CHRIS KLAXTON

musician

When my husband [Carl Sagan] died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again.

Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful.

The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.

Ann Druyan (via whats-out-there)

'If you seek small things to do, and do them well, great things will seek you, and demand to be performed.'

—(via idriesshah)

(via idriesshah)

mentalflossr:

Long before he was our first president, George Washington was just a teenager in love. So he did what so many teenagers do: He wrote two lovesick poems in his diary, one of which was dedicated to Frances Alexander, in 1749-50:
From your bright sparkling Eyes, I was undone; Rays, you have, more transparent than the sun, 
Amidst its glory in the rising Day, None can you equal in your bright array; 
Constant in your calm and unspotted Mind;
 Equal to all, but will to none Prove kind,
 So knowing, seldom one so Young, you’l Find
 Ah! woe’s me that I should Love and conceal, 
Long have I wish’d, but never dare reveal, 
Even though severely Loves Pains I feel; 
Xerxes that great, was’t free from Cupids Dart, 
And all the greatest Heroes, felt the smart.
9 Poems Penned by Presidents

mentalflossr:

Long before he was our first president, George Washington was just a teenager in love. So he did what so many teenagers do: He wrote two lovesick poems in his diary, one of which was dedicated to Frances Alexander, in 1749-50:

From your bright sparkling Eyes, I was undone; Rays, you have, more transparent than the sun,

Amidst its glory in the rising Day, None can you equal in your bright array;

Constant in your calm and unspotted Mind;

Equal to all, but will to none Prove kind,

So knowing, seldom one so Young, you’l Find

Ah! woe’s me that I should Love and conceal,

Long have I wish’d, but never dare reveal,

Even though severely Loves Pains I feel;

Xerxes that great, was’t free from Cupids Dart,

And all the greatest Heroes, felt the smart.

9 Poems Penned by Presidents

Bernstein on Mahler 9

blastedrandomness asked: I hope you read this, Mr. Hill, because I could really use some professional advice. What do you do when you just don't think you can write anymore? Not burned out, but just unable to pick up a pen and think creatively. I love writing, but I can't even look at my writing journal without feeling drained. What do you do in situations like this? Is this something I'm just going to have to push through? Thank you so much for your help and advice.

joehillsthrills:

You can pop-start a dead motorcycle by riding it downhill in first gear, then letting out the clutch all at once. Sometimes the motor will turn over with a boom and your ride is back to life.

I look for one mean little sentence to get me going again. Something to pop-start the story. Like:

"Wind scoured the beach."

"The shouting woke her."

"The car began to slide in the wet snow."

"Shell casings flashed in the weeds."

Or I’ll try and get a couple of my characters talking. If you can find your way to an exciting character, a lot of times that will bring you emotionally back to your work… and dialogue is a reliable way to discover character.

Think about the way people don’t listen to each other, talk past each other, focus on their own weird little obsessions. Have fun with your characters’s fixations and eccentricities and unique manners of speech.

Are you reading anything good? One way to get excited about your own writing is to get excited about someone else’s.

Try sneaking up on it. Decide you’ll write one sentence, then fold some laundry for five minutes. Then you’ll write two sentences. Leave the pen and paper out where you can see them. In the middle of folding the underwear you might suddenly come up with a sentence you can’t wait to write. I write letters to friends that take me days. I just leave the stationery out and add to the letter whenever something interesting occurs to me.

Have a little mercy on yourself. If the best you can do is a paragraph, make it a great fuckin’ paragraph and then be done for the day. Go for a walk. No one day of writing matters all that much.

Remember to keep physically active. More and more I think this is the secret ingredient of a successful creative life. Go for a long walk every day - you’ll be surprised how often you come back with a few new ideas.

Good luck.

Music composition lessons in here for sure!