A group of scarabs from the Scarabaeid family, July 1929.
Photograph by Edwin L. Wisherd, National Geographic
For in the last few days he had quite changed his feelings about Clarice. Or rather, he had regained his feelings for her, regained them and others with them that he had not had before. In the past she had been — what? A bedfellow, of course, but what besides? A knife-sharpener, a razor-strop, something to whet his edge on. She had confirmed him in his self-hood, it came to a fine point when she was there. She put his experience into focus; with her, whether in company or alone, he could feel and act with the maximum of self-approval. This often meant doing and saying what she didn’t like, for it was in apartness that he felt at his best. Not expansion but contraction of personality was what he sought: and to achieve it he had to be at odds with the world, and her. But there were limitations to his quarrelsomeness; and sometimes when he knew she expected him to be edgy he would be mild as milk, leaving her looking foolish, defences out and weapons drawn when no one was attacking. ‘Why, what’s the trouble?’ he would ask her, innocently, and be amused by the way she hurriedly re-organized her demeanour to meet the change in his. He liked to keep her guessing, and he liked it when she tried to turn the tables on him, as she sometimes did, when near to tears. A stable relationship was irksome to him; with each encounter, he wanted to begin the whole thing over again - to end in love-making if he felt like it, or if he felt like it, a scene. He would have said, had anyone dared to ask him, and had he deigned to reply, that she preferred it that way; she liked a man to be a man and wear the pants. And he was right, up to a point; but the point came sooner than either of them had foreseen.The Hireling, L. P. Hartley
A young Peruvian girl rests with her baby alpaca named Carmelo near Colca Canyon, Peru on May 6, 2009.
Victoria amazonica water lilies can reach 20 feet in circumference and support up to 300 pounds each. Perching children atop the massive leaves was all the rage in water gardens of the time. Salem, North Carolina, c. 1892.
Photograph by Frank Hege, National Geographic
I am a body. I eat chocolate.
This week, I am in the mood for simple materialism. Any wrinkle in wellbeing or thought I attempt to smooth physically, reducing all queries to ones of either “too much” or “not enough”. Do I feel this way because I’ve had too much caffeine? Am I reacting this way because I have not had enough sleep?
For now, life is easier viewed as a matter of correctly balancing an equation. Output equals input, and all problems are solvable by the application of protein or iron or sleep.
Ah, winter. The season of doing as much as possible from bed.
To convince ourselves of the amazing variety of noises, it is enough to think of the rumble of thunder, the whistle of the wind, the roar of a waterfall, the gurgling of a brook, the rustling of leaves, the clatter of a trotting horse as it draws into the distance, the lurching jolts of a cart on pavings, and of the generous, solemn white breathing of a nocturnal city; of all the noises made by wild and domestic animals, and of all those that can be made by the mouth of a man without resorting to speaking or singing.Luigi Russolo, The Art of Noises (1913)