Lydia Hirt

"She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain"
-Louisa May Alcott (1873)
Recent Tweets @LydiaHirt
Who I Follow

Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there’s also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf – seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been. I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.

While I definitely have no plans to leave NYC anytime soon, this Thought Catalog piece of “Things I’ll Miss About New York” already rings true.
I will miss being so, so poor but somehow always feeling decadent. That’s the weird thing about New York: no one ever has any money but you always find a way to indulge. After all, we didn’t move here to feel deprived. No, we moved here because we wanted all of it, all of the time. We want all the sex, all the love, all the food, all the friends, all the nights. All the jobs, all the opportunities, all the feels, all the pain, all the ecstasy.
You take it all in here. You fill yourself up and you occasionally overdose and then maybe you leave. It’s not exactly the healthiest way to live but then again, being healthy has never been a primary focus of anyone who lives here. We can be healthy anywhere but to be here, to live in New York, you have to be a little sick.”

I downloaded this novel without reading a single blurb or description, based on the recommendation by a trusted friend (PopCultureNerd). Going in with no expectations, it was a wonderful - and very unique - read that took me from NYC to the Yacatan Peninsula in Mexico.
At the end, I almost felt like the entire novel was a dream sequence - from black panthers to illegal flowers (and their effects) - to very pretty, illustrative writing that had me researching all sorts of gorgeous and exotic plants.
Some of my favorite passages:
A moth hops onto a flower under the cover of moonlight, pollinates, or mates with the flower, and leaves. We humans do the exact same thing, except it involves dinner beforehand. So, to make a long story short, dating is when two or more people eat and converse to find out if they can tolerate each other enough to pollinate under cover of moonlight.

I hug her like this every day… Why wait till I miss her?”

"Humans are a very peculiar species. We don’t like to work at love. We only believe love is real if it overtakes us like a sudden illness. Like the flu. When people call in love gradually they always question it. So the gloxinia delivers love at first sight. Just the way that people like it to be."

"Sinsemilla mean ‘without seeds.’ A seedless female is far more potent than a seeded one. Remember that next time you want to accomplish something. Do it before you have sex. Before some male comes along and shoots his seed in you, satisfying you, and making you energetically useless."

This one is for the men out there. Datura inoxis is a plant that behaves exactly like a woman. If she lets you spend time with her, you will begin to feel powerful. But you will also become weak, because you will be at her mercy. But if you treat her well, and handle her with the utmost respect, care, and precision, she will bestow upon you visions of a future beyond your wildest imagination.

I downloaded this novel without reading a single blurb or description, based on the recommendation by a trusted friend (PopCultureNerd). Going in with no expectations, it was a wonderful - and very unique - read that took me from NYC to the Yacatan Peninsula in Mexico.

At the end, I almost felt like the entire novel was a dream sequence - from black panthers to illegal flowers (and their effects) - to very pretty, illustrative writing that had me researching all sorts of gorgeous and exotic plants.

Some of my favorite passages:

A moth hops onto a flower under the cover of moonlight, pollinates, or mates with the flower, and leaves. We humans do the exact same thing, except it involves dinner beforehand. So, to make a long story short, dating is when two or more people eat and converse to find out if they can tolerate each other enough to pollinate under cover of moonlight.

I hug her like this every day… Why wait till I miss her?”

"Humans are a very peculiar species. We don’t like to work at love. We only believe love is real if it overtakes us like a sudden illness. Like the flu. When people call in love gradually they always question it. So the gloxinia delivers love at first sight. Just the way that people like it to be."

"Sinsemilla mean ‘without seeds.’ A seedless female is far more potent than a seeded one. Remember that next time you want to accomplish something. Do it before you have sex. Before some male comes along and shoots his seed in you, satisfying you, and making you energetically useless."

This one is for the men out there. Datura inoxis is a plant that behaves exactly like a woman. If she lets you spend time with her, you will begin to feel powerful. But you will also become weak, because you will be at her mercy. But if you treat her well, and handle her with the utmost respect, care, and precision, she will bestow upon you visions of a future beyond your wildest imagination.

One of the important parts of prepping for a beach getaway (in addition to the packing, swimsuit freak-out, digging out your summer clothes from all the nooks & crannies in which they’re stuffed…) is figuring out what books to take.  

I received two great recommendations from Twitter - BEAUTIFUL RUINS and HOTHOUSE FLOWER.  Due to the copious amounts of rose at each lunch, I only got through the first, but loved every second. I have to share some of my favorite passages.

And he waited-as he always had-for life to come and find him… If he wasn’t entirely happy, he wasn’t unhappy, either. Rather, he found himself inhabiting the vast, empty plateau where most people live, between boredom and contentment.

"Then she smiled, and in that instant, if such a thing were possible, Pasquale fell in love, and he would remain in love for the rest of his life-not so much with the woman, whom he didn’t even know, but with the moment.”

Words and emotions are simple currencies  If we inflate them, they lose their value, just like money. They begin to mean nothing. 

"This life is a cold, brittle thing. And yet it’s all there is."

But what had Lydia said after she caught him with another woman? If you really do love me, then it’s even worse, the way you act. It means you’re cruel.

"Or was there something familiar and cutting in what he’d said-the love of your life? Maybe not. But it didn’t have to be like that, did it? Couldn’t you outgrow the little-girl fantasy? Couldn’t love be gentler, smaller, quieter, not quite all consuming?”

Who but the insane would ever be at peace? what person who has enjoyed life could possible think one is enough? Would could live even a day and not feel the sweet ache of regret?


""We haven’t had a letter in at least a month," Hannah answered. That was the excruciating truth. Each day, en route to the Atheneum, she checked their little wooden box at Riddell’s store-an ancient, dilapidated structure right in the center of town, whose sun-bleached wooden shingles, sagging porch and squeaky door belied its importance as the housing for all [Nantucket’s] correspondence. The enormous canvas sacks stuffed with letters hung over the mailboxes like fat men on fallows, each labeled with their destination - Pacific grounds, Cape of Good Hope, North Atlantic. Women and girls flowed in and around them like a school of fish, each hoping for news or trying to deliver their own. The bags were full of words describing deaths and births, grievances and reprieves. Above all, Hannah knew, they contained oaths of everlasting love. She always averted her eyes from the bulging repositories of so many hopes and dreams; staring at the felt like inviting disappointment.”

THE MOVEMENT OF STARS by Amy Brill. Fabulous historical read based on the magical island of Nantucket.  Find is on Goodreads here.

""We haven’t had a letter in at least a month," Hannah answered. That was the excruciating truth. Each day, en route to the Atheneum, she checked their little wooden box at Riddell’s store-an ancient, dilapidated structure right in the center of town, whose sun-bleached wooden shingles, sagging porch and squeaky door belied its importance as the housing for all [Nantucket’s] correspondence. The enormous canvas sacks stuffed with letters hung over the mailboxes like fat men on fallows, each labeled with their destination - Pacific grounds, Cape of Good Hope, North Atlantic. Women and girls flowed in and around them like a school of fish, each hoping for news or trying to deliver their own. The bags were full of words describing deaths and births, grievances and reprieves. Above all, Hannah knew, they contained oaths of everlasting love. She always averted her eyes from the bulging repositories of so many hopes and dreams; staring at the felt like inviting disappointment.

THE MOVEMENT OF STARS by Amy Brill. Fabulous historical read based on the magical island of Nantucket.  Find is on Goodreads here.

This is fantastic - read the (very charming) letter of application Eudora Welty submitted to The New Yorker when she was 23. They turned her down, and she went on to win a Pulitzer.  Maybe everything really does happen for a reason!

(via Letters of Note: How I would like to work for you!)

Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde!

explore-blog:

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” Wisdom from Oscar Wilde, hand-lettered by Lisa Congdon (previously), who knows a thing or two about illustrating timeless life-advice.

(via explore-blog)


"That’s what he was asking me to extinguish - the small child as well as the man - all that love, all that history."  ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes


Heartbreaking, touching, thought-provoking… I really enjoyed this book. Even though “enjoyed” is an odd word to use when it caused me to have tears streaming down my face. 
Have tissues in hand. Find it on Goodreads here.

"That’s what he was asking me to extinguish - the small child as well as the man - all that love, all that history."  ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes

Heartbreaking, touching, thought-provoking… I really enjoyed this book. Even though “enjoyed” is an odd word to use when it caused me to have tears streaming down my face. 

Have tissues in hand. Find it on Goodreads here.

Manhattan Rents Soar Thanks to Newly Employed People and Their Precious ‘Jobs’

I am both happy for these people finding new jobs and feeling really, really sorry for myself.

(via Manhattan Rents Soar Thanks to Jobs Surge — Daily Intel)


"That your friends have these opinions, however, does not mean that they don’t love you or value you as a friend or otherwise think you’re one of the best people they know…
We talk about our friends behind their backs… Our friends are witness to our attributes and flaws, our bad habits and good qualities, our contradictions and our contrivances.”

It’s so hard to pull quotes from a book that is full of gems. Still reading TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS one story at a time.

"That your friends have these opinions, however, does not mean that they don’t love you or value you as a friend or otherwise think you’re one of the best people they know…

We talk about our friends behind their backs… Our friends are witness to our attributes and flaws, our bad habits and good qualities, our contradictions and our contrivances.”

It’s so hard to pull quotes from a book that is full of gems. Still reading TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS one story at a time.