How Artists Create a Sense of Home

Some keep company, others prefer solace. But what is a restorative space for some, seems like trappings for others.

For those with any fascination in where some of the most influential creative spirits play house, these photos are sure to spark interest. A short peek into the lives of artists at home:

Truman Capote and his kitsch collection
“Home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”

Donna Tartt with Pug, Pongo
“My dog has a number of acquaintances of his own species — as do I — but it is abundantly clear to both of us that there is little company in all the world which we enjoy so much as each other’s.”

Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in Paris
 “America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”

Ernest Hemingway with his cat
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

John Steinbeck at home in Salinas, CA
“I have lost all sense of home, having moved about so much. It means to me now–only that place where the books are kept.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico
“I can’t live where I want to, I can’t go where I want to go, I can’t do what I want to, I can’t even say what I want to. I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to.”

Anais Nin sitting down for tea
“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. “

Sontag cozy at her desk (yes, that’s a bear suit)
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Even When It Seems Impossible, You Can Still Find Ways to Win

Welcome on back to the top of the week. To ease you into your Monday, how ’bout a roundup of all things awesome that the internet had to offer this weekend:

Adorably illustrated thoughts from Susan Sontag on love are (unsurprisingly) poignant and wonderful. Enjoy.

What happens when a girl lets her boyfriend do her entire makeup for her.

Innovation and the Key to Malcolm Gladwell’s Success? Yes, please. Hint: persistence is a major player.

While I haven’t been able to catch much of the Olympics so far, I’ve been replaying this moment over and over due to its sheer brilliance.

Creativity = intelligence + daydreaming.

But Susan Sontag’s Dead

“so I guess her cancer wasn’t metaphorical after all. Sorry.”
– “Illness As a Metaphor,” Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson tips its hat to Susan Sontag by alluding to her prolific writings on the practice of describing illness through the use of metaphors. She argues that there is a certain set of contagious vocabulary that we employ when discussing diseases:

“We have to wage a war on this cancer.”
“He’s battling a disease.”
“This threat to life must be stamped out.”

and if someone perishes…

“They lost the fight.”

With many illnesses, we treat the way we speak about them as if the host was invaded or caught by the disease. Whereas with injury, we simply say that we are in the process of healing. There’s no great war, only the path back towards health.

Sontag asserts that much of the reason that we use these terms has to do with the mysterious conditions surrounding disease. With cancer, for example, no definite cure has been established. She suggests that once a cure is discovered, the horror, mystery, and metaphors surrounding cancer will dissipate as well. We use the language to bolster ourselves against that which we do not entirely understand.

And although her book came out in 1978, her wish to challenge the victim mentality is still valid and meaningful today. Her goal with her writing was to “alleviate unnecessary suffering.” She believed that wrapping disease in metaphors discouraged, silenced, and shamed patients.

While argument is still a divisive one, I do agree that using aggressive terms and mindset towards illness can ultimately harbor one’s path back to health. This is not to belabor anyone’s struggle with disease – as I know many of them can be just that – a true daily struggle. But instead of “fighting” these diseases, we need to champion health. Each negative thought we latch onto and play on repeat in our heads manifests itself in our body as stress. Only by accepting and supporting wellness can we hope to heal.