Henry Miller (on interest, beauty, forgetfulness)

We were about a dozen, and we were trying to work out the places where discipline, artistry, ends, practice, spirit, livelihood, beginnings and joy intersect. (My submission: all over the place!) We got quiet, and then we talked, and then we ate. I contributed this apparently velvety and colourful, but finally stone-cold prescription from the writer Henry Miller:

“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”

Henry Miller (1891-1980) was best known as a writer of frankly sexual and otherwise unconventional novels which were long banned in his American homeland. He wearied of his reputation as that naughty writer; he was a rather good one. This passage is cited in Julia Cameron’s The Sound of Paper. While it is good counsel for writers, it’s an even better idea for pret’near everybody.

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