CONTRADICTA

by Φ

CONTRADICTA APHORISMS

Nick Piombino

Start at the beginning — then work back.

To be an artist is to be forever hungry for things you have never tasted, to relentlessly search for things you have never seen and can’t understand, to repeatedly and warmly welcome back the most confused, lonely and unfair part of yourself, and the world. All for the singular joy of having something you can only experience by releasing it.

Happiness is not the lack of sadness; it is what sadness learns to wear in order to shine.

In today’s house I am the host, but I am a guest in the dwelling of yesterday.

Despair over time passing is a quickening plunge that only insight can throttle.

Remember the future, forget the past.

Measure detracts from pleasure.

Fools have the wit to agree on one thing: pay no attention to the wise.

Cruelty conquers briefly what kindness alone can keep.

Not all information is beneficial. Cultivating a taste for not knowing some things may make for a better day.

You can’t be sure until it’s done but then how you did it is already a fading memory.

Waiting and thinking are enemies because when you are waiting you can think of nothing except what you are waiting for.

The ship of fat favors a diligent captain with a good map and a strong stomach.

Thought is a delicate thing — nearly anything can interrupt or disturb it — particularly — as with most things — if you take too much at one time.

Come to your own conclusions — or never see anything come to one.

People who have the least to say will try to silence others either by shouting them down or insulting them.

Safer to kick a beehive than to malign a proud philosopher.

The essence of happiness: don’t give up. 

What you deem inconvenient may disguise your most formidable adversary.

Open your mind quickly and your mouth slowly.

As the truth tellers grow more numerous, passionate and articulate, the liars become more organized, cunning and cruel.

Measure your generosity by your response to selfishness.

Perplexity arouses; satisfaction numbs.

Those that can no longer be surprised lose the capacity to surprise. By being predictably astonishing, some console themselves.

Worries are daydreams without legs, or, worry is the caterpillar, daydream the butterfly. 

Talk opens a possibility to listening, listening to understanding, understanding to insight, insight to change. But anywhere along the line the chain might break.

Words descending like snowflakes or rain. A few too many and I think about shelter.

Friends are like angels, wonderfully giving and kind, but mostly invisible or flying off somewhere.

Thrive on beginnings, endure endings.

Those who insult themselves all day dislike being slighted, the way an accomplished thief hates being caught.

Yesterday was two days before tomorrow.

A significant error provokes reflection; a major blunder demands change; an impossible dilemma reveals your soul.

I don’t care much for birthdays or most holidays. That every day is assigned a number, a first name and a surname, and every moment labeled with another number provides more than enough temporal bureaucracy for me. 

Nothing is easy until you do it every day.

For contemplatives motivation is like the tides — when they go out, time for a sunbath.

Every good fate includes one long wait.

Coincidence is a wink in the eye of eternity.

If you haven’t asked a question, you haven’t said anything.

Acknowledge every part and the whole will shine.

Even what you strongly want to do you must force yourself to do. Why? Because negation is the norm, a creditor waiting to pounce.

Untangled perseverance produces energy. Energy creates delight. Delight brings happiness…

Earnestness, the child of conscience, is ignored, sarcasm, a descendant of malice, applauded. 

Stumble — discover.

Take care not to purposely take the wrong step after you have mistakenly blundered into the right one.

Listen well to the disputes of philosophers within yourself, but never sit at their feet.

Your fears encompass as much information about your world as your library.

If you make truth a frequent companion, courage will be your friend.

The more contemporary life demands acquiescence and assent, the harder, and more necessary it is to do something, anything, solo. 

Mood, reminiscence, hunch, whimsy, expectation, afterthought — silhouettes that flower into portraits.

Complexity’s cautions dance dolefully amidst simplicity’s smiling certainties.

Which is more important — the word or the idea? Which is more important — your feet or the ground?

Be decent — dissent.

Ask your feet to take you where your mind won’t go.

True, contentment rest within — but it likes to be awakened gently and, even then, only to dance.

When i am sad I am am not myself. A strange being inhabits my body who I don’t know and can’t recognize.

Worry is hurry with nowhere to go.

Upto your neck in shit and shakers, and still thinking of someone’s cold and cutting words…

One might as well cloak one’s generosity in an air of indifference, since where kindness is viewed as weakness, loneliness prevails.

Anger is a desperate tiger than must be tamed — befriend or be devoured.

The relentless critic hungers for your pride — not your excellence.

Listen to the whispers — all the bold voices have had their say.

Equality plus empathy equals nobility.

The mean teach the kind how to hide their pain so as to corrupt and enlist them into their ranks.

Those reluctant to disappoint forfeit the talent to surprise.

A notable difference between being old and being young is that rather than being bored by the calm before the storm you enjoy it.

As perplexity frequently foreshadows the new, adoration as often augurs the old.

Opinions and affections mixed together, like vinegar and oil, may spice something bland, but left to themselves they quickly separate.

Thought is what remains after all the interruptions

Life’s conspiracy — perhaps the shadow of desire — an irrepressible aura of incompletion.

It is one thing to appropriate some ideas here and there, but it is completely another to lack the means to discover your own.

Originality is impossible where imitation is universal.

Opinion rarely sings solo.

Those who always know where they are going are not very interesting when they get there. 

It’s comfort — not conscience — that makes cowards of us all.

The bland leading the bland…

Wit is used more often to silence than to say.

It is intelligence to despise stupidity yet even more intelligent to comprehend it.

Frequent disappointment, deception and betrayal induce the kind and warm to join the ranks of the cold and cautious.

Those compelled to mock the serious are perhaps not quite sure who will get the last laugh.

Beware the sly generosity of the thief who freely distributes the right to steal.

When cooking up ideas let ambition be the flame and patience the chef.

Gratitude is the child of kindness and the blossom of wisdom.

Life is the desert, truth the oasis.

Those fruits of thought that ripen slowly are eaten quickly.

Originality — having the boldness to exhale what everyone else inhales.

Aimless thought explores every open path — but most converge on a downward slope. 

Everything is going downhill so fast — but we’ll need to momentum — the next slope could be the steepest one yet.

The deeper you dig the harder the rock, the narrower the tunnel, the lonelier the journey.

Steadiness of purpose and enjoyment of life form an odd, yet incomparable, friendship.

Until you try hope remains in limited supply. 

In the heart of you wound, find your path.

Suffering shouts, happiness whispers.

The more you know what’s new the less you know what’s true.

Worry wonders; courage laughs. 

That fool is wise who forgot everything except how to laugh.

Without daydreams between them, experiences themselves tend to become overly dreamlike — one displacing another suddenly and with too much logic — like sequences in a film, inexorable and coming to the point too soon.

Ideas come together the way a body makes itself comfortable. Somewhere, perhaps in the throat, a shoulder or an arm the thought resides. The thought is a link between fragments that might fit together — that want to be together — so they remain immobile until they unite and escape by means of the voice.

One by one the finest philosophers concluded they should no longer try to tell us how to live. Imperceptibly, yet gradually, an immense sadness fell upon the world and the sadists took over.

Think for yourself or go mad with everyone.

Someone responds, I respond. If you ignore me, how can I fail, eventually, to ignore you? Nevertheless, each of us is aware the other is out there, somewhere.

The warmer the luck the colder the attitude.

The truth can take a bite out of life, but it cannot taste it.

Like the weather, the truth can harm — which is why you need shelter.

To wish to do the things you have to do creates energy and invites contentment.

Sharpen your mind’s teeth on your mistakes.

What is the difference between being very patient about the suffering of someone you care about and being indifferent to it? Shouldn’t we insist on the other’s attempt at happiness — or at least try to make them laugh?

Rise about the petty thoughts which viewed as pains will unite into chains.

Anger, hurt and cruelty, helpless without each other, will soon subside.

Love restores hope, hope imagination, imagination memory, memory emotion, emotion song.

Friendship is a game of chess that should be played more gently and appreciatively as time goes on, otherwise the opponents will deprive themselves of the partners who have so steadily inspired them.

Convictions without empathy can justify anything.

Principle and perfection have facilitated more pain and harm than anger and failure will ever imagine.

Celebrities who are prolific and talk freely inspire affection because they give the impression that at any moment they might blurt out the secrets of their success.

Human intelligence contains a flaw that waters the seeds of its own destruction: impatience.

Artists and intellectuals bribe patrons and politicians with mirages of progress. 

Unless accompanied by an ability to love, thinking is mostly painful.

Curiosity battles with boredom but love defeats it.

An exceptional appreciation of the ordinary is the source of much that is extraordinary.

The interminable night of rage shuns the mirror in the morning.

Kindness might be blindness when the cruel rule.

The best way to show how you feel is to ask a question.

Regarding mistakes with a degree of tolerant affection lessens worry and enhances change.

Spend your whole life annoyed with the rules of others or take a few moments creating your own.

Writers and thieves have something in common — to succeed they must dispose of the evidence.

After you’ve read poetry long enough, with each successive reading you understand more of the magician’s tricks. At this stage you read more to understand the poet than the poem because poets have infinitely more tricks up their sleeves than their poems.

Confess you were wrong and gain affection — profess you were right and lose it.

Envy would not be such a bad thing, except that we always envy the wrong one.

To know how to being things, and mostly see them through, yet still enjoy the suspense between, is a secret shared by few.

If you are a male, the preponderance of other males will find a way to condescend to you, even with their dying breath. A panhandler will tell you to “have a nice day” — as if it were theirs to give — or accept your donation with the indifference of a king.

People drive each other crazy more or less continuously and then deliberate and debate about how others should behave.

I red to understand feelings.

I write to understand thoughts.

Sometimes talking helps me understand what I need to know or do. But if I want to just understand I stay quiet.

I never stop learning because I never stop making mistakes, or having to deal with the mistakes of others.

The old love the morning when life begins again; the young love the night they think will never end.

Sadness offers a hundred words and explanations while happiness has but few and is inexplicable.

It is easier to lose love than passion, but it is sadder to lose passion.

To know what interests oneself is half of success; to know what interests other is all of it. 

Two steps forward, one step horizontal.

There’s no time for remembering — savor everything to the quick.

Everything gets clearer and clearer — then you realize you don’t have to understand.

Everyone behaves like an idiot from time to time but only the honest ones ever think about tit.

People go to extremes in order to be different. But the remarkable differences are the subtle ones.

If compassion won acclaim life would be art.