You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
My first several patients were what you might call textbook. As they shared their histories, I had no trouble making connections between their grievances and their upbringings. But soon I met a patient I’ll call Lizzie. Imagine a bright, attractive 20-something woman with strong friendships, a close family, and a deep sense of emptiness. She had come in, she told me, because she was “just not happy.” And what was so upsetting, she continued, was that she felt she had nothing to be unhappy about. She reported that she had “awesome” parents, two fabulous siblings, supportive friends, an excellent education, a cool job, good health, and a nice apartment. She had no family history of depression or anxiety. So why did she have trouble sleeping at night? Why was she so indecisive, afraid of making a mistake, unable to trust her instincts and stick to her choices? Why did she feel “less amazing” than her parents had always told her she was? Why did she feel “like there’s this hole inside” her? Why did she describe herself as feeling “adrift”?
This describes me all too well. The number one lesson I took from therapy was that, despite everything I’d been taught about being excellent, above-average, and special, what really matters in life is being ok with “good enough.”
Also, the buddha is always right. Desire (for happiness, for anything) is suffering. You want it, you get it…and you just want more. Our culture has an incredibly hard time tolerating longing and emptiness in this life. The closer we get to accepting these things as part of who we are, the closer we’ll get to peace.
I’ll tell you what else is ‘underrated’ apart from Elvis, Stereolab, and Radiohead: Rabbit stew. Actually Rabbit isn’t ‘underrated’ at all, rabbit is probably appreciated about as much as it deserves. It’s all right, it’s just not as nice as fillet steak. So, fucking rabbit stew. First things first. Off you go down to the bottom of the garden, to the wabbit hutch, where your five year old daughter’s beloved bunny wunny lives. Sorry Mr Flopsy Mopsy, but you had it coming.
Sadly these mushrooms are not magic. They are just some tired old mushrooms that you bought from the Costcutter. Anything but magic in fact. You see these mushrooms are Dawkins mushrooms. They are the enemy of anything poetic, they are rationalist mushrooms, not only do these Dawkins mushrooms know that God doesn’t exist, they are also happy about it. Worse still, these mushrooms have never listened to Hawkwind before.
If someone doesn’t offer Luke Haines a television cooking show, we have to seriously reevaluate our priories as a species.
Obviously, this guy and Steve Albini need to hang out.
An important question: Do female astronauts need to wear bras in space?
Update: This was a Q tackled in New Scientist, allegedly. One answer: “Your correspondent would not need a bra in zero gravity. She can experience for herself the shape her breasts would assume by swimming braless….
Boobs in space. This is relevant to my interests.
I think you mean: BOOOOOOOOBSSSS IIINNNNN SSSSPAAAAACCCE!!!!!!
No one ‘needs’ a bra. They serve no purpose other than to meet cultural norms that hate free happy boobs.
Bras can suck my dick.
Hate to be devil’s advocate, but with big flappy boobs like mine, a bra is definitely needed if I’m going to run, dance, or jump around a lot. Sometimes boobs flapping free can hurt!
Well, he's very popular! I'm in the minority here, not you. ;P His books just leave me absolutely cold.
And I have no problem with that—like I said, different strokes and all the rest. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but I was more upset that you said you’d judge people as being stupid for liking Murakami, which made me feel a little sad, since it was like you were calling me “stupid.” I really like your blog, and I was quite chuffed when you started following me. One of the reasons I like your blog, though, is due to your total lack of fear in posting your opinions and sticking to them, even if they’re unpopular.
“You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next
moment.”—Rainer Maria Rilke, You Who Never Arrived, Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 1913-1914 (via wonderfulambiguity)
Not many authors can boast of having written a best-selling pornographic novel, much less one regarded as an erotica classic—but Pauline Réage could. Make that Dominique Aury. No: Anne Desclos.
All three were the same woman, but for years the real name behind the incendiary work was among the best-kept secrets in the literary world. Forty years after the publication of the French novel Histoire d’O, the full truth was finally made public. Even then, some still considered it the most shocking book ever written. When the book came out, its purported author was “Pauline Réage,” widely believed to be a pseudonym. Although shocking for its graphic depictions of sadomasochism, the novel was admired for its reticent, even austere literary style. It went on to achieve worldwide success, selling millions of copies, and has never been out of print. This was no cheap potboiler. There was nothing clumsy, sloppy, or crude about it. Histoire d’O was awarded the distinguished Prix des Deux Magots, was adapted for film, and was translated into more than twenty languages.
“All unhappiness and stagnation result from a feeling that you are at the mercy of the world and the people in it. But what a joy it is, what a major shift to strength and power, when you no longer wait around for others to favor and love you, for others to flatter and reward you. Reward and flatter yourself, favor and love yourself.”—Kira Salak (via bavarde)