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7 surprising truths about creativity

Surprising to me, you see.   ------ 1. Do it all for the joy. It's okay and normal to enjoy and feel energized from validation and praise. I actually think that trying too hard to rise above that totally human impulse can be a form of self-abuse. You're not Siddhartha Gautama, and I don't...

Willy Loman, Mary Oliver and the real story of joy

I've been collecting notes to do an essay on the theme of suffering in art. For it, I had the scene of Jesus' entombment painted by that fastidious German master of the grotesque, Matthias Grunewald. I had Frida Kahlo's self-portrait as a leaping stag, pierced by a dozen arrows....

Full-length, English-subtitled Operas on Youtube

Vincenzo Bellini - Norma Bizet - Carmen (not great quality due to being from the 80's, but worth it for Berganza's bewitching performance in titular role, which draws you in so much you forget the crappy quality) Gaetano Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor Gaetano Donizetti - Don Pasquale  Gaetano Donizetti...

Bizet’s Carmen, the Spanish “belle dame sans merci”

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNvHXHMfxNw&t=5817s[/embed]   One of the most thrilling facts to me today that makes me hopeful about the future of humanity is that so many of the products of high culture, which used to be only available to a small, moneyed elite is now truly democratically available to everyone with...

How to listen to slowness: Handel Minuet in G Minor

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep    Steady thy laden head across a brook;    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,     Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. (from John Keats' "To Autumn") I've been spoiled by some amazing foliage in my lifetime, having spent so many...

Gregorian chants: an entry point into eternity

I have had friends, who are not religious and do not ever intend to become religious, who say that entering a church always does something to them. That, despite their indifference or even antipathy toward organized traditional religion, they find something beautiful and soothing about...