morally awake response than holding a person in judgment.

–Salvatore Scibona

illustration by Sarah Mazzetti

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