This insightful quote from legendary poet, film-maker, artist, Jean Cocteau, found at #poetic_outlaws, has had a number of people we know thinking hard about it and how much it resonates.

Ruth Kissane amended Cocteau’s words slightly:

What we IMAGINE “the public” criticizes about us, cultivate. It is you.

Ah, that’s it.

It points to a widespread mechanism of modern suffering: allowing our assumed view of what’s normal or right or better —public opinion —  to become commentary or criticism of us,  “in us”.   And it’s that harsh self-criticism-in-the-guise-of-the-norm that can really give clear insight into what we really like, or need to do, and how we are really made.

That is the stuff to make peace with.

What the public criticizes in you, cultivate!


This from the very original man who came for dinner at Villa Santo Suspir, Francine Weisweiller’s villa in the South of France, and ended up staying for 13 years, painting many of its surfaces.  Our story here.

Cecil Beaton




Instagram photograph by Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche / Getty

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