The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion.
Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets. The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer.
You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip . . . The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot.
An old Ukrainian proverb warns, “A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil.” That is a risk we have to take.
No experience has been too unimportant, and the smallest event unfolds like a fate, and fate itself is
like a wonderful, wide fabric in which every thread is guided by an infinitely tender hand and laid alongside another thread and is held and supported by a hundred others.
Letter Three (23 April 1903)
Letters to a Young Poet is a collection of ten letters written by Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) to Franz Xaver Kappus (1883–1966), a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Theresian Military Academy
An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters. Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders’ webs.
People in this part of Sindh have never seen this phenomenon before, but they also report that there are now less mosquito’s than they would expect, given the amount of stagnant, standing water that is around. It is thought that the mosquito’s are getting caught in the spiders’ webs thus reducing the risk of malaria, which would be one blessing for the people of Sindh, facing so many other hardships after the floods.
-- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.
Richard Misrach, On the Beach
"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude..."
"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...
There is sorrow enough in the natural way, from men and women to fill our day; But when we are certain of sorrow in store, why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware... Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.