Russell Baker, “The Charms of Eleanor"
I have always loved this essay by Russell Baker, which reviews biographies of Eleanor while talking about how her discovery of her husband’s infidelity paved the way to her own success.
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered."
Aldous Huxley, from Island (1962)
Carl Sagan, on why sometimes it’s good to temporarily forgo your beliefs in order to respect someone else’s (via itsinthestars)
Bertolt Brecht, from Radio Theory (1927)
I believe he is talking about Twitter.