John Prine // "There’s life, and there’s death; there’s not much in between. You fall in love, you’re trapped inside these bodies, the clock goes around, and before you know it...it’s time to go."
Bob Dylan // "And it dawned on me that I might have to change my inner thought patterns...that I would have to start believing in possibilities that I wouldn't have allowed before, that I had been closing my creativity down to a very narrow, controllable scale...that things had become too familiar and I might have to disorient myself."
Kurt Vonnegut // "I've often thought there ought to be a manual to hand to little kids, telling them what kind of planet they're on, why they don't fall off it, how much time they've probably got here... I didn't learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn't a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society... It means we don't have to continue this way if we don't like it."
Pablo Picasso // "What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who only has eyes if he's a painter, ears if he's a musician...or even, if he's a boxer, only some muscles? Quite the contrary, he is...a political being, constantly alert to the heartbreaking, passionate or delightful events in the world, shaping himself completely in their image... No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war, an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy."
Patti Smith // "Sometimes you're doing really well, then, after three or four years, everything inexplicably crashes like a house of cards and you have to rebuild it. It's not like you get to a point where you're all right for the rest of your life."
Arundhati Roy // "Who can look at anything any more...a door handle, a cardboard carton, a bag of vegetables...without imagining it swarming with those unseeable, undead, unliving blobs...waiting to fasten themselves on to our lungs?... Who among us is not a quack epidemiologist, virologist, statistician and prophet? Which scientist or doctor is not secretly praying for a miracle? Which priest is not...secretly, at least...submitting to science? The virus has...struck hardest, thus far, in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt... The mandarins who are managing this pandemic are fond of speaking of war... But if it really were a war, then who would be better prepared than the US? If it were not masks and gloves that its frontline soldiers needed, but guns, smart bombs...fighter jets and nuclear bombs, would there be a shortage?... The tragedy is immediate, real, epic and unfolding before our eyes. But it isn’t new. It is the wreckage of a train that has been careening down the track for years... What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus, yes. In and of itself it holds no moral brief. But it is definitely more than a virus... It has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to 'normality', trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it."
Bill Withers // "I've always been serious that way, trying to evolve to a more conscious state. Funny thing about that, though. You tweak yourself, looking for more love, less lust, more compassion, less jealousy. You keep tweaking, keep adjusting those knobs until you can no longer find the original settings. In some sense, the original settings are exactly what I'm looking for...a return to the easygoing guy I was before my world got complicated, the nice guy who took things as they came and laughed so hard the blues would blow away in the summer wind."
Paul Newman // "I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried...tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out."
Anton Chekhov // "Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be."