Journal XVI

I should have admitted more often how little I knew, and more teachers would have appeared. I should have known that suffering shouldn’t be suppressed, because suffering is a great teacher.
– Marlon Brando

Our questions (in second half of life) may now be different from before, asking, for instance, if we cultivated a great love, great friends, and found a passion for life? Have we made a contribution to the human condition? Have we done what we needed to do?
– Michael Conforti

The job of the elder is to be nuttier, more curious, occasionally fierce and more connected to the eccentricities of wildness than the youth ever dreamed. More than anything, the elder has seen some rough pattern to their life and knows how to express it through a story. This carries tremendous hope with it.
– Martin Shaw

If you want to find some pure, untouched place in the world where the troubles of our times and the struggles of being human do not appear, where everyone is kind, loving, always honest, respectful and no one ever gets hurt and where you can be totally safe, you will not only look in vain but you will bring your childish fantasies of this Utopia with you and burden those in every place you find with your disappointments that they didn’t live up to them.

Every person you meet and fall for ends up becoming a disappointment to you – they let you down because they weren’t perfect, they have their flaws. Each new person you meet, you think, “This might be them! Finally, I’ve met someone who is different! They’re not like all the others.” And then the betrayal.
Every time, the words escape our lips, “You are not what I had hoped you would be.”

Every ashram becomes a sham. Every new job is full of flaws. Every indigenous community a heartbreak. Every spiritual teacher a fraud. Every new potential and actual lover a discouraging disaster. Every new, would-be-friend and ally full of unbearable contradictions. Every time, the words escape our lips, “You are not what I had hoped you would be.” And, of course, the whole thing is heartbreaking.

And so reality, the way the world is and the people in it are, becomes a constant betrayal. But the betrayal is a necessary one. It’s the betrayal that asks us to stop being children about the whole thing complaining that this world isn’t what we hoped it would be.

“What is it that you wanted to be before the world made you into this?”

You’ll make the world wrong for being the way it is and take the current state of reality as a personal affront to yourself and people like you. But, if you want a better tomorrow and you’re willing to meet the world as it is and are willing to do the impossibly hard work of loving it by learning the deeper story of how it came to be the way it is, if you’re willing to ask every troubling thing you come across, “What is it that you wanted to be before the world made you into this?” then things may begin to change.
– Tad Hargrave

Miracles
by Giannina Braschi

—There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed in your
philosophy.
—Like what?
—Like miracles—like changes of power—like changes in climate—like
political climates collapsing like polar ice caps—like the dungeon becoming
the crown and the crown the dungeon—like not paying attention to
bullies—like superpowers running out of fuel—like finding oil in the
dungeon of liberty—like the dungeon of liberty becoming a gold mine—like
useless poets changing the way the world thinks and sings—like a voice
coming out of the dungeon—a useless voice that has something to say but
doesn’t know how to market it—like finding yourself for the first time
happy—even though you’re in prison. Like finding camaraderie and
solidarity among friends you never thought could be your friends. Like
understanding the other—not loving the other—but putting yourself in the
shoes of the other—not to take their position—not to steal what the other
has—but to feel what the other feels—to appreciate his thoughts. Not to be
ironic—clever—smart—but to be profound—not to be the boss who puts
everybody down—but to be the leader of a chorus of voices—each and
every single one of them having their own point of view—like
saying—stop being a predicate and become a subject.

May this be the season you stop acting like vinegar is water.
– Dr. Thema

May you heal so much your taste changes.
– Dr. Thema

Try not to let the nightmares keep you from dreaming a new dream.

There can be sun after the storm. You are worthy. Become a sky walker again.

– Dr. Thema

You have two birth-places. You have the place where you were really born and then you have a place of predilection where you really wake up to reality.
– Lawrence Durrell

Pain cannot be kept intact, it needs to be “processed,” converted into humour.
– Annie Ernaux

You will be pursued by problems, one after the other, with their constant annoyance and pain, if you don’t understand who is the creator of problems.
– Krishnamurti

Among The Multitudes

I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.
I could have different
ancestors, after all.
I could have fluttered
from another nest
or crawled bescaled
from another tree.
Nature’s wardrobe
holds a fair supply of costumes:
spider, seagull, fieldmouse.
Each fits perfectly right off
and is dutifully worn
into shreds.
I didn’t get a choice either,
but I can’t complain.
I could have been someone
much less separate.
Someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.
Someone much less fortunate,
bred for my fur
or Christmas dinner,
something swimming under a square of glass.
A tree rooted to the ground
as the fire draws near.
A grass blade trampled by a stampede
of incomprehensible events.
A shady type whose darkness
dazzled some.
What if I’d prompted only fear,
loathing,
or pity?
If I’d been born
in the wrong tribe
with all roads closed before me?
Fate has been kind
to me thus far.
I might never have been given
the memory of happy moments.
My yen for comparison
might have been taken away.
I might have been myself minus amazement,
that is,
someone completely different.

– Wislawa Szymborska

A person who is lucidly aware of the miracles that surround him, who has learned to bear up under the loneliness, has made quite a bit of progress on the road to wisdom.
– M.C. Escher

Ongoing
Never mind the distances traveled, the companion
she made of herself. The threadbare twenties not
to be underestimated. A wild depression that ripped
from January into April. And still she sprouts an appetite.
Insisting on edges and cores, when there were none.
Relationships annealed through shared ambivalences.
Pages that steadied her. Books that prowled her
until the hard daybreak, and for months after.
Separating new vows from the old, like laundry whites.
Small losses jammed together so as to gather mass.
Stored generations of filtered quietude.
And some stubbornness. Tangles along the way
the comb-teeth of the mind had to bite through, but for what.
She had trained herself to look for answers at eye level,
but they were lower, they were changing all the time.

– Jenny Xie

…In a soiled, blighted world poetry was a thing set apart…
– Gregory Corso

Yang, the light, active, masculine principle, and Yin, the dark, passive, and feminine, in their interaction underlie and constitute the whole world of forms (“the 10,000 things”). They proceed from and together make manifest Tao: the source and law of being.
– Joseph Campbell

hunter moon
clear autumn night
everywhere a new sign
– Ogawa

Christianity isn’t a failure; it just hasn’t been tried yet.
– G.K. Chesterton

It’s all about how the words are used, not the words themselves. People who are hung up on tiny fragments of language, on single words and phrases, and who are intimidated or angered by them while ignoring the whole of the conversation, are shallow thinkers, superficial censors with no interest in the ideas, only in channeling a conversation along narrow avenues that will not burst out beyond the circumscribed boundaries of their sense of propriety.
– P. Z. Myers

the gods will offer you chances. / know them. / take them.
– Charles Bukowski

The land of healing lies within, radiant with the happiness that is blindly sought in a thousand outer directions.
– Swami Vivekananda

People recover differently. Some change cities, some fall in love and some begin writing.
– Kanza Javed

We are listening for a sound
beyond us, beyond sound,

searching for a lighthouse
in the breakwaters of our uncertainty,
an electronic murmur,
a bright, fragile I am.

– Diane Ackerman

Culture, then, only truly becomes culture when it is embodied in someone.
– László Krasznahorkai

Democracy is the great religion of the West – probably the greatest religion because it affirms other religions; probably the greatest culture because it affirms other cultures. But it’s based on faith, it’s based on appetite for fraternity, it’s based on love, and therefore it shares the characteristics of a religious movement. It’s also like a religion in that it’s never really been tried.
– Leonard Cohen

… we must pay much closer attention to the things we have heard, so that we do not drift away from the truth.
– Hebrews 2:1

Much of Earth’s life moves and communicates on a time scale humans cannot hope to comprehend
– Moshe Feldenkrais

A lot of people think that Christianity is you doing all the righteous things you hate and avoiding all the wicked things you love in order to go to Heaven. No, that’s a lost man with religion. A Christian is a person whose heart has been changed; they have new affections.
– Paul Washer

Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation.
Healing is an act of communion.
– bell hooks

Courage consists, however, in agreeing to flee rather than live tranquilly and hypocritically in false refuges. Values, morals, homelands, religions, and these private certitudes that our vanity and our complacency bestow generously on us, have many deceptive sojourns as the world arranges for those who think they are standing straight and at ease, among stable things.
– Gilles Deleuze

For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.
– Paulo Freire

There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.
– Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

An artist is a provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one. It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one. That is the realm of the artist.
– Federico Fellini

Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge…is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires purposes larger than self-centered understandings.
– Bill Bullard

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique.
all artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last,
to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.
– James Baldwin

We are aberrations—beings born undead, neither one thing nor another, or two things at once … uncanny things that have nothing to do with the rest of creation, horrors that poison the world by sowing our madness everywhere we go, glutting daylight and darkness with incorporeal obscenities.
– Thomas Ligotti

Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our conflicts, criticisms, and contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness. People who learn to expose, name, and still thrive inside the contradictions are people I would call prophets.
– Richard Rohr

Stevens’s ‘After the Final No’

The Well Dressed Man With A Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket’s horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house…
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

– Wallace Stevens

Space opens and from the heart of the matter
sheds a descending grace that makes
for a moment, that naked thing, Being,
a thing to understand.
– Norman MacCaig

To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognize: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long. And, above all, that they haven’t really hurt you. They haven’t diminished your ability to choose.
– Marcus Aurelius

TV makes it so easy to postpone living for another half hour
– Bill McKibben

My purpose is a language that can make us whole,
though mortal, ignorant, and small.
The world is whole beyond human knowing.
The body’s life is its own, untouched
by the little clockwork of explanation.
I approve of death, when it comes in time
to the old. I don’t want to live
on mortal terms forever, or survive
an hour as a cooling stew of pieces
of other people. I don’t believe that life
or knowledge can be given by machines.
The machine economy has set afire
the household of the human soul,
and all the creatures are burning with it.
– Wendell Berry

Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
– Cormac McCarthy

Friendship is on my mind these days.
This rings really true for me.
How ’bout you?

an irreplaceable friend is someone who:
highly values your trust
naturally feels like family
appreciates your honesty
still loves you as you change
finds it easy to laugh with you
holds space for you in tough times
supports your happiness and safety
inspires you to love and know yourself
helps you not question your self-worth
– yung pueblo

Don’t rock me awake again;
I dream of thunderstorms and wildfires,
and can hear a novice orchestra
play a terrible melody.

At midnight,
I say goodbye to the neon lights;
I unconsciously walk around downtown;
searching for a pure heart.

When this world finally collapses
like half-finished origami,
only then would I understand human mercy,
as if I could enter a dream again.

– Elda Mengisto

Suppose the stars are just our grief reflected back to us, / proof that grief sometimes forgets its source.
– Victoria Chang

Legend tells us that Alexander wept when he reached the Ganges, for there was no further world to conquer. Apparently it had not occurred to him that there was also a world within of infinite scope and mystery.
– James Hollis

I am as afraid of normal people as I am of psychotics. More even of “normals”—because of the repression. It’s the neurotics, as we tend to call them, I am most at home with.
– James Hillman

Stabilize where you are & expansion will naturally occur.

Straining to expand is itself contraction.

– @VinceFHorn

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
– Wislawa Szymborska

What I needed with all my starved and silent soul was just that particular way of shouting back at the world.
– Iris Murdoch

Billions suffer & die if planet devouring growth capitalism continues.

Billions suffer & die if planet devouring growth capitalism collapses.

This is the perversity of capitalism, & why there are zero good reasons not to urgently transition to a new economic system.

– @ClimateDad77

When people confess to not reading by choice (early or late in their writing life!) my souls SQUIRMS for them.
– @hmvanderhart

Writing a haiku
Mulling over the first line
And then the second.
– Sarita Talwai

Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

my own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. and why? what’s this passion for?
– virginia woolf

The older I get the more complicated the past gets— the simplest times show themselves not to have been simple at all.
– sven birkerts

I’ve thrown this book across the room and picked it up, you know, and then walked down the steps laughing.
– Sonia Sanchez on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Life is a very simple matter. …But we add extra tension all the time. If you stop and feel your face, you’ll notice it’s usually a little bit tight. We don’t need that tension. We have a face; we don’t need to have an extra face.
– Charlotte Joko Beck

The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, open to all possibilities.
– Shunryu Suzuki

Heartbreaks, disappointments and even our own weaknesses can serve as stepping-stones to the second half of life transformation. Failings are the foundation for growth. Those who have fallen, failed or ‘gone down’ are the only ones who understand ‘up.’
– Richard Rohr

There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt.
– Ray Bradbury

My secret talent is my ability to tell within five pages if an author was raised catholic.
– Emma Bolden

Words melt in reflections; that’s why there’s a uselessness to this night, to my missing the river, to the delaying of love…
– Etel Adnan

White supremacy is a comprehensive cultural education whose primary function is to prevent people from reading—engaging with, understanding—the lives of people outside its scope.
– Elaine Castillo

…because sleep is an elusive magical healing place for people with chronic pain.
– Sonya Huber

Whom are we to love?
How many and what for?
[…]
This is a prayer, plaint, wish,
howl of void beneath breastbone.
Dreams, soul chasers, bring
back my heart alive.
– Jim Harrison

Trying to find a world to feel
that feels like the world again.
– Leonard Cohen

I wanted to drag a few words out of silence then sleep and none were what I truly wanted. So much silence and so many words.
– Jim Harrison

In her youth she ran on the mountains and something of their wildness is still in her speech.
– Nan Shepherd

How to Be Perfect
BY RON PADGETT
Everything is perfect, dear friend.
– KEROUAC
Get some sleep.

Don’t give advice.

Take care of your teeth and gums.

Don’t be afraid of anything beyond your control. Don’t be afraid, for
instance, that the building will collapse as you sleep, or that someone
you love will suddenly drop dead.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly. It will help make you happy.

Raise your pulse rate to 120 beats per minute for 20 straight minutes
four or five times a week doing anything you enjoy.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.

Know that the desire to be perfect is probably the veiled expression
of another desire—to be loved, perhaps, or not to die.

Make eye contact with a tree.

Be skeptical about all opinions, but try to see some value in each of
them.

Dress in a way that pleases both you and those around you.

Do not speak quickly.

Learn something every day. (Dzien dobre!)

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball
collection.

Be loyal.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Design your activities so that they show a pleasing balance
and variety.

Be kind to old people, even when they are obnoxious. When you
become old, be kind to young people. Do not throw your cane at
them when they call you Grandpa. They are your grandchildren!

Live with an animal.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

If you need help, ask for it.

Cultivate good posture until it becomes natural.

If someone murders your child, get a shotgun and blow his head off.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you
have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.

Do not waste money you could be giving to those who need it.

Expect society to be defective. Then weep when you find that it is far
more defective than you imagined.

When you borrow something, return it in an even better condition.

As much as possible, use wooden objects instead of plastic or metal
ones.

Look at that bird over there.

After dinner, wash the dishes.

Calm down.

Visit foreign countries, except those whose inhabitants have
expressed a desire to kill you.

Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.

Meditate on the spiritual. Then go a little further, if you feel like it.
What is out (in) there?

Sing, every once in a while.

Be on time, but if you are late do not give a detailed and lengthy
excuse.

Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don’t think that progress exists. It doesn’t.

Walk upstairs.

Do not practice cannibalism.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do
anything to make it impossible.

Take your phone off the hook at least twice a week.

Keep your windows clean.

Extirpate all traces of personal ambitiousness.

Don’t use the word extirpate too often.

Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go
to another one.

If you feel tired, rest.

Grow something.

Do not wander through train stations muttering, “We’re all going to
die!”

Count among your true friends people of various stations of life.

Appreciate simple pleasures, such as the pleasure of chewing, the
pleasure of warm water running down your back, the pleasure of a
cool breeze, the pleasure of falling asleep.

Do not exclaim, “Isn’t technology wonderful!”

Learn how to stretch your muscles. Stretch them every day.

Don’t be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even
older. Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

If you burn your finger, put it in cold water immediately. If you bang
your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for twenty
minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of coldness and
gravity.

Learn how to whistle at earsplitting volume.

Be calm in a crisis. The more critical the situation, the calmer you
should be.

Enjoy sex, but don’t become obsessed with it. Except for brief periods
in your adolescence, youth, middle age, and old age.

Contemplate everything’s opposite.

If you’re struck with the fear that you’ve swum out too far in the
ocean, turn around and go back to the lifeboat.

Keep your childish self alive.

Answer letters promptly. Use attractive stamps, like the one with a
tornado on it.

Cry every once in a while, but only when alone. Then appreciate
how much better you feel. Don’t be embarrassed about feeling better.

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Do not step off the curb until you can walk all the way across the
street. From the curb you can study the pedestrians who are trapped
in the middle of the crazed and roaring traffic.

Be good.

Walk down different streets.

Backwards.

Remember beauty, which exists, and truth, which does not. Notice
that the idea of truth is just as powerful as the idea of beauty.

Stay out of jail.

In later life, become a mystic.

Use Colgate toothpaste in the new Tartar Control formula.

Visit friends and acquaintances in the hospital. When you feel it is
time to leave, do so.

Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.

Do not go crazy a lot. It’s a waste of time.

Read and reread great books.

Dig a hole with a shovel.

In winter, before you go to bed, humidify your bedroom.

Know that the only perfect things are a 300 game in bowling and a
27-batter, 27-out game in baseball.

Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink,
say, “Water, please.”

Ask “Where is the loo?” but not “Where can I urinate?”

Be kind to physical objects.

Beginning at age forty, get a complete “physical” every few years
from a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with.

Don’t read the newspaper more than once a year.

Learn how to say “hello,” “thank you,” and “chopsticks”
in Mandarin.

Belch and fart, but quietly.

Be especially cordial to foreigners.

See shadow puppet plays and imagine that you are one of the
characters. Or all of them.

Take out the trash.

Love life.

Use exact change.

When there’s shooting in the street, don’t go near the window.

That is why it is not enough to remove oneself from people, not enough to go somewhere else. We have to remove ourselves from the habits of the populace that are within us. We have to isolate our own self and return it to our possession. We carry our chains with us; we are not entirely free. We keep returning our gaze to the things we have left behind; we fantasize about them constantly.
– Montaigne, On Solitude

Poems are selfish,
always demanding attention,
tugging, pulling, asking, wanting.
The page, the pen,
this world, its hunger.
– Ebony Stewart

My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
– John Lennon

One of the uses of poetry is to save us from the constant clatter of abstractions.
– Doug Anderson

Didn’t I, idler and squanderer of summertime, write a long, intimate passionate poem into a lady’s poetry album? No doubt!…And didn’t I, on the whole, play a totally useless, pointless, untenable, irresponsible and thus superfluous part? Absolutely!
– Robert Walser, Wurzburg

When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality. So poetry becomes a philosophy to guide a man throughout his life.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.
– Maya Angelou

on the last page
of her last book
the setting sun
– Brenda Gannam

I do not name you,

but you are in me

like the music

in the throat of a nightingale

even if I am not singing.

– D. María de Loynaz

Give your all to your work and to people to the point of weakness. Wear yourself out in the loving and the giving. Deplete yourself. When your work is done or a friend leaves the world, you will feel that you have been assaulted or abandoned, but you will have loved and you will have used the heart for all of its noble purposes. Be bold in the use of the heart.
– Tennessee Williams

The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity.

But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it – at no matter what risk. This is the only hope society has.

– James Baldwin

leaves floating
upon a lotus pond
autumn festival
– Basho

red leaves
engulfed in
sunset
– Issa

Poets! Towers of God
Made to resist the fury of the storms
Like cliffs beside the ocean
Or clouded, savage peaks!
Masters of lightning!
Breakwaters of eternity!

Hope, magic-voiced, foretells the day
When on the rock of harmony
The Siren traitorous shall die and pass away,
And there shall only be
The full, frank-billowed music of the sea.

Be hopeful still,
Though bestial elements yet turn
From Song with rancorous ill-will
And blinded races one another spurn!
Perversity debased
Among the high her rebel cry has raised.
The cannibal still lusts after the raw,
Knife-toothed and gory-faced.

Towers, your laughing banners now unfold.
Against all hatreds and all envious lies
Upraise the protest of the breeze, half-told,
And the proud quietness of sea and skies…

– Rubén Darío

Beautiful words of Jim Palmer – with an added caveat at the end: “According to the stories, many of the people Jesus associated with were so beaten down by religion and society that they could not believe anything good, trustworthy, beautiful and powerful could be found within themselves. Realizing this, as a temporary measure Jesus asked these people to place his faith in him. In other words, Jesus was trying to make the case that it was possible for a human being to live life freely as he did. After all, he was a human person just like they were. People would have known Jesus since he was a child and a common laborer in the village.

So this was step one: to acknowledge that the Jesus they all know was the same Jesus who lived a life of peace, love, courage, freedom and wholeness. It was lead by example. Human beings once through that the idea of going to the moon was absurd, until it was done. There was a time when the idea of a person running a 4-min mile was deemed impossible, until someone did it.

Step two was Jesus bolstering the people’s courage and confidence that they were just as capable of knowing true peace, love, wholeness and freedom. He debunked the religious system that systematically shamed and condemned people in the name of God. Jesus deconstructed the toxic theology of the religious establishment and turned it on its head. He went straight to the people that religion most rejected and offered love, affirmation, validation and friendship.

Unfortunately, at a later point, namely the reign of Constantine and Council of Nicea, Jesus was made into God in a way that put everyone back in their place. Things shifted from belief that one could live as Jesus, to the need to be saved because you can’t. This grave error has been a source of some of the greatest suffering in human history, which I describe extensively in my fifth book, Inner Anarchy.”

I affirm most all of this and have shared words very similar to this in my book K.F. Though I have become swayed by the scholarship that suggests that Protestant Christians have been exposed to a mistranslation of the biblical text that has led to a distortion of our understanding of salvation. We are saved by the faith of Jesus rather than faith in Jesus. See the article on Patheos “Was Luther Wrong? We’re saved by the faith OF Christ”
– Roger Wolsey

William Shatner:

I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things-that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.

It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

Strong words outlast the paper they are written upon.
– Joseph Bruchac

But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.
– Patrick Geddes

Writing sonnets meant that I could frame my panic and despair in love. Box it.
– Terrance Hayes

I love that Toni Morrison was okay with not writing for everybody. As she said, “I want to write for people like me…people who can’t be faked, people who don’t need to be patronized, people who have very, very high criteria.”
– Tamara K Nopper

One thing I often tell my nonfiction students is that even though this is about you, and it’s your story, it’s not about you. It’s about the human condition and our fears and betrayals and desires.
– Kim Barnes

You have to move faster than the non-writing part of you…
– Marguerite Duras

If your long-term strategy doesn’t have a climate lens then your long-term strategy might be for a world that will never exist.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

a brisk autumn wind —
there’s a book of poetry
inside each of us
– Jason Gould

The latest experiments in the field of quantum mechanics have rendered all but untenable the notion that there is anything objective at all. This is consistent with many of the world’s religious myths, which suggest that the world is a self-referential mental creation.
– Kastrup

I am using the expression ‘inner clarity’ to mean conscious awareness of being on one’s thread, knowing what one knows, and having an ability quite simply and without ostentation to stand firm on one’s own inner truth.
– Irene Claremont de Castillejo

When mind and body are separated, spirituality becomes an intellectual phenomenon—a belief rather than a vital force—while the body becomes simply flesh, or a biochemical laboratory, as in modern medicine.
– Alexander Lowen

Paris Agreement
the v of seagulls
lost in the fog

summer ends
in the birdbath
white feathers

draught lake lily the last of its colours

– Hifsa Ashraf

The closer we get to our pain, the greater are the odds that we’ll be able to skillfully relate to it rather than from it.
– Robert Augustus Masters

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
– Ovid, Heroides

Once, I lived on the tarred, lonely highways of truth – slugging towards the looming horizons – the promised dwelling places for those who did not waver. The whole world was about being either right or wrong. I was either lost or found.

That was many years ago though.

Today, when I meet people, I recognize how utterly beyond right and wrong they are – how their lives are symphonies beyond orchestration, how their mistakes and failings are actually cosmic explorations on a scale grander and of a texture softer than our most dedicated rule-books could possibly account for.

You see, something happened on my way – and I lost my coordinates, my map, my directives. Now the whole journey is the destination – and each point, each barren point, just as noble as the final dot.

Every splotch of ink is become to me a fresco of wisdom, a beehive of honey, a lovely place – and every aching voice a heavenly choir. The world is no longer desolate and empty and exclusive; she is now a wispy spirit, whose fingers flirt through the wind – a million roads where only one once lay. And I need not be certain about the road traveled – since I arrived the self-same moment I set out.

– Báyò Akómoláfé

One of the ways we know we’re magical people is by how much we manage to do with broken hearts.
– Jericho Brown

Romantic Poetry
by Diane Seuss

Now that the TV is gone and the music
has been hauled away,
it’s just me here, and the muffling silence
a spider wraps around a living morsel.
And at times, often, the unbearable.
I bear it, though, just like you.
Long ago, I bore a suitcase filled with books,
bore it far on city streets. To sell, I guess, at some
used-books place, one of those doorways down
steps into dankness and darkness. The scent

of mildewed, dog-eared, fingered pages.
The suitcase, big and square and sharp-cornered,
covered in snakeskin, bought at Goodwill
for a dollar, knowing I had some travelling to do,
some lugging, and I was right.
What books I sold I do not know.
Maybe that’s where “Modern Poetry” went.
The cover cherry-red and blossom-white.
I can see its spine in my mind’s eye,
pointing downward beneath the dank

and the dark to the water tunnelling
under the city and making its way to the river.
Poems sliding down the book’s spine
into water, the shock of the cold and dank,
down where my uterine lining, my blood
and cast-off ovulations, cast-off fetal
tissue swims, below the city.
The micro-dead ride modern poems
like swan boats in the park.
From the park to the river to the sea.

I’m thinking now of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave.
Balladeers. Lovers. Vita and Virginia.
Frank O’Hara and Vincent Warren. Somehow,
we ride our lost loves out to sea. Or they ride us.
It doesn’t matter. Poet or poem or reader, the same
ectoplasm. The modern, in time, becomes antique,
and the stone faces of the dead convert to symbols,
ripe for smashing. Come to think of it,
symbols are terrible. As the tyrant
shouted to the masses,

part of his brainwashing campaign:
I know it, and you know it, too.
I was twenty-three when I sold off
“Modern Poetry” and sailed to Italy, seeking
Romantic poetry, which was at one time
modern, and found my way to Rome,
and Keats’s death room.
His deathbed, a facsimile.
Everything he touched was burned,
to kill what killed him.

I lifted his death mask from its nail,
cradled it, closed my eyes and kissed his lips
until the plaster warmed,
and stained his face
with the lipstick on my lips. Red
as the cover of “Modern Poetry.”
The color of the droplets of arterial blood
he coughed onto his sheets, and viewed
by candlelight. Then he knew he was done for.
His death warrant, he called it.

After those many kisses over his face and eyes,
and the reticulated eyelashes,
cold and tangled,
my lips were blossom-white,
my face, chalked. Like I’d caught
something from him,
and I don’t just mean consumption,
though my lungs burned for years.
They still burn.
This is the danger of the ecstasy of kissing

the dead or dying poet on the mouth.
The disease you’ll catch—well,
it changes you.
The tingle in the spine,
the erotic charge, will be forever married
to poetry’s previous incarnations.
It’s why marriage itself never worked for me.
I kept wanting to get to the part
where death parts us
and I could find myself again.

Keats made such a compact corpse.
Only five feet tall, shorter than Prince,
and intricately made. Always,
he was working it, working it out,
the meaning of suffering, the world’s,
his own, the encounter with beauty,
nearly synonymous with suffering,
how empathy could extinguish him,
and he could set down the suitcase at last,
or finally deliver him to himself, distinct

as the waves in his hair and the bridge
of his nose. How auspicious,
rare, lush,
bizarre, kinky, transcendent,
romantic, to be young, just twenty-three,
and to cradle him
in my arms, as we listened
to the burbling water
of the Fontana della Barcaccia
from the open window.

Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.
– Anne Lamott

Jung believed that “man’s worst sin is unconsciousness,” for in unconsciousness the human being fails in his or her spiritual duty of self-knowledge. We are summoned to realize the potential of our true selves.
– Ursula Wirtz

One often has dreams which seem destructive and evil, the thing one cannot accept, but it is merely due to the fact that one’s conscious attitude is wrong.
– CG Jung

This poem was written at a time when I rode many trains from Connecticut to D.C. The tracks pass through marshes lined with tall grasses.
– Tobi Kassim

“To be ill,” he said in an interview he gave me a year ago, is to be in a situation that forces you to think.” Especially when it’s one of those weird diseases that you don’t suffer directly but from the side effects of the treatments. I realized that I had managed, through my philosophical work, my reflection on Gaia, on the Anthropocene, to break myself away from the traditional idea of nature, to accept the idea that heaven was produced by living beings, that life even possible only through countless interactions, but that my spontaneous slope was to remain confined to a very limited, cartesian vision of the body. I walk my body, take it to the doctor like it’s a mechanic, and wait for the doctor to fix it. It’s poor, isn’t it? But some experiences have increased my understanding. In the same week, I happened to see a nephrologist, an acupuncturist, and a qi gong coach. Here you realize that the biological body is not the only body as described in medical school. Like pragmata, the body is a mysterious object. It can be researched multiple times, and medicine but also acupuncture or qi gong are “stitches” that give access to different dimensions, not exclusive to each other. Céline in Rigodon [1969] gives a masterful description of it when he talks about “this millionth gamet who decides that he has had enough, that he obeys orders, that he will work for himself”. It all starts from a cellular solipsism, a flaw in relationship, a breakdown of the interactions that keep us alive. Or we know today that the body is not one, but that it is a holobionte, a cloud made up of a multitude of microorganisms working together. So, liberating one’s body is freeing oneself from the narrow, Cartesian vision to accept these explorations.
– Alexandre Lacroix

How many moons have I been too busy to notice? Full moons, half moons, quarter moons facing those thousands of suns, watching them bringing the years up, one piece at a time. Even the dark phases of moon after moon, gray stoppers plugged into a starry sky, letting a little light leak out around the edges. By my reckoning, almost a thousand full moons have passed above me now, and I have been too busy and self-absorbed to be thankful for more than a few, though month after month they have patiently laid out my shadow, that velvety cloak that in the moonlit evenings waits for me.
– Ted Kooser

How It Escaped Our Attention
by Heid E. Erdrich

When a whole being
births into your hands
still you see your hands
no matter how unworldly
the beauty of the child

Then the universe of words
works past cosmology
to a useful name a handle
in English unlike the Indigenous
genderless language of verbs

Moon blues comet misses
moon looms super moon bleeds
many cosmological shifts later
our hands eclipsed by
the lovely being come so far

Come closer than ever
across the several heavens
we Ojibwe name
the layers of our atmosphere
and further out there
the fourth sky forever sky

When you first came to us
we did not have an Ojibwe name
to know the sky beyond
the sky beyond the sky

How were we to know
he was she was
they are
you

How were we to know who?

SESTINA FOR THE FALLING AUTUMN LIGHT
by Marc Alan Di Martino

Time strangles anything it strains to hold,
tangles the whistle of a passing train
into refracted pitches, a refrain
as Now recedes in squall. Tally the gold
dust on the telescope, polish the trick
mirror. Your image flickers like a wick.
Your image flickers like a candle’s wick
in time’s dense mirror. What you cannot hold
is all there is. Arrive, depart. The train
warps through the station’s prism, its refrain
refracted coordinates. Fade to gold:
the sun goes down like a child’s magic trick.
The sun goes down like a child’s magic trick
trapped in the squall of a departing train
to Nowheresville. This backbeat’s crack refrain
refracts the scene in its mad mirror’s gold
pitch dark at rainbow’s edge, its flaming wick
a fire no individual can hope to hold.
A fire no individual can hope to hold
awaits at rainbow’s edge: a trigger, a wick
unravelling time. Strike chorus, refrain,
backbeat, tempo, music—the faded gold
of thought, our consciousness’ greatest trick,
clacking along indeterminately. Train
clacking along indeterminately, train
with no conductor, accumulate refrain
of themes, associate music—stick, wick
and flame bound up together by some trick,
evolutionary sleight-of-hand. Hold
me, stroll with me through all this falling gold.
Stroll with me through all this falling gold
no human eye could ever hope to hold.
The trees are candles, incandescent. Wick
by wick, performing nature’s magic trick,
their glitter wanes faster than any train,
drains to the dregs its annual refrain.
The brilliance of the wick is in its gold.
Time’s hat trick is to never miss your train.
Find one small hand to hold. Chorus, refrain.

I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s irritable and difficult to be around.
That’s grief talking, I remind myself,
And my love expands like an umbrella in a downpour.
I know someone going through a hard time.
She’s moody and dramatic.
That’s teen angst talking, I remind myself,
And my love settles and steadies like a familiar song.
I know someone going through a hard time.
She’s anxious and uptight.
That’s fear talking, I remind myself,
And my love whispers to her like a calming prayer.
I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s grumpy and forgetful.
That’s growing old talking, I remind myself,
And my love supports him like a great oak tree.
I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s defensive and withdrawn.
That’s depression talking, I remind myself.
And my love breaks through the clouds and warms his face.
It’s not easy to respond when I want to retreat,
To bite my tongue when I want to bite back
To empathize when I want to implode.
But when you’re going through a hard time, you feel shaky—
like you’re suspended in a place you don’t want to be.
That’s why a steady hand to hold you is especially helpful during these times.
I know because that was me in March of 2017,
Suspended in darkness.
I was anxious, overreactive, defensive and moody.
But I was never alone.
Thank God, I was never alone.
Being unalone is what helped me hold on.
So, when I see my loved ones going through a hard time,
I do the one thing I know helps:
I throw my weight behind them.
With feet firmly planted, I reach out my hand.
“We’ll get through this,” I remind them, as I remind myself.
Because when we are going through a hard time
it’s easy to forget
our trial is temporary,
mistakes don’t define us,
and our story is still being written.
– Rachel Macy Stafford

Pirandello said once that we are, in reality, the juxtaposition of infinite, blurred selves. It’s so, and we can’t unblur all the selves. But we can recognize that they exist, and above all, we can let them look at things, remembering always Goethe’s saying that, of all the things that we do, that we can do, the nicest of all is just to stand and look. From the moment that one pays continuous attention to anything, no matter what it is–a leaf, a nail–whatever is being regarded becomes a world in itself, mysterious, imposing, unspeakably magnified and inexhaustibly fertile in possibilities. Once you have begun to do this, you have entered into the kingdom of the Other, recognizing its otherness, and wanting to learn from it. The feeling that you get is that the world, and each aspect of it, is a mystery, is unfathomable, and that it glows against the background of universal darkness with a kind of strange and even magical light, both utterly meaningful and utterly meaningless, as the universe itself is.
– James Dickey

When the field of vision has been unified, the inner being comes to rest, and that inner peacableness flows into the outer world as harmony and compassion.
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Wisdom isn’t knowing more. It’s knowing with more of you.
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Life is a very sad piece of buffoonery, because we have the need to fool ourselves continuously by the spontaneous creation of a reality (one for each and never the same for everyone) which, from time to time, reveals itself to be vain and illusory.
– Luigi Pirandello

Here are 11 ways professionals show out when amateurs just show up:
Amateurs have a goal.
Professionals have a process.
Amateurs react.
Professionals prepare.
Amateurs go fast.
Professionals go far.
Amateurs think knowledge is power.
Professionals pass on wisdom and advice.
Amateurs focus on the short term.
Professionals focus on the long-term.
Amateurs show up inconsistently.
Professionals show up every day.
Amateurs think in absolutes.
Professionals think in probabilities.
Amateurs think disagreements are threats.
Professionals see them as an opportunity to learn.
Amateurs think they are good at everything.
Professionals understand their circle of competence.
Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them.
Professionals seek out feedback because they know that’s how they get better.
Amateurs value isolated performance.
Think about the receiver who catches the ball once on a difficult throw.
Professionals value consistency.
They want to catch the ball in the same situation 9 times out of 10.
If you want to improve, use this information as a checklist.
– @farnamstreet

The Buddha said that karma is intention. In other words, the important point is not so much what we do, but why we are doing it, in other words, our motivation.

If our speech is associated with negative emotions, results will be negative. From moment to moment, we are shaping our future. We are planting zillions and zillions of karmic seeds, and we don’t know when they will sprout.

This explains why good things happens to bad people and the other way around.

Many things can happen, but how do we take them, this is the important point. If we react to them with anger, discontent, etc., we create negative causes for the future. We avoid doing that only if we are aware of what we are thinking. Otherwise, we are caught up in all these negative trends of life.
If we had microphones attached to our mind and everyone around could hear our thoughts, all of us would quickly want to learn how to meditate.

– Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

I relearn the language
of a smile and I think of what
a luxury it would be to erase
or reset at the stroke of a pen.
– Patrick Roche

Anxiety is not always a sign of sickness, a weakness of the mind or an error to which we should locate a medical solution. It is mostly a hugely reasonable and sensitive response to the genuine strangeness, terror, uncertainty and riskiness of existence.
– The School of Life

But we cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever.
– Haruki Murakami

You are so knitted into a day. You are within it; the day is as close as your skin. It is around your eyes; it is inside your mind. The day moves you, often it can weigh you down; or again it can raise you up. Yet the amazing fact is: this day vanishes. When you look behind you, you do not see your past standing there in a series of day shapes. You cannot wander back through the gallery of your past. Your days have disappeared silently and for ever. Your future time has not arrived yet. The only ground of time is the present moment.
– John O’Donohue

Almost dusk, but enough of that dark gold, late-afternoon light. Staring once again out the window, observer in my own life…
– Jeff VanderMeer

If someone does not recognize how they have harmed you, there’s no point in forgiving them, but you can let go of your own bitterness about it. You don’t have to pretend like it never happened. You learn from it. You figure out how to hold your boundaries.
– Kyogen Carlson

The coming of life cannot be fended off; its departure cannot be stopped. How pitiful the men of the world, who think that simply nourishing the body is enough to preserve life!
– Zhuangzi

I believe the best way to begin reconnecting humanity’s heart, mind, and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories.
– J. Drew Lanham, The Home Place

Prediction: Web3 is going to disrupt wisdom lineages in ways that the traditions just aren’t ready for.

Decentralized network consensus about what qualifies one to teach/lead combined with collective governance represents a huge unlock of human potential in these traditions.

– @VinceFHorn

We are all living above our own moss mills. Beneath every step is a record.
– Elizabeth Kolenda

At any time you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold? What gift would enable me to do it? A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms, and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope.

This is one of the reasons such vital crossings were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.

– John O’Donohue

A love beyond love,
above the bonds of ritual,
beyond the sinister game
of loneliness and companionship.
A love that needs no return,
but neither departure.
A love not subjected
to the flashes of coming and going back,
of being awake or asleep,
of calling or being silent.

A love that wants to be together
or does not want to be
but a love also for all the situations
in-between.
A love like opening your eyes.
And maybe also… like closing them.

– Roberto Juarroz

I don’t want my poems to perpetuate clichés, tropes, standards. Mostly I’m looking for surprise.
– Terrance Hayes

The way I remember it, / I caught beauty / Like a flu, // Via handshake or high five / Or a thank-you- / For-your-service
– @KathyFaganPoet

When your most deeply held beliefs and way of life stand upon such tumultuous and bloodstained ground, the most loving, caring, compassionate, and trustworthy thing you can offer our world is a steadfast and deeply lived relationship with grief.

Does this mean we should grovel in sorrow for the rest of our lives or feel guilty for being born or having the lives we live? No. Grief is a skill much more than it is a feeling. Grief is a way of living for mature human beings who understand what it means to take responsibility, even for the things they did not intend. A living relationship with grief brings you down alongside the poverties of our culture, not as someone seeking another solution but as someone willing to have their heart broken by them. This land is longing for well-ripened humans with sensitive and tuned hearts to hold up their end of the bargain. And until we do, our modern culture and beliefs won’t belong and will remain homeless and foreign to the places they occupy.

– Josh Avritt

The glue that holds the natural world together appears to be a harmonious balance of opposites: day and night, light and dark, winter and summer, liquid and solid, acidic and alkaline, male and female, wave and trough, proton and electron, etc. There prevails in our reality an explicit duality that represents an implicit unity (the “oneness” about which I’ve previously babbled), and the line of separation between those things just named is as thin as it is necessary: yang rubs up against yin, yin against yang, distinct but mutually supportive. The line separating tragedy from comedy is broader, deeper, more jagged, although neither as fixed nor as problematic as the one between life and death; and it’s those more glaring oppositions, including desire versus rejection, success versus failure, and especially, “good” versus “evil” that generally engage practitioners of the narrative arts. From my perspective, however, the most fascinating and perhaps most significant of all interfaces is the one that separates yet connects the ridiculous and the sublime. The surprisingly narrow borderline between things holy and things profane, between prayer and laughter, between a Leonardo chalice and Warhol soup can, between the Clear Light and the joke, provides a zone of meaning as exhilarating as it is heretical: a whisper of psychic release so acutely yet weirdly portentous it just might offer a clue to the mystery of being.

– Tom Robbins, Tibetan Peach Pie

The Appalachians were a mountain range in Pangaea
– Nicholas Pierotti

Praise what you love. Chuck it under the chin with affection and be ready to give yourself away to it a little bit every day until there is nothing left. When what you love claims you as much as you claim it, a two-way growing process begins. Love always begets more love.
– Gunilla Norris

We want to have certainties and no doubts …The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction; on the contrary, a wider and higher consciousness is required to give us the certainty and clarity we need.
– CG Jung

The Medusa in the Perseus myth symbolises more than a personal dilemma. She is a problem within the collective psyche, a universal human inheritance of resentment and poison which generates paralysing depression within families and social groups and even nations.
– Liz Greene

I just want to go to Shambhala and sleep.
– Nicholas Pierotti

AS I GROW OLD I WILL MARCH NOT SHUFFLE
As I grow old
I will not shuffle to the beat
of self-interest
and make that slow retreat
​​​to the right.

I will be a septuagenarian insurrectionist
marching with the kids. I shall sing
‘La Marseillaise’, whilst brandishing
homemade placards that proclaim
‘DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING’.

I will be an octogenarian obstructionist,
and build unscalable barricades
from bottles of flat lemonade,
tartan blankets and chicken wire.
I will hurl prejudice upon the brazier’s fire.

I will be a nonagenarian nonconformist,
armed with a ballpoint pen
and a hand that shakes with rage not age
at politicians’ latest crimes,
in strongly-worded letters to The Times.

I will be a centenarian centurion
and allow injustice no admittance.
I will stage longstanding sit-ins.
My mobility scooter and I
will move for no-one.

And when I die
I will be the scattered ashes
that attach themselves to the lashes
and blind the eyes
of racists and fascists.

– Brian Bilston

Lord, I Ask a Garden . . .
by Alfonso Guillén Zelaya

translated from the Spanish by William George Williams
Lord, I ask a garden in a quiet spot
where there may be a brook with a good flow,
an humble little house covered with bell-flowers,
and a wife and a son who shall resemble Thee.

I should wish to live many years, free from hates,
and make my verses, as the rivers
that moisten the earth, fresh and pure.
Lord, give me a path with trees and birds.

I wish that you would never take my mother,
for I should wish to tend to her as a child
and put her to sleep with kisses, when somewhat old
she may need the sun.

I wish to sleep well, to have a few books,
an affectionate dog that will spring upon my knees,
a flock of goats, all things rustic,
and to live off the soil tilled by my own hand.

To go into the field and flourish with it;
to seat myself at evening under the rustic eaves,
to drink in the fresh mountain perfumed air
and speak to my little one of humble things.

At night to relate him some simple tale,
teach him to laugh with the laughter of water
and put him to sleep thinking that he may later on
keep that freshness of the moist grass.

And afterward, the next day, rise with dawn
admiring life, bathe in the brook,
milk my goats in the happiness of the garden
and add a strophe to the poem of the world.

it could be Peace
it could be Unity (sounds easy)
but this poem cannot
provide this
or contain this
– Juan Felipe Herrera

We were traveling between a mountain and Thursday,
Holding pages back on the calendar,
Remembering every turn in the roadway:
We hold that sky, we said, and remember.
So magic a time it was that I was both brave and afraid.
Some day like this might save the world.
– William Stafford

To what shore would you cross, O my
heart? There is no traveller before
you, there is no road:

Where is the movement, where is the
rest, on that shore?

There is no water; no boat, no boatman,
is there;

There is not so much as a rope to tow
the boat, nor a man to draw it.

No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is
there: no shore, no ford!

There, there is neither body nor mind:
and where is the place that shall
still the thirst of the soul? You shall
find naught in that emptiness.

Be strong, and enter into your own body:
for there your foothold is firm. Consider
it well, O my heart! Go not elsewhere.

Kabir says: “Put all imaginations away, and
stand fast in that which you are.

– Kabir

Settler colonialism tried to force us into one particular way of living, but the old ways of kinship can help us imagine a different future. Krawec asks, What would it look like to remember that we are all related? How might we become better relatives to the land, to one another, and to Indigenous movements for solidarity? Braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to “unforget” our history.
– Patty Krawecat

In all kinds of healing practices, at least in West Africa, the idea is that knowledge is precious, and you learn it over a long period of time. In time, you become the custodian of that knowledge. Your greatest obligation, however, is to pass that knowledge onto the next generation. If the knowledge is correct, it will continue to be used. Everything that I’ve written about my teacher and my own experiences as his apprentice, has been an attempt to convey the wonder of the world he exposed me to. My hope is that my work will in some way ensure that this knowledge will not disappear. My hope is that Adamu Jenitongo’s wise practices will persevere and that they will be recognized, appreciated, and extended to the issues that we face today in the world.
– Anna Badkhen, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It has always been the business of the great seers (known to India as ‘rishis,’ in biblical terms as “prophets,” to primitive folk as ‘shamans,’ and in our own day as ‘poets’ and ‘artists’) to perform the work of the first and second functions of a mythology by recognizing through the veil of nature, as viewed in the science of their times, the radiance, terrible yet gentle, of the dark, unspeakable light beyond, and through their words and images to reveal the sense of the vast silence that is the ground of us all and of all beings.
– Joseph Campbell

The very fear of stray thoughts is another stray thought. Therefore, if you have many stray thoughts, consider it a natural phenomenon and do not despise them.
– Master Sheng-yen

In his memoir Another Beauty, poet Adam Zagajewski writes, ‘a poem’s mystery is always ahead of us,’ as if the poem itself touches on mysteries and asks questions but never arrives at or defines or answers them completely. Like a poem, an essay is never really finished, either. Humans are by nature questioners; the biggest answers we seek seem to deal with our identity, usually in relation to a thing bigger than ourselves, such as purpose in life and place on earth. Essays, like those questions, are never fully answered. We are often called to go deeper in our writing, but I think we should also move outwards, from the particular to the universal–centrifugally moving bigger, wider, and expansively so. We should remember our partness and wholeness, which is true of all things, and come to realize there is no destination at which to arrive. We are there. We are nudged in certain directions, set off on trajectories, but will find no end-all and be-all port of call. More always lies within and beyond.
– Liz Blood

The sun had not yet stood out from the orient, but his precedent light shone through the translucent blue. Yet it was not blue, nor is there any word, nor is a word possible to convey the feeling unless one could be built up of signs and symbols like those in the book of the magician, which glowed and burned to and fro the page. For the blue of the precious sapphire is thick to it, the turquoise dull, these hard surfaces are no more to be compared to it than sand and gravel. They are but stones, hard, cold, pitiful, that which gives them their lustre is the light. Through delicate porcelain sometimes the light comes, and it is not the porcelain, it is the light that is lovely. But porcelain is clay, and the light is shorn, checked, and shrunken. Down through the beauteous azure came the Light itself, pure, unreflected Light, untouched, untarnished even by the dew-sweetened petal of a flower, descending, flowing like a wind, a wind of glory sweeping through the blue. A luminous purple glowing as Love glows in the cheek, so glowed the passion of the heavens.

Two things only reach the soul. By touch there is indeed emotion. But the light in the eye, the sound of the voice! the soul trembles and like a flame leaps to meet them. So to the luminous purple azure his heart ascended.

– Richard Jefferies

Remember how long you have been putting these things off, and how often you have received an opportunity from the gods and have not made use of it. By now you ought to realize what cosmos you are apart of, and what divine administrator you owe your existence to, and that an end to your time here has been marked out, and if you do not use this time for clearing the clouds from your mind, it will be gone and so will you.
– Jacob Needleman

It is necessary to realize that technology itself is not the cause of our problem of [not having enough] time. Its influence on our lives is a result, not a cause – the result of an unseen accelerating process taking place in ourselves, in our inner being. Whether we point to the effect of communication technology (such as e-mail) with its tyranny of instant communication; or to the computerization, and therefore the mentalization of so many human activities that previously required at least some participation of our physical presence; or to any of the other innumerable transformations of human life that are being brought about by the new technologies, the essential element to recognize is how much of what we call “progress” is accompanied by and measured by the fact that human beings need less and less conscious attention to perform their activities and lead their lives.

The real power of the faculty of attention, unknown to modern science, is one of the indispensable and most central measures of humanness – of the being of a man or a woman – and has been so understood, in many forms and symbols, at the heart of all great spiritual teaching of the world. The effects of advancing technology, for all its material promise they offer the world (along with the dangers, of course) is but the most recent wave in a civilization that, without recognizing what it was doing, has placed the satisfaction of desire above the cultivation of being.

The deep meaning of many rules of conduct and more principles of the past – so many of which have been abandoned without our understanding their real roots in human nature – involved the cultivation and development of the uniquely human power of attention, its action in the body, heart and mind of man. To be present, truly present, is to have conscious attention. This capacity is the key to what it means to be human.

It is not, therefore, the rapidity of change as such that is the source of our problem of time. It is the metaphysical fact that the being of man is diminishing.

– Jacob Needleman

Disappointment is a good sign of basic intelligence. It cannot be compared to anything else: it is so sharp, precise, obvious, and direct. If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations we are facing.
– Chogyam Trungpa

The body does not know the difference between an experience and a thought; you can literally change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones, and genes, simply by having an inner event.
– Dr. Joe Dispenza

They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
– Philip K. Dick

First there is nothing, then there is a deep nothing, then there is a blue depth.
– Gaston Bachelard

History Lesson/1960s
by Carolyn Marie Rodgers

what we
tried
to do

with our dreams,
we hoped to erase all time
errors,
smash with raised strong
clenched fists
all the remaining walls
and bully, bribe, or captivate
any unfavorable gods
against our cause.

so like banners
and flags, our dreams unfurled
before all the world,
we marched
our words we sent forth
as our warriors.

oh how sweet the
censers of victory and freedom
were going to be.
and we wanted never to
dream again,
awake or asleep,
if we could not
change the signature
of the world.

Every day is an elegy to the poem you never wrote.
– Victoria Chang

The Red Poppy
by Louise Glück

The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
govern me. I have
a lord in heaven
called the sun, and open
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,
were you like me once, long ago,
before you were human? Did you
permit yourselves
to open once, who would never
open again? Because in truth
I am speaking now
the way you do. I speak
because I am shattered.

You eliminate an enormous amount of suffering by concentrating on the suffering that is actually present instead of creating more with your thinking. It is the difference between discomfort and torment.
– Larry Rosenberg

I don’t cook, I just read cookbooks. And dream.
– Linda Ronstadt

It’s going to take humans to fix it. Not God. If anything, God is waiting on us to act… Godlike. Nobility is a revolutionary act, in a gamesy and manipulative world. We must find our feet, and our no-bull-ity, and band together to dismantle the unconscionable structures that imprison us. If we don’t do it soon, our freedoms will be long gone. Because the power-brokers now have access to technologies and systems that can more easily control humanity than ever before. And they live deep in the delusion that power over humanity will cure what ails them. It won’t, but that won’t stop them from trying. It’s left to us to fix it.
– Jeff Brown

GHOST

1

It is remarkable how time passes, decades
pass, and a moment, a second, when you’re looking

into someone’s eyes on a sidewalk on Edgware Rd.
in London, when you’re adjusting the scarf

on a loved one’s neck, to shelter them from the cold,
pushing up their collar as if wrapping yourself

around them, tucking them into a bed warm
and safe from a reckless world, that perfume,

that quiet sparkle in dark eyes, that face, that blush
you loved so much, all that can be as vivid, more vivid

than any invented now, as if it is happening now,
as present, real, more real than the room you sit in

50 years later, more real than the naked cypress trees
outside the January window, more real than the gray

mist-shrouded prairie of another hungering morning

2

But it is like that, she is right here now, with me,
sudden and unforgettable, and I am still waiting

for her to speak. It is that immaculate morning
decades ago, when I have to go to work, I have a job

at a record store, and she has someplace
she needs to run, and I am standing with her,

looking in her eyes, doting on her, tucking her in
for a dangerous unknown, and I will never know

where she would go from there, that day,
she wouldn’t say where, sometimes it was impossible

for us to speak to one another, only to adore one another
in a distant way, and she would go away somewhere

impossible, painful for me to imagine, as she often did,
and show up later that afternoon, after I got home

from work, emerge from a red sports car pulling up
outside my flat in Islington, to get her suitcase,

she came back, after a day going out in the cold,
somewhere with two good-looking young men,

well-dressed men, in sporty clothes,
who stood on the street waiting for her, they kept

their distance from me, nodded at me politely,
a long-haired Neanderthal young man of the 60’s,

courteously, as if they understood everything,
read the future, knew her past, and I didn’t ask,

“Who are these men?” and she didn’t say, she would
only say goodbye, and drive away with them,

like a perfect scarf unraveling like a broken bird,
in the invisible climate of faraway cities, go back

to New York where she would live for a while
And I would never see her again, hear from her again,

only the news from my mother, on the telephone:
“By the way, did you know, Lindsay committed suicide?”

And that would be that

3

And that moment on the street when I touched
your face, adjusted your scarf, that moment of saying

I love you and goodbye without words, would stay with me,
so real, more real than this cup of sugared-coffee

beside me on this cluttered table, paint brushes and pens,
as I look out the window into a dream to find you,
more real than my fingers sliding over blunt keys
to get closer to you, more real than the sound of a fan

turning out of orbit in the machinery of the 21st century,
more real, you will always be more real than any day

of my life that followed your departure from the fiction
of my knotted world, from this stumbling world,

more real than anything, than anyone or any breathless
whisper I have ever heard since that beautiful look

of bitter love, that shattering silence in London,
that I have looked for all my life to live again. I remember

you so clearly, only you are real, for that is when
I died, that moment, that time decades ago,

for I had given you all of myself then and there was
nothing left of me. I am the ghost. And you are more real.

– Michael Rothenberg

Dude at Starbucks just left the crowded store and went “Bye everyone,” and every single person in that store said goodbye I literally just met the main character
– @dietcokegirl

You must react everyday to what is happening. But that is no way to write a book or a sentence.
– James Baldwin

There was this free space opened up by refusing to respond every minute.
– Toni Morrison

We need more, not less, scholars. People who are okay with their heavy lifting being done through serious scholarship.
– Tamara K Nopper

A problem with living in the twenty-first century is that we are made to feel poorly travelled if we have only been to ten other countries. To feel old if we have a wrinkle. To feel ugly if we aren’t photo shopped and filtered.
– Matt Haig

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how silly the whole concept of time is in relation to writing and how long it takes to write a book.
– Jill Christman

I think the psychedelics are wasted on the youth.
– @ZahnMcClarnon

an owl happy
in her solitude
autumn dusk
– Issa

I think poetry is a shared thing, a gift for both the writer and the reader. If we caretake that gift to the best of our abilities, we create an experience that is simultaneously personal and collective.
– Adrian Matejka

Confronting our shadows, as Dr. Jung articulates in his writings, is the most fundamental step in gaining any kind of spiritual or psychological maturity. To think this step can be avoided is to live in a state of illusion and denial.
– Bud Harris

I admit I’m highly skeptical when a cicada shows up in a poem.
– Adam Clay

Let my heart be cicada over heavenly fields. Let it die singing slowly by the blue sky wounded.
– Federico García Lorca

I wish I could say I was the kind of child
who watched the moon from her window,
would turn toward it and wonder.
I never wondered. I read. Dark signs
that crawled toward the edge of the page.
It took me years to grow a heart
from paper and glue. All I had
was a flashlight, bright as the moon,
a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.
– Dorianne Laux

The poet places language beyond the reach of time: or, more accurately, the poet approaches language as if it were a place, an assembly point, where time has no finality, where time itself is encompassed and contained.
– John Berger

I can’t make the
world peaceful

I can’t stall tanks
from roaring down roads

I can’t prevent children
from having to hide in bunkers

I can’t convince the news to
stop turning war into a video game

I can’t silence the sound of bombs
tearing neighborhoods apart

I can’t turn a guided missile
into a bouquet of flowers

I can’t make a warmonger
have an ounce of empathy

I can’t convince ambassadors
to quit playing truth or dare

I can’t deflect a sniper’s bullet
from turning a wife into a widow

I can’t stave off a country being
reduced to ash and rubble

I can’t do any of that
the only thing I can do

is love the next person I encounter
without any conditions or strings

to love my neighbor
so fearlessly that
it starts a ripple
that stretches from
one horizon to the next

I can’t force peace
on the world
but I can become a force

of peace in the world
because
sometimes all it takes
is a single lit candle
in the darkness
to start a movement

“Lord, make me a candle
of comfort in this world
let me burn with peace”

– John Roedel

FEBRUARY
Blending with the wind,
Snow falls;
Blending with the snow,
The wind blows.
By the hearth
I stretch out my legs,
Idling my time away
Confined in this hut.
Counting the days,
I find that February, too,
Has come and gone
Like a dream.

– Ryokan

Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.
– Susan Sontag

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon,
East of the Sun.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

We suffer from a repression of the sublime.
– Roberto Assagioli

You often read that Americans “vote their pocketbook,” which is supposed to come off as meaning that Americans are a shrewd and practical people. What it really indicates is that Americans care about money more than anything. Principles come second.
– Mark Bittner

In toxic cultures, people are rewarded solely for individual results. How they treat others is ignored.

In healthy cultures, people are valued for collective contributions.
– Adam Grant

new fear unlocked: every journal I submit to will be hijacked by an alt lit editor who will tank its credibility within one day
– @micaela_poetry

You have two kinds of secrets. The ones only you know. The ones only you don’t.
– James Richardson

…old books piled in the window,
you refilling my water glass until beads gather.
– Shannon Wolf

drifting
in clear water
fallen willow leaves
– Buson

The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had…of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way–a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word ‘beat’ spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America–beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction…
– Jack Kerouac

If there were no laughter it would not be the way.
– Lao Tzu

If we learn to live with the mystery, rather than the certainty, life opens up to us.
– Connie Zweig

Why do you go away?
So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place
you came from with new eyes
and extra colors.
And the people there see you
differently, too.
Coming back to where you
started is not the same as
never leaving.
– Terry Pratchett

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.
– Katherine Mansfield

after a while struggling to survive
becomes a routine and maybe
that’s where we got the jitterbug from.
who among us ain’t got some
demons need shaken loose?
– Darius Simpson

Everyone has got to realise, you can’t hold on to the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next.
– Joe Strummer

Gain certainty in the fact
That all phenomena are
The magical display of your Mind
– Guru Rinpoche

A MEETING AFTER MANY YEARS
Our words were a few colorful leaves
afloat on a very old silence,
the kind with a terrifying undertow,
and we stood right at its edge,
wrapping ourselves in our own arms
because of the chill, and with old voices
called back and forth across all those years
until we could bear it no longer,
and turned from each other,
and walked away into our countries.
– Ted Kooser

Every pause pauses in its own style.
– Don McKay

and did I forget to thank you
for what I felt
a moment ago
– Leonard Cohen

Don’t take anything literally but always look deeper. For example, if you drink too much, what is your soul looking for in the alcohol? If you eat too much, what part of your soul is in need of nourishing? Think poetically and never respond on a surface level.
– Thomas Moore

The most we can do is dream the myth onwards and give it a modern dress . . . The archetype — let us never forget this — is a psychic organ present in all of us.
– Carl Jung

Jung[had] the intuition that we somehow contain the spirits and gods, and that there are forces deep inside us that can somehow be brought into harmony with the forces outside us.
– Colin Wilson

The only cure for possession is repossession–by Something Greater. Until we have found our own ground and connection to the Whole, we are unsettled, grouchy, and on the edge of falling apart.
– Richard Rohr

There are things
We live among ‘and to see them
Is to know ourselves’.
– George Oppen

to be a poet
is to pluck a rainbow
and make poems
from its hues

lie awake in nights
to gather silver
heartbeats of moon

carry the weight
of a nameless ache
that just never ceases

to be a poet is
not that hard if you’re
living in bits
and dying in pieces
– @Meraki_k

There should be no dichotomy between caring about art and caring about the climate crisis.

“Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too”

– @Thelma_Lutun

The practice of solitude had given him a love for it, as happens with every big thing which we have begun by fearing
– Marcel Proust

You’re now looking at the human soul singing to its self.
– Wim Wenders

But this silence leaves no trace. You cannot speak of silence as you do of snow. You cannot say to anyone as you say about snow: did you feel the silence last night? Those who did don’t say.
– Clarice Lispector

lost exploring
new neighborhood—
same dog everywhere
– @coffeeandhaiku

The gods exiled me into this loneliness
for their own good reasons.
– Jim Harrison

It is never a waste of time to be outdoors, and never a waste of time to lie down and rest even for a couple of hours.
– May Sarton

It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

sleeping alone
building castles
in the sky
– Issa

Staying at a house in the Catskills with a large and eclectic record collection, thinking the best fate for your book is that in 20-30 years someone notices it on the shelf of a cabin in the mountains, picks it up and loses themselves in your head for a while
– Mike Ingram

Most people in this society who aren’t actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.
– Susan Sontag

This night of telescopes fixes the cold
October sky—a Saturn so delicate as if
Sketched by moths holding to nearby stones
For their lives.
– Emma Trelles

Do not pray exclusively to the ancestors of the land; make room also for the spirits of the fault line, the new gods that scream through cracks with the first musical notes of worlds to come. In the mispronunciation of your bodies by the displacements of the moment, unspeakable worlds glisten.
– Bayo Akomolafe

What is a poet but a person
Who lives on the ground
Who laughs and listens

Without pretension of knowing
Anything

– Fanny Howe

There is an art to heading low, by remembering what you saw when you were high. When we can no longer see, at least we can still know…
– Rene Daumal, The Analogue Mountain

ODE TO OUR HEMESPHERE
1.
Land of the rising sun
Land of the setting sun
Fu sang
Fu sang
Beautiful land
on a plateau

Did you Island hop
Cross the land bridge?

Did you come in leather boats?
to Iargalon?
Land beyond the sea

Other voices shout
Turtle Island
Turtle Island!
Abya Yala
Abya Yala!

Did you row and sail
The North or South Equatorial?
Follow the Warm Kamchanka?

to the land of the serpent bird, the bison herd
the deer, the caribou, the moose?
Land where the horse left and returned?

2.
Have you
heard that the flesh,
the hides, bones, blood
of four leggeds
became food, shelter,
clothing, Instruments,
centuries before sustainable
became a fashionable term

Heard of tourists
Stepping off trains
shooting high powered rifles
Bison corpses rotting on the plains.

3.
Land of wild grasses
Seeds, stalks
Scattered, planted
Became amaranth, maize.

Land of the jumping Salmon
Land of the pike, the Bass, the Trout

Land of garden tomatoes
Land of the Altiplano
Birthplace of potatoes.

Land of the Midnight Sun,
and long dark days
Land of equal darkness and Sunlight

Land where the hurricanes
rush the shore.
Sweep further inland
from cutting of trees
and loss of wetlands.
Land where tornadoes, cyclones
cut through the plains

Land of treaties
broken for oil, for gold.
Land where ancient African mariners
brought Gossypium seeds
that married native.
Where African slaves
Picked the cotton without pay.

Land where the toucan bird
colors the trees and sky
Land where the Eagle soars
Land where the Vulture pounces

Are your eyes and ears open
to the songs, the calls
the soaring, gliding and landing
of the birds
whose ancestors flew over the hemisphere
when ancient seeds were scattered, planted?
When languages migrated within the continent?
When languages landed by sea?

– Jerry Pendergast

Democracy must stop the Republican Party before the Republican Party stops democracy.
– Drew Dellinger

I believe that people come into your life and then some go. I also think there’s a purpose as to why they were in your life at all. Each one takes a piece of you when they go. Some leave pieces of themselves with you. Sometimes its’s wisdom, or maybe, it’s a lesson.
– Shey Stahl

If you are displeased, you have hope. If you are pleased, you have fear. If you have hope and fear, you have dualistic fixation. That will hinder the nondual wisdom of great bliss, the undefiled fruition.
– Guru Shri Singha

Only those are happy who never think or, rather, who only think about life’s bare necessities, and to think about such things means not to think at all. True thinking resembles a demon who muddies the spring of life or a sickness which corrupts its roots. To think all the time, to raise questions, to doubt your own destiny, to feel the weariness of living, to be worn out to the point of exhaustion by thoughts and life, to leave behind you, as symbols of your life’s drama, a trail of smoke and blood – all this means you are so unhappy that reflection and thinking appear as a curse causing a violent revulsion in you.
– Emil M. Cioran

I don’t think that our humanity deserves the capital ‘I’ yet.
– E. E. Cummings

And it is nature to try to mend loss.
– Lewis Turco

the sun blossomed
into a dazzling
butterfly
beautiful and comforting
like the smile
your eyes behold.
– @NishaRaviprasad

To be creative, you have to know how to be receptive, Yin; you have to know how to be at home with the ambiguous, the random, the disordered. Specialists have a poor tolerance for poetry and ambiguity.
– William Irwin Thompson

I don’t consume much sugar, but I do get periodic cravings. Since starting very high potency probiotic, I have noticed that not only do I not have those cravings, but I am turned off of refined sugar. Gut bacteria control cravings – reduce bad bacteria, cravings naturally change.
– @RDValerie

Once an old woman at my church said the secret is that God loves us *exactly* the way we are *and* that he loves us too much to let us stay like this, and I’m just trying to trust that.
– Anne Lamott

A quiet hush
over fallow meadows
– a kestrel’s cry

– @wingsoverwaters

To wish to escape from solitude is cowardice. Friendship is not to be sought, not to be dreamed, not to be desired; it is to be exercised (it is a virtue).
– Simone Weil

Sometimes, that’s enough.

empty zen garden
nothing to offer but
silence and falling leaves

– @HaikuHedgehog

mulberry leaves
gathered for
a bookmark
– Buson

The crucial point is to maintain constant vigilance over and awareness of our mental state so that, at the moment that afflictive emotions rise up, they will not trigger a chain of deluded thoughts. Thus, we neither let desire overwhelm our mind nor do we repress.
– Matthieu Ricard

An awful lot of modern writing seems to me to be a depressed use of language. Once, I called it “vow-of-poverty prose.” No, give me the king in his countinghouse.
– Martin Amis

As a queen sits down, knowing that a chair will be there,
Or a general raises his hand and is given the field-glasses,
Step off assuredly into the blank of your mind.
Something will come to you.
– Richard Wilbur

Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.
– Ernest Becker

We all wish the war was over.
But you are staring out at a
world on fire complaining about
how ugly you think the ashes are.
– Brenna Twohy

Come back!
Even as a shadow,
even as a dream.
– Anne Carson

A Valley Like This
by William Stafford

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened
——
there was nothing, and then…

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world becomes nothing
again. What can a person do to help bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on.
Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

I’ll write what little truth I’ve gathered on this walk
but I can’t write about the key as I stare into the lock.
– e.c. crossman

Let me repeat what history teaches. History teaches.
– Gertrude Stein

Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.
– Aldous Huxley

If you look for the truth outside yourself,
it gets farther and farther away.
Today, walking alone, I meet him everywhere I step.
He is the same as me, yet I am not him.
Only if you understand it in this way
will you merge with the way things are.
– Tung Shan

Emptiness is two things at once: the absence of self and the presence of the Divine. Thus, as self decreases, the Divine increases.
– Bernadette Roberts

If a poem yields itself to a rational reading, it isn’t a very successful art object to me, because the things I find in the world that are the most important aren’t explainable…
– John Gallaher

I know that grief has struck you right in the hip
Making walking days if not impossible
Almost

I know it wasn’t with a rubber mallet
Or even a wooden bat
More like a ball ping hammer
a tire iron

I know too it was right in the place
Of an old injury you thought almost healed

There’s our mistake

We have one reservoir for pain
To and from which all suffering flows

Grief lies like a lava lake just beneath skin,
beneath cartilage and joint
Waiting for some great quake to reactivate its fury
Destroying muscle too in its wake
Of heart and other varieties
Spewing dust that covers the sun
For who knows how long
A blow with such force
With such molecular memory
It says aloud not again
why me?
Not again

Your job is not to heal that raging inferno
That happens
by a miracle
on geologic time
and honestly, never completely

The lake is part of yourself
Part of ecological health
whether hot lava now
baked-in scars
long ago

Your job
this moment
is to get off the floor
While the ash settles without discretion
On your days
to recognize heat as the natural state of things
Not the exception

Loss is not something that happened because of who you are
Something you said
Something you didn’t
But part of the formation of things liquid and solid
landmarks of the cutting river of minutes
The landmarks of your own being alive
The truth that all things eventually die

It’s ok to observe the spew overhead with terror
To lace your fingers behind your neck for protection
To go deep into the dark of weeping caves
It is right and good, in fact
There’s water there for cooling
Salt for cauterizing the wounds

But can you say also and with and simultaneously
To pain
You have been heard
You’ve been seen
But you’re not all?

This lava lake lives
It’s real
It’s dangerously hot
It has erupted
It will burn every layer of protective hair from your body

But it’s not the whole of earth
It does not define the landscape
Of this lusty romance
This natural dance
Between time and the spaces where it lives

Don’t look backward or forward
Across or over or down
Level your eyes
And dig in your feet
to the gravity
That has promised to hold
And never failed
There are fire plants emerging as we speak
even deep in the cave
Of yourself

While you do the work of soaking
in the cleansing bath of tears
The blue flames of fire are licking at the pain
Burning it away too
Even the hot lava of suffering can only survive itself so long
Before the pine grow taller
And The forest floor grows rich

There are great creatures hiding
In the muck of this ash
Feeding and thriving
On new land

Let it burn
Burn it down until there’s only you left
Green and alive and unclothed
Fire is not the exception to the rule
It’s part of you
When the heat has cooled and the bugs have done their work in the ash
the cycle wanes
life will be fertile again
I’m the wife of lightning
I should know

– Deborah Potter

You missed that. Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you. By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.
– Alexandra Horowitz

Improv
On the morning of the drive from sea-level
to the mountain, I asked if we could stop for melted
cheese! at the Mexican place in Truckee.
Then I worried, does Bob think I’m a diva?
Am I always asking for things? And I thought of Toi’s letter,
and I know she is the locus of a gift—
and I am too, a spiral of energy, a genie, a dust-devil,
I was born with it, a life force,
it does not belong to me, or to anyone else,
I’m the container of it, the guardian.
And I love to let it out toward people—
nectary nosegay gusts of it.
My mother would ask me to rub her back,
she said that I had Vivian Hands,
like her college best friend’s—
the palms of my hands would listen for what
my mother’s muscles wanted—as now,
I seem to be writing, but I’m listening for what you want,
it would be my joy to give it to you.
There is so much joy on the earth even as it is being dis-inhabited
by the other animals, and over-inhabited by us—as it is being
knocked off course and smoked and drowned.
While we have food, let us share it and eat it.
There is so much action required of us now.
And pleasure is required of us.
O my darlings, so much pleasure is required of us.
– Sharron Olds

Therapy is a school of patience. The chief difficulty is not to identify someone’s problem, it is to help them see, feel and accept it properly.
– The School of Life

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
– Lao Tzu

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

The mysterious does not spell itself out in capital letters, as many writers believe, but is always between, an interstice.
– Julio Cortázar

Thorns were my
very first heroes because
they did nothing with their life
but protect what was sweet.
– Andrea Gibson

And I’ll watch the seasons running away
And I’ll build me a life in the open, a life in the country.
– Sweet Seasons (Stern/King)

An obstacle is the richest, thickest, densest place in the universe. This is so because it is where things stop and often die, failing to continue on their way. It is where carcasses of hope rot into the ground, inadvertently fertilizing it. It is a place of desperation and longing and roaming ghosts. All of this is my way of saying that I think it is not empty. This place – an obstacle – is bursting with activity, with microbial adventures, with dancing generativity, with experiments into continuity, with playful meanings and alchemical shifts, with eloquent invocations and stuttered words. When you meet something fierce, too strong to overcome, too high to climb, too eminent to sidestep, too dark to enlighten, don’t take it too personally – you have merely met an antibody, whose sacred task is to challenge you, discombobulate you, disfigure you, and introduce ‘you’ to the strange vastness of your family. A larger commonwealth of becoming. Just as soils chastise seeds, and cocoons imprison caterpillars, obstacles are the universe’s hubs of unspeakable creativity, redeeming us from tired victories, from the banality of crossing the finish line, from the soundtrack of getting everything we want, and especially from the hubris of thinking we are deserving.
– Bayo Akomolafe

Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,

when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam,

when we walk in the woods every evening over fallen leaves,
through yellow light, when nights are cool, and days warm,

when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
or somehow be taken away from all this,

at those times when I feel so happy, so good, so alive, so in love
with the world, with my own sensuous, beautiful life, suddenly

I think about all the suffering and pain in the world, the agony
and dying. I think about all those people being tortured, right now,
in my name. But I still feel happy and good, alive and in love with
the world and with my lucky, guilty, sensuous, beautiful life because,

I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be
taken from me, and therefore I’ve got to say, right now,
what I feel and know and see, I’ve got to say, right now,
how beautiful and sweet this world can be.

– David Budbill

Only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another as something alive and will sound the depths of his own being.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

we were fireflies
in mason jars
thinking

each hole
in the lid
was freedom

right up until
the moment

we found
our way
out

– Andrea Gibson

AN HOUR IS NOT A HOUSE

An hour is not a house,
a life is not a house,
you do not go through them as if
they were doors to another.

Yet an hour can have shape and proportion,
four walls, a ceiling.
An hour can be dropped like a glass.

Some want quiet as others want bread.
Some want sleep.

My eyes went
to the window, as a cat or dog left alone does.

– Jane Hirshfield

A breath indrawn
opens the afternoon.
A hawk buoyed by thermals
peer down
over these ridges and valleys.

How still the day is
[. . .]
With a word
to no one
a leaf exhales.

There goes the I’m-all-alone
call of a dove.

– Richard Tillinghast

this forest silence /
loud with lover’s absence, heart— /
falling autumn leaf
– Greg Sellers

It was the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.
– Don DeLillo

It seems to me we ought to trade the podium for the garden.
– Ross Gay

monday morning…
every poem i draft
soaks bitterness
from the coffee i sip

workday blues…
every other line
quite plainly asks
all this for a payslip?

– @coffeeandhaiku

If you wish to become a philosopher, you must try, as far as you can, to get rid of beliefs which depend solely upon the place and time of your education, and upon what your parents and schoolmasters told you.
– Bertrand Russell

The old philosophy distinguished between knowledge achieved by effort (ratio) and knowledge received (intellectus) by the listening soul that can hear the essence of things and comes to understand the marvelous. But this calls for unusual strength of soul. The more so since society claims more and more and more of your inner self and infects you with its restlessness. It trains you in distraction, colonizes consciousness as fast as consciousness advances. The true poise, that of contemplation or imagination, sits right on the border of sleep and dreaming.
– Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift

Joseph Campbell noted that self-actualization is for people who don’t know their personal myth or deeper purpose in life.
– Bud Harris

Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see.
– Edgar Degas

one night i hope to gather
our wrinkled palms around
a bottle of whiskey older than us
and trade stories of what
we’ve survived.
– Darius Simpson

To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself.
– Henry Miller

Laughing forms kinship. Laughing is a way
to say I hear you. Or here we are.
– Hannah Ensor and Laura Wetherington

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
– Jung

Reality is a very subjective affair. I can only define it as a kind of gradual accumulation of information; and as specialization. If we take a lily, for instance, or any other kind of natural object, a lily is more real to a naturalist than it is to an ordinary person. But it is still more real to a botanist. And yet another stage of reality is reached with that botanist who is a specialist in lilies. You can get nearer and nearer, so to speak, to reality; but you never get near enough because reality is an infinite succession of steps, levels of perception, false bottoms, and hence unquenchable, unattainable. You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing: it’s hopeless. So that we live surrounded by more or less ghostly objects – that machine, there, for instance. It’s a complete ghost to me – I don’t understand a thing about it and, well, it’s a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as it would be to Lord Byron.
– Vladimir Nabokov

shadows
running and hiding
in autumn fields
– Ogawa

Heartbreak is a spondee.
– Maggie Nelson

Traditional psychiatry makes absolutely no distinction between mysticism and psychosis. Any unusual experience would be seen as some form of psychopathology.
– Stanislav Grof

Word of the Day is a reminder of ‘latibulate’ (17th century): to find a corner somewhere and hide in it.
– @susie_dent

My son has lived through four chancellors, three home secretaries, two prime ministers and two monarchs.

He’s four months old.

– @Alan_McGuinness

remember always
the flowers
in your heart
– Basho

first sips of coffee
by the time the fog burns off
a new attitude
– Jason Gould

The Half-Finished Heaven

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.

The water is shining among the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

– Tomas Tranströmer

Seamus Heaney:

All throwing shapes, every one of them
Convinced he’s in the right, all of them glad
To repeat themselves and their every last mistake,

No matter what.

Doctors & nurses are trying to keep you safe

Teachers are trying to help your kids

Train drivers & postal workers just want fair pay

Scientists & activists are trying to warn you of danger

If those you listen to have tried to turn you against these people, stop listening

– @CharlieJGardner

if you sliced my sister open
you’d find New York there
carved on her rib bones, burnt crest & center
among sparkling organs.
– Nancy Huang

Poetry requires a lot of creative input, showing the reader that they are just as innovative as the writer they are reading.
– CAConrad

The Shadow on the Stone

I went by the Druid stone
That stands in the garden white and lone,
And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows
That at some moments there are thrown
From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing,
And they shaped in my imagining
To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders
Threw there when she was gardening.

I thought her behind my back,
Yea, her I long had learned to lack,
And I said: “I am sure you are standing behind me,
Though how do you get into this old track?”
And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf
As a sad response; and to keep down grief
I would not turn my head to discover
That there was nothing in my belief.

Yet I wanted to look and see
That nobody stood at the back of me;
But I thought once more: “Nay, I’ll not unvision
A shape which, somehow, there may be.”
So I went on softly from the glade,
And left her behind me throwing her shade,
As she were indeed an apparition—
My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

– Thomas Hardy

My truth doesn’t travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back.
– Abigail Thomas

Good god, there isn’t a healthy body in the world that is stronger than a sick person’s spirit.
– Andrea Gibson

This world is gradually becoming a place
Where I do not care to be any more.
– John Berryman

About this metaphor, it stretches out like a tightrope.
And these lines force one foot in front of the other.
And these steps are the ones I have to take.
– Alexandra Lytton Regalado

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
– Pablo Picasso

What was the purpose of our pilgrimage?
To make a new intelligence prevail.
– Wallace Stevens

The Aesthetic Moment: “that flitting instant, so brief as to be almost timeless, when the spectator is at one with the work of art. He ceases to be his ordinary self, and the picture or building, statue, landscape or aesthetic actuality is no longer outside himself. The two become one entity.”
– Bernard Berenson

Running Water

translated by Muna Lee

Yes, I move, I live, I wander astray—
Water running, intermingling, over the sands.
I know the passionate pleasure of motion;
I taste the forests; I touch strange lands.

Yes, I move—perhaps I am seeking
Storms, suns, dawns, a place to hide.
What are you doing here, pale and polished—
You, the stone in the path of the tide?

– Alfonsina Storni

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.
– William Shakespeare

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
– Dag Hammarskjold

WHALE WATCH
One day you wake up at the
Beach
On the Oregon Coast
Not expecting the day to be
Any more exceptional than another
When
In front of you
Through the plate glass window
Of your comfortable bungalonian
Abode you spy
The spout of a whale
A grey whale traveling north
To its Alaskan feeding ground
Not so unusual at this time of the year
When suddenly
In the next moment
The great behemoth
Leaps out of the waves
Twists in the sun
And falls back-first into the
Mesmerizing deep
A few seconds more
Then a second joyful and
Exuberant leap
Then a third
Then a fourth
Then a fifth
And a sixth!
And then nothing
Your breath ripped out of
Your lungs
You gasp
Stunned
Disbelieving
Before all is returned
To the platitude of
Normalcy
Was it a dream or was
It the truth?
Will you ever see anything
Like it, in person, in the flesh
Ever, or Never
In the expanding wave of possibility
Again?
If only our lives could be lived
With such ecstatic boundless Irrepressible abandon
The grateful explosion of life’s exhilarant splash
Enough to make every day
A revelation and a wonder
Never to be denied
In the split second spark
Of Eternity.
– Laurence Overmire

A translation is a judgment, a commentary; it is a mirror where the author may contemplate, at his ease, the defects of his spirit. A translation betrays us, more than it betrays our text.
– Emil Cioran

See beyond all organizations
– Nicholas Pierotti

Anyhow, I’m feeling very good today, as though I were just beginning to live.
Yours, Franz.

Franz Kafka, 1908.

Relationship is the root to unity. We can sometimes find ourselves stuck in our egoic perspective. Thoughts like poor me, I am alone, I am nothing.

However we are in fact in a deep relationship with an apparent endless connection with all that is. Without relationships the universe stops!

Relationship is movement; growth and decay; creation and destruction; contraction and expansion.

Often people think of relationship as a connection between people. It is this and soo much more. We have relationships with water, air, plants, animals-as well as people. We are in relationship with Life!

Now, consider not only what we relate to but how we relate to these things.

Take water for example. How do we relate to water? Water is life. No water, no life! Not ours, not any.

Yet, do we feel the life giving properties of life when we drink? How do we relate to water when we use it to rinse our vegetables? When we make a cup of tea or a pot of coffee?

What about when we shower and use it to clean and purify our bodies? What of rain and snow? Clouds? How about the puddle we accidently step in soaking our feet?

Know that our relationships can taint or enrich our lives. Our relationships are, in fact, supporting our lives; making them possible.

Relationships are the way of the Universe. The Universe is the source of humanity. Humanity is of the Universe. We are in a unity with it through our origins and relationships.

Seekers of Harmony, looking at ourselves as individuals is incomplete. Indeed, even the human body is a relationship of organs, tissues and processes. We are not truly independent but, rather, interdependent through our relationship with being.

Yet, the perspective of an individual does exist. Using this perspective in a constructive way, we can examine, for example, how we relate to breathing; our posture; what we eat and drink; how we stay fit through movements and exercise.

The Lakota people have a saying, that many utter or think when they meet each day: Mitákuye Oyás’in – meaning all my relations. Everything is interconnected. We are One!

– Rob Fishbeck

at the tavern
an autumn night
is forgotten
– Issa

Delusion is itself an essential component of the catastrophe now unfolding across the planet.
– Amitav Ghosh

To stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening.
– Pema Chödrön

Everything that is important and valuable and good belongs with the little piece of us which is not mechanical.
– Iris Murdoch

OCTOBER, MONTH WITHOUT GODS
The Japanese think this is the month-without-gods.
They celebrate it this way. They don’t alliterate October
with gold falling from the fragile trees,
or with revolutions that changed history.
October, like a truce. Like an absence of everything
that exceeds limits. May it be for us
liberation. Because now they don’t exhibit
the relentless naked gods of summer,
the too many gods, and so much remains
for the child of winter to be born,
and our sight doesn’t reach any further, from this
month of distances, month of far aways,
imperfect, attained, fortuitous. If only it would be
like this for us. Without the eight million
gods that hide in the city or in the forest,
the scales coincide with our statures.
Let us be carried away by our premonitions.
Let us write things with small letters.
Let us celebrate October for its absence of gods.
Let us enjoy its name because it is only a number
in a truncated series. And forgotten. It is October.
We have thirty days all to ourselves.
– Juan Antonio González-Iglesias
translated by Curtis Bauer

Calm down, my Sorrow, we must move with care.
You called for evening; it descends; it’s here.
The town is coffined in its atmosphere,
– Charles Baudelaire

In your gaze, beloved, I live between twin-green worlds.
The field has spots where we’ve lain this rainy morning.
Clouds will remember us this way:
pressed into grass like petals into pages,
our arms each other’s spines, if we were books.
Listening to wind sing a song it wrote and rewrote
long before it opened its mouth.
– Molly Kirschner

We can handle anything when we exchange our
worries and fears for alertness and spontaneity,
when we focus solely on what is in front of us,
and when we leap into the sheer wonder
of the unplanned life.
– Karen Maezen Miller

I call it the “narcissism of progress.” It’s when you grow and evolve, and then project the assumption of growth onto others, as though they are you and see the world through your eyes. It’s not a malevolent tendency. It’s simply a misplaced (and often hopeful) assumption of transformation. You reach a place where you couldn’t act in such and such a way, and then assume that someone else is there, too. And sometimes, they are. And sometimes… they aren’t. As much as we long to see everyone grow and evolve, it’s important to remember that some people won’t do a stitch of work in that regard. They are comfortable (or uncomfortable) right where they are, or they will grow when they are ready, or they simply have a different idea of growth. It’s important to understand this, so that you live in relational reality, so that you don’t put your eggs in the wrong basket, and so that you experience the liberating benefits of meeting people right where they are. It takes a lot of energy to make assumptions about other people’s consciousness. Save it for your own journey. You will surely need it to get where you long to go.
– Jeff Brown

Only someone who is well prepared has the opportunity to improvise.
– Ingmar Bergman

Pages and pages and pages with words all over the pages. My goodness, what fun. What fun to write whatever words occur.
– Jonah Winter, Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude

Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.
– Carl Jung

The most undervalued skill of our time is the ability to write.

In an analog world, talking was the main currency of communication and connection. In a digital world, there’s a growing premium on the capacity to convey thoughts in text.

The pen is mightier than the spoken word.

– Adam Grant

afraid
to fall in love
late autumn chill
– Ogawa

Modern physicists must now once again [ask]: What are we really doing? We are forcing Nature with our means of observation into a particular mode of response. We are forcing her to give an answer that she would not give if we were not observing her in this fashion.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Abandon cruelty as a praxis. No one needs to suffer to make art or write a poem. It isn’t naïveté to seek joy, to seek pleasure, and to write about it.
– Steven Leyva

The climate crisis is the single greatest issue facing humankind today.

Our civilization is unsustainable.

Are we going to sit back and wait for the clock to run out?

Or are we going to take this issue head on? We’re lucky to even have that choice. Let’s make the right one.

– Edgar McGregor

The archetypes are eternal principles that reside in the human psyche. As such, they are beyond any individual human’s ability to integrate into the personality.
– Robin Robertson

Read yourself, not books. Truth isn’t outside, that’s only memory, not wisdom.
– Ajahn Chah

Where you live is not crucial, but how you *feel* about where you live is crucial.
– William Stafford

Confess your hidden faults.
Approach what you find repulsive.
Help those you think you cannot help.
Anything you are attached to, give that.
Go to the places that scare you.
– MACHIG LABDRÖN

People are sometimes practically incapable of really basically reflecting about themselves. In the most literal sense of the word, reflection means to bend back, and this bending back upon oneself is not something one can decide to do.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Myths from different times & locations are similar not because they had emerged from a single point of origin and spread geographically to different regions by a process of diffusion, but because they are emanations of a collective, archetypally structured psyche.
– Keiron LeGrice

A mystery so profound that none of us really seems to grasp it until it has indisputably grasped us, is that some force transcendent to ordinary consciousness is at work within us to bring about our ego’s overthrow.
– James Hollis

SAY IT. Go ahead, stand before the mirror, look at your mouth, and say it. Blue. See how you pucker up, your lips opening with the consonants into a kiss, and then that final exhalation of vowels? Blue.The word looks like what it is, a syllable blown out into the air.”
– W.H. Gass

“Paintmakers Are Running Out of the Color Blue”

news headline

Which feels right. Blue has always been
too easy to come by. And yellow.
And crimson. And silver, god, silver.
Children, for Christmas this year
I’ve procured for you a swatch
of blue cotton. Husband, happy
anniversary, here is an unobstructed view
of a cerulean billboard. Let it be enough
just to say it. Let me love what I have
while I have it. The factories are still
churning out blue doors and skateboards
and lamps. My oldest son’s bedroom is blue.
My nails. Our Honda. The dog’s leash.
Dear husband, dear children, dear parents,
dear sister, dear nephews, dear friends
who send postcards and mix Manhattans
and ask after dogs, I love you, right now
I love you. On the floor at my feet
is the box from my new bike helmet.
It’s azure, the bright creamy shade
of a just-mixed vat. I see it. I let it stun me.

– Catherine Pierce

If you’re worried that it’s too late to do anything about climate change and we should all just give up, I have great news for you: that day is not coming in your lifetime. As long as you have breath in your body, you will have work to do.
– @MaryHeglar

Waking up
from chasing illusions
– October wind
– @wingsoverwaters

Fragile and momentary, we continue.
– Linda Gregg

Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.
– Jeanette Winterson

If you’re burdened by a classic idea of the artist as a figure to whom everything is owed and whose prerogatives are enormous and can never be challenged, forget it. That sort of person can have only a servant for a partner.
– Helen Garner

John Muir, A Dream, A Waterfall, A Mountain Ash
by Robert Hass

I had been given two pieces of writing to read.
One was a description of my childhood kitchen
in which, beneath the calm and orderly prose,
something was beating frantically against the walls
like a trapped bat. The other piece contained a small door
you could actually crawl through. It led to the ridge
of a canyon from which you could look down
into an orchard. I knew it was Canyon de Chelly,
knew Kit Carson and his scouts would be coming
to destroy the fruit trees which were neatly aligned
along irrigation ditches that the Spanish called aquecia.
Woke feeling nauseous—my wife’s soft breathing
beside me. Outside the immense Sierra dark and silence,
a sky still glittering with a strew of stars, a faint brightening
to the east. You’d think, past sixty or so, the unconscious
would give you some respite. But here, it says,
is the little engine of dread and sorrow that runs your story.
And here, almost symmetrically, is the unspeakable cruelty
of the world. In an hour the market in Tahoma will open.
I can drive through the sugar pines. Get coffee,
get a paper. The plan today is to climb Ellis Peak
to see if we can’t find the clusters of golden berries
on the mountain ash that we saw last year where the slope
of the trail flattens and the creek runs in a silver sheet
across slabs of granite and then flares into spumes
of white water that leap down the canyon
in what John Muir thought was joy or its earthly simulation.
A good walk, mostly uphill. We can wear ourselves out with it.

i had the strength to rebel, but i did not have the strength to let go.
– bell hooks

Back in the early eighties, I realized that you could write a story that was really just a narration of something that had happened to you, and change it slightly, without having really to fictionalize it.
– Lydia Davis

Rimbaud in Harar

In the arid mountains
on arid mountain roads
by the Sufi shrines
there is no need to think
about passing the time.
There is only exquisite action.
Action is the purest form
of thought for which there are
no words. It is not even
water from a well.
Tell stories along the way
if you must. Meanwhile
the moment delights in us
and out of respect we are silent.
In the salons the self-appointed
compete to be heard.
The light fades as the talk
grows louder and less is said
the louder it gets. By all means
say what you like, and say it
with urgency, but spare me
the trouble of destroying
your tenses and the position
of your pronouns. I is a verb!
It is a phenomenal effort
to move along the road
and across these ridges
affording spectacular views.
I have not abandoned poetry.

– Rachael Boast

The blurriness of being alive. Take it or leave it, and for the most part you take it.
– Richard Siken

You think you’re unique in some way but you really never are: you read what people your age are reading.
– Grace Paley

One of the great privileges of living in the affluent parts of the modern world is that we’ve been able to forget that the natural world even exists…a great city seems to produce wealth out of thin air. This is illusion, of course, but powerful illusion.
– Bill McKibben

You sort of underestimate the human being when you say that every least thing that is an abstract experience is spiritual. It isn’t. It’s just your real self. You can be capable of fantastic abstract experiences, right in this life.
– Agnes Martin

As if There Were Only One
by Martha Serpas

In the morning God pulled me onto the porch,
a rain-washed gray and brilliant shore.
I sat in my orange pajamas and waited.
God said, “look at the tree.” And I did.
Its leaves were newly yellow and green,
slick and bright, and so alive it hurt
to take the colors in. My pupils grew
hungry and wide against my will.
God said, “listen to the tree.”
And i did. it said, “live!”
And it opened itself wider, not with desire,
but the way i imagine a surgeon spreads
the ribs of a patient in distress and rubs
her paralyzed heart, only this tree parted
its own limbs toward the sky – i was the light in that sky.
I reached in to the thick, sweet core
and i lifted it to my mouth and held it there
for a long time until i tasted the word
tree (because i had forgotten its name).
Then I said my own name twice softly.
Augustine said, God loves each one of us as if
there were only one of us, but i hadn’t believed him.
And God put me down on the steps with my coffee
and my cigarettes. And, although I still
could not eat nor sleep, that evening
and that morning were my first day back.

Stay deep within yourself and stay alone there — that is where your poems come from, and that has nothing to do with audience. You are the audience.
– Stanley Plumly

Every day you have choices. You can do things that wound your soul, like being dominated by the work ethic or compulsively seeking more money and possessions, or you can be around people who give you pleasure and do things that satisfy a desire deep inside you.
– Thomas Moore

When real reflection comes up, you can see it the minute you look into that person’s eyes, for he/she is quiet. Then people are suddenly quiet & objective about themselves & willing really to look at the thing. I call that a numinous moment, which nobody can bring forth.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Art is made to be experienced, it shouldn’t be explained too much. It is another language.
– Etel Adnan

It’s remarkable what we can see when we stop and turn the light of awareness on the things we take for granted.
– John Brehm

WRONG: “Do you believe in climate change”

RIGHT: “Do you understand what humankind has done to the natural world?”

– Edgar McGregor

overcast again
the mountain peak baits the clouds
to drop their burden
– @hegelincanada

When I don’t chase words
I find them standing in line
Waiting to be used.
– Sarita Talwai

To write with total devotion and with all the energy summoned up from the depth of one’s being, that is a very hard life.
– Ha Jin

Life enters us from behind where we are sightless, and from below, where we do not understand. And unless we yield to the beyond and take our power and might and honour and glory from the unseen, from the unknown, we shall continue empty.
– D.H. Lawrence

Writing poems. I don’t know why we do it. We must be crazy. Welcome, fellow poet.
– Richard Hugo

Introverts are good writers because they’ve been refining their inner dialogue their whole lives and have imaginary conversations with people on a daily basis.
– @Authoralexp

Do you refill the seasoning packet with water and pour that into the dish too or did you not grow up in poverty?
– @DrBlackDeer

To approach the metaphor in the right spirit is to humanize and weaken the force that is trying to destroy us. If we can listen to the metaphor and discover what it seeks, the body might be protected from its devastating impact.
– David Tacey

autumn
horses grazing
in flowering grass
– Basho

The Gods are true the way poetry is true.
– Joseph Campbell

We close our eyes and go spinning back to those old haunted falls, the happy-sad bittersweet drunk Octobers. What needs to be discharged is the intolerable tenderness of the past, the past gone and grieved over and never made sense of. Music ransoms us from the past, declares an amnesty, brackets and sets aside the old puzzles. Sing a new song. Start a new life, get a girl, look into her shadowy eyes, smile. Fix me a toddy … and we’ll sit on the gallery of Tara and you play a tune and we’ll watch evening fall and lightning bugs wink in the purple meadow.
– Walker Percy

Greensickness

after Gwendolyn Brooks

My wild grief didn’t know where to end.
Everywhere I looked: a field alive and unburied.
Whole swaths of green swallowed the light.
All around me, the field was growing. I grew out
My hair in every direction. Let the sun freckle my face.
Even in the greenest depths, I crouched
Towards the light. That summer, everything grew
So alive and so alone. A world hushed in green.
Wildest grief grew inside out.

I crawled to the field’s edge, bruises blooming
In every crevice of my palms.
I didn’t know I’d reached a shoreline till I felt it
There: A salt wind lifted
The hair from my neck.
At the edge of every green lies an ocean.
When I saw that blue, I knew then:
This world will end.

Grief is not the only geography I know.
Every wound closes. Repair comes with sweetness,
Come spring. Every empire will fall:
I must believe this. I felt it
Somewhere in the field: my ancestors
Murmuring Go home, go home—soon, soon.
No country wants me back anymore and I’m okay.

If grief is love with nowhere to go, then
Oh, I’ve loved so immensely.
That summer, everything I touched
Was green. All bruises will fade
From green and blue to skin.
Let me grow through this green
And not drown in it.
Let me be lawless and beloved,
Ungovernable and unafraid.
Let me be brave enough to live here.
Let me be precise in my actions.
Let me feel hurt.
I know I can heal.
Let me try again—again and again.

– Laurel Chen

There’s a huge part of our culture that stresses the abandonment of childhood, and leaving childhood behind…but that would be like stepping out of your skin…poets refuse this denial of self and history.
– Camille T. Dungy

I wonder, what are people most afraid of?
A new step, their own new word, that’s what they’re most afraid of.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

You cannot go against nature. She is stronger than the strongest of men.
– Pablo Picasso

It seems wiser to proceed
on the basis of what is,
rather than on what ought to be.
– Stewart Alsop

Specificity frightens and escapes people, and I can understand that: It takes great courage–massive balls–to announce what it is you intend to do; what it is you hope to become. It was never easy, but over time it became poisonous to most, so there is this fuzzy ambition, this delicate dreaming that has taken the place of bold intention. And the world has decided that the dream is enough, and so we reward everyone who has a hope, a yen, a desire. Intention and specificity have to return. Tell the world what it is you would like to be, and things shift in a way that, at the very least, reveal to you how wrong or right you are.
– Arthur Penn

Energized physical release is not the only way to clear emotional debris and arrive at more in the way of peace with path. As part of the healing process, it may also serve you to write a letter to someone who has hurt you. You may not send it to them either because it isn’t necessary, or because they aren’t available or alive, but there is still much to be said for granting yourself permission to express—in the clearest words possible, and over as much time as you need—exactly what you feel and need to express. The most important thing, as you are writing, is that you stay heartfully connected to that individual and to what has to be expressed in its totality. Don’t rush the process, don’t try to do it all at one sitting. Take your sweet time, until you feel truly and fully self-expressed with respect to all your feelings, including grief and anger. And if you are someone who doesn’t like to letter write, you can certainly accomplish the same thing in other creative forms, including but not limited to dance, painting, and the making of music. Anything that expresses what wants to be expressed in its totality.

There can also be value in writing the healing letter you long to receive. It may not be remotely realistic that the person who hurt you could write such a letter, but that’s not necessarily relevant. What is relevant is that you grant yourself permission to have an experience of what it would be like to feel seen, heard, honored, and loved. And if you can’t imagine someone who hurt you expressing their regret, write a letter from your inner adult to your (wounded) inner child expressing their love for you and their concerns about what you endured. Give yourself permission to feel the love that lives at the heart of your inner protector. We imagine ourselves all alone with our struggles, but there is always a part of us that is looking out for our better interests and that exists solely for our benefit. An inner presence that was birthed to keep us afloat in the storms of life. Give them permission to express themselves.
– Jeff Brown

A man is in general better pleased
when he has a good dinner upon his
table, than when his wife talks Greek.
– Dr. Samuel Johnson

We finally, really, completely,
loved each other, not like humans do:
humans always want something
from you, and he and I would just
rather be together than apart.
– Neil Hilborn

I wasn’t perfect,
thank god.

If I had been
I would have
loved myself

for the worst
of reasons.

– Andrea Gibson

Well, they each seem to do one thing well enough, but fail to realize that literature depends on doing several things well at the same time.
– Julian Barnes

Our ability to sense what is happening to another person, an ability I have described as empathy, is based on the fact that our bodies resonate with other living bodies. If we don’t resonate with others, it is because we don’t resonate within ourselves.
– Alexander Lowen

After the revolution, people will read before commenting.
– Rebecca Solnit

It seems to me that grief is not gotten over, it is gotten into.
– Ross Gay

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

Grief is not the only geography I know.
Every wound closes. Repair comes with sweetness,
Come spring. Every empire will fall:
– Laurel Chen

My only country is my memory and it has no hymns.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

Joy comes from using your potential.
– Will Schultz

Hidden by Constantine P. Cavafy

From all I’ve done and all I’ve said
let them not seek to find who I’ve been.
An obstacle stood and transformed
my acts and way of my life.
An obstacle stood and stopped me
many a time as I was going to speak.
My most unobserved acts,
and my writitings the most covered —
thence only they will feel me.
But mayhaps it is not worth to spend
this much care and this much effort to know me.
For — in the more perfect society —
someone else like me created
will certainly appear and freely act.

Hidden Things by Constantine P. Cavafy

From all I did and all I said
let no one try to find out who I was.
An obstacle was there that changed the pattern
of my actions and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was often there
to stop me when I’d begin to speak.
From my most unnoticed actions,
my most veiled writing—
from these alone will I be understood.
But maybe it isn’t worth so much concern,
so much effort to discover who I really am.
Later, in a more perfect society,
someone else made just like me
is certain to appear and act freely.

I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see.
– Walker Percy

But the sea
which no one tends
is also a garden.
– William Carlos Williams

…that that mouth which is

really a poem cannot save anyone’s life, especially

your own if you are honest,
and if I am honest,
another poet is grist for the locusts and the whole world is a whole world

– Cynthia Dewi Oka

The whole force-field of light rests on unity.
– Kenneth G. Mills

You made it through, girl.
You made it through every single time
the world scratched and skid to an end.
You woke up. Tomorrow
shoved you out of bed.
– Blythe Baird

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.
– Wassily Kandinsky

Chrysanthemum and nightshade:
I live on them,
though air is what I need.
– Ai

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
– Langston Hughes

“God save thee, ancient mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!–
Why lookst thou so?” “With my crossbow
I shot the albatross.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Not the loss alone,
But what comes after.
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
Wouldn’t matter.

But you go on.
And the world also.

And words, words
In a poem or song:
Aren’t they a stream
On which your feelings float?

Aren’t they also
The banks of that stream
And you yourself the flowing?

– Gregory Orr

You who were my only homeland, where am I going to look for you?

Perhaps in this poem that I am writing.

– Alejandra Pizarnik

The fantasy of “love” has everyone in its grip, especially the person who is lacking resolve to look within and take responsibility for meeting more of his/her own needs. Moreover, our projections depersonalize the other whom we profess to love.
– James Hollis

sleeping with quilts
over the head
a cold night
– Basho

secretly rooting
for the last leaf on the oak:
hang on — don’t let go!
– Jason Gould

A litmus test for someone’s shadow healing is if they can be with you through yours.
– Jack Adam Weber

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.
– Annie Dillard

I don’t write out of what I know; I write out of what I wonder. I think most artists create art in order to explore, not to give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions.
– Lucille Clifton

Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.
– Lucille Clifton

Anytime someone announces death of poetry or art, all they are announcing is that they are seeking an employment as an undertaker.
– Ilya Kaminsky

Books are born from guts, from the need of writing them, and are read in the same way, in the angst to read them, from a primite need.
– Brigitte Vasallo

A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.
– Daniel Kahneman

I cannot prove to you that God exists, but my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man . . . Find this pattern in your own individual self and life is transformed.
– Carl Jung

There is no poetry where there are no mistakes.
– Joy Harjo

It is possible, I believe, at certain moments not to be on anyone’s mind—-to be that tree falling in the forest…
– sven birkerts

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
– Giacomo Puccini

The truth of any relationship is that it can achieve no higher level of development than the level of maturity that both parties bring to it. If I can bear to accept this truth, I not only free the other but I begin to free myself from shackles of childhood dependency.
– James Hollis

WALKING ON TIPTOE
Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others – horse, dog, and tiger –
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.
– Ted Kooser

What is progress? That we can drive faster on the roads? No, progress is the rest the body needs and the peace the soul requires. Progress is man”s well being.
– Knut Hamsun

Wheels by Nancy Cunard

I sometimes think that all our thoughts are wheels
Rolling forever through the painted world,
Moved by the cunning of a thousand clowns
Dressed paper-wise, with blatant rounded masks,
That take their multi-coloured caravans
From place to place, and act and leap and sing,
Catching the spinning hoops when cymbals clash.
And one is dressed as Fate, and one as Death,
The rest that represent Love, Joy and Sin,
Join hands in solemn stage-learnt ecstasy,
While Folly beats a drum with golden pegs,
And mocks that shrouded Jester called Despair.
The dwarves and other curious satellites,
Voluptuous-mouthed, with slyly-pointed steps,
Strut in the circus while the people stare.—

my brain and
heart divorced

a decade ago

over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

eventually,
they couldn’t be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another
– instead, they give me
the same note to pass
to each other every week

and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:

“This is all your fault”

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there’s been a lot
of yelling – and crying

so,

lately, I’ve been
spending a lot of
time with my gut

who serves as my
unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut’s plush leather chair
that’s always open for me

~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up
last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head

I nodded

I said I didn’t know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,”
I lamented

my gut squeezed my hand

“I just can’t live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,”
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:

“in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,”

I was confused
– the look on my face gave it away

“if you are exhausted about
your heart’s obsession with
the fixed past and your mind’s focus
on the uncertain future

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out.”

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves

and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs

I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

“what took you so long?”

– john roedel

To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.
– Rebecca Solnit

Safe, secure relationships lack the “fireworks” that come with unstable relationships. If your childhood was chaotic, you’ve learned instability as excitement. It takes evolution to understand love is predictable.

And dependable.

– @Theholisticpsyc

it’s so hard to let chaos swirl around without needing to manage or understand it.
– Anne Lamott

I’ve been a monk for 65 years,
and what i have found
is that there is no religion, no philosophy,
no ideology higher
than brotherhood and sisterhood.
Not even buddhism.

Views are better
with your best friend by your side.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Sacred poetry is transformative poetry. No matter how much we think we have understood, until we feel a poem working its alchemy on our own awareness, we haven’t yet met the heart of the poem.
– Ivan M. Granger

And so, what else can you do
but let yourself be broken
and emptied? What else is there
but waiting in the autumn sun?
– Carolyn Locke

[T]he ancient myths were designed to put the mind—the mental system—into accord with this body system, with this inheritance—to ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑠𝑒. The mind can ramble off in strange ways and want things that the body does not want.
– Joseph Campbell

The weaker the consciousness of a person is, the more he or she is likely to get fixated in projection, even when the reality has long departed from it, and he or she will remain captive to the power of history, the agenda of longing, and the wheel of repetition.
– James Hollis

Breaking patterns is a gift to yourself.

Heal so you can choose differently.

You don’t have to live on repeat.

– Dr. Thema

We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.
– Annie Dillard

Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand.
– Alberto Moravia

God may take away, but he often leaves you with a terrific opening line for the next adventure.
– Tennessee Williams

Tears gathered in his eyes and he blinked to release them. They were large still tears such as men weep in solitude over beautiful things. To weep like that over a human being was a most desolate homage.
– Iris Murdoch, The Unicorn

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living. Talking is often a torment for me, and I need many days of silence to recover from the futility of words.
– Carl Jung

We do a lot of “pushing through” and “getting to the finish line” and “after this, I can rest” and then we wonder why everyone is so tired and disheartened or burned out and stops loving the things they used to love.
– Ada Limón

Why must the gate be narrow? Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.
– Wendell Berry

…even if your preferred mode is fragment, you need syntax to love
– Brenda Hillman

All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain. If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it to those around us.
– Richard Rohr

DESERT WIND

A poem
Must be wrestled within
The desert of the soul

Until it is pinned

To a hope and a dream
And a vision of something
Extraordinary.

– Laurence Overmire

I do all of my growing
out of season.

Something about
the weatherman
saying “it’s freezing out”
teaches my heart

to find more and more
ways to be warm.

– Andrea Gibson

In process work terms are considered meaningful because they describe experience, which is changeable, not because they’re absolute Truths. In the meaning of relativity Albert Einstein wrote: The only justification for our concepts and system of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences. Beyond this they have no legitimacy.

[. . .] I used to speak about the shadow in cultures but today I avoid this term because it’s a eurocentric term. It makes light more valuable than darkness and makes reference to skin color. Concepts of culture, normal and abnormal, healthy and ill, even the concepts of race, gender and age are only concepts. They represent the governing social paradigms. The very use of such terms can sustain the existing problems. Though we have employed them to create psychology, sociology and politics these concepts are relative. When they are normative they abuse people who feel they do not fit them. I introduced new concepts such as “Edges, TimeSpirits, Hotspots” to include those experiences and individuals who are marginalized.

Social Relativity predicts that if all the tyrants gave up their power and all the freedom fighters came in to power very little would change. If all the oppressed where to move forward and the oppressors were to step down chances are the world would not change in the sustainable way. Why? Because one power was blindly replaced with another. Only when all the members of a community grow in awareness of power within themselves and others can true change occur. The world has seen countless revolutions. The cold war was won by Democracy and capitalism yet these changes do not protect individual liberties or stimulate enough of us to participate in government. We are still unconscious of the day to day relativity of power and how it is used.

– Arnold Mindell

It is virtually impossible to do therapy with a person “in love,” just as one cannot work w/ a drunk. Often, they suffer more than an intoxication; they are temporarily psychotic & cannot reflect and sort through their lives until enough of the projection has worn away.
– James Hollis

Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.
– Henry Miller

What Jung advocates, in both dream interpretation & active imagination, is not a monological dictation by the unconscious to the ego but a dialogical negotiation, on equal terms, between the ego & unconscious. In this sense, dreams express not what must be but what might be.
– Michael V. Adams

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
– Benjamin Franklin

The Water Does Not Remember
by Najwan Darwish

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

Take refuge in language:
it’s the only solid ground
for ships pitched by waves of misfortune.
Take refuge in language:
it often took refuge in you
to vent all its passions,
a snake seeking shelter from the flames
within the flames,
a man running from one lion
into the jaws of another.
Take refuge in the words of the forefathers,
for the words of your contemporaries
cannot comfort a wound
or prevent a suicide
or stop these poison gases
that drive you from your home
and ruin your place of exile.
From city to city, you lost your life
and remain
with a wealth of losses.
I saw you lose,
I heard you lose,
I touched, tasted, smelled your losses, as I had never
touched, smelled, or tasted before—
as if the senses were made for this.
The sun of loss rises over your life
and calls itself an Andalus,
and your days flow in the Darro river:
The water does not remember
a family,
does not hear
the voice of a friend,
and has no sense for justice.
Your memory flows through the water
but you don’t follow it
to the river’s mouth;
it doesn’t even know
that it’s your memory.

The sun of loss rises
while your days roar in silence.

A healthier definition of hope is the certainty
that whatever you’re doing is worth doing
regardless of the outcome.
– Four Arrows

I can see the sunset in your eyes
Brown and grey and blue besides
– Poet, P Frampton

When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.
– W. S. Merwin

To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way.
– Stephen Levine

Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

The Greeks idolized the finite, and therefore were the masters of all grace, elegance, proportion, fancy, dignity, majesty––of whatever, in short, is capable of being definitely conveyed by defined forms or thoughts: the moderns revere the infinite, and affect the indefinite as a vehicle of the infinite,––hence their passions, their obscure hopes and fears, their wandering through the unknown, their grander moral feelings, their more august conception of man as man, their future rather than their past––in a word, their sublimity.



HOW MUCH OF A LEAP IS IT FROM “THE INDEFINITE” TO “THE OBSCURE”?

The leaves are changing; I feel poetry in the air.
– Laura Jaworski

Most men are not wicked…
They are sleep-walkers,
not evil evildoers.
– Franz Kafka

Here or nowhere
I will make peace with the fact.
– Mary Oliver

Peace.

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

– Kalidasa

If the personal unconscious is cleared up, there is no particular pressure, and you will not be terrorized; you stay alone, read, walk, smoke, and nothing happens, all is “just so”, you are right with the world.
– CG Jung

Part of finding your soul is to wake up to this habit of thinking like others and go your own way. It may be painful to separate from those people who have given you a sense of belonging and purpose, but your soul is at stake.
– Thomas Moore

It is my belief that all presenting problems and symptoms are really metaphors that contain a story about what the problem really is. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the therapist to create metaphors that contain a story that contains the (possible) solutions.
– S Heller

There are three things we have to let go of. The first is the compulsion to be successful. Second, is the compulsion to be right-especially theologically right. Finally, there is the compulsion to be powerful, to have everything under control.
– Richard Rohr

Life has got to be bigger than death, and love has got to be bigger than fear or this is all a total bust and we are all just going tourist class.
– Anne Lamott

Like, I get we all have opinions about this stuff, and that’s fine, but I wonder why we sometimes trust our opinion’s validity enough to want to become a spokesperson for an ideology? Personally, I’d like to try and do this less, because I think it cleaves us apart.
– @VinceFHorn

People need to be educated that the Musk plan of escaping this planet is nothing more than a billionaires dopamine hit. Mars will never be habitable for this civilization. Energy should not be wasted on such frivolous adventures when we need mitigation on Earth at scale.
– Peter Dynes

a frigid morning
the pine forest
same as last year
– Issa

Thinking how it used to be
Does she still remember times like these?
To think of us again?
And I do
– James Patrick Page

Contradictory views are necessary for the evolution of any science, only they must not be set up in rigid opposition to each other but should strive for the earliest possible synthesis.
– CG Jung

It is obvious that the only interesting people are interested people, and to be completely interested is to have forgotten about “I.”
– Alan W. Watts

We’ve tried so many things to get people to wake up to this deadly, irreversible, planet-wide emergency and NOTHING has worked. If you know so well how to do more effective climate activism, please demonstrate. We’re waiting.
– Peter Kalmus

Meditation is not about trying to get anywhere else. It is about allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and as you are, and for the world to be exactly as it is in this moment as well.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

You don’t need to believe in ghosts to balance spirit and live the right way in this world. You can use any metaphor you like—for example, ego, id, superego, and persona. Frontal lobe, monkey brain, neocortex, and lizard brain. Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy. Monkey spirit, Pig spirit, Fish spirit, and Tripitaka. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Whatever stories your cultural experience offers you, you can still perceive spirit through metaphor and bring it into balance to step into your designated role as a custodian of reality. Some new cultures keep asking, “Why are we here?” It’s easy. This is why we’re here. We look after things on the earth and in the sky and the places in between.
– Tyson Yunkaporta

After examining the philosophies, the theories, and the practiced methods of influencing human behavior, I was shocked to learn the simplicity of that one small fact: You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming – what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself.

It is no longer a success theory; it is a simple but powerful fact. Neither luck nor desire has the slightest thing to do with it. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.
– Shad Helmstetter

We boast our light, but if we look not wisely on the sun itself, it smites us into darkness… The light which we have gained was given to us, not to ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge.
– John Milton

To care for the soul of the family, it is necessary to shift from causal thinking to an appreciation for story and character, to allow grandparents and uncles to be transformed into figures of myth and to watch certain familiar family stories become canonical through repeated tellings. We are so affected by the scientific tone in education and in the media that without thinking we have become anthropologists and sociologists in our own families. Often I will ask a patient about the family, and the answer I get is pure social psychology. ‘My father drank, and as a child of an alcoholic I am prone to …’ Instead of stories, one hears analysis. The family has been ‘etherized upon a table.’ Even worse is the social worker or psychologist who begins talking about a patient with a singsong list of social influences: ‘The subject is a male who was raised in Judeo-Christian family, with a narcissistic mother and a codependent father.’ The soul of the family evaporates in the thin air of this kind of reduction. It takes extreme diligence and concentration to think differently about the family: to appreciate its shadow as well as its virtue and simply to allow stories to be told without slipping into interpretations, analysis, and conclusions. Professionals think it is their job to understand and correct the family without allowing themselves to be introduced fully to its genius—its unique formative spirit.
– Thomas Moore

Let’s contemplate the sky. Forget the crazy hammering heartbeat, don’t listen to it, don’t start counting, remember that there is a clever way of breathing that conserves oxygen as if you’re lying below the surface of a body of water breathing through a very thin straw but you can breathe through it if you’re careful, if you don’t panic; one breath and then another and then another, isn’t that the story of all lives? careers? Just a matter of breathing. Of course it is. But contemplate the sky, it’s there to be contemplated. A mild shock to see it so blank, blue, a thin airy ghostly blue, no clouds to disguise its emptiness. You are beginning to feel not only weightless but near-bodiless, lying on the earth like a scrap of paper about to be blown off. Two dimensions and you’d imagined you were three! And there’s the sky rolling away forever, into infinity — if ‘infinity’ can be ‘rolled into’ —and the forlorn truth is, that’s where you’re going too. And the lovely blue isn’t even blue, is it? isn’t even there, is it? a mere optical illusion, isn’t it? no matter what art has urged you to believe.
– Joyce Carol Oates

A Brechtian maxim: do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.
– Walter Benjamin

I have heard my teacher say, where there are machines, there inevitably are machine affairs; where there are machine affairs, there inevitably are machine minds. with a machine mind in your breast, the pure and simple in your nature cannot develop. And when the pure and simple cannot develop, you won’t have any peace, in spirit or in life. Without peace in spirit and in life, the Tao will no longer support you.
– Chuang Tzŭ

BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WRESTLE WITH YOUR ANGEL

To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation’s sweetest dreams of itself. The Covenant is broken, the condition is dishonoured, have you not noticed that the world has been taken away? You have no place, you will wander through yourselves from generation to generation without a thread. Therefore you rule over chaos, you hoist your flags with no authority, and the heart that is still alive hates you, and the remnant of Mercy is ashamed to look at you. You decompose behind your flimsy armour, your stench alarms you, your panic strikes at love. The land is not yours, the land has been taken back, your shrines fall through empty air, your tablets are quickly revised, and you bow down in hell beside your hired torturers, and still you count your battalions and crank out your marching songs. Your righteous enemy is listening. He hears your anthems full of blood and vanity, and your children singing to themselves. He has overturned the vehicle of nationhood, he has spilled the precious cargo, and every nation he has taken back. Because you are swollen with your little time. Because you do not wrestle with your angel. Because you dare to live without God. Because your cowardice has led you to believe that the victor does not limp.
– Leonard Cohen

ORDINARY MEDICINE

I don’t want an ordinary medicine.
Not a bandage for my hand or a bottle
for my grief. I want my father dressed
in youth, his kite a light as sky.
Send back this torn paper lantern.
Send back the doctor whose questions
are an eye. I want my childhood by the sea,
my grandmother’s hair undone so it falls
like night. I want my cat again, twenty
years dead but still licking her dinner.
I want what was taken from me by breathing.

– Faith Shearin

We will see that from a very early period, certain gifted individuals have deliberately cultivated what we would now call a right-hemispheric awareness and have had apprehensions of the ineffable unity of reality.
– Karen Armstrong

There are higher things than the ego’s will, and to these one must bow.
– C.G. Jung

the unsettled self
disparate voices tell you
who you are
– James Welsh

Friends are angels following you through life.
– Zazzle

Survival is a matter of keeping a low profile
– Arji Manuelpillai

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
– CS Lewis

There is nothing more ridiculous than, for example—I won’t give any names—but let’s just say the writer who characterizes himself as “progressive,” or who feigns poverty but actually has more money than all of us.
– Camilo José Cela

Any strong theology must be so constructed that its perimeters can constantly be broken down, allowing new insight to flood in, enlarging the concept of a God who is ultimately, beyond theology.
– Peter C. Craigie

To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.
– Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.
– Roberto Bolaño

trust the ones
who are always
seeking to grow…
– yung pueblo

It’s a real moron who waits for the world–and the people in it–to inform him or her what life holds. Come on! We are the authors of our life; we are the architects, the designers. Build the life you think you deserve, and then deserve it. Work your ass off. It’s great fun. I pity the person who looks to the stars or cards or so-called wise men or fashion or anything but their own heart to tell them how to think or live or be. Do what only you can do and do it well and do it now. Right now! Time’s wasting, and time needs you.
– Ruth Gordon

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
– Stella Adler

Sojourns in the Parallel World
We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension—though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
—but we have changed, a little.
– Denise Levertov

sorrows

who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautiful who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls clicking

their bony fingers
they have heard me beseeching

as i whispered into my own
cupped hands enough not me again

but who can distinguish
one human voice

amid such choruses
of desire

– Lucille Clifton

The Buddha said, “It is important to renew humanity.” I like that vision. How do we renew humanity? And he made three recommendations. He said generosity, truthful and constructive speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which shall renew humanity.
– Joan Halifax

Why am I more prone to write about what’s gone than what’s right in front of me? I do not know.
 But don’t it always seem to go …
– Jessie Lynn McMains

I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn’t mine anymore, but one in which I’d found the simplest and most lasting joys: the smells of summer, the part of town I loved, a certain evening sky, [her] dresses and the way she laughed.
– Albert Camus

I loved you on this day. I love this memory.
– Joel Barish

A trembling in the bones may carry a more convincing testimony than the dry documented deductions of the brain.
– Llewellyn Powers

Art matters because it nourishes the heart. Like plums do. Like sunflowers. Like a good, long kiss in this brief, brief life.
– Chen Chen

This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.
– Plato

Every day I have to be awake to escape.. ..The whole world is sleepy. It is a real fight to be awake, to see everything new, for the first time in your life.
– Karel Appel

Lies are what the world lives on, and those who can face the challenge of a truth and build their lives to accord are finally not many, but the very few.
– Joseph Campbell

“Buddhism is not finite,” Dorjey explains. “It is infinite. I cannot just study Tibetan Buddhism and say that it is the only Buddhism, and at the same time, I cannot just study only Theravada. There are things we can learn from other traditions.”
– Toby Ann Cox

The fight for justice has deep roots in our shared history and is dynamic, embracing current intersectional struggles.
– Coshandra Dillard

If you’ve been carrying something heavy, after a while lightness feels almost wrong. If you’ve been exhausted for who-knows-how long, deep rest feels foreign. If the days have been hard for so so long, ease & joy can start to feel transgressive, or even disloyal.
Push against that part of you that feels tempted to stay in the heavy & hard because it’s familiar.

Let it be light, & don’t apologize for moments of ease or joy or rest, unfamiliar as they might feel.
Turn your face to the sun every chance you get.
Soak up goodness every time you encounter it.
Let it be light, even just for a little while.
– Shauna Niequist

Fear is always future-based. We fear what might happen later. But the future doesn’t exist now, in the present, the only moment in which we are ever alive. So though our fear may be visceral, it is based on a misconception, that the future is somehow now. It’s not.
– Norman Fischer

If anything of importance is devalued in our conscious life & perishes there arises a compensation in the unconscious. We may see in this an analogy to the conservation of energy in the physical world, for our psychic processes also have a quantitative, energic aspect.
– CG Jung

[This was my comment to a post of a long quote from Marianne Williamson. Sharing here, in case it’s of interest to anyone… ]

There’s a lot I like about this quote, but it brings up something I think about often regarding false equivalence and both-sides-ism.

Take this section, for example:

“A smug, self-righteous, intolerant left winger is no less dangerous to the emotional fabric of this nation than is a smug, self-righteous, intolerant right winger.”

This is the kind of thing people love to say, because it sounds so even-handed; so above-the-fray. It’s the kind of thing that says, ‘I stand above the squabbling, and have Buddha-like compassion for all.’

But is the statement true? Is it accurate?

An intolerant left-winger can spread smugness and condescension, and that’s not good. But an intolerant right-winger will often spread smugness, condescension, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, authoritarianism, and anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

Is it, therefore, true that one is “no less dangerous to the emotional fabric of this nation than” the other?

An intolerant right-winger will vote for politicians who are intentionally suppressing the voting rights of Black, brown, and Native American communities. That’s tremendously harmful to the emotional fabric of the nation, and I’m not sure there’s much that’s analogous on the left.

I think it’s quite possible to have comprehensive, universal compassion, love, and understanding–and the loving, open-hearted communion and communication she describes–without falling into the trap of pretending that everything is equivalent, and that what is happening on the left is the exact same as what is happening on the right.

Smugness is not the same as racism, sexism, and bigotry. Saying, “the intolerant left” and “the intolerant right” collapses some very important distinctions. It’s quite possible to call for less smugness without falling into an inaccurate both-sides-ism.

– Drew Dellinger

Viennese Waltz

Dresden china shepherdesses
Whirl in the silver sunshine:
Columbine stars
Float in gauze petticoats of light…

Little Columbine ghosts, wrinkled and old,
Smelling of jasmine and camphor;
Prim arms folded over immaculate breasts…

The pirouetting tune dies…
Stars and little faded faces,
Waltzing, waltzing,
Shoot slowing downward
on tinkling music,
Dusty little flowers,
Sinking into oblivion…

After the music,
Quiet,
The glacial period renewed,
Monsters on earth,
A mad conflagration of worlds on ardent nights…

These too vanishing…
Silence unending.

– Evelyn Scott

SEEMS LIKE WE MUST BE SOMEWHERE ELSE
by Denise Levertov

Sweet procession, rose-blue,
and all them bells. Bandstand red, the eyes
at treetop level seeing it.
“Are we what we think we are or are we
what befalls us?” The people from an open window
the eyes
seeing it! Daytime! Or twilight!
If we’re here let’s be here now
Sweet procession, rose-blue.
If we’re here let’s be here now.
And the train whistle? who invented that? Lonesome man, wanted the trains
to speak for him.

Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic.
– Aldous Huxley

IT IS THERE ALL THE TIME

In the face of global insanity
surrounded by constant noise
It is possible for everyone
to discover the peace within
because it is there all the time.
even when you go to the mall
even when your mind wanders
in all directions –
peace is there waiting
for you all the time –
it will never give
up on you.
you will find it when
you move beyond the
waves and ripples
of your life.
It is there all
the time beyond
all seasons.
Be quiet now–
when you put your foot
in front of the other,
you are not only touching
the ground.
allow the ground
to touch you.
remain naked in front
of what can open
your heart.

– Guthema Roba

And you can be sure that the dream is your nearest friend; the dream is the friend of those who are not guided any more by the traditional truth and in consequence are isolated.
– CG Jung

We dig up wisdom of all ages and peoples only to find that everything most dear and precious has already been said in most superb language.
– CG Jung

Someone has to leave first. This is a very old story. There is no other version of this story.
– Richard Siken

Time

I’ll tell you what. We are almost
run over by time, a Faulknerian
thing, perhaps. The ticking
does not stop. Away, away

the hours chime—and us,
running frenzied about. But
when we stop, somehow,
to rest—or when the head

no longer aches—words, again;
it always happens like this.
They save themselves up
during the busy days—

When we make ourselves
sit by the waters of a river,
by the floating
water sliding down—

When we sit awhile
in this constant place
of beginning—the night entering
its expected hour—

It is then—Here—the words
make their way out—it is here,
they unfold, when the mind is quiet,
and the river is not.

– Marian Haddad

EARTHQUAKE

we in California
are reminded
from time to time
that the earth beneath us
is not stable,
that it can,
when conditions are right,
move.
today, as I was
proofreading a book
I had written,
everything
in the space around me
and I myself
moved––
not for long
but for enough
to be reminded
that we are not
masters,
not owners.
the earth beneath us
is a rental unit
and it is
on wheels.

– Jack Foley

There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.
– Edouard Manet

Let’s retire “identity is complicated.” It isn’t. Say, Instead, you’re reconnecting, of descent, adopted out, adopted in, or I’m on the grift. Let’s normalize these things.
– Tiffany Midge

Our minds wait until we are not asking anything of them to yield their best material.
– The School of Life

“Grow up!” some irate parent might say when a kid has made an irritating blooper. But who says “Grow Down” into loving participation in life? To root into what matters is the maturity of kindness and purposeful engagement.
– Gunilla Norris

Our two political parties have no set of shared values. That puts our democracy in serious trouble.
– John Lundin

Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There’s no system for teaching
what I know —
and no reward for practicing it
…either.
– Shinzen

CULTURAL IMPERIALISM

I don’t think the world has come to a true and balanced view of imperialism. It’s going to take some time—maybe centuries—before we reach any kind of consensus based on a dispassionate review of historical facts. There are many attempts, and I celebrate them. But we aren’t done yet.

Here’s the tricky thing: can we detach the value of culture from the political systems of which they are a part? There is no easy answer. If you rejected everything tainted by the crimes of Western empire, you’d have to do the same with other cultures too. That leaves us with paradoxical dilemmas. For example, I remember seeing an exhibit showing that Marie Antoinette made strenuous personal efforts to prop up the French ceramics industry. Imperial patronage in China was responsible for keeping the kilns going there too. It’s not easy to just throw everything out that was supported by questionable patronage. We might not have much left!

In the case of this situation in New Zealand, I am split between both sides of the question. Shakespeare was a great writer. There’s no denying his cultural impact, and if you take the time to read him, there’s no doubting his significance. Just try to equal one of his sonnets or one of his plays. Not easy. At the same time, some are asserting that Shakespeare belongs to the “canon of imperialism.”

Bluntly, New Zealand is unlikely to revert to being a Maori nation or to be renamed Aotearoa* any time soon. Even more importantly: any student is going to have to enter a multi-cultural world. Those young people are already going to be far more adept at code-switching than fretting adults. So why not let them learn everything, teach them openly that there was such a thing as imperialism, and then begin a process of reconciliation? They’re smart enough to modify nation and culture—just as every child intimately knows their parents’ limitations and shortcomings. In fact, until we let our young people change the world, we will never resolve the past through policy, legislation, or protest.

– Deng Ming-Dao

happier than me
a butterfly who knows
no philosophy
– @Meraki_k

In the church of my heart, the choir is on fire.
– Vladimir Mayakovski

A poem is supposed to be upsetting–a poem is for upsetting the status quo.
– Terrance Hayes

Memory believes before knowing remembers.
– William Faulkner

The living moment is everything. Life is ours to be spent, not saved.
– D.H. Lawrence

Animals shake when they experience trauma or anxiety. Think of a dog who’s been in a fight with another dog: Once the fight is over, both dogs will shake to calm their nervous systems and quiet the fight, flight, or freeze response. This enables them to move on without the physical memory of the situation. Humans, however, don’t naturally do this. Instead we carry our stress, anxiety, and trauma around with us every day, and use food and other addictive behaviors to soothe ourselves and quiet the emotional discomfort. There’s nothing wrong with turning to food or other means to soothe yourself, but typically habitual behaviors provide a short-term solution, and you’ll continue to feel the discomfort until you release the memory from your body.
– Jennifer Sterling

When someone is in their trauma body, even people they love can become an “enemy.” This is the body in threat mode.
– Dr. Nicole LePera

When modern psychology turned the nature gods, the old gods, into psychological archetypes, it unwittingly placed a massive burden on individual brains and bodies.

Everything that once could be addressed communally and cosmically through the ritual enactment of ecstasy, that could be addressed in a festival of enacted mourning, that could be addressed with candleflame and sprinkled water, that could be addressed with the simple feeding of surrounding energies, that could be addressed with the swell of the drone and the song of the people and through the felt sweat of the dance… is now somehow up to the individual to work out within their own heads. The burden is on the individual body not only to prove worth, to overcome challenge, to find success… but to also be the primary unit in which the gods sort out their great battles, in which the very world is saved.

No animist tradition I know of has ever said — the gods live in your head. Now go figure it all out.

The gods are all around us. They pervade us, surround us. You are surrounded by bright forces. Those bright forces are to be sung to, felt, interacted with, warded off sometimes, other times welcomed, they are the turning of the seasons, the spiral dance of the moon. They call out — “sing my name, feed me flame and blue curls of myrrh smoke and yellow acacia flowers, make spirit boats and set them afloat on dawn’s grey waters, offer, offer, offer your body to the great body, again…”
– Josh Schrei

To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
– Chinese proverb

It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow – flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.
– Bill Bryson

The Buddha taught that when the mind is at ease, it is friendly, congenial, well-wishing. The mind at ease likes nearly everybody. Even people who, because of who they are or what they do, are very hard to like, the mind at ease accommodates with compassion…

Friendliness is not hard. We don’t need to learn to be friendly. We need to remember to be friendly. Children, unless they have been frightened, are friendly. Puppies are friendly. My friend Bob recently discovered that the penguins in the Galapagos are friendly, because they don’t feel threatened.

“How am I feeling threatened?” is the question I ask myself when I’m not feeling friendly toward someone.

– Sylvia Boorstein

You have to start trusting your unique vocation and allow it to grow deeper and stronger in you so it can blossom in your community. . . . Look at Rembrandt and van Gogh. They trusted their vocations and did not allow anyone to lead them astray. With true Dutch stubbornness, they followed their vocations from the moment they recognized them. They didn’t bend over backward to please their friends or enemies. Both ended their lives in poverty, but both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people. Think of these two men and trust that you, too, have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully.
– Henri Nouwen

I am of the order whose purpose is not to teach the world a lesson but to explain that school is over.
– Henry Miller

Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park… It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself… That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
– Albert Camus

I only know how to make tofu… I can make fried tofu, boiled tofu, stuffed tofu. Cutlets and other fancy stuff, that’s for other directors.
– Yasujirō Ozu

Beauty is the convenient and traditional name of something which art and nature share, and which gives a fairly clear sense to the idea of quality of experience and change of consciousness. I am looking out of my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel. In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important. And of course this is something which we may also do deliberately: give attention to nature in order to clear our minds of selfish care.
– Iris Murdoch

Sometimes someone isn’t ready to see the bright side. Sometimes they need to sit with the shadow first. So be a friend and sit with them. Make the darkness beautiful.
– Victoria Erickson

I’ve heard people say that God is the gift of desperation, and there’s a lot to be said for having really reached a bottom where you’ve run out of anymore good ideas, or plans for everybody else’s behavior; or how to save and fix and rescue; or just get out of a huge mess, possibly of your own creation. And when you’re done, you may take a long, quavering breath and say, “Help.”
– Anne Lamott

The body does not know the difference between an experience and a thought; you can literally change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones, and genes, simply by having an inner event.
– Dr. Joe Dispenza

No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity. This is a fundamental rule which is repeatedly verified in the daily practice of the psychotherapist and never fails.
– CG Jung

While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace.
– Virginia Woolf

Much so called activist art that claims to be against the system is part of & dependent on that official system & market. It attacks a system it is part of only insofar as it can still be exhibited there, in biennials, art fairs, mega galleries & written about in high journals.
– Jerry Saltz

The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
– C.G. Jung

Whatever we fight about in the outside world is also a battle in our inner selves. Anyone who can admit this will first seek the solution in himself, and this in fact is the way all the great solutions begin.
– C.G. Jung

Maybe Meta investing $10 billion in a fake reality was a bad idea.
– @dougboneparth

The hardest people
in the world to forgive
are the people we once were.

The people we are trying
desperately to not stir
into the recipe of
who we are now.

– Andrea Gibson

Most people STILL have absolutely no idea what’s already here, and what’s coming very soon, with climate breakdown. A small number of people have been trying so hard to let everyone know and we are mainly ignored and ridiculed.
– Peter Kalmus

It may just be that the subterranean places we, the fugitives of the present order, must now run to will not be dug out by the hard excavatory machinery of adult logic or the noble spiritualities that claim to know the way but by the gentle seeking fingers of our children caressing the soil, tickling the ground until it guffaws wide open.
– Bayo Akomolafe

I will cut adrift—I will sit on pavements and drink coffee—I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage and let it swim—this fine October.
– Virginia Woolf

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle

People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality. We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.
– Erich Fromm

Tell me a story
and let’s laugh
like it’s the only thing
keeping us alive.
– Rudy Francisco

The dedicated practitioner
experiences the spiritual way
as a turbulent mountain stream,
tumbling dangerously among boulders.

When maturity is reached,
the river flows smoothly and patiently
with the powerful sweep of the Ganges.

Emptying into the ocean of Mahamudra,
the water becomes ever-expanding light
that pours into great Clear Light
without direction, destination,
division, distinction or description.

– Tilopa

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
– Johann von Goethe

No soul can grow to its full stature without spells of solitude.
– Marie Carmichael Stopes

Forgiveness is settling debts; reconciliation is troubling boundaries.
– Bayo Akomolafe

It seems a lot of people are cut off at the neck, so that they talk from the head. Meanwhile, something completely different can be going on below the neck. There’s a real split inside.
– Marion Woodman

The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes.

Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realize that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer.

Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp.

But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilizing mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do.

If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws.

Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
– Caitlin Moran

Any reified practice frame or tradition will eventually cut you off from an appropriate response. Even the one’s that claim that is their central premise.
– @VinceFHorn

It’s not that DIY practitioners can’t learn some stuff on their own, it’s that as a teacher, who has worked with many of them after their DIY phase, I see how slow they were to get certain things, due to lack of useful feedback, and how much that slowed them down.
– @VinceFHorn

Bottom-line: Don’t let your fear of being in relationship with others keep you from learning valuable things.
– @VinceFHorn

At the elementary level, Tibetan meditation is similar to Insight Meditation, and at the very highest levels, where the mind is observed directly with the mind, it is similar to Zen. But in the middle, it looks like Mexican Catholicism gone mad.
– Roger Corless

If your 10-year-old is being taught Critical Race Theory you should be ecstatic bc it means they’re in law school.
– Jess Dweck

Look, I realize this may not seem exciting or revelatory to anyone else, but — to quote Aulis Sallinen — winter was hard.
– @ehipassiko444

I never learned anything while I was talking.
– Larry King

Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.
– James Joyce, Dubliners

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.
– Hans Margolius

The point of solarpunk is to start telling that new, creative story.
– Sarah Lazarovic

But if we listen to the quieter voices of our deeper nature we become aware of the fact that soon after the middle of our life the soul begins its secret work, getting ready for the departure.
– CG Jung

Midlife is the time to let go of an overdominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.
– Carl Jung

We’ve built our world around a system that values corporate profit more than life itself.

That’s the problem, & only system change can fix it.

– @ClimateDad77

Meaning is a scrap among other scraps, though stickier.

– Peter Schjeldahl

Highly sensitive people need time in silence, alone to disconnect and to rebalance their nervous systems. Crowds can feel overwhelming and so can social interactions— know your limits and take care of your needs.
– @Theholisticpsyc

Christianity celebrates the triumph of good over evil, spirit over matter, mind over body. According to Jung, this narrative – or quest for perfection – is out of date and no longer appropriate. The myth for today is wholeness rather than perfection …
– David Tacey

What we need, what we are ultimately groping toward, is the sensitivity required to understand and respond to the psychic energies deep in the very structure of reality itself.
– Thomas Berry

The literary world isn’t even real it’s just a place to go hang out when you feel like performing your existential crisis in front of vicious strangers.
– @TBQuarterly

untouched by words
the spring moon pauses
between pines
– Carolyn Thomas

Jung argues – that the ancient gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, and creatures are not dead but are “alive” (not literally, of course, but metaphorically) as images in the psyches of modern men and women.
– Michael Vannoy Adams

When a new god is to be born, a crack tears through the flesh of things – through which a meandering signal, a prophecy long-travelled, arrives in our midst.
– Bayo Akomolafe

The grail, a symbol of the container of abundance, inspiration and wisdom, offers the best expression of the symbol of the structuring feminine in the psyche of this new epoch.
– Maria Zelia de Alvarenga

Caffeine equips us to cope with a world caffeine helped us create.
– @michaelpollan

How do you change a consumption society when from an early age the population are taught to consume and that materialism is success? The whole calendar is based upon consumerism.
– Peter Dynes

Why does the Western Barbarian have no beard?
– Nichola Pierotti

I have been out walking with ghosts again, the shimmering images of my ancestors, always present, but barely visible, walking before me in the cool shadows of evening. I know better than to talk too much, for silence is the language of the sacred. Instead I listen, as any youngster should, to the wisdom of those who have seen more seasons than can be counted. I receive their thoughts like a benediction. I hold their vision in my mind like a familiar dream. Do not be afraid, they whisper, as we walk on to find the moon already waiting.
– The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston

The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it.
– Langston Hughes

The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.
– Eric Gill

Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine — to become luminously, impossibly so. Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it.
– David Abram

When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication, it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.
– @RBReich

I write pieces, and move them around. And the fun of it is watching the truthful parts slide together. What is false won’t fit.
– Elizabeth Strout

The stock collapse of Mark Zuckerberg’s company might be one of the best things to happen this year.

More Metta, less meta.

– Ethan Nichtern

Humans are not trying to save Earth
They are trying to save conditions on Earth which make life possible for humans and most life on Earth
Global emissions must fall by 50% by 2030 if humans wish to continue on Earth but world leaders have thrown in towel – they will not do it.
– @ECOWARRIORSS

camino pilgrims
twisting in a cold wind…
pink scallop shells
– Marilyn Ward

But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

You’re NOT lazy.

You’re exhausted from hiding/masking your neurodivergence.

*your authentic, beautiful, colorful brain is welcome HERE, and please practice taking time to rest.

– @drjenwolkin

Pajamas, jazz, coffee. Writing. It’s easy work. You don’t have to be high-functioning or even, for the most part, functioning at all.
– Denis Johnson

Days without poems
From you
Is like sunset
without colours.
– @NishaRaviprasad

We are always pushing forward not knowing where forward will lead, not knowing if what we find will be what we sought, not knowing if what we imagined would be true is indeed true.
– Cheryl Strayed

For me, writing is hard work that has to sustain a core element of play… It has to feel like truancy, or recess, or passing a note to a crush in homeroom.
– Austin Allen

The universe is not your Santa Claus. It’s here to make you more conscious. It will keep giving you lessons until you learn them. You don’t repeat the same lessons, you repeat the same vibrations. Learn your lessons to raise your vibration. Take it vibrationally, not personally.
– Inner Practitioner

Life in the rural part of a blue state is WILD. There are people I thought were like-minded with crazy right-wing candidate signs in their yard, lawn guys with bumper stickers for candidates who are lesbians married to other women on their trucks… It’s a surprise a minute.
– @shaindelr

Ha Jin:

Nothing is better than to live / a storyless life that needs / no writing for meaning—

He remembered his soft voice – his gentle skin and how he always walked like he was never going anywhere
– shome dasgupta

Imagination is always considered to be the faculty of *forming* images. But it is rather the faculty of deforming the images offered by perception, of freeing ourselves from the immediate images: it is especially the faculty of changing images.
– Gaston Bachelard

I will never get used to how needlessly dehumanizing the US health care system is.
– @GarthGreenwell

Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are,
right now,
not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you,
inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You’re already more and less than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.
– John Welwood

Language can only deal meaningfully with a special, restricted segment of reality. The rest, and it is presumably the much larger part, is silence.
– George Steiner

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

This is our misfortune
and maybe
our small grace:

we throw words at the dark
and the dark comes
back to us

– John Thompson

A’ohe pau ka ’ike ka hālau ho’okāhi—not all knowledge is taught in one school.
– Manulani Aluli Meyer

Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.
– C.S. Lewis

I am both worse and better than you thought
– Sylvia Plath

Climate change is hard to resolve because even to see how to go about it, you need to stop looking at the function of one thing and look at the connections between everything.

That’s why collaboration and interdisciplinary cross-pollination are so important.

– @DoctorVive

I will never understand how much people question why I went for my MFA before pursuing med school. I needed poetry to heal myself before starting my journey in healing others.
– @liala_af

it is sometimes just at the moment when we think that everything is lost that the intimation arrives which may save us; one has knocked at all the doors which lead nowhere, and then one stumbles without knowing it on the only door through which one can enter.
– Marcel Proust

Apocalypse is not about a fiery Armageddon, but about the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.
– Joseph Campbell

The best way to solve a dilemma is to stand absolutely still & that is what Psyche finally does. . . she sits very quietly. If you have been dazzled out of your wits, if you have been knocked totally out of orbit, it is best to keep very still.
– Robert A. Johnson

Our psyche, which is primarily responsible for all the historical changes wrought by the hand of man on the face of this planet, remains an insoluble puzzle and an incomprehensible wonder, an object of abiding perplexity – a feature it shares with all Nature’s secrets.
– CG Jung

don’t really “get” questions about my methodology. my methodology is clear: i read some books and have some ideas.
– @bdjansenphd

The rapid and worldwide growth of a psychological interest over the last two decades shows unmistakably that modern man is turning his attention from outward material things to his own inner processes.
– CG Jung

Man’s work is nothing but a slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art those one or two images in whose presence his heart first opened.
– Albert Camus

By midlife your identity is the institutionalization of your past. You have good reason to be attached to it, but it is not all of who you are meant to be. By reflexively living in the past you miss the fullness of the present.
– Robert A. Johnson

A person in two months can make you feel what a person in two years couldn’t. Time means nothing, vibrational frequency does. Being on a different vibrational frequency from someone means no matter what you’re saying, that person just can’t hear you.
– @TheOracleReadsU

Can a socialism of the twenty-first century revive, or even survive, which is wholly cut off from the landscapes of popular pleasures, however contradictory and ‘commodified’ a terrain they represent?”
– Stuart Hall

how does
anybody heal
in a culture that
glorifies self-hate?
– @blythe_baird

I insist on self-surveillance, which means choice, assumption of responsibility, and the necessity of losing restraint in order to know ourselves, not lose ourselves.
– Elena Ferrante

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
– Sylvia Plath

Help is dangerous because it exists outside the human economy: the only payment for help is gratitude. And did I not have something of the same gratuitous tone where my wage-earning was concerned? Did I not think there was something awfully helpful about me..?
– Rachel Cusk

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

I was happy and I knew it. While we experience happiness, it is difficult for us to feel it. It is only when it has passed and we look back that we suddenly understand – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we were.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here …
– Charles Bukowski

Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.
– James Joyce

The moment someone calls themselves a ‘spiritual teacher’, they have become the delusion. Because no one is qualified to TEACH reality. It’s all just a big trick that feeds on our desperate need to believe that someone is enlightened. Mommy and Daddy surely weren’t. God is unseen. We all have too much internalized shame to imagine that it could be us. So, we look to a bunch of delusionists to play ‘enlightened master’. But they aren’t. They may have insight into some of it, but surely not all of it. Life is the only real spiritual teacher. And we all have equal access to its teachings.
– Jeff Brown

Myths do not come from a concept system, they come from a life system—they come out of a deeper centre. We must not confuse mythology with ideology. Myths come from where the heart is and where the experience is. The mind may even wonder why people believe these things.
– @TheaEuryphaessa

Let’s stop calling it God.
It’s too heavy a name.
It means too much.
It needs too much
redemption.
It is too tied to history
and old weight in your heart.
It feels more cage than key,
more should than want,
more authoritative than attractive,
more death than life.
Choose a name
that carries its rightful tone~
Call it the most beautiful longings
of Life,
Call it the inspiration
that sings through form,
The genius behind all
that brings things to blossom.
Call it whatever it is
that adds poetry
to the radiance of the moon
Or that which attunes us
to beauty.
Call it the Wild Grace,
that encourages the sapling
into the oak,
That which delivers us
into the grandeur and nobility
of our deeply rooted joy,
That which redeems us
from the fallacious notion
that there was ever evil.
Call it that which prompts us
to pray,
not for the sake of salvation
that was never needed,
but for the satisfaction
of the heart
in expressing the fullness
of its gratitude.
Call it that
which adores
the totality
of our truth
and beckons it forward
with the invitation
to know more light~
Call it She
who animates the ocean waves,
who composes sunsets,
who carves
the great clay bowls
of the valleys
and uses the steady hands
of time
to raise the mountains.
Call it intelligence, inspiration,
brilliance, insight and guidance,
The magic within science,
The ecosystem of light
that connects us all.
Call it the custom-made currents
that yearn to flow you
toward whatever
in this generous world
will best pollinate
your heart’s beauty.
– Chelan Harkin

I said,
‘Jesus, your look tired.’
and he said,
‘Jesus! So do you.’
– John Prine

When Jung once said that “a neurosis is an offended god,” he meant, metaphorically, that the neglect of a deep, instinctual energy ultimately revenges itself in our somatic discords, compulsions, addictions, or projections onto others.
– James Hollis

Contemplative life is a tapestry of intention and surrender, of reaching out and letting go, of stillness and exhilaration, form and formlessness. It is devotional and nondual. It is grounded in our connection with the Earth and our interconnectedness with all beings.
– Mirabai Starr

I love the cows best when they are a few feet away
from my dining-room window and my pine floor,
when they reach in to kiss me with their wet
mouths
….glittering singers and isolated thinkers
at pasture.
– Gerald Stern

Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life.
– Gerald Stern

People listen. Say they understand. But then just carry on as normal.

We’re so detached from reality, cocooned in our consumerist bubbles, that most people can hear that the actual planet they live on is being made UNINHABITABLE, yet not let this news ruin their day.

– @ClimateDad77

A short history of climate disinformation:

It’s not real.
It’s real, but it’s not us.
It’s real, it’s us, but it’s fine.
It’s real, it’s us, it’s bad, but we’ll innovate/fixing it would be worse/it’s too late to act.

Delay has always been the goal. Don’t buy the lies.

– @JacquelynGill

Reach out to you teachers, while you have them, while you’re in school and once you’re done—I always did, and was the better for it, work/life/art/spirit.
– @danalevinpoet

Good habits, imperceptibly fixed, are far preferable to the precepts of reason.
– William Blake

I feel that my job, as an artist, is to disturb the peace. And to disturb it intellectually, linguistically, politically and literally.
– Gerald Stern

The reality to which the artist and the mystic are exposed is, in fact, the same. It is of their own inmost truth brought to consciousness: by the mystic, in direct confrontation, and by the artist, through reflection in the masterworks of his art.
– Joseph Campbell

Buddhist phenomenology will sound just as cryptic as Theoretical physics to the untrained ear.
– @VinceFHorn

And you have to realize that you cannot console yourself for your grief by writing…Because this vocation is never a consolation or a way of passing the time. It is not a companion. This vocation is a master who is able to beat us until the blood flows.
– Natalia Ginzburg

The Jungian approach is that a dream must always tell you something new, something you do not know, or do not know well enough.
– Henry Abramovitch

A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation… in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase.
– Bertrand Russell

Practice apologizing online. It’s a great thing to do, because almost no one is doing it, and you’ve got nothing to lose, since we’re all ignorant dickheads sometimes.
– @VinceFHorn

Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment.
– Tom Stoppard

All relationships begin in projection. While each moment is wholly new, one of the ways in which we are able to function without having to reinvent ourselves over & over is to reflexively impose past experience, agenda & understandings onto each new person & situation.
– James Hollis

The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.
– C.G. Jung

I am writing about the past because
there was still affection left then…
– Gerald Stern

One phrase in Finnegans Wake seems to epitomize the whole sense of Joyce. He says, “Oh lord, heap miseries upon us, but entwine our work with laughter low.” And this is the sense of the Buddhist bodhisattva: joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
– Joseph Campbell

I write a lot of sonnets because in real life you can’t control when and where the turns happen. But in that 14 line rhyme closet, I say when and where the turn happens. A sonnet is my little world to control.
– Allison Joseph

The challenge to any of us regarding this internal dialogue is whether we can learn to trust, over time, what comes from within; mobilize the courage to act on it; & stick it out until we come into some clearing in the woods & know, intuitively, this is where we belong.
– James Hollis

Given everything humans have achieved it’s just incredible we never discovered the one thing that ultimately matters – how to effectively limit the power of the wealthy.
– Dr Charlie Gardner

As you heal you realize your wound is neither your name or your shame.

It’s a part of you.

It doesn’t have to be the center of every conversation nor does it have to be constantly hidden.

– Dr. Thema

Antonym of curiosity is arrogance. Antonym of interdependence is control.
– John Paul Lederach

In feminine reality, contrasts are not so sharply seen and drawn. The masculine element sees things in bright sunlight; this is this & that is that. The feminine is like seeing in the moonlight; things kind of blend together & they’re not so distinct from one another.
– Connie Zweig

I walk everyday
five or six miles
in search of you
– Basho

You travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

PERIDOT

I awoke in an ecstasy.
The sky was the color of a cut lime
that had sat in the refrigerator
in a plastic container
for thirty-two days.
Fact-checkers, check.
I am happy.
Notice I speak in complete sentences.
Something I have not done since birth.
And the sky responds.

– Mary Ruefle

Daylight Saving

Time to watch the geese return, while snow
retreats to the corners of my backyard.
time to clean because I’m sick of keeping things
and making them important. All Winter
I wanted something to change me.
I wanted to turn into a gazelle and leap
out of the drought of my body.
Small and lost hour, you give everything
a new reason. Save me anyway.

– Grace Q. Song

looking up the name
of the wildflower
I just trampled
– Jack Barry

just a
tranquil heart
cool autumn air
– Issa

The internet did everything to our parents that they said it would do to us.
– David Hogg

lost sight
of the winter butterfly
in the sun
– Ohashi Raboku

There is a dark plenty, an infinitude, in the underseam of Scriabin’s lyric gestures—if there is no moral ceiling or floor, there is also no redemption or salvation. There is no nation or god to carry the suitcase. Unless, of course, one counts the composer, himself.
– Alina Stefanescu

In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibration of beauty.
– Christopher Morley

from house
to barn:
the milky way
– Lee Gurga

my shadow could be anyone
– Owen Bullock

Try to write poems at least one person in the room will hate.
– Marvin Bell

It’s a planetary emergency, we should be in emergency mode.

Instead of competing for power, political parties should be cooperating to address the emergency

– @CharlieJGardner

desire
teases me
into knowing life
– @BashoSociety

BEGIN

This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone
till then. Spend the spark of iron

on stone. Sit at the head of the table.
Dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself

next to your joy and have your awakened soul
pour wine. Branches in the spring wind,

easy dance of jasmine and cypress. Cloth
for green robes has been cut from pure

absence. You’re the tailor, settled
among his shop goods, quietly sewing.

– Rumi

Most people are operating on the persona, which is the showpiece, the masquerade. They are performing—they aren’t in touch with their real feelings, and in a given situation they don’t know if they are angry or if they want to cry.
– Marion Woodman

The old man always appears when the hero is in a hopeless and desperate situation from which only profound reflection or a lucky idea-in other words, a spiritual function of some kind can extricate him. Often the old man induces self-reflection & mobilizing the moral forces.
– C.G. Jung

If you are sold on the theory that the current levels of consumption and energy usage can persist indefinitely through building wind turbines and nuke plants – and that that will address climate change – you have been completely conned.
– Peter Dynes

I am no longer alone with myself, and I can only artificially recall the scary and beautiful feeling of solitude. This is the shadow side of the fortune of love.
– Carl Gustav Jung

Beannacht

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

– John O’Donohue

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.
– Pablo Picasso

I am just as Scottish as I am Nehiyaw, and being of mixed ancestry gives me precious insider insight into more than one world—but I choose to reanimate the Indigenous narrative so that I can find the missing parts of myself.
– Suzanne Methot

Shouting at the universe
doesn’t change the universe.
But I don’t think change
happens without the shouting.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

I need a father, I need a mother, I need some old, wiser being to cry to. I talk to God but the sky is empty.
– Sylvia Plath

The words of the last line should create a silence, a white space in which the reader breathes.
– Jayne Anne Phillips

Following The Way Is Like Surfing

We all become shaken and knocked off balance.

It is a product of being sensitive and open to the world.

Have you looked at the state of the world lately?

Wave after wave after wave.

Following The Way is like surfing.

There is no such thing as a ‘fixed position’, a ‘solid self’, or an unchanging circumstance.

All imbalance (and, thus, suffering) is from clinging to something that has shifted or is actively shifting.

Stay with the movement. Stay in the flow. The Way is like water.

The aspect of heart-mind that brings you back to center —

that is your buddha-nature, that is the dao (way/path) of your life.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Descriptions Are Always Only Intimations

Being able to describe it is not the same as embodying it.

Embody it and you will have no need to describe it.

Your presence does all the speaking.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

A Cascade of Rain From Swollen Clouds

You know how there is a build-up of energy

that eventually culminates in crashing waves on the rocks

or a cascade of rain from swollen clouds?

Forgiveness and letting go are just like that.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Sitting in the Vast-Expanse

Sitting once again

in the Vast Expanse

of That which cannot be named

the rising night winds of autumn

remind me that nothing is outside of This.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Self and Mountain: One

sitting here like this

the mountain is the koan —

self and mountain: one

– Frank Inzan Owen

Image Nation

Sadly, we have become what we imagined.

Thankfully, we can become what we imagine.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Metamorphosis

rain falls.

I listen,

dry,

from my tatami room.

Quiet as a temple cat —

a man

slowly becoming

a hidden mountain.

– Frank Inzan Owen

The Inner Lantern

There is an Inner Light

found within dark silence.

There is an Inner Light

found by releasing.

– Frank Inzan Owen

We have yet to split loneliness like an atom.
– Eduardo C. Corral

a short sleep
a million dreams
full of pleasure and pain
– Kukai

If the capitalists could, they would commodify the air we breath
– @mcsquared34

Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.
– Joseph Campbell

Wild stars
– overhead the cries
of migrating geese
– @wingsoverwaters

In psychology it is very important that the doctor should not strive to heal at all costs. One has to be exceedingly careful not to impose one’s own will and conviction on the patient. You have to give him a certain amount of freedom.
– CG Jung

When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.
– Lao Tzu

Some people are so busy pathologizing themselves and others, that they don’t know what healthy is. This sometimes happens to therapists- they spend so much time analyzing the human shadow that they can no longer identify healthy behavior. They can’t see when the soul is at work. The therapeutic tools of the trade are not to be taken so far that we can no longer see the light or the essence of the other. There are so many things that influence behavior and choices- childhood history is only one of them. The soul has something to say about who we have become, too…
– Jeff Brown

To make a lamp burn brightly, without flickering, one puts it inside a glass lantern to protect it from the wind. Similarly, to develop deep concentration we have to prepare the mind and still our thoughts with devotion and correct attitude.
– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

touching
the sun and moon
with your words
– Ogawa

The Streets of San Francisco: Once home to poets, musicians, and seekers, they are now occupied by tourists, the homeless, and security guards.
– Mark Bitner

People love to make big pronouncements about poetry saving us. And I want to believe that, but for now, what I can say is…poetry can make us feel. And right now, maybe that’s enough.
– Ada Limón

Any ghost will
tell you—

the last thing
we mean

to do
is leave you.

– Andrea Cohen

I’m lonely when I put you in poems. You don’t belong there. You belong somewhere better. Like at a bar with me after work.
– @apoemloneliness

It’s a mistake to try to play people who grew up in combat zones.

They see you coming a mile away.

– Dr. Thema

In the break-up of the modern world, The Family will stand out stark and strong as it did before the beginning of history; the only thing that can really remain a loyalty, because it is also a liberty.
– @GKCdaily

Owning up to your mistakes doesn’t cast doubt on your credibility. Admitting you were wrong shows that you care about getting it right.

Recognizing moments of bad judgment is a step toward demonstrating good judgment.

Issuing a correction is a mark of intellectual integrity.

– @AdamMGrant

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
– Margaret Cousins

old journal
still haunted by
its blank pages
– @Meraki_k

This shadowed
morning
you write
thought
and read
the garden
– Beau Beausoleil

How big of a crop failure..how big of a famine?…is it going to take to shake people out of their climate sleep..to wake up policy makers of the risk of widespread crop failure due to thermal intolerance. It could come as early as the next El Niño.
– Peter Dynes

I still experience that feeling of being alone in a room when no one in the room is like you.
– Helen Vendler

Snow at Night

I prefer it even to love,
alone and without ghost
if falls a hard weather,
a withdrawing room
that revives me to stolen daylight
in which I feel no wish
to brush a gleaming finish
over the sheen-broken glass
I’ve arranged and rearranged,
an apprentice of mosaics
who will not be taught but asks
to be left alone with the brittle year
so carnivorous of all I’d made.
But the snow I love covers
my beasts and seas,
my ferns and spines
worn through and through.
I will change your life, it says,
to which I say please.

– Katie Ford

Reboot. Everything. Just assume you need it. The beauty, the silence, the stillness and solitude of Nature is a help.
– Kent Burgess

To me there is something very charming and personal in the analogue technology, mix tapes and home videos.

There is a soullessness in digital culture, not a lot of effort goes into making a digital playlist with mp3s downloaded from iTunes and simply hitting a button to skip tracks.

– Caspar Wijngaard

The shaman’s path mirrors that of the artist in that there is oftentimes an early wounding, tragic loss, illness, or a combination of other challenging events that act as an initiatory threshold into one’s calling.
– Mary Antonia Wood

Start a journal. Give yourself a place to pour out your feelings. Writing down the confusing emotions we’re dealing with brings order. Give yourself permission to be messy. Don’t try to write only once a day in an orderly fashion. Instead write when you feel like it.
– Keidi Keating

And then I got on Twitter, and then I read, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, these kids are fighting for their lives in the creative writing world.’
– @danielliu_1

Faint haze
in the distance
– mountain peak
– @wingsoverwaters

Stone dragons, guard the temple; only fools, think to sneak past.

All they find, is an airy room; for the sanctum lies, not merely in space.

Look within, and defeat your dragons; then have you entered, a sacred place.

– @AmericanSijo

What can poets change
in such a small period of time
armed with only rhyme?
Oh, to be a glacier of ice!
A waterfall upon the stones!

– Published: Bright Stars 1, An Organic Tanka Anthology
M. Kei, Editor

One tells the truth and it is not unlike throwing diamonds into a crowd of despairing people: They adore the wealth that lands among them, but they are also capable of being wounded by the sharp edges of what is otherwise so beautiful. This is why truth–like diamonds–requires a proper setting.
– Tennessee Williams

Here’s what I want the world to tell me, so I’m telling you–you do not need to believe what’s in your mind is true, you do not need to buy into a system/gov’t that doesn’t serve you. Find your way against hatred & materialism–you can create your own way & that is so valid.
– Kelli Russell Agodon

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind.
– @botvirginia

Write. Find a way to keep alive and write. There is nothing else to say. If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you’re not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know the effort is real.
– James Baldwin

See God in every person, place and thing, and all will be well in your world.
– Louise Hay

Driven by the forces of love,
the fragments of the world seek each other
so that the world may come to being.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan.
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour.
– Martha Graham

In Jung’s estimation, art itself is a kind of “innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument.”
– Mary Antonia Wood

The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.
– Aristotle, Poetics

I dunno, it just seems like hope rests in small intimacies. The local, the private—where generosity and tenderness have gone, to wait out the storm.
– Dana Levin

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
– Sylvia Plath

In the beginning was Alpha and the end is Omega, but somewhere between occurred Delta, which was nothing less than the arrival of man himself and his breakthrough into the daylight of language and consciousness and knowing, of happiness and sadness, of being with and being alone, of being right and being wrong, of being himself and being not himself, and of begin at home and being a stranger.
– Walker Percy

And if happiness should surprise you again, do not mention its previous betrayal. ‎Enter into the happiness, and burst.
– mahmoud darwish

There is a nice analogy I might share with you from an important book by Robert DeRopp. The name of the book is The Master Game. He talked about our minds as being like a city — a walled, medieval city — and like any city, there are a lot of different neighborhoods. There are parts of the mind city where there are libraries and art museums, parts where there are police stations and jails, nice residential areas, and parts that are slums with very slimy characters living in them and whatnot.

The mind city, unfortunately, has a rather ineffective central government which is not in very good control! In DeRopp’s analogy, there are walls around the city and a lockable entrance gate, with a watchman. If the watchman was alert, he could decide who to let in and out of the city. “This one looks like an agitator who is going to go down to the slums and start a riot. I’ll close the gate and not let him come in.” “That one just got out of jail and is going to the next town to steal something and ruin our reputation, I won’t let her out!”

If you can get a fair amount of awareness into the present moment, you can exert a fair amount of control over your subsequent reactions, but once the reactions happen, they’re much harder to control, and often it’s too late.

– Charles Tart, Mind Science

All my life I’ve been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.
– Luis Buñuel

It felt right. There was no pain, but a real clarity. The long process of seeing the flaws in my belief structure and carefully tiptoeing around the frayed edges as parts of it were torn out, piece by piece—that was all over. The angels, watching from my shoulders; the mental tension about having sex without marriage, and drinking alcohol, and not observing any religious obligations—they were gone. The ever-present prospect of hell fire lifted, and my horizon seemed broader. God, Satan, angels: these were all figments of human imagination. From now on I could step firmly on the ground that was under my feet and navigate based on my own reason and self-respect. My moral compass was within myself, not in the pages of a sacred book.
– Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Be careful what you say. It comes true. It comes true. I had to leave home in order to see the world logically, logic the new way of seeing. I learned to think that mysteries are for explanation. I enjoy the simplicity. Concrete pours out of my mouth to cover the forests with freeways and sidewalks. Give me plastics, periodical tables, TV dinners with vegetables no more complex than peas mixed with diced carrots. Shine floodlights into dark corners: no ghosts.”
― Maxine Hong Kingston

I have [a mind-picture] for my lungs, which is as follows: Each lung is in fact a tiny inverted tree with the base of the trunk coming out at my throat. When I breathe in, leaves appear on the branches. When I exhale, the leaves disappear. Thus, the seasons are constantly shifting in my ribcage. They come around every second or two. If I am to stay alive, it is vitally important that these little trees do not stay barren for long. I believe I first conjured up this image when I was still quite small but must have since spent several hundred hours of my life (including a good many as an adult) endeavoring to keep my lung-trees sufficiently leafy.
– Mick Jackson

I see music as fluid architecture.
– Joni Mitchell

…Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it, and so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. […]
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
– T.S. Eliot

I need my memories. They are my documents. I keep watch over them. They are my privacy and I am intensely jealous of them. Cézanne said, ‘I am jealous of my little sensations.’ To reminisce and woolgather is negative. You have to differentiate between memories. Are you going to them or are they coming to you? If you are going to them, you are wasting time. Nostalgia is not productive. If they come to you, they are the seeds for [your work].
– Louise Bourgeois

Take it from me: memory is your greatest ally and your primary source material, because memory is your body as it was in the world and the world as it was and will be; memory is the people you have loved or wanted to love in the world, and what are we if not bodies filled with reminiscences about all those ghosts in the sunlight?
– Hilton Als

The Holocene is over. Will civilization be able to persist in the new pliocene world?
– Peter Dynes

Toxic cultures define success as winning a cutthroat competition. They reward people for stabbing others in the back.

Healthy cultures define success as making a contribution. They reward people for having others’ backs.

Good organizations elevate those who elevate others.

– @AdamMGrant

As if considering his own fate as an artist against the archetypal pattern of the artist/shaman, Jung concluded that one “must pay dearly for the gift of creative fire.”
– Mary Antonia Wood

In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it.
– Deepak Chopra

What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
If a star at any time may tell us: Now
– Howard Nemerov

We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?
– Margaret Atwood

Poetry has failed us, too. It has not been good enough.
– Muriel Rukeyser

If we look at hope through the lens of Buddhism, we discover that wise hope is born of radical uncertainty, rooted in the unknown and the unknowable. How could we ever know what is really going to happen?! Wise hope requires that we open ourselves to what we do not know, what we cannot know. In fact, wise hope appears through the spaciousness of radical uncertainty, of precarity, of surprise, and this is the space in which we can engage.
– Joan Halifax

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody.
– Neil Gaiman

There can be change that is cataclysmic. We are forced to adapt. But that may not transform us inwardly. To transform that way is a deep and mysterious process.
– Gunilla Norris

What we have loved, others will love, and we will teach them how…
– William Wordsworth

What thou lovest well remains,
The rest is dross
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage.
– Ezra Pound

I am sometimes driven to the conclusion that boring people need treatment more urgently than mad people. . .
– CG Jung

If you’re not the hero of your own novel, then what kind of novel is it? You need to do some heavy editing.
– Terence McKenna

Deliver me Lord, from the judgement of all the saints who’ve never been caught.
– Anonymous

Die knowing something. You’re not here long.
– Walker Evans

crushed ball of paper
in the bin
a discarded heart
– @Meraki_k

A more than specialist education is always useful. I have never regretted knowing things outside my specialty. On the contrary, personal renewals never come from over-sophisticated specialized knowledge, but from a knowledge of subsidiary subjects which give us new points of view. A wider horizon benefits all of us and is also more natural to the human spirit than specialist knowledge that leads to a spiritual bottleneck.
– Carl Jung

The One

Green, blue, yellow and red –
God is down in the swamps and marshes
Sensational as April and almost incred-
ible the flowering of our catharsis.
A humble scene in a backward place
Where no one important ever looked
The raving flowers looked up in the face
Of the One and the Endless, the Mind that has baulked
The profoundest of mortals. A primrose, a violet,
A violent wild iris – but mostly anonymous performers
Yet an important occasion as the Muse at her toilet
Prepared to inform the local farmers
That beautiful, beautiful, beautiful God
Was breathing His love by a cut-away bog.

– Patrick Kavanagh

Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.
– William Blake

The body—like anything else— / is a lie, a tool, a crude measurement // of survival.
– Anna B. Sutton

Making peace with your body is your mighty act of revolution. It is your contribution to a changed planet where we might all live unapologetically in the bodies we have.
– Sonya Renee Taylor

A light store in the Bowery
by Christian Wiman

Some love is like a light store
you slip inside only to escape
the rain. Something to see, it turns out:
the plasma lamps, mosque and lava,
the elegant icicles of the chandeliers,
shapes and shades so insistently singular
that rooms can’t help but happen around them,
lives can’t help but acquire choices and chances
inside. Some love is like an old owner
who when a child walks in with her parents
can only imagine shatterings.
And some love is like that child
asking with an earnest and exemplary awe,
“Where do they keep the dark?”

In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually one discovers that it’s not boring at all but very interesting.
– John Cage

When the immense drugged universe explodes
In a cascade of unendurable colour
And leaves us gasping naked,
This is no more than the ectasy of chaos:
Hold fast, with both hands, to that royal love
Which alone, as we know certainly, restores
Fragmentation into true being.
– Robert Graves

Give thanks.

Some people you should have run from rejected you.

– Dr. Thema

If you destroy the creative impulse, you will destroy the intrinsic value of the individual at the same time. But you can still live on as a wall decoration.
– CG Jung

I never find myself alone within the embracement of rocks & hills, a traveller up an alpine road, but my spirit courses, drives, and eddies, like a Leaf in Autumn: a wild activity, of thoughts, imaginations, feelings, and impulses of motion, rises up from within me.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Get lost enough and any
place is your place.
– Mark Cunningham

The Sandhills
by Linda Hogan

The language of cranes
we once were told
is the wind. The wind
is their method,
their current, the translated story
of life they write across the sky.
Millions of years
they have blown here
on ancestral longing,
their wings of wide arrival,
necks long, legs stretched out
above strands of earth
where they arrive
with the shine of water,
stories, interminable
language of exchanges
descended from the sky
and then they stand,
earth made only of crane
from bank to bank of the river
as far as you can see
the ancient story made new.

Too many companies would sooner drop us to save the numbers instead of dropping the numbers to save us.
– Simon Sinek

As a poet, i don’t compete against other poets, i compete against God. Do you know what it is like to try and make something beautiful with words, when everyday, just outside your window, there is the simple beauty of sunlight?
– Steven Leyva

you’ve carried sadness
two times your body weight,
yet still showed up
to the functions smiling.
– Natasha T. Miller

Doubt everything. Find your own light.
– Siddhartha Gautama

Even a moment’s transcendence changes us. Everything is different afterward because we deep-dove, were there in downward, inward, higher places. So we know now. We remember.
– Anne Lamott

I am, / for a moment, not afraid of being no more / than what I hear and see.
– Richard Blanco

Becoming conscious is shedding what everyone has told you and whispering to the stars what the water coming into spring has learned by being ice.
– Mark Nepo

Never use three words when one will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your mellifluous sentences.
– Colson Whitehead

The Old Code of Good Travelers
If you’re tired of spinning:
anchor.

If you’re tired of being pulled
into dark waters of suffering:
stop biting honey-covered hooks.

If you’re tired of shouldering heavy weight:
off-load what isn’t vital
and begin what is.

Make the sunrise a temple.
Embrace the moon as companion.
Allow the peaceful sounds
of the creatured-night to enter you,
to remind you of your own
undomesticated atmosphere.

Place the Heart-Mind’s Trustworthy Light
onto the Old Code of Good Travelers:

The antidote to depression is devotion.

– Frank Larue Owen, Hidden Mountain

Noah was great in years; Jacob was great in years, Solomon was great in years — that is, through their inner life they had gone beyond time as we know it. This is why the ancient civilizations, those that had roots in the teachings of wisdom, revered old age. It was not out of some sentimentality or some self-serving motive; not out of a sociopsychological pattern of familial bonding. It was for a metaphysical reason. An individual who had spent his life struggling for the inner Self had gathered something within himself that called to every other man or woman who came in touch with him. In such an old man or woman one saw that time was not only a destroyer but a creator.
– Jacob Needleman, Time and the Soul

The answer to the problem of time is not more time, not more efficiency, not even in itself longer biological life, not children, not artistic creations that we pretend will bring us immortality, not some sentimental relationship to imaginary gods or non-gods. The answer to the problem and the sorrow of time is one thing and one thing only: the experience of meaning. And this experience occurs only when the Self touches the self, when the soul touches the ego. When the two worlds meet.
– Jacob Needleman, Time and the Soul

after the demons
have vanished
a bright moon
– Issa

If you’re wondering why I’m posting poems these days, I really just don’t care about submitting to journals when it takes so long to hear back and often costs to submit. I just want my friends and family members to enjoy my work on an accessible platform.
– Ellen Boyette

My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.
– Leslie Grimutter

A day at the office:
nothing to remind me
it’s snowing
– Richard Tice

Different transitions challenge our attachments in different ways. Just going from one day to another—Friday into Saturday—is not so hard for most of us. But what about going from one season to another, one year to another, one job to another, one relationship to another? Each of these transitions becomes harder as our attachments and expectations around them increase. Perhaps you are used to being able to get up and run or jog each day. There may come a time when this is no longer possible, and you must forget about jogging. That kind of change can be very difficult to adapt to. Maybe you’ve always had one kind of relationship with your parents, but now it’s become another kind of relationship. Now, instead of gathering for barbecues or parties, maybe you visit them in a hospital or nursing home and hold their hands. It’s a change. You are not used to it. It’s hard to transition to the new phase of life
if you’re still attached to the previous one.

Because bigger transitions are more difficult, we must focus on our ability to let go now. If you look at this moment of your life, right now, how many things could you let go of? Think of one thing at this moment that you are attached to, that you’re identifying with, that you are holding onto, that causes pain. Perhaps you have a difficult relationship with someone in your life because of a grudge you are holding onto, or perhaps your attachment to the relationship itself is holding you back.

With awareness, we can see that when we struggle with a transition,
it has something to do with an attachment, whether to an identity or to something external. If you let that one thing go, and then another thing and another and another, then all the smaller things you can let go of will help you to be free. Each act of letting go benefits you, making it easier to let go of the harder things that will come along the way. If we do not apply ourselves to these opportunities to let go, if we can’t handle the little things that come along, then we are certain to have a harder time with the big things.

Letting go is like cleaning your garage or your closet. How many of us have cleaned our closets and found stuff in there that we were not using? This is a simple opportunity to practice letting go. When you open your closet and see something you put in there five years ago that you haven’t used, haven’t even touched, go ahead and take hold of it and let that one thing go! Energetically, these small acts of letting go can make a big impact. Even just deleting photos from your phone—a simple act of selecting and then deleting—can lighten our attachments. Do you know someone who has too much stuff, whose house has almost no space for people to move, let alone any sense of spaciousness?

Often, at times of transition, we behave without awareness.
We behave with condition, with pain, with fear. We feel we don’t have a choice. Just knowing we do have a choice can make all the difference. The choice comes when we can take time to be still, silent, spacious. We practice not doing, not saying, not thinking (not thinking is harder, but at least not doing and not saying). Then, once we have calmed down, we find a new space from which we can do and say and think, and what we do and what we say might be different from what we originally would have said or done. One thing that we want to be able to see clearly and to say to ourselves is, “If it’s not good, I will not make it worse.”
Leave it as it is.

We have so many opportunities to be aware. Think about approaching it this way: I’m going to handle this little transition well so I can handle the next, harder one even better. Each time we make these little transitions and feel free, feel good, the world opens up for us. Moments, places, locations, changes, transitions happen all the time in life. These are all opportunities to cultivate and practice to better support the transition.

– Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Art brings out, and presents to the mind, the living structure lines of the cosmos.
– Joseph Campbell

Fixed Shadow, Moving Water

One friend tells me everything’s political,
another says nothing is, we just make it political.
By “we,” he means human beings, I assume—
what’s political to a fox curled in sleep,
or a pond, or a sycamore in winter with no leaves left
to stop the snow falling through it? I have loved you
for less time than I have loved some others,
but no more deeply than you; no one more
absolutely. Which, as if inevitably, amounts
to a hierarchy or sorts, doesn’t it? Value,
then the power that comes with it—soon enough,
the distribution of power, who gets to do the distributing. . .

But if we make of tenderness a countervailing force, the two of us—

If we can make, from tenderness, a revolution—

– Carl Phillips

The etymology of “numinous” suggests verb “to wink.” It is as if whatever lies in our depths winks at us and we are obliged to respond.
– James Hollis

I see everything // is what it is, exactly, in spite of the / words I use
– Maggie Smith

We cannot fix the planet.
We cannot save the oceans.
We can only allow nature to reveal
its own innate intelligence,
logic, interconnections
and regenerative cycles,
teaching us how to
respect it as ourselves.
We are nature.
There is nothing to fix.
There is only tuning into our own nature,
systems, emotions, energy,
our common path…
– Reidun Westvik Lauritzen

How is it even possible to rationalise being furious at a teenage climate activist devoting her life to spreading scientific truth, but not be furious at fossil fuel billionaires who for decades have KNOWINGLY been driving you & your family toward an unliveable future?
– @ClimateDad77

One can forget a poem is not 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 an event, but 𝘪𝘴 an event.
– Bianca Stone

If metaphor is not idle comparison, but an exchange of energy, an event, then it unites the world by its very premise—that things connect and exchange energy. And if you extrapolate this philosophy further, you eventually cease to believe in separate realities
– Mary Ruefle

You’re an original.

Stop reading from their script.

Stop letting them dress you.

Show up in the fullness of who you are.

– Dr. Thema

I would write when my children were at school. I’d get an hour every day. I’m not waving, I’m drowning”—that was the joke of my life.
– Paula Fox

Some people have begun to come into my dreams
from a long way away,
traveling over the mountain passes
that nobody living knows.
Old people who smell like fog
and the soft bark of redwoods.
They talk together softly.
They know more than I know.
I think they come from home.

– Ursula K. LeGuin

Gentle verses written in the midst of horror declare themselves for life; they are the body’s rebellion against its destruction. They are *carmina*, or incantations deployed in order that the horror should disappear for a moment.
– Czeslaw Milosz

….you will be the one who changes Thought to Love and I will be the pause or the anticipation during which time cannot change things.
– Macedonio Fernandez

why is there so
little evidence
of all the nights
I felt iridescent?
– @blythe_baird

geese flying south
tourists in line
to gas up
– Patricia Schilbe

It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.
– Wendell Berry

My mind is free from every thought,
Nothing in the myriad realms can move it.
Since it cannot be wantonly roused,
Forever and forever it will stay unchanged.
When you have learned to know in this way
You will know there is no inside or out!
– Han-Shan

How sadness at a certain pitch a
carries a warmth that almost feels like happiness…
– Sven Birkerts

Consciousness will not always solve the problem, but it may make the suffering meaningful.
– Marion Woodman

We poets are detail people. We see the microscopic things others don’t even notice. It’s a subtle superpower.
– Leah Callen

our world
is a bonfire
quickly burning out
– Issa

In a society where the archetypes are no longer honoured in any way, believed in, or taken care of consciously, you have surrogates, morbid political ideas, isms of all kinds, or drugs.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.
It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?
The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life.
– José Luis G. Soler

In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
– David Mitchell

Bobwhite Quail by Ted Kooser

The bobwhite quail is a really fast walker,
like a man in an air terminal, clenching
his buttocks, trying to get to a restroom
in time, almost running, in and out of
a thick crowd of grasses lined up at a gate,
walking faster and faster until his spread
coattails lift him fluttering into the blue,
and we now see there are eight others
just like him, brown topcoats, russet vests,
black scarves at the neck, all of them now
racing downwind, three or four of them
losing control of their bowels as they fly.

Landscape’s a deception so keep your camera ready.
– Michelle Greenblatt

for landscape can do it too, as well as art,
provide a medium for our only true life.
– Karl Kirchwey

And you, who with your soft but searching voice
drew me out of the sleep where I was lost,
who held me near your heart that I might rest
confiding in the darkness of your choice:
possessed by you I chose to have no choice,
fulfilled in you I sought no further quest.
– Geoffrey Hill

the universe
is a poem written
by the Gods
– @BashoSociety

Deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, ‘There is something not right,’ no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or moral code.
– Carl Gustav Jung

We need magic
now we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy, and create. What will be

the sacred words?

– Amiri Baraka

How Dark the Beginning
by Maggie Smith

All we ever talk of is light—
let there be light, there was light then,

good light—but what I consider
dawn is darker than all that.

So many hours between the day
receding and what we recognize

as morning, the sun cresting
like a wave that won’t break

over us—as if  light were protective,
as if  no hearts were flayed,

no bodies broken on a day
like today. In any film,

the sunrise tells us everything
will be all right. Danger wouldn’t

dare show up now, dragging
its shadow across the screen.

We talk so much of  light, please
let me speak on behalf

of  the good dark. Let us
talk more of how dark

the beginning of a day is.

What if, between this one and the one / we hoped for, there’s a third life, taking its own / slow, dreamlike hold, even now—blooming, in spite of us?
– Carl Phillips, Sky Coming Forward

If your everyday practice is to open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that — then that will take you as far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.
– Pema Chodron

It’s not resilience if its wearing people down, burning them out, making them sick, or impoverishing them just to keep the system functioning as ‘normal.’
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

What we need is to gain freedom from the mental chain reactions that rumination endlessly perpetuates. One should learn to let thoughts arise and be freed to go as soon as they arise, instead of letting them invade one’s mind.
– Matthieu Ricard

There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.
– A Course in Miracles

For a civilization, you can study either their sacred books or sacred teachings, which give you their conscious tradition. But what is their folklore? Then you get the unconscious compensation for the collective tradition.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

poets are
the unacknowledged
legislators of the world
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

When you analyze the Swiss, they constantly have dreams about the English queen. The unconscious longs so desperately for a symbol that it borrows a queen from another country. That shows the power of a symbol.
– Marie-louise von Franz

Everyone is building platforms.

Who is building bioregions?

– Antonio Paglino

I want to move on. I want to explore the light. I want to know how to get through, Through to something new, Something of my own–
– Stephen Sondheim

If we exist in a universe without a creator god
I’ll live love and care — like this
If we occupy a cosmos
absent supernatural force or essence
I’ll find beauty and make meaning — like this
If we inhabit a world
without Divine Source of Justice karma or morality
I’ll behave ethically and carry on — like this
If there is no transmigration of an eternal spirit, consciousness, or soul after death
I’ll breathe grieve and find courage — like this
Now, pray tell:
What difference would such universe make in your life?
– Andrew Kent Hagel

The stronger your allegiance to ideology, the weaker your intuition.
– Ayishat A. Akanbi

If anyone hurts a loved one, I’m all for anger. I’m even okay for a dip in the vengeance pool. Get angry for a second about the state of the world, but then get busy repairing it. Angry over a play? A movie? A book? Let it go. I promise you: Good things survive and find audiences. And if it won’t alarm your friends, let them know how much they’ve meant to you. How grateful you are for them. When anger comes around, remember that you’ve been lucky enough to have been escorted to a better, higher seat, and from that seat all you see is good about to happen, and people who need your kindness.
– Douglas McGrath

Choosing a spiritual path can get in the way of spirituality
– Jack Adam Weber

AFTER WORKING

I

After many strange thoughts,
Thoughts of distant harbors, and new life,
I came in and found the moonlight lying in the room.

II

Outside it covers the trees like pure sound,
The sound of tower bells, or of water moving under the ice
The sound the deaf hear through the bones of their heads.

III

We know the road; as the moonlight
Lifts everything, so in a night like this,
The road goes on ahead, it is all clear.

– Robert Bly

The great problem in the United States is not repression or neurosis, which it was in Europe when Freud wrote about everything. No, our great problems are narcissism and addiction. Tommy Jefferson set us up. ‘Life, Liberty, and the… Pursuit of Happiness!’ If you pursue happiness directly, it evades you, but you feel entitled to it… It’s wonderful, but it has a dark side: addiction. We have done a dance with addiction in this country from the very beginning.
– Dr. Nick Grant

It’s odd, the older I get, the more I remember.
– Umberto Eco

I do write in my head every day—I’m tempted to say all the time.
– Shirley Hazzard

Inner Palpability
by Will Alexander

Implied inner palpability as transpersonal dictation
all works composed as a musical ark
as if rowing in an isthmus of lightning

the threat through rising vapour currents
hissing with dissolution

this being none other than internal cartography
ghostly cipher as interiority by number
again ghostly flares & ciphers as if the arc from lunar suns had risen

therefore suns appearing above suns
ignited via the blue fragmentation that is grace

Lord I have felt myself raked
into the earth like manure
– C. K. Williams

Jung lamented the fact that the West’s modern scientistic biases had all but completely cut us off from the great communal well of mythic insight. He believed, however, that creative individuals could correct these biases and imbalances. . .
– Mary Antonia Wood

The Lord gives everything and charges
by taking it back. What a bargain

But it’s the having
not the keeping that is the treasure

We look up at the stars and they are
not there. We see the memory
of when they were, once upon a time.
And that too is more than enough.

– Jack Gilbert

go where they will, they find no city of the same distinction; go where they will, they take a pride in their old home.
– Robert Louis Stevenson : Edinburgh, Picturesque Notes

I’m not sorry
I’m made of sorrow
– Kate Colby

And shoot the weak, sorry light from the streetlamps.
– Marguerite Duras

Let Them Not Say
Let them not say: we did not see it.
We saw.

Let them not say: we did not hear it.
We heard.

Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.

Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not-enough.

Let them say, as they must say something:

A kerosene beauty.
It burned.

Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.

– Jane Hirshfield

Myth of the Vanishing Indian
by Rena Priest

In the archives there is a drawing
of a colonizer’s dream, never realized.
The National American Indian Memorial
was meant to testify to our existence
as a once noble people after
we’d all died, leaving behind
the entire western hemisphere.
(We’re not supposed to be here.)
We were all supposed to vanish
(be vanquished)
in the face of progress
(genocidal campaigns).
Now they call us other names,
but at one time they called us a
proud and vanishing race.

Pride. What is pride? In my language
the word for boogers is smeteqsen,
while smetsqen are brains,
and smatsqen is the word for pride.
I think in the ancestors’ eyes
they may as well all be the same,
for all the good they do
without the spirit.
Ah, the spirit—your se’li,
it sounds almost like sa’le
which is the word for heart,
or sa’les which are the hands.
Words reveal much
about a people’s beliefs.
Pride and brains are on par
with snot, while hands and heart
are the tools of the se’li. This, I think,
is why we never went extinct
according to design, why they never
got to build a memorial to our doom,
a monument, taking pride in absolute
success at genocide.

If a person hates half the country, they don’t deserve to lead it.
– Pastor John Pavlovitz

If meaningful political change is a marathon, voting is like putting on your socks the first morning you decide to start training.
– Will Falk

What we cannot imagine
cannot come into being.
– bell hooks

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.
– Lao Tzu

You can listen to silence. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it.

You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn’t always talk. Sometimes – sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.

– Chaim Potok

Sometimes you don’t know anything at all–you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s like a stroke has destroyed your mind and your memory and your sense of balance. Then you find it–or you don’t–but whatever the outcome, the process is fascinating and moving, because the team surrounding you, all of your peers, come in and help you and look on and offer help. You dig deep within yourself to recall what should be done and what has worked in the past. And by God, you get your bearings, and you arrive at the completion with greater friends and greater awareness. This is all bigger than all of us. I’m talking about the work and I’m talking about the people the work reaches. It’s huge. We have a huge responsibility, and terror and some imbalance are small prices to pay to readjust, re-examine, and get it together again to do it right.
– Mike Nichols

A whole world exists within each of us. It is filled with healing salves and yet-to-be-revealed teachings. At the same time, unless investigated and addressed, it can also be filled with debilitating messages that we inherited, as well as challenges, obstructions, and compulsions that can take us off task. The work at hand, then, is to explore our inner depths, explore and map the terrain, all with the purpose of integrating into our conscious heart-mind what is found therein — both dark and light, shadow and luminous. Don’t weigh yourself down with unnecessary and unrealistic expectations of accomplishing this within a specific timeframe, or even within one lifetime. This isn’t a marathon. It isn’t a race. Learning to become fluent in the language of your own depths is the point. Learning to become a masterful observer is the point. Integration is more important than acceleration.
– Kuma Sensei

You Are Who I Love
by Aracelis Girmay

You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats

You protecting the river You are who I love
delivering babies, nursing the sick

You with henna on your feet and a gold star in your nose

You taking your medicine, reading the magazines

You looking into the faces of young people as they pass, smiling and saying, Alright! which, they know it, means I see you, Family. I love you. Keep on.

You dancing in the kitchen, on the sidewalk, in the subway waiting for the train because Stevie Wonder, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe

You stirring the pot of beans, you, washing your father’s feet

You are who I love, you
reciting Darwish, then June

Feeding your heart, teaching your parents how to do The Dougie, counting to 10, reading your patients’ charts

You are who I love, changing policies, standing in line for water, stocking the food pantries, making a meal

You are who I love, writing letters, calling the senators, you who, with the seconds of your body (with your time here), arrive on buses, on trains, in cars, by foot to stand in the January streets against the cool and brutal offices, saying: YOUR CRUELTY DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME

You are who I love, you struggling to see

You struggling to love or find a question

You better than me, you kinder and so blistering with anger, you are who I love, standing in the wind, salvaging the umbrellas, graduating from school, wearing holes in your shoes

You are who I love
weeping or touching the faces of the weeping

You, Violeta Parra, grateful for the alphabet, for sound, singing toward us in the dream

You carrying your brother home
You noticing the butterflies

Sharing your water, sharing your potatoes and greens

You who did and did not survive
You who cleaned the kitchens
You who built the railroad tracks and roads
You who replanted the trees, listening to the work of squirrels and birds, you are who I love
You whose blood was taken, whose hands and lives were taken, with or without your saying
Yes, I mean to give. You are who I love.

You who the borders crossed
You whose fires
You decent with rage, so in love with the earth
You writing poems alongside children

You cactus, water, sparrow, crow You, my elder
You are who I love,
summoning the courage, making the cobbler,

getting the blood drawn, sharing the difficult news, you always planting the marigolds, learning to walk wherever you are, learning to read wherever you are, you baking the bread, you come to me in dreams, you kissing the faces of your dead wherever you are, speaking to your children in your mother’s languages, tootsing the birds

You are who I love, behind the library desk, leaving who might kill you, crying with the love songs, polishing your shoes, lighting the candles, getting through the first day despite the whisperers sniping fail fail fail

You are who I love, you who beat and did not beat the odds, you who knows that any good thing you have is the result of someone else’s sacrifice, work, you who fights for reparations

You are who I love, you who stands at the courthouse with the sign that reads NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE

You are who I love, singing Leonard Cohen to the snow, you with glitter on your face, wearing a kilt and violet lipstick

You are who I love, sighing in your sleep

You, playing drums in the procession, you feeding the chickens and humming as you hem the skirt, you sharpening the pencil, you writing the poem about the loneliness of the astronaut

You wanting to listen, you trying to be so still

You are who I love, mothering the dogs, standing with horses

You in brightness and in darkness, throwing your head back as you laugh, kissing your hand

You carrying the berbere from the mill, and the jug of oil pressed from the olives of the trees you belong to

You studying stars, you are who I love
braiding your child’s hair

You are who I love, crossing the desert and trying to cross the desert

You are who I love, working the shifts to buy books, rice, tomatoes,

bathing your children as you listen to the lecture, heating the kitchen with the oven, up early, up late

You are who I love, learning English, learning Spanish, drawing flowers on your hand with a ballpoint pen, taking the bus home

You are who I love, speaking plainly about your pain, sucking your teeth at the airport terminal television every time the politicians say something that offends your sense of decency, of thought, which is often

You are who I love, throwing your hands up in agony or disbelief, shaking your head, arguing back, out loud or inside of yourself, holding close your incredulity which, yes, too, I love I love

your working heart, how each of its gestures, tiny or big, stand beside my own agony, building a forest there

How “Fuck you” becomes a love song

You are who I love, carrying the signs, packing the lunches, with the rain on your face

You at the edges and shores, in the rooms of quiet, in the rooms of shouting, in the airport terminal, at the bus depot saying “No!” and each of us looking out from the gorgeous unlikelihood of our lives at all, finding ourselves here, witnesses to each other’s tenderness, which, this moment, is fury, is rage, which, this moment, is another way of saying: You are who I love You are who I love You and you and you are who

At the heart of art
is learning to see.
– Seth Godin

…the darkness and the light need one another… because without their tension, there would be no story. Without clouds all the colors wash away.
– Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Happiness Is an Imaginary Line in the Sand

All of Reality is ceaselessly conspiring to awaken us.

And we are fighting like hell to avoid “it.”

Ha!

– @VinceFHorn

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone
– Keats

Nothing’s ever really gone.
The warmth our bodies generate
lingers into legacy— dissipates,
but never disappears.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

There is no such thing as bolshevist geometry and there also can be no such thing as bolshevist literature.
– Robert Musil, Literature & Politics

The intention of tramping through the air. Programs, too, folded, then flown. Music, perambulations, conversations. Began festivities.
– John Cage

If I invite her
to give her endless
well of grief a name,
I am afraid it will be mine.
– @blythe_baird

Broke: Trauma-Sensitive
Woke: Trauma-Informed
Bespoke: Trauma-Integrating
– @VinceFHorn

Anxiety is insight that we haven’t yet found a productive use for; that hasn’t yet made its way into an idea.
– The School of Life

In the last green flash of consciousness,
before we are swallowed by the great night sea,
will we wonder if we have left a wake of ruin or of celebration
– an offering of reciprocal magnitude to the billowing imagination
and wild cosmic womb from which we first emerged
as spark, as seed, as a fragile embryo of possibility?
– Geneen Marie Haugen

The essay is a grapple, a cheerfully desperate attempt to drape words on thoughts and emotions mostly too vast for words…
– Brian Doyle

…one of the things that draws me to poetry is the fact that it offers an opportunity to focus on one small thing at a time…
– Camille Dungy

Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning.
– Iris Murdoch

All people who claim to be spiritual try to get away from the fact of the body; they want to destroy it in order to be something imaginary, but they never will be that, because the body denies them; the body says otherwise.
– Carl Jung

A nation is a story that a people chooses to tell about itself, and at its heart is a stumbling but deep-felt need for those people to be connected to the place they live and to each other. Humans in all times and places have needed ancestors, history, a place to be and a sense of who they are as a collective, and modernity and rationalism have not abolished these needs [for belonging]. […] If we want to see what a world without belonging would look like, we have only to look around. If an identity is an alliance between people and places, then airport-lounge modernity means taking the places out of the picture. All that is left is people who could be anywhere: citizens of nowhere, consumers of objects and experiences, connected by their little screens […]. [The word] parochial denotes the small and the particular and the specific. It can also mean insular and narrow-minded, but it doesn’t have to, any more than ‘cosmopolitan’ has to mean snobbish and rootless. This negative meaning has attached itself to the word because contemporary globalised culture is resolutely anti-parochial. It sets out to destroy local particularity and our attachment to it, because if we remain attached to it we may not buy into the placeless nowhere civilisation that is being built around the globe in the name of money.
– Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

Painters have a knowledge which goes beyond words. They are where musicians are. When someone blows the saxophone the sky is made of copper. When you make a watercolor you know how it feels to be the sea lying early in the day in the proximity of light.
– Etel Adnan Journey to Mount Tamalpais

Opening and closing spirals constitute the heartbeat of the universe.
– Walter Russell

Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.
– Judith Thurman

This web of time—the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect, or ignore each other through the centuries—embraces every possibility. We do not exist in most of them. In some you exist and not I, while in others I do, and you do not, and in yet others both of us exist.
– Jorge Luis Borges

measuring life
by money by clock
such a waste
…of mind
– Shinzen

Burning by Tina Chang

My heart was attached to the firewood.
It was wrapped first in kindle, thread, rosemary,
then burned as tinder. I asked myself how I had lived
racing toward an end that would always end in fire.

As the bundle burned, one would think
the listener held matches, one would think
they would laugh pointing to the roaring flame.
But it was really the night sky watching mercifully

with stars gathered on its shoulders.
Our ancestors believed in one true burning,
watching us as light separates into filaments,
and all of us living, witnessing sparks in the sky.

If ever we accede to enlightenment,
he thought, it is in one compassionate moment
when what separated them from me vanishes
and a shower of drops from a bunch of lilacs
pours on my face, and hers, and his, at the same time.
– Czeslaw Milosz, City of My Youth

I am bone-tired, God-bent,
rolling down a hill in the valley God cried forth,
God-spent, I am often on my knees in wonder

frothing at the mouth, a hunger God-given,
I am humbled, bending to the south stance
of trees on the edge of spring, God-swollen,
God-sounds like the ghost of ancestors scratching
their backs on doors, on walls, edging closer,
God-moaning like holy ghosts, under covers,
smoothing fingers against windows, God-fog hovering

God-dancing
by the fireplace meant to catch this hem with sparks,
meant to God-kiss all the wrongs of me,
my scraped shins, my ashen hair, dented faith
spiraling down my spine, Godspeed my toes. God,
where is all the God-sense brandishing me with glory,
washing me with God-water, ushering me back
to the beginning, God-done

I sing to the underside of clouds, God-high or God-well,
deep in the valley where I found you.

– Tina Chang, God-Country

In most cases, writers should avoid clichés. Using them is like picking low-hanging fruit. Because it’s easier to get to, we don’t bother reaching the better fruit on the higher limbs. Clichés often keep the writer from being more specific & concise.
– Keidi Keating

The ultimate test of the family is not whether it provides safety and predictability, but whether or to what degree each person can leave it, freely, and return, freely, as a larger person.
– James Hollis

Every time I interact with humans, my optimism grows.

Every time I watch the world on a screen, my pessimism grows.

– Ethan Nichtern

What I know most
about their hate
is that it can’t beat
the love out of me.
– Andrea Gibson

The ability to generate images and relate to them is a measure of mental health.
– Yoram Kaufmann

In the land of the free, one sentence must be as good as another because that is democracy.
– Gore Vidal

Ideology may appear clear to its proponents as long as it remains abstract, but when it is put into practice it takes the shape of a crime.
– Mahmoud Darwish

Inquisitive curiosity into the lives of others extends our lives. This is not sharing; it is artful listening. The other person is a fount of lifeblood, which transfuses vitality into your soul if you can provoke the other with your listening.
– James Hillman

We are creatures who need to understand, at any cost. And so we “story” our experiences, and those stories—provisional, localized, and often created at an early stage of our history—become defining narratives.
– James Hollis

Everyone wishes to be loved, but nearly no one can bear it. Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it.
– James Baldwin

In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to his mood or disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.
– CG Jung

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.
– Norman Vincent Peale

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
– Anton Chekhov

Birds embody the very quick of things, vitality or the life force. A world without birds is not only silent, it is dead and deadening. We humans need their singing.
– Jay Griffiths

We all have toxic traits. How we manage those toxic traits is really what makes a person safe or unsafe.
– @Theholisticpsyc

ELECTION
I voted.
I voted for the rainbow.
I voted for the cry of a loon.
I voted for my grandfather’s bones
that feed beetles now.
I voted for a singing brook that sparkles
under a North Dakota bean field.
I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
South along the shores of two continents.
I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.
I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
and the old democracy of worms.
I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen, thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.
I voted for the local, the small, the brim
that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
the luxury of enough.
I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse for every colony of maggots.
I voted for open borders between death and birth.
I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain, and then a tree again.
I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers, more recess in schools to cultivate play,
more leisure, tax free, more space between days.
I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
and the price of a thrush song.
I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.
– Alfred K. LaMotte

To learn is to be young, however old.
– Aeschylus

Capitalism is presumably the first case of a blaming, rather than a repenting cult. … An enormous feeling of guilt not itself knowing how to repent, grasps at the cult, not in order to repent for this guilt, but to make it universal, to hammer it into consciousness and finally and above all to include God himself in this guilt.
– Walter Benjamin, Capitalism as Religion

We often think of creativity as this big, grandiose idea and concept, but we forget that creativity is also tedium, hard work, repetition.
– Marcin Wichary

That’s another thing about poetry. It should be fortuitous, so that things go together, rather than split apart. There’s no blueprint. In fact, I’m still working on things. In other words, I’m not static—never static.
– Will Alexander

Individual self-reflection, return of the individual to the ground of human nature, to his own deepest being with its individual and social destiny here is the beginning of a cure for that blindness which reigns at the present hour.
– C.G. Jung

I am merely the stake in the struggle between another society, made up of several thousand million nerve cells lodged in the ant hill of my skull, and my body, which serves as its robot. Neither psychology nor metaphysics nor art can provide me with a refuge.
– Walter Abish

You have no idea how long something you say can stay inside someone’s mind.
– Scarlett Leithold

Life calls us forth to independence, and anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis. And once this has broken out, it becomes an increasingly valid reason for running away from life.
– C.G. Jung

The perilous time for the most highly gifted is not youth. The holy sensibilities of genius — for all the sensibilities of genius are holy — keep their possessor essentially unhurt as long as animal spirits and the idea of being young last; but the perilous season is middle age, when a false wisdom tempts them to doubt the divine origin of the dreams of their youth; when the world comes to them, not with the song of the siren, against which all books warn us, but as a wise old man counselling acquiescence in what is below them. No being of a social nature can be entirely beyond the tendency to fall to the level of his associates.
– Elizabeth Palmer Peabody

The shaman charged you too much
for your own breath.
The savior hid your soul under a cup
and switched it with his own.
The guru ran off with your Shakti
during the honeymoon.
Meanwhile the leftist was tricking you
into thinking you were someone’s victim,
as the fascist promised you peace
if you worshiped his flag and carried an AR-15.
The yoga teacher told you your body was God,
but the New Age metaphysician insisted
your flesh was an illusion.
So you took a workshop with the leading
non-duality coach who spent
the whole weekend reminding you
that he teaches Nothing
because there is no teacher
and no one to teach.
You felt guilty when you asked
your bank to cancel his $500 check
and sent him a new one
made out for Zero.
Maybe that’s why you went back to church
and tried to feel like a sinner
so you could get saved,
but there was Nothing to get saved from.
What will you do now
that you’ve followed every path
and wound up here
in the old growth forest again?
Don’t become a cynic, friend.
Just take off your shoes and wander
all night, barefoot on broken moonbeams
among the Bleeding Fairy Helmets,
fungi Mycena Haematopis,
cedar fronds and owl eyes,
embodying the howls of grampa coyote,
until you’re lost enough to cry,
‘I am home, I am home!’
– Fred LaMotte

I find it endlessly interesting, endlessly funny, the fact that we’re rather arbitrarily divided up into these discrete humans.
– Deborah Eisenberg

Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge… It can tell us when we’re being lied to. It provides a mid-course correction to our mistakes.
– Carl Sagan

If you wish to become a philosopher, the first thing to realise is that most people go through life with a whole world of beliefs that have no sort of rational justification, and that one man’s world of beliefs is apt to be incompatible with another man’s, so that they cannot both be right. People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.
– Bertrand Russell

Woke up in a state with a lesbian governor. My hair feels shorter. My boots seem shinier. The birds are singing Joan Armatrading.
– @rocketfantastic

Our spirituality is often attached to an anti-erotic way of being.
– Thomas Moore

Something wacky and fascinating about academics calling themselves “refugees” from a social media platform on another social media platform. So much to learn about language from this moment in time.
– Alina Stefanescu

THE SAKE OF ART

For the sake of art
I will read
all the poems
tossed into garbage.
Ripped to pieces.
Wastebaskets,
send them to me!
I will unfold them
in secret.

– Rebecca Wadlinger

The word suffer in its original sense means “to allow,”… So to suffer creatively is simply to allow what is, to stop fighting it, and instead to affirm your life.
– Robert A. Johnson

We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.
– Philip Pullman

When religion collapses, we discover the unconscious and open the Pandora’s box of the inner life.
– David Tacey

Deviation from the truth of the blood begets neurotic restlessness … Restlessness begets meaninglessness, and the lack of meaning in life is a soul sickness whose full extent and full import our age has not yet begun to comprehend.
– CG Jung

Sometimes, I pray.
“You’re a poet?” you ask with something I hope is desire in your eyes.
If words are what you desire, I might provide. But, I’m not sure I’m a poet. I’m just a man.
A man with ears that won’t stop hearing no matter how much noise I stuff into them. A man with eyes that won’t stop seeing no matter how dark it gets. A man with a heart that keeps breaking no matter how many pieces it’s already been shattered into.
Sometimes, I guess, I pray.
Sometimes, I write down these prayers. And, sometimes, when I’m really lucky, someone finds some meaning in my prayers. But, these aren’t the loud kind of prayers – the prayers that rise with eagles and smoke into the endless sky, the prayers that resurrect the dead or save sacrificial lambs from their torture. They’re the kind of prayers you whisper into your pillow when its sopping wet with tears, the prayers you’re too afraid to whisper to your lover in case she gets up and walks away. Forever. The prayers you keep whispering to her when you can’t remember how long it’s been since she left. The prayer to simply know what to say.
I am old enough now to know life is measured not by time, not by years, but by unanswered prayers. In this way, I am ancient. And, I doubt you desire that.
“You’re a poet?” you ask again as if I didn’t hear you. In my silence, your eyes change until I wonder if I only imagined your desire.
If I am a poet, I know I cannot lie. So, I say, “No.” And pray the desire in your eyes will not fade.
Now, I know that all we need is imagination to pray, anyway.
– Will Falk

Against Poetry
by Diane Seuss

A poem, unlike
a living being, cannot
perceive you and, in
perceiving you, grant you
reality. If it sleeps
with you, it cuts you.
It runs a few
degrees cooler than room
temperature. A love poem
does not love you. Or
does not necessarily love
you. A love poem faces
outward. It performs
love adequately. Lately,
I’ve wondered about poetry’s
efficacy. It’s like doubting
a long romance, or romance
itself, the essence of it.
Fearsome, to doubt
your life’s foundation.
I’ve also wondered about
painting. What distinguishes
a good or great painting,
paintings I’ve loved, from
illustration? Lately everything
seems illustrative to me,
as if the whole world
is a cunning metaphor.
A young painter once
cautioned me not to bring
a literary framework to visual art.
A sane admonition, I think.
Maybe what distinguishes
art from illustration
is its uselessness. Art,
useless at its core,
but not valueless. And
what is the correlation
between painting and poetry?
What makes a poem merely
illustrative and what elevates it
to an essential artfulness,
i.e., uselessness? I know
I am using the old language
here. “Merely.” “Elevates.”
I am in an antiquated room,
its fixtures, dust-covered
and ornate. Furniture,
built at the behest of another
era, from a principle of design
that forefronts beauty,
is delicate, as if balanced on a foal’s
trembling legs. Maybe to live
within a poem is to entrap oneself
in an architecture constructed upon
outmoded theories of composition.
It’s possible there is an undiscovered
room or house, or a structure
somewhere I don’t yet have
the language for. An academy of silences.
A cathedral of cross-purposed
voices. A posthuman spaciousness
filled only with a reemerged
species of butterflies. A catacomb
of cluster flies. Whatever it will be,
it will be new, filled
with its own mystifying absurdities,
and likely beyond me.
This body may not be built
for it. Mine is the kind
of body you drag around
town on a leash, with a choke
chain. You don’t love it,
but it’s yours to contend with,
though it compresses your
soul. When did it begin
to compress rather than
liberate my soul? Early,
but I do remember
when it was my soul’s instrument,
indistinguishable from
my soul. I could sit on the front
stoop and the whole world
came streaming in through
the structures of my senses.
Maybe the body is the soul’s
metaphor. Maybe to escape it
is to escape the service
economy. To dissolve analogy.
Attain uselessness.

a nameless mountain
higher than ever
autumn sky
– Soseki

Psychology is ultimately mythology, the study of the stories of the soul.
– James Hillman

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
– Eckhart Tolle

The City
BY C. P. CAVAFY

TRANSLATED BY EDMUND KEELEY

You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried like something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”

You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You’ll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighborhoods, turn gray in these same houses.
You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there’s no ship for you, there’s no road.
Now that you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere in the world.

You live long enough, you’re blessed with reversals &—for this rememberer—huge tenderness. The smoke clears the older I get & what’s left is this deep affection for every second….
– Mary Karr

When obstructions
of heart-mind fall away,
The Way appears.
Open, flowing heart-mind sees.
Heart-mind is a river of true-perception.
– Darion Kuma Gracen

My generation basically had all the information it needed. We had books like Silent Spring and Limits to Growth. We could have tamped down consumption, but instead, we threw the biggest party in all of human history and we’re leaving the next generations to clean up after us.
– Richard Heinberg

People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.
– Charles Bukowski

Everything impinges on everything else… Everything is potentially everywhere.
– Johnn Steinbeck

… what matters is the work: the string of words becoming a poem, the weave of color & graphite scrawled upon a sheet that magnifies to achieve within the work a perfect balance of faith and execution. From this state of mind becomes a light, life-charged.
– Patti Smith

Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore
by Elizabeth Bishop

From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.
In a cloud of fiery pale chemicals,
please come flying,
to the rapid rolling of thousands of small blue drums
descending out of the mackerel sky
over the glittering grandstand of harbor-water,
please come flying.
Whistles, pennants and smoke are blowing. The ships
are signaling cordially with multitudes of flags
rising and falling like birds all over the harbor.
Enter: two rivers, gracefully bearing
countless little pellucid jellies
in cut-glass epergnes dragging with silver chains.
The flight is safe; the weather is all arranged.
The waves are running in verses this fine morning.
Please come flying.Come with the pointed toe of each black shoe
trailing a sapphire highlight,
with a black capeful of butterfly wings and bon-mots,
with heaven knows how many angels all riding
on the broad black brim of your hat,
please come flying.Bearing a musical inaudible abacus,
a slight censorious frown, and blue ribbons,
please come flying.
Facts and skyscrapers glint in the tide; Manhattan
is all awash with morals this fine morning,
so please come flying.Mounting the sky with natural heroism,
above the accidents, above the malignant movies,
the taxicabs and injustices at large,
while horns are resounding in your beautiful ears
that simultaneously listen to
a soft uninvented music, fit for the musk deer,
please come flying.For whom the grim museums will behave
like courteous male bower-birds,
for whom the agreeable lions lie in wait
on the steps of the Public Library,
eager to rise and follow through the doors
up into the reading rooms,
please come flying.
We can sit down and weep; we can go shopping,
or play at a game of constantly being wrong
with a priceless set of vocabularies,
or we can bravely deplore, but please
please come flying.With dynasties of negative constructions
darkening and dying around you,
with grammar that suddenly turns and shines
like flocks of sandpipers flying,
please come flying.Come like a light in the white mackerel sky,
come like a daytime comet
with a long unnebulous train of words,
from Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.

Nonfiction is in the facts. Creative nonfiction is in the telling.
– Phil Gerard

Creative suffering is allowing what is and saying “yes!” Such experience is redemptive in that it leads to healing and self-knowledge.
– Robert A. Johnson

Writing uses all of you – everything you have learned, all your patience, your sense of humor, your beliefs, your imagination, your sense of composition, and ultimately your entire character. Thus it is deeply rewarding, and it never runs out.
– Philip Gerard

There never was a time when the inherent virtues of human beings required more strong and confident expression in daily life, there never was a time when the hope of immortality and the disdain of earthly power and achievements were more necessary for the safety of the children of men.
– Winston Churchill

Don’t become a spiritual zombie, devoid of passion and deep human feeling.

Let spirituality be a celebration of your uniqueness rather than a repression of it.

Never lose your quirkiness, your strangeness, your weirdness, your humour, your unique and irreplaceable flavour.

Don’t try to be ‘no-one’ or ‘nothing’ or some transcendent and impersonal non-entity with ‘no self’ or ‘no ego’, some untouchable superhuman or non-human – that’s just another conceptual fixation and no-one’s buying it anymore.

Be a celebration of what your unique expression is, and stop apologising for your failure to live up to any false ideal.

Fall in love with this perfectly divine, very human mess that you are.

There is no authority here, and no way to get life wrong.

So get it all wrong.

Fail, gloriously.

– Jeff Foster

What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean that he has some soul work to do. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone, away from her husband, he needs to go alone himself.
– Robert Bly

Love Poem with Apologies for My Appearance
by Ada Limón

Sometimes, I think you get the worst
of me. The much-loved loose forest-green
sweatpants, the long bra-less days, hair
knotted and uncivilized, a shadowed brow
where the devilish thoughts do their hoofed
dance on the brain. I’d like to say this means
I love you, the stained white cotton T-shirt,
the tears, pistachio shells, the mess of orange
peels on my desk, but it’s different than that.
I move in this house with you, the way I move
in my mind, unencumbered by beauty’s cage.
I do like I do in the tall grass, more animal-me
than much else. I’m wrong, it is that I love you,
but it’s more that when you say it back, lights
out, a cold wind through curtains, for maybe
the first time in my life, I believe it.

I don’t believe we transcend anything. To me, life is full of paradox, and darkness contains its own light, just as light contains a hidden darkness.
– Liz Greene

Every individual needs revolution and renewal, but not by forcing these things upon his neighbours under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power.
– CG Jung

If any help was going to arrive to lift me out of my misery, it would come from the dark side of my personality.
– Robert Bly

May we remember that holiness exists in the ordinary elements of our lives.
– Luci Tapahonso

We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
– C.G. Jung

My resources for practice are my own peace and joy.
l vow to cultivate and nourish them with daily mindfulness.
For my ancestors, family, future generations,
and the whole of humanity, l vow to practice well.

In my society I know that there are countless people suffering,
drowned in sensual pleasure, jealousy, and hatred.
l am determined to take care of my own mental formations,
to learn the art of deep listening and using loving speech
in order to encourage communication and understanding
and to be able to accept and love.

Practicing the actions of a bodhisattva,
l vow to look with eyes of love and a heart of understanding.
l vow to listen with a clear mind and ears of compassion,
bringing peace and joy into the lives of others,
to lighten and alleviate the suffering of living beings.

l am aware that ignorance and wrong perceptions
can turn this world into a fiery hell.
l vow to walk always upon the path of transformation,
producing understanding and loving kindness.
l will be able to cultivate a garden of awakening.

Although there are birth, sickness, old age, and death,
now that l have a path of practice, I have nothing more to fear.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you.

Don’t bother to brush it off.

Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance.

Having a sense of humour saves you.

– Joseph Campbell

The happy ending of a fairy tale and myth is to be read as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man. . The objective world remains what it was, but, because of a shift of emphasis within the subject, it is beheld as though transformed.
– Joseph Campbell

I don’t choose, of course. Writing chooses.
– Helene Cixous

Deep inside us is a wilderness. We call it the unconscious because we can’t control it fully, so we can’t will to create what we want from it. The collective unconscious is a great wild region where we can get in touch with the sources of life.
– CG Jung

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.
– Baruch Spinoza

I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.
– Baruch Spinoza

A lazy part of us is like a tumbleweed.
It doesn’t move on its own. Sometimes it takes
A lot of Depression to get tumbleweeds moving.
– Robert Bly

The real time of emotion isn’t musical time or background noise of civilization or continuity of exposed film. You can always tell memory, not the coverings it closes first.
– Susan Howe

Few things are more stressful than trying
to be a different person from who you are.
– Unknown sage

Practice in a way where everything becomes practice.
– Ross Gay

The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.
– Diane Arbus

The issue isn’t to be or not to be—I don’t think that’s the exact question. The issue is to be oneself or not to be. It’s not a matter of existing and persisting; it’s a matter of awakening to the destination that’s written into the soul.
– Michael Meade

Look again at that dot.
That’s here.
That’s home.
That’s us.
On it everyone you love,
everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was,
lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy
and suffering,
thousands of confident religions, ideologies,
and economic doctrines,
every hunter and forager,
every hero and coward,
every creator and destroyer
of civilization,
every king and peasant,
every young couple in love,
every mother and father,
hopeful child,
inventor and explorer,
every teacher of morals,
every corrupt politician,
every “superstar,”
every “supreme leader,”
every saint and sinner
in the history of our species
lived there,
on a mote of dust
suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage
in a vast cosmic arena.
Think of the endless cruelties
visited by the inhabitants
of one corner of this pixel
on the scarcely distinguishable
inhabitants of some other corner,
how frequent their
misunderstandings,
how eager they are to kill
one another,
how fervent their hatreds.
Think of the rivers of blood
spilled by all those generals
and emperors so that,
in glory and triumph,
they could become the
momentary masters of
a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings,
our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some
privileged position in the
Universe, are challenged
by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck
in the great enveloping cosmic
dark.
In our obscurity,
in all this vastness,
there is no hint that help
will come from elsewhere to
save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world
known so far to harbor life.
There is nowhere else,
at least in the near future,
to which our species could migrate.
Visit, yes.
Settle, not yet.
Like it or not, for the moment
the Earth is where we make
our stand.
It has been said that astronomy
is a humbling and
character-building experience.
There is perhaps no better
demonstration of the folly of
human conceits than this distant
image of our tiny world.
To me, it underscores our
responsibility to deal more
kindly with one another,
and to preserve and cherish
the pale blue dot,

the only home we’ve ever
known.

– Carl Sagan

A symbol does not define or explain; it points beyond itself to a meaning that is darkly divined yet still beyond our grasp, and cannot be adequately expressed in the familiar words of our language
– C.G. Jung

When the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.
– C.G. Jung

All things human take time, time which the damned never have, time for life to repair at least the worst its wounds; it took time to wake, time for horror to incite revolt, time for recovery of lucidity and will.
– Carolyn Forché

Mine is the kind
of body you drag around
town on a leash, with a choke
chain. You don’t love it,
but it’s yours to contend with,
though it compresses your
soul.
– Diane Seuss

The best elegies will always be sites of struggle between custom and decorum on one hand, and private feeling on the other.
– Eavan Boland and Mark Strand

A heart
which is not followed,
kept following other hearts.
– @whendaisywrites

I never wish to be easily defined.
– Franz Kafka

Passion is clearly the path
but does not bring us to love.
It opens the castle of our spirit
so that we might find the love which is
a mystery hidden there.
Love is one of many great fires.
– Jack Gilbert

Listen by Melissa Tuckey
Believe young people who say they are triggered. Check for bombs. Keep hiding places clear. Tell them they have a right to be safe. Believe nape of your neck, the back of knees. Believe moths and butterflies and hummingbirds. Believe bees. Believe ice and dirty snow. Believe in the intimacy of birds. Believe children, their faces red from packing snow. Believe libraries. The ministry of sound. Listen to water, the hymn of our connected lives, the way sunlight moves through the shadow of trees. Trust mountain. Trust solid shoes. Trust darkness and the life of the soul.

You know how to fight.

Now learn to rest.

– Dr. Thema

The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.
– Terence McKenna

I dreamed of becoming snow melt,
gliding down the slope of history
and into the valley. With the promise,
an assurance, that there is always
a way to become bird,
tree, water again.
– M.L. Smoker

THE NEW DAY

If I am open
The day will take me
Where it will
And I will follow
My heart beating to the
Sound of leaves falling
The trees all the while
Knowing the root of this
Cosmic dream
The sun and moon

Tethered

Between two opposite poles
Within myself
A conjugation of atoms
I am too clever to understand
With words and dialogues
And empty pens that
Pour their ink
On the blank spaces of
Lined paper

Hush, our time is brief

Look precisely
Without the interference of what
You think you know
And you will see what I see
And both of us
Will make this present moment
In both the greeting and farewell
What it was always
Meant to be.

– Laurence Overmire

Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
That I have sought, reflected in the blue
Of these sea depths, some shadow of your eyes;
– Emily Pauline Johnson

If you speak a new language of your own that others have yet to learn, you may have to wait a very long time for a positive echo.
– Meret Oppenheim

What I wear is pants.
What I do is live.
How I pray is breathe.

– Thomas Merton

Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.
– Frank Zappa

Decentralization only matters in the context of some kind of over-centralization.

A more universal goal, from a systems dynamics perspective, is meta-stability. Distributed equanimity.

Centralizing and decentralizing are the movements we make to come back into balance.

– @VinceFHorn

Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
Others caused you.
The waters run and run,
Springs sparkle and are done,
You walk the earth you are forgetting.

Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing?
A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.

The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem!
Your fields lie fallow,
The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.
– Czesław Miłosz

Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgements. Peace is not an ‘is’, it is a ‘becoming’.
– Halie Selassie

Structure serenity daily into your life.
Take time captive with eternity.
Fall in love with resting in God.
Enter into the flow of the Spirit.
Drink deep and savor the healing love of God…
Flowing like a river through your soul.
Slowly breathe in the breath of God.
Set your roots down deep into the ground of your being,
into the garden of your heart.
Dwell in the presence of being,
For you are God’s own beloved,
The apple of his eye,
The song of his heart
sings in you,
Listen…listen
– Bob Holmes

Poetry offers us the capacity to carry in us and express the contradictory impulses that make us human.
– Kwame Dawes

sometimes i am a flute
for the blue breeze
sometimes i sing
all the little leaves
to sleep
– @joy_pops

At my remote cabin, during my sixty-third summer, I dreamt that after a lifetime in which I had spent thousands and thousands of days outdoors looking “at” nature, I was finally inside nature looking out. The meaning of this was imprecise, but the feelings have stayed with me. As a poet, it became far simpler to imagine myself a tree or a boulder, a creek or a field, and easier yet to imagine myself a fellow mammal. When Shakespeare said, “We are nature, too”, he was making a leap away from the fundamental schizophrenia in Western culture that few have made. At my cabin made of logs there is less distance between inside and outside. You can smell the heart of the forest as you sleep, and hear the river passing by the north side of the cabin.
– Jim Harrison

The sound we do not hear lifts the gulls off the water
– Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic

delightful
a cool wind blowing
in a bedroom of stars
– Issa

Our minds are conditioned to think that only what we can see and touch is real, but Jung questioned this view, and his psychology is a challenge to our understanding of reality.
– David Tacey

Memory can be warped, it lies, it tells us what we want to hear. … Discrepancy between memory and other evidence is not a problem—it’s the point. The reckoning, the true story, lives in the space of the contradictions.
– Philip Gerard

Maybe to live
within a poem is to entrap oneself
in an architecture constructed upon
outmoded theories of composition.
It’s possible there is an undiscovered
room or house, or a structure
somewhere I don’t yet have
the language for.
– Diane Seuss

I had to go through a time of isolation in order to come to terms with who and what I was, as distinguished from all the things I’d been told I was.
– James Baldwin

Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.
– Søren Kierkegaard

It hurts to age and part but it hurts worse
not to, to turn blue with held breath.
– William Matthews

There is no better guarantee of a successful relationship than knowing that we could — and can — manage perfectly well on our own.
– The School of Life

Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens.
– Henry David Thoreau

The Minister of Loneliness has abolished email. He is installing tin cans to every window sill with a piece of string to someone else’s window.
– Sarah Kay

The north wind kisses her rosy mouth,
His rival frowns in the far-off south,

And comes caressing her sunburnt cheek,
And Summer awakes for one short week,—

– Emily Pauline Johnson

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

But human beings are human beings. As remote as those ascetics are from us, they had the same parts. They had hearts and bodies and minds, each with habits of their own. They had an enlightened moment, I am sure of it, letting go of painful old stories and limiting beliefs to bask in the emanation of a new kind of love and freedom. But down the road, inevitably, there was at least a little more work to do. Patterns to see. Wounds to let heal.
– Tracy Cochran

Because knowing is impossible
and imagining is lethal.
Let the possible be
child of the real,
splitting the rock.
– Paolo Loreto translated by Lawrence Venuti

No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan, has ever had the power that a filmmaker has; the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people for two hours in the dark.
– Frank Capra

Defeat, My Defeat,
My solitude and My aloofness;
You are dearer to me
than a thousand triumphs,
and sweeter to my heart
than all world-glory.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My self-knowledge
and My defiance,
through you I know that
I am yet young and swift
of foot and not to be trapped
by withering laurels.
And in you I have found
aloneness and the joy of being
shunned and scorned.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
that to be enthroned
is to be enslaved,
and to be understood
is to be leveled down,
and to be grasped is but
to reach one’s fullness
and like a ripe fruit to fall
and be consumed.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My bold companion,
You shall hear My songs
and My cries and My silences,
and none but you shall
speak to me of the beating
of wings, and urging of seas,
and of mountains that burn
in the night,
and you alone shall climb
My steep and rocky soul.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh
together with the Storm,
and together we shall dig
graves for all that die in us,
and we shall stand in the Sun
with a will, and we shall be
Dangerous.
– Khalil Gibran

I have in my mind five hundred examples of novels that have given me pleasure, and I try to do work that gives back some of what those five hundred books have given me.
– Jonathan Franzen

Praise dance!

You broke the cycle, rejected the pattern, rewrote the script, colored outside the lines, exited toxic wastelands, and birthed a new beginning.

– Dr. Thema

Karen Armstrong has gone so far as to suggest that our artists and writers should be called upon to step into the priestly role of instructors in mythic lore to bring fresh insight into our damaged world, particularly when professional religious leaders fail to do so.
– Mary A Wood

If I feel myself to be an Englishman, an Indian, a Russian, and so on, from that crystallised thinking I will inevitably create war.
– Krishnamurti

The mind is bound by centuries of slavery to experience, and the question is whether it can free itself. Can it be in that state of awareness that is entirely different from the state of accumulation?
– Krishnamurti

Any form of conclusion is detrimental to full comprehension or understanding of the whole process of existence.
– Krishnamurti

Holons emerge in the Non-duality of Wholes and Parts.
– @VinceFHorn

not sitting quiet
even for a moment
this autumn breeze!
– @Meraki_k

I am here to make you think.
– Mark Rothko

Once the ego has had an encounter with the transpersonal standpoint, it is transformed. Now related to meaning, life is no longer empty or absurd, but is perceived as part of a larger and meaningful pattern.
– Edward Edinger

all new music is from space. This is why it “drops”, never is merely released.
– James Fagan

The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.
– Milan Kundera

Casabianca
by Elizabeth Bishop

Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite “The boy stood on
the burning deck.” Love’s the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

My thanksgiving is perpetual.
– Thoreau

summer twilight
left and right stars
sprouting in the sky
– @Meraki_k

Blue hour after
the sun, before dark,

and you kept
pushing your hair
out of your eyes
so you could watch

light forget
the mountains.

– Erin Coughlin Hollowell

If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Voltaire’s deconstruction of religious fanaticism (in any faith) remains relevant. Wherever people who say they love God continue to practice sectarian hatred, justify intolerance, and perpetrate violence, his prophetic indictments stand. He calls us to wake up and repent because, when we don’t, we create atheists.
– Brad Jersak, Out of the Embers

Enchantment is the oldest form of healing.
– Carl G. Jung

I am for adjectives like beezer, dreich, quare, and nouns like clart, drouth, gleed, mizzle, oxters, scoot-hole, smoor, and verbs like boke, fissle, greet, hunker, swither, and adverbs like furnenst …
– Maria Fusco

Truth crushed to earth will rise again,
’Tis sometimes said. False! When it dies,
Like a tall tree felled on the plain,
It never, never more, can rise.
– Too-qua-stee

All of us, to some extent, borrow from others, from the culture around us. Ideas are in the air, and we may appropriate, often without realizing, the phrases and language of the times. We borrow language itself; we did not invent it. We found it, we grew up into it, though we may use it, interpret it, in very individual ways. What is at issue is not the fact of “borrowing” or “imitating,” of being “derivative,” being “influenced,” but what one does with what is borrowed or imitated or derived; how deeply one assimilates it, takes it into oneself, compounds it with one’s own experiences and thoughts and feelings, places it in relation to oneself, and expresses it in a new way, one’s own.
– Oliver Sacks

I am tired
and the trail is long
my horse I have left to wander

the Sea of my mind holds only soft whispers

Sometimes I pick a road that leads
towards the blue mountains

Sometimes I watch where the ravens fly
and let them determine my direction

I have rarely followed in my time

but sometimes an empty horizon
can feel empty

The next room where was often music
is sometimes quiet now

and though the teachings have lionized empty

I seek the fullness in clouds
the wisdom in wind
the beautiful clearness of rainbows
the sound of rushing whitewater streams

My beaches lure me with their sunrises

My smile goes unanswered

I have lived my life the way the seabird flies

The empty Ocean is a long path
the song of surf a quiet thunder…

Like a lost plover
dragging its wing
on the world

– Nicholas Pierotti

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time to get rid of him.
– James Baldwin

I am interested in seeing the human heart–or what one has made of the human heart that has been lent. When it is fully operational, generous, employed, and taxed, nothing is as glorious as the human heart. Indeed, anything that we value–that I value–has emerged from a fully operational human heart.
– Alec Guinness

It is unearned love–the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It’s the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.
– Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Patience is the hardest thing for the spirit. But it is the hardest and the only thing worth learning. Everything that is nature, development, peace, prosperity and beauty in the world rests on patience; it takes time, silence, trust.
– Hermann Hesse

You still believe in new skin.
You still believe in magic.
Every crack in the sidewalk
is about you.
– Melissa Lozada-Oliva

This lecture is about the noise that calls itself quiet.
– Douglas Kearney, Optic Subwoof

Distance, a coiled spiral, lies inside every last thing, no matter how small or dreary. Distance has many names (they make up the poet’s dictionary). Call out to it in a thing—and it will uncoil.
– Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Art needs people who, rather than acquainting us with the unknown, can disacquaint us with the known, who can take this thing that has become a mind-sore, this trifle right here, and raise it to the power of a dream or mystery.
– Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Museum of old fountain pens, a fading connection to some old order…
– @svenbirkerts

I’ll cry about this earth in heaven too.
– Marina Tsvetaeva

Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong, but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching, you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence.
– J. Krishnamurti

Every problem brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature.
– CG Jung

but brightening and darkening in a slow ample flicker … brightening against the darkening that was its end. A peristalsis of light, worming its way into the dark.
– Beckett, Murphy

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
– Philip Pullman

Intellectual understanding and aestheticism both produce the deceptive, treacherous sense of liberation and superiority which is liable to collapse if feeling intervenes. Feeling always binds one to the reality and the meaning of symbolic contents.
– CG Jung

A Cedary Fragrance

Even now,
decades after,
I wash my face with cold water—

Not for discipline,
nor memory,
nor the icy, awakening slap,

but to practice
choosing
to make the unwanted wanted.

– Jane Hirshfield

I’ve said data literacy is a social justice issue but that can be easily coopted into some evidence-based uncritical project. So for me now it is data literacy is an abolitionist issue. And data literacy is cultural work. To expose the BS and inspire and build the world we want.
– @tamaranopper

If you collect my wisdom
you’ll find a lot of wonder,
the old monk suggested.
– @TheOldMonk5

If you don’t make use of your own power to change your brain for the better, other forces will shape your brain for you, including pressures at work and home, technology and media, pushy people and the lingering effects of painful past experiences.
– @drrhanson

A Wrong that cannot be repaired must be transcended.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Since humankind can bear little existential angst, there naturally emerge ideologies and fads, fashions and affectations, which momentarily assuage anxiety.
– James Hollis

A writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people. You know I’ve made records where it seems like no one listen to them. I’ve written poetry books were maybe 50 people read. You just keep doing your work because you have to because it’s your calling. You want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by your work.
– Patti Smith

The anxiety that individuals or cultures feel at that moment is considerable and they may quickly grasp hold of a new image in order to feel secure again.
– James Hollis

I hope you choose people and spaces that don’t require you to leave yourself behind.
– Dr. Thema

What if I were gone and the wind still reeks of hyacinth, what then
Who will I be: a gaudy arrangement of nuclei…
– Lucie Brock-Broido

(A great many people) end up surrendering their individual goal to their craving for collective conformity – a procedure which all the opinions, beliefs, and ideals of their environment encourage.
on.
– CG Jung

What is moral is everything that is a source of solidarity, everything that forces man to … regulate his actions by something other than … his own egoism.
– Emile Durkheim

One must have courage to see what one does see and not to deny it for convenience.
– Javier Marías

Riverlands Aubade
by Michael Garrigan

The river is always there
even when he doesn’t see it for weeks
because he’s busy milking cows and scooping
pig shit and piling fieldstone into a wall
along the low end of their property,

— something to slow erosion,
something to make it all last
a bit longer —

and his dog gets enough exercise running through the barn
and his Farmall tractor needs a new clutch
so he just glances at the pond and watches water
trickle from the outlet into the creek that reaches
for a few hundred yards downstream
and convinces himself he can hear the river’s song.

It’s always there.

When he watches sunlight land on the trees
touching them like they want to be touched, lightly,
he’s comforted knowing this river will take him someday
and he hopes it’s a morning like this, after he’s had some coffee
and he’s awake, sharp, after watching the symphony of breaths
from his wife and dog lying beside each other in their bed,
the warmth and life of that union still clinging to his arms
so he has something comforting to hold
as he sinks wide-eyed and open-mouthed
into the deepest channel that runs
along the opposite bank.

‘Mental health’ is a throughly capitalist concept.

It is an insatiable and forever unobtainable state based in the denial of embodiment and the promise of escape.

In chasing it, we fall prey to the system and are forever wedded to our suffering.

– James Barnes

The psychic life of civilized man is full of problems…Our psychic processes are made up to a large extent of reflections, doubts, experiments, all of which are almost completely foreign to the unconscious, instinctive mind of primitive man.
– CG Jung

Within experience, there is noticing and sensing, showing, and shining. Rhythms give rise to living experience. Seeing this, you enter a magical realm.
– Tarthang Tulku

…old enough to remember when certain books were marketed as “Rabelaisian”…
– @svenbirkerts

Jung (explored) the treasure-house of images accumulated through history-from Eastern mysticism to medieval alchemy, from Christianity to aboriginal beliefs-and discovered that certain motifs recurred throughout world culture and also in dreams and other psychic phenomena.
– James Hollis

I was a blueprint, blue on blue, mapless/but for those warm bones and my red heart barking.
– Ama Codjoe

Joy is a marvelous increasing of what exists, a pure addition out of nothingness.
– Rilke

As one matures, a greater tolerance of ambiguity is essential both for growth and as a measure of respect for the autonomy of the mystery.
– James Hollis

One who has tamed their mind has reached liberation. There is no other liberation worth seeking.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

Central to Jung’s understanding of himself is that his self is plural… Ironically, the more aware we are that we are composed of different selves, the less likely we are to suffer a full splitting of the personality.
– David Tacey

The only way is to enjoy your life. Even though you are practicing zazen, counting your breath like a snail, you can enjoy your life, maybe much better than making a trip to the moon. That is why we practice zazen. The kind of life you have is not so important. The most important thing is to be able to enjoy your life without being fooled by things.
– Shunryu Suzuki

Mysticism is awe. And I think any human being who’s lost awe is really a lost person. A civilization that’s lost awe, an educational system that can’t teach awe and nurture it, a worship system that is devoid of awe because it is so full of human verbosity, is perverse. These systems are doing the opposite of what we have to do, which is to awaken the heart. Mysticism is about heart-knowledge, heart-experience. It’s a wonderful balance, a marriage between the left brain and the right. A brain researcher told me his twenty-one years of work on the right brain showed that our right brain is all about awe. So let’s put our awe together with knowledge, and we’re going to get some wisdom. Currently we’re running entirely on knowledge, and that’s why we’re running out of energy, money, time, land, beauty.
– Matthew Fox

never let you down — he says — did I?
It wasn’t possible, Why not?
Sisters and brothers are loyal,
we are the primal particles.
– Alice Notley

so much the fear,
Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael,
Wrought still within them:
– John Milton, Paradise Lost

We fly; we dream in darkness; we devour heaven in bites too small to be measured.
– Rebecca Solnit

Keep up your hobbitry in heart, and think that all stories feel like that when you are in them. You are inside a very great story!
– J.R.R. Tolkien

If everything is a confirmation of your theory, it’s not a theory but a delusion.
– Rebecca Solnit

Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society.” Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare.
– Stephen King, The Stand

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma.
– Dogen Zenji

While we wait
the woman earth sings with the tribes,
transforms herself
into all things.
– Diane Glancy

When you step into sacred time, you’re actually moving sideways into a different space that’s inside the normal world. It’s folded in. Do you see?
– Elizabeth Hand

…art has always had a balancing effect on your mind; it is a reminder that you are more than a body and its accompanying grief.
– Carmen Maria Machado

Men are like rivers: the water is the same in all; but every river is either narrow, or swift, or broad, or still, or clean, or cold, or turbid, or warm. Even thus are men.
– Leo Tolstoy

I keep hearing “oh well just go to BookTok/etc” to promote your book but I think people are confusing promotion and community. Promotion is shallow and limited in reach. Community is broad and deep. Community is how you sell (and find) books but takes years & interest to develop.
– @ambernoelle

Buddha began to realize that there was a sane, awake quality within him which manifested itself only in the absence of struggle. So the practice of meditation involves “letting be.”
– Chögyam Trungpa

We do not seek anything in the whole wide world while sitting. We take sitting, as a matter of profound trust, to be itself the action and embodiment of Buddhas and ancestors.
– Jundo Cohen

Forget writing residency give me a reading residency!
– Dr. Han VanderHart

Natural, reckless, correct skill;
Yesterday’s clarity is today’s stupidity
The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change
One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.
– Ikkyu

I’ve noticed that people love to hurry. Meals are always quick, coffees are never savoured, glances are fleeting, conversations brief and it feels like this is becoming normal, that people only expect surface level and they only strive for surface level in all aspects of life. Mediocre coffee. Luke-warm love. Convenience. Because life is scary and when you sit with it long enough, and really listen to the silence, you notice what you’re missing, and some of what we miss, we know we will never be able to find again.
– Seyda Noir

Memory has its own border guards,
they keep the landscape safe.
– Robert Kelly

People in the global North have to realize that there’s going to need to be a huge reduction in lifestyle and material consumption. Either this is managed and something may be salvaged from this civilization – or – current levels continue driving civilization towards collapse.
– Peter Dynes

The underworld spirits are plural.
– James Hillman

Third Rock from the Sun

That streetlight looks like the slicked backbone
of a dead tree in the rain, its green lamp blazing
like the first neon fig glowing in the first garden
on a continent that split away from Africa
from which floated away Brazil. Why are we not
more amazed by the constellations, all those flung
stars held together by the thinnest filaments
of our evolved, image making brains. For instance,
here we are in the middle of another Autumn,
plummeting through a universe that made us
from its shattering and dust, stooping
now to pluck an orange leaf from the sidewalk,
a small veined hand we hold in an open palm
as we walk through the park on a weekend we
invented so we would have time to spare. Time,
another idea we devised so the days would have
an epilogue, precise, unwavering, a pendulum
strung above our heads. When was the sun
enough? The moon with its diminishing face?
The sea with its nets of fish? The meadow’s
yellow baskets of grain? If I was in charge
I’d say leave them there on their backs
in the grass, wondering, eating berries
and rolling toward each other’s naked bodies
for warmth, for something we’ve yet to name,
when the leaves were turning colors in their dying
and we didn’t know why, or that they would return,
bud and green. One of a billion
small miracles. This planet will again be stone.

– Dorianne Laux

…And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying…
– Tim McGraw

Love and mercy are sovereign, if often in disguise as ordinary people.
– Anne Lamott

Life is thus made up of little solitudes.
– Roland Barthes

…Then one day you decided that
you weren’t earth, after all, didn’t want
the thud of every footstep walking on
your life. So, you burned and quaked
the way our big earth is doing. Turned
yourself into a hushed planet. …
– @francinewitte

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
– Ernest Hemingway

It is quite possible—overwhelmingly probable … that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.
– Noam Chomsky

Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
– Guy de Maupassant

Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.
– Mahatma Gandhi

Awareness, in this biospheric sense, is a quality in which we participate with the whole of our breathing bodies; as your body is different from mine in many ways, so your sensations and insights are richly different from mine.
– David Abram

Do you remember our first meeting, and how the filaments of the copper lamps glowed above our heads? You understood then. You have always understood me.
– Susan Sontag

I never meant to go to Brazil. I never meant doing any of these things. I’m afraid in my life everything has just happened.
– Elizabeth Bishop

Just as a person refuses to recognize his own shadow side, so, but all the more strongly, he hates recognizing the shadow side of the nation behind which he is s fond of concealing himself.
– C.G Jung

If we are, in Karl Jasper’s phrase, to “read the ciphers” of our time, to decipher the mythic texture that lies just beneath the surface, we are obliged to attend the artistic voices around us.
– James Hollis

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open.
– Charles Baudelaire

Politics, wars, causes — for thousands of years we have ended up with a sack of shit. It’s time we learned to think.
– Charles Bukowski

It could be said that Marx and Hegel taught that there are no ideals in the abstract, but that the ideal always lies in the next step, that the entire thing cannot be grasped directly but only indirectly by means of the next step.
– Theodor Adorno

It absolutely drives me bananas the way they teach writing in middle schools. Formulas and taking off points for imaginary errors. Way to murder young people’s imaginations and love of language, damn.
– Lauren Groff

There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Reason and memory move together.
– Etel Adnan

Hurry isn’t of the devil; It is the devil.
– Brother Carl Jung

I only know I’m living in the interval between
The luxuries of consciousness and the straits of sorrow,
A bare condition of mere being in which nothing changes
And a life is just the sum of its details as it slowly slips away.
– John Koethe

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught.
– Baba Dioum

Idleness so called, which does not consist in doing nothing, but in doing a great deal not recognised in the dogmatic formularies of the ruling class, has as good a right to state its position as industry itself.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Spiritual development is growth by subtraction. We diminish the world of the ego so soul can find room to flourish.
– David Tacey

To gain the soul one must renounce the worldliness of the world and its literal thinking.
– David Tacey

We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
– W.H. Auden

But this is the bitterest for mortal men: our Gods want to be overcome, since they require renewal. If men kill their princes, they do so because they cannot kill their Gods, and because they do not know that they should kill their Gods in themselves.
– CG Jung

O you I conjure up, to whom I speak as to myself, listen:
– John Koethe

What would your spirituality be

if no one ever knew about it?

What would you call your path

if you could use no words?

Is the path nourishment enough?

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Zen is like soap. First you wash with it,
then you wash off the soap.
– Yamaoka Tesshu

Yes, even when I don’t believe— there is a place in me inaccessible to unbelief, a patch of wild grace, a stubborn preserve, impenetrable, pain untouched by the sleeping body, music that builds its nest in silence.
– Anna Kamienska

I believe in going back to the magic of the earth and the lake, the sky and the universe. That kind of magic. I believe in that kind of religion. A religion of the rocks, the lake, the water, the sky. Yes, that’s what I believe in.
– George Morrison

The priceless galaxy of misinformation called the mind…
– Djuna Barnes

The truest words I ever heard about divine love were uttered once by a friend as a grace before a meal. He bowed his head, in the guttering candlelight, steam rising from the food before him, the fingers of the cedar outside brushing the window, and said, ‘We are part of a Mystery we do not understand, and we are grateful.’
– Brian Doyle

Often when we are ill, the ‘call’ from deep within invites us not to try to ‘fix the problem’ but instead asks us to let go, retreat to our quiet cave, or nest and receive the incubating gift of patient warmth. Ancient Greek incubation caves where the sick reclined, let go and waited, were seen as places of access to the Underworld, the unconscious, dreaming depths of soul where warming energy and secretive alchemical work abound. To incubate, then, is to surrender to the therapeutic wisdom of Nature that resides deep within our bodies and souls. It is a phase of ’suspended animation’, when life is gently held, slowed and cocooned in sleep, rest and dreams that may cast light on the nature of the gifts that are embedded in our wounds. Sacred incubation is this devotional decision to be fully present in our woundedness, instead of struggling to be free.
– Maureen B. Roberts

I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
– Beryl Markham, West with the Night

How fathomless the mystery of the Unseen is! We cannot plumb its depths with our feeble senses – with eyes which cannot see the infinitely small or the infinitely great, nor anything too close or too distant, such as the beings who live on a star or the creatures which live in a drop of water… with ears that deceive us by converting vibrations of the air into tones that we can hear, for they are sprites which miraculously change movement into sound, a metamorphosis which gives birth to harmonies which turn the silent agitation of nature into song… with our sense of smell, which is poorer than any dog’s… with our sense of taste, which is barely capable of detecting the age of a wine! Ah! If we had other senses which would work other miracles for us, how many more things would we not discover around us!
– Guy de Maupassant

[N]arcissists get hung up on their image. . . . [T]hey cannot distinguish between an image of who they imagine themselves to be and an image of who they actually are. The two views have become one. . . . [T]he narcissist identifies with the idealised image.
– Alexander Lowen

a forest floor
of fallen pine needles …
knitted silence
– @WendyGent_

whiteout—
on my rooftop
a mound of fluffy clouds
– @Meraki_k

spring—
a mad rush of
hues in the garden
– @Meraki_k

in reality we are one and all from the unthinkable first to the no less unthinkable last glued together in a vast imbrication of flesh without breach or fissure
– Beckett, How It Is

I’m good at nothing but listening and waiting, though in these capacities I’ve achieved perfection, for I’ve learned how to dream while waiting. These two things go hand in hand, and dreaming does a person good and preserves respectability.
– Robert Walser

Will you forgive me these November days?
– Anna Akhmatova

Autumn is my spring!
– August Strindberg

Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.
– Malcolm Gladwell

In order to be creative you have to be healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
– James Altuche

Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.
– Tim Fargo

Robots are the new middle class. And everyone else will either be an entrepreneur or a temp staffer.
– James Altuche

Out of silence comes the greatest creativity. Not when we are rushing and panicking.
– James Altucher

In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.
– Malcolm Gladwell

If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.
– Arianna Huffington

No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.
– Malcolm Gladwell

We all have within us the ability to move from struggle to grace.
– Arianna Huffington

We need to look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken.
– Malcolm Gladwell

What needs to be slain or sacrificed in psychic terms are literalized attitudes toward both the masculine and the feminine if a full emotional and imaginal life would be found.
– Michael Meade

a bird singing
almost cured
my headache
– Issa

Initiation is the creative, artful container that helps each young person hear the call of spirit. In order to hear the call, a small death must come between parents and their child.
– Michael Meade

Reading and writing are important, and so is music. Science and engineering are important, and so is music. Sport and physical education are important, and so is music. And so is music. Music isn’t the poor relation to any subject. Music is there – important, needed, necessary.
– @VFleischfresser

When other’s minds are unknown, the mind you imagine is based heavily on your own.
– Nicholas Epley, Mindwise

Six months of waiting. Six months of understanding the inner workings of faith and the outer spheres of the world. Six months of time: hundreds and millions of awakening seconds and sleeping minutes. Six months of aching stretched out like the Sahara: lickety-split, snippety-snip, jiggity-jig Six months of fading and blooming, stopping and starting. Six months of love: a breath, a deluge, an eternity; a single flake of snow.
– Tishani Doshi

Let us not name our old friends who are unravelling like fairy tales in the forests of the dead.
– Tishani Doshi

I saw a woman hold
the tattered edge of the world
in her hand
– Tishani Doshi

But it is difficult to rewrite the story of your life, especially when you have been telling it one way for so long.
– Tishani Doshi

late autumn rain
falling in the valley
warm home fire
– Ogawa

Peace

Unsilen-
Sing
The door is open
You  are
Running towards me
With a wild
Flower bouquet

– Marija Krviokapić

Why do men insist on achieving something ? Would it not be better if they stood still under the sun in calm and silent immobility ? What is there to accomplish ? Why so much effort and ambition ? Man has forgotten the meaning of silence.
– Emil Cioran

Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.
– Leonardo Da Vinci

The shadow has too often been split off in Western thinking and we know, psychologically, that whatever is split off reinsinuates itself through behavioral eruptions or projections onto others.
– James Hollis

(Joseph Campbell) speaks about an infantile thinking in opposites that typically is marked by an almost total absence of intuition, association and synthesis. It is a stiff and inflexible, and neurotic left-brain concept, called the ‘solar worldview.
– Peter Fritz Walter

Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
– Joseph Campbell

Sheep
Jane Hirshfield

It is the work of feeling
to undo expectation.

A black-faced sheep
looks back at you as you pass
and your heart is startled
as if by the shadow
of someone once loved.

Neither comforted by this
nor made lonely.

Only remembering
that a self in exile is still a self,
as a bell unstruck for years
is still a bell.

I have nothing soothing to tell you,
that’s not my job,
my job is to revise and revise this bristling list
hourly.
– Dionne Brand

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.
– Søren Kierkegaard

I know that all of my enterprises will fail. I know that already. I’m not holding out hope that somehow anythings going to change as a result of doing them. All I’m trying to do is participate in some small way in the small collection of memories that will accompany my death. That’s all I’m trying to do is having a small part to play in what those memories might be. Understanding now, that the way I’m proceeding is helping to author those things that people will remember. If they’re inclined to. And there’s not much more to me than that. But that is not a recipe for futility. One of the things I learned at the deathbed is… that’s the whole thing. That’s the magic of it. Our willingness to remember turns out to be a kind of banquet… and the remembering is the food. And I think that’s what we have to do in a rough time like this one, is that we have to give people even not yet born, we have to leave in the air a kind of an aroma… let’s call it ‘inconsolable possibility’ – a possibility that won’t be consoled into impotence.
– Stephen Jenkinson

We are made for loving. If we don’t love, we will be like plants without water.
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I no longer want to write poetry like certain angels, it is so difficult to live while dying bit by bit across the space of the night, just to patch up the morning with what is left of the drool on the pillow in this country of devastation and suffering. I, too, want to feel the breeze of a transparent beach, a sky with cotton for clouds and a sea that is just as blue getting caught in my rudder. To have a coffee and read some books aloud? No more no more no more! I want something else from love: a woman who is not mere skin across an abyss, a nice cup of wine from the purest vine of words. I no longer want to wake up like this, with my whole soul in my mouth.
– Álvaro Fausto Taruma

Your poetry and arts
and your dance and your
music and everything
you offer to the world
will be barren and
utterly meaningless
if they are not
mixed with the light
inside your heart.
– Guthema Robe

SIGHT

I see
In your eyes
The beginning of Time
Fragrant flower
In new-made Earth
Unfolding its soft blush of color
Many-petaled splendor
In the blinking morn…

I see
In your face
The sharp blade of sorrow
Born of a legion
Of tempest-tossed tears
The wisdom of the ages
Encapsulated there…

I see
In your heart
The soft ray of starlight
Glistening like sapphire
Through the void
Of blackest night…

I see
Now and forever
Are one and the same
With you here beside me
Together
I see.

– Laurence Overmire

thorns and claws

there’s a reason that even peaceful, wild things
are born with thorns and claws.
a bright spark
they carry in their hearts

there’s a reason that even beautiful, large things
are born with tusks and antlers.
a reason the mother bears
rise up to defend their children
some things are worth dying for
some things are worth killing for
some things are worth defending

whoever told you that this was wrong,
cannot be trusted
with your life

they would stand by and watch their selfish, cowardice act for them
(as your bones were broken and your body violated)
to retain their own purity
remember that

whoever told you that this was wrong,
would stand by and watch the world be sold
by parcels and piecemeal
there are those who will not stop
unless they are stopped

whoever told you that this was wrong,
finds beauty in nature only once it has been broken
and made useful

whoever told you that this was wrong,
has forgotten this bright spark
this wild life
at the center of everything

whoever told you this . . .
was wrong.
did they not notice the peaceful, wild things
or the beautiful, large things
of this world?

– Tad Hargrave

We found that place
under a November sky
where silence stretches out
to absorb the trill of sandhill cranes;
to meet the splash of beaver’s tail
from the reeds; to join the path
of four journeying otters
pausing for a midday fish feast.
We were reminded to see beauty
in that which fades, in that which persists,
in seeds that float away in the cold wind,
in creatures who make ready for winter,
in creatures who live only in memory.
– Heidi Barr

How can someone stop repetitive patterns if they have no idea what’s going on in their unconscious? . . . Unconscious means ‘not knowing’, and ‘not being conscious of’. So there may be huge forces operating in a person that they are totally unaware of.
– Marion Woodman

It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves.
– Simone Weil

The old saying of the two kinds of truth. To the one kind belongs statements so simple and clear that the opposite assertion obviously could not be defended. The other kind, the so-called ‘deep truths’, are statements in which the opposite also contains deep truth.
– Niels Bohr

my hometown
on the edge of a cloud
autumn sunset
– Issa

Boundaries are the most direct way for you to protect your energy. Make them clear for your sake. If they aren’t, people will just keep taking more and more. Not because they are malicious, but simply because they won’t know when you need space or when you are feeling depleted.
– Yung Pueblo

I lack the ability to judge myself except over many drafts and usually over years.
– Donald Hall

and something was / not given to you, or something was / taken from you that you were born with
– Sharon Olds

You once told me that the human eye is
god’s loneliest creation. How so much of
the world passes through the pupil and
still it holds nothing. The eye, alone in its
socket, doesn’t even know there’s another
one, just like it, an inch away, just as
hungry, as empty.
– ocean vuong

There is in the word, in the logos, something sacred which forbids us to gamble with it. To handle a language skilfuly is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.
– Baudelaire. (Transl. Théophile Gautier)

The feminine isn’t interested in being at the top: she’s dedicated to life in the moment, she takes time to look at trees & flowers; she takes time to build depth relationships, takes time to be carried by other force that trusts that there’s inherent meaning to this life.
– Marion Woodman

Censorship thickens the fibres of metaphor and develops the reader’s close reading skills.
– Sasha Dugdale

I believe that any experience, whatever its nature, has the inalienable right to be chronicled. There is no such thing as a lesser truth.
– Annie Ernaux

The Most Of It

He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree-hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder-broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter-love, original response.
And nothing ever came of what he cried
Unless it was the embodiment that crashed
In the cliff’s talus on the other side,
And then in the far distant water splashed,
But after a time allowed for it to swim,
Instead of proving human when it neared
And someone else additional to him,
As a great buck it powerfully appeared,
Pushing the crumpled water up ahead,
And landed pouring like a waterfall,
And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread,
And forced the underbrush-and that was all.

– Robert Frost

Something is true only on the level on which it is appropriate. For example: Mythology is true on an inner level, but it makes no sense on a historical level.
– Robert A. Johnson

The luminous and shocking beauty of the everyday is something I try to remain alert to, if only as an antidote to the chronic cynicism and disenchantment that seems to surround everything, these days. It tells me that, despite how debased or corrupt we are told humanity is and how degraded the world has become, it just keeps on being beautiful.
– Nick Cave

Poetry by Marianne Moore

I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers that there is in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are
useful; when they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the
same thing may be said for all of us—that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand. The bat,
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under
a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base—
ball fan, the statistician—case after case
could be cited did
one wish it; nor is it valid
to discriminate against “business documents and

school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry,
nor till the autocrats among us can be
“literalists of
the imagination”—above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, in defiance of their opinion—
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness, and
that which is on the other hand,
genuine, then you are interested in poetry.

The great home of the soul is the open road.
– D.H. Lawrence

warming my hands
in my tea steam
morning frost
– Issa

Now each one has to work it out in his own way. But if a person just refuses to think that he has an inside problem, he’s not going to work the thing out. Nobody can do it for him. You have to learn how to recognize your own depths.
– Joseph Campbell

Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage
– D.T. Suzuki

We need a new cosmology. New gods. New sacraments. Another drink.
– Patti Smith

As long as we separate this oneness into two we won’t achieve realization.
– Bruce Lee

We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.
– G.K. Chesterton

Information wants to be free.
– Tracie D. Hall

Your unconscious mind is turning this over and over underneath, and then one morning you wake up with a whole lot of things formulated that you haven’t been consciously working on. At that point you can sit down and write.
– Helen Vendler

Whenever I get ready again to write really sincere notes in this notebook, I shall have to undertake such a disentangling in my cluttered brain that, to stir up all that dust, I am waiting for a series of vast empty hours, a long cold, a convalescence, during which my constantly reawakened curiosities will lie at rest; during which my sole care will be to rediscover myself.
– André Gide

After it’s over, after the last gaze has shut down,
Will I have become
The landscape I’ve looked at and walked through
Or the road that took me there
or the time it took to arrive?
– Charles Wright

I walk in the chill of the late autumn night
like Orpheus
Thinking my song, anxious to look back,
My vanished life an ornament, a drifting cloud, behind me,
A soft, ashen transcendence
Buried and resurrected once, then time and again.
– Charles Wright

Early November in the soul,
a hard rain, and dusky gold
From the trees, late afternoon
Squint-light and heavy heart-weight.
It’s always downleaf and dim.
– Charles Wright

As one who thinks of poetry
As a way of talking to yourself,
I probably do too much explaining,
But that’s what talking to yourself is like:
The things you can’t explain to anyone
Are suddenly made clear to no one, as though
Nobody mattered but yourself. And it’s the same
For each of us, whether you’re listening to me or not:
An enveloping cloud of not quite-language
Hovering on the verge of sense that puts you
At the center of a world that’s doesn’t quite get you,
But of which you’re part, a world in which
Each individual life is so completely ordinary
And at the same time so extraordinary it never ends
Until it does: each individual life eternity
In miniature; each life a world
– John Koethe

“Now you must cast aside your laziness,”
my master said,”for he who rests on down
or under covers cannot come to fame;
and he who spends his life without renown
leaves such a vestige of himself on earth
as smoke bequeaths to air or foam to water.
Therefore, get up; defeat your breathlessness
with spirit that can win all battles if
the body’s heaviness does not deter it.
A longer ladder still is to be climbed;
it’s not enough to have left them behind;
if you have understood, now profit from it.”
– Dante Alighieri

Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about anymore than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks. A good night’s sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace.
– Frederick Buechner

It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.
– Cheryl Strayed

I always found in myself a dread of west and love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.
– John Steinbeck

No matter how sincere our theologies, our beliefs may be, however grounded in primal experience, the gods slip away from original creed and ritual to undermine consciousness by changing their shapes, moving deeper, and reappearing somewhere else in a different guise.
– James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Our Life

Small and hidden is the door that leads inward and the entrance is barred by countless prejudices, mistaken assumptions, and fears.
– CG Jung

If a man devotes himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift [of renewal], so that suddenly life, which has been stale and dull, turns into` a rich unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities
– Marie Louise von Franz

Be careful when you are not at one with yourself, in your moments of dissociation.
– CG Jung

Why are the lives of the sages filled with miracles?
Because they open their minds to truth and labour over it day and night. They are the awakened mind of the cosmos—through them the Infinite Light enters this world.
– Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

We cannot assuage our cravings by pursuits in the material world, no matter what their nature and scope. Nothing short of the experience of mystical unity with the divine source will quench our deepest longing.
– Stanislav Grof, The Cosmic Game

As we mature, we are more likely to become able to discern the patterns of our history—the repetitions, the reactivation of old wounds, familiar stuck places—and acknowledge how we are the ones who made those choices, created those familiar outcomes.
– James Hollis

Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
– W. S. Merwin

Symbolically, crossroads represent moments in our lives where the unconscious crosses consciousness, where the eternal crosses the transitory; in other words, times and places where a higher will demands the surrender of our egos.
– Marion Woodman

Self-knowledge is one goal of psychoanalytic treatment, but a more profound goal is self-acceptance.
– McWilliams

More than a code of manners in war and love, Chivalry was a moral system, that should govern the whole of noble life.
– Barbara Tuchman

In Hebrew, the point is the vowel. It permits the word to be read, heard. When the point is missing, there is risk of gross misunderstanding. In fact, there is no such thing as a word. There are consonants waiting to become vocables.
– Edmond Jabès, From the Desert to the Book

Vowels are sticky; they bind and wind through others, attaching their imprints and echoes,’ Anne Carson writes in Eros the Bittersweet. Where vowels open the mouth, consonants limit sound, marking the edges.
– Alina Stefanescu

When there is nothing left, there will still be sand. There will still be the desert to conjugate the nothing.
– Edmond Jabès

We are rescued by what we cannot imagine: it is what finally takes us up and shuts our story, replacing it among the millions of similar volumes that by no means menace its uniqueness but on the contrary situate it in the proper depth and perspective
– John Ashbery

If I had to hold up the most heavily guarded bank in Europe and I could choose my partners in crime, I’d take a gang of five poets, no question about it. Five real poets, Apollonian or Dionysian, but always real, ready to live and die like poets.

No one in the world is as brave as a poet. No one in the world faces disaster with more dignity and understanding.

The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.

They [poets] work in the void of the word, like astronauts marooned on dead-end planets, in deserts where there are no readers or publishers, just grammatical constructions or stupid songs sung not by men but by ghosts.
– Roberto Bolaño, The Best Gang

If you do not keep on sorting your books, your books unsort themselves: it is the example I was given to try to get me to understand what entropy was: personal experience has provided me with frequent demonstrations of it.
– Georges Perec, Thoughts of Sorts

I re-read the books I love and I love the books I re-read, and each time it is the same enjoyment, whether I re-read twenty pages … or the whole book: an enjoyment of complicity, of collusion, or more especially, and in addition, of having in the end found kin again.
– Georges Perec

There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces.
– Herman Melville

By his own standards he was simply looking for something. He wanted to see the world, that was all. He wanted to know and love the entire atlas.
– William T. Vollmann

Poetry is not truth. It’s not even the dream of truth; poetry is passion—it’s a game, maybe a tragic game, one that we play with a world that plays its own game with us.

If we call things by their true names, … a kind of threshold condition arises … The world, with its natural extension in language, comes to a consciousness of itself, and language, with its background in the world, becomes a world in itself, one steadily unfolding further.

That’s why it can be said that by writing poetry, we’re trying to produce something that we ourselves are already a product of.

– Inger Christensen

Genius, all over the world, stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.
– Herman Melville

Let me be clear: I did not want to admire life, I did not want to skim it; I wanted to swim in it. I judged that to do this, I had to leave, and to write.
– Lisa Robertson

The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing . . . He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths.
– Carl Jung

Anxiety causes us to develop a mentality of scarcity and to shrink ourselves into a life too small to fulfill us.
– Bud Harris

Most people are terrified of spontaneity. They don’t know how to be in the now so they’ll do anything to follow a preconceived plan. This is the exact opposite of the feminine, which lives in the present.
– Marion Woodman

This breakup has me believing in god

God, the canoe-shaped leaves sound like heaven
this morning on the cottonwoods outside my window.
Two days of orange smoke. This breakup
has me saying, why would god put so much love on my head
and cut half the cottonwoods down?
I wish I knew god so I wasn’t alone.
The rubbery smell of the fire and its cracking sounds.
The black bark in the grass could be the ends of cigars.
My heart coils into the softest brush snake.
My pussy aches how it ached in our apartment. God
I was grateful, watching him shake water from his gray hair.
In the yard there is a pile where the dead trees simmer
into coals and one rat scurries out.
My loneliness is its own boat full of the same multiplied rat.
My body belongs to god, or the man who owns the restaurant—
poured me an extra shot when I said I felt sad.
How was I taken home by that stranger when I could barely stand?
I was certain we would plant trees. I would wake and smell the golden sides
of his face every morning. I know only god could make
this rat scream. Before we broke up, he said he didn’t know himself
so he stole what made me. Orbs of ash fall slow,
pulling the stink from the sky. I am waiting to trust
this moment of feeling. It’s easier to ask god why.

– Taneum Bambrick

If I look at my most vulnerable places and acknowledge the pain I have felt, I can remove the source of that pain from my enemies’ arsenals. My history cannot be used to feather my enemies’ arrows then, and that lessens their power over me. Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or a chisel to remind you of your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.
– Audre Lorde

I’m walking out now into the soft light, the cooling hum of evening, and I will love you tonight, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and still many more, so very many more tomorrows.
– Vladimir Nabokov

setting sail
upon purple clouds
on the western sea
– Issa

Essay on November
by Stephen Kuusisto

There is at times a small fire
In the brain, partita for violin,
Brier, black stem,
All burning in the quarter notes.
And the hedgerow
Beyond the barn
Calls its starlings in.
Then frost, sere leaves,
A swollen half-moon
Like a drowsy fingertip
Above the apple trees.

Enough already of Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault poured like ketchup over everything. Lacan: the French fog machine; a grey-flannel worry-bone for toothless academic pups; a twerpy, cape-twirling Dracula dragging his flocking stooges to the crypt. Lacan is a Freud T-shirt shrunk down to the teeny-weeny Saussure torso. The entire school of Saussure, inluding Levi-Strauss, write their muffled prose of people with cotton wool wrapped around their heads; they’re like walking Q-tips. Derrida: a Gloomy Gus one-trick pony, stuck on a rhetorical trope already available in the varied armory of New Criticism. Derrida’s method: masturbating without pleasure. It’s a birdbrain game for birdseed stakes. Neo-Foucaldian New Historicism: a high-wax bowling alley where you score points just by knockng down the pins.
– Camille Paglia, Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays

Silence doesn’t just mean not talking. Most of the noise we experience is the busy chatter inside our own head.
– Thích Nhất Hạnh, Silence

Here and There
I sit and meditate—my dog licks her paws
on the red-brown sofa
so many things somehow
it all is reduced to numbers letters figures
without faces or names only jagged lines
across the miles half-shadows
going into shadow-shadow then destruction the infinite light

here and there cannot be overcome
it is the first drop of ink

– Juan Felipe Herrera

Dearest, now that I have better writing paper, let us also start a better life.
– Franz Kafka, 1912

It is also November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner. November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.
– Emily Dickinson

When such threatening forces of cleavage are at work, splitting peoples, individuals and atoms, it is doubly necessary that those which unite and hold together should become effective: for life is founded on harmonious interplay of masculine and feminine forces.
– Emma Jung

A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. When society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true stories that shine a light into the human psyche and society. If not-as Yeats warned-the centre cannot hold.
– McKee

It is other people — anonymous figures glimpsed in the Metro or in waiting rooms — who retrieve our memory and reveal our true selves through the interest, the anger, or the shame that they send rippling through us.
– Annie Ernaux

When we realize that we are part of a cycle that periodically draws us down into the darkness of unconsciousness, and then brings us back again into the light where we can blossom, we start to know ourselves in a new way.
– Jane Pretat

I don’t think the nation is all that “closely divided.” More like highly gerrymandered.
– Peter Kalmus

Although there is not one moment without longing, still, how strange this autumn twilight is.
– Ono no Komachi (trans. by Jane Hirshfield & Mariko Aratani)

be nobody’s darling;
be an outcast.
take the contradictions of your life
and wrap around you like a shawl.
– alice walker, revolutionary petunias

All the great story lines are great practical jokes that people fall for over and over again.
– Kurt Vonnegut

By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.
– CG Jung

It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.
– Louis Kossuth

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgment go, is completely neutral. it only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong.
– CG Jung

We live in a universe that is arriving. And has been arriving for 14 billion years.
– Brian Swimme

You are completely wrapped up in the world of your own making.
– Nisargadatta, I Am That, Page 15

The world in general, particularly America, is extraverted as hell, the introvert has no place, because he doesn’t know that he beholds the world from within. And that gives him dignity, that gives him certainty, because, nowadays particularly, the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man.
– C.G. Jung

cryptocurrency
sleight of hand
vanishing coin trick
– Jason Gould

Don’t let the constant failings of our “leaders” lead you to doomism. We’re not doomed. We have the understanding. We have the solutions. We’re simply lacking the political will – that will change when there’s a billion climate people pressuring the system from all angles.
– @EarthlyEdu

If we behave like those on the other side, then we are the other side. Instead of changing the world, all we’ll achieve is a reflection of the one we want to destroy.
– Jean Genet

Not poetry, not fiction, not non-fiction, but a secret fourth thing.
– @ShikshaWrites

Holy Mountain

I want to hear the silence of stone and stars,
lie back on granite’s steep rise
face to silver sky’s glittering points
where I can taste the galaxies
on my tongue, communion of fire,
then stand on the summit and
look out at the laboring world.

I want to witness Earth’s slow turning
with early light brushing over me,
a hundred hues
of grey, pink, gold,
speckles of Jackson Pollock light,
then ribbons of mist floating
like white streamers of surrender.

I want to look back down the trail
as if over my past, forgive a thousand tiny
and tremendous transgressions
because now all that matters
is how small I feel under the sky;
even the sparrow hawk takes no notice of me,
how enlarged I feel by knowing this smallness.

– Christine Valter, Dreaming of Stones

the color of the sky
has changed into
winter clothes
– Issa

Your days are numbered.
Use them to throw open the
windows of your soul to the sun.
If you do not, the sun will soon set,
and you with it.
– Marcus Aurelius

When a man finds himself in motion, he always thinks up a goal for that motion. In order to walk a thousand miles, a man needs to think that there is something good at the end of those thousand miles. One needs a vision of the promised land in order to have the strength to move.
– Leo Tolstoy

I’m learning to see. I don’t know why, everything penetrates me more deeply, and doesn’t stop at the place where it always used to end. There is a place in me I knew nothing about. Everything goes there now. I don’t know what goes on there.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Back in my room
I can’t hear the river passing like time,
or the moon
emerging from the shadow of
earth,
but I can see the water that never repeats itself.
It’s very difficult to look at the World
and into your heart at the same time.
– Jim Harrison

The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

Though I thought I knew the good, I did not always do the good, apparently…no, clearly did not. And sometimes I have to admit that even my deliberated moral positioning produced consequences harmful to myself or to others.
– James Hollis, Ph.D.

Hypocrisy rather than heresy is the cause of spiritual decay.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel

It is in the nature of things to be drawn to the very experiences that will spoil our innocence, transform our lives, and give us necessary complexity and depth.
– Thomas Moore

I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It’s very strange how often strong feelings don’t seem to carry any message of action.
– Philip Larkin

Stories are powerful, feminine vehicles of communication. By their very nature, they transport us to the imaginative realm. Stories feed our souls, particularly when told from a deep, inner source of truth.
– Marion Woodman

Since there are parts of ourselves that are a mystery to us, and these are aspects that we and others can’t possibly know unless and until they reveal themselves, can any of us truly say that we know each other? I don’t think so. We can only ever know aspects of another person or aspects of ourselves. Embrace the unfolding mystery of Self and Other. Don’t assume you know another person simply because you have some familiarity with a few of their aspects. Don’t assume you know yourself simply because you have some familiarity with a few of your own aspects.
– Darion Kuma Gracen

What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.
– Ray Charles

Encounters with transcendent energies are fundamentally inexplicable, but they are undeniable and require an honest person to witness with humility and awe.
– James Hollis

Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means “Glory to the Lord.” The song explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist. I say all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have an equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, with enthusiasm, with emotion.
– Leonard Cohen

The young neurotic shrinks back in terror from the expansion of life’s duties, the old one from the dwindling of the treasures he has attained.
– CG Jung

Matisse said, “I believe in God when I’m working.” If our creative energy is blocked, it will find an outlet in some kind of distorted religion, or addiction. An addiction to me is a distorted religión.
– Marion Woodman

A high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

Whenever one goes through the deconstruction of the false self-one normally suffers a considerable period of wandering in the wasteland.
– James Hollis

It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Universities are becoming outdated because they are providing the wrong kind of knowledge. They’re still preparing students for jobs that are disintegrating. The future of work is not academia based, it’s skills based.
– @tishray

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
– Leo Tolstoy

It’s not that I expect everyone to be a poet or a philosopher. It’s just that I am saddened by people who seem to have nothing of either in them. Regardless of what we do for a living, we ought to love wisdom and beauty.
– Benjamin Myers

Self-Care

Yes, I try to drink plenty of water, eat a well-balanced, nutritional diet, do my mindful breathing exercises, and get plenty of sleep.

But, I’m still sick.

The water is full of carcinogens. Wild foods, both the kind with roots, and the kind with fins, fur, or feathers, are all but gone. There’s oxygen in my breaths, of course, but there’s smog, ozone, particulates, and all the various -oxides, too. Even though I sleep, my dreams are full of the missing and murdered, the poisoned and polluted, the exterminated and extinct.

It could be that I’m not good at setting boundaries. I can’t turn a river down when she asks for help. I go out of my way to help mountains keep their tops. And I’ll share my food with every emaciated black, brown, or grizzly bear who crosses my path. At the same time, I didn’t seem to arrive on Earth equipped with the same chainsaw so many other people use to cut themselves free from the recognition that there simply is no way to delineate where I end and the rest of the world begins.

It could also be that I have some personality disorder that compels me to self-sacrifice. It’s just that mines dig open pits in my stomach. Dams block my arteries. Climate change gives me a fever. And, the smoke created while the world burns irritates my sinuses and triggers my allergies.

Sometimes, I think I must be doing self-care wrong.

Then, again, when the lakes and streams who give me drinks, the forests who give me breaths, the plants and animals who give me a body, and the land who gives me a soul are all being destroyed, what self-care is possible?

– Will Falk

poetry is
the realization
of ordinary words
– Basho

It’s better to be the wisest person in the room than the smartest.

People prove their intelligence by showing what they know. They reveal their wisdom by integrating what everyone knows.

Intelligence can be used to advance personal agendas. Wisdom guides groups to shared goals.

– @AdamMGrant

One of the chief signs of the shift into the second half of life is the move from the magical ideas of childhood through the heroic, necessary self-delusion of youth and early adulthood, to the sober experience of limitation and regret in later life.
– James Hollis

Every expressive movement of the body can be used to relieve tension and develop the capacity for emotional expression.
– Alexander Lowen

Every day, every night of our lives, we’re leaving little bits of ourselves, flakes of this and that, behind. Where do they go, these bits and pieces of ourselves?
– Raymond Carver

The dread and resistance which humans experience when it comes to delving too deeply into themselves is the fear of the journey to Hades.
– CG Jung

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story; it may be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything.
– Pema Chodron

Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
– Marcel Proust

I keep falling outside myself, without dizziness, without blue, into precision.
– Roland Barthes

He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away…
– Tolkien

may our
poetry emerge
as first blossoms
– Basho

You must prepare for bodiless combat, to be able at least to hold your own: abstract combat that contrary to other kinds is learned by daydreaming.
– Henri Michaux

Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
A man’s imagining
Suddenly may inherit
The handclapping centuries
Of his one minute on earth…
– WS Graham

There has to be somewhere from where words are born. // If they’re born, do we mother them? / I’m not sure if I mother the words, or if they mother me.
– Mónica Gomery

The mass-man has very little spare time, does not live a life that appertains to a whole, does not want to exert himself except for some concrete aim which can be expressed in terms of utility; everything for him must provide some immediate gratification.
– Karl Jaspers

Man, if he is to remain man, must advance by way of consciousness. There is no road leading backward. We can no longer veil reality from ourselves by renouncing self-consciousness without simultaneously excluding ourselves from the historical course of human existence.
– Jaspers

Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.
– Ajahn Chah

It seems that everything that has ever happened to us is still alive somewhere in the depths of our psyche.
– James Hollis

We can practice being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold.
– Audre Lorde

Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not perfect. What evokes our love — and I mean love, not lust — is the imperfection of the human being. So, when the imperfection of the real person peaks through, say, ‘This is a challenge to my compassion.
– Joseph Campbell

A society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture.
– Christopher Dawson

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. If you avoid error you do not live. Thinking protects against the way of error, and therefore it leads to petrification. Without error and sin there is no experience of grace, that is, no union of God and man.
– CG Jung

one reason to be nice to younger people coming up in publishing is that I still remember the first a.) general publishing person and b.) more senior editor who took me to lunch, and think about it every time I see their names. roughly a decade of good will from one meal
– @CarolineMEisen

We have to find new ways to speak with each other, and I think that’s where poetry comes in.
– Joy Harjo

I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.
– Red Cloud

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.
– Tony Hoagland

No matter what faith it’s made to promote, all art under the genus of religious propaganda will always prove to be bad art.
– @MetaMinkoff

Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him.
– CG Jung

And God said, ‘Let there be light’ ” is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.
– CG Jung

People are too busy putting things under microscopes and so forth. Creativity is greater than the sum of its parts. All I want to know is that creativity is there.
– Maya Angelou

Blue sadness is sweetest cut into strips with scissors and then into little pieces by a knife, it is the sadness of reverie and nostalgia: it may be, for example, the memory of a happiness that is now only a memory, it has receded into a niche that cannot be dusted for it is beyond your reach; distinct and dusty, blue sadness lies in your inability to dust it, it is as unreachable as the sky, it is a fact reflecting the sadness of all facts. Blue sadness is that which you wish to forget, but cannot, as when on a bus one suddenly pictures with absolute clarity a ball of dust in a closet, such an odd, unshareable thought that one blushes, a deep rose spreading over the blue fact of sadness, creating a situation that can only be compared to a temple, which exists, but to visit it one would have to travel two thousand miles on snowshoes and by dogsled, five hundred by horseback and another five hundred by boat, with a thousand by rail.

Purple sadness is the sadness of classical music and eggplant, the stroke of midnight, human organs, ports cut off for part of every year, words with too many meanings, incense, insomnia, and the crescent moon. It is the sadness of play money, and icebergs seen from a canoe. It is possible to dance to purple sadness, though slowly, as slowly as it takes to dig a pit to hold a sleeping giant. Purple sadness is pervasive, and goes deeper into the interior than the world’s greatest nickel deposits, or any other sadness on earth. It is the sadness of depositories, and heels echoing down a long corridor, it is the sound of your mother closing the door at night, leaving you alone.

Gray sadness is the sadness of paper clips and rubber bands, of rain and squirrels and chewing gum, ointments and unguents and movie theaters. Gray sadness is the most common of all sadnesses, it is the sadness of sand in the desert and sand on the beach, the sadness of keys in a pocket, cans on a shelf, hair in a comb, dry-cleaning, and raisins. Gray sadness is beautiful, but not to be confused with the beauty of blue sadness, which is irreplaceable. Sad to say, gray sadness is replaceable, it can be replaced daily, it is the sadness of a melting snowman in a snowstorm.

Red sadness is the secret one. Red sadness never appears sad, it appears as Nijinsky bolting across the stage in mid-air, it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration, and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside-down penny concealed beneath a tea cozy, the even-tempered and steady-minded are not exempt from it, and a curator once attached this tag to it: Because of the fragile nature of the pouch no attempt has been made to extract the note.

Green sadness is sadness dressed for graduation, it is the sadness of June, of shiny toasters as they come out of their boxes, the table laid before a party, the smell of new strawberries and dripping roasts about to be devoured; it is the sadness of the unperceived and therefore never felt and seldom expressed, except on occasion by polka dancers and little girls who, in imitation of their grandmothers, decide who shall have their bunny when they die. Green sadness weighs no more than an unused handkerchief, it is the funeral silence of bones beneath the green carpet of evenly cut grass upon which the bride and groom walk in joy.

Brown sadness is the simple sadness. It is the sadness of huge upright stones. That is all. It is simple. Huge, upright stones surround the other sadnesses, and protect them. A circle of huge, upright stones — who would have thought it?

Pink sadness is the sadness of white anchovies. It is the sadness of deprivation, of going without, of having to swallow when your throat is no bigger than an acupuncture pin; it’s the sadness of mushrooms born with heads too big for their bodies, the sadness of having the soles come off your only pair of shoes, or your favorite pair, it makes no difference, pink sadness cannot be measured by a gameshow host, it is the sadness of shame when you have done nothing wrong, pink sadness is not your fault, and though even the littlest twinge may cause it, it is the vast bushy top on the family tree of sadness, whose faraway roots resemble a colossal squid with eyes the size of soccer balls.

Orange sadness is the sadness of anxiety and worry, it is the sadness of an orange balloon drifting over snow-capped mountains, the sadness of wild goats, the sadness of counting, as when one worries that another shipment of thoughts is about to enter the house, that a soufflé or Cessna will fall on the day set aside to be unsad, it is the orange haze of a fox in the distance, it speaks the strange antlered language of phantoms and dead batteries, it is the sadness of all things left overnight in the oven and forgotten in the morning, and as such orange sadness becomes lost among us altogether, like its motive.

Yellow sadness is the surprise sadness. It is the sadness of naps and eggs, swan’s down, sachet powder and moist towelettes. It is the citrus of sadness, and all things round and whole and dying like the sun possess this sadness, which is the sadness of the first place; it is the sadness of explosion and expansion, a blast furnace in Duluth that rises over the night skyline to fall reflected in the waters of Lake Superior, it is a superior joy and a superior sadness, that of revolving doors and turnstiles, it is the confusing sadness of the never-ending and the evanescent, it is the sadness of the jester in every pack of cards, the sadness of a poet pointing to a flower and saying what is that when what that is is a violet; yellow sadness is the ceiling fresco painted by Andrea Mantegna in the Castello di San Giorgio in Mantova, Italy, in the fifteenth century, wherein we look up to see we are being looked down upon, looked down upon in laughter and mirth, it is the sadness of that.

– Mary Ruefle

You’ve probably spent more time writing than taking care of yourself. Recharge your body & mind & creativity. Do something physical: stretch, take a walk, garden, or play a sport. Scientific research has shown that physical exercise may sometimes enhance creativity.
– Keidi Keating

Writing poetry, I seek to be a metacographer, to undefined words, to set forth all things as they might appear in dream.
– Kim Stafford

Writing as Ritual
Four elements of a daily writing page…
​by Kim Stafford, Writing for Happiness

There’s the story that the young student of J.S. Bach asked the master, “Where do you find your melodies?” and Bach replied, “My child, I stumble over them getting out of bed in the morning.”
What shall we make of that? Do some geniuses have a mainline to the fountain of creation, while the rest must struggle for a few good notes? I once had this contention with a devoted reader of my father’s work, who said, “Let’s face it—he was a genius.”
“Not so fast,” I said. “Maybe his process was genius, and by writing every day, he cultivated access to the font of creation.”
Well, which is it—genius in the writer, or a spell for genius cast by the daily writing practice? Is the world of writing divided into those with a gift and those without? Or can we turn from some form of literary aristocracy to a more inclusive and dynamic approach to the creative life?
On reflection, I have realized there may be only one way to find out about the source of earned good luck: Have many people carry out a daily writing practice faithfully over many years, and then see what we have. This bold experiment is what this book has set out to arrange. I’m counting on you to be part of this long study by establishing and sustaining a writing practice, inspired by the world as only you can experience it, and literature as only you can compose it.
For my part, I had been writing for years, by fits and starts, when my father’s death opened a new path for my life as a writer, and as a human being, as a seeker. To that point, writing for me was most often an occasional project—when I “got inspired”—to express my inner feelings or tell my experience in the world. But then by my father’s last will and testament, I inherited the care of his twenty thousand hand-written pages of daily writing from the 1950s through the day of his death in 1993. And as I handled his pages, I had a chance to survey the whole life of a supremely active writer. What I found was a readiness to range far and wide on the hospitable page in ways I will explore in the chapters to follow. In the end, it seems to me, a buoyant writing practice is a place where the two realms join as one: internal personal response meets external experiences, discoveries, and events in the wide world.
William Stafford’s writing practice had been invisible to me when he was alive, because he rose before dawn to write, and I did not. All through childhood, I would see the literary magazines where his poems were published appear on the coffee table—Crazyhorse, Poetry, Cimarron Review—and every year a book or two would come forth. When people would ask him, “Bill, when is your next book coming out?” he would often answer, “Which one?”
How did he do that? Simple: he wrote something every day, and his books were made from about one day’s writing out of eight that he found worthy.
A few weeks after my father died, I started to carry the reams of his scribbling down from the attic, and leaf through his pages one by one. His scrawl was a challenge, and I sometimes needed a magnifying glass to examine the tangle of feral words to tease the meaning forth. But overall, I began to see four elements in his practice that worked together in a way both sternly practical and somewhat mystical.
I want to start my book about writing for happiness by considering what my father’s daily writing pages contained, and how they worked for him — and how something like his approach might work for any of us who choose to give such daily writing practice a try. His pages, which are now housed in the William Stafford Archivesat Lewis & Clark College, exhibit a varying daily mixture of four prevailing elements:

1. Each page begins with the date. Is that even worth mentioning? Well, it turns out to be strangely helpful — in the act of writing, and of course for keeping track of the writings. “Once I write the date on a piece of paper,” he said once, “I know I’m okay. I have made it to my writing.” This is the “open sesame” move of the daily writing practice, for by jotting the date down on a page, you have accomplished the most difficult first step: you have shown up, staked your claim to a page, and you have begun. The pen is active before any wisdom is required, and you have stepped humbly into what William Stafford called “the realm where miracles happen.”

2. Then, often, the page would begin withsome prose notes from a recent experience, a few sentences about a connection with friends, an account of a dream. This short passage of “throwaway” writing, it turns out, is very important, as it keeps the pen moving and gets the mind sniffing along through ordinary experience. I call this stage “the boring prose.” You are beginning the act of writing without needing to write anything profound. You are writing before you seek to write well. No struggle, no effort, no heroic reach. Just writing.

3. Then there will often be an “aphorism”— a freestanding sentence, an idea, a question, a note about a pattern he perceived, a puzzle. With the aphorism, as we call it in his pages, William Stafford would write a sentence that “lifted off” from daily experience to observe an emblem of thought, a truth, an idea, or a private joke. (“It still takes all kinds to make a world, but there is an oversupply of some.”) This provisional understanding from daily life begins to raise the writer’s attention out of the mundane into the gently miraculous realm of poetry. It is your own koan.
The aphorisms in William Stafford’s daily writing rarely become part of the poem to follow (though a few of his poems are built from a series of such lines). Most often, they are little wonders left to resonate as private treasure, threshold, key. A bell has been struck, bringing the writer to attention.

4. Then he would write something like a poem… or notes toward a poem… or just an exploratory set of lines that never became a poem. But he had taken a few steps up the ladder from silence in the general direction of song.

To write the date, some prose, an idea, and then poetic lines beyond prose — this can begin a process for distilling from ordinary experience the extraordinary report of literature. For once your fill this page, this day, again, you have given yourself a chance to discover worthy things. Nothing stupendous may occur … but if you do not bring yourself to this point, nothing stupendous will happen for sure … and you are likely to spend the balance of your day in reaction to the imperatives of the outer world — worn down, buffeted, diminished, martyred.
William Stafford’s use of these four elements is capricious. Many pages, especially in his later years, show only the date followed by a poem. Or the date, and a note about family, or his work. But over time, his long practice speeded the process, and the poems began to flow forth. And even in his early years, he can sometime go many days without preliminary prose, or an aphorism—or he can jot a series of aphorisms as if he has been saving them to record in a rush.

Most of us do an assignment shortly before it is due. (That’s often true for me.) It’s better to begin the project when it’s first assigned, not when it’s due. And, I realize, again and again, it’s even better to practice self-directed searching, writing, thinking on the page — when there is no assignment given, except by yourself (or this book!). This empowers the free range of mind, of “hands-on thinking.” By something like this daily practice, you build up a personal sheaf of riches, a democracy of inner voices, an archive you can draw from as needed for work and pleasure over time.
A writer in class once said to me, “You give us a deadline for our writing. But who gives youa deadline?” A terrible sentence came to my mind: “Death is my deadline.” There are myriad latent discoveries in me. Daily, I must bring them forth. For this reason, several years ago, I made a vow to perform this four-part practice every day, and now it’s been six years without a break. What works for me is to write first thing, before daylight. I’ve decided as the control group of one for this experience to enlist all four elements each day—the date, of course. And then there is always something to scribble about from the day before—the boring prose. And then—what now seems an essential element in the process—the aphorism. To wait for a thought, which always appears, given time and welcome, is the prelude to true practice for me. The aphorism is the hinge that begins to turn memory to thought, event to idea, scribbling to design. Then a poem, something like a poem, notes for a poem.
This four-step process on the page became a more mysterious form of beckoning when I learned an idea from Buddhism while traveling in Bhutan. Each place, I was told—each experience, each person, each dream, text, or encounter—may offer four ways of knowing:

the visible
the invisible
the secret
the deeply secret

So there it is again: the date—visible. A scribbled memory from the day before— the invisible, but palpable. The thought—a secret episode of the Buddhist “unborn.” And then … then whatever mystery may come next, a secret so deep it will not appear unless you use something like this process to welcome what you didn’t know until you do.
And later I came upon another way to look at this four-part structure. I read that after the difficult and often violent end of apartheid in South Africa, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission organized by Bishop Tutu and others took on the task of healing the country, in their deliberations they recognized their almost impossible process could be assisted by four kinds of truth:


1. Forensic truth (“This is what happened.”): What events occurred, what actually happened
in as much detail as possible, who were the witnesses, what was the police report, interview transcripts, the coroner’s report, are there photographs or documents or other forms of objective truth available?
2. Personal truth (“This is what happened to me.”): What first-person accounts of what happened can be entered into the record?
3. Community truth (“This is what happened to us.”): Given the forensic facts, and an array of personal accounts, what can we say happened to the community as a whole?
4. Healing truth (“This is what we tell, or sing, or do to heal ourselves, our community, and our nation.”): By honoring facts, individuals, and the whole community, can we gather around an account that provides a way forward together?

After reading this account, when I next looked at my daily writing page, I saw the parallels:

1. The date is forensic truth: the fact that today has come. Everyone agrees this is today.
2. The “boring prose” is the personal truth: this is what happened to me recently,
occurred to me in mind, in dream, in what I fear, seek, or wonder.
3. The aphorism is the community truth: beyond my own experience, is there a
pattern or idea about life that could useful to all of us, that’s about “us.”
4. And part four, a poem or story or whatever comes next on the daily writing page has
at least the potential to be something that can help the self and others to heal, to
learn, to grow.

I don’t want to get too grand about this process, but the parallels intrigue me.
As I tell my fellow writers, if you follow this four-step process, or something like it, you may not compose something of lasting value every day — but it will be a better day! It will be a day that begins with your own appointment with silence, with attention, with welcome to the self and to words. Something like this structure can lift your writing into a realm of episodic discovery reaching beyond a simple journal or diary, worthy as those habits can be. Gradually, inexorably, you will accumulate riches to return to, an archive of discrete beginnings to nurture on the path of your devotions.
Based on the legacy of William Stafford, as explored further in my own practice, I offer this four-part daily writing ritual as a kind of hands-on meditation. And I propose to you a week, a month–a year of daily exploration founded in this process of the daily page. What would it be like to experience the kind of sustained and sustaining life of writing you have long imagined?

We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it’s a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
– Shakespeare William Shakespeare

If life is to be lived in a healthy, holy way, the archetypes that nourish the imagination must be pouring their energy into the ego. The dialogue must go on between consciousness and unconsciousness if we are to live creatively.
– Marion Woodman

We carry within us the wonder we seek without us.

My heart keeps beating this wave of blood in the circle that I am. The scientists aren’t interested in the nothing I’ve found, the gravity proof, the god proof This little bit of dark matter I’m holding now in my hands.

See it? In my hands? My hands.

– Dan Beachy-Quick

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.
– Merry Browne

Having fun days without any agenda but enjoyment furthers transformation much more than we ever realize. Will that be today? Let’s not put it off too long.
– Gunilla Norris

Our duty is to risk living out our lives as fully as they (Jesus and Buddha) risked living their truths.
– James Hollis

All real living hurts as well as fulfills. Happiness comes when we have lived and have a respite for sheer forgetting. Happiness, in the vulgar sense, is just a holiday experience. The life-long happiness lies in being used by life; hurt by life, driven and goaded by life, replenished and overjoyed with life, fighting for life’s sake. That is real happiness. In the undergoing, a large part of it is pain.
– D.H. Lawrence

We are all made of what
we are not.
– Nick Flynn

Love is a dream where both of us are trying, at the same speed, without quitting.
– John Keene

Even in its purest form,
i was still a mistranslation
of [my/self].
– George Abraham

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.
– Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks

Tahoe
When I say the word blue
there’s no way you can know
what I mean. It’s like another
planet. My belly flip-flops;
water becomes sky becomes water,
and still, you cannot fathom it.
Unless you’re sitting here with me
on this pile of moon-rocks,
at the edge of the world. Your
bones softening, turning to liquid,
your smile etched by sunlight
as you melt into a blue– vaster, clearer,
deeper than any blue or any other thing
you have ever met. And here, at the rim
of this basin of glory, you feel your
own voice catch in your throat
and you raise the rigging of your heart
and set sail for this blue,
bluest, blueing.
– Meredith Heller

these stubborn flowers
thriving in a toxic field
poetry remains!
– Jason Gould

They never ask, Who loved him?
Although clearly someone did …
– Alison Luterman

The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.
– Tom Waits

EXERCISE 1:

Choose around 75 to 100 words that describe your personal universe. To create this rich repository, head 5 columns with the five senses and choose about 15 words for each column. Use concrete words that represent the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of your life.

[With each column] represent your past in the first 6 words, your present in the next 6 words and your future self in the remaining 3 words. Make sure you maintain specificity. Not a tree, but an elm or a maple. Not shoes but platforms, leather work boots, or scuffed flats. Include both sides of the self: light and dark.

– Dorianne Laux

All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. I don’t know why we should expect it to. It seems fairly obvious that two sides of a mirror are required before one has a mirror, that two forces are necessary in man before he is man.
– John Steinbeck

Imagery is not past but a perpetual present.
– George Herbert Mead

By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.
– Virginia Woolf

We are so in love with our words and ideas that we forget the direct experience from which they arise. We build concept upon concept. In the end we have abstracted our contact with life into the rote regurgitation of thought-bound ideology.
We have fallen victim to the great curse of human existence of the tendency to misconstrue language (words, thoughts, ideas) for actuality. We are entombed in our brains.
We are thinking our lives, not living them.
– Steven Harrison

We’ve got an agreeable, comfortable life here as Americans. But under it there’s a huge, free-floating anxiety. Our inner lives, our inner landscape, is just like that sky out there — it’s full of smog. We really don’t know what we believe anymore; we’re nervous about everything.
– Norman Mailer

Thinking and talking about the Integral Way are not
the same as practicing it.
Who ever becomes a good rider by talking about
horses?
If you wish to embody the Tao, stop chattering and start practicing.
– Lao Tzu

You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Only a shipwrecked person who has just escaped drowning could understand the psychology of someone who breaks out in laughter just because he is able to breathe.
– Kobo Abe

Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world.
– Stephen Covey

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.
– Joy Harjo

Creativity is kind of what makes humans human.
– Jarvis Cocker

Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.
– Nadine Gordimer

the bamboo path
few people use it –
scarlet dragonflies
– d.a. bennett

Even now, when skin is not alone
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
– Naomi Shahib Nye

People want to know how much you care
before they care how much you know.
– John Maxwell

In writing a poem I’m mapping the simultaneous distance and intimacy between my obsessions and my demons. And it’s as if, having mapped this, I briefly know where I am, and when I’m lost, as I will surely be, how to get back home.
– Carl Phillips

what good is the lord’s work
if not demanding a piece
of heaven on Earth
for all her children.
– Darius Simpson

To be a poet did not occur to me. It was indeed a threshold guarded by demons. To try to write in verse would have been a kind of trespass. That’s something that I still feel very strongly.
– Harold Bloom

People should learn how to just be there, doing nothing.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Horizontal

it’s easy to stop seeing
what’s on the horizon

people in the valley
don’t really believe in it

what summer makes seem
no less than a mountain

winter shows as it is
no more than a hill

from my front porch
a sudden influx of sky

after the leaves fall
look it’s snowing

the flakes come to settle
in their multitudes

well into the evening
lightness piling up

between the trees
no more omnivorous earth

but a colony of the clouds
pale and puritanical

against which the individual
trunks stand out

an absent crowd
dreaming

together
underground

and after my own sleep
i rise and look again

on the underside
of a snowy limb

a gray squirrel is walking
upside-down

– Dave Bonta

gratefulness means not wasting a single day of your life.
– Dogen

Reprieve

A moment of relief can be a plainer thing
as when snow piled on the skylight
slides off while I am reading in bed:
a sudden break of illumination
not bright at all, but which comes
as a welcome reprieve from the otherwise
dim winter morning. Not revelation
or enlightenment—but for a few minutes
I can see the page more clearly,
I can make out every word.

– James Crews

It’s too soon
to make monuments
for all we are losing,
for the lack of truth
as to why we are dying,
who wants us dead,
what purpose does it serve?
– Essex Hemphill, When My Brother Fell

The sacred reality is not simply transcendent, “out there,” but is enshrined in every single human being, who must, therefore, be treated with absolute honor and respect.
– Karen Armstrong

The mind of Christ is transcendent and multidimensional, and we are asked to put on this consciousness that creates the universe. This is evolutionary beyond belief!
– Bob Holmes

You can’t ‘beat’ death, you can only dance a little more slippery, drum a little more timelessly, hold that note beyond your breath, and hope to find a home in its echo.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

Nothing feeds our modern hubris and civilizational pathology like the myth that the nonhuman world is bereft of agency, of vitality, of story…that we humans are magisterial anomalies interrupting a dead swirling heap of mute, passive things; and, that at best, the grace of human sentience animates ‘objects’ with nothing more than a metaphorical vitality they otherwise lack. This binary view which divides the world into man and his playthings has helped catalyze a politics of indifference, an ecosystem of abuse, and a generic culture wherein an economic metric standard – a single notion – is offered as the measure of all value.

We are a poor species today, not because we are not ‘growing’ fast enough, but because we have shut away the unthought – the wilds: we have traded our multidimensionality, our ancient trysts with the elements, the wisdom of ossified allies, for a morsel of a curious abstraction: modernity.

What would become of politics and economics today if trees, rocks and river were consulted? What would become of consumerism – our use and dump rituals – if we realized that there is no such thing as ‘waste’, or even ‘use’ (the former representing a cultural inadequacy to notice the continued vitality of the world around us – even when not fit for our agendas; the latter holding an intrinsic presupposition of human centrality in the otherwise two-way dynamics of utility)? What would become of activism today if we listened as much as we complained…if we held as justly sacred a refusal to do anything at all – just as much as we valorize conscious effort?

– Bayo Akómoláfé

Nobody is going to pour the truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself.
– Noam Chomsky

Wet Snow

Praise wet snow
falling early.

Praise the shadow
my neighbor’s chimney casts on the tile roof
even this gray October day that should, they say,
have been golden.

Praise
the invisible sun burning beyond
the white cold sky, giving us
light and the chimney’s shadow.

Praise
god or the gods, the unknown,
that which imagined us, which stays
our hand,
our murderous hand,
and gives us
still,
in the shadow of death,
our daily life,
and the dream still
of goodwill, of peace on earth.

Praise
flow and change, night and
the pulse of day.

– Denise Levertov

Jung’s work argued that the dead God would be reborn from below, from the dark and womb-like chambers of the earth. The God “above” has collapsed, and the idea of God, Jung felt, will re-emerge from below, from the ground of the unconscious mind.
– David Tacey

As Jung noted in his 1937 Terry Lectures at Yale University: ‘We are still certain we know what other people think or what their true character is. We are convinced that certain people have all the bad qualities we do not know in ourselves.’
– James Hollis, Jungian analyst

Who Shall We Trust?
by Tad Hargrave

For most of human history, we knew who and what to trust.

Popularity of ideas has rarely been a marker of how true they are. Sometimes the inverse can be the thing: the more mainstream an idea gets the more profoundly it has been declawed and defanged so it is no longer any threat to anyone in power.

Longevity, on the other hand, might be closer to the mark as an indicator of truth. Ideas, practices, stories and cultures that have lasted have lasted for a reason. And that reason is that these ideas work, and they work over time. Some things are steadfast and beautiful. Some things aren’t. Discerning between those thing in what makes an adult and a culture.

When the times came when the path forward wasn’t clear and when, what was happening was not even clear, there were processes of collective discernment where the people might be brought together. Such a process was trustworthy.

There was a time where, on the whole, you could trust the land to grow you food, the sky to bring rains, the trees to grow you fruit and the animals to feed you. You could trust the old ceremonies, traditions, stories, songs and dances that rarely failed to bring the needed medicine. You could trust the elders and wise ones in times of duress. And you could trust each other. Things changed but not so quickly. Crops failed sometimes but not every year. Disasters came and went and leave their marks but, on the whole, things were slow and steady. So even time could be trusted.

Was The World Ever Trustworthy?

People will say that the world was never a trustworthy place. That, if the “old culture” was so good, why did we turn from it? Perhaps because the old culture was so very tough and difficult for most people and they we never could trust the harvest or the rains. Nor that our neighbours wouldn’t come a-pillaging. Or that famine, drought and plague wouldn’t sweep the lands and us from them. Perhaps no period of time was ever “better” or “worse” than any that come after or before. Maybe the world has always been like this: fundamentally untrustworthy and ambivalent to our existence. We could never trust the harvest or the rains.

And, in many ways, this is true. The world has never been ‘safe’ in that we were guaranteed safe passage from birth to a ripe old age. We ate other animals and, sometimes they ate us.

So, has anything changed at all?

I believe that yes. Something has changed.

The Three Changes

Part of what has changed is the placing of humans at the center of everything and the growing entitlement we feel to get what we want and have the world work out for us and that, any exceptions to this are a sign of the untrustworthiness of the world (which has steadily kept being itself in a trustworthy fashion regardless of our votes of approval or disapproval). Yes the world was full of troubles and unpredictability. And that, itself, was a part of the trustworthiness of the world. Yes, there were tricksters and troublemakers, but that was who they were and this, itself, could be trusted. That has not changed. Our relationship to it has.

The second thing that has changed is that, regardless of the necessary adversity of the world, we used to have a community to face it together. The community was woven together by certain shared understandings of the world and our role in it. Where did we come from? When? Why are we here? Is there a divine? Who are our dead to us? What happens to us after we die? All of those questions would have had answers or had their mysteriousness properly enthroned in the our shared basket of wonder. We do not have that anymore and so we face the slings and arrows, largely alone, most of us hungry for a kinship we keep thinking we have found only to be betrayed or disappointed when it turns out not to be so. We have a hunter-gatherer nervous system in a modern world. Literally nothing of the modern world is familiar to our nervous system, perhaps least of all this: the goneness of the village, the absence of shared cultural understandings, the crater where community was. We have been so utterly atomized down to the level of the individual. And this world is too heavy to carry alone.

The third thing that has changed, and this it vital, is the rate of change itself. The world has always been changing but few of our ancestors (aside from those who lived through massive Earthquakes, floods, asteroids or other natural disasters) ever lived through something like this. And never, to our knowledge, at their own hands. Things are unravelling so quickly now that even the best of us have no chance to keeping up. We are flooded in information. Why? To track the changes. But there are too many changes for one person to track now. So one must triage the flow of information – one must choose which sources one follows.

Which brings us back to this: whose information shall we trust?

Felling The Axis Mundi

In order to cope with this, lack of any enduring axis mundi, any world tree growing in the center of our collective and ripening years, everyone has had to become their own world tree (or imagined this was not only the only option before them but the one to which humanity has been aspiring all along). Each of us becomes the Center.

When people speak of community, listen carefully to their language and what you will hear, over and over, is people saying, ‘My community’. What they are inadvertently testifying to is that there is no ‘the community’ anymore. There is only them and their crew. When they host a party ‘their people’ come. But if they don’t host that party, those people will never gather together. And that is, well and properly, utterly and completely, too much strain and burden for one person to bear.

Every generation has had to plant that world tree again.

Each generation has had to figure out, once again, what took other cultures thousands of years of failure, foolishness, appraisal of and apprenticing to the world and its ways.

And then it shrunk again. It is no longer that every generation needs to re-evaluate their view of the world but every time a new phone comes out, a new social media platform. Hemmed in on both sides by progress and devastation, the steady river of our days has become the rapids of our undoing.

It’s not that people don’t trust anyone or anything but more that there is no agreement on who to trust. There is my world tree and your world tree but there is no longer any ‘the world tree’ that we all agree to sustain and protect. There is ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ but there is no longer any agreed, laboured over and deeply valued shared process of truing.

And that is an unspeakable devastation to our capacity to be a people.

The bedrock of culture might be understood as “we all trust the same things and the same ones”.

That is properly gone right now.

When my grandparents were raising their families, they could hang their hat on what Walter Cronkite said. A nation could, or at least imagined it could, trust that what that man on the news said was the truth, just the facts, no interpretation or political axe to grind.

Many people still trust in the mainstream, cable news. Many still trust in the major institutions of our day. Many still trust the experts.

But there are many who have lost faith in them.

Maybe they watched the documentary Manufacturing Consent, or began to track how much of mainstream news’ funding comes from Big Oil and Big Pharma and realized they could never completely trust the news again on those issues.

Maybe they began to see the ways that the major organizations of their day, ostensibly dedicated to the health, liberty and happiness of the people of the world had become (or maybe always were) corrupt and beholden to monied interests.

Maybe they began to hear stories of how sometimes the experts were wrong and how they’d been bribed, corrupted or lied to the public. Maybe they did their own learning and decided, after not wanting to for a long time, that the experts were wrong.

And for those people there is a special kind of Hell awaiting: who then do you trust?

The Cost

I understand that people have strong opinions these days as to whom should be trusted and who should not. Properly so.

What I am trying to lift up is a larger wondering of: how did it come to be amongst us that we no longer have a shared understanding about what or whom is worthy of our belief?

Not so much, ‘who to trust’ but attending to the reality that we do not, collectively, trust much.

A colleague of mine wrote, “I am open-minded and not inherently trusting of any source, and there are also facts and knowable things. I want more nuance, play, and irreverence in the collective and also I want people to submit to facts and what is knowable.”

But for those whose trust in the dominant institutions of our day has been eroded, whose facts shall they trust?

This ‘not knowing who to trust’ is a devastation.

In much of Europe, after the time of trusting one’s people it became trusting the facts of the Church. And then it shifted into a trust of Science and Industry. With each seismic shift there was a period of immense dislocation. I think we are standing on such a fault line now. And it is rumbling.

You can see it come between us as people are called naive at best or dangerous at worst for trusting ‘those people’.

Humans are supposed to grow up in an environment they can trust. The woven basket of community is supposed to carry them through their days. But nowadays, people are having to make their own basket and attempt the impossible work of carrying themselves. It’s no wonder people struggle so much when the mind and heart can never relax but must always be hyper-vigilant in case one is betrayed.

This has become utterly normal in the modern world – the cynicism, the ‘can’t trust anyone’, the sense that the talking heads on the news are always lying to you, the feeling like even the scientists and the doctors have become shills for industry. This has all become normal. But it’s not natural.

A child should be able to trust their parent. A child who grows up realizing they can not trust their parent to be an adult (or possibly even, in any meaningful sense of the word, be human) will carry that lack of trust for a long time and likely the rest of the time entrusted to them.

A culture that can’t trust its elders, or that has no elders, or that tears down its elders and says “it’s youth and innovation that should be trusted!”, or that conflates being older with being an elder, a culture that has lost its moorings on what can fundamentally be trusted, that has come to mistrust nature and see if full of danger and threat… such a culture is in deep trouble, indeed.

If, in a traditional culture, it was discovered that many of the elders had been lying to the people in order to benefit themselves, this would be a ruination beyond imagining. We can’t even conceive of how unsettling, destablizing and undoing that would have been. And, because it’s so normal (and this is the real goods so lean in close)… we can’t even notice how devastating it currently is now.

There it is.

We are living through a traumatic experience that we can’t even see because we can’t imagine it being any other way. The younger amongst us have never known another time.

We are on the receiving end of a cultural poverty, a crater so bottomless, that we can’t imagine it wasn’t always there. This absence of any bedrock foundation of our days has, utterly and completely, become our days.

And those days have been packaged up and sold back to us by the machine of modern society as ‘freedom’.

“Don’t you see? This is the best part of the modern world! You get to decide what to trust and what not to trust! It’s up to you.”

As you hold this shiny, wrapped gift in your hands and feel the lightness of it, the lack of heft, all you can think is, “It looks like freedom but it feels like loneliness.”

They see this and persist, “Look, stop trying to trust anyone or anything. Trust comes from trusting oneself. Only trust yourself. All trust comes from within.”

You can hear the sound of the old ones in our midst shuffling away, put out of work by a few phrases. Unemployed and umemployable.

And there it is: the great untethering and untetheredness of our mutual days.

Enter the fascists. Enter the Surpremists. Enter the white nationalists. Enter the conspiracy theorists. Enter the wounded narcissists telling us ‘the truth’.

Enter us, begging to hear it. Pleading to to be sold anything that will make sense of what’s going on. Or to have it imposed.

Long Time Since

It has been a long time since we were held by the presence of and our trust in good elders and so it seems normal to not know who to trust. And it may, indeed, be normal these days but there’s nothing about it that our nervous system recognizes as natural.

Trust, it turns out, is a hard thing to scale. Maybe impossible. And maybe this is what much of citified humanity is coming to grips with right now: that trust is indigenous. Trust is rooted in particular times and particular places and the voices of the people who testify most honestly and clearly to the realities and particulars of that time and place. In this time, the unsettled nature of settler society is becoming apparent.

Trust that is manufactured seems to fall apart upon a little rugged inspection.

Maybe trust needs to be grown instead.

And so some are scaling down, not up. Some are growing their roots deeper into a patch of Earth and the people living nearby. Some are trying to slow down the rate of change and to find trustworthy things again.

And so who to trust? Or what?

I’ll offer this up…

I believe that we can trust that, to paraphrase the good Bayo Akomolafe, that the world is not only stranger than we think it is, but that it is stranger than we have the capacity to think. You can trust that too.

I believe that the most trustworthy ones amongst us would be our own indigenous ancestors and their life ways (and those indigenous ones still living in those ways today). They lived (and some still live) lives that were, on the whole, dramatically healthier and happier than our lives today. Their traditions and cultures were created over millennia not decades. They stood the test of time. They were not perfect but they had a kind of beauty and wholeness most of us can scarcely imagine today. I think the old myths and folklore are still trustworthy.

I believe that our senses are trustworthy, our intuitions and our intellect – those gifts that are indigenous to our bodies – are trustworthy capacities that can be grown and fostered.

How to live in a more indigenous, trustworthy way in a modern world hell bent on destroying any trace of the indigenous in the world?

That is one of the most important questions of our time.

But perhaps it begins like this: instead of clamouring to find something or someone trustworthy and so that we avoid ever being betrayed, we decide to become such a trustworthy one for those to come. We decide to build trustworthy things. We begin to craft trustworthy ways of relating to each other and the Earth. We did not inherit a society that is easy to relax into. We were born in a house with no solid foundations and it is rocking in the winds now.

That we don’t know who is being honest is a very honest thing to say. That we aren’t sure about who is being authentic anymore might be our authenticity speaking. We don’t, collectively, know who to trust anymore. But, I can promise you this, it will only get worse for those to come. They will need something to cling onto and by offering up the ragged and frayed edges of our bafflement and consternation, we give those to come something reliable to tie themselves onto that our perfectly cut edges (though they would have us fit in well today) could never do.

Our willingness to testify honestly to how things are amongst us now, our willingness to not disown the deep unmooring of our soul, our willingness to confess how little we trust any of this, might be the foundation of a house to come that would keep future generations sheltered from the howling storms, cold winds and rough gods that we can hear rumbling in the distance.

They are coming.

Perhaps you can trust that most of all.

I build it, I build the house, I build the eaves, I build the roof where we looked for stars
– Kenzie Allen

What is the United States if not a clot

of clouds? If not spilled milk? Or blood?
If not the place we once were
in the millions?

– Natalie Diaz

Laughing at ourselves as we stumble along is a great boon in transformation. We are, after all, works in progress. It’s important to have inner permission to be humorous about our confusion, our occasional stalling, our tiredness and our misadventures. They can teach us a lot if we can laugh with them like old friends.
– Gunilla Norris

Why should our nastiness be the baggage of an apish past and our kindness uniquely human? Why should we not seek continuity with other animals for our ‘noble’ traits as well?
– Stephen Jay Gould

Vertical attention implies the ability, or at least the longing, to look downward; or the ability to look upward, at the stars, at the energies beyond the stars, at angels.
– Robert Bly

And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.
– Alan Watts

Hypnosis
by LEAH CALLEN
After dark, the prairie ripens

with desire. Fields of want and dust vibrate under your feet
with lust. Cicadas, crickets, locusts all

jump in your blood as the light shyly melts,
blushes in heat and the insistent stars

come on. It’s hard
to hear the hot music

panting at your earlobes, pulsing
in your head, and not just slow kiss the leathery stranger

at the crosswalk, the one hiding
his crossbow. Or climb

into a random backseat by the highway and disappear
with the sun. Inkblot smudges

the sky. God has a horse thief’s hand resisting
fingerprinting. Foxtails. Purplish bruise

of thistledown clouds. Cicadas scratch their itch, their ache forever
into the sleepwalking night. Their blind want is on

repeat. You are a sleepwalker too, traveling backwards inside
and soon you’re twelve in a thin nightgown of fog, haunting

a rumpled trucker staring down from his long-haul late at night
at your bare feet in the mud and gravel,

a diesel angel guarding wood, as a familiar voice far away implores

you. Sliver of moon: stiffen, listen to the almighty
hush of grasses, then hurry home fast

before sweaty Cupid shoots his arrow for no reason right into

your rabbit throat.

Living at the End of Time
by Robert Bly

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.

I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.

A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.

Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.

There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.

It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.

Thank God I’m Jung and not Jungian
– Carl Jung

Morning Birds

I waken the car
whose windscreen is coated with pollen.
I put on my sunglasses.
The birdsong darkens.

Meanwhile another man buys a paper
at the railway station
close to a large goods wagon
which is all red with rust
and stands flickering in the sun.

No blank space anywhere here.

Straight through the spring warmth a cold corridor
where someone comes running
and tells how up at head office
they slandered him.

Through a back door in the landscape
comes the magpie
black and white.
And the blackbird darting to and fro
till everything becomes a charcoal drawing,
except the white clothes on the washing-line:
a palestrina chorus.

No blank space anywhere here.

Fantastic to feel how my poem grows
while I myself shrink.
It grows, it takes my place.
It pushes me aside.
It throws me out of the nest.
The poem is ready.

– Tomas Tranströmer

A sign of good medicine

Even when it’s
cold and raining
you don’t miss a dose.

– Heidi Barr

We can see the importance of imaginal practices such as journals, dream work, poetry, painting, and therapy aimed at exploring images in dream and life. These methods keep us actively engaged in the mythologies that are the stuff of our own lives.
– Thomas Moore

Embrace those who love the reality of you more than any fantasy of you.
– Dr. Thema

The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth.
– Adrienne Rich

an owl
sees it first
new snow
– Ogawa

From time to time, the image of God has to die so not to become an idol. It has to become transparent to transcendence to be renewed.
– Joseph Campbell

I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself

with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.

But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,

and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.
– Tony Hoagland, Reasons to Survive November

THANKSGIVING

More than these greens tossed with toasted pecans,
I want to serve you the hymn I sang into the wooden bowl
as I blended the oil and white vinegar. More than honey ice cream
beside the warm pie, I want to serve you the bliss in the apples’ flesh,
how it gathered the sun and carried its luminousness to this table.
More than the popovers, the risen ecstasy of wheat, milk and eggs,
I want to serve you the warmth that urged the tranformation to bread.
Blessings, I want to serve you full choruses of hallelujah, oh so wholly
here in this moment. Oh so holy here in this world.

– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Work your ass off to change the language and don’t ever get famous.
– Bernadette Mayer

Every rediscovery is a form of childhood.
– Adam Zagajewski

a network of stars –
every possible story
of you and me
– James Welsh

Who am I to say
that happiness has
to be something you
find on your own?
– Neil Hilborn

…the Outsider is a man who cannot live in the comfortable, insulated world of the bourgeois, accepting what he sees and touches as reality. `He sees too deep and too much,’ and what he sees is essentially chaos…he is the one man who knows he is sick in a civilization that doesn’t know it is sick.
– Colin Wilson

plop in the pond!
not the basho’s frog,
but my existence!
– @Meraki_k

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.
– William James

but I want to live in an ecology of purpose.
– Joe Brewer

It’s a pleasant surprise when a writer is dynamite in person, whether they’re reading their work or answering questions with confidence and something like charisma. The best live appearances by writers are able to cast a spell over the audience.
– Elisabeth Donnelly, Poetry International

It is a tradition that believes that the story speaks to the soul, not the ego… to the heart, not the head. In today’s world, we yearn so to “understand”, to conquer with our mind, but it is not in the mind that a mythic story dwells.
– Donna Jacobs Sife

…you have to be willing to read poetry; you have to be willing to meet it halfway—because it won’t go any further than that if it’s any good. A poem has its dignity, after all. I mean, a poem shouldn’t beg you to read it; it’s pathetic, if that’s the case.
– Mark Strand

being an adult doesn’t mean complete self-sufficiency (which just means pretending you don’t need anyone—a complete lie). it means self-advocacy & self-awareness. learning what you need, how to ask for it, how to ask for support & receiving it wisely. & showing up for others.
– Chen Chen

Surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as that to speak. But experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues.
– Baruch Spinoza

How can I sing when I haven’t the heart, or the hope
That something of paradise persists in my song
– Mark Strand

That’s how I imagine my heart,
my hood, my synapses: this
quivering slice of cranberry sauce
on a very cheap, very loved plate.
– Siaara Freeman

We find at mid-life that the ego we have assembled constitutes a ”false self” whose maintenance can only occasion further self-estrangement.
– James Hollis

He saw before him, as clear as if by magic, the path prepared for him, the way the fog swam up from either side of it and, in the middle of the narrow path, the luminous face of his future, its lineaments bearing the infernal marks of drowning.
– László Krasznahorkai

Forgiveness is one of the really difficult things in life. The logic of receiving hurt seems to run in the direction of never forgetting either the hurt or the hurter. When you forgive, some deeper, divine generosity takes you over. When you can forgive, then you are free.

When you cannot forgive, you are a prisoner of the hurt done to you.
If you are really disappointed in someone and you become embittered,
you become incarcerated inside that feeling. Only the the grace of forgiveness can break the straight logic of hurt and embitterment. It gives you a way out, because it places the conflict on a completely different level. In a strange way, it keeps the whole conflict human. You begin to see and understand the conditions, circumstances, or weakness that made the other person act as she did.

Why are we so reluctant to leave our inner prisons?
There is the security of the confinement and limitation that we know.
We are often willing to endure the searing sense of forsakenness and distance which limitation brings rather than risking the step out into the field of the unknown.
– John O’Donohue

A man does not really begin to be alive until he has lost himself, until he has released the anxious grasp which he normally holds upon his life, his property, his reputation and position.
– Alan W. Watts

I hope to God you will not ask
by Esther Belin

I hope to God you will not ask me to go anywhere except my own country. If we go back, we will follow whatever orders you give us. We do not want to go right or left, but straight back to our own land.
– Barboncito

I hope to God you will not ask

Me or my People to send

Postcard greetings: lamented wind

Of perfect sunrisings, golden

Yes, we may share the same sun setting

But the in-between hours are hollow

The People fill the void with prayers for help

Calling upon the Holy Ones

Those petitions penetrate and loosen

The binds you tried to tighten

Around our heart, a tension

Blocking the wind, like a shell

Fluttering inside, fluttering inside

Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life.
– Nayyirah Waheed

Sometimes it’s like I’m just waiting, poised, for the nod that it’s my solo …
– @svenbirkerts

The silence of holding steady is different from the silence of holding back.
– Ronald Heifetz

We now know that moral norms and standards can be changed overnight, and that all that then will be left is the mere habit of holding fast to something. Much more reliable will be the doubters and skeptics…
– Hannah Arendt

The mind is enslaved whenever it accepts connections which it has not itself established.
– Jan Zwicky

My generation was lost. Cities too. And nations.
But all this a little later. Meanwhile, in the window, a swallow.
– Czeslaw Milosz

Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.
– James Baldwin

In the toxic family system, the healthiest person causes friction. They create resistance in the familiar dynamics and other members become uncomfortable and triggered.
– @Theholisticpsyc

truth
is never afraid
of questions
– @BashoSociety

Stories never end. Imagination and curiosity continue or fold back in on themselves.
– Bojan Louis

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
– W.H. Murray

What is Left to Say
by Lisel Mueller

The self steps out of the circle;
it stops wanting to be
the farmer, the wife, and the child.

It stops trying to please
by learning everyone’s dialect;
it finds it can live, after all,
in a world of strangers.

It sends itself fewer flowers;
it stops preserving its tears in amber.

How splendidly arrogant it was
when it believed the gold-filled tomb
of language awaited its raids!
Now it frequents the junkyards
knowing all words are secondhand.

It has not chosen its poverty,
this new frugality.
It did not want to fall out of love
with itself. Young,
it celebrated itself
and richly sang itself,
seeing only itself
in the mirror of the world.

It cannot return. It assumes
its place in the universe of stars
that do not see it. Even the dead
no longer need it to be at peace.
Its function is to applaud.

blurring boundaries
between colours
– migraine
– @Meraki_k

butterfly man
is how i am known
some men
laugh at my name
but that doesn’t bother me
– Manny Loley

Life should be more / then the body’s weight working itself from room to room.
– Mark Strand

This is an apology to
all of the wounds I locked
in the cellar of myself
to punish them for refusing
to heal in the shape of a poem.
– @blythe_baird

Sometimes, you just have to let go of your tight grip of how you think things should be or how quickly they should come together and simply let things run their own course.
– Keri Olson

The truth has always given me strength. When you have the truth on your side, you are consistent…The truth gave me something to cling to.
– Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Tears are words that need to be written.
– Paulo Coelho

A Suggestion to Liu

I’ve got a hearth that’s red and warm;
I’ve got a jug of liquid glee.
This dusk looks like a winter storm.
Why not come in and drink with me?
– Bai Juyi

THE END OF THE OWLS
I speak for none of your kind,
I speak for the end of the owls.
I speak for the flounder and whale
in their unlighted house,
for the seven cornered sea,
for the glaciers
they will have calved too soon,
raven and dove, feathery witnesses,
for all those that dwell in the sky
and the woods, and the lichen in gravel,
for those without paths, for the colorless bog
and the desolate mountains.
Glaring on radar screens,
interpreted one final time
around the briefing table, fingered
to death by antennas, Florida’s swamps
and the Siberian ice, beast
and bush and basalt strangled
by early bird, ringed
by the latest maneuvers, helpless
under the hovering fireballs,
in the ticking of crises.
We’re as good as forgotten.
Don’t fuss with the orphans,
just empty your mind
of its longing for nest eggs,
glory or psalms that won’t rust.
I speak for none of you now,
all you plotters of perfect crimes,
not for me, not for anyone.
I speak for those who can’t speak,
for the deaf and dumb witnesses
for otters and seals,
for the ancient owls of the earth.
– Hans Magnus Enzensberger
(translated By Jerome Rothenberg)

There is chaos and moral degradation in the world, in society, in our environment because, without understanding, we have directed our will and activities in a certain direction, seeking security in things made either by the hand or the mind.
– Krishnamurti

Depression always follows an act of betrayal–this is the psyche’s way of allowing for self-reflection and many people come into analysis after an experience of feeling betrayed or of betraying.
– Ann Casement

James Hillman suggests that betrayal is an archetypal experience which is the chief instrument of individuation. There is something transformative in recognising how our fantasies of life and love prevent us from growing up and becoming full members of the human family.
– Liz Greene

If You Knew
by Ruth Muskrat Bronson

If you could know the empty ache of loneliness,
Masked well behind the calm indifferent face
Of us who pass you by in studied hurriedness,
Intent upon our way, lest in the little space
Of one forgetful moment hungry eyes implore
You to be kind, to open up your heart a little more,
I’m sure you’d smile a little kindlier, sometimes,
To those of us you’ve never seen before.

If you could know the eagerness we’d grasp
The hand you’d give to us in friendliness;
What vast, potential friendship in that clasp
We’d press, and love you for your gentleness;
If you could know the wide, wide reach
Of love that simple friendliness could teach,
I’m sure you’d say “Hello, my friend,” sometimes,
And now and then extend a hand in friendliness to each.

As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
– Julia Cameron

I think that’s all art is, a record of interior attention paid.
– Carl Phillips

Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
– William James

I’ve dreamed a lot. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything.
– Fernando Pessoa

And now listen carefully. You in others-this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life-your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.
– Boris Pasternak

Everything had changed suddenly–the tone, the moral climate; you didn’t know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute–life or truth or beauty–of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.
– Boris Pasternak

None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
– Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Man thought and still thinks in images. But now our images have hardly any emotional value. We always want a “conclusion,” an end, we always want to come, in our mental processes, to a decision, a finality, a full-stop. This gives us a sense of satisfaction. All our mental consciousness is a movement onwards, a movement in stages, like our sentences, and every full-stop is a mile-stone that marks our “progress” and our arrival somewhere. On and on we go, for the mental consciousness labours under the illusion that there is somewhere to go to, a goal to consciousness. Whereas of course there is no goal. Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to.
– D H Lawrence

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roof-deck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;

this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;

this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;

this is the year
that dark-skinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border’s undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;

this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;

this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;

this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;

this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;

if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

– Martin Espada

Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
– Jacob Needleman

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.
– Philip K. Dick

The First Gust of Special Relativity is Weightlessness
by Alina Stefanescu

Did it begin

when Einstein watched men

wash windows on tall buildings

& imagined how falling felt?

The theorist borrows a silhouette’s terror

to build his edifice.

The sun is a man with big hands

on the couch

and the sky is his

origin. There is no duo

to local velocity.

I write to you

from the Icarus

in each of us, from the word

for existing

between aboveness

and asphalt.

I mean light on the pillow hisses when bussed

by a fan blade.

I mean fog is how clouds tongue

the ground.

The losing comes later, a night with no

windows, the stained cup of

lightspeed

you left

on the floor,

all energy and mass, interchangeable—

Did it begin when

the sun became a man

abandoning the idea

of distance

in a bed. The specificity of

sex with insignificant others

in a masochistic

nocturne.

I write to you

from the sadist’s secret

fretwork.

I have fallen

to know

how falling felt

& nothing grew from it.

I have measured acceleration

in altering tempo,

the speed at which

time expands when

you leave

me alone

there is nothing

worth keeping

forever.

The myth of our society is the existential myth that we are cast into matter, that we are lost in a universe that has no meaning for us, that we must make our meaning. This is what Sartre, Kierkegaard, all those people are saying, that we must make our meaning.
– Terence Mckenna

Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here …
– Pema Chodron

Being of your blood,
Through thick and thin,
I have stood up for you.
When the world’s most devilish
Intrigue of humanity was set
And was coiling around you tighter and tighter—
I have stood up for you.
– Carlos Montezuma

We don’t say “I love you”
very often, but we do say
“Have you eaten today?”

I imagine, somewhere,
there is a language
where those 2 things
have the same meaning.

– Rudy Francisco

Lyric poetry, at its strongest, teaches us how to talk to ourselves, rather than to others.
– Harold Bloom

i become wary of boys
with birdcage hands, their
mouths like oceans and
my mother is still wringing
seawater from her bones.
– Bianca Phipps

There is a force that breaks the body
by Diane Seuss

There is a force that breaks the body, inevitable,
the by-product is pain, unexceptional as a rain
gauge, which has become arcane, rhyme, likewise,
unless it’s assonant or internal injury, gloom, joy,
which is also a dish soap, but not the one that rids
seabirds of oil from wrecked tankers, that’s Dawn,
which should change its name to Dusk, irony being
the flip side of sentimentality here in the Iron Age,
ironing out the kinks in despair, turning it to hairdo
from hair, to do, vexing infinitive, much better to be
pain’s host, body of Christ as opposed to the Holy
Ghost, when I have been suffering at times I could
step away from it by embracing it, a blues thing,
a John Donne thing, divest by wrestling, then sing.

Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. Make an effort to separate yourself from the internet. Read books.
– Timothy Snyder

The goal of my therapy is eccentricity, which grows out of Jungian notion of individuation. Jung says, “You become what you are.” & nobody is square. We all have, as the Swiss say, a corner knocked off.
– James Hillman, We’ve had 100 Years of Psychotherapy & World is getting Worse

The brain can only assume its proper behavior when consciousness is doing what it is designed for: not writhing and whirling to get out of present experience, but being effortlessly aware of it.
– Alan Watts

Ah, tranquillity! / Penetrating the very rock, / a cicada’s voice.
– Basho

Behind every word a whole world is hidden that must be imagined.
– Heinrich Boll

My silly old body is here alone with the snow and the crows and the exercise-book that opens like a door and lets me far down into the now friendly dark.
– Samuel Beckett

I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.
– Tom Stoppard

Everything should be simple and clear and pure between us. Only then will we be worthy of having been allowed to meet.
– Martin Heidegger

It’s amazing how much time, care, and attention goes into creating the experience of “something that just works.”
– @VinceFHorn

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast.
– C.G. Jung

I’m putty when it comes to young people expressing ideals…
– sven birkerts

Thinking does not overcome metaphysics by climbing still higher, surmounting it, transcending it somehow or other; thinking overcomes metaphysics by climbing back down into the nearness of the nearest.
– Martin Heidegger

Can anyone be anything
but a rebel in a conventional
world like this?
– Jack Kerouac

You can run for cover, run for cover like a frightened hare
Till it’s all over, all over and there’s no-one there
‘Cos you daren’t discover, daren’t discover that we really care
– Sandy Denny

Unless one finds silence, there is little hope of hearing psyche’s speech until it too becomes the clamor & clang of nightmare, accident, sickness, or madness. Even in Wordsworth’s time, he would complain that psyche was shut out because “the world is too much with us.
– Russell Lockhart

What is it the wind has lost
that she keeps looking for
under each leaf?
– Jim Harrison

A silence settled between us, and I counted the raindrops on the window, gliding down one after the other.
– Yoko Ogawa

The Continuous Life
by Mark Strand
What of the neighborhood homes awash
In a silver light, of children hunched in the bushes,
Watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender,
Signs that the irregular pleasures of moving
From day to day, of being adrift on the swell of duty,
Have run their course? O parents, confess
To your little ones the night is a long way off
And your taste for the mundane grows; tell them
Your worship of household chores has barely begun;
Describe the beauty of shovels and rakes, brooms and mops;
Say there will always be cooking and cleaning to do,
That one thing leads to another, which leads to another;
Explain that you live between two great darks, the first
With an ending, the second without one, that the luckiest
Thing is having been born, that you live in a blur
Of hours and days, months and years, and believe
It has meaning, despite the occasional fear
You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing
To prove you existed. Tell the children to come inside,
That your search goes on for something you lost—a name,
A family album that fell from its own small matter
Into another, a piece of the dark that might have been yours,
You don’t really know. Say that each of you tries
To keep busy, learning to lean down close and hear
The careless breathing of earth and feel its available
Languor come over you, wave after wave, sending
Small tremors of love through your brief,
Undeniable selves, into your days, and beyond.

Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.
– Charles Baudelaire

If tendencies towards disassociation were not inherent in the human psyche, parts never would have been split off; in other words, neither spirits nor gods would ever have come to exist.
– CG Jung

Fragment: Blaze as Unknowable Drift
by Will Alexander

Blaze as unknowable drift
as mathematical drift that blazes with ciphers
I’ve listened to moons eclectically rise
to conundrums blaze & ascend
not as molecules
or distributed torrents
but as vibrational mazes
as curious oneiric cartography

Patience visited me
And it reminded me
That good things take time to come to fruition
And grow slowly with stability

Peace visited me
And it reminded me
That I may remain calm through the storms of life
Regardless of the chaos surrounding me

Hope visited me
And it reminded me
That better times lay ahead
And it would always be there to guide and uplift me

Humility visited me
And it reminded me
That I may achieve it
Not by trying to shrink myself and make myself less
But by focusing on serving the world and uplifting those around me

Kindness visited me
And it reminded me
To be more gentle, forgiving and compassionate toward myself
And those surrounding me

Confidence visited me
And it reminded me
To not conceal or suppress my gifts and talents
In order to make others feel more comfortable
But to embrace what makes me me

Focus visited me
And it reminded me
That other people’s insecurities and judgements about me
Are not my problem
And I should redirect my attention
From others back to me

Freedom visited me
And it reminded me
That no one has control over my mindset, thoughts and wellbeing
But me

And love visited me
And it reminded me
That I need not search for it in others
As it lies within me.

– Tahlia Hunter

Without McMansions in sprawling suburbs, without mountains of unnecessary packaging, without giant mechanized monofarms, without energy-hogging big-box stores, without electronic billboards, without endless piles of throwaway junk, without the overconsumption of consumer goods no one really needs is not an impoverished world. I disagree with those environmentalists who say we are going to have to make do with less. In fact, we are going to make do with more: more beauty, more community, more fulfillment, more art, more music, and material objects that are fewer in number but superior in utility and aesthetics. The cheap stuff that fills our lives today, however great its quantity, can only cheapen life.
– Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics

If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren’t finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal and change and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are still going, you and I. We are stories still going.
– Jamie Tworkowski

We can’t forever be spending our lives paying for political follies that never gave us anything, but always took from us, and I am content with the narrowest metes and bounds provided I have peace and quiet for work.
– Stefan Zweig

You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.
– Hanya Yanagihara

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
– Eric Hoffer

an evening teahouse
by the river is closing
distant light
– Issa

Like the water, the Walden ice…has a green tint, but at a distance is beautifully blue, and you can easily tell it from the white ice of the river, or the merely greenish ice of some ponds…Sometimes one of those great cakes slips from the ice-man’s sled into the village street, and lies there for a week like a great emerald….
– Henry David Thoreau

It turns out I was right.
But nothing has come of it.
– Wislawa Szymborska

The glorification of busy will destroy us.

Without space for healing, without time for reflection, without an opportunity to surrender, we risk a complete disconnect from the authentic self.

We burn out on the fuels of wilfulness, and eventually cannot find our way back to center.

And when we lose contact with our core, we are ripe for the picking by the unconscious media and other market forces.

After all, consumerism preys on the uncentered.

The farther we are from our intuitive knowing, the more easily manipulated we are.
The more likely we are to make decisions and affix to goals that don’t serve our healing and transformation.

To combat this, we have to form the conscious intention to prioritize our inner life.
To notice our breath, our bodies, our feelings.
To step back from the fires of overwhelm and remember ourselves.

It may feel counter-intuitive in a culture that is speed-addicted, but the slower we move, the faster our return home.

– Jeff Brown

My body’s getting old, but not me.
Each night before I go to sleep
I take out my eyes,
blow on them, polish them
with a tissue, set them on a table
by the window where
they can absorb moonlight.
I unsnap my ears
and balance them against each other.
To my eyes, lying beside them,
they look like delicate mollusks
holding oceans of silence,
which I carefully pour out
into a thimble, then sip.
I unpeel my mouth
very slowly to avoid the pain,
folding it in a crescent smile
to lay by my pillow
where I can reach it if I need
to scream, or just to cry.
Because when you cry
it is not the tears that matter
so much as the sound,
the name you try to say
when you are weeping.
I remove most of my fingers,
toes, other body parts,
gently unscrewing them.
They fall so wistfully
on the oriental carpet
which was my grandmother’s.
And you are here beside me.
We have our breath,
which cannot be taken
from our soul.
We have hearts which cannot
be taken from the rhythmic
beating of our soul,
two moths at one candle.
Then what’s left, my dear,
partner, lover, friend?
What’s left is the night sky
full of the stars we are.
And all that does not sleep.
– Fred LaMotte

Don’t focus on reading more books. Focus on reading better books.
– Farnam Street

It always demands a far greater degree of courage for an individual to oppose an organized movement than to let himself be carried along with the stream — individual courage, a variety of courage that is dying out in these times of progressive organization and mechanization.
– Stefan Zweig

Endings are elusive, middles are nowhere to be found, but worst of all is to begin, to begin, to begin.
– Donald Barthelme

I have decided on blank pages.
In them you can travel forever;
white flying toward your eyes;
as when driving through falling snow
you see only those snowflakes
you are cutting across;
relentlessly horizontal.
– Ruth Stone

Very little grows on jagged rock.

Be ground. Be crumbled,
so wildflowers will come up
where you are.

You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
Surrender.

– Rumi

What can I do, except continue to demonstrate love?

Revision is a practice of faith

Revision is a practice of my love against time

– Wendy Xu

Then I could read Conrad’s novels to you.
I could cradle your freed mind in my voice,
Chapter by chapter, sentence by sentence,
Word by word: The Heart of Darkness,
The Secret Sharer. The same. I could feel
Your fingers caressing my reading, hour after hour,
Fitting together the serpent’s jumbled rainbow.
I was like the snake-charmer—my voice
Swaying you over your heaped coils. While you
Unearthed something deeper than our verses.
– Ted Hughes

I remember
Those long, crimson-shadowed evenings of ours
More like the breath-held camera moments
Of reaching to touch a falcon that does not fly off.
As if I held your hand to stroke a falcon
With your hand.
– Ted Hughes

All I want is this:
to have & to hold, & to be
held by the world without
earning our place in it.
– Torrin A. Greathouse

In a fragile environment, we need to be aware of ourselves as members of a uniquely powerful species living among other species who are quite as interesting as we are but vulnerable to us because we are cleverer in more destructive ways.
– Andrew Motion

You shouldn’t get disillusioned when you get knocked back. All you’ve discovered is that the search is difficult, and you still have a duty to keep on searching.
– Kazuo Ishiguro

“Advice” by Bill Holm
Someone dancing inside us
learned only a few steps:
the “Do-Your-Work” in 4/4 time,
the “What-Do-You-Expect” waltz.
He hasn’t noticed yet the woman
standing away from the lamp,
the one with black eyes
who knows the rhumba,
and strange steps in jump rhythms
from the mountains of Bulgaria.
If they dance together,
something unexpected will happen.
If they don’t, the next world
will be a lot like this one.

Tradition is not the worship of ashes. It is the preservation of fire.
– Gustav Mahler

The Traveling Onion

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an
object of worship —why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion
entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” — Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,
disappear.

– Naomi Shihab Nye

Life is inexplicable, and those masterful people who base their lives on confidence and explanation deserve our sympathy.
– Stafford

Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me, “Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished.” In both Buddhist and Confucian writings of the philosophers of former times, there are also many missing chapters.
– Yoshida Kenkō

Sundown, Timber Gap

—sat down—

dark firs.

dirty; cold;

too tired to talk

– Gary Snyder

voices of plovers
inviting me to stare
into the starlit darkness
– Basho

Myth is an early form of psychology. There are all these stories about gods going down into underworld to slaughter demons. We all have to learn how to negotiate our unconscious worlds. We have to go into the labyrinth of our own selves & fight our own monsters.
– Karen Armstrong

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

In the global North, 55% of all material consumed comes from the global South.

In the global South, only 6% of all material consumed comes from the global North.

Who’s dependent on whom?

– Jason Hickel

I have discovered how much I belong to you, in the city, in the train, on the highway, with strange grandparents, in the woods, on hillsides, wherever I walk or sit.
– Franz Kafka, 1913

Krzhizhanovsky: As a writer, am I with the majority or the minority? If counted by the number of heads, I’m in the minority; but if we go by the number of thoughts, surely I’m in the majority?

the final page
and the last line
– a punch to the gut
– James Welsh

It is vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving wherein men find pleasure to be deceived.
– John Locke

The aim of analytical work is to try to get the ego into a state of being as aware as possible of the total economy of complexes, because that is the only protection against sudden dissociating effects.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.

I tell my students that the odds of their getting published and of it bringing them financial security, peace of mind, and even joy are probably not that great. Ruin, hysteria, bad skin, unsightly tics, ugly financial problems, maybe; but probably not peace of mind. I tell them that I think they ought to write anyway.
– Anne Lamott

Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better.
– Thomas Mallon

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going.
– Carl Jung

Next time what I’d do is look at
the earth before saying anything. I’d stop
just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
I’d watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain, any
sign of what lifted the voice.

And for all, I’d know more—the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.

– William Stafford

In the second half of life the necessity is imposed of recognizing no longer the validity of our former ideals but of their contraries. Of perceiving the error in what was previously our conviction, of sensing the untruth in what was our truth…
– C.G. Jung

All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed wastepaper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at our knowing.
– D.H. Lawrence

Poetry has the propensity to hold us enraptured within the same time and space on level ground. It can, in essence, provide a reprieve from divisiveness and disharmony.
– Ashanti Files, Poets Laureate Fellow

That in this century of private apartments
Though knowledge might be coveted hardly anything
Is shared except penurious poetry, she or he
Who still tends to titles as if all of us
Are reading a new book called THE NEW LIFE.
– Bernadette Mayer

There are three kinds of poets: those who write without thinking, those who think while writing, and those who think before writing.

Most poets do not understand their own metaphors.

Metaphor proves the existences of Heaven and Hell.

– Charles Simic

dreaming during
a melancholy night
while wearing warm socks
– Buson

I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out.
– Natalie Díaz

freedom. it isn’t once….
freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine
remembering. putting together, inch by inch
the starry worlds. from all the lost collections.
– adrienne rich

the first snow
melting away
withered grass
– Ogawa

If we so barely know ourselves, how can we know the other? Yet the almost supernatural power of the projection is fascinating.
– James Hollis

Dearest, I beg of you, sleep properly, go for walks.
Remain calm, calm.
– Franz Kafka, 1912.

Defining myself is hard; being myself is easy.
– Deirdre Sinnott (Al Dente) / Leslie Feinberg’s Trans Liberation

Poetry is also the physical self of the poet,and it’s impossible to separate the poet from poetry.
– Salvatore Quasimodo

THE CURE OF TROY
Human beings suffer
They torture one another, They get hurt and get hard. No poem or play or song Can fully right a wrong Inflicted and endured.
The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father Stands in the graveyard dumb. The police widow in veils Faints at the funeral home.
History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave… But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change On the far side of revenge. Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.
Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky
That means someone is hearing The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
It means once in a lifetime
That justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
– Seamus Heaney

Listening to a [Dharma] teaching is not like going to a concert, where you are entertained by hearing a piece of music played for you. You cannot take your text and notes home and put them on a shelf; you must read and re-read, contemplating again and again.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

I swam for seven days and seven nights before I entered the kingdom of coral and pearls.

I have never once wept out of anger or fear.

– Eileen Chong

Once I gave queer authors the keys and stopped worrying about what, exactly, queer literature meant, my students’ work taught me something about what queer literature actually is.
– Austen E. Osworth

The problem isn’t encountering text, I think, or even a lot of it. It’s the text that we encounter, the how and why of its coming to be, that makes it either soothing or exhausting.
– Alex Manley

Boost the meek.
– @wordsmith

THE ONLY ANIMAL
The only animal that commits suicide
went for a walk in the park,
basked on a hard bench
in the first star,
travelled to the edge of space
in an armchair
while company quietly
talked, and abruptly
returned,
the room empty.

The only animal that cries,
that takes off its clothes
and reports to the mirror, the one
and only animal
that brushes its own teeth –

somewhere

the only animal that smokes a cigarette,
that lies down and flies backwards in time,
that rises and walks to a book
and looks up a word
heard the telephone ringing
in the darkness downstairs and decided
to answer no more.

And I understand,
too well: how many times
have I made the decision to dwell
from now on
in the hour of my death
(the space I took up here
scarlessly closing like water)
and said I’m never coming back,
and yet

this morning
I stood once again
in this world, the garden
ark and vacant
tomb of what
I can’t imagine,
between twin eternities,
some sort of wings,
more or less equidistantly
exiled from both,
hovering in the dreaming called
being awake, where
You gave me
in secret one thing
to perceive, the
tall blue starry
strangeness of being
here at all.

You gave us each in secret one thing to perceive.
Furless now, upright, My banished

And experimental
child

You said, though your own heart condemn you

I do not condemn you.
– Franz Wright

He believed/that grief develops the mind. What is//the mind if not that surface upon which/the world can be endlessly rebroken?
– Maya Popa

In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world: the great, unrequited, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization falls off,
and the wounds heal ‘ere we are aware.
– John Muir

I think you have to use your eyes as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn’t work.
– Andrew Wyeth

The more that consciousness is influenced by prejudices, errors, fantasies, and infantile wishes, the more the already existing gap will widen into a neurotic dissociation and lead to a more or less artificial life far removed from healthy instincts, nature, and truth.
– CG Jung

I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
– Franz Kafka

The body must somehow be involved in one’s psychological healing, because the body can hold on to memories and images that are otherwise inaccessible. You can’t get to them simply by talking about them.
– Marion Woodman

The storm is a tutor to me. Its turbulence teaches that I am resilient enough to survive the tumult.
– Julia Cameron

How one is to contribute to and draw from the commonwealth
while still being oneself
has been and remains
the hammer and anvil of the human enterprise
wherein soul may be foiled or forged.
– James Hollis, Tracking the Gods

DECEMBER 1ST
The vineyard country, russet, reddish, carmine-brown in this season.
A blue outline of hills above a fertile valley.
It’s warm as long as the sun does not set, in the shade cold returns.
A strong sauna and then swimming in a pool surrounded by trees.
Dark redwoods, transparent pale-leaved birches.
In their delicate network, a sliver of the moon.
I describe this for I have learned to doubt philosophy
And the visible world is all that remains.
– Czesław Miłosz

Poetry is born out of the festive moment in which the poet intimately engages with the object, or the other, outside himself; poetry is born out of the moment of mourning that other’s absence, that object’s loss.
– Israel Bar-Kohav

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.
– Mark Strand, The Coming of Light

Praise silence, & put flesh on every word.
– Yusef Komunyakaa

Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves.
– Adam Phillips

In each of us there is another whom we do not know.
– Carl Jung

Any idiot can face crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.
– Anton Chekhov

Most people can’t face inner conflict at all; they impose a kind of artificial unity on life by clinging to the prejudices of their ego and repressing the voices of the unconscious.
– Robert A. Johnson

evening star—
fold upon fold
the quiet blue hills
– Mary Lee McClure

Zen is not bothered about anything superhuman; its whole concern is how to make ordinary life a blessing.
– Osho

This new age…will be an age of the poet—not the poet as noun, not the poet as career, but the necessity of poetry, the seeking by each one of us, a finding and drinking the waters and the milk of the Muses: poetry as verb, poetry as what we do.
– Russell Lockhart

The great artist or thinker is no more than an alchemical vessel in which the great problems of the time are the prime matter undergoing their fermenting corruption, distillation, sublimation and of course articulation.
– Wolfgang Giegerich

Stop it, I was like all of them,
And worse than all of them.
I bathed in someone else’s dew
And i hid in someone else’s outfield,
On someone else’s grass I slept.
– Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer

I said Look. If you
relax you’ll get better.
Better? who wants better,
said a moonbeam
— Brenda Hillman

Our lives are full of restrictions—jobs, bills, time, gravity, all of this impinging on us—but to write is to gift yourself the freedom of choice and possibility. That feels truly precious to me. Keep writing.
– Ocean Vuong

WILDFLOWERS
by Paul T. Corrigan

The farmyard is not a schoolyard.
The hens are not teachers.
The cottages are not classrooms.
Their doors, although as red as alarms, are not emergency exits.
Although hard from being walked on, the path is not anger.
Although taloned and full of testosterone, the rooster is not a shooter.
The boulders are not bullets.
The wildflowers are not students, splashes of clover, dollops of poppy, ribbons of milkweed, blooming, bursting from swaths of rye, alive.

I began with strong feelings and worked toward craft.
– Dorothy Allison

To tell a great story, you really do have to step through the box that the world has put around you; you have to see it. You have to see what the world has defined you as. And you have to refute it in language that the world will understand. … Repay the debt that kept you alive, you will make an art and you will take a leap. And, oh God, I hope you get all the way over to the other side. Because some of us don’t.
– Dorothy Allison

My family of friends has kept me alive through lovers who have left, enterprises that have failed, and all too many stories that never got finished. That family has been part of remaking the world for me.
– Dorothy Allison

The years teach much which the days never knew.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To speak of sorrow
works upon it
moves it from its
crouched place barring
the way to and from the soul’s hall.
– Denise Levertov

Our problem is not that as children our needs were unmet, but that, as adults, they are still unmourned! In fact, neediness itself tells us nothing about how much we need from others; it tells us how much we need to grieve the irrevocably barren past and evoke our own inner source of nurturance. What was missed can never be made up for, only mourned and let go of. We are grieving the irretrievable aspect of what we lost and the irreplaceable aspect of what we missed. Only these two realizations led to resolution of grief because only these acknowledge, without denial, how truly bereft we were or are. From the pit of this deep admission that something is irrevocably over and gone we finally stand clear of the insatiable need to find it again from our parents or partner. To have sought it was to have denied how utter was its absence.
– David Richo

I stoop between the strands of a barbed-wire fence, and in that movement I go out of time and into timelessness. I come into a wild place. The trees grow big, their trunks rising clean, free of undergrowth. The place has a serenity and dignity that one feels immediately; the creation is whole in it and unobstructed. It is free of the strivings and dissatisfactions, the partialities and imperfections of places under the mechanical dominance of men.

Here, what to a housekeeper’s eye might seem disorderly is nonetheless orderly and within order; what might seem arbitrary or accidental is included in the design of the whole; what might seem evil or violent is a comfortable member of the household. Where the creation is whole nothing is extraneous. The presence of the creation here makes this a holy place, and it is as a pilgrim that I have come. It is the creation that has attracted me, its perfect interfusion of life and design. I have made myself its follower and its apprentice.

– Wendell Berry

We watched the butterfly flit and fly and we marveled at how its wings caught the sun; how its ascendance was magical. But no one, to my knowledge, ever held out a hand and allowed the butterfly to rest. And then it flew out of our range, our site. Bastards all of us.
– Marlon Brando

to be a silent observer does not mean to be indifferent. It means not to interfere with the music of life. to allow life to go her way, not your way. Your way is already known. Life’s way is a mystery. Allow mystery to be your friend until there is no mystery at all.
– Guthema Roba

Death does not exist in poetry… No choking sounds in poems, no smell of blood. I can describe/the sounds, the smells, but description is, in fact, a hiding place. There is no nobility/in description. Is there nobility in poetry? Let’s hope not.
– Diane Seuss

Poems are rafts clutched at by men drowning in inadequate minds. [The] importance of poetry in a devastating social chaos, is the reason why Greek consciousness specifically fluoresces into that brilliant intellectual light which is still illuminating our world.
– Julian Jaynes

Most of us aren’t where the big decisions are made. We do our jobs, and we take pride in them, and we hope that our little contribution is going to be used well.
– Kazuo Ishiguro

I dream of an art so transparent that you can look through and see the world.
– Stanley Kunitz

Just once let your poems run wild into the night
– Doug Ramspeck

You think this is labor–
This is easy living:
To overhear some music,
And, joking, claim it as your own.

– Anna Akhmatova, The Poet

What if there is
more to me than
a place you run to
when you are
cold inside?
– Siaara Freeman

We all want quiet. We all want beauty…we all need space.
– Octavia Hill

Through trauma, rejection, abandonment, and neglect, the unacceptable pieces of us have been cast into what I call the “wasteland.” They become our outcast brothers and sisters.
– Francis Weller

Central Park
No one watches when my lover
picks me up & carries me to a bench, my legs
wrapping his hips. I say 30 years ago we wouldn’t
get away with this, He says it’s cause I pass. Meaning
I don’t. I’ve opened his sherpa, found his obliques.
If I climb him, my hips will unpear, my face
will be sharp and shadeless. If I keep scaling
my lover, I’ll still want him. It’s late October.
By the new year I’ll be genderless
as leaves breaking under his boots.
– K. Iver

The memory of the past can fade quickly but the way you reacted to what you felt in the past can stay with you for years. It is easier to forget than to actually remove the imprints you carry. Real healing isn’t about forgetting, it requires going deeply inward to finally let go.
– @YungPueblo

rugged to the touch
the dark edges
of a breakup poem
– @Meraki_k

Ideas matter. Serious scholarship matters. Study matters. And as Ruth Wilson Gilmore said, “If people living under the most severe constraints, such as prisoners, can form study groups to learn about the world, then free-world activists have no excuse for ignorance.”
– @tamaranopper

We have been fighting the irresolvable tedium of everyday life, either in frivolous or profound ways.
– Truman Capote

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.
– Wassily Kandinsky

My point is that it has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it.
– Toni Morrison

The problem with God—or at any rate, one of the top five most annoying things about God—is that He or She rarely answers right away. It can take days, weeks. Some people seem to understand this—that life and change take time.
– Anne Lamott

Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
– William James

Do you get enough rest? Are you eating good and sensible food?
– Franz Kafka, 1913.

Follow the one who leaves
no footprints.
Let the next inhalation be
your teacher.
Those who stop seeking
are anointed
by a royal Presence.
When you need a prayer, a sutra,
just chant this:
“My chest always
already open.”
I give you a solemn promise:
If you take this pathless way
a golden flower will softly
silently explode
in your body,
the very motion
of your heart’s stillness.
How can I be sure?
I have tasted the honey
of the Master’s glance.
I know where it is stored.
In You, my friend, in You.
– Fred LaMotte

And in the nights the heavy Earth, too, falls
From out the stars into the Solitude.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

We all believe we are self-made people, living consciously, making right choices, meaning well, and only when the consequences pile up around us do we ever question this presumption. On those dolorous occasions we may even be driven to ask, What is really going on here?
– James Hollis

There is a place inside me where I hold another language close. I’m the only one who knows it. I am the only language I can understand.’
– Alice Notley

Love, the World exists nowhere but within.
Our life is lived in transformation.
– R.M. Rilke

frozen wind
from the deep north
drawing close
– Issa

We all have our own life to pursue,
Our own kind of dream to be weaving,
And we all have the power
To make wishes come true
As long as we keep believing.
– Louisa May Alcott

It is no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well.
– Publilius Syrus

A society of strangers only becomes a community through creation of shared meaning and values. Without this we feel isolated, lonely.
– David Tacey

It is grief that moves us in the direction of contact, toward the helping hands and embrace of others. We need grief in order to heal these traumas and make sense of a world turned upside down.
– Francis Weller

The stuff that holds you down periodically rears its head. When it does, let it go. You simply permit the pain to come up into your heart and pass through. If you do that, it will pass. This is the beginning and end of the entire path.
– Michael Singer

SECRET
Sometimes
when the morning sun streams
through the kitchen window
and I’m washing the dishes
or opening a can of cat food
or sweeping potato peels and onion skins
off the linoleum floor,
I get so taken with the way
my arms move back and forth with the broom
or how pretty my fingers look
all dressed up in soap bubbles
that I just have to jump up and dance
around the house laughing out loud.

Other times
when I’m sitting in my favorite rocking chair
and the clock on my wall ticking
and the evening sky a particular shade of blue
halfway between periwinkle and midnight,
I feel so content with the way
my feet push off gently against the wooden floor
and how my belly moves up and down
with each breath I take
that I just have to sigh
with the sheer delight of knowing
that everyting I want
is everything I have.

– Leslea Newman

Aloneness is a state of being, whereas loneliness is a state of feeling. It’s like the difference between being broke and being poor.
– Townes Van Zandt

the blank stare
of the blue nutcracker
in her house
even inanimate objects
know their places
– @TankaDaily

It is important not to worship what is known, but to question it.
– J. Bronowski

The first line of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Ph.D. thesis.

PRAISE
Find me wild about stir-fry, about red velvet
sofas and the people who sleep inside books
and dream about commas. We are flooded
with forgetfulness, with fallen plum blossoms
misspelling our names on the driveway. Praise
our too many expectations, how we overestimate
the weather, each other, overestimate how deer
will appear if we arrive with food. Because reality
can be a knife, we sometimes ache to tear open
the tea bag, the ketchup packet, because wine
arrives ready to be poured, we are foolish
and happy—though our clothes do not fit,
we return to being alive and living
between roadblocks and detours, driving
our fingers into the edge of each other’s
pockets. Praise the bare trees that tried
to spell our names for their belief
they could—spells and misspellings,
fail and fail better, how lucky we are
just to be here, both of us touching each other
through these words, with all this exasperating joy.
– Kelly Russell Agodon

Of her autumns now
I can only imagine,
for she is far away,
I hope they are kind to her
and that she remembers me.
– Michael Boiano

I remember the cloud on its blue bicycle
gliding over the leaves under the bare branches.
You and I were walking.
You wore your long green dress
with the hem frayed so the loose threads
seemed like tiny roots.
We were holding hands when my hand
became a yellow scarf
and you stood waving it slowly.
– Gregory Orr

Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.
– Jake Adam York

Somebody loves us all.
– Elizabeth Bishop

A lot of people don’t look very hard.
– David Hockney

Wise men have tried to understand our state of being, by grasping at its stars, or its arts, or its economics. But, if there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.
– Charles Fort, Lo!

Narcissism denotes an investment in one’s image as opposed to one’s self. Narcissists love their image, not their real self. They have a poor sense of self . . . [T]heir activities are directed toward the enhancement of their image, often at the expense of the self.
– Alexander Lowen

Letting go means falling behind the energy instead of going into it. It just takes a moment of conscious effort to decide that you’re not going there. You just let go. It’s simply a matter of taking the risk that you are better off letting go than going with the energy.
– Michael A Singer

…and once I had read it, I began to reread it from the beginning again, and it floraed all around me and I shook myself a beloved…
– Friederike Mayröcker

Marie-Louise von Franz counseled that it would be wrong to become a Jungian. If you do that, you miss the whole point of his psychology, which was to become the one unique individual you are meant to be.
– Chuck Schwartz

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
– Carl Gustav Jung

Winter solitude –
in a world of one color
the sound of the wind
– Basho Matsuo

Becoming conscious of the shadow could be described as work for a beginner; the integration of the animus and anima is a much more advanced endeavor, and few people today succeed in getting beyond that point.
– Marie-Louise von Fran

for two thousand years
the blue butterflies
have visited
– Ogawa

Translation reminds me of the cooperative nature of writing.
– Mira Rosenthal

One opens a word as one opens a book: it is the same gesture.
– Edmond Jabès, tr. Pierre Joris

There is always at bottom a projection whenever we suffer from an excessive emotional fascination, whether of love or of hate. In other words, projection is an involuntary transposition of something unconscious in ourselves into an outer object.
– Marie-Louise Von Franz

the good person is the person with whom evil stops and can go no further.
– Iris Murdoch

I would like a December
with Christmas lights off
and people’s lights on.
– Bukowski

The vanity of believing that we understand the works of time: it buries its dead and keeps the keys. Only in dreams, in poetry, in play […] do we sometimes arrive at what we were before we were this thing that, who knows, we are.
– Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch

a rush of tangerine
in the eastern sky
the rising sun
– @Meraki_k

Art is life. But art therapy, music therapy, and poetry therapy are specific vocations that require training and expertise. And they help people.
– Leah Callen

Of course. But that doesn’t change the fact that art, itself, isn’t *therapy*. Art can be helpful, inspiring, therapeutic, but writing a novel is not therapy—it is difficult and lonely and hard..
– Alina Stefanescu

Opening to the mystery of the night—to all that is beyond solar or ego consciousness—we discover interplay, dialogue, subtlety, ambiguity, relationship with the mysterium, where belief in anything is of little consequence.
– Monika Wikman

To thirst gothically, to want—
like a spire: no discernible object but more sky.
– Carl Phillips

spring rain
mom humming happily
in the kitchen
– @Meraki_k

You can’t find happiness if you seek it. It finds you when you’re thinking about something greater than your own desires.
– @FiatLuxGenesis

Living as if everything were slightly a-tilt.
– Roethke

History teaches us over and over again that, contrary to rational expectation, irrational factors play the largest, indeed the decisive, role in all processes of psychic transformation.
– CG Jung

I reworked those first twenty pages for almost two years. I really felt I was losing my mind… the first twenty pages of each [of my novels] give me heart palpitations. It’s like taking a tour of a cell in which I was once incarcerated.
– Zadie Smith

in a world gone mad
the tulips and hyacinths
sprout in December
– Jason Gould

Urban Girl get spoke at,
spoke wit, spoke for,
spoke through
but not to.
– Siaara Freeman

Programming is by its nature deeply unfair and I really don’t know how to make a pedagogy out of that level of randomness.
– Dr. Kate Compton

If you don’t arrive with a wounded heart,
the Beloved’s glance will pass over you.

Step into the Path, bring your branded heart,
for true lovers know each other by their scars.

– Attar (12th century Persia)
The Conference of the Birds
tr. Sholeh Wolpé

two birds
bound by friendship
sharing a home in the same tree
– Issa

I used to love Buddhism,
But now I love not Buddhism,

I am so friggin pissed off
At Buddhism, it’s not funny.

– Jeff Mohler

THE ROAD NOT TRAVELED
“For seventeen centuries, the Road Not Traveled has been The Way trekked by Jesus’ followers for the first three hundred years, as they attempted to live their lives within what he had called the Realm of God. Jesus’ mission, as the Word, was to communicate God’s design for his human creation, how we should live. He did this in his parables and teaching, and in his very life, as a demonstration of what it should look like.

Then in the fourth century the Romans took over. Their obsession for order, uniformity, and organizational hierarchy led to creeds, dogma and the institutionalization with all the trappings we have come to know as Christianity today, in both Catholic and Protestant forms.

The problem, of course, is that the Church that has developed as a thoroughly human institution is diametrically opposed to what the Founder had intended. So, what happened?

G.K. Chesterton put his finger on it when he said: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

How has it come to be that the only potential voice of social responsibility and compassion has been so muted, if not completely silenced?

In his 1994 landmark book, “Meeting Jesus Again For The First Time”, Marcus Borg laid out what he believed to be the three macro-stories of scripture. First, the Exodus Story was the “primal narrative” of Israel, describing their liberation from bondage in Egypt, subsequent journey to a destination, and our own deliverance from the “powers” holding us in bondage.
The second macro-story of Exile and Return is also grounded in historical experience, the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and the subsequent 800 mile journey and 50 year exile as refugees in Babylon. Feeling separated, longing for home in all its many dimensions seems pervasive today as well.
The third macro-story, the Priestly Narrative, rather than a historical event, is rooted in the institution of the temple and the role of the priesthood to administer forgiveness of sin, conditioned of course on the appropriate sacrifice. Central to this story is the presumption of sin, guilt, uncleanness, and the estrangement from God as a result of breaking God’s laws, all described and interpreted by the clergy. Enormous power then accrues to the priesthood in this scenario as arbiters of God’s forgiveness.

Perhaps the message of transferability of the first two macro-stories to our present situations was too subtle and difficult, but for whatever reason it is the Priestly Narrative that has become primary in Christian theology – sin, guilt, sacrifice and forgiveness. And there is arguably a very good reason for that, beyond the range of most theological analysis.
Using the business organization as a reference, since motivation and organization behavior have been studied most intensely in that context, the church has an advantage in that its product is opaque, objectives relatively vague and accountability virtually nonexistent.
Lowest level physiological needs (Cf. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943) of the clergy as frontline message conveyers are met through position, salary, housing allowance, and other perks. At Maslow’s next level up, Security needs vary with the denomination and the relative power of the local congregation to terminate a pastor’s contract if they are sufficiently unhappy, made uncomfortable, or threatened by the pulpit-message. Even in more organizationally secure churches, sermonizing more consistent with the authentic teachings of Jesus that disrupt the status quo comfort level of powerful congregants may create tension, precipitate exodus and consequent financial erosion. Despite protestations to the contrary, numbers do matter, especially for fiscal security. So the bottom line (literally) is that most clergy seem to stick to the traditional story line and not rock the boat with too much Jesus talk, at least the parts that may make people feel uncomfortable. Building the Kingdom of God represents a lot of hard work, especially re-orienting power-based, might-makes-right, thinking surrounding us. Better to subtly spin weekly messages and overall themes to be relatively consistent with dominant social values, avoiding uncomfortable and potentially costly confrontation that was so characteristic of Jesus. The real cost, of course, is the neutralization of Jesus’ mission, the consequent impotence of the church to influence values, and its ultimate irrelevance as a voice in the social arena.
So piling on the guilt serves to facilitate the power of the church – requiring that conditions be met to dispense forgiveness, achieve absolution of sins, and to avert an unimaginable future in hell. The power of the church, then, seems to be used not to move ahead in establishing and even expanding the Kingdom, but to sustain the institution itself. Better to let Jesus do the heavy lifting and “save us from our sins”, individually.
From the 1980’s on, beginning with Geert Hofstede’s landmark work Culture’s Consequences, studies of comparative cultural characteristics consistently indicate that the United States is the most “individualistic” nation across the global spectrum. That powerful dimension of the culture creates fertile soil for the individual salvation message in the Priestly Narrative and significantly undermines the collective, compassionate fabric of Jesus’ authentic mission of instituting the Realm of God.

In his 1999/2003 book, Everything Belongs, Fr. Richard Rohr writes of the Inherent Unmarketability of authentic Christianity (p. 11):
“How do you make attractive that which is not?
How do you sell emptiness, vulnerability, and nonsuccess?
How do you talk descent when everything is about ascent?
How can you possibly market letting-go in a capitalist culture?
How do you present Jesus to a Promethean mind?
How do you talk about dying to a church trying to appear perfect?
This is not going to work.”

And sure enough, it hasn’t. The Church, for whatever imperfect guidance it might have offered, has been co-opted and dominated by the milieu of a culture of short-term gains, possessions, appearance, form without content, status, dominance, power. By example, most of the clergy up the hierarchy seem to have subscribed to position and security, certainly not to buck the prejudices and biases of the tithe-giving congregation. Without the strong, Jesus-based moral guidance of the church, our society has succumbed to all the foibles outlined by Father Richard.

Because of the inherent Unmarketability of Jesus’ authentic mission, the Church, because it has been so completely subsumed by the culture, has opted for the alternative Priestly Narrative (Borg, op. cit.) of personal salvation through the penal substitution sacrifice atonement of Jesus which is very marketable indeed. “He gets the cross and we get heaven.” (Robin Meyers, Living The Questions, 2010). What a deal.

Indeed, the very criterion of “marketability” speaks volumes. It signals the complete capitulation of the gospel message to the culture. What is marketable, rather than what is True. What sells. That transfers authority and choice to congregants (the customer is always right), who just happen to have the money to sustain the entire enterprise. The Founder has been sold out.

The biggest misconception of all imbedded in the Priestly Narrative adopted by traditional Christianity is the idea that God required the sacrificial death of Jesus to forgive the sinfulness of his human creation – and for all time. Of course that scenario, in turn, created the deep guilt that is the foundation of the Church’s power.

So the divergence of the mainline message in the Christian Church today from the authentic gospel message of Jesus can be better understood when the influence of the institution, as a moderator of the behavior of its clergy-occupants, is fully considered.

In becoming institutionalized, the Church in many respects became the End instead of the Means. Continually proclaimed as the unique reservoir of scriptural truth, its maintenance became an important goal of its members since it provided job security in its structure, power and prestige in its hierarchy, in addition of course to transmitting and interpreting the “Word of God” for the masses.

As Catholic social activist (and perhaps saint-in-waiting) Dorothy Day paraphrased theologian Romano Guardini: “The Church is the cross on which Christ was crucified.” (The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day , 1952, p.150)

As a priest in Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio undoubtedly came to comprehend first-hand the powerful grip of poverty experienced by most of the world. As Pope Francis, he is doing his utmost to make the Roman Catholic part of the Church relevant to the overwhelming need that he knows very well is there. But the inertia inherent in all those years of routine religious observation and all the accumulated hierarchical power is daunting, if not superseding. Yet at 85 he is persevering.

Likewise, in what so far is a fringe movement, a growing remnant in the church seems to get it. By focusing on Jesus’ life and teachings, instead of his death as a sacrifice to save sinners, more Progressive circles seem to have an awareness of the true gospel message of Jesus, and the gross misguidance of the traditional institution, and its consequent impotence as a social conscience.

Even more importantly is the “new” emphasis on the essence of God – as the God of love, forgiveness, and inclusiveness – not at all a God of judgment, fear, and punishment, so useful to the church for its discipline, power, and self preservation. If God’s love is truly unconditional, as is so frequently preached, then this truly profound and surely foundational principal changes everything.

But because thinking and questioning have been so completely discouraged, if not forbidden, the implications of having this kind of God have conveniently remained unexamined. These implications of course demolish the idea of original sin, the need for sacrifice for redemption, and ultimately the power of the Church, so meticulously cultivated over the centuries. So, the traditional mainline Church continues to stand between the message and authentic mission of Jesus and God’s people he gave everything to serve.”

– William F. Yager, PhD, Professor Emeritus

tracy k smith once told me I should strive to end poems by opening a door outward not closing one and now it happily haunts every poem I try to write.
– Brian Tierney

If I ever write a novel, the villain’s name will absolutely be Kaiser Permanente.
– Paisley Rekdal

Just as the father represents collective consciousness, the traditional spirit, so the mother stands for the collective unconscious, the source of the water of life.
– CG Jung

Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate – he has little success in this – but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins, for he sees different (and more) things than do the others; after all, dead as he is in his own lifetime, he is the real survivor. This assumes that he does not need both hands, or more hands than he has, in his struggle against despair.
– Franz Kafka

Lines For Winter

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

– Mark Strand

A therapist like myself is always practicing therapy—even on himself. Irritation means: You haven’t yet seen what’s behind it. Consequently we should follow up our irritation and examine whatever it is we discover in our ill temper.
– CG Jung

People’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.
– Haruki Murakami

Will you love me in December as you do in May?
– Jack Kerouac

Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.
– Virginia Woolf

Though the effects of anima & animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness & beyond the reach of perception & volition. Hence they remain autonomous despite the integration of their contents. . .
– CG Jung

Jungian psychologists [say] we need to hold the tension of the opposites within us, without trying to deny or escape the situation. In the “holding” of the situation we create a container, or crucible, for alchemical energies to create change and transformation.
– Elizabeth Spring

It’s a lesson too late for the learning
Made of sand, made of sand
In the wink of an eye my soul is turnin’
In your hand, in your hand
Are you going away with no word of farewell
Will there be not a trace left behind
Well, I could’ve loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind
You know that was the last thing on my mind

You’ve got reason a plenty for goin’
This I know, this I know
For the weeds have been steadily growin’
Please don’t go, please don’t go
Are you going away with no word of farewell
Will there be not a trace left behind
Well, I could’ve loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind
You know that was the last thing on my mind

As I lie in my bed in the mornin’
Without you, without you.
Every song in my breast lies a bornin’
Without you, without you.
Are you going away with no word of farewell
Will there be not a trace left behind
Well, I could’ve loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind
You know that was the last thing on my mind
That was the last thing on my mind

– Tom Paxton

I don’t know that I ever
got over you as much as
I got under the engine
of myself to fix the
machine of my love.
– Andrea Gibson

Re-reading is probably more important than reading.

Seek to cognitively own a great book rather than just reading it.

– Farnam Street

REMEMBERING
When there was air, when you could
breathe any day if you liked, and if you
wanted to you could run. I used to
climb those hills back of town and
follow a gully so my eyes were at ground
level and could look out through grass as the stems
bent in their tensile way, and see snow
mountains follow along, the way distance goes.

Now I carry those days in a tiny box
wherever I go, I open the lid like this
and let the light glimpse and then glance away.
There is a sigh like my breath when I do this.
Some days I do this again and again.
– William Stafford

reader beware

Dear reader, my oldest lover,
beware.

Oh, yes, first I will try to move you
with my words,
with precisely-timed truth,
with witness during this
capital trial we call “life,”
with whispers in your ear.

And, if words fail me,
as they so often do,
I will use these speaking organs
for more.

I will try to stir you
with my breath
hot with desire
on skin grown cold
with the lack of attention
and righteous passion.

My lips can tell stories
no book could ever convey.
My tongue will paint
with colors more vibrant
than simple phonetics,
will sketch shapes
more vivid than any caricature.

But, mine is a real love
a love of the real,
a love for bodies,
the tall, long body of a tree,
the smoking hot body
of the summer sun at noon,
the soft body of moss
behind the gold curtains
of autumn aspen leaves,
your body.

And, because I love yours,
I love the water and iron in your veins,
the stones in your bones,
the grass sprouting from your skin,
and the fertile soil at your center.

I do not mean to be insistent,
but if you sleep too long
and your waters sour
with the fetid tepidity of inaction,
your bones turn to brittle plastic
with complicit acceptance,
your grasses are shorn
to please the gardeners
in their war against wilderness,
and your soil blows away
with no roots to embrace it,

I will try to stir you

with more than words,
more than whispers and breaths,
kisses and caresses,
the sweetest compliments
or even the strongest admonishments.

Love, of course, is not just a word,
it’s a verb, an action,
a real thing
if it is real at all.

And, my love for you,
my languishing lover,
is real. So, dear reader,
beware.

– Will Falk

Keeping Things Whole
by Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

One thing at a time is the golden rule of simplicity. Multi-tasking is a skill, but it is at the cost of a rushed life that leaves little room for savoring what is happening. We’re on the express train with no stops to smell the roses.
– Gunilla Norris

I am fairly certain
That people aren’t
Illiterate, they
Are Post-Literate.
– unknown

America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.
– William S. Burroughs

Wherever my gaze may fall,
may it be filled with
tenderness and respect.
– Tibetan teaching

One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are.
– Pema Chodron

A hint of a paradise that can be won again: It cannot be that we are here in order not to be.
– Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch

We outmaneuvered the footwork
of bad angels.
– Yusef Komunyakaa

It is a common misconception
that history is forged by heroes,
great men (so often men) who
drag the rest of us into
the smooth, bright future.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.
– John Lennon

I Feel Sorry For Jesus
by Naomi Shihab Nye

People won’t leave Him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name…
But I bet some days He regrets it.

Cozily they tell you what he wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an e-mail.
Remember “Telephone,” that pass-it-on game

where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
Well.
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.

They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.

He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers

and say, the truth tastes better here.
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.

I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.

And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again

And so, what else can you do
but let yourself be broken
and emptied? What else is there
but waiting in the autumn sun?
– Carolyn Locke

I’m not going to forget you, just like you’re not going to forget me.
– Paul Thomas Anderson

Exquisite loneliness
Bound of mine own caprice
I fly on the wings of an unknown chord
That ye hear not,
Can not discern
My music is weird and untamed
Barbarous, wild, extreme,
I fly on the note that ye hear not
On the chord that ye can not dream.
– Ezra Pound

I know that flower of emptiness
when the self touches the world in a deep blur
and the mind opens and is anything …
– Stephen Berg

No hierarchy, no notion of polarity. Perception of an object means loosing and losing it. Quests end in failure, no victory and sham questor. One answer undoes another and fiction is real. Trust absence, allegory, mystery—the setting not the rising sun is Beauty.
– Susan Howe

Nobody is going to save you from your own mind. Nobody can get into the heart of your experience and fix anything for you. If you want to make your own internal experience more hospitable, only you can do that work.
– Ethan Nichtern

When we are preoccupied with survival, we cannot play. We have lost our trust. When we were talking about what it feels like to be creative, one of you mentioned the experience of not being bound by time and space – being “taken out of yourself”
– Liz Greene

Coffee should not be drunk in a hurry. It is the sister of time…
– Mahmoud Darwish

traveling geese
the human heart
wanders too
– Issa

Remember capoeira.

Dance your way to victory.

Don’t announce your strategy.

Show up, shift, shine, soar.

– Dr. Thema

I’m drawn to the drama of the mind.
– Garth Greenwell

It used to be, you’d open your mouth
And the weather changed. You’d
Open your mouth and the sky’d spill

That dry, missing-someone kind of rain
No matter the season. And it hurt
Like a guitar hurts under the right hands.

Like a good strong spell. Now
You’re all song. Body gone to memory.
And guess what? It hurts

Harder.

– Tracy K. Smith

Is this love the trouble you promised?
– Tracy K. Smith

everything/ that ever was still is, somewhere
– Tracy K. Smith

It took a lot of the vinegar out of my inner-obsessive-perfectionist when I realized this one thing:

Perfect things aren’t beautiful.
Only imperfect things are.

Textured, irregular, organic, natural, human.

Wabi-sabi all the things. Not only is it better, it’s just better.

– @aspiringpeasant

The painful thing is that when we buy into disapproval, we are practicing disapproval. When we buy into harshness, we are practicing harshness. The more we do it, the stronger these qualities become.
– Pema Chodron

It has been said that in the course of life we are all consumed by life’s fire: the only question–and this is where our challenge lies–is whether we will be deformed or perfected by that process.
– Richard Tarnas

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
– Maya Angelou

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve thought that there was something noble and mysterious about writing, about the people who could do it well, who could create a world as if they were little gods or sorcerers.
– Anne Lamott

DEBTORS
They used to say we’re living on borrowed
time but even when young I wondered
who loaned it to us? In 1948 one grandpa
died stretched tight in a misty oxygen tent,
his four sons gathered, his papery hand
grasping mine. Only a week before, we were fishing.
Now the four sons have all run out of borrowed time
while I’m alive wondering whom I owe
for this indisputable gift of existence.
Of course time is running out. It always
has been a creek heading east, the freight
of water with its surprising heaviness
following the slant of the land, its destiny.
What is lovelier than a creek or riverine thicket?
Say it is an unknown benefactor who gave us
birds and Mozart, the mystery of trees and water
and all living things borrowing time.
Would I still love the creek if I lasted forever?
– Jim Harrison

Use the wings of the flying Universe,
Dream with open eyes;
See in darkness.
– Dejan Stojanovic

Deep down I think foreign languages irrelevant. A writer can have only one language, if language is going to mean anything to him.
– Philip Larkin

If you do not acknowledge your yearning, then you do not follow yourself, but go on foreign ways that others have indicated to you.
– CG Jung, The Red Book

Watching snow cover the ground, cover itself,
cover everything that is not you, you see
it is the downward drift of light
upon the sound of air sweeping away the air,
it is the fall of moments into moments, the burial
of sleep, the down of winter, the negative of night.
– Mark Strand

There are aspects of the world that are only visible for me at the frequency of certain poems.
– Garth Greenwell

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.
– Joseph Campbell

To wish to teach all men the truth of the gods causes the foolish to despise, because they cannot learn, and the good to be slothful, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the former from despising philosophy and compels the latter to study it.
– Sallustius

Her ideal was a wild and lonely sea coast. No matter if the winter gales sent waves beating against her walls, flinging stones at her windows and over her roof; warm and snug inside, she was perfectly happy and loved it there.
– C.R.Milne

I have often seen that in introverts the first impulse toward a creative idea or a creative activity is aroused by something which comes from outside; it comes from the shadow half of the personality. That is the first inspiration, so to speak.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Like plants, so men also grow, some in the light, others in the shadows. There are many who need the shadows and not the light.
– CG Jung

The stars we see at night are in past tense.

The stars seem to live forever
but they’re mortal too.

Photograph of us tonight
will be past tense in the morning.

Light will never shine the same way twice.
I will kiss you in present tense tonight, tonight.
Say my name, taste the parts of me that
belong to you. Say my name, change the
meaning and make me a proper noun:

turn me into a place like home to you.

– Kelly D. Xio

If one can possibly avoid it, one ought never to identify with an archetype, for, as psychopathology and certain contemporary events show, the consequences are terrifying.
– CG Jung

How does one suffer chaos without losing one’s mind? How does one find that imaginal space to make hidden meaning visible? That is the work of therapy; that is the message the repeating complex is trying to deliver.
– Ann Belford Ulanov

It was the upward-reaching and fathomlessly hungering, heart-breaking love for the beauty of the world at its most beautiful, and, beyond that, for that beauty east of the sun and west of the moon which is past the reach of all but our most desperate desiring and is finally the beauty of Beauty itself, of Being itself and what lies at the heart of Being.
– Frederick Buechner

The older I get, the more I find that you can only live with beings who liberate you, and who love you with an affection that is as light to bear as it is strong to feel …

This is how I am your friend. I love your happiness, your freedom, your adventure, and I would like to be for you the companion you are sure of, always.

– Albert Camus to René Char

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.
– James Baldwin

There exists, for everyone, a sentence—a series of words—that has the power to destroy you.
– Philip K. Dick

The man of the East cannot take Americans seriously because they have never undergone the experiences that teach men how relative their judgments and thinking habits are. The resulting lack of imagination is appalling.
– Czeslaw Milosz

We are deprived through words of an authentic intimacy with what we are, or with what the Other is. We need poetry… to prove to ourselves the value of those moments when we are able to encounter other people, or trees, or anything, beyond words, in silence.
– Yves Bonnefoy

Nobody knows me I speak the night.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

Solitude rehabilitates the soul, corrects morals, renews affections, erases blemishes, purges faults, and reconciles God and man.
– Petrarch

Ode to My Socks
by Pablo Neruda

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as though into
two
cases
knitted
with threads of
twilight
and goatskin.
Violent socks,
my feet were
two fish made
of wool,
two long sharks
sea-blue, shot
through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
by
these
heavenly
socks.
They were
so handsome
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
unacceptable
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that woven
fire,
of those glowing
socks.

Nevertheless
I resisted
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as schoolboys
keep
fireflies,
as learned men
collect
sacred texts,
I resisted
the mad impulse
to put them
into a golden
cage
and each day give them
birdseed
and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
green deer
to the spit
and eat it
with remorse,
I stretched out
my feet
and pulled on
the magnificent
socks
and then my shoes.

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
beauty
and what is good is doubly
good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
in winter.

There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realize that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realize, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are.
– Helen Macdonald

We think that our ideas about life, about ourselves, are reality itself. This is the cause of our suffering.
– Jan Frazier

My mother used to say that because Jews had suffered, we should fight for the underdog and struggle against injustice wherever we find it. So in my veins runs the rusty stain of desire for the impossible world old Jewish lefties dream of, from Isaiah to today.
– Alicia Ostriker

Anyone who penetrates into the unconscious with purely biological assumptions will become stuck in the instinctual sphere and be unable to advance beyond it, for he will be pulled back again and again into physical existence.
– CG Jung

The reality of living in space means that we are born anew; not born again to an old-time religion, but born to a new order of things: there are no horizons. We are in a free fall into a future that is mysterious. All you have to do is know how to use a parachute.
– Joseph Campbell

moonlight
of the past
where is it now?
– Bansui

“We’ll discuss it later.”
I stir tornadoes
in my tea
– Seanan Forbes

Eliot understood that the only way to keep literary tradition alive was not for contemporary writers to worship it or ignore it but to continually reshape and extend it.
– Ryan Ruby

We must, regardless of material things and of mankind, which disavows us, live for our vocation, climb up our ivory tower, and there, like a bayadere with her perfumes, dwell alone with our dreams.
– Gustave Flaubert

The poets I love the most see themselves as part of a community and spend energy they aren’t expected to in order to open doors for folks. Our best poets are doing that work.
– Matthew Wimberley

prairie motel
from my window
stars and fireflies
– Deanna Tiefenthal

Sorry to be dumb but I don’t understand why there are like eight different places trying to sell me overpriced salad bowls but every week another literary magazine shuts down.
– Maggie Doherty

a dog walker
relaxes the leash
autumn leaves
– Richard Straw

It is possible to be solitary in one’s mind while living in a crowd, and it is possible for one who is solitary to live in the crowd of his own thoughts.
– Syncletica of Alexandria

Science and technology have indeed conquered the world, but whether the psyche has gained anything is another matter.
– CG Jung

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
– Paul McCartney

A writer born in a great nation is in danger of assuming that the culture of his native country suffices. In this, paradoxically, he is the one who tends to be provincial.
– Henri Michaux

Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world.
– Susan Sontag

We rationalize, we dissimilate, we pretend: we pretend that modern medicine is a rational science, all facts, no nonsense, and just what it seems. But we have only to tap its glossy veneer for it to split wide open, and reveal to us its roots and foundations, its old dark heart of metaphysics, mysticism, magic, and myth. Medicine is the oldest of the arts, and the oldest of the sciences: would one not expect it to spring from the deepest knowledge and feelings we have?

There is, of course, an ordinary medicine, an everyday medicine, humdrum, prosaic, a medicine for stubbed toes, quinsies, bunions, and boils; but all of us entertain the idea of another sort of medicine, of a wholly different kind: something deeper, older, extraordinary, almost sacred, which will restore to us our lost health and wholeness, and give us a sense of perfect well-being.”
– Oliver Sacks

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength. Learning for instance, to eat when he’s hungry and sleep when he’s sleepy.
– Jack Kerouac

I have been wondering, mostly,
if love and sanity are the same
thing. When I say I am in love
I am also saying the world
makes sense to me right now.
– Neil Hilborn

Any information we take in from the environment is colored by the experiences that we have already had and the emotional response we were having at the time. In this manner what we have seen and felt dictates what we can see and feel.
– Robert A. Johnson

left a bitter aftertaste
on my tongue
a hard day
– @Meraki_k

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you should feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction.

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.
– Bertrand Russell

But what is beyond? Even the word beyond suggests a category of thought! So transcendence is literally transcendent of all knowledge. In the Kena Upanishad, written back in the seventh century B.C., it says very clearly, “that to which words and thoughts do not reach.”
– Joseph Campbell

It is terrible to have to ask for anything ever. We wish we were something that needed nothing, like paint. But even paint needs repainting.
– Miranda July

People do not realize that when they work (write, create art], conscious forces come to their aid… Conscious forces are trying to help you. You are not alone.
– Christopher Fremantle

Literalism becomes a sword that divides things crudely, sometimes cruelly and creates false oppositions.
– Michael Meade

It is always important to have something to bring into a relationship, and solitude is often the means by which you acquire it.
– Carl Jung

It should no longer be your concern that the world speaks of you; your sole concern should be with how you speak to yourself.
– Michel de Montaigne

The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning.
– M. Scott Peck

as old as the hills
an ancient tongue vanishes
with the last speaker
– Andrew Brindle

It may look as if the artist is behaving like an activist, when actually, all she is doing is building a world in which she can live and work.
– Liz Lerman, Hiking the Horizontal

The soul unfurls at its own pace. We can’t push the river.
– Frank Inzan Owen

Human biology and human neurobiology are interpersonal. The brain is a social organ, and it’s affected by the environment, and particularly it’s affected by the psycho-emotional environment.
– Gabor Maté

The traditional image for equanimity is a banquet to which everyone is invited. That means that everyone and everything, without exception, is on the guest list. Consider your worst enemy. Consider someone who would do you harm. Imagine inviting them to this feast.

Training in equanimity is learning to open the door to all, welcoming all beings, inviting life to come visit. Of course, as certain guests arrive, we’ll feel fear and aversion. We allow ourselves to open the door just a crack if that’s all that we can presently do, and we allow ourselves to shut the door when necessary. Cultivating equanimity is a work in progress. We aspire to spend our lives training in the loving-kindness and courage that it takes to receive whatever appears—sickness, health, poverty, wealth, sorrow, and joy. We welcome and get to know them all.

– Pema Chodron

Metaphor is the soul’s language; it’s what connects us to the divine within. Metaphor means a passing over from one level to another, from the physical to the spiritual. All language is metaphorical. It is the literal language of the soul.
– Marion Woodman

Sometimes it feels like God has reached down and touched me, blessed me a thousand times over, and sometimes it all feels like a mean joke.
– Anne Lamott

The distinction between mind and body is an artificial dichotomy, a discrimination which is unquestionably based far more on the peculiarity of intellectual understanding than on the nature of things.
– Carl Jung

Ever find yourself feeling nervous, sad, or irritated and not know why? It might be because of leftover emotions from something that happened earlier—when you were too busy pursuing a goal to notice your feelings.
– Ronald Siegel

Whatever the thing we wish to say, there is but one word to express it, but one verb to give it movement, but one adjective to qualify it. We must seek till we find this noun, this verb and this adjective, and never be content with getting very near it.
– Maupassant

A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
– C.G. Jung

He who knows he must leave looks at everything with a distant eye.
– Paul Valery

If you create an atmosphere of attunement & responsiveness within yourself, 1 that mimics the mental and emotional state of an attentive parent, this pain & sorrow becomes not only endurable but self-liberating. It releases, & in the process, we can also be released.
– Mark Epstein

The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.
– James Baldwin

I am a great doctor in melancholy. You can believe me. Even now I have my days of slump and even despair. But I shake myself like a wet man and I approach my art which warms me.
– Gustave Flaubert

there is no pain
like that of words
becoming flesh
– Makoto

turning to look back
at the larch forest
a lonely journey
– Hakushu

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.
– Virginia Woolf

I’m just a girl, standing in front of an editor, asking her to please publish my absolutely feral essay about nemeses.
– Erica Berry

There remains one thread, the one I first started to unwind: that of literature as an existential function, the search for lightness as a reaction to the weight of living.
– Italo Calvino

Solitudes are not to be measured by miles; they are to be numbered by days.
– Alice Meynell

You will not have the right words… don’t wait until you have the right words.
– Natalie Tysdal

It is easier to be against President Bush than it is to change small dynamics in our field—even in the arts, where we think we are radical, but in fact we are not.
– Liz Lerman, Hiking the Horizontal

As regards man’s psyche, Jung says, “Our true religion is a monotheism of consciousness, a possession by it, coupled with a fanatical denial of the existence of fragmentary autonomous systems.”
– Erel Shalit

The active contents of the unconscious do behave in a way I cannot describe better than by the word “autonomous.” The term is used to indicate the fact that the complexes offer resistance to the conscious intentions, and come and go as they please.
– CG Jung

I no longer pray—
now I drink dark chocolate
and let the moon sing to me.
I no longer pray—
I let my ancestors dance
through my hips
at the slightest provocation.
I no longer pray—
I go to the river
and howl my ancient pain
into the current.
I no longer pray—
I ache, I desire,
I say “yes” to my longing.
I no longer pray as I was taught
but as the stars crawl
onto my lap like soft animals at nighttime
and God tucks my hair behind my ears
with the gentle fingers of her wind
and a new intimacy is uncovered in everything,
perhaps it’s that I’m finally learning
how to pray.
– Chelan Harkin

Antidotes to Fear of Death
Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.
And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:
To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.
– Rebecca Elson

Angels of the Get-Through
by Andrea Gibson
This year is the the hardest of your whole life.
so hard you cannot see a future, most days.
The pain is bigger than anything else.
Takes up the whole horizon, no matter where you are.
You feel unsafe, you feel unsaved.
Your past so present you can feel your baby teeth.
Sitting on the couch, you swear your feet don’t reach the floor.
You keep remembering the first time you saw a bird’s nest
Held together by an old shoe lace and scraps of a plastic bag
You knew the home of a person could be built like that
A lot of things you’d rather throw away
You keep worrying you’re taking up too much space.
I wish you’d let yourself be the Milky Way
Remember when I told you I was gonna become a full-time poet
And you paid my rent for three years?
Best Friend,
Angel of the get-through.
All living is storm chasing.
Every good heart has lost its roof.
Let all the walls collapse at your feet,
Scream “timber” when they ask you how you are.
“Fine” is the suckiest word. It is the opposite of HERE
Here is the only place left on the map
Here is where you learn laughter can go extinct
and come back
I am already building a museum
For every treasure you unearth in the rock bottom
Holy vulnerable cliff
God mason, heart heavier than all the bricks
Say this is what the pain made of you
An open, open, open road
An avalanche of feel it all
Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you are too much
Or it has been too long
Whatever keeps a stutterer from stuttering when he sings a song,
you are made of that thing
That unbreakable note
That photograph of you at five years old,
the year you ran away from school,
because you wanted to go home.
You are almost there.
You are the same compass you have always been
You are the same friend who never left my side
during my worst year
You caught every tantrum I threw
with your bare hands
chucked it back at that blood moon
said “it’s okay, everyone’s survival looks a little bit like death sometimes”
I wrote a poem called “Say Yes” while I was cursing your name
For not letting me go.
Best friend, this is what we do.
We gather each other up.
We say, the cup is half
yours and half mine.
We say alone is the last place you will ever be.
We say tonight let’s just stay inside reading Pema Chodron
while everyone else is out on the town
Pema will say, “only to the degree we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation
can that which is indestructible in us be found”
You’ll say Pema is so wise.
And I’ll say yes she is, and we are too.
Angels of the get-through. We are too.

Our lives, half gone,
stay full of laughter.

Free-hearted men
have the world for words.

Though we have been
apart, we have been together.

– Wendell Berry

I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD WHY I MEDITATE

Nothing happened today
as I sat for five minutes in the dark,
but all day I could feel the everywhere of it,

even as the car was sliding sideways down the hill,
even as my daughter wept, even as my singing group
laughed until we cried, I could feel it still there,

the silence that holds up all sound, the stillness
that cradles all motion, the peace that supports
every disaster, the blue sky behind the clouds.

– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

A person speaking
pauses, lets in
a little silence-portion with the words.
It is like an hour.
Any hour. This one.
Something happens, much does not.
Or as always, everything happens:
the standing walls keep
standing with their whole attention.
A noisy crow call lowers and lifts its branch,
the crow scent enters the leaves, enters the bark,
like stirred-in honey gone into the tea.
How rarely I have stopped to thank
the steady effort of the world to stay the world.
To thank the furnish of green
and abandon of yellow. The ancient Sumerians
called the beloved “Honey,” as we do.
Said also, “Borrowed bread is not returned.”
Like them, we pay love’s tax to bees,
we go on arranging the old notes in different orders.
Desire inside A C A G G A T.
Forgiveness in G T A C T T.
In a world of space and time, arrangement matters.
An hour has no front or back,
except to those whose eyes face forward,
whose tears blur thought and stars.
Five genes, in a certain arrangement,
will spend this life unrooted, grazing.
It has to do with how the animal body comes into being,
the same whether ant or camel.
What then does such unfolded code understand,
if it finds in its mouth the word important —
the thing that can be carried, or the thing that cannot,
or the way they keep trading places,
grief and gladness, the comic, the glum, the dead, the living.
Last night, the big Sumerian moon
clambered into the house empty-handed
and left empty-handed,
not thief, not lover, not tortoise, just looking around,
shuffling its soft, blind slippers over the floor.
This felt, to me, important, and so I looked back with both hands
open, palms unblinking.
What caused the fire, we ask, meaning, lightning, wiring, matches.
How precisely and unbidden
oxygen slips itself into, between those thick words.
– Jane Hirshfield

Bless the spirit that makes connections,
for truly we live in what we imagine.
Clocks move along side our real life
with steps that are ever the same.

Though we do not know our exact location,
we are held in place by what links us.
Across trackless distances
antennas sense each other.

Pure attention, the essence of the powers!
Distracted by each day’s doing,
how can we hear the signals?

Even as the farmer labors
there where the seed turns into summer,
it is not his work. It is Earth who gives.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Then they wanted to fly up to heaven itself, to scoff at the angels, and our Lord. The higher they flew with the mirror, the wider it grinned. They could hardly manage to hold it. Higher they flew, and higher still, nearer to heaven and the angels. Then the grinning mirror trembled with such violence that it slipped from their hands and fell to the earth, where it shattered into hundreds of millions of billions of bits, or perhaps even more. And now it caused more trouble than it did before it was broken, because some of the fragments were smaller than a grain of sand and these went flying throughout the wide world. Once they got in people’s eyes they would stay there. These bits of glass distorted everything the people saw, and made them see only the bad side of things, for every little bit of glass kept the same power that the whole mirror had possessed…
– H.C. Andersen

When religion does not move people to the mystical or non-dual level of consciousness it is more a part of the problem than any solution whatsoever. It solidifies angers, creates enemies, and is almost always exclusionary of the most recent definition of ‘sinner.’ At this level, it is largely incapable of its supreme tasks of healing, reconciling, forgiving, and peacemaking. When religion does not give people an inner life or a real prayer life, it is missing its primary vocation.
– Richard Rohr

The people who understand language are the people who feel it as extremely difficult and dangerous’.
– Ian Hamilton Finlay

That Dada Strain
the zig zag mothers of the gods
of science the lunatic fixed stars
& pharmacies
fathers who left the tents of anarchism
unguarded
the arctic bones
strung out on saint germain
like tom toms
living light bulbs
aphrodisia
“art is junk” the urinal
says “dig a hole
“& swim in it”
a message from the grim computer
“ye are hamburgers”
– Jerome Rothenberg

Onta by Dan Beachy-Quick

No ceremony for the initiation into facts—
Only patience that is not time. The fist
Of the mind grows roots and greens into a fern.
The fern of the mind suffers a solar age
And becomes what it suffers—the sun is not
A star, but a flower. A voice in the eternal
Honey says, What is needed is to think with the flower
Of the mind. Suffer is a word meaning many words—
Endure, experience. The flower endures the sun
By eating it. I only say I when no other word
Will do. What is the world is the world, what is
Not is not. That is the nectar thought. A hive
Or is it a cloud, knowledge gathering darkly above,
Hiding lightning, hiding stings. When the air
Clenches its fist and strikes a blow the sky is clear
Again. More clear than it’s ever been. The day-shy
Stars peek out behind the blinding veil, so very faint,
The snail’s glistening path draws her singular line
West behind the mountains, and already, it’s true,
The eye on its delicate horn trembles up in the east,
That snail, the moon. The humble mind hums.
Gnosis knows. There are no words. Just a tune

Only infinite patience produces immediate results.
– Marianne Williamson

Where I am I am blissful
in the fact there’s no ice

At this moment in the city
no snow buildup

no ice, not in patches
not in ruts
not black ice

I don’t care it’s a little cooler
than normal or even overcast

the ability to walk outdoors
and greet and smile and say

hello and be a little bit more sure
of each step

– Marian Haddad and Helena Kaufman

Here is the solitude from which you are absent.
It is raining. The sea wind is hunting stray gulls.
– Neruda

i have diver’s lungs from holding my
breath for so long. i promise you
i am not trying to break a record
sometimes i just forget to
exhale.
– Yesenia Montilla

america
the titanic
searching for
its iceberg
– George Tsongas

Sometimes you are so loaded up on the inside, that you can’t handle much of anything on the outside. When this happens, the only answer is to step back and get caught up with yourself. Grab some soulitude, connect to your unfelt feelings, express and release your emotional material. Until you clear your holdings, nothing will make sense. That’s the real ‘born again.’ Clarity emerges in the heart of the emptied chambers. New eyes, again and again…
– Jeff Brown

The internet needs a new vibe.

Not grumpy. Not sales. Not cats. Not food pics. Not polarizing.

– Nora Bateson

We have received an inestimable gift. To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it — is a wonder beyond words. And it is, moreover, an extraordinary privilege to be accorded a human life, with self-reflexive consciousness that brings awareness of our own actions and the ability to make choices. It lets us choose to join the praising and healing of our world.
– Joanna Macy

When we dare to face the cruel social and ecological realities we have been accustomed to, courage is born, and powers within us are liberated to reimagine and even, perhaps one day, rebuild a world.
– Joanna Macy

There must be thousands of people
in this city who are dying
to welcome you into their small bolted rooms,
to sit you down and tell you
what has happened to their lives.
And the night smells like snow.
Walking home for a moment
you almost believe you could start again.
And an intense love rushes to your heart,
and hope. It’s unendurable, unendurable.
– Franz Wright

Am I losing my secret, private self? […] What a frightening thought. I’m going to see what I can do, if I can do anything. I’m consoled by something Pessoa wrote, and which I read somewhere: ‘Speaking is the simplest way of making ourselves unknown.’
– C. Lispector

To perceive the world through other senses is to find splendor in familiarity and the sacred in the mundane. Wonders exist in a backyard garden, where bees take the measure of a flower’s electric fields, leafhoppers send vibrational melodies through the stems of plants, and birds behold the hidden palates of rurples and grurples…Wilderness is not distant. We are continually immersed in it. It is there for us to imagine, to savor and to protect
– Ed Yong, An Immense World

November begins to take color from the world
until December must be lit to keep winter
from disappearing into its empty absences
– Greg Sellers

No wonder that many bad neuroses appear at the onset of life’s afternoon. It is a sort of second puberty, another storm and stress period; not infrequently accompanied by tempests of passion-the “dangerous age.”
– CG Jung

A vengeful person is constantly looking back to the past for the real or imagined cause of his affliction. When he realizes that he cannot backwards and alter the past, he is reduced to impotence and teeth gnashing.
– Frederick Burniston

Is there a direction home that doesn’t point backward?
– Paul Chan

When the Buddha declares there is escape from sorrow, the escape is Nirvana, which is not a place, like heaven, but a psychological state of mind in which you are released from desire and fear.
– Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth

Some nights were so / sensory I felt that starlight landing on my back / and believed I could set fire to things with my fingers
– Denis Johnson

Manhattan is a Lenape Word
by Natalie Diaz

It is December and we must be brave.

The ambulance’s rose of light
blooming against the window.
Its single siren-cry: Help me.
A silk-red shadow unbolting like water
through the orchard of her thigh.

Her, come—in the green night, a lion.
I sleep her bees with my mouth of smoke,
dip honey with my hands stung sweet
on the darksome hive.
Out of the eater I eat. Meaning,
She is mine, colony.

The things I know aren’t easy:
I’m the only Native American
on the 8th floor of this hotel or any,
looking out any window
of a turn-of-the-century building
in Manhattan.

Manhattan is a Lenape word.
Even a watch must be wound.
How can a century or a heart turn
if nobody asks, Where have all
the natives gone?

If you are where you are, then where
are those who are not here? Not here.
Which is why in this city I have
many lovers. All my loves
are reparations loves.

What is loneliness if not unimaginable
light and measured in lumens—
an electric bill which must be paid,
a taxi cab floating across three lanes
with its lamp lit, gold in wanting.
At 2 a.m. everyone in New York City
is empty and asking for someone.

Again, the siren’s same wide note:
Help me. Meaning, I have a gift
and it is my body, made two-handed
of gods and bronze.

She says, You make me feel
like lightning. I say, I don’t ever
want to make you feel that white.
It’s too late—I can’t stop seeing
her bones. I’m counting the carpals,
metacarpals of her hand inside me.

One bone, the lunate bone, is named
for its crescent outline. Lunatus. Luna.
Some nights she rises like that in me,
like trouble—a slow luminous flux.

The streetlamp beckons the lonely
coyote wandering West 29th Street
by offering its long wrist of light.
The coyote answers by lifting its head
and crying stars.

Somewhere far from New York City,
an American drone finds then loves
a body—the radiant nectar it seeks
through great darkness—makes
a candle-hour of it, and burns
gently along it, like American touch,
an unbearable heat.

The siren song returns in me,
I sing it across her throat: Am I
what I love? Is this the glittering world
I’ve been begging for?

For some time, I’ve wondered how and why the lyric continues to survive in a world of unremitting violence.
– Cintia Santana

apocalyptic lyric

a line break is a kind of lie my friend says

yet still he writes

an encore over and over the lyric

a border wall topped by concertina wire

improbably survives

as does the sound of honeybees

and monarchy

as did the man on the Golden Gate who leapt

after he fed the parking meter

– Cintia Santana

The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.
– Katherine Mansfield

The first fall of snow… Is a magical event:
You go to bed In one kind of world
and wake up to find yourself In another, quite different,
If this Is not Enchantment,
where is it to be found?”
– J. B. Priestley

In the sutras it says, “What good is manure, if not to fertilize sugar cane crops?” Similarly, we can say, “What good are thoughts and emotions – in fact all of our experiences – if not to increase our realization?” What prevents us from making good use of them are the fears and reactions that come from our self-importance. Therefore, the Buddha taught us to let things be. Without feeling threatened or trying to control them, just let things arise naturally and let them be. When ego-mind becomes transparent through meditation, we have no reason to be afraid of it. This greatly reduces our suffering. We may actually develop a passion for seeing all aspects of our mind. This attitude is at the heart of the practice of self-reflection.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Perseveration

It is difficult to fall asleep on this earth.
– Yevgeny Yevtushenko

All the road rage, rolling blackouts,
oil-soaked birds, burning
stacks of spongy-brained cows,
unwelcome darlings suffocated,

all the bodies slicked together
like wet paper in desire
and need, cries of pain
or longing interchangeable,

all the prayers like rosaries of
barking geese, a traffic
jam around the moon,
the whole planet crying mercy,

and the tarnished soup spoons
of your own complaints
banging on the dented saucepan
of your heart, a racketing

like New Year’s Eve at midnight,
our hopes and terrors
launched like rockets
out beyond the crimped clouds.

– Susan Elbe

a sky
full of stars
blue night road
– Fuyuji

I people my poems with nostalgia. They are in part my bright land.
– Ted Berrigan

The Other
by Diane Seuss

I’ve fought it so hard, this
responsiveness to the other,
though as a child it was my nature
to teeter
on the edge of deathbeds and read
storybooks to the ones lying there.
Children, I think, are without ulterior motives.
Those come later, in conjunction with desire.
Maturity taught me to fight it,
that at-oneness with the sufferer. I felt good

about snatching myself back.
I had a life to live, things to lose, like my so-called
virginity, though I’d already lost it
to myself. I helped
a family friend, Jan, by then bald-headed Jan,
onto the bedside commode, and wiped her,
and got her back in bed.
Then I stopped visiting.
Her house had always been a respite.
When she got sick it became the scene of the crime.

I can still smell the sweet rot of her pee.
Like Peter
Pan I was youth! I was joy! I still had
my milk teeth.
I thought poems required a degree
of heartlessness, a running
away into the pines, to the streambed.
From that point on I became squeamish.
I could no longer dig
the bullets out of animals and brown

their thighs in butter and eat them,
or soak morels in a sink full of hot saltwater
to kill the bugs hiding in their spongey hollows.
Once I declined a man’s fig,
having heard gossip of the dead wasp living
at its center. And I have the audacity, now,
to ask people who serve the suffering
to serve with joy. Joy. What a joyless word.
As if I served the drug addicts in my life with joy.
As if I kissed the slashed wrists. The bored doctors.

I’ve only kissed one medical doctor in my life
and it was because he was young and I wanted
to pretend I was young again and he wanted
a green card. Now, when I think of doctors, I say,
out loud, don’t touch me. I think of pap smears.
They want to know what’s inside me.
I once invented a dance, with a friend
who later died of AIDS in his early twenties
The dance was called the Dance of the Bobby Pin,
and required the dancer to pass a bobby pin

from their lips into the lips of the other dancer
while mutually undulating like snakes.
No body parts touched. Not even the lips.
The bobby pin was the lone interface,
like the coupler linking two cars of a train.
It was fun. We got laughs from onlookers.
Once, he was drunk and stoned enough
to ask if he could feel my boobs.
He wasn’t attracted to women.
His interest was purely clinical. Sure, I said,

go ahead. Feel them.
He found it to be an interesting experiment
in discovering neutrality.
He went blind before he died,
and recited the Lord’s Prayer
in order to appease his mother.
At least I assume it was an appeasement.
Maybe deep, deep down beneath
the hipness and provocations he was a true believer.
When he died, we hadn’t talked in a while.

By then I’d married his arch-nemesis.
At the core of their hostilities was art.
Always art. The person I married was envious
of playfulness in art. Playfulness got all
of the attention, he claimed,
though he was the better draftsman.
He was likewise jealous of the Dance of the Bobby Pin.
It was all projection.
Especially the marriage and the divorce.
I cried in front of the judge,

but now I realize the tears were false,
like the tap water that poured
from the eyes of Tiny Tears, the weeping doll.
What I really wanted was to bury
a pickaxe in my husband’s forehead.
With joy! With joy! With a surplus of joy!
Whatever grace you stumble upon,
don’t sit on it like a smug hen on its eggs.
Whatever you think of yourself,
think otherwise, Diane.

Lovers find secret places
inside this violent world
where they make transactions
with beauty.
– Rumi

cold war
he makes his tea
i make mine
– @Meraki_k

To build a fire in my heart with the questions I am wrestling with

To tend to the flames with devotion and patience

To discover answers in the ashes

Ashes, ashes. Ashes with the embers for new fires, new questions

– Benjamin Haynes

“Do not hunt after truth,” Zen people say. “Only cease to cherish opinions.” Where does that leave us now, in a world that seems overrun with hunters and seekers, opinion-makers and those who cherish their own positions? How do we consent to know nothing at all?
– Pico Iyer

When we relate to our bodies as having soul, we attend to their beauty, their poetry and their expressiveness.
– Thomas Moore

To stay loyal to paradox is to earn the right to unity.
– Robert A. Johnson

Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and future.
– Laurie Helgoe

As [Jung] says: “Consciousness is continually widened through the confrontation with previously unconscious contents, or—to be more accurate—could be widened if it took the trouble to integrate them.”
– Robin Robertson

Truth is revealed. We cannot tell the truth. It has to appear inside the telling or through the telling. That’s why we listen to what’s not said in psychoanalysis & that’s again what goes wrong in an interview: It focuses too much on what’s said.
– James Hillman

How brilliant the sunsets, how warm the air, how huge the sky: the size of our own souls.
– Charles Baudelaire

A List of Possibilities in an Uncertain Order

Lighthouses may well still be useful.

Dogs live knowing how to live; they alone defy Kierkegaard.

God is likely tired of being God.

If you wait long enough, the shadows . . .

Despite what they say, it can be good to take a nap longer than
twenty minutes.

Rain that never falls is still rain.

Amen is the only way out.

Honeysuckle, like love, grows anyway.

Etudes could well be beautiful when played on a kazoo.

The lyricism of early morning often arrives unaccountably.

– Jack Ridl

The inability to imagine a world in which things are different is evidence only of a poor imagination, not of the impossibility of change.
– Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists

Drives me crazy that people are still pining away for some magic blue-light arc-reacor sci-fi energy source to save us when solar and wind are out there doing it, as we speak.
– David Roberts

I love when I realize I’m handling a situation better than my old self would have.
– Dahlia Blell

If you are now wondering where to look for consolation, where to seek a new and better God… he does not come to us from books, he lives within us… This God is in you too. He is most particularly in you, the dejected and despairing.
– Hermann Hesse

Vipassana is the art of living, not the art of escaping.
– S. N. Goenka

cloudy sky
a dove flies
into a dolphin
– @Meraki_k

an artistic life
a moon watchers
tea songs
– Basho

The night isn’t dark;
the world is dark.
Stay with me a little longer.
– Louise Glück

When it rained
in some distant land
you read to me poetry
in the light of day
When dusk curled
into sheaves of graphite night
we lay listening to yesterday’s train
hooting again
and in that frozen time
we lay quiet
watching moonlight dance
on our floor.
– Nisha Raviprasad

the words I’ve swallowed
making me cold
– Onogi Noa

Resistance to the status-quo is driven by the ability to imagine alternative ways of being.
– Tarn Rodgers Johns

There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.
– Rosalynn Carter

“Man is that part of the universe which understands”; but that is not his purpose. His purpose is to lend the universe its tragic aspect by understanding too late.
– François Aussemain

each moment
the shifting landscape
unique
– Andrew Brindle

The smaller you are, the bigger Christmas is.
– Tove Jansson

Mindfulness helps you fall in love with the ordinary.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

We are born into bodies that are fluid and free. Yet for most of us, this state of grace is sadly short lived. Judgement, emotional wounds, fear and loss become stored deep inside our muscles and bones, leaving us with shoulders that sag, hips that are locked, arms that can’t reach out, hearts that beat behind a stone wall. When we move our bodies we shake up firmly rooted systems of thought, old patterns of behavior and emotional responses that just don’t work anymore. Rhythm, breath, music and movement become tools for seeing, then freeing, the habits that hold us back. When we free the body, the heart begins to open. When the body and the heart taste freedom, the mind won’t be far behind. And when we put the psyche into motion, it will start to heal itself.
– Gabrielle Roth

People who have faith in life are like swimmers who entrust themselves to a rushing river. They neither abandon themselves to its current nor try to resist it. Rather, they adjust their every movement to the watercourse, use it with purpose and skill, and enjoy the adventure.
– David Steindl-Rast

Love is the most dangerous and uncertain element in life; and because we do not want to be uncertain, because we do not want to be in danger, we live in the mind. A man who loves is dangerous, and we do not want to live dangerously.
– Krishnamurti

Someone asked me once why I write and I replied, ‘Because I cannot speak and cry at the same time.’
– Tom Spanbauer

The days slip
away as quickly as my memories
of the person who was most like me.
– Patricia Colleen Murphy

I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the last light supine and tranquil upon tideflats like pieces of broken mirror, then beyond them lights began in the pale clear air, trembling a little like butterflies hovering a long way off.
– William Faulkner

Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t. Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die. Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame. How are you supposed to fall asleep to this?
– Richard Siken

Meditation is a social and political act. Listening and not-doing are actions far more powerful than most of us have yet begun to realize.
– Joan Tollifson

But tell me—inside, you know what I mean, deep down where you keep yourself, how is everything?
– Álvaro Mutis

To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?
– Christopher Hitchens

Society is growing ever more skeptical of the value of solitude, ever more suspicious of even the briefest of withdrawals into inactivity and apparent purposelessness.’
– Nicholas Carr

Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.
– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

A life confined to what is personal is likely, sooner or later, to become unbearably painful; it is only by windows into a larger and less fretful cosmos that the more tragic parts of life become endurable.
– Bertrand Russell

We don’t have the time to learn the language of the giants, so we, in turn, become them. A kind of mimicry. What we exile, we become.
– Dr. Martin Shaw

It is an illusion that writing, like reading, gives one freedom. Sooner or later people come with their expectations: some demand loyalty; others, to be made immortal as characters. Only the names on the epitaphs remain silent.
– Paul Celan (trans. by Pierre Joris)

Our threads are those fragile continuities of purpose, of passion and of spirit that give us our sense of self and identity. And truly, the more we try to define what that thread of reassurance and possibility is, the more we do disservice to that feeling.
– William Sieghart

If we are to be whole and follow the way of nature, we must pursue the difficult process of embracing the opposites.
– Connie Zweig

Dreaming that I Went with Li and Yü to Visit Yüan Chen

At night I dreamt I was back in Ch’ang-an;
I saw again the faces of old friends.
And in my dreams, under an April sky,
They led me by the hand to wander in the spring winds.
Together we came to the ward of Peace and Quiet;
We stopped our horses at the gate of Yüan Chen.
Yüan Chen was sitting all alone;
When he saw me coming, a smile came to his face.
He pointed back at the flowers in the western court;
Then opened wine in the northern summer-house.
He seemed to be saying that neither of us had changed;
He seemed to be regretting that joy will not stay;
That our souls had met only for a little while,
To part again with hardly time for greeting.
I woke up and thought him still at my side;
I put out my hand; there was nothing there at all.

– Po Chü-i, translated by Arthur Waley

On Hearing Someone Sing a Poem
by Yüan Chen

No new poems his brush will trace;
Even his fame is dead.
His old poems are deep in dust
At the bottom of boxes and cupboards.
Once lately, when someone was singing,
Suddenly I heard a verse —
Before I had time to catch the words
A pain had stabbed my heart.

– Po Chü-i, translated by Arthur Waley

At this season of the year, darkness is a more insistent thing than cold. The days are short as any dream.
– E.B. White

Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage.
– Adrienne Rich

I pray in words. I pray in poems. I want to learn to pray through breathing, through dreams and sleeplessness, through love and renunciation.
– Anna Kamienska, trans. Clare Cavanagh

scarves for the apaches
wet gloves for snowballs
whoops for white clouds
and blue toboggans…
– Edwin Morgan

I just could never sit down to it every day. I still can’t. The only thing is, I do keep going back to the desk. And every time—every single time—the fog rolls in, my mind goes blank, and the struggle begins.
– Vivian Gornick

When I was twelve, I started writing poems every day, every evening. Not only that but I followed poetry as somebody else of that age might follow sport.
– Colm Tóibín

Worth always reminding ourselves that poetry isn’t an homogenous activity, even if we sometimes act like it is. There are almost as many different approaches, aesthetics, and artistic ambitions, as there are poets. The trick is holding your nerve, staying true to what you value.
– Ben Wilkinson

Each one of us has lived
through some devastation,
some loneliness,
some weather superstorm
or spiritual superstorm;

when we look at each other
we must say, I understand.

I understand how you feel
because I have been there
myself.

We must support each other
and empathize with each
other because each of us
is more alike than we are
unalike.
– Maya Angelou

She asked me to stop looking
at her like she was special;
that she was ordinary and
nothing unique.

Oh, how I was dying to tell
her that there were people
who danced to classical music
while others listened to rock,

and how some people thought
the night was gorgeous with
all it’s constellations while
others adored the warmth of
the Sun,

how there were people that
found solace in blue while
green reminded others of
nature,

how there were people that
saw paint on a canvas while
others found God,

how she was My Moon on a
cloudless night, and that no
Star shone as bright as her
Light reflected.

– E.K.

Blind compassion is rooted in the belief that we are all doing the best we can. When we are driven by blind compassion, we cut everyone far too much slack, making excuses for others’ behavior and making nice situations that require a forceful “no”, an unmistakable voicing of displeasure, or a firm setting and maintaining of boundaries. These things can, and often should be done out of love, but blind compassion keeps love too meek, sentenced to wearing a kind face. Blind compassion is kindness rooted in fear, and not just fear of confrontation, but also fear of not coming across as a good or spiritual person.

When we are engaged in blind compassion we rarely show anger, for we not only believe that compassion has to be gentle, we are also frightened of upsetting anyone, especially to the point of their confronting us. This is reinforced by our judgment about anger, especially in its more fiery forms, as something less spiritual; something that shouldn’t be there if we were being truly loving. Blind compassion reduces us to harmony junkies, entrapping us in unrelentingly positive expression.

With blind compassion we don’t know how to – or won’t learn how to – say “no” with any real power, avoiding confrontation at all costs and, as a result, enabling unhealthy patterns to continue. Our “yes” is then anemic and impotent, devoid of impact it could have if we were also able to access a clear, strong “no” that emanated from our core.

When we mute our essential voice, our openness is reduced to a permissive gap, an undiscerning embrace, a poorly boundaries receptivity, all of which indicate a lack of compassion for ourselves (in that we don’t adequately protect ourselves). Blind compassion confuses anger with aggression, forcefulness with violence, judgment with condemnation, caring with exaggerated tolerance, and more tolerance with spiritual correctness.

– Robert Augustus Masters, Spiritual Bypassing

Leonard Cohen said his teacher once told him that, the older you get, the lonelier you become, and the deeper the love you need. This is because, as we go through life, we tend to over-identify with being the hero of our stories.

This hero isn’t exactly having fun: he’s getting kicked around, humiliated, and disgraced. But if we can let go of identifying with him, we can find our rightful place in the universe, and a love more satisfying than any we’ve ever known.

People constantly throw around the term “Hero’s Journey” without having any idea what it really means. Everyone from CEOs to wellness-influencers thinks the Hero’s Journey means facing your fears, slaying a dragon, and gaining 25k followers on Instagram. But that’s not the real hero’s journey.

In the real hero’s journey, the dragon slays YOU. Much to your surprise, you couldn’t make that marriage work. Much to your surprise, you turned forty with no kids, no house, and no prospects. Much to your surprise, the world didn’t want the gifts you proudly offered it.

If you are foolish, this is where you will abort the journey and start another, and another, abusing your heart over and over for the brief illusion of winning. But if you are wise, you will let yourself be shattered, and return to the village, humbled, but with a newfound sense that you don’t have to identify with the part of you that needs to win, needs to be recognized, needs to know. This is where your transcendent life begins.

So embrace humility in everything. Life isn’t out to get you, nor are your struggles your fault. Every defeat is just an angel, tugging at your sleeve, telling you that you don’t have to keep banging your head against the wall. Leave that striver there, trapped in his lonely ambitions. Just walk away, and life in its vastness will embrace you.

– Paul Weinfield

get them what they really want this holiday season: a vine-covered lighthouse where they can read books all day and stare out to sea and walk down to the local pub for a bowl of stew.
– @bookishseawitch

The majority of men ‘without religion’ still hold to pseudo religions and degenerated mythologies. There is nothing surprising in this, for, as we saw, profane man is the descendant of homo religiosus and he cannot wipe out his own history—that is, the behavior of his religious ancestors which has made him what he is today. This is all the more true because a great part of his existence is fed by impulses that come to him from the depths of his being, from the zone that has been called the “unconscious,” A purely rational man is an abstraction; he is never found in real life. Every human being is made up at once of his conscious activity and his irrational experiences.
– Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion

For an introvert, having solitude in store is the ultimate luxury. It’s like contemplating a full sock drawer, a well-stocked larder or a healthy bank balance.
– @oneforjoybook

Introverts don’t hate people, just situations.
– @oneforjoybook

If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawns’ first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep
– Adrienne Rich

Only in making peace – with ourselves, with others, and the world – will any of us find the life we are hoping for.
– Laurence Overmire

here i am.
demolition-descendent.
abandoned and building.
– Darius Simpson

When you stop trying to force what doesn’t flow, you begin to more easily recognize what actually aligns.

May you clear the path and recognize your kindred.

– Dr. Thema

There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
– Virginia Woolf

Everybody’s born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I’d really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person. But I can’t seem to do it. They just don’t get it. Of course, the problem could be that I’m not explaining it very well, but I think it’s because they’re not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they’re not, really.
– Haruki Murakami

What I’m looking for
may not be there.
What you’re looking for
may not be me.
I’m listening for
the return of that sound
I heard in the woods
just now, that silvery sound
that seemed to call
not only to me.
– Maureen N. McLane

Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.
– Haruki Murakami

I want nothing. I just want the emptiness to mean something.
– Ernest Hemingway

He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack.
– Addie Bundren

Only too often the cultural man kills his natural man and nature replies by making the cultural man impotent.
– Robert A. Johnson

There are many archetypal images, but they do not appear in the dreams of individuals or in works of art unless they are activated by a deviation from the middle way.
– CG Jung

As with all dangers, we can guard against the risk of psychic infection only when we know what is attacking us, and how, where and when the attack will come.
– CG Jung

If we examine thoughts in depth, we cannot find anything truly existing in them. Under scrutiny, they vanish like a big heap of grass set ablaze.
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The task for each of us will be found in an increasing capacity to bear our lives without diversion and to suffer the soul’s distress until we are led where it wishes to take us.
– James Hollis

The war was a collective epidemic of madness, in which the participants projected their unconscious upon one another. It showed the limitation of rationality and the will, and the linkage between individual and collective psychology.
– CG Jung

The archaeology of grief is not ordered. It is more like earth under a spade, turning up things you had forgotten. Surprising things come to light: not simply memories, but states of mind, emotions, older ways of seeing the world.
– Helen Macdonald

To the soul, memory is more important than planning, art more compelling than reason, and love more fulfilling than understanding.
– Thomas Moore

Your joy is
an airship tied
to earth by
the prospect of
its absence.
– Robert Wood Lynn

Sometimes, love does die,
but sometimes, a stream on porous rock,
it slips down into the inner dark of a hill,
joins with other hidden streams
to travel blind as the white fish that live in it.
It forsakes one underground streambed
for the cave that runs under it.
Unseen, it informs the hill
and, like the hidden streams of the viola d’amore,
makes the hill reverberate,
so that people who wander there
wonder why the hill sings,
wonder why they find wells.
– Moya Cannon

In this place of which you say it is a waste, there will be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voices of those who sing.
– Jeremiah

The systems are designed to keep us lost. If we are found, we will no longer buy meaningless things or believe the nonsense we are told.
– Jeff Brown

I don’t do Astrology, but I can tell everything about a person based on when they went through a Tom Waits phase.
– Niko Stratis

Just as the body reacts purposively to injuries or infections or any abnormal conditions, so the psychic functions react to unnatural or dangerous disturbances with purposive defense-mechanisms. Among these purposive reactions we must include the dream…
– CG Jung

Not everything in the heart can be said, so God created sighs, tears, long sleep, cold smile and shivering hands.
– Nixar Qabbani

Why are hailstones always the size of something else?
– George Carlin

Some cities, like wrapped boxes under Christmas trees, conceal unexpected gifts, secret delights.
– Truman Capote

If there is no ritual that people believe in—and ritual in this context means undergoing a [psychological or spiritual] death, a period of being in the dark hole of chaos, followed by a rebirth—then people don’t truly grow up.
– Marion Woodman

In a changing world, expertise quickly becomes obsolete without humility and curiosity.

Expertise is what you know. Humility is knowing what you don’t know. Curiosity is how much you want to learn.

Expertise yields insight today. Humility and curiosity fuel growth tomorrow.

– Adam Grant

The secret to writing well is writing. Unfortunately, it’s also the secret to writing poorly. But at least you’ll have written.
– Nathan Camp

Even in my own country I am uninterested in politics, because I am convinced that 99% of politics are mere symptoms and anything but a cure for social evils. About 50% of politics is definitely obnoxious inasmuch as it poisons the utterly incompetent mind of the masses.
– CG Jung

never fear
to look foolish
by giving love
– @BashoSociety

The art of poetry meant much to Jung. He was especially fascinated by those works of art which he referred to as the “visionary” type, because in them the poet gives voice to things from the collective unconscious, like a seer and prophet.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Wind fierce to-night.
Mane of the sea whipped white.
I am not afraid. No ravening Norse
On course through quiet waters.
– Seamus Heaney

To be honest, to be kind—to earn a little, to spend a little less—to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence—to renounce when that shall be necessary, and not be embittered—to keep a few friends but these without capitulation—above all on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself—here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say ‘give them up,’ for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

You and I have almost achieved that which is never achieved: we sit in each other’s souls.
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ye are many — they are few
– Shelley

And if you come to my party
I will come to yours

There will always be parties
and poetry

Evening comes soft and grey like
a gracious hostess

somewhere she dances
for St. John the Baptist
his head

– Wong May

Over the years I have tried not to write too small, and I want to believe I have tried not to live too small, either.
– Kent Haruf

One of the reasons that I write is because I’m more interested in looking, as opposed to looking away.
– Terry McMillan

Every piece of writing is a kind of puzzle. Whom do we address? With what tone? How should we begin? What do we want the reader to think or feel or understand? Is it best to be direct or indirect, sincere or disarming?
– Peter Turchi

Ego can’t be more important than art. Ever.
– Kiese Laymon

When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.
– Nikola Tesla

Patience
Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time’s fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn’t be
distinguished
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.
– Kay Ryan

A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet.
– Pema Chodron

The Baba Yaga challenges us to go beyond that immature stage of development to a both/and world. Neither the -undifferentiated world of early matriarchy, nor the overly differentiated world of patriarchy allows for a conscious world that can contain the opposites.
– Marion Woodman

On Foot I Had to Cross the Solar System

On foot
I had to cross the solar system
before I found the first thread of my red dress.
I sense myself already.
Somewhere in space hangs my heart,
shaking in the void, from it stream sparks
into other intemperate hearts.

– Edith Sodergran

You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly – I could seize them with my hands – out in the open air, in the woods, while walking, in the silence of the nights, at dawn …
– Ludwig van Beethoven Born

There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands.
– James Salter

I don’t judge, but I evaluate a person’s sensitivity by their ability to respond to poetry.
– Jimmy Webb

A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.
– Marcel Proust

Thrive rather than whine. Push yourself. Test yourself. Make yourself worthy of that glittering dream you carry around in your heart. Rise to your own occasion.
– Beah Richards

Tell me what words
you’ve been missing,
so I can bloom
you into healing.
– Ebony Stewart

A knower of the Truth
travels without leaving a trace
speaks without causing harm
gives without keeping an account
The door he shuts, though having no lock,
cannot be opened
The knot he ties, though using no cord,
cannot be undone.

If you think otherwise,
despite your knowledge, you have blundered
– Lao Tzu

Praise and blame,
gain and loss,
pleasure and sorrow
come and go like the wind.
To be happy,
rest like a giant tree
in the midst of them all.
– Buddha

If we do not apply mindfulness and awareness, then when someone says something nice to us, we might feel pride. Or a conversation might arouse jealousy, greed, or anger. When afflictions arise, they may cause us to accumulate negative karma, and this will end up harming ourselves and others. Actually, there is no need to follow the sounds of words. The sound of all talk is like the sound of an echo; you can hear it resound, but it has no essence whatsoever. There is no need to grasp at it. If someone says something pleasant, there is no need to be attached to it. If someone says something unpleasant, there is no need to feel aggression or anger. Just rest within your meditation.
– Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

I know what it is
to fight monsters.
I know how strong
an ordinary human
has to be.
– Brenna Twohy

Please start to be conscious of the music, sounds and words you choose to listen to. Some of it may heal. Some of it may harm. Your body and mind are quietly responding to it all.
– @IAmMyBestToday

As human beings it is time to take responsibility for the power of our Intelligence and use the power of our intelligence to think coherently. This isn’t about whether we can or we can’t. This is about whether we will or we won’t.
– John Trudell

We abandon ourselves in order to belong and connect.
– John J. Pendergrast

Jung believed that when religion is disregarded waters of the unconscious crash in, dissolving consciousness and extinguishing the light. Being mindful of the gods is a matter of psychic hygiene, not a matter of piety, social conformity or religiosity.
– David Tacey

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
– Sylvia Plath

As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is ‘dead’, and a ‘dead’ thing cannot understand anything.
– Krishnamurti

The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.
– Václav Havel

Don’t be a mountaineer, be a mountain.
And shrug off a few with avalanches.
– Gary Snyder

What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.
– Carl Gustav Jung

as a child there was either books or pain.
i chose books.
– Nayyirah Waheed, How I Became a Writer

you and I
perfect friends
mountain bird
– Issa

And poverty wrote on the air
– Countee Cullen

Modern psychology tells us that one of the chief functions of a developed ego is its ability to organize and control the otherwise chaotic and unruly energies of the psyche.
– Ray Grasse

Living within a constricted view of our journey, and identifying with old defensive strategies, we unwittingly become the enemies of our own growth, our own largeness of soul, through our repetitive, history-bound choices.
– James Hollis

Now, if only we could love the planet the way we love and grieve for one another.
– Melanie Challenger

Some of us have seen how emotional shocks—bolts from the blue—threaten and upset our psychic status quo and thereby have the potential to begin a transformative process.
– Bud Harris, Knowing the Questions, Living the Answers

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
– Roald Dahl

As I recall the “Odyssey,” almost every turning point in the story was marked by a feminine figure with whom Odysseus had made no conscious decision to become involved or even to meet.
– Bud Harris

We are a psychic process which we do not control, or only partly direct. Consequently, we cannot have any final judgment about ourselves or our lives.
– CG Jung

Every individual has both a feminine brain and a masculine one. Any particular society can accentuate one or the other of these two ways of interacting with the world, depending on the demands of the environment or the shaping influences of its inventions.
– Leonard Shlain

Art can only be truly art by presenting an adequate outward symbol of some fact in the interior life.
– Margaret Fuller

And yet I think also that if even we today could acquire the knack of maintaining undistracted consciousness between coffee breaks, we too might find that we possessed angelic talents, powers, and skills.
– Joseph Campbell

It’s possible there is an undiscovered
room or house, or a structure
somewhere I don’t yet have
the language for. An academy of silences.
A cathedral of cross-purposed
voices.
– Diane Seuss

We had known each other for only ten days, but the magnolias were in full bloom,
& we were having a conversation with only our eyes.
– Kwame Opoku—Duku

Choosing the path that enlarges rather than diminishes will serve us well in navigating through our idol-ridden, clamorous, but sterile time and move us further toward meeting the person we are meant to be.
– James Hollis

Now you know what the shining globes on the Christmas tree mean: they are nothing less than the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, & stars. The Christmas tree is the worldtree.
– C.G. Jung

Our banquet table of grief is filled with ripe foods, but we are starving because virtually every seat at the table is empty. If anyone in our culture is partaking of the feast, they primarily do so alone. Hence, most of the food purifies as it remains uneaten and un-cared for. It’s not hard to see that we are now living the consequences.

It is our responsibility as mature adults to tend to these poverties, and to do so requires a commitment to learning to care for one another in a more village-minded way.
– Josh Avritt

Even a short story demands almost poetic perfection.
– Robert Lowell

Basic words are spoken with one’s being.

When one says You, the I of the word pair I-You is said, too.

When one says It, the I of the word pair I-It is said, too.

The basic word I-You can only be spoken with one’s whole being.

The basic word I-It can never be spoken with one’s whole being.

– Martin Buber

Cachexia
Today I woke up in my body
and wasn’t that body anymore.

It’s more like my dog—
for the most part obedient,
warming to me
when I slip it goldfish or toast,

but it sheds.
Can’t get past a simple sit,
stay, turn over. House-trained, but not entirely.

This doesn’t mean it’s time to say goodbye.

I’ve realized the estrangement
is temporary, and for my own good:

My body’s work to break the world
into bricks and sticks
has turned inward.

As all the doors in the world
grow heavy
a big white bed is being put up in my heart.

– Max Ritvo

BUDDHA SPEAKS

For those who wish to attain Buddhahood,
do not study many Dharmas.
Only learn one.
What is that?
It is great compassion.

For those who have great compassion, it
will be like having all holy teachings of
Buddha in their hands.

– Sutra Expressing Avalokesvara’s Realisation

The fortunes of the entire world may well ride on the ability of young Americans to face the responsibilities of an old America gone mad.
– Phil Ochs

If the world is torn to pieces, I want to see what story I can find in fragmentation.
– Terry Tempest-Williams

Legendary Lights
O, the legendary light,
Gleaming goldenly in night
Like the stars above,
Beautiful, like lights in dream,
Eight, the taper-flames that stream
All one glory and one love.

In our Temple, magical—
Memories, now tragical—
Holy hero-hearts aflame
With a glory more than fame;
There where a shrine is every sod,
Every grave, God’s golden ore,
With a paean whose rhyme to God,
Lit these lamps of yore.

Lights, you are a living dream,
Faith and bravery you beam,
Youth and dawn and May.
Would your beam were more than dream,
Would the light and love you stream,
Stirred us, spurred us, aye!

Fabled memories of flame,
Till the beast in man we tame,
Tyrants bow to truth, amain,
Brands and bullets yield to brain,
Guns to God, and shells to soul,
Hounds to heart resign the role,
Pillared lights of liberty,
In your fairy flames, we’ll see
Faith’s and freedom’s Phoenix-might,
The Omnipotence of Right.

– Alter Abelson

I only believe in temporary denial. You know, the kind that gets you home to get your act together and try again. That’s a good denial. The kind that helps you finish the audition or the dinner or the job interview or the credit application–the whole time keeping it together, cool and confidant–then you go home and rewrite your whole autobiography and game plan and prepare to take over the world. That’s good denial. But I don’t believe in denial beyond the period you need to cool down and pep up: I believe in revision. Garson [Kanin] and I both refused to face the facts. People didn’t like a writer or a film, and we both realized they were wrong. We were right, and we trusted that in time other people would join us. And they did! Trust your instincts and trust your taste. It will work out. It has to, if you have talent, and you can’t be in denial about that, and you can only revise your talent so much. Listen and see if people believe in you and want you to succeed. Then go out and earn the faith they had in you. Deny and revise. It’s a good motto.
– Ruth Gordon

We know for sure that wars end, but poetry does not.
– Charlotte Higgins

I’m saying there’s no such thing
as nothing. Try and try, you’ll never disappear.
– Kemi Alabi

We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.
– Leonard Cohen

Consider your brothers and sisters
as searching souls not limited to the
vagaries of their human tendencies.
– Babuji

Peace is born out of equanimity and balance.
Balance is flexibility, an ability to adjust graciously to change.
Equanimity arises when we accept the way things are.
If you expect your life to be up and down,
your mind will be much more peaceful.
– Lama Yeshe

Attempt integration.
– Laura London

The mess 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 [the world], is because of a mess 𝑖𝑛 ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 [in people]. Inner and outer talk to each other. That’s the truth of things.
– Martin Shaw, Smoke Hole

As Jung discovered, the absence of a spiritual approach to life was in many cases the root cause of the psychological and existential problems his patients were experiencing.
– Keiron le Grice

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes,

such enchanted musical instruments as the ears,

and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain

can experience itself anything less than a god?

– Alan Watts

Anecdoche: a conversation in which everybody is talking, but nobody is listening.

There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.
– Harold Pinter

Dusk is always my time, that special air of shifting shapes…
– Louise Erdrich

Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.
– Van Morrison

Over a bowl of noodles [the younger Cantonese man] waxed eloquent on the subject of mantras. ‘Ordinary people, Ah Jon, use mantras as spells to win good fortune or ward off disease and other evils. Perhaps they are right to do so, for the mantras are often successful, but I do not ask you to believe that. What I beg you to believe is that they are of the greatest help in altering states of consciousness. They do this by making your mind stay still instead of chasing after thoughts.’

He went on to explain that, being devoid of meaning, they do not promote conceptual thought as prayers, invocations and so forth are apt to do; and that, as each mantra has a mysterious correspondence (he could not explain what kind of correspondence) with the various potentialities embedded deeply in our consciousness […] it could cause one to snap into a state otherwise hard to reach.

I do not remember his actual words, but I do remember that he was the first to voice an idea which was later to be abundantly confirmed by my own experience. […] he went on to say that to use meaningful words in any kind of religious practice is useless, since words encourage dualistic thought which hinders the mind from entering upon a truly spiritual state.

His last words […] were: ‘People who pray with words are just beginners. Don’t do it!’ Several passengers who understood English glanced at him as though they thought him a bit mad and I myself was quite taken aback by his un-Chinese vehemence, but I know now that he was eminently sane.

– John Blofeld, Mantras: Sacred Words of Power

Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and future.
– Laurie Helgoe

We will disrupt through witness, remembrance, and the courtship of the imagination. We will escort children past the darkest warrens of the forest. We will construct kites that stay aloft in the rain. We will champion what is beautiful, and so finally make our opponents irrelevant.
– Owen Daniels, Resistance by Barry Lopez

I have come to understand my spirituality as an ongoing internal lyrical state of consciousness, semi-consciousness and unconsciousness in which I find meaning, comfort, refuge, inspiration, mystery and strength.
– Michael Leunig

Never mind what it means. Get it down. Get it written. Perhaps you do not know what it means. Let others tell you what it means to them. It is your story; it is all you have. Tell it. Write it down. It is suicidal to contemplate your meaning, your theme, your reason for being before a single jot is on a page. Get it on the page, and then you can play with it; revise it; sculpt it; abort it. But get it done. There is an awful lot of not getting it done going on right now.
– Harold Pinter

How many ghosts pass through one’s own body at any one time? How many wi-fi signals? How many time travelers?
– Simon Sellars

Not Dawdling

Not dawdling
not doubting
intrepid all the way
walk toward clarity
with sharp eye
With sharpened sword
clearcut the path
to the lucent surprise
of enlightenment
At every crossroad
be prepared to bump into wonder

– James Broughton

More solitude, more depth; that’s what’s needed. It cannot be achieved hastily. I should have learned this. ‘Pray to your depths,’ it says in me.
– C.G. Jung

Ever since Freud we know that what goes on in the heart is neither truth nor history; it is desire and imagination.
– James Hillman

But what if I should discover that . . . the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself — that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness — that I myself am the enemy who must be loved — what then?
– C.G. Jung

Poetry, therefore, is not what we simply recognize as the formal ‘poem,’ but a revolt: a scream in the night, an emancipation of language and old ways of thinking
– Robin DG Kelley

If you live deep enough within the heart of woods, and wake just as the long night begins loosening its grip on first light and birdsong, you never know what might dart across the fading screen of dreams.
This is the time when memory
is feral…
– Floyd Skloot, First Light, Late Winter

how much of our world
can be cured by a little
hope and curiosity?
– @BashoSociety

Poetry is never encoded–it is never a convert operation whose information is ciphered and must be deciphered–and yet it does incline toward self-concealment, insofar as it concentrates intently on what words conceal, or, to put it another way, on what language seeks to reveal.

It concentrates on the inside in an attempt to reverse the situation; to turn it inside out.

Every word carries a secret inside itself; it’s called etymology.


– Mary Ruefle

The trickster motif does not crop up only in its mythical form but appears just as naively … in the unsuspecting modern man — whenever, in fact, he feels himself at the mercy of annoying ‘accidents’ which thwart his will & his actions w/ apparently malicious intent.
– CG Jung

We all have made the mistake of thinking someone else can be our healer, our thriller, our filling. It takes a long time to find it is not so, mostly because we project the wound outside ourselves instead of ministering to it within.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Why re-enter such a world? Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of transcendental bliss? As dreams that were momentous by night may seem simply silly in the light of day, so the poet and the prophet can discover themselves playing the idiot before a jury of sober eyes. The easy thing is to commit the whole community to the devil and retire again into the heavenly rock-dwelling, close the door, and make it fast.
– Joseph Campbell

THE REST OF THE WORLD WAKING US UP
This world needs tremendous help. Everybody’s in trouble. Sometimes they pretend not to be, but still, there’s a lot of pain and hardship. Everybody, every minute, is tortured, suffering a lot. We shouldn’t just ignore them and save ourselves alone. That would be a tremendous crime. In fact, we can’t just save ourselves, because our neighbors are moaning and groaning all over the place. So even if we could just save ourselves, we wouldn’t have a peaceful sleep. The rest of the world is going to wake us up with their pain.
– Chögyam Trungpa

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there’s a nobler art of leaving things undone.
– Lin Yutang

Trio
by Edwin Morgan

Coming up Buchanan Street, quickly, on a sharp winter evening
a young man and two girls, under the Christmas lights –
The young man carries a new guitar in his arms,
the girl on the inside carries a very young baby,
and the girl on the outside carries a chihuahua.
And the three of them are laughing, their breath rises
in a cloud of happiness, and as they pass
the boy says, ‘Wait till he sees this but!’
The chihuahua has a tiny Royal Stewart tartan coat like a teapot-
holder,
the baby in its white shawl is all bright eyes and mouth like favours
in a fresh sweet cake,
the guitar swells out under its milky plastic cover, tied at the neck
with silver tinsel tape and a brisk sprig of mistletoe.
Orphean sprig! Melting baby! Warm chihuahua!
The vale of tears is powerless before you.
Whether Christ is born, or is not born, you
put paid to fate, it abdicates
under the Christmas lights.
Monsters of the year
go blank, are scattered back,
can’t bear this march of three.

– And the three have passed, vanished in the crowd
(yet not vanished, for in their arms they wind
the life of men and beasts, and music,
laughter ringing them round like a guard)
at the end of this winter’s day.

big rain
big snow
big sun
big moon
(enter

us)

– e.e. cummings

. . . purity / is a glissade into the last, most beautiful return.
– J.H. Prynne

The Long Road
by Cliff Eberhardt

There are the ones you call friends
There are the ones you call late at night
There are the ones who sweep away your past
With one wave of the hand
There are the ones you call family
There are the ones you hold close to your heart
There are the ones who see danger in you
And won’t understand

I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there’s an end
I have followed my dreams, down the long road

You are the one that I met long ago
You are the one who saw my dream
You are the one who took me from my home
And left me off somewhere
Somehow I feel you are here
You are waiting in that dream
Somewhere down this road we will awake
And be at the start again

I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there’s an end?
I have lived my whole life, down the long road
I’ve got to find you tonight
Are you waiting for me?
I have followed my dream
I have lived my whole life
Are you waiting for me?

I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there’s an end
I have followed my dream, down the long road

I can hear your voice in the wind
Are you calling to me? Down the long road
Do you really think that there’s an end
I will live my whole life, down the long road

Your own self is your ultimate teacher (sadguru). The outer teacher (guru) is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal.
– Nisargadatta

Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.
– Eckhart Tolle

Attempt as a writer to win the Nobel Prize in Science by finding out how thought becomes language, or does not.
– Bernadette Mayer

Origin of Planets
by Jennifer Foerster

In this version, the valley
lime green after rain
rolls its tides before us.

A coyote bush shivers with seed.

We hold out our palms as if catching snow—
our villages of circular tracts
overcast with stars.

We have been moving together in sequence
for thousands of years, paralyzed
only by the question of time.

But now it is autumn under bishop pines—
the young blown down by wind feed
their lichens to the understory.

We follow the deer-path
past the ferns, to the flooded
upper reaches of the estuary.

The channel snakes through horsetails
and hemlock as the forest deepens, rises
behind us and the blue heron,
frozen in the shallows.

The shadow of her long neck ripples.

Somewhere in the rustling tulle reeds
spider is casting her threads to the light

and we spot a crimson-hooded fly agaric,
her toadstool’s gills white
as teeth as the sun
bleeds into the Pacific.

We will walk the trail
until it turns to sand
and wait at the spit’s edge, listening
to the breakers, the seagulls
as they chatter their twilight preparations.

What we won’t understand
about the sound of the sea is no different
than the origin of planets

or the wind’s crystalline structures
irreversibly changing.

The albatross drags her parachute
over the earth’s gaping mouth.

We turn back only for the instant
the four dimensions fold
into a sandcastle—before its towers
are collapsed by waves.

The face that turns
toward the end of its world
dissolves into space—

despite us, the continuum
remains.

I don’t want to get out without a broken heart. I intend to leave this life so shattered there’s gonna have to be a thousand separate heavens for all of my flying parts.
– Andrea Gibson

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
– Voltaire

Kew Gardens
by Pascale Petit

You’re even smaller than the last time I took you
and we are dizzy from climbing the spiral staircase,
its double helix to the canopy walkway,
eye to eye with royal palms and giant bamboo,
inside the palm house near the end of your life.
We reel, peering down through leaves
to the realm of flowers extinct in the wild.
Kew, Kew, how we love the perfumes
that we inhale like addicts, the safe air,
the glass hull like an upturned ark.
We haven’t yet been to the vanda orchids.
We are still making our way, delayed
once again by filmy ferns. Oh, the filmy ferns
where your face shines green.
I’m almost back inside the central dome
and you’re alive again under a haze of mist
as the humidifier switches on with a metered hiss.
We’re listening to the recorded rainforest birds
and I’m carrying your walking stick,
while you stroke treeferns, Jurassic cycads
with your rheumatic hand – knotted and veined rosary
I fumble for, reciting the five joyful,
five luminous, five sorrowful and five
glorious mysteries, of the one who saved me
and saves me every day, while we make
our pilgrimage to the world’s oldest pot plant.

Neglect fails to acknowledge; it fails to hold in mind. Most often, neglect works its harm quietly, with no drama: not-hearing, overlooking, not-remembering, ignoring, withdrawing, being impassive, or watching vacantly.
– M.J. Peebles

You have to have just a touch of rascality to be human and I find it difficult to get along with people who don’t know that they have it. People who come on that they’re all sincere, all good, all pure, bore me to death and scare me. They are unconscious of themselves.
– Alan Watts

No mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.
– Sigmund Freud

We often view our intellectual life as set apart from – and even opposed to – our emotional life, the life of our fantasies and dreams. The goal of psychoanalysis is to integrate the emotional life into the intellectual life.
– Bruno Bettelheim

A true man hates no one.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

The whole world is a mad invention with no order, no sense, no hope of sanity. Yet the moon…
– Anne Truitt

I swear by the moon I am most melancholy soft,
and most outrageous sentimental.
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

…Explain how poetry
pursues the human like the smitten moon…
– Carol Ann Duffy

THE SOLSTICE

They say the sun will come back
at midnight
after all
my one love

but we know how the minutes
fly out into
the dark trees
and vanish

like the great ʻōhiʻas and honey creepers
and we know how the weeks
walk into the
shadows at midday

at the thought of the months I reach for your hand
it is not something
one is supposed
to say

we watch the bright birds in the morning
we hope for the quiet
daytime together
the year turns into air

but we are together in the whole night
with the sun still going away
and the year
coming back

– W.S. Merwin

I really like the idea of my work speaking for me, not me speaking for me. I think my work says a lot more interesting stuff than I ever could; it’s more eloquent. And that’s what I feel I have to offer the world.
– Kate Bush

Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them…
– Fernando Pessoa

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
– Charles Peguy

If it’s darkness/ we’re having, let it be extravagant.
– Jane Kenyon

What am I, Life? A thing of watery salt
held in cohesion by unresting cells,
which work they know not why, which never halt,
myself unwitting where their Master dwells.
– John Masefield

WINTER SOLSTICE
Claire says the day will be one second longer.
Darkness will no longer exceed light.
But the weather is abysmal,
so hatred of gloom is not an option. I want to live
to be ninety-five, too, and still be assembling
words into music and truth. For now,
I regard a conference of stars, with fast-moving clouds.
Sometimes my dreams are like explosion pits,
with scary lava. Yet the Earth remains constant,
tilting away from the sun and back,
like a robin to a bare branch.
Be somebody with a body, the stars command;
Don’t be a nobody. I know them by heart,
as they sink and as they rise.
– Henri Cole

You, darkness that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything:
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! —
powers and people —

and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

I have been asking myself whether natural forms―a tree, a cloud, a river, a stone, a flower―can be perceived as messages. Messages that can never be verbalised, and are not particularly addressed to us. Is it possible to ‘read’ natural appearances as texts?
– John Berger

Artists . . . provide the contemporary metaphors that allow us to realise the transcendent, infinite, and abundant nature of being as it is.
– Joseph Campbell

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Self-understanding and self-realization are key concepts in Jungian psychology, but they are not simply intellectual terms. They must be married to values of the heart.
– Bud Harris

If I could, I would leave my place on this page blank: replete with a resounding silence. And everyone who gazed at the blank space would fill it with their own desires.
– Clarice Lispector

does this flower
understand the truth?
morning frost
– Issa

Winter solstice is between the past and the future. It is a place of freedom from the past and free from the future. The only place to make a choice.
– David Loxley

wake up butterfly
we have miles
to travel together
– Basho

For this feeling of wonder shows that you are a philosopher, since wonder is the only beginning of philosophy.
– Plato

Live your life as an experiment. Adopt an attitude of “I’m not sure what will help in this situation, but I’m going to experiment and try this.
– Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully

today is a good day
to unseal the new tea
cold winter rain
– Issa

It’s better to get lost in the passion than to lose the passion.
– Søren Kierkegaard

Coleridge wrote about the creative imagination, among other things, as being the “threshold” between self & not-self, between mind & matter, between conscious & unconscious. As he saw it, the task of genius is to apprehend “unity in multeity” of the objective world.
– Roberts Avens

Neurosis is intimately bound up with the problem of our time and really represents an unsuccessful attempt on the part of the individual to solve the general problem in his own person.
– CG Jung

I think therapy has made a philosophical mistake, which is that cognition precedes conation—that knowing precedes doing or action. I don’t think that’s the case. I think reflection has always been after the event.
– James Hillman

Stories] are designed to take us deeper when circumstance starts to squeeze us. They don’t indulge arbitrary misery. They are always trying to dig into the mud of the encounter with the notion that possibly there’s a little bit of gold in there.
– Martin Shaw

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I used to think I was
the strangest person of the
world, but then I thought,
There are many people like this in the
world, has to be
someone like me, who is
feels weird and damaged
in this very same way.

I picture it, and I picture it
that she should also be
out here thinking about me.

Well, I hope so
you are out there and read
this, know that yes, that
it’s true, I am here
and I’m as strange as
you.

– Frida Kahlo

Day and night, look into your mind. If your stream of mind contains any nonvirtue, renounce it from the core of your heart and pursue virtue.
– Guru Padmasambhava

Blessed be this blending
of running and laughter.
A language known since
the abandonment of crawling.
– Hanif Abdurraqib

I write for one and only one purpose, to overcome the invincible ignorance of the traduced heart. […] I wish to speak to and for those who have had enough of the Social Lie, the Economics of Mass Murder, the Sexual Hoax, and the Domestication of Conspicuous Consumption.
– Kenneth Rexroth

Solitude is fine,
but you need someone
to tell you
that solitude is fine.
– Honore de Balzac

We are quite capable–quite comfortable–lying to ourselves each and every day about the unfortunate things, the evil things, that are about to happen to us, and it is based on…what? Fear, I think. Well, how hard can it be to lie to ourselves about how glorious, how happy, how beautiful things are about to be? And this is based on…what? Hope, I guess. And we have hope, don’t we? I’m fairly certain it’s what we coasted on to find each other, today, right now. So go for the good lie–the good lie based on hope.
– Alec Guinness

Peace Has Broken Out
by Bob Halligan, Jr and Linda Halligan

My dear sweet Ireland – so long fightin’
How came this war to be –
Kerrigan ‘gainst Connolly
But you stood through the hard rain
Til one day the word came

Did you hear that peace – has broken out?
No one knows why – it’s happened now
We just give thanks – that it’s come about
Peace has broken out,yeah – it’s broken out

Still other fights go on
East – West – right – wrong
Some in God’s name begin
How very sad for him
Still he’d let us lay down
Our swords on this holy ground – and the angels say

Did you hear that peace – has broken out?
No one knows why – it’s happened now
Just seems like heaven – opened up the clouds
And peace has broken out,yeah – it’s broken out

Did you know that we’re all black
and we’re all white
And we’re all wrong and we’re alright
And them and we is you and me

I live next door to you – hardly know you
Well I’ll put on some coffee
And you might get to know me –
and they’ll all say

Did you hear that peace – has broken out?
No one knows why – it’s happened now
We just cry for joy – we scream and shout
Peace has broken out – it’s broken out
Yeah peace has broken out – it’s broken out

It is important to acknowledge that “bypassing”, or “rising above”, or “dissociating”, can be absolutely necessary to ensure our survival, and to give us a perspective that we need, to go on. BUT, at some point, for those of us who truly long for and are willing to do the work to arrive at a more inclusive consciousness, we recognize that we were bypassing and we come back into our bodies, and weave our expansive realizations into our tender humanness. Once we have done that, we can both feel compassion for the need to bypass, at times, and we also recognize- without soft-touching it- that there is a whole community of people who got stuck up there, and are actually communicating deadly dangerous versions of awakening that dishonor our humanity, that mock our victimhood, and that hide from their unresolved woundedness inside a cloud of self-avoidance. It is utterly essential that we call the latter out, with ferocity. There are millions of pseudo-enlightened ones, disparaging a small few who are willing to do the work to become more integrated and truly here for this life. We must bond together, and fight for our right to wholeness. I truly believe that the preservation of our species depends on it.
– Jeff Brown

The main thing is to be moved, to love,
to hope, to tremble, to live.
– Auguste Rodin

Something in us wants things to happen.
We bend our ankle and end up reading Gibbon.
In some dreams a wolf pursues us until we
Turn into swallows, and agree to live in longing.
– Robert Bly

It is perhaps the misfortune of my life that I am interested in far too much but not decisively in any one thing; all my interests are not subordinated in one but stand on an equal footing.
– Søren Kierkegaard

I still like Twitter because I’ve lived in this neighborhood for a few years and I recognize the trees and flowers and housefronts and I like the park on the corner and the person who sells me tea is friendly and the bookstore window includes poetry.
– @CampMarmalade

Imagine reading about Ukraine, a country where people are living without heat and light, where incredibly brave men endure bombardment and artillery fire every day, where the whole nation has pulled together to stop barbarism of a kind we haven’t seen in Europe since 1944…
– Anne Applebaum

Solstice II – Kathleen Jamie

Here comes the sun
summiting the headland – pow!
straight through the windows of the 10.19
– and here’s us passengers,
splendid and blinking
like we’re all re-born,
remade exactly, and just where we left off:
the students, the toddler, the tattoo’d lass,
the half-dozen roustabouts
headed off-shore
cracking more beers and more jokes.
Angus at midwinter
or near as makes no odds –
faint shadows raxed
over fields of dour earth,

splashed with gold.

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a lifetime’s experience.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ideally, politics should organize the ‘withering away of the State’; it is, therefore, completely in relation with the State but in such a way that it aims at its abolition. Similarly, love should ideally organize the withering away of the family.
– Badiou

In a Field, at Sunset

When he asked if I still loved him, I didn’t answer;

but of course, I loved him.

He’d become, by then, like the rhyme between lost

and most.

– Carl Phillips

breathe
and read

– @BashoSociety

friendships
are worth
protecting

– @BashoSociety

If we wish to be let in on the secrets of life, we must be mindful of two things: first, there is the great melody to which things and scents, feelings and past lives, dawns and dreams contribute in equal measure, and then there are the individual voices that complete and perfect this full chorus.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Hers it was, rather, to run and hurry and ponder on long solitary walks, climbing gates, stepping through the mud, and through the blur, the dream, the ecstasy of loneliness, to see the plover’s wheel and surprise the rabbits, and come in the hearts of woods or wide lonely moors upon little ceremonies which had no audience, private rites, pure beauty offered by beetles and lilies of the valley and dead leaves and still pools, without any care whatever what human beings thought of them, which filled her mind with rapture and wonder and held her there till she must touch the gate post to recollect herself—
– Virginia Woolf

The most divine consolation is without a doubt contained within the human itself. We would not know very well what to do with the consolations of a god. All that is necessary is for our eye to be a trace more seeing, for our ear to be more receptive, for the flavor of a fruit to enter us more completely, for us to be able to tolerate more scent, and, in touching and being touched, to be more present-minded and less oblivious–in order to receive from our most immediate experiences consolations that would be more convincing, more significant and truer than any suffering that can ever unsettle us.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Once you reach your destination & know your real nature, your existence becomes a blessing to all. You may not know, not will the world know, yet the help radiates. There are people in the world who do more good than all the statesmen & philanthropists put together.
– Nisargadatta

When you feel most alive, find out why. This is one guest you won’t greet twice.
– Kabir

Make a life where you’re as free as possible from the forces of dogma, orthodoxy, and bureaucracy.
– Susan Cain

Rather than ignoring the fantasy material produced by the unconscious, both Jung and the alchemists recommended actively engaging with the fantasies.
– Robin Robertson

by the time you reach 40 there are basically only like five people on the planet who really understand you and they probably live in a different city.
– Lauren Bans

I like talk and speeches about songs, but too much broth spoils the cook.
– Woody Guthrie

People want to be artists but don’t want to do the ground work.
– Jane Hamilton

Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.
– Maya Angelou

Let us hold out together for the sake of movies.
– Akira Kurosawa

This book is not meant to be read from cover to cover. It is a book for dreamers. Slight of word, rich of image, its purpose is to ease the soul.
– Jackie Morris

a thought on hannukah: the true prophet, the true servant of god, will not build a temple. they never did. politicians do. the true prophet, the true servant of god will never enter a temple, except to overturn the tables. during this holiday centered on the ancient temple’s worship, some of us do not mourn its demise nor pray for its restoration. what we mourn are the deaths and the pain and the suffering caused by the violent destruction of the temple. we wish the temple’s demise would have come not through bloodshed, but through an enlightened consensual choice of the people. when a temple (as was the case during hannukah) becomes a site of resistance against imperialism, then the symbolic meaning of the holiday transcends its actual history. therefore hannukah ought to be refocused to celebrate the call of a people to struggle against imperialist oppression, for the deeper meaning of the date gets lost when the holiday becomes not about rebellion, but about the temple itself. i am not one who celebrates temples: not new ones, not old ones. but i do understand the meaning of re-building, of re-covering, of the re-claiming of a right usurped. to the extent that hanukah entails the story of the liberation of a people from oppression and slavery, the message of the holiday belongs to all peoples everywhere.
– hune margulies

Music is my first language. It’s the way I learned to express and process my feelings.
– Kala Farnham

I am a very boring and unpleasant man, drowned in literature…. but I love you.

– Vladimir Nabokov, letters to Véra

I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself.
– Henry David Thoreau

Most of us have had our fill with people telling us who we are, how we ‘should’ see things, what we ‘should’ do in various situations. It’s like an unstoppable locomotive of human know-it-all-ness that masquerades as benevolent support. It isn’t, unless it is directly asked for. It’s one thing to ask someone for their perspective on your situation—it’s quite another for them to fling it at you uninvited. That seldom helps. What does help, is holding the space for another’s situation with real-time presence. Listening close, inquiring into their experience, and—if you feel that you have a perspective to offer—asking them if they are interested in exploring it. If they aren’t, leave it be and understand that just being there with them, is the best way to help them through it. You may feel powerless, but you aren’t—your presence empowers them. Yes, insight CAN be helpful at times, but presence is ALWAYS helpful. Because what most of us need is to feel accepted by those we share with. Not fixed, not corrected, not ‘should’ on—ACCEPTED. And, ironically, it is that feeling of acceptance that opens the door to new perspectives. Not because you told them what to think, but because your loving presence made them feel safe enough to think differently. People don’t care what you know, but they do know when you care.
– Jeff Brown

The problem is not that people have nothing genuine or meaningful to give. The problem involves the pain of opening the arteries of imagination and veins of genuine love that became closed and fettered early on. What tries to live through people is so big that it becomes heart-breaking for them. To become equal to the dream sewn within us, our heart must break open and usually must break more than once. That’s why they say that the only heart worth having is a broken heart. For only in breaking can it open fully and reveal what is hidden within.
– Michael Meade, Fate and Destiny

A thousand apples you might put in your theories But you are gone from benefit to my love

You spoke not the Italian of Dante at the table
But the stingy notions of the bedded heterosexual

– Bernadette Mayer

FLYING AT NIGHT
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like
his.
– Ted Kooser

We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.
– Timothy Steele

A bad system will beat a good person every time.
– W. Edwards Deming

I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life.
– Carl Gustav Jung

Grey days, on which
the sun carried itself
like a pale nun, are gone.
A blue day is blue above,
a world has freely risen,
in which sun and stars sparkle.

All of this transpired in silence,
without racket, as a great will,
and without much ceremony.
The miracle opens up smiling.
There is no need for rockets
or matches, only a clear night.

– Robert Walser

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelou

We wholly overlook the essential fact that the achievements which society rewards are won at the cost of a diminution of personality.
– CG Jung

As I watch the phrase “regenerative agriculture” become full-blown corporate greenwashing, I find comfort in agroecology and the real regenerative work that continues as the language is destroyed.
– @cognitivepolicy

In the end we dig up the wisdom of all ages and peoples, only to find that everything most dear and precious to us has already been said in the most superb language.
– CG Jung

Collective evil often defies understanding. These forces arise from the unconscious minds of great numbers of people.
– Connie Zweig

The idea that slandering, calling out, and bullying other poets online is some kind of virtuous political act needs to be excised from the “discourse.” It’s not the way forward. We give our lives to this thing, and the poems we are trying to write deserve better.
– Kai Carlson-Wee

There are times when a rose is more important than a piece of bread.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.
– Martha Graham

The entire human drama of recorded history is God’s dream, whereby, once he begins (through us) investigating his dreams, he will start becoming conscious of himself.
– Edward Edinger

It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels.
– Virginia Woolf

I praise all things wrested from doubt.
Those mouths alive with their new voice
having learnt the truth of silence.

So do we know it, or do we not?
This question is the hesitance
that tolls in every human face.

– Don Paterson (after Rilke)

The question ‘What is your book about?’ has always puzzled me. It is about itself and if I could condense it into other words I should not have taken such care to choose the words I did.
– Jeanette Winterson

If we are to have any power in meeting the challenge of the world’s evil, each of us must take responsibility at an individual level.
– Connie Zweig

The work of art may have an ideology (in other words, those ideas, images, and values which are generally accepted, dominant) as its material, but it works that material; it gives it a new form and at certain times that new form is in itself a subversion of ideology.
– TJ Clarke

In his essays on world events, Jung was at pains to point out that society is vulnerable to psychic epidemics since we no longer have any forms to humanize or contain our non-rational impulses.
– David Tacey

There is nothing in the world that is not mysterious, but the mystery is more evident in certain things than in others: in the sea, in the eyes of the elders, in the color yellow, and in music.
– Jorge Luis Borges

The symbolic imagery of the unconscious is the creative source of the human spirit in all its realizations.
– Robert A. Johnson

The Sympathies of the Long Married
by Robert Bly

Oh well, let’s go on eating the grains of eternity.
What do we care about improvements in travel?
Angels sometimes cross the river on old turtles.

Shall we worry about who gets left behind?
That one bird flying through the clouds is enough.
Your sweet face at the door of the house is enough.

The two farm horses stubbornly pull the wagon.
The mad crows carry away the tablecloth.
Most of the time, we live through the night.

Let’s not drive the wild angels from our door.
Maybe the mad fields of grain will move.
Maybe the troubled rocks will learn to walk.

It’s all right if we’re troubled by the night.
It’s all right if we can’t recall our own name.
It’s all right if this rough music keeps on playing.

I’ve given up worrying about men living alone.
I do worry about the couple who live next door.
Some words heard through the screen door are enough.

Most of us live our lives backing into our future, making the choices of each new moment from the data and agenda of the old—and then we wonder why repetitive patterns turn up in our lives.
– James Hollis

Boredom flourishes… when you feel safe. It’s a symptom of security.
– Eugène Ionesco

Diabolos (devil) literally means to tear apart-antonym \symbolic\ comes from symbollein, means to throw together, to unite. The symbolic is that which draws together, ties, integrates the individual in himself and with his group.
– Rollo May

Those who feel bored in life
are ever seeking entertainment for their minds.
The lovers of God are ever content and serenely happy,
for they are not fed by mind,
but rather nourished through the heart.
– Mooji

I am at the end of something. Up till now I’ve felt I was all blue spots and blotches inside, more than I could bear really, if I looked at myself, and of course I wanted to do nothing else…
– Robert Lowell, in a letter to Elizabeth Bishop

have we not been good children / did we not inherit the earth
– Lucille Clifton

What Things Want
by Robert Bly

You have to let things
Occupy their own space.
This room is small,
But the green settee

Likes to be here.
The big marsh reeds,
Crowding out the slough,
Find the world good.

You have to let things
Be as they are.
Who knows which of us
Deserves the world more?

Don’t Go Into the Library
by Alberto Ríos

The library is dangerous—
Don’t go in. If you do

You know what will happen.
It’s like a pet store or a bakery—

Every single time you’ll come out of there
Holding something in your arms.

Those novels with their big eyes.
And those no-nonsense, all muscle

Greyhounds and Dobermans,
All non-fiction and business,

Cuddly when they’re young,
But then the first page is turned.

The doughnut scent of it all, knowledge,
The aroma of coffee being made

In all those books, something for everyone,
The deli offerings of civilization itself.

The library is the book of books,
Its concrete and wood and glass covers

Keeping within them the very big,
Very long story of everything.

The library is dangerous, full
Of answers. If you go inside,

You may not come out
The same person who went in.

Bracken
by Kai Carlson-Wee

Don’t go in search of the perfect word.
Don’t go looking for signs of redemption,
the purified water of gods. The language
will enter your mouth when it needs to.
The beauty will find you. The meaning
will come. Don’t go smiling. Don’t go
certain of one true voice. Go ambiguous,
lonely, disguised in the basic math. Take
nothing for granted. Escape what you are,
what you wish you will one day become.
It doesn’t matter. The skin dies. The worm
lives a whole year in darkness. The clouds
go on rising away from the falling rain.
Even the good love inside you will vanish.
The wheels will seize and the trickling stream
at the top of the mountain will carve out
a valley below. The world will give you
an opening always. The night sky. The moon
lifting over the tall and mysterious pines.
Hold out the feather you found last night
in the bracken. All it can offer is already
there in your hand.

The words of the true poems give you more than poems, They give you to form for yourself, poems, religions, politics, war, peace, behavior, histories, essays, romances, and everything else.
– Walt Whitman

Each day we live in what we call reality. Yet the more we think about it, the more life seems to resemble a dream. We rush through our days in such stress and intensity, as if we we’re here to stay and the serious project of the world depends on us. We worry and grow anxious; we magnify trivia until they become important enough to control our lives. Yet all the time, we have forgotten that we are temporary sojourners on the surface of a strange planet spinning in the infinite night of the cosmos. There is no protective zone around any of us. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. There is no definitive dividing line between reality and dream. What we consider real is often precariously dream like. And because our grip on reality is tenuous, every heart is infused with the dream of belonging.
– John O’Donohue

Surviving Inklings
by Cindy JuYoung Ok

You lose friends to both
death and unusually lively
withdrawal, as well as give

some up, as anticipated,
to misunderstanding. You
leave those you assured

you would not leave and,
too, people have left
you in silence and without

reason but presumably
because of your intensity,
which you have long heard

from friends, never lovers,
for whom it was the draw.
When you leave you rarely

think about those left, so
perhaps it is like that for
those who leave you:

typically no story, with
every tensile explanation
partial, each narrative

convenient, and changing.
You reserve the secrets
of theirs you remember,

pray occasionally for their
families, and praise silently
some whistle of generosity

you witnessed. You forget
the contours slowly, in
the long second leaving,

neutrality a structure
you learned to glamorize,
the way you have come to

imagine doors as rectangular.
Under limits of the boxy
entry, you think of cities

as grids, describe a bird as
the tint of ink, forgetting
that ink can be any color.

snow furrow cornfield,
old woman peering
in roadside mailbox
– Ray McNiece

Recognition of the shadow… leads to the modesty we need in order to acknowledge imperfection.
– CG Jung

Fall into the ocean
of expanding consciousness
our winding way home.
– @wildcreativity

I saw more clearly than ever that I was not the one who has done what I have done—rather, I was he who has not done what I have not done—What I have not done was therefore perfectly beautiful, in perfect keeping with the impossibility of being done.
– Paul Valéry

An ecology is a web of connections, & so in a way all poetry is ‘ecological’ since finding connections between things is a part of what poetry does.
– Caitríona O’Reilly

sunlight moves
gently across the sky
dusk on the solstice
– @CarlSetzer

Make haste, make speed, hurry and begone; yet where, and to what purpose? The restless urge of autumn, unsatisfying, sad, had put a spell upon them and they must flock, and wheel, and cry; they must spill themselves of motion before winter came.
– Daphne du Maurier

in the gaps of his talk the wind’s whistle
– Carla Sari

Have there been such dreams as I had today / The 22nd day of December
– Bernadette Mayer

Bach, Winter by Jane Mead

Bach must have known
how something flutters away
when you turn to face the face
you caught sideways in a mirror
in a hall at dusk
and how the smell of apples
in a bowl can stop the heart
from beating, for an instant,
between sink and stove
in the dead of winter when stars
of ice have spread
across the windows and everything
is perfectly still
until you catch the sound
of something lost and shy
beating its wings
against those darkening stars.
And then: music.

A lighted window floats through the night like a piece of paper in the wind
– Russell Edson

Winter-evening cold.
Our backs might never warm up but our faces
Burned from the hearth-blaze and the hot whiskeys.
– Seamus Heaney

My city, keep the faith you found
– Harriet Monroe

You must live in the present. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
– Henry David Thoreau

yes, it’s astonishing how both the US & UK have been poisoned by (Australian) Murdoch’s tabloid empire there & Fox News here. incalculable damage by just one individual. even Shakespeare who’d explored toxicity in kingship could not have imagined democracies so self-annihilating.
– Joyce Carol Oates

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter is not a woman to be overcome.
Her frigid attention is more
than a hardship to be endured.

Her cold embrace
is not meant to be escaped
for a series of tropical
one night stands with grave robbers
exhuming fossilized forests,
cremating the fallen,
combusting ancient ghosts,
and feeding the mechanical dragons
that shrink the earth with black magic
to deliver more invaders
than wooden ships ever did.

Winter does not forgive
those who lust so blindly
for her death
or “the return of light”
that they have conquered darkness
by enslaving energy,
and forcing electricity to jump
at the flick of a switch.

Winter wishes there was more time
to hide under blankets,
and to ponder cozy fires
without facing the heat.


Frostbite and hypothermia
are seasonal disorders
that Winter understands
but the gaunt, muddy corpses
of once-white polar bears prove
that you cannot hibernate
your way out of starvation.
Room temperature
simply is not a season.
And, the worst form
of seasonal affective disorder
are the delusions of those
who fuel the belief that we deserve
the comforts of warmth
and access to the labor of light
without end.

– Will Falk

Ah America, so big, so sad, so black, you’re like the leafs of a dry summer that go crinkly ere August found its end, you’re hopeless, everyone you look on you, there’s nothing but the dry drear hopelessness, the knowledge of impending death, the suffering of present life, lights of Christmas wont save you or anybody, any more you could put Christmas lights on a dead bush in August, at night, and make it look like something, what is this Christmas you profess, in this void?…in this nebulous cloud?
– Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler

When you sow a seed, you will not see it grow into a tree right away. But when you see the seed grow a shoot, this is evidence that it will eventually grow into a tree that bears fruit if you continue to nurture it. So it is with studying and practicing the dharma. You must have some faith at the beginning in order to investigate it further. Slowly, truths reveal themselves, and over time you become increasingly convinced and attain irreversible faith. What is required is openness that the Buddha could be right, and the curiosity to undertake the necessary work and effort to gain gradual conviction and deeper certitude until your target is met. Your target, of course, is not to fly or perform magic; it is to tame your mind, pacify disturbance and find deep peace.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life.
– Jack London

You must have a place to which you can go, in your heart, your mind, or your house, where you do not owe anyone, and where no one owes you – a place that simply allows for the blossoming of something new and promising.
– Joseph Campbell

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.
– Galileo

Oh, if I’d followed people’s advice it would have been hopeless.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Whoever loves becomes humble.

Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.

– Sigmund Freud

If there is anything good about exile, it is that it teaches one humility. It accelerates one’s drift into isolation, an absolute perspective. Into the condition at which all one is left with is oneself and one’s language, with nobody or nothing in between. Exile brings you overnight where it would normally take a lifetime to go.
– Joseph Brodsky

Paradoxes and Oxymorons
by John Ashbery

This poem is concerned with language on a very plain level.
Look at it talking to you. You look out a window
Or pretend to fidget. You have it but you don’t have it.
You miss it, it misses you. You miss each other.

The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot.
What’s a plain level? It is that and other things,
Bringing a system of them into play. Play?
Well, actually, yes, but I consider play to be

A deeper outside thing, a dreamed role-pattern,
As in the division of grace these long August days
Without proof. Open-ended. And before you know
It gets lost in the steam and chatter of typewriters.

It has been played once more. I think you exist only
To tease me into doing it, on your level, and then you aren’t there
Or have adopted a different attitude. And the poem
Has set me softly down beside you. The poem is you.

If we stay busy, sugared, or cheery enough, we might forget this is the season of the dead. Good luck with that. Denying death is about as effective as denying climate change. And nearly as destructive.
– Samantha Hunt, Ghosts of December

Remember
This is how it happens now
in fly by trips
and weeks at at a time,
the crockpot bubbling with
Christmas eve chili
and him napping upstairs
right above me
as I nap also
in my childhood bedroom.
This is how it happens
still calling him when I’m in a
late night wreck
because he’s just up around the corner
like he always has been
and I’m just here on the side of the road
and I bet he has a toe strap.
Only weeks at a time now
it happens that I get to watch
and learn
and listen
to my dad,
to imbibe his readiness
and his anxiety
and most obviously his love.
One week or two
standing in the slow motion
transfer of manhood
letting myself be his boy
for reasons beyond grace
and manners
alone.
And this is how it happens
three and four months gone
the lines in his face sinking deeper
new veins
and the same bad habits
still hurting us both
in the same different ways.
Six months between hugs
and the faraway look
from the brown recliner
cocktail in hand
as he reckons with how quick
it goes
and how good
it’s been.
It happens like this
dying to each other
standing in the mighty river
one baton racer beginning to trot
as the other sprints
toward an outstretched hand
and breathlessly reaches out
urging their teammate on.
Now I know
why my Christmas presents
were toolboxes and jumper cables
and why he always
still
invites me to go
to the hardware store.
I finally understand something
seeing new gray hairs in my head
and the nagging certainty
of arthritic beginnings
about what he’s doing
and why.
All the moments
and all the conversations
that seemed so boring
annoying
unendurable
live in me now
like treasure,
clutched in my callused palm
my most prized gifts.
It happens
just
like
this
washing away in life –
the joy of becoming
myself
and the grief of what it
means.
The little moments
the holiday chance to remember –
remember to
remember
how quick
it all goes.
– Kristopher Drummond

not because i want to
theres just nothing else to do
it isnt safe to think in this country
just write poems
read books
no place to grow
just sit back – drink coffee
damage chromosomes
watch the old world die
& wonder what tomorrow
will be like already knowing
i’ll be an outlaw there too
– d.a. levy

the way sun sets over this lake and the geese float on liquid gold, evening sewn into their eyes.
the way night anchored in the horizon spills on water.
the way moon hangs low in a net of stars.
as if there’s no gravity only a pull of love.
– @tara_zambrano

Deep within us, but also on the surface,
is the wounded ugly boy
who has never caught an acceptable angle
of himself in the mirror.
– Jim Harrison

Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
– Søren Kierkegaard

OMG. I just rhymed “cautious” and “galoshes.”
– @Poochigian

In Praise Of Love

Unless to you, to whom should I praise love?
It is throwaway, a breath on the air,
gratuitous, as if not elicited.

And how should I feel the absence, the emptiness,
the failure to be there except as someone not?
It was you, that one, the one not there.

– William Bronk

Abstract with Red Square
by Jenny Xie

after Etel Adnan

And there,
between clean walls
you assume
the position,
angled toward
the red squares
roiling
on her canvases.

Into the oils
of a new tense
she herself
days before
had dissolved.

There, impasto:
her mountain.

Trimmed down
to the first
seeing.

Tamalpais
at every pitch,
pistachio
patches scraping
against cobalt.
Edges opaque
until they refused.

Mountainous,
she, too—
which is to say
surfacing,
color latching
to the seasons
where meaning
rushes.

Of this transition
the living are given
no access.

You, turning
away from
the dry wall,
where nothing
tears through.

A red square
appears in your days
yet you know
not yet where.

She can’t get into Vassar any more than I can get into my old jeans.
– Connie Britton

Something like living occurs, a movement
Out of the dream into its codification.
– J. A.

As Plato pointed out, beauty is the only spiritual thing we love by instinct.
– Iris Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good

Here is a small poem by the Persian poet Shafiʿi Kadkani to say goodbye to this year of immensities and omens:

Happy journey, dear friend
but when you’ve safely
left this desert of horrors
for the sake of our friendship, I beg you
say hello for me
to the blossoms—and to the rain.

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.
– Henry David Thoreau

“The only true wisdom,” Igjugarjuk said, “lives far from mankind, out in the great loneliness, and can be reached only through suffering. Privation and suffering alone open the mind of a man to all that is hidden to others.”
– Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By

Sooner or later, life itself, bidden or unbidden, is going to drag you far away from what you may have expected or wanted for your own life.
– Martin Shaw

The gods whom we are called to dethrone are the idolized values of our conscious world.
– CG Jung

More simply, I wanted time to think; more simply still, time to feel.
– Iris Murdoch

Pale sunlight,
pale the wall.

Love moves away.
The light changes.

I need more grace
than I thought.

– Rumi

The dharma is not something that can be seen, heard, perceived, or understood.
– Vimalakirti

I shall continue to spend Christmas sleeping, daydreaming, and idling.
– Franz Kafka, 1913.

Silence and peace come over you if you begin to comprehend the darkness.
– LS, p. 22

We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors’ wisdom.
– Maya Angelou

As Wendell Berry said to me at the Book Depot nearly 30 years ago, in bleak, doomed mid-December, ’It gets darker and darker and darker; and then Jesus is born.’
– Anne Lamott

Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.
– G.K. Chesterton

Lay by your wonted troubles here
And have a turn of Christmas cheer.
– Leslie Pinckney Hill

Go to bed. Think of your problem. See what you dream. Perhaps the Great Man, the 2,000,000-year-old man, will speak. In a cul-de-sac, then only do you hear his voice.
– C.G. Jung

A fundamental tenet of archetypal psychology is the interchangeability of mythology and psychology, that mythology is a psychology of antiquity and that psychology is a mythology of modernity.
– Roberts Avens, Imagination is Reality

Your Christmas card made me very happy. If we were nothing more than creatures of the mind, we would not believe in anniversaries… But since we are also composed of a small amount of matter, we like to believe that it, too, is a part of reality.
– Proust

What is empty turns its face to us /
and whispers:
I am not empty,
I am open.
– Tomas Tranströmer, Vermeer

Balance is more likely to come by exploring our faults and by discovering the treasure in our shadow than by trying to deny them or overcome them with shallow techniques.
– Bud Harris

My New Year’s Eve Toast: to all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle — may they never give me peace.
– Patricia Highsmith

We can bring ourselves back to the spiritual path countless times every day simply by exercising our willingness to rest in the uncertainty of the present moment—over and over again.
– Pema Chodron

With their humble honour, they become one,
Merged in a purple dusk of red golden fire,
Memories of helping and little jobs unseen;
Memories of places they might well have been;
They held themselves selfless to lift us up higher
The few we remember , who are forever gone.
– Matty Kellett

The basic principles for the development of the psyche were lost in the West and we live every day with the results: what we have not brought forth is destroying us.
– Betty J Kovacs

People think they can sit down and write novels. Nonsense. It isn’t done that way. It’s not a part-time occupation. It’s your life.
– Jean Rhys

‘The creative mind is a mind that looks for unexpected likenesses’ , wrote Jacob Bronowski. ‘This is not a mechanical procedure, and I believe that it engages the whole personality in science as in the arts.’
– Iain McGilchrist

Peace on earth, good will to men; a dream of innocence that is good to hold on to even if it is only a dream; the mystery of being a child; the possibility of hope… For as long as the moment lasts, that hallowed, gracious time.
– Frederick Buechner

The free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.
– John Steinbeck

On Christmas mornings, it held out as itself,
Potentially heavenbound, earthbound for sure,
Among things that might add up or let you down.
– Seamus Heaney

He wore his velvet jacket and wool pants to dinners. He never once wore blue jeans because his parents “were peasants, not hollywood cowboys”. He admired people who dressed to the 9’s to go to the post office. He was “old school” and very short and very loud. I loved him so.
– Alina Stefanescu

People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number, extraordinarily so, in fact.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

In my life I have interacted with maybe five or six people I’d describe as geniuses and the thing they had in common is that they were all incredibly kind.
– Ryan Ruby

At Christmas there would usually be a huge family gathering—pleasant in a way, yet I remember being miserable. I couldn’t deal with all the people who sounded so sure of themselves when I didn’t feel sure of anything.
– Amy Clampitt

I could sit on the front
stoop and the whole world
came streaming in through
the structures of my senses.
Maybe the body is the soul’s
metaphor.
– Diane Seuss

Today the leaves cry, hanging on branches swept by wind,
Yet the nothingness of winter becomes a little less.
It is still full of icy shades and shapen snow.
– Wallace Stevens

There is a titanic imagination at work here, now cutting a perfect cameo, now scratching the surface of a fallen meteor, an imagination which can curl up in a petal or span a planet.
– Babette Deutsch and Avrahm Yarmolinsky, On Arno Holz

Therefore do not deceive yourself! Of all deceivers fear most yourself!
– Søren Kierkegaard

Holding faith that the path we walk to weave a hundred bioregions into a planetary network of collaboration with gather what will be needed to sustain its emergence…
– @cognitivepolicy

Tell your own story, and you will be interesting.
– Louise Bourgeois

Not knowing is not failure.

It’s the first step to understanding.

– Prof. Richard Feynman

Against the background of general freakishness the case of my particular freakishness was lost.
– Witold Gombrowicz

Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.
– Benjamin Franklin

Night is a time of rigor, but also of mercy. There are truths which one can see only when it’s dark
– Isaac Bashevis Singer

People who’ve had any genuine spiritual experience always know that they don’t know. They are utterly humbled before mystery. They are in awe before the abyss of it all, in wonder at eternity and depth, and a Love, which is incomprehensible to the mind.
– Richard Rohr

But surely the greatest gift is to be able to be in the world and endure it, with a certain cheerfulness.
– Ilse Aichinger

All religions are like different cars all moving in the same direction. People who don’t see it have no light in their hearts.
– Ajahn Chah

If you happen to be sitting, just sit. If you are smoking a pipe, just smoke it. If you are thinking out a problem, just think. But don’t think and reflect unnecessarily, compulsively, from sheer force of nervous habit. In Zen, they call this having a leaky mind.
– Alan Watts

Utilitarian pedagogy always emphasizes the wrong things. Like I learned what a hot toddy was from reading Ibsen‘s Enemy of the People senior year of high school and that information is still useful to me to this very day.
– Ryan Ruby

What am I to do? Death is pursuing me, while life flees. Teach me to do something to remedy the situation. Widen the narrow space of my time.
– Seneca

London, like the paint I use, seems to be in my bloodstream. It’s always moving – the skies, the streets, the buildings. The people who walk past me when I draw have become part of my life.
– Leon Kossoff

Trauma is much more than a story about something that happened long ago. The emotions and physical sensations that were imprinted during the trauma are experienced not as memories but as disruptive physical reactions in the present.
– Bessel van der Kolk

There was a time when people felt as if structure in most forms were a constraint and they attacked it, which in a culture is like an autoimmune problem: the organism is not allowing itself the conditions of its own existence.
– Marilynne Robinson

Nirvana is the condition that comes when you are not compelled by desire, fear or by social commitments: when you hold your centre and act out of there.
– Joseph Campbell

I think if you want to make a recipe for making a writer, have them feel a little out of place everywhere, have them be an observer kind of all the time.
– Lin-Manuel Miranda

There is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.” Who else but the master of silence (and questions), Merton? An answer leaves us feeling complete; a deep silence leaves us opened up to everything we usually ignore.
– Pico Iyer

The shaman charged you too much
for your own breath.
The savior hid your soul under a cup
and switched it with his own.
The guru ran off with your Shakti
during the honeymoon.
Meanwhile the leftist was tricking you
into thinking you were someone’s victim,
as the fascist promised you peace
if you worshiped his flag and carried an AR-15.
The yoga teacher told you your body was God,
but the New Age metaphysician insisted
your flesh was an illusion.
So you took a workshop with the leading
non-duality coach who spent
the whole weekend reminding you
that he teaches Nothing
because there is no teacher
and no one to teach.
You felt guilty when you asked
your bank to cancel his $500 check
and sent him a new one
made out for Zero.
Maybe that’s why you went back to church
and tried to feel like a sinner
so you could get saved,
but there was Nothing to get saved from.
What will you do now
that you’ve followed every path
and wound up here
in the old growth forest again?
Don’t become a cynic, friend.
Just take off your shoes and wander
all night, barefoot on broken moonbeams
among the Bleeding Fairy Helmets,
fungi Mycena Haematopis,
cedar fronds and owl eyes,
embodying the howls of grampa coyote,
until you’re lost enough to cry,
‘I am home, I am home!’
– Fred LaMotte

Water might be
the only thing
that could ever
hold us gentle.
– Rachel Wiley

For decades I’ve been thinking about mycorrhizal webs and nets in the grounds of the planet. [. . .] Poetry connects us with all beings in the life cycle.
– Brenda Hillman

At midday on the year’s midnight
into my mind came
I saw the new moon late yestreen
wi the auld moon in her airms…
– Liz Lochhead

Gradual changes in our experience of ourselves—stabilized within the mundane settings of ordinary life—are much more reliable than sudden revelations or liberating insights. 
It’s not about a shocking moment of ego-death. Be skeptical of anyone trying to present that view. 
It’s about gradually shifting our perceptions and behaviors over decades, and coming to live ever-so-noticeably more in touch with a fluid and compassionate sense of self.
– Ethan Nichtern

The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it. Art is the transforming experience.
– Joseph Campbell

There’s something beautiful about quiet and peace. There’s something beautiful about not trying to do anything, but simply, in some way, your heart joining the whole world.

There’s a time in life for building something up in this world: a family, an institution, a business, a creative life: there’s a time for that.

There’s also a time for becoming quiet, a time for slow conversations with people that we love, and a time for reflecting on all the things that we’ve seen in many years of living. When the time for those things comes, it’s beautiful.

– Norman Fischer

It is raining, without meaning to. The way sometimes you hurt someone, also without meaning to.
– Gemma Gorga

In separateness only does love learn definition,
– Robert Penn Warren

Once I walked in a snowstorm for love
a woman had not promised me, but thought,
in truth, I could hear it calling. It wanted
no more than to live in my ear, dreaming.
– Dave Smith

In this world of ours where everything withers, everything perishes, there is a thing that decays, that crumbles into dust even more completely, leaving behind still fewer traces of itself, than Beauty: namely Grief.
– Proust, Time Regained

I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is a hall, through which everyone passes, going in and out; the drawing room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting room, where members of the family come and go as they wish; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the hands of whose doors are perhaps never touched; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the soul sits alone and waits.
– Edith Wharton

without you
the cherry blossoms
are just blossoms
– Issa

The art of living is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past and the known on the other. It consists in being completely sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new & unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.
– Alan Watts

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
– Thomas Jefferson

Being alone for a while is dangerous. It’s addicting. Once you see how peaceful it is, you don’t even want to deal with people anymore.
– Tom Hardy

And you—what will you say of this hour—
when memory washes out their voices, ours?
– Zhadan

Saying less is incredibly helpful. Every thought is not valuable. Every feeling does not need to be voiced. What is often best is slowing down to spend time developing a clearer and more informed perspective.
– @YungPueblo

We may be dreamers or scholars, we may need tranquility or chaos—we may write for posterity or for the hour that is upon us. But we are all workers in the most blessed and mundane sense of that word. And as workers we need protection…
– Toni Morrison

Let your eye live and grow in God,
and your soul will never shrivel.
You can count on it to keep you alive… awake… tender.
– St. Hildegard of Bingen

I have a need of silence and of stars.
Too much is said too loudly.
– William Alexander

An addiction is anything we do to avoid hearing the messages that body and soul are trying to send us.
– Marion Woodman

I studied the world’s great religions.
I devoured the long, dense tomes of philosophers.
I did what the gods and gurus said I should do.

I was a good boy yet I found no comfort, no home.
Only second-hand thoughts from second-hand people
and a brief respite from a terrible nostalgia.

In the name of spirituality I fell into denial.
I denied anger and called it peace.
I denied shame and called it power.
I denied sexuality and called it purity.
I denied my humanity and called it Awareness.
I denied desire itself and proclaimed myself enlightened.

Now, I find my home in simplicity.
I have been humbled. I know nothing.
I see a cloud and hot tears stream down my face.
Or the face of an old friend, it shocks me with its perfection.
Or a lamppost on my evening walk,
bowing to me with its perfect incandescent light.
All things pull me back to God, I cannot prevent it.

I use human language but I am not quite human.
I am a sparrow at dawn. My song is my home.
My body is my temple. My altar is loss and the strange relief of grieving.
I find solace in the utter lack of solace.
I find rest in my own restless desire for life.

My love, may I sit beside you now?
Will you share with me what’s on your heart?
(I am as lost as you are).
Will you give me your tears, your shudders and your trembling?
Shall I hold you until it stops, and if it never stops shall I hold you?
Will you hold me too?
Shall we look after each other, as the end draws near?
Yes, shall we look after each other?

Oh God. Oh God.
I have found my true religion:

Simple. Human. Kindness.

– Jeff Foster

There will be lots of days when no one pays attention to what you’re doing, even when you’ve put into it your blood, sweat, and tears. Remember that you’re in it for the long-run.
– Brooke Warner

We learn through pain that some of the things we thought were castles turn out to be prisons, and we desperately want out, but even though we built them, we can’t find the door.
– Anne Lamott

Nothing is learned once that does not need learning again.
– Donald Hall

A great deal of novelistic fiction is about ascent.
– Stanley Elkin

Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe.
– Ursula K. LeGuin

Don’t worry.

The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises, interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the thieves of time.

– Joy Harjo

There is a kind of invisible thread between the actor and the audience, and when it’s there it’s stunning, and there is nothing to match that.
– Maggie Smith

Feedback is a gift. It’s not something you’re entitled to. It’s not something you deserve. It’s not something that everyone gets. It’s a big deal for someone to take the time & effort to read your stuff and give feedback. Cherish this gift.
– Keidi Keating

April Rise
by Laurie Lee

If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye.

Blown bubble-film of blue, the sky wraps round
Weeds of warm light whose every root and rod
Splutters with soapy green, and all the world
Sweats with the bead of summer in its bud.

If ever I heard blessing it is there
Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are
Splash with their hidden wings and drops of sound
Break on my ears their crests of throbbing air.

Pure in the haze the emerald sun dilates,
The lips of sparrows milk the mossy stones,
While white as water by the lake a girl
Swims her green hand among the gathered swans.

Now, as the almond burns its smoking wick,
Dropping small flames to light the candled grass;
Now, as my low blood scales its second chance,
If ever world were blessed, now it is.

All the roofs are wet
and underneath smoke
that piles softly in
streets, tongues are
on top of each other
mulling over the night.

– Frank O’Hara, Gamin

I was so happy teaching, because every day, and through every student, I could believe in so many things all over again. The world just kept expanding, and I saw that I did have faith. I once thought I didn’t, but I found it in the students. I found it in helping them to believe in themselves and to go forward and keep the things and the people I loved alive. I sent them out to save the world, you see.
– Marian Seldes

The dark and the light are braided and bound.
– Marc Ian Barasch

Me: Let’s write something marketable next
My brain: oh yes how about an experimental novel in the form of a commonplace book centered around the invisibility of middle age.
– Amber Sparks

continental philosophy: yes, and

analytic philosophy: no, but

– Jordan S. Carroll

… defamiliarize language enough to let it hold truth. If the language is so familiar it washes over us, any truth it contains will be lost.
– Jeannine Ouellette

It is okay to become very small sometimes.
– Ada Limón

Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice.
– Sylvia Boorstein

Experiencing the pain of my life gave me back my vitality. First pain, then vitality.
– Alice Miller

Stop thinking,
and stop trying
not to think.

To stop thinking and to stop
trying not to think
are exactly the same
practice.

This valley is called
Wu Wei.
It is green and beautiful.
Just watch.

Silt settles.
Problems vanish.
No need to touch
the surface
or the depth.

The pond clears
all by itself.
This we call, “Stop thinking.”

Sitting on the bank,
looking at the music
of the mind
like a mountain stream,
this we call, “Stop trying
not to think.”

Just watch
the white waters
of silence,
singing and beautiful.

– Fred LaMotte

While we all must be weaned from the naive sleep of childhood, and the lethargy of dependence, the ego has a tendency to prefer security over development, and wind up with neither.
– James Hollis

Snow fallen, another going
gone, new come in, open
the door:
each night I grow
young, my friends are well
again, my life is all
before me,
each morning
I close a door, another door.
– Martha Collins, Grayed In

Instead of taking a dogmatic stand that rests upon the illusion that we know something because we have a familiar word for it, I prefer to regard the symbol as the announcement of something unknown, hard to recognize and not to be fully determined.
– CG Jung

In the emphasis of the very now, attention to the now, lies the mystical understanding of time as present.
– Dorothee Sölle

The purpose of the state is to numb the senses. The purpose of a lyric poet is to wake them up.
– Ilya Kaminsky

I will admit that there are other people who are primarily interested in doing something. I am not. I can very well live without doing anything. But I cannot live without at least trying to understand whatever happens.
– Hannah Arendt

Were it not for the leaping and twinkling of the soul, man would rot away in his greatest passion, idleness.
– Carl Gustav Jung

Culture is like software – it’s the operating system in the local area. You download being a Xitoto tribesman or a Hong Kong stockbroker and then behaviors are prescribed. Naive people tend to believe that these operating systems are reality. They’re not reality.
– Terence McKenna

It could be that we are invented by cosmic forces, and are made to enact dramas that have their origin in a reality that consciousness can barely comprehend.
– David Tacey

Maybe it’s because the life of a poet is one that requires constant navigation, especially in a culture that does not value that choice, does not value any choice that is non-commercial, cannot be sold. To find others on the path is life-giving.
– Andy Young

But let no one tell me that Fate parts us! It is we, we ourselves! We delight in flinging ourselves into the night of the unknown, into the cold strangeness of any other world.
– Hölderlin, Hyperion

We are allowing the least among us to control the agenda. That would be bad enough under any circumstances, but we’re in an emergency. This is a crisis. We should be going through lifeboat drills at this point, and instead, the band plays on, and the game continues to be played.
– Terence McKenna

I don’t believe the cure for loneliness is meeting someone[..]What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last.
– Olivia Laing

I always start out with an idea that becomes a question I don’t have answers to.
– Toni Morrison

Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say, and more true than you can hear.
– Shunryu Suzuki

But I am not perfect in my way of putting things
Because I lack the divine simplicity
Of being only what I appear to be.
– Fernando Pessoa

I remember staring at him for a minute…how goddamn beautiful his face, his mouth…knowing I could never, ever keep a boy like that because the sheer velocity of my anger and confusion would eat him alive …
– Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water

If you want to reform society, you must be sure that it also wants that; otherwise, your help and enthusiasm are used for its own ends.
– Krishnamurti

I am starved for tenderness and that is what is the matter with me and has been the matter with me for months.
– May Sarton

Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination.
– Joseph Campbell

Mythologies and poems and, when recognized as such, point infallibly through things and events to the ubiquity of a ‘presence’ or ‘eternity’ that is whole and entire in each.
– Joseph Campbell

The body is suspicious & terrified-only gradually can it learn to trust its own instincts & discipline them into a firm base for maturing psyche. Unless body knows its responses are acceptable, psyche does not have the ground of certainty in the instincts that it requires.
– Marion Woodman

The poet’s material has always been nature–human and otherwise–all objects and aspects of our outer environment as well as the ‘climate of the soul’ and the ‘theater of the emotions.’ The poet is the great antispecialist. Still possible in our overorganized, compartmentalized culture and still needed is the work and the play of the artist. As a free-floating agent, medium, and conduit–a kind of ‘divining rod’–he [she] may pass anywhere–over, into, around, or through the multifold fabric of experience and present the results of his [her] singular discoveries and delights to fellow-searchers, fellow-beholders.
– May Swenson, The Experience of Poetry in a Scientific Age

‘The world is poetical intrinsically,’ Aldous Huxley has written, ‘and what it means is simply itself. Its significance is the enormous mystery of its existence and of our awareness of its existence.’ Who or what are we? Why are we? And what are we becoming? What is the relationship between man and the universe? Those are questions that ached in the mind of the first poet. They can be said to have created the first poet and to be first source of the art of poetry. Does the fact of our consciousness, unique and seemingly miraculous among all of nature’s creatures, a priori indicate a superconsciousness shaping and manipulating the cosmos? How is it that with our minds we can explore our own minds?
– May Swenson

Poetry, for me, is a witnessing to magnitude. It is the art of making urgent values manifest and of imposing them on the reader. It is the housing of these values in poems, so they will exist with maximum pressure and for the longest time. It is the craft of doing so in structures that are a delight in themselves. And it is the mystery of fashioning poems in such a way that the form and the content are one.
– Jack Gilbert

with the emptiness
of bare trees
the year ends
– Issa

But when I lean over the chasm of myself / it seems / my God is dark / and like a web.
– Rilke

Just here in the night abandoning half full shopping carts littered across the digital checkout realm.
– Natalie Diaz

The education of the future will include: self awareness, communication skills, emotional intelligence, relationship skills, conflict resolution, leadership, taxes, and financial awareness.
– @Theholisticpsyc

Spring is happening slowly this time.
– Jamie Nielsen

My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

IF ONLY WE HAD TALLER BEEN
by Ray Bradbury

The fence we walked between the years
Did balance us serene;
It was a place half in the sky where
In the green of leaf and promising of peach
We’d reach our hands to touch and almost thouch that lie,
That blue that was not really blue.
If we could reach and touch, we said,
‘Twould teach us, somehow, never to be dead.
We ached, we almost touched that stuff;
Our reach was never quite enough.
So, Thomas, we are doomed to die.

O, Tom, as I have often said,
How said we’re both so short in bed.
If only we had taller been,
And touched God’s cuff, His hem,
We would not have to sleep away and go with them
Who’ve gone before,
A billion give or take a million boys or more
Who, short as we, stood tall as they could stand
And hoped by stretching thus to keep their land,
Their home, their hearth, their flesh and soul.
But they, like us, were standing in a hole.

O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measured out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.

Short man, Large dream. I send my rockets forth between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the forest, every night, alone
– Ursula K. Le Guin

If sentences really rendered thoughts ! -What effect would be produced on you by pictures if you saw them as a sequence of brush strokes? I could sing you vague, delightful tunes that I have in my head and make you feel the passions that I think of; [but] I could tell you all my reveries, and you will know nothing about them-because there are no words to express them.
– Gustave Flaubert

Solitude makes life make sense. It’s where you press pause, step back and reflect on what’s been happening, or what you’ve been doing.
– @oneforjoybook

And happiness
might just
be a single step away.
– David Whyte

I promise you, it’s not overthinking when you’re right about it, it’s not overreacting when your mental health is triggered, it’s not oversensitive when you share your feelings, it’s not oversharing when you communicate your needs, and it’s not over feeling when you’re vulnerable.
– Inner Practitioner

Arundhati Roy said, I often think that writers are no different from plumbers or carpenters. Some service the fascists. Some service the others. It’s not that writers are in any way politically better people.

Fascists despised the small truths of daily existence, loved slogans that resonated like a new religion, and preferred creative myths to history or journalism. They used new media, which at the time was radio, to create a drumbeat of propaganda that aroused feelings before people had time to ascertain facts. And now, as then, many people confused faith in a hugely flawed leader with the truth about the world we all share. Post-truth is pre-fascism.
– Timothy Snyder

Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do. The minor choices we make are a kind of vote, making it more or less likely that free and fair elections will be held in the future. In the politics of the everyday, our words and gestures, or their absence, count very much.
– Timothy Snyder

Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. Make an effort to separate yourself from the internet. Read books.
– Timothy Snyder

Politicians in our times feed their clichés to television, where even those who wish to disagree repeat them. Television purports to challenge political language by conveying images, but the succession from one frame to another can hinder a sense of resolution. Everything happens fast, but nothing actually happens. Each story on televised news is ”breaking” until it is displaced by the next one. So we are hit by wave upon wave but never see the ocean.

The effort to define the shape and significance of events requires words and concepts that elude us when we are entranced by visual stimuli. Watching televised news is sometimes little more than looking at someone who is also looking at a picture. We take this collective trance to be normal. We have slowly fallen into it.

More than half a century ago, the classic novels of totalitarianism warned of the domination of screens, the suppression of books, the narrowing of vocabularies, and the associated difficulties of thought. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953, firemen find and burn books while most citizens watch interactive television. In George Orwell’s 1984, published in 1949, books are banned and television is two-way, allowing the government to observe citizens at all times. In 1984, the language of visual media is highly constrained, to starve the public of the concepts needed to think about the present, remember the past, and consider the future. One of the regime’s projects is to limit the language further by eliminating ever more words with each edition of the official dictionary.

Staring at screens is perhaps unavoidable, but the two-dimensional world makes little sense unless we can draw upon a mental armory that we have developed somewhere else. When we repeat the same words and phrases that appear in the daily media, we accept the absence of a larger framework. To have such a framework requires more concepts, and having more concepts requires reading. So get the screens out of your room and surround yourself with books. The characters in Orwell’s and Bradbury’s books could not do this—but we still can.
– Timothy Snyder

You must be ready to accept the possibility that there is a limitless range of awareness for which we now have no words; that awareness can expand beyond range of your ego, your self, your familiar identity, beyond everything you have learned, beyond your notions of space and time, beyond the differences which usually separate people from each other and from the world around them.
– The Tibetan Book of the Dead

No more apologies for a bleeding heart when the opposite is no heart at all. Danger of losing our humanity must be met with more humanity.
– Toni Morrison

The birds have vanished into deep skies. A last cloud drifts away, all idleness. Inexhaustible, this mountain and I gaze at each other, it alone remaining.
– Li Bai

No striving, no grasping at this or that, no entertaining any self involved stories whatsoever. Instead, attention pivots toward a light in the heart in which the ‘field of boundless emptiness’ is revealed. All questions and doubts are put to rest.
– Hongzhi

NOTES ON THE ART OF POETRY
by Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than humorous resignation.
– W Somerset Maugham

poetry is the highest form of literary art. it is the divine body of god as material, translated into music and image, language made immortal: prayer. next comes fiction, which is the ancient tale we told each other by the fire, of ancestors and gods and heroes. then, nothing.
– aria aber

You know, people come to therapy really for a blessing. Not so much to fix what’s broken, but to get what’s broken blessed.
– James Hillman

I read everything. I read my way out of the two libraries in Harlem by the time I was thirteen. One does learn a great deal about writing this way.
– James Baldwin

Letter to GC by Dana Levin

I say most sincerely and desperately, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Having rowed a little farther away from the cliff

Which is my kind of religion

Adrift in the darkness but readying oars

How can there be too many stars and hands, I ask you

I would be disingenuous if I said “being understood” were not important to me

Between the ceiling of private dream and the floor of public speech

Between the coin and the hand it crosses

Mercantilists’ and governors’ and preachers’ alike

The imagination and its products so often rebuff purpose

And some of us don’t like it, and want to make it mean

I would never shoot you, even if you were the only meat around

Anyway, I empathize with your lower division semester (which sounds
kinda Dante, to me)

Snow-bound sounds gorgeous and inconvenient

Like the idea of ending on the internal rhyme of psychics and clients

Though I too privilege the “shiny”

And of course, I want to be approved of, so much

Despite the image I’ve been savoring, the one of the self-stitching wound

Yes, I want to write that self-healing wound poem, the one with
cocoon closed up with thorns

We are getting such lovely flourishes from our poets

Fathomless opportunities for turning literacy into event

It’s the drama of feeling we find such an aesthetic problem,
these days

march bluster
the dragon kite
rattles its tail
– Darrell Byrd

What is the mind if not that surface upon which the world can be endlessly rebroken?
– Maya C. Popa

Once, I ran from fear
so fear controlled me.
Until I learned to hold fear like a newborn.
Listen to it, but not give in.
Honour it, but not worship it.
Fear could not stop me anymore.
I walked with courage into the storm.
I still have fear,
but it does not have me.

Once, I was ashamed of who I was.
I invited shame into my heart.
I let it burn.
It told me, “I am only trying
to protect your vulnerability”.
I thanked shame dearly,
and stepped into life anyway,
unashamed, with shame as a lover.

Once, I had great sadness
buried deep inside.
I invited it to come out and play.
I wept oceans. My tear ducts ran dry.
And I found joy right there.
Right at the core of my sorrow.
It was heartbreak that taught me how to love.

Once, I had anxiety.
A mind that wouldn’t stop.
Thoughts that wouldn’t be silent.
So I stopped trying to silence them.
And I dropped out of the mind,
and into the Earth.
Into the mud.
Where I was held strong
like a tree, unshakeable, safe.

Once, anger burned in the depths.
I called anger into the light of myself.
I felt its shocking power.
I let my heart pound and my blood boil.
Listened to it, finally.
And it screamed, “Respect yourself fiercely now!”.
“Speak your truth with passion!”.
“Say no when you mean no!”.
“Walk your path with courage!”.
“Let no one speak for you!”
Anger became an honest friend.
A truthful guide.
A beautiful wild child.

Once, loneliness cut deep.
I tried to distract and numb myself.
Ran to people and places and things.
Even pretended I was “happy”.
But soon I could not run anymore.
And I tumbled into the heart of loneliness.
And I died and was reborn
into an exquisite solitude and stillness.
That connected me to all things.
So I was not lonely, but alone with All Life.
My heart One with all other hearts.

Once, I ran from difficult feelings.
Now, they are my advisors, confidants, friends,
and they all have a home in me,
and they all belong and have dignity.
I am sensitive, soft, fragile,
my arms wrapped around all my inner children.
And in my sensitivity, power.
In my fragility, an unshakeable Presence.

In the depths of my wounds,
in what I had named “darkness”,
I found a blazing Light
that guides me now in battle.

I became a warrior
when I turned towards myself.

And started listening.

– Jeff Foster

There’s the thing I shouldn’t do
and yet, and now I have
the rest of the day to
make up for, not
undo, that can’t be done
but next time,
think more calmly,
breathe, say here’s a new
morning, morning,
morning,
(though why would that
work, it isn’t even
hidden, hear it in there,
more, more,
more?)
– Lia Purpura

Even if you can’t be on the cushion or contemplate so much, then I would be honored by your just doing bodhicitta practice and the four immeasureables on a daily basis. You can reap immense benefit in this and future lives just with the four immeasureables. Transformation of your heart with bodhicitta practice, tsewa and the four immeasureables is paramount. All of the other practices can wait. Over time, you can learn more, yes, but tsewa must be cultivated now. It cannot wait.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Normal people
do not create
art.
– Irving Stone

THE LOST ECHO
BY IVÁN ARGÜELLES

and would not leave off steering his shadow
through mountain defiles and craggy remotes
the life-force a still throbbing vein and on high
the powerful and blackening solar homophone
augured nothing but bane and no place was there
to hide from the blazing eye nor to disguise
the already corporeal wreck brought on by age
as the ministers had long implied and wrathful
fate was hard on his heels and tempted him
with nearby groves and cool streams but what !
before his gaze the whole of a lifetime passed
sore troubled in mind at the maze of recall and
regret a series of accidents a pounding head and
language uninflected and sinuously corrupted
by sleep and whatever he designed in dewy grasses
wherever he stepped on unknown paths and
how could anything ever have been secure ?
was there another by his side ? did bird-calls
in early morning revive memory ? a dream
the whole thing was an unraveling fading dream
a song in one ear and a deafening firefly in
the other and sections of pyramids jade or
obsidian and fractured stone idols jeweled
replicas squatting to make water over cities
and transient names shadowy reproductions
glassy reflections senseless nights alcohol
perfumed boudoirs necklaces of human skulls
the mountain above all shivering and immense
half of time alone resided in its wings and
light shapeless and divine and gravity upended
was there more to remember ? school days
and powerful drugs and scripts indecipherable
and haunting like glow-worms and speechless leaves
rustling distances yearning ineffable absences
the long elision into space the lost echo
*the lost echo*

Advent

WERNER HERZOG (b. 1942) German filmmaker whose unconventional work blends spirituality and nightmare, tenderness and epic dementia.

Bruce Chatwin once called Werner Herzog “The only person with whom I could have a one-to-one conversation on what I would call the sacramental aspect of walking.

He and I share a belief that walking is not simply therapeutic for oneself but is a poetic activity that can cure the world of its ills.”

Near the beginning of Advent in 1974, Herzog received word that film critic Lotte Eisner, the guiding light of German cinema, lay dying in Paris.

Herzog later wrote, “I said that this must not be, not at this time, German cinema could not do without her now, we would not permit her death…… I set off on the most direct route to Paris, in full faith, believing that she would stay alive if I came on foot.”

In his hurry, Herzog left Munich without warm clothing or even a proper map. For twenty-one days of nearly constant rain and snow he slogged a compass course along dreary roadsides, through muddy fields. At night he slept in inns or barns or broke into weekend cottages. The pain of his blistered feet inside his new boots was soon overtaken by the pain of swollen tendons and ankles. When he arrived at Eisner’s bedside, he found her tired but recovering. She lived another nine years.

“I said to her, open the window, from these last days onward I can fly.”

HERZOG’S WINTER WALK FROM MUNICH TO PARIS

Boots, solid and new
compass
jacket
sweater and scarf
thin plastic poncho
duffel bag with the necessities

Acquired along the way:
storm cap
long johns
flashlight
sticking-plaster, for blisters
Shell Oil road map

Time, which is so often an enemy in life, can also become our ally if we see how a pale moment can lead to a glowing moment, and then turn to a moment of perfect transparency, before dropping again to a moment of everyday simplicity.
– Peter Brook

The self is a patchwork of the felt and the unfelt, of presences and absences, of navigable channels around the walled-off numbnesses. Perhaps it’s impossible for anyone short of an enlightened being to carry the weight of all suffering, even to recognize and embrace it, but we make ourselves large or small, here or there, in our empathies.
– Rebecca Solnit

…After a life of prayer,
blisters from the long walk, scratches
from the thorn bushes that over-
lean the narrow path, a soul
should accumulate as much mass
as an apple, or a pocket New Testament,
gravity you can feel in your hands…
– Paul Jolly

Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person — sexual chemistry, let’s say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty — and you get to pick three of those things. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It’s only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all those things. But this isn’t the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That’s real life. Don’t you see it’s a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you’ll wind up with nothing.
– Hanya Yanagihara

If a union is to take place between opposites like spirit and matter, conscious and unconscious, bright and dark, and so on, it will happen in a third thing, which represents not a compromise but something new.
– C.G. Jung

What can we really possess, after all? Our realization that there is actually nothing that can be held on to can become a powerful factor in cultivating our inner wealth of generosity, which is a wealth that can never be depleted.
– Marcia Rose

You know you are maturing when you can strike a smoother balance between being aware of your perspective while also being considerate of the perspective of other’s. You can use your self love to protect yourself but you also have the humility to know you are not always right.
– Yung Pueblo

a fox
teaching me
some new tricks
– Issa

the piano hammers
barely moving…
night snow
— John Barlow

late autumn rain
the garden potatoes
still on the porch

– Sandra Mooney-Ellerbeck

Be humble. Be teachable. The universe is bigger than your view of the universe. There’s always room for a new idea. Humility is necessary for growth.
– Prof. Feynman

The ecological crisis is ultimately about the regime of production: who controls it, with what objectives, what is being produced, how resources and energy are used, what technologies are deployed, how yields are distributed. That is the necessary terrain of struggle.
– Jason Hickel

All around us the trees
and the grasses light up with forgiveness…
We would like to call something
out to her. Some form of cheering.
There is pain but no arrival at anything.
– Margaret Atwood

What funny people. They celebrate one death and dismiss a thousand resurrections.
– Patricia Smith

Save some time, love, energy, rest for yourself.

Don’t give it all away.

– Dr. Thema

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.
– John Burroughs

thought
is eternal
in its effects
– @BashoSociety

When I was younger, I had big visions of changing the world.
– Rick Danko

You have to nap if
you want to write
in the evening,
the old monk realized.
– The Old Monk

Like the philosopher, the poet speaks in order to draw closer to the unspoken, the unspeakable, or the undecided. Strategies of closure, in poetry, double as techniques of disclosure.
– Alina Stefsanescu

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp.
– Rilke

A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.
Wait.
– Theodore Roethke

For there are no light years. Years are heavy.
There is only light.
– Brenda Shaughnessy

Reconcile

The earliest light we know

is out there on the hill this evening, calling to us—

starlight is an ancient lilac, with a talent
for the fragile certainty:

there is a speck
of memory, then I was quiet.

What is true
from everlasting to everlasting:

I found a good place. Then I was quiet.

It’s sacrilege to imagine

how someone should or should not have
loved you, umpteenth time.

– Sarah Vap

Let us not forget that the total combination, the lighted and decorated tree, is also found outside Christ’s nativity and in non-Christian contexts. For instance, in alchemy, that well-known reservoir for the symbols of antiquity. Now you know what the shining globes on the Christmas tree mean: they are nothing less than the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars. The Christmas tree is the world-tree. But, as the alchemical symbolism clearly shows, it is also a transformation symbol, a symbol of the process of realization. According to certain alchemical sources, the adept climbs the tree ‒ a very ancient shamanistic motif. The shaman, in an ecstasy, climbs the magical tree in order to reach the upper world where he or she will find the true self. By climbing the magical tree, which is at the same time a tree of knowledge, the alchemist gains possession of the spiritual personality. To the eye of the psychologist, the shamanistic and alchemical symbolism is a projected representation of the process of individuation.
– CG Jung

To grieve is to be perforated with stars.
– Iris A. Law

Ruth Wilson Gilmore said, “The power of literacy to make us fit for struggle should be exercised like a muscle, not waved around like a membership card.” And James Baldwin talked about how a purpose of political education is to build power. This work is not about building clubs.
– Tamara K Nopper

Blessed are those
who break off from separateness

theirs is wild
heaven.

– Jean Valentine

Jesus was not sent here to teach the people to build magnificent churches and temples amidst the cold wretched huts and dismal hovels. He came to make the human heart a temple, and the soul an altar, and the mind a priest.
– Kahlil Gibran

There’s no way to eliminate the ache of being human, but I do think we can diminish it. This starts when we challenge ourselves to become less afraid to share, more ready to listen—when the wholeness of your story adds to the wholeness of mine.
– Michelle Obama / The Light We Carry

A difficult love relationship is no gift, but it may be a psychological necessity. Not because suffering is the only path to growth, but because we’re at a stage- as a species- where we often need to learn the hard way. This is particularly true with respect to love relationship. Very few of us grew up with anything approaching healthy relatedness. Our ancestors were trapped inside of centuries of generational dysfunction. They had no clue. So, its left to us to figure it out. We are the pioneers of a new way of relating. The key is to not beat yourself up when love gets difficult. Instead, see it as a laboratory for your own expansion. You are forging the tools you need from your own imaginings. One lesson at a time…
– Jeff Brown

HYMN TO TIME
Time says “Let there be”
every moment and instantly
there is space and the radiance
of each bright galaxy.

And eyes beholding radiance.
And the gnats’ flickering dance.
And the seas’ expanse.
And death, and chance.

Time makes room
for going and coming home
and in time’s womb
begins all ending.

Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

For last year’s words
belong to last year’s language,
and next year’s words
await another voice.

And to make an end
is to make a beginning.

– T. S. Eliot

Out in the yard, all around the house, the things they’ve planted in years gone by are making significance, making meaning, as easily as they make sugar and wood from nothing, from air, and sun, and rain. But humans hear nothing.
– Richard Powers

Myths today are no longer grounded in bodily experience. We prize the body’s images and symbols, its cerebral functions. This has led us to a modern Wasteland. We have forsaken the body as a source of knowledge.
– Stanley Keleman

How does the ordinary person come to the transcendent? For a start, I would say, study poetry. Learn how to read a poem.
– Joseph Campbell

[A]s Schopenhauer reminds us, history is the ‘antithesis of poetry’. History concerns only individual things; poetry concerns universal truths.
– Bill Darlison

After being fitted
for a hearing aid
my deaf friend was
most surprised to find
sunlight didn’t hum.
– Robert Wood Lynn

Lucky is the man who does not secretly believe that every possibility is open to him.
– Walker Percy

It is an enormous seduction on the part of the West to suggest that jabbing your pen around in the debris of your pain is enough. It’s not. It’s a trick to keep you from doing something more useful. That’s uninitiated behaviour masquerading as wisdom.
– Martin Shaw, Scatterlings

Man becomes whole, integrated, calm, fertile, and happy when (and only when) the process of individuation is complete, when the conscious and the unconscious have learned to live at peace and to complement one another.
– CG Jung

Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too.
– Jim Harrison

There are no certainties, even grammatical ones. Isn’t it happier that way? Because in that way a grammatical form can itself be beautiful, since only that which bears the imprint of our choice, our taste, our uncertainty, our desire and our weakness can be beautiful.
– Proust

Richness of mind consists in mental receptivity, not in accumulation of possessions. What comes to us from outside & for that matter, everything that rises up from within, can only be made our own if we are capable of an inner amplitude equal to that of the incoming content.
– CG Jung

Goethe has said, that in youth we cannot be happy unless we love. I did not love; but I was devoured by a restless wish to be something to others.
– Mary Shelley

Most experiences are unsayable; they become real to us in a space no word has entered. And least sayable of all are works of artistic expression, which live on, full of mystery, compared to our brief lives.
– Anthony Garrett

Doubt can only be removed by action.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What a joy it is that I place my mind in the soil of the primal vow and I let my thoughts flow into the sea of the inconceivable Dharma.
– Shinran Shonin

Before the bells ring, before this little point in time
has rushed us on
Before this clean moment has gone, before this night
turns to face tomorrow, Father
There is this high singing in the air
Forever this sorrowful human face in eternity’s window
And there are other bells that we would ring, Father
Other bells that we would ring.
– Kenneth Patchen, At the New Year

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than with the imagination being awake?
– Leonardo da Vinci

powering through
the frozen earth
a New Year’s flower
– Issa

There is as much poetry
in me as there is water.
– Alan Pelaez Lopez

Japan

Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

I walk through the house reciting it
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.

I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening,
then I hear it without saying it.

And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel down on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It’s the one about the one-ton
temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it into the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

– Billy Collins

There is an emotion, a realization, but it is also a world and a self, that impends in the first stirrings of a poem.
– Robert Duncan

You haunt my days because you live in my nights.
– Hortensia Anderson

There will always be poetry
In this heat of you and me
Always the crashing of the seas
Always the murmur of the bees
That split second when we see
What for us is poetry?
– Margaret Wise Brown

But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.
– T.S. Eliot

Could I write before you go
But one verse
Who loved you so
But one verse that you should know
How I loved you, ere you go
I would write it in a rhyme
That would ring beyond our time
That would keep this moment clear
Far beyond our little year
But this I cannot write, my dear
So I write before you go
All these words
Who loved you so
– Margaret Wise Brown

In these middle years, the little words
don’t seem so small anymore. They crowd
doubt’s formal sitting room in dark,
outdated suits of elegant font. Black quill
dipped into a near empty well of ink,
nibbed upon a page of yellowed white bond,
the skillful calligraphy of each letter
lifts & falls like restful breathing
of a deep sleep to form the ones
that are hardest to say—love, death, fear, faith.
– Greg Sellers

A new year must be a different year, and if the old one has kept us apart, perhaps the new year, with miraculous forces, will throw us together. Throw, throw, New Year!
– Franz Kafka, 1912

The experience of separateness arouses anxiety; it is, indeed, the source of all anxiety.
– Erich Fromm

Churchill said that when one find’s oneself lost in a dark wood, keep walking. Jung said that at the bottom of every depression & there is always a bottom there, one will find a task, the addressing of which will take one’s life in a new direction.
– James Hollis

The mind can ramble off in strange ways, and want things that the body does not want. And the myths and rites were means to put the mind in accord with the body, and the way of life in accord with the way that nature dictates.
– Joseph Campbell

People spend a lifetime thinking about how they would really like to live. I asked my friends and no one seems to know very clearly. To me it’s very clear now.
– Gabriel García Márquez

Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
– Joy Harjo

The New Decade
by Hieu Minh Nguyen

I keep thinking there’s a piano nearby.
I keep thinking it’s my favorite song. It’s my favorite song!

Below the marquee, I arrange the marquee:
Happy New Year, buddy. Happy ’nother one, sweetheart.

Out of ways to call you dead, I decide to call you busy,
call you at midnight from West Oakland.

These days I raise a glass to make sure it’s empty.
Even when I was a drunk, I thought champagne was pointless.

In my two-story civility, I stick my head out
each window & scream. S’cuse me, s’cuse me,

I’m trying to remember a story about gold,
about a giant falling from the sky.

Someone once asked who I prayed to.
I said a boy with a missing front tooth.

In this order, I ask, first, for water,
which might mean mercy,

which might mean swing by in an hour
& I’ll tell you the rest.

If you were here we’d dance, I think.
If you were here, you’d know what to do

what to do with all this time

’Twas hard to part—the dear Old Year and I.
– Anna de Brémont

I feel it is the duty of one who goes his own way to inform society of what he finds on his voyage of discovery.
– C.G. Jung

Science has progressed, but any model becomes a cage, for if one comes across phenomena difficult to explain, then instead of being adaptable and saying that the phenomena do not conform to the model & that a new hypothesis must be found, one clings to one’s hypotheses.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Isn’t this lilting world shaped
as an open door? You can walk through it
and never come back.
– Samuel A. Betiku

Something’s moving in,
I hear the weather in the wind,
sense the tension of a sheep-field
and the pilgrimage of fins.
Something’s not the same,
I taste the sap and feel the grain,
hear the rolling of the rowan
ringing, singing in a change.
Something’s set to start,
there’s meadow-music in the dark
and the clouds that shroud the mountain
slowly, softly start to part.
– Matt Goodfellow, Poem for a New Year

Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments. Only later do they become memorable by the scars they leave.
– La Jetée (1962), Chris Marker

There is an emotion, a realization, but it is also a world and a self, that impends in the first stirrings of a poem.
– Robert Duncan, Towards an Open Universe

Two words, each hundreds of years old, that are still worth holding on to: ‘respair’: fresh hope, and ‘resipiscence’: a return to a better frame of mind.
– Susie Dent

So mountains are languages and languages are mountains // We speak both.
– Etel Adnan

a moment of zen
post-holiday clarity
the future is now…
– @LazyBookworm

Even if a person deliberately tries to fabricate something, to imagine a pure fiction, the material that comes up through the imagination still represents some hidden part of that individual. It has to come from somewhere inside the person who is producing the images.
– RA Johnson

The higher the mountain on which you stand, the less change in the prospect from year to year, from age to age. Above a certain height there is no change.
– Henry David Thoreau

As an analyst you can sometimes see a fortnight ahead, or even longer, that now a new form of consciousness is approaching, but the dreamer has not as yet any realization of it.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.
– Plato

like a blue cloud
on a blue day
in a crooked world
turned sideways
you disappear on me
– @stevenovelt

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another.
– G. C. Lichtenberg

Is there writing about anything like digital minimalism or digital mindfulness? And also how about digital resiliency?
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Thank you for your champagne.
It arrived. I drank it, and I was gayer.
– Marilyn Monroe

It does not take twenty years for men to change their opinions of things which had seemed to them the truest, and most certain.
– Jean de La Bruyère

What we must do,
I suppose,
is to hope the world
keeps its balance;
what we are to do, however,
with our hearts
waiting and watching—truly
I do not know.
– Mary Oliver

For love is exultant when it unites equals, but it is triumphant when it makes that which was unequal equal in love.
– Søren Kierkegaard

I promised no more poetry and I’d rather think of this as a confession: you are still the first person I want to share new things with.
– Trista Mateer

Some people are born flight risks. It is no shortcoming of yours that they cannot keep their feet on the ground. It is not your fault that they cannot seem to stand in place. They are not leaving you; they are just leaving.
– Trista Mateer

I still have a lot of growing to do
and I know there is more room for it
in your absence.
– Trista Mateer

Walking away from you feels like not taking care of myself.
– Trista Mateer

Gentrification disappeared many spaces that played a role in my political consciousness and relationships.
– tamara k. nopper

Without being aware of your conditioning, however much you may try to think clearly, your thoughts will be obscured, limited.
– Krishnamurti

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.
– Carl Jung

moonbow
at the kitchen window
mom’s shadow

coins tossing
in the busker’s bowl
afternoon wind

– Hifsa Ashraf

the last day
of the year
spent in a bookstore
what was
what can yet be
– Paul Engel

A TOAST
by Wendy Videlock

Here’s to the mountain,
here’s to the sky,
here’s to the who
and the what, and the why,
here’s to the leisure,
here’s to the chore,
here’s to the pit,
and the skin, and the core,
here’s to the ancient,
here’s to the now,
here’s to the thumb
and the seed and the plow,
here’s to the fire,
here’s to the shore,
here’s to the star
and the freak, and the bore,
here’s to the addict,
here’s to the saint,
here’s to the song
and the hum of complaint,
here’s to the miner,
here’s to the crone,
here’s to the ruined,
the staid, and the flown,
here’s to the wrist,
here’s to the tongue,
here’s to the rib
and the cage and the bone.

What is writing but listening for what you’ve never heard before? And exploring—sometimes in words, sometimes in words and images—the hitherto unknown regions of your mind and, God willing, the minds of all the people who made you?
– Hilton Als

My life, or did I dream you?
– Sergei Yesenin

So when I say I want to fling myself into the sun, I mean,
You do not get used to being left behind.
– Jakky Bankong-Obi

the spirit of the Lotus
is sleepless this evening
a New Year’s drinking party
– Buson

Therapy isn’t curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness.
– Rollo May

Bugs, rocks, clouds and clocks,
Incorrigible buddhist
Bows down at everything’
– Michael Kessler

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
– Brad Paisley

enlightened
a zen monk
sweeps snow
– James Welsh

There he stands in the foul weather,
The foolish, fond Old Year
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

for through an opening in the wood one could look across the wide, blue river,—the meadows on the other side,—far over the outskirts of the great city, to the green hills that rose to meet the sky. The sun was low, and the heavens glowed with the splendor of an autumn sunset. Gold and purple clouds lay on the hill-tops; and rising high into the ruddy light were silvery white peaks, that shone like the airy spires of some Celestial City.
– Louisa May Alcott

Winter dew sliding down
pine needles; my heart aches
for this broken world
– Joan Halifax

How sad it makes one feel to sit down quietly and think of the flight of the old year, and the unceremonious obtrusion of the new year upon our notice! How many things we have omitted to do which might have cheered a human heart, or whispered hope in the ear of the sorrowful…
– Emily Dickinson

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.
– Brooks Atkinson

The trick is to become strong of heart without losing the tenderness of soul.
– Julio Cortázar

To hate is to hold on to an internal object in an unforgiving way.
– Gabbard & Wilkinson

Test by Don Paterson
So for the record: when we die
our hearts don’t slow like steps or clocks
but whirr like small wings in a box
now lit up by a crack of sky.

In psychoanalysis, knowing about something often operates as a defense against knowing it in a deeper, emotional sense.
– Robert M. Young

Just titled a poem ‘Buying a Mac’ and realised most people would take it for a computer rather than a raincoat…
– Dr Carrie Etter

pay attention to today
if tomorrow comes
treat it the same way
– @FictionCrumbs

last night
I met a thief who
stole the end of the year
– Basho

Music carries memory through the air, of which the soul breathes.
– Thom Cavalli

This NewYear, let’s choose people.
People over political parties.
People over profit.
People over traditions.
People over religion.
People over systems.
It’s time that we prioritize people over ideologies and decisions that compromise humanity.
– @BerniceKing

Never doubt what comes from the heart. Your feelings know you better than anything else.
– Leon Brown

We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet.
– Joseph Campbell

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. .. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.
– G.K. Chesterton

I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light —
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.

– Adrienne Rich

And now, a few years later still, I know
To ask if this complex of feeling, deep-frozen,
Waiting for me, was my actual life—
– Charif Shanahan

A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual.
– Carl Gustav Jung

NEW EYES EACH YEAR
by Philip Larkin

New eyes each year
Find old books
And new books, too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.

and I ask myself and you, which of our visions will claim us which will we claim how will we go on living how will we touch, what will we know what will we say to each other
– Adrienne Rich

Set sail, take the wing, commit to the stomp. Evoke a playful boldness that makes even angels swoon. There’s likely something tremendous waiting.
– Martin Shaw

Hexagrams in Sky and Water

Twenty twenty-two.
A turning of tides.
Rebalancing.
Slow-but definite-rebalancing.

Light being cast into dark corners ——
revealing
revealing
revelation.

Twenty twenty-three.

It may be
the Year of the Water Rabbit
but The Sage says:
“Emulate Mountain Turtle.”

Pull inward.
Stay the course.
Dwell in place.
Bask in the light
of slower rhythms.

Your pulse is of Earth
and Forest
and Garden
and Path
and Dream
not the frenzied world of grasping
which will always do what it does.

Don’t just think: “slower rhythms.”
Conjure slower rhythms.
Invoke slower rhythms.
Embody slower rhythms.
Adhere to slower rhythms
in both heat and cold.

Not quite hibernation.
Not quite full hermitage.
More like slow-growing
watercress and horsetail
at the river’s edge.
Heron is there, too, saying:
“Slow down. What’s the rush?
The important things
have already been decided
and the rest is out of our hands anyway.”

This is what the ancients
of Tao, Chán, and Pure Land call
a ‘person settled in paradise.’

– Frank Inzan Owen

Burning the Old Year
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

An event may be small and insignificant in its origin, and yet, when drawn close to one’s eye, it may open in its center an infinite and radiant perspective because a higher order of being is trying to express itself in it and irradiates it violently.
– Bruno Schulz

Nothing beats kindness. It sits quietly beyond all things.
– Charlie Mackesy

Yes it is impossible,
therefore it will take a little longer.
– Paolo Lugari

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.
– Muriel Rukeyser

When in doubt
Unreel your grief to a tree.
– Sandra Cisneros

what has happened to time, as the day’s news
is repeated, bellowing like the storm?
– Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

If there is a trace of music
No one can stop the circus from expanding in the silence
Nor the bells of dead stars
Nor the snake that feeds on color
Nor the pianist who’s leaving the earth
Nor the missionary who’s forgotten his name
– Vicente Huidobro, Altazor

Progress Report

Now I’m
into things

so small
when I

say boo
I disappear

– A. R. Ammons

How hurtful it can be to deny one’s true self and live a life of lies just to appease others.
– June Ahern

Sigmund Freud, in a footnote to “Civilization and its Discontents:”

“Goethe, indeed, warns us that “nothing is harder to bear than a succession of fair days.”

“But this,” Freud comments, “may be an exaggeration.”

New Year

Look at it, cold and wet like a
newborn calf.

– Kate Baer

I wore my palm // like an eyepatch to silence the migraine.
– Alina Stefanescu

new year’s eve—
behind gray clouds
a bright spot
where
the moon waits
– @ruralitalics

Nearly everyone
walks the wrong
direction,
the old monk said.
– The Old Monk

The world did not begin with me
it will not end with me
I am
one pulsebeat in the throbbing river
– Octavio Paz

If I were to die, in the midst of cold mountains, unknown to the world, cast off by my own people, my strength at last exhausted, the sea would at the final moment flood into my cell, come to raise me above myself and help me die without hatred.
– Albert Camus

The space beyond the sun,
across the Milky Way,
spilling the clustered rim
of the farthest galaxy,
is the hollow in a mustard seed
planted in the furrow
of your missing rib.
You overflow the chalice.
Therefore breathe the night.
Every proton of an atom
in your chaos of flesh
is tethered to its native star.
You are so ancient that your glow
is still approaching
like a promise, a pilgrim God,
and you are still receiving
your name.
How do I know this?
I don’t.
I taste it.
Someone touched
the soft spot on my crown
and poured the nectar
of emptiness down my spine.
I won’t say who,
but her fragrance
is luminous and musky,
her body the color of silence.
If I were one of those
soul merchants who sell keys
to the door that is always open,
I would bottle her perfume
and call it ‘Bewilderment.’
– Fred LaMotte

Greta is like a mythic superhero. While still in her teens, she has changed the global conversation on climate, changed the global conversation on neurodiversity and taken out the world’s most toxic misogynist. It’s only a matter of time before Marvel makes the movie.
– George Monbiot

The AI is already
running the world,
the old monk said as
he examined his pen.
– The Old Monk

An allegory
Living on a mountain top
Gathering starlight
– @frghtndmn

new calendar
the emptiness
inside
– @pauldavidmena

spinning earth
the axis tilt
of a drunk
– @petro_ck

We would do well… to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche.
– Carl Jung

over cold coffee
a heated debate
over climate change
– @pauldavidmena

It would be hard to say what brought them there,
commerce or contemplation.
– elizabeth bishop

It is hard to breathe
so far up in the highlands; the air is being

purified – all sins, all errors, all wayward acts
burnt away by flame;

– Kwame Dawes

Police don’t prevent crime. They show up after it happens. Crime prevention starts with funding social programs and creating opportunity.
– @mhdksafa

Misunderstandings?
No problem. We’re poets —
we’re used to
misunderstandings,
the old monk said.
– The Old Monk

Hung on my bedroom wall is the quote attributed to Joan of Arc: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” However my life unfolds…is how I am meant to live it; however my life unspools itself, I was created to bear it.
– Esmé Weijun Wang

But talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.
– Søren Kierkegaard

Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.
– Patti Smith

Right thinking is not possible without thought freeing itself from prejudice and identification.
– Krishnamurti

Beat the algorithms
Eat what’s good for you
Go to a good place
Infer honestly
Never say never
– @artist_wen

new years resolution? no, it is time for new years evolution, i am going to emerge as a newly sentient creature squirming out of the primordial ooz.
– @Kristen_Arnett

It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean you need to create a ‘new you’— there is no new you, there is just who you are, an imperfect human creature that’s whole already. There are embers glowing in the rubble of even the hardest years. The more beautiful world is rising, and it needs you to be what you already are, not what the marketing executives decide will lead to the most profit. You don’t need a 10 step program to ____, or an app to _____. You do need to be fully yourself, to go outside more than you think you should, and to look for ways to add to the healing of the collective. And no one but you gets to decide what exactly that means.
– Heidi Barr

Of course, it’s important/to go to parties…
– Alex Dimitrov

We need to encourage others with our words. But even more importantly, we need to use our words to encourage ourselves. Don’t be your own worst enemy by constantly talking down to yourself.
– Keidi Keating

The seasons flit like linnets,/ And years whirl past like planets
– Norman Nicholson

A rose pinned
to my shirt like a throbbing ear, an ear
listening to the wreckage scraping at
the bottom of your words.
– C. T. Salazar

The landscape of words and dreams is vast. In the far distance are horizons that bank upon the heavens. The middle distance is a wilderness in which are the things that are barely within our reach, the oceans, mountains and forests, deserts and wildlife. And in the foreground are the properties of our daily lives, the neighborhood that is most familiar to us. And in the whole of this landscape is the intricate web of language and the imagination.
– N. Scott Momaday

Time never used to go by this way … As a child you felt things differently. Everything lasted so marvelously long! But now . . .
– Wim Wenders

A poem comes from the heart of the poet’s experience, but it can go to the heart of any of our experiences. The underground connections that poetry makes come not merely from the way language is formed and shaped on the page and through the spoken voice, but also from the heart of human experience, which I believe is translatable–sometimes with difficulty but often with power.
– Herbert Kohl

Your words are you. You are them and not much more. The description: The fieldness of fields, the weediness of weeds … When is description mere? Never. A freshness in the seeing, an innocency in the vision, the angle of perception, the bringing together of details, not necessarily as metaphors, even, just as objects. Be one of those on whom nothing is lost. Don’t strain for arrangement. Look and put it down and let your sensibility be the sieve.
– Theodore Roethke, I Teach Out of Love

Journeys are always in spirals, not straight lines.
– Marion Woodman

In the beginning (in the beginning of time to say
the least) there were the compasses: whirling in
void their feet traced out beginnings and endings,
beginning and end in a single line. Wisdom danced
also in circles for these were her kingdom: the sun
spun, worlds whirled, the seasons came round, and
all things went their rounds: but in the beginning,
beginning and end were in one.

And in the beginning was love. Love made a sphere:
all things grew within it; the sphere then encompassed
beginnings and endings, beginning and end. Love
had a compass whose whirling dance traced out a
sphere of love in the void: in the center thereof
rose a fountain.

– Robert Lax

Our age is apparently setting out to discover what exists in the psyche beyond consciousness. Our age wants to experience the psyche for itself. It wants original experience and not assumptions.
– CG Jung

You ever felt that?
A split second when
nothing in the world
is dying?
– Andrea Gibson

We are all alive alone.
Neither friend nor lover
Child nor mother
Can light our way for very long.
Out of loneliness
Arises the self we never knew.
Out of fear
Comes the wisdom of our ancestors.
Out of impatience
Grows the persistence of old age.
These shadows of our memory
Create new pathways to the soul
So that in being alive alone
We become alive together.
– Nancy Wood, Alive Alone

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.
– Descartes

May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong.
– Bob Dylan

Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.
– Nikola Tesla

come find me when the day is bronze and the sorrow is full. i am building my poem in this here heart. all of it is a working title.
– Tonya Ingram

How to you create community?
I don’t know.
A hundred ways.
A thousand ways.
But,
how do you kill community?
I can tell you one thing
sure to do the job.
Be self-sufficient.
Always have enough.
Always have it together.
Always be a giver.
Always have all the tools you need.
Never need to borrow a sewing needle.
Never need a cup of sugar.
Never tell anyone you’re breaking down.
Never need anyone.
Your pride,
your insistence on competency,
your unwillingness to be a burden,
on us
when it is the proper time for you to collapse
may be the end of us all.
Knowing what time it truly is,
or knowing how to know the time at all,
you,
needing our help,
being unable to continue without it,
you,
not knowing
how to do everything,
creates the occasion
for the village to reconstitute itself
and know itself again.
– Tad Hargrave

We are sick with fascination for the useful tools of names & numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions & ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal & symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.
– Alan Watts

november sunset
between the Buddhist centre
and the alehouse
– chris dean

First Month, second day
the laziness
begins
– Kobayashi Issa

My God. How lucky to have lived
a life I would die for.
– Leila Chatti

The farce of life is that we are afraid of all the wrong things. The tragedy of life is that this seems unlikely to change.
– Harold Pinter

Some of us like to get together once a day, rain or shine, and gather furtively at the picnic grounds under those tall wavering candleflame pines, where neither moth nor rust can reach, nor faintest scream, and exchange ribald tales verging on satanic perversion, each drawing his iridescent injection from the same oceanic martini, very dry, about two tears’ worth of vermouth, in an unremembered dream.
– Franz Wright

We read on. We go on looking, as we’ve always looked, not so much for [flint artifacts] as for ourselves, our own, obscure traces. Reading books, visiting museums, or simply stopping short before the vast, gold umbrella of some chestnut tree in mid-autumn, aren’t we always, in a sense, looking for ourselves? A lonely species by nature, made even more so today by the loss of any commonly shared vision—any collectively accepted referent—we wander through galleries, archival tumuli, and archeological vestige, hoping to discover, at any given instant, the key, the tiny, metallic glint in the midst of our own shadows. Call it, if you will, the breath at the very heart of our own empty mirror.
– Gustaf Sobin

Each of us, I suspect, cherishes a particular landscape that outwardly reflects some all-too-invisible condition within. Its very topography gives colour, contour, dimension to otherwise inaccessible areas of inner reality. Endows them with palpable configuration.
– Gustaf Sobin

The better part of wisdom is a sublime prudence, a pure and patient truth that will receive nothing it is not sure it can permanently lay to heart. Of our study there should be in proportion two-thirds of rejection to one of acceptance. And, amid the manifold infatuations and illusions of this world of emotion, a being capable of clear intelligence can do no better service than to hold himself upright, avoid nonsense, and do what chores lie in his way, acknowledging every moment that primal truth, which no fact exhibits, nor, if pressed by too warm a hope, will even indicate. I think, indeed, it is part of our lesson to give a formal consent to what is farcical, and to pick up our living and our virtue amid what is so ridiculous, hardly deigning a smile, and certainly not vexed. The work is done through all, if not by every one.
– Margaret Fuller

In addition to removing the psychological blocks to the acceptance of the body, therapy should provide some means for a patient to experience his body ‘immediately.’ He must be encouraged to move and breathe for if these functions are depressed feeling is lost.
– Alexander Lowen

The inorganic world is evolving, the organic world is evolving and there the currency is genes. But also the social and intellectual world of human beings is evolving, and there the currency is not genes, but memes.
– Terence McKenna

More and more we embody and incorporate external images that have no inner resonance. In our efforts to accept the roles that society imposes, we live a life of images, ungrounded in our nature.
– Stanley Keleman

When a person projects some unconscious quality existent
within himself onto another person he reacts to the projection as though it belonged to the other; it does not occur to him to look within his own psyche for the source of it.
– Liz Greene

To me, real love, the move from power to love, involves immense suffering. Any creative work comes from that level, where we share our sufferings, just the sheer suffering of being human. And that’s where the real love is.
– Marion Woodman

For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands.
– Christina Rossetti

Inscendence, Part I
Thomas Berry told us that in order to invent new sustainable human cultures we must root our efforts not in our rational minds but in revelatory visions that sprout from the depths of the human psyche and from our encounters with the mysteries of the natural world. He coined the word “inscendence” to refer to this descent to soul that, with good fortune, ignites visionary experience, which in turn guides transformational action. After several decades studying the traditions and religions of peoples throughout the world, Thomas concluded that culture-improving measures sourced in any of our existing traditions would be insufficient as a response to the exigencies of the twenty-first century. He advised us that solutions fabricated with our rational minds arise from the very worldviews and values that produced our current planet-wide impasse in the first place.

Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.
– Anne Rice

This year, I am determined to be more unproductive. My goal is to do less and less – to move slower and slower until everything stops. I and the whole world will come to a sweet and silent stillness. And in this stillness, a great shout of joy will arise. We will all be free – free from the advice of ancient ages, free from the whining voices, free from the incessant objections of the responsible ones.

In this new world, it will be abundantly clear that the bare branches of the winter trees are our teachers. In their daily dance of moving here and there, we will see once again the true meaning of our life. In the wind song of their being, we will hear God’s unmistakable voice. We will follow what appears before us – what had once been difficult will now unfold with ease.

– Hakuin Ekaku

Put a man in the wrong atmosphere and nothing will function as it should. He will seem unhealthy in every part. Put him back into his proper element and everything will blossom and look healthy. But if he is not in his right element, what then? Well, then he just has to make the best of appearing before the world as a cripple.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends, I to my own heart, I to seek among phrases and fragments something unbroken.
– Virginia Wolf

What many psychiatric patients need is not a drug but community, economic support, and sense of purpose. “But we can’t prescribe that,” it’s said. Why not? Why can’t we build community health worker systems in which receiving care involves being empowered to give it to others?
– Eric Reinhart

Do stuff, be…curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
– Susan Sontag

Even though you are logical within your delusion
…it is still delusion.
– Shinzen

There is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude, and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

If you think out, feel out each repetitive thought-feeling and complete it as far as you can, you will find that it ceases to return. For, in understanding there is freedom.
– Krishnamurti

An individual is infantile because he has freed himself insufficiently, or not at all, from his childish environment and his adaptation to his parents.
– CG Jung

It’s a higher compliment to call people thoughtful than smart.

Praising intellect celebrates the capacity to reason. Praising thoughtfulness commends the use of that capacity to learn and care.

Thoughtfulness is the intersection of deep reflection and broad concern for others.

– Adam Grant

Most children are amazing critical thinkers before we silence them.
– bell hooks

All that passes is raised to the dignity of expression; all that
happens is raised to the dignity of meaning. Everything is
either symbol or parable.
– Paul Claudel

Neumann observed that the interplay of consciousness with the creative depths of the collective unconscious holds the potential for generating sensations of timelessness, interconnection, and awe.
– Mary Antonia Wood

We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas, but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Finish Lines

I sometimes look for more
Hoping that someone who’s
Written a book
Will show me the finish line
And pat my head
Sending me off into the world
Finally Free
To trust
Myself.

I collected books and classes
Retreats and intensives
Breakthroughs and breakdowns
Humiliations transformed to humility
As the yellow brick healing road
Promised my wizarddom
Just around the next bend.

I invested.
Time and money
Days and friends
I’ll never get back
Chasing sky carrots
And missing the food planted
Right at my feet;
Necessary wanderings
Recognized as unnecessary
Only in retrospect.

I guess I learned to sit still
And let go a little bit
Into the movements
Of big L Life.
I cried knots out of my back
And even forgave myself
A time or two.
I reclaimed dancing as my thing
And let myself down into the mess
Over and over
Hoping the clarity
would eventually stick
Dipping my toes in
Just once more,
Just in case.

I seek
Unconscious consciousness
Awakeness on autopilot
Unending eligibility
In letters after my name
certifications of depth
an army of ancestors
somatic initiations
Jhana accolades
And an unending bliss-saturated
satori
To go with level six
reiki masterdom
that my voice finally
counts.

I long for what it must feel like
Writing books with answers
Beatific smiles from the raised
Meditation platform
Internet adulation
And the distant echo
Of irony
Finally letting me
Relax.

Meanwhile
The trees along a Minnesota highway
Stand in ghostly sheets
Ice dripping arms
Perfect patience for a spring
Still so far off.
No books to their names,
A long winter exhale
Leads them to the only
Possible thing:

Life, growth, death.

– Kristopher Drummond

When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.
– W.S. Merwin

Stay longer in me, take roots.
– Vera Pavlova

When we’re numb, when we’re not conscious, we’re vulnerable to making poor decisions. We’re more likely to strike bad deals, sell ourselves cheap, and give away what’s most precious to us.

All too often, our bodies pay the price.

– @TheaEuryphaessa

To manifest our true nature, we need to bring a stop to the constant internal conversation that takes up all the space in us.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

There is no path that comes from anything other than sincere trust.
– Dogen Zenji

Life is not linear or predictable, and when we stop wanting it to be, and begin to engage with its circularity and its mysterious depths—well, that’s when things start to get interesting.
– Paul Kingsnorth, Intro to Scatterlings

Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.
– Virginia Woolf

Sweet wound
Swirling in my coffee cup
Memories seep away
– Daily Haiku

It is a sacrifice imposed on us to take in, to accept that evil is something in which we collude. It forces us to recognize we collaborate with evil and to submit to the shock and revulsion this causes us.
– Ann Belford Ulanov and David H. Rosen, Madness and Creativity

Who can speak of the future? Nobody knows anything about the future, / even the planets do not know.
– Louise Glück

The artist,
like the monk,
has an interior wilderness
to discover.
– Rowan Williams

We tried reasoning
our way to him;
it didn’t work;
but the moment we gave up,
no obstacle remained.
– Hakim Sanai

Caprice

translated by Peter H. Goldsmith

Who thankless flees me, I with love pursue,
Who loving follows me, I thankless flee;
To him who spurns my love I bend the knee,
His love who seeks me, cold I bid him rue;
I find as diamond him I yearning woo,
Myself a diamond when he yearns for me;
Who slays my love I would victorious see,
While slaying him who wills me blisses true.
To favor this one is to lose desire,
To crave that one, my virgin pride to tame;
On either hand I face a prospect dire,
Whatever path I tread, the goal the same:
To be adored by him of whom I tire,
Or else by him who scorns me brought to shame.

– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures, and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident, inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.
– William S. Burroughs

Should we force science down the throats of those that have no taste for it ? Is it our duty to drag them kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century ? I am afraid that it is.
– George Porter, British chemist

In poetry, we have a thriving culture of participation. We convert readers to writers. We share each others work, celebrate small successes. We should cherish that. Instead we often present it as a problem: too many poems chasing a small audience. Do we really want fewer poems?
– Tom Sastry

Working so hard at writing these days that I can see the shortcomings of my worldview in the shortcomings of my work, which is a little bit beautiful, and also disconcerting. A friend once told me that the first thing you think isn’t who you are, but the revision of that thought.
– Joel Worford

What you have in [Jung’s] the Red Book is “the way,” you have paths, you have streets. It’s quite specific. “I’m on my way again.”
– James Hillman and Sonu Shamdasani

by the side of the road
alongside a stream of clear water
in the shade of a willow tree
I paused for what I thought
would be just a moment
– Saigyo

Whatever happens, you’ll probably have to improvise, and failure of nerve is really failure to trust yourself. You have a great endowment of brain, muscle, sensitivity, intelligence — trust it to react to circumstances as they arise.
– Alan Watts

The old address book–friend’s names are strangers now
– Voima Oy

You can suck the immensity of the small and the great into yourself, and you will become emptier and emptier, since immense fullness and immense emptiness are one and the same.
– @RedBookJung, LS, p.28

January is the month for dreaming
– Jean Hersey

Self-help is finding solutions that help us better ourselves. Helping others is sharing what we learn so that others may grow too. The primary goal of self-help should be to help others.
– Simon Sinek

The problem is that we all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free enterprise capitalism for the poor. That’s the problem.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If by God’s grace I can help my kids love what is lovely, hate what is hateful, and know that wisdom will be found in wild nature, good books, and honest people, I will consider my parenting, for all its inevitable failures, a success.
– Paul J. Pastor

once
I mistook you
for the sun
on the water

a dazzling
sort of
tangled up
blue

– Sarah Hina

Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future… The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.
– C.S. Lewis

Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images.
– C.G. Jung

a sliver of moon
the old bluesman
breaks a string
– Ron C. Moss

Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. It transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time.
– Leo Tolstoy

Philosophy will not be able to bring about a direct change of the present state of the world. This is true not only of philosophy but of all merely human meditations and endeavors.

Only a God can still save us.

I think the only possibility of salvation left to us is to prepare readiness, through thinking and poetry, for the appearance of the God… so that we do not, simply put, die meaningless deaths…

We cannot get Him to come by thinking. At best we can prepare the readiness of expectation.

– Heidegger, Spiegel interview

Your experience of solitude depends on where you are, how long you stay and what you do – as well as the thoughts you think and the emotions you feel.
– @oneforjoybook

Nietzsche described [the paradox] when he said we are both the abyss and the tightrope across the abyss. We are open emptiness, to be filled by courage and by choice, and we are the fragile thread by which to traverse the abysmal terrors.
– James Hollis,Tracking the Gods

Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Man is an abyss and a tightrope stretched between the the abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers.

NEW YEAR POEM

Let us step outside for a moment
As the sun breaks through clouds
And shines on wet new fallen snow,
And breathe the new air.
So much has died that had to die this year.

We are dying away from things.
It is a necessity—we have to do it
Or we shall be buried under the magazines,
The too many clothes, the too much food.
We have dragged it all around
Like dung beetles
Who drag piles of dung
Behind them on which to feed,
In which to lay their eggs.

Let us step outside for a moment
Among ocean, clouds, a white field,
Islands floating in the distance.
They have always been there.
But we have not been there.

We are going to drive slowly
And see the small poor farms,
The lovely shapes of leafless trees
Their shadows blue on the snow.
We are going to learn the sharp edge
Of perception after a day’s fast.

There is nothing to fear.
About this revolution…
Though it will change our minds.
Aggression, violence, machismo
Are fading from us
Like old photographs
Faintly ridiculous
(Did a man actually step like a goose
To instill fear?
Does a boy have to kill
To become a man?)

Already there are signs.
Young people plant gardens.
Fathers change their babies’ diapers
And are learning to cook.

Let us step outside for a moment.
It is all there
Only we have been slow to arrive
At a way of seeing it.
Unless the gentle inherit the earth
There will be no earth.

– May Sarton

Longing is a kind of company
there is a generosity in it
a presence inside the ache
a gift
– Sky Gilbert

But with you there, it’s all right to know
we’ll never get away from all we’ve seen. I see you smile,
that special, private way, and I take heart.
– Carolyn Smart

Even a whisper can bruise.
– C. T. Salazar

I have only what I remember
– W.S. Merwin

I’ve never observed anyone, regardless of field, achieve lasting prominence while voicing rancor or focusing much on the failings of others. Create and share, support others and enjoy. Givers and creators always prevail.
– Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D.

the song
of an unknown bird
seized by heavenliness~
– Thomas Merton

Does everyone else just have stacks and stacks of books all around you?
– Kai Coggin

Don’t bother me.
I’ve just
been born.

– Mary Oliver

What can be better than to get out a book on Saturday afternoon and thrust all mundane considerations away till next week.
– C. S. Lewis

You must read to become a better writer, and you must read attentively. When a specific scene or moment strikes you as being particularly powerful or interesting, ask yourself why. Think about why it works, and seek to incorporate that understanding into your own writing.
– @OrionsBeltMag

Nothing is more beautiful than water.
– Tarkovsky

It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.
– Katherine Mansfield

To heal is to know the limits of healing and what lies beyond. Ultimately there’s no real healing without the ability to face death itself.
– Peter Kingsley

There is in us choice to remain w/in the predictable, safe, familiar, even the miserable, thinking it preferable to the uncertainty of the unknown. How often do we look back “longing for the freedom of our chains” rather than stepping into the opening maw of uncertainty?
– James Hollis

Translation as action. As activism. Craft made passion. What matters is to subvert the status quo.
– Naveen Kishore

Even if I say sun or moon or star, this is still about things that happen to me. And what was it I wanted?
I wanted a perfect silence.
This is why I speak.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

…it seems like for years now there has been a cultural trend of, oh, what to call it? Let’s say ‘therapy-flavored everything.’ Not considering another person’s needs becomes ‘self-care.’ Avoiding conflict becomes ‘radical softness,’ or something.
– tamara k. nopper

The invention or discovery of symbols is doubtless by far the greatest single event in the history of man. Without them no intellectual advance is possible; with them, there is no limit set to intellectual development except inherent stupidity.
– John Dewey

The repressed returns in moments of sudden impulse, uncontrolled outbursts, troubling dreams, and most of all, in the erosion of meaning from our lives.
– James Hollis

my door, a wall of snow
building a defense
for my hibernation
– anne morrigan

silly poetry
in the winter I resemble
a poor poet doctor
– Basho

I suppose I miss that intensity of feeling more than I can say, so it has been like a miracle to feel the sharp edge come back in these last days. To write a poem! I had thought that door was closed forever.
– May Sarton

The long catalog of #love & love’s disorders fills our literature & inflames our popular culture. For any relationship to survive, or even more, to provide a growth platform for each party, some luck, a good deal of grace, & a capacity for maturity is demanded.
– James Hollis

And who of us is lucky, full of grace, or mature all the time? No wonder, then, how obsessed we are with relationships, yet repeatedly ask too much of them, and wind up so disappointed in them as a result.
– James Hollis

It is better to live among the crowd and keep a solitary life in your spirit than to live alone with your heart in the crowd.
– Unknown hermit

The fundamental issue in resolving traumatic stress is to restore the proper balance between the rational and emotional brains, so that you can feel in charge of how you respond and how you conduct your life.
– Bessel van der Kolk MD

The television is ‘real’. It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’.
– Ray Bradbury

An Old Story
by Tracy K. Smith

We were made to understand it would be
Terrible. Every small want, every niggling urge,
Every hate swollen to a kind of epic wind.

Livid, the land, and ravaged, like a rageful
Dream. The worst in us having taken over
And broken the rest utterly down.

A long age
Passed. When at last we knew how little
Would survive us—how little we had mended

Or built that was not now lost—something
Large and old awoke. And then our singing
Brought on a different manner of weather.

Then animals long believed gone crept down
From trees. We took new stock of one another.
We wept to be reminded of such color.

To love a being is not only to say it or even feel it, it is to make the movements that it commands. And I know that the movement of this love that fills me would make me cross two seas and three continents to be close to you.
– Albert Camus to Maria Casarès

Each gust
Strains the timbers
The small house creaks
– Daily Haiku

Signature

I earn a living
and I have a family
but to tell the truth
I’m a wild olive tree

I like cognac
and a proud Jewish song
I live wherever
I don’t belong

I watch the world decay
on every page on every face
it’s a sick man’s clouded eye
that rolls around in space

And my obsession’s
a line I can’t revise
to be a gardener
in paradise

– Bert Meyers

We have our own private mountains, but are they already too tired from waiting for us?
– Etel Adnan

There are no endings.
If you think so
you are deceived
as to their nature.
They are all beginnings.
– Hilary Mantel

…only self-reliant people see their leaders as they are, and not as projections of their own fond hopes or foolish fears; they need others less for support, and so do not automatically see gray temples as fatherly wisdom and are not likely to be taken in by the magical power of a deep and rumbling voice.
– Ernest Becker

The appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
– Kahlil Gibran

Religion is a constellation of metaphors, and a metaphor points to connotations that are of the spirit 𝑛𝑜𝑡 of history. In our religions we are accenting the historical image that carries the message.
– Joseph Campbell

The wizard collected all the things that never were:

Replies to unsent letter.

The names of shooting stars.

Reasons not to be better.

– @ASmallFiction

There is strong archaeological evidence to show that with the birth of human consciousness there was born, like a twin, the impulse to transcend it.
– Alan McGlashan

…anyone who attempts to do both, to adjust to his group and at the same time pursue his individual goal, becomes neurotic.
– Carl Gustav Jung

Romance is the chief delusion, elixir, and magical potion of our popular culture. It is itself a Shadow fantasy, for in this blissful state, one’s wounds are healed, one’s needs met.
– James Hollis

I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that modern man has suffered an almost fatal shock, psychologically speaking, and as a result has fallen into profound uncertainty.
– CG Jung

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
– E.L. Doctorow

In reality the monk abandons the world only in order to listen more intently to the deepest and most neglected voices that proceed from its inner depth.
– Thomas Merton

Haters offer critiques without workable alternatives.

Friends offer feedback that helps you improve.

Learn how to distinguish between the two.

Ignore the haters, cherish your friends.

– @VinceFHorn

So long as we are not in contact with our own potential, we are vulnerable to being controlled by others. If we do not know ourselves, we cannot stand to our own truth and are, therefore, in constant danger of invasion by others.
– Marion Woodman

I sit up late dumb as a cow,
which is to say
somewhat conscious with thirst
and hunger, an eye for the new moon
and the morning’s long walk
to the water tank. Everywhere
around me the birds are waiting
for the light. In this world of dreams
don’t let the clock cut up
your life in pieces.
– Jim Harrison

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window.
– Ryokan
tr. Stephen Mitchell

I’m still trying to find a job
for which a simple machine isn’t better suited.
I’ve seen people die of money.
– C. D. Wright

Sustained by poetry, fed anew
by its fires to return from madness,
the void does not beckon as it used to.
– John Wieners

off the shore of oneself as in . . .
sometimes you can’t stay on your own mainland.
some story of exile, unique each time: a home
you feel apart from rather than of

the re-negotiation among space and rulership.
an aimless god, his insistence on
a fantasy of order

the number you call to confirm the time, that tells you
where to go by putting you there—horizon beyond
the heart you know best—so it hurts, so you learn.

the aimless god in you, his lucite throne,
the space you’ve made, what you could
imagine from whence you came

– Renia White

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
– Ambrose Bierce

We can’t go where we can’t imagine. An intention needs to be not only imagined to be possible but also felt as possible, yes, as even already true.
– Gunilla Norris

One thing you learn working with good writers: The easier it was for you to read their story, the harder it was for them to write it.
– Jonny Geller

NEVER FORGET
In truth, there are no free agents in the web of life.
Nature does not consist of individuals, but of ecologies.
Let the salt in your tears remind you of your mother, the ocean.
Let the red blood in your veins be a reminder you are also born of iron from faraway stars.
Let the oxygen in your lungs be a reminder you are not an island, but are interwoven with every plant and animal in one intimate intercourse of mutual breathing.
Let the mathematics in your head remind you of your home in the silent and invisible patterns that lay behind the cosmos.
Never forget that while alone you are but a vapor, you are tasting immortality every time you love.
– Jim Rigby

Redemption in fairytales refers to a condition in which someone has been cursed, bewitched, or condemned without cause, and as the result of the events and obstacles in the story, they are redeemed.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

We need to think of the welfare of others and continuously cultivate a warm heart; to be of service to others is a practical and realistic way to lead our lives.
– Dalai Lama

I had soon seen that analytical psychology coincided in a most curious way with alchemy. The experiences of the alchemists were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. … I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious.
– CG Jung

The one thing about a poem that has always amazed me is this strange way it has of being alive…Its nature is of a different kind. It inhabits another kind of space and time.
– Josie Graham

Culture isn’t the opposite or contrary of nature. It’s the interface between us and the non-human world, our species’ semi-permeable membrane.
– Richard Mabey, Nature Cure

The flow of the universe is always creative, though it has order, and is not random or chaotic; the world is always a matter of responsiveness, though it is equally not a free-for-all. It is a process of creative collaboration, of co-creation.
– Iain McGilchrist

they shoved microphones into our bawling mouths
and grief looked like archaeology
– Dionne Brand

Spring forth new life,
vibrant array of color;
metamorphosis.
– @celestial_write

I am an open wound
of language

to say so little hurts

– Beatriz Miralles de Imperial
translated by Layla Benitez-James

The poet is, among other things, the permanent child, in the best way: the one who keeps playing, who does not lose access to their creativity.
– Adam Phillips

THE DOOR
by Jack Foley

—why do you always attack
the idea of poetry as
personal expression?
—because poetry is not
personal expression
though personal expression
may enter into it.
poetry is the door
to the larger
life.
for Doc Eric

Enlightenment is nothing more than the complete absence of resistance to what is. End of story.
– Adyashanti

I whisper Yahweh before dawn / and remember things I never knew.
– Jake Berry

If you change, the countenance of the world alters.
– @RedBookJung, LS, p. 28

We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.
– Louise Erdrich

Again I write into the nearly unreachable.
– Ilana Shmueli to Paul Celan

Inner reality returns

of moonlight over water

– John Wieners

Only through a humbling reflection upon those patterns brought about by whatever messages we internalized, as well as our own areas of immaturity, are we likely to come to consciousness.
– James Hollis

Don’t personalize or internalize other people’s behavior. What they do is not a reflection of you. Their actions represent them and where they’re at in their growth. Just observe instead of getting caught up and overreacting emotionally.
– Idil Ahmed

I have come to realize that it is not our many imperfections that are the problem, but rather our ideas of perfection.
– Mirabai Starr

The urge to transform one’s appearance, to dance outdoors,
to mock the powerful and embrace perfect strangers
is not easy to suppress… The capacity for collective joy
is encoded into us almost as deeply as the capacity for the
erotic love of one human for another. We can live without
it, as most of us do, but only at the risk of succumbing to
the solitary nightmare of depression.

Why not reclaim our distinctly human heritage as creature
generate their own ecstatic pleasures out of music, color,
feasting, and dance … There is no ‘point’ to it — no religious
overtones, ideological message, or money to be made — just
the chance , which we need much more of on this crowded
planet, to acknowledge the miracle of our simultaneous
existence with some sort of celebration.

– Barbara Ehrenreich

How to write a poem

1. Abandon your past
2. Trust the Unknowing
3. Become a tuning fork for Life
4. Find the Light in endless laundry
5. Speak the name Love calls you

– Wilson Cloudchamber

Honour your challenges, for those spaces that you label as dark are actually there to bring you more light, to strengthen you.
– Sanaya Roman

Astronauts see sixteen
sunsets and sunrises in one
human day. Imagine the abundance.
You could begin again.
– Megan Pinto

Off Lindisfarne
the waves shiver like monks
at their ablutions.

Under high horizontals
of ice-cloud, the sky
scrubbed clean as a dairy.

The train darts north,
hungry as a tongue…

– Alison Fell, January, 5

When the mind grasps onto preconceived ideas it creates a tension within the mind between what is and what “should be.” This tension creates stress and leads to suffering.
– Daniel J. Siegel

As Aristotle also points out, the slenderest acquaintance we can form with heavenly things is more desirable than a thorough grasp of mundane matters.
– Thomas Aquinas

…right now in the United States you have a system with a high level of technical sophistication, a high level of technology, of industrial capacity, and you have some very barbarian-thinking people. It’s like cavemen with computers.
– Assata Shakur

One reason why it is so important to know folklore and fairy tales, because it is like knowing the compensating dream-life of a civilization.
– Marie Louise von Franz

I’m not the kind of person who can put out ‘engaging content’ all year round to ‘build’ my journal’s audience. I have bouts of passion and I’m unstoppable when I’m living it. I burnout, I fall off the face of the earth, reemerge sometime again. Online algorithms don’t like that.
– @coffeeandhaiku

I’m pretty clear on what brings me happiness…I firmly, firmly believe that people should take their short time on this earth seriously. Seriously. And if you are spending your time on anything that on some deep fundamental level makes you unhappy…
– Ta-Nehisi Coates

I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.
– Haruki Murakami

What his gaze touched was his tenderness.
– Geoffrey Hill

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
by Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

It’s that dream that we carry with us
that something wonderful will happen,
that it has to happen,
that time will open,
that the heart will open,
that doors will open,
that the mountains will open,
that wells will leap up,
that the dream will open,
that one morning we’ll slip in
to a harbor that we’ve never known.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Robert Bly

Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.
– Erin Morgenstern

A general belief in man or microbe as the highest power in the universe means that for the time being mankind has completely lost its right relation with the whole cosmic body. From such a pathologic state civilisations rarely recover …
– Rodney Collin, The Theory of Celestial Influence

I follow my impulsive feet
Wherever they might go
My body is a pine tree
Surrounded by the snow
Sometimes I simply stand
Beside a flowing stream
Sometimes I chase a drifting
Cloud past another peak
– Han-shan Te-Ch’ing

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.
– Joan Didion, Slouching towards Bethlehem

Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home of insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?
– Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

We must have no illusions; when facts are presented in all their brutality and nakedness, and when, in contrast, a mythical, expository system is presented, man spontaniously chooses the myth and refuses to acknowledge reality.
– Jacques Ellul

I understood at a very early age that in nature, I felt everything I should feel in church but never did. Walking in the woods, I felt in touch with the universe and with the spirit of the universe.
– Alice Walker

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow
as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Wherefrom fall all architectures I am
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved
whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.

She it is Queen Under The Hill
whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words
that is a field folded.

It is only a dream of the grass blowing
east against the source of the sun
in an hour before the sun’s going down

whose secret we see in a children’s game
of ring a round of roses told.

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.
– Robert Duncan

I lived when simply waiting was a large part of ordinary life: when we waited, gathered around a crackling radio, to hear the infinitely far-away voice of the king of England… I live now when we fuss if our computer can’t bring us everything we want instantly. We deny time.

We don’t want to do anything with it, we want to erase it, deny that it passes. What is time in cyberspace? And if you deny time you deny space. After all, it’s a continuum—which separates us.

So we talk on a cell phone to people in Indiana while jogging on the beach without seeing the beach, and gather on social media into huge separation-denying disembodied groups while ignoring the people around us.

​I find this virtual existence weird, and as a way of life, absurd. This could be because I am eighty-four years old. It could also be because it is weird, an absurd way to live.

– Ursula K. LeGuin

And as dusk ebbs on the plane of night,
She shears the web of winter,
And on the far, blind side
She is no more. I behold nothing,
– N. Scott Momaday

Gulls when they fly move in a liquid arc,
Still head, and wings that bend above the breast,
Covering its glitter with a cloak of dark,
Gulls fly.
– Léonie Adams

Science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside. Science explicates, poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe.
– Ursula Le Guin

Literature takes a habit of mind that has disappeared. It requires silence, some form of isolation, and sustained concentration in the presence of an enigmatic thing.
– Philip Roth

I’ve never been free in my whole life. Inside I’ve always chased myself. I’ve become intolerable to myself. I live in a lacerating duality. I’m seemingly free, but I’m a prisoner inside of me.
– Clarice Lispector

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
– Michael Pritchard

My Country,
I will build you again,
If need be,
with bricks
made from my life
– Simin Behbahani

I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more.
– Thomas Jefferson

If I had my way, I would remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.
– Roald Dahl

But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and to its consequences, and makes you act again and yet again. Then very seldom do you come upon a space, a time like this, between act and act, when you may stop and simply be. Or wonder who, after all, you are.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

The traumas of the past took your breath, voice, dance, and sleep.

It’s good to see you getting your stuff back.

– Dr. Thema

Multitasking is the drive to be more than we are, to control more than we do, to extend our power and our effectiveness. Such practice yields a divided self, with full attention given to nothing.
– Walter Bruggeman

Is a poet who starts writing in their 50/60s still a young emerging poet?
– @SHayaWrites

You can ask yourself, What is my society? What is my in-group? Then you know your myth.
– Joseph Campbell

They have removed the struggle to find anything. Book store owners and record store owners used to be oracles, in that way; you’d go in this dusty old place and they might point you toward something that would change your life. All that’s gone.
– Tom Waits

Sometimes I think that Jesus watches my neurotic struggles, and shakes his head and grips his forehead and starts tossing back mojitos.
– Anne Lamott

One must be what one is; one must discover one’s own individuality, that center of personality, which is equidistant between the conscious and the unconscious; we must aim for that ideal point towards which nature appears to be directing us.
– C.G. Jung

My Zen hut rests upon rocks at the summit
clouds fly past and more clouds arrive
a waterfall hangs in space beyond the door
a mountain ridge rises like a wave in back
I drew three buddhas on a wall
I put a plum branch in a jar for incense
the fields down below might be level
but can’t match a mountain’s freedom from dust
– Stonehouse, translated by Red Pine

A few of us are wounded. Some, more so than others, as we try to find our way back to the day, that moment, before things shifted for us and the joy was lost.
– Angela Carlton

If you would create something,
you must be something.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

How to repulse a demon (an old problem) ? The demons, especially if they are demons of language (and what else could they be?) are fought by language.
– Barthes

gray country
the lonely traveler
herding clouds
– @wandrstruckpoet

I think a problem with a lot of modern literature is that writers are very interested in groups and types, but not very interested in people.
– @AdamOPrice

I was born to refuse
to be the proliferation of another’s erasure.
– Kathryn Hargett-Hsu

As between clear blue and cloud,
Between haystack and sunset sky,
Between oak tree and slated roof,
I had my existence. I was there.
Me in place and the place in me
– Seamus Heaney

NEW YEAR’S RESOLVE

The time has come
to stop allowing the clutter
to clutter my mind
like dirty snow,
shove it off and find
clear time, clear water.
Time for a change,
let silence in like a cat
who has sat at my door
neither wild nor strange
hoping for food from my store
and shivering on the mat.
Let silence in.
She will rarely mew,
she will sleep on my bed
and all I have ever been
either false or true
will live again in my head.
For it is now or not
as old age silts the stream,
to shove away the clutter,
to untie every knot,
to take the time to dream,
to come back to still water.

– May Sarton

How do you stop
creating the worthless past—day, hour, minute—
the place forgetting us, the backward-looming
mist we couldn’t see when we were in it?
– Denis Johnson

Our demons are our own limitations that shut us off from the realization of the ubiquity of the spirit.
– Joseph Campbell

Thank goodness for the people in our lives that have the wisdom, patience, & willingness to be with us in our process as we flail about.
– @VinceFHorn

winter chrysanthemum
what it wears is
only the glow of itself
– Mizuhara Shūōshi

Today the gyms are full of people and the libraries are empty. We have a lot of people with perfect bodies but nothing to say.
– gregorio catarino

Epiphany—
we too return home
by a new route
– @ruralitalics

Attachment and loss, attachment and loss — this is the human story. We lose parts of ourselves as we adapt to the demands of the world.
– James Hollis

The mere act of enlightenment may have destroyed the spirits of nature, but not the psychic factors that correspond to them. The demons have not really disappeared but have merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious psychic factors.
– CG Jung

To the Swimmer
by Countee Cullen

Now as I watch you, strong of arm and endurance, battling and struggling
With the waves that rush against you, ever with invincible strength returning
Into my heart, grown each day more tranquil and peaceful, comes a fierce longing
Of mind and soul that will not be appeased until, like you, I breast yon deep and boundless expanse of blue.

With an outward stroke of power intense your mighty arm goes forth,
Cleaving its way through waters that rise and roll, ever a ceaseless vigil keeping
Over the treasures beneath.

My heart goes out to you of dauntless courage and spirit indomitable,
And though my lips would speak, my spirit forbids me to ask,
“Is your heart as true as your arm?”

Wherever nature works there will be beauty
– William Morris

redrawing
the lines in the sand
coastal winds
– @petro_ck

still seeing
the color of irises
from a deep dream
– Shushiki

A poem is a secret shared by people who have never met each other.
– Charles Simic

struck by
a raindrop
a snail closes up
– Buson

I too have been
beached on the shore
of every promise
I’ve broken.
– Topaz Winters

Today the gyms are full of people and the libraries are empty. We have a lot of people with perfect bodies but nothing to say…
– @gregcatarino1

If one wants to live one is better to incline towards imbecility than intelligence, and live only in the absurd. Intelligence consists of eating stars and turning them into dung. And the universe, at the most optimistic estimate, is nothing but God’s digestive system.
– Blaise Cendrars

I was stolen by the gypsies. My parents stole me right back. / Then the gypsies stole me again. This went on for some time.
– Charles Simic

Making art in America is about saving one’s soul.
– Charles Simic

I’m Not Faking My Astonishment, Honest

Looking out over the cliff, we’re overwhelmed
by a sky that seems to heap danger upon us. We
end up staring at a single white fluff in the air—
feather, fur, dandelion puff—we don’t care
to define it. The relief of having something
to focus our attention. At home, our patio furniture
unscrews itself under the usual sun. On this trip—
well, I’m not any sadder, I just have more space
for my sadness to fill. I don’t want to give
particulars. A woman huffing up the trail behind
us says to her hiking partner, It wasn’t my size,
but it was only 9 dollars. And now all I want
is to see what it is. The future refuses
to happen, so where else should I turn?

– Paige Lewis

a warm day,
but yet a chill
in the winter sun
– Chigetsu

Nothing is wasted when you are a writer. The stuff that doesn’t work has to be written to make way for the stuff that might.
– Abigail Thomas

I don’t like poetry that forgets that we eat, fuck and shit as well as kneel down to pray.
– Charles Simic

The more we resist change, the more we are allied against the nature of nature and the developmental agenda of our own psyches. Being aligned against our own nature is the very definition of neurosis.
– James Hollis

Expansions & contractions are part of life. Even our relationship to meditation-expands & contracts. Some days-vast & spacious. Some days painful & tight. Perhaps learning to hold both together leads to greater freedom. The depth of the ocean still has the waves on the surface.
– @EmilyHorn

Although society seeks to be rational, it is profoundly irrational in its disrespect of the sacred forces that belong to human nature. Jung warns: “No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.”
– David Tacey

The hardest thing about university is everyone telling you you’re special. You’re talented. You’re intelligent. Then you leave and the world spends years telling you you’re no one and no one cares.
– @LeahJCallen

It’s important to know the difference between someone who values you and someone who only values what you can give them.
– Daniell Koepke

To be initiated into a mystery psychologically is to have a mystical experience that changes you. You no longer are who you were before. You have undergone something that sets you apart from those who have not had the experience.

Often an initiation involves an element of isolation, of facing fear or undergoing an ordeal. But perhaps just as often, the initiatory experience comes as a gift of grace, when mystery and profound beauty come together in a numinous moment of which we are a part.
– @TheaEuryphaessa

The new initiate feels archetypally twice-born: into life at birth, and now through a mystery, into a new state of being or new consciousness.
– Jean Shinoda Bolen, Crossing to Avalon

Finding fault with others is the pastime of the ignorant. For the man of understanding looks to praise and uplift.
– Anonymous

Our concept of the human psyche is too narrow, and we have left too much out of the picture. What has been left out is capable of destroying the world we live in, both in terms of the wellbeing of the human psyche and the integrity of the physical world.
– David Tacey

I came here in my youth,
A wind toy on a string.
Saw a street in hell and one in paradise.
– Charles Simic

I went out to embrace the future. The path was wide and what was to come was awful. It was the enormous dying, a sea of blood. From it the new sun arose, awful and a reversal of that which we call day.
– @RedBookJung

I don’t let go of my thoughts, I meet them with understanding, then they let go of me.
– Byron Katie

…genius, having the widest experience of the human intelligence, can best understand the ideas most directly in opposition to those which form the foundation of its own works.
– Proust

Teachers who offer you the ultimate answers do not possess the ultimate answers, for if they did, they would know that the ultimate answers cannot be given, they can only be received.
– Tom Robbins

Writing a little bit each day is akin to leaving the faucets dripping on a cold January night; while the ideas are flowing the creative pipes won’t freeze.
– Martha Silano

The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.
– Henrik Ibsen

I realized early on that the academy and the literary world alike — and I don’t think there really is a distinction between the two — are always dominated by fools, knaves, charlatans and bureaucrats. And that being the case, any human being, male or female, of whatever status, who has a voice of her or his own, is not going to be liked.
– Harold Bloom

The basic story of the hero journey involves giving up where you are, going into the realm of adventure, coming to some kind of symbolically rendered realization, and then returning to the field of normal life.
– Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss

I came up with a handful of rules: write a delight every day for a year; begin and end on my birthday, August 1; draft them quickly; and write them by hand. The rules made it a discipline for me. A practice. Spend time thinking and writing about delight every day.
– Ross Gay, The Book of Delights

I suppose I could spend time theorizing how it is that people are not bad to each other, but that’s really not the point. The point is that in almost every instance of our lives, our social lives, we are, if we pay attention, in the midst of an almost constant, if subtle, caretaking. Holding open doors. Offering elbows at crosswalks. Letting someone else go first. Helping with the heavy bags. Reaching what’s too high, or what’s been dropped. Pulling someone back to their feet. Stopping at the car wreck, at the struck dog. That alternating merge, also known as the zipper. This caretaking is our default mode and it’s always a lie that convinces us to act or believe otherwise. Always.
– Ross Gay, The Book of Delights

There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.
– Carol Rifka Brunt

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
– G.K. Chesterton

Time does not heal all wounds; it just gives them space to sink into the subconscious, where they will continue to impact your emotions and behavior. What heals is going inward, loving yourself, accepting yourself, listening to your needs, addressing your attachments and emotional history, learning how to let go, and following your intuition.
– Yung Pueblo

However meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth … steps in and does something.
– Van Gogh

Staying with the discomfort is difficult. The mind keeps darting off to avoid the feelings in the body, primarily by trying to analyze why you feel the way you do. But you keep returning to the breath in the center of the chest and the physical experience in the body.
– Ezra Bayda

Whatever we look at, and however we look at it, we see only through our own eyes. For this reason a science is never made by one man, but by many. The individual merely offers his contribution, and in this sense only do I dare to speak of my way of seeing things.
– CG Jung

This object that we hold in our hands, a book… that tactile pleasure, it’s just not going to go away.
– Maggie Stiefvater

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more that what we could learn from books.
– John Lubbock

The purpose of poetry is to return that which is familiar to its original strangeness.
– Charles Simic

The world was already here / Serene in its otherness
– Charles Simic

…the flowers you loved were weeds.
– Marni Ludwig

The knowledge and wisdom cultivated on the path of dharma is neither impersonal nor merely “interesting.” For someone on the path, it’s the light of your life, the reason you were born. To navigate your own and other’s enlightenment couldn’t be more personal.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Wintering

Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximizing scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.

Once we stop wishing it were summer, winter can be a glorious season in which the world takes on a sparse beauty and even the pavements sparkle. It’s a time for reflection and recuperation, for slow replenishment, for putting your house in order.

Doing those deeply unfashionable things – slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting – is a radical act now, but it is essential. This is a crossroads we all know, a moment when you need to shed a skin. If you do, you’ll expose all those painful nerve endings and feel so raw that you’ll need to take care of yourself for a while. If you don’t, then that skin will harden around you.

It’s one of the most important choices you’ll ever make.

– Katherine May

[O]ur minds abandon an opinion either willingly or unwillingly. Willingly, when we realize it’s false, unwillingly, when it’s true.
– Badiou

Writing really is magic. We remember the places we’ve lived, the people we’ve lost, and who we were long before we became who we are–and out of the shards of memory our dead continue to live, as if they never left. With a few words written, like a spell, we give them breath.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

I sat at the foot of a huge tree, a statue of the night, and tried to make an inventory of all I had seen, heard, smelled, and felt: dizziness, horror, stupor, astonishment, joy, enthusiasm, nausea, inescapable attraction. What had attracted me? It was difficult to say: Human kind cannot bear much reality. Yes, the excess of reality had become an unreality, but that unreality had turned suddenly into a balcony from which I peered into – what? Into that which is beyond and still has no name.
– Octavio Paz, In Light of India

The genuine work which we must achieve is that which is most difficult & painful: the work on ourselves. If we do not freely take upon ourselves this pre-acceptance of pain and torment, they will be visited upon us in an otherwise necessary individual & universal collapse.
– Jean Gebser

on a withered tree limb
where the eagles nest
the sun slowly sets
– Boncho

The world is full of noise, the noise of Opinion. Are you going to be able to master some small aspect of it, and use it in the making of your own voice? Or is it stronger than you are? Do I mean stronger or just louder?
– Geoffrey Hill

Our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.
– Chuang Tzu

every novel should include an appendix with sketches of all the flora and fauna mentioned in the book so that you can flip to the back and go, “oh, that’s a carnelian… that’s what a rhododendron looks like… that’s dogwood and hibiscus.
– @SketchesbyBoze

He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.
– Gabriel García Márquez

THE SOUNDTRACK INVENTED SILENCE.
– Roger Bresson

a winter fog . . .
these mornings begin
to blur together
– @ruralitalics

The past is the one thing we are not prisoners of. We can do with the past exactly what we wish. What we can’t do is to change its consequences.
– John Berger

Efficient, perfunctory, streamlined directness was only reluctantly employed by traditionalists during earthquakes, floods, landslides, and wars. It was considered an unfortunate implementation of a state of linguistic martial law for emergencies only. But in times of every day life and ritual, abbreviatory, truncated, efficient speech was considered a life-stunting betrayal of what a fully formed human was meant to embody. For after having lived a bit, a person could become a brave wielder of life-feeding eloquence whose words fed the Holy even in the way they died. Blatant simple answers or empty seductive ornateness without a story were the domain of the exhausted, sick, cowardly, and lazy vernacular of civilizations dedication to getting what they wanted without sweating, in which speech was something designed to seduce, compete, win, to conquer or dominate territory. It took away the delicious ornateness of ecstatic humans in love with life. This is a worldwide innate human capacity, but it’s long-winded ecstatic incapacity to cause the exploitation of the earth, the people, and the future has made it extinct in most modern places, becoming endangered like the seeds in the rest. This is the root of all modern-day Depression: the loss of the ability to feed the Divine in Nature by our inborn human beauty of speech and culture. This ability is a seed and endangered. These are seeds we must keep alive.
– Martin Prechtel, The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic

THE SLEEP OF PROPHETS
by Kwame Dawes

The silent prophetess sleeps well at night,
for the pleasures of knowing are a kind
of peace. While one is bleeding bloody,
and an unfurled crowd turns into
a stream of blood, empty shells,
the graffiti of disaster, the plague
of bouquets and solemn regrets,
the prophetess is prepared for sorrow.
She has wept loudly in her cloister,
her fingers pulling at her unruly hair,
her face purged of all paint.
She is, she says to the burning city,
like a woman in love with an
unreachable heart. She carries
the sweetness of her pain deep,
and her body surrenders even as
it sorrows; so each night she
lays her head down, she sleeps
the deep untroubled sleep of knowing.

When things get tough, there are two things that make life worth living: Mozart, and quantum mechanics
– V. F. Weisskopf

I have lived on a razor’s edge. So what if you fall off? I’d rather be doing something I really wanted to do. I’d walk it again.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Yes, I companion him to places
Only dreamers know,
Where the shy hares print long paces,
Where the night rooks go;
– Thomas Hardy

I’d work in the morning, take a nap after lunch, get up and write again, sometimes write until midnight. In the last ten or fifteen years, I’ve found that it isn’t necessary to work that much. It’s bad, in fact. You drain the reservoir.
– Henry Miller

You don’t have to suffer
continual chaos in order to grow.
– John C. Lilly

We try to control everything that happens, so that nothing can suddenly jump out in front of us and throw us into an unpleasant shock, reminding us of our impermanence, of our mortality. Thus we try to protect ourselves from death that seems completely unknown to us in this celebration of life. Maintaining a defensive position, we prefer to remain in the familiar fog.

We accumulate depression and a general sense of unhappiness. In fact, it is this atmosphere of continuous depression that makes our small world so familiar, like a cozy nest. But this cowardly approach is very far from the sense of real pleasure and game associated with the art of the warrior because it is based on fighting.

Being a warrior means that we can look at ourselves directly, see the nature of our cowardly mind and go beyond it. We can trade our narrow struggles, fueled by a desire for security, for a much wider view of the world—a fearless and open vision imbued with true heroism.

Being a gradual process, it won’t happen right away.
Probably the first step to the goal is a sense of claustrophobia and spirit from staying in this closed cocoon. At this point, our safe home begins to feel like a trap, and we feel that this is not the only possible way of things. We get an incredibly strong urge to air out the room, and finally we actually experience the delightful breeze blowing on our old nest.

At this moment we realize that all this time we have been captive of protective and cowardly thinking, but now something has revolted in us. At the same time, we realize that we can change easily. We are able to break out of a dark and stuffy prison and into the fresh air where we stretch our legs and walk and run and even dance and play. We realize that we can break out the oppressive struggle necessary to sustain our cowardice and relax in a great space of confidence.

– Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

I can’t find
my thoughts anywhere
this morning. They’ve
left me
alone, no one
to be. I
act like nothing’s
happened, so they don’t
suspect anything
when I
stretch my usual walk
out through
winter-burnished
grasses. And they’re so
preoccupied, they
don’t notice
when I wander
past wafers of seabed
rock angled
up and broken
away into sky, then
sit sun-
warmed facing a familiar
mountain, mirroring
it perfectly. Good
deal. They’ll never
find me here.
– David Hinton

Today spirituality often seems to be separate from life and focused on the self. . . . Spirituality is a dimension of living, not a way out of life.
– Thomas Moore

I’m tired and academia is impossible and hate is everywhere. I don’t want to analyze texts anymore. I don’t want to teach students how to argue. I want them to open their minds, love radically, and learn how to be in kinship with each other while taking down every hierarchy.
– Jes Battis

There is a great price to be paid to live in an attitude of wholeness, for it means one must abandon the old unconscious way of life.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes

You are free to speculate about reality, but since you are not free, your speculation will not be that of the real.
– Krishnamurti

Only that which does not teach, which does not cry out, which does not condescend, which does not explain, is irresistible.
– Yeats

We overcome our evil not by a frontal and heroic attack, but by recognizing it, naming it, and letting it go.
– Richard Rohr

The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious.
– CG Jung

What are words?
If not lost thoughts
Wandering a page
– Daily Haiku

One of the more beautiful things is when writers create opportunities for others. I see you, organizers.
– Dr. Han VanderHart

It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.
– Haruki Murakami

It seems to me that, side by side with the decline of religious life, the neuroses grow noticeably more frequent. We are living undeniably in a period of the greatest restlessness, nervous tension, confusion, and disorientation of outlook.
– CG Jung

Anything that we think we’ve learned,
we’ve learned in the dark.
– Charles Wright

A man can’t go out, the same way he came in. A man has got to add up to something.
– Willy Loman

GRATITUDE

When I use the world “religion” I mean ALL reverent worldviews, not just the ones people in the United States are familiar with. I am grateful to teachers from every tradition I have ever studied:

I am grateful to Judaism for its historic commitment to justice. It is an amazing faith that makes a place for prophetic figures to tell the nation’s priests and politicians they are wrong when they oppress others. Also, it was rabbinic tales that taught me scripture is not always intended to be taken literally.

I am grateful to Islam for teaching that we do not belong just to ourselves. I am grateful to Sufi Islam for teaching the importance of playfulness and humor in the life of the spirit.

I am grateful to Taoism, Paganism and nature based indigenous religions for teaching that religious symbols can call us beyond our human contexts to experience nature and the cosmos as our true temples.

I am grateful to religions of liberation teaching us to live in solidarity with the oppressed of the earth.

I am grateful to the mystics from every religion for teaching that reverence and awe can lie at the center of my experience as a human being.

I am grateful to Buddhism for teaching that we can have a peaceful oasis in the midst of life’s storms whenever we calm our minds.

I am grateful to Hinduism for teaching me to dance to the cosmic hymn.

I am grateful to Atheists and Agnostics for teaching me to be radically honest no matter what the cost. Atheism isn’t a religion, but, when we think of “religious” as an adverb, it is about reverence not belief. I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with non-theists who share the same sense of reverence before existence.

Yes, I am a Christian, but only so far as I can be a good neighbor to my entire human family and sing in harmony with the love song humans have sung all over the world from the beginning of time.

– Jim Rigby

With all there is… why settle for just a piece of sky?
– Barbara Streisand

Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
outside my window:
Play louder.
– William Carlos Williams

Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
– Plato

Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way,
straying planets,
These poems, people,
lost ponies with
Dragging saddles

– Gary Snyder

Elders are a composite of contradictions: fierce and forgiving, joyful and melancholy, intense and spacious, solitary, and communal. They have been seasoned by a long fidelity to love and loss. We become elders by accepting life on life’s terms, gradually relinquishing the fight to have it fit our expectations. An elder has no quarrel with the ways of the world. Initiated through many years of loss, they have come to know that life is hard, riddled with failures, betrayals, and deaths. They have made peace with the imperfections that are inherent in life. The wounds and losses they encounter become the material to shape a life of meaning, humor, joy, depth, and beauty. They do not push away suffering nor wish to be exempt from the inevitable losses that come. They know the futility of such a wish. This acceptance, in turn, frees them to radically receive the stunning elegance of the world.
– Francis Weller

Be open to creative pivots. They don’t have to be permanent or forever, but a way to listen and honor your creative voice, especially if you’re feeling stuck or not sure what to do next.
– Darien Hsu Gee

But, for me, success is not a public thing. It’s a private thing. It’s when you have fewer and fewer regrets.
– Toni Morrison

As a tree soon dies if its branches are continually cut down, so the thinker withers if every thought is observed, studied and understood.
– Krishnamurti

You, I would guess,
are more than whatever
container currently holds you,
more than the scraps from which
you have been sewn together.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

Never judge who is what because you never know when a bodhisattva is standing right in front of you!
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

And don’t think the garden
loses its ecstasy in winter.

It’s quiet, but the roots
are down there riotous.

– Rumi

The idea of integrity asks only that one be what one is and nothing more or other.
– James Hillman

By active imagination Marie-Louise Von Franz meant the opposite of passive daydreaming: she meant an activity that engaged the conscious mind in dialogue with the unconscious. She considered it the most powerful tool in Jungian psychology for achieving wholeness.
– Thomas Willard

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.
– Pema Chodron

frigid bed—
dusting in the morning
shelves that don’t need dusting
– @Meraki_k

down the cobbled path
two furlongs west
a glorious sunset
– @Meraki_k

sometimes life
is a high mountain
we must climb
without knowing
what waits at the summit
– Joy McCall, UK

We seek out the lineages that we resonate with.

We find our strengths & dysfunctions reflected in every community of humans we belong to.

Best thing we can do is to help heal and mature our lineages through sincere engagement & courageous self-honesty.

– @VinceFHorn

Seeing things your way is not that big of an achievement, but being willing to be heartbroken together while not being in agreement, that’s for real.
– Stephen Jenkinson

What happens if we imagine the differences between us are not problems to solve?
– Stephen Jenkinson

Listening is an attitude of the heart. A genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.
– J Isham

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself.
Longest way round is the shortest way home.
– James Joyce

Buddhism, as a religion, is interpreted through our cultures & systems of meaning-making. There aren’t just many, as in multiple Buddhisms, there are also different depths of Buddhisms–there are Mytical Buddhisms, Rational Buddhisms, Pluralistic Buddhisms, & Integral Buddhisms.
– @VinceFHorn

Slowly, slowly, I accumulate sentences. I have no idea what I’m doing until suddenly it reveals itself, almost done.
– Sarah Manguso

You cannot
expect us to
be slaves to
your phonetics
forever.
– Steven Willis

Am I to be cursed forever with becoming somebody else on the way to myself?
– Audre Lorde

tired
of the cold wind
and of this winter life
– Basho

I can’t make myself write at a given time. And frankly, I don’t want to. There are so many other things in a day to do, that I want to do, or have to do, besides write poems.
– Carl Phillips

Despite our rationalistic illusions, Nature rules us from deep within, without our awareness.
– Gary Bobroff

Don’t be afraid to be confused.
Try to remain permanently confused.
Anything is possible.
Stay open, forever, so open it hurts,
and then open up some more,
until the day you die,
world without end, amen.
– George Saunders

Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
– Francis Bacon

May your gravity be lightened by grace
– John O’Donohue, A Blessing For Equilibrium

There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.
– RD Laing

Following your own star means isolation, not knowing where to go, having to find out a completely new way for yourself instead of just going on the trodden path everybody else runs along. That’s why there’s always been a tendency in humans to project the uniqueness and the greatness of their own inner self onto outer personalities and become the servants, the devoted servants, admirers, and imitators of outer personalities.

It is much easier to admire a great personality and become a pupil or follower of a guru or a religious prophet, or an admirer of a big, official personality – a President of the United States – or live your life for some military general whom you admire. That is much easier than following your own star.

– Marie-Louise von Franz, The Way of the Dream

The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly terribly deceived
– Oscar Wilde

There are different kinds of altruism depending upon the degree of non-duality, selflessness, or identityless-ness that has been realized. For example, when you see a person in abject poverty, you might feel mere pity. This is OK as long as you do something to help. This kind of generosity comes from a dualistic state of mind. In another kind of altruism, you might remember a time when you, too, were poor, and you do something to help. This also comes from a dualistic state of mind, but it’s one degree better because there is empathetic compassion. Then there is altruism that stems from bodhicitta-related generosity, soft-spokeness and other magnetizing qualities in which there is no thought of superiority, pride or conceit; here, you realize there’s a pot of gold underneath both the giver and the receiver, and you show them the pot of gold. In this type of altruism, you have gratitude for your masters/teachers, and for the merit that made it possible to connect to the path. And you have the realization that your generosity comes from others, not yourself. The buddhas leave teachings behind and these benefit you. But sentient beings bring immense benefit by providing the opportunities to am