Men don’t even ask me out. I can’t remember the last time I was asked out on a date, and I’m talking years here. I spend my life more and more alone.
The hardest thing over the years has been having the courage to go against the dominant wisdom of the time, to have a view that is at variance with the present consensus and bet that view.
If you see a wonderful archaic Greek marble object in a museum, it’s not only that it’s beautiful, but what comes to your mind is the fact that it’s 2,600 or so years old, and it was done by a human being at that time who you have such a limited ability to grasp – and yet you have this enormous ability to grasp.
Our purpose is to provide you the way to the answer within that alone can fill the meaningless void. The way to the way is inward, where salvation has awaited your coming for 2000 years.
The conventional wisdom in our business is that you have to grow and keep moving to survive. We never grew, always stayed tiny, and it serves us very well over the years, allowing us to pick and choose projects, and keeping our financial independence from our clients. We actually have a rather good track record, because we do select projects carefully. Most of our ideas don’t eat dust but glimpse the light of day because we find it much more helpful to spend some serious time and effort before we start working on a project, rather than suffer through it afterwards.
I myself am doing a full year of experiments every seven years, but I’m sure many other divisions are possible, depending on the field, the possibilities, and personal preferences. One hour a day or a day a week.
Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years.
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them under and let me work- I am the grass; I cover all. And pile them high at Gettysburg. And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun. Shovel them under and let me work. Two years, ten years,and passengers ask the conductor- What place is this? Where are we now? I am the grass. Let me work.
The peace of great books be for you, <br>Stains of pressed clover leaves on pages, <br>Bleach of the light of years held in leather.
I can remember only a few of the strange and curious words now dead but living and spoken by the English people a thousand years ago.
I wrote poems in my corner of the Brooks Street station. I sent them to two editors who rejected them right off. I read those letters of rejection years later and I agreed with those editors.
I was up day and night with Lincoln for years. I couldn’t have picked a better companion.
I have in later years taken to Euclid, Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, in an elemental way.
I came to the realization that I started dating my now-wife junior year of college, before you actually went on a date. You didn’t take girls from college out to dinner. I’ve never been on a date. I’ve never been on a date where I didn’t know the end game. I’ve never casually dated someone. I’ve only been out to dinner with the woman who would eventually be my wife.
I was born a year after Lindbergh made his historic trip across the Atlantic. Boys like either dinosaurs or airplanes. I was very much an airplane boy.
The middle years, caught between children and parents, free of neither: the past stretches back too densely, it is too thickly populated, the future has not yet thinned out.
Changes in the traditional way of building are only permitted if they are an improvement. Otherwise stay with what is traditional, for truth, even if it be hundreds of years old has a stronger inner bond with us than the lie that walks by our side.
I have emerged victorious from my thirty years of struggle. I have freed mankind from superfluous ornament.
Tattooed men who are not behind bars are either latent criminals or degenerate aristocrats. If someone who is tattooed dies in freedom, then he does so a few years before he would have committed murder.
It’ll keep you alive for another 10 years if you get yourself a laugh once a day: either provoke it, or look around in the wildest laboratory in the world, the public.
I never tell an audience what they can expect. I never have and I never will. I’m an entertainer for 75 years.
A lot of people resent that I’ve been in someone’s life for 50 years. Why shouldn’t people have an affection for me and what I’ve done? Didn’t I have to be genuine for them to buy into what I did? There are children who grow up today who will not have that when they’re 55 years old. With whom will they have it? Name an example for me.
If I’ve learned anything in the more than 50 years that I’ve led MDA, it’s that the generosity of the American people knows no bounds. I’m sure that with their fellow citizens in such dire need, they’ll dig deep and do everything they can to help. I’m hopeful that many people will be willing to make two phone calls and donate to both causes.
Celebrity and charity have been bedfellows for many years. The key is to try and choose practical, sound and effective ones. There is no shortage of solicitation for endorsement, so you have to really know what you’re getting behind and be passionate about it. In this case, aside from just being a spokesperson, they’re benefiting a form of expression that is dear to me, painting.
You go ahead. I’d rather not be shot out of a tube into a pool filled with a bunch of nine-year-olds’ urine.
I came out of repertory theater, where I worked 50 weeks a year, and I loved working with a team.
A book may lie dormant for fifty years or for two thousand years in a forgotten corner of a library, only to reveal, upon being opened, the marvels or the abysses that it contains, or the line that seems to have been written for me alone. In this respect the writer is not different from any other human being: whatever we say or do can have far-reaching consequences.
There are stages in bread-making quite similar to the stages of writing. You begin with something shapeless, which sticks to your fingers, a kind of paste. Gradually that paste becomes more and more firm. Then there comes a point when it turns rubbery. Finally, you sense that the yeast has begun to do its work: the dough is alive. Then all you have to do is let it rest. But in the case of a book the work may take ten years.
I could say that all my books were conceived by the time I was twenty, although they were not to be written for another thirty or forty years. But perhaps this is true of most writers—the emotional storage is done very early on.
Economic policies absorb almost the entire attention of government, and at the same time become ever more impotent. The simplest things, which only fifty years ago one could do without difficulty, cannot get done any more. The richer a society, the more impossible it become to do worthwhile things without immediate payoff.
Everywhere I go, I meet people ready for change. People who are fed up with the exhaustion that comes from devoting one’s life to the work-watch-spend treadmill. People who know in their hearts that it’s wrong to treat the planet and whole groups of people as disposable. People who are challenging the bogus stories we’ve been fed for years and are writing their own about hope and love and working together to build a better future for everyone.
Whether one becomes famous or not, you have to be reminded of people like Melville, who for the last thirty years of his life was completely unknown. He worked in a customs house and walked off to work as an anonymous person in this American culture.
Someone once told me years ago that there was nothing so dead as a warmed-over love affair.
The Waltons was profoundly important after years of wandering around. I was 44 and cut off from family and friends. It nurtured me back to a sense of family and who I am. It was a transforming experience.
I have taken taking my music to labels for years, and everyone just thought it was creepy. They thought the images with the music were weird and verging on psychotic.