Nearly Kirk

A sassy Harvard gal and quirky thespian combine literary and cultural forces. We are V and A, geographically divided, namaste dwellers, one half in Boston studying history & economics and the other in London studying acting.

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"Beauty privilege is very real. None of us are imagining it, and if we aren’t born genetic lottery winners, our only option is to compensate with style, grace, and charm. Of course, none of that shit comes cheap. That’s kind of the whole point. It’s all meant to be aspirational and exclusionary. We’re supposed to feel depressed by our skin, agitated by our bodies, and anxious about our invisibility. That’s the insidious subtlety of social control.

The worst part is that we know in our rational minds that it’s all bullshit, and yet we’re still plagued with self-loathing when we can’t live up to unattainable beauty standards. No matter how much self-acceptance we achieve, we can still look in the mirror and instantly catalog all the things about ourselves that we don’t think measure up. It’s maddening. It makes us feel like hypocrites even though it’s not our hypocrisy."
The Coquette, Ugly-Sexy: Cool? | Adult Mag (via nathanielstuart)
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Just a silent thought about Australia

To the dreamers, the wonder, the vast blue expanse stretching between quiet lovers and far-flung friends. To the twilight era of spendthrift, tickling dreams. To the sense of something beginning, barely burning in the dark dark sky above our heads. To my eighteen-year-old self, entranced with the fringes of life, turning this way and that, yet anchored, arm-in-arm, with my dearest V.

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To the dreamers, the wonder, the vast blue expanse stretching between quiet lovers and far-flung friends. To the twilight era of spendthrift, tickling dreams. To the sense of something beginning, barely burning in the dark dark sky above our heads. To my eighteen-year-old self, entranced with the fringes of life, turning this way and that, yet anchored, arm-in-arm, with my dearest V.
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"The Readiness is all"
— True, it’s way too over-used but this is the motto for the week ahead. I always find that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a treasure trove of sound bites and life mantras and platitudes.
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I gladly come back to the theme of the absurdity of our education: its end has not been to make us good and wise, but learned. And it has succeeded. It has not taught us to seek virtue and to embrace wisdom: it has impressed upon us their derivation and their etymology….

We readily inquire, “Does he know Greek or Latin?” “Can he write poetry and prose?” But what matters most is what we put last: “Has he become better and wiser?” We ought to find out not who understands most but understands best. We work merely to fill the memory, leaving the understanding and the sense of right and wrong empty.

"

Michel de Montaigne on Wisdom and Education and how the two are not interchangeable from The Complete Essays. I certainly feel this way about my education here at Harvard. I am coming to the belief, however, that a lot of the ‘wisdom’ needed to deal with relationship issues or confront death and hardship are best learnt through our exchanges with people and the ability to embrace our ‘inadequacies.’ Montaigne was a strangely down-to-earth philosopher who eschewed intellectual arrogance and perfectionism, pushing for a sense of humility and appreciation of the banal and unattractive in life. I can see why Shakespeare was a fun of this man.

Given my more OCD tendencies and the general atmosphere of perfectionism here at Harvard, I realize the validity in knowing when to let go and accept that you are not and should not perpetually worry yourself sick that you are not ‘perfect’ in all aspects of life.

Michel de Montaigne

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"My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite."

There’s always something so beautifully rhythmic and raw behind the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare’s plays. Like an Icelandic volcano, a Norwegian fjord.

This is Juliet’s parting speech to Romeo as he leaves after their night of love-making.

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"George is like the dream boyfriend you have right out of college – sophisticated, older, knowledgeable about the ways of the world unlike all the callous, dopey undergraduates you so recently dated. And yet he is utterly, completely, thoroughly devoted, amazingly, to you. He calls, he writes, he charms, he disarms, you are in love, you are his socket. This is the guy. And then… you find out he has been hooking up in the past few months with women who look just like Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts and Valerie Jarett. You are shocked, shocked and yet somehow you can never ever be really mad at him. George is everywhere and all at once and somehow never shows a dent on his bumper."
— Meryl Streep’s Love Letter to George Clooney. Don’t all women feel the same, Meryl?
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Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamlet on London stage in 2014

Hamlet has always been a rite of passage for the next generation of fine actors (think Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw) I’m rather excited about this new bit of news and I hope V can afford a ticket and wax lyrical about seeing the Cumberbatch in the flesh.

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"Life is like a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along"
—  Mr Emerson from E.M Forster’s A Room with a View. It’s a quote that’s inspired a recent post on my blog Arguably Kirk. Throw a look at it the post “What it Means to Live a Good Life.”
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