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For some reason, we think that poetry is this thing you do on the side, once you get your math done or your science done. Same thing with writing or any of the things we call “the arts” – there’s this idea that they’re just an elective, they’re just decoration, and they have nothing to do with our survival … or why we can stand to be here.

That’s the reason I’ve made it to 53 – because of finding these things that poetry or painting or place contain. That’s the stuff of mental health, and we ignore it at our peril.

Lynda Barry, brilliant as ever, in an interview about poetry. Pair with other luminaries on how the humanities make us human and E.O. Wilson on why science and the arts need one another.

Perhaps Wordsworth was right when he wrote that “poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.”

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Ignoring art at the peril of our mental health.

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It is difficult to change our lives because we constantly tell ourselves stories about who we are and what we’re capable of. However, your story is often changing, so you may feel compelled not to mention anything until it is certain or has already happened; we aren’t something, until we are.

Sarah Kathleen Peck offers some advice on answering the dreaded “So, what do you do?” question. 

Also see Philippa Perry on how revising that inner storytelling keeps us sane and Timothy Wilson on why it’s the root of psychological change.

(via explore-blog)