Photo of Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust // "My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing."

Photo of James Baldwin and Nina Simone

James Baldwin (& Nina Simone) // "In order to have a conversation with someone, you must reveal yourself."

Photo of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac // "I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end... Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born. The world you see is just a movie in your mind. Rocks don’t see it. Bless and sit down. Forgive and forget. Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now. That’s the story. That’s the message. Nobody understands it, nobody listens, they’re all running around like chickens with heads cut off. I will try to teach it but it will be in vain, s’why I’ll end up in a shack praying and being cool and singing by my woodstove making pancakes."

Photo of James Baldwin

James Baldwin // "No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time."

Photo of Jean Renoir

Jean Renoir // "All technical refinements discourage me. Perfect photography, larger screens, hi-fi sound, all make it possible for mediocrities slavishly to reproduce nature; and this reproduction bores me. What interests me is the interpretation of life by an artist. The personality of the filmmaker interests me more than the copy of an object."

Photo of Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson // "I am not a quitter. I will fight until I drop. It is just a matter of having some faith in the fact that as long as you are able to draw breath in the universe, you have a chance."

Photo of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo // "Everyone’s opinions about things change over time. Nothing is constant. Everything changes. And to hold onto some dogged idea forever is a little rigid and maybe naive."

Photo of Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Tarkovsky // "Art should be there to remind man that he is a spiritual being, that he is part of an infinitely larger spirit to which he will return in the end. If he’s interested in these questions, if he simply asks himself these questions, he’s already saved spiritually. It’s not the answer that’s important. I know that from the moment man begins asking the questions he will be unable to live as he has before."

Photo of Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman // "The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the put things down without deliberation...without worrying about their style...without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote, wrote, wrote… By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught."

Photo of William Klein

William Klein // "Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work."

Photo of Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski // "The young poets send their works to me, usually 3 or 4 very short poems. Some are fairly succinct, but they all lack the texture of madness and gamble, the inventiveness of the wild and trapped. There is a comfort there which disconcerts. Then there is the work of the street poets. Being on the skids, they should have some life advantages, they should not be debilitated by pretense. But they are full of it. Most of their output is about how they are not recognized, that the game is fixed, that they are truly the great ones and they go on about that, while writing little of anything else. Each week one or two little packets arrive from either the street poets or the comfortable poets. Kindness does not work with either type. Any response to their work begets more work plus their long letters expounding against the fates as if nobody but themselves ever had to deal with them. And if you fail to respond to that, in most cases, there will be follow-up letters which rail against your inhumanity: you too are against them, and, fuck you, buddy, you’ve lost it, you never had it, fuck you! I am not an editor. I never mailed my work to anybody but an editor. I never read my work to wives or girlfriends. These poets believe it’s all politics, an in-game, that some word from you will enable them to become renowned and famous. And that’s what they want. All that. And only that. The packets of poems keep arriving. If I were an editor I’d have to reject all of them. But I’m not. I write poems too. And when some of them come back and I reread them I usually feel that they should have come back. What you do is dig out and in, beat that keyboard so it yells and sings and laughs so well that the fix gets unfixed, that the god damned miracle arrives struck across the paper as you get up and walk across the room, your head buzzing, your guts wanting to fly through the ceiling. It’s the best fight, the last fight, the only one."

Photo of Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders // "The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment. That’s what I mean by democratic socialism. So the next time you hear me attacked as a tomorrow...remember this: I don't believe that government should take over the grocery store down the street or control the means of production. But I believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal."