bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art

When I want to feel at home I watch the trailer of the film Bright Star. It connects me so much with England, with Hampstead – and blue bells. The beauty of English blue bell woods reaching the horizon with their colour I didn’t know from Germany and in fact, saw them the first time in the film Bright Star where I couldn’t believe that they were quite real. The Blaue Blume – takes back to the German Romantic where it stands for longing which itself is just an unsatisfying translation for the wonderful German word Sehnsucht.

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats

…inside the peach there’s a stone

While he writes, I feel as if he is drawing me; or not drawing me, drawing on me – drawing on my skin – not with the pencil he is using, but with an old-fashioned goose pen, and not with the quill end but with the feather end. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings.

But underneath that is another feeling, a feeling of being wide-eyed awake and watchful. It’s like being wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, by a hand over your face, and you sit up with your heart going fast, and no one is there. And underneath that is another feeling still, a feeling like being torn open; not like a body of flesh, it is not painful as such, but like a peach; and not even torn open, but too ripe and splitting open of its own accord.

And inside the peach there’s a stone.

Margaret Atwood: Alias Grace

life bubbles

We’ll do a post-graduation career despair survey! Write down three things you can never hope to achieve! All you have to do is write down your three most impossible, hopeless future paths, and rank them from most hopeless to least hopeless (but still hopeless). / Uh…what should we do again…? Koji Kumeta: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. The power of negative thinking. Volume 1

she put on her good clothes

Once there was a girl and she loved a man. They had a date next to the eight street station of the sixth avenue subway. She put on her good clothes and a new hat. Somehow he could not come. So the purpose of this picture is to show how beautiful she was. I really mean that she was beautiful. Louise Bourgeois: He disappeared into complete silence

…and the executioner said

And the executioner said, “Thou dost not know who I am, I fancy? I strike bad people’s heads off; and I hear that my axe rings!” “Don’t strike my head off!” said Karen. “Then I can’t repent of my sins! But strike off my feet in the red shoes!” And then she confessed her entire sin, and the executioner struck off her feet with the red shoes, but the shoes danced away with the little feet across the field into the deep wood. And he carved out little wooden feet for her, and crutches, taught her the psalm criminals always sing; and she kissed the hand which had wielded the axe, and went over the heath. Hans Christian Andersen: The Red Shoes

the ring

Cities can be badly run, crime-infested, dirty and decaying. Yet many people think it worth living even in the worst of them. Why? Because, I would suggest, they have the potential to make us more complex human beings. A city is a place where people can learn to live with strangers, to enter into the experiences and interests of unfamiliar lives. Sameness stultifies the mind; diversity stimulates and expands it. The city can thus allow people to develop a richer, more complex sense of themselves. Richard Sennett: Cities Without Care Or Connection