SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: NIETZSCHE’S DEMONS

I want to write down everything I know about being afraid, but I’d probably never have enough time to write anything else. Afraid is a country where they issue us passports at birth and hope we never seek citizenship in any other country. The face of afraid keeps changing constantly, and I can count on that change. I need to travel light and fast, and there’s a lot of baggage I’m going to have to leave behind me. Jettison cargo. ~Audre Lorde

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What if some day or night a demon were to steal into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live and have lived it you will have to live once again and innumerable times again; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unspeakably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself…” ~Nietzsche

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a friendly platanito seller in the park. the kind of smile you welcome in the mornings.

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buying flowers
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eye contact

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Nietzsche’s demon, after all, comes to us when we are all alone, his question can be heard only in one’s “loneliest loneliness,” and therefore the answer cannot be given by consensus or on behalf of some impersonal institutions. It is, indeed, the most personal of answers — the one that always determines an individual choice. Of course you can choose anything you want, to raise children or get married, but don’t pretend to do it because these things have some sort of intrinsic value — they don’t. Do it solely because you chose them and are willing to own up to them. In the story of our lives, these choices are ours and ours alone, and this is what gives things, all things, value. Only when one realizes this is he or she prepared to face the eternal recurrence, the entire cycle, without the risk of being crushed. Only then is one able to say with Yeats, “[A]nd yet again,” and truly mean it. ~John J. Kaag

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a beautiful stranger walking by as i was taking pics of this mural in progress by gabriel dumani and hein. she stopped, smiled, posed, and then walked on without uttering a word. 

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i’d like to help this couple out, but i can’t be trusted with homemade liquor that i know nothing about.
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purple jeans made my day.

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street vendor leaning against his kiosk
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that mustache makes me uncomfortable. i’m sure he’s a nice guy, but…

 

Perhaps the hardest part of the eternal return is to own up to the tortures that we create for ourselves and those we create for others. Owning up: to recollect, to regret, to be responsible, ultimately to forgive and love. ~Kaag

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ticos like their subway sandwiches.

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every day is training day and don’t you forget it. 

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a tico walking by a crowd of tourists taking pictures of pigeons. 

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There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny. ~Pablo Neruda

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this guy is selling avocados illegally. i wouldn’t have known that had he not frantically blown past me with his avocado crate when two cops pulled up at the light. this pic was taken once he returned to his spot and the cops were out of sight. looking right at me. his eyes kinda saying “yeah, this is illegal. so what. buy some.”

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april 2019. San Jose, Costa Rica.

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