You exist by your smile and your presence… Quests, pursuits of concrete securities of one kind or another lose all their importance.
The Wright pride. Yes, pride in quality. He supervises his buildings, takes care of every detail: searches for masons who care about stonework, painters who can paint, metalworkers who are skillful. Today, in an age of amateurs, this is a most difficult achievement.
His struggle is against uniformity and wholesale design. If he sounds like a moralist, it is because beauty, quality, and ethics are inseparable.
The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him
The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions.
Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications.
He was rushed into sophistication and into experience with the surface of himself, but the deeper self was secret and lonely.
He tells me he will one day be president of the United States.
I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing…
You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness.
Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
The relationship to handcraft is a beautiful one. You are related bodily to a solid block of metal letters, to the weight of the trays, to the adroitness of spacing, to the tempo and temper of the machine. You acquire some of the weight and solidity of the metal, the strength and power of the machine. Each triumph is a conquest by the body, fingers, muscles. You live with your hands, in acts of physical deftness. You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable. A page of perfect printing. You can touch the page you wrote. We exult in what we master and discover. Instead of using one’s energy in a void, against frustrations, in anger against publishers, I use it on the press, type, paper, a source of energy. Solving problems, technical, mechanical problems. Which can be solved.
Anaïs Nin operating her handpress, 1942
The relationship to handcraft is a beautiful one… You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable.
Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power.
Every individual is representative of the whole, a symptom, and should be intimately understood.