I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don’t think it’s a privilege or an indulgence, it’s not even a quest. I think it’s almost like knowledge, which is to say, it’s what we were born for. I think finding, incorporating and then representing beauty is what humans do. With or without authorities telling us what it is, I think it would exist in any case. The startle and the wonder of being in this place. This overwhelming beauty—some of it is natural, some of it is man-made, some of it is casual, some of it is a mere glance—is an absolute necessity. I don’t think we can do without it anymore than we can do without dreams or oxygen.
∆ Toni Morrison, Paris Review interview
“True knowledge means to be empty; empty of identity and belief in and attachment to psychological conditioning. There is a great space and silence here in the emptiness. A great intelligence looks out from that space as the unfathomable Self. You are one with this One. This unity is love and Truth.”
Marie Antoinette was a late riser who liked to have a lie-in after coming back from the delights of Paris in the early hours of the morning. She would lounge in bed with her breakfast of Austrian pastries and hot chocolate infused with cinnamon, dreamily sticking pins in her wardrobe book to select the day’s clothes. Finally she would roll out of bed and head off to have her daily bath, which was a concoction of sweet almonds, marshmallow root, and candy paste that made her smell like fresh baked cookies.
∆ Marie Antoinette: An Intimate History by Melanie Clegg