"So much out there in the world, and here in my home, is tactilely monotonous. Floors, walls, surfaces—all tyrannies of uniform texture. It turns out that our mental health demands forests, mountains, valleys, flowers, animals, waterfalls, and crashing waves! Be it a rug that’s also a work of art or cheapo, freebie swag, we need to populate our environments. We need a mess, a storm, a cacophony."
There’s a balance in a workspace between chaos and order. My friend John T. Unger has the perfect rule: Keep your tools organized and your materials messy. “Keep your tools very organized so you can find them,” he says. “Let the materials cross-pollinate in a mess. Some pieces of art I made were utter happenstance, where a couple items came together in a pile and the piece was mostly done. But if you can’t lay your hands right on the tool you need, you can blow a day (or your enthusiasm and inspiration) seeking it.”
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.
— Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files Issue #103
"I ventured into zeroland because I was simply responding to the potential latent in a set of questions - the questions of modernism. I'm really interested in them. Without getting into a religious sort of zeal, or anything, I really think - I don't think modernism was an accident. I think it was an absolutely necessary development of civilization. I think that ultimately constitutes the next level. Not the final one, but we are moving toward another level of sophistication, in which we still employ all the previous sophistications. Because that's the critical thing about modernism: it's not a rejection of other ideas; it's simply an extension, an expansion, a compounding toward a greater complexity."
Rather, the ground was being heightened, was suddenly being attended to with all the focus previously reserved for the figure alone. The focus - the allowance for complexity - was being widened. - L.W.
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.
∆ Louise Glück, from “Nostos” in Meadowlands