Why Our Brains Love Origins


by Maria Konnikova


We like to know where things come from. We like stories. We like nice tales. We need our myths, our origins, our creations.

(Source: tetw)

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When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me - it still sometimes happens - and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous - not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful… The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful."

FROM LEFTCOASTJANE: From Carl Sagan’s wife… but maybe this is about you and anybody you got to spend a significant chunk of your life with and miss so terribly. This thought honors your person and that bond so much more intensely than traditional trite thoughts of afterlife …IMHO  image

Ann Druyan, talking about her dead husband Carl Sagan.
Ain’t that something.  (via everythinginthesky, savagemike, weakmeatstrongeat) (via sarahalyse)

(via leftcoastjane)

(via dennisl09, drinkthe-koolaid)

(via anindiscriminatecollection)

3,784 notes

"Leaving is not enough. You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street."

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell (via rachelfershleiser)

(via rachelfershleiser)

25,162 notes

Are dreams guidelines to everyday living? A dream can turn into a mission, or it can fade away. What about the recurring dream? The ones I have nearly every day? The ones that laugh at my resolve to forget you, to convince myself that you are no longer who I thought you were.

When I allow myself to remember you, you become a warm blanket against the cold realities of my life. But it’s a fantasy. Once the placebo effect’s worn off, I find out you’re not a blank pill. You’re an eroding drug that leaves me in much more pain than before I let you in.

I’m trying to forget you. I’m trying to and I succeed sometimes. I succeed more than I fail these days. I have lots to look forward to that don’t include you. I’m going to have someone to love coming soon. I look forward to the day that his sun eclipses your moon. I look forward to the day that my mind body and soul will be occupied by him, and I’ll gladly let him.

But while he isn’t here, I wrestle with you. I battle with your shadow and sometimes I lose. I succumb to the happy thought and float for a little while, before it runs out and I come crashing back down.

And what of the happy thought? My tongue is too illiterate to express this happy thought, to express what you do to me. I am not worthy of the poetry it inspires. I don’t understand entirely where it comes from. I try to rationalize it in the hope that it will die down for lack of reason, but instead it consumes me. I lose all sense, all wit, all hope of ever finding out why you have such an effect on me. The thought that this emotion has no space or place in reality is devastating, but does little to diminish it.

I am devastated. 

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2 more days, and I’ll see my first feature length script on the big screen. I’ve seen about a third of it, and I forgot I was half the team that had written it and one of the amazing group of people who wept bled and sweated(!!!) over the creation of this monster.

I don’t know how to feel about people coming to see it. A huge part of me is giddy just to see the film on the big screen. We wrote it as something we wished to see. I think there’s nothing original about the things we presented in the film, I personally believe it’s just a mishmash of things we, the writers, enjoy. Following that thought, I’m half expecting we’ll turn away a lot of viewers for the craziness that even our closest friends think is too much at times. But it’ll be awesome to find people who genuinely like the film - not just for the content, but how it’s presented. And then there’s a part of me that selfishly wants to not have to subject this film - this thing we created for our own entertainment - to the scrutiny and the distaste of the audience.

But then again, how else are we going to be able to continue making films we’d like to see? How else are we going to find out if people will be willing to fund future brainchildren? 

There’s certain elements that didn’t turn out the way we’d written them - a lot of which came out the way they did because of time and budget constraints. But considering the amount of things that by accident DID turn out exactly, even better, than we’d originally envisioned, I think it’s fine and leaves a lot of room for education. Because after all, if this wasn’t a learning experience, what’s the point of doing it anyway? I refuse to bow to the mindset that you have to know exactly what you’re doing when you get into a project. Where’s the fun in that? If it was mathematics, with an exact solution and an exact result I’d give the pen up.

After all we’d been through in the realization of this brainchild, after all we’d learned, I’m surprised that it’s only fueled the impulse to create more. He was right, it’s an addiction. When a story seizes you, sometimes you have to go to war to see it through. Is the war over? Not until premiere night I think. Then it’ll be off to clearing up the rubble that this war has left and then it’s on to the next story.

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Furniture Fantasies

I want a size challenged room. One with a mouse hole for a door. The furniture will be giant versions of small things. A wristwatch that serves as both structure and alarm clock surrounding a pincushion bed. A thread spool for an end table. A broken teacup with cushion inside for a chair. Things Tinkerbell would use. Or Jerry. Or Alice given the wrong pastry.

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Security is an addiction

Comfort is an addiction

Pleasure is an addiction

The World Screams “I don’t owe you anything”

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the dream began with a screaming match, progressed with four weddings, and ended in a long hot bath.

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im a packrat for emotions. i have a bagful of half eaten issues and unresolved fungi farms. during my highs and lows, its emotional lottery time. the bag shakes and out pops some random thing. whether im going to cry over something unresolved, or gloat at something id just figured didnt matter anymore is unpredictable. eitherway, the bag is heavy.

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