The Anthropocene Reviewed
To fall in love with the world isn’t to ignore or overlook suffering, both human and otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel you mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry, to watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June… We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
Sendak ended that interview with the last words he ever said in public: “Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”
Here is my attempt to do so.
“Aesthetic beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see. From the quark to the supernova, the wonders do not cease. It is our attentiveness that is in short supply, our ability and willingness to do the work that awe requires.”
“It is fortunate that each generation does not comprehend its own ignorance.” (Charles Dudley Warner)
“What’s news isn’t primarily what is noteworthy or important, but what is new. So much of what actually changes in human life isn’t driven by events, but instead by processes, which often aren’t considered news. We don’t see much about climate change on CNN, unless a new report is published, nor do we see regular coverage of other ongoing crises, like child mortality or poverty.”
“In the alley, there is a bright pink flower peeking out through the asphalt. A) it looks like futility B) it looks like hope”
“Third things are essential to marriages, objects or practices or habits or arts or institutions or games or human beings that provide a site of joint rapture or contentment. Each member of a couple is separate; the two come together in double attention”
“The pleasure isn’t owning the person. The pleasure is this. Having another contender in the room with you”
“Our obsessive desire to make and have and do and say and go and get – six of the seven most common verbs in English – may ultimately steal away our ability to be, the most common verb in English.”