“The way human beings speak is so heartbreaking to me—we never sound the way we want to sound. We’re always stopping ourselves in mid–sentence because we’re so terrified of saying the wrong thing. Speaking is a kind of misery. And I guess I comfort myself by finding the rhythms and accidental poetry in everyone’s inadequate attempts to articulate their thoughts. We’re all sort of quietly suffering as we go about our days, trying and failing to communicate to other people what we want and what we believe.”
“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened every day and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breath in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.”
“Where does vision take place? It is an age-old question. Is everything mind or is everything not mind? It is interesting to think that everything we see might be only an aspect of the mind. Sometimes I actually experience this: turning my head to look around, I realize that what I’m seeing is just an image field shifting, an aspect of my own brain. But then I can experience the opposite and say no, the world is really out there and I’m here looking at it. It’s really there and is not dependent on my seeing it.
But beyond these two extremes is our normal daily experience. We simply see. We cannot describe it but only experience it. Film, insofar as it replicates our experience of vision, presents us with the tools to touch on and elucidate that experience. Viewing a film had tremendous mystical implications; it can be, at its best, a way of approaching and manifesting the ineffable. The respect for the ineffable is an essential aspect of devotion.”
“In her theoretical writings, she contrasts identity and ‘entity’ and describes that two as contradictory modes of being. Entity—the stuff of masterpieces and creative genius—she defines as ‘a thing in itself,’ free of contingency, circumstance, and chronological time. Identity, on the other hand, she characterized as resemblance and relation, the mere ‘clothing’ of the human mind. ‘Identity is recognition,’ she writes in her essay ‘What Are Masterpieces And Why Are There So Few Of Them,’ ‘you know who you are because you and others remember anything about yourself… I am I because my little dog knows me’ (WAM, 84). Identity, for Stein, is thus an awareness of self as mediated by the retrospection of memory or the recognition of others. And because identity is relational—continent upon time, memory, and others—rather than immediate, Stein claims it interferes with pure subjectivity needed for artistic creation.”