We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.
~ John Pilger
Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
~ Bertrand Russell
Ask yourself: How much time do you spend just observing your surroundings? Driving or navigating while walking on busy streets doesn’t count. And how much time do you spend with your eyes glued to some type of screen? Most of your impressions of the world are mediated. They have been altered by someone else, who wants you to see things in a certain way — and they are usually trying to influence us for their own reasons. As a society, we seem to passively accept and even embrace this troubling condition of the electronic age.
Poet Theodore Roethke writes: “I wish I could find an event that meant as much as simple seeing.” I agree, and believe that the world itself is fascinating, deserving of our attention, and far more interesting than anything we might say about it — in any medium.
~ David Ulrich, Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.
~ Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride
“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
―Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
No water, no life. No blue, no green.
~ Sylvia Earle
When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.
~ Madeleine M. Kunin
The Moments You Have Lived
As essence turns to ocean,
the particles glisten.
Watch how in this candleflame instant
blaze all the moments you have lived.
I thought about how many elements it took to create the simplest of things – a pink sky an unusually perfect day, a happy family, a deep friendship, a moment of pure delight. I wondered, too, what it took to undo these things. It seemed to me that undoing something was far easier than creating it.
~ Aditi Khorana, The Library of Fates