Listening to Bonnie Raitt tonight, painting...
The Bonnie playlist:
Not the Only One
Nick of Time
Something to Talk About
Thing Called Love
I Don't Want Anything to Change
I Can't Make You Love Me
Have a Heart
One Part Be My Lover
Wherever You May Be
All At Once
At the suggestion of a friend, I'm reading Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead," which is odd for me because though I read voraciously, I never read fiction.
I'm glued to this book.
It's a book about the interweave of people with different passions and abilities, different directions and motivations. Here's a telling passage, about a house and its purpose and intent in designing and building it:
"What is it that I like so much about the house you're building for me, Howard?"I think people and marriages are just like this and that we gravitate to those who give us the same exterior as what we find on the interior. It's a refreshing and indifferent honesty that cares nothing for the irrelevant opinion of others. When we do what we do for the true purpose of our soul, then we're where we need to be and doing what we need to do, whether it's popular or not.
"A house can have integrity, just like a person," said [Howard] Roark, "and just as seldom."
"In what way?"
"Well, look at it. Every piece of is there because the house needs it - and for no other reason. You see it from here as it is inside. The rooms in which you'll live made the shape. The relation of the masses was determined by the distribution of space within. The ornament was determined by the method of construction, an emphasis of the principle that makes it stand. You can see each stress, each support that meets it. Your own eyes go through a structural process when you look at the house, you can follow each step, you see it rise, you know what made it and why it stands. But you've seen buildings with columns that support nothing, with purposeless cornices, with pilasters, moldings, false arches, false windows. You've seen buildings that look as if they contained a single large hall, they have solid columns and single, solid windows six floors high. But you enter and find six stories inside. Or buildings that contain a single hall, but with a facade cut up into floor lines, band courses, tiers of windows. Do you understand the difference? Your house is made by its own needs. Those others are made by the need to impress. The determining motive of your house is in the house. The determining motive of the others is in the audience."
"Do you know that that's what I've felt in a way? I've felt that when I move into this house, I'll have a new sort of existence, and even my simple daily routine will have a kind of honesty or dignity that I can't quite define. Don't be astonished if I tell you that I feel as if I'll have to live up to that house."
"I intended that," said Roark.
Earlier in the book, a fella named Peter Keating asks Howard Roark for his advice.
"If you want my advice, Peter," he said at last, "you've made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?"Does the opinion of others matter? No, not at all. What others think of me is not my responsibility, because it is not in my control. I can only be responsible for what I control, and the only thing on this earth that I control are my choices and my actions. If I align my actions with my purpose and talents, then I act in accordance with my destiny, if you will. My life is obvious and worthwhile. Anything else is fretful and a waste of time. I can only be who I am. I can't be what others demand of me that I am not.
"You see, that's what I admire about you, Howard. You always know."
"Drop the compliments."
"But I mean it. How do you always manage to decide?"
"How can you let others decide for you?"