Patron Saint of Manic Depressives, Clementine von Radics

Thank the stars for this miracle.
For the way we work our broken fingers through the dirt
till we convince the good to grow there.

New poem up on Write About Now

Clementine von Radics new poem touches on the messy complexity of art and mental illness (like only she can.)

Frightened Rabbit: Death Dream 

Almost three years ago, I wrote about Frightened Rabbit’s release State Hospital:

“There are days when I hate pretty much everything, except my little island of people and the way Scott Hutchinson pronounces the word threadbare. I’m not sure whether listening to Frightened Rabbit is helpful or not, but it feels right.” 

This is still true, and will probably also be an accurate description of their new release. The title of the record sums up Frightened Rabbit: Painting of A Panic Attack. (out April 4th on Canvasback/Atlantic)

Depressing and beautiful. Helpful or not, that is my favorite aesthetic.

Happiness is not good enough. Don’t rest on happiness. I mean it’s okay and I hope you are all happy, but we got to do more than that.

Toni Morrison

Just one of many thought-provoking statements by Morrison in a 2010 conversation

with Angela Davis on libraries, literacy, and liberation (and so  much more) The discussion was republished this week as an episode of the New York Public Library podcast. I highly recommend listening to it. 

I think this quote stuck out to me the most because it rejects the centering of personal happiness as the ultimate goal. This rejection opens up the possibility of living a valuable, important, interesting life without having to be happy. Happiness is great, but it’s not the only thing that matters in life. 

Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced… . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad.

J.K. Rowling 

The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.

Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning (via transmutes)