the art of living

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lately, i’ve been reading the diary of anne frank. it’s one of those books that i keep starting, but always put it down at the same spot. this time, however, i am determined to finish it. it’s one of those books that we’ve all heard of so many times, and we already know the ending so we feel like we’ve already read it so why bother. it is so inspiring though. while reading it, it’s easy to forget what kind of world she was living through. she makes it seem like the “secret annexe” is so normal that you almost forget what kind of conditions she is forced to survive in.

in her diary, anne mentions what her mother calls “the art of living.”

“i needn’t get annoyed about other people’s opinions. i don’t think my opinions are stupid and the other do; so it is better to keep them to myself. i do just the same if i have to eat something that i simply can’t stand. i put my plate in front of me, pretend that it is something delicious, look at it as little as possible, and before i know where i am, it is gone. when i get up in the morning, also a very unpleasant process, i jump out of bed thinking to myself ‘you’ll be back in a second,’ go to the window, take down the blackout, sniff at the crack of the window, until i feel a bit of fresh air, and i’m awake. the bed is turned down as quickly as possible and then the temptation is removed.” (the diary of anne frank)

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the art of living is hard and complex. the art of living is not to just make your life look aesthetically pleasing from the outside. this art is in the details. in eating the food that you have with grace, even though you hate it. in getting up in the morning even though there is nothing you want more than to stay in the warm covers. it’s in all things you don’t want to do, but do with a good attitude anyways. art is a lengthy process. you don’t just sit down and imagine something beautiful. you have to create it from scratch. the art of living is just the same. the little things you do each day are what create your ultimate masterpiece.

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