On Light

1)         The busy lark, the messenger of day,
Salutes now with her song the morning gray,
And fiery Phoebus rises up so bright
Till all the east is laughing in his light,
The beams of which dry every bush where cleaves
The silver droplets, hanging on the leaves.

(“The Knight’s Tale,” lines 1491-1496, trans. Ronald L. Ecker)

2) One day, you’ll find that I have gone. But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.

(Paul McCartney, “I’ll Follow the Sun”)

3) Painters –to speak only of them– being dead and buried, speak to a following generation or to several following generations through their works. Is that all, or is there more, even? In the life of the painter, death may perhaps not be the most difficult thing.

For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But the sight of the stars always makes me dream in as simple a way as the black spots on the map, representing towns and villages, make me dream.

Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of France.

(Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo, July 1888)

4) The darkest night that ever fell upon the earth never hid the light, never put out the stars. It only made the stars more keenly, kindly glancing, as if in protest against the darkness.

(George Eliot)

5) Tie my handlebars to the stars, so I stay on track.

(Owl City, “Cave In”)

6) I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.

(Simone de Beauvoir, La Vieillesse)

7) I want to be a lion. / Everybody wants to pass as cats. / We all want to be big, big stars, but we got different reasons for that. / Believe in me, because I don’t believe in anything. / And I want to be someone to believe. / Mr. Jones and me, stumbling through the barrio, / yeah, we stare at the beautiful women. / “She’s perfect for you. Man, there’s got to be somebody for me.”

(Adam Duritz, “Mr. Jones”)

8) All the world’s a stage we’re going through.

(Lorrie Moore, Anagrams)

9)         Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

(from “Pangur Bán,” by a  9th century Irish monk about his cat)

10) There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.

(Edith Wharton)




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