Photo of Joan Didion

Joan Didion // "Self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself; no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. One shuffles flashily but in vain through ones’ marked cards the kindness done for the wrong reason, the apparent triumph which involved no real effort, the seemingly heroic act into which one had been shamed. The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others... However long we postpone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously uncomfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves... Self-respect...has nothing to do with the face of things, but concerns instead a separate peace, a private reconciliation... People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve... Self-respect is...a certain discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, comforts.... Self-respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth."

Photo of John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes // "The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to... As an artist, I feel that we must try many things...but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be be willing to risk really express it all."

Photo of Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick // "If you really want to communicate something, even if it’s just an emotion or an attitude, let alone an idea, the least effective and least enjoyable way is directly. It only goes in about an inch. But if you can get people to the point where they have to think a moment what it is you’re getting at, and then discover it, the thrill of discovery goes right through the heart."

Photo of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan // "My hangup was that I used to try to define beauty. Now I take it as it is, however it is. That’s why I like Hemingway. I don’t read much. Usually I read what people put in my hands. But I do read Hemingway. He didn’t have to use adjectives. He didn’t really have to define what he was saying. He just said it. I can’t do that yet, but that’s what I want to be able to do."

Photo of Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog // "I'm trying to find these rare moments where you feel completely illuminated. Facts never illuminate you. The phone directory of Manhattan doesn't illuminate you, although it has factually correct entries, millions of them. But these rare moments of illumination that you find when you read a great poem, you instantly know. You instantly feel this spark of illumination. You are almost stepping outside of yourself and you see something sublime."

Photo of Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki // "It’s sunnier today. The world is as beautiful as ever."

Photo of Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell // "Keep a good heart. That's the most important thing in life. It's not how much money you make or what you can acquire. The art of it is to keep a good heart."

Photo of Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White // "There are many times in my life, when I could’ve thrown in the towel. Many times in my life when I was on the floor...when you’re on the floor, never allow anybody to pick you up. It doesn’t matter how long you stay there, make sure you pick yourself up and dust yourself take the knowledge from the experience and you grow."

Photo of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway // "This looking and not seeing things was a great sin, I thought, and one that was easy to fall into. It was always the beginning of something bad and I thought that we did not deserve to live in the world if we did not see it."

Photo of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac // "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

Photo of Angela Davis

Angela Davis // "I think that now we’re thinking deeply about the connection between interior life and what happens in the social world... Self-care and healing and attention to the body and the spiritual dimension...the process of living the way we want to live in the future. Embodying it. We have to imagine the kind of society we want to inhabit. We can’t simply assume that somehow, magically, we’re going to create a new society in which there will be new human beings. No, we have to begin that process of creating the society we want to inhabit right now... For a long time, activists did not necessarily think that it mattered to take care of themselves; in terms of what they eat, in terms of mental self care, spiritual self care… Personally, I started practicing yoga and meditation when I was in jail. But it was more of an individual practice; later I had to recognize the importance of emphasising the collective character of that work."

Photo of Ernst Haas

Ernst Haas // "If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?"