“I dream of a collaboration that would finally be total, in which the librettist would often think as a composer and the composer as a librettist. The result of this union would be, not the fortuitous result of a series of approximations and concessions, but the harmonious synthesis of two aspects of a single thought.”—Jacques Ibert
“My intention here is to make it clear that not a single cell of my composition, here in regard to The Raven, is found by chance or intuition, that the composition moved towards perfection with the precision and inevitability of a mathematical equation.”—Maurice Ravel
“Take a sound from whatever source, a note on a violin, a scream, a moan, a creaking door, and there is always this symmetry between the sound basis, which is complex and has numerous characteristics which emerge through a process of comparison within our perception.”—Pierre Schaeffer
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”—Norman Maclean (via xeusm)
Physics says: Go to sleep. Of course you’re tired. Every atom in you has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes nonstop from mitosis to now. Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: It will be all right. Slow inch by inch America is giving itself to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch. You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: The sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: On rainbow-fish and little gazelle,
Psychology says: But first it has to be night, so
Biology says: The body-clocks are stopped all over town and
History says: Here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
“The moon’s blue, we know you want secrets, help, advice,
news from this side. Our truth is: Forget likenesses,
live inside your carbon soul, the moon’s black and blue,
in the soul’s time the world’s one winter together.”—W. S. Di Piero, from “Saint Francis of Assisi” (via proustitute)
The night, sounding like the cool cave of a shell — Stay, she whispers, slipping like a tide through the tunnel of my ear. Stay and listen… I will tell you the secrets of my stories, and the stories of my secrets. Stay and listen in my cupped hands, hear my voice blow to you the hollows of rocks and sand, clouds and lakes, thunder and bone. Come, sit a while in the folds of my curtains. Stay and listen.
“Everyone knows that the moon started out
as a renegade fragment of the sun, a solar
flare that fled that hellish furnace
and congealed into a flat frozen pond suspended
between the planets. But did you know
that anger began as music, played
too often and too loudly by drunken performers
at weddings and garden parties? Or that turtles
evolved from knuckles, ice from tears, and darkness
from misunderstanding? As for the dominant
thesis regarding the origin of love, I
abstain from comment, nor will I allow
myself to address the idea that dance
began as a kiss, that happiness was
an accidental import from Spain, that the ancient
game of jump-the-fire gave rise
to politics. But I will confess
that I began as an astronomer—a liking
for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things,
a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit—
and that my longing for you has not taken me
very far from that original desire
to inscribe a comet’s orbit around the walls
of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars.”—Troy Jollimore, The Origins of Things
What people actually refer to as the small things in life are actually just the opposite. Things like money and material things are the small things in life. So, enjoy the amazing things in life. Enjoy the ocean, the stars and the fact that you are actually alive and lucky enough to witness them.
“Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose— no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow’s beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating—who knows, if only by the identity of the law—the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.”—Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“I threw thousands of bell-towers
Into my icy Neva,
And since that night I am known everywhere
As the queen of insomnia.”—Anna Akhmatova, a fragment from 1959, trans. Judith Hemschemeyer (via proustitute)
“To him the stars seemed like so many musical notes affixed to the sky, just waiting for somebody to unfasten them. Someday the sky would be emptied, but by then the earth would be a constellation of musical scores”—Machado De Assis (via freins)