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pretty things

I like looking at beautiful things other people make, and keeping notes of poems or other ideas I like. I'm particularly drawn to things that are inspired by the natural world.

Filtering by Category: deep thoughts


amanda morales

When my sister got me tickets for my birthday to see Drake in the recently re-opened Forest Hills Stadium, one of the first things I thought was: Dylan. Bob Dylan, of course!


Forest Hills August 28 1965 is an infamous show in the Dylan cannon. Just off his electric blasphemy at the Newport Folk Festival, he persisted with his new-fangled ‘folk rock’ and played with Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, and Al Kooper to a very confused and unhappy crowd. He was literally and symbolically extricating himself from the folk and civil rights scenes, eschewing the mainstream, as always.

That Dylan show was almost exactly 50 years ago but because the of the beauty of the internet you can listen to a recording of it right now, boos front and center, and read the New York Times review of the show (which described Dylan as a 'model of patient composure’).

Forest Hills stadium was once a marquee stop for major bands - when the Beatles played to 16,000 fans there in 1964 they were asked how they felt about being a 'threat to society’ -  and re-opened last year after 30 years of dormancy. While the audience tonight will know what it’s in for - the rap stylings of Lil Wayne and the boy Drizzy Drake, sounds which would have been unimaginable in 1965- Forest Hills is still a tony, sleepy neighborhood that may have trouble grappling with both the sonics and the kind of crowd they will attract. (The booking is such a curious choice for the venue that the bio they have for Drake on their website ends in 2009, before he even released a major album!)

Still, we’ve undoubtedly opened our ears in this country. But with protests of the killing of an unarmed young black man in Ferguson dominating our collective consciousness, we are right to wonder how much we've opened our eyes, our hearts.

Worst Behavior’ will be a highlight for me tonight, and I won’t be surprised if Drake saves it for his encore. It was my favorite song of 2013, and around this time last year my broken heart used its anxiety and bravado to muster up the sweet vindication of anger. “Motherfucker never loved us... remember?” I would mouth on the subways.

It could serve as anthem for Dylan too, who certainly has the last laugh all these years later. Can’t you just picture him scowling the lyric “They used to never want to hear us, Remember? / Motherfucker never loved us, remember?”

And no doubt its sentiment echoes through the streets of Ferguson, and anywhere else where people are marginalized and fed up:

“They used to never want to hear us, Remember?

Motherfucker never loved us, remember?”

“I should let you know ahead I’m coming back on my worst behavior”.




amanda morales

this is an email i wrote to someone i love in 2011. today she told me it really helped her, and that made me SO happy, and sort of proud

this is an email i wrote to someone i love in 2011. today she told me it really helped her, and that made me SO happy, and sort of proud

it will roll in

amanda morales

You do not need to do anything, just remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, just wait. Do not even wait, just be quiet, still and solitary, and the universe will expose itself to you. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
— Franz Kafka

and always will

amanda morales

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
— Calvin Coolidge

wringing out

amanda morales

Great question to ask, as per our President: “Am I ringing as much bias out of myself as I can, am I judging people, as much as I can, based on, not the color of their skin, but the content of their character?” -via

i always love to think about wringing out. wringing out. ringing out!

public freeze

amanda morales

Does a piece of writing that is never seen by anyone other than its author even exist? Does a thought need to be shared to exist? What happens to the stray thought that drifts into view, is pondered, and then drifts away? Perhaps you jot it down in a note before it vanishes, so that you can mull it over in the future. It’s like a seed that, when you return to it, may have grown into something visible. Or perhaps you put it in a tweet, making the note public. But does the fact that it is public diminish the chances that it will grow into something sturdy and lasting? Does articulating a thought in public freeze it in place somehow, making it not part of a thought process but rather a tiny little finished sculpture? Is tweeting the same as publishing?
— thomas beller, via

at last

amanda morales

“Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.” ~
—  James Allen from As a Man Thinketh

the known universe

amanda morales


capacity for transformation

amanda morales

True adults are those who have learned to continually develop and exercise their capacity for transformation. The more we grow, the greater becomes our capacity to empty ourselves of the old so that the new may enter and we may thereby be transformed.
— M. Scott Peck

not searching

amanda morales

If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden... He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar stud that has rolled under the dressing table.
— W. Beran Wolfe