Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Serve the Library, I Must Recommend a Book Once in a While

Just once, consider sitting back and reading "A Natural History of the Senses" by Diane Ackerman. Every time I curled up on the couch with this book, it was like my soul took a deep breath and said, "Ah, life is so full of delight and strangeness and mystery and impressions. And people are so perplexingly perfect." (Well, except that lady who yelled at me today)

Here are some of my favorite quotes that caused me to laugh, sigh, wonder.

On education and being the artist of your own life:

Rimbauld... claimed that the only way an artist can arrive at life's truths is by experiencing "every form of love, of suffering, of madness," to be prepared for by "a long immense planned disordering of all the senses."

(This is kind of how I feel when I drive to work every day in rush hour traffic)

On courting the muse of inspiration:

...Best not to tell them how the painter J.M.W. Turner liked to be lashed to the mast of a ship and taken sailing during a real hell-for-leather storm so that he could be right in the middle of the tumult.

(Why does that sound kind of fun to me?)

On our connection to the Earth:

In REM sleep, our brain waves range between eight and thirteen hertz, a frequency at which flickering light can trigger epileptic seizures. The tremulous earth quivers gently at around ten hertz. So, in our deepest sleep, we enter synchrony with the trembling of the earth. Dreaming, we become the Earth's dream.

So many of our perceptions would change, I think, if we understood our continuing attachment to the areas in and around us and scientists are still discovering ways in which these profoundly affect us. Not that I understand all of this, mind you, but it is interesting.

And now, I think I will go light up some lavender oil, and savor my ability to smell... not one of the lesser pleasures in life.

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