Brain Food #566

Stillness amidst the chaos

Thoughts of the day

Yesterday I wrote about Erich Fromm’s interpretation of the act of love, and how challenging we might make it for ourselves to leave room for love when we fill our lives and time with responsibilities.

In his third of the Love painting series, David Hockney included some words he saw written on the walls of Earl’s Court Underground station in London, encapsulating the manic rush of everyday life alongside the perverse notion of modern love: “ring me anytime at home.” What better place is there to represent this than a metro station during peak commute hours.

But upon closer inspection, on the bottom right, one can also notice some faintly written lines from Walt Whitman’s poem When I Heard at the Close of the Day, as he describes how he found happiness in stillness:

“For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly round my breast - and that night I was happy.”

It would be easy to miss Whitman’s lines when looking at the painting, unless someone stopped and looked.

A hopeful sign, that amidst the madness there is still room for the moments that matter, if only we allow ourselves some time and pay enough attention to notice them.


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