Painting by Clare Elsaesser.
We were stranded in Texas with a flat tire and got to watch the moon rise.
Re-reading a “personal manifesto” I wrote in 2008
So, this still feels like pretty good advice to myself:
"Be candid. Honesty is more attractive than any attempt to be attractive. Tell people what you like about them. Tell people when they hurt your feelings. Tell people you want to kiss their face, or that you love them, or that they make you feel like a crazy person. Speak directly and simply. Argue when it matters. Don’t try to be or play it cool. Start by telling everyone about your manifesto and don’t bother with a long disclaimer. Your honesty will inspire others to do the same and put everyone’s intentions and feelings on the table, all the time. Ask for what you want instead of taking what you get. The answer might be ‘yes,’ and if it isn’t you’re better off knowing now. Get used to talking without trying to make people laugh. Don’t leave anything out with the people that matter and don’t bother with people who don’t. Establish honesty as a given when you make new friends. Admit your mistakes and request that others apologize for theirs. Don’t confuse honesty with being self-effacing or embarrassing yourself — honesty includes all of the good things as well as the bad ones. Maintain dignity! Don’t confuse gossip with honesty, either. Telling your own secrets is okay; telling other people’s isn’t. Honesty isn’t negativity, cruelty, or narcissism. Listening can be just as honest as talking. Don’t confuse simple, reasonable honesty with radical silliness. There is no reason to try to articulate blurry feelings or over-explain every detail. The point is to be honest instead of internalizing, not to try to extract juicy confessionals out of everyday life. And remember: saying something out loud can sometimes make it true, rather than the other way around. Proceed cautiously, but let. it. out.
Make things: music, food, stuffed animals, mixtapes, paintings, clothes, comics, robots, zines, manifestos, websites, movies, toys, sculptures, cupcakes, love, and tools. Don’t do it because you think you should or to make money, do it because it will make you really, really, really happy. Every time you see, use, give away, hear, eat, smell, sell, touch, or just think of something you have made with your own hands, head, or heart, you will love yourself. Infinitely.
Don’t drink cokes, smoke cigarettes, or eat food from convenience stores. But if you do those things, don’t hate yourself for it. There are worse things you could do to yourself — like not sleeping, not reading, or not demanding that people treat you with respect.
Never ever roll your eyes at someone you love.
Share beauty. Be like the grandmothers who send newspaper clippings about movies to their film student grandkids. Keep your home stocked with blank CDs and postage stamps. When you hear a song that reminds you of someone, play it for them. When you read a poem that rearranges your insides, mail it to all of your friends who’ve moved away. If a stranger sees you drawing a picture and compliments it, give it to them. Don’t let ambitious ideas about delivery keep you from passing on small joys. Tell jokes that made you laugh. Lend out movies that make you feel high. Bake cookies. Give away stuff you don’t use that someone else can. It’s the best rule from kindergarden: share. It makes everything more fun.”
This is literally perfect.
Via Alex, obviously.
My friend Kester asked me to list my favorite from each decade and suddenly I’m overcome with the realization that my taste is deeply, fundamentally uncool.
Another of Pablo Neruda’s writing spaces in Chile, from Alastair Reid’s book “Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence”
I’ll take it.
Do you have a song you’ve always secretly hoped would be “our song” with your ~forever soulmate~, but you’ve never played it or shared it with anyone you’ve ever been in a relationship with because you didn’t want to accidentally waste it on the wrong person and ruin it forever?
"These clouds look like they’re embarrassed. They’re so beautiful, they’re embarrassed of their beauty"
Gibby Haynes, 1982. From the upcoming book The Texas Punk Problem.