"Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers."
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from “The Naval Treaty" in Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893)
It is a common custom to refer to the usual complications between one man and two ladies, or one lady and two men, or a lady and a man and a nobleman, or—well, any of these problems—as the triangle. But they are never unqualified triangles. They are always isosceles—never equilateral. So, upon the coming of Nevada Warren, she and Gilbert and Barbara Ross lined up into such a figurative triangle; and of that triangle Barbara formed the hypotenuse…
It usually takes a hypotenuse a long time to discover that it is the longest side of a triangle.
— O. Henry, from “Schools and Schools" in Selected Stories of O. Henry (1906-1917)
Luis Tiant, Boston Red Sox
Outside Fenway Park ca. 1975
"Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes." - Walt Whitman
Photo: The Stacks
When Sarah ate she set aside, with a sigh, the dish of dandelions with its crowning ovarious accompaniment. As this dark mass had been transformed from a bright and love-indorsed flower to be an ignominious vegetable, so had her summer hopes wilted and perished. Love may, as Shakespeare said, feed on itself: but Sarah could not bring herself to eat the dandelions that had graced, as ornaments, the first spiritual banquet of her heart’s true affection.
— O. Henry, from The Four Million (1906)
Diahann Carroll greeting the legendary photographer Gordon Parks at the 1969 Governor’s Ball at the Academy Awards at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, April 14, 1969. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage
Since I was exiled here, it was impossible to remain by just standing still. I became an actor and gave myself the name of “I” and it was I who had to search out the cycles that helped me play the roles of my exile. Not only did I play myself; it was also necessary to take on the roles of others who were shrewder than I, and masters of their own plots. Yet, hidden in the sorcery of those plots were things to help me unmask them. I had only to listen to their lines, then concoct lines of my own—to question me, then lead me toward the daily answers.
— Gordon Parks, Voices in the Mirror: An Autobiography (1990)
We forget that man does not exist only to convince another man. He exists in order to win, to win to his side, to seduce, charm, possess. Truth is not a matter of arguments. It is only a matter of attraction, that is, a pulling toward. Truth does not make itself real in an abstract contest of ideas, but in a collision of persons. Being condemned to read a fair amount of books filled only with arguments, I know what truth severed from the person is: a laborious truth. And that is why I turn to you with the plea: Do not allow an idea to grow in you at the price of your personality.
— Witold Gombrowicz, Diary (1953-1969) translated by Lillian Vallee
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Track: Ain’t I Been Good to You, Pt. 1 & 2
Album: Live It Up (1974)
Morgan State University lacrosse team (1975)
It turned out that writing about life amounts to thinking about life, and thinking about life amounts to casting doubt on life, but only one who is suffocated by his very lifeblood, or in whom it somehow circulates unnaturally, casts doubt on that lifeblood. It turned out that I don’t write in order to seek pleasure; on the contrary, it turned out that by writing I am seeking pain, the most acute possible, well-nigh intolerable pain, most likely because pain is truth, and as to what constitutes truth, I wrote, the answer is so simple: truth is what consumes you, I wrote. Naturally, I could impart none of this to my wife.
— Imre Kertesz, Kaddish for an Unborn Child (1990) translated from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson