“In his 1855 poem “One Word More,” Robert Browning suggested that creative sensibilities are drawn to “art alien to the artist’s” because branching out lets a person “be the man and leave the artist, / Gain the man’s joy, miss the artist’s sorrow.” He meant that the more we master the techniques of our native art, the more our art becomes an expression of those techniques rather than a portal on our individuality. The more fluent we become, the more we become armored in that fluency. The issue is further complicated because arts differ in more than their formal elements; they also occupy different areas of our culture.”—David Orr
“The nature of nostalgia is that it seems to infuse life with a kind of added richness and charge because it’s being processed through memory. And often we sort of wish that present day life had that charge.”—Jennifer Egan
“Toward dusk, the black birds descend, millions of them, to sit in the branches of trees nearby. The trees grow heavy with black birds, branches like dendrites of the nervous system fattening, deep in chittering nerve-dusk, in preparation for some important message…”—Thomas Pynchon
“Images wear me out, they crowd in my head, and I feel as if my brain is pulsing. I have no wish at all that something special should come from me, that I should create some great thing, I simply want to live, to dream, to hope, to keep up everywhere.”—Anton Chekhov
Margaret, are you grieving over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you with your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older it will come to such sights colder by and by, nor spare a sigh though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie. And yet you will weep and know why. Now no matter, child, the name: sorrow’s springs are the same. Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed what heart heard of, ghost guessed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for.