Quotes for the Full Wolf Moon

David Sedaris is the silver bullet for Blue Monday

Sara Harvey


Commentary on life, art and Cheetoes for Winter Storm Izzy, featuring writers David Sedaris, Joan Didion and Jamie Attenberg.

“Moon Braid” (or Cheetoes?), p5.js generative art by Sara Harvey

We’re not going to see the moon tonight with the Saskatchewan Screamer throwing Winter Storm Izzy all over Western New York like cold confetti, but there are books to stare into. Here are some cool quotes I read lately.

David Sedaris listened to his partner Hugh practice diligently for a piano recital. The performance was okay, but that was okay, he writes. I wish I copied down the part about the joyous boy trumpeter who followed Hugh. You’ll have to check it out from the library yourself.

“It’s such a burden to place on yourself. Say you are perfect — who’s going to recognize it? Few things are like the Olympics, where judges hold up score cards. How does one paint perfectly? Or lawyer perfectly?

“The key is to fill the space between your skill level and perfection with charm. That said, you can’t do it consciously. Charm can’t be constructed that way. Maybe the word I’m looking for is self-forgiveness, the contagious variety. There, that happened, so can we all now agree to put it behind us?”

— Carnival of Snackery, David Sedaris

Writer/taskmistress Joyce Carol Oates on how to turn a bad mood into motivation (one more handful of Cheetoes, then start):

“One must be pitiless about this matter of ‘mood.’ In a sense, the writing will create the mood. … I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes … and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.”

— Joyce Carol Oats, The Paris Review via the James Clear newsletter

“Of many books a reader thinks, ‘This could have been truly great if only the author was willing to suffer a little more.’”

— Alain de Botton


“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just…