In times like these--when I could readily understand ascetics and recluses, were I able to understand how anyone can make an effort on behalf of absolute ends or subscribe to a creed that might produce and effort--I would create, if I could, a full-fledged aesthetics of despair, an inner rhythm like a crib's rocking, filtered by the night's caresses in other, far-flung homelands.
From so much self-thinking, I'm now my thoughts and not I.
The cause of my profound sense of incompatibility with others is, I believe, that most people think with their feelings, whereas I feel with my thoughts.
The window of the room where I’m to sleep looks out on to the open field, on to an indefinite field that is all fields, on to the vast and vaguely starry night, in which a breeze that cannot be heard is felt.
I don’t need fast cars or express trains to feel the delight and terror of speed.
A sunset is an intellectual phenomenon.
Where is God, even if he doesn’t exist?
In other and plainer words, the dreamer is the true man of action.
And what I read, instead of being like a nearly invisible suit that sometimes oppresses me, is the external world’s tremendous and remarkable clarity, the sun that sees everyone, the moon that splotches the earth with shadows, the wide expanses that end in the sea, the blackly solid trees whose tops greenly wave, the steady peace of ponds on farms, the terraced slopes with their paths overgrown by grape-vines.
The supreme empire belongs to the emperor who abdicates from all normal life and from other men, for the preservation of his supremacy won’t weigh on him like a load of jewels.
To act is to rest.
Two or three days like the beginning of love…
To feel everything in every way; to be able to think with the emotions and feel with the mind; not to desire much except with the imagination; to suffer with haughtiness; to see clearly so as to write accurately; to know oneself through diplomacy and dissimulation; to become naturalized as a different person, with all the necessary documents; in short, to use all sensations but only on the inside, peeling them all down to God and then wrapping everything back up again and putting it back in the shop window like the sales assistant I can see from here with the small tins of a new brand of shoe polish.
Understanding is what wearies us most of all.
Charlie Huette is a public school teacher who also keeps a notebook. He dreams about making school just a little less terrible. Many of the posts you find here are based on notebook entries. You can learn more about Charlie by visiting the about page.