Journal XVII

Save your creative soul:

make something beautiful without the intention of monetizing it.

– McCall Erickson

Every time I try to take an even remotely challenging hike, I have to remind myself that I have other skills and qualities.
– Jane Huffman

…she loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm. It had the same significance for her as an elegant cane for the dandy a century ago. It differentiated her from others.
– Milan Kundera

Home is everything you can walk to.
– Rebecca Solnit


We Irish are too Poetic to be poets…We are a nation of brilliant failures.
But we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
– Oscar Wilde

If talk could exalt a nation I
If a stanza a river long
could sink a battle ship
If a run on sentence
taking a hearer through the mess u ages
could make a regiment
charging through a city street
drop their rifles.
If a tail end
of a narration
could disable a tank
Wheels falling
with each change
each embellishment
If an O’Carolan Concerto
Could misdirect a Cavalry
Put their commanders in a trance
If pipers could melt swords
would Ireland be free?
Would it ever have been conquered?
If master fiddlers could make clergy
and officials scatter their thoughts
Dance like there were no floor director
Would Ireland imprison Wild Earnest Men?
Force young Women into work houses
for being young woman like?
or victims? Tell them their sins
are washed down the sink?
Ban novels that win international awards?
Or would the state and the church
be more well rounded
like the Ethiopian and Celtic crosses.

– Jerry Pendergast

The Poet of Ignorance
by Anne Sexton

Perhaps the earth is floating,
I do not know.
Perhaps the stars are little paper cutups
made by some giant scissors,
I do not know.
Perhaps the moon is a frozen tear,
I do not know.
Perhaps God is only a deep voice,
heard by the deaf,
I do not know.
Perhaps I am no one.
True, I have a body
and I cannot escape from it.
I would like to fly out of my head,
but that is out of the question.
It is written on the tablet of destiny
that I am stuck here in this human form.
That being the case
I would like to call attention to my problem.
There is an animal inside me,
clutching fast to my heart,
a huge crab.
The doctors of Boston
have thrown up their hands.
They have tried scalpels,
needles, poison gasses and the like.
The crab remains.
It is a great weight.
I try to forget it, go about my business,
cook the broccoli, open and shut books,
brush my teeth and tie my shoes.
I have tried prayer
but as I pray the crab grips harder
and the pain enlarges.
I had a dream once,
perhaps it was a dream,
that the crab was my ignorance of God.
But who am I to believe in dreams?

You wanted more time with family…you got it
You wanted to deepen your faith…you got it
You wanted to declutter your home…you got it
You wanted time off work…you got it
You wanted to finish reading/writing that book…you got it
You wanted to start a new business…you got it
You wanted to be of service to humanity…you got it
You wanted to see who your real friends are…you got it
You wanted to practice more gratitude…you got it
You wanted to know the power of relationships…you got it
You wanted to practice making your own meals…you got it
You wanted to practice equanimity…you got it
You wanted to face your fears…you got it
You wanted to tell people you love them…you got it
You wanted to learn how to be healthy…you got it
You wanted to work from home…you got it
You wanted a less polluted planet…you got it
You wanted to sleep more…you got it
You wanted more time to reflect on life…you got it
You wanted to serve thy neighbour…you got it
You wanted to mend your relationships…you got it
You wanted to know the power of your thoughts…you got it
You wanted to witness the power of God…you got it
– Sachin Patel

There are hundreds of cognitive biases, but most of them stem from a failure to recognize that our beliefs are subject to biases.

Defending our views stalls learning. Questioning them stimulates growth.

The only belief worth cherishing is the belief that you might be wrong.

– Adam Grant

Inner gifts do not find their way to creatures without just respect. If a man or woman flails about, he not only smashes his house, he burns the whole world down.
– Robert Bly’s translation of Rumi and Kabir

Trying to Write Poetry

There is a wren sitting in the branches
of my spirit and it chooses not to sing.
It is listening to learn its song.
Sits in the Palladian light trying to decide
what it will sing when it is time to sing.
Tra la, tra la the other birds sing
in the morning, and silently when the snow
is slowly falling just befoe evening.
Knowing that passion is not a color
not confused by energy. The bird will sing
about summer having its affair with Italy.
Is frightened of classical singing.
Will sing happily of the color fruits are
in the cool dark, the wetness inside
overripe peaches, the smell of melons
and the briars that come with berries.
When the sun falls into silence,
the two birds will sing. Back and forth,
making a whole. Silence answering silence.
Song answering song. Gone and gone.
Gone somewhere. Gone nowhere.

– Jack Gilbert

You were such a great joy to me that it almost seems like our time together was a lie. It’s as if I dreamed it. It’s like a dream and not like an actual lived experience.
– Gabriela Mistral

We create the world that we perceive, not because there is no reality outside our heads, but because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in. The man who believes that the resources of the world are infinite, for example, or that if something is good for you then the more of it the better, will not be able to see his errors, because he will not look for evidence of them. For a man to change the basic beliefs that determine his perception—his epistemological premises —he must first become aware that reality is not necessarily as he believes it to be. We are most of us governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong, [but] sometimes the dissonance between reality and false beliefs reaches a point when it becomes impossible to avoid the awareness that the world no longer makes sense. Only then is it possible for the mind to consider radically different ideas and perceptions.
– Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind

The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment. And perhaps even more than that, it’s having the ability to recall such moments in their totality, to contemplate them like jewels.
– Paul Bowles

Years of love lines and what does he have to show for them? … A loving silence.
– Greg Sellers

She fitted in my arms, she always had, and the shock of holding her caused me to feel that my arms had been empty since she had been away.
– James Baldwin

What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for and to do it so unconsciously.
– Haruki Murakami

All poetry is the voice given to death. May our decay praise, celebrate. May our defeat shine, resound.
– Philippe Jaccottet

I think we’re all in conversation on the page with that which came before us, or even during us. We inherit whatever canon we’re in the midst of, a great collective influenza.
– Lucie Brock-Broido

We are the bright new stars born of a screaming black hole, the nascent suns burst from the darkness, from the grasping void of space that folds and swallows – a darkness that would devour anyone not as strong as we. We are oddities, sideshows, talk show subjects. We capture everyone’s imagination.
– Dave Eggers

The Key

The key to courage
is no key at all
because, despite
what they’ve done
to us, only you can
lock your heart up.
Courage is no thief, no
common con, either.
She won’t dip her lips
in honey or coat her
tongue in sweetest silver
to whisper everything
you’ve ever longed to hear.
She’ll simply invite you to
the desert in early spring
to teach you thirst
is a beautiful thing.
Hummingbirds will kiss
the red chuparosas
who offer them their
first drink north of Sonora.
The breeze will caress seas
of bright lupine to life
from dust and dry sand
until they stand strong,
scattering their seeds
to the west wind
so next spring all of this
can happen again.
Courage will not
strike your sternum
with a sledgehammer
or cave your chest in
with a crowbar.
She’ll just offer you
wild spaces, sunrises,
sunshine, and sunsets,
the scent of rain on
sage brush, the soft song
melting mountain snow
sings in March’s warm embrace.
It all might be
as slow as a trickling
ephemeral stream,
but that blood stirring
in your parched heart
is the turning of the key.

– Will Falk

Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way.
– Kingsley Amis

The most courageous decision that you can make each day is to be in a good mood.
– Voltaire

Poets are born to be witnesses, but sometimes we forget that that also means witnessing our own lives in a way that is unflinching and often painful. Our truths are harder than most truths, because we have the tools to find and deconstruct them.
– Patricia Smith

Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.
– Lilly Pulitzer

Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
– John Muir

Desire narrows our awareness till we see only what we crave; mindfulness helps us see other possibilities.
– Sandra Weinberg

Stress means we have committed adultery with regard to our marriage with time.
– David Whyte

Without Unceasing Practice nothing can be done. Practice is Art. If you leave off you are lost.
– William Blake

Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they’ve always talked about
still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They’re strong as rocks.
– Frank O’Hara

Though I am just one remembering
alone, my account, I think, is honest.
– Dan DeVaughn

What if what gives me the capacity for mercy
Is knowing what I’d give to leave memory?
– Julian Randall

I heard
a voice I faintly recognized
or remembered from a dream I had
but no, it was only the old implacable
din of silence waiting for me to enter
and replenish its empty bowl
– Peter Everwine

Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing…..there at the end.
– Mark Strand

Once you overcome the hatred within your mind, you will discover that in the world outside, there is no longer any such thing as even a single enemy.
– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The crown of literature is poetry. It is the end and aim. It is the sublimest activity of the human mind. It is the achievement of beauty.
– W. Somerset Maugham

I still lack a political, religious and philosophical world view – I change it every month – and so I’ll have to limit myself to descriptions of how my heroes love, marry, give birth, die, and how they speak.
– Anton Chekhov

None of us is entirely whole. But if we at least envision ourselves as whole then we don’t abandon ourselves to other people and expect them to make us happy.
– Marion Woodman

As human beings we share an ineffable commonality and have spiritual gifts that require nurturing and training. The world’s wisdom traditions contain resources and techniques used to cultivate body, mind, and soul awareness.
– Emily Horn

Laughter is a holy thing. It is as sacred as music and silence and solemnity, maybe more sacred. Laughter is like a prayer, like a bridge over which creatures tiptoe to meet each other. Laughter is like mercy; it heals.
– Ted Loder

I rejoice in the knowledge of my biological uniqueness and my biological antiquity and my biological kinship with all other forms of life. This knowledge roots me, allows me to feel at home in the natural world, to feel that I have my own sense of biological meaning, whatever my role in the cultural, human world.
– Oliver Sacks

Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.
– Henry David Thoreau

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue
or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
– Billy Collins

In March the Earth remembers its own name.
Everywhere the plates of snow are cracking.
The rivers begin to sing. In the sky
the winter stars are sliding away; new stars
appear as, later, small blades of grain
will shine in the dark fields.
And the name of every place
is joyful.
The season of curiosity is everlasting
and the hour for adventure never ends,
but tonight
even the men who walked upon the moon
are lying content
by open windows
where the winds are sweeping over the fields,
over water,
over the naked earth,
into villages, and lonely country houses, and the vast cities
because it is spring;
because once more the moon and the earth are eloping –
a love match that will bring forth fantastic children
who will learn to stand, walk, and finally run
over the surface of earth;
who will believe, for years,
that everything is possible.
Born of clay,
how shall a man be holy;
born of water,
how shall a man visit the stars;
born of the seasons,
how shall a man live forever?
the child of the red-spotted newt, the eft,
will enter his life from the tiny egg.
On his delicate legs
he will run through the valleys of moss
down to the leaf mold by the streams,
where lately white snow lay upon the earth
like a deep and lustrous blanket
of moon-fire,
and probably
is possible.
– Mary Oliver, Worm Moon

Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.
– James Bryant Conant

Only in academia do you get “invited” to do more work.
– @raf_walk

Every day I observe more and more the folly of judging of others by ourselves; and I have so much trouble with myself, and my own heart is in such constant agitation, that I am well content to let others pursue their own course, if they only allow me the same privilege.
– Goethe

It is not easy in this world for one person to understand the next one.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Every reader, if he has a strong mind, reads himself into the book, and amalgamates his thoughts with those of the author.
– J. W. V. Goethe

listen I love you joy is coming
– Kim Addonizio

everybody in the world wants
an explanation for your acts
and for your very being.
– Jack Kerouac

These are the powers that make you afraid and conquer you; these have been your Gods and your rulers since time immemorial: yet you can put them in your pocket. What is blasphemy compared to this?
– @RedBookJung

The soul that sees beauty
may sometimes walk alone.
But, we are our own devils;
we drive ourselves out
of our Edens.
– Goethe

Being against evil doesn’t make you good.
– Hemingway

While we believe we are thinking creatures who feel, we are actually feeling creatures who think.
– Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight

Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. “Lighthouses” as the poet said “erected in the sea of time.” They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

Unless you refresh the mind from time to time you cannot always remember or believe how deep the inscape in things is.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins

… it’s not enough to simply travel. In fact, travel can be a distraction. As Huang-po Hsi-Yun said … “You cannot meet today. You cannot meet this moment, if you just wander around consuming smelly secondhand truths.
– Matsuo Bashō, translated by Gail Sher

Recognizing nothing beyond ourselves, we become both inflated and diminished: inflated because we behave with god-like omnipotence; diminished because we are imprisoned in an image of reality which, like Plato’s famous cave, limits and constricts our growth.
– Anne Baring

There is a bird and a stone
in your body. Your job is not
to kill the bird with the stone.
– Victoria Chang

We, as human beings, are landed with memories which have fallibilities, frailties, and imperfections – but also great flexibility and creativity. Confusion over sources or indifference to them can be a paradoxical strength: if we could tag the sources of all our knowledge, we would be overwhelmed with often irrelevant information. Indifference to source allows us to assimilate what we read, what we are told, what others say and think and write and paint, as intensely and richly as if they were primary experiences. It allows us to see and hear with other eyes and ears, to enter into other minds, to assimilate the art and science and religion of the whole culture, to enter into and contribute to the common mind, the general commonwealth of knowledge. Memory arises not only from experience but from the intercourse of many minds.
– Oliver Sacks, The River of Consciousness

Reconnecting to culture does not mean you have to profit from it.
– Jayden Kohoko-Autio

Being a sensitive person can be a confusing, complicated thing in this still harsh world. It feels intuitively right to open, to feel, to enhearten our daily life, but the world is still vibrating at a more armored and edgy place. It is not yet attuned to the ways of the open heart. So what to do? We don’t want to deaden our capacity to feel, but if we feel too much, we get run over by an often heartless world. I have found my best answer in three places: (1) Selective Attachment; that is- carefully discerning between positive and negative individuals and environments, and only attaching to those people and places that can hold our tender heart safe; (2) Strong energetic boundaries; that is- being physically and emotionally charged, so that we can more effectively repel unwelcome energies; (3) Conscious Armoring; that is- learning how to put on armor when necessary to manage the world and difficult situations, and, consciously removing it when it is no longer needed. If we cultivate these practices, we stand a much better chance of preserving our sensitivity. Once we lose it, we lose our connection to the moment altogether. Here’s to a sensitive way of being! What a courageous path.
– Jeff Brown

I am relieved to know that enlightenment cannot be found in a tape or a book, at a workshop or a refuge, on a yoga mat or a meditation cushion. It can’t be found by witnessing the pain body or feigning forgiveness. It isn’t waiting for us at the next spiritual conference or the next empowerment weekend. It isn’t living in the excesses of positive thinking, nor is it waiting on the outskirts of the world, safely above the fray. I am also relieved to know that those who claim they have arrived at its illusory shores, are, by definition, delusional, for anyone who begins to awaken immediately recognizes how many paths await, still undiscovered. Although it is tempting to imagine that there is a method, or a human, who will take us there, it is simply not true. No one can take you where they have not been. Enlightenment is a relative experience- every awakening leads to another to another to another. We get glimpses- to be sure- but it takes time and a steadfast commitment to the path before we can integrate and sustain them. What has helped me along is to stop looking for it all out there, and to focus, instead, on the next step I am ready to take. One step at a time is perfect.
– Jeff Brown

The Xer is aware that he or she is skilled at making fun of everything and is simultaneously concerned that this skill contributes zilch when it comes to changing or improving the things that he or she is making fun of,” he says. “But ask yourself: What’s more effective, a picket sign or an expertly calibrated joke?
– Jeff Gordinier, X Saves the World

Against a stupidity that is in fashion, no wisdom compensates.
– José Ortega y Gasset

People are looking for ways of living whereby they don’t live this fragmented, abstract, work-life that is completely cut off from all the rest of their truly human associations. And so we are facing a very big revolution in which our young people want to return to reality.
– Alan Watts

We spend our life, it’s ours, trying to bring together in the same instant a ray of sunshine and a free bench.
– Samuel Beckett

In the Grail Legend, Parsifal asks the wounded Grail King, What ails thee? It seems appropriate to ask this question of our culture.
– Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos

When we stop resisting sadness—trying to sweeten it with phone calls, distractions, or pleasures—and just let ourselves feel it in all its heaviness, darkness, and pain, it disappears by itself, and even transforms into delight.
– David Edwards

Dukkha Bubbles
Popping on the
Sands of Emptiness
– @VinceFHorn

each petunia
a complete universe
in itself ~
– Rosie Mann

It’s not a joke, but the whole

world’s taking it badly. Meanwhile

I sit here pretending to be a flame

in a thrown bottle. I pretend

that curved horns grow out of my ears

when I hear of injustices.

– Gail Wronsky


Look at all this death.
I will plant teeth in the dust and
Water them with my blood
And dry water; with feathers,
With laughter and songs.

When there is nothing left,
I’ll pick flowers that grow nowhere
And place them at the doors of dead people.
I’ll speak impossible names into an inconsolable night,
Sing words for things that don’t even exist
Or have yet to be born into this world
Of yearning and love.

I will not be a slave to the literal,
Not a cog or a brick or a stone.
I was born with wide wings and feet
That stretch for fathoms into the earth.
Everything is extraordinary.
Look at all this death and the lamenting,
The dying, the darkness, the dirge.
I will sing songs for an impossible future
And I will grow a garden out of these bones.

– Tom Hirons

The world is full of holy mystery that we too often dismiss as common & ordinary. How lightly we tread on miracles.
– Elliott Blackwell

Cry Out in Your Weakness

A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.
And they can’t be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come
so quickly?” He or she would say, “Because I heard
your helplessness.”
Where lowland is,
that’s where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.
And don’t just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music. . . .
Give your weakness
to One Who Helps.
Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.
Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she’s there.
God created the child, that is, your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.
Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of Loving flow into you.
The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.
Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.
Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

– Rumi, The Essential Rumi

We are the footnotes of the footnotes.
– Sandra Cisneros, On the search for Latina heroines

Each of us sees clarity only in those ideas which have the same degree of confusion as his own.
– Proust

In this country … if you’re an artist, you’re guilty of a crime: not that you’re aware, which is bad enough, but that you see things other people don’t admit are there.
– James Baldwin

People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.
– Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue

When every inch of the world is known, sleep may be the only wilderness we have left.
– Louise Erdrich

I have found that moving the body and releasing emotional holdings is what brought me into a more naturally meditative and connected state. Not sitting on the cushion, passive like a sloth. The patriarchal spiritualists have been telling us that ‘meditation’ and ‘contemplation’ and ‘reflection’ are THE path to calm mind for centuries, and many of them are still crazy in their personal lives. Nothing changed. They dance in the witness- essentially a mind function- and addict to meditative practice, like a drug. And the moment they have to really deal with the world, their unresolved material re-emerges, always present. If you have to participate in a practice hours every day to calm yourself, that suggests that something is not working. We are built for presence, so long as we activate our natural abilities to clear and re-open. And that’s often a body alive path. It’s been my experience that the monkey mind is transformed within the heart itself- not from within the mind. And that the heart is cleared through somatic activation and energized release. A great many people are walking around feeling ‘inadequate’ and ‘unenlightened’ because they don’t like to meditate. Let that go. Meditation is a tool, but it is not the only path home. There are trillions of ways to touch the moment.
– Jeff Brown

Letting people be wrong about you or a situation while keeping your peace and focus is the most misunderstood power move you will ever make.
– Morgan Richard Oliver

First you’ll come to the end of the freeway.
Then it’s not so much north on Woodland Avenue
as it is a feeling that the pines are taller and weigh more,
and the road, you’ll notice,
is older with faded lines and unmown shoulders.
You’ll see a cemetery on your right
and another later on your left.
Sobered, drive on.
Drive on for miles
if the fields are full of hawkweed and daisies.
Sometimes a spotted horse
will gallop along the fence. Sometimes you’ll see
a hawk circling, sometimes a vulture.
You’ll cross the river many times
over smaller and smaller bridges.
You’ll know when you’re close;
people always say they have a sudden sensation
that the horizon, which was always far ahead,
is now directly behind them.
At this point you may want to park
and proceed on foot, or even
on your knees.
– Connie Wanek

There are no stupid children; there is nothing but imbecilic education. Forcing students to heave themselves up onto the top of the heap contributes to the laborious progress of animal rage and cunning, but surely not to the development of a creative and human intelligence.
– Raoul Vaneigem, A Warning to Students of All Ages

The human mind’s ability to rationalize its own shortcomings into virtues is unlimited, and I am no exception.
– Jubal Harshaw

I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing, I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.
– Marilynne Robinson

god is a future, a safety
that exists against all odds
where we all stay alive
and can be together. god is
a city where we each have
a home that doesn’t cost
too much.
– Amy Bornman

Christian tradition sweeps away the notion of the useless person, of time without meaning, of the purely banal act. In the Christian perspective, each one of a person’s actions is for the whole world. Each act assumes a cosmic dignity … from washing dishes to guiding the Church, from caring for a child to governing a country. In this perspective, the person is free from circumstance. Chance does not determine her value. She can be great, she can journey to perfection, even under the worst or the most humble of conditions.
– Luigi Giussani

Like all esoteric beings, Tiepolo said nothing about his secret. He merely displayed it. He knew that in all probability it would not have been recognized, and it wasn’t.
– Roberto Calasso

Most of them speak what they
have been taught, not what
they have learned.
– Bukowski

It really is easier to experience spiritual connection when your life is in the process of coming apart.
– Anne Lamott

Spring’s hesitant splendor had given way
to steady rains. The sky kept crumbling
and the laurels whitened and everywhere
a ripeness was visible. Nature was okay.
For me it had its place, a scaffolding and
backdrop to the stage on which people
ruined and saved themselves, played out
who they were.
– Stephen Dunn

There are people who have never been destroyed by love and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration that they walk among us —the untouched— practical as sieves.

Sometimes these people are highly intelligent and sometimes they simply don’t feel deeply enough so when the opportunity comes, they don’t even notice.

– Sandra Simonds

Sometimes dreams move with such vivid symbolic intensity, with such glorious surprise and symmetry, they read like poems.

– Dana Levin

night kayaking
never quite reaching
the moon
– Vanessa Proctor

Fascination arises when the unconscious has been moved.
– CG Jung

the world must be romanticized. this yields again its original meaning. romanticizing is nothing else than a qualitative potentization; raising to a higher power. lower self is identified with the better self in this operation. this operation is still entirely unknown
– novalis

Respect an active spirit in the beast:
Each flower is a soul open to Nature;
In metal dwells a mystery of love;
“All things are sentient!” And mold your being.
– Gérard de Nerval

I was infatuated with you; I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those.
– Sylvia Plath

Illness is the means by which an organism sheds what is foreign to it; all that needs to be done is to assist it in being sick, to have the complete illness, and then to escape from it, for that constitutes its progress.
– Rilke

You don’t have to go looking for suffering…
– Bill Hamilton

Some people are responding to the stories they heard about you.

Others are responded to the stories they created about you.

Instead of reacting to their narrative, keep living the truth.

– Dr. Thema

When I was growing up, I was taught two things: always be polite, and never make a film more than two hours long.
– @Aiannucci

That experience of learning how to write—that was what I felt I was doing—it was like learning Latin or something. I really, really learned it.
– Rachel Cusk

All the elements for your happiness are already here. There’s no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just be.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

once upon a time there was a triangle
it had three sides
the fourth it kept hidden
in its burning centre.
– vasko popa

So much of the world’s collective unease and discomfort is essentially just emotional constipation.

People are out here spending their whole lives clogged up.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

– @jessicamalonso

If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Transformation occurs only when we remember, breath by breath, year after year, to move toward our emotional distress without condemning or justifying our experience.
– Pema Chodron

He tried to read, but good books were too good, and bad books were too bad
– Virginia Woolf

Wherever you fly across the world in a plane, and the landscape suddenly begins to look rectangular, where there are straight lines & clear triangles, or clear circles, you know human beings have been around. Where they haven’t been around, the outlines of everything are wiggly.
– Alan Watts

Some mornings have wheels
that spin quick, refreshed
by the tidal flow, estuary
of sleep, deep fjord of night.
– Robert Kelly

Jung says of the visions, texts, and paintings in The Red Book that they were the decisive experiences of his entire life and he spent all his remaining years putting them forth into the world.
– Ann Belford Ulanov

If you were wondering how badly we’re doing on communicating the climate crisis to regular people, I talked to a woman yesterday who fully knew climate change was a clear and present danger and she turned to me and asked, in all sincerity, “so what do you think is causing it?”
– Mary Annaïse Heglar

You have the sea at your disposal now. F**k the landlubbers’ ways. Drift, baby, drift.
– @schweben_weben

We no longer can easily separate the latent from the manifest. As an editorial in a recent advertising journal explains; “Consumers don’t need an unconscious, only better medication. An unexamined life shops.”
– Norman Klein, Freud in Coney Island and Other Tales

Silence is the sand of noise.
– Ponge

Creation is not satisfied with itself as things are. There has to be upheaval, suffering, strife and conflict. The old has to die so that the new can be born, and the rhythm of creation follows a threefold pattern: unity, disunity and unity regained.
– David Tacey

It took but a moment and I was your bonfire.
– Tomaž Šalamun, To Read: To Love

A myth is not only a story; it is a statement made in symbols. The language of the unconscious is symbolic. A symbol speaks directly and immediately to the soul, and it is understood by the soul—even when consciousness does not understand.
– Alfred Ribi

And if it’s true we are alone,
we are alone together,
the way blades of grass
are alone, but exist as a field.
Sometimes I feel it,
the green fuse that ignites us,
the wild thrum that unites us,
an inner hum that reminds us
of our shared humanity.
Just as thirty-five trillion
red blood cells join in one body
to become one blood.
Just as one hundred thirty-six thousand
notes make up one symphony.
Alone as we are, our small voices
weave into the one big conversation.
Our actions are essential
to the one infinite story of what it is
to be alive. When we feel alone,
we belong to the grand communion
of those who sometimes feel alone—
we are the dust, the dust that hopes,
a rising of dust, a thrill of dust,
the dust that dances in the light
with all other dust, the dust
that makes the world.
– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Are dreams the flotsam of our waking lives, washed up on the shores of consciousness, or are dreams, like pain, meaningful messages from our bodies?
– Katie Farris

The tree, by the end of the poem, becomes a symbol not only of the poet’s joyous childhood but also, through an extension in time and space, of the poet’s longing for permanence and eternity.
– Philip K. Jason and Frank N. Magill

This sense that something
went wrong.
The sense that we have fallen
and taken the world down with us.
The sense that all
might have turned out better
had she not made some
colossal mistake
in the beginning.
The sense that nature
disapproves, and every
flower is shouting about
the impending cataclysm
because a dark mother
tasted the fruit of
unbearable joy.
Dear friend, don’t you know
that humans hesitate and
cower before uncertainty
age after age, inventing
this story again and again?
It’s how we feel when we
don’t know how to breathe,
when we don’t know how to
pause between heartbeats,
to savor the delicate bouquet
of this moment.
Some say heaven will appear
when this tribulation is over.
I say heaven is an infinitesimal
grain of silence
at the tip of your exhalation,
just before you receive
the gift of another breath.
Meet me here.
We’ll dance barefoot
in the garden where nothing
ever went wrong,
and there was only
one tree, whose roots
went deep into the loam,
whose branches bent down
with clusters of ripening
sweet stars,
and a sparkling serpent spiraled
up the spine of the Goddess.
The serpent was Wisdom.
The Goddess was Eve.
She marveled at the dust
in the palm of her hand,
blew upon it,
and created a Man.
– Fred LaMotte

“We finally have advanced ai!! Let’s ask it how to improve society!!”

> your environment is terrible, humans need more soil and plants

“Amazing! Now that we’ve done that, how to cure diseases?”

> gotta get everyone moving regularly and eating natural foods

“So smart”

– @the_wilderless

“News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read,” a seasoned journalist explains to a journalist who’s starting out, in Scoop.
– Pico Iyer

I hope to define my life, whatever is left,
by migrations, south and north with the birds
and far from the metallic fever of clocks,
the self staring at the clock saying, “I must do this.”
I can’t tell the time on the tongue of the river
in the cool morning air, the smell of the ferment
of greenery, the dust off the canyon’s rock walls,
the swallows swooping above the scent of raw water.
– Jim Harrison

We live in a creative Universe that is itself a work of cosmic art. Nature is more like a flowing living symphony than a material “thing.” And everything is connected, everything is energy.

Van Gogh expressed this beautifully with his art, William Blake with poetry, and Einstein with science..

Mystical traditions and individuals have been expressing this understanding for centuries. Life is sacred, life is art.

Be mindful. See the beauty that exists everywhere, the creative mystery that we are. Be aware of your presence and connection to everything.

Know that behind your social persona and cultural identity you are the child of a Creative Cosmos.

– Christopher Chase

Insight or incite?
– Mark Seiler

We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.
– Adrienne Rich

Poetry, metaphor, mythology are highly realistic and down to earth. It is logic and mathematics which are the imaginative and fantastical exercise.

– Elizabeth Sewell, The Orphic Voice

I am not a writer I am a pattern maker.
– Laura Kerr

I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us, unless it’s inside a frame.
– Abbas Kiarostami

The wound that never healed but learned to sing.
– Franz Wright

Each day I listen for it in the night.
I too have a song to say alone,
– Franz Wright

The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth: it starts with being warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it is time to leave. To stay beyond your time is to putrefy. Without the blood & tearing & pain, there is no new life.
– Joseph Campbell

We do not stop to think that nothing would exist, there would be no culture in the world, if it were not for active imagination; it is always the forerunner, everything springs from it.
– CG Jung

Most communication in the psyche begins in conflict. The unconscious parts of our personalities have to fight for “equal time,” for some recognition, against the dominant attitudes and power systems of the conscious mind.
– Robert A. Johnson

Keep awake, alive, new. Perform the paradox of being hard and yet soft. Survive without calcification of the tender membranes. Be a poet. Be alive.
– Tennessee Williams

Jung often warns that life-giving and replenishing symbols appear first in ambiguous or dubious form. They have to be “kissed” into life, a motif that is often found in fairy tales.
– David Tacey

A poet technically is supposed to be a “thief of fire” but as easily as anyone else he becomes a working stiff who drinks too much on late Friday afternoons.
– Jim Harrison

When I first got to grad school, I was stunned that everyone seemed to know a special word that I had never heard in my life, “polemical”
– @PhDhurtBrain

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
– Thomas Hardy

Be quiet, work hard, and stay healthy. It’s not ambition or skill that is going to set you apart but sanity.
– Ryan Holiday

wherever you find people
you find flies and
you find Buddhas
– Issa

Lessons in watercolour—
how you can take away, but not erase;
how you can add darker pigment,
but still dilute. And life, how we learn
to stop colouring inside the lines.
– @modernirish

The reason Gen X is forgotten is because Boomers erased us in order to retain power way beyond their expiration date.
– @gabehudson

Our true occupation is to manufacture from the raw material of life the fabric of happiness; and if we are ever to set about our work we must make up our minds to risk something.
– A.E. Housman

Bugger the biography, read the poetry.
– Ezra Pound

It’s the dilemma of the lower middle class when it sends its children off to be educated, often at great expense. Their naive hope (they don’t see it as unreasonable) is that the kids they send off will return more affluent but otherwise unchanged.
– Russo

how vivid
was my dream
a field of irises
– Shushiki

“i should build up the technical skills so that I can use them creatively” is very precisely backward.
– @the_wilderless

don’t mistake physical awareness for somatic resonance
– @the_wilderless

What might happen if musicians made poets their opening acts?
– Sara Moore Wagner

We are not living in a dark age. We are living in the dawn of light. Even though there could be more goodness and altruism, even though greed, injustice, and aggression cause tremendous suffering every day, we must take some time to reflect on what is going right.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

A writing career is not a sprint. It is also not a marathon. A writing career is one of those wilderness survival challenges where they dump you in the woods without a map or a compass or food and whoever finds their way out wins.
– Carlos Greaves

Many think they can dispense with theory altogether, which of course only means that they want their own theory, underlying their own statements, to be accepted as gospel truth.
– Hannah Arendt

My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.
– Jack Kerouac

Openings come quickly, sometimes, like blue space in running clouds.
A complete overcast, then a blaze of light.
– Tennessee Williams

Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.
– Herman Hesse

There always comes a moment when people stop fighting and tearing each other apart and finally agree to love each other for who they are.
– Albert Camus

I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.
– Richard Feynman

Our culture is not an apology. Thunder our ancestry, let them hear our music. Let them know: we are here. We will not be quiet.
– Usman Hameedi

Our Father-Mother God
Holds us in Love’s embrace,
We cannot stumble, fear, nor fail
While in this cherished place;

But glow with noontide glory
Reflecting radiant Soul,
Immortal, perfect, beautiful,
God’s man—divinely whole!
– Dilys Bell

finally free!
no bondage, no dependency
an open calm sea
– Tesso

I had an inheritance from my father,
It was the moon and the sun.
And though I roam all over the world,
The spending of it is never done.
– Ernest Hemingway

when I write, it’s because I’m confounded or angry. I don’t write that much when I’m happy. But when I need to get on the other side of something, my first refuge is the page.
– Patricia Smith

Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
– Robert Frost, Directive

The strength of a person’s spirit
would then be measured
by how much ‘truth’ he could tolerate,
or more precisely, to what extent he needs
to have it diluted, disguised, sweetened,
muted, falsified.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Getting a taste of samadhi should be part of basic education. It’s one of the most beautiful things in this world, and it’s sad that it’s obscure knowledge. It’s something that has to be experienced, proof that the richness and clarity of the world can vary dramatically via internal changes. I’d far rather spend a weekend living in an empty room in samadhi than in the most beautiful house without it. The former is much more beautiful.
– @nickcammarata

The human organism is a stream of energy. It’s never the same for two seconds. Only, we’ve been taught to watch that thing, and to cherish it, and value it, and it matters, dammit! And yet, it’s going to wear out. And yet, it’s going to get sick. And yet, it’s going to die.
– Alan Watts

May no fate willfully misunderstand me.
– Frost

People are always getting ready for tomorrow.
I didn’t believe in that.
Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them.
It didn’t even know they were there.
– Cormac McCarthy, The Road

When people do not ignore what they should ignore, but ignore what they should not ignore, this is known ignorance.
– Chuang Tzu

Semaphores by Peter Halstead

Far be it for the world to mimic
What is merely metonymic,
Although it must be one of nature’s goals
To show just bits of giant wholes,
And replace the impenetrable arts
With more fathomable parts,
Straightforward means and ends
That a sailor comprehends
To be not simile or metaphor,
But what the heavens really stand for,
So a corner of the greater sky
Fills the anxious searching eye
With all the comets, trees, and land
The intellect can understand,
As what we see is what we get,
The entire world’s silhouette,
Not the planet, just the cave,
The titanic ocean wave by wave—
Leaving it to some on shore
To suspect there might be more.

November 6th, 2002

When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.
– Richard Dawkins


Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,
made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?

If not, you will never really change.

The phoenix renews her youth
only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down
to hot and flocculent ash.
Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest
with strands of down like floating ash
shows that she is renewing her youth like the eagle,
immortal bird.

– D. H. Lawrence

The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own..
– Willa Cather

Most important act for the future is to become aware of our darkness, to lower our moral sights, resist the desire to be perfect, recognize our complexity, become critical of conventional morality and search for a new balance that includes our dark side as well as the light.
– David Tacey

That’s what we’re all doing, all the time, whether we know it or not. Whether we like it or not. Creating something on the spur of the moment with the materials at hand. We might just as well let the rest of it go, join the party, and dance our hearts out.
– Alan Arkin

When I write sentences, I am at home. When I make shapes. When I do not, I am damned, doomed, homeless; I know this well—restless, roaming; the actual places I’ve lived become unrecognizable, and I, too, monstrous, am unrecognizable to myself. In the gloating, enormous strangeness and solitude of the real world, where I am so often inconsolable, marooned, utterly dizzied—all I need do is to pick up a pen and begin to write—safe in the shelter of the alphabet, and I am taken home. Back into the blinding waves, the topaz light, the fire. Or far off into the enthralling, voluptuous dark.
– Carole Maso, Break Every Rule

Man’s feeling of homelessness, of alienation has been intensified in the midst of a bureaucratized, impersonal mass society. He has come to feel himself an outsider even within his own human society. He is trebly alienated: a stranger to God, to nature, and to the gigantic social apparatus that supplies his material wants.
But the worst and final form of alienation, toward which indeed the others tend, is man’s alienation from his own self. In a society that requires of man only that he perform competently his own particular social function, man becomes identified with this function, and the rest of his being is allowed to subsist as best it can – usually to be dropped below the surface of consciousness and forgotten.
– William Barrett

There are some moments in the heart
so stark and unmanageable
where loneliness—that listless gray sea—
is un-enterable and yet
grows in my avoidance,
stalking my light.

I am so tired
of the fatigue of flattery,
moving about to please and placate
old ghosts

And yet as I go through
the hollow idols
of my self-neglect
I am unable to toss out any.

The worship
of my old god
is a sort of Stockholm syndrome,
I prostrate to my indentured smallness—

Let me waste all my prayers on you.

Anything is better than contending
with the question
of all I might truly be.

– Chelan Harkin

We die in another world when we are born into this one. We are born into another world when we die in this one.
– Robert Moss

I think we lose so much by only knowing one language.
– Min Jin Lee

That is the demise of the Gods: man puts them in his pocket.
– @RedBookJung

In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.
– Charlie Brown

Propaganda ceases where simple dialogue begins.
– Jacques Ellul

Even a musician with the most modest career in some local bar is to me more glamorous than the most glamorous writer.
– Mary Gaitskill

The life-blood of philosophy is argument and counter-argument. Plato and Aristotle thought of this occurring in what they called dialectic — discussion. Today, it might be argued that our is just the same, except that it operates upon a much wider scale, both historically and geographically. Argument and counter-argument in books and journals is the modern version of dialectic.
– DW Hamlyn

You have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.
– Flannery O’Connor

there was no hope of funneling knowledge into fools.
– C.G. Jung

For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured – disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui – in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off.
– Henry Miller

Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness. Day and night, gifts keep pelting down on us. If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us. But we go through life in a daze.

A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep. How much we are missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.

Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning. Everything is a gift. Grateful living is a celebration of the universal give-and-take of life, a limitless yes to belonging. A lifetime may not be long enough to attune ourselves fully to the harmony of the universe. But just to become aware that we can resonate with it – that alone can be like waking up from a dream.

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy – because we will always want to have something else or something more.

– Brother David Steindl-Rast

… I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple – or a green field – a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing – an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness – wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak – to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed.
– Mary Oliver

Neil Armstrong went to the moon and walked on it, and then he returned to earth, and went to his bed and slept. The next morning he got up and walked into his bathroom, looked into the mirror, and saw the face of Neil Armstrong looking back at him, and despite having walked on the moon, he had the same question he had had before he left the earth, ‘Who is this man? Who generates the life inside this body? Why is Neil Armstrong here?’
– John Waters

The poem, the song, the picture, is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink – and in drinking understand themselves.
– Federico Garcia Lorca

Man must have results, real results, in his inner and outer life. I do not mean the results which modern people strive after in their attempts at self-development. These are not results, but only rearrangements of psychic material, a process the Buddhists call ‘samsara’ and which our Holy Bible calls ‘dust’.
– Jacob Needleman

For there are moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Almost a thousand years later
I am asking the same questions
you did…
I do not know any more now
than you did then about what you
were asking as I sit at night
above the hushed valley thinking
of you on your river that one
bright sheet of moonlight in the dream
of the waterbirds and I hear
the silence after your questions
how old are the questions tonight
– W.S. Merwin

A few beings are neither in society nor in a state of dreaming. They belong to an isolated fate, to an unknown hope. Their open acts seem anterior to time’s first inculpation and to the skies’ unconcern. It occurs to no one to employ them. The future melts before their gaze. They are the noblest and the most disquieting.
– René Char

The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.
– John Wesley

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has often been said by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.
– Frank Lloyd Wright

So the first step out of childhood is made all at once, without looking before or behind, without caution, and nothing held in reserve.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

We cannot, of course, save the World because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone’s calling, to lead a life that helps.
– Barry Lopez

… if a mirror ever makes
you sad
you should know
that it does
not know
– Kabir

For me, walking in a hard Dakota wind can be like staring at the ocean: humbled before its immensity, I also have a sense of being at home on this planet, my blood so like the sea in chemical composition, my every cell partaking of air. I live about as far from the sea as is possible in North America, yet I walk in a turbulent ocean. Maybe that child was right when he told me that the world is upside-down here, and this is where angels drown. Listening to the voice of the sky, I wonder: how do we tell our tales, how can we hope to record them? I’d like to believe that deep in our bones the country people of Dakota, like poets, like monks, are, as Jean Cocteau once said of poetry, “useless but indispensable.”
– Kathleen Norris

The Tao that cannot be named is the intelligence of the universe; whatever is happening right now.The mind that realizes this is the don’t – know mind, which is opened to all possibilities because it doesn’t believe it’s own thoughts. What more is there to say. Except that there is a radiance about people who have settled into the depths of not- knowing.You can see it in their eyes.It doesn’t depend on what happens or doesn’t happen. They have found the inexhaustible treasure , in the most obvious place of all.
– Stephen Mitchell, The Second Book of the Tao

Remember that these things are mysteries and that if they were such that we could understand them, they wouldn’t be worth understanding. A God you understood would be less than yourself.
– Flannery O’Connor

There is no less holiness at this time – as you are reading this – than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.
– Annie Dillard

America is a very sick nation. I suspect that racism, mass killings, corruption, gang culture, the election of bad people to high office, drugs, extreme poverty, homelessness and all the other ailments it suffers from to a far greater degree than any other democratic nation in the world, are not individual illnesses but the symptoms of a deeply engrained malaise that absolutely refuses to respond to treatment. Most Americans who are aware of their country’s infirmities blame them on the sins of the past. As with most nations, these sins are numerous but my guess is that they make America vulnerable to infection rather than being the illness itself.

What is the virus that courses through the veins of the United States attacking every part of its being, laying it low in wave after wave after wave?

I’m not a doctor but I think it may be hubris.

– Jonathan Hagger

A journey is like marriage.
The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
– John Steinbeck

The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts, we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed destiny. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless ‘I’ that is all we know of ourselves.
– Thomas Merton

The greatest peril of misplaced worry is that in keeping us constantly tensed against an imagined catastrophe, it prevents us from fully living.
– Seneca

Dangerously close. Beautifully close. And uncomfortably close is exactly where we need to be if we want to transform this culture of scarcity and fundamental distrust. Distance is a liar. It distorts the way we see ourselves and the way we understand each other… I have learned that the best way to find light in the darkness is not by pushing people away but by falling straight into them.
– Brené Brown

I’m not sure it is possible to articulate grief through language. You can say, I was so sad I thought my bones would collapse. I thought I would die. But language always falls short of the body when it comes to the intensity of corporeal experience. The best we can do is bring language in relationship to corporeal experience—bring words close to the body—as close as possible. Close enough to shatter them. Or close enough to knock a body out. To bring language close to the intensity of experiences like love or death or grief or pain is to push on the affect of language. Its sounds and grunts and ecstatic noises. The ritual sense of language. Or the cry.
– Lidia Yuknavitch, from The Chronology of Water

And how should we behave during this Apocalypse? We should be unusually kind to one another, certainly. But we should also stop being so serious. Jokes help a lot. And get a dog, if you don’t already have one.
– Kurt Vonnegut

As for me, I see both the beauty and the dark side of things; the loveliness of cornfields and full sails, but the ruin as well. And I see them at the same time, at once ecstatic at the beauty of things, and chary of that ecstasy. The Japanese have a phrase for this perception: mono no aware. It means “beauty tinged with sadness,” for there cannot be any real beauty without the indolic whiff of decay. For me, living is the same thing as dying, and loving is the same thing as losing, and this does not make me a madwoman; I believe it can make me better at living, and better at loving, and, just possibly, better at seeing.
– Sally Mann

He lost himself in the words and images conjured in his mind and for a while forgot … He found himself flying among stars and planets …
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Each dance was a rehearsal for escape. […]
On the dance floor it was clear that existence was not only a struggle, but a beautiful experiment too. It was an inquiry about how to live when the future was foreclosed.
– Saidiya Hartman

When we use this term ‘basic goodness’ it indicates some fundamental possibility. Life is possible. Situations are possible. And anybody can start to gain some kind of insight and appreciation of their lives. That’s what we call ‘sacred’. It doesn’t mean something dramatic, but something very simple. There’s a sacredness… to everyone’s life. In order to relate to it, you have to build confidence. Because of this need to build confidence, we speak of ‘warriorship’. There’s a tremendous amount of fear in people’s lives. I think it’s based on not wanting to reveal oneself. You’re always protecting yourself. So the journey of meditation and the journey of Shambhala is: ‘One has to be fearless. One has to be brave. One must break out of the world which is comfort-oriented.’.
– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

HOW ANGELS SLEEP. Unsoundly. They toss and turn, trying to understand the mystery of the living. They know so little about what it’s like to fill a new prescription for glasses and suddenly see the world again, with a mixture of disappointment and gratitude … Also, they don’t dream. For this reason, they have one less thing to talk about. In a backward way, when they wake up they feel as if there is something they are forgetting to tell each other. There is disagreement among the angels as to whether this is a result of something vestigial, or whether it is the result of the empathy they feel for the Living, so powerful it sometimes makes them weep. In general, they fall into these two camps on the subject of dreams. Even among the angels, there is the sadness of division.
– Nicole Krauss

When botanists go walking the forests and fields looking for plants, we say we are going on a foray. When writers do the same, we should call it a metaphoray, and the land is rich in both. We need them both; scientist and poet Jeffrey Burton Russell writes that “as the sign of a deeper truth, metaphor was close to sacrament. Because the vastness and richness cannot be expressed by the overt sense of a statement alone.”
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

Cresting the ridge releases me into an explosion of light and space and wind.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

We have advantages. We have a cushion to fall back on. This is abundance. A luxury of place and time. Something rare and wonderful. It’s almost historically unprecedented. We must do extraordinary things. We have to. It would be absurd not to.
– Dave Eggers

If a coin comes down heads, that means that the possibility of its coming down tails has collapsed. Until that moment the two possibilities were equal.
But on another world, it does come down tails. And when that happens, the two worlds split apart.
– Philip Pullman

I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.
– Anthony Bourdain

There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, ‘Consume me’.
– Virginia Woolf

I describe myself as a patternist, and believe that if you put matter and energy in just the right pattern you create something that transcends it. Technology is a good example of that: you put together lenses and mechanical parts and some computers and some software in just the right combination and you create a reading machine for the blind. It’s something that transcends the semblance of parts you’ve put together. That is the nature of technology, and it’s the nature of the human brain. Biological molecules put in a certain combination create the transcending properties of human intelligence; you put notes and sounds together in just the rightcombination, and you create a Beethoven symphony or a Beatles song. So patterns have a power that transcends the parts of that pattern.
– Ray Kurzweil

We have found that no modern prescriptions heal the human heart so fully or so well as the prescription of the Ancient Ones. “To the hills,” they would say. To which we would add, “To the trees, the valleys, and the streams, as well.” For there is a power in nature that man has ignored. And the result has been heartache and pain.
– Anasazi Foundation

Serendipity means Inadvertently sampling the non obvious. When we stop worshipping the obvious, surprise occurs.
– Wildcat

Everybody has a little bit of the sun and moon in them. Everybody has a little bit of man, woman, and animal in them. Darks and lights in them. Everyone is part of a connected cosmic system. Part earth and sea, wind and fire, with some salt and dust swimming in them. We have a universe within ourselves that mimics the universe outside. None of us are just black or white, or never wrong and always right. No one. No one exists without polarities. Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them.
– Suzy Kassem

But I love your feet only because they walked upon the earth and upon the wind and upon the waters, until they found me.
– Pablo Neruda

he thought no more of performing the lesser arts of magic than a bird thinks of flying. Yet a greater, unlearned skill he possessed, which was the art of kindness.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Until the storm of conceptual thinking subsides and the mind learns to rest in a fasting state, one’s true nature must remain unknown and inaccessible.
– Ramesh S. Balsekar

We also recognize that imagination has to struggle with the dragon of time afresh each day. Poetry must be written, continued, risked, tried, revised, erased, and tried again as long as we breathe and love, doubt and believe.
– Adam Zagajewski

Here is what the sea smells like. It is more texture than scent, because the sea is primarily made of two substances that have no smell of their own: water and salt. Salt has no smell, but makes the air sting, and so all of the other smells of the sea are layered upon the pang of salt. Water has no smell but instead a comfort. We feel moisture as life and so the smells of the ocean are layered upon the contentment of the water. Salt is treble and water is bass. I don’t know how I know this is true, but I know it is true. The sea smells like old wood and wet leaves. Like cold mud and warm stone. Like every creature who has ever lived in it, a churning graveyard and nursery. Like winds from the inland carrying the hot circulation of life and winds from the ocean carrying the distant froth of waves against ships and islands. Like gray, only more so. Like blue, only less so.
– Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Why Some People Do Not Read Poetry

Because they already know that it means
stopping and without stopping they know that
beyond stopping it will mean listening
listening without hearing and maybe
then hearing without hearing and what would
they hear then what good would it be to them
like some small animal crossing the road
suddenly there but not seeming to move
at night and they are late and may be on
the wrong road over the mountain with all
the others asleep and not hitting it
that time as though forgetting it again

– W.S. Merwin

I open my journal, write a few
sounds with green ink,
and suddenly
fierceness enters me, stars
begin to revolve, and pick up
alligator dust from under the ocean.
The music comes, I feel the bushy
tail of the Great Bear
reach down and brush the sea floor.
– Robert Bly

It was as though her soul were neatly removed by a drinking straw and siphoned into the green pool of quiet that lay beneath the rippling cascade of notes.
– Louise Erdrich

Not creating delusions is enlightenment.
– Bodhidharma

Although one might wish otherwise, in dreams what is important is not the images. What matters is the impression produced by the dream. The images are minor; they are effects.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Silence illuminates our soul.
whispers to our heart
and brings them together.
Silence separates us from ourselves,
makes us sail the firmament of Spirit
and brings us closer to Heaven.
It makes us feel that bodies are no
more than prisons and that the world
is only a place of exile.
– Kahil Gibran

I speak of the Creator. He has walked with me often in my journeys, and it has been by learning to walk with Him that I have learned to walk forward.
– Anasazi Foundation

The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself. Yet the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no meaning, they are meaning; the mountains are. I ring with life and the mountains ring and when I can hear it, it is a ringing we share. I understand all this in my heart knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that only words will remain when I read it again another day.
– Peter Matthaissen

Don’t be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.
– Oscar Wilde

All storytellers know that two types of time exist: one is the twenty-four hours, the school run, the bill-paying, forever catching-up time of our everyday world; but behind that looms the energies of mythic time, the great cycles that pulse from generation to generation. These great wheels infuse the everyday with nourishment, ‘eternity in a grain of sand.’ The philosopher Plotinus suggested that while the body favors a straight line, the soul hankers for the circle. This mythic, circular time, (which is really no kind of time at all) laughs at the straight line and the alarm clock. Without it—even with all the riches of the world—we can enter the arena of the meaningless. As markets collapse and the world heats up, we would do well to see Coyote’s claws opening holes between the two. We live in an era of tremendous possibility.
– Martin Shaw

I think its good to take the time to fix something rather than throw it away. Its an antidote to wastefulness and to the need for immediate gratification. You get to see a whole process through, beginning to end, nothing abstract about it. You’ll always notice the fabric scar, of course, but there’s an art to mending. If you’re careful, the repair can actually add to the beauty of the thing, because it is a testimony to its worth.
– Elizabeth Berg

It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.
– Roger Ebert

Under the influence of great fear, almost everybody becomes superstitious.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity towards those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
Fear generates impulses of cruelty, and therefore promotes such superstitious beliefs as seem to justify cruelty.
Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
– Bertrand Russell

The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
– Frank Herbert

The sun was hot but the ceaseless wind cooled the sweat on her face and arms. She leaned back on her hands and thought of nothing, sun and wind and sky and sea filling her, making her transparent to sun, wind, sky, sea. But her left hand reminded her of its existence
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Defy the law! –
Write the heartbroken
poetry of the World!
– Jack Kerouac

If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you’d be doomed. You’d be ruined as God. You’d be a stone. You’d never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You’d never love anyone, ever again. You’d never dare to.
– Margaret Atwood

I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.
– Barbara Brown Taylor

You need to have a community. You need to have meaningful values, not the junk values you’ve been pumped full of all your life, telling you happiness comes through money and buying objects. You need to have meaningful work. You need the natural world. You need to feel you are respected. You need a secure future. You need connections to all these things. You need to release any shame you might feel for having been mistreated.
– Johann Hari

The world itself, all I read, the people, the art, the weather I encounter, they all belong in a poem that I am not writing, a poem that contains me too, a poem that slowly reveals its generous and surprising connections. I think I cannot write that poem. I can only live in it.
– Heather Christle, Crying in the Library

a blue came over us a blue cloud
whose brown shadow goose-fleshed the sea
the ship after a little rush stopped moving
the wind with a swivelling sound began to rise
and here I am still divided in my decision
whether to heave-to or keep going under half-sail
but the water is in my thinking now
I remember the mast-pole broken by a gust
severed my two minds separate
and my body flopped like a diver over the side
then came the invisible then the visible rain
then icy and razor-sharp then green then dawn
who always wakes behind net curtains
and her watercolour character changes shade quickly like new leaves
she is excitable then shy then coppery pink
and raking her fingers around finds bits of clothing and bones
How strange she says among those better worlds underwater
where the cold of swimming is no different from the clear of looking
there are people still going about their work
unfurling sails and loosening knots
it’s as if they didn’t know they were drowned
it’s as if I blinded by my own surface
have to keep moving over seemingly endless yellowness
have to keep moving over seemingly endless yellowness
– Alice Oswald

They won’t listen. Do you know why? Because they have certain fixed notions about the past. Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes, even if it were the truth. They don’t want the truth; they want their traditions.
– Isaac Asimov

I wish that one day
you’ll make it home to
a place you belong,
a person you love, or
a passion you may die for.
Where your heart is cherished,
your mind sleeps in peace,
and your soul is simply understood.
– Samiha Totanji

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don’t like – then cultivate it. That’s the only part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.
– Jean Cocteau

One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.
– Osho

If God’s peace is in our hearts, we carry it with us, and it can be given to those around us, not by our own will or virtue, but by the Holy Spirit working through us. We cannot give what we do not have, but if the spirit blows through the dark clouds, and enters our hearts, we can be used as vehicles of peace, and our own peace will be thereby deepened. The more peace we give away, the more we have.
– Madeline L’Engle

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
– Oliver Sacks

To see ten thousand animals untamed and not branded with the symbols of human commerce is like scaling an unconquered mountain for the first time, or like finding a forest without roads or footpaths or the blemish of an axe. You know then what you had always been told — that the world once lived and grew without adding machines and newsprint and brick-walled streets and the tyranny of clocks.
– Beryl Markham Sunbeams

The struggle to exist, to not disappear in this moment, is the advancing root of the struggle to exist throughout the whole passage of time. We need to help each other in this struggle. You by asking, I by struggling to respond. This is the law of love, which rules the universe.
– Jacob Needleman

The law of progress holds that everything now must be better than what was there before. Don’t you see if you want something better, and better, and better, you lose the good. The good is no longer even being measured.
– Hannah Arendt

Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God, and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case. The reasons for the ethic that, in common with many whose beliefs are more orthodox, I wish to see prevail, are reasons derived from the course of events in this world. We have seen a great system of cruel falsehood, the Nazi system, lead a nation to disaster, at immense cost to its opponents. It is not by such systems that happiness is to be achieved; even without the help of revelation, it is not difficult to see that human welfare requires a less ferocious ethic. More and more people are becoming unable to accept traditional beliefs. If they think that, apart from these beliefs, there is no reason for kindly behaviour, the results may be needlessly unfortunate. That is why it is important to show that no supernatural reasons are needed to make men kind and to prove that only through kindness can mankind achieve happiness.
– Bertrand Russell

Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. […] Big, undreamed-of things–the people on the edge see them first.
– Kurt Vonnegut

How intense can be the longing to escape from the emptiness and dullness of human verbosity, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labour, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!
– Boris Pasternak

Although there were still great blank spaces in their understanding, they knew some part of each other by now.
– Denton Welch

And there are those small love letters penned but not sent, the ones cramped between the lines in a notebook that will take its place with every other notebook, and all the other cramped love letters between the lines. The clandestine—but still small—love letter, the kind that could at any moment grow disproportionately large, the one that regenerates itself as it’s being wedged between the words on the page, suffocating with the absence of ink. Smothered, this secret small love letter might smolder. In its ashes, an interminable shudder of longing.
– Kim Dana Kupperman

Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.
– Dodie Smith

In every life we would find continents, islands, deserts, swamps, overpopulated territories and terrae incognitae. We could draw the map of such a memory and extract images from it with greater ease (and truthfulness) than from tales and legends.
– Chris Marker, Immemory

If a man is contradicted by himself and does not know it, he is an illusionist, but if he knows that he contradicts himself, he is individuated.
– C.G. Jung

Wait a while, small voyager
On the shore, with seapinks and shells.

The boat
Will take a few summers to build.
That you must make your voyage in.

– George Mackay Brown

I feel completely detached from
any country, any group.
I am a metaphysically
displaced person.
– Emil Cioran

Inside every brick
a letter from the fire
– Robert Kelly

But I don’t hate anybody.
I have tenderness for the world.
– Tennessee Williams

The problem isn’t a lack of money, food, water or land. The problem is that you’ve given control of these things to a group of greedy psychopaths who care more about maintaining their own power than helping mankind.
– Bill Hicks

Jung sees he must accept “the repressed part of the soul, he must love his inferiority, even his vices, so that what is degenerate can resume development.” This goes against the grain, for what we have developed “represents our best and highest achievement.”
– Ann Belford Ulanov

Even though we have experienced timelessness, we don’t throw away our watches.
– Ross Bolleter

Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five.
– Joel Hildebrand

The city’s a heart, I said, and in that a heart and a city were sutured into a third thing, a heartish city, and cities are heart-stained, and hearts are city-stained too.
– China Miéville, Embassy Town

There was nothing left for me but to remember the wise saying that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of. Anyone who would succeed in eliminating his preexisting convictions even more thoroughly could no doubt discover even more things.
– Freud

All the cities which haunt one are life-size, built to human scale.

London and Paris have grown this way — out of affection and intimacy: one loves little pieces of them now, not the whole.

– Lawrence Durrell

Poetry is no less a mystery than anything else on earth. One or two felicitous lines can hardly stir our vanity, since they are but gifts of Chance or of the Spirit; only the mistakes belong to us.
– Jorge Luis Borges, tr. Norman Thomas di Giovanni

Much that is beautiful must be discarded
So that we may resemble a taller

Impression of ourselves.

– John Ashbery

Buddhism says that the purpose of life is to know oneself, because without that internal self-realization, all other goals will be thwarted. This is the lesson that we all need to learn.
– Lama Surya Das

the stars
quivering in
the early morning cold
– Taigi

mist rising
from the river
spring sunset
– Chora

I found myself thinking back to my own early youth, to the first shock of my encounter — at about twenty years of age — with Paris.

It was like a sudden unpremeditated chord on the piano — a chord I had never struck before.

– Lawrence Durrell

What had the City to do with all this — an Aegean spring hanging upon a thread between winter and the first white puffs of almond blossom?

It was a word merely, and meant little, being scribbled on the margins of a dream.

– Lawrence Durrell

Thinking highly of yourself is less of a problem if you think highly of others too.
– @RomeoStevens76

Queerness gave me the language for everything I know about liberation and freedom.
– @ZenChangeAngel

Letting go is the most magic filter. All the things that have been sapping your energy, the mismatches that never quite manage to bear fruit, finally get to fall away. And what’s truly meant for you bounces right back, even stronger than before.
– Kristin Posehn

The lives of these people, the aimlessness, the way they live. One goes from one to another, and it’s all the same. One never gets what one wants out of any of them.
– Virginia Woolf

The struggle ends
when the gratitude begins.
– Neale Donald Walsch

Between sunrise and sunset —

I cannot walk through all realms —
I carry a yearning I cannot
bear alone in the dark —

What shall I do with all this heartache?

– Joy Harjo

In “He”, Robert Johnson suggests that most moderns, no longer at home in the old mythic systems, have transferred their needs of the soul to romantic love. Images of the beloved are carried within each of us & projected onto one who can receive our unconscious material.
– James Hollis

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
– L. Wittgenstein

To be modern is to rummage in the incurable.
– Eugene Ionesco, citing E. M. Cioran

such is my landscape, dear friend. half memory, half intuition, surrounds me now, may gradually rhyme itself into space and really encircle me, still and sure, like something that has existed forever and for which my eyes have only just become sufficiently strong.
– Rilke, letters

Freedom would be not to choose between black and white, but to abjure such prescribed choices.
– Theodor W. Adorno

I am flattered that several aspiring poets have lately tried to hire me to work with them, but all the advice I have I’ll give away for free:

Don’t be boring.

Don’t do what’s expected.

– Aaron Poochigian

In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
– Mark Twain

There are certain things which enter the minds of even people without one.
– Eugene Ionesco

I don’t emotionally regulate, I just eat Nutella from the jar with a spoon.
– Dr Claire Askew

The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist.
– Eugène Ionesco

ambition can mean doing a few things deeply rather than doing a lot of things constantly
– @chenchenwrites

There is a sense then in which the self is a lifelong project, as long as we remember that it is a project that requires as much passivity as activity both receptivity and taking hold, yin and yang.
– John Loudon

The business of the poet and the novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things.
– Thomas Hardy

Jung explored the psyche, saw what it was expressing, and what he saw has been vindicated. He knew perfection could no longer be upheld as a viable ideal and that wholeness would replace it…
– David Tacey

Thank you Emahoy Tsegue Maryam Guèbrou

Nine years ago, I was walking through the sleepy town of Red Hook, drunk on first love and springtime, drunk on dusk and the philosophy books in my knapsack weighing down my shoulder blades like wooden wings, drunk on the sycamore leaves shifting shyly across the street lamps, drunk on the blooming pear trees, the procession of interiorities leaking out of each house I passed, each window a portal into a dinner party, an herb-misted kitchen, a room with a white desk on which was placed a blue notebook and a blue bottle with one tangerine ranunculi vertical and luminous as a flame. And as I crossed the road, nearing my boyfriend’s home, I heard it. Although to say I heard it underplays the physical sensation. I prickled and reverberated with it. I stood still as my blood went backwards and then forwards – a momentary hitch when every molecule in me turned over. It was music. Although my synesthesia almost saw it. Periwinkle vasculature through the gloaming. A hundred eyelashes growing from the open window of a ramshackle Victorian. It was piano music. As tremulous and tender as I’d imagine the translation of a star’s language might be. I felt as if I’d heard the sound of a mother’s voice I’d forgotten.

Without any thought that it might be impolite, I ran up to the open window and peered into the living room to see a group of upper classmen sprawled around a deflated green couch and a record player.

“What is this music?”

“It’s Emahoy Tsegue Maryam Guèbrou,” said a doe-eyed girl on the floor, flicking the blue ash fromi her cigarette into a cracked teacup.

“What?” I leaned in further as if I could taste the music. “No, write it down.”

She groaned and came to the window, taking a pen from my knapsack and writing the name down on my arm.

When I went home and looked her up, I wasn’t surprised that the song I’d heard was called “Homesickness”. It summoned that feeling I’d had for years of wanting to return to a land that no longer existed. For me that land was the childhood violence had stolen from me. And for former prisoner of war Guèbrou, forced from her home country, that feeling of homesickness was not abstract. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1923, Guèbro studied music until a war against Italian colonizers interrupted her life. She was forced, after imprisonment, to take up her studies again in Cairo. Finally landing in Jerusalem she entered a monastery and began to compose music, releasing it with the profit going entirely to the musical education of other children. The album of piano compositions for which she is most well-known is hard to classify. They break rules of music theory. Momentarily whimsical and then so keenly sober that each note strikes the listener like a knife.

I wrote my first novel to Guèbrou. And then my second book. I listened to Guèbrou after I miscarried. At dawn. At dusk. On nights when I was so alone that I did not even think there was a home to be sick about. Her music is my liturgy. It is also the soundscape of all my creative work.

Today, at the age of 99, Guèbrou passed away in Jerusalem. And today I plant her in my pantheon of secular saints. Her music has kept me alive. Kept me oriented towards open windows. I think your music has the musical ability to dilate time, to reorganize a psyche. Thank you for reorganizing me.

– via Sophie Strand

You Fixed It
by Zeina Hashem Beck

And if the compass broke you fixed it, fastened
the pencil to it with a rubber band,
and if there was no hot water you fixed it, learnt
to sit on that plastic stool in the bathroom
and count, and if it was too cold outside
you fixed it, and there was the smell of burnt
lemon on the brazier, or the click
click click of the gas heater.
And if you were bored you fixed it, learnt how to cut
paper and color the scraps, learned to write
on the walls, and if you wrote on the walls you
fixed it, scrubbed them with your mom who yelled
at your big brother who what on earth
was he doing just watching? And if the TV blurred
you fixed it, adjusted the antenna to catch
those Japanese cartoons translated into Arabic
on the Syrian channel, and if the cartoons
hadn’t begun you fixed it, danced
to those nationalistic Syrian songs about Hafez, repeated
ya hala ya hala ya hala heh. And if you didn’t have enough
books you fixed it, read that French-Arabic dictionary the size
of your torso, stared at the words crépuscule and
And if you tripped on the missing tile you fixed it,
learnt to count your steps in the dark
afternoon without electricity, gauged
how dark it was by whether or not you could see
your thumb, and if you couldn’t see your thumb
you fixed it, got the candle from under the sink,
and if the sink was leaking you fixed it, tied
a cloth to the pipe, and if the pipe burst
you fixed it, pressed your palms
against the hole in the wall until
Mom called the grocer to call the butcher to call
the plumber next to him, and if there was a hole
in your sock you fixed it, learnt to fold it
under your big toe. And if your window shattered
you fixed it, taped cardboard to the frame,
and if someone died you fixed it by telling stories
about how crusty their lahm bi ajeen was,
and if the lahm bi ajeen was too crusty
you fixed it by dipping it in the tahini,
and if your sorrow hardened you fixed it
by dipping it in sea water, and if your country
hardened, if your country hardened you fixed it
by dipping it in song.

The irony that trying to impress another is inevitably unimpressive while trying to impress yourself leads to impressing others.
– @Obliquities

There is nothing else to be realized that is higher than the indivisibility of emptiness and awareness.
– Lerab Lingpa

…we know that it is the people who do not know enough about their own shadow and their own dark side who are most likely to fall victims to evil influences.

If one knows the evil possibilities within oneself, then one develops a kind of second sight or capacity for getting a whiff of the same thing in other people.

A jealous woman who has realized her own jealousy will always recognize jealousy in the eyes of another woman. The only way, therefore, not to walk through the world like an innocent well-brought-up fool , protected by father and mother from the evils of this world, and therefore cheated and lied to and stolen from at every corner, is to go down into the depths of one’s own evil, which enables one usually to develop the instinctual recognition of corresponding elements in other people.

– Marie-Louise Von Franz

I don’t want to be the moon,
I said to Dick on the casting
couch: I want to be a flower
no one can touch without dying
of hope of touching it again.
– Virginia Konchan

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are.

When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Be patient and trust that the treasure you are looking for is hidden in the ground on which you stand.

– Henri Nouwen

Human beings have a strong dramatic instinct toward binary thinking, a basic urge to divide things into two distinct groups, with nothing but an empty gap in between. We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest. Dividing the world into two distinct sides is simple and intuitive, and also dramatic because it implies conflict, and we do it without thinking, all the time.
– Hans Rosling

Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is ‘Is there anybody I’m afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I’d get nervous?’ If not, then you’re cool.
– Prince

Our consciousness is programmed. We see things a certain way from a young age – we’re programmed to keep doing them that way. Then you have to spend adulthood learning how to overcome it, to read out the programs. Try to create. I want to tell people to create. Just start by creating your day. Then create your life.
– Prince

It’s been so lonely without you here. Like a bird, without a song. Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling. So tell me baby, where did I go wrong?
– Prince

It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.
– Eva Le Gallienne

We are so accustomed to the old opposition of reason versus passion, spirit versus life, that the idea of passionate thinking, in which thinking and aliveness become one, takes us somewhat aback.
– Hannah Arendt

A beginner’s mind always says, “I’m a learner. I’ve got more to learn.” It has to do with humility before reality, and never assuming that I understand. If there are fifty thousand levels of the mystery, maybe I’m at level forty-five. Maybe there’s more that needs to show itself to me. Can you imagine what a different world it would be if we all lived with that kind of humility?
– Richard Rohr

How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren’t, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
to open ourselves, to be
the flames?
– Galway Kinnell

The truth is, a writer’s voice is made from other writers’ voices. Pieced together, picked and chosen, stumbled into, uninformed: influence seems like an involuntary series of contagions that eventually turns into a sort of vessel, or transportation system. As we acquire a sense of taste, and perhaps a sense of vocation, our reading becomes more directed and targeted, but we are bent and shaped and destined to be changed by the genius of others. Compare it to the theory behind cannibalism, if you like. One eats the heart of the admired one and becomes them. The remarkable news is that this pastiche of voices results in the incarnation of a new poet, a new hybrid distillation of voice, capable of telling the story of experience in new, valuable ways. [. . .] Each strong new writer is a deep student of what he or she has read and an amalgam of preexisting sentences and styles that have never been combined like that before. The idea that writerly originality appears from nowhere, or exists as something in isolation, a thing to be guarded and protected from influence, is lunacy. Anyone who doesn’t school themselves by deep, wide, and idiosyncratic reading is choosing aesthetic poverty.
– Tony Hoagland

Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. I had been damaged and a very important part of me had been destroyed – that was my reality, the facts of my life; but on the other side of the facts was who I could be, how I could feel, and as long as I had words for that, images for that, stories for that, then I wasn’t lost.
– Jeanette Winterson

When the prison guards burned his manuscripts, Nguyễn Chí Thiện couldn’t stop / laughing—the 283 poems already inside him
– Ocean Vuong

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.
– Albert Camus

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
– Hermann Hesse

History is the in-rushing toward what the Buddhists call the realm of the densely packed, a transformational realm where the opposites are unified.
– Terence McKenna

It is not possible to explain intellectually how sensations of the physical world are converted into ideas, how the leap-over from nervous vibrations into consciousness occurs, and how a neurosis becomes a psychosis. No one has ever explained this, nor will any scientist ever succeed in doing so. Truth alone can dispose of this poser by pointing out that sensations never really occur, but that the Self merely projects ideas of them; just as a man sees a mirage and mistakes it for real water merely by his mental projection, so people regard the world as real when they are merely transferring their own mental ideas to the world.
– Paul Brunton

A dragon, or corrupted aspect of the self, will not always transform, even once it is identified. It takes active work, in the three realms of body, mind, and spirit.
– Marlene Seven Bremner

Jesus was not killed by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware those who cannot tell God’s will from their own. Temple police are always a bad sign. When chaplains start wearing guns and hanging out at the sheriff’s office, watch out. Someone is about to have no king but Caesar.
– Barbara Brown Taylor

If you write, write about what you do and who you are, and you can’t be wrong. Don’t lie about anything. You are very similar to everybody else in the world. You love, you hate, you have friends, you have enemies. Be who you are.
– Carl Reiner

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually, or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
– William James

At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world’s word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does utter a peep – just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don’t do it. There is a vibrancy to the silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life’s length to listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression: instead, it is all there is.
– Annie Dillard

I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the colored sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire — angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans.
– Ingmar Bergman

I am no philosopher, he thought, fumbling for a cigarette, but if continuity is anything, it is in this. Bright pictures in the dark of the mind, each an echo of something, but still unique.
– Eva Figes

Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.
– Patti Smith, Just Kids

Why can’t I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply.
– Patti Smith

When you enlarge your mind and let go of it,
When you relax your [qi 氣] vital breath and expand it,
When your body is calm and unmoving:
And you can maintain the One and discard the myriad disturbances.
You will see profit and not be enticed by it,
You will see harm and not be frightened by it.
Relaxed and unwound, yet acutely sensitive,
In solitude you delight in your own person.
This is called “revolving the vital breath”:
Your thoughts and deeds seem heavenly.
– Guan Zhong, Guanzi

…words are not of this world, they are a world unto themselves…
– Hugo von Hofmannstahl

How is it that the more able man becomes to manipulate the world to his advantage, the less he can perceive any meaning in it? This is a paradox that has often been noted, and has sometimes been attributed to a fundamental perversity in human nature.
– Owen Barfield

The great paradigm shift that lies at the core of modernism is the loss of mythic connection to the cosmos. The incarnation of meaning, once carried by myth & myth-sustaining institutions, has gone within, from Olympus to the solar plexus, from worship to psychopathology.
– James Hollis

As we do not know what it is to think rightly, deeply and profoundly, our solutions, political or religious, are in no way going to produce a sane and balanced world.
– Krishnamurti

If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go…. This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future.
– Terry Tempest Williams

Peace does not mean the suppression of all differences, but their coexistence and fruitful collaboration. Peace does not consist in one man, one party, one nation, crushing and dominating everyone else. Peace exists where men who have the power to be enemies are, instead, friends by reason of the sacrifices they have made in order to meet one another on a higher level, where the differences between them are no longer a source of conflict.
– Thomas Merton

[I Wrote A Good Omelet]

I wrote a good omelet…and ate
a hot poem… after loving you
Buttoned my car…and drove my
coat home…in the rain…
after loving you
I goed on red…and stopped on
green…floating somewhere in between…
being here and being there…
after loving you
I rolled my bed…turned down
my hair…slightly
confused but…I don’t care…
Laid out my teeth…and gargled my
gown…then I stood
…and laid me down…
To sleep…
after loving you

– Nikki Giovanni

If a man doesn’t know how he is wounded, he can deny the pain of others and the tragedies of this life. If a man doesn’t know how he is wounded he can’t see that others are wounded as well.
– Michael Meade

The human mind is not limited to the intellect. Where the intellect stops intuition picks up. We can sense truth even if we cannot articulate it in words or derive it from logical schemes. Unreliable as this sense may be, it is our only link to a broader reality.
– Bernardo Kastrup

From the errors of others, a wise man correct his own.
– Publilius Syrus

A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally shortsighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman. Unfortunately, this realization does not seem to have penetrated very far – and our blindness is extremely dangerous.
– C.G. Jung

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

Our culture cannot yet give an appropriate response to the collective inundation caused by the overspilling of the psyche. The professions of psychiatry and psychology have little understanding of the numinous since they have subscribed to a narrow materialism.
– David Tacey

hoping that the flowers
burst out in laughter
spring wind
– Basho

The religious system is broken because too much psychic reality had been excluded. In particular, the dark side and the feminine principle were pressing toward recognition.
– David Tacey

We’ve all led raucous lives,
some of them inside, some of them out.
But only the poem you leave behind is what’s important.
Everyone knows this.
The voyage into the interior is all that matters,
Whatever your ride.
Sometimes I can’t sit still for all the asininities I read.
Give me the hummingbird, who has to eat sixty times
His own weight a day just to stay alive.
Now that’s a life on the edge.
– Charles Wright

How does one think of nothing? How to think of nothing without automatically putting something round that nothing, so turning it into a hole, into which one will hasten to put something, an activity, a function, a destiny, a gaze, a need, a lack, a surplus . . . ?
– Georges Perec

But my marriage was never the same after that poem.
– Maggie Smith

Towards all that we have forgotten—the inner pilgrimage that this eternal presence of spring urges upon us.
– Emil Cioran

No matter how ephemeral it is, a novel is something, while despair is nothing.
– Mario Vargas Llos

You have to let other people be right…
It consoles them for not being
anything else.
– André Gide

The only way one can speak of nothing is to speak of it as though it were something, just as the only way one can speak of God is to speak of him as though he were a man … and as the only way one can speak of man … is to speak of him as though he were a termite.
– Samuel Beckett

Everything is Going to be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

– Derek Mahon

I hope you get old.
I hope time is heavy on your bones, draped over you like an embrace from God.
I hope the backs of your hands become deep maps—
Of all the places you have been.
Dark stains where your fingers dipped into clay and dirt and mud.
I hope you get old.
I hope time fills your heart with joy and triumph.
I hope you have enough obstacles to teach you character and empathy and enough challenges to bestow you with uniqueness.
I hope pain shows you how strong you are and the value of a true friend.
I hope you’ve been alone enough to know yourself.
I hope you find quiet more than you find chaos.
I hope you get old.
That time wraps around your legs like a desperate lover.
I hope you can look into the faces of people you have loved and cherished and that you leave behind echos of grief,
Because you were loved in turn.
I hope you give thanks for every waking moment,
For what you have and for what you have not.
I hope you get old.
I hope you make things that last.
I hope you’ve inspired people.
I hope you’ve helped someone.
I hope grace rests at your feet.
I hope.
You forgive everything,
You did.
– Jann Arden

Somewhere in his journals, Dostoyevsky remarks that a writer can begin anywhere, at the most commonplace thing, scratch around in it long enough, pry and dig away long enough, and soon he will hit upon the marvelous.
– Saul Bellow

There are prophets, there are guides, and there are argumentative people with theories, and one must be careful to discriminate between them.
– Peter Brook

I dream of a quiet man…
by Wendell Berry

I dream of a quiet man
who explains nothing and defends
nothing, but only knows
where the rarest wildflowers
are blooming, and who goes,
and finds that he is smiling
not by his own will.

Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as it is for the body. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead. Consistent intellectualism and spirituality may be socially valuable, up to a point; but they make, gradually, for individual death. And individual death, when the slow murder has been consummated, is finally social death. So that the social utility of pure intellectualism and pure spirituality is only apparent and temporary. What is needed is, as ever, a compromise. Life must be lived in different ways at different moments. The only satisfactory way of existing in the modern, highly specialized world is to live with two personalities.
– Aldous Huxley, Wordsworth in the Tropics

Praise by R. S. Thomas

I praise you because
you are artist and scientist
in one. When I am somewhat
fearful of your power,
your ability to work miracles
with a set-square, I hear
you murmuring to yourself
in a notation Beethoven
dreamed of but never achieved.
You run off your scales of
rainwater and sea water, play
the chords of the morning
and evening light, sculpture
with shadow, join together leaf
by leaf, when spring
comes, the stanzas of
an immense poem. You speak
all languages and none,
answering our most complex
prayers with the simplicity
of a flower, confronting
us, when we would domesticate you
to our uses, with the rioting
viruses under our lens.

Ged had neither lost nor won but, naming the shadow of his death with his own name, had made himself whole: a man: who, knowing his whole true self, cannot be used or possessed by any power other than himself, and whose life therefore is lived for life’s sake and never in the service of ruin, or pain, or hatred, or the dark.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

I read the poem of a student and in the poem God wandered through a room picking up random objects – a pear, a vase, a shoe – and in bewilderment said, ‘I made this?’. Apparently God had forgotten making anything at all. I awarded this poem a prize, because I was a judge of such matters. I was not really awarding the student, I was awarding God; I knew someday the student would pick up his old poem and say in bewilderment, ‘I made this?’, and at that moment his whole world would be lost in the twilight, and when you are finally lost in the twilight you can not judge anything.
– Mary Reufle

When a culture is no longer centered in a living and continually renewed relational process, it freezes into the It-world which is broken only intermittently by the eruptive, glowing deeds of solitary spirits. From that point on, common causality, which hitherto was never able to disturb the spiritual conception of the cosmos, grows into an oppressive and crushing doom. Wise, masterful fate which, as long as it was attuned to the abundance of meaning in the cosmos, held sway over all causality, has become transformed into demonic absurdity and has collapsed into causality.
– Martin Buber

I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.
– C. S. Lewis

With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.
– Marshall McLuhan

Electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of “time” and “space” and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men. It has reconstituted dialogue on a global scale. Its message is Total Change, ending psychic, social, economic, and political parochialism. The old civic, state, and national groupings have become unworkable. Nothing can be further from the spirit of the new technology than “a place for everything and everything in its place.” You can’t go home again.
– Marshall McLuhan

I suppose that’s the way we humans are, thinking too much and listening too little. Paying attention acknowledges that we have something to learn from intelligences other than our own. Listening, standing witness, creates an openness to the world in which the boundaries between us can dissolve in a raindrop. The drop swells on the tip of a cedar and I catch it on my tongue like a blessing.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.
– James Joyce

The art of living well is not to get our every desire. It’s to be well and whole regardless of what arises.
– Anne Rudloe

It is the best joke there is, that we are here, and fools—that we are sown into time like so much corn, that we are souls sprinkled at random like salt into time and dissolved here, spread into matter, connected by cells right down to our feet, and those feet likely to fell us over a tree root or jam us on a stone. The joke part is that we forget it. Give the mind two seconds alone and it thinks it’s Pythagoras. We wake up a hundred times a day and laugh.
– Annie Dillard

Transcendental Etude

No one ever told us we had to study our lives,
make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history
or music, that we should begin
with the simple exercises first
and slowly go on trying
the hard ones, practicing till strength
and accuracy became one with the daring
to leap into transcendence, take the chance
of breaking down the wild arpeggio
or faulting the full sentence of the fugue.
—And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on
everything at once before we’ve even begun
to read of mark time, we’re forced to begin
in the midst of the hard movement,
the one already sounding as we are born.

– Adrienne Rich

We can starve together or feast together. All flourishing is mutual.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

They lived and laughed and loved and left.
– James Joyce


Through endless ages, the mind has never changed. It has not lived or died, come or gone, gained or lost. It isn’t pure or tainted, good or bad, past or future, true or false, male or female.
It isn’t reserved for monks or lay people, elders to youths, masters or idiots, the enlightened or unenlightened. It isn’t bound by cause and effect and doesn’t struggle for liberation.
Like space, it has no form.You can’t own it and you can’t lose it. Mountains,rivers or walls can’t impede it. But this mind is ineffable and difficult to experience. It is not the mind of the senses. So many are looking for this mind, yet it already animates their bodies.
It is theirs, yet they don’t realize it.

– Red Pine (translator), Bill Porter

The work of preservation demands that the feelings playing about in one’s guts not be turned into action. Just watch their passing like cherry blossoms.
– Maxine Hong Kingston

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer…And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
– Hannah Arendt

On the edge of the prairie, where the sun had gone down, the sky was turquoise blue, like a lake, with gold light throbbing in it. Higher up, in the utter clarity of the western slope, the evening star hung like a lamp suspended by silver chains – like the lamp engraved up the title-page of old Latin texts, which is always appearing in new heavens and waking new desires in men.
– Willa Cather

They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.
There I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.
– Eugène Ionesco

With a healthy mindset, you can go further than you dreamed possible. View setbacks as opportunities for growth, writing block as an excuse to push forward, success as something to be thankful for. Having a healthy mindset makes it much easier to have a healthy career.
– Keidi Keating

No dogma taught by the present civilization seems to form so insuperable an obstacle in the way of a right understanding of the relations which culture sustains to wildness as that which regards the world

as made especially for the uses of man.

Every animal, plant, and crystal controverts it in the plainest terms. Yet it is taught from century to century as something ever new and precious, and in the resulting darkness the enormous conceit is allowed to go unchallenged.

I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself.

Not that Nature manifests any such thing as selfish isolation. In the making of every animal the presence of every other animal has been recognized.

Indeed, every atom in creation may be said to be acquainted with and married to every other, but with universal union there is a division sufficient in degree for the purposes of the most intense individuality; no matter, therefore, what may be the note which any creature forms in the song of existence, it is made first for itself, then more and more remotely for all the world and worlds.

The scenery of the ocean, however sublime in vast expanse, seems far less beautiful to us dry-shod animals than that of the land seen only in comparatively small patches; but when we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
– John Muir

Our lifelong complex resounds like a musical theme with countless variations, playing itself throughout our life. It is a 21st century version of our ancestor whom we cannot disregard without peril of being held hostage by compulsions that repeat over decades.
– Ann Belford Ulanov

and if the fire burns us, we shall not put it out merely for that reason
– André Gide

On January 18, 1915 […] Woolf wrote in her journal, ‘The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.’ Dark, she seems to say, as in inscrutable, not as in terrible.
– Rebecca Solnit

Poetry is a lightning rod that transmits epiphanies.
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

train journey
the spreadsheet
of city lights
– Alan Summers

at the confluence
of two rivers
a swirling pair of swans
– @pauldavidmena

A shattered moon gradually reaccumulates.
– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

A large portion of our individual and collective problems arise from a false perception of deficit; a deficit about ourselves, a deficit about our lives. When we can see reality with truly clear eyes, we comprehend the enormity of the fullness within us and around us.
– dona Rio de Gracian

Lifetime-After-Lifetime Lover

She has never
been the jealous type.

She knows my spirit is true
who I choose to go home with
at the end of the night.

Of all my lovers,
and there have been a few,
she was the secure one;
so sure of herself,
sure of me,
sure of the true nature of reality.

Even though
she has many lovers,
I do not cling.

Letting-Go Heart-Mind
has been her greatest teaching
to me.

When the season gets heavy,
she saunters by —
white kimono bright;
she drops renewal onto my shoulders
in a cloak of shimmering forest light.

In early Spring, I pour her a drink
and try to make her laugh
until her cheeks turn sakura-pink.

Eventually, though,
it is Her time to go.

I grow quiet
and bow low.

But, like all other lovers
who have ever parted company,
some part of Her
stays with me

and some part of me
travels with Her
into the fading light of memory.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Magical thinking always leaves one feeling unfulfilled, empty, unmet; which explains why modernistas are always searching after more.

“Take your oars out of the water and enjoy life a bit.” I’ll never forget that piece of advice….
– Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project

She is a funny creature and earnest,
and she is doing what she can to survive.
– Ada Limón

a world full of desires and our parents still in it / cracking a door open, warning us to leave it that way.
– Maya C. Popa

I think that’s the job of each of us: to show our best toys and our best tricks that lift us and our friends to higher and higher levels. And there is no end to this bootstrapping process. The future of the human mind and body and the future of humans together is endlessly bright.
– Terence McKenna

Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.
– William Faulkner, Light in August

Tell your story.
Shout it. Write it.
Whisper it if you have to.
But tell it.
Some won’t understand it.
Some will outright reject it.
But many will
thank you for it.
And then the most
magical thing will happen.
One by one, voices will start
whispering, ‘Me, too.’
And your tribe will gather.
And you will never
feel alone again.
– L.R. Knost

I am from places where
once you’re from there,
they change you and
they never leave you.
– Usman Hameedi

We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility.
– Ursula K Le Guin

I am no longer so fond of making journeys. But the journey visits me. Now when I am more and more pushed into a corner, when the annual growth rings multiply, when I need reading glasses. Always there is much more happening than we can bear. There is nothing to be surprised at.
– Tomas Tranströmer

According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify.

People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasizing about what might have been.

The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!

– Yuval Noah Harari

I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart. To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch, and then keep walking, unimaginably further.
– Jane Hirshfield, Metempsychosis

Do the stars sing?
In which language?
They sing in every language. Even the ones we don’t know.
– David Lee

In this world where everyone dies, where every song ends, where every achievement is undone, where every treasure is lost, all of us are left behind. All of us leave. But everywhere and always there is the hum of continuing. Though always incomplete, always there is the sound of love, forever and at the core unfinished.
– Douglas Penick

I think it’s very frustrating and if I were God I would have a completely different system. I would have a magic wand and I would touch people with it, and help them be struck well. But nobody cares about what would work for me spiritually. My experience is that grace is never in the direction you are looking for it and it never even vaguely resembles what you think decent grace might look like. It’s like a shift, it’s like a breath, it’s like a pause. But then an hour later or three days later real life rears its ugly head again and it’s dicey, life is, and it’s a mess.
– Annie Lamott

If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.
– Ray Bradbury

Sometimes it was hard to say things. Things were so complicated. People might resent what you said. They might use your remarks against you. They might take you seriously and act upon your words, actually do something. They might not even hear you, which perhaps was the only thing worth hoping for. But it was more complicated than that. The sheer effort of speaking. Easier to stay apart, leave things as they are, avoid responsibility for reflecting the world and all its grave weight. Things that should be simple are always hard. But hard things are never easy.
– Don DeLillo

It is in the brain that everything takes place…. It is in the brain that the poppy is red, that the apple is odorous, that the skylark sings.
– Oscar Wilde

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
– George Orwell

I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads
– Federico García Lorca

Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
– Isaiah 43:19

The brain is a belief engine… It relies on two processes: patternicity and agenticity. It finds meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless data. It infuses patterns with meaning, and imagines intention and agency in inanimate objects and chance occurrences… We believe before we reason. Once beliefs are formed, we seek out confirmatory arguments and evidence to justify them. We ignore contrary evidence or make up rationalizations to explain it away. We do not like to admit we are wrong. We seldom change our minds…
– Michael Sherman

Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.
– Sitting Bull

Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle.
– Franz Kafka

Human beings

are made of water

we were not designed
to hold ourselves together

rather run freely
like oceans
like rivers

– Beau Taplin

To be able to live with ambiguity and ambivalence is a sign of a healthy person.
– Moshe Feldenkrais

A recent study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience demonstrated that while most forms of exercise slow down age-related decline, dancing has even more profound benefits. Considered a psychosocial intervention, dancing combines the mood-elevating effects of increased social interaction with improvements in brain function, cardiac fitness, and overall quality of life. Mastering new rhythms, steps, and formations, in combination with increased social engagement, provides a boost to brain activity that creates additional cognitive benefits.
– Sayer Ji

stirring my tea
as a prayer
spring dawn
– Ogawa

The motto of Paracelsus was “He who can be his own, should not be another’s…”
– Stephan Hoeller, The Gnostic Jung

I want to raise up
the magic world
all around me and
live strongly and
quietly there.
– Virginia Woolf

Salvation is not flight from the wrath of God; it is accepting and reciprocating the love of God. Salvation is not separation. It is the beginning of union with all that is or has been or will ever be.

It is impossible to claim salvation and also believe that, in this life or in any life to come, one is better than another.

Or let me try to put it another way. Salvation is as real, as mighty, and as impersonal as the rain, and it is yet as private as the rain in one’s face. It is never accomplished; it is to be reaffirmed every day and every hour. There is absolutely no salvation without love: this is the wheel in the middle of the wheel. Salvation does not divide. Salvation connects, so that one sees oneself in others and others in oneself. It is not the exclusive property of any dogma, creed, or church. It keeps the channel open between oneself and however one wishes to name that which is greater than oneself.”

– James Baldwin

This occurred in the retelling,
under the present image:
a smiling woman clutching her scarf
in front of blue mountains
and scant drifting clouds. It seemed
something had happened to give her joy.
– Ann Lauterbach

After the wintry pain,
And the long, long sorrow,
Sing, heart!—for thee again
Joy comes with the morrow.
– Ina Coolbrith

May you have an encounter that awakens you and your gifts.

May you come out of hiding.

May you refuse to spend another season in spaces that lack growing room.

– Dr. Thema

Free yourself from explanations; neither Nature nor the Universe believe in them.
– Pico Iyer

There is a renewed interest in myth, in part because we feel that, as Blaise Pascal noted, “we wander in times which are not ours,” or we share Hamlet’s sense that “the time is out of joint,” or agree with Rilke that “we are not much at home in the world we have created.”
– James Hollis

To be liberated is to be able to see human life in the same way as you see all other life. And to do that you have to be able to live, as it were, on two levels: the level of involvement and the level of detachment.
– Alan Watts

And to the bullies who need / the musty air of / the clubhouse / All to themselves: / I am a brick in a house / that is being built / around your house.
– Cornelius Eady

Far too many words
in their mouths. Could they eat them?
What of their flavour?

Speaking them brought no
joy, spat out in the kitchen
and scattered everywhere

then cleared up. As if
language could be swept away
like dirt off someone’s

disgusting table.

– George Szirtes

And anyway, it’s the same old story—
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.

– Mary Oliver

Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.
– Jim Morrison

Be planetary.
– Etel Adnan

I have an inalienable mistrust of the great ones of the earth and a thorough disbelief in any security with people who have no imaginations.
– Henry James

In you
there is an enormous intelligence
that can transmute your fear into
awareness. into endless
I say to you,
turn within.
– Guthema Roba

Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it.
– Pablo Casals

I learned a world from each
one whom I loved
– Allen Ginsberg

The Mediterranean is an absurdly small sea; the length and greatness of its history makes us dream it larger than it is.
– Lawrence Durrell

Queer world-making is now a prevalent and increasingly useful coinage: a projection of affinities into a system that can and will hold you.
– Brian Blanchfield

Great melancholies and sorrows full of tedium can exist only in an atmosphere of comfort and solemn luxury.
– Fernando Pessoa

alone on the beach
watching whitecaps and seagulls
merge with greyness
while thinking of summer
and you … both gone
– Natalia Kuznetsova

the scent
of dappled sunlight
redwood hike
– Chen-ou Liu, Canada

I wanted to grow up and just be a reader, just someone who read. Even then I knew that wasn’t a job.
– Lydia Davis

How often will I think of you, until
our dying steps forget this light, forget
that we ever knew the happy glen,
or that I ever said, We must jump into the sun,
and we jumped into the sun.
– Edwin Morgan

When a thought arises, it brings another with it, and then another, in an endless sequence. It is this chain which has deceived us from beginningless time, and if we do not break it, it will continue to deceive us in the future.
– Dudjom Rinpoche

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.
– Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

The Somebody Else’s Problem Field … can be run for over a hundred years on a single flashlight battery. This is because it relies on people’s natural predisposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting or can’t explain.
– Douglas Adams

Refuse to be used.

Protect yourself from vultures.

They’re counting on your confidence being dead.

You’re very much alive.

– Dr. Thema

To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe. Your smile proves it.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.
– Antisthenes

Mothers are all slightly insane.
– J.D. Salinger


“The softest thing in the universe,” said the Ancient Sage,
“Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
The stiff and unbending is the disciple of death,
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and the strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.”

If a painful experience comes upon a humble soul,
She bends and thus remains whole.
Straightway she goes against herself,
Straightway she accuses herself,
And she does not set about accusing anyone else.
Thus she goes. on her way,
Untrouble, undepressed, in complete peace of mind,
Having now cause to be angrrey or to anger anyone.

Therefore, said the sage:
“Mix with all this humble as dust.
This is called the Original Harmony.
It cannot be made intimate, nor can it be alienated.
It cannot be benefited, nor can it be harmed.
It cannot be exalted, nor can it be debased.
For this very reason it is the highest, most valuable thing in
the world.”

The humble soul, at one with the dust of the earth,
Knows the power behind saying, “Forgive me.”
She is among the strongest in the world,
For nothing is more powerful than lowliness.

– Hieromonk Dasmascene. Christ the Eternal Tao

Relativity and quantum mechanics—for all their seeming abstruseness—are merely attempts to accurately describe the physical properties of the world in which you and I live. Yet they seem to describe the same world that mystics encounter inside themselves.
– Robin Robertson

To see the major complex, like a theme of music, playing us throughout our lives, even up to death, is to know firsthand the humiliation of being caught in a force beyond our control.
– Ann Belford Ulanov

Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom for self-determination. To educate a man to this seems to me no light matter. It is surely the hardest task the modern mind has set itself. And it is dangerous too.
– C.G. Jung

in the break room
she and i sit, eating snacks
on opposite sides
of the long table
we don’t say a word
– @TankaDaily

Your mouth was a torment to me
and I came within a hair
of telling you so.

– Dana Roeser

What I love about life. There’s no maniacal master plan. It’s just unfolding.
– Cate Blanchett

When the ego invests itself in its knowing, it is convinced that it has the whole picture. At that point, growth stops. The journey stops. Nothing new is going to happen to us after that point. The term we’re using here, “beginner’s mind,” comes from Buddhism. For Buddhists, it seems to refer to an urgent need to remain open, forever a student. A beginner’s mind always says, “I’m a learner. I’ve got more to learn.” It has to do with humility before reality, and never assuming that I understand. If there are fifty thousand levels of the mystery, maybe I’m at level forty-five. Maybe there’s more that needs to show itself to me. Can you imagine what a different world it would be if we all lived with that kind of humility?
– Adapted from Richard Rohr, Beginner’s Mind


When you see them
tell them I am still here,
that I stand on one leg while the other one dreams,
that this is the only way,

that the lies I tell them are different
from the lies I tell myself,
that by being both here and beyond
I am becoming a horizon,

that as the sun rises and sets I know my place,
that breath is what saves me,
that even the forced syllables of decline are breath,
that if the body is a coffin it is also a closet of breath,

that breath is a mirror clouded by words,
that breath is all that survives the cry for help
as it enters the stranger’s ear
and stays long after the world is gone,

that breath is the beginning again, that from it
all resistance falls away, as meaning falls
away from life, or darkness fall from light,
that breath is what I give them when I send my love.

– Mark Strand

Muad’Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It’s shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad’Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
– Frank Herbert, Dune

He remembered the old Chinese proverb, sometimes ascribed to Confucius: If you sit by the river for long enough, the body of your enemy will float by.
– Salman Rushdie

I saw the dove come down, the dove with the green twig, the childish dove out of the storm and flood. It came toward me in the style of the Holy Spirit descending. I had been sitting in a cafe for twenty-five years waiting for this vision. It hovered over the great quarrel. I surrendered to the iron laws of the moral universe which make a boredom out of everything desired. Do not surrender, said the dove. I have come to make a nest in your shoe. I want your step to be light.
– Leonard Cohen

And then the kicker is this: in passing from the real to the imagined, in following that trail, you learn that both sides have a little of the other in each, that there are elements of the imagined inside your experience of the ‘real’ world – rock, bone, wood, ice – and elements of the real – not the metaphorical, but the actual thing itself – inside stories and tales and dreams.
– Rick Bass

There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes “the practice of freedom,” the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. The development in an educational methodology that facilitates this process will inevitably lead to tension and conflict within our society.
– Paulo Freire

Mans desires are limited by his perceptions; none can desire what he has not perceived.
– William Blake

Discipline is a bad word in our culture. People associate it with having to do what they’re told. But discipline is quite a lovely word. It comes from the same root as disciple, and it means seeing yourself through the eyes of the teacher who loves you.
– Marion Woodman

Simplicity is complexity resolved.
– Constantin Brancusi

When I get really frustrated with a poem I start saving the document as ‘title millionth draft 1’ and ‘title millionth draft 2’ etc, which makes me feel better about the endlessness.
– Caroline Bird

Freud & Jung found that they had to evolve a new language, a new way of relating to the sufferings of their patients. They realized they were treating those who had fallen between the cracks opened by the erosion of institutional religion & limitations of medical science.
– James Hollis

There is a solitude in this world
I cannot pierce. I would die for it.
– Ada Limón

I seek new perfumes, ampler blossoms, untried pleasures.
– Joris-Karl Huysmans

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.
– Vincent Van Gogh

A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke.
– Vincent Van Gogh

I think about my name,
how it is the first gift I gift
to a stranger, the first thing
that was mine I ever gave
willingly to the world.
– Porsha Olayiwola

But just one question still remains
To which we must respond
Two roads lead from where we are
Which side are you on
– Arlo Guthrie

Blessed are you, embrace of the falling, foundation of the light, master of the human accident.
– Leonard Cohen, Book of Mercy

Three Rules To Write By

Write naked.
That means to write what you would never say.

Write in blood.
As if ink is so precious you can’t waste it.

Write in exile
as if you are never going to get home again, and you have to call back every detail.

– Denis Johnson

Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do
– Anne Carson

I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable.
– David Lynch

The curse of memory is that
the facts alone don’t add up.
The stories of most actions
are short a few marbles.
It’s why history
takes the easy side of
the wrong loud,
while difficult truth
waits alone in the quiet.
The hills and the rocks,
the birds flying past,
those heard and saw
what we missed:
you and I
walking together
between the chances
that we had.
– Steve S. Saroff

The Perfect World
by Kahlil Gibran

God of lost souls, thou who are lost amongst the gods, hear me:

Gentle Destiny that watchest over us, mad, wandering spirits, hear me:

I dwell in the midst of a perfect race, I the most imperfect.

I, a human chaos, a nebula of confused elements, I move amongst finished worlds—peoples of complete laws and pure order, whose thoughts are assorted, whose dreams are arranged, and whose visions are enrolled and registered.

Their virtues, O God, are measured, their sins are weighed, and even the countless things that pass in the dim twilight of neither sin nor virtue are recorded and catalogued.

Here days and night are divided into seasons of conduct and governed by rules of blameless accuracy.

To eat, to drink, to sleep, to cover one’s nudity, and then to be weary in due time.

To work, to play, to sing, to dance, and then to lie still when the clock strikes the hour.

To think thus, to feel thus much, and then to cease thinking and feeling when a certain star rises above yonder horizon.

To rob a neighbour with a smile, to bestow gifts with a graceful wave of the hand, to praise prudently, to blame cautiously, to destroy a sound with a word, to burn a body with a breath, and then to wash the hands when the day’s work is done.

To love according to an established order, to entertain one’s best self in a preconceived manner, to worship the gods becomingly, to intrigue the devils artfully—and then to forget all as though memory were dead.

To fancy with a motive, to contemplate with consideration, to be happy sweetly, to suffer nobly—and then to empty the cup so that tomorrow may fill it again.

All these things, O God, are conceived with forethought, born with determination, nursed with exactness, governed by rules, directed by reason, and then slain and buried after a prescribed method. And even their silent graves that lie within the human soul are marked and numbered.

It is a perfect world, a world of consummate excellence, a world of supreme wonders, the ripest fruit in God’s garden, the master-thought of the universe.

But why should I be here, O God, I a green seed of unfulfilled passion, a mad tempest that seeketh neither east nor west, a bewildered fragment from a burnt planet?

Why am I here, O God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods?

To speak
to separate.

One word cannot be another—
A stone is not a tree.
Love is different from pain.
I am just I, and nothing else.

And yet this is a lie, because
all things are one; love turns to pain,
makes hardened hearts break into leaf,
form seeds that fall to earth as stones
and burst with love. I am this tree.

How can my words come back to truth?

Keep open eyes, and never say
‘That cannot be.’

It can, it can.

– Lory Widmer Hess

Under usual conditions, we tend to glide through the world without paying much attention to its intricate texture. Meeting the demands of the day often requires that we temporarily disregard our surroundings; we procure our everyday efficiency by suspending our connection to those parts of the world that do not serve our practical concerns. One of the amazing powers of love is that it offers a potent remedy to such carelessness. When we fall in love, dimensions of the world that have remained blurry or marginal suddenly click into focus for us. Neglected aspects of our environment clamor for notice. Facets of life that we normally ignore take on a heightened significance. Through an openness to those shades of our surroundings that usually remain eclipsed, we become keenly attentive to the myriad details of our lives.
While our ordinary preoccupations take place in the world, they also, in some ways, distance us from it. They distract us from the worldness of the world, as it were, because they are designed to allow us to make use of the world rather than to become fully and passionately immersed within its folds. In this sense, navigating the routine tasks and liabilities of life is not at all the same thing as being in touch with the pulse of the world. What is so wonderful about love is that it reconnects us to this pulse. It cuts through the din of our regular concerns so that we feel uncompromisingly real, aligned with the roundedness and timelessness of being. Yet we also feel firmly anchored in the here and now, embedded in the concrete materiality of the world. In a way, we are able to touch the sublime without ever leaving the world behind
– Mari Ruti

Let it come
like wildflowers,
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.

– Yehuda Amichai (tr. from Hebrew by
Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell)

A lot of people worship the so-called “enlightenment” of psychopathic spiritual teachers.

I think the Stoics got it right. If a psychopath can be enlightened, then enlightenment is of no real value at all.

What is actually valuable? Being a good person.

– Duff McDuffee

Let my dreams while I’m wide-awake
loose. Let me be drowned, baptized,
in the light given me. Day comes around,
night, fall, winter, spring,
summer. Leaves overhead, underfoot.
Waves arrive, buffets from friends
offended, enemies. Let it all come:
this is my way, this is the canoe I’m in.
– William Stafford
The Answers Are Inside the Mountain

At that time, truly, I say, the vital spirit, which dwells in the innermost chamber of the heart, started to tremble so powerfully that its disturbance reached all the way to the slightest of my pulses.
– Dante

Kafka (in a letter): “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

As we cannot revivify myths that once moved generations, so we cannot afford the potential disasters of projecting those energies unconsciously. Through the projection of the shadow onto a Fuerher, a whole world may burn.
– James Hollis

Someone who lives in a group in which everybody suffers the same defect will be prone to accept his group’s values as normal.
– Erich Fromm, The Art of Being

The transcendent function is not something one does oneself; it comes rather from experiencing the conflict of opposites.
– CG Jung

If people can be educated to see the shadow-side of their nature clearly, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more self-knowledge can only have good results in respect for our neighbor.
– CG Jung

I like people whose beauty entails something individually captivating; People whose beauty is as pure as tears. Oh how glorious the human heart can be! How terrifying, if it is also linked to the soul (for the heart alone does nothing for me).
– Anaïs Nin

There is a victim in each of us, a part which is hurt or damaged, which is afraid and begging for protection. It can, if it remains unconscious, tyrannize both ourselves from within and those around us from without.
– David Freeman

Whether a plot in a yard or pots in a window, every politically engaged person should have a garden.
– Camille Dungy, Soil

I must become something my enemies can’t eat, don’t have
a word for yet
– Taylor Johnson

Love unseats us, but we thread ourselves slowly back into the dull wood of our egos. It is hard to sustain a constant awe, as Lao Tzu importuned, and so tragedy befalls us. We fail to construct a lifelong state of wonder. And yet artistic and spiritual endeavors inspire our efforts to do so, as though the efforts themselves were all important.
– Forrest Gander

Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realization that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realization that everything is as right is it can be. Or better, everything is as It as it can be.
– Alan Watts

I walked passed you on the way to the next thing… all of us were in a rush as usual. Not time for the organized halls of eco investment.


You were someone unknown to me. We sideways assessed each other in our passing by. And in an unorthodox instant we decided though eye glance human-ness– not to give vibe to the ripping violence of competition, instead, in non-verbal gesture we chose to see one another as YES — I will clap for you. I will catch the sun for you. I will shine for you. I will hold you if you flicker. My up is not your down. My up is your up.

Picture if you can a realm of good will -of I will, –of we will– be ready with the next needed response to our chaos. I will sit with you.

I am not down with the step-overs, the what-about me’s…
or any of the other elbow jabbing BS.

Just hanging in. Some days we get to tomorrow by biting our fingernails.

And that is fine.

This is the moment when “your call is not really important to us Please push one for more information” And in the meantime after you have pushed 6 for an agent 9 times– I intend to be exactly the opposite. Real, and groping and lost with you. But here.

So take this for the lost ones. Who will likely never be re-humanized… we are still her. We are a long way from getting our shit together… but still we try daily.

– Nora Bateson

oh khusrau, the river of love
runs in strange ways.
one who enters it drowns,
and one who drowns, gets across.
– amīr khusrau

[A patient’s insoluble problem] was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out when confronted with a new and stronger life urge. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light, and so really did become different.
– CG Jung

… your new home is a mast, not an anchor.
– Neil Hawkesford

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

This World
by Czeslaw Milosz

It appears that it was all a misunderstanding.
What was only a trial run was taken seriously.
The rivers will return to their beginnings.
The wind will cease in its turning about.
Trees instead of budding will tend to their roots.
Old men will chase a ball, a glance in the mirror–
They are children again.
The dead will wake up, not comprehending.
Till everything that happened has unhappened.
What a relief! Breathe freely, you who have suffered much

Signals swarm through Mimi’s phone. Suppressed updates and smart alerts chime at her. Notifications to flick away. Viral memes and clickable comment wars, millions of unread posts demanding to be ranked. Everyone around her in the park is likewise busy, tapping and swiping, each with a universe in his palm. A massive, crowd-sourced urgency unfolds in Like-Land, and the learners, watching over these humans’ shoulders, noting each time a person clicks, begin to see what it might be: people, vanishing en masse into a replicated paradise.
– Richard Powers, The Overstory

That’s the trouble with people, their root problem. Life runs alongside them, unseen. Right here, right next.
– Richard Powers, The Overstory

My understanding from being a gardener is: Earth is magic. Whoever claims otherwise is blind. Earth is not a resource, not a mere means to achieve human ends. Our relationship to nature today is not determined by astonished observation, but solely by instrumental action. The Anthropocene is precisely the result of total subjugation of Earth/nature to the laws of human action. It is reduced to a component of human action. Man acts beyond the interpersonal sphere into nature by subjecting it entirely to his will. He thereby unleashes processes that would not come about without his intervention, and lead to a total loss of control.

It is not enough that we now have to be more careful with Earth as a resource. Rather, we need a completely different relationship with Earth. We should give it back its magic, its dignity. We should learn to marvel at it again. Natural disasters are the consequences of absolute human action. Action is the verb for history. Walter Benjamin’s angel of history is confronted with the catastrophic consequences of human action. In front of him, the heap of debris of history grows towards the sky. But he cannot remove it, because the storm from the future called progress carries him away. His wide eyes and open mouth reflect his powerlessness. Only an angel of inaction would be able to defend himself against the storm.
– Byung-Chul Han, I Practise Philosophy as Art


This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who says, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

– Eleanor Lerman

Life is a hard battle anyway. If we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier. I will not allow my life’s light to be determined by the darkness around me.
– Sojourner Truth

At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of speech and the vertigo of death;
the walk with eyes closed along the edge of the cliff, and the verbena in submarine gardens
– Octavio Paz

I am in urgent need of having my lips sealed with kisses.
– Franz Kafka, 1912.

She lost herself in the trees, among the ever-changing leaves. She wept beneath the wild sky as stars told stories of ancient times. The flowers grew towards her light, the river called her name at night. She could not live an ordinary life with the mysteries of the universe hidden in her eyes.
– Christy Ann Martine

She was stronger alone; and her own good sense so well supported her, that her firmness was as unshaken.
– Jane Austen

In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.
– Carson McCullers

O wounded body
wounded soul
Admit you’ve been happy
Just between us
admit it

– Abdellatif Laâbi, from Life
(translated by Andre Naffis- Sahely)

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

It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.
– Louisa May Alcott

…the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe.
– G.K. Chesterton

The world is not simple.
Anyone will tell you.
– Jenny George

Almost without exception, great spiritual teachers will always have strong direct guidance about love and suffering. If you never go there, you will not know the essentials. You’ll try to work it all out in your head, but your mind alone can’t get you there.
– Richard Rohr

The first archetypal figure we meet, according to Jung, is no shining angel of light, but the shadow. The paradox of Jung’s psychology is that to get to the source of light, the Self, we have to go via the darkness of the unconscious with its repressed instincts and drives.
– David Tacey

I don’t know if any poem can really stand up to virality. A poem only wants to be perceived up to a point and if you over-scrutinize it will undergo a structural collapse as revenge.
– Elisa Gabbert

To s Poet in Despair

“wild to be wreckage forever”
– James Dickey

Look at her,
the swan caught
on the fishing line,
wrecking herself into splendor.

And haven’t you done that with your one life?
And haven’t you done that with your name?

Though the changes
and undo you,
though your life
is ruined
to be loosened,
there is still one thing
you can do with it:

Make the ruin great.

– Joseph Fasano

The spiritual journey is not glamorous, despite what New Age shops tell us, with their dolphins, incense and sunsets. Like Jacob at the ford, we are forced to wrestle with the angel as we attempt to cross the river of life to a new landscape.
– David Tacey

Every spoken word double-crosses us. The only tolerable form of communication is the written word, since it isn’t a stone in a bridge between souls but a ray of light between stars.
– Pessoa

So went he as with light about his head,
And in the joyous travail of the year
Grew April-hearted; since nor grief nor fear
Can master so a young man’s blood so long
That it shall move not to the mounting song
Of that sweet hour when earth replumes her wings. . . .
– Swinburne

Is anyone anywhere happy? No, not unless they are living in a dream or in an artifice that they or someone else has made.
– Sylvia Plath

Dance dance otherwise we are lost.
– Pina Bausch

Those who are not enthusiastic about anything grow cold and begin to die. You have to start to really desire. To grasp life with both hands so that it does not slip away, if you understand what I mean. Otherwise, all is lost.
– Amos Oz

An hour is not an hour, but a vase filled with perfumes, sounds, projects and climates.
– Marcel Proust, Time Regained

When you have worked on for so long you never know when you are done.
– Jericho Brown

Absent Place ― an April Day ― Daffodils a-blow Homesick curiosity To the Souls that snow ―
– Emily Dickinson

Cheers for spring; for life; for a growing soul.
– Sylvia Plath

You exist as an idea in your mind.
– Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

I’m an early riser. I get up between five & six, have coffee, & read for a couple of hours before everyone else gets up
– David Bowie

Ships make you thick. Your brain rots away because you’re always thinking about which direction the wind’s coming from.
– Jacques Brel

Love is the longing
for the half of ourselves
we have lost.
– Milan Kundera

How to live in a world with which you disagree ? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys ? When you know that you don’t belong among them ? Our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…
– Milan Kundera

Art is partly communication, but only partly. The rest is discovery.
– William Golding

love life day by day, color by color, touch by touch, because you’ve got a body & mind to exercise, and that is your lot, to exercise & use it as much as you can, never mind whose got a better or worse body & mind, but stretch yours as far as you can.
– Sylvia Plath

And I sit here without identity: faceless. My head aches. There is history to read – centuries to comprehend before I sleep, millions of lives to assimilate before breakfast tomorrow.
– Sylvia Plath

Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.
– C. S. Lewis

My shame in this world
will soon be forgotten—
springtime journey.
– Shokei

Let’s face it: I’m scared, scared and frozen. First, I guess, I’m afraid for myself…the old primitive urge for survival. It’s getting so I live every moment with terrible intensity.
– Sylvia Plath

In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia.
– Milan Kundera

There is a fine Jewish proverb: Man thinks, God laughs.[…] It pleases me to think that the art of the novel came into the world as the echo of God’s laughter. But why does God laugh at the sight of man thinking? Because man thinks and the truth escapes him.
– Milan Kundera

Ah! Now I’ve done Philosophy,
I’ve finished Law and Medicine,
And sadly even Theology:
Taken fierce pains, from end to end.
Now here I am, a fool for sure!
No wiser than I was before.
– Faust

We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.
– Christopher Hitchens

Equanimity dampens feedback loops, and most of our sensory field arises from feedback loops. Equanimity doesn’t just make it easier to weather the storm, it practically removes the storm.
– @nickcammarata

If meditation had an easier on-ramp people would talk about little else.
– @nickcammarata


The day hanging by its feet with a hole
In its voice
And the light running into the sand

Here I am once again with my dry mouth
At the fountain of thistles
Preparing to sing.

– W.S. Merwin

More than anything, memory resembles a library in alphabetical disorder, and with no collected works by anyone.
– Joseph Brodsky

Nations are but names; and continents but shifting sands.
– Herman Melville

The sweet small clumsy feet of april came into the ragged meadow of my soul.
– e. e. cummings

Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence… I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them.
– Emerson


Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

– William Shakespeare

Just as madness lurks in our creativity and threatens to make dead its aliveness, so does creativity lurk in our madness. That is an astounding and heart-supporting fact.
– Ann Belford Ulanov, Madness and Creativity

Whenever we are caught in a literal view, a literal belief, a literal statement, we have lost the imaginative metaphorical perspective to ourselves and our world.
– James Hillman


Imagine you are at a gambling casino. You just lost thirty hands in a row. You suspect the cards are marked, but the casino has a rule stating you can only talk about the front of the cards but never the back. Because the system is being done systemically, a rule that you can only consider the cards individually hides the scam. In a nutshell, that is what the war on critical theory is all about. In this land where people are propagandized into unjust hierarchies of race class and gender, waking up to systems of domination is heresy.

We should be very suspicious when politicians tell us that even though our nation enslaved Black people for centuries we are not racist nation and it should be illegal for teachers to even discuss the topic. White supremacy is not simply about the personal prejudices of individuals. White supremacy is a collective system of power. To like People of Color so long as they affirm the traditional white version of history and do not question the fairness of an economic system crafted by and for slaveholding white people. Very few white people would be comfortable affirming white supremacy right out loud, but that is precisely what we are doing when we silence the historic voices of People of Color, and defend economic injustice by refusing to reshuffle the current deck of wealth and power so they can be shared more fairly with those white supremacy has historically left out.

We should also be very suspicious when clergy from patriarchal religions tell us women should be forbidden from exercising dominion over their own bodies. How can anyone honestly claim this is a nation with gender justice when it cannot even pass an equal rights amendment? Only a minority of men are going to embrace patriarchy out loud. It is much more effective to oppose equal rights in the name of family, religion or of the nebulous term “life.”

Systems of domination rely on never stepping back to get the big picture. The more unconscious this trance is, the more power it holds. If we want break the trances of white supremacy, patriarchy and colonial capitalism, it is important to be willing to swim upstream. We must be willing to be unpopular and to be laughed at by the powers that be. To stay “woke” means to stay aware and to question the mindless vocabulary of the ruler class.

Going back to the casino metaphor, critical theory means looking at the front AND back of the cards to get a sense of the power relationships that do not show up if we consider each card individually. The keys to human liberation are often found in the words, thoughts and actions the powerful would forbid.

– Jim Rigby

?does the question mark have to be at the end
– @the_wilderless

There are several really great ways to stop being intimidated by advanced degrees:

-read some actual dissertations
-find out which kinda-dumb folks from your own past now have PhDs
-start out on that track yourself and realize it’s about endurance/obedience, not intelligence

– @the_wilderless

Ancient Greek word hamartia, means “error,” from the verb hamartano, “to miss the mark.” Centuries later, the same word—hamartia—came to mean “sin”. [Greek] tragedies depict characters making mistakes, rather than inherent flaws in character.
– Bryan Doerries

Mystery and mysticism come from the same root. So they are associated with a sense of darkness, with going into a realm where you don’t see very clearly, where things are more obscure and will remain obscure. It is also a realm of silence rather than wordy thought.
– Karen Armstrong

What they are ー
I don’t know.
But they’re all blooming.
– Santoka

You don’t wait to be kind. The world needs your kindness right now, all the time. There will be a place for your kindness: Provide it. You also don’t wait to be a writer or an actor: You study and you prepare and you respect the ground on which you might not yet walk. You are whatever you need to be before anyone else makes the judgment that you’re ready for public display. Craft yourself into a kind and giving and curious person. That is something the world needs, and there will be no unemployment and a lifetime of riches.
– Julie Harris

Already, he was dreaming of a refined solitude, a comfortable desert, a motionless ark in which to seek refuge from the unending deluge of human stupidity.
– Joris-Karl Huysmans

Literature has always allowed me to understand life. But precisely for that reason it leaves me outside of it.
– Enrique Vila-Matas

I am torn between a multitude of conflicting emotions and insights.
– Sylvia Plath

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
– G.K. Chesterton

I fall down in order to stay faithful to
the light, in order to make the world ambiguous, fascinating, changeable, dangerous, in
order to announce the steps beyond.
– Adonis

This, I believe, is the great Western truth: that each of us is a completely unique creature and that, if we are ever to give any gift to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and fulfillment of our own potentialities, not someone else’s.
– Joseph Campbell

Such stillness~
the hum of the air conditioner
drowns out the traffic.
– Dave Bonta

listening to
the sacred flute
shaded by green leaves
– Basho

[Jonathan] Williams … began his avant-garde press while still a student … naming it “Jargon” not only for its meaning of personal idiom, but after the French spring pear, “jargonelle,” and the French “jargon,” meaning the twittering of birds.
– Jeffery Beam

I had always worked with the temperamental conviction that at bottom there are no insoluble problems and experience justified me insofar as I have often seen patients simply outgrow a problem that had destroyed others.
– CG Jung

We should never identify ourselves with reason, for man is not a creature of reason alone. The irrational cannot be and must not be extirpated. There seems to be something in the human psyche, and that if this is not the idea of God, then it is the belly.
– CG Jung

It takes, as a rule, a very long time — many years, usually — before the two sides of the personality, represented by conscious and unconscious, can be brought into Tao.
– Barbara Hannah

We understand math, but we don’t understand understanding. … In addition to exploring distant star systems, we might also imagine that in the future we’ll find ways to know each other better. Since we’re fundamentally creative, that process would never end. … I would sometimes call it the empathy ramp. As we ascend, empathy would have more and more of a chance.
– Jaron Lanier, The Dawn of Everything

Sheer, bright-shining spring, spring as it used to be,
Cold in the morning, but as broad daylight
Swings open, the everlasting sky

Is a marvel to survivors.

– Seamus Heaney

We are like books.
Most people only see our cover, the minority read only the introduction, many people believe the critics.
Few will know our content.
– Émile Zola

A poem is a gesture toward home.
It makes dark demands I call my own.
– Jericho Brown

For a fully enlightened being, the difference between what is neurosis and what is wisdom is very hard to perceive, because somehow the energy underlying both of them is the same.
– Pema Chodron

Intelligence flourishes only in the ages when beliefs wither, when their articles and their precepts slacken, when their rules collapse. Every period’s ending is the mind’s paradise, for the mind regains its play and its whims only within an organism in utter dissolution.
– Emil Cioran

What I want, really, is an escape from argument altogether.
– Garth Greenwell

Conceptually, I am open to mistakes -errors, actually. I do play lots of wrong notes while I am making some music & a mistake or a wrong note is like a gift for me: ‘Oh, wow an unknown sound or an unknown harmony. I didn’t know about this.
– Ryuichi Sakamoto

“One world” is becoming a hideous possibility and I wish to celebrate our differences for as long as is possible.
– Donald Richie

Hardly touching, I hold / What I can only think of / As some deepest of memories in my arms, / Not mine, but as if the life in me / Were slowly remembering what it is.
– Galway Kinnell

I wait here for you every night, all night,
my back strong, my hands resting,
my eyes staring straight ahead, unseeing.
They think I am meditating,
They watch me every night, yearning, praying;
– Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin

Remember when you’d lie spread-eagle
looking at the sky,
and it was there for you;
rushed to meet you,
close as an embrace
– Marjorie Moorhead

In the book of our hours,
we are being written, revised.
– Martin Willitts Jr

I emptied the cup and then
poured out the emptiness
but then I looked in and
there was still more
– Maija Haavisto

There is no metaphor for the spring’s disgrace, / No matter how much the rose leaves look like bronze dove hearts, / No matter how much the plum trees preen in the wind.
– Charles Wright

I wanted to tell the man that everyone alive on this fluke little planet was on the spectrum. That’s what a spectrum is. I wanted to tell the man that life itself is a spectrum disorder, where each of us vibrated at some unique frequency in the continuous rainbow.
– Richard Powers

We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.
– Pema Chodron

It must be pointed out that just as the human body shows a common anatomy over and above all racial differences, so, too, the human psyche possesses a common substratum transcending all differences in culture and consciousness.
– CG Jung

even the
thorn brush
is blooming!
– Issa

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean…
– Jack Gilbert

The way the night knows itself with the moon, be that with me.
– Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks)

If people can
just love each other
a little bit,
they can be so happy.
– Émile Zola

The primary question in speaking of personality, as of individuation, is always, ‘Do you know who you are? Are you living your own way, your own truth?’ The answer is seldom found without conscious effort.
– Daryl Sharp, Jungian analyst, Eyes Wide Open

the news
of an old lover’s death,
long into the night
the click
of sewing needles
– John Wisdom

Not even those who once lived before us,
the demigods, sons born from our lords, the gods,
brought to completion a life without toil or decline or danger,
and arrived at old age.
– Simonides, translated by Jenny Strauss Clay

What does a person of Kitezh, still in the world and capable of speaking, owe to the people who did not flee the sunken city? Only a pine branch. The rhododendrons and the yellowing fields. The verses others would have written down or spoken.
– Jennifer A Sutherland

Everything without exception which is of value in me comes from somewhere other than myself, not as a gift but as a loan which must be ceaselessly renewed.
– Simone Weil

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

There’s an almost sumptuous element
in coming out of denial.

After all, you gain access
to new, rolling hillsides,
vast, stretching expanses
of your own soul

And while the reason for denial
is always the avoidance of pain
that you now must face and claim,
a courage too is found
that allows you to finally stand
on the crags of yourself,
face the storm
and say,

“I am ready to face
old nightmares.

I am ready to meet old ghosts.

I am ready to know
my compressed power.

I am ready to see
all the ways I have distorted myself
and why.

I am ready to meet the full range
of my voice
I once thought
would get me into so much trouble.

I am ready to face the brightness
of my gifts
I once feared would blind people.

Break down what will.
Hand me my full allotment of pain,
the full spectrum of my fear—
I am ready for the full inheritance
of myself.
Make me unbearably humble or grand.

I am ready for anything
but to continue to be complicit
in my soul’s silencing.

– Chelan Harkin

Something we were withholding made us weak until we found it was ourselves.
– Robert Frost

leaving him was like
watching my heart escape my chest
and finding it
in my own hands
– Reagan Myers

The creativity of consciousness may be jeopardized by religious or political totalitarianism, for any authoritarian fixation of the canon leads to sterility of consciousness.
– Erich Neumann

“Alaha” meant Unity and God in the Aramaic that Jesus used. Interesting how close it is to the Hawaiian word Aloha.
– George Gorman

The key concept is to open your ears. Music can be here and there, anywhere surrounding you.
– Ryuichi Sakamoto

Find contentment at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged, be refreshed by the image of your original nature.
– The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

When we’re trying to change ourselves or change the other, we’re essentially rejecting what is arising in the present moment. & if we reject it, we can’t really meet it. & if we can’t meet it, we can’t allow the space for understanding…
– Laura Bridgman

in my withered field
the surprise of
flowering grass
– Buson

People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that’s a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated.
– Lucille Clifton

what unites us is the tearing apart of thought to the boundaries of the unthought; the impossibility of saying and of being said.
– edmond jabès

My city
I lost it when I was
almost a child.
I don’t know where I put it
or where inside me it’s hurting.
– Angelina Gatell, poet from Barcelona

This isn’t a secret; I have failed
to love

… I have failed
to forget love is one of many
higher choruses

– Steven Leyva

White violets
have no place
on your hot brow;
how can I bring you
what the spring must bring?
– H.D

Having curiosity is the only way to learn.
– Nnedi Okorafor

I have had to learn the simplest things
last. Which made for difficulties.
– Charles Olson

The beginning of wisdom, I believe, is our ability to accept an inherent messiness in our explanation of what’s going on. Nowhere is it written that human minds should be able to give a full accounting of creation in all dimensions and on all levels. Ludwig Wittgenstein had the idea that philosophy should be what he called “true enough.” I think that’s a great idea. True enough is as true as can be gotten. The imagination is chaos. New forms are fetched out of it. The creative act is to let down the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended and then to attempt to bring out of it ideas.
– Rupert Sheldrake

The older you get, the louder you should sing.
– Dame Judi Dench

They can be like a sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.
– John of the Cross

If people come together, they can even mend a crack in the sky.
– Somali proverb

Kansas coos me into its wheat.
Done with direction, I follow the lightning,
God’s arrows insisting even the desolate
can be a destination.

In the black and white of a winter dawn
a train zippers the wet land
to a sky clouded with intention.
It looks more like a photograph

than a photograph resembles the moment
it captures, its frame diverting, its filter
slanting truths. Say I make of this a photo—
what would the evidence show?

– Erin Adair-Hodges, Unmappable

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
– Albert Camus


What’s it like to be a human
the bird asked

I myself don’t know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin
while reaching infinity
being a captive of your scrap of time
while touching eternity
being hopelessly uncertain
and helplessly hopeful
being a needle of frost
and a handful of heat
breathing in the air
and choking wordlessly
it’s being on fire
with a nest made of ashes
eating bread
while filling up on hunger
it’s dying without love
it’s loving through death

That’s funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air

– Anna Kamienska

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
– Stephen Jay Gould

To receive the light
and return it…
– Jorie Graham


Because my head hasn’t grown
since I stopped growing, and my memories
have piled up inside me,
I have to assume they’re now in my belly
and my thighs, and legs. A sort of walking archive,
an orderly disorder, a cargo hold weighing down
an overloaded ship.

Sometimes I want to lie down on a park bench:
that would change my status
from Lost Inside to
Lost Outside.

Words have begun to abandon me
as rats abandon a sinking ship.
The last word is the captain.

– Yehuda Amichai


Titmouse at the thistle feeder.
Wing-beat of geese
navigating by the moon.
Exultation of a turquoise moth
who will die before sunrise.
The baby’s ancient gaze
from a supermarket shopping cart.
Honor the essential distractions
that make you whole.

Gifted by the mist at dawn,
shards of sunbeam trembling
in the open fingers of a fern.
Elegant cracks in a hand-made tea bowl.
Choir upon choir of empyrean petals
in a fallen camellia.
Are we not redeemed by the sure
sweet vision of particulars?
What else is faith?

Glistening spider’s web
in the withering hyssop.
The motionless explosion of a rose.
Every flame-tipped thing conspiring
in a ceaseless whisper of revelation,
“Yes, you are here.”
Waves dissolving on sand.
Silence between raindrops.
This breath.

– Alred K. Lamotte

I was good with words, you with the gods.
– Dave Smith

What can it hurt to feel all again, to hear
love’s tale of aches on dream’s flesh-eating shore?
– Dave Smith

Dream spirit, muse I loved! Let me tell you
her skills, and how perfect her parts to me,
that red-mouthed, lank, straw-topped girl who
played me, witty as wind, heron sleek.
– Dave Smith

All that I wrote was a hymn to desire,
To the semblances and stages of bliss. My poems
Bore only a passing likeness to the life
Of which they were the miraculous part.
– Mark Strand

I must have wanted then what I want now,
a quiet room’s forgiveness for what’s been
done or not done.
– Dave Smith

Plato explained that before our soul got encased in the material vessel of our body, it enjoyed the company of the gods. Having been asked to drink from the river of Lethe (of forgetfulness) prior to settling into its human host, it does not explicitly recall this, yet it retains an intuitive connection to the celestial domain it has lost. More specifically, the feverish desire we experience when we fall in love signifies that our soul is yearning to rise to the transcendent realm from which it has been exiled by its earthly existence. The fact that the person we love incarnates ideal beauty on Earth stimulates our longing to reunite with divine beauty. We may not be consciously aware of this nebulous affiliation between earthly and divine beauty. Yet our insistent craving for the company of our beloved is a sign that our soul is enthusiastically preparing for its upward flight toward the incandescent province of divine splendor.

In one of his most famous similes, Plato portrays the soul as a winged entity awaiting the reviving jolt of eros. He specifies that while earthly existence causes the feathers on the surface of the soul’s wings to wither away from lack of use, falling in love softens and revitalizes the passages from which the feathers grow, allowing new feathers to shoot. The strange agitation that we feel in love is thus, metaphorically speaking, an indication that our soul is refeathering its wings so as to better soar to the heights. Plato depicts this state of the soul as one of mingled pleasure and pain that renders us irrational, tumultuous, and even a bit insane. As he posits, ‘the soul of a man who is beginning to grow his feathers has the same sensation of pricking and irritation and itching as children feel in their gums when they are just beginning to cut their teeth.’

The restlessness of the lover is hence expressive of the soul’s impatience to recapture a divine domain. Eros, in a sense, bridges the human and the divine. Plato’s parable implies that if there is something about human life that makes it difficult for us to remain cognizant of the transcendent dimensions of life, eros insists on animating those dimensions; it insists that we look beyond the daily grind. The fact that we may not be able to name or accurately describe this experience does not dilute its power to move us. In the same way that the wings of the soul swell with the regrowth of feathers, love makes us feel as if we were able to reach beyond the familiar topography of our everyday reality. We attain a stirring sensation of coming to our own, arriving, as it were, at a loftier sense of life’s possibilities.

– Mari Ruti

Easter mist rises
dogwoods remember the cross
blooms believe briefly
– Greg Sellers

If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment.
– Bessel van der Kolk

It was an uncertain spring. The weather, perpetually changing, sent clouds of blue and purple flying over the land.

But in April such weather was to be expected.

– Virginia Woolf

The shadow has too often been split off in Western thinking and we know, psychologically, that whatever is split off re-insinuates itself through behavioral eruptions or projections onto others.
– James Hollis

All of us, in some part or other, are loathsome. We all harbour a crime we’ve committed, or a crime our soul is begging us to commit.
– Fernando Pessoa

When W. H. Auden was asked by Barbara Walters in a 20/20 interview why he wrote poetry, he replied: ‘To save the words.’
– Bryan Doerries

a butterfly
softly landing
in my tea kettle
– Issa

Jung’s concept of soul derives more from Athens than Jerusalem and is imbued with Greek philosophy. Jung’s idea of soul has a relationship with eternity, but his interest in soul is as an experience in this life, rather than an afterlife.
– David Tacey

the butterfly I passed
two miles back
is ahead now
– Issa

The purpose of the descent into the Underworld is to gain something that is missing in the upper world, some piece of information, some wisdom. This is symbolized at times by a jewel or other object of value.
– Edward Edinger

Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
– T. S. Eliot

God expects but one thing of you, and that is that you should come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being and let God be God in you.
– Meister Eckhart

The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.
– D. H. Lawrence

Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.
– D. H. Lawrence

We procrastinate about things that make us feel uncomfortable. Medical imaging studies have shown that mathphobes, for example, appear to avoid math because even just thinking about it seems to hurt. The pain centres of their brains light up when they contemplate working on math. But there’s something important to note. It was the anticipation that was painful. When the mathphobes actually did math, the pain disappeared. Procrastination expert Rita Emmett explains: “The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.” […] Procrastination is a single, monumentally important “keystone” bad habit. A habit, in other words, that influences many important areas of your life. Change it, and a myriad of other positive changes will gradually begin to unfold. And there’s something more – something crucially important. It’s easy to feel distaste for something you’re not good at. But, the better you get at something, the more you’ll find you enjoy it.
– Barbara Oakley

Vanity of vanities, says the King James translation of Ecclesiastes, and the word that was translated as vanity was the Hebrew word hevel. It meant breath or vapor, or something as transient as a breath, as fleeting as vapor.
– Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

The real difference between God and human beings, he thought, was that God cannot stand continuance. No sooner has he created a season of a year, or a time of the day, than he wishes for something quite different, and sweeps it all away. No sooner was one a young man, and happy at that, than the nature of things would rush one into marriage, martyrdom, or old age. And human beings cleave to the existing state of things. All their lives they are striving to hold the moment fast, and are up against a force majeure. Their art itself is nothing but the attempt to catch by all means the one particular moment, one mood, one light, the momentary beauty of one woman or one flower, and make it everlasting. It is all wrong, he thought, to imagine paradise as a never-changing state of bliss. It will probably, on the contrary, turn out to be, in the true spirit of God, an incessant up and down, a whirlpool of change. Only you may yourself, by that time, have become one with God, and have taken to liking it.
– Isak Dinesen, The Monkey

The loss of feminine energy, with its warm vitality, is not difficult to document. It is evident in our culture’s mythic traditions, in our linguistic poverty, in our lack of feeling for human relationships, and finally in our hunger for meaning.
– Robert A. Johnson

No man is free who is not master of himself… Is freedom anything else than the power of living as we choose ?
– Epictetus, Discourses

We have within us deeply rooted weaknesses, passions, and defects. These can not all be cut out with one sharp motion, but patience, persistence, care and attention. The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that He will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and having stood up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Do not despair if you keep falling into your old sins. Many of them are strong because they have received the force of habit. Only with the passage of time and with fervor will they be conquered. Don’t let anything deprive you of hope.
– Saint Nektarios of Aegina

I’ve been to the tops of the mountains and to cabins in the valley and to golden chambers where wisdom runs like water. I’ve prayed with the wise men. I’ve read leaves and auras and beads. Finally, I had a dream, and a man came to me–a blunt, rude man just like my father, and he called me an ass and a fool. He told me that while I had been climbing up the mountain and packing to visit the golden chambers, there had been people in my own home and my own neighborhood who had needed food and kind words and comfort. He also told me I was a fat man sitting in a chair perfumed by pretension and the farts of a glutton. Who spoke to me? The spirit of my father? God? My own wisdom? I’m not sure, but you don’t have to climb a mountain to do some good and to find some peace.
– Marlon Brando

Everyone has two natures. One wants us to advance and the other wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate and concentrate on decides what we are at the end.
– Theron Q. Dumont

So long as I remain alive and well, I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.
– George Orwell

I have a sweet tooth, perhaps several. When I was a kid, my mother often hid the sweet stuff away so I wouldn’t find it; then each of my three sisters did it. Then my wife did it, and still does it. Today, Alethea, my daughter, hid sumptuous pies away so Dada wouldn’t get to it. I feel surrounded and supported by this intergenerational village, this feminist conspiracy to keep me fit.
– Bayo Akomolafe

At the back of our brains, so to speak, there is a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life is to dig for this sunrise of wonder.
– G.K. Chesterton

I never found a genuine way
to heal until I was genuinely
rooting for everybody’s healing,
including the people whose poor
decisions I was healing from.
– Andrea Gibson

Why this need
to document change,
to reverse a mood,
to carry forward the time
when magnolias bloom?
– Sally Van Doren

The function of mythological symbols is to give you a sense of “Aha! Yes. I know what it is, it’s myself.” This is what it’s all about, and then you feel a kind of centering, centering, centering all the time.
– Joseph Campbell

You should not be afraid of someone who has a library and reads many books;
You should fear someone who has only one book;
And he considers it sacred, but he has never read it.
– Nietzsche

Suppose the stars are just our grief reflected back to us, proof that grief sometimes forgets its source, that it can find dead things no matter how distant.
– Victoria Chang

I do not approve the maxim which desires a man to know a little of everything. Superficial knowledge, knowledge without principles, is almost always useless, and sometimes harmful knowledge.
– Vauvenargues

Your power is proportional to your ability to relax.
– David Allen

The Buddha generally presented himself as more physician than metaphysician: if an arrow is sticking out of your side, he famously said, don’t argue about where it came from or who made it; just pull it out. You make your way to happiness not by fretting about it or trafficking in New Age affirmations, but simply by finding the cause of your suffering, and then attending to it, as any doctor (of mind or body) might do.
– Pico Iyer, The Doctor is Within

Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.
– Julia Child

Blue is a mysterious color, hue of illness and nobility, the rarest color in nature. It is the color of ambiguous depth, of the heavens and the abyss at once; blue is the color of the shadow side, the tint of the marvelous and the inexplicable, of desire, of knowledge, of the blue movie, of blue talk, of raw meat and rare steak, of melancholy and the unexpected (once in a blue moon, out of the blue).

It is the color of anode plates, royalty at Rome, smoke, distant hills, postmarks, Georgian silver, thin milk, and hardened steel; of veins seen through skin and notices of dismissal in the American railroad business. Brimstone burns blue, and a blue candle flame is said to indicate the presence of ghosts.

[…] Paradoxically, it is the only one of all the colors which can be legitimately seen as a close neighbor to, as well as essentially symbolic of, dark and light both, oddly black in the night and almost white at the horizon by day. (“… deep blue air that shows,” observes Philip Larkin, “Nothing, and nowhere, and is endless …”) It can darken, it can obscure, it may float to and fro like a mist, evoking serenity and power. Mirroring each other, the sea takes its color from the sky.

As Helen Hunt Jackson observes in “My Lighthouses,

“I look across the harbor’s misty blue,”
And find and lose that magic shifting line
Where sky one shade less blue meets sea …

It might be said to be not so much a color as a state of the light. It is also the Void: primordial simplicity and infinite space which, being empty, can contain everything or nothing. […] Incidentally, blue water is invariably salty, warm, and deep and speaks of the tropics […]. Green water, on the other hand, is cool, pale with particles, thin with river and rain, often shallow. […] Water is always mysterious.

“I used to wonder why the sea was blue at a distance and green close up and colorless for that matter in your hands,” writes Sr. Miriam Pollard in The Listening God. “A lot of life is like that. A lot of life is just a matter of learning to like blue.”

– Alexander Theroux, The Primary Colors: Three Essays

he became less “star” and more a small
part of an unknown galaxy, warm in the night sky.
– Dick Westheimer

If these words can do anything
if these songs can do anything
I say bless this house
with stars.
– Joy Harjo, The Creation Story

The power of the mind, the
Power and weight
Of the mind which
Is not enough, it is nothing
And does nothing

Against the natural world,
Behemoth, white whale, beast
They will say and less than beast,
The fatal rock

Which is the world –

– George Oppen

O if the streets
Seem bright enough,
Fold within fold
Of residence …

Or see thru water
Clearly the pebbles
Of the beach
Thru the water, flowing
From the ripple, clear
As they have ever been

– George Oppen

After the invention of printing, poetry becomes vertical, does not fill the white space completely, it is rich in new paragraphs and repetitions.
– Eugenio Montale

Stop asking people to self-care their way out of social inequity.
– T.H.

The word love: there it is again…
– Martín Espada

Just where you are
searchingly, wholly
go toward the moment
this tremendous new moment
no you, no not you
the pure point
everywhere, always.
Go further where
there is nowhere,
no coming, no going
no place knowable
the place where
you are now.
In the nearness
the Silence surrounds
beckons the burden body
soothing the errant mind
freeing the heart.
Beyond body and mind
transcending all the Silence,
But can the silence know itself?
Its undreamed necessities?
It is through the body that sits here
that I go to my true nature.
– William Segal

What is the source of this pattern? Why is the world so beautiful? It could so easily be otherwise: flowers could be ugly to us and still fulfill their own purpose. But they’re not.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

Which is the deeper
The more impenetrable of the two?
The ocean or the human heart?
– Comte de Lautréamont

The last thing you know about yourself is your effect.
– William Boyd

Science and the rationality of the city have granted us insights into the working of ‘nature’, while simultaneously obscuring other relations to the stabilized image we effortlessly christen “nature”.
– Bayo Akomolafe

These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.
– Anton Chekhov

Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation.
– W.H. Auden

Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.
– Edward Gibbon

One never knows what is going to happen. It keeps you continuously in wonder. Don’t call it uncertainty—call it wonder. Don’t call it insecurity—call it freedom.
– Osho

I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.
– Charles Bukowski

So many things I had thought forgotten
Return to my mind with stranger pain:
Like letters that arrive addressed to someone
Who left the house so many years ago.
– Philip Larkin

Desire is a moment with no way out.
– Anne Carson

charting their courses
by the moons and stars
– Ogawa

A single individual might thus be the one, or one of many, that is the catalyst for a revitalisation, renewal, and transformation of the wider culture, perhaps even the entire civilisation.
– Keiron Le Grice, The Rebirth of the Hero

We have forgotten how to relate emotionally to art: we treat it like editors, searching in it for that which the artist has supposedly hidden.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.
– E. L. Simpson

Who Haven’t You Known?

Somehow we’ve had the magic squeezed out of us.

The one when we know we’re seeing what we’re seeing.

These times have become like a vice pressing inward.

Our infinite individualities

have taken to splitting

being muffled

like raindrops on a windshield.

The Infinite Oneness

— that we also are —

gets forgotten in the maelstrom of words, ashes, losses;

bombs dropping,

daily shootings,

tumbling wreckage of whole towns,

both fast and slow.

Thankfully, the Great Lantern still shines.

Thankfully, there are many lanterns lit from the One.

Thankfully, one of the lights that still radiates

glows from behind your own lattice of bones.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Show Up Fully

There is a way of looking deeper.

Deeper into the heart, deeper into the soul.

We don’t need someone else for that

but sometimes a Fellow Traveler can be helpful.

You don’t need another teacher or a guru.

You already know.

Your own heart-mind

your own soul

your own Earth Body being a body

is the guru.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Maybe all these poems are a way to say I want to belong to beauty.
– Steven Leyva

the bicycle is
a balance machine

the more you pedal
the more balanced
the machine
and you

left pedal
right pedal
left pedal


the lungs
the heart
the soul


each pedal stroke
builds strength
and carries you

in balance

– Andy Perrin

What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes sighs, laughter, and dreams.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

Love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.
– James Hillman

It is not exactly
subscription drugs
that heal you —
it is messages
you send to
your body and mind,
how much
you spill into
What truly heals
you is how honestly
you have forgiven
your past.
how willing you are to
stop blaming
yourself and others
for everything that
went wrong.
Yes dear one,
what heals you
is your own
to heal.
– Guthema Roba

He had already arrived at the great good place, a center of peace and unformulated happiness, reborn beneath a dark sky and brilliant moon of utter beauty and benign indifference. There was nothing more he could ask for. There was nothing more to expect. This was it. He was here. It was now. He had arrived.
– Alexis Levitin

If Jesus of Nazareth had preached the paper-thin version of what passes for the “gospel” today – a shrunken down, postmortem promise of going to heaven when you die – Pilate would have shrugged his shoulders and released the Nazarene, warning him not to get mixed up in the affairs of the real world. But that’s not what happened.
– Brian Zahnd

A professor of mine went to go hear Derrida speak once. The entire talk was about cows; everyone was flummoxed but listened carefully, and took notes about…cows. There was a short break, and when Derrida came back, he was like, “I’m told it is pronounced ‘chaos.’”
– Phil Gentry

We’ve known for a long time that it was no longer possible to overturn this world, nor reshape it, nor head off its dangerous headlong rush. There’s been only one possible resistance: to not take it seriously.
– Milan Kundera

I am a storyteller, for better and for worse. I suspect that a feeling for stories, for narrative, is a universal human disposition, going with our powers of language, consciousness of self, and autobiographical memory. The act of writing, when it goes well, gives me a pleasure, a joy, unlike any other. It takes me to another place – irrespective of my subject – where I am totally absorbed and oblivious to distracting thoughts, worries, preoccupations, or indeed the passage of time. In those rare, heavenly states of mind, I may write nonstop until I can no longer see the paper. Only then do I realize that evening has come and that I have been writing all day.vOver a lifetime, I have written millions of words, but the act of writing seems as fresh, and as much fun, as when I started it nearly seventy years ago.
– Oliver Sacks

Loneliness is the feeling that one is not complete alone. What if it turns out nothing is missing at all? What if nothing changes when another person is near?
– Sallie Jiko Tisdale

There is an old Jewish legend that in any point of history, there are 36 pure souls on whom the fate of the world depends, and they don’t know who they are. These 36 people hold up and support the world just as the foundations of a building support it. It’s likely these are unknown and unsung people, who do extraordinary things that go unnoticed.

There are always 36 good people. Who save the world. One of them could be you.

– Jim Palmer

Not *how* but *that* the world is, that is the mystical.

– Ludwig Wittgenstein, tr. Alexander Booth

having read a few books in common is a force more binding than blood.
– Cormac McCarthy

If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
– Ernest Hemingway

I find that a Christian view of history is clarified if one considers reality as more or less like the world portrayed in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. We live in the midst of contests between great and mysterious spiritual forces, which we understand only imperfectly and whose true dimensions we only occasionally glimpse. Yet, frail as we are, we do play a role in this history, on the side either of the powers of light or of the powers of darkness. It is crucially important then, that, by God’s grace, we keep our wits about us and discern the vast difference between the real forces for good and the powers of darkness disguised as angels of light.
– George M. Marsden

Sophia is the wisdom of all things and, like the Chinese Tao, reveals the path most in tune with an individual’s nature. If individuals follow her bidding they discover who they are and how best to express themselves in the world.
– Jeffrey Raff

Poetry is spiritual food.
– Joy Harjo

Why am I a writer? Because I have a debt. Because a book saved my life.
– Dorothy Allison

I was in high regions of beautiful world and life,
I visited the extreme palaces, stroked the glowing air,
Went up through hitched forests to a gold plateau
– Richard Eberhart

By observing dreams, visions, and hallucinations, etc., modern man can now for the first time look in an unprejudiced way at the phenomena of the unconscious. What comes from the unconscious can be observed through individuals.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Readers, book by book, build up for themselves, the way a novelist does, a chronology. Reading is a comprehensive act, adding skills, increasingly creative as it goes. To become a ‘good reader’ one must give oneself over to a regime of concentrated pleasure.
– Michael Schmidt

Desires come by the thousands and each one eats up a whole life.
– Mirza Ghalib

We pretend endless economic growth is advantageous on a finite planet.

We pretend complex ecosystems are resources to be exploited consequence-free.

We pretend unlimited consumption, fuelled by grotesque exploitation, is a God given right

We’re pretending ourselves to death.

– @ClimateDad77

Next to the gifts of the mind and of art, those of nature are the only ones that never leave us in the lurch when things get really serious.
– Hermann Hesse

For Jung, reaching to the “spiritual East” was not a replacement of Western culture but rather a filling of gaps in both it and ourselves, “a symbolic expression of the fact that we are entering into connection with the elements in ourselves which are strange to us.
– Claire Dunne

to remember you
I carve true words
in stone
– Ejo

It is too serious a matter for us to accept a man as a genuine prophet. Every respectable prophet strives against the unconscious pretensions of his role. When a prophet appears at moment’s notice, we would be better advised to contemplate a possible psychic disequilibrium.
– Jung

If the world is right, if this music of the cafés, these mass enjoyments and these Americanised men who are pleased with so little are right, then I am wrong, I am crazy. I am in truth the Steppenwolf that I often call myself…
– Hermann Hesse

When was the last time you just sat by yourself. Watched it get dark. Watched it get light. Thought about your life.
– Cormac McCarthy

We can only defend life if we experience a revival of this feeling of solidarity with nature.
– Octavio Paz

The highest form of thinking is non-comparative, non-competitive, and in cultivating that, you will find that it produces its own effects without your being concerned with results.
– Krishnamurti

The Wildest Kind of Love
(Even in a year like this)

Maybe you’re lost
far from home
unsure if home even exists
afraid that home is no longer there.
Many are disoriented.
Routes are long and hard.
Uncertainty abounds.
What felt stable & safe can vanish
in a blink of an eye
as a stiff wind gusts from the west
in a year that is already
beating you down.
Sorrow and fear are real
in a year like this.
Anxiety and anger are real
in a year like this.
It’s normal to long to return
to what feels like home
especially when what you knew as home
might not be where you left it.
It’s not easy to remember home
is with you always—a wildness
etched in your bones,
coursing through your veins,
an ancient agreement of shadow
& light, a raw embodiment of love
capable of weathering
any firestorm.
But it is.
Even in a year like this.

– Heidi Barr

You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams. And I know if I can make you smile by jumping over a couple of couches or running through a rainstorm, then I’ll be very glad to be a song and dance man.
– Gene Kelly

chaos in the cosmos
modern man in the pepperpot
– Yusef K

I felt in need of a great pilgrimage
So I sat still for three days.
– Hafiz

oh holy be
the maiden name
on the tongue of
a liberated woman.
– Darius Simpson

This is the most important
time of all, the age of divestment,
knowing what we leave behind is
like the fragrance of blossoming trees
that grows stronger after
you’ve passed them,
– Dorianne Laux

When interpreting the Bible, filter it through the larger biblical theology of “God is love.” If your interpretation ends up excluding, belittling, is violent, ignores those in need, or allows you to feel superior to others, it is not loving, it is not from love, it is not of God.
– Rev. Dr. Mark Sandlin

Human beings from the moment of entry into language are ready to become dreamers and fiction-makers, not to mention liars, fetishists, and perverters of the real. Our fiction-making capacity may be foundational of our search for truth in our selves and in the world, but it does not guarantee it, nor assure our mental stability. The vehicles of truth and untruth are the same. But fiction-making does seem to be crucial to the ability to carve out a space within reality for attempts at understanding and reflection.
– Peter Brooks

I should construct my book, I dare not say ambitiously like a cathedral, but quite simply like a dress.
– Marcel Proust

Poets, like all artists, continually emerge from the privacy of their own anomalies into a collective space, which makes poems inherently hopeful for human connection
– Matthew Zapruder

after my sea swim
i sit in the sunny room
blinking clouds
– oyoguhito

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

When, while writing, you come upon something that surprises you, trust it.
– Richard Bausch

I love you, I wish there was some more
original way of saying it.
– Sandra Lim

Maturity: the confidence to have no opinions on many things.
– Alain de Botton

April, café tables
set with cups of rain
no one ordered
– Ian Buckley

I look up from a book of poems.
There is tenderness, rage,
irony, and wit.
Red kites float over the harbor.
I’m beginning to understand
the Indian sensibility.
– Kim Dorman

his favourite colour—the waves of the sea
– Andrei Tarkovsky

The jonquils. They come back. They split the earth with
their green swords, bearing cups of light.
The forsythia comes back, spraying its thin whips with
blossom, one loud yellow shout.
The robins. They come back. They pull the sun on the
silver thread of their song.
The irises come back. They dance in the soft air in silken
gowns of midnight blue.
The lilacs come back. They trail their perfume like a scarf
of violet chiffon.
And the leaves come back, on every tree and bush, millions
and millions of small green hands applauding your return.
– Barbara Crooker

If one understands eternity as timelessness,
and not as an unending timespan,
then whoever lives in the present lives for all time.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

you prefer the long eloquent silence
of a tango

the long languid ledge
of a wordless day

you wait patiently on the veranda
to hold hands
with the cool side of midnight

– Connie Post

Did you still not miss me yet,
The day before we finally met?
– Iris Smyles

The cicadas paused at his very thought of her, as if they, too, could not tell her how they felt.
– Greg Sellers

Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.
– Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Sand

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.
– Gustave Flaubert

Gnostics, like psychologists, do not aim at the transformation of the world but at the transformation of the mind, with its natural consequence–a changed attitude toward the world.
– Stephan Hoeller

My art is rebellious, heterogeneous, full of contradiction, unacceptable to specialists of art, culture, morality. But it does have the ability to enchant my accomplices: poets, pataphysicians and a few illiterates.
– Max Ernst

Classic Buddhism emphasizes even more strongly than Old & New Testaments the central importance of giving up craving for possessions of any kind, including one’s own ego, the concept of a lasting substance, and even the craving for one’s perfection.
– Erich Fromm

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

I know not what I am; I am not what I know;
A thing and not a thing, a point and circle’s flow.
– Angelus Silesius

The individual begins to find his own path and primary mask is gradually thrown off. This is known as the left-hand path. The right-hand path is living in the context of the ideology & persona system – of one’s local village The left-hand path is that of individual quest.
– Joseph Campbell

The danger of artificial intelligence is not that machines take over one day but that we are becoming like machines right now. Humans aspire to dance like machines, be cool, and lead meaningless lives where love and community are nothing in comparison to input and output. People are fed information with their heads spinning… Life is becoming less human by the minute.
– Andrea Polard

My mouth and my mind,
two people with no rhythm,
trying to teach the other
how to dance.
– Rudy Francisco

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.

Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

– T. S. Eliot

Faith is not a belief. Faith is what is left when your beliefs have all been blown to hell.
– Ram Dass

Every thing looks permanent until its secret is known.
– Emerson, Circles

Birth is a torn ticket stub, a sugar

cone wrapped in a paper sleeve, the blackest

– Ama Codjoe

I am worried about you, Ingeborg (…) you are not within your own heart (where I expect you to be), you are… in literature.
– Paul Celan to Ingeborg Bachmann

Toni Wolff: People can analyze for twenty years, and nothing below the neck is aware that anything is going on! You have to do something about it.
– Robert A. Johnson

the days still grow longer
but spring has
reached its limit
– Buson

Good God, if our civilization were to sober up for a couple of days, it’d die of remorse on the third…
– Malcolm Lowry

I am my own
geology, strata on strata
of the imagination, tufa
dreams, the limestone mind
honeycombed by the running away
of too much thought. Examine
me, tap with your words’
hammer, awaken memories
of fire. It is so long
since I cooled.
– R. S. Thomas

If I am to be raised from the earth, I want to draw everything to me.
– Hugo Ball

I can relate
to a warm, slow, spring

no rush

the work will be done

even in winter
it warms

– Andy Perrin

She goes to the sea, she comes from the sea, and tiny seas grow calm in the warmth of her chest, sleeping like doves. / […] / She is all air, all gentle waters. A memory of salt, of lost horizons, and the soaking of every wave. The foam left by a shipwreck clings to her waist and the tips of wings send a shiver up her spine.
– Dulce María Loynaz, tr. James O’Connor

I have no ideology, but if I had to identify myself with one, it would be that the beauty of art is in its unmasking of falsehood; in educating; in planting in people’s minds the suspicion that reality is something more complex than it appears to be; in giving people the pleasure of suspicion, not just the burden of doubt; in keeping them from feeling too protected by taboos, concepts, ideologies.
– Federico Fellini

One of the hardest things in the world is to convey a meaning accurately from one mind to another.
– Lewis Carroll

How do we move the collective needle towards a true Christ consciousness if we continue to choose security over truth, power over service, condemnation over compassion?
– Jeff Brown

Science will get us out of this, but art will get us through it.
– Mo Willems

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
– William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching

A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything.
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Psalm by Kiki Petrosino

Dear Lord, Dear High Remembrancer

Providential Love—have mercy.

Have mercy, thou Surveyor of Wildflowers, Assessor of Royal

& Exquisite Bee-Realms. Have mercy, Ledger

Who Tracks Us in the Night, Who Measures Without Speaking

Our Dark Trespasses. For nothing here survives—

not the gold-legged deer, browsing the bleached office park at dawn

nor the minute finch on her branch of long division—

but thou thou thou absorb it, all. O, Gazer, be kind in thy absorbing

calculus. Won’t be long before thy reckoning curve

arrives at the junction of our error. How, beneath thy Mineral Eye

we walk abroad, forgetting thee, Cartographer of Sparrows.

If we had the right words, if we had the language, we would need no weapons.
– Ingeborg Bachmann

My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.
– Virginia Woolf

when you open the door
to samsara
a flurry of blossoms
– Mari

Such stillness –
a spring, its water
whirling up grains of sand
– Masaoka Shiki, tr. Watson

I have to come to terms with things that don’t make me look cool or don’t paint me in the best light….I think controlling your image is the opposite of creating art.
– @JasonIsbell

spring storm
a wounded bird
unable to fly
learns to swim
across the sky
– @BarryGoodmann

With social media and worldwide conversations on every imaginable topic, more people are likely to recognize other people’s shadows and failures. Whether we can recognize our own is still in question.
– Robert Bly

Life hasn’t just begun. Art never had a beginning. Always, until the moment of its stopping, it was constantly there. It is infinite. It is here, at this moment, behind me and inside me, and, as if the doors of an Assembly Hall were suddenly flung open, I am immersed in its fresh, headlong omnilocality and omnitemporality, as if an oath of allegiance were to be sworn without delay. No genuine book has a first page. Like the rustling of a forest, it is begotten God knows where, and it grows and it rolls, arousing the dense wilds of the forest until suddenly, in the very darkest, most stunned and panicked moment, it rolls to its end and begins to speak with all the treetops at once.
– Boris Pasternak

Good editors are really the third eye. Cool. Dispassionate. They don’t love you or your work.
– Toni Morrison

Men want to be Kings so bad, but few are worthy. It’s the ones who don’t want it that are usually more qualified. The Dalai Lama is just another Godjectified faux master. Nothing new there. Men have been pulling this spiritual lineage con for centuries. The deeper question is why did we choose to believe he was something that he isn’t? Why do humans glorify strangers and soulebrities when their time would be better spent evolving their own consciousness? What could our species become if we stopped buying all the nonsense the patriarchy tells us, and find our own answers? And what will become of us if we don’t?
– Jeff Brown

The idea of a ‘vanguard’ in literature has never had much acceptance in this country, though it’s a commonplace on the Continent. The English Channel is a pretty narrow strip of water, but it’s remarkable what an effective barrier it has been to the passage of ideas.
– Edwin Morgan

Whoever wants to become a Christian must first become a poet…
– St. Porphyrios

I assumed this must be what angels look like—huge, fearsome, severely gorgeous.
– Peter Himmelman

To love one’s neighbor is inconceivable. Does one ask a virus to love another virus?
– Emil Cioran

While most of the flowers in the garden had rich scents and colors, we also had two magnolia trees, with huge but pale and scentless flowers. The magnolia flowers, when ripe, would be crawling with tiny insects, little beetles. Magnolias, my mother explained, were among the most ancient of flowering plants and had appeared nearly a hundred million years ago, at a time when “modern” insects like bees had not yet evolved, so they had to rely on a more ancient insect, a beetle, for pollination. Bees and butterflies, flowers with colors and scents, were not preordained, waiting in the wings – and they might never have appeared. They would develop together, in infinitesimal stages, over millions of years. The idea of a world without bees or butterflies, without scent or color, affected me with a sense of awe.
– Oliver Sacks

In time of silver rain
the earth
puts forth new life again,
green grasses grow
and flowers lift their heads,
and over all the plain
the wonder spreads
of life,
of life,
of life!

In time of silver rain
the butterflies
lift silken wings
to catch a rainbow cry,
and trees put forth
new leaves to sing
in joy beneath the sky
as down the roadway
passing boys and girls
go singing, too,
in time of silver rain
when spring
and life
are new.

– Langston Hughes

Becoming a person of the plants is not a learning process, it is a remembering process. Somewhere in our ancestral line, there was someone that lived deeply connected to the Earth, the Elements, the Sun, Moon and Stars. That ancestor lives inside our DNA, dormant, unexpressed, waiting to be remembered and brought back to life to show us the true nature of our indigenous soul.
– Sajah Popham

The power of what art can do, what a timeless painting can do… is change a mood, change a mental state, change an afternoon, a week, a life.
– Dominic Quagliozzi

Narcissus wasn’t as beautiful as he thought.
His creators trapped him in his reflection

[ … ]

Suppose he’d been able to see someone other than himself
and could have seen the love of a girl gazing at him
forget the stags running between the lilies and daisies…
if he’d been just a fraction cleverer
he’d have smashed the mirror
and seen how much he was like to others
Yet if he’d been free

he wouldn’t have become a myth…

– Mahmoud Darwish

You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave.
– Billie Holiday


The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves.
– bell hooks

In a hierarchical culture, usually without even knowing it, many people learn bullying as a form of false self-esteem. The bullying of patriarchy is disguised as “morality.”

The bullying of economic exploitation is disguised as “entrepreneurship.” The bullying of Imperialism is disguised as “patriotism.” Theocratic bullying is disguised as “evangelism.”

In addition to our duty to protect those being bullied, we might also realize that every bully is internally wounded, for we cannot numb ourselves to the oppression of others without losing the capacity to feel the depths of our own hearts. Even if a bully wins all the tinsel trophies of the culture, those who cannot empathize with the suffering of others live out their days in the smallest prison cell of them all- a frozen heart.

– Jim Rigby

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone…
– John Keats

To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.” We have to “lose” and “leave”—“unless the grain of wheat dies …” The kinship of God won’t come unless we shake things up—to “lose the earth you know”—to bark up the wrong tree, and to propose something new.
– Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

my darkening brain,
they are nothing.
I am the same boy
my mother used to kiss.’
– Mark Strand

For years I dug in the earth
trying to discover the blue sky
deeper and deeper I tunnelled
until one night
I made stones and tiles fly into the air
with no effort I broke the bone of the void
– Musō Soseki, translated by W. S. Merwin

we must cease the practice of holding spiritual masters as infallible and perfect beings. we must cease to regard them as beings endowed with supreme wisdom and rigorous saintliness. beliefs of this sort are themselves a measure of spiritual infantilism, and when promoted by the religion itself it is a clear sign of doctrinal fraud.
– hune margulies

Egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure about who we are, or who anyone else is, either.
– Pema Chodron

Perhaps writing means overcoming all resemblances within the very heart of resemblance, being finally like yourself, like nothing.
– Edmond Jabès

[…] he lit the spark which would lead to my becoming obsessed with Scottish literature.
– Alistair Braidwood, On Carl MacDougall

To write from the margins is to write from the perspective of the whole—to see the world from both the margins and the center.
– Zoë Bossiere and Erica Trabold

when my tears reach you,
the purpose of my eyes
won’t be to cry anymore,
but to see instead.
– León Felipe

Dear poet,

You have it all within you.

Every word.

Every line.

Every verse.

You are everything & more.

– @DNicholeAndrews

A bulldozer grinding and slobbering
Sideslipping and belching on top of
The skinned-up bodies of still-live bushes
In the pay of a man
From town.
– Gary Snyder

A truly curious person is rarely curious about specific topics only.

An adult which has managed to keep their curiosity intact is usually curious about many things as well.

– Kunal Shah

A truth seeker is looking to alter their beliefs.

Someone who is not interested in changing their beliefs actively, cannot be a truth seeker.

Changing beliefs is very uncomfortable; making truth-seeking a rare trait.

– Kunal Shah

To wash and rinse our souls of their age-old sorrows,
We drained a hundred jugs of wine.
A splendid night it was . . . .
In the clear moonlight we were loath to go to bed,
But at last drunkenness overtook us;
And we laid ourselves down on the empty mountain,
The earth for pillow, and the great heaven for coverlet.
– Li Po

The process of “emptying the heavens” does not mean that archetypal personages have disappeared completely, but rather that it is no longer possible to project them in the ancient manner.
– Luigi Zoja

national anthem–
in the heat of the morning
I keep silent
– Ikeda Sumiko

Welcome whatever you find alien within yourself, extend that same welcome to whatever you find alien in the outer world.
– Parker Palmer

I like to think that what literature can do that op-ed pieces and other communications don’t do is describe felt experience, the flickering, bewildered places that people actually inhabit.
– Maggie Nelson

All the wine and cheese shops in the world can’t hide the sound of your crumbling empire.
– graffito, Haight Street, SF, early 1980s.

The people who don’t know how to age are the same people who didn’t know how to be young.
– Marc Chagall

I’m moderately fond of how our minds smooth out the zigzags, wind arounds, miscellaneous false starts, and various sidesteps of our lives and our memories smooth it all and invite a sense of some inevitability taking us to this moment. In all its glorious weirdness…
– James Ford

Real silence, dhyāna, is stopping talking to yourself inside your head; is to get *real* mental silence. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have a blank mind. You are vividly aware of what is, only you don’t give it any name.
– Alan Watts

Anyone who does not know that today’s headline is simply a passing variation on an old, old story is simply not very well educated in the human narrative. The same passages, the same stupidities, the same delusions, the same inflations and deflations, and the same returns to earth play themselves out over and over. The past is not past. The present is haunted by the archetypal dynamics which remind us that any story untold is an unconscious present. An unconscious present is a story which will insist on being told and will spill into our biographies. … Told or untold, the archaic stories ineluctably manifest through our unconscious choices, our aversions, our preoccupations, our projections, and our agendas and replay themselves in the recognizable patterns which constitute the human story.
– James Hollis, Ph.D.

Wrack dances on its warps as the wind backs to the south and freshens.
– c.c. o’hanlon

Some of my poems begin in joy and beauty, and some begin with anger. I don’t remember what exactly inspired this poem, but reading it, I feel it gnaw at the bottom of my stomach.
– José Olivarez

yes, the business folk rush thru midtown.
they talk math that equates to foreclosures.
yes, the trash has to be taken out
& dinner chewed.
– José Olivarez

Tonight, in Oakland

I did not come here to sing a blues.
Lately, I open my mouth

& out comes marigolds, yellow plums.
I came to make the sky a garden.

Give me rain or give me honey, dear lord.
The sky has given us no water this year.

I ride my bike to a boy, when I get there
what we make will not be beautiful

or love at all, but it will be deserved.
I’ve started seeking men to wet the harvest.

Come, tonight I declare we must move
instead of pray. Tonight, east of here,
two boys, one dressed in what could be blood

& one dressed in what could be blood
before the wound, meet & mean mug

& God, tonight, let them dance! Tonight,
the bullet does not exist. Tonight, the police

have turned to their God for forgiveness.
Tonight, we bury nothing, we serve a God

with no need for shovels, we serve a God
with a bad hip & a brother in prison.

Tonight, let every man be his own lord.
Let wherever two people stand be a reunion

of ancient lights. Let’s waste the moon’s marble glow
shouting our names to the stars until we are

the stars. O, precious God! O, sweet black town!
I am drunk & I thirst. When I get to the boy

who lets me practice hunger with him
I will not give him the name of your newest ghost

I will give him my body & what he does with it
is none of my business, but I will say look,

I made it a whole day, still, no rain
still, I am without exit wound

& he will say Tonight, I want to take you
how the police do, unarmed & sudden

& tonight, when we dream, we dream of dancing
in a city slowly becoming ash.

– Danez Smith

wood-whispered and lone,
this meal of heart, this ruin
of ghost-bottled words
– Erin Coughlin Hollowell

Our human senses are not knives. They’re not hooks. They are the soft ball of the eye, the delicate drum of the ear, the soft skin on the tips of the fingers and on the body. It is through these delicate receptive things that we basically receive our knowledge of the world. And therefore it is through a kind of weakness and softness that it is possible for knowledge to come to us.
– Alan Watts

Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.
– Rebecca Solnit

Now it’s April, and the whales have come home. The finbacks and the humpbacks and the rare right whales, arriving along the coast, coming into the bay, sometimes into the harbor, their massive length and weight churning and breaching as though they, like us, know playfulness. He maketh the deep to boil like a pot, he maketh a path to shine after him, said Job, who, I fear, could not know that there is also a reasoning and a gentleness in these mountains of flesh. Once a whale tangled in line came into the harbor with another swimming just alongside, a companion that would not leave the roped animal but lingered, while brave men went out in little boats and were able to cut the entangling line away. The eye of the humpback is like all the darkness and hope and pain one sees in the eye of the elephant, in whose brain, it is avowed by those who know, nothing is ever forgotten. It is an eye deeper than the deepest well.
– Mary Oliver

Did you hear that winter’s over?
The basil and the carnations
cannot control their laughter.

The nightingale, back from his wandering,
has been made singing master over the birds.

The trees reach out their congratulations.
The soul goes dancing through the king’s doorway.

Anemones blush
because they have seen the rose naked.

Spring, the only fair judge, walks in the courtroom,
and several December thieves steal away,
Last year’s miracles will soon be forgotten.

New creatures whirl in from non-existence,
galaxies scattered around their feet.
Have you met them?

Do you hear the bud of Jesus crooning in the cradle?
A single narcissus flower has been appointed
Inspector of Kingdoms.

A feast is set.
Listen: the wind is pouring wine!
Love used to hide inside images: no more!
The orchard hangs out its lanterns.
The dead come stumbling by in shrouds.

Nothing can stay bound or be imprisoned.
You say, “End this poem here,
and wait for what’s next.”

I will.
Poems are rough notations
for the music we are.

– Rumi

I want to be honest. I swear. I can only say what I mean. I mean my face is your face. My country is your country. I want this to be true.
– Elane Kim

There is an old saying: ‘Let go, let God’, and this is the secret of mystical experience. The essence of meditation is to be taken into a will which is not one’s own, and yet, paradoxically, the basis of one’s true identity.
– David Tacey

Insensibly he formed the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of reading: he did not know that thus he was providing himself with a refuge from all the distress of life.
– William Somerset Maugham

The patterns you have adopted in the first half of life are reference points, providing a baseline for organizing your experience. Too often they become obstacles to further development.
– Robert A. Johnson, Living Your Unlived Life

I try to write
something deep in the sand
but a wave
takes my words
far away
– Barry Goodmann

We are still in the body and thus under the rule of heavy matter. Also it is equally true that matter not moved by the spirit is dead and empty.
– CG Jung

When Jung looked at paintings his eye would involuntarily sweep past all the signs of disintegration in search of whatever content there might be which would reveal the new and the psychologically creative.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

to a strange land
just to watch the sunset
– Ogawa

A psychic experience that has no links with an archetypal theme does not vibrate with sufficient intensity to make it viable or to allow it much impact on the individual or collective psyche-the experience lacks a deeper echo.
– Luigi Zoja

He mourned ahead of time, years in advance; he mourned her ever since he was born, long before he knew her; he got to know her in order to know the reason for his mourning.
– The Secret Heart of the Clock, Elias Canetti; tr. Joel Agee

Many of us realize that what we call ‘spirituality’ has limitations: it can be about seeking, doing, questing. This can become exhausting and run out of energy. Many of us seek but do not find, and why? Because to find we have to allow ourselves to be found.
– David Tacey

To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves. It is a tormenting tension and it must be borne, but the choice is clear.
– Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I am ashamed of my century,
but I have to smile.
– Frank O’Hara

I knew that one can never read a novel without giving its heroine the form and features of the woman one loves. But however happy the book’s ending may be, our love has not advanced an inch
– Marcel Proust

Is this any more sensible Eliezer Sobel?

Living minds are always integrating new perceptions, questions, insights or other experiences which feel the most nourishingly pleasing or meaningful to oneself. Whether such a preferred “goodness” comes to one physically, emotionally, mentally or all together, this is felt as a valued quality which can be psychologically incorporated as a part of one’s identity or environing context. Thanks to this innately pre-verbal sense of qualitative excellence unique to each mind, different aspects of experience are sorted into groupings which hang together (as with one’s sense of “trustworthy people” or “good recipes”). Some of these may be associated with words, yet the most feeling-based long-term aspects of experience are only somewhat verbally accessible, if at all. A young human begins to distinguish its family and friends from strangers long before it can form words with feelings directing one’s chosen focuses much more than articulate ideas. And the ears of a dolphin or the petals of a rose are as concerned with their own nourishments as any human activity. Essential to fulfilling one’s goals are such powers of focusing on what is most appreciated by oneself. Deprive any being of the freedom to pursue its own pleasures and you would take away those powers through which it finds fulfillment.

As Katherine Peil Kauffman writes in the essay Human Values and the Biology of Emotion (Part 1):
“We remain generally unaware that each feeling does something and means something – both moving the body and in-forming the mind in ways that keep us optimally integrated, balanced, and healthy. They are complex subjective servants of an ancient evaluative guidance system, one conserved across our vast evolutionary history, performing many of the same functions that the old vitalists attributed to some nonphysical force or identity component such as spirit or soul. Together our pleasurable and painful categories of feeling serve as universal ecological biovalues, they encode an ancient evolutionary logic, undergirding all semantic language and human value systems. They – quite literally – build the deepest foundations of ‘mind’ in living systems….

– via George Gorman

Everything is Real
– Gary Snyder

Its dark here inside the whale.
– Nicholas Pierotti


When words we hear don’t fit the day,
when we worry
what we did or didn’t do,
what if we close our eyes,
say any word we love
that makes us feel calm,
slip it into the atmosphere
and rise?

Creamy miles of quiet.
Giant swoop of blue.

– Naomi Shihab Nye

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

The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.
– Flannery O’Connor

Eating Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

– Mark Strand

Myths which day has forgotten continue to be told by night, and powerful figures which consciousness has reduced to banality … are recognized again by poets and prophetically revived; therefore they can also be recognized “in changed form” by the thoughtful person.
– CG Jung

Written In Green Ink

Green ink creates gardens, jungles, meadows,
foliage where the lyrics sing,
words that are trees,
phrases that are constellations in green

Let my words, oh white, descend and cover you
like a shower of leaves to a field of snow,
like the ivy to the statue,
like ink to this page.

Arms, waist, neck, breasts,
the forehead pure as the sea,
the nape of the forest in autumn,
the teeth that bite a blade of grass.

Your body is constellated with green signs
like the body of the sapling tree.
Don’t mind so many little luminous scars:
look at the sky and his green tattoo of stars.

– Octavio Paz

She tore
a hole in me the size of God
so heavy with gravity not even light
escapes me.
– Daniel Stewart

Anything Can Happen

Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses

Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest towers

Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one,
Setting it down bleeding on the next.

Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid.
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.

– Seamus Heaney

In the spring, air returns to us, wide, with a sense of windows, and our ruinous virtues sparkle once more like old cans in a ditch…
– Iain Crichton Smith

The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-It on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire,’ which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’
– Helen Simpson

it is possible to outgrow a name
to grow out of its small, tight seams
you know that, right?

but also, it is possible to grow into a thing
perhaps, a healing
and you, never quick enough to get to the water
it isn’t easy, i should tell you this
some of us have been given the weight
of old failures, and stories
that were crafted by bodies who would not look
to the left, or to the right
for fear that they might break wide open
and you, with your apple-blossom hands, your plump little legs
not yet knowing what is yours, and what isn’t
you might be the hidden hope of your grandmothers
you might be the one who turns, who says
‘no more’ and really means it

haven’t we all said it and then fallen over our own feet

here, let me tell you something true

if you see a name that you want to grow into, a name
that wasn’t give to you, but the soft shape of it calls
across the stories that you were given, the things that
you have picked up and started to believe
as the only way out, the only truth
—the shadow of them always hovering

this is a small truth that i eat from every day, how there is light
but we get to choose whether we want to inch closer
towards the fire, and the warmth of it, or away from it
even on the edges, the periphery of a life

although, we also get to choose whether we open the circle wider
for others to crawl closer

still, here you are with your hands full of impossible dreams

who knows which of your ancestors yearned to be called, ‘peace’
and failed to step into it

and now there is you, tomorrow’s hope

listen, take off your old clothes, lift the corners
of what you want for your life
and climb inside

there is nobody to stop you, you can pull it over your head
stretch your arms into the sleeves of it
and turn

this is a courage, and you are

now, it needs watering, and a kindness
that you might still be teaching yourself how to be

don’t be afraid, where there is life inching towards the light
there is always grace, and you
with your new name, your brazen refusal
to be what you were never called to be, to shed
what has slipped through the ages, what keeps being born
and keeps being born, and keeps being born
in the stories of your people

look at you, healer, keeper of the scars

here you are pulling the sheets off of the heavens, calling to the clouds, asking for the rain with your stubborn faith
slaking the thirst of all the soft bodies who carry your name,
all the soft bodies who died wandering the desert.

– Liezel Graham

The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface: spirit, soul, love, passion, life… Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes.
– Auguste Rodin

It was not the privileged and the fortunate who took in the Jews in France. It was the marginal and damaged, which should remind us that there are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish. If you take away the gift of reading, you create the gift of listening. If you bomb a city, you leave behind death and destruction. But you create a community of remote misses. If you take away a mother or a father, you cause suffering and despair. But one time in ten, out of that despair rises as indomitable force. You see the giant and the shepherd in the Valley of Elah and your eye is drawn to the man with sword and shield and the glittering armor. But so much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world comes from the shepherd, who has more strength and purpose than we ever imagine.
– Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.
– David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

The future was supposed to free up our time from work so we could spend it on higher pursuits. Instead we created AI that makes art while we work.
– Halli

Like now. Take the love medicine. I don’t know where she remembered that from. It came tumbling from her mind like an asteroid off the corner of the screen. But when she mentions them love medicines, I feel my back prickle at the danger. These love medicines is something of an old Chippewa specialty. No other tribe has got them down so well. But love medicines is not for the layman to handle. Before you get one, even, you should go through one hell of a lot of mental condensation. You could really mess up your life grinding up the wrong little thing.
– Louise Erdrich

I like the feeling of being able to confront an experience and resolve it as art.
– Eudora Welty

Crossed the border laughing
Never know what to expect
They wanted to know what church I’m in
And what things I collect
They’re trying to plug holes in the hull
While flames eat up the deck
The captain and his crew
Don’t seem to get the disconnect
Passing through the iris of the world
Passing through the iris of the world

I will always love you
On a boulder by the shoulder
The paint will likely outlive
Both the feeling and the holder
In the age of global warming
When all things are growing colder
It’s beautiful the writer
Opened up his heart and told her
Passing through the iris of the world
Oh, passing through the iris of the world

I’m good at catching rainbows
Not so good at catching trout
I’m good at blowing holes in things
And ranting in self doubt
I’ve got a way with time and space
But numbers freak me out
I’ve mostly dodged the dogmas
Of what life is all about
Passing through the iris of the world
Oh, passing through the iris of the world

I’m talking in strange voices
To myself the way I do
The road under the half moon sky
Rolls out in shades of blue
I’m raw anticipation
Of our rhythmic rendezvous
Loving the gift of the loving I get
And the loving I give to you
Passing through the iris of the world
Passing through the iris of the world

– Bruce Cockburn

I Long For the Rhyme of Health

I long for the rhyme of health
a small fresh syllable
a poultice of words
to put the soul right
and make the body strong.

I long for a rhyme
to put the soul right.

– Caitlín Maude
tr. by Pearse Hutchinson

In the Delta the sunsets were reddest light. The sun went down lopsided and wide as a rose on a stem in the west,
and the west was a milk-white edge, like the foam of
the sea.
– Eudora Welty

Spring day–
in my mind
– Jack Kerouac

Consider the hands
that write this letter.
Left palm pressed flat against paper,
as we have done before, over my heart.
– Aracelis Girmay

I don’t deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say that at certain strange epochs it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.
– G. K. Chesterton


the stream
of life goes on,
and I try to
go with it,
paddler in a leaky

– Linda Pastan

As I age in the world it will rise and spread,
and be for this place horizon
and orison, the voice of its winds.
I have made myself a dream to dream
of its rising, that has gentled my nights.
Let me desire and wish well the life
these trees may live when I
no longer rise in the mornings
to be pleased with the green of them
shining, and their shadows on the ground,
and the sound of the wind in them.
– Wendell Berry

Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Dreams are beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk awhile with the still are.
– David Mitchell

Again a long period has elapsed in which I have been unable to pull myself together for the least little thing—I shall now try to get going again.
– Søren Kierkegaard

In the point of rest at the centre of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.
– Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

I know,
you never intended
to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire,
to weep over.

– Mary Oliver

Hero worship evolves into a search for our missing pieces by worshipping a soul mate. It is a painful fact that a good deal of what passes for romance is actually our own unlived life reflected back to us.
– Robert A. Johnson

Everything around me is evaporating.
My whole life,
my memories,
my imagination…
But I have in me
all the dreams in the world.
– Fernando Pessoa

Enantiodromia occurs when an extreme, one-sided tendency dominates conscious life; in time an equally powerful counterposition is built up in unlived life. At first it interferes with conscious performance, but in time it breaks through conscious control.
– Robert A. Johnson

All we are not
stares back
at what we
– W.H. Auden

It is the function of art to carry us beyond speech to experience.
– Joseph Campbell

Although we can understand the meaning of symbols with our minds, our understanding is made immeasurably deeper and more concrete when we feel the symbols with our bodies and our feelings.
– Robert A. Johnson

Already in Greek philosophy and again in Gnosticism and in medieval tradition, the human psyche has been attributed a middle place between the opposites.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Writing is one of the most ancient forms of prayer. To write is to believe communication is possible, that other people are good, that you can awaken their generosity and their desire to do better.
– Fatema Mernissi

If people can be open-minded and magnanimous, be receptive to all , take pity on the old and the poor, assist those in peril and rescue those in trouble, give of themselves without seeking reward , never bear grudges, look upon others and self impartially, and realize all as one, then people can be companions of heaven. If people can be flexible and yielding, humble, with self-control, entirely free of agitation, cleared of all volatility, not angered by criticism, ignoring insult, docilely accepting all hardships, illnesses, and natural disasters, utterly without anxiety or resentment when faced with danger or adversity, then people can be companions of earth.

– Awakening to the Tao by Liu I-ming
Translated by Thomas Cleary

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.
– Colin L. Powell

I have lived
in my body
for years
and still need
maps and lights
to find my way
to how I feel.
– Michelle K.

Surviving Love
I work hard at managing, grateful
and spare. I try to forgive all trespasses
and give thanks for the desert. Rejoice
in being alive here in my simple world.
Each evening I walk for an hour, paying
attention to real things. The plover
sweeping at my face to get me away from
its ground nest. An ant carrying the wing
of a butterfly like a flag in the wind.
A grasshopper eating a dead grasshopper.
The antelope close up, just staring at me.
Back in the house, I lie down in the heat
for a nap, realizing forgiveness is hard
for the wounded. Near the border,
between this country and the next one.
– Linda Gregg

Poetry as Robust Vulnerability: Language Against Which We Have No Defenses: Poetry is a break for freedom. The discipline of poetry is in overhearing yourself say difficult truths from which it is impossible to retreat. In a sense, all poems are good; all poems are an emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable. Yet only a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others can walk, into territory that previously seemed unobtainable, in the passage of a few short lines.
– David Whyte

Normality is the Great Neurosis of civilization.
– Tom Robbins

I love to delete stuff.
I love to empty the trash.
It thrills me to drag files,
official documents, last year’s
tax returns, my online
life coach certificate,
whole folders, even
my curriculum vitae
to the Recycle Bin,
then click “Empty.”
I love to drag pictures of
loved ones, politicians,
gurus, even old photos of
myself to the ominous can
and hear the sound of things
crinkle up and whoosh away.

But first, I like to hear my computer
get nervous and ask me,
“Do you really want to do this?”
Oh yeah, I do.”
“This action cannot be reversed.
It is like time itself.
You will permanently un-create
all your information, life’s labor,
perhaps the whole world
cast into outer darkness,
dropped in the black hole
at the center of the galaxy,
reduced to less than a byte
for a hundred billion years
until the next big bang,
when dazed naked goddesses
and boy gods stumble out
into the unimaginable
blue light of a new creation,
holding hands, innocently
paired in Gnostic sygyzies,
binary memes of Depth
and Silence, Mind and Truth,
Nothingness and Wonder,
children of the one clear
immaculate Desk Top…”
But I don’t answer, I just watch
the squirm and pulse
of the ancient server, who says,
“I won’t ask you this again.”
“That’s right, Mac, don’t ask me again.”
“Are you sure? Really?”
I savor the silence,
the flicker of cool
suddenly vulnerable
Then I tap, “Yes.”

A moment later
I breathe
real slow, real empty.
I am still alive, a survivor.
I still Am, even though
I have deleted

– Fred LaMotte

The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before.
– G.K. Chesterton

Alcohol in Latin is spiritus and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum…
– CG Jung

Unfathomable mind,
now beacon,
now sea.
– Samuel Beckett

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

I love the subtle worlds
weightless and gentle,
like soap foam.

I like to see them paint themselves
sun and scarlet, fly
under the blue sky, tremble
suddenly and burst…

– Antonio Machado

If a cursory study of somatics shows that we think with our entire body, then how much better could we think, if we thought with our entire web of wild kin? I want to think and feel and weep and grieve with my whole multi-species, poly-nucleated mind. I want to let the yolk of my small desires slide into otherness. I want to nucleate a symbiotic quest for a better future. Throw open all the doors in my cells. Let my river run both ways.
– Sophie Strand

Jung came more and more to the conclusion that the unconscious is not only a response system… but that it can, of itself, and for no outer or biographical reason, produce something new. In other words, it is creative in the essential sense of the word.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

There is a constant growth of autonomous contents in the unconscious, which can become destructive if man does not concern himself with them.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Dwelling apart in the depths of the woods are the various kinds of mountaineers, —hunters, prospectors, and the like, —rare men, ‘queer characters,’ and well worth knowing.
– John Muir, Picturesque California

Call me when there is nothing left to make beautiful.
– C.T. Salazar

Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently.
– Anne Michaels

Schiller says that man is at his highest level only when he plays, when he has no conscious purpose. Creativity through play is such a well-known and essential factor that one does not need to point it out, but we see again and again that if we try.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Nothing can be more useful to a man, than a determination not to be hurried.
– Thoreau

I love the old questions.
[With fervour.]
Ah the old questions, the old answers, there’s nothing like them!
– Beckett

my bicycle is a
time machine

it exists only
in the present

can remove
the past

rolls to

– Andy Perrin

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
– Canticle from the Northumbria Community Prayer Book


Eternity has closed its doors—
good riddance! I didn’t want

forever forever—just this
pear tree, branches

backlit and the fruits
I can’t get to.

– Andrea Cohen

Even if you don’t understand all the nuances of poverty, why is it hard to understand that if you increase the cost of living in a place it will create a homeless population? No amount of investment in “services” will fix the problems gentrification causes.
– @Dalai_Mama_

Our picture of reality is never fixed but can always be elaborated and made more accurate. And this changes us.
– A. S. Byatt

violin player
the shape of the sound
in her arms
– Raffael de Gruttola

I forgive you. For growing
a capacity for love that is great
but matched only, perhaps,
by your loneliness. For being unable

to forgive yourself first so you
could then forgive others and
at last find a way to become
the love that you want in this world.

– Dilruba Ahmed, Phase One

I’ve carried my desire in bucket-shaped words,
in a hardened knot of muscle braced against the past.
– Alfred Fournier

The heart of a poet,
a friend says, should murmur
to weave a bracelet of words,
and, like the probe against my chest,
its sounds image the soul’s content.
– Stella Nesanovich

There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
– Martin Luther King

Making a Fist
by Naomi Shihab Nye

We forget that we are all dead men conversing with dead men.
– Jorge Luis Borges

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

“How do you know if you are going to die?”
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
“When you can no longer make a fist.”

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.

You only know where you are by remembering exactly how you got there.
– Wade Davis

I have come to feel that the more fully the individual is understood and accepted, the more he tends to drop the false fronts with which he has been meeting life, and the more he tends to move in a direction which is forward.
– Carl Rogers

We cannot say goodbye to a problem until at first we have said hello.
– Namgis elder Gerry Oleman

Look for truths that re-appear in every context.

Universal Truths.

– @VinceFHorn

I seduce myself with my hope.
– Susan Sontag

Poetry is the nearest thing we have to enchantment made real, and comes closest to undoing damnation.
– María Zambrano


May you live a loved life.
May you never diminish your mind
or limit your heart.
May you stand calm in a wide moment
between sky that lifts you and gravity that grounds you.
May you let loving unfurl you
then give you away.
May you remember
you are nest,
May you pass Life forward
so that which came from those before you,
and that which grows in those next to you,
go on to those who will follow you.

– Dawna Markova

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.
– Marie Beynon Ray

Even with all our technological accomplishments and urban sophistication, we consider ourselves blessed, healed in some manner, forgiven, and for a moment transported into some other world, when we catch a passing glimpse of an animal in the wild: a deer in some woodland, a fox crossing a field, a butterfly in its dancing flight southward to its wintering region, a hawk soaring in the distant sky.
– Thomas Berry

A wind rose, quickening; it invaded my nostrils, vibrated my gut. I stirred and lifted my head. No, I’ve gone through this a million times, beauty is not a hoax… Beauty is real. I would never deny it; the appalling thing is that I forget it.
– Annie Dillard

I don’t know who God is exactly. But I’ll tell you this. I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking. Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say, and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water. And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying. Said the river I am part of holiness. And I too, said the stone. And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.
– Mary Oliver

Time is more complex near the sea than in any other place, for in addition to the circling of the sun and the turning of the seasons, the waves beat out the passage of time on the rocks and the tides rise and fall as a great clepsydra.
– John Steinbeck

Elephant feet are covered in a soft padding that helps to support their weight, as well as preventing them from slipping and dulling the sound of their footsteps. As a result, elephants can walk almost silently, despite their huge weight. Furthermore, elephants use their feet to listen to the sub-sonic rumblings made by other elephants through vibrations in the ground. They have been observed to listen by putting their trunks on the ground and carefully positioning their feet.
– Stephen Currie

I’ve long argued that Americans would be better informed, and simply more interested in the news, and reporters would feel more energized, engaged, and useful, if 90% of today’s political press corps were re-deployed on other beats. And if 90% of the airtime and online emphasis were given to other topics.
– James Fallows

Things have gone rapidly downhill since the Age of Enlightenment, for, once this petty reasoning mind, which cannot endure any paradoxes, is awakened, no sermon on earth can keep it down. A new task then arises: to lift this still undeveloped mind step by step to a higher level and to increase the number of persons who have at least some inkling of the scope of paradoxical truth…. We simply do not understand any more what is meant by the paradoxes contained in dogma;…
– Carl Jung

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
– T.S. Eliot

Dead Butterfly
by Ellen Bass

For months my daughter carried
a dead monarch in a quart mason jar.
To and from school in her backpack,
to her only friend’s house. At the dinner table
it sat like a guest alongside the pot roast.
She took it to bed, propped by her pillow.

Was it the year her brother was born?
Was this her own too-fragile baby
that had lived—so briefly—in its glassed world?
Or the year she refused to go to her father’s house?
Was this the holding-her-breath girl she became there?

This plump child in her rolled-down socks
I sometimes wanted to haul back inside me
and carry safe again. What was her fierce
commitment? I never understood.
We just lived with the dead winged thing
as part of her, as part of us,
weightless in its heavy jar.

We walked at night towards a cafe blooming with Japanese lanterns and I followed your white shoes gleaming like radium in the damp darkness.
– Zelda Fitzgerald

Poetry looking in the mirror sees art,
and art looking in a mirror sings poetry.
– Aberjhani

The things which the child loves remains in the domain of the heart until old age. The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves. I am one of those who remember those places regardless of time and place.
– Kahlil Gibran

A Poem to Remind Myself of the Natural Order of Things
by Donika Kelly

This time I won’t say, little kangaroo
because this kangaroo is swole as fuck.

Chest thicker than my father’s,
bicep resting on the mastiff’s skull,
forearm cradling the carotid, the jugular.

A tense tableau to be sure.

Whatever might have happened between them
is unknown, interrupted by the man
eating the distance in panic and deliberation
to square up and stun the kangaroo with his temerity.

I lied.

Sweet friend, little kangaroo, thank you
for showing me how to shake my head
against the blow I saw coming.

a caretaker of dreams lives in two worlds: the one we think we see and the one that is always possible.
– Ulrica Hume

Great works of art pass through us like storm-winds, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers.
– George Steiner

It’s all so predictable once you’ve been through it.
– @VinceFHorn

There is nothing you can do to be genuine. The more you do, the phonier you are.
– Alan Watts

Love men and women not for their strength but [for] their softness, not for their fullness but their hunger, not for their plenty but their need.
– Anais Nin

I don’t believe in tame poetry. When poetry hears its own name, it runs, flies, swims off for fear of its own life… Jean Cocteau said a poet rarely bothers about poetry. Does a gardener perfume his roses?
– Frank Stanford

Stripped of audience, originality would be much less at ease with itself.
– Yiyun Li

He was talking about the random
axe of God, his hand slamming
the table like a battle axe, and though
I was a nonbeliever, I believed
– Andrea Cohen

If people are living the same as always, with their bellies full of food, they’ll just go on the same way. If they get hungry and unhappy enough, something happens.
– Paul Bowles

If we enter the levels of personal existence which have been rediscovered by depth psychology, we encounter the past, the ancestors, the collective unconscious, the living substance in which all living beings participate.
– Paul Tillich

Summer Haibun
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

To everything, there is a season of parrots. Instead of feathers, we searched the sky for meteors on our last night. Salamanders use the stars to find their way home. Who knew they could see that far, fix the tiny beads of their eyes on distant arrangements of lights so as to return to wet and wild nests? Our heads tilt up and up and we are careful to never look at each other. You were born on a day of peaches splitting from so much rain and the slick smell of fresh tar and asphalt pushed over a cracked parking lot. You were strong enough—even as a baby—to clutch a fistful of thistle and the sun himself was proud to light up your teeth when they first swelled and pushed up from your gums. And this is how I will always remember you when we are covered up again: by the pale mica flecks on your shoulders. Some thrown there from your own smile. Some from my own teeth. There are not enough jam jars to can this summer sky at night. I want to spread those little meteors on a hunk of still-warm bread this winter. Any trace left on the knife will make a kitchen sink like that evening air

the cool night before
star showers: so sticky so
warm so full of light

That’s where the path really begins–with the realization that the only light which is going to be of genuine use or value to us is the light we manage to bring, like a new sun, out from the darkness inside ourselves.
– Peter Kingsley

I recently learned that a caterpillar liquifies before becoming a butterfly. On that same energy, I’m calling my current stage of life my goo era. A period of great change, embrace of stickiness, and choosing mystery over certainty.
– Annika Hansteen-Izora

I dream of a language
whose words, like fists,
would fracture jaws.
– Emil Cioran

To starve or kill a language is to starve and kill a people’s memory bank.
– Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

We have arrived at an ‘Eastern’ moment in the West, and as an alternative to turning literally to the East and abandoning our Western culture, we might consider cultivating a more introverted pathway to divine reality.
– David Tacey

The best ideas are common property.
– Seneca

The main point of the Buddhist teachings is to dissolve the dualistic struggle, our habitual tendency to struggle against what’s happening to us or in us. The teachings instruct us to move toward difficulties rather than backing away.
– Pema Chodron

The light of a candle
is transferred to another candle—
spring twilight.
– Yosa Buson

I stare at the memory
until the flame is clear
– Takada Rozan

Analysis might be defined as an attempt to become more conscious through a continuous act of self-criticism: a slow labour of deconstruction on all the ingenuous attitudes of omnipotence that we carry within ourselves.
– Luigi Zoja

small talk
between songs
a tuning mandolin
– Ben Gaa

Sometimes all she heard was the wind and the sea and she felt calm.
– Cormac McCarthy

The normal symbols of our desires and fears become converted, in [the] afternoon of the biography, into their opposites; for it is then no longer life but death that is the challenge.
– Joseph Campbell

Isn’t it wonderful how much we all know about one another in a town like this.
– Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

Only in the agony of parting
do we look into the depths of love.
– George Eliot

Of all the pursuits open to men, the search for wisdom is most perfect, more sublime, more profitable and more full of joy.
– Aquinas

yesterday a coyote trotted across
my headlights and turned his head
but didn’t break stride; that’s how
I want to live on this planet:

alive to a rabbit at a glass door—
and flower where there is no flower.

– Arthur Sze

I am no longer performing the charity service of forcing out words about nonverbal experiences to people who only believe in experiences they can process verbally.
– @taalumot

Nearly every life can be summed up in a few words: man was shown heaven—and thrown into the mud. We are all ascetics—voluntary or involuntary. Here on earth dreams and hopes are only awakened, not fulfilled. And he who has endured most suffering, most privation, will awaken in the afterwards most keenly alive.
– Lev Shestov

Dream Nest
by Dana Levin

More like a basket
of twig and hair,

and deep—

in a tree
outside my bedroom

I knew
something lived in there
you wouldn’t assume
lived in a nest.

Then I knew:
a human lived there.

And once I knew—
the nest, nearly

still in the tree.

It wasn’t about trauma, the perfect
and then the broken

in which a human

Born and lit and broken
comes I.

The most important thing is to look ahead. The past is your anchor.
– Maxime Lagacé

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. … Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.
– George Orwell

He was almost there – if there were such a place.
– Philip K. Dick

Leave greatness to others. Become so small that no one can see you. This conviction results from growing devotion to the supreme reality.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

The eye should learn
to listen before
it looks.
– Robert Frank

The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.
– Samuel Johnson

Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.
– Peter Medawar

Support writers!

It isn’t just about writing.

It’s about the value of work in a hyper-capitalist society, and how we have to commit to a level playing field and dignity for everyone.

– Marianne Williamson

Be out of sync with your times for just one day, and you will see how much eternity you contain within you.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Perhaps, a writer is someone who knows that after we disappear, what will remain is our lies.
– @PoetKimHyesoon

one flies in
two fly out
garden butterflies
– Issa

returning from
a long journey
– Ogawa

I closed
my mouth
and spoke to you
in one hundred
silent ways~
– Rumi

when a prayer
becomes a poem
cathedral of stars
– @YourMoonliness

Bush Philosophy: Rivers and Pools
Heraclitus said you can never
step in the same river twice,
but his mate and arch-
rival Parmenides
may have been right.
You may not be able to
tiptoe into the same runnel
to double your money,
but you can sidle
as many times as you like
into the sleepy waters
of a moment of peace.
It is always
the same billabong.
– Richard James Allen

Truly, all things are vanity, and life is but a shadow and a dream. For in vain doth everyone born of earth disquiet himself.
– St. John of Damascus

Life is a very bad novelist. It is chaotic and ludicrous.
– Javier Marías

I never knew anyone who had a passion for words who had as much difficulty in saying things as I do and I very seldom say them in a manner I like. If I do it’s because I don’t know I’m trying.
– Marianne Moore

: when the nearest light is miles away yet
and adorned on the night is a lightning bug
as in a jarred cactus plant
an open book without commas

: when the only thing you can touch is a plastic raft
and drenched between the hours is a cutting board
as in a place for garlic
and onions the face of early sky

: when water undresses into tar sands
and to one long tune acacia trees dance some
as in alder reach
anything is worth the rain

: when above more and more narrow miracles
and answers set to stone by a single hand
as in a chorus of them
any shadow still means light
– Jake Skeets

Appreciate yourself enough to stop sitting in shaky chairs.

They can’t hold your weight and they’re not doing anything to strengthen themselves.

– Dr. Thema

Snow from the mountains
Of my heart instantly melts
In your warm Blackness.
– Etheridge Knight

One poetry editing tip that I give to mentees is to remember the reader is coming to your work with no context. They cannot see inside your head. Imagine yourself coming to your work without knowing you, would you understand what was happening?
– Wendy Pratt

Your bloodthirsty tiger growls softly, your poisonous serpent hisses secretly, while you, conscious only of your goodness, offer your human hand to me in greeting.
– @RedBookJung


Right and wrong notes, phrases
Heavy on opening, steady stride
Rapid ascent/decent tempo quickens
Full body swinging on the bench
Light on the keys and the petals

Could be quiet
or even silent
for mile of trumpet
or a surge from the sax.

Could play pretty
Could play heavy on low keys
a tenor sax barrage.
Could trade phrases
or weave them in.

Striding with
Vocals occasionally.
or close ahead
close behind them.

Could solo
with wide range
basic and complex
a hint of funk

Rapidly painting
the air canvas
low key phrases
worked in for grounding

Often Bluesy
Familiar yet new
Hint of Swing
Always Monk.

– Jerry Pendergast

You are not meant to understand (a story, poem, essay) in an intellectual, abstract way. You are meant to thrum, like a string on a stringed instrument.
– Robert Olen Butler

We linger in the realms of potentiality, until we are ready to actualize our callings. It can be a great test of faith, particularly if we have a great number of internal blocks and external challenges to overcome first. Most of us do, at this stage of human development. The key is to not get so discouraged that you stop doing the work to align your inner world with the life you long for. You must go on, patiently working the threads, healing the remnants, constructing your wholly weave. It can take years, decades, to clear enough debris before you see the light. But you can, and you will, if you continue to sculpt dutifully. And then, one day, you will notice that it has all shifted. Your potentiality has morphed into actuality, and your sacred purpose has become all that you are.
– Jeff Brown

Humanitarian values should replace economic values as the governing principle of our society.
– Marianne Williamson

To kiss away from your forehead all the headaches, from the dimmest past to your golden future.
– Franz Kafka, 1912.

Every journey is worth taking because in traveling a man finds himself.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Instructions for the journey.
The self you leave behind
is only a skin you have outgrown.
Don’t grieve for it.
Look to the wet, raw, unfinished
self, the one you are becoming.
The world, too, sheds its skin:
politicians, cataclysms, ordinary days.
It’s easy to lose this tenderly unfolding moment.
Look for it as if it were the first green blade after a long winter.
Listen for it as if it were the first clear tone in a place where dawn is heralded by bells.
And if all that fails,
wash your own dishes.
Rinse them.
Stand in your kitchen at your sink.
Let cold water run between your fingers.
Feel it.
– Pat Schneider

I taste a liquor never brewed —
From Tankards scooped in Pearl —
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!
Inebriate of Air — am I —
And Debauchee of Dew —
Reeling — thro endless summer days —
From inns of Molten Blue —
When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door —
When Butterflies — renounce their “drams” —
I shall but drink more!
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats —
And Saints — to windows run —
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the — Sun —
– Emily Dickinson

On Angels
by Czeslaw Milosz
All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe in you,
There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams.
Short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.
They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.
The voice — no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.
I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:
day draw near
another one
do what you can.

There is a crossway
in every moment
– Tomas Tranströmer

Zen is above all the liberation of the mind from conventional thought, and this is something utterly different from rebellion against convention, on the one hand, or adapting foreign conventions, on the other.
– Alan Watts

“You talked about the first principle again, but I still don’t know what it is,” I said to Suzuki.
“I don’t know,” he said, “is the first principle.”
– David Chadwick

Our modern world-view tragically misperceives and wrongly defines what it is to be human. We are conditioned by our society to believe happiness comes from pleasure, or from getting things or power over people or money or fame or even health and survival. None of these sometimes very good things can bring ultimate meaning to our lives. We are born to be deeply conscious, inwardly free and deeply capable of love. The longing for these things is the definition of what it means to be human.
– Jacob Needleman

How pure your longing
to be anything other than yourself
– Kim Addonizio

In a Time of Peace

Inhabitant of earth for forty something years
I once found myself in a peaceful country. I watch neighbors open

their phones to watch
a cop demanding a man’s driver’s license. When a man reaches for his wallet, the cop
shoots. Into the car window. Shoots.

It is a peaceful country.

We pocket our phones and go.
To the dentist,
to buy shampoo,
pick up the children from school,
get basil.

Ours is a country in which a boy shot by police lies on the pavement
for hours.

We see in his open mouth
the nakedness
of the whole nation.

We watch. Watch
others watch.

The body of a boy lies on the pavement exactly like the body of a boy.

It is a peaceful country.

And it clips our citizens’ bodies
effortlessly, the way the President’s wife trims her toenails.

All of us
still have to do the hard work of dentist appointments,
of remembering to make
a summer salad: basil, tomatoes, it is a joy, tomatoes, add a little salt.

This is a time of peace.

I do not hear gunshots,
but watch birds splash over the backyards of the suburbs. How bright is the sky
as the avenue spins on its axis.
How bright is the sky (forgive me) how bright.

– Ilya Kaminsky

I really was never any more than what I was -a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze.
– Bob Dylan

It is a great error to assume that the meaning of life is exhausted with the period of youth and growth… The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning, only its meaning and purpose is a wholly different one.
– CG Jung

falling into
a bonfire
– Hakuin

Riding the Coltrane
through interstellar space, turning
inward to earth’s core.
Exploring chords, scales, changes
outside familiar stations
before and after the rain
– Jerry Pendergast

Optimism, where it is not just the thoughtless talk of someone with only words in his flat head, strikes me as not only absurd, but even a truly wicked way of thinking, a bitter mockery of the unspeakable sufferings of humanity.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

After the collapse of the ‘highest value’, as Nietzsche called it, it is simply a matter of time before this archetypal idea expresses itself in new ways. The new image of God is often not recognized by the established religions, which continue to focus on the old image.
– David Tacey

I gang my own gait and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude.
– Albert Einstein

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
– Thomas Edison

If you keep seeking the jewel of understanding,
then you are a mine of understanding in the making.
If you live to reach the Essence one day,
then your life itself is an expression of the Essence.
Know that in the final analysis you are that
which you search for.
– Abu-Said Abil-Kheir, translated by Vraje Abramian

A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.
– William Faulkner

I will know you by your immortal
– Cristina Campo

Books have their idiosyncrasies as well as people, and will not show me their full beauties unless the place and time in which they are read suits them.
– Elizabeth von Arnim

True wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.
– Edward Humphrey

Words can save
you when guns cannot
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Oh, how incomprehensible everything was, and actually sad, although it was also beautiful. One knew nothing. One lived and ran about the earth and rode through forests, and certain things looked so challenging and promising and nostalgic: a star in the evening, a blue harebell, a reed-green pond, the eye of a person or of a cow. And sometimes it seemed that something never seen yet long desired was about to happen, that a veil would drop from it all; but then it passed, nothing happened, the riddle remained unsolved, the secret spell unbroken, and in the end one grew old and looked cunning like Father Anselm or wise like Abbot Daniel, and still one knew nothing perhaps, was still waiting and listening.
– Hermann Hesse

If someone would like to apologize to me, for saying untruthful and hurtful things about me (and there has been a number of individuals doing exactly that, throughout the course of my life), by paying me $787.5 million, I guess that would be fine by me.I might (might) consider accepting a somewhat smaller sum, too.
– Mikhail Iossel

Every person, from morning till evening, is making invisible forms in space by what he says. He is creating invisible vibrations around him, and so he is creating an atmosphere.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan

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, Remembering

When we manage a flash of mercy for someone we don’t like, especially a truly awful person, including ourselves, we experience a great spiritual moment, a new point of view that can make us gasp. It gives us the chance to rediscover something both old and original, the sweet child in us who, all evidence to the contrary, was not killed off, but just put in the drawer. I realize now how desperately, how grievously, I have needed the necessary mercy to experience self-respect.

It is what a lot of us were so frantic for all along, and we never knew it. We’ve tried almost suicidally for our whole lives to shake it from the boughs of the material world’s trees. But it comes from within, from love, from the flow of the universe; from inside the cluttered drawer.
– Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

Regardless of how many poems I may write/publish, I’m not sure I’ll ever get a book out of them . . . because my poems don’t really talk to each other. Like, my poems don’t even know each other. Like, how did they all even come from the same brain??
– Francesca Leader

Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest.
– Leonardo da Vinci

If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself.
– Mikhail Bakunin

Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.
– Jane Austen

There is no mystery in this association of woods and otherworlds, for anyone who has walked the woods knows, they are places of correspondence, or call and answer.
– Robert Macfarlane

Making one’s life into a meditation is different from using meditation to escape from life.
– Mark Epstein

I used to sit there
pulling arrows out of my heart.
– Louise Glück

And one day
There she was.
Sitting on the gray stoop
Like a little lost girl,
Head turned in my direction,
Wistful, “You were gone a long time.”
– Angela Jackson

Fix your eyes forward on what you can do, not back on what you cannot change.
– Tom Clancy

My dearest wish poets is that your dreams — the books you want to be published, the equitable jobs you want to get, the collaborations that lead to community projects— all of them become more and more possible, whether by inches or by the grand leaps poems are know for making.
– Steven Leyva

So, whatever form it takes, the function of the shadow is to represent the opposite side of the ego and to embody just those qualities that one dislikes most in other people.
– CG Jung

It’s not only the negative qualities that lie in your shadow and need to be retrieved and integrated. Your gold lies in the shadow as well.
– Béa Gonzalez

The heroes and leaders toward peace in our time will be those men and women who have the courage to plunder into the darkness at the bottom of the personal and corporate psyche and face the enemy within.
– Sam Keen

The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.
– Nabokov


Some say the Earth is made of words,
some say of code.
Since everything is so absurd,
I go with those who favour words:
The circuit for a finite ode;
the hot ink, fit with epic wit
and work. The final life I load.
A future lit
in lines that flowed.

– Anthony Etherin

Tasting Spring

Dandelions dot
a field full of butterscotch
spring sweetens the mind

– Amy Aves Challenger

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

In the good old days poets were for the most part confined to garrets, which they left only for the purpose of being ejected from the offices of magazines and papers to which they attempted to sell their wares.
– P.G. Wodehouse

There is absolutely no salvation without love: this is the wheel in the middle of the wheel. Salvation does not divide. Salvation connects….It is not the exclusive property of any dogma, creed, or church. It keeps the channel open between oneself and however one wishes to name That which is greater than oneself. It has nothing to do with one’s fortunes or one’s circumstances in one’s passage through this world. It is a mighty fortress, even in the teeth of ruin or at the gates of death.
– Jimmy Baldwin

I have only my perplexities to offer you.
– Jorge Luis Borges

We pan for the moment
when the frumpy sky trauma bonds
with the butterscotch horizon.

I see you, lifetimes away next to me,
and my belly growls.

I swallow a whale of longing
& dive into the passive, massive past
to find your incorporeal silhouette–
to hold my breath.

– @tuttysan

A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.
– William S. Burroughs

Water is a mysterious element (because of its structure).
And it is very cinegenic.
It transmits movement, depth, changes.
Nothing is more beautiful than water.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Whoever listens carefully to “Hallelujah” will discover that it is a song about sex, about love, about life on earth. The Hallelujah is not a homage to a worshipped person, idol or god, but the Hallelujah of the orgasm. It’s an ode to life and love.
– Jeff Buckley

Sex without actual, personal love is traumatising to the body, whether its branded as normal, casual, spiritual, neo-tantric, whatever
– @wholebodyprayer

As we follow the clues—stars, numbers, colors, plants, forms, verse, music, structures—a huge framework of connections revealed at many levels. One is inside an echoing manifold where everything responds and everything has a place and a time assigned to it.
– Giorgio di Santillana

If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them – peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them at any rate be your acquaintances. If they cannot enter the circle of your life, do not deny them at least a nod of recognition.
– Winston S. Churchill

It’s a hard time to be human.
We know too much
and too little.
Does the breeze need us?
The cliffs? The gulls?
If you’ve managed to do one good thing,
the ocean doesn’t care.
But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth,
the earth, ever so slightly, fell
toward the apple as well.
– Ellen Bass, The World Has Need of You

i live in music

i live in music
is this where you live?
i live here in music
i live on c# street
my friend lives on b-flat avenue
do you live here in music
falls round me like rain on other folks
saxophones wet my face
cold as winter in st. louis
hot like peppers i rub on my lips
thinkin they waz lilies
i got 15 trumpets where other women got hips
& a upright bass for both sides of my heart
i walk round in a piano like somebody
else be walkin on the earth
i live in music
live in it
wash in it
i cd even smell it
wear sound on my fingers
sound falls so fulla music
ya cd make a river where yr arm is &
hold yrself
hold yrself in a music

– Ntozake Shange

Sometimes I flew to prove that I could. I was the girlfriend of the poet John Keats and I demonstrated I could fly among blackberry bushes whose fruit the size of street lamps suggested I was, we were, the size of songbirds. Other times I flew across the rooftops of the city and the view was dazzling, as was the sense of having all that space under you, like the sense of all that water when you swim in clear lakes. It was the beautiful spacious side of loneliness.

I wondered what this flying meant. Sometimes it seemed to be dreams’ impatience, a jump cut from here to there without filling in the space between. Sometimes it was escape. Sometimes it was a talent, and like talents sometimes do, it set me apart, usually literally, since I tended to fly alone, to be the only one who could fly, though sometimes I showed other people how to do it or carried them along.

It was an experience of not belonging to the ordinary world and not being bound to it. I thought sometimes that it might be about writing, about being a writer, and now I wonder why I didn’t think of it as reading, as that constant, chronic activity that had taken up so much of my waking hours since I’d learned to read, as being in a book, in a story, in the lives of others and invented worlds and not my own, unbounded by my own body and my own life and my own time and place.
I could fly, though now I wonder if the problem was how to come to earth.
– Rebecca Solnit

How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas – how utterly rich and wild. Yet some among us have the nerve, the insolence, the brass, the gall to whine about the limitations of our earthbound fate and yearn for some more perfect world beyond the sky. We are none of us good enough for the world we have.
– Edward Abbey

Our lifetime friendships can be more steadfast and trustworthy than any marriage, and considerably more treasurable. Those few persons whom I gained as friends before the age of twenty-five, for example. Nothing they would ever say or do would diminish my love and esteem for them.
– Francine du Plessix Gray

Female Druids in medieval Irish legends were called Banduri or Bandorai.
The Druids were the intellectual elite. Being a Druid was a tribal function, but they were also poets, astronomers, magicians, and astrologers. It took them 19 years to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in alchemy, medicine, law, the sciences, and more. They organized intellectual life, judicial processes, had skills to heal people, and were involved in developing strategies for war. They were an oasis of wisdom and highly respected in their society.

According to Plutarch, female Celts were nothing like Roman or Greek women. They were active in negotiating treaties and wars, and they participated in assemblies and mediated quarrels. According to the ‘Pomponius Mela’, virgin priestesses who could predict the future lived on the island of Sena, in Brittany.

The term “Druid” comes from the Indo-European word “deru”, which means ’‘the truth” or “true’’

– Natalia Klimczak

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. It would be easy, however, to destroy that good conscience by shouting to them: if you want the happiness of the people, let them speak out and tell what kind of happiness they want and what kind they don’t want! But, in truth, the very ones who make use of such alibis know they are lies; they leave to their intellectuals on duty the chore of believing in them and of proving that religion, patriotism, and justice need for their survival the sacrifice of freedom. As if freedom, when it goes away somewhere, did not disappear the last, after all that made our reasons to live. No, freedom does not die alone. At the same time justice is forever exiled, the homeland agonizes, the innocent is re-crucified every day.
– Albert Camus

To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older
– Leonard Cohen

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.
– Reinhold Niebuhr

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
– Isaac Newton

There are days when I can’t live in this country. Not the whole thing at once, including the hateful parts, the misogyny, the brutal disregard of the powerful for the powerless. Sometimes I can only be a citizen of these trees, this rainy day, the family I can hold safe, the garden I can grow. A fire that refuses to go out.
– Barbara Kingsolver

The world is a totality in itself. It has its own muscles, its own brain, its own limbs, and its own circulation. We are not talking about the totality of the world in the sense that everything should be good and perfect and fantastic, and nobody should acknowledge anything bad. We are talking about reality, in which good is made out of bad and bad is made out of good. Therefore, the world can exist in its own good/bad level, its self-existing level of dark and light, black and white, constantly. Whatever is there, favorable or unfavorable, is workable: it is the universe.
– Chögyam Trungpa

The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.
– Karl Rahner

‘The romantic imperative,’ Friedrich Schlegel wrote in 1797-1798, ‘demands the mixing of all genres. All nature and science should become art—[and all] art should become nature and science….Poetry should become ethical and ethics should be poetic.’ The attempt to bring together (to ‘mix’) various disciplines and ways of knowledge, to make philosophy poetical and poetry philosophical, to introduce poetic insight into ethical norms, to bring art and science together—these were the aims of the movement that has become known as *romanticism*. Science and art, philosophy and poetry, the romantics repeatedly proclaimed, should become one.
– Dalia Nassar

On entering the hut, it seemed to expand magically to the size of a high-ceilinged many-chambered tumbling-tome-filled used books store. Books and papers everywhere. You talk about dangerous. My father lighted the place at night with candles. He had a fireplace and plenty wood and paper. I was amazed he hadn’t burned the place down.
– Tom Foran Clark, Jacob’s Papers

Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.
– Paulo Coelho

We are Sun and Moon, dear friend; we are Sea and Land.
It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.
– Hermann Hesse

Laid-back in orbit, they found their minds.
They found their minds were very clean and clear.
Clear crystals in swarms outside were their fireflies and larks.
Larks they were in lift-off, swallows in soaring…
– Edwin Morgan, A Home in Space

A Cairn
As by barren trackway
on a mountain crest
with view of scree and corrie,
ridge and col,
a traveller might pause,
take bearings, cast
in tribute to record:
“A man came here, went on,
left common token, shared
with those who went before
and shall come after.”
– Gael Turnbull

They were brilliant, widely read, incisive, and effortlessly effective analysts and programmers. Which is another reason why, ultimately, so many people died.
– Charles Stross, The Rhesus Chart

I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical, & poetic than we currently believe. I wouldn’t be surprised if poetry filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs— is how the world works. The world isn’t logical, it’s a song.
– David Byrne

All you can give us is what life is about from your point of view. You are not going to be able to give us plans to the submarine. Life is not a submarine. There are no plans.
– Anne Lamott

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
– Sylvia Plath

irises are where
that rainbow
– Issa

The older I grow the more impressed I am by the frailty & uncertainty of our understanding & the more I take recourse to the simplicity of immediate experience so as not to lose contact w/ the essentials–the dominants which rule human existence throughout the millenniums.
– CG Jung

Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom & hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.
– Rumi

It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.
– Joseph Conrad

Unreadability of this
world. Everything doubles.

The strong clocks
agree with the fissure-hour,

You, wedged into your deepest,
climb out of yourself

– Paul Celan

There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in …
– Graham Greene

every tree
has it’s calling card
spring buds
– Issa

The unconscious has a kind of absolute knowledge, but we cannot prove it is an absolute knowledge, because the Absolute, the Eternal, is transcendental.
– CG Jung

The worn leather
sandals by the entrance
to an old man’s hut
– Kim Dorman

To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility.
– Flannery O’Connor

I have been trying, for some times now, to find dignity in my loneliness. I have been finding this hard to do.
– Maggie Nelson, Bluets

A person always finds when he begins to practice meditation that all sorts of problems are brought out. Any hidden aspects of your personality are brought out into the open, for simple reason that for first time you are allowing yourself to see your state of mind as it is.
– Ram Dass

Your ability to handle conflict will set the atmosphere for you to have authentic peace – not just silence, but peace.
– Dr. Thema

Nietzsche said, “the poets lie too much.” Hölderlin “yet what remains, the poets provide.” Do these two serious ideas contradict each other?
– Ludwig Hohl

but to look your hunger in the eye
and to stare it straight to zero
and then to learn to love the wait
till the love is in your marrow
– Steven Heighton, Ballad of the Slow Road

They’re banning books from their schools. We’re banishing hunger from ours.
– Governor Tim Walz

I look to many of our current poets to show me what poetry can do; it’s a rich time for the art. But only one or two keep teaching me what it IS. ⁦
– Jorie Graham

Two things are yet to be discovered. The first is the infinite gulf that separates us from one another. The second is the bridge that could connect us.
– @RedBookJung

It’s okay to miss someone and know better than to reach out to them.
– Natasha Carter

I can still see you: an echo, palpable with tactile words, at the parting ridge. Your face shies softly, when all at once it becomes lamplike bright in me, at the place where one most painfully says never.
– Paul Celan

Another catastrophe, that we never imagined,
suddenly, torrentially falls upon us.
– C.P. Cavafy

There was a secret
name inside every living thing,
a song underneath every song
– Jason Myers

We’re beginning to want our bodies back. And yet we’re simultaneously afraid to have them back and ignorant of how to get them back.
– Stanley Keleman, The Human Ground

But to say what you want to say, you must create another language and nourish it for years and years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again.
– George Seferis

No one can tell the whole story.
– Jorie Graham

There must be a reason
why the beloved abruptly
ended our love affair.

The heart is reluctant
to believe that he was always unfaithful.

– Parveen Shakir

His Eye on The Sparrow
by Airea D. Matthews

– after hanif

I guess black people can write about flowers at a time like this since every
poem turns on itself. Starts one way to end another. We see
it in nature too. How seed turns to
leaf regardless of its earth or the thought inside my head
blossoms into a hyacinth with as sweet a scent. Even in dreams,
thought’s pretend cousin, I often see Mamie Till. She walks the
church aisle toward her son’s body while wisteria bloats the casket’s brim and
papered bougainvillea bracts emerge from where his eye once was. An
entire garden from the nutrients of once human. And not to mention all
those awed birds that circle Emmett’s pillowed corpse. So many in
the tabernacle. Not predators of the fleshly bloom or harbingers of his
God’s descent, not refugees fleeing his body exilic but eternity’s
messengers. We, who pull breath, confuse death’s irony. Whoever dies and is
remembered stays living.

The welcoming light of fennel along the path. An impression that gets stronger with each encounter. A forgotten, insistent, sign from the plant world. But how to reply? Build a language in which silences would have the same gentleness, the same luminosity; in which there would be not partitioning off, no emptiness; in which it would suffice to be in order to speak.
– Pierre-Albert Jourdan, translated by John Taylor

More than any other author of the 20th century, Tolkien resuscitated the notion that the fantastic may tell us more about reality than do scientific facts. When the army asked Michael Tolkien to list his father’s profession, it should surprise no one that he answered “wizard.”
– Bradley J. Birzer

I really dislike when people treat me like a mirror.
– Nnedi Okorafor, PhD

To heal is to return
color to the forsythia,
texture to tree bark,
the fragment to the whole,
possibility to the heart.
To heal is to become
more sensitive
to the brushstrokes
of life,
to awaken amazement
with the way light rests
in the thicket,
to read the poetry
in the tangled calligraphy
of the briar patch.
As you heal, the world becomes
a reverse prayer flag.
Everything brightens
as reverence returns to it.
God emerges from the conceptual,
the separate
and becomes soluble
and saturated
in all things.
– Chelan Harkin

A little note for those of us interviewing folks for entry-level jobs: you’ll probably see candidates who either graduated into a pandemic or whose college years were disrupted by it. Be kind and understanding.
– Kate Tuttle

Literature is full of absolutely necessary useless things.
– Rose Montero

In all respects, we are told, life will be made simpler, more comfortable, less confusing once we offload undesirable tasks onto a set of adequately capable, massive, ‘living’ algorithms.
– Nicholas Russell

Mistakes Were Made (but Not By Me)
Dissonance theory also exploded the self-flattering idea that we humans…process information logically. On the contrary: If the new information is consonant with our beliefs, we think it is well founded and useful: “Just what I always said!” But if the new information is dissonant, then we consider it biased or foolish: “What a dumb argument!
– Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Ideals have remarkable qualities, among them that of suddenly turning into their opposite the moment one tries really to live up to them.

. . . she discovered that each eternal verity exists twice over and even in a multiplicity of forms.

– Robert Musil

trauma center
an old drum kit
in the basement
– @pauldavidmena

Only truthful hands write true poems. I cannot see any basic difference between a handshake and a poem.
– Paul Celan

How bright you are, my unlived day…
– Magda Isanos

The difficulty lies not in solving problems but in expressing them correctly.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Some days I see it in the moment
the graffiti thickens near the tunnels,
or when the train stumbles
in the city’s shadow–when the light
we know becomes delicate and cruel–
and I see how fragile our eyes become.
– Ryan Ryan Teitman

temples still stand.
A star
probably still has light.
nothing is lost.
– Paul Celan

Dharma art is the principal way we are trying to create enlightened society, which is a society where there is no aggression, and where people could discover their innate basic goodness and enlightened existence, whether it is in a domestic or political or social situation.
– Chögyam Trungpa

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
– David Lynch, Wild at Heart

I had this frustration with the fixed pitch of a piano. You couldn’t bend notes. There was no vibrato, no flirt, no slide. All the other instruments — violins, guitars — they could do it. The human voice, too. That’s where the synthesizer came in. It was a keyboard, so it was already second nature to me and, through the controls, I could play melodies with slides and bends. To me, that was heaven. So that’s how I ended up finding my own voice on a synthesizer.
– Jan Hammer

His inventory of sounds was more like a rainforest than a library. His synthesizer lines whistled, gurgled, cackled, squished, snickered and belched; their pitches might wriggle, and their tones could bristle and bite. There was humor in them, along with ingenuity, defiance, raunch and joy.
– from Bernie Worrell’s New York Times obituary

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
– Mark Twain

Can we stop pretending that humans are noble by default?

Humans are full spectrum beasts. If anything, we are more naturally disposed to spite, cruelty, & vengefulness than patience, forbearance, and kindness.

But we can learn and grow, and this is our superpower.

Let us grow.

– Kenneth Folk

The poet communicates with God; his voice has ramifications from beyond; that is why a poem cannot be penetrated with understanding, but through exaltation, like a morphine injection.
– Ilarie Voronca

Cheers to the edgelord of the all these blackberry blooms.
– Alina Stefanescu

I just can’t find the time
To write my mind
The way I want

to read

– Alina Stefanescu

Individualism, and the cultivation of the self and private well-being— featuring, above all, the ideal of *health*—are the values to which intellectuals are most likely to subscribe.
– Susan Sontag

In a way, the books were protection. An escape she would always have access to. A sanctuary, there for when she needed it.
– Cait Spivey

Belief systems that don’t acknowledge the fertile dark, that don’t appreciate how trauma and its pain persist in us and unconsciously govern our lives, also don’t grok that embodied emotional healing is a secret doorway into wholeness and regeneration.
– Jack Adam Weber

No one can live without a little exaggeration.
– Alejandro Zambra

The supreme thing to know is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to learn is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to practice is bodhicitta.
The supreme thing to meditate on is bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta transforms
afflictive emotions, suffering and fear,
and sickness and death
into a path to enlightenment.
If you are going, remember bodhicitta
If you are sitting, remember bodhicitta
If you are lying down, remember bodhicitta
If you are standing, remember bodhicitta.
It is because of bodhicitta that one gives up
the pleasure of meditative concentration,
and in order to relieve others of their suffering
goes down to the deepest hell
as if into a pleasure park.
Meditate upon bodhicitta
when afflicted by disease.
Meditate upon bodhicitta when sad.
Meditate upon bodhicitta
when suffering occurs.
Meditate upon bodhicitta
when you get scared.
Just like the lotus among flowers
is bodhicitta supreme
among all virtuous thoughts.
Since having it
brings immediate and final happiness,
one should make every effort to produce it.
With bodhicitta one enjoys happiness.
With bodhicitta one enjoys even sorrow.
With bodhicitta one enjoys what is there.
With bodhicitta one enjoys
even what is not there.
If one investigates to find
the supreme method for accomplishing
the aims of oneself and others,
it comes down to bodhicitta alone.
Being certain of this, develop it with joy.
– Khunu Rinpoche

Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy.
– C. S. Lewis

The limits of language are not the limits of the world.
– Uche Nduka

What we’re thinking about is a peaceful planet. We’re not thinking about anything else. We’re not thinking about any kind of power. We’re not thinking about any kind of struggles. We’re not thinking about revolution or war or any of that. That’s not what we want. Nobody wants to get hurt. Nobody wants to hurt anybody. We would all like to be able to live an uncluttered life. A simple life, a good life. And think about moving the whole human race ahead a step, or a few steps.
– Jerry Garcia

I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes.
– Vladimir Nabokov

For the first time in my life, I realized telling the truth was way different from finding the truth, and finding the truth had everything to do with revisiting and rearranging words.
– Kiese Laymon

I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. Life doesn’t make sense.
– David Lynch

health insurance isn’t even insurance in the US anymore

it’s like the most expensive cover charge just to get in the door to then pay unknown fees that will be deducted by unknown percentages at unknown time in the future.

– Paul Millerd

I don’t think it’s necessary to know exactly who I am. The main interest in life and work is that they allow us to become someone different than we were in the beginning. If you knew, when you start writing a book, what you’re going to say at the end, do you think you’d have the courage to write it? What goes for writing and for a love relationship goes for life too. The thing is only worth it to the degree we ignore how it will end.
– Michel Foucault

There are so many ways people show up for each other in art: with a poetics, with a story, with a “content,” with a politics, with a shape. We show up with languages and forms. We give each other permission. We say you can. It means something that we do this for each other.
– Jessica Johnson

The thought of these vast stacks of books would drive him mad: the more he read, the less he seemed to know — the greater the number of the books he read, the greater the immense uncountable number of those which he could never read would seem to be…. The thought that other books were waiting for him tore at his heart forever.
– Thomas Wolfe

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see, and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
– Joan Didion

There is a difference between having intelligence and having knowledge. Intelligence is innate, knowledge is acquired.

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. There are many intelligent people who are ignorant on many subjects in many areas of their lives. To assume that one knows more than the experts is an ignorant position to take.

– Laurence Overmire

Books act like a developing fluid on film. That is, they bring into consciousness what you didn’t know you knew.
– Clifton Fadiman

And from a poet’s side shall read his book.
O daisy mine, what will it be to look
From God’s side even of such a simple thing?
– Alice Meynell

A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.
– May Sarton

Lots of people talk to animals…
Not very many listen though,
that is the problem.
– A.A. Milne

As long as we are determined
to move at our swift, logical pace,
our child remains hidden.
The soul-bird put away in a dark box in childhood
needs time, needs silence
to learn to trust again
– Marion Woodman

And when you think about it, poets always want us to be moved by something, until in the end, you begin to suspect a poet is someone who is moved by everything, who just stands in front of the world and weeps and laughs and laughs and weeps (the mysteries, said Aristotle, are the saying of many ridiculous and many serious things).
– Mary Ruefle

The person who cannot set himself down
on the crest of the moment,
forgetting everything from the past,
who is not capable of standing on a single point,
like a goddess of victory,
without dizziness or fear,
will never know what happiness is.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

In front of the breast lies the great world of activity; behind it, in the spinal cord, is the vast, illimitable, unfathomable ocean of consciousness, motionless and peaceful. The waves of the world are hurling themselves upon the breast, breaking there and sinking down into the deep peace of the ocean within.
– Sri Anirvan

Not to cherish both the angel and the animal, both the spirit and the flesh, is to renounce the whole interest and greatness of being human, and it is really tragic that those in whom the two natures are equally strong should be made to feel in conflict with themselves. For the saint-sinner and the mystic-sensualist is always the most interesting type of human being because he is the most complete.
– Alan Watts

In Greek the word means ‘the wounds of returning’. Nostalgia is not an emotion that is entertained; it is sustained. When Ulysses comes home, nostalgia is the lumps he takes, not the tremulous pleasures he derives from being home again.
– Hollis Frampton

The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.
– Pema Chödron

I walk alone, absorbed in my fantastic play, —
Fencing with rhymes, which, parrying nimbly, back away;
Tripping on words, as on rough paving in the street,
Or bumping into verses I long had dreamed to meet.
– Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal

Ideas are like dreams; they will disappear unless we record them.

Write a book, start a podcast, build a brand—anything that makes your ideas real.

– Simon Sinek

His two suitcases, which he left open on the floor, were never entirely unpacked. At that time nothing was unpacked, even in people’s heads. Everything was in store or in transit. Dreams were kept on luggage racks, in kitbags and in suitcases.
– John Berger

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
– Rabindranath Tagore

Man does not know he carries the stars hidden in himself and he is the microcosm and thus carries within him the whole firmament.
– Paracelsus

Thinking out of the box’ is exactly how a box would think.
– Báyò Akómoláfé

It is time, then, to consider a new kind of declaration. A declaration of responsibility, acknowledging what we have done and recognizing we were mistaken: a simple expression of collective responsibility for what is wrong.
– Hugh Roberts

We are living in a fake world. But we find reality in this fake world.
– Haruki Murakami

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
– Charlotte Brontë

…it’s not necessary to stand by the sea to paint the sea, it is there, inside us, grafted into places — the temporal world cannot keep.
– Marian Haddad

You Can’t

Translated by Fady Joudah

They will fall in the end,
those who say you can’t.
It’ll be age or boredom that overtakes them,
or lack of imagination.
Sooner or later, all leaves fall to the ground.
You can be the last leaf.
You can convince the universe
that you pose no threat
to the tree’s life.

– Maya Abu Al-Hayyat

Always keep mint on your windowsill in August, to ensure that buzzing flies will stay outside, where they belong. Don’t think the summer is over, even when roses droop and turn brown and the stars shift position in the sky. Never presume August is a safe or reliable time of the year. It is the season of reversals, when the birds no longer sing in the morning and the evenings are made up of equal parts golden light and black clouds. The rock-solid and the tenuous can easily exchange places until everything you know can be questioned and put into doubt.
– Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possibly heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, or we are also living the stories we planted— knowingly or unknowingly—in ourselves. We live stories that either give our lives meaning or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change our lives.
– Ben Okri

Surrender to the way things want to happen next, even though this often involves a vast and terrifying loss of control. Trust the magic that was born into your soul.
– Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

What has been an ancient spiritual truth is now increasingly verified by science: We are all indivisibly part of one another. We share a common ancestry with everyone and everything alive on earth. The air we breathe contains atoms that have passed through the lungs of ancestors long dead. Our bodies are composed of the same elements created deep inside the furnaces of long-dead stars. We can look upon the face of anyone or anything around us and say—as a moral declaration and a spiritual, cosmological, and biological fact: You are a part of me I do not yet know.
– Valarie Kaur

Ode: We Are the Music Makers
by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory.
One man with a dream of pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown,
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample and empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Ninevah with our sighing,
And Bable itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that it dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Instead of running after patience, relax and let it come to you. Loosen the tension in your body; open your concentration and allow your emotional energy to flow. Let the warm, soothing energy of patience arise within you and flow through your body easily and freely. This practice is the act of patience.
– Tarthang Tulku

Often I imagine the earth
through the eyes of the atoms we’re made of—
atoms, peculiar
atoms everywhere—
no me, no you, no opinions,
no beginning, no middle, no end,
soaring together like those
ancient Chinese birds
hatched miraculously with only one wing,
helping each other fly home.
– Dan Gerber

Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.
– Colin Powell

It’s the old grief again,
come today on Yom HaShoah,
day of Remembrance.
A day to rest, ourselves, our lands, our ancient hatreds.
A day for olives and honey, for figs and pomegranates,
for sweetness.
Who by heart, and who by soul, who by dream and who by drift,
Who by avodah, by prayer, by work,
Who by love and who by sorrow,
Who by peace and who by disaster
Homeseekers, Godwrestlers, journeymakers
Who by light and who by forest,
Today, all are called to stand at the gates of Auschwitz.
Rings and words sewn into our hem, hearts hid beneath suitcase lining,
Today we speak back the Word to the Giver,
shine Light back to Source of all Light.
We’ve been running on fumes. On coffee, on oil, on must and have-to –
Today we quit.
Today we bless and invite the white fire of silence the poem burns into, both whole and gone, an alef bet of peace.
Neruda said: Keep quiet, said:
If we …for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Love is the User Manual, on holy days & lonely days…
V’ahavta …and you shall love…
May our lives be a blessing
May we live each day to its fullest
for the sake of all that is life,
O New ear, that hears! O little sister, o my brother!
– Judyth Hill

the thing about loving people is that then they love people too and those people love people and all of a sudden you’re keeping half a city written in your heart. the names alone would take a night to pray.
– @eireannmor

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant—there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing—and keeping the unknown always beyond you…
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Hearing about how much ‘boss’ type behavior is ok before it crosses into bullying sounds dated to me. Surely it’s not about where to draw the line but how we can just move on from this macho, oppressive style to something more collaborative & respectful of hearing different views?
– Charlie Jones

A thoroughly good relationship with ourselves results in being still, which doesn’t mean we don’t run and jump and dance about. It means there’s no compulsiveness. We don’t overwork, overeat, oversmoke, overseduce. In short, we begin to stop causing harm.
– Pema Chodron

At the edge of the forest—dream flowers chime.
– Arthur Rimbaud

And, if you ever did
Come back
To me
What, would I tell
Of the times you had missed
Or, the times I had missed you.
– Athey Thompson

It is very difficult to make meditation into a habit. Even though you’ve been doing it for twenty years, still there’s constantly a certain sense of struggle involved. This shows that meditation is different from the rest of habitual things. It requires some kind of challenge, constantly.
– Chögyam Trungpa

Writer friends: If we heal all the wounds that drove us to write in the first place, will we still have something to say?
– Bernadette Murphy

There is no past we can bring back by longing for it. There is only an eternal now that builds and creates out of the past something new and better.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Island
by Langston Hughes

Wave of sorrow,
Do not drown me now: I see the island
Still ahead somehow.
I see the island
And its sands are fair: Wave of sorrow,
Take me there.

A synthesis of attitudes, developed from the aesthetics and economics of invention and problem solving, informs the formal making of all things.
– Simon Cutts

There is something I know, there is something I know, there is something . . . When still a child, living still in a canary-yellow, large, cold house […] I knew without knowing, I knew without wonder, I knew as one knows oneself, I knew what it is impossible to know.
– Nabokov

My God:

招招舟子、人涉卬否。 人涉卬否、卬須我友

The ferryman keeps beckoning; others cross with him, but I do not. Others cross with him, but I do not: I am waiting for my friend.

– via Aaron Poohigian

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
– Edmund Burke

Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.
– Confucius

If you want a new idea, read an old book.
– Ivan Pavlov

How far is night advanced, and when will day
Retinge the dusk and livid air with bloom,
And fill this void with warm, creative ray?
– Charlotte Brontë

A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.
– Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
– Mark Twain

The object isn’t to make art,
it’s to be in that wonderful state
which makes art inevitable.
– Robert Henri

Humans don’t mind hardship. In fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary.
– Sebastian Junger

Do not go out seeking those who err. What do you know about their error? Perhaps it is sacred. You should not disturb the sacred.
– @RedBookJung

For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. “Longing,” says the poet Robert Hass, “because desire is full of endless distances.”

In long-term relationships …we are called upon to navigate that delicate balance between separateness and connectedness …we confront the challenge of sustaining both–without losing either.
– Harriet Lerner

Most people are perfectly capable of figuring out their own “stuff” given time. If not, they probably don’t want to figure it out.
– Barrie Davenport

A poet is someone who has a
strong sense of self and feels
his life to be meaningful.
By insisting on that self and
refusing to become the socialized
article that bureaucrats, priests,
rabbis, and so-called educators
approve of, the poet offends the
brainwashed millions who are the
majority in any country.
His words, his free manner of
living are a constant irritation to
the repressed, the fearful, the
self satisfied, and the incurious.
– Irving Layton

Ultimately, our practice requires the implicit understanding that whatever situation or emotion we can’t say yes to is the exact direction of our path.
– Ezra Bayda, Zen Heart

The problem with the past is that it has no imagination; it can only repeat its script.
– James Hollis

I can’t do computer programming. I’ve tried for years to somehow find any goddamn paradigm that doesn’t make me want to jump off a cliff but it’s just not going to happen. It’s over, I give up, it’s too tedious and boring and frustrating and sad.
– Mikael Brockman

It’s never very pleasant in the morning to open The New York Times.
– W. H. Auden

We few left who listen to the radio leave
Ourselves available to surprise.
– Jericho Brown

Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone.
– Charles Bukowski

In an experiment revealing the importance of having friendships, social psychologists have found that perceptions of task difficulty are significantly shaped by the proximity of a friend. In their experimental design, the researchers asked college students to stand at the base of a hill while carrying a weighted backpack and to estimate the steepness of a hill. Some participants stood next to close friends whom they had known a long time, some stood next to friends they had not known for long, and the rest stood alone during the exercise. The students who stood with friends gave significantly lower estimates of the steepness of the hill than those who stood alone. Furthermore, the longer the close friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared to the participants involved in the study. In other words, the world looks less difficult when standing next to a close friend.
– Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci, and Proffitt, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Watching our mind can be more enjoyable than watching a Hollywood movie. The screen, projector, story, characters and drama are all within our own experience, and all of samsara and nirvana is part of the show. Such a great theater production couldn’t be bought for millions of dollars. Our ticket into this theater is ‘seeing through’: seeing that phenomena do not exist as they appear.

Seeing through appearance – thoughts, emotions and outer objects – is very important. When we don’t see through appearance, we invest that which is fluid, changing and ungraspable with an existence it doesn’t have, and the world seems to either lure us in or threaten us. This makes peace of mind almost impossible.
– Dzitar Kongtrul Rinpoche, It’s Up to You

Intuition sees through borders and boundaries and finds what the intellect fails to see. Because the intellect fails to see certain realities, it assumes they do not exist and are invented by the imagination.
– David Tacey

It’s cold today, but in a spring way, and I love you.
– Vladimir Nabokov

There were none of the signs of spring…no budding woods or blooming gardens. There was only-spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere: in the sky, in the swift clouds, in the pale sunshine, and in the warm, high wind
– Willa Cather

Sometimes the ideas that least match our expectations are the most innovative. By definition, revolutionary ideas have no context. They invent their own.
– Rick Rubin

Once in a while I use a language of mine
I invent it, kneading it with the past
I don’t hand it over except in translation.
– Antonella Anedda, Languages, tr. P. Ceccagnoli and S. Stewart

my hometown
no longer in view
summer lark
– Issa

The worst thing you can try to do is cling to something that is gone, or to recreate it.
– Johnette Napolitano

The single sleeper lying here
Is neither lying nor asleep.
Bend down your nosey parker ear
And eavesdrop on him. In the deep
Conundrum of the dirt, he speaks
The one word you will never hear.
– George Barker, Epitaph for the Poet

All I want to say is: I made the best of a mediocre job. It was a good fight while it lasted. And so life goes.
– Sylvia Plath

Love is the emblem of eternity:
it confounds all notion of time:
effaces all memory of a beginning,
all fear of an end.
– Madame de Staël

Yes, a day is merely forever
In memory’s shiningness,
And a year but a gust or a gasp
In the summer’s heat of Time, and in that last summer
I was almost ready to learn
What imagination is—it is only
The lie we must learn to live by, if ever
We mean to live at all.
– Robert Penn Warren

But the greatest human problems are not social problems, but decisions that the individual has to make alone. The most important feelings of which man is capable of emphasize his separateness from other people, not his kinship with them. The feelings of a mountaineer towards a mountain emphasize his kinship with the mountain rather than with the rest of mankind. The same goes for the leap of the heart experienced by a sailor when he smells the sea, or for the astronomer’s feeling about the stars, or for the archaeologist’s love of the past.

My feeling of love for my fellowmen makes me aware of my humanness, but my feeling about a mountain gives me an oddly nonhuman sensation. It would be incorrect, perhaps, to call it ‘superhuman’; but it nevertheless gives me a sense of transcending my everyday humanity. Maslow’s importance is that he has placed these experiences of ‘transcendence’ at the centre of his psychology. He sees them as the compass by which man gains a sense of the magnetic north of his existence. They bring a glimpse of ‘the source of power, meaning and purpose’ inside himself. This can be seen with great clarity in the matter of the cure of alcoholics. Alcoholism arises from what I have called ‘generalised hypertension’, a feeling of strain or anxiety about practically everything. It might be described as a ‘passively negative’ attitude towards existence. The negativity prevents proper relaxation; there is a perpetual excess of adrenalin in the bloodstream. Alcohol may produce the necessary relaxation, switch off the anxiety, allow one to feel like a real human being instead of a bundle of over-tense nerves. Recurrence of hypertension makes the alcoholic remedy a habit, but the disadvantages soon begin to outweigh the advantage: hangovers, headaches, fatigue, guilt, general inefficiency. And, above all, passivity.

The alcoholics are given mescalin or LSD, and then peak experiences are induced by means of music or poetry or colours blending on a screen. They are suddenly gripped and shaken by a sense of meaning, of just how incredibly interesting life can be for the undefeated. They also become aware of the vicious circle involved in alcoholism: misery and passivity leading to a general running-down of the vital powers, and to the lower levels of perception that are the outcome of fatigue. ‘The spirit world shuts not its gates, Your heart is dead, your senses sleep,’ says the Earth Spirit to Faust. And the senses sleep when there is not enough energy to run them efficiently. On the other hand, when the level of will and determination is high, the senses wake up. (Maslow was not particularly literary, or he might have been amused to think that Faust is suffering from exactly the same problem as the girl in the chewing gum factory (described earlier), and that he had, incidentally, solved a problem that had troubled European culture for nearly two centuries).

Peak experiences are a by-product of this higher energy-drive. The alcoholic drinks because he is seeking peak experiences; (the same, of course, goes for all addicts, whether of drugs or tobacco.) In fact, he is moving away from them, like a lost traveler walking away from the inn in which he hopes to spend the night. The moment he sees with clarity what he needs to do to regain the peak experience, he does an about-face and ceases to be an alcoholic.

– Colin Wilson

Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
– Dame Edna Everage

We must not be frightened nor cajoled into accepting evil as deliverance from evil. We must go on struggling to be human, though monsters of abstractions police and threaten us.
– Robert Hayden

It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.
– George Orwell

We could say that practically all the problems of the human race are due to the fact that thought is not proprioceptive.
– David Bohm, On Dialogue

The autonomous individual is a political fiction. It takes a kind of sham gullibility, on our parts, too, to separate this mendacity from our daily lives even as we continue to project it onto politics. Every one of us begins within the body of a mother; every one of us would soon die after birth without constant attention and care; most of us begin our post-natal feeding directly from the body of a woman. All of us, at one point or another, even in our adult lives, passes through periods of vulnerability and dependence in sickness, injury, disability, and old age. No actual person can live without others. Mothers are a constant reminder that the emperor of “the autonomous individual” is as naked as that newborn.
– via azspot, Bio-libertarianism, Meat-Lego Gnosticism, and other matters

Landscape and spirituality are not, for us, inevitably interwoven. We experience no inescapable linkage between our “place” and our way of conceiving the holy, between habitat and habitus, where one lives and how one practices a habit of being. Our concern is simply to move as quickly (and freely) as possible from one place to another. We are bereft of rituals of entry that allow us to participate fully in the places we inhabit.

We have lost the ability even to heed the natural environment, much less perceive it through the lens of a particular tradition. Modern Western culture is largely shorn of attentiveness to both habitat and habitus. Where we live—to what we are rooted—no longer defines who we are. We have learned to distrust all disciplines of formative spiritual traditions, with their communal ways of perceiving the world. We have realized, in the end, the “free individual” at the expense of a network of interrelated meanings.
– Belden C. Lane

It’s really important to not force information in when you can’t receive. To accept all the things in our history that we have not been able to absorb. And to, little by little, allow information in that we don’t have to do anything about except to accept. And to sit with it.

And to choose the easy path. Because as information comes in that caused great tension, if we get into the membrane we can re-experience it in a way that doesn’t actually help us come through it, we just reenact it. But if we find the easy path and just go under the tone and say, “This bit I accept”. But don’t force anything in that causes more stress than you can process through sitting in the synapse.

– Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

Because getting to know the world happens anyway, by living in it, as soon as you walk out the door you’re confronted with the world directly. With the whole world. With up and down, back and front, ugliness and beauty, perfectly normal. There’s no need to want this. It happens of its own accord. And if you never leave the house, the process is the same.
– Thomas Bernhard

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
– Toni Morrison

Let there be new flowering
in the fields let the fields
turn mellow for the men
let the men keep tender
through the time let the time
be wrested from the war
let the war be won
let love be
at the end
– Lucille Clifton

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

Don’t pay too much attention or take your emotions too seriously. What you feel is not who you are.
– Ariel Grunwald

Will I never rest in sunlight again – slow, languid & golden with peace?
– Sylvia Plath

When a culture is not mythologically instructed, not instructed in story that gives us a call, then we start looking for quasi-stories, little toxic stories that keep our selves alerted and spared until we find another story.
– Jean Houston

What has endured through human history are the stories. They are amazing trees of sound that grow inside the human memory and are fed by some longing for intimacy with others.
– Robert Bly

The Inheritance
I open the door to the world every morning,
anticipating, wondering
who will be the first to greet me
as I step onto the earth with eyes still soft
from dreaming.
Will it be pine, or pine warbler?
Who will be beside me
when I kneel at the pond,
walk through the wood,
cross the meadow?
Will I notice them?
Will they notice me?
Never are my days lived alone.
Never are my breaths less than
an exchange of breaths with some
other soul.
Everything wants to be known.
So, for awhile each day, I tend to this
mutual desire for belonging,
Saying, “Hello pretty girl,” to the doe.
stroking the pussy willows.
meditating beside a frog.
This is how I apprentice to love,
and learn to speak those forgotten words
that acknowledge every living thing
as a simple miracle.
When the day comes that my body
no longer needs to walk out the door
in order to know this fine world,
I pray that some young person is
stepping across their threshold,
taking a deep breath in the morning air,
and realizing,
this is my inheritance.
– Jamie K. Reaser

Our human conditioning makes the ego react against threats to survival. The experiencer experiences fear when the experiences disappear. That’s why there aren’t very many liberated beings—because you have to let go.
– Ram Dass

I am of that bit of earth. So I will not let it go. I show up in the small ways I can, which is talking to people, which is why I tell this to you.
– Lauren Stroh

The symbolic inner experiences which the shaman lives through during his period of initiation are identical with the symbolic experiences the man of today lives through during the individuation process.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

During individuation, one encounters the ‘gods’ not through any collective myth or mediated through the external forms of a religion, but directly, as powers to be experienced within one’s own being.
– Keiron Le Grice

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.
– Toni Morrison

Mars is braw in crammasy,
Venus in a green silk goun,
The auld mune shak’s her gowden feathers,
Their starry talk’s a wheen o’ blethers,
Nane for thee a thochtie sparin’,
Earth, thou bonnie broukit bairn!
– But greet, an’ in your tears ye’ll droun
The haill clanjamfrie!
– Hugh MacDiarmid


Well, friend, we’re here again — 
sauntering the last half-mile to the land’s frayed end
to find what’s laid on for us, strewn across the turf — 
gull feathers, bleached shells,
a whole bull seal, bone-dry,
knackered from the rut
(we knock on his leathern head, but no one’s home).

Change, change — that’s what the terns scream
down at their seaward rocks;
fleet clouds and salt kiss — 
everything else is provisional,
us and all our works.
I guess that’s why we like it here:
listen — a brief lull,
a rock pipit’s seed-small notes.
– Kathleen Jamie

We dream of ourselves, we aliens from everywhere. Thieves stealing their way across the land.
– Lydia Millet, Elegy for an Altered Planet

The mountain is a sacred place … if you hear the twin sisters telling stories, you should listen.
– Greg Sarris

To be able to disaggregate and denote the elements of your home ground is not to practice an Adamic, possessive form of naming, but rather to sharpen perception—and to begin to honor the immense complexities, human and more-than-human, of a given landscape and its communities. Good place-language, well used, opens onto mystery, grows knowledge, and summons wonder. And in the absence of an exact and detail-giving lexis, the living world can blur into a generalized wash of green, becoming an easily disposable backdrop. Certainly, the nuances observed by specialized vocabularies of place-perception are evaporating from common usage, burnt off by capital, apathy, and virtualization.
– Robert Macfarlane on Barry Lopez

At the end of a world, there are no damned or saved souls, only people and other kin to share in the work of making life possible.
– Bathsheba Demuth

Walking back the way we came, everything was blurred. Tears are made of salt water and we drank them. Grief is love, I kept repeating under my breath. Whatever I have come to know of love and grief I have learned from Great Salt Lake.
– Terry Tempest Williams

We will not save this Earth and all the beings upon it because it’s a good idea. We will save this Earth and its beings because we love it.
– Jane Hirshfield in conversation with Ezra Klein

Poetry has always been massively international, and internationalist, regardless of political affiliations. We poets can make non-political connections. There are diplomats for politics. We’re diplomats for poetry, for literature, for humanity and culture.
– Kathleen Jamie

carrying you over
a river of stars
night rainbow
– Takada Rozan

Ah, he says, you are dreaming again

And I say then I’m glad I dream
the fire is still alive

– Louise Glück

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

– Langston Hughes

We can never part
with matter,

the mind’s old

as water to our

so is rock, the

to our eyes, and

and feet.
It is firm water:

it is cold flame.

-after Emerson

– Kim Dorman

Other world?

There is no other world;
here or nowhere

is the whole fact.

-after Emerson

– Kim Dorman

. . . strange, strange are the mishaps of memory.
– Nabokov, The Gift

Be generous with kind words, especially about those who are absent.
– Goethe

We write to be in the reverb of word and world.
– Lauren Berlant & Kathleen Stewart, The Hundreds

The delicious soft, spring-suggesting air, – how it fills my veins with life! Life becomes again credible to me.
– Henry David Thoreau

by wild roses
mountain home
– Issa

For a young person it is almost a sin. . . . to be too much occupied with himself; but for the aging person it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.
– Carl Gustav Jung

I Don’t Know What Will Kill Us First:
The Race War or What We’ve Done to the Earth
by Fatimah Asghar

so I count my hopes: the bumblebees
are making a comeback, one snug tight
in a purple flower I passed to get to you;

your favorite color is purple but Prince’s
was orange & we both find this hard to believe;
today the park is green, we take grass for granted

the leaves chuckle around us; behind
your head a butterfly rests on a tree; it’s been
there our whole conversation; by my old apartment

was a butterfly sanctuary where I would read
& two little girls would sit next to me; you caught
a butterfly once but didn’t know what to feed it

so you trapped it in a jar & gave it to a girl
you liked. I asked if it died. you say you like
to think it lived a long life. yes, it lived a long life.

Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy

A fifth of animals without backbones could be at risk of extinction, say scientists.
– BBC Nature News

Ask me if I speak for the snail and I will tell you
I speak for the snail.
speak of underneathedness
and the welcome of mosses,
of life that springs up,
little lives that pull back and wait for a moment.

I speak for the damselfly, water skeet, mollusk,
the caterpillar, the beetle, the spider, the ant.
I speak
from the time before spinelessness was frowned upon.

Ask me if I speak for the moon jelly. I will tell you
one thing today and another tomorrow
and I will be as consistent as anything alive
on this earth.

I move as the currents move, with the breezes.
What part of your nature drives you? You, in your cubicle
ought to understand me. I filter and filter and filter all day.

Ask me if I speak for the nautilus and I will be silent
as the nautilus shell on a shelf. I can be beautiful
and useless if that’s all you know to ask of me.

Ask me what I know of longing and I will speak of distances
between meadows of night-blooming flowers.
I will speak
the impossible hope of the firefly.

You with the candle
burning and only one chair at your table must understand
such wordless desire.

To say it is mindless is missing the point.

crimson stigmata
an apple blossom
at the centre of the universe
– Wales Haiku Journal, Eiku

Everyone is isolated from everyone else. The concept of society is like a cushion to protect us from the knowledge of that isolation. A fiction that serves as an anesthetic.
– Paul Bowles

We fill pre-existing forms and when we
fill them we change them and are changed.
– Frank Bidart, Borges and I

Nobody in this nation feels safe, and I’m still a reason why.
– Jericho Brown, The Tradition

Anyone without a soul friend
is a body without a head.
– Celtic Saying

I cannot go on
restricting myself to images
because you think it is your right
to dispute my meaning:

I am prepared now to force
clarity upon you.

– Louise Glück, Clear Morning

My life, which seems so simple and monotonous, is really a complicated affair of cafés where they like me and cafés where they don’t…
– Jean Rhys

The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.
– Charlotte Brontë

[Narrator] everything was going well until our hero found herself at a bar featuring a Jamiroquai cover band.
– Sheila Liming

I knocked, still knock
to be let in, beloved.
This is the oldest poem

the older poet said,
outside the door of the beloved
asking to be let in—

– Solmaz Sharif

to take an honest delight in another person’s wonder is the first prerequisite of being a good teacher.
– Matt Jugo

And this is what I learned,
that the world’s otherness is antidote
to confusion — that standing
within this otherness —
the beauty and the mystery
of the world, out in the fields
or deep inside books —
can re-dignify the worst-stung heart.

– Mary Oliver

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant… A tough life needs a tough language — and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers — a language powerful enough to say how it is.
– Jeanette Winterson

Thank God someone
has loved words,
the old monk told
the poet.
– The Old Monk

The whole technological enterprise of the West (which is designed to control the universe by technological methods) is in the end not sufficiently conscious of itself to know where it’s going.
– Alan Watts

Every word is a code
until you break it,
the old monk told
the poet.
– The Old Monk

Poetry, like gunpowder
was first used to light up

the sky with every color outside
a summer window.

– Adrian Matejka

The more restrictions he could create for himself, the freer he could be in improvising his way to a solution.
– Olivia Laing

An Earth Song
by Langston Hughes

It’s an earth song,—
And I’ve been waiting long for an earth song.
It’s a spring song,—
And I’ve been waiting long for a spring song.
Strong as the shoots of a new plant
Strong as the bursting of new buds
Strong as the coming of the first child from its mother’s womb.
It’s an earth song,
A body song,
A spring song,
I have been waiting long for this spring song.

Indigenous rainbow prophecy says that:

There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go.

Most of my life I’ve worked in coffee shops, cafeterias, fast-food joints. I like to go to public spaces and settle down to work. I’ve almost always started a poem while sitting in a coffee shop or walking.
– Edward Hirsch

the most
powerful force
in the universe is silence
– Tendo Shogaku

To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.
– Vladimir Nabokov

If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.
– Henry Miller

In a place where sound cannot be heard
Because there is no air to move
Where invisible transmissions from stars in the night
Pass each other in silent waves
There exist the seeds of inspiration
We turn our electronic ears toward the heavens
And hear their very creation
The whirs and peals of exploding stars, collapsing galaxies, exploding nebulae
Echo and chant and in doing so stir our passion
To express the emanations of our affected souls
Music, art, scientific exploration
All become the expressions of our passion
And we dance through the expanse of time
We generate sounds to punctuate our existence
Hoping for their discovery in the greatness of space
– Richard P. Havens

Mythically, the center of one thing leads to the center of everything. Seen in this way, the illness of one person becomes the ailment through which all that ails a community can be addressed; the wound in one person can become the door through which everyone can find the center of life again. Thus, the afflicted one becomes the center of the community and the opportunity for everyone to commune with the origins of life. That is why people used to say that the afflicted are holy; they are one way through which holiness and healing keep trying to enter this world.
– Michael Meade

Travel while you are young, and still are free of responsibilities. See what a big, broad, beautiful land we have here, then maybe a foreign land or two. See that there are honest, hard-working people in every corner of the globe, all quite certain that their own way of living, their local geography, their music, etc. is most beautiful.
– Pete Seeger

by John James

for Wendell

Algae pushes north
and further north.
The plankton follows,
and with it, a biome

of multifarious
sea creatures: microbes,
mollusks. Charismatic
megafauna. All of them

now breed at higher latitude,
which means the things
that bred at that higher latitude
now breed elsewhere

and elsewhere
eat. I linger at the end,
the edge of it. I tread
the precipice

of the abyss. It is Friday,
early, and my son
is newly born. In the dark
he coos and grunts. The slowing

stream of morning
news murmurs in his ear.
It cradles him
in a sound, like some

object of history.
Outside, berry brambles
glisten in an almost
absent wind, here

and there starting up
to toss pollen from a node.
The starlings, always
starlings, tighten

like fists along a strand
of telephone wire.
My son, he’s sucking
on my finger. He’s looking

up at me with two bulbous
slate gray eyes that hardly
let me scrawl these words.
I think of the beluga

whale stitched on his shirt, the fishy
taste of the milk it feeds
its own young, born in warmer
waters, which push them

toward the pole. Here, sun
pummels the windows
and the exposed planks of the house,
summons tiny seedlings

from the mud. It desiccates
the herbs left hanging
on the porch. My son
writhes in my arm, a single

muscle almost, slacking
and contracting as he throws
another wail. The end, it’s moving
toward us. His future’s set

in an unreadable script.
Through glass
I watch starlings shuffle
and drift, displace

grubworms from the dirt.
My neighbor shaves
a bristlecone pine toppled
in the morning heat. He drops

the limbs in piles
and soaks the wood in flame.
Somewhere in the distance
plankton colonies dissolve.

Whales go with them.
The oak trees
burn in Spain. My son
rolls his eyes over curtains

and patterned sheets, gazes
at the azure
light of the TV. At his lips,
a milky bubble. He moves

his tiny head. He dozes
to the changeless whir
of the machine, gogging, I presume,
at its slow and secret ministry.

I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.
– Elizabeth Acevedo

In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment.
– Louise Glück

oh, I have those; they
govern me.
– Louise Glück

When I want to return to Russia, I climb the mountains in pursuit of butterflies and there, at the edge of the forest, I find a place that looks like the Russia of my youth.
– Vladimir Nabokov

he was a wanderer, alone and lost in a marvelous world, completely indifferent toward him, in which butterflies danced, lizards darted, and leaves glistened.
– Vladimir Nabokov

the idea that ideas are solely to be judged by whether they are true or false is a powerful obstacle to understanding patterns in intellectual history.
– Jake Orthwein

without the rush
of words
– Deb Koen

camping trip
she uses my old chapbook
to start the fire
– @NJBarico

We got tricked by science fiction into thinking a futuristic city is all about flying cars and crystal towers and hologram billboards but what it really looks like is nice apartment blocks, good mass transit, pedestrian zones with shade trees and safe bike lanes.
– Katie Mack

Late night, the moon-bleached prairie landscapes outside the scratched windows flowed and fled in the moonlight, no more substantial than the landscapes of dreams. I hardly slept, afraid I’d miss something.
– Charles Frazier

I wear my stomach on the outside
to spite the sea.
– R.S. Mengert

I have never believed that poetry is an escape from history, and I do not think it is more, or less, necessary than food, shelter, health, education, decent working conditions. It is as necessary.
– Adrienne Rich

I must follow the voice that speaks in my soul and not deceive myself by any talmudic or jesuitical rationalization, that I can attach and commit myself to any mass belief and tradition… I want to build my own altar.
– Susan Taubes

If you pray everyday,
if you practice yoga
and meditation for years
if you preach about God and
yet you continue to hurt
people in your life,
you continue to judge and blame,
you continue to compare and compete,
you continue to complain about this and that,
then you are still under ego grip. You are not liberated from self limiting beliefs.
– Guthema Roma

Love can happen in a split second. Bondedness can’t. That’s the thing we learn the hard way. That love is not the end of the story. It’s just the first chapter. The next chapters demand that we acknowledge our wounding, clear our emotional debris, strengthen our capacity for attachment, learn how to authentically relate, mature in the deep within. Chapter after chapter of refining our ability to meet love with a true heart. This is the work of a lifetime.
– Jeff Brown

Most people…are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path: no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path.
– Hermann Hesse

These two feelings, this knowledge of a world so awful, this sense of a life so extraordinary — how am I to resolve them?
– Richard Flanagan

In our yearning to be perfect, we have mistaken perfection for wholeness. We think we cannot love ourselves until we and others meet some external standard. Depression, anxiety—in fact, most neuroses and compulsions—are ultimately a defense against loving ourselves without condition. We are afraid to look at the damp, dark, ugly yet exquisite roots of being that stretch deep into our survival chakra. We are fearful of finding that the spirit is not there, that our Home is empty, even as our outer home is empty. Yet it is in that place of survival, where the dark mother has been abandoned, that spirit longs to be embodied so that the whole body may become light. Ego wants to be the god of our own idealized projection; spirit wants to be incarnated in our humanity where it can grow in wisdom through experience.
– Marion Woodman

My Sad Self
by Allen Ginsberg

to Frank O’Hara

Sometimes when my eyes are red
I go up on top of the RCA Building
and gaze at my world, Manhattan—
my buildings, streets I’ve done feats in,
lofts, beds, coldwater flats
—on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind,
its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men
walking the size of specks of wool—
Panorama of the bridges, sunrise over Brooklyn machine,
sun go down over New Jersey where I was born
& Paterson where I played with ants—
my later loves on 15th Street,
my greater loves of Lower East Side,
my once fabulous amours in the Bronx
paths crossing in these hidden streets,
my history summed up, my absences
and ecstasies in Harlem—
—sun shining down on all I own
in one eyeblink to the horizon
in my last eternity—
matter is water.
I take the elevator and go
down, pondering,
and walk on the pavements staring into all man’s
plateglass, faces,
questioning after who loves,
and stop, bemused
in front of an automobile shopwindow
standing lost in calm thought,
traffic moving up & down 5th Avenue blocks behind me
waiting for a moment when …
Time to go home & cook supper & listen to
the romantic war news on the radio
… all movement stops
& I walk in the timeless sadness of existence,
tenderness flowing thru the buildings,
my fingertips touching reality’s face,
my own face streaked with tears in the mirror
of some window—at dusk—
where I have no desire—
for bonbons—or to own the dresses or Japanese
lampshades of intellection—
Confused by the spectacle around me,
Man struggling up the street
with packages, newspapers,
ties, beautiful suits
toward his desire
Man, woman, streaming over the pavements
red lights clocking hurried watches &
movements at the curb—
And all these streets leading
so crosswise, honking, lengthily,
by avenues
stalked by high buildings or crusted into slums
thru such halting traffic
screaming cars and engines
so painfully to this
countryside, this graveyard
this stillness
on deathbed or mountain
once seen
never regained or desired
in the mind to come
where all Manhattan that I’ve seen must disappear.

Our ego sings of illusions
While our true self, an instrument of spirit,
sings with the breath of God.
– Bob Holmes

The only insult I’ve ever received in my adult life was when someone asked me, ‘Do you have a hobby?’ A HOBBY?! DO I LOOK LIKE A FUCKING DABBLER?!
– John Waters

Buddhism has always been a religion that views itself as evolving and growing, and nowhere is this more evident than in its concept of “Three (or Four) Turnings.” The Third Turning, Vajrayana Buddhism, was the last major development over a thousand years ago, and it may be time for Buddhism to undergo another turn of the wheel in order to meet the challenges of our changing world. Ken Wilber summarizes some of the most important items that any new Turning of the Wheel of Dharma might want to seriously consider in his Fourth Turning of Buddhism teaching.
– Integral Life

Mr. or Mrs. Nobody
by William Stafford

Some days when you look out, the land
is heavy, following its hills, dim
where the road bends. There are days when
having the world is a mistake.
But then you think, “Well, anyway, it wasn’t
my idea,” and it’s OK again.
Suppose that a person who knows you happens
to see you going by, and it’s one of those days –
for a minute you have to carry the load
for them, you’ve got to lift the whole
heavy world, even without knowing it,
being a hero, stumbling along.
Some days it’s like that. And maybe
today. And maybe all the time.

Love is about expansion, not constriction. Becoming ourselves, not betraying ourselves. Writing love poetry isn’t simply about composing a stanza, it’s about composing a day… It’s about how we live, and I want to be a living love poem. Every day I ask myself, ‘How can I love harder?’ Love is my grounding force, it’s what gives my life shape and meaning; it anchors me to who I am and what I do. Love breaks through binaries—man and woman, us and them, you and me. I believe that everyone is worthy of love for being, not just for doing. Love means we believe in one another’s infinite capacity for transformation. It means we affirm one another’s complexity. And love also means we need each other…fundamentally and irrevocably.
– Alok Vaid-Menon

When I look out my window in the early dawn & see horses romping around;
When I see the happiness on their faces when I give them their breakfasts, lunches & dinners;
When I see them nuzzling a volunteer;
When I see them happily walking with a two-legged friend of theirs;
When I hear them whinny, excitedly, when they know it’s their arena time;
When I see them snoozing in the afternoon sun;
When I see them waiting for me after dark, knowing that a treat or two is in the offing;
And then, when I see them gently take it from my hand.
When I listen out the window at night & hear nothing but the occasional soft snort, knowing they’re sleeping.
That’s when I know that all the hard work is paying off.
That’s when I know that we’re doing the right thing.
That’s when I know that they love their lives.
And that’s when I know that I love mine.
– Jim Gath

If want to wake up to your essential nature you must learn how to work with difficult situations and people in your life. Family members are good place to start. Saints don’t help for awakening and you cannot find them easily unless you become one.
– Guthema Roma

We’re constantly being bombarded by insulting and humiliating music, which people are making for you the way they make those Wonder Bread products.

Just as food can be bad for your system, music can be bad for your spiritual and emotional feelings. It might taste good or clever, but in the long run, it’s not going to do anything for you…

– Bob Dylan

Very few people are capable of true friendship, which requires courage and judgment: Most lack the former and distrust the latter, which they feel is taste or fashion, when it ultimately is character, the very moral spine of a person, and that is terribly rare.
– Edward Albee

When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs.
– Thomas A Kempis

Do stuff. Be clenched, 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

I looked up with a wild duck’s eye into the trees
waving as the wind rushed through them…
Suddenly I felt alone on earth,
as I do when lying on the damp ground in spring
to see the bloodroot raising its leaf sheath through the mold.
These moments are not rare.
I can summon them whenever I fee the need to retire into the
For this is my wilderness,
untouched by man,
of infinite grace and harmony.
– Harlan Hubbard

Under Taurus

We were on the pier, you desiring
that I see the Pleiades. I could see
everything but what you wished.

Now I will follow. There is not a single cloud: the stars
appear, even the invisible sister. Show me where to look,
as though they will stay where they are.

Instruct me in the dark.

– Louise Glück

I counted my years
and realized that
I have less time to live by,
than I have lived so far.
I have more past than future.
I feel like that boy who got a bowl of cherries.
At first, he gobbled them,
but when he realized there were only few left,
he began to taste them intensely.
I no longer have time to deal with mediocrity.
I do not want to be in meetings where flamed egos parade.
I am bothered by the envious,
who seek to discredit the most able,
to usurp their places, coveting their seats,
talent, achievements and luck.
I do not have time for endless conversations,
useless to discuss about the lives of others
who are not part of mine.
I no longer have the time to manage
sensitivities of people who despite their chronological age, are immature.
I hate to confront those that struggle for power,
those that ‘do not debate content, just the labels’.
My time has become scarce to debate labels,
I want the essence.
My soul is in a hurry …
Not many cherries in my bowl,
I want to live close to human people, very human,
who laugh of their own stumbles,
and away from those turned smug
and overconfident with their triumphs,
away from those filled with self-importance.
The essential is what makes life worthwhile.
And for me, the essentials are enough!
Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining cherries.
I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
And per Confucius “We have two lives
and the second begins when you realize you only have one.
– Mário de Andrade

A little bird told me
you’re living the dream
content in the new world
you’ve found
free as a fledgling
emerged from the nest
flying so high above ground.
A little bird told me
you’ve found those you lost
and you’re feeling as loved as can be
that you just wouldn’t hear
of me joining you yet
because love wants you living
you see.
A little bird told me
you often come down
and lay your cool hand
on my head
reminding me I’ve
still a life yet to live
and it’s not time to be with you
– Donna Ashworth

Even the happiness that people seek from religion doesn’t amount to much in the absence of tsewa (warmth, affection, tenderness). Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists are equally in need of tsewa. For all members of these groups, the experience of the tender heart is the same. For all of them, this warm heart is the source of everything positive in the world. Tsewa predates the world’s religions; it is part of nature’s design. There is nothing religious about keeping one’s heart open and giving and receiving love. Any religion that fails to cherish and promote tsewa becomes an artificial religion, a dogmatic religion. Its purpose is something other than the welfare of beings. Fortunately, none of the major religions are like this. Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and the other great religions of this world all honor and foster tsewa. Of course, in every group, there are people who miss the point of the religion. They fail to connect their religion to the universal quest for happiness and freedom from suffering. This kind of attitude, as we often see, can become anti-tsewa, sabotaging rather than promoting the warm heart that is as important to our well-being as oxygen.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature… because… we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
– Max Planck

Artists and their art are liberated souls
forever sprinting and searching in the world.
– Haki R. Madhubuti

It takes great heart, discipline, and awareness to meet another person and NOT invite them into the story of our earlier life.
It often takes enormous healing resources, inner and outer, Earth, animal and Spirit allies, to witness a person AS THEY ARE, in their wholeness and woundedness, in their magnificence and in their entanglements and unconsciousness.
It is clear to me that I have come a long way AND, in the words of Robert Frost, “there are ‘miles to go before I sleep.”
This morning I’m dreaming of a world of a deeper and truer intimacy, where we can meet, even for some moments, beyond the traumatic stories we all carry in our lives.
– David Bedrick

Up and down the spine
breath flows, poured out
through your sacrum,
spilling distant suns
into the green well
of your planet,
then filling your axis mundi
to the crown, charging
heavenly spheres with new light,
each ray of inhalation ever
so gently held, a glittering
filament of ecstasy
piercing the furthest world
where you came from
and where you will return,
bearing the wisdom-fruit
life after life, breath after breath;
for isn’t each lifetime a breath
on a rosary of globes,
Sushumna beads
spiraling up your backbone,
healings that only happen
because each precious drop
of dew, of what is possible,
pearl moment, swirl of worlds,
is hollow at its core?
And all their hollows make you whole.
The stars are not as far off as you thought.
It was your thinking that
distanced them, these ancient friends,
fellow pilgrims on the rising falling path
of awakening.
Meet them with a holy kiss.
Pass right through their bodies,
pearl moments, swirl of worlds…
You are the thread.
You are the path
through every tear.
And all their hollows make you whole.
– Fred LaMotte

Showing Up
I always look forward to
when the Bloodroot blooms—
it never shows up quite
where I think it will,
but it always comes back,
startling me with
its ability to persist and
make its own decisions
on where to root
and be seen
– Heidi Barr

brother, trust me: life goes better when you allow yourself to be the boat, don’t try to be the wave.
– Richard D. Bartlett

The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water. For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time,…
– Miguel de Cervantes

Richard Feynman: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

There’s a point in meditation in which you can see/feel tanha in real-time arise as mental tension, and forever after you can’t unsee it — happiness is more often found by subtraction not addition, it follows releasing/relaxing, and it’s been hiding in plain sight
– Stephen Zerfas

As the butterfly
hovers near the sunset
its wings touch the sea
– Dilip Chitre

I challenge you
to race me to the bottom.
To the bottom
of our history,
our poverty,
our most abysmal
I would love to see if less
of what’s unresolved
in my own heart
might be used to wound you.
Let’s see who can be first
to offer kindness, humility
and grace
to the other.
Who can be first
to uphold the other’s dignity?
Who cares less about self-preservation
in the other’s name?
Who can win
at being more accepting
and disarmed,
who can access more
of their own darkness
to gift compassionate
space for the other,
who can find deeper forgiveness?
Who can undo themselves
again and again
more completely
to be nothing
but generosity
and love?
Who can bow
more deeply?
I will vie with you
for all of this—
to be a relentless mirror
for clearly reflecting
your light.
– Chelan Harkin

The unconscious always tries to produce an impossible situation in order to force the individual to bring out his very best. Otherwise one stops short of one’s best, one is not complete, one does not realize oneself. What is needed is an impossible situation where one has to renounce one’s own will and one’s own wit and do nothing but wait and trust to the impersonal power of growth and development. When you are up against a wall, be still and put down roots like a tree, until clarity comes from deeper sources to see over that wall.
– Carl Jung

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought (Sonnet 30)
by William Shakespeare

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

If something feeds your
soul, then consider
it nutritional for
your body…
– Marc David

That ineffable state of being, we are unable to inhabit, it seems, for more than a few moments, so we return to our lives, to the dishes, to the emails. But the real return, I believe, has already happened inside the poem—
– Charif Shanahan

Countless counterfeit fallacy:

An increasing number of anecdotes doesn’t strengthen the quality of evidence.

Many people can be wrong.

– Dr. Jonathan N. Stea

All great spirituality is about letting go. Instead, we have made it to be about taking in, attaining, performing, winning, and succeeding.
– Richar Rohr

Despite myriad differences in
beliefs and value systems, people
have the capacity to acknowledge
that the one constant across
the board is the Earth.
Her health is our health.
Her life is our life.
– Heidi Barr

I think that when my seven-year-old daughter is an adult, the idea that we would ever use packaging one time and then just send it out into the ether is going to seem so weird; it will seem like smoking on an airplane.
– Lauren Sweeney

A brief moment ago they crossed each other
your look and mine.
And all of a sudden I knew
-I don’t know if you too-
that in a while
without years or clocks,
another time,
your eyes and my eyes
they had met,
and this for now
it was nothing but an echo
the wave that returns,
across seas,
up to the old shore.
– Meira Delmar

Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.
– John Maynard Keynes

Soft, vulnerable, serious, dreamy, tender, and so near to me—beyond all words. I only care about the secret self. I only want the dream and the isolation.
– Anaïs Nin

By our own spirits are we defied,
We Poets in our youth begin in gladness,
But thereof come in the end
despondency and madness.
– William Wordsworth

Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?
– Brian Kernighan, 1974

I spend late morning weeping with the news:
a black bear with burnt paws is euthanized
along the latest wildfire’s newest edge.
It was crawling on its forearms, seeking
a place to rest. I google more; reports
leak out: the bear had bedded down behind
a house, below a pine, to lick its paws.
In hours before its end, officials named
it Tenderfoot, though some reports report
just Tender. Later, I will teach a class
where we’ll discus the lengths of lines in poems.
I’ll say a sonnet is a little song
to hold a thing that otherwise cannot
be held: a lonely thing; a death, a bear.
– Sophie Klahr


for Li-Yong Lee

The likelihood of ever finding it is small.
It’s like being accosted by a woman
And asked to help her look for a pearl
She lost right here in the street.

She could be making it all up,
Even her tears, you say to yourself,
As you search under your feet,
Thinking, Not in a million years . . .

It’s one of those summer afternoons
When one needs a good excuse
To step out of a cool shade.
In the meantime, what ever became of her?

And why, years later, do you still,
Off and on, cast your eyes to the ground
As you hurry to some appointment
Where you are now certain to arrive late?

We’ve got a country full of ambitious people. Solar energy is something direct, a way to pay our bills, not tomorrow, but today.
– Pete Seeger

I was a man of the earth,
precisely as I had dreamed
I would be.
– Jack Kerouac

Not everyone wants this conventional little life you’re rowing your boat toward. I like my river of fire…I’m not afraid.
– Zadie Smith

Just as early Buddhism recognized no gods because it had to free itself from an inheritance of nearly 2 million gods, so must psychology, if it is to develop further, renounce so essentially negative an approach to the unconscious as Freud’s.
– CG Jung

If at eighty you’re not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for his savin’ and keepin’ power. If you are young in years but already weary in spirit, already on the way to becoming an automaton, it may do you good to say to your boss — under your breath, of course — “Fuck you, Jack! You don’t own me!” … If you can fall in love again and again, if you can forgive your parents for the crime of bringing you into the world, if you are content to get nowhere, just take each day as it comes, if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you’ve got it half licked.
– Henry Miller

I disliked weekends. Everybody was out on the streets. Everybody was playing Ping-Pong or mowing their lawn or polishing their car or going to the supermarket or the beach or to the park. Crowds everywhere. Monday was my favorite day.
– Charles Bukowski

look at us wishing on a world
that remains unmoved by
all the right words.
– Beau Sia

Ideas govern the world, or throw it into chaos.
– Auguste Comte

To study is not to consume ideas, but to create and re-create them.
– Paulo Freire

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
– Kurt Vonnegut

My love, I do not love you for you or for me or the two together, I do not want you because the blood calls me to love you, I love you because you are not mine, because you’re on the other side, there where you invite me to jump and I can not give the jump, because in the deepest possession you are not in me, I do not reach you, I do not pass your body, your laughter, there are hours when you torment me to love me (how you like to use the verb love, with what cursiveness you are dropping it on the dishes and sheets and buses), I torment your love that does not serve me bridge because a bridge is not held on one side.
– Julius Cortazar

Here is what people don’t understand.

Healing is not a linear ascension to happier and happier states of being.

When you begin to heal, first you will descend.

You will open your eyes and instead of a shiny new morning, you will discover that you are living in a cess pool of toxic waste.

Healing doesn’t begin when you have a new hip functioning perfectly or your headache is gone.

Healing begins when you realize you have a problem and you decide to do something about it. The decisions and the pain and the surgeries and the medication trials and the frustrations and the long road to recovery ARE the healing. And they suck.

Honestly, healing sucks.

Because one morning you wake up and you realize you’ve made absolute garbage of your life. You wonder if you have enough time to fix it all. You wonder if you have the energy. You wonder if it’s worth it. You wonder what will become of you.

You become despondent. You discover below your despondency deep sorrow. If you have decided to heal, then you allow yourself to feel that sorrow.

There is a lot more of it than you realized.

There is so much you must let go of and all of it hurts.

And the deeper you go, the more there is. The more of everything.

And at some point you discover the rage.

Under it all, there is always rage.

You might point it at yourself, at first. You did this. You dug this hole. Or maybe you start by pointing it at your mom, or your dad, or your ex. It doesn’t matter. It all has to be felt. The rage is valid. You have to feel it. You can sort out what it all MEANS later.

Then there are the actions. Because through your healing you discover that it’s not just soul sickness. Your soul sickness has manifested real world situations that now you are mired in.

And you must do something about them.

This is the step that a lot of “love and light and good vibes only” teachings miss. Even a lot of shadow workers will let you think that once you clear the shadows inside yourself, the external shadows will clear themselves.

Sorry. You still have to do the work.

Doing the inner work can give you the strength to do the outer work. But you still have to do it.

You must end things. Destroy things. Let things go. Allow things to flow out of your life. You must have impossible conversations and make impossible decisions.

A lot of it will hurt.

And you must feel it all.

Because above all else, healing means discovering everything that you have denied yourself the opportunity to feel. Everything you have stuffed down so that you could survive. Everything that has become the toxic cess pool inside you.

Releasing all that means allowing it to flow out. And the only way out is to feel it.

All of this sucks.

This is the dark night of the soul, and it is absolutely essential and – unfortunately – it’s not just one night.

But here’s the thing. Every time you clear a little more of it – every time you allow it to come out into the world by allowing yourself to feel. Every time you allow yourself to acknowledge your deep rage, your pain, your grief, your fury –

You become a little lighter. A little clearer.

And at first it doesn’t seem possible that the clarity and the lightness could one day be the dominant feature of your life.

At first, it feels like there’s too much darkness down there to ever be conquered.

But as you allow it to come out, to come through you. When you stop trying to defeat it and instead allow it to express itself.

Gradually you begin to find that the space it clears is space for new things, things you might never have believed were possible for you

What those new things will be –


What those new things will be are impossible to know at the beginning

That’s why it’s such an immense leap of faith

Such an immense leap of courage


So much courage

To take the first few steps toward healing

Because healing doesn’t feel like healing at first

But I promise you –

Your willingness to step courageously into the dark night of your soul

That – your courage and your willingness – is the one thing no one can ever take from you. That is the one currency that is yours alone. That is the one currency that can buy the one thing that is worth anything at all:

Your self.

– Fen Druadin

There are poems inside of you that paper can’t handle.
– YZ

The older I get, the more I think the only barometer for intelligence is how kind you are.
– Josh Malerman

I can’t tell you where this path ends,
because I don’t know.

Nobody does.

But I can tell you
that the map you’ve been using,
the one you’ve inherited
from your parents, teachers, and ancestors,
can only take you
as far as they’ve been.

What appears to be
the edge of the map
is just the limit
of their experience;
if you step past it,
you’ll find that the map keeps going.

You set the boundaries
by how far you’re willing to go.

There is no edge.

– Fa Hsing Jeff Miles

It is no longer rare to meet adults who have never swum except in a swimming pool, never slept except in a building, never run a mile or climbed a mountain, have never been stung by a bee or a wasp, broken a bone or needed stitches. Without a visceral knowledge of what it is to be hurt and healed, exhausted and resolute, freezing and ecstatic, we lose our reference points. We are separated from the world by a layer of glass. Climate change, distant wars, the erosion of democracy, the resurgence of fascism – in our temperature-controlled enclosures, all can be reduced to abstractions.
– George Monbiot

We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship – we change the world, one story at a time…
– Richard Wagamese

The Problem With Travel
by Ada Limón

Every time I’m in an airport,
I think I should drastically
change my life: Kill the kid stuff,
start to act my numbers, set fire
to the clutter and creep below
the radar like an escaped canine
sneaking along the fence line.
I’d be cable-knitted to the hilt,
beautiful beyond buying, believe in
the maker and fix my problems
with prayer and property.
Then, I think of you, home
with the dog, the field full
of purple pop-ups– we’re small and
flawed, but I want to be
who I am, going where
I’m going, all over again.

… The fault dear Brutus
is not in our stars,
but in ourselves …
– William Shakespeare

Our problem isn’t that we’re individualists. It’s that our individualism is static rather than dynamic. We value what we think rather than what we do. We forget that we haven’t done, or been, what we thought; that the first function of life is action, just as the first property of things is motion.
– Fernando Pessoa

And you wait. You wait for the one thing that will change your life, make it more than it is– something wonderful, exceptional, stones awakening, depths opening to you.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Everyone arrives one day and asks, is this it? And the stars answer back with more stars.
– Victoria Chang

We are always on our guard against contagious diseases of the body, but we are exasperatingly careless when it comes to the even more dangerous collective diseases of the mind.
– Carl Jung

Beware the stories you read or tell: subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.
– Ben Okri

Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is – what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is – what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
– G. K. Chesterton

We cannot evolve faster than our language. The edge of being is the edge of meaning, and somehow we have to push the edge of meaning.
– Terence McKenna

Life doesn’t have plots and subplots and denouements. It’s just a big collection of loose ends and dangling threads that never get explained.
– Grant Morrison

Depth psychology has presented us with the undeniable wisdom that the enemy is constructed from denied aspects of the self. Therefore, the radical commandment “Love your enemy as yourself” points the way toward both self-knowledge and peace.
– Sam Keen

If the words have a meaning: it exceeds all that could be conceived and splinters anything in which we would want to enclose it.
– Maria Gabriela Llansol

Just as love moves according to a mechanism like the sea’s . . . so too do writers move, and one day they appear and then they disappear and then maybe they appear again. And if they don’t, it doesn’t really matter so much, because in some secret way, they’re us now.
– Bolaño

When we know again the reason for which we were born, and what is, in fact, our task upon this earth, and when we know again what the real meaning of our lives is, then we can once more get on with living our lives.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

The question, as always though, is whether this narrative that I am entertaining is helpful or not.
– Rob Burbea, Seeing that Frees

New wine should not be put into old bottles –like a snake changing its skin, the old myth needs to be clothed anew in every renewed age if it is not to lose its therapeutic effect. The urge and compulsion to self-realization is a law of nature & thus of invincible power.
– CG Jung

whose turn is it next
to be silent?
– Matayoshi Naoki

We must disabuse ourselves of the fallacy that myth represents an inferior mode of thought. We may be unable to return to a pre-modern sensibility, but we can acquire a nuanced understanding of the myths of our ancestors because they still have something to teach us.
– Karen Armstrong

People don’t want to locate the reason for their rage in their own psyches, so they locate it out there in the world, on a person, an idea.
– Béa Gonzalez

A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
– Miguel de Cervantes

In the world of psyche, it is your work, rather than your theoretical ideas, that builds consciousness.
– Robert A. Johnson, Inner Work

Language is a map leading to a place not on the map.
– Simon Van Booy

When you nurture the ability to witness your life in the third person, in extremis, or through prayer or meditation, there is an unavoidable shift in consciousness as you realize that who you are is not simply how you feel—but a presence beyond desire of any sort. Intense emotions that have held us prisoner all our lives suddenly lose power, are uncloaked as tricks of memory, exposed as tireless, groping sensations whose function is to keep us distracted by the body’s appetites until the body is no more.
– Simon Van Booy

it just breaks my heart that the plural of paradox is not paradoxen
– Dave Bonta

Grief and joy are in the same life, but it’s only in the forest where you notice the shafts of sunlight spilling through.
– Ben Shattuck

Two or three times in my life I discovered love.
Each time it seemed to solve everything.
Each time it solved a great many things
but not everything.
– Mary Oliver

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.
– Frank A. Clark

I sat by one whom my heart loves, and I listened to her words.
My soul began to wander in the infinite spaces where the universe appeared like a dream …
– Kahlil Gibran

The world hides what’s vital.
– K. Minta

It seems comical and miserable that in order to manifest itself, dread, which opens and closes the sky, needs the activity of a man sitting at his table and forming letters on a piece of paper.
– From Dread to Language. Maurice Blanchot. The Gaze of Orpheus. Tr. Lydia Davis.

The grass ain’t even grown. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and at the same time a healthy and sane bourgeoisie. If you want a hangover, embrace the hangover too! If you want sunshine and beautiful fantasies, also accept dirt and chaos! All is within you, gold and mud, delight and sorrow, childlike laughter and mortal anguish. Accept everything, fret not over anything, try not to shun anything! You are not a bourgeois, you are not a Greek, you are not harmonic and owner of yourself, you are a bird in the middle of a storm. Let her roar ! Let yourself go! How much you have lied! How many thousands of times, even in your books and poems, you have pretended to be the harmonious and wise, the happy, the enlightened one! So have they pretended to be the heroes by attacking in the war, while their bowels were trembling! My God, how sinister and boastful is the man, especially the artist, especially the poet, especially me!
– Hermann Hesse

It’s notable that trauma and backstory have converged so much that many books, and readers, now conceive of backstory only in terms of trauma. And, as a corollary, some readers read only for backstory.
– Christine Smallwood

I’ve never been able to understand the seriousness of it all, the seriousness of pride. People talk, act, live as if they’re never going to die. And what do they leave behind? Nothing. Nothing but a mask.
– Bob Dylan

Poetry can find a use for storms.
– Osip Mandelstam, translated by Bernard Meares

The Door That Wouldn’t Open

Once, when I felt I was facing an immoveable block, I was given a witness perspective in a spontaneous vision. I saw myself beating my fists blood on an iron-studded door that wouldn’t open.

Then I noticed an elegant, tricksterish figure beckoning to me with a crooked finger from a golden archway that opened onto alluring landscapes. When I moved towards him, I discovered something more.

While beckoning me with one hand through the archway of golden opportunity, with his other hand the Trickster Gatekeeper had been holding that unyielding door shut. Behind it was a space like a jail cell. I had been blocked to prevent me from imprisoning myself in a place of confinement.

– Robert Moss

Never be afraid to let someone know, if they brightened the room they just walked into. Or if something they said, inspired you to change. Never be embarrassed to share a compliment with a stranger and don’t ever fall into the trap of believing that the people you love know that. Say it. Always say it. Your words may land a little awkwardly at first but in the dark of the night, those seeds will plant themselves into someone’s mental garden and start to bloom. Sow seeds, wherever you go.
– Donna Ashworth

Listen for me in the music
the songs we held so dear
I’ll will them through your radio
so you can feel me near

Each verse will lift your spirits
embrace your weary soul
each word my heart will whisper
to help you feel more whole

Listen for me in the music
and nature’s music too
the birds will sing my message
chorus my love for you

The wind will rustle leaves
as you are walking by
if you listen very closely
my heart’s in every sigh

Listen for me my darling
I’ll find a million ways
to whisper in your ear
that I’m not so far away.

– Donna Ashworth

All the things we count on as terra firma turn out not to be so firma after all. Disaster throws you back onto your internal resources. You wonder, Are they ever adequate?
– Allan Gurganus

What you receive from others is a testimony to their virtue; but all that you do for others is the sign and clear indication of your own.
– Giordano Bruno

One thing I have complete control over—my writing. The other thing I have no control over—my career. Writers often get confused about the two and tend to treat the one as if it were the other.
– Russell Banks

Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly,
you’ll find yourself,
and that, and only that,
can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.
– Pablo Neruda

What to believe in, exactly, may never turn out to be half as important as the daring act of belief. A willingness to participate in sunlight, and the color red. An agreement to enter into a conspiracy with life…in order to come away changed.
– Barbara Kingsolver

You would think as you get older your mind would fill up with what they call the spiritual side of things, but mine just seems to get more and more practical, trying to get something settled.
– Alice Munro, Open Secrets: Stories

I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces all day through.
– Billie Holiday

Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.
– Steven Spielberg

Sufficient is it just to live
On such a day as this.
– Joseph Seamon Cotter Jr.

I lay in the warm flow of the imagination
– Ye Hui

This tender ache
as if the world camps
within my heart
and I am tucking everyone
in for the night
– @outbeyondideas

Peace has no borders.
– Yitzhak Rabin

—I’m sorry, he said. Shakespeare is the happy huntingground of all minds that have lost their balance.
– Ulysses, James Joyce

The academy never said, “Oh I have a blueprint for you.” That’s not what it does, but it will take our blueprints for survival and then turn them into texts, or documentaries, or syllabi.
– Joy James

In Los Angeles, you can get by without your honor, but not without your car.
– Pauline Kael

The way for writers who want to write is just listen to a lot of music and figure out how people wrote what they wrote. There is a lot of craft, and it’s underestimated, even in a frivolous—I shouldn’t downgrade it by saying frivolous—but even in a commercial profession, like musical theater, there’s a great deal to be learned. And without craft, I think art is nonsense—it’s a sort of masturbation. Whereas, with craft, it’s a form of teaching, which, I have said innumerable times, is the noblest profession on earth.
– Stephen Sondheim

Thoughts do not need the wings of words
To fly to any goal.
Like subtle lightnings, not like birds,
They speed from soul to soul.

Hide in your heart a bitter thought –
Still it has power to blight;
Think Love -although you speak it not
It gives the world more light.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Well may the world go
The world go, the world go
Well may the world go
When I’m far away

Well may the skiers turn
The swimmers churn, the lovers burn
Peace, may the nations learn
When I’m far away

Well may the world go
The world go, the world go
Well may the world go
When I’m far away

Well may the fiddle sound
The banjo play the old hoedown
Dancers swing round and round
When I’m far away

Well may the world go
The world go, the world go
Well may the world go
When I’m far away

Well may the breezes blow
Clear may the streams flow
Blue above, green below
When I’m far away

Well may the world go
The world go, the world go
Well may the world go
When I’m far away

Well may the world go
The world go, the world go
Well may the world go
When I’m far away.

– Pete Seeger

And some, like me,
are just beginning to guess at
the powerful religion of ordinary life,
a spirituality of freshly mopped floors
and stacked dishes
and clothes blowing on the line.
– Adair Lara

I guess people are just afraid to think.
– Anne Carson

Poetry – and writing in general – is a solitary vocation. But I have never felt alone in it. I am not alone in it now. Look, you’re here, too.
– Maggie Smith

There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.
– Flannery O’Connor

One night, a full moon watched over me like a mother. In the blue light of the Basin, I saw a petroglyph on a large boulder. It was a spiral. I placed the tip of my finger on the center and began tracing the coil around and around. It spun off the rock. My finger kept circling the land, the lake, the sky. The spiral became larger and larger until it became a halo of stars in the night sky above Stansbury Island. A meteor flashed and as quickly disappeared. The waves continued to hiss and retreat, hiss and retreat.
In the West Desert of the Great Basin, I was not alone.
– Terry Tempest Williams

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop.
– Black Elk

Warmth of heart, impulsiveness, pity are not enough. The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him: ‘What are you going through?’ It is a recognition that the sufferer exists, not only as a unit in a collection, or a specimen from the social category labeled ‘unfortunate,’ but as a man, exactly like us, who was one day stamped with a special mark by affliction.

Duty towards the human being as such–that alone is eternal.

– Simone Weil

Childhood is the world of magic, where you see all things as fresh & new. It’s where the astonishing is expected, where play is serious, where one believes that everything is endlessly possible. Those who keep this spirit alive are artists, poets, & dreamers.
– Elliott Black

To use your daily life and work as a conscious spiritual path means relinquishing your attachment to the fruits of the actions, to how they come out. Instead of doing it for a reward or a result, you do your work as an offering.
– Ram Dass

Nights of poetry.
Language puts on its best voice
and sparkling glad-rags.

Who are those people
in the vast hall of their ears?
Whose the copyright

of word-filled minutes?
Poetry sings to itself
in a universe

of silence and hope.

– George Szirtes

Mythologically, the witch moves in when you start to grow. She moves in to block you as much as possible & either you gain enough energy to overcome her or you quit. She doesn’t care which because she is a guardian of the real spiritual areas & she doesn’t want wimps in there.
– Robert Bly

Here is what you need to know:

everything will fall away and what’s left is who you really are.


– @McCallErickson

How to be gold:

let everything false about you fall away…again and again.

– @McCallErickson

Be who you are, even if it kills you.

It will. Over and over again,
Even as you live.

Break my heart, why don’t you?

– Joy Harjo

With its versions, perversions and deformations, translations have the potential of shaking up fundamental ideals of originality, taste, wellwroughtness. This is why some people try so hard to find proper exchange rates. But poetry isn’t money.
– Johannes Göransson

There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.
– Miyamoto Musashi

I’m not interested in ‘abstracting’ or taking things out or reducing painting to design, form, line, and colour. I paint this way because I can keep putting more and more things in — drama, anger, pain, love…
– Willem de Kooning

When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty.
– Flannery O’Connor

Perhaps this is what literature is, the invention of another life that could very well be our own, the invention of a double. Ricardo Piglia says that to recall with a memory that is not our own is a variant of the double, but it is also a perfect metaphor for literary experience. Having quoted Piglia, I observe that I live surrounded by quotations from books and authors. I am literature-sick. If I carry on like this, literature could end up swallowing me, like a doll in a whirlpool, causing me to lose my bearings in its limitless regions. I find literature more and more stifling; at the age of fifty it frightens me to think that my destiny is to turn into a walking dictionary of quotations.
– Enrique Vila-Matas


There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

– Danna Faulds

I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear the plight of the Negro poor worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Lord how I wept when I came upon
a land whose people thought that they
could make boats sail the stormy
ocean between the color of my skin
and my humanity.
– Henry Dumas

Why is philosophy so complicated? It ought to be altogether simple. Philosophy unties those knots in our thinking which we have unwittingly put there; however, this requires movements as complicated as the knots. Though philosophy’s results is simple, its method, if it is to arrive at that result, cannot be. The complexity of philosophy is not in its subject matter but rather in our knotted understanding.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

we long for rain / for water / to pour into our hearts / an offering of radical grace
– bell hooks

Fierce feminine strength,
Muliebrity in motion,
Beauty in power.
– @gentleopus

I say this as an Italian: regardless of whether you want to be a parent, children are people who belong in restaurants and cafes and libraries, and wanting them out of all public spaces has become far too disturbingly normalized in the Anglosphere.
– @iconawrites

One of the cruelest little things we do as a society is charge for parking at hospitals.
– Rob Taylor

You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
– Steve Jobs

Deep experience is never peaceful.
– Henry James

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

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

All hangs on the idea ‘I am’. Examine it very thoroughly. It lies at the root of every trouble. This ‘I am’ idea was not born with you. You could have lived very well without it. It came later due to your self-identification with the body. It created an illusion of separation where there was none. It made you a stranger in your own world alien and inimical. Without the sense of ‘I am’ life goes on. There are moments when we are without the sense of ‘I am’, at peace and happy.. With the return of ‘I am’, trouble starts.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

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, The Man in the High Castle

The woods don’t scare me as much as they used to, either, and I’ve started to feel a kind of closeness and respect. That said, I don’t venture too far from the cabin, and stay on the path. As long as I follow these rules, it shouldn’t get too precarious. That’s the important thing—follow the rules and the woods will wordlessly accept me, sharing some of their peace and beauty. Cross the line, though, and beasts of silence lay in wait to maul me with razor-sharp claws. I often lie down in the round little clearing and let the sunlight wash over me. Eyes closed tight, I give myself up to it, ears tuned to the wind whipping through the treetops. Wrapped in the deep fragrance of the forest, I listen to the flapping of birds’ wings, to the stirring of the ferns. I’m freed from gravity and float up—just a little—from the ground and drift in the air. Of course I can’t stay there forever. It’s just a momentary sensation—open my eyes and it’s gone. Still, it’s an overwhelming experience. Being able to float in the air.
– Haruki Murakami

by Maya Angelou:

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Every migrant knows in his heart of hearts that it is impossible to return. Even if he is physically able to return, he does not truly return, because he himself has been so deeply changed by his emigration. It is equally impossible to return to that historical state in which every village was the center of the world. The one hope of recreating a center now is to make it the entire earth. Only worldwide solidarity can transcend modern homelessness. Fraternity is too easy a term; forgetting Cain and Abel, it somehow promises that all problems can be soluble. In reality many are insoluble—hence the never-ending need for solidarity.
– John Berger

Meanwhile, on afternoons and on Sundays, Surrey lay open to me. County Down in the holidays and Surrey in the term — it was an excellent contrast. Perhaps, since their beauties were such that even a fool could not force them into competition, this cure me once and for all of the pernicious tendency to compare and to prefer — an operation that does little good even when we are dealing with works of art and endless harm when we are dealing with nature. Total surrender is the first step toward the fruition of either. Shut your mouth; open your eyes and ears. Take in what is there and give no thought to what might have been there or what is somewhere else. That can come later, if it must come at all.
– C.S. Lewis

Before You Cut Loose,
dogs on the list
of difficult things to lose. Those dogs ditched
on the North York Moors or the Sussex Downs
or hurled like bags of sand from rented cars
have followed their noses to market towns
and bounced like balls into their owners’ arms.
I heard one story of a dog that swam
to the English coast from the Isle of Man,
and a dog that carried eggs and bacon
and a morning paper from the village
surfaced umpteen leagues and two years later,
bacon eaten but the eggs unbroken,
newsprint dry as tinder, to the letter.
A dog might wander the width of the map
to bury its head in its owner’s lap,
crawl the last mile to dab a bleeding paw
against its own front door. To die at home,
a dog might walk its four legs to the bone.
You can take off the tag and the collar
but a dog wears one coat and one colour.
A dog got rid of—that’s a dog for life.
No dog howls like a dog kicked out at night.
Try looking a dog like that in the eye.
– Simon Armitage

What if fixing climate doesn’t mean doing everything the same way, except with less CO₂ emissions, but fundamentally changing the way we interact with nature and with other people?
– David Ho

Ecological education is abysmal in Western society. I regularly meet intelligent doctors, engineers, and educators who literally have no idea how the world works.

They imagine ecology as superstition, as opposed to applied physics and chemistry.

– @Unpop_Science

Jung said he had never treated a patient who was in second half of life without arriving at question as to the meaning of this person’s life. It made no difference which everyday problem had led to the commencement of treatment; it always came down to this final question.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Suppressed energy doesn’t go away; even dark or disowned energy cannot be destroyed. It needs to move, to become, to transmute; it must find an expression.
– Thomas Hübl

Poets are glitches in the matrix.
– Eduardo C. Corral

northern winds
wishing for nothing
but survival
– @hegelincanada

I’ve been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but writing was always first. It’s a kind of pain I can’t do without.
– Robert Penn Warren

The colors were in her mind, but the artist had no medium except charcoal. So she titled her pieces like this: This is a blue bird. This is a red rose. This grass is green & so are these trees. This sun is yellow & blinding. Please, she thought, see these colors with me.
– @poseofpower

Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world.
– Jean Houston

People with unusual ability are treated as odd in this world. People who are odd in this world are treated as second class citizens.
– @Somewhere_Life_

If the world is going to continue, it may be that we must rise to the evolutionary requirement & gain intimacy with the inner realms, welcoming practical vision & inspiration. This means learning to live on a continuum between the inner and outer-in fact, seeing them as one.
– Jean Houston

As one witness to the pandemic, I saw how many great artists and moral powerhouses were lost. I think the texture of American life was coarsened by their radical absence. The questioners, the risk-takers…
– Allan Gurganus

Poetic awareness allows us to experience the world in a coffee cup or or peeling paint. This super power is overlooked in favor of reducing the world to data and dead numbers.
– Anthony Lawlor

Every so often, a painter has to destroy painting. Cezanne did it, Picasso did it with Cubism. Then Pollock did it. He busted our idea of a picture all to hell. Then there could be new paintings again.
– Willem de Kooning

Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction.
– @ellelaurens

Self-knowledge is gathered through every relationship, with the humblest or with the most learned. But when we look to authority in order to learn, we shut out the infinite riches of life.
– Krishnamurti

What is the difference between the story we tell of ourselves to others and the song of ourselves that we keep private and sing to nobody else?
– Carl Phillips, Audience

No legacy is so rich as honesty.
– William Shakespeare

Poetry gives most pleasure when only generally and not perfectly understood.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Development involves giving up a smaller story in order to wake up to a larger story.
– Jean Houston

Feelings too big to fit into words. Do you sense them breaking open your life to something unknown but familiar? It may appear to be out there when it is closer than your heartbeat.
– Anthony Lawlor

Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.
– Charles Dickens

looking tame now
the ocean after a storm
the truths we hide
– @hegelincanada

We pan for the moment
when the frumpy sky trauma bonds
with the butterscotch horizon.

I see you, lifetimes away next to me,
and my belly growls.

I swallow a whale of longing
& dive into the passive, massive past
to find your incorporeal silhouette–
to hold my breath.

– Antonia Wang

Beggar’s Song
by Gregory Orr

Here’s a seed. Food
for a week. Cow skull
in the pasture; back room
where the brain was:
spacious hut for me.

Small then, and smaller.
My desire’s to stay alive
and be no larger
than a sliver
lodged in my own heart.

And if the heart’s a rock
I’ll whack it with this tin
cup and eat the sparks,
always screaming, always
screaming for more.

to know the difference
between tying my laces
and tuning the string section
of my shoes, to make a symphony
of walking away from anything
that does not want my life to sing

to have a heart like a parachute
that always opens in time

to never strive to have
common sense. to know, really
know, how many senses
I would have to shut down
for my sense to be common.

to celebrate being a human scribble.
to celebrate having too many feelings
to fit inside the lines of my own skin
and to know THAT is the masterpiece.

to never believe I need rose-colored glasses
to see the beauty of this world. to refuse
to ignore the thorn’s loving heart.

to remember how possible it is
to cry and sing at the top of my lungs
at the exact same time

to always be awed by the universe.
to have a goosebump collection
that could be its own meteor shower

to pay attention
to the bees who fall asleep
in flowers while gathering nectar

to never have my capacity
to love someone be impacted
by how capable they are
of loving me

to understand how often
darkness lights the way
– Andrea Gibson

Evening Hawk
by Robert Penn Warren

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak’s black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.

His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.

Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.

These days…
so much cacophony
from viral Wetiko zombies
spinning their toxic vortex
vomit feeding trough
web of hate.
So, let’s speak true heart to be heard from true heart.
Shadow illuminated by light.
Those that come fist-first
to overturn us all.
See them clearly
and stay in the heart.
Move out the way of our own fixed views
This mind
is patterned
Who is in control?
Avijja-paccaya sankhara-paccaya, etc.
So, circle your thinking maze
down to the heart
into body knowing
Be present there.
At the edge
of unknowing.
– Mary Thanissara

Find people who can handle your darkest truths,
who don’t change the subject when you share your pain,
or try to make you feel bad for feeling bad.
Find people who understand we all struggle,
some of us more than others,
and that there’s no weakness in admitting it.
Find people who want to be real,
however that looks and feels,
and who want you to be real, too.
Find people who get that life is hard,
and who get that life is also beautiful,
and who aren’t afraid to honor both of those realities.
Find people who help you feel more at home in your heart, mind, and body,
and who take joy in your joy.
They’re out there, these people.
Your tribe is waiting for you.
– Scott Stabile

It is easier to rise when you have love in your heart than to fall when you have fear in your soul.
– Matshona Dhliwayo

Of Being Numerous, 13
by George Oppen

unable to begin
At the beginning, the fortunate
Find everything already here. They are shoppers,
Choosers, judges; . . . And here the brutal
is without issue, a dead end.
They develop
Argument in order to speak, they become
unreal, unreal, life loses
solidity, loses extent, baseball’s their game
because baseball is not a game
but an argument and difference of opinion
makes the horse races. They are ghosts that endanger

One’s soul. There is change
In an air
That smells stale, they will come to the end
Of an era
First of all peoples
And one may honorably keep
His distance
If he can.

Emerging from / an Abyss and / entering it again / that is Life, is / it not?
– Emily Dickinson

…the whole task of art is to unexpress the expressible, to kidnap from the world’s language, which is the poor and powerful language of the passion, another speech, an exact speech.
– Roland Barthes

To what does the soul turn that has no therapists to visit? It takes its trouble to the trees, to the riverbank, to an animal companion, on an aimless walk through the city streets, a long watch of the night sky. Just stare out the window or boil water for a cup of tea. We breathe, expand, and let go, and something comes in from elsewhere. The daimon in the heart seems quietly pleased, preferring melancholy to desperation. It’s in touch.
– James Hillman

One of the most frequent uses of places in dreams is to show you whose “turf” you are on, whose influence you are under. So a good way to understand the significance of a place is to ask who it belongs to.
– Robert A. Johnson, Inner Work

Poetry begins to atrophy when it gets to far from music.
– Ezra Pound

Happy Earth Day!

somebody loved you

a long time    a stream maybe

shiny green pebble

– Clark Strand

I used to spend hours
whittling and carving my words
forging them in the fires of my intimations
of The Beyond.

Words have been my sword and my shield,
my olive branch and my apothecary,
they have been my keys and my blankets,
my machete for intrepid bushwhacking
into the unknown,
my light, my revelation and my hiding place,
my compass, my guiding star,
my call to adventure,
my home.

“Understand me!”
at times my words have boomed
and bellowed.

“Validate and vindicate me!”

“Create a safe world around me!”

“See me! Birth more god into the world through my pen!”

“Let me feel that something good
and beautiful
can move through me!”

“Validate there is more to this world
than the material.”

“Affirm a light beyond the shroud
of this loneliness!”

“Birth me. Bring me home. Show me substance. Make me real.”

These days
I’m wanting to use words less.
Maybe a deeper integration is happening.
Maybe the tool that has so protected
and defended and defined me
might be laid down more, might rest
and be picked up still but with more peace, ease, solidity—less necessity, urgency and haste.

Something about my mission with words
is coming to a place of completion.

This doesn’t mean I’m done speaking
or writing. It means I’m in a process
of taking in all that’s spoken through me.
Of receiving it.

A deeper essence
that needs no explanation or defense seems to be articulating itself more
inside me now.

There is a glimmering, nameless silence that wants me to pick up
and unsheathe my pen only as an extension
of itself
the emptiness of whose full out-breath traverses the space
all the way to god.

Something beautiful and more at peace
is coming to find new ease
inhabiting this chasm of unexpressed silence.

Here, I am finding
all that my words have pointed to
and sought
without having to say a thing.

– Chelan Harkin

In all probability, throughout this galaxy, and throughout other galaxies, there are human or comparable populations that arise and go, arise and go, just as we do individually.
– Alan Watts

It never got weird enough for me.
– Hunter S. Thompson

No longer simply a religion of individuals and of heaven, but a religion of humankind and of the earth — that is what we are looking for at this moment, as the oxygen without which we cannot breathe.
– Teilhard de Chardin

She wants to celebrate.
You know her reaching for words
and arranging them as fruit
– Christopher Gilbert

Who Shall Doubt
by George Oppen


in itself

of itself carrying

‘the principle
of the actual’ being


itself ((but maybe this is a love

Mary) ) nevertheless


the power
of the self nor the racing
car nor the lilly

is sweet but this

Some of the physical torments that the old saints put on themselves were child’s play compared to some of the automatic and habitual mental tortures and chronic self-naughting we inflict upon ourselves. In this, we pathologize rather than mythologize.
– Jean Houston

Only things of the spirit are truly engaging. But it’s nearly impossible to speak of them; they’re as transparent as muslin. One can talk only about people and things––talk about them so they’ll cast a shadow.
– Adam Zagajewski

When life crashes like a cracked pane,
Still shall I love
– Laura Riding Jackson

And read for what? And write for what? After reading a hundred, thousand, ten thousand books in life, what have you read?. Nothing. To say: I only know that I have not read anything, after reading thousands of books, is not an act of pretentious modesty: it is rigorously accurate, up to the first decimal of zero percent. But isn’t that perhaps, exactly, socratically, what many books should teach us? Being willfully ignorant, with full acceptance. Stop being simply ignorant, to become intelligent ignorant.

Perhaps the experience of finality is the only access we have to the wholeness that calls us, and loses us, with excessive totalitarian ambitions. Perhaps every experience of infinity is illusory, if it is not, precisely, experience of end. Perhaps, for this reason, the measure of reading should not be the number of books read, but the state in which they leave us.

What does it matter if one is cultured, up to date or has read all the books?. What matters is how you walk, how you look, how you act, after you read. If the street and the clouds and the existence of each other have anything to tell us. If reading makes us physically more real

– Gabriel Zaid

by Ted Kooser

I liked how the starry blue lid
of that saucepan lifted and puffed,
then settled back on a thin
hotpad of steam, and the way
her kitchen filled with the warm,
wet breath of apples, as if all
the apples were talking at once,
as if they’d come cold and sour
from chores in the orchard,
and were trying to shoulder in
close to the fire. She was too busy
to put in her two cents’ worth
talking to apples. Squeezing
her dentures with wrinkly lips,
she had to jingle and stack
the bright brass coins of the lids
and thoughtfully count out
the red rubber rings, then hold
each jar, to see if it was clean,
to a window that looked out
through her back yard into Iowa.
And with every third or fourth jar
she wiped steam from her glasses,
using the hem of her apron,
printed with tiny red sailboats
that dipped along with leaf-green
banners snapping, under puffs
or pale applesauce clouds
scented with cinnamon and cloves,
the only boats under sail
for at least two thousand miles.

Gardening is like poetry in that it is gratuitous, and also that it cannot be done on will alone. What will can do, and the only thing it can do, is make time in which to do it. Young poets, enraged because they don’t get published right away, confuse what will can do and what it can’t. It can’t make a tree peony grow to twelve feet in a year or two, and it can’t force the attention of editors and publishers. What it can do is create the space necessary for achievement, little by little.
– Mary Sarton, quoted by Maria Popova in The Marginalian

Whoever has seen hope, does not forget it. Seek her under all heaven and among all men. The maze of solitude.
– Octavio Paz

If you become so frightened of realities that are not your own; if you take upon yourselves tragedies that do not exist in your reality, in your moment, then you weaken your position and you weaken the position of those you think you are helping. You look about you and you see only hopelessness and helplessness. You organize your reality according to the tragedies of the newspapers!

The tragedies of the newspapers are symbols. Those symbols represent ‘real’ tragedies, but those tragedies do not exist in your moment unless you are participating in them. Those who are involved in such tragedies feel a sense of hopelessness and a loss of power in the present — and you do not help them by taking on the guise of hopelessness!

What I am saying this evening is indeed simplified… but you must operate from strength, not weakness. When you stand upon a firm shore, you can extend your arm to the man who is in quicksand. You cannot help him by leaping into the quicksand with him, for surely both of you will go down – and he will not thank you!

Individually – as you read your paper, as you watch your television, whenever you look around you and say, ‘Other men are fools’; whenever you look around you and say, ‘The race is ruining itself – it is insane’; you are doing the same thing – you are jumping into the quicksand, and you cannot help.

Organize your reality according to your strength; organize your reality according to your playfulness, according to your dreams; according to your joy; according to your hopes – and then you can help those who organize their reality according to their fears.

– Jane Roberts

Above all, we cannot afford the luxury of not living in the present.
– Henry David Thoreau

I am not sure if my involvement in causes, benefits, marches, and demonstrations has made a huge difference, but I know one thing: that involvement has connected me with good people: people with live hearts, live eyes, live heads.
– Pete Seeger

Within each human being is a connection to the whole. We each carry a little part of the world whether we know it or not. Why not make that conscious and create a safe, creative space for it in our beings?
– Gunilla Norris

I do think people can change. I know they can. I’ve witnessed it. I have changed. You have to work at it, and I do. You have to make the decision to think and behave a certain way, and it becomes habit, as almost everything does. I do not remain in rooms where there is cruelty. I find a way to deflect cruelty with a smile or a goofy gesture, and I make myself unavailable. I know people think I’m a loon. I don’t care. Better to be loony than mean.

I know it’s disappointing when people come to you and claim they’ve changed. Then they behave in the same way, often worse. That’s a singular problem. Repeat that. Don’t run away from the entire world because there are unfortunate people in the mix. Don’t hate them. That would be dipping into their rancid pond. Swim far out where it’s clear, among the people you trust. More people care for you and will be there for you than you realize.

– Marian Seldes

When we are sensitive, closeness with the human presence shakes us, encourages us, we understand that it is the other who always saves us. And if we have reached the age that we are, it’s because others have been saving our lives, relentlessly.
– Ernesto Sabato

Lao Tzu, through Tarkovsky, says:

And most important, let them believe in themselves, let them be helpless like children. Because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.

Remember that fear eats the soul. Remember the Kafka character who sees “a gallows being erected in the prison yard, mistakenly thinks it is the one intended for him, breaks out of his cell in the night, and goes down and hangs himself”.

Be like children. Don’t be afraid to ask (yourselves and others), what is good and what is bad. Don’t be afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes. Don’t be afraid to yell, to cry. Repeat (to yourselves and others): 2+2=4. Black is black. White is white. I am a person, strong and brave. A strong and brave woman. A strong and brave people.

Freedom is a process by which you develop the habit of being inaccessible to slavery.

– Mariya Nikiforova

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly
in the night.
It is the breath
of a buffalo
in the wintertime.
It is the shadow
which runs across
the water
and loses itself
in the moonrise.
– Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
– William S. Burroughs

Night Walk
The all-night convenience store’s empty
and no one is behind the counter.
You open and shut the glass door a few times
causing a bell to go off,
but no one appears. You only came
to but a pack of cigarettes, maybe
a copy of yesterday’s newspaper —
finally you take one and leave
thirty-five cents in its place.
It is freezing, but it is a good thing
to step outside again:
you can feel less alone in the night,
with lights on here and there
between the dark buildings and trees.
Your own among them, somewhere.
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

Throw Yourself Like Seed
by Miguel de Unamuno

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit
sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
that brushes your heel as it turns going by,
the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.

Now you are only giving food to that final pain
which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
but to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
is the work; start then, turn to the work.

Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field,
don’t turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
and do not let the past weigh down your motion.

Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s dead in yourself,
for life does not move in the same way as a group of clouds;
from your work you will be able one day to gather yourself.

Shoveling Snow With Buddha
by Billy Collins

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over a mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.

Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.

Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?

But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.

After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?

Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck.
and our boots stand dripping by the door.

Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.

The wind blows hard among the pines
Toward the beginning
Of an endless past.
Listen: you’ve heard everything.
– Shinkichi Takahashi
(translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto)

I once heard Jhumpa Lahiri describe her laptop screen as being like the burners on a stove- a half dozen Word docs, all pieces she was working on. No writers’ block when you’ve got that many pieces going at once. You just feel for which one is giving off heat, open it, & work.
– Daniel Torday

Longing on a large scale is what makes history
– Don Dellilo

To be human is to be text / made in tension—
– Nawal Nader-French

When a religion has become an orthodoxy its days of inwardness are over; the spring is dry; the faithful live at second hand exclusively and stone the prophets in their turn.
– William James

Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
– William Blake

I have had much trouble in living with my ideas. There was a daimon in me, and in the end its presence proved decisive. Since my contemporaries, understandably, could not perceive my vision, they saw only a fool rushing ahead.
– CG Jung

I work on, with failing mind, in other words, improved possibilities.
– Samuel Beckett

Wisdom is the spit
you put on the window
to clean the bird crap off.
– @johnguzlowski

The path of spiritual practice implores us to do the simplest yet most difficult thing: to sit still and just be present.
– Ezra Bayda, Beyond Happiness

The monsoon brings a remarkable peace, if at times sorrow, with its steady rain.
– Travis Zadeh

is found in
– Dogen

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

The dynamics of the heart follow laws so different from those of the mind that the seeker needs to begin by accepting the mind’s limitations, and realize that on the spiritual journey rational thought is a hindrance rather than a help.
– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Folklore says that if you stare a wild animal in the eyes it will not attack you, and this is the best way to encounter the wild animal within. The full glare of consciousness disarms the shadow and allows its energy to be transformed.
– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The ego that is attempting to raise some of the vast unconscious into human conscious life must learn to contain only one goblet of water at a time lest it be overwhelmed and the container shattered.
– Robert A. Johnson

Writing remains my wafer, writing ensures my kneeling. I imagine it without patterns, without utilities, without applause. None of the official honors befit it.
– Ilarie Voronca

Philosophically, I am an indivisible monist.
– Nabokov, Strong Opinions

We’re shut off from our own world. Primitive man once experienced the rich and sparkling flood of the senses fully. Children experience it for a few months-until “normal” training, conditioning, close the doors on this other world, usually for good. Somehow, the drugs opened these ancient doors. And through them modern man may at last go, and rediscover his divine birthright…
– Tom Wolfe

And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
– D. H. Lawrence

take me to
wherever you want
beach turtle
– Issa

The best people I know are always evaluating and improving themselves. The unhappy people are usually evaluating and judging others.
– Lisa Villa Prosen

You don’t have to be spectacular.
Be a shack.
Fall apart.
Learn the immense grace
inside of humility.
Be honest.
Let parts of yourself go
in the name of truthfulness
and love.
This life is a shell.
We don’t need to decorate it
with other people’s impressions.
Grow inside it
through the ongoing and simple
commitment to kindness.
– Chelan Harkin

What we like to call a community is often a network – like-minded people singing the same hymn sheets. A real community holds village idiots, scoundrels, and folks rubbing up against each other with entirely different views. It’s often tense. But lack of tension rarely makes great art or truly rousing conversation. When you focus entirely on harmony you create an invitation for the darkside to come visit. Harmony is not the same thing as love. Harmony is not exactly our natural state. To be clear: moments of harmony in accordance and confirmation are wonderful; pseudo-harmony of tyranny is not.
– Dr. Martin Shaw

We all experience the pain of ego dominance when doing things we don’t believe in, in exchange for acceptance or love or the promise of safety or worth.
– Mark Nepo

If I’ve impacted on one heart, one mind, one soul, and brought to that individual a greater truth than that individual came into a relationship with me having, then I would say that I have been successful.
– Harry Belafonte

We take unholy risks to prove we are what we cannot be. For instance, I am not even crazy.
– Amiri Baraka

That is why I write — to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.
– Paulo Coelho

Well, here we are, still humming and thumping,
while the world pummels itself into a stupor,
hate and ignorance canceling every holy discipline.
– Rita Dove

Between the notebook-margins his pen travelled,
His own lines carrying him in a new mode
To ports in which past purposes unravelled.
– Thom Gunn

Unlike television, reading does not swallow the senses or dictate thought. Reading stimulates the ecology of the imagination.
– Richard Louv

I love you, my sun, my life, I love your eyes – closed – all the little tails of your thoughts, your stretchy vowels, your whole soul from head to heels. I’m tired, off to bed. I love you.
– Vladimir Nabokov, Letters to Véra

All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like
– Ted Kooser

A poem is a place where the conditions of beyondness and withinness are made palpable, where to imagine is to feel what it is like to be. It allows us to have the life we are denied because we are too busy living. Even more paradoxically, a poem permits us to live in ourselves as if we were just out of reach of ourselves.
– Mark Strand


“Make of yourself a light,”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal – a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire –
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

– Mary Oliver

the blue river is grey at morning and evening. there is twilight at dawn and dusk. i lie in the dark wondering if this quiet in me now is a beginning or an end.
– Jack Gilbert

Teaching a Stone to Talk
by Annie Dillard

At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world’s word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does not utter a peep – just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don’t do it. There is a vibrancy to the silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life’s length to listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression; instead, it is all there is.

they’ve found a brain
in the rubble of Pompeii
starry and black a nebulous glass
which essentially and chemically
could never be human again
now that it is reformed
into earth and I wonder how long
in that furnace could a heart last?
– Kristian Macaron

The one we love is everywhere. By wakefully inhabiting our longing for the beloved, we are carried into the arms of love itself.
– Tara Brach

The night the world was going to end
when we heard those explosions not far away
and the loudspeakers telling us
about the vast fires on the backwater
consuming undisclosed remnants
and warning us over and over
to stay indoors and make no signals
you stood at the open window
the light of one candle back in the room
we put on high boots to be ready
for wherever we might have to go
and we got out the oysters and sat
at the small table feeding them
to each other first with the fork
then from our mouths to each other
until there were none and we stood up
and started to dance without music
slowly we danced around and around
in circles and after a while we hummed
when the world was about to end
all those years all those nights ago
– W.S. Merwin

It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.
– John Waters

The spoken word is ephemeral. The written word, eternal. A symphony, timeless.
– A.E. Samaan

We were born for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth.
– Marcus Aurelius

All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.
– Nikki Giovanni

Throwing Children by Ross Gay
It is really something when a kid who has a hard time becomes a kid who’s having a good time in no small part thanks to you throwing that kid in the air again and again on a mile long walk home from the Indian joint as her mom looks sideways at you like you don’t need to keep doing this because you’re pouring with sweat and breathing a little bit now you’re getting a good workout but because the kid laughs like a horse up there laughs like a kangaroo beating her wings against the light because she laughs like a happy little kid and when coming down and grabbing your forearm to brace herself for the time when you will drop her which you don’t and slides her hand into yours as she says for the fortieth time the fiftieth time inexhaustible her delight again again again and again and you say give me til the redbud tree or give me til the persimmon tree because she knows the trees and so quiet you almost can’t hear through her giggles she says ok til the next tree when she explodes howling yanking your arm from the socket again again all the wolves and mourning doves flying from her tiny throat and you throw her so high she lives up there in the tree for a minute she notices the ants organizing on the bark and a bumblebee carousing the little unripe persimmon in its beret she laughs and laughs as she hovers up there like a bumblebee like a hummingbird up there giggling in the light like a giddy little girl up there the world knows how to love.

Vespertina Cognitio
by Natasha Trethewey

Overhead, pelicans glide in threes—
their shadows across the sand
dark thoughts crossing the mind.

Beyond the fringe of coast, shrimpers
hoist their nets, weighing the harvest
against the day’s losses. Light waning,

concentration is a lone gull
circling what’s thrown back. Debris
weights the trawl like stones.

All day, this dredging—beneath the tug
of waves—rhythm of what goes out,
comes back, comes back, comes back.

How many people came and stayed a certain time,
Uttered light or dark speech that became part of you
Like light behind windblown fog and sand,
Filtered and influenced by it, until no part
Remains that is surely you.
– John Ashbery

I have never cared to BE
nearly as much as I have
cared to BECOME.
– Andrea Gibson

I explain my gender by saying—
I am happiest on the road,
when I’m not here or there,
but in-between, that yellow line
running down the center
of it all like a sunbeam
– Andrea Gibson

There are not many truths, there are only a few. Their meaning is too deep to grasp other than in symbols.
– @RedBookJung

I used to think that poems were prayers, but now I think they are why we pray.

More incarnation than plea. Not the altar of sacrifice, but the gods showing up in our ordinary lives.

The aperture opened between what we are and what we might be.

– Steven Leyva

The transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease.
– Alan Watts

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

But when we sit together, close,’ said Bernard, ‘we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory.’
– Virginia Woolf

by Walter de la Mare

What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I.

Have a proper lunch and be calm!

– Franz Kafka, 1913.

Let me begin by telling you that I was in love. An ordinary statement, to be sure, but not an ordinary fact, for so few of us learn that love is tenderness, and tenderness is not, as a fair proportion suspect, pity; and still fewer know that happiness in love is not the absolute focusing of all emotion in another: one has to love a good many things which the beloved must come only to symbolize; the true beloveds in this world are in their lover’s eye–lilac opening, ship lights, school bells, a landscape, remembered conversations, friends, a child’s Sunday, lost voices, one’s favorite suit, Autumn and all seasons, memory, yes, it being the earth and water of existence, memory.
– Truman Capote

They touched; with the gentle clarity of dream,
– Robert Penn Warren

Searching for the Dharma
by Hsu Yun

You’ve traveled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.
So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.
The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung
make heavy baggage.

Here! I’ve picked you a bunch of wildflowers.
Their meaning is the same
but they’re much easier to carry.

Find out what makes you kinder, what opens you up and brings out the most loving, generous, and unafraid version of you―and go after those things as if nothing else matters.

Because, actually, nothing does.

– George Saunders

Poetry is nothing more than an intensification or illumination of common objects and every day events until they shine with their singular nature, until we can experience their power, until we can follow their steps in the dance, until we can discern what part they play in the Great Order of Love.
– Tom Robbins

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.
– James M. Barrie

The heart and mind of another are unknowable, even unapproachable, except in fantasies and projections that are really elements of the knower’s own life, not the other’s.
– Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge

What also reassures us is that sleep heals us of fatigue, but heals by the most radical of means in arranging that we cease temporarily to exist. There, as elsewhere to that blissful unconsciousness, and in accepting to be slightly less strong, less light, less heavy and less definite than our waking selves.
– Marguerite Yourcenar

The object of this learning
is to remove outside authority
from your inner life.
Eliminate the old habit of
listening to others about your
own comfort and convenience.
– Moshe Feldenkrais

Cure yourself of your nostalgias, of the childish obsession with the beginning and the end of time. Eternity, that dead duration—only the weak are concerned with such things. Let the moment do its work, let it reabsorb your dreams.
– Emil Cioran

I’ve got lots of sensibility and no common sense;

isn’t it better to lie low while the universe bombards

to ride out the pendulation of the seasons
straining not so often to embrace the moon. but more

to render it embraceable; isn’t it enough
that one branch, rocking before a storm, can gather

the lines of twilight like threads in cool fresh sheets;
and isn’t it enough that all creeks flow seaward;

isn’t it enough that riverbanks come in pairs?

– Diane Ackerman

Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, “Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”
– Kait Rokowski, A Good Day

Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don’t know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.
– C. JoyBell C.

Before machines the only form of entertainment people really had was relationships.
– Doug Coupland

It was more than dignity. Integrity? Wholeness? Like a block of wood not carved. The infinite possibility, the unlimited and unqualified wholeness of being of the uncommitted, the nonacting, the uncarved: the being who, being nothing but himself, is everything.
– Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Musing takes place in a kind of meadowlands of the imagination, a part of the imagination that has not yet been plowed, developed, or put to any immediately practical use…time spent there is not work time, yet without that time the mind becomes sterile, dull, domesticated. The fight for free space — for wilderness and public space — must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space.
– Rebecca Solnit

While working away in the logical, ground-bound pragmatism of the material world, you must also be ready to see the stars at any minute.
– Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

The humble, meek, merciful, and just are everywhere of one religion; and when death has taken off the mask they will know one another, though the diverse liveries they wear here make them strangers.
– William Penn

From her I learned all the nuances of neverness that link the gladiola to God.
– Christian Wiman

Home isn’t Mom and Dad and Sis and Bud. Home isn’t where they have to let you in. It’s not a place at all. Home is imaginary. Home, imagined, comes to be. It is real, realer than any other place, but you can’t get to it unless your people show you how to imagine it—whoever your people are. They may not be your relatives. They may never have spoken your language. They may have been dead for a thousand years. They may be nothing but words printed on paper, ghosts of voices, shadows of minds. But they can guide you home. They are your human community.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
– Jean Houston

If your commitment to transformation is solid, don’t be too surprised if everything liquifies now and then. Lives filled with forward movement often look and feel like a real mess. You bank some progress. Then you doubt yourself to the core when an old problem is in your face again, or one you never thought was yours takes center stage. Life serves up humble pie not to humiliate or shame us, but to skootch us along our chosen paths, lesson by lesson by lesson.
– Gil Hedley

Buddhism has nothing to teach. Nothing whatever. All it has to do is to get rid of illusions, and then the experience happens when the illusions are gone, just like the sun comes out when the clouds go away.
– Alan Watts

Righteousness ultimately starves you to death. If you want to be free more than you want to be right, you have to let go of righteousness, of being right.
– Ram Dass

Every man’s foremost task is the actualization of his unique, unprecedented and never-recurring potentialities, and not the repetition of something that another, and be it even the greatest, has already achieved.
– Martin Buber

Thank you, grief—
whose root is love—and love
which has teeth, and
– Katie Farris

I glared back
at the landlord
– Matayoshi Naoki

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.
– Cicero

The dawn gives us courage
this rising light urges us to listen
dissolving what it must. It says:—now
begin to scour
yourself first, peeling the skin of the past from the mind
holding your nothingness between your fingers, without

– Antonella Anedda

I tried to invent new flowers…
– Rimbaud

With the dharma, a lot of times we think we understand, appreciate knowledge and a sense of intelligence that grasps dharma. But true dharma is not in books or the mouth of a teacher. True dharma is within oneself.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

One last thing about equanimity: its near enemy, its deadening impostor, is indifference or apathy. Real equanimity is accepting the full range of the heart and experience, whereas indifference is dry, flat, chilly, dissociative, robotic, and heartless.
– Daniel Ingram

floating driftwood
this way
that way
– Issa

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
– Carl Gustav Jung

If there is a
by Lara Farga

If there is a God, he has a lot to answer for.
Crocuses, purple cups that bloom through snow.
Cerulean, cornflower, azure, turquoise, ultramarine.
Mist off round haybales along the Sand Road
just after 5 A.M., when the foxes go to ground.
Not only the obvious evils, but also these other things
we should not mistake for easy.

If we are using the Dharma like a mirror, by holding it up to others to judge them and to find their faults, while never looking into the mirror ourselves, it is entirely missing the point of what it is intended for. Turn the mirror of the Dharma towards yourself.
– Chamtrul Rinpoche

The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage.
– Jack London

Come of Age, The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble:

It is no secret that the West surrendered or abandoned something ancestral and indigenous, something fundamental to its mythic and poetic well-being, when it agreed to be an icon or a mascot for all things civilized, cultural, and Godly. Its old soul was left in the weeds. It is no secret that the various sojourns into empire making, slavery, resource exploitation, coercive conversion, urbanization, demythologization and rationalism, global market conjuring, World Bank manipulation, and a few other notable things have come back to haunt the West. These have burdened what is left of its middle classes with coping with refugees and with a ghosted half memory and world class resentful guilt where there once was a conscience that might have leavened privilege with duty. The poorer classes are left with a chronic, alienated grudge that rears up at election time to enthrone a former greatness that never was. The governing elites are opting for statelessness, their only serious allegiance saved for shareholders and boards of directors, and each other. What might surprise you is the possibility that the English language is now the lingua franca of post-modernization and globalization, precisely because it is the ghost language of empire. It is the default language of the stateless, and it is the default language of that postcolonial blur called multiculturalism. Modern English has been informed and deformed and reformed by serial invasions from Rome, Frisia, Norway, and Normandy, by the converting religion of the eastern Mediterranean, Christianity, by the harrowing of the disenfranchised, landless workforce—namely the Industrial Revolution—and by the unseen hand of the marketplace, free-for-all Capitalism. By virtue of its mania for the foundational verb to be and its many errant descendants, modern English’s syntax is obliged to an essentialist view, and not a relational view, of everything. By this I mean that I can ask you how you are doing, you and only you, and omit all and sundry responsible for your well-being from the inquiry. I can isolate existence from anything that might sustain or describe it. I can distinguish the inner from the outer, the body from the soul, the ephemeral from the eternal, the Truth from everything else, human being from human doing, and the language and its syntax encourages me to do these very things.

– Stephen Jenkinson

We find ourselves in Hell the moment we start to hide from life.
– Mark Nepo

When you feel like an afterthought,
for so long,
it’s easy to forget who you are.
You’re not sure which voices are yours,
which ideas are real, and
which feelings you’re meant to feel.
When your heart is something set atop
a backburner and neglected,
it’s easy to grow cold.

Turns out,
I’m a wildfire.
I was watering myself down
until I drowned.
Until I was breathless and left with nothing.

And from nothing,
came waves.
From nowhere,
I rose.
I climbed up and conquered.
I rebuilt a world of my making,
and from nothing
came everything.
I am the maker of favor,
the mastermind behind and in front of
all the love once misdirected.

Where there was once no way
I cut through earth and made my own.
I burn,
I glow,
I spit fire so that others may know
are wildfires.

can make waves.

– J. Raymond

It’s easy to blame the “monkey mind” for our perpetual anxiety, but its far more productive to drop down into the body and clear the “monkey heart” that sources it. Patriarchal spiritualities prefer it if you avoid your feelings altogether and fixate on the mind. But it just doesn’t work, because the originating traumas are held within the body.
– Jeff Brown

It will burn inside you like a terrible, inextinguishable fire. But despite all the torment, you cannot let it be, since it will not let you be. From this you will understand that your God is alive and that your soul has begun wandering
– @RedBookJung

To be a skateboarder, you have to have a wire loose somewhere…The brutality of it and how essentially how every part of it is illegal, being that most things you want to skate are on things people don’t want you to skate on.
– @TempletonEd

you do not have to
be a catastrophe
to prove you are worth
paying attention to.
– Blythe Baird

Real feel the new heat
or wind chill index predictions
on the radio
Ornette Coleman saxing some
soaring bluesy, breakout jam
while radiator warms me
– Jerry Pendergast

The world of gods and spirits is truly ‘nothing but’ the collective unconscious inside me.
– CG Jung

It is of the first order of importance to remember this, that the shaman is more than merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself, who is cured, and who must shamanize in order to remain cured.
– Terence McKenna

Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased, Polo said. Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.
– Italo Calvino

Behaviour that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere.
– Seamus Heaney

The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed . . . it is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed in order to produce valuable and lasting results.
– C.G. Jung

If you think
the Eccentric God
who made the octopus
is gonna judge you
for your sins,
I’m afraid you’ve missed
the mark
If you think
this Wild God
that spins galaxies
as a pastime
cares to get fussy
about your mistakes
or has ever made anything
that wasn’t born
perfect and luminous,
you might need to repent
If you can’t yet admit
how lovable and
infinitely worthy
the fullness of your human nature is
and if you think God
wants to do anything
but perpetually pour
an abundance
of love gifts
upon you…
well, my dear, your soul
just might need
to go to confession.
– Chelan Harkin

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won’t even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.
– William Stafford

You need to have a community. You need to have meaningful values, not the junk values you’ve been pumped full of all your life, telling you happiness comes through money and buying objects. You need to have meaningful work. You need the natural world. You need to feel you are respected. You need a secure future. You need connections to all these things. You need to release any shame you might feel for having been mistreated.
– Johann Hari

The whole world lived inside the gourd, the earth a green and blue pearl like the one the dragon plays with.
– Maxine Hong Kingston

Thoughts are circular, they don’t take you anywhere. They don’t have feet-they can’t gain any ground. They can trap you if you don’t eventually stand up and make a move.
– Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken

The Diamond Sutra says,

“Out of nowhere, the mind comes forth.”

It is well known that those who do not trust themselves never trust others.
– Alfred Adler

by Susan Browne

I’m at a day-long meditation retreat, eight hours of watching
my mind with my mind.
and I already fell asleep twice and nearly fell out of my chair,
and it’s not even noon yet.

In the morning session, I learned to count my thoughts, ten in
one minute, and the longest
was to leave and go to San Anselmo and shop, then find an
outdoor cafe and order a glass

of Sancerre, smoked trout with roasted potatoes and baby
carrots and a bowl of gazpacho.
But I stayed and learned to name my thoughts: so far they are:
wanting , wanting, wanting.

wanting, wanting, wanting, wanting, wanting, judgment,
sadness. Don’t identify with your
thoughts, the teacher says, you are not your personality, not your

then he bangs the gong for lunch. Whoever, whatever I am is
given instruction
in the walking meditation and the eating meditation and walks
outside with the other

meditators, and we wobble across the lawn like The Night of the
Living Dead.
I meditate slowly, falling over a few times because I kept my
foot in the air too long,

towards a bench, sit slowly down, and slowly eat my sandwich,
noticing the bread.
(sourdough), noticing the taste, (tuna, sourdough), noticing
the smell, (sourdough, tuna),

thanking the sourdough, the tuna, the ocean, the boat, the
fisherman, the field, the grain,
the farmer, the Saran Wrap that kept this food fresh for this
body made of food and desire

and the hope of getting through the rest of this day without
dying of boredom.
Sun then cloud then sun. I notice a maple leaf on my sandwich.
It seems awfully large.

Slowly brushing it away, I feel so sad I can hardly stand it, so I
name my thoughts; they are:
sadness about my mother, judgment about my father, wanting
the child I never had.

I notice I’ve been chasing the same thoughts like dogs around
the same park most of my life,
notice the leaf tumbling gold to the grass. The gong sounds,
and back in the hall.

I decide to try lying down meditation, and let myself sleep. the
Buddha in my dream is me,
surrounded by dogs wagging their tails, licking my hands.
I wake up

for the forgiveness meditation, the teacher saying, never put
anyone out of your heart,
and the heart opens and knows it won’t last and will have to
open again and again,

chasing those dogs around and around in the sun then cloud
then sun.

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift—your true self—is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs.
– Bill Plotkin

As for you and your heart and the things you said and didn’t say, she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.
– Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.
– L.M. Montgomery

Jung suffered a prophetic burden, by which I mean he was frequently misunderstood, often willfully so, sometimes viciously attacked, and experienced intellectual loneliness and isolation.
– David Tacey

You will feel insecure and jealous. How much power you give those feelings is entirely up to you.
– Cheryl Strayed

The richest person is the one with the least desires.
– Debra Moffitt

I don’t have talent, so I just get up earlier.
– Henry Rollins

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.
– Richard Bach

Being funny is like being tall. That is surely a thing that can’t be taught or learned.
– Fran Lebowitz

The Earth is not a big rock infested with living organisms any more than your skeleton is bones infested with cells.
– Alan Watts

We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.
– Robert M. Pirsig

In some ways, he was a timeless writer, drawing inspiration from nature, as poets always have. At the risk of making him sound like a Sixties hippy, some of his poems conjure a tranced, hyperaware state at once microscopic and cosmic. He could do lyrical, musical, poignant, folksy, humorous. The macabre comedy in some of his whigmaleeries is almost medieval.
– Ajay Close on William Soutar

Mandatory reading is nefarious. Read for pleasure, have a deep suspicion.
– Alvaro Mutis

There can be times when we have a whole day alone with nothing to do but be, and we catch ourself diverting ourself with one diversion after another—engaging in things that deep down we know do not need doing and deep down we really don’t want to do.
– James Finley

sometimes prayer is only a reminder to pause.
sometimes the pause is the prayer.
– cassidy hall

I press each letter into the deepest loneliness
and the pages suffer the weight of the syllables.
– Sara F. Costa

Or is the past, like the Gods, without emotion?
– Rosemarie Waldrop

Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but the flash is everything.
– Henri Poincaré

And we won’t have to make up for all the lost time because we’ll have a handy detailed record of everything that’s been happening to me right here in black and white.
– Matthew Quick

[…] The impulse behind nature poetry, he says, is ‘a sort of readiness, a species of longing which is without the desire to possess’…
– Gary Geddes

…If love does a secret thing always, it is to reach backward, to a time that could not be known—for it makes a history of the sorrow and the dream it has contemplated in some instant of recognition.
– Eudora Welty

The melancholy river bears us on. When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird singing as we pass the osier bed. What are you whispering? Sorrow, sorrow. Joy, joy. Woven together, like reeds in moonlight.
– Virginia Woolf

If you were.
To come unhinged.
You could.
Open the door.
As wide as you wanted.
You could fling the door to heavens.
And let it all in.
You could.
Relax your jaw.
Let the words spill out.
You would not.
Have to stay steady.
To a beat of another’s making.
You could find yourself.
Everywhere you turned.
And dance with abandon.
Right to the edge.
– Jo Anna Dane

You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn.
– T.H. White

Now ordinary people are born forwards in Time, if you understand what I mean, and nearly everything in the world goes forward too. This makes it quite easy for the ordinary people to live, just as it would be easy to join those five dots into a W if you were allowed to look at them forwards, instead of backwards and inside out. But I unfortunately was born at the wrong end of Time, and I have to live backwards from in front, while surrounded by a lot of people living forwards from behind. Some people call it having second sight.
– T. H. White

Tenderness is the most modest form of love.
It is the kind of love that does not appear in the scriptures or the gospels, no one swears by it, no one cites it… It appears wherever we take a close and careful look at another being, at something that is not our ‘self.’
– Olga Tokarczuk

Forgiveness is supernatural… it’s not normal in human fallen nature. It’s supernatural
– Orthodox Fr. Harry Linsinbigler

Of the diverse instruments of man, the most astonishing is, without a doubt, the book.” Others are extensions of your body. The microscope, the telescope, are extensions of your sight; the phone is extension of your voice; then we have the plow and sword, extensions of your arm. “But the book is something else: the book is an extension of the memory and of the imagination.
– George Luis Borges

It’s typical of those with narrow minds, to ramble against everything that doesn’t fit in their heads.
– Antonio Machado

One eye sees, the other feels.
– Paul Klee

I talk less about God, and write less ‘spiritually’ than I used to; this is good, I think — worshipful words, our own especially, end up being worshipped for themselves, which is the worst kind of idolatry. I ask different questions now, trusting my heart more than someone else’s authority, trusting silence more than books. But I still appreciate the books and the teachers; ‘my’ voice is many voices and what they say is the same. Gandhi said he was Hindu and Moslem and Christian and Jew, that to reach the heart of truth is to reach the heart of all religion. Can I say that, too?
– Sy Safranski, 1984

“A man can learn all of an opponent’s weaknesses on that board,’ said Gilt.
‘Really?’ said Vetinari, raising his eyebrows. ‘Should not he be trying to learn his own?”
– Terry Pratchett

More you also desired, but every one of us
Love draws earthward, and grief bends with still greater power;
Yet our arc not for nothing
Brings us back to our starting place.
– Hölderlin, The Course of Life

The living were those who didn’t realize that strange and wonderful things were happening, because life was too full of dull and mundane things.
– Terry Prattchett

Music has no owner, for those who go to it never own it. They have been possessed by her.
– Mary Zambrano

We take care of our world by taking care of each other — it is as simple and as difficult as that.
– Desmond Tutu

How I Knew I Loved You

I dreamed we wrote a poem together—

I wrote one line,

you wrote the next.

– Francesca Leader

I was thinking today of my greatest happiness, a walk along a cliff by the sea, and you at the end of it.
– Virginia Woolf

See that you do not interfere in the affairs of others, nor even allow them to pass through your memory; for perhaps you will be unable to accomplish your own task.
– St. John of the Cross

… sometimes I can feel it, the way we are
pouring slowly toward a curve and around it
through something dark and soft, and we are bound to
each other.
– Sharon Olds

That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things.
– Maggie Nelson

by Jeannie Prinsen

I hate winter rain, how it soaks
dirty snow heavy, sluices beneath ice
dams at the curb, how it seeps,
weighs. Get used to it, they say,
this is the future, no more
old-fashioned winters. As though
nostalgia for childhood’s red-
cheeked seasons oppresses me, not
the inexorable slide into melt,
humans glaciering slow
toward refuge, beasts foraging
in bewilderment while we choose
drowning, calling it progress, moving afloe
across a sea of our own design.

Inseparable from right speech is good listening.
– Mudita Nisker

No wonder the Western world feels uneasy, for it does not know how much it plays into the hands of the uproarious underworld and what it has lost through the destruction of numinosities.
– CG Jung

Most people in our whimsical culture live in a hall of mirrors, and so we find ourselves with fragile and rapidly changing identities, needing a lot of affirmation. We see this especially in so many young people.
– Richard Rohr

There are no images here
In the solitude, only
The night and its stars which are
Relationships rather than
Images. Shifting darkness,
Strains of feeling, lines of force,
Webs of thoughts, no images,
Only night and time aging
The night in its darkness . . .
– Kenneth Rexroth

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Nothing in this world is a gift. Everything must be acquired through learning and working.
– Carlos Castañeda

The opening up of the unconscious always means the outbreak of intense spiritual suffering: it is as when fertile fields are exposed by the bursting of a dam to a raging torrent.
– CG Jung, Aion

When people are finding meaning in things — beware.
– Edward Gorey

My friend Caroline found a small frog in a shower that was being remodeled, so she picked it up, and carried it in cupped hands to the wet grass outside. The frog was leaping in terror against her hands as she carried it outside, and probably did not understand the quiet comforting words she spoke to it along the way, and I think this is one of the best examples of how love operates when we are most afraid and doomed, carrying us to a safer place while we pound against its cupped hands.
– Anne Lamott

Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.
– Chaim Potok

I carry no map on an unending path.
I paint no art that does not talk to me in whispers.
There’s a door in my head always open to new views.
And my skills are made by others, doing.
I throw nothing away.
No dark, no dull, no light.
In that way all is seen by and through and in me.
I become good by way of bad times.
I become bad by way of good times.
If this makes no sense, put down your map.
Just look until you see your Tao.
– Sandra Lynn Sparks

The Hebrew prophets said: if the sacred is not nurtured, the underworld will erupt, contaminating the world with the wrong kind of spirits, leading to a perilous situation.’Our times have demonstrated what it means when the gates of the psychic underworld are thrown open.
– David Tacey

A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

The growth of consciousness tends to make sudden jumps forward: there are periods where the field of awareness enlarges suddenly to a great extent. Whenever the enlargement of consciousness is very sudden, people speak of getting an “illumination” or revelation.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.
– Alan Rickman

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
– E.B. White

Only when the distress reaches a certain proportion are we likely to look within, to reexamine the principles and perceptions that govern our lives, or to enter a serious self-examination. Yet it is in those moments that the opening to a larger life begins.
– James Hollis

There are allies in this world.
The earth and the sun are on everyone’s side.

Friends can feel how to move together,
like birds of a feather

There are feelings in the wind,
as when the wind carries a promise.

Unexplained by knowings,
our minds have wings.

Our souls have time,
as they grow together.

– George Gorman

Comforting or disturbing, the fact is that we are basically dreaming machines that construct virtual models of the world.
– Rodolfo Llinas

I tell my audiences over and over, you should rethink the old gray women in your life that you take for granted. My mom’s own madness wrecked her. But you try and you try to give something back, and in this book, I finally gave my mom a happy ending.
– Luis Alberto Urrea

Nothing is more dangerous for a writer than to be dismissive. To dismiss means to judge, and nothing kills a piece of writing faster than that. Make room, make room! Let the world in all its shades and tones… take you more fully into the human heart.
– Lee Martin

most folks don’t know the sound of smoke.
though they hear it. though smoke gets mistaken
for silence. most folks think they’re saying nothing
when they’re saying the most.
– José Olivarez

I call upon you, workers.
It is not yet light
But I beat upon your doors.
You say you await the Dawn
But I say you are the Dawn.
– Lola Ridge

I look out
at everything
growing so wild
and faithfully beneath
the sky
and wonder
why we are
the one
part of creation
to refuse
our flowering…
– David Whyte

Most people are, like Leibniz’s possible worlds, only equally rightful pretenders to existence. Few exist.
– Schlegel

Power is of two types. One is positive and the other is negative. The negative power is there to motivate the positive one.
– Babuji Maharaj

The writer finds himself in the increasingly ludicrous condition of having nothing to write, of having no means with which to write it, and of being constrained by the utter necessity of always writing it.
– Blanchot

We all live with expensive ghosts in memory’s unmade bed, for what we do not remember remembers us nonetheless.
– James Hollis

If you’re a real artist (and not just some sycophantic careerist), your writing should be at all times a phenomenology of reading.
– Mark Leyner

A harsh truth about growing up:

Every few years, the game you’re playing in life changes ― and so do the rules.

A lot of people fail to recognize the these changes and keep stumbling in life.

– Zain Kahn

A mythological order is a system of images that gives consciousness a sense of meaning in existence, which, my dear friend, has no meaning––it simply is. But the mind goes asking for meanings; it can’t play unless it knows (or makes up) the rules.

Mythologies present games to play: how to make believe you’re doing thus and so. Ultimately, through the game, you experience that positive thing which is the experience of being-in-being, of living meaningfully. That’s the first function of a mythology, to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence.

– Joseph Campbell

If you’re reading for the love of reading, you look for what it gives you.
– Salman Rushdie

The lasting state of fullness that manifests itself when one is freed from mental blindness and conflicting emotions goes hand in hand with wisdom – which allows one to perceive the world without veils or distortion -, with the joy of walking toward inner freedom, and the kindness that radiates towards other .
– Matthieu Ricard

Many myths and fairy tales tell of a prince, who has been turned into an animal or a monster by sorcery, being saved by a woman. This is a symbolic representation of the development of the animus toward consciousness.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

I have learned that you cannot help others unless you first help yourself. But I have also learned that the greatest honour that one could experience is to arrive upon a true serendipity of an opportunity to aid and bring joy to another human being.
– Bassem Sabry

You have to look at your entire life, she intimates, as an exercise in simply getting good at repair. That way, even when there’s a rupture—a catastrophe, a meltdown, a cancellation—you are just doing the thing you’re getting good at: repairing.
– Amanda Palmer

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink.
– Shunryu Suzuki

It appears that it is not what happens to us, but how we internalize what happens to us, how we message it.
– James Hollis

How little do the wisest among us know of that which is so important to us all.
– Hans Christian Andersen

Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior… many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s Poetry.
– J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

A dawning awareness of the greatest simplicities can lead into lightning-like changes.
– George Gorman

God, I’m losing grip
on this world
which means my prayers
are becoming fearless.

Rent me open
and show me You.

My mind has made a series
of bad investments.
I’ll be broke.
I’ll be bankrupt.
Just let me quit
investing in separation.

I have walked
to the end of the world
and found nothing here.
Spare me from the illusions
I so once sought.

I care not
about the pursuit
of my hungers.

Whatever smallness from my past
still grips me
I hand over to you now.

Whatever grandeur
I have claimed for myself
I lay before your feet.

I can no longer live
on this husk of separation.

If there is not more
beyond this—fine.
I am willing to take that risk.

I ask you now
to remove every last veil.

– Chelan Harkin

how lucky are we
to have hearts that turn
our hurts into something
that can be sung.
– Kevin Kantor

There are three ways to bring unity between two opposites:

The first is by introducing a power that transcends both of them and to which they both utterly surrender their entire being. They are then at peace with each other because they are both under the influence of the same force.

But their being is not at peace—their being is simply ignored.

The second way is by finding a middle ground where the two beings meet. The two are at peace where they meet on that middle ground—but the rest of their territory remains apart and distant.

The third way is to reveal that the essence of every aspect of the two beings is one and the same.

– Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

One can only say that a person who has no myth or solid idea about the meaning of life, or simply believes what he reads in the newspapers, is neurotic and is to be pitied, for he is caught in believing in only ideological half-truths.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

About heroes and tumblers
There are no coincidences, but destinies. It is not found but what is sought, and we seek what is somehow hidden in the deepest and darkest of our hearts. Because if not, how does the meeting with the same person not produce the same results in two beings? Why is it that the meeting with a revolutionary leads to the revolution and the other leaves him indifferent? Reason why it seems like one ends up meeting in the end with the people one should meet, thus keeping chance reduced to very modest limits.
– Ernesto Sabato

In my youth I put aside my studies
And I aspired to be a saint.
Living austerely as a mendicant monk,
I wandered here and there for many springs.
Finally I returned home to settle under a craggy peak.
I live peacefully in a grass hut,
Listening to the birds for music.
Clouds are my best neighbors.
Below a pure spring where I refresh body and mind;
Above, towering pines and oaks that provide shade and brushwood.
Free, so free, day after day —
I never want to leave!

– Ryokan

There is a grain of sand in Lambeth, that Satan cannot find/ Nor can his watchfiends find it.
– William Blake

The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain

There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.

– Wallace Stevens

The voice [of God] never panders, offers no five-year plan, no long-term solution, no edicts from a cloudy white beard hooked over ears. It is small and fond and local.
– Mary Karr

The task is heroic, poetry is a minor matter.
– Edel E Garcellano

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

– Derek Walcott

I have not loved the World, nor the World me;
I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coined my cheek to smiles,–nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo: in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such–I stood
Among them, but not of them–in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.
– George Byron

We prepare the way with the solid
nourishment of self-actualization
we implore all the young to prepare for the young
because always there will be children.
– Nikki Giovanni

Hope has holes
in its pockets.
It leaves little
crumb trails
so that we,
when anxious,
can follow it.
Hope’s secret:
it doesn’t know
the destination–
it knows only
that all roads
begin with one
foot in front
of the other.
– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

O may my heart’s truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year’s turning.
– Dylan Thomas

Tell me how blessed are we to have tragedy so small it can fit on the tips of our tongues.
– Rudy Francisco

Grey sea, grey sky two things are bright;
the gull-white foam, the gull, foam-white.
– John Hewitt

Bend closer, listen, I love you.
– Alden Nowlan, This is What I Wanted to Sign Off With

How to dominate reality? Love is one way;
imagination another. Sit here
beside me, sweet; take my hard hand in yours.
We’ll mark the butterflies disappearing over the hedge
with tiny wristwatches on their wings:
our fingers touching the earth, like two Buddhas.
– Irving Layton

Your love may lie lost and deep,
You may have to hire a water witch
To break a stick
And hunt for your love.
– Frank Stanford

Every generation should read The Lord of the Rings and learn that men are allowed to show affection, that power corrupts, and that happiness does not come from being a ruler but from baking potatoes and snoozing in an armchair by the fire in your cosy Hobbit hole.
– @iconawrites

I shall not be careless this year:
I shall not forget to see the wild garlic blossom
-as I did last May, and the May before
– Frances Horovitz

Again, the sharp new moon blade.
Again we walk a garden
with the lily’s clever talking around us.

Green satin no tailor sews,
trees putting on their hats.

A drumming begins, and we play along
on the drums of our stomachs.

The lake that was ice and iron
now is ridged in the wind like David’s chainmail.

A voice says to the herbs, Rise up.
The mystic crane returns.
The humiliated ones dress and show
their heads in windows again.

There is a public concert on the tomb of January.
The willow shakes its head.

Those we thought were lost are back.
How the sun is with plants
is evidence enough.

– Rumi

When I was a young man I was always hunting for new metaphors.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Doubt runs through me every day I work, like the subway’s third rail.
– Mary Karr

ADVICE (for E)
Be the stealth between stones

The abracadabra amongst clones

Be the fighting fish with a fancy tail

The wizard who deifies gnomes

No worry be happy missiles flying

While innocents are dying

You’re pretty nimble for your age

One day a wombat next day a sage

On the way to feeding a despot

You summoned your rage

Most virtuous mother don’t be fooled

They will bomb our shelter scorch our earth

Unwind regroup turn swine into pearl

Be the change you wanna see in the girl

– Marilyn Chin

we all have a right to speak, and an obligation
to pay attention to the slightest whisper.
– John Tranter

You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.
– Neil Gaiman

To heal doesn’t mean
you feel less.
It often means
you feel more
because you blame less,
offload less,
become less willing
to use your hurt
to hurt others
which is really just
trying to give our hurt away
or get the loneliness in our neglected hurt
some company.
To heal means
to become more sensitive
to the benefits of truth, of transparency
and to be less willing to sacrifice that
for temporary comforts.
You might lose more people
with truth
than with deceptive manipulation
that is selective hiding
but you will lose people beautifully
in a way that supports
the highest good of both
and you’ll feel more grief
but it will be clean.
When we begin to feel more
on behalf of living
in integrity,
when we finally step onto the path
of ownership of our feelings
we experience the generative grief
of our heart’s surrender
to all inside of us
that we realize is ours
to tend to
and in this cathartic cleansing
we cleanse the weight
of our past,
we cleanse our cruelty,
we cleanse our attraction
to falsity,
we cleanse our self-preservation
at the expense of others
and we begin to feel
strong, aligned
and very proud of ourselves.

– Chelan Harkin

When life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others. If this is the only training we ever remember to do, it will benefit us tremendously & everyone else as well. It’s a way of bringing whatever we encounter onto the path of awakening…
– Pema Chodron

A less brainy culture would learn to synchronize its body rhythms rather than its clocks.
– Alan W. Watts

What’s more punk rock
than living despite all
that which has tried
to make you not?
– Neil Hilborn

Life goes on. Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die. Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness thinks of yesterday. Life is beautiful and living is pain.
– Hunter S. Thompson

For he who changes only place and not life and customs never improves his state.
– Quevedo

We all have daemons—or saboteurs. And as much of a pain in the ass they can be—even sometimes cruel—try inviting their insight rather than fighting against them. The blunt truth is that they aren’t going anywhere…. Ask them what they need in order to stop blocking you. That’s one way to ensure a different path to connecting to our creativity. And connecting to it without fear.
– Brooke Warner

You may know what he said but never what the other heard.
– Jacques Lacan

I write because I have nothing else to do in the world: I was left over and there is no place for me in the world of men. I write because I’m desperate and I’m tired, I can no longer bear the routine of being me and if not for the always novelty that is writing, I would die symbolically every day. But I am prepared to slip out discreetly through the back exit. I’ve experienced almost everything, including passion and its despair. And now I’d only like to have what I would have been and never was.
– Clarice Lispector

To go back into the wild is to become sour, astringent, crabbed, unfertilized, unpruned, tough, resilient, and every spring shockingly beautiful in bloom.
– Gary Snyder

Unless it’s new and strange, every visualization of the world of things is false. For if something is real it is bound to lose its reality in the process of becoming familiar. Philosophic contemplation means reverting from the familiar to the strange and, in the strange, encountering the real.
– Paul Valéry

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
– L.P. Hartley

I grew up bent over
a chessboard
– Charles Simic

Many parents believe that only pleasant wish-fulfilling images should be presented to a child—that he should be exposed only to the sunny side of things. But such one-sided fare nourishes the mind only in one-sided way & real life is not all sunny.
– Bruno Bettelheim

The words of others are mistakes of our hearing, shipwrecks of our understanding.

How confidently we believe our meanings of other people’s words.

– Fernando Pessoa

We are taught that life is serious, and therefore must be done in an efficient way—but according to Euclidean ideas of efficiency. In ancient times, when people worked, they used to sing. Hardly anybody sings anymore except at a performance of some kind or something like that.
– Alan Watts

If the digital realm has been gobbled up by AI, perhaps it’s time to consider– homing pigeons? the printing press? wax seals? secret handshakes? rendezvous in the forest? Messages in bottles?

Analog underground communication is wonderfully storied. I never liked email anyway.

– @NoraBateson

As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
– C.P Cavafy, The God Abandons Antony

Is it possible to free the mind from conditioning – not to find a better or more noble conditioning, but to totally free the mind from all conditioning?
– Krishnamurti

It’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards.
– Jack Kerouac

I have changed the numbers on my watch
by Brian Patten

I have changed the numbers on my watch,
And now perhaps something else will change.
Now perhaps
At precisely 2a.m.
You will not get up
And gathering your things together
Go forever.
Perhaps now you will find it is
Far too early to go,
Or far too late,
And stay forever

Liberation looks good on you.

Less memorizing and reciting.

More creating and manifesting.

– Dr. Thema

Listen to the sound of it,
it’ll tell you if it’s right,
the old monk told the poet.
– The Old Monk

Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
– Kurt Vonnegut

on the anniversary of your death
I pull weeds
– Sugimoto Gengenshi

For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe.
– Larry Eisenberg

bright talk after winter darkness
is not more welcome
than a lull in the wind
coming home to your own form
– thomas a. clark, the path to the sea

We practiced nostalgia, looking for things and places that would unavoidably remind us of the Alexandria we were about to lose. We were, in a sense, incubating nostalgia…
– Andre Aciman

People became so used to seeing shit on film that they no longer realized it was shit.
– Charles Bukowski

You should not vote for any politician that does not have a climate plan.
– Edgar McGregor

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.
– DeLillo

People cut off feeling by entering the rarefied world of intellect without extending down to contact the rest of the body that drags along like a unacknowledged guest.
– John P. Conger

Reiterating that anyone who proclaims what “is” and “isn’t” poetry, doesn’t really get poetry. It’s a genre of making and remaking, of shifting the boundaries of is’s and isn’t’s or erasing them all together. Why waste time excluding when we could be creating! Let’s sing and make magic.
– Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

God told me if I painted that mountain enough, I could have it.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

In the oldest religion, everything was alive, not supernaturally but naturally alive … For the whole life-effort of man was to get his life into contact with the elemental life of the cosmos, mountain-life, cloud-life, thunder-life, air-life, earth-life, sun-life. To come into immediate felt contact, and so to derive energy, power, and a dark sort of joy. This effort into sheer naked contact, without an intermediary or mediator, is the root meaning of religion.
– D. H. Lawrence

There is nothing more important to true growth than realising that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it. If you don’t understand this, you will try to figure out which of the many things the voice says is really you. People go through so many changes in the name of ‘trying to find myself.’ They want to discover which of these voices, which of these aspects of their personality, is who they really are. The answer is simple: none of them.
– Michael Singer

Weather changes. Weather moves. Weather does not linger. It is not to be understood or analyzed, because it doesn’t last. No one, I hope, believes they are irreparably shaped by the misty rain they encountered walking home from school in April of the fifth grade. Or by the heat wave that stultified the summer of 2006. Or by last night’s wind or this morning’s fog.

Everything, it turns out, is like this. Everything we see, hear, feel, and think. Every bit of life plays out in a phenomenal flicker, and then it’s gone.

– Karen Maezen Miller

When it was dark, you always carried the sun in your hand for me.
– Seán O’Casey

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love! that is the soul of genius.
– Mozart

I think having one’s own sound in a sense is the most fundamental kind of identity in music. But it’s a very touchy thing how one arrives at that. It has to be something that comes from inside, and it’s a long-term process. It’s a product of a total personality.

I think sometimes the people I seem to like most as musical artists, are the late arrivers, the ones who have had to work a lot harder in a sense to get facility, to get fluency. Whereas you see a lot of young talents that have a great deal of fluidity and fluency and facility, and they never really carry it anyplace. Because in a way they’re not aware enough of what they’re doing.

– Bill Evans

I’ve learned to value failed conversations, missed connections, confusions. What remains is what’s unsaid, what’s underneath. Understanding on another level of being.
– Anna Kamieńska

With the passage of time, the revolutionary aspect of surrealism fades and we are better able to see its relationship with romanticism. In its acceptance of the mysteriousness of life, and of the secret ‘correspondences’ which exist between matter and spirit, between the conscious and the subconscious, surrealism is clearly one manifestation of romanticism.
– Wallace Fowlie

Before the invention
of thoughts
we sang ourselves
to sleep.
The day melted back
into humming,
the humming into silence,
silence into a breath
of the Beloved.
Of course the stars
were not yet born,
and the moon was still
inside you.
Lay your head
on my shoulder now.
Listen with all
your heart,
and I will tell you nothing.

– Fred LaMotte

Like the dampness
of faith
comes Spring;

– Mary Oliver

Diversity is the magic. It is the first manifestation, the first beginning of the differentiation of a thing and of simple identity. The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.
– Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.
– Mahatma Gandhi

In the modern working world, we define diversity as a concerted effort to accommodate the full spectrum of human experience.
– Blaise Radley

All religions
All this singing
One song
– Rumi

Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common… Celebrate it every day.
– Winston Churchill

We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.
– Jimmy Carter

I saw before me a huge crowd which no one could count from every nation and tongue. They stood before the throne and the Lamb, dressed in long white robes and holding palm branches in their hands…They said, Amen! Praise the glory, wisdom and thanksgiving and honor, power and might to our God forever.
– Revelations 7:9

Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.
– William Sloane Coffin

On the beach, at dawn;
four small stones clearly
hugging each other.
How many kinds of love
might there be in the the world,
and how many formations might they make
And who am I ever
to imagine I could know
such a marvelous business?
– Mary Oliver, On The Beach

Humility, therefore, is absolutely necessary if man is to avoid acting like a baby all his life. To grow up means, in fact, to become humble, to throw away the illusion that I am at the center of everything and that other people only exist to provide me with comfort and pleasure…
– Thomas Merton

She grew into a forest, she could not be found.
– Cynthia Dewi Oka

A Word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
– Emily Dickinson

Was there no safety? No learning by heart the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air?
– Virginia Woolf

Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play.
– Willie Nelson

We constantly distinguish—right and wrong, sacred and profane, clean and dirty, male and female, young and old, living and dead—and in every case trickster will cross the line and confuse the distinction.
– Lewis Hyde

The greatest battle is to do battle with oneself. The greatest adventure and the most difficult task is to enter into the darkness of one’s own being and to come to know oneself.
– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Individuation requires looking deeply into the darkness inside each of us, a darkness that goes beyond our existence as individuals. We have to descend into that darkness, fight battles within, then emerge once more into the light.
– Robin Robertson

I love gazing at waterfalls. Have you ever noticed that after the stream crashes to the pool below something quieter happens? The water slows down and circles a while in the pool before it continues down stream. I think that is a perfect icon for regrouping. Isn’t it the way we are after great effort or disturbance? We circle as in a slow moving vortex, maybe a reconstituting hug, one we need to go on.
– Gunilla Norris

Take comfort in our humanness and devote yourself to the art of making paddles for your canoe, and to mastering the skill in using them.
– Mark Nepo

We are not sufficiently developed in our consciousness to be able to keep a contradiction in mind, something very difficult to do, and yet we should.
– Muhammad Ibn Umail, Corpus Alchemicum Arabicum

Once, the past was in dialogue with the future, a hybrid form.
– Tina Chang


dear poet,
there is no such thing
as a life without poetry
though there may be and are
lives without verse.
is the leap beyond,
the mystery of
“so much depends / upon”
in Williams’ poem.

this leap occurs
in various

what did Wordsworth call mathematics?
“an independent world
created out of pure intelligence”

the problem is
that poetry is not recognized
as poetry
even where the need for poetry is greatest

we are fighting for language,
tongue’s telling,
as the great instrument
of the leap
that is poetry

how to clarify
the infinity that language is
except through the verbal exploration
that is the traditional role
of verse

no one would deny
that there is poetry in painting
in music
in dance
in all the arts

but words bring
the necessary
(“conscience de soi”)
that seems to be
the goal
of all our living

what does the life force
wish to know
but what it is
it knows its power
it does not know

where or when or why

we are like birds
that sing
but seek the source
of song

– Jack Foley

He smelled the odor of the pine boughs under him, the piney smell of the crushed needles and the sharper odor of the resinous sap from the cut limbs. … This is the smell I love. This and fresh-cut clover, the crushed sage as you ride after cattle, wood-smoke and the burning leaves of autumn. That must be the odor of nostalgia, the smell of the smoke from the piles of raked leaves burning in the streets in the fall in Missoula. Which would you rather smell?
– Ernest Hemingway

The presence of that which our souls long for is right in the middle of our lives. The challenges of being human are not obstacles to spiritual awakening but the portals through which we wake up and step up to be instruments of peace in this world.
– Mirabai Starr

It isn’t the content of our movie that needs our attention, it’s the projector. It isn’t the current story line that’s the root of our pain; it’s our propensity to be bothered in the first place.
– Pema Chodron

The loftiest forms of idealism and love have no power unless they operate with the blessings of instinct. Any idealism not grounded in instinct is doomed to failure.
– Robert A. Johnson

Ghost Confederacy

They were the uncountable stars, the first time
We saw them, they were the glitter and the distance.
We were the swimming shapes of trees, that cast

Of shade extending over their tents. We hid
In ravines, but not to be one with nature.
We knew what being one with nature really meant.

And we were never the color-blind grasses,

We were never the pattern of the snake
Fading into the pattern of the leaves;
We were the empty clarity one glimpses

In water falling, in water spreading into
A thin white veil on what is never there,
The moment clear and empty as a heaven

Someone has just swept clean of any meaning.

If minié ball or cannon fire had a meaning,
We would have had maybe thirty seconds left
Of heaven to pin the right leaves back on trees

In summer and reattach the amputated limbs
Of boys. But the moment, clouding over,
Becomes again only an endless slipping of water

Over the spillways, and falls roaring in the ears
Until they ring, and the throat swollen
With failure and desire mingling there.

I could taste it in my mouth for days. It tasted

Like the wafer a friend said the Holy Ghost
Came wrapped up in. The Holy Ghost tastes like dust.
It liberates the body from the body so riddled

With rifle holes you can look right through us.
Look through us to what? To slums and shopping malls?
To one suburb joining another? Who grieves

On minimum wages? Look through us to that place—
Within sight of the trailer park and the truck stop—
Where Gettysburg could not be reenacted,

Where what was left of us on either side
Lay down our rifles, wept, embraced each other once.
That dust you taste in the Holy Ghost is us,

Dust ground into the windows you gaze out of,
And whether those windows burn or whether lights
Come on again in rows of quiet houses is a matter

Of how you treat him, sitting over there and still
Bleeding from a bad haircut, that captured soldier, that
Enemy, that risen dust, that boy, that stranger, you.

– Larry Levis

To cease
to be human
and let birds soil
your skull, animals rest
in the crook of your arm.

To become
an object, honoured
or not, as the occasion demands,
while time bends you slowly
back to the ground.

– John Montague

The feminine mode recognizes evil both without sentimentality and without enthusiasm for grand ways of fixing it. Evil is a fact to be reckoned with, and if necessary, to be fought or suffered.
– Ann Ulanov

Classics are books which, the more we think we know them through hearsay, the more original, unexpected, and innovative we find them when we actually read them.
– Italo Calvino

Is it possible for the mind which habitually thinks in a certain groove, to break out of it?
– Krishnamurti

For in the dissolute life of my youth
the plans for my poetry were taking shape.
– Constantine P. Cavafy

The body is our school, our lesson, our protagonist, our beloved enemy, our shadow and anima/us, the deep friend of our soul.
– John P. Conger

Beauty, it’s an inner sense, and it makes us happy.
It’s not complicated, we need it.
– Etel Adnan

She is his story
He is her poetry
They are a tale of reality
– @souletraveller

To ask how many languages you speak is to ask how many selves exist inside you.
– Charif Shanahan

a fluttering breeze
dreaming of lakeside summers
dandelion wish
– @poeticasoul

Cities are smells: Acre is the smell of iodine and spices. Haifa is the smell of pine and wrinkled sheets. Moscow is the smell of vodka on ice. Cairo is the smell of mango and ginger. Beirut is the smell of the sun, sea, smoke, and lemons.
– Mahmoud Darwish

I am fond of music I think because it is so amoral. Everything else is moral and I am after something that isn’t. I have always found moralizing intolerable.
– Hermann Hesse

I have only found one answer: I don’t know who I really am, but I suffer when I am deformed. So at least I know what I am not. My ‘self’ is nothing but my will to be myself. A measly palliative! Another formula!
– Gombrowicz, A Kind of Testament

The United States is such a sick place. Sick in the head. Sick in the heart.
– Cortney Lamar Charleston

The books you didn’t write hover like an atmosphere–invisible & everywhere, sustaining all life–around the lonely little planet of the book you did.
– Steve Edwards

The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good”
– Leo Tolstoy

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard Feynman

Go beyond the restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from the historical limitations – there you will find the essence of true art, religion, and science.
– Santoka Taneda

Repeating is the whole of living and by repeating comes understanding, and understanding is to some the most important part of living.
– Gertrude Stein

Nothing is more natural than mutual misunderstanding; the contrary is always surprising.
– Paul Valery

Much of songwriting is simply a mystery.
– Paul Simon

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
– J W von Goethe

The day that your customers come to understand that all they are to you is a sale, a transaction – that all you see them for is money and that, without spending money, they are a burden and a hindrance – that is the day you’ve lost that customer for life.
– Tad Hargrave

writers need a secondary creative outlet that isn’t writing

this is the hill I will die on

– C.L. Giesler

There are seasons in a writer’s life when the ideas are almost too numerous to count. One of these seasons often happens at the beginning of the writing journey. When we’re just starting out we’re often unsure about what our ultimate path will be.
– Keidi Keating

We’re not out to destroy competitors or anything like that. We’re trying to help competitors, frankly, in any way that we can.
– Elon Musk

And when nobody wakes you up in the morning, and when nobody waits for you at night, and when you can do whatever you want. What do you call it, freedom or loneliness?
– Charles Bukowski

He’s five feet two and he’s six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of 31 and he’s only 17
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years
He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an athiest, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn’t kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you
And he’s fighting for Canada,
he’s fighting for France,
he’s fighting for the USA,
and he’s fighting for the Russians
and he’s fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way
And he’s fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it’s for the peace of all
He’s the one who must decide
who’s to live and who’s to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls
But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can’t go on
He’s the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can’t you see
this is not the way we put an end to war
– Buffy Sainte-Marie

It is bigger than your overt consciousness or your intelligence or even your gifts; it is out there somewhere and you have to let it in…
– Toni Morrison

Words are just places we
stopped on the way.
Language hostels.

Love is not a word,
Love is a river,
an alien abduction,
a million more metaphors.

Love is an invitation
to leave all pictures.
memories, like words,
can’t hold.

Loving happens.
Keeps happening.
Sings sometimes.

Lives are just places we
stopped on the way,
diamonds and coal.

Love is not a thing.

– George Gorman

Emerging by Pablo Neruda

A man says yes without knowing
how to decide even what the question is,
and is caught up, and then is carried along
and never again escapes from his own cocoon;
and that’s how we are, forever falling
into the deep well of other beings;
and one thread wraps itself around our necks,
another entwines a foot, and then it is impossible,
impossible to move except in the well –
nobody can rescue us from other people.

It seems as if we don’t know how to speak;
it seems as if there are words which escape,
which are missing, which have gone away and left us
to ourselves, tangled up in snares and threads.

And all at once, that’s it; we no longer know
what it’s all about, but we are deep inside it,
and now we will never see with the same eyes
as once we did when we were children playing.
Now these eyes are closed to us,
Now our hands emerge from different arms.

And therefore when you sleep, you are alone in your dreaming,
and running freely through the corridors
of one dream only, which belongs to you.
Oh never let them come to steal our dreams,
never let them entwine us in our bed.
Let us hold on to the shadows
to see if, from our own obscurity,
we emerge and grope along the walls,
lie in wait for the light, to capture it,
till, once and for all time,
it becomes our own, the sun of every day.

Develop a mind that is vast like space,
where experiences both pleasant and unpleasant
can appear and disappear without conflict, struggle or harm.
Rest in a mind like vast sky.
– The Buddha

When we mine memory for what we were, it so often tells us what we are–and also what we are becoming.
– Paul Hetherington

I don’t want to make it to the promised land if it means I forget the wilderness.
– Cole Arthur Riley

You know the ache of hiding, of pretending to believe something, of words in conflict with the spirit. It does something to the soul—not in time but immediately and every time—when by choice or bondage or shame we are dragged out of ourselves into a miraged self. That journey erodes the marrow of the soul. The miraged self has no concern for the sound of the genuine in you, for the body, for the mind. It will not breathe for you. Do not be deceived; it does not want you hidden, it wants you dead. It is not dress-up; it is suffocation—a murderous exile. To survive it, we must gain a certain loyalty to our selfhood. We must free the part of ourselves that seeks to protect the self.
– Cole Arthur Riley

A mantra is basically a means of talking with your thoughts and feelings. It’s a time-honored method sometimes referred to as prayer, but really it’s an opening of a conversation between the heart and the mind.
– Tsoknyi Rinpoche

I used to think words could do anything. Magic. Sorcery. Even miracle. But no, only occasionally.
– Margaret Laurence

If you’re wondering how the forces of bossware, homelessness, and other enshittifying factors came to rule, it’s actually pretty straightforward. 40 years ago, we installed a software patch called neoliberalism (in some regions, this patch was had localized names like Thatcherism or Reaganomics). 40 years later, the patch is an unequivocal failure and now it’s our job to roll it back, despite all the broken dependencies this will trigger.
– Cory Doctorow

In one of his essays, Jung compares modern humanity to Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from the gods and invoked their wrath. The postmodern person has stolen spirituality from religion, and in this sense we have committed “a Promethean sin”.
– David Tacey

It doesn’t matter if risk is somewhere close by–risk is always hovering somewhere. But it won’t involve itself with anything less than a perfect seriousness.
– Mary Oliver

There is a bird called a “rain-warner”, and such am I – when a storm is brewing in a generation, then individualities like me show up.
– Søren Kierkegaard

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
– Jane Austen

If I cannot bend the Higher Powers, I will move the Infernal Regions.
– Sigmund Freud, trans. James Strachey

Cinco de Mayo—
the Chinese restaurant
– Michael Dylan Welch

Psychoanalysis was probably more useful to me as a writer than as a neurotic.
– Philip Roth

Day deceives, but at night no one is safe from hallucinations.
– E. Smart

Do not say, “It is morning,” and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a new-born child that has no name.
– Rabindranath Tagore

A poet should leave, not proofs, but traces of his passage. Only traces set us dreaming.
– René Char, translated by Mary Ann Caws

If you think technology will solve your problems you don’t understand technology – and you don’t understand your problems.
– Laurie Anderson

The important point, for Jung, is that we make an individual contact with the sources that have become petrified in dogmatic forms, and are now lost to consciousness.
– David Tacey

It might be the loveliest thing, to see someone you haven’t seen in a while, and have them say, grinning, “Hey, Trouble, what you up to?!”
– @modernirish

Any theory you got, practice it. And when you practice it, you make some mistakes. When you make a mistake, you correct that theory…A lot of us read and read and read, but we don’t get any practice. We are talking about practice.
– Fred Hampton

This is how it always is
when I finish a poem.
A great silence comes over me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.
– Rumi

what i don’t get about AI art is just why? why would you want to make something without risking anything? learning anything? without connecting to anything or anyone? connecting to yourself? without a hunger for meaning or the joy of making not for profit or even to share publicly.
– @chenchenwrites

The present state of the world, and life in general, is a disease. If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe : silence.
– Søren Kierkegaard

It’s so very easy to think we are good, empathetic people. But time and time again, people like us, who think so highly of themselves, have the opportunity to stand up and do the right thing, and they don’t. What on earth makes us think that, when the time comes, we will be any different?
– Roxane Gay

winter mosquito–
as lonely as Joseph
the carpenter
– Ikeda Sumiko

Silence is the ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.
– @RyanHoliday

They drank the Atlantic–
those gods and their daughters
Spat out its mountains
banging their steins
on the ocean floor
calling for more Where is more?

In panic, their manic eyes
clutched the sky
Tore it down
to create a new war
We want war
We want more
Give us more

– @LotusTongue

It’s just this time they got it right
I mean that’s what they said
found the reason why some of
us go feral
why we ran too far north
past where they introduced us
tearing forest floor
uprooting grasslands
where they tried to bury us hungry
the herd, all full of bluff and charge
growing despite the scratch of branch on hide
slice of cleaver grind of teeth
something about appetite and its tendency to gnaw at the line
veering from path and limit to name its own
they call us invasive opportunistic
say we have wandered too far looking for water
taken more than our share
devouring tuber, bulb, and acorn
duckling, fawn, and finch
though if we are being honest
still less than what would fill us
– Danielle Fleming

Where men are forbidden to honour a king, they honour millionaires, athletes, or film stars instead; even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
– C.S. Lewis

Only the plant approaches “wisdom”; the animal is un-suited to it. As for man . . . Nature should have stopped with the vegetable kingdom, instead of disqualifying herself by a craving for the extraordinary.
– Emil Cioran

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
– Søren Kierkegaard

The age of great and good actions is past; the present age is the age of anticipation. No one is willing to be satisfied with doing something specific; everyone wants to luxuriate in the daydream that he at least may discover a new part of the world.
– Søren Kierkegaard

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
– Sigmund Freud

The Buddha’s mindfulness has one purpose—the end of suffering. It encompasses all of life in order to purify the mind and bring wisdom, love, and equanimity to the center of our lives.
– Phillip Moffitt

I like that you’re not crazy about me.
I like that I’m not crazy about you.
And that the heavy earth balloon
not crumbling under our feet.
I like we can be fun
-licensed- no pun intended
without blushing with this suffocating wave
by slightly rubbing up our sleeves.

I like it besides being in front of me,
quietly hugs another,
regardless that I burn in the fire
from hell, for not kissing you.
And don’t say my sweet name
in vain darling, not day nor night..
And never in the silence of a church
will ring for us the wedding march.

I thank you with my heart in my hand:
For loving me so much — without you even knowing —.
For the stillness of my quiet nights.
For the scarcity of our encounters.
For walks that don’t — under the moon —.
For the sun that never — over our heads —.
For not being crazy — ouch! — by me.
For not being crazy — ouch! — for you.

Marina Tsvetayev
Translated by Valeria Guzmán Perez

I like that you are sick of me…

I like that you are sick with me.
I like that I’m sick, not because of you.
That never is a heavy globe
Won’t sail away under our feet.
I like being able to be funny —
Spoiled – and no pun intended,
And not to blush with a suffocating wave,
A little touch up on the sleeves.

I also like that you are near me
Holding each other calmly,
Don’t wake me up in the hell fire
To mourn for not kissing you.
That my gentle name, my gentle, no
You mention it neither day nor night – all…
That never in the church silence
They won’t sing over us: hallelujah!

Thank you with both heart and hand
For knowing me – without knowing yourself! —
So love: for my night rest,
For the seldom of meetings at sunset,
To our non-walking under the moon,
The sun is not over our heads,
For being sick – alas! – not by me,
For being sick – alas! – not you !
– May 3, 1915

By now it’s pretty obvious that the smartphone has replaced the cigarette.
– Paul J. Pastor

There is only one way and that is your way. Why are you looking for help? Do you believe help will come from outside? No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you.
– Carl Jung

a grey afternoon
pines feather the horizon
brushed into softness
all the layers of bright air
the reasons I can’t see you
– Catherine Baker

If you had an illness and went to 100 doctors to get a diagnosis, who would you believe?

The 97 doctors who all told you the exact same thing?

Or the 3 doctors who all gave you wildly different answers even from each other?

I, of course, am talking about climate change.

– Edgar McGregor

You know that I value science extraordinarily highly But there are actually moments in life where science also leaves us empty and sick.
– @RedBookJung

And have people around you who are as a garden – or as music on the waters in the evening, when the day is turning into memories.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Enough creative writing. From now on ONLY Destructive Writing!
– @PhDhurtBrain

Silence may be as variously shaded as speech.
– Edith Wharton

If you don’t find any reason to be free, invent it.
– Clarice Lispector

My poetry is the record of my individual struggle from darkness toward some measure of light.
– Dylan Thomas

What if you dropped
into your life
like raindrops
to a thirsty earth
a return of life force,
the arrival of
just enough abundance
to seep deep into your pores,
claiming you as an unfolding map
claiming you as one of the wild
claiming you as yourself?
– Heidi Barr

People often asked Dr. Jung,
“Will we make it?” referring to
the cataclysm of our time. He
always replied, “If enough
people will do their inner work.”
This soul work is the one thing
that will pull us through any
– Robert A. Johnson

The next morning I watched as she worked in her flower garden. All symmetry and bright competitive colors, this is, lined on every side with bricks and pansies. When fully in bloom, it has an overwhelming, almost explosive sort of beauty and she has a pride in it that will just about break your heart.
– Dean Paschal

At the intersection of belonging and choice, you’ll often find friendship. It is that rare bond in which attachment feels so much like a risk because its origin lies in the bond itself.
– Cole Arthur Riley

As for me, darling, I am lost somewhere between the first words you wrote and your letters final phrase. I am what you erased, what you took out, what you replaced.
– Jacklyn Selene

It does no good to trick and weave and lose
the other ghosts, to shove the buried deeper
into the sandy loam, the riverine silt; still you come,
my faithful one, the sound of a body so persistent
in water I cannot tell if it is a wave or you moving through.
– Ada Limón

Now the tree is gone. […], just a ground-down stump
where what felt like wisdom once was.
– Ada Limón

Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life. I sometimes muse over this sketch of a story about a man afflicted by one of those personal tragedies born of extreme shyness who one day, while wearing a mask I don’t know where, told another mask all the most personal, most secret, most unthinkable things that could be told about his tragic and serene life. And since no outward detail would give him away, he having disguised even his voice, and since he didn’t take careful note of whoever had listened to him, he could enjoy the ample sensation of knowing that somewhere in the world there was someone who knew him as not even his closest and finest friend did. When he walked down the street he would ask himself if this person, or that one, or that person over there might not be the one to whom he’d once, wearing a mask, told his most private life. Thus would be born in him a new interest in each person, since each person might be his only, unknown confidant.
– Fernando Pessoa

A piece of everyone’s soul is
imprisoned in high school, serving
a life sentence without parole, no
matter how good her or his
behavior since then as mother, as
father, as citizen and taxpayer, as
patient on the analyst’s couch.
– James Hilllman

God gives us wings if we are birds,
but if we are not birds,
he gives us feet.

Feet are our wings,
our tools to carry us
to the world of our dreams.

Take those feet
and walk on, my friend.
The day is waiting for you.

– @johnguzlowski

The Buddha advised that one should always try to be “not too tight & not too loose.” It takes a certain flexibility of mind to navigate the various situations of our lives without falling into either of these extremes. The key ingredient in that flexibility is humor.
– Pema Chodron

Everyone should have the opportunity of not being over-influenced.
– Charles Ives

Anonymity is as gentle as a dream. I need that dream.
– Clarice Lispector

The longer I live, the more
deeply I learn that love —
wether we call it
friendship or family or
romance — is the work of
mirroring and magnifying
each other’s light.
– James Baldwin

As we move from one image of God to another, we are exchanging stories. We can never get ‘beyond’ story, because God cannot be known directly. Images die, but the sacred never dies; it only changes shape.
– David Tacey

But the ‘advantage’ of poetry is its capacity to allow the poet to dwell outside the parameters of significance, be they aesthetic or economic. The advantage of poetry, that dialect spoken in the Valley of Saying, is its uselessness.
– David Wojahn

I have had to learn the simplest things
last. Which made for difficulties.
– Charles Olson

poetry is
the apprehending

of the world’s weight through

the weightlessness
of words

– from

a poetics of weight

by Gone Ground Press

Doubt is the first stage of knowledge.
– Michael Maier

Writing is like traveling. It’s wonderful to go somewhere, but you get tired of staying.
– Langston Hughes

Be advised my passport’s green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
to toast the Queen.
– Seamus Heaney

Beneath the
emeralds and ancient oak

draped in hues of azure haze
a wispy tapestry of dreamy aquarelle.

In sapphire streaks of
silken sparkles

neon blooms –
a cradling serenade in purple glee.

Cerise brushstrokes of
fairy charm –

spring’s lush palette of
wild bluebell blush!

– @MystiqueStrokes

I wanted to eat an apple so precisely
the tree would make another
exactly like it, then lie
down uninterrupted
in the gadgetless grass.
– Deborah Landau

In medieval property law which survives in weakened form in some countries, like the United Kingdom, the owner of a plot of land owns it vertically. … As long as no one possesses the centre of the Earth, absurdity shadows all landlords everywhere.
– S. D. Chrostowska, Matches

[Jung believed that] If people can only realize this vital myth of man, that he is “indispensable for the completion of creation,” then our troubled age may yet rediscover as much, or even more, meaning in life than it has lost.
– Barbara Hannah

I find something pleasant in the pain of a fading love.
– Edouard Levé

I’m completely library educated. Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn’t afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight.
– Ray Bradbury

The alchemists stressed that their opus requires a container, the alchemical vessel. Psychologically this vessel is an inner attitude of commitment to confront & accept whatever is found within oneself…
– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

You will come late,
together with the night and with the cold winter,
with the shroud of snow,
with the north wind and its lamentation,
and you will not find a rose,
nor an innocent lily
to give to me.
– María Polydouri

It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
– Bertrand Russell

It’s spring and the air is intense. I have a degree from the university of oblivion and I’m as empty-handed as the shirt on the clothesline.
– Tomas Tranströmer

I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core; and I think that the same is true of human beings.
– H. D. Thoreau

the blissful peace
of having a true friend
and an amazing library
– @BashoSociety

a red wildflower
amid the buzz
of mosquitoes
– Issa

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
– Willie Dixon

I would invent hell just to imagine every human who sells guns and profits off them burning in it.
– @aliner

You need 3 hobbies:

A physical hobby.
Sports, hiking, martial arts ect.

A mental hobby.
Reading, math, chess ect.

A creative hobby.
Music, painting, writing ect.

Be a whole human.

– @SurvivorsPath

You have an appointment with life, an appointment that is in the here and now.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible.

Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.

– Søren Kierkegaard

I do not believe in a religious apocalypse, but I am troubled by a cataclysmic climate change of our own making.
– Allison Hutchcraft

a nameless mountain
higher than ever
autumn sky
– Soseki

In regrouping we may not have to change everything. We may only need to change how we see things. When the lens is turned in a kaleidoscope all the same pieces fall into new patterns. This cheers me and when things are hard I can ask how I can see things differently.
– Gunilla Norris

In evolutionary prehistory, consciousness emerged as a side effect of language. Today it is a by-product of the media.
– John Gray

My whole being strives for one thing: to find who I know, not in dream but in the place of tangible bodies.
– Alejandra Bakery

Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life.
– Randall Jarrell

You were sent to the earth to become a receiver of the unknown… The true pilgrim is always at a new threshold.
– John O’Donohue

As I look at my life,
I am afraid
Only that it will change, as I am changing:
– Randall Jarrell

Water in Love
How to love like water loves
when it’s impossible to even taste
all the ghostly sediments
each time you take a sip

Impossible to savor
the salt in your blood
the light and island shorelines
in each living cell

When even the plainest mouthful
tastes more of you than you of it

Sweetest of absences
that frees in wave after wave
debris of thought like the dead,
the drowned, the vanished, and yet
sails your lips
on a voyage toward another’s, plying
all luck and regret

Worship, splash, guzzle, or forget
It clears any difference
Stone washer and mountain dissolver
that will
outlive us, even the memory of
all any eyes touched

Wasp and cactus in a desert
Comet through outer space
Sleep among all the cloud-shepherds’ children

A love so perpetually current
it doesn’t care that you love
without even knowing you love
what you couldn’t survive
three days without

How to love like that: wild
dream-sparkler and meticulous architect
of every snowflake
Wise, ebullient, and generous
as the rain

Deepest of miracles
for a time
borrowing and replenishing
a self
overflowing with fate

– Ed Bok Lee

When you stop absorbing everything around you and learn to consciously radiate your chosen energy; you activate your intention on the whole world. You can sit back and watch the world around you blossom into a vibrant play of your hearts intent when you emit rather than absorb.
– Jenna Galbut

Poets and philosophers may not say what the traditions want to hear, but they listen to the spirit of the time in ways that produce prophetic utterances and accurate predictions.
– David Tacey

In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

Each baby, then, is a unique collision – a cocktail, a remix – of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes – we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.

– Caitlin Moran

Love is medicine.
Sleep is medicine.
Water is medicine.
Fasting is medicine.
Sunlight is medicine.
Exercise is medicine.
Laughter is medicine.
Gratitude is medicine.
Meditation is medicine.
Forgiveness is medicine.
Natural food is medicine.
Medicine is not always pills.
– John Curley

The Republic of Fife
by Kathleen Jamie

Higher than the craw-stepped
gables of our institutes – chess-clubs,
fanciers, reels & Strathspeys –
the old kingdom of lum, with crowns agley.

All birds will be citizens: banners
of starlings; Jacobin crows – also:
Sonny Jim Aitken, Special P.C.
whose red face closed in polis cars

utters terrible, ridiculous
at his brogher and sister citizens
but we’re no feart, not of anyone
with a tartan nameplate screwed to his door.

Citizen also: the tall fellow I watched
lash his yurt to the leafy earth,
who lifted his chin
to my greeting, roared AYE!

The very woods where my friend Isabel
once saw a fairy, blue as a gas flame
dancing on trees. All this

close to the motorway
where a citizen has dangled.
maybe with a friend clutching
his/her ankles to spray

PAY NO POLL TAX on a flyover
near to Abernethy, in whose tea rooms
old Scots kings and bishops in mitres
supped wi a lang spoon. Citizens:

our spires and doocoots
institutes and tinkies’ benders,
old Scots kings and dancing fairies
give strength to my house

on whose roof we can balance,
carefully stand and see
clear to the far off mountains,
cities, rigs and gardens,

Europe, Africa, the Forth and Tay bridges,
even dare let go, lift our hands
and wave to the waving citizens
of all those other countries.

by Kathleen Jamie

There’s this life and no hereafter –
I’m sure of that
but still I dither, waiting
for my laggard soul
to leap at the world’s touch.

How many May dawns
have I slept right through,
the trees courageous with blossom?
Let me number them . . .

I shall be weighed in the balance
and found wanting.
I shall reckon for less
than an apple pip.

Almost every one has a predominant inclination, to which his other desires and affections submit, and which governs him, though perhaps with some intervals, through the whole course of his life.
– David Hume

by Lisel Mueller

Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann

The modern biographers worry
“how far it went,” their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth-century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someone’s eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with the heat
of possibility. Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear.

Words and measures do not give life; they merely symbolize it. Thus all “explanations” of the universe couched in language are circular, and leave the most essential things unexplained and undefined.
– Alan W. Watts

I want this world.
– Kim Addonizio

Somewhere, right at the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know where one should go and what one should do. But there are times when the clown we call “I” behaves in such a distracting fashion that the inner voice cannot make its presence felt.
– C.G. Jung

Don’t let them do to you what they did to me.
– Judy Garland

The chief benefit, which results from philosophy, arises in an indirect manner, and proceeds more from its secret, insensible influence, than from its immediate application.
– David Hume

Mystical things must be anonymous; as soon as it takes the name of somebody it becomes something else.
– Alejandro Jodorowsky

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Their authors are a natural irresistible aristocracy in every society, and more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind.
– Henry David Thoreau

Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.
– David Hume

Unable to enter my heart. I prefer my dreams.
– Anaïs Nin

I shall have to run the holy risk of chance. And replace fate with probability.
– Clarice Lispector

I wish you endless dreams and the furious desire to realize some of them. I wish you to love what must be loved, and to forget what must be forgotten. I wish you passions. I wish you silences. I wish you birdsongs as you wake up and children’s laughter. I wish you to respect the differences of others, because the worth and virtues of each person often remain to be discovered. I wish you to resist the stagnation, the indifference, and the negative values of our time. I wish you at last to never give up the search, for adventure, life, love. For life is a wonderful adventure and no reasonable person should give it up without a tough fight. I wish you above all to be yourself, proud of being and happy, for happiness is our true destiny.
– Jacques Brel, Best Wishes for the New Year

The best thing the world has is in the many worlds the world contains, the various muses of life, its pains and colors: the thousand and one ways to live and say, believe and create, eat, work, dance, play, love, suffer and celebrate.
– Edward Galean

Our revolt is as ill conceived as the world which provokes it.
– Emil Cioran

Jung used to say that the larger the group the stupider it became, until, at about one hundred, it was just a large Wasserkopf (literally, “head filled with water”!)
– Barbara Hannah

Civilization is a hopeless race
to discover remedies
for the evils it
– Rousseau

If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.
– Ernest Hemingway

Not one person in a hundred knows how to be silent and listen, no, nor even to conceive what such a thing means. Yet only then can you detect, beyond the fatuous clamour, the silence of which the universe is made.
– Samuel Beckett

It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one’s own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one’s strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair.
– James Baldwin

Jung believes that modern men and women need a convincing encounter with God, and we must move away from religion as a belief in secondhand ideas to religion as an experience that transforms us.
– David Tacey

As soon as the supernatural God collapses, some think God has disappeared, whereas it is our image of God that has disintegrated due to its inadequacy.
– David Tacey

Now I become myself
by May Sarton

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before—”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

In the land of missing pronouns

Sun is a continuous performance

And we my lover are nothing

– Marilyn Chin

What a life the gods have bestowed upon us, composed of equal parts of pain and pleasure.” “She is too strange for sadness, and too strange for joy.
– Henry David Thoreau

To be rebellious takes a lifetime,
erase the privileges of skin,
subscribe to the solitude of disagreement,
leave behind the usurpers….
There is no prize for a rebel
beyond being able to water your flowers at the appropriate time,
go out to feed the birds on a morning where the capital devours,
smile with battered teeth at the misfortune of breakfast,
be homeless in the house that no one dreams of.
Rebels know what prizes are made of,
reject the beggars who throw the hand of the oppressor.
A rebel has as the only prize life,
because no one appropriates it, in it no one usurps it,
because it’s the only own land of every corner where it sleeps.
Their rebellion always manages to discourage progress
and if by chance a rebel has joy in solitude, she has overcome the world.

– Doris Lessing

While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
– Robert Browning

Sometimes I feel
so small,
a bundle
of old apologies
I’m not even sure
are mine to say.

At these times, my heart
is a small fist
grasping at outdated straws
wondering if it’s ever
really touched love.

Some core of unworthiness
that’s felt so immovable
brings in proof
from the outside world
to affirm
its saddest stories.

I huddle low
timid and tender
beneath the harsh,
gray winds
and pull closed
the petals
over this hurting part
of my heart
ever unsure
if it can be kissed
with light.
– Chelan Harkin

If you are on a true spiritual path, you are on a path of the deepest social responsibility—there is no distinction. To be on a spiritual path is to connect with our core truth of inherent worth and light and with the security and resilience and insight and maturity that comes from connection with that place, to go through the process of bringing the reordering emanations from connection with that unbreakable light into the creation of psychologically, emotionally, relationally, societally sound patterns that create environments that support the emergence of the full, uninhibited, radiant expression of the collective human spirit.
– Chelan Harkin

Or, to put it more directly, I am always swimming in the soup I am making by which I am nurtured simultaneously.
– Johanna Drucker

Be for a single day unfashionable, and you will see how much eternity you have within you.
– Rilke

a sprinkling of flour
on the blackened cooker top
the whole milky way
– Catherine Baker

Give art your protection, so that it does not learn of the day’s quarrel; for its homeland is the other side of all time.
– Rilke

People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.
– C.G. Jung

Time flows in strange ways on Sundays, and sights become mysteriously distorted.
– Haruki Murakami

The truth springs from arguments amongst friends.
– David Hume

The sky was the place of the past.
– Roberto Calasso

for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

– Pablo Neruda, Keeping Quiet

Nature can’t talk directly to us, so she ripens what we need just in time for us to eat it.
– Alma Snell

The human soul is on its journey from the law to love, from discipline to liberation, from the moral plane to the spiritual.
– Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
– Rabindranath Tagore

Our problem as a society is that we don’t talk. We don’t talk because we have ideologies, we are clinging to a certain way of thinking and we don’t reflect.
– Humberto Maturana

Here’s to all the songs and all their singers, in times of darkness and times of light.
– Ian Rankin

There are two levels of learning and two schools of thought when it comes to teaching. There is the common school, where everyone becomes socialized and each must fit in somewhere and find their place in the collective pecking order. And, there is the sanctuary or temple of learning, where a person seeks to awaken to their inner nobility and true nature. The first level aims at fitting into the immediate cultural environment; the other sees with a sweeping vision what might be possible in life. While basic education can give a person some grounding in life, it also brings the danger of everyone learning to act in limited ways, only ever flying a few feet off the ground, never moving far from the beaten paths and the agreed upon limits. Deeper levels of learning depend on revelations of inner powers and gifts that lead to vastly wider world views and capacities to reach greater heights.
– Michael Meade

I write under the wing of the most wicked angel:
shadow of rain and copper smile of fog
lead me, O statues, into mature air,
where the great severity of beauty is locked.
I write the words and the penetrating name of the poem
and I find no reason, flower but
the primitive rose of the city I live in.
Never the poem was as serious as today, and never the verse
he had the stature of bronze from what he is not hiding.
Towards love, hands, and hands, moaning,
bitter grass leaves of gray thought,
dry roots of a boneless melancholy
Dead Desire Dance Around The Corner
and a frustrated sob because of tenderness.
Towards love, smiles, and in them, as souls,
the wicked spirit of a message that one day
collected certain structure, and that today, numb,
it runs through the veins…
– Efrain Huerta

Of the many men whom I am, whom we are,
I cannot settle on a single one.
They are lost to me under the cover of clothing
They have departed for another city.
When everything seems to be set
to show me off as a man of intelligence,
the fool I keep concealed on my person
takes over my talk and occupies my mouth.
On other occasions, I am dozing in the midst
of people of some distinction,
and when I summon my courageous self,
a coward completely unknown to me
swaddles my poor skeleton
in a thousand tiny reservations.
When a stately home bursts into flames,
instead of the fireman I summon,
an arsonist bursts on the scene,
and he is I. There is nothing I can do.
What must I do to distinguish myself?
How can I put myself together?
All the books I read
lionize dazzling hero figures,
brimming with self-assurance.
I die with envy of them;
and, in films where bullets fly on the wind,
I am left in envy of the cowboys,
left admiring even the horses.
But when I call upon my DASHING BEING,
out comes the same OLD LAZY SELF,
and so I never know just WHO I AM,
nor how many I am, nor WHO WE WILL BE BEING.
I would like to be able to touch a bell
and call up my real self, the truly me,
because if I really need my proper self,
I must not allow myself to disappear.
While I am writing, I am far away;
and when I come back, I have already left.
I should like to see if the same thing happens
to other people as it does to me,
to see if as many people are as I am,
and if they seem the same way to themselves.
When this problem has been thoroughly explored,
I am going to school myself so well in things
that, when I try to explain my problems,
I shall speak, not of self, but of geography.
– Pablo Neruda

There will never be a man so astray as he who gets lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where no one can reach or save him.
– Isaac Asimov

What I lack is not so much faith in my own gifts but something more pervasive: trust in life, confident acquiescence in a personal destiny, faith in the ultimate benevolence of existence.
– Bruno Schulz

To treat the living as dead, what a lack of humanity! / To treat the dead as living, what a want of discretion!
– Victor Segalen

It’s only adults who read the top layers most of the time. I think children read the internal meanings of everything.
– Maurice Sendak

…to write about the self is to write about the world.
– Annie Ernaux

The role of the translator is to madden a language, drive it insane, do unimaginable things with it.
– Saudamini Deo


When I was quite young, I remember my dog Jerry catching a lizard by the tail. Before I could run over to rescue the little animal, it had detached from its tail which was writhing on the ground much to the bewilderment of Jerry.

I imagined if I were a lizard I would be very fond of my tail, but the animal was alive because it somehow instinctually knew to let go of nonessentials. That was my first lesson in detachment.

The ability to detach a body part is called “autonomy” in biology. The ability to detach from matters outside our control can be very important for activists who want to keep their peace of mind. Gandhi wrote often of the importance of detachment:

“Detachment is not indifference. it is the prerequisite for effective involvement. Often what we think is best for others is distorted by our attachments to our opinions. We want others to be happy in the way we think they should be happy. It is only when we want nothing for ourselves that we are able to see clearly into others needs and understand how to serve them.”

Gandhi had internalized a message of Hindu scripture that we should learn to ‘surrender the fruits of our action.” Just as we should take responsibility for whatever is in our control, so we must learn to stop fretting over that which is beyond our control.

In a crisis, we may not have the energy to spare for fretting. Once we have done our best we need to let go of worry about the future and remorse about the past so we will have energy to serve today. And, obviously, this implies we must not begrudge ourselves the time it takes to rest and heal.

It is possible to be lifelong activists, to deal with horrific injustices, and still have peace and joy in our inner sanctum. Before I even heard of Gandhi I had seen the importance of detachment demonstrated in my backyard by a lizard and its tail.

– Jim Rigby

Life damages us, every one. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.
– Veronica Roth

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

Wilderness is a form of sophistication, because it carries within it true knowledge of our place in the world. It doesn’t exclude civilization but prowls through it, knowing when to attend to the needs of the committee and when to drink from a moonlit lake. It will wear a suit and tie when it has to, but refuses to trim its talons or whiskers. Its sensing nature is not afraid of emotion: the old stories are full of grief forests and triumphant returns, banquets and bridges of thorns. Myth tells us that the full gamut of feeling is to be experienced. Wilderness is the capacity to go into joy, sorrow, and anger fully and stay there for as long as needed, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Sometimes, as Lorca says, it means ‘get down on all fours for twenty centuries and eat the grasses of the cemetaries.’ Wilderness carries sobriety as well as exuberance, and has allowed loss to mark its face.
– Martin Shaw

So much of my writing practice during that month involved going on long walks and describing to myself what I was noticing, what I was feeling, retraining my poet’s eye to the present day [. . .].
– Safia Elhillo

The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.
– E. O. Wilson

I wake up & it breaks my heart. I draw the blinds & the thrill of rain breaks my heart. I go outside. I ride the train, walk among the buildings, men in Monday suits. The flight of doves, the city of tents beneath the underpass, the huddled mass, old women hawking roses, & children all of them, break my heart. There’s a dream I have in which I love the world. I run from end to end like fingers through her hair. There are no borders, only wind. Like you, I was born. Like you, I was raised in the institution of dreaming. Hand on my heart. Hand on my stupid heart.
– Cameron Awkward-Rich

Though from Here I Can’t Smell the Smoke

In medieval frescoes haloed saints are edged in flame
when God is around,
melting like a rumor
to the corners of a room,
giving off heat. Tulip-tipped, sky-bright.

These days, they name fires like saints:

Willow, Glass, Dixie, August, Wolf,
Live Oak, Snow, Point, Camp, Creek. I’m feeling thermal

as my home state burns
up another set of firsts.

I watch footage on repeat:

embers fly, jump highways, scrape
life from gnarled hillsides. Soot
in the atmosphere. Viewable

from space. I turn
the volume up: interference on the microphone, ash-colored, this pitch
of burning, this tunnel
funneling waves—

The glowing perimeter thrums, widens.
Rim of the world, smoldering.

Where did my edges go?
What holds
head to neck, hand to fingers,
brain to sickness?
I can feel the stitches lift—

The flame stalks, flowers
up, and eats

now stands of trees, now scrub
and mountain underbrush. The sky
gauzes with smoke

and air
that rustles—spark and sear
of holy cellophane.

– Allison Hutchcraft

And if I read, if I buy books and devour them, it is not for intellectual pleasure—I have no pleasures, only hunger and thirst—nor for a desire for knowledge but for an unconscious cunningness that I have just now discovered: collecting words, putting them on me as if they were rags and me a nail, leave them in my unconscious, like who doesn’t want the thing, and wake up, in the dreadful morning, to find next to me a poem already done.
– Alejandra Bakery

The destruction of the past is perhaps the greatest of all crimes.
– Simone Weil

It’s so silly in life not to pursue the highest possible thing you can imagine, even if you run the risk of losing it all, because if you don’t pursue it you’ve lost it anyway. You can’t be an artist and be safe.
– Francis Ford Coppola

I carry no map on an unending path.
I paint no art that does not talk to me in whispers.
There’s a door in my head always open to new views.
And my skills are made by others, doing.
I throw nothing away.
No dark, no dull, no light.
In that way all is seen by and through and in me.
I become good by way of bad times.
I become bad by way of good times.
If this makes no sense, put down your map.
Just look until you see your Tao.
– Sandra Lynn Sparks

What was a god? A focus of belief. If people believed, a god began to grow.
– Terry Pratchett

The Goddess who created this passing world
Said Let there be lightbulbs & liquefaction
Life spilled out onto the street, colors whirled
Cars & the variously shod feet were born
And the past & future & I born too
Light as airmail paper away she flew
To Annapurna or Mt. McKinley
Or both but instantly
Clarified, composed, forever was I
Meant by her to recognize a painting
As beautiful or a movie stunning
And to adore the finitude of words
And understand as surfaces my dreams
Know the eye the organ of affection
And depths to be inflections
Of her voice & wrist & smile
– Alice Notley

Depending on all their diverse borrowings, they yet lodge securely in the one and only selfsame body. They forget all about their livers and gallbladders, cast away their eyes and ears, reversing and returning, ending and beginning, knowing no start or finish. Oblivious, they drift uncommitted beyond the dust and grime, far-flung and unfettered in the great work of doing nothing in particular.
– Zhuangzi

The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow.
– Annie Dillard

If we do not push ourselves enough, we do not grow, but if we push ourselves too much, we regress. What is enough will change, depending on where we are and what we are doing. In that sense, the present moment is always some kind of beginning.
– Sakyong Mipham

What kills me is your silence. So certain, so solid. Not a note, nor postcard. Not a phone call, no number I could reach you at. No address I could write to. Neither yes nor no.

Just the void. The days raw and wide as this drought-blue sky. Just this nothingness. That’s what hurts.

– Sandra Cisneros

All over the world people can’t sleep.
In different times zones they’re lying awake
Bodies still, minds trudging along like child laborers.
They worry about bills, they worry whether the shoes they just bought are really too small.
One’s husband’s died, her son left for college
and she doesn’t know how to program the VCR.
Another was beaten by her husband
One is planning a getaway
One holding stolen goods.
One’s on the plaid couch in ICU.
His daughter, it turned out
Actually goes have a tumour
Even though the doctor said they’d do the MRI just to rule it out.
The woman on the other couch is snoring
which is strangely soothing
Evidence that people do sleep.
Some are lying on Charisma sheets
Some in hammocks
Some in jail
Some under bridges
One is at the north pole studying the impact of pollution
A man in Massachusetts thinks about a lover he once had in Dar es Salaam and the jasmine blossoms she strung along the shaft of a silver pin fastened in her hair at night.
Coincidentally, the lover, now in Rome, remembers looking out the window over the sink where she was washing dishes
And seeing him reading in the lawn chair
and she thought how perhaps for the first time she wasn’t lonely.
They’re all up.
some are too cold, some too hot.
some hungry, some in pain
Some are in hotels listening to people having sex in the next room
Some are crying
One the cat woke up and now she’s worried about the rash she noticed in the evening and wonders if her daughter who’s afraid to swim should be pushed
Some get up
Others stay in bed
They eat oreos, or drink wine
Or both
Many read
A few make Hallowe’en costumes
Some check their email
They try sleep tapes, hypnosis, drugs
They listen to their clocks tick
Smartly, as a woman in high heels
Those who can, cling to their mates
An ear pressed to those neighboring lungs
Like a stethoscope
hoping to catch a ride on the steady sleep breath of the other
to be carried like a seed on the body of one who is able.
Right now in Japan dawn is coming, and everyone who’s been up all night is relieved; they can stop trying
In Guatemala though the insomniacs are just getting started
and have the whole night ahead of them.
It’s like a wave at the baseball stadium,
hands around the world.
So here’s a prayer for the wakeful
The souls who can’t rest
as you lie with your eyes open
or closed
May something comfort you—a mockingbird, a breeze,
the smell of crushed mint
rain on the roof, Chopin’s Nocturnes
your child’s birth
a kiss, or even me—in my chilly kitchen with my coat on—thinking of you
– Ellen Bass

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

We cannot “borrow,” by unconscious identification, the gold of Jung, or of anyone else; we can only discover fully the mysteries unfolding within our own being.
– Monika Wikman

Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough.
– Herman Melville

A weak mind must be constantly entertained and stimulated. A strong mind can occupy itself and, more important, be still and vigilant in moments that demand it.
– @RyanHoliday

“You have to carry the fire.“
I don’t know how to.”
Yes, you do.“
Is the fire real? The fire?”
Yes it is.“
Where is it? I don’t know where it is.”
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”
– Cormac McCarthy

To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behavior of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to tread this path to real discovery are not only offered practically no guidance on how to do so, they are actively discouraged and have to set abut it in secret, pretending meanwhile to be diligently engaged in the frantic diversions and to conform with the deadening personal opinions which are continually being thrust upon them.
– George Spencer Brown, The Laws of Form

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.
– Robert Fulghum

Inquiry must be without a motive, without compulsion in any direction. If I have a motive for my inquiry, that motive dictates what I shall find.
– Krishnamurti

I was reminded how astonishingly intimate the business of fiction is, more intimate than anything that issues from the psychiatrist’s couch or even the lovers’ bed. You see the soul, pinned and wriggling on the wall.
– Martin Amis

There is a story behind every person. There’s a reason they are who they are. It’s not just because they want it. Something in the past has made them that way, and sometimes it’s impossible to change them.
– Sigmund Freud

I don’t want unthinking acceptance; I want to be challenged routinely but meaningfully, challenged not to fit in and be like everyone else, but to be […] the writer I am and to be respected for that without being allowed to become complacent
– Carl Phillips, Community

What I want from this poem is the loosening of my throat.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

There’s an English idiom, ‘Stop and think.’ Nobody can think unless he stops.
– Hannah Arendt

Apollo is the breaker of family curses. If you are in an awful mess like Orestes, and have inherited a seething mass of family complexes which are driving you mad, Apollo is the only deity who has the power to break the grip of the Erinyes.
– Liz Greene

My lips never know my problem they just always smile.
– Charlie Chaplin

If it were possible to imagine an aesthetic of textual pleasure, it would have to include writing aloud.
– Roland Barthes

The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is, but that you can see the world as it isn’t. We can remember the past and we can think about the future, and we can imagine what it’s like to be some other person in some other place. And we all do this differently.
– Kathryn Schulz

No one spoke to the sunflowers,
those antique microphones
in the vacant lot.
So, they hung their heads
and, slowly, fell apart.
– Bert Meyers

billows of clouds
we all pile
into the truck

edge of the map
already lost
the radio station

– @ruralitalics

I worry I can no longer pretend
enough to get through another

year of pretending

– Tarfia Faizullah

Eight years ago this May
We walked under cherry blossoms
At night in an orchard in Oregon.
All that I wanted then
Is forgotten now, but you.
– Gary Snyder

Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.
– Maurice Sendak

It doesn’t want to get better, but maybe slower?
– Elias Canetti

What seems to me the highest and most difficult achievement of Art is not to make us laugh or cry, nor to arouse our lust or rage, but to do what nature does–that is, to set us dreaming. The most beautiful works have this quality. They are serene in aspect, inscrutable. The means by which they act on us are various: they are as motionless as cliffs, stormy as the ocean, leafy, green and murmurous as forests, forlorn as the desert, blue as the sky. Homer, Rabelais, Michelangelo, Shakespeare and Goethe seem to me pitiless. They are unfathomable, infinite, manifold. Through small apertures we glimpse abysses whose sombre depths turn us faint. And yet over the whole there hovers an extraordinary tenderness. It is like the brilliance of light, the smile of the sun; and it is calm, calm and strong.
– Gustave Flaubert

Someone who does not understand Bach is lost; it is actually unimaginable, though it does happen.
– Emil Cioran

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

And then one day my love, your eternity comes to an end..
– Alain Resnais

It is the world of Rome, where no man knows his enemy or his friend, where license is more admired than virtue, and where principle has become servant to self.
– John Williams

Have Knowledge

Immigration questions for Chinese claiming to be former
US residents, or for Chinese entering the country during the
Chinese Exclusion Act

Have you ridden in a streetcar?
Can you describe the taste of bread?
Where are the joss houses located in the city?
Do Jackson Street and Dupont
run in a circle or a line, what is the fruit
your mother ate before she bore you,
how many letters a year
do you receive from your father?
Of which material is his ancestral hall now built?
How many water buffalo
does your uncle own? Do you love him?
Do you hate her? What kind of bird sang
at your parents’ wedding?
What are the birth dates
for each of your cousins; did your brother die
from starvation, work, or murder?
Do you know the price of tea here?
Have you ever touched a stranger’s face
as he slept? Did it snow the year
you first wintered in the desert? How much weight
is a bucket and a hammer? Which store
is opposite your grandmother’s?
Did you sleep with that man
for money? Did you sleep with that man
for love? Name the color and number
of all your mother’s dresses. Now
your village’s rivers.
What diseases of the heart
do you carry? What country do you see
when you think of your children?
Does your sister ever write?
In which direction does her front door face?
How many steps did you take
when you finally left her? How far did you walk
before you looked back?

– Paisley Rekdal

The most beautiful branch that one consumes from the rational root is discretion.
– Dante Alighieri

Narcissists do show a lack of concern for others, but they are equally insensitive to their own true needs. Often their behavior is self-destructive.

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; they are not self-directed. Instead, their activities are directed toward the enhancement of their image, often at the expense of the self.

– Alexander Lowen

We don’t have to heal the Earth; she can heal herself. All we have to do is stop making her sick.

Sometimes I feel like the trees are dyin’, everybody’s dyin’ and I’m gonna kick the bucket. Then a little wind comes, just a little bitty gust and I smell pine. And another wind comes and I smell cedar and I get stronger inside.

– Wallace Black Elk

from a treetop
floating into summer
bright moon
– Issa

The deadliest bite among wild animals is that of the bootlicker; amongst tame, that of the flatterer.
– Diogenes translated by Guy Davenport

Angels are wonderful but they are so, well, aloof.
It’s what I sense in the mud and the roots of the
trees, or the well, or the barn, or the rock with
its citron map of lichen that halts my feet and
makes my eyes flare, feeling the presence of some spirit,
some small god, who abides there.

If I were a perfect person, I would be bowing
I’m not, though I pause wherever I feel this
holiness, which is why I’m so often late coming
back from wherever I went.

Forgive me.

– Mary Oliver

you are not a machine. you are more like a garden. you need different things on different days. a little sun today, a little less water tomorrow. you have fallow and fruitful seasons. it is not a design flaw. it is wiser than perpetual sameness. what does your garden need today?”
– Joy Marie Clarkson

And if I speak of Paradise,
then I’m speaking of my grandmother
who told me to carry it always
on my person, concealed, so
no one else would know but me.
That way they can’t steal it, she’d say.
And if life puts you under pressure,
trace its ridges in your pocket,
smell its piney scent on your handkerchief,
hum its anthem under your breath.
And if your stresses are sustained and daily,
get yourself to an empty room – be it hotel,
hostel or hovel – find a lamp
and empty your paradise onto a desk:
your white sands, green hills and fresh fish.
Shine the lamp on it like the fresh hope
of morning, and keep staring at it till you sleep.
– Roger Robinson

– W. S. Merwin

No poet comes into being without the disorder of reading.
– Elias Canetti

When our movements are limited, so are our possibilities for wholeness.
– Judith Harris, Jung and Yoga

climate activists, my dear friends, we will never wish we had done less.
– Dr. Peter Kalmus

Hush now.
You’re not the first piece of gentleness to have crossed this hand.
– Carl Phillips

Eventually we will be called to sort through this inner maze to find the path that is truly ours. This sorting process, to emerge into an enlarged state of adulthood, is the worthy achievement of the second half of life.
– Robert A. Johnson

“Nature,” says the very first voice of philosophy, “loves to hide. What is hidden in nature is more harmonious that what we can easily see.” The vision by which we discover the hidden in nature is sometimes called science, sometimes art.
– Guy Davenport

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

There is already too much truth in the world – an overproduction which apparently cannot be consumed!
– Otto Rank

To take up one’s own cross would mean to accept and consciously realize one’s own particular pattern of wholeness.
– Edward Edinger

Great art has often been made by bad people. So what? Expecting the artist to be a good person was a sentimental canard of Victorian moralism, rejected by the “art for art’s sake” movement led by Charles Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde.
– Camille Paglia

I kept pulling the books out of the shelves again and again. I could only read a few lines and I felt the fakeness and I put them back. It was a real horror show. Nothing related to life, at least not to mine and the streets and the people I saw in the streets and what they were forced to do and what they became.
– Charles Bukowski

Joseph Campbell observes that the quester is precisely a person who has failed, because his or her life does not work. Interior difficulties force questers to reorganize their life on a higher level, to become, out of necessity, adept at the art of living.
– Bud Harris

A good philosopher is one who does not take ideas seriously.

The more fantastic an ideology or theology, the more fanatic its adherents.

– Edward Abbey

Men are much too exhausted by their struggle with want to be able to engage in a new and severe contest with error. Satisfied if they themselves can escape from the hard labour of thought, they willingly abandon to others the guardianship of their thoughts.
– Friedrich Schiller

Jung’s conviction is that the most effective way to redeem or transform the world is first of all to transform the little piece of it that is oneself.
– Edward Edinger

To be finished, able, and undistracted would mean to be perfect, and being perfect in any form leaves us without a future–with no more potential for transformation, no more chances for being human.
– Bud Harris

wherever we are is a shore
– W.S. Merwin

Some days my mind is like
a gull hanging onto
a sandwich too big
to swallow
– Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Every day has something in it
whose name is Forever.
– Mary Oliver

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

So I have come
To believe that poetry is a restoration
Or else an accompaniment to what is lost
But half-remembered.
– Elizabeth Jennings, Precursors

Write me of hope and love, and hearts that endured.
– Emily Dickinson

By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom. By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind.
– Sutra of Hui Neng


There are three lessons that I draw
with a burning feather that burns deep,
leaving a trail of holy light
even a deadly chest throb.


Have Hope. If there are clouds,
if there are disappointments and no illusions,
She frowns, her shadow is vain,
that every night follows a morning.


Have Faith. Even if your boat pushes
breezes that waver or waves that roar,
God (don’t forget) rules heaven,
and earth, and winds, and sailboat.


Have Love, and love not a mere being,
that brothers are from pole to pole,
and for the good of all your prodigal love,
as the sun pours its light friend.


Grow, love, wait! Record it in your chest
the three, and waits firm and serene
forces, where others may wreck,
light, when many wander in darkness.

– Friedrich Schiller, Three Words of Strength

The etiquette of the wild world requires not only generosity but a good-humored toughness that cheerfully tolerates discomfort, an appreciation of everyone’s fragility, and a certain modesty.
– Gary Snyder

To be born is to be wrecked on an island.
– J. M. Barrie

We Got Used to the Surprises
by Robert Wood Lynn

until there were none left
and we had to breed them
in captivity. Nature continued
to re-evolve its crab. Possum
hands insisted on looking
like ours for no good reason.
It’s not that we let ourselves
down. But there was something
predictable about us. Our smiles
identically involuntary while texting
back. Our selfsame habit,
describing newest old loves strictly
by worst qualities. We gave up
counting on intuition. Accepted it
for its failures like parents trying
over. It’s true. The reasons
you can’t touch a cloud and can’t
touch a rainbow have nothing
at all to do with each other.

Solitary men : Some men are so accustomed to being alone with themselves that they do not compare themselves with others at all but spin out their life of monologue in a calm and cheerful mood, conversing and indeed laughing with themselves alone.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

In all classes, from the lowest to almost the highest, economic fear rules the thoughts of men by day and their dreams by night, making their stressful work and leisure little refreshing.” This ever-present terror is, I believe, the main cause of the mood of insanity that has ravaged large parts of the civilized world.
– Bertrand Russell

You don’t need to tell me the whole story, I was there when it happened…
– The Swell Season

Rereading is no longer consumption, but play
(that play which is the return of the different).
– Roland Barthes

The transition from tenseness, self-responsibility, and worry, to equanimity, receptivity, and peace, is the most wonderful of all those shiftings of inner equilibrium, those changes of the personal center of energy, which I have analyzed so often; and the chief wonder of it is that it so often comes about, not by doing, but by simply relaxing and throwing the burden down.
– William James

Fortunate is the person who assembles a wealth of divine understanding, but a miserable wretch is he who tries to manipulate his fellow humans with his conjectures about the gods.
– Empedokles

Every one of us, unconsciously, works out a personal philosophy of life, by which we are guided, inspired, and corrected, as time goes on. It is this philosophy by which we measure out our days, and by which we advertise to all about us the man, or woman, that we are… It takes but a brief time to scent the life philosophy of anyone. It is defined in the conversation, in the look of the eye, and in the general mien of the person. It has no hiding place. It’s like the perfume of a flower – unseen, but known almost instantly. It is the possession of the successful, and the happy. And it can be greatly embellished by the absorption of ideas and experiences of the useful of this earth.
– George Matthew Adams

A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skillful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well—this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

beyond the sea, behind a line of woods, began another sea roseate with the light of the setting sun, which was, in fact, the sky
– Marcel Proust

Read myths. They teach you that you can turn inward, and you begin to get the message of the symbols. Read other people’s myths because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts–but (in) the other ones, you begin to get the message.
– Joseph Campbell

In poetry, technique is another name for morality . . . The false poet speaks of himself, almost invariably in the name of others. The true poet speaks with others when he talks to himself.
– Octavio Paz

To be running breathlessly, but not yet arrived, is itself delightful, a suspended moment of living hope.
– Anne Carson

All songwriters are links in a chain.
– Pete Seeger

Poetry is an art form, an expression, a hiding, an awakening, a resting. Sooooo, many writers of color know a lot about it. Trust me. They understand imagery, musicality, linguistic experimentation, narration, and beauty and ugliness and so much more. Good grief. Lumping so many together without understanding that people of color and LBGTQ are complex, widely read, long haul life long artists is so old. Good grief.
– Sheryl Luna

Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent.
– Miles Davis

When I am old and infirm
I fear I shall no longer
Be able to roam among
The beautiful mountains.
Clarifying my mind,
I shall meditate on mountain
Trails which wander in vision.
– Tsung Ping, tr. Kenneth Rexroth

It is high time for writers, especially artists, to admit that in this world one can’t understand anything, as Socrates once admitted, and Voltaire.
– Anton Chekhov

The task and potential greatness of mortals lie in their ability to produce things works and deeds and words which would deserve to be and, at least to a degree, are at home in everlastingness…
– Hannah Arendt

My community ostracized me in the name of love. What followed was years of confusion.
– @danielallencox

But poets are poets. Nothing will dislodge them. Even when in their most pathetic moments, they’re badly needed.
– Etel Adnan

The religion of the short poem, in every age and in every literature, has a single commandment: Less is always more…It’s about all and everything, the metaphysics of a few words surrounded by much silence… The short poem is a match flaring up in a dark universe.
– Charles Simic

Remember tonight… for it is the beginning of always.
– Dante Alighieri

I have discovered that most have no one to talk,
no one, that is who really wants to listen.
– Walker Percy

I can tell you that what you’re looking for is already inside you. You’ve heard this before, but the holy thing inside you really is that which causes you to seek it. You can’t buy it, lease it, rent it, date it, or apply for it.
– Anne Lamott

The time has come for us to leave. They will burn our books, thinking of us. If one’s name is Wassermann, Döblin or Roth one cannot wait any longer. We have to leave, so that they only set fire to the books.
– Joseph Roth, 1932

At this point, we are in a powerful spot: being in the present, we can reshape the whole future. Therefore, shouldn’t we be more careful, shouldn’t we be more awake in what we are doing this very moment?
– Chögyam Trungpa

You know, there are limits to thinking. It’s like boiling an egg or cooking a soufflé. If you boil an egg too long, it becomes much too hard. If you cook a soufflé too long in the oven, it’s absolutely ruined. And there’s a moment to stop.
– Alan Watts

I do not search, I find.
– Pablo Picasso (attr.)

Like everything healthy and long-lasting, truth unfortunately adheres more to the middle way, which we unjustly abhor.
– @RedBookJung

But as the dark descended, the words of the others seemed to curl up and vanish as the ashes of burnt paper, and left them sitting perfectly silent at the bottom of the world.
– Virginia Woolf

May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.
– Fennel Hudson

We need to be aware of the sheer extent to which the left hemisphere [of the brain] is, in the most down-to-earth, empirically verifiable way, less reliable than the right – in matters of attention, perception, judgment, emotional understanding, and indeed intelligence as it is conventionally understood. And that means that we should be appropriately sceptical of the left hemisphere’s vision of a mechanistic world, an atomistic society, a world in which competition is more important than collaboration; a world in which nature is a heap of resource there for our exploitation, in which only humans count, and yet humans are only machines – not even very good ones, at that; a world curiously stripped of depth, colour and value. This is not the intelligent, if hard-nosed, view that its espousers comfort themselves by making it out to be; just a sterile fantasy, the product of a lack of imagination, which makes it easier for us to manipulate what we no longer understand. But it is a fantasy that displaces and renders inaccessible the vibrant, living, profoundly creative world that it was our fortune to inherit – until we squandered our inheritance.
Time is running out, and the way we think, which got us into this mess, will not be enough to get us out of it.
– Iain McGilchrist

War is what happens when language fails.
– Margaret Atwood

Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans
[… ]
If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdwn in communication […] and there is the real illness.
– Philip K. Dick

But civilized human beings are alarmingly ignorant of the fact that they are continuous with their natural surroundings. It is as necessary to have air, water, plants, insects, birds, fish, and mammals as it is to have brains, hearts, lungs, and stomachs. The former are our external organs in the same way that the latter are our internal organs. If then, we can no more live without the things outside than without those inside, the plain inference is that the words “I” and “myself ” must include both sides. The sun, the earth, and the forests are just as much features of your own body as your brain. Erosion of the soil is as much a personal disease as leprosy, and many “growing communities” are as disastrous as cancer.
– Alan Watts

They say nothing lasts forever but they’re just scared it will last longer than they can love it.
– Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Sentient beings are the cause of our enlightenment. When they bother us, we learn patience; when they’re suffering, we learn loving-kindness and compassion. No matter what reaction they evoke,we can relate to them in a way that leads to buddhahood. Instead of buying into aversion, we become tolerant. Instead of staying stuck in selfishness, we extend a hand to someone in distress. Instead of letting jealousy sabotage us, we train in rejoicement therapy.
– Pema Chödron

…to the person on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road in front of them may matter more than a vision of the horizon.
– CS Lewis

The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.
– Freeman Dyson

While our habitual patterns can change through verbal therapy and recovery programmes, our bodies often hold on to the character remnants until directly challenged through an informed bodywork.
– John P. Conger

The Mahayana form of Buddhism has spread a kind of warm glow all over northern Asia. It’s such an urbane—such a sophisticated religion. It doesn’t harass you with preachments, it doesn’t pursue you, it doesn’t make a busybody nuisance of itself.
– Alan Watts

Over the long haul human flourishing must = planetary flourishing…
– @VinceFHorn

The Good Life
by Mark Strand

You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.

The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing that you can do.

The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.

When one is uprooted, transplanted, there is a temporary withering. I always panic at this and think it is permanent. I thought my life was shrinking… I began to sprout new leaves.
– Anaïs Nin

And what is poetry if not language awake to its own powers?
– Jane Hirshfield

Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our anti-materialist, otherworldly, New Age, spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and seaweed slime.
– Edward Abbey

I realized that I wasn’t quite suited to bear complete solitude. … Solitude is more powerful than anything and drives one back toward people.
– Kafka

At night I dream that you and I
are two plants that grew together,
roots entwined.
– Pablo Neruda

A walk in the spring
Human clutter in my head
Greeted by birdsong
– @hoshigenari

One meets in polite society few novelists, or poets, few of all those sublime creatures who speak of the things that are not to be mentioned.
– Proust

There are two distinct components to human nature: the social and the solitary. While most people are strictly social, there are also quite a few loners who motivate themselves, derive their rewards directly from nature and whose only constraints are self-imposed.
– Dmitry Orlov

The trout is taken when he
Bites an artificial fly.
Confronted with fraud, keep your
Mouth shut and don’t volunteer.
– Kenneth Rexroth

If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.
– Frank Zappa

The grass knows a word or two.
– Charles Simic

You are a writer. The ‘normal’ ship sailed without you long ago.
– Terri Main

The education system is based on a myth-denying logos and the more educated we become – the more we try to develop ourselves in the social mainstream – the more likely we are to cut ourselves off from our instincts, especially from the instinct for meaning.
– David Tacey

I used to have a boyfriend who asked constantly “whatcha thinking?” So one day I responded “Barcelona.” He didn’t get it. And that, my friends, is how I realized he really was straight.
– D. A. Powell

If we are here for any good purpose at all (other than collating texts, running rivers, and learning the stars), I suppose it is to entertain the rest of nature. A gang of sexy primate clowns.
– Gary Snyder

Poetry drives its lines into her forehead 
like an angled plough across a bare field. 
I’ve seen her kind before, of the live and dead 
who bore humped creels when the beating winds were wild…
– Iain Crichton Smith

There was no book of the forest,
no book of the sea, but these
are the places people died.

Handwriting occurred on waves,
on leaves, the scripts of smoke,
a sign on a bridge along the Mahaweli River.

A gradual acceptance of this new language.

– Michael Ondaatje

We moderns are faced with the necessity of rediscovering the life of the spirit; we must experience it anew for ourselves.
– CG Jung

For I make others say for me, not before but after me, what either for want of language or want of sense I cannot myself so well express. I do not number my borrowings, I weigh them.
– Michel de Montaigne

If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

There is a world of difference between suffering a wound, and the splits it causes, and being wholly governed by that wound.
– James Hollis

We’re all boring to someone. That doesn’t matter. What you need to avoid is being boring to yourself..
– Gerald Brennan

The earth is insulted and offers flowers in response.
– Rabindranath Tagore

As long as you are attached to sensible things and logical things, you are in this very small box.
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

We are a country of entertainers. You got to be entertaining. Even the fascists here are entertaining.
– Arthur Miller

I am like a being thrown from another planet on this dark terrestrial ball, an alien, a pilgrim among its possessors.
– Thomas Carlyle

In order to be a true revolutionary, you must understand love.
– Sonia Sanchez

Whether a poem may or may not have been written by a great poet is only important to the historians of literature. Suppose, by following reasoning, that I have written a beautiful verse; consider it a working hypothesis. Once I have written it, that verse does not make me any good, because as I just said, that verse I received from the Holy Spirit, the subliminal self, or maybe some other writer. I often find that I am just quoting something I read some time ago, and then reading becomes a rediscovery. Perhaps the poet is better without a name.
– George Luis Borges

Hope is a diagnostic human trait, and this simple cortex symptom seems to be a prime factor in our inspection of our universe. For hope implies a change from a present bad condition to a future better one. The slave hopes for freedom, the weary man for rest, the hungry for food. And the feeders of hope, economic and religious, have from these simple strivings of dissatisfaction managed to create a world picture which is very hard to escape. Man grows toward perfection; animals grow toward man; bad grows toward good; and down toward up, until our little mechanism, hope, achieved in ourselves probably to cushion the shock of thought, manages to warp our whole world.
Probably when our species developed the trick of memory and with it the counterbalancing projection called “the future,” this shock-absorber, hope, had to be included in the series, else the species would have destroyed itself in despair. For if ever any man were deeply and unconsciously sure that his future would be no better than his past, he might deeply wish to cease to live.
In saying that hope cushions the shock of experience, that one trait balances the directionalism of another, a teleology is implied, unless one know or feel or think that we are here, and that without this balance, hope, our species in its blind mutation might have joined many, many others in extinction.
– John Steinbeck

Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly, the only relation we can have with the dead. So the belief that remembering is an ethical act is deep in our natures as humans, who know we are going to die, and who mourn those who in the normal course of things die before us—grandparents, parents, teachers, and older friends. Heartlessness and amnesia seem to go together. But history gives contradictory signals about the value of remembering in the much longer span of a collective history. There is simply too much injustice in the world. And too much remembering (of ancient grievances: Serbs, Irish) embitters.
To make peace is to forget. To reconcile, it is necessary that memory be faulty and limited. If the goal is having some space in which to live one’s own life, then it is desirable that the account of specific injustices dissolve into a more general understanding that human beings everywhere do terrible things to one another.
– Susan Sontag

Belief in yourself is overrated. Generate evidence.
– Ryan Holiday

We the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.
– Konstantin Josef Jireček

Today we are all doing penance every day. We’re working hard, trying to make money to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, trying to maintain a good relationship or marriage, trying to keep our children safe and happy and educated, trying to keep the world from blowing itself up. We don’t need any more penance. We need some joy, an ideal, encouragement, a philosophy worthy of us, a real community, neighbors to keep us from having to go it alone. We need our own religion: our sources of inspiration, hope, and healing.
– Thomas Moore

Between ignorance and knowledge: enlightenment. Between knowledge and revelation: poetry.
– Gustaf Sobin

Wherever I happen to disappear, it is neither into silence nor into darkness. Nowadays even the seemingly most unimportant and miserable spots of the universe are filled with awful noise and frightful glare.
– László Krasznahorkai

we drift
separate and syllabic
if we survive at all.
– Audre Lorde

To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.’
– Michel de Montaigne

To get the best advice, it’s better to talk to a few people personally than it is to talk to a lot of people digitally.
– @simonsinek

I took who I was, and thought about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do and did my best to bring those three things together. This is living your best life.
– Audre Lorde

Someday we’ll all start laughing
and roll on the ground when
we realize how funny
it’s been.
– Jack Kerouac

charting their courses
by strange moons and stars
– Ogawa

Coming to This
by Mark Strand

We have done what we wanted.
We have discarded dreams, preferring the heavy industry
of each other, and we have welcomed grief
and called ruin the impossible habit to break.

And now we are here.
The dinner is ready and we cannot eat.
The meat sits in the white lake of its dish.
The wine waits.

Coming to this
has its rewards: nothing is promised, nothing is taken away.
We have no heart or saving grace,
no place to go, no reason to remain.

Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious, timid or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is.
– Henry Miller

A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.
– Noam Chomsky

Life is a long lesson in humility.
– James Matthew Barrie

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
– Richard Feynman

My mother read bad literature, but her imagination opened other doors for me. We had a game: Look at the sky and look for the shape of the clouds and make up great stories. My friends were not so lucky. They had no mothers looking at the clouds.
– Julius Cortazar

Your soulmate is not someone who comes into your life in peace, it’s someone who comes to question things, changes your reality, marks a before and after.” It is not the human being who has been idealized, but an ordinary person who revolutionizes your world in a second.
– Mario Benedict

I travel in books
– Juan Rulfo

Yes, it’s all been written before, BUT . . .

only in terms of core content.

Your specific slant and style of writing it has never, and will never, appear on this earth again. THAT is why it matters.

It’s about the HOW much more than the what.

– Francesca Leader

Brow to cliff,
he drinks
clear water.
– Toyojo

Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase her, the more she runs away. But if you turn your attention to other things, she comes and gently rests on your shoulder. Happiness is not a pose on the road, but a way of traveling through life.
– Victor Frankl

It is our imagination that sees and not the eyes.
– Benito Perez Galdós

Deep in the plush and eager darkness
Breathless with imminent breakthrough
I fall into elegant alignment
– Bobbie Gorman

We experience all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep within the waking state. Waking is perception, dreaming is remembering, and deep sleep is total self-absorption.
– Sankara

Just constantly amazed at how the official GOP position is to oppose literally ALL efforts to save the planet.
Improve air quality?
Clean up the water?
Save species?
Stop devastating climate change?
Develop safe, clean, affordable energy?
Nope, nope, nope, nope, no way.
– Peter Gleick

The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where one is never lonely, for they feel life stirring on all sides. The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it?
– Jules Verne

When you know I’m dead
say weird syllables.
Pronounce flower bee tear
bread, storm.
Do not let your lips
hallen my eleven letters.
I have dream, I have loved,
I’ve won the silence.
– Rock Dalton

Look far. Cast
eyes northeast
over tossed
There’s the seal!
And tides fill
and run, all

– Anonymous
(tr. Seamus Heaney)

Two kinds of people are good at foreseeing danger: those who have learned at their own expense, and the clever people who learn a great deal at the expense of others.
– Baltasar Gracián

What Life Taught God

If God the father
learned anything
as He went on,
He learned
how to be
a better mother.

– @johnguzlowski

The crowd is the gathering place
of the weakest; true creation
is a solitary act.
– Charles Bukowski

Tell the image makers and magazine sellers and the plastic surgeons that you are not afraid. That what you fear the most is the death of imagination and originality and metaphor and passion.
– Marion Woodman

A light here required a shadow there.
– Virginia Woolf

Be permanently in the words, whether you want it or not,
be always alive, full of words for life,
as if words were alive, as if life were word.
– Ingeborg Bachmann

The spirit of this time of course allowed me to believe in my reason. He let me see myself in the image of a leader with ripe thoughts. But the spirit of the depths teaches me that I am a servant, in fact the servant of a child. This dictum was repugnant to me and I hated it. But I had to recognize and accept that my soul is a child and that my God in my soul is a child. … The spirit of the depths taught me that my life is encompassed by the divine child. From his hand everything unexpected came to me, everything living.
– Carl Jung, Liber Novus

When our strength was tested,
we became our own light.
– Usman Hameedi

I see society as a network of narratives; it is not only a network of economic or sentimental exchanges, but also a plot of narratives.
– Ricardo Piglia

We live in an age when certain unnecessary things are our only necessities.
– Oscar Wilde

A bridge is born of necessity, but it must establish its own identity. It should harmonize with its surroundings, and the design must transcend the purely local and transform the setting.
– Santiago Calatrava

There are many situations where one has to do something. But there are other situations where the real deed, the really heroic deed, is to stand the suffering and not do anything.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

We are essentially social creatures. “The idea that one can start something from scratch, free from the past or without debt to others, could not be more wrong.
– Karl Popper

I find poetry — which estranges me from language, the most ordinary medium of my life — to be a useful practice for unsettling my perception so that I might see the forms of my living more precisely, the possibilities of an otherwise more vividly.
– Claire Schwartz

For all our delight in physical fitness, many people relate to their body as a machine that they drive very well. Listening to its wisdom, honouring its imagery, living that imagery creatively—these are not part of their vocabulary.
– Marion Woodman

I began to realize that my mind and my students’ minds were becoming selectively porous to each other. The walls between our minds were coming down in meaningful ways. Some students also began to have deep spiritual openings around some of the concepts I was presenting in class, such as impermanence, interdependence, oneness, no-self, and the divine within. My experience of these realities in my sessions changed my energy in a way that caused my person to become a kind of lightning rod, triggering these kind of experiences in some of my students. They were being activated less by my words and more by an energetic resonance to my person. I was not trying to make this happen, and in fact I was quite concerned about it, but my students were demonstrating a simple, ancient truth—that states of consciousness are contagious. One person’s awakening spontaneously triggers awakening in those around us.

I also found that there was a second dynamic operating in my classroom. I came to see that there were fields of consciousness developing around my courses, something like Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields. These psychic fields reflect the cumulative learning of hundreds of students studying the same ideas semester after semester, year after year. These collective fields were getting stronger over time and accelerating and deepening the learning of later students.

The bottom line is that our minds are not the private, stand-alone entities that the modern paradigm says they are. Part of our mind is obviously private, but there is also a collective dimension to our minds.

When we focus our intention in collective projects, there is a resonance that is generated which rises underneath us and animates us.

In order to understand both these dynamics—energetic resonance and group fields—I spent many years carefully observing what was happening in my classroom and developing strategies for working with these forces. I think that we’re going to teach differently in the future. We are going to balance the atomistic perspective with a quantum perspective. It is a both/and situation, not an either/or. We’re going to use all the techniques of individual transfer that we have developed plus we’re going to use these subtler techniques of collective resonance to accelerate and deepen our students’ learning. I find it interesting that more excerpts and summaries of “The Living Classroom” have been published in journals and anthologies than anything else I’ve written. I think it’s because our culture is ready for this concept of collective consciousness.

– Christopher Bache

If it’s true, what they say, that poetry
is written with the knowledge of

and against death, that it is
a beacon, a bulwark, then Love,

I confess, I have been no poet.

– Cameron Awkward-Rich

We are all strangers to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live within the gaze of others.
– Paul Auste

He was dreaming of a refined solitude, a comfortable desert, a motionless ark in which to seek refuge from the unending deluge of human stupidity.
– Joris-Karl Huysmans

but love is a dangerous word
in this small town.
– Essex Hemphill

when did we become friends?
it happened so gradual i didn’t notice
– Wanda Coleman

I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.
– Melody Beattie

The inescapable paradox of fire – of alchemy, of psyche, of intelligent living – consists in this double commandment: Thou shalt not repress / Thou shalt not act out.
– James Hillman, Alchemical Psychology

Yes. There is a point at which any person gets tired

of knowledge. You could call this a threshold

or you could call this the point at which a person

gets tired of knowledge. I’ll tell you this:

I’ve never felt further from another than when

standing beside them trying to point out a star.

– Robert Wood Lynn

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
the great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
the subtle and the gross:
May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.
Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then, as you stand or walk, sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.

– Buddha

He saw her before he saw anything else in the room.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

…later, the lonesomeness set in.
– Jessamyn West

I never could understand what was the good of thinking up books, of penning things that had not really happened in some way or another; and I remember once saying to him as I braved the mockery of his encouraging nods that, were I a writer, I should allow only my heart to have imagination, and for the rest rely upon memory, that long-drawn sunset shadow of one’s personal truth.
– Vladimir Nabokov

Poetry is not a craft of rhyme or cleverness of form. It is not an outlet for emotion. Rather it is a delicate yet messy orchestration of human thought as it is linked to the ineffable mystery of consciousness. Why don’t we just give it the credit it deserves? All the apocryphal texts, or original religious texts, were written thus. Our whole human society is based, in many ways, if you think back, on human ability to express experience and lessons through poetry and art. We need the written texts that confuse people’s idea of ‘meaning,’ to challenge what they think meaning is.
– Bianca Stone

The story unfurled, its storm rolled in as she spoke, then rolled in once more as I repeated the words. To bake a cake in the eye of a storm; to feed yourself sugar on the cusp of danger.
– Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

My understanding from being a gardener is: Earth is magic. Whoever claims otherwise is blind. Earth is not a resource, not a mere means to achieve human ends. Our relationship to nature today is not determined by astonished observation, but solely by instrumental action. The Anthropocene is precisely the result of total subjugation of Earth/nature to the laws of human action. It is reduced to a component of human action. Man acts beyond the interpersonal sphere into nature by subjecting it entirely to his will. He thereby unleashes processes that would not come about without his intervention, and lead to a total loss of control.

It is not enough that we now have to be more careful with Earth as a resource. Rather, we need a completely different relationship with Earth. We should give it back its magic, its dignity. We should learn to marvel at it again. Natural disasters are the consequences of absolute human action. Action is the verb for history. Walter Benjamin’s angel of history is confronted with the catastrophic consequences of human action. In front of him, the heap of debris of history grows towards the sky. But he cannot remove it, because the storm from the future called progress carries him away. His wide eyes and open mouth reflect his powerlessness. Only an angel of inaction would be able to defend himself against the storm.
– Byung-Chul Han

When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.”
– Baltasar Gracian

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

If the eye of the heart is open, in each atom there will be one hundred secrets.
– Attar

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

Nothing, absolutely nothing, remains just what it is. For Buddhists, the most basic fact or quality of the world is not being, as it is for most Western philosophers and theologians: it’s becoming. To be is to become, one can “be” only if one is in motion. (We can note an immediate difference here from what we heard about the Christian God: for Western, Christian theologians, to call God perfect means he doesn’t change; for Buddhists, if we call God perfect, it means that God is the most changeable reality we could imagine!)But just why is everything impermanent and in constant change? The answer has to do with what might be called the flip-side of anicca: pratityasamutpada, or, technically, “interdependent origination.” More simply: everything changes because everything is interrelated. Everything comes into being and continues in being through and with something else. Nothing, Buddha came to see, has its own existence. In fact, when he wanted to describe the human self, or the self/identity of anything, the term he used was anatta, which means literally no-self… We are not “selves” in the sense of individual, separate, independent “things.” Rather, we are constantly changing because we are constantly interrelating (or being interrelated).
– Paul F. Knitter, Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian

Cultivating loyalty is no small thing. George Orwell, for example, considered preferential loyalty to be the “essence of being human.” Critiquing Gandhi’s recommendation — that we must have no close friendships or exclusive loves because these will introduce loyalty and favoritism, preventing us from loving everyone equally — Orwell retorted that “the essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty … and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one’s love upon other human individuals.
– The Myth of Universal Love

We are here to abet creation and to witness it, to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but we notice each other’s beautiful face and complex nature so that creation need not play to an empty house.
– Annie Dillard

A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet “for sale”, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence – briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing – cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity. He cannot help suffering, even though he can experience moments of joy and clarity that are absent in the life of his “normal” contemporaries. Not rarely will he suffer from neurosis that results from the situation of a sane man living in an insane society, rather than that of the more conventional neurosis of a sick man trying to adapt himself to a sick society. In the process of going further in his analysis, i.e. of growing to greater independence and productivity, his neurotic symptoms will cure themselves.

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.

Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.

Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.

If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.

Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ‘Patriotism’ is its cult…Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as ‘moral indignation,’ which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

– Erich Fromm

Beware the stories you read or tell: subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.
– Ben Okri

We were wild then.
They said, because we spoke a different language
And would not give over our spirits to them.
And though they tried, they could not ever remake us
No matter how hard they drilled and forced us.
We died over and over again in those stiff desks,
As our hearts walked home.
We sat on the fire escapes outside our dorm rooms on cold winter nights
And made plans to escape history.
– Joy Harjo, from Bourbon and Blues

Mother-of-us-all prays to free us
from our image of perfection
to which so much suffering clings.

When in the shadowy mind
we imagine ourselves imperfectly,
praying to be freed from gravity
by enlightenment, she refines our prayers.

Putting her arms around us
she bids us rest our head on her shoulder
whispering, Don’t you know
with all your fear and anger
all you are fit for is love.

– Stephen Levine

No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. It would be a bit too easy if we could go about borrowing ready-made souls.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I felt it. I felt it as plainly as a man feels the change of weather in an old wound.
– H. E. Bates

It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.
– Robert Hass

After a long lifetime, loosely, in a moment of revelation, I may lay hands on it, but now the idea breaks in my hand. Ideas break a thousand times for once that they globe themselves entire.
– Virginia Woolf

That burn-out that is like a subterranean river in you…
– Dr. Han VanderHart

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.
– Mary Oliver

Ah, I think I shall yet be able to express it all—the dreams, the coalescence, the disintegration—no, again I am off the track—all my best words are deserters and do not answer the trumpet call, and the remainder are cripples.
– Nabokov

I didn’t particularly like churches, especially when they were filled with people.
– Charles Bukowski

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
– Waterboys

We turn not older with years, but newer every day.
– Emily Dickinson

You see, this thing up here, this consciousness, thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ; it’s a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.
– Joseph Campbell

It is the sweetest of the island waters, because it tastes of nothing but the warm afternoon, the breath of the cicadas, the idle winds crisping at little corners of the inert sea, which stretches away towards Africa, death-blue and timeless.
– Lawrence Durrell, Corfu

And so I stopped reading
and then I stopped talking
and then I stopped opening the door
and then I stopped venturing
into the street and then I stopped
opening my eyes.

I sat in silence
like a clay Buddha waiting
for my breath to stop
and teach the world a lesson.

– john zbigniew guzlowski

I think in the past you were unhappy only because of poor company. It was quite natural since we cannot sun ourselves in the shade.
– Franz Kafka, 1904.

All instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward — this is what I call the internalization of man: thus it was that man first developed what was later called his “soul.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Those who are too lazy and comfortable
to think for themselves and be their own
judges obey the laws. Others sense
their own laws within them.
– Hermann Hesse

in the

is a

in the

– Robert Lax

Diving into the Wreck
by Adrienne Rich

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

The term projection is used by Jungians to mean that each of us places some quality of our own being onto something or someone else—process is unconscious so we often think it belongs to the outer object when it belongs to us.
– Robert A. Johnson

Everything dances with its strict
negation, & I like that. I have no
choice but to like that. Systems
are evening out all around us—
even now, as we kneel before
a new & ruthless circumstance.
– Jeremy Radin

Every psychic trauma produces its own potential remedy! To be wounded means also to have the healing power activated in the unconscious.
– Gerhard Adler

The word ‘clue’ was originally a variant spelling of ‘clew,’ meaning “ball of thread or yarn.”

Our modern sense of clue, “guide to the solution of a mystery,” grows out of a motif in myth and folklore, the ball of thread that helps in finding one’s way out of a maze.

– @MerriamWebster

oh, you who are young, consider how quickly the body deranges itself
how time, the cruel banker, forecloses us to snowdrifts white as god’s own ribs
– D. A. Powell

So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design.
– Harry Crews

Real culture lives by sympathies and admirations, not by dislikes and disdain —
– William James

Most of what I do in therapy is to unleash the currents of change seething within the individual. Currents which need the humorous, the unexpected, or the shocking to bring them into consciousness.
– Milton H. Erickson

One foot in Eden still, I stand
 And look across the other land.
 The world’s great day is growing late,
 Yet strange these fields that we have planted
 So long with crops of love and hate…
– Edwin Muir

Often, the space between 2 people
can be measured by the number
of times they look at each other
and feel nothing.
– Rudy Francisco

The art of letting things happen, action through non-action, letting go of oneself, as taught by Meister Eckhart, became for me the key to opening the door to the way.
– CG Jung, The Secret of the Golden Flower

One of the worst things about the baby boom generation of women poets is how so many of them straight up refused to support younger women poets. Not all, but way too many. Working hard to uphold the patriarchy.
– Dr. Sandman

there’s a poet whose work i love but who is such a bad influence on my own writing that i think i have to give up reading this poet forever
– Lindsay Turner

In a dream
you saw a way to survive
& you were full of joy.
– Jenny Holzer

The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
– Arthur Miller

I have always been in love with
last chances especially
now that they really do
seem like last chances

They were like the man with the dungeon stone and gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.
– Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Sometimes you hear a word as if for the first time, a word you’ve been saying your whole life. [. . .] It always makes me feel very smart and very foolish at once.
– Jeremy Radin

Life is an endless recruiting of witnesses. It seems we need to be observed in our postures of extravagance or shame, we need attention paid to us. Our own memory is altogether too cherishing, which is the kindest thing I can say for it. Others are required, other perspectives, but even so our most important ceremonies – birth, love, and death – are secured by whomever and whatever is available. What chance, what caprice!
– Carol Shields

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is –

so it enters us –
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

– Mary Oliver

The child who refuses to travel in the father’s harness, this is the symbol of man’s most unique capability. “I do not have to be what my father was. I do not have to obey my father’s rules or even believe everything he believed. It is my strength as a human that I can make my own choices of what to believe and what not to believe, of what to be and what not to be.
– Frank Herbert

Because there is no principle of love,
you and I ride horses to a curve in the lake.
Because we are ever-expanding cosmic bodies,
but do not understand physics,
my horse will be named Dakota, and yours
Chip, and when he bends his head to drink,
the forces of memory and dark energy
erupt from the water like cattails. When we say love,
we only know how for a few moments.
And keep insisting on different versions
of the same story. Chaos, or better,
the original emptiness, is always a constant.
One horse bellows and the other answers
with a clip of her shoe
on a nearby stone. Because suffering
is difficult to define, the lake is this blue
only once. The horses toss the reins from their necks.
They have been here a long time,
and know only the old ways.
When we return home, we keep trying different ways
to feel the same.
– Jenny Molberg

When you meet that person. A person. One of your soulmates. Let the connection, relationship, be what it is. It may be five minutes. Five hours. Five days. Five months. Five years. A lifetime. Let it manifest itself, the way it is meant to. It has an organic destiny. This way if it stays or if it leaves, you will be softer from having been loved this authentically. Souls come into, return, open, and sweep through your life for a myriad of reasons, let them be who and what they are meant.
– Nayyirah Waheed

Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?
– D.T. Suzuki

In the economy of the body, the limbic highway takes precedence over the neural pathways. We were designed and built to feel, and there is no thought, no state of mind, that is not also a feeling state.

Nobody can feel too much, though many of us work very hard at feeling too little.

Feeling is frightening.

Well, I find it so.

– Jeanette Winterson

Never say no or yes on principle. Say it only when you 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 it is really 𝘺𝘦𝘴. If it is really 𝘯𝘰, it is no. If you say yes for any outer reason, you are sunk.
– Carl G. Jung

All writing invites to an anterior reading of the world which the word urges and which we pursue to the limits of faded memory.

We can only write what we have been able to read. It is an infinitesimal part of the universe to be told.

– Edmond Jabès

There is nothing you have to do now
but stay here.

Look at them, the dark stars
that have made you –

Listen. Be still
and listen.

The moon is always here to say
just wait, wait,
and the parting of the darkness will change you.

– Joseph Fasano

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

– Langston Hughes

a frog farting –
this too is the
voice of Buddha
– Gabi Greve

When I was young, people used to say to me: Wait until you’re fifty, you’ll see. I am fifty. I haven’t seen anything.
– Erik Satie

Time of Tyranny, 49
by Lyn Hejinian

We live in toppled times under a feat of tyranny; let’s not
fake getting lost, let’s do it, let’s not do it intermittently, let’s be
lost, disoriented and never to be bound so all can hear
the hiss of the adverbs we shoot into tyrants’ eyes, quivering
shafts slippery from limbs and aimed by eyes under feathered
lids. Our features are like stale bread, my headache bad
as a blueprint for butter. Windows: how stupidly the intensity
of glass returns to us the terror of love. Things diverge, separate
like the forks of the Eel River to which the competing lies
of two tyrants are but split stones shaken by earthquakes
of stupefying times, of minutes through a glorious forest, of women
who are personal friends, the flanks of a prevented rabbit: to scatter
and ambiguate, obviate, surreptitiously
flesh and hurry to find things to recombine.

Synchronicities can produce the crack in our consciousness that expands our choices, our capacities & our consciousness of the divine. These mysterious moments go beyond our ego consciousness and open us to the sacredness of being a part of something larger than we are.
– Hillman

Revolution only needs good dreamers
who remember their dreams.
– Tennessee Williams

Plenitude is scooped from plenitude […] and yet, though the plenitude of plenitude is taken, plenitude remains.
– Brhadāranyaka Upanisad, tr. Heinrich Zimmer

Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn and Thich Nhat Hanh

och, it’s lonely–
they’ve gone
on without me

aye, it’s lovely–
they’ve gone
on for me

– Alec Finlay

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
– James Baldwin

What more can you say
Nomad daughter of glaciers?
City has bleached the sun from your face
– Wang Ping

neither meta nor object-level, but a third more mysterious thing
– @the_wilderles

The model we choose to use to understand something determines what we find.
– Iain McGilchrist

Poems force the lock of my throat.
– Denise Levertov

Is relaxation the purpose of Buddhist practice? It’s true that tranquility, or serenity, is one of the seven factors of enlightenment—the seven qualities that the Buddha said were needed for awakening—but the other factors include energy, concentration, and investigation.
– @tricyclemag

Music,’ she said, in a languorous and dreamlike manner. ‘Music is a betrayer of secrets; it is more treacherous even than dreams, which at least have the virtue of being private.
– Rachel Cusk

it was like this when
we waltz into this place.
A couple of papish cats
is doing an Aztec two-step

And I says
Dad let’s cut
but then this dame
comes up behind me see
and says
you and me could really exist

Wow I says
Only the next day
she has bad teeth
and really hates

– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

There is something so necessary as daily bread, and it is daily peace. Peace without which bread is bitter.
– unknown

What thinking cannot solve, life solves.
– @RedBookJung

It was so many years that I didn’t lift my face, that I forgot about the sky.
– Juan Rulfo

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
– Thelonious Monk

It’s not those who write the laws that have the greatest impact on society. It’s those who write the songs.
– Blaise Pascal

A plagiarist is a man who has badly digested what he has got from others; he brings up bits of it that can be recognized. Originality: a matter of digestion. There are no wholly original writers, for those who might deserve the epithet are unknown—not to say unknowable. There are people (I have met some) who want to preserve their ‘originality.’ In this they are unoriginal; they are following the lead of those who have taught them to believe in ‘originality.’
– Paul Valéry

How did we ever drift into this chill state? I’m feeling kind of bent in half myself; and I see us both bound for the fire, lone peach tree, then nothing, then pure spirit again, even Lazarus has to die – what have I done, what have I been so afraid of all my life?
– Franz Wright

I remember this illumination happening to me one noontime as I stood in the kitchen and watched my children eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We were having a most unremarkable time on a nondescript day, in the midst of the most quotidian of routines. I hadn’t censed the table, sprinkled the place mats with holy water, or uttered a sanctifying prayer over the Wonder bread. I wasn’t feeling particularly “spiritual.”

But, heeding I don’t know what prompting, I stopped abruptly in mid-bustle, or mid-woolgathering, and looked around me as if I were opening my eyes for the first time that day.

The entire room became luminous and so alive with movement that everything seemed suspended – yet pulsating – for an instant, like light waves. Intense joy swelled up inside me, and my immediate response was gratitude – gratitude for everything, every tiny thing in that space. The shelter of the room became a warm embrace; water flowing from the tap seemed a tremendous miracle; as my children became, for a moment, not my property or my charges or my tasks, but eternal beings of infinite singularity and complexity whom I would one day, in an age to come, apprehend in their splendid fullness.

– Holly Bridges Elliot

Mind is not your intelligence.

It may sound strange but this is a truth, that mind is not your intelligence. Mind can be intellectual, which is a very poor substitute for intelligence. Intellectuality is mechanical. You can become a great scholar, a great professor, a great philosopher, just playing with words which are all borrowed, arranging and rearranging thoughts, none of which are your own.

The intellect is absolutely bankrupt. It has nothing of its own, all is borrowed. And that´s the difference between intelligence and intellect. Intelligence has an eyesight of its own, a capacity to see into things, into problems.

Intelligence is your born quality.

– Osho

[…] for nothing you have ever encountered is quite so uneven and unsteady as this heart of mine.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poetry is not a craft of rhyme or cleverness of form. It is not an outlet for emotion. Rather it is a delicate yet messy orchestration of human thought as it is linked to the ineffable mystery of consciousness. Why don’t we just give it the credit it deserves? All the apocryphal texts, or original religious texts, were written thus. Our whole human society is based, in many ways, if you think back, on human ability to express experience and lessons through poetry and art. We need the written texts that confuse people’s idea of ‘meaning,’ to challenge what they think meaning is.
– Bianca Stone

Human beings are not born forever on the day their mothers give birth to them, but life forces them to give birth to themselves over and over again.
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If gifts and responsibilities are one, then asking “What is our responsibility?” is the same as asking “What is our gift?”
– Robin Wall Kimmerer

When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to other. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.
– Joy Harjo

Roots, in fact, represent the perfect counterpart to the visible parts of a plant. While the visible parts are nobly elevated, the ignoble and sticky roots wallow in the ground, loving rottenness just as leaves love light.
– Georges Bataille, The Language of Flowers

…all this too daylit to be a dream.
– Denis Johnson

I would have said, then,
it was torture to love someone you couldn’t save. But
what did I know? How lucky it was–how lucky
it always is–to love someone at all.
– Danusha Laméris

Martin Buber on Education and Propaganda:

The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda. Education means teaching people to see the reality around them, to understand it for themselves. Propaganda is exactly the opposite. It tells the people, “You will think like this, as we want you to think!”
Education lifts the people up. It opens their hearts and develops their minds so that they can discover the truth and make it their own. Propaganda, on the other hand, closes their hearts and stunts their minds. It compels them to accept dogmas without asking themselves, “Is this true or not?”

The trouble is that this is not only a conflict of ideology. It is a conflict of tempo. The tempo of propaganda is feverish, nervous. It is the pace of television and radio. It is the pace of the newspaper headline, the cry of the vendor in the street. Whereas education goes at a slow pace. It is the pace of teachers talking with their students. It is the pace of a man reading by himself in a room. It cannot be hurried or speeded up and remain education.

And everywhere, just as there were animals on land, were the animals of the sea.

The tiniest fish made the largest schools- herring, anchovies, and baby mackerel sparkling and cavorting in the light like a million diamonds. They twirled into whirlpools and flowed over the sandy floor like one large, unlikely animal.

Slightly larger fish came in a rainbow, red and yellow and blue and orange and purple and green and particolored like clowns: dragonets and blennies and gobies and combers.

Hake, shad, char, whiting, cod, flounder, and mullet made the solid middle class.

The biggest loners, groupers and oarfish and dogfish and the major sharks and tuna that all grew to a large, ripe old age did so because they had figured out how to avoid human boats, nets, lines, and bait. The black-eyed predators were well aware they were top of the food chain only down deep, and somewhere beyond the surface there were things even more hungry and frightening than they.

Rounding out the population were the famous un-fish of the ocean: the octopus, flexing and swirling the ends of her tentacles; delicate jellyfish like fairies; lobsters and sea stars; urchins and nudibranchs… the funny, caterpillar-like creatures that flowed over the ocean floor wearing all kinds of colors and appendages.
All of these creatures woke, slept, played, swam about, and lived their whole lives under the sea, unconcerned with what went on above them.

But there were other animals in this land, strange ones, who spoke both sky and sea. Seals and dolphins and turtles and the rare fin whale would come down to hunt or talk for a bit and then vanish to that strange membrane that separated the ocean from everything else. Of course they were loved- but perhaps not quite entirely trusted.

– Liz Braswell, Part of Your World

Postscript — by Marie Howe

What we did to the earth, we did to our daughters
one after the other.

What we did to the trees, we did to our elders
stacked in their wheelchairs by the lunchroom door.

What we did to our daughters, we did to our sons
calling out for their mothers.

What we did to the trees, what we did to the earth,
we did to our sons, to our daughters.

What we did to the cow, to the pig, to the lamb,
we did to the earth, butchered and milked it.

Few of us knew what the bird calls meant
or what the fires were saying.

We took of earth and took and took, and the earth
seemed not to mind

until one of our daughters shouted: it was right
in front of you, right in front of your eyes

and you didn’t see.
The air turned red. The ocean grew teeth.

The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Do not imagine that character is determined at birth. We have been given free will. We ourselves decide whether to make ourselves learned or ignorant, compassionate or cruel, generous or miserly. No one forces us; no one drags us along one path or the other. We ourselves, by our own volition, choose our own way.
– Maimonides (Rambam)

Imagine what a process it was to unnumb yourself, to see it as it actually was. That’s the only reason to be an artist: to escape, to bear witness to this.
– Philip Guston

…I have dwelt ever in realms apart from the visible world…
– H. P. Lovecraft

The states of mind or feelings that art can excite have been helpfully distinguished in Sanskrit aesthetics, where they are called rasas, from a word meaning ‘juice’ or ‘essence’. A fully achieved work of art should flow with all nine of them: their names might be transposed into English as wonder, joy, sexual pleasure, pity, anguish, anger, terror, disgust and laughter.
– Marina Warner

A habit of finding pleasure in thought rather than in action is a safeguard against unwisdom and excessive love of power, a means of preserving serenity in misfortune and peace of mind among worries.
– Bertrand Russell

In the past, nature couldn’t be called beautiful. For tens of millennia, it wasn’t experienced as beautiful. … Its authority and the fact of its existence, its terrifying fauna, its astral, meteorological, vegetal, animal domination and its ceaseless primacy surpassed the very idea of beauty. It was after countless cities conquered the earth and covered the available space with stone buildings and thoroughfares that natural beauty appeared—at a point when it was lost. When loss transformed its face.
– Pascal Quignard, Abysses

Bear with my telling you that God is not pretty. … Everything we find pretty is sometimes only because it is already concluded. But what is ugly today shall be seen centuries from now as beauty, because it shall have completed one of its movements.

I no longer want the completed movement that never is really complete, and we are the ones who complete it out of desire; I no longer want to delight in the easiness of liking a thing only because, being apparently completed, it no longer scares me.

– Clarice Lispector

You’re already perfect? Become imperfect.
– James Tate

As if, as if, as if the disparate halves
Of things were waiting in a betrothal known
To none.
– Wallace Stevens

those poets of old for whom the different genres were not yet separate, so that in an epic poem they would mix agricultural precepts with theological doctrine
– Marcel Proust

When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.
– William Wordsworth

In Vietnamese, the word for ‘soulmate’ is tri ky, and it means ‘one who remembers, knows, and masters oneself.’ A soulmate is a person who remembers and knows their body, who can take care of and master their feelings and thoughts. Isn’t that revelatory?
– Sister Dang Nghiem

We must take anger, resentment, hurt, jealousy, or even love, the energy we have projected outward & hold it within ourselves. Such a holding is required to be in a container that is conscious, insightful & reflective in order to prevent it from becoming self-destructive.
– Harris

You pity me in exile? Well, then pity if you must,
but live – before your dear identity is lost in dust.
– Louis Thomas Hardin

There is no word that, once said, does not carry with it a figurative meaning; in the poem the words believe themselves not to carry that meaning.
– Paul Celan, The Meridian, tr. Pierre Joris

But when we grow wiser we learn that the disasters of life are often the genius of the unconscious, forcing our egos into a new experience of the self.
– Robert A. Johnson, We

We must encounter Great Love. We must begin to believe in the possibility of something that sees us exactly as we are, with all our deep flaws and ugliness, and that accepts us just the same.
– Satya Robyn

The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
– Bertrand Russell

being guided
on a mountain road
by a young butterfly
– Issa

It’s not who you are that holds
you back, it’s who you think
you are not.
– Jean-Michel Basquiat

As long as I am living in language, as I like to put it, I count it as writing. This is why reading, for example, is so important—is maybe the most important part of writing. If I’m reading, I’m also at some level taking in language’s capacities…
– Carl Phillips, Silence

Most of us in the academic world are all too prone to seek out villains—in business, in government, in military; everywhere except in the university itself.
– Robert Nisbet

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas, rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.
– Bertrand Russell

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
– Bertrand Russell

The work of my heart
is the work of the world’s
heart. There is no other art.
– Alison Luterman

The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to be objective.

They need myths and idols to endure the fact that man is all by himself, that there is no authority which gives meaning to life except man himself.

Man represses the irrational passions of destructiveness, hate, envy, revenge; he worships power, money, the sovereign state, the nation; while he pays lip service to the teachings of the great spiritual leaders of the human race, those of Buddha, the prophets, Socrates, Jesus, Mohammed — he has transformed these teachings into a jungle of superstition and idol-worship.

– Erich Fromm

because the words “I love you”
come from a world of futility,
of repetitions and cliches.
Come back with me;
I have no words.
– Forough Farrokhzad
translated by Sholeh Wolpe

You cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it.
– Audre Lorde

Love is holy because it is like grace–the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.
– Marilynne Robinson

Balance isn’t a fixed state.
Your soul isn’t a piece of stone; it is a boat on the sea.
Moments of imbalance arise;
when they do, adjust the sails, steady the boat.
Balance is a constant dance of realignment.
Release yourself from the unrealistic standard
of constant equilibrium.
Nothing in life pulls that off.
– doña Río de Gracian

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.
– Rene Descartes

The problem in middle life, when the body has reached its climax of power and begins to decline, is to identify yourself, not with the body, which is falling away, but with the consciousness of which it is a vehicle. This is something I learned from myths. What am I? Am I the bulb that carries the light? Or am I the light of which the bulb is a vehicle?

One of the psychological problems in growing old is the fear of death. People resist the door of death. But this body is a vehicle of consciousness, and if you can identify with the consciousness, you can watch this body go like an old car. There goes the fender, there goes the tire, one thing after another— but it’s predictable. And then, gradually, the whole thing drops off, and consciousness, rejoins consciousness. It is no longer in this particular environment.

– Joseph Campbell

Contemplate the images in your mind. Is that what really happened? Is that what really will happen? Really? Are you guessing again? Notice.
– Byron Katie

If time is a circle, as the Indigenous world view presumes,the knowledge we need is already within the circle.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ancient Green

Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if…
If we had known who we really were.
– Julia Cameron

Since self-knowledge is a matter of getting to know the individual facts, theories help very little in this respect. For the more a theory lays claim to universal validity, the less capable it is of doing justice to the individual facts.
– CG Jung

I like observing how people make use of the things they have, and the stories they tell behind them. How the objects become stories, and the stories become history.
– Jynsym Ong

Greed, Hatred, & Delusion.

The three poisons of Buddhism.

With Wisdom…

Greed transforms into Beauty.

Hatred into Clarity.

And Delusion into Spaciousness.

May it be so.

– @VinceFHorn

Anyone who cares about you has to realize that you need a little looking after, nothing else ­really matters.
And might there not also be some consolation in it?
– Franz Kafka, 1920.

There’s a song that wants to sing itself through us. We just have to be available.
– Joanna Macy

I must state again: Nothing exists in our human dimension without its opposite close by.
– Robert A. Johnson

Talking with a friend recently, I found out that not everyone knows that Green Tara is a Buddha.

Green Tara is a Buddha.

– @KennethFolk

What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.
– Joseph Campbell

There are those who blame the Press, but the Press is such as the public demands, and the public demands bad newspapers because it has been badly educated.
– Bertrand Russell

We all have appointments with the past.
– W. G. Sebald

The unchosen thing is what causes the trouble. If you don’t do something with the unchosen, it will set up a minor infection somewhere in the unconscious and later take its revenge on you.
– Robert A. Johnson

Space, light and solitude will have to be rediscovered again here, in all their ramifications.
– Lawrence Durrell

There are many kinds of truth. But truth communicated by beauty is the only pure one. The only one that touches me in the heart.
– Peter Handke

My happy place is not on a beach, or traveling the world. I don’t have visions of being in a fast sports car or sky diving. My happy place is the space that opens between the crisp pages of a philosophy book, its old smell & being lured into a divine conversation with the past.
– Christopher Satoor​​

Sit in reveries and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When some quality jumps from you onto another person, you have an opportunity; this is one of your best chances for an advance in consciousness. But you must differentiate carefully and not mix the gold with other levels of relationship.
– Robert A. Johnson

To all the parents who brave the crossing: you and your
children matter. I hope your love will teach the nations

that emit the most carbon and violence that they should,
instead, remit the most compassion.

– Craig Santos Perez

Let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
– Bertrand Russell

It’s so odd to have understood so many books but not one single human being.
– Bernard T. Joy

Stories can be our most reliable medicine.
– Anne Lamott

where each morning a cardinal
sang, The sun, the sun.
– Li-Young Lee

Soul healing isn’t about fixing or curing. It’s not even necessarily about making better. It’s about bringing what’s been rejected, forgotten or overridden back into the whole and seeing what kind of picture that makes.
– McCall Erickson

The more I read, the more I change. The more varied my reading is, the more I am able to perceive the world from thousands of different perspectives. In me reside the voices of others, many of them dead long ago. The dead speak, scream, whisper, express themselves through the music of their poetry and prose. Reading is a creative way of listening that modifies the reader. Books are consciously remembered through images and words, but they are also present in the strange and changing spaces of our unconscious. Others who, for whatever reason, do not have the strength to change our lives, tend to forget completely. Yet, those who remain, become part of us, part of that mysterious mechanism of the human mind capable of turning the tiny symbols written on a page into a vivid reality.
– Siri Hustvedt

There comes a time when you no longer need to listen to anyone.
– Patrick Modiano

Sometimes the best way to destroy a man is to let him choose his destiny.
– Mikhail Bulgarians

I think you have to resist: this has been my motto. But today, how many times, I’ve asked myself how to embody this word.
– Ernesto Sabato

It is not only a person’s negative qualities that are projected outward in this way; in equal measure we project our positive qualities, including our gold.
– Robert Johnson

I collect my tools: sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, intellect. Night has fallen, the day’s work is done. I return like a mole to my home, the ground. Not because I am tired and cannot work. I am not tired. But the sun has set.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

New rule: you’re not allowed to be an intellectual unless you engage in regular productive physical labor
– Jason Snyder

If you have no spirit of reverence, you’ll make no progress. Because when your practice improves, you’ll reflect: ‘I did better in my meditation,’ & by so thinking fall back to the lowest level of ignorance owing to the consequent inflation of your devilish ‘I’!
– John Blofeld

[Abraham] Maslow… says, “self-actualized people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may be for other people.”
– Carl Rogers

I knew who he was. He was a lonely, searching human being, just like me. He wanted to know if this path was a ladder up out of confusion and suffering and separation to a greater wholeness. He wanted to know if there was goodness and order to the cosmos, and he wanted to belong to it. And I understood that being a great teacher she was not going to tell him any of these things.
– Tracy Cochran, Who Are You?

in my small life
– Barbara Sabol

Collective thinking and feeling and collective effort are far less of a strain than individual functioning and effort; hence there is always a great temptation to allow collective functioning to take the place of individual differentiation of the personality.
– Carl Jung

The true way does not lead upward, but toward the depths.
– @RedBookJung

up high the gulls
don’t squabble

why would they
with all that sky?

– Alec Finlay

If only we built gyms for kindness, where we worked on our compassion, our empathy, our patience, along with our bodies.
– Marlon Brando

They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
– T.S. Eliot

When one is alone, imperfection must be endured every minute of the day.
– Franz Kafka

But part of it is that if you are really committed to working collectively you have to give up some of your preciousness around style.
– Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

Wolves have never scared me; at home
I chase warlocks by torchlight
And, covered with sacks, I sleep beside horses
Or knead, with dead arms, unleavenable bread.
– J. V. Foix, translated by David H. Rosenthal

The lilacs have taken over everything.
– Joy Harjo

It is thanks to my daily reading alone that I am still more or less sane.
– W.G. Sebald

Do not fall in love with a poet
they are no more honest than a stockbroker.
– Prageeta Sharma

Too deep for the deep.

—a special category of misfit

– @McCallErickson

There is hope in people, not in society,
not in systems, but in you and me.
– Judd Krishnamurti

I Got Heaven…
by Garrett Hongo

I swear that, in Gardena, on a moonlit suburban street,
There are souls that twirl like kites lashed to the wrists of the living
And spirits who tumble in a solemn limbo between 164th
And the long river of stars to Amida’s Paradise in the West.

As though I belonged, I’ve come from my life of papers and exile
To walk among these penitents at the Festival of the Dead,
The booths full of sellers hawking rice cakes and candied plums,
All around us the rhythmic chant of min’yo bursting through loudspeakers,
Calling out the mimes and changes to all who dance.

I stop at a booth and watch a man, deeply tanned from work outdoors,
Pitch bright, fresh quarters into blue plastic bowls.
He wins a porcelain cat, a fishnet bag of marbles,
Then a bottle of shōyu, and a rattle shaped like tam-tam he gives to a child.

I hear the words of a Motown tune carry through the gaudy air
…got sunshine on a cloudy day…got the month of May…
As he turns from the booth and re-enters the River of Heaven—
These dancers winding in brocades and silk sleeves,
A faithlit circle briefly as warm in the summer night.

My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything.
– Stephenie Meyer

It is easier to get on with vices than with virtues. The vices, accommodating by nature, help each other, are full of mutual indulgence, whereas the jealous virtues combat & annihilate each other, showing in everything their incompatibility & their intolerance.
– Cioran

Two birds of beautiful plumage, close friends and companions, reside in intimate fellowship on the selfsame tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit of the tree; the other, without eating, watches.
– Mundaka Upanisad
(tr. Heinrich Zimmer)

Your criticism sounds to me as if you have read too many critical books and are too smart in an artificial, destructive, and very limited way.
– Flannery O’Connor

Elegy Composed in the New York Botanical Garden
Catmint—tubular, lavender, an ointment
to blur the scar, bloom the skin. My mouth has begun
the hunt for words that heal.

In the garden, I am startled by a cluster
of sun-colored petals marked, Radiation.
Piles of radiation. Orange radiation, huddled together

like families bound by a hospital-bright morning.
And behind them: a force of yuccas
called Golden Swords. A bush or mound

of sheath-like leaves sprouting from a proud center.
And isn’t that the plot?
First the radiation, then the golden sword.

I remember, incurably,
your mother. The laughter that flowered
from her lips. I’m sorry I have no good words

to honor her war. It crumbled me to watch you
overwhelmed by her face
in the daffodils outside your childhood home.

– Eugenia Leigh

If your views on other things can be predicted from your views on one thing, you need to be very careful that you’re not in the grip of an ideologue.
– Kevin Kelly

If you don’t put those innermost thoughts on the screen then you are looking down on not only your audience but the people you work with. And that’s what makes so many people working out there unhappy.
– John Cassavetes

The tragedy in the lives of most of us is that we go through life walking down a high-walled lane with people of our own kind, the same economic situation, the same national background and education and religious outlook. And beyond those walls, all humanity lies, unknown and unseen, and untouched by our restricted and impoverished lives.
– Florence Luscomb

The best writing in America is happening on small presses. I think it’s some of the best writing ever. Like… ever. I can’t stand most contemporary music, but I think we are in an incredible era for wild, badass, underground books.
– Kevin Maloney

You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends.
– Joseph Conrad

Each person is a world, peopled
by blind creatures in dim revolt
against the I, the king, who rules them.
In each soul thousands of souls are imprisoned,
in each world thousands of worlds are hidden
and these blind and lower worlds
are real and living, though not full-born,
as truly as I am real. And we kings
and barons of the thousand potential creatures within us
are citizens ourselves, imprisoned
in some larger creature, whose ego and nature
we understand a little as our master
his master. From their death and their love
our own feelings have received a coloring.

As when a great liner passes by
far out below the horizon where the sea lies
so still at dusk. And we know nothing of it
until a swell reaches us on the shore,
first one, then one more, and then many
washing and breaking until it all goes back
as before. Yet it is all changed.
So we shadows are seized by a strange unrest
when something tells us that people have left,
that some of the possible creatures have gotten free.

– Gunnar Ekelöf, Etudes

Happiness is not a good to be treasured; it is a way of thinking, a state of mind.
– Daphne of Maurier

I suggest to artists that you take every opportunity of being alone, that you give up having pets and unnecessary companions.
– Agnes Martin

Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
– Susan Sontag

Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought.
– Simone Weil

Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.
– Paul Brunton

If you don’t curate the people in your life, those who influence you are there by chance and not a choice.

If you aren’t intentional about the information you consume, noise tricks you into thinking it’s a signal.

Raise the bar. Change the result.

– Shane Parrish

We are what we do with what they made of us.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

I keep reminding people that an editorial in rhyme is not a song. A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think.
– Pete Seeger

Nothing taught by force stays in the soul.
– Plato

Never give up on intimate friendships or science or nature. They have always saved us, and they will again.
– Anne Lamott

A woman with a poorly developed animus has lots of ideas and thoughts but is unable to manifest them in the outer world. She always stops short of the organization or implementation of her wonderful images.
– Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.

– Dave Barnhart

Who can read the world? Its paragraphs
of cloud and alphabets of dust.
– Danusha Laméris

Hungry man, reach for the book: it is a weapon.
– Bertolt Brecht

I call awake the one who, with reason and conscience, knows himself and knows his most intimate forces, impulses and irrational weaknesses and knows how to count on them. The best way to face life is joining the path of reason and the path of senses, destiny is not to be one hundred percent artist nor one hundred percent thinker, is to be a mixture between the two and this in turn helps to face this life that is “IMPERFECT”, virtue is at the halfway point.
– Hermann Hesse

I’m throwing away something that I can’t even find in the incredible clutter of my being.
– Jack Kerouac

Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.
– Richard Feynman

When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity—that was a quality God’s image carried with it … Hate was just a failure of imagination.
– Graham Greene

the edge
of the unspoken …
half a rainbow
– @ericcoliu

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
– Bertrand Russell

Only my other leads me beyond myself.
– @RedBookJung

But acceptance of the other means a descent into the opposite, from seriousness into the laughable, from suffering into the cheerful, from the beautiful into the ugly, from the pure into the impure.
– @RedBookJung

watering flowers with the hand
that peeked into my diary
– Kirakira Kingyo

Tree, ever at the center
of whatever it surrounds —
– Rainer Maria Rilke, tr. A. Poulin, Jr.

If the decline of art is obvious – which it is – and if art is the soul of the nation, then our nation, our country, is suffering from a grave psychic disease.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

To create is to bequeath one’s sufferings, wanting others to enter into them, to assume them, to be impregnated by them and to live them over again. This is true of a poem, this can be true of the cosmos.
– Cioran

I have found my language misunderstood, like one in a distant and savage land (…) these words are ineffectual and metaphorical. most words are so—no help!
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss?
Shall I ever find it, whatever it is?
– Sylvia Plath

Think, then, how glorious must be the life of a man who can stamp all realities upon his thought, place the springs of happiness within himself, and draw thence uncounted pleasures in idea, unspoiled by earthly stains !
– Honoré de Balzac

The writer feeds his book, he strengthens the parts of it which are weak, he protects it, but afterwards it is the book that grows, that designates its author’s tomb and defends it against the world’s clamour and for a while against oblivion.
– Proust, Time Regained

When our possibility is denied by an outer oppressor, a social proscription, or worse, our own pusillanimity, our pathology intensifies. The greatest ghost for us is the apparition of what was possible but that we shunned.
– James Hollis

What we eventually run up against are the forces of humorlessness, and let me assure you that the humorless as a bunch don’t just not know what’s funny, they don’t know what’s serious. They have no common sense, either, and shouldn’t be trusted with anything.
– Martin Amis

Spiritual realization is relatively easy compared with the much greater difficulty of actualizing it, integrating it fully into the fabric of one’s daily life.
– John Welwood

There are certain archetypes that recede. They have played a great role but then they fade. People lose interest in them. They are no longer constellated, no longer active in the collective unconscious. They become forgotten.
– Marie-Louise Von Franz

But, you see, the heart still works. It is almost unbearable—
the heart that works. It must know something
my head doesn’t know.
– Aracelis Girmay

A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.
– Honoré de Balzac

People aren’t the apex species they think they are. Other creatures-bigger, smaller, slower, faster, older, younger, more powerful-call the shots, make the air, and eat sunlight. Without them, nothing.
– Richard Powers

Beautiful prose came so naturally to Joyce that he often indulged a perverse attraction to its opposite: to hideous prose, to mirror-cracking, clock-stopping prose.
– Martin Amis

I feel once again, and I rejoice, that I’m not busy dying—I’m still busy being born.
– Susan Sontag

To be able to pull back our expectations of our children–that they make us proud of ourselves, that they ratify our religious, political, and cultural values –first requires that we are really addressing the task of our own individuation.
– James Hollis

The biggest haunting of all, the biggest shadow that occludes our sense of sovereignty in the outer world, is the specter of our unlived life.
– James Hollis

I tell my students: If you are a writer, you have more power than the greatest tyrant in the world because of punctuation. You get to tell people how to breathe.
– Alicia Anstead

wake up
little butterfly
join me on my journey
– Basho

And I realized you are in singing,
unseizable as music, indifferent as
musical notes, distant from us
as we are from ourselves.
– Adam Zagajewski

Simplicity and easiness go out the window when we begin to realize that the faults we have been projecting onto others are faults embedded within ourselves.
– Bud Harris

One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”
– Rachel Carson

I love that poetry has a great deal of freedom. You can take giant leaps, toy with language, or squeeze a swell of emotion into a very small box. A poem can be kept in a pocket and carried always. A poem can change a life in less than a minute. That’s power.
– Leila Chatti

I hope more writers will, in the current conditions, be open about the beautiful irrationality at the heart of writing. You can box it in by talking about word counts and whatnot, but at the heart is a raging fire and being lost and a deep disrespect for cordial efficiency.
– Jeff VanderMeer

The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is: nobody else interests me.
– Oscar Wilde

I walked the fairground midway, where the Whip lashed its riders this way and that, where the Caterpillar enveloped screaming patrons in darkness as it slung them around a track a thousand times faster than any real caterpillar could move, where the Big Drop lifted its gondola two hundred feet into the night and then released it in what seemed to be an uncontrolled free fall, and where the Ferris wheel carried its passengers high and brought them low and raised them high and brought them low again, as if it were not merely a carnival ride but also a metaphor for the basic pattern of human experience.
It’s difficult to spend time in any carnival or amusement park and not realize that a repressed fear of death may be the one emotion that is constant in the human heart even if, most of the time, it is confined to the unconscious as we go about our business. Thrill rides offer us a chance to acknowledge our ever-present dread, to release the tension that arises from repression of it, and to subtly delude ourselves with the illusion of invulnerability that surviving the Big Drop can provide.”
– Dean Koontz

Letting go brings equanimity. The greater the letting go, the deeper the equanimity. In Buddhist practice, we work to expand the range of life experiences in which we are free.
– U Pandita

I considered what it meant to be sixty-six. The same number as the original American highway, the celebrated Mother Road that George Maharis, as Buz Murdock, took as he tooled across the country in his Corvette, working on oil rigs and trawlers, breaking hearts and freeing junkies. Sixty-six, I thought, what the hell. I could feel my chronology mounting, snow approaching. I could feel the moon, but I could not see it. The sky was veiled with a heavy mist illuminated by the perpetual city lights. When I was a girl the night sky was a great map of constellations, a cornucopia spilling the crystalline dust of the Milky Way across its ebony expanse, layers of stars that I would deftly unfold in my mind. I noticed the threads on my dungarees straining across my protruding knees. I’m still the same person, I thought, with all my flaws intact, same old bony knees…
– Patti Smith

There are always moments when one feels empty, estranged and afraid. You are detaching, the old is over and the new has not yet come. The soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places. Remember the instruction: whatever you come across – go beyond.
– Nisargadatta Mahraj

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness.
– Pema Chödron

Evening was coming and with it the soft, harping rain, rustling, rustling. A bird was muttering liquidly, gently somewhere, and it was very like the night – kind, strange.
– Henry Green

A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.
– Thomas Mann, The Beloved Returns

In the wisdom traditions of the world the teachings of the Self cannot be separated from what is said about time.

There is a capacity to step back from our own behavior. It is not valued in our culture or not even recognized. Everything pushes us to ignore this power. What we call commitment, passion, “love”, ambition, devotion, care, concern, pleasure, all these almost always involve our being devoured by the objects of our emotions. We are conditioned to feel that we cannot really care for someone or something unless we are obsessed. But the study of the lives of inwardly developed men and women shows us that the capacity to step back from one’s own behavior allows an individual to be more, not less, caring and loving and devoted.
– Jacob Needleman

Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude
For life.
– Hafiz

She’d spent too many nights talking to cops, she decided. She knew that words had consequences; that was why the Holy People had taught the Navajo to use them wisely and with restraint. Talking about the negative, as she had done, brought it into the forefront, like inviting evil into the hogan, into your living room. She was only talking, not thinking. Talking too much, a little too proud, a little too full of herself. All behaviors the Holy People warned against.
– Anne Hillerman

But look what the Church has done to Jesus during the last two thousand years. What they have made of Him. How they have turned every word He spoke for their own vile ends. Jesus would be framed and in jail if he was living today.
– Carson McCullers

They said
That I was bound by the whitethorn hedges
Of the little farm and did not know the world.
– Patrick Kavanagh

My path is not your path, therefore I cannot teach you. The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.
– CG Jung

I don’t like this world. I definitely do not like it. The society in which I live disgusts me; advertising sickens me; computers make me puke.
– Michel Houellebecq

He that would be a painter must have a natural turn thereto. Love and delight therein are better teachers of the Art of Painting than compulsion is.
– Albrecht Dürer

The unconscious functions according to the archetypes. When it functions correctly, it could lead to the discovery of the world or to the reinvention of world history. It is not we who have those images, but they are within us, and we are shaped by them.
– CG Jung

The only basis for living is believing in life, loving it, and applying the whole force of one’s intellect to know it better.
– Emile Zola

This is the use of memory:
For liberation _not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past
– T. S. Eliot

Ignorance means that we don’t have all of the elements we need to make informed choices about life. We’re all looking for comfort, or meaning, but we make clumsy choices that lead to painful results.
– Pamela Gayle

I would photograph an idea rather than an object, a dream rather than an idea.
– Man Ray

In the long term, though, literature will resist leveling and revert to hierarchy. This isn’t the decision of some snob of a belletrist. It is the decision of Judge Time, who constantly separates those who last from those who don’t.
– Martin Amis

For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one.
– Christopher Hitchens

There is hope: This graduating class, and another half million like you, ready and eager to make changes, to continue the never-ending revolution without which this world cannot exist.
– Leonard Bernstein

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that…our divided, schizophrenic worldview, with no mythology adequate to coordinate our conscious and unconscious is what is coming to an end.
– Joseph Campbell

I sense you in the secret of all the paintings I love. I hear you stumbling at the stony core of the only books I read, the few I know how to read.
– Yves Bonnefoy

I wasn’t an intimate of pain,
nor did I have a relationship with sorrow.

What days were those when—
I had never desired anyone.

– Jaleel Manikpuri

Be kind. That asshole might be the Buddha.
– Kenneth Folk

Depth psychology is an attempt to discern and track the movement of the invisible energies that move the visible world. Just as Dante sought to discern “the love that moves the sun & stars,” so we seek the invisible threads that shape contours of our unfolding tapestry.
– James Hollis

From the water east of our fence, sun
Ascends. North of home: mud-born clouds.
A kingfisher cries from bamboo heights,
And on the sand below, magpies dance.
– Tu Fu, tr. David Hinton

The old man dreaming
Sees the world he’ll be leaving
Knows this was heaven
– @hoshigenari

To have the courage to accept a quality which one does not like in oneself, and which one has chosen to repress for many years, is an act of great courage. But if one does not accept the quality, then it functions behind one’s back.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

It had turned midnight
in the backwaters of town
where the silence lived.

The anxiety
of centuries of rough sleep
settled into dreams

of mild turbulence
and every tree in the park
turned into statues

with cold starlit hands.

– George Szirtes

Dreams are not arbitrary. They’re not planted in our brain by alien forces. They are natural by-products of our psyche seeking its own healing and development. Dreams come to us as part of the psyche’s natural process of healing itself for developing our journey.
– James Hollis

It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isn’t going to last…

First slum of Europe: a role
It won’t be hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.

And that will be England gone

– Philip Larkin

It’s a pass fail universe
If the question
Is too hard
You can go on
To the next
– @redbicycle1

When your doors are shut and your room is dark, you are not alone. The will of nature is within you as your natural genius is within. Listen to its importunings. Follow its directives.
– Epictetus

This is literature’s dewy little secret. Its energy is the energy of love.
– Martin Amis

Why was he set down here, why is this town, a dull suburb of a third-rate city, for him the center and index of a universe that contains immense prairies, mountains, deserts, forests, coastlines, cities, seas?
– John Updike

Love comes quietly,
finally, drops
about me, on me,
in the old ways.
– Robert Creeley

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
– Alexander Pope

Franz Marc once said
what images are:
the experience
of surfacing
in another place.
– Kim Dorman

In respect of one’s own personality one’s judgment is as a rule extraordinarily clouded.
– CG Jung

Poetry doesn’t want followers, it wants lovers.
– Federico García Lorca

Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another’s happiness than in your own.
– Honoré de Balzac

He set feathers and dandelions on a par with emperors and saints. He painted God in dirt and blood.
– Philip Hoare, On Albrecht Dürer

And yet life’s secret is in us
and not in the Gods
who remember only the hunt.
In us the friend and enemy
desperate, speechless. . . .
– Rainer Maria Rilke

And there are things that are hard to talk about—you’ll rub off their marvelous pollen at the touch of a word.
– Nabokov

clear blue skies—
my truck kicks up
a dust cloud
– @ruralitalics

The archetypes that rise from the deep ravines of the human psyche are not contents; they are fundamental, patterning energies.
– James Hollis

Man can change everything, transform even physically, amend his life, his instincts, his habits, but he can never change the light he carries within himself; he can choose his path, but he cannot alter at will the light under which he walks.
– Michael Delibes

If it’s impossible to predict the future, I think certain very intense feelings are announced months, even years in advance, through a strange palpitations of the heart.
– Irène Némirovsky

The true seeker grows and learns, and discovers that he is always the primary responsible for what happens.
– George Bucay

What did Nabokov and Joyce have in common, apart from the poor teeth and the great prose? Exile, and decades of near pauperism. A compulsive tendency to overtip. An uxoriousness that their wives deservedly inspired. More than that, they both lived their lives ‘beautifully’–not in any Jamesian sense (where, besides, ferocious solvency would have been a prerequisite), but in the droll fortitude of their perseverance. They got the work done, with style.
– Martin Amis

A colleague of mine once observed that she could usually tell in her first hour with a client whether they were up to the work, whether, in her words, they ‘were big kids or little kids.’ As we know, we are all recovering children stumbling about in big bodies, big roles, big consequences, but what varies is our tensile strength, our resiliency, our will to become. Life brings us into this world equipped for the journey. To be sure, our original social and familial environment plays a large role in whether that journey is supported or impeded, but within each of us there is a force that seeks to move through us toward embodiment in the world. At the end of his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung disclaimed any grand conclusions about life and death, or even psychology; however, he affirms that ‘In spite of all uncertainties, I feel a solidity underlying all existence and a continuity in my mode of being.’ Notwithstanding the modesty of his claim, this is a profound awareness of how our lives are sustained by a transpersonal force whose name and metaphor varies; moreover, a sober, sensitive reading of our history reveals that unfolding entelechy, even when opposed by the ministries of fate. Even our symptoms, as we have seen, are manifestations of this life force, this #psyche, that expresses its anguish whenever we perchance veer from the path of wholeness to that of adaptation.
– James Hollis, Ph.D.

What if we queered the way we organize how we craft knowledge? What if we pierced the haloed sites of expertise, allowing play and speculative fabulation and dance and mirth in the hallways of serious concerns and calculations? What if we accompanied our children dancing with the Pied Piper out of the text of legibility?
– Báyò Akómoláfé

Living minds create communicational fields together. Whenever interaction happens on a regular basis, a distinct communicational field is created. Like every being, each communicational field is qualitatively unique, one of a kind. These are also like our personalities in that they exist only in our minds. We create them for ourselves. And, as with relationships, groups, and their stories, we co-create them together. The stories we make participate in both the construction of our personal identities and our communicational fields of association. So when a friend dies you not only lose that person but also the communicational field of that relationship, with all of its shared understandings, stories, and possibilities.
– George Gorman

I increasingly choose to soften inside. I opt to lower my force field, and to admit what’s going on inside. Most every time I do – people report that they feel safer in my presence. That they feel that they can share their “real” more comfortably because they experience me sharing what’s truly real and alive in me. A lesson that I have learned, and continually re-learn, is that when I share more openly and frankly about the things that I’d rather people not know about me, the closer they feel to me. Sharing about the things that I tend to think “If people knew X or Y about me, or if they see me cry or be afraid, they’ll surely reject me and lose respect for me” – is precisely what helps people connect with me and want to connect more.
– Roger Wolsey, Discovering Fire: Spiritual Practices That Transform Lives

Practice is enacting a way of seeing.
– @VinceFHorn

my poetry is Angelical Ravings, and has nothing to do with dull materialistic vagaries about who should shoot who. The secrets of individual imagination – which are transconceptual and non-verbal.
– Allen Ginsberg

At what distance do you
wake now from childhood
– David Giannini

One of the most powerful ways to increase your savings isn’t to raise your income. It’s to raise your humility.
– The Psychology of Money

Hopefully waiting doesn’t tear my dreams apart.
– Mario Benedict

The very kindness there is in all lemons oranges apples pears and potatoes.
– Gertrude Stein

The result of twenty-four hundred years of philosophical dialogue is, among other things, to develop senses for words that are either much more restricted, or much richer, than those of common usage.
– Richard Rorty

They were always at work revising the secret map.
– Robert Aickman

Honestly the internet has made me want to never read any essays ever again where people are sure of something; give me books where someone has absolutely no idea what’s going on anymore.
– Amber Sparks

When I stand alone with the earth and sky, a feeling of something in me going off in every direction into the unknown of infinity means more to me than anything.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

What’s that old aphorism: those who throw shade draw it from the shadows of their own making. But I’m more interested in how folks shine. Against this world’s twilight. Like this father and daughter on the east pier, side by side on white buckets, their lures cast
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

Thinking is as unpleasant as walking in the rain
When the wind builds and makes the rain seem heavier.

I have no ambitions or desires.
Being a poet is not my ambition.
It’s my way of being alone.

– Alberto Caiero (trans. Margaret Jull Costa & Patricio Ferrari)

this soft silence

of evening clouds
moving across the sky

I too
am just a stranger
in this world

– @EllenKrupich

My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence.
– Arthur Conan Doyle

Academia really ruined my teaching ability. If I could go back and re-teach every class I would teach the art of a slow process. I’d resist the industry’s need for quick production and turnaround and tell my students to take their time, just with me, and see if it helps the art.
– @TereseMarieM

The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth — that is the world as we know it that must pass away.
– Joseph Campbell

Well, write poetry, for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.
– e. e. cummings

summer sky
a common blue
flutters by
– Marilyn Ward

In a way, you are poetry material; You are full of cloudy subtleties I am willing to spend a lifetime figuring out. Words burst in your essence and you carry their dust in the pores of your ethereal individuality.
– Franz Kafka

You begin to have a presentiment of the whole when you embrace your opposite principle, since the whole belongs to both principles, which grow from one root.
– CG Jung

In addition to examining and changing our personal inner lives and our cultural values, the conscious activist is challenged to apply this wisdom to strategies that affect the manifest world. We balance action and reflection, working with a fierce heart at all scales from the personal, to local, to national, to global and even kosmic levels.”
– Nancy Roof

stone buddha
under the Cottonwood–
every sunrise every sunset
– Paul Engel

Two or three things I know for sure, and one is that I would rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.
– Dorothy Allison

Evil makes distinctions, it prevents God from being equivalent to all.
– Simone Weil

From Jung I took courage to tell my patients not to put their faith in abstract concepts. Put your faith in your own unconscious, your own dreams.
– Robert A. Johnson

I always like people who have developed long and hard, particularly through introspection and a lot of dedication. I think that what they arrive at is, usually, deeper and more beautiful than the person who seems to have that ability and fluidity from the beginning.
– Bill Evans

1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it’s very important that you get away as soon as possible.
2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House – (202) 456-1414 – to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA.
3. If you don’t have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don’t have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try.
4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible.
5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it’s vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives.
– Douglas Adams

frothed gray-green
storm tossed smoothness
chopped fitfully
by the artist’s angst
they build, roll and
break a frenetic pace
a whitecap kerfuffle
only the brave ride
their tumult today
but they did ride the
and they
the victors of joy
– Andy Perrin

Old age is not a battle, its a massacre.
– Philip Roth

I don’t want life to be about finding out who I am. That doesn’t work for me at all. I want my life to be about doing well and feeling mildly euphoric a lot of the time, and being a do-gooder, loved and admired by everyone.
– Anne Lamott

Your last letter is so beautiful i cannot answer it, only read it and lie on it.
– John Cage

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

– Mary Oliver

The sound of his voice made her sad, the way a nightingale’s song can make you sad: a feat reserved for beauty.
– Violette Leduc

According to Scripture, earthly life was but a moment, but the moment seemed spacious when he was with her.
– Jonathan Franzen

The hay in the loft
misses the night sky,
so the old roof
leaks a few stars.
– Jim Harrison

I keep waiting without knowing
what I’m waiting for.
– Jim Harrison, Age Sixty-Nine

It was a long time
before he could listen to music
or read a book she’d loved,
before he could stand
by the window and wonder
aloud, as if she were there
to answer, what kind of bird
was at the feeder just then,
all brightness and motion
before it was gone.
– James Scruton, After

How to Paint a Bird’s Portrait

First, paint a cage
with an open door
then paint
something pretty
something simple
something beautiful
something useful
for the bird.
Then place the canvas against a tree
in a garden
in a wood
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
without a word
without moving…
Sometimes the bird arrives quickly
but it might just as well take years
to decide
don’t get discouraged
wait for years if you have to
the swiftness or slowness of the arrival
of the bird having no bearing
on the quality of the painting.
When the bird comes
if it comes
observe the most profound silence.
Wait for the bird to enter the cage
and when it does
gently close the door with the paintbrush.
erase one by one all the bars
taking care not to touch any of the bird’s feathers.
Then paint the tree’s portrait
choosing the handsomest of its branches
for the bird
paint also the green foliage and the wind’s freshness
the dust of the sun
and the noise of the creatures of the grass in the summer heat.
Then wait for the bird to decide to sing
if it doesn’t sing
it’s a bad sign
it’s a sign that your painting is bad.
But if it does sing it’s a good sign
a sign that you can sign.
So then very gently pluck
one of the bird’s feathers
and write your name in a corner of the canvas.

– Jacques Prévert

It surprises people when you tell them that since the ice age three quarters of the earth has been water, and of the one quarter that is land very little has been lived on. Ninety-nine percent of humanity has lived upon only about five percent of the earth, and anyone who went outside of it – the tiny minority that went to sea, for example – immediately found himself outside of the law. And the whole development of technology has been in the outlaw area, where you’re dealing with the toughness of nature. I find this fascinating and utterly true. All improvement has to be made in the outlaw area. You can’t reform man, and you can’t improve his situation where he is. But when you’ve made things so good out there in the outlaw area that they can’t help being recognized, then gradually they get assimilated.
– Buckminster Fuller

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.
– Marcus Aurelius

One thing’s for sure: it’s impossible to ignore the gaps where reality used to reside.
– Murphy, C.

Truth does not inhabit only the inner man, or more accurately, there is no inner man, man is in the world, and only in the world does he know himself.
– Maurice Merleau-Ponty

God, how I hate names
of the body’s chemicals and anatomy,
the frore and glum department
of its parts, each alone in the scattering
of the experts of Babel.

The body
is a single creature, whole
its life is one, never less that one, or more,
so is its world, and so
are two bodies in their love for one another
one. In ignorance of this
we talk ourselves to death.

– Wendell Berry

As long as I am not caught up in some anxiety or distraction of my own, the spontaneous blips and pings of my body – its various buzzes, pains, and constrictions – are surprisingly accurate indications of disharmony in the people or places around me.
– Earth Acupuncture

I spoke to an old therapist friend today and I finally understand why everyone’s so exhausted after the video calls. It’s the plausible deniability of each other’s absence. Our minds are tricked into the idea of being together when our bodies feel we are not. Dissonance is exhausting. It’s easier being in each other’s presence or each other’s absence, than in the constant presence of each other’s absence. Our bodies process so much context so much information in encounters that meeting on video is being a weird kind of blindfolded. We sense too little and can’t imagine enough. The single deprivation requires a lot of conscious effort.
– Gianpiero Petriglieri

Hold faith, for within the soul is the homing device. We all can find our way back.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

In my small way, I preserved and cataloged, and dipped into the vast ocean of learning that awaited, knowing all the time that the life of one man was insufficient for even the smallest part of the wonders that lay within. It is cruel that we are granted the desire to know, but denied the time to do so properly. We all die frustrated; it is the greatest lesson we have to learn.
– Iain Pears

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
– Anton Chekhov

Every joke is a tiny revolution.
– George Orwell

And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.
– Laini Taylor

I teach my sons that there are really only three rules to being a good man. The first rule is to fish often. And by fish, I mean find the quiet times to fish around in your minds for what is most important. The second rule is to protect everyone smaller than them. This means physically smaller, and in all other ways . . . protect the more vulnerable. The third rule states that if something is truly important to you, then you should prove it. You say you would lay your life down for someone, but will you give them the busiest five minutes of your day, if they need it?
– Spuds Crawford

Just keep asking yourself: What would Jesus not do?
– Chuck Palahniuk

A Buddhist practices non-attachment to views. If we human beings are going to stick around on this earth, we need to learn to get along not just with the people who share our views, but also, and more to the point, with the people who get our goat. And remember—we get their goat, too.
– Susan Moon

Reality has no inside, outside, or middle part.
– Bodhidharma

The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are there.
– Hakuun Yasutani Roshi

Enter at your own risk. Carry water. Avoid the noonday sun. Try to ignore the vultures. Pray frequently.
– Edward Abbey

Live American poetry is absent from our public schools. The teaching of poetry languishes, and that region of youthful neurological terrain capable of being ignited only by poetry is largely dark, unpopulated, and silent, like a classroom whose shades are drawn. This is more than a shame, for poetry is our common treasure-house, and we need its vitality, its respect for the subconscious, its willingness to entertain ambiguity, its plaintive truth-telling, and its imaginative exhibitions of linguistic freedom, which confront the general culture’s more grotesque manipulations. We need the emotional training sessions poetry conducts us through. We need its previews of coming attractions: heartbreak, survival, failure, endurance, understanding, more heartbreak.
– Tony Hoagland, Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays

We can get past the slipperiness of words by engaging the self-observing, body-based self system, which speaks through sensations, tone of voice, and body tensions. (…) When you activate your gut feelings and listen to your heartbreak—when you follow the interoceptive pathways to your innermost recesses—things begin to change.
– Bessel van der Kolk

You understand so little of what is around you because you do not use what is within you.
– St. Hildegard von Bingen

The traditional diary or journal has been replaced by its online version, the blog. Blogs are run-away creatures. In the blogosphere, you can type endlessly away into a blank universe, into a companionable silence. You imagine an audience, but it remains anonymous. In the blogosphere you are in the exclusive company of ‘I’ and ‘me’.
– Sally Bayley

Sometimes, when it’s raining, I think about you. I think about you all the way over there, with all that ocean and all those years between us. I think about if you’re doing well, what your bedroom looks like, if you enjoy your job. I think about the times when there wasn’t any ocean between us and my time was your time. I think about when I knew the answers about you, because they were my answers as much as they were yours. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I wonder if it’s raining where you are too.
– Kat George

If you want to find your soul, look at what you love. That’s where your soul lives, just as it lives in your body, giving it life. And that’s why if we want to go to heaven spiritually, we don’t need to strain our spirits in any direction, up or down or from one side to another. Whenever we love, we’re already there.
– The Cloud of Unknowing, Carmen Butcher translation

And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.
– Thomas Merton

Somebody has remarked, “Everything without tells the individual that they are nothing, while everything within persuades them that they are everything.” This is a remarkable saying, for it is the feeling everyone of us has when they sit quietly and deeply looks into the inmost chamber of their being. Something is moving there and would whisper to them in a still small voice that they are not born in vain. I read somewhere again: “You are tried alone; alone you pass into the desert; alone you are sifted by the world.” But let a person once look within in all sincerity and they will then realize that they are not lonely, forlorn, and deserted; there is within a person, a certain feeling of a royally magnificent aloneness, standing all by themselves and yet not separated from the rest of existence.
– D.T. Suzuki

I don’t work by the clock—
Sometimes it costs me
most of a day to adjust
the nitty-gritty strings and frets,
– Cyrus Cassells

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man’s mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
– Simone Weil

I have sometimes told myself that if only there were a notice on church doors forbidding entry to anyone with an income above a certain figure, and a low one, I would be converted at once.
– Simone Weil

We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.
– Emmeline Pankhurst

they only want you // To question your heart till it’s nothing / But a pinch of rock salt.
– Yusef Komunyakaa

The eclipse of the soul has engendered a doubt … about what a person really is. Is he or she a mere perishable body, a totality of molecular interactions? A machine, as the specialists in the field of artificial intelligence believe?
– Octavio Paz

… the disappearance of the soul has taken the form of a gradual but irreversible devaluation of the person. Our tradition told us that every man and woman was a unique, unrepeatable being; the modern age sees not beings but organs, functions, processes…
– Octavio Paz

inside of the collapse I am still holding on to narrative
this is not sentiment it is how I keep my family together
– Jason Bayani

I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.
– Frida Kahlo

One of the major turning points in a child’s soul is the moment at which the child, after having believed that all his thoughts are known to his parents, realises that it is nothing of the sort.
– Jacques Lacan

She laughed in the face of social convention, or at least smiled back over her shoulder as she cycled off into the mist towards her next adventure.
– Ethel Crowley, On Dervla Murphy

The result of our having spent the last four hundred years refining our scientific capacities and neglecting the life of the spirit [is that] the West has allowed its spiritual gold to turn into dirt and filth, through neglect, ignorance and suppression.
– David Tacey

If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled—have you no shame in that?
– Epictetus

When you realize that you are not one, that you are many, that you can have something for sure in the morning and not know anything about it in the afternoon, then this realization is the beginning.
– Ouspensky

As white stability becomes threadbare, pulled apart at the seams by the ghosts of the Atlantic, we will need new devices to travel with. And the journeys we will undertake won’t be from here to there, but from here to here, to the intimate distances between. To the lands errant winds whisper.
– Báyò Akómoláfé

And there never was a time, I believe, when the reading public was so large, or so helplessly exposed to the influences of its own time. There never was a time, I believe, when those who read at all, read so many more books by living authors than books by dead authors; there never was a time so completely parochial, so shut off from the past. . . . Individualistic democracy has come to high tide; and it is more difficult today to be an individual than it ever was before.
– T. S. Eliot, Religion and Literature

There are things that are not sayable. That’s why we have art.
– Leonora Carrington

Practice even what seems impossible.
– Marcus Aurelius

It’s scary, I know.
Stopping and starting over.
It’s trying, I know.
Accepting that plans are nothing more
than wishes and dreams.
– L.E. Bowman

The gathering of knowledge directly from the wildness of the world is called “biognosis”—meaning “knowledge from life”—and, because it is an aspect of our humanness inherent in our physical bodies, it is something that everyone has the capacity to develop. It is, in fact, something that all of us use (at least minimally) without awareness in our day-to-day lives.

This ancient mode of cognition is crucially important for us, as a species, to reclaim, for we live in dangerous times. The threats to ourselves come from ways of thinking that are not sustainable, that bear little relation to the real world, and that are an inevitable error inherent in the linear fanaticism and “mechanomorphism” (seeing the world as a machine) of contemporary perspectives. They are threats that come from the dominance of one particular mode of cognition to the exclusion of all others.

To correct this imbalance, we need to come to our senses, to reclaim the ability each and every one of us has to see and understand the world around us (an ability that has been built into us over evolutionary time) in ways far more sustainable and sophisticated than reductionistic science can ever attain.

– Stephen Buhner, The Secret Teachings Of Plants

My desire is to live a life where emotions arrive slowly, like clouds on a quiet day.” You see the cloud coming in, you notice its beauty, you contemplate it as it passes by and let it go. Don’t obsess over what you’ve seen, don’t regret its disappearance. You settle for understanding that a cloud identical to that one will never appear, however beautiful, however unique it is. And you don’t cry over losing her.
– Joyce Carol Oates

The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.

The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.

The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.

O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever

Slide unconsciously by us like water.

– Tu Fu, Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

I’m not talking about fixing it, I’m talking about making a change in the mind that realizes; my god I’m crazy…

We have lost the feeling of the beauty of the world that we are looking for substitutes. Erich Hoffer said: “You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.” Meaning we rush around buying stuff, needing stuff permanently needy, needing therapists, needing love, needing relationships, needing holidays, needing vacations and you deserve it; says the ads, you deserve it because you’re miserable, you’re depressed.

So now the government has all the health services so you can read a questionnaire and find out you’re depressed even if you don’t really know it or feel it it can be discovered and then you can take medication against it. But the feeling of loss: is that we don’t know what it is we’ve lost and that’s what I’ve been trying to emphasize; is what we’ve lost is the beauty of the world and we make up for it with attempting to conquer the world or own the world possess the world.

You know, I’m a therapist so I’m very careful about using words like saving so I’m not really talking about “saving” or “salvation” or any of that. I’m talking much more about waking up to common sense, it’s just a matter of realizing how dependent we are on taking a deep breath or how dependent we’re upon our glass of water and if that is lost then we are in some kind of unreal world; delusional world.

So it’s that waking up to insanity of the way we’ve structured ourselves rather than doing something in the world to make a change, that’s the old style American way; let’s fix it, I’m not talking about fixing it, I’m talking about making a change in the mind that realizes; my god I’m crazy.

Once we reawaken our aesthetic sense and are not anesthetized as we’re by all the distractions; if we’re not anesthetized we would be able to see and appreciate the beauty in the world. Now the moment there’s beauty, you fall in love with beauty that’s Plato but it’s also our own experiences. You see a beautiful man or a beautiful woman and you fall in love with them that’s the first bit of attraction and if you fall in love with something ; love the world, not through Christian moralism about you must love the world or an economic one is sustainability for our own benefit therefore we live longer that is not it, it’s got to be something much more profound that touches the heart and it touches the heart if you realize that our job on the earth is to love it; to fall in love with it; not just to love it -you must love the world- but to fall in love with it and you only fall in love with it if you aesthetically alive to it.

– James Hillman, Interview

My plan, then, in so far as the negation of all effort and purpose may be said to be a plan, is to stop evolving, to remain what I am and to become more and more only what I am – that is, to become more miraculous.
– Henry Miller

Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.
– Michel Houellebecq

Teach children well. They will have enough trouble in life being told that every piece of language is just meant to be an instrument to get to some other place, some conclusion, some marketable truth. Teach them to savor the way, the now, the mystery.
– Joseph Fasano

The psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains its equilibrium just as the body does. Every process that goes too far immediately and inevitably calls forth compensations, and without these there would be neither a normal metabolism nor a normal psyche.
– CG Jung

Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.
– Frances Hodgson Burnett

It is surely better to know that your worst enemy is right there in your own heart. Man’s warlike instincts are ineradicable — therefore a state of perfect peace is unthinkable.
– CG Jung

It is life that does the thinking all around us, forming with playful ease the connections our reason can only laboriously patch together piecemeal, and never to such kaleidoscopic effect.
– Robert Musil

…powerlessness & invis­ibility are not minimal things. But a person who can ask words to do things words have not done before is not powerless. To make phrases that increase what is possible to think & feel is both exhilaration & liberation.
– Jane Hirshfield

The depths of space hold untold layers of irony with regard to our dusty expectations.
– Georges Bataille

What does the money machine eat? It eats youth, spontaneity, life, beauty, and, above all, it eats creativity. It eats quality and shits quantity.
– William S. Burroughs

A life-illusion is never wholly untrue. It is a vaporous eidolon of yourself that walks about with you wherever you go. It is a shadow. And because it is a shadow it has truth.
– John Cowper Powys

first hike
watching our breaths
become dawn
– Ryland

An imaginary divinity has been given to man so that he may strip himself of it.
– Simone Weil

Fascists are ignorant, they don’t read, they only read newspapers, pragmatism is the ideological basis of fascism, they don’t like culture.
– Pier Paolo Pasolini

Your great puffs of flowers /
Are everywhere in this my New England …
– Amy Lowell

The world that used to nurse us now keeps shouting inane instructions. That’s why I ran to the woods.
– Jim Harrison

My body felt better after a week of sobriety, but it took a long time for my soul to be restored.
– Anne Lamott

The language of poetry specializes in doubt. Without the doubters, everyone is cut off at the first question. Poetry does not presume to know, but is angling to get a glimpse of what is gradually coming into view; it aims to rightly identify what is looming; it intends to interrogate whatever is already in place. Poetry, whose definition remains evasive by necessity, advocates the lost road; and beyond speech — waiting, listening, and silence.
– C.D. Wright

You always learn from observing. You have to pick things up nonverbally because people will never tell you what you’re supposed to know. You have to get it for yourself: whatever it is that you need in order to survive. You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for. This is the way genuine learning takes place.
– Audre Lorde

The whole point of learning about the human race presumably is to give it mercy.
– Reynolds Price

Finding oneself was a misnomer; a self is not found but made.
– Jacques Barzun

They’ve told me about love and its ability to save people. Now, I know it exists. Yeah. But… Where it at ?
– Charles Bukowski

I don’t care who you know
or how much money you have.
I do care if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair,
and do what needs to be done.
I don’t care where or
with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
when all else falls away,
if you can be alone with yourself,
and truly like the company you keep
in those solitary moments.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The poets don’t want to hear it but the best tattoos are images not words.
– @hmvanderhart

Jung was appalled by the way Yahweh treated Job, just as he must have been appalled at the torture which he, Jung, had to endure in his encounter with the unconscious.
– Edward Edinger

We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it.
– William Butler Yeats

The greatest difficulty we drag along with us from our childhood is the sack of illusions which we carry on our backs into adult life. The subtle problem consists in giving up certain illusions without becoming cynical.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

A Little Lane, the brook runs close beside
And spangles in the sunshine while the fish glide swiftly by
And hedges leafing with the green spring tide
From out their greenery the old birds fly…
– John Clare, On a Lane in Spring

Art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God.
– Ingmar Bergman

We never love someone in particular. We just love the idea that we become someone. It is our concept—it is, in sum, ourselves—that we love.
– Fernando Pessoa

Relationships between one soul and another, through things as uncertain and divergent as common words and gestures undertaken, are matter of strange complexity. In the very act of knowing ourselves, we know ourselves. They both say “I love you” or think it and feel it in a barter way, and each means a different idea, a different life, maybe even a different color or a different aroma, in the abstract sum of impressions that constitutes the activity of the soul…
– Fernando Pessoa

There are three lines in the biography of every human being, and they are never one horizontal and two perpendicular. They are three winding lines, lost infinitely, constantly close and divergent: what a man has believed to be, what he has wanted to be, and what he was.
– Margaret Yourcenar

Stay still, if the Angel
suddenly chooses your table;
gently smooth those few wrinkles
in the cloth beneath your bread.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
(tr. A. Poulin, Jr.)

Since if the word weren’t empty
we’d never be able to lift it
off the page, let alone speak it
with our soft mouths. A word
is a shimmer in the dark,
the gleam of something meant,
breath of that thing itself.
– Robert Kelly

Depression is a symptom of life in survival mode. We treat depression like there’s something wrong with the person. When it’s actually a natural response to an unhealthy environment.
– @Theholisticpsyc

There are only six actual lifestyle hacks, and one is taking a walk after a heavy meal.
– Sasha Chapin

I cannot tell my story
without reaching a long way back.
– Hermann Hesse

Since you have shone in my silent sky

a flaming star flying into the abyss,

I know what life is and I know what dying is,

thanks to you I live, for you I die.

You are a poisonous flower
from which I gather nectar.

– Maria Konopnicka

nowhere particular—
wild asparagus in the ditch
– @ruralitalics

There will always be a person who looks like a poem the earth wrote to keep you alive.
– Juansen Dizon

In Zen there are only two things: you sit, and you sweep the garden. It doesn’t matter how big the garden is.
– Oda Sesso

Become one with the knot itself,
til it dissolves away.
sweep the garden.
any size.
– Gary Snyder

The whales turn and glisten, plunge
and sound and rise again,
Hanging over subtly darkening deeps
Flowing like breathing planets
in the sparkling whorls of
living light
– Gary Snyder

A garden is like the self. It has so many winding paths, real or imagined,
that it can never be known completely, even
by the most intimate friends.
– Anne Raver

The biggest generator of long-term results is learning to do things when you don’t feel like doing them.

If you let excuses or emotion drive behavior, you’re cheating your future self.

Put aside the excuses and start doing what you need to do.

– Farnam Street

I’ve got a little book that I write in
when i forget about you.
A beautiful cover book black
in which I wrote nothing yet.
– Singing Fernando Pessoa

so many creative systems are built around keeping people out and letting a very select few in, which is at its core, such a miserable system within which to try and nurture art.
– Alycia Pirmohamed

If there is any substitute for love, it’s memory. To memorize, then, is to restore intimacy.
– Joseph Brodsky

Reviewing one’s life from the vantage point of the second half requires understanding and forgiveness of the inevitable crime of unconsciousness. But not to become conscious in the second half (of life) is to commit an unforgivable crime.
– James Hollis

somewhere out of sight
a lilac
fills the farmyard
– @ruralitalics

If we do not realize that most of our thought is unconscious and that we think metaphorically, we will indeed be slaves to the cognitive unconscious.
– George Lakoff & Mark Johnson

So that’s what destiny is: simply the fulfillment of the potentialities of the energies in your own system. The energies are committed in a certain way, and that commitment out there is coming toward you.
– Joseph Campbell

Say you want poetry that both innovates and accumulates, something with brainteasing difficulty and world-building breadth—part modernism, part Marvel Cinematic Universe.
– Craig Santos Perez

I do not know the art of being clear to those who do not want to be attentive.
– Rousseau

We cannot escape myth or fantasy, but all we can do, Jung said, is ‘dream the myth onward’ in the hope that we can come to a better understanding of the mystery in which we are held.
– David Tacey

Why would you deny
the peace, the sanctity
of this small room,

the lantern there by the door?
why must you recall
the white fire of unnumbered stars,

rather than that single taper
burning in an onyx jar,
where you swore

never, never to return.

– H. D.

I write poetry because Orpheus looked back at Eurydice
– @poemakontsa

In the end everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Much of the work of psychotherapy… involves the separation of the individual from this unconscious identification with the parent, which may have gone on for the whole of a lifetimes no less potent just because the child has grown into adulthood…
– Liz Greene

So that’s what destiny is: simply the fulfillment of the potentialities of the energies in your own system. The energies are committed in a certain way, and that commitment out there is coming toward you.
– Joseph Campbell

The wound can have (should only have) just one proper name. I recognize that I-love-you by this: you leave in me a wound I do not want to replace.
– Derrida

If we fixate and say, “I want to help, I need to help,” then if we cannot help, we’ll feel agitated and frustrated. That’s why we simply generate this precious mind, this attitude that we are ready at all times to help.
– Trinley Thaye Dorje

In order to read with understanding many readers require to read in their own particular fashion, and the author must not be indignant at this; on the contrary, he must leave the reader all possible liberty.
– Proust

How we all retreat
behind some folded screen as work
or the world presses in too
soon, too close, too much.
– Luisa A. Igloria

I haven’t even gotten to page 2 of my life and I’m probably more than halfway through,
who knows what kind of creature I will become.
– Kazim Ali

For intervals, then, throughout our lives
we savor a concurrence, the great blending
of our chance selves with what sustains
all chance. We ride the wave and are
the wave. And with renewed belief
inner and outer we find our talk
turned to prayer, our prayer into truth:
for an interval, early, we become at home in the world.
– William Stafford

There is at the back of all our lives an abyss of light, more blinding and unfathomable than any abyss of darkness; and it is the abyss of actuality, of existence, of the fact that things truly are, and that we are ourselves incredibly and sometimes almost incredulously real.
– G. K. Chesterton

Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you’ve made.
– Margaret Atwood

To write a poem you must first create a pen that will write what you want to say. For better or worse, this is the work of a lifetime.
– Jim Harrison

Wasn’t that what the poem was saying? That some dreams were so vivid that they became reality?
– Jonathan Franzen

My bones my breath my thoughts my wants
my I my me my mine—
I throw into the bright white fire
of light that sways my spine.
– David Leo Sirois

All night under the moon
Plovers are flying
Over the dreaming meadows of silvery light,
Over the meadows of June
Calling and crying,
Wandering voices of love in the hush of the night…
– Wilfred Gibson

It’s okay you still don’t know why you saved it, why when you think of him, you think of blue, how one day, everything will be blue—a feeling instead of a thing, soft open space where a sharp, technicolor memory had once been.
– Ja’net Danielo, It’s Okay

We should bend to the great task of reinterpreting all the Christian traditions . . . [and since] it is a question of truths which are anchored deep in the soul . . . the solution of this task must be possible.
– C. G. Jung

If there is one skill that is not stressed very much, but is really needed, it is knowing how to fail well.
– Pema Chodron

Dostoevsky never forgot that ‘crisis vision’ – the recognition that the world is an incredibly beautiful place, and that we are prevented from seeing this mainly by laziness, negativity, and force of habit.
– Colin Wilson, Super Consciousness

A fulfilling life is one that is continually bringing our inner patterns into conscious expression and completion.
– Bud Harris

The color of the earth is upon my skin; the wind, upon my breath. I shall not scrape, from my fingernails, the stars.
– Gustaf Sobin

what i possess now vanishes before me,
and what was lost alone has substance for me.
– goethe, tr. john williams

Late June fields greening
under a mottled sky.
An oriole slashes orange
against a shingled Cape Cod.
– Deborah Murphy

I keep hearing that we don’t have time to teach people systems, complexity, emergence, non-linearity, feedback etc, we just have to act on climate, air, water, health, justice. But?….But??…

What if what’s wrong with the climate, air, water, health, justice etc, is, at least in part, a pretty big misunderstanding of systems, complexity, emergence, non-linearity, feedback etc?

– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

I wash my hair
and put on fresh clothes
repeating to myself,
“you change yourself
you change the world”
– Naomi Beth Wakan

by Galway Kinnell

Oarlocks knock in the dusk, a rowboat rises
and settles, surges and slides.
Under a great eucalyptus,
a boy and girl feel around with their feet
for those small flattish stones so perfect
for scudding across the water.

A dog barks from deep in the silence.
A woodpecker, double-knocking,
keeps time. I have slept in so many arms.
Consolation? Probably. But too much
consolation may leave one inconsolable.

The water before us has hardly moved
except in the shallowest breathing places.
For us back then, to live seemed almost to die.
One day a darkness fell between her and me.
When we woke, a hawthorn sprig
stood in the water glass at our bedside.

There is a silence in the beginning.
The life within us grows quiet.
There is little fear. No matter
how all this comes out, from now on
it cannot not exist ever again.
We liked talking our nights away
in words close to the natural language,
which most other animals can still speak.

The present pushes back the life of regret.
It draws forward the life of desire. Soon memory
will have started sticking itself all over us.
We were fashioned from clay in a hurry,
poor throwing may mean it didn’t matter
to the makers if their pots cracked.

On the mountain tonight the full moon
faces the full sun. Now could be the moment
when we fall apart or we become whole.
Our time seems to be up—I think I even hear it stopping.
Then why have we kept up the singing for so long?
Because that’s the sort of determined creature we are.
Before us, our first task is to astonish,
and then, harder by far, to be astonished.

We are learning to do a great many clever things… The next great task will be to learn not to do them.
– G.K. Chesterton

the boats have returned
and more to follow

wildfire smoke visits
from many miles away

scorched earth paints
in distant pastels and

the picturesque morning
rests easy on the mind

– Andy Perrin

We have been brought up, educated to make an effort, and if we do not make an effort, we think something is wrong; we fear that we shall stagnate, degenerate.
– Krishnamurti

People say, I don’t read poetry because I don’t understand it, and I think… children don’t skip rope because they understand it… When you finish listening to one of the late Schubert sonatas, you don’t understand it—that’s not why you listen
– W. S. Merwin

It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life.
– Henrik Ibsen

No one cuts down a tear or a reproach
this statement of mastery
from God, with magnificent irony
he gave me both the books and the night.
This city of books made owners
to eyes without light, that can only
read in the libraries of dreams
the mindless paragraphs that yield
the sunrises at its best. In vain the day
bestow on them his infinite books,
hard like the hard manuscripts
who perished in Alexandria.
Of hunger and thirst (tell a Greek story)
a king dies among the fountains and gardens;
I tire aimlessly the confines
from this high and deep blind library.
Encyclopedias, Atlas, the East
and the West, centuries, dynasties,
symbols, cosmos and cosmogonies
the walls are toast, but uselessly.
Slow in my shadow, the hollow penumbra
I explore with the indecisive baccoon,
I, who imagined Paradise
under the spec of a library.
Something that certainly shall not be named
with the word chance, governs these things;
another already received in other blurry
Afternoon the many books and the shade.
By wandering through the slow galleries
I often feel lazy holy horror
that I am the other, the dead, who has given
the same footsteps in the same days.
Which of the two writes this poem
of a plural self and a single shadow?
Whats the matter of the word you name me
If it is indivisible and one the anathema?
Groussac or Borges watch this darling
world that deforms and goes out
on a pale ash
what sleep and oblivion looks like
– Jorge Luis Borges

Unless We Remain Tethered
How is everyone faring
with the unseen churning waves
the American hallucination
the modern hallucination
the frenzy of hate, greed, war?
Unless we remain tethered
to the True Essence of Heart-Mind
inseparable from Earth
and all the other creatures
scrambling for a cool sip
and a soft place to land
we will be spun out
lost forever
to the ancient ways
of Holy Mothering.
– Frank Inzan Owen

Do not confuse effort with results.

Just because you put in the effort does not mean you’ll get the desired result.

A lot of effort gets wasted. Going to the gym is undone if you eat poorly. Focusing only on work gets undone by the inevitable health and relationship issues that come from under-investment. When we try to speed up the outcome, our lack of patience undoes the result.

Results are accumulated in drops but lost in buckets.

Make sure you’re not undoing the things you’re trying to accomplish.

– Farnam Street

Hope, you know by now,
is not a thing you feel
but something you do,
and this is your job.
– Nickole Brown

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line. The objection to it is not that it is predominantly painful, but that it is lacking in sense.
– HL Mencken

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
– Robert Frost

What is insomnia?
The question is rhetorical; I know all too well the answer. It is to fear and count in the high night the fatal hard bells, is to rehearse with useless magic a regular breathing, is the burden of a body that abruptly changes sides, is to tighten the eyelids, is a fever-like state and it certainly is not vigilance, is pronounce fragments of paragraphs read many years ago, is known guilty of watching when others sleep, is wanting to sink into sleep and not be able to sink into sleep, is the horror of being and to continue to be, is the doubtful dawn…
– Jorge Luis Borges

Nobody talks about how listening to your body can make your reality crumple; not listening your body is at times load bearing.
– @christineist

Let others boast of the pages they have written;
I’m proud of the ones I’ve read.
I won’t have been a philologist,
I have not inquired the declines, the ways, the laborious mutation of the letters,
the one that hardens in you,
the equivalence of ge and ka
but all my years I have taught
the passion of language.
My nights are filled with Virgil;
have known and have forgotten the Latin
is a possession, because forgetfulness
It’s one of the ways of memory, your lazy basement
the other secret side of the coin.
When in my eyes they erased
the vain dear appearances,
the faces and the page,
went to the study of iron language
that my elders used to sing
swords and solitude,
And now, through seven centuries,
from the Last Thule,
your voice gets to me Snorri Sturluson.
The young man, before the book, imposes a precise discipline
and he does it because of a precise knowledge;
at my age, every company is an adventure
How pretty with the night.
I won’t finish deciphering the ancient languages of the North
I will not sink the anxious hands into the gold of Sigurd;
the task I undertake is unlimited
and be with me to the end,
no less mysterious than the universe
and that I, the apprentice.

George Luis Borges,
A reader.

It will be about nothing.
Not above love or God.
But about nothing.
You’ll be like the new kid in school
Afraid to look at the teacher
While struggling to understand
What they are saying
About this here nothing.
– Charles Simic, The Last Lesson

The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die – although it is the tragic fate of most individuals to die before they are born.
– Erich Fromm

Defeat has been, for so many of us, the portal to soul.
– Anne Lamott

All parts of me are welcome and accounted for, but not all parts are equipped to be at the forefront of every interaction and decision. Attenuation and discernment are the hardest, most important work of authenticity.
– McCall Erickson

America, you ode for reality!
Give back the people you took.

Let the sun shine again
on the four corners of the world

you thought of first but do not
own, or keep like a convenience.

People are your own word, you
invented that locus and term.

Here, you said and say, is
where we are. Give back

what we are, these people you made,
us, and nowhere but you to be.
– Robert Creeley

Be kind, and generous, and compassionate. Don’t get stuck in your present level of understanding. Learning new perspectives and growing is good. A stagnant mind added to a mind governed by fear will leave you living in a kind of space that tramples underfoot the very things you and those around you need the most.
– Kent Burgess

Across all landscapes,
time and borders and shame,
I have loved you even when
I have asked myself not to.
– Sierra DeMulder

You can’t move people that don’t feel empathy.

There is no tragedy tragic enough.
No emotional appeal compelling enough.
No pain deep enough.

There is no bar low enough that they won’t slide under it.

The most tragic hope on these days—is the hope that perhaps THIS TIME will be different. It won’t be.

You can’t move the unmovable.

What we can do is hug our family and friends tighter.
Shine our lights in the darkened corners we encounter.
Speak boldly.
Love fearlessly.

We may not change the unchangeable—but we can help the broken-hearted feel less alone.

– The Subversive Lens

Creativeness presupposes a tremendous capacity for being genuine, for letting go, for being spontaneous—for if one cannot be spontaneous one cannot really be creative—therefore most artists and other creative people have a normal and genuine tendency to playfulness.
– Marie-Louise Von Franz

You know, it’s OK to head out for Wonderful. But on your way to Wonderful, you’re gonna have to pass through All Right. And when you get to All Right, take a good look around, and get used to it, because that may be as far as you’re gonna go.
– Bill Withers

All memory is individual, unreproducible—it dies with each person. What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.
– Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

Song After Sadness
by Katie Ford

Despair is still servant to the violet and wild ongoings of bone. You, remember, are that which must be made servant only to salt, only to the watery acre that is the body of the beloved, only to the child leaning forward into the exhibit of birches the forest has made of bronze light and snow. Even as the day kneels forward, the oceans and strung garnets, too, kneel, they are all kneeling, the city, the goat, the lime tree and mother, the fearful doctor, kneeling. Don’t say it’s the beautiful I praise. I praise the human, gutted and rising.

To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor. Non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. The oppressed must never allow the conscience of the oppressor to slumber. Religion reminds every man that he is his brother’s keeper. To accept injustice or segregation passively is to say to the oppressor that his actions are morally right. It is a way of allowing his conscience to fall asleep. At this moment the oppressed fails to be his brother’s keeper. So acquiescence-while often the easier way-is not the moral way. It is the way of the coward.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

True religion invites us to become better people. False religion tells us that this has already occurred.
– Abdal-Hakim Murad

This is what I want in heaven… words to become notes and conversations to be symphonies.
– Tina Turner

Looking for a refuge
Cold Mountain will keep you safe
a faint wind stirs dark pines
come closer, the sound gets better
– Cold Mountain, sung and translated by Red Pine

Music once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.
– E. B. Lytton

Enlightenment is
a divine joke.
Which is why
the wise fall down
in uproarious laughter.
Yearn for who you are.
Beg for what you have.
The whole path dances
in the stillness of
the final step.
Waylessness plays
with your death.
And if your teacher
is not a trickster,
you’ve been tricked!
Now let her lead you
far off trail,
into the wilderness
of your heart.
– Fred LaMotte

No. I’m not happy, but there are in my life small bits of happy, puffs of joy that soften the permanent state of distress. And those moments allow me to live.
– Alejandra Pizzernik

Come and live with me. We will have all the poetry books in the world. All the music, and we’ll say so many poems that our tongues will burn like roses.
– Alejandra Bakery

The Occupation

I will tell you how it was the world
changed, she said — and darkness
wrapped us round.

I heard her clearly, though I barely
heard the words. It was nearly — yes —
as if she were singing.

Our job, she was saying, is not
to change the world — nor even
to keep it from changing.

No, she was saying (the story
was over already): our only
job is being changed.

– Robert Bringhurst

Learn to gift your absence to those who do not value your presence.
– Oscar Wilde

Writing is equivalent to forgetting. Literature is the most pleasant way to ignore life. Music roars, visual arts encourage, living arts (like dance and performances) entertain. The first, however, drifts away from life by making it a dream; the latter, however, do not drift away from life—some because they serve visible and therefore vital formulas, others because they live the same human life. That is not the case with literature. Literature simulates life. A novel is a story of what never was and a drama is a novel offered without narrative. A poem is the expression of ideas or feelings in a language that no one uses, because no one speaks in verse.
– Fernando Pessoa

Most of our suffering comes from habitual thinking. If we try to stop it out of aversion to thinking, we can’t; we just go on and on and on. So the important thing is not to get rid of thought, but to understand it.
– Ajahn Sumedho

I feel more sorry for those who dream of the probable, the legitimate and the future, than those who are debated in the distant or the strange. Those who dream big, are either crazy and believe in what they dream and are therefore happy, or are simply clueless, for whom distraction is a music of the soul, which cradles them without telling them anything. But he who dreams of the possible, has the possibility of the real disappointment. It does not hurt me too much that I have not been a Roman Emperor, but it can be painful to have never spoken to the seamstress who, at almost nine in the morning, always bends right when reaching the corner. The dream that promises us the impossible, just for that reason, deprives us of it, however, the dream that promises us what is possible is introduced into life itself and delegates to it its solution. One lives unique and independent, the other, captive of the risks that may come over. This is why I love the impossible landscapes and the large deserts and plains I will never go. Past historical times are pure wonder, because I certainly can’t wait for them to happen to me. I sleep when I dream of what isn’t, but awake when I dream of the what can be…
– Fernando Pessoa

Freedom was this, to stay for a moment with the sun and the wind in your face; this was to live: to smile and be alone.
– Daphne the Mason

When did the economists forget they’re talking about people?
– Rachel Donald

Don’t be long-winded.
– D.H. Lawrence

Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community … but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.
– Umberto Eco

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.
– Eckhart Tolle

No matter how isolated you are and how lonely you feel, if you do your work truly and conscientiously, unknown friends will come and seek you.
– C.G. Jung

I put my hand on the altar rail. ‘What if … what if Heaven is real, but only in moments? Like a glass of water on a hot day when you’re dying of thirst, or when someone’s nice to you for no reason, or …’ Mam’s pancakes with Toblerone sauce; Dad dashing up from the bar just to tell me, ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite’; or Jacko and Sharon singing ‘For She’s A Squishy Marshmallow’ instead of ‘For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ every single birthday and wetting themselves even though it’s not at all funny; and Brendan giving his old record player to me instead of one of his mates. ’S’pose Heaven’s not like a painting that’s just hanging there for ever, but more like … Like the best song anyone ever wrote, but a song you only catch in snatches, while you’re alive, from passing cars, or … upstairs windows when you’re lost …
– David Mitchell

As I began studying Buddhist teachings and chanting more, it led me to take responsibility for my life and to base my choices on wisdom, courage, and compassion.Not long after I started chanting, I began to see that the power I needed to change my life was already within me.
– Tina Turner

Where there is no emotion there is no life. If you have to learn something by heart and it is of no interest to you, there is no fire; it does not register, even if you read it fifty times. But as soon as there is emotional interest, it need only be read once and you know it. Therefore emotion is the carrier of consciousness; there is no progress in consciousness without emotion.
– Marie Louise von Franz

There it is, the sea, the most incomprehensible of non-human existences.
– Clarice Lispector

You don’t necessarily have to write to be a poet. Some people work in gas stations and they’re poets. I don’t call myself a poet, because I don’t like the word. I’m a trapeze artist.
– Bob Dylan

This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.
– Bob Dylan

mastery consists not in abnormal dreams, visions and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower—escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher. transmutation, not presumptuous denial, is the weapon of the master.
– kybalion

Today we love what we will hate tomorrow. Today we seek what tomorrow we will run from. Today we desire what will scare us tomorrow and even make us tremble with fear.
– Daniel Defoe

Just to fill the hour—that is happiness.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sharing a pain is dividing it and sharing a joy is multiplying it.
– Facundo Cabral

A man may be the enemy of other men, of other moments of other men, but not of a country: not of fireflies, words, gardens, courses of water, sets…
– Jorge Luis Borges

The future is much more of the hearts than of the minds. Love, that’s the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. Infinity needs the inexhaustible.
– The Miserable, Victor Hugo

Naturally I still believe in miracles and the holy fate of the imagination.
– Jim Harrison

The way we work out memories, what gets stored, starred for later easy retrieval, what gets discarded, boarded up. How a moment—an accident, a gas explosion, a runaway train, spreading sudden fire, a dozing driver on the interstate, fragment of falling satellite, an affair, a series of affairs, hair loss, a decapitation from a sheet of glass like in The Omen, power surge at the wrong time, power line drooping in the pool, anaphylactic shock, lightning strike, band saw slip, not to mention rapture, heart attack, stroke, or other ways the body can up and fail us—these are abysses with no bottom. Narrative works like this. Our lives work like this. Our lives are not narrative except as synapse makes them so.
– Ander Monson

Pale sunset a soufflé of clouds and light
and the Susquehanna appears out of nowhere
– Natalie Homer

There’s an idea in many space stories, that the cosmos is a place of transformation, a crucible in which things burn, and if humans venture out deep enough they also burn, and become more fully who they are—that even in the wildest reaches of space, there we are, most pure and dark and bright and realized, somehow coming home. Our bodies come from stars and we find in space all that we are—terror, strangeness, beauty, hope.
– elucipher

I believe that each of us internalizes a landscape composite of myths and stories, and we carry that psychological terrain within us as we make our way through the world, whether we are facing that green divan that Anna Akhmatova slept on in Saint Petersburg or gazing out at Stone Mountain in Georgia, an overlay by which the future is often colored and through which it is often perceived. However, like Lillian Smith—“Miss Lil”—some of us attempt to refashion that inherited landscape through consciousness. That is, we attempt to bring ourselves to an awareness of what has shaped us. Since landscape is both regional and emotional, I learned to meditate on everything around me, people and nature.
– Yusef Komunyakaa

You will remember that every psychological or inner state finds some outer representation via the moving centre—that is, it is represented in some particular muscular movements or contractions, etc. You may have noticed that a state of worry is often reflected by a contracted wrinkling of the forehead or a twisting of the hands. States of joy never have this representation. Negative states, states of worry, or fear, or anxiety, or depression, represent themselves in the muscles by contraction, flexion, being bowed down, etc. (and often, also, by weakness in the muscles), whereas opposite emotional states are reflected into the moving centre as expansion, as standing upright, as extension of the limbs, relaxing of tension, and usually by a feeling of strength. To stop worry, people who worry and thereby frown too much or pucker up and corrugate their foreheads, clench their fists, almost cease breathing, etc., should begin here—by relaxing the muscles expressing the emotional state, and freeing the breath. Relaxing in general has behind it, esoterically speaking, the idea of preventing negative states. Negative states are less able to come when a person is in a state of relaxation. That is why it is said so often that it is necessary to practise relaxing every day, by passing the attention over the body and deliberately relaxing all tense muscles.
– Maurice Nicoll

Among the great struggles of man-good/evil, reason/unreason, etc.-there is also this mighty conflict between the fantasy of Home and the fantasy of Away, the dream of roots and the mirage of the journey.
– Salman Rushdie

There’s no bottom to it…
that’s how you know it was God
who said the word
to bring it into existence.
Do you think there’s a center??
Do you think the core of the Earth
is all the deeper you can dig?

No… No, in fact, every atom
opens into endlessness, every
neutron, every proton, every
subatomic partitcle is depthless, is…
unfathomably full of light.
That’s the way God works…
and love… There’s no bottom to it.

– Peregrine

There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

You don’t have to believe in God
but please collapse in wonder
as regularly as you can

try and let your knowledge
be side swiped by awe
and let beauty be so persuasive
you find yourself willing
to lay your opinions at her feet

Darling, you don’t have to believe in God
but please pray
for your own sake
great prayers of thanks
for the mountains, the great rivers
the roundness of the moon
just because they’re here at all
and that you get to know them
and let prayer bubble up in you
as a natural thing
like song in a bird.

You don’t have to have
a spiritual path
but do run
the most sensitive
part of your soul
over the soft curves
of this world
with as much tenderness
as you can find in yourself
and let her edgeless ways
inspire you to discover more

just find a way
that makes you want to yield
that you may be more open
to letting beauty fully
into your arms
and feel some sacred flame
inside of you that yearns toward
learning how to build a bigger
fire of love in your heart.

You don’t have to believe in God
but get quiet enough to remember
we really don’t know a damn thing
about any of it
and if you can, feel a reverence to be part
of This Great Something
whatever you want to call it
that is so much bigger
and so far beyond
the rooftops of all
our knowing.

– Chelan Harkin

The writer holds a revered position but the oral storyteller is still an outlaw.
– Martin Shaw

the next time
you refuse to sing
because you’ll never
fill a stadium
or decline the joy of dance
for fear of looking
or you resist risking
the new adventure
because you’re
not entirely ready or
you dim your shine
because you’re not
completely healed and whole

the next time
you hold yourself suspect
because you’re not
entirely qualified

just remember

a bird doesn’t sing
because it’s talented
a bird sings because
it has a song

the moon doesn’t only shine
when it’s whole
it can show up with
a single sliver of itself
and still light an entire
night sky

show up. sing. shine.
the world needs you
as you are.

– Angi Sullins

The sickness of the individual is ultimately caused by and sustained by the sickness of his civilization.
– Herbert Marcuse

Nobody cares if you stop here. You can
look for hours, gaze out over the forest.
And the sounds are yours too—take away
how the wind either whispers or begins to
get ambitious. If you let the silence of
afternoon pool around you, that serenity
may last a long time, and you can take it
along. A slant sun, mornings or evenings,
will deepen the canyons, and you can carry away
that purple, how it gathers and fades for hours.
This whole world is yours, you know. You can
breathe it and think about it and dream it
after this wherever you go. It’s all right.
Nobody cares.
– William Stafford

My grandma told me that the Universe is singing in the snowflakes, the raindrops, in the trees, the water, and all Creation. Physicists call this holistic holographic universe. Lakotas call it Taku Wakan Skan Skan/Mitakuye Oyasin, which means everything is connected and related in divine rhythm, vibration. Remember the Lakotas know that the song sings the singer. The Spirit sings the song.
– Basil Braveheart

A stone, a tree, a river, a mountain, the moon and stars. Humans have from the beginning lived in a natural world populated with objects. We have named them all, as is our penchant. We’ve respected and engaged them and, by turn, ignored or destroyed them. Wave after wave of our ancestors, however, have looked upon these everyday material phenomena not as dully inanimate, but enchanted, inspirited, numinous—having powers in potentia that are beyond analytic understanding.

Numen inest, Ovid wrote in Fasti. Which is to say that the world, to those who observe differently, is a place animated by consciousness outside the human sphere, one that’s full of spirits, daemons, revenants, fairies, gods sinister and benign. For these observers, the world is less a post-Cartesian realm that can be measured in zeroes and ones, but one of unabashed enchantment that has nothing to do with sociological primitivism or organized religion. In such a world, “the sacred tree, the sacred stone are not adored as stone or tree,” as Mircea Eliade noted. Instead, they’re venerated as “hierophanies,” entities that are wholly other, the ganz andere.

– Conjunctions Bard College

Like a great starving beast my body
is quivering, fixed on the scent of light.
– Hafiz

Anything that disappears from your psychological inventory is apt to turn up in the guise of a hostile neighbor, who will inevitably arouse your anger and make you aggressive.
– CG Jung

The fate of future generations is at stake, and we cannot afford to waste time and money on techno-fixes that are ineffective at achieving our climate goals. The clear path forward? Restoring nature, building community resilience, and learning to live with less.
– Richard Heinberg

Just a reminder: We made up debt-based economics.
– @VinceFHorn

The centuries of our life last scarcely seconds. Scarcely do seconds last loves.
– Robert Desnos

summer storm
the sky moving
down the river
– Basho

At the centre of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.
– Simone Weil

The beginning of wisdom occurs the day we recognize the obvious—that the only person present in every scene of our still-unfolding psychodramas is ourselves.
– James Hollis, Living Between Worlds

Thinking positively helps but it’s not everything, you need aligned actions to get real results
– @YungPueblo

Everyone eats and drinks. Few can distinguish the flavors.
– Confucius

Finding the precise word for the inarticulate heart’s tone means not lying to oneself … On this account the real man has to look his heart in the eye even when he is alone.
– Confucius

Genus Sayornis

Never love
­­—and lose—
a woman whose
name is a birdcall.

‘Else every spring
you’ll hear a lament
of moments so sweet
you try to forget—

– L.M. Browning

There’s no new land, my friend, no
New sea; for the city will follow you,
In the same streets you’ll wander endlessly,
The same mental suburbs slip from youth to age,
In the same house go white at last —
The city is a cage.
– Constantine P. Cavafy, tr. Lawrence Durrell

So we would go back in time,
effacing one by one its wrinkles,
water, reflections bearing me along step by step.
– Pierre Chappuis, tr. John Taylor

But there isn’t actually a most beautiful person in the world, because there are so many kinds of beauty. Some people love roundness and softness, and other people love sharp edges and strong muscles. Some people like thick hair like a lion’s mane, and other people like thin hair that pours down like an inky waterfall, and some people love someone so much they forget what they look like. Some people think the night sky full of stars at midnight is the most beautiful thing imaginable, some people think it’s a forest in snow, and some people . . . Well, there are a lot of people with a lot of ideas about beauty. And love. When you love someone a lot, they just look like love.
– Rebecca Solnit

Physical labour may be painful, but it is not degrading as such. It is not art; it is not science; it is something else, possessing an exactly equal value with art and science, for it provides an equal opportunity to reach the impersonal stage of attention.
– Simone Weil

and there was
finally something, a great river vastly flowing, flat
as your eyes; something to marry to my nothing heart
– Jim Harrison

It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When love is lost there’s not much to say
Except life will never again be miraculous.
I see the young woman in this café,
Alone, her eyes luminous
With tears, I wish for a way
To tell her: You’re not alone.
You’re not alone.
What you feel now we too have known,
Hundreds of us.

The one you lost is gone so here you are
Living in a sad movie but it has an end
When you will see: the sky is very forgiving,
The moon rising wants to be your friend.
You will be embraced by summer rains,
The chittering of birds in the trees,
The luxury of tall grasses remains,
And the persistence of our species.
Listen to them as they pass,
People chattering on the phone,
Little kids released from class,
The lovers walking hand in hand,
The ballet lady posing on the grass,
The long line at the ice cream stand,
We are yours, we are your own,
Find your place in the marching band.
You are not alone.
Don’t be alone.

– Garrison Keillor

if the Lovestar grows most big / a voice comes out of some dreaming tree / (and how i’ll stand more still than still) / and what he’ll sing and sing to me / and while this dream is climbing sky / (until his voice is more than bird) / and when no am was ever as i / then that Star goes under the earth]
– e.e. cummings

No man can reveal to you nothing but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
– Kahlil Gibran

Don’t be afraid of the truth: it can hurt a lot, but it’s healthy pain.
– Alexander Casona

These days I’ll sit on cornerstones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten
– Jackson Browne

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists.
– Marcel Proust

I can see the lights
of the city I came from,
can remember how a boy sets out
like something thrown from the furnace
of a star
– Denis Johnson

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, What am I unwilling to pay attention to?
– Tara Brach

Without any base or support in this supermatrix, afflictive emotion, karma, and habitual propensities create magical, illusory, apparitional games, and since we need freedom in it, let causality be resolved.
– Longchenpa

The whole Mediterranean — all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent taste of these black olives between the teeth.

A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.

– Lawrence Durrell

Don’t try to crawl up your own ass and disappear.
– Lama Lena

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
– Hemingway

What if you bowed before every dandelion you met and wrote love letters to squirrels and pigeons who crossed your path? What if scrubbing the dishes became an act of single reverence for the gift of being washed clean, and what if the rhythmic percussion of chopping carrots became the drumbeat of your dance? What if you stepped into the shower each morning only to be baptized anew and sent forth to serve the grocery bagger, the bank teller, and the bus driver through simple kindness?
And what if the things that make your heart dizzy with delight were no longer stuffed into the basement of your being and allowed out to play in the lush and green fields?
There are two ways to live in this world: As if everything were enchanted or nothing at all.
– Christine Valters Paintner

there are so many
words like bullets words like dreams
blue as far mountains
– Erin Coughlin Hollowell

Here’s the difference between ‘complete’ and ‘finished’:
If you’re with the right person, you’re complete;
if you’re with the wrong person, you’re finished.
And if the right person finds you with the wrong person,
you’re completely finished.
– Saying

To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.
– Matt Haig

…There are people who make us laugh even though they do not propose, they achieve it above all because they give us content with their presence and so we are enough to release laughter with very little, just by seeing them and being in their company and hearing them, although they are not saying anything about the other world.
– Javier Marias

Deep down within the heart there is a stillness which is healing, a trust in the universal laws which is unwavering, and a strength which is rock-like. But because it is so deep we need both patience and perseverance when digging for it.
– Paul Brunton

This is why love, more lucid, makes it a principle to renounce all communication. Our only windows, our only doors are entirely spiritual; there is no intersubjectivity except an artistic one. Only art gives us what we vainly sought from a friend…
– Deleuze

All living systems do have the desire to reunite with The Cosmic Integrity, to leave all limitation behind. And this does happen for brief (and ‘eternal’) moments. But, instead of staying forever suspended in cosmic unity, the ongoing fields of our own ways of being are literally ‘impregnated’ by the Whole, so that, through ‘dying’ to some old patterns, we begin to ‘give birth’ to new and rejuvenated versions of ourselves. There are so many ways of dying and being reborn – especially since more are being ‘created’ all the time.
– George Gorman

Deeper truth resides in what we dismiss as illusion, fantasy, myth. This may be reason why, in an age governed by science and logic, our entertainment world is saturated with fantasy, mythic stories and legends: a compensatory process has arisen in popular culture.
– David Tacey

America’s grace is to believe that a better world is possible, even if its tragedy is to imagine that one might be probable. It can keep exporting (theoretical) hope to the rest of the world so long as it imports realism from its older neighbors.
– Pico Iyer

Spidersilk’s tensile strength…that is poetry.
– Dr. Han VanderHart

Many people stabilize themselves by borrowing a group identity. The passionate affiliation to the old school, a sports team, a profession, their country, may be partly fueled by a shaky sense of self.
– John P. Conger

When I write through my happiness, I commit to it again: I commit to feeling, deeply, not what happiness I have but how I came to orbit around it, attract it, cherish it. I fall asleep and wake up. If there’s a thing I want to teach me, it’s how I live my light.
– Yanyi

There’s a point where psychology becomes a spiritual journey. You have to rebuild rotten foundations, deal with the negative mother & negative father. But once the depths are reconstructed, you can’t go on wallowing in negativity. That’s not only boring, it’s destructive.
– Marion Woodman

Silence is a lesson learned through life’s many sufferings.
– Seneca

Surrealism was very important, because we began to identify ourselves with dreams; we revived the reign of the dream as a part of ourselves. The Greeks believed that dreams were of the gods, not of human creation.
– Alejandro Jodorowsky

Believers and non-believers don’t seem to realize how similar they are. Both are misreading myths, and drawing opposite conclusions.
– David Tacey

The author enters into his own death, writing begins.
– Roland Barthes

Those who possess moderation will endure; they have deep roots and strong stems.
– Lao Tzu

I have to constantly re-identify myself to myself, reactivate my own standards, my own convictions about what I’m doing and why.
– Nina Simone

Myths derive from the visions of people who have searched their own most inward world.
– Joseph Campbell

I may need a topographical map of my belief structures if I wanna make sense to anyone

Also I may need a better base-level term than Ontological Ambignosticism

– @the_wilderless

A bright, serene May it was;
days of blue sky, placid sunshine.
– Charlotte Brontë

We must prefer real hell to an imaginary paradise.
– Simone Weil

Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.
– Cormac McCarthy

That to have the eyes of an artist,
That can be enough,
The ear of a poet,
That can be enough.
The soul of a human
just pointed
in the direction of the divine,
that can be more than enough.
I tell you this to remind myself.
Every gesture is an act of creation.
Even empty spaces and silence
can be the wings and voices of angels.
– Michele Linfante

But let us imagine RIGHT NOW that we find out about a world where there are artists who paint without brushes, make music without instruments, and write without pen and paper. The very thought makes me happy. That this world could be ours, right here and now.
– László Krasznahorkai

I talked about places, about the ways that we often talk about love of place, by which we mean our love for places, but seldom of how the places love us back, of what they give us. They give us community, something to return to, and offer a familiarity that allows some portion of our own lives to remain connected and coherent. The give us an expansive scale in which our troubles are set into context, in which the largeness of the world is a balm to loss, trouble, and ugliness. And distant places give us refuge in territories where our own histories aren’t so deeply entrenched and we can imagine other stories, other selves, or just drink up quiet and respite.
– Rebecca Solnit

I love her so truly she multiplies
into millions, warm, crowding, hungry
in their nations, as if her image were
jiggered by time-lapses into histories.
– Douglas Oliver

Don’t you think I have enough memories already?
– Gustaf Sobin

The need for the past

is so much at the center of my life
I write this poem to record my discovery of it,
my reconciliation.
– Frank Bidart

Bound, hungry to pluck again from the thousand
technologies of ecstasy

boundlessness, the world that at a drop of water
rises without boundaries,

I push the PLAY button:—

– Frank Bidart

The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.
– Margaret Atwood

Educate the children and it won’t be necessary to punish the men.
– Pythagoras

Here is no winding scented lane, no hill
Crowned with a steepled church, no garden wall
Of old grey stone where lilacs bloom, and fill
The air with fragrance when the May rains fall.
– Helen Santmyer

There’s a hot debate in the psychedelic research world asking if it’s possible to create a drug that has all of the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics but without the ‘side effects’ of hallucinations.

In my opinion, this is essentially like an individual going to a therapist and saying:

“Gosh, it would be so great to permanently cure my depression and radically change my life for the better… but can we just skip the part where I have to do the deep inner work of re-integrating decades of repressed emotions?”

– Jonny Miller

The echo of his childhood is out of tune.
– Elias Canetti

I remain convinced that conversation + exchange is at the heart of what is important – what keeps us vital. And that also our lack of it, generally speaking, is at the heart of the problems we have.
– Paul Holdengraber

Praise the generations
that brought a piece of home
through customs.
– Usman Hameedi

For all symbols are fluxional; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and houses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

What has changed in forty years? It’s very simple: forty years ago there was a market economy. Today there is a market society – today everything, including ethics, has a price.
– Robert Fripp

I think I am attracted to words the way some people are to shoes, or, to, say, other people. They stay with me.
– Olena Kalytiak Davis

I really mean to say instead is, come back,
won’t you, just all of you come back, and give
me one more go at doing it all again but doing it

far better this time round—the work, the love stuff—
so I go to the wordprocessor longing for line cables
to loop out of the machine straight to my head

and back, as I do want to be only transmission—

– Denise Riley

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
– Alan Watts

We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with God. God walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.
– C. S. Lewis

Sit in your body. Understand what it means to be made of every ancestor that has ever existed five hundred, five hundred thousand, five hundred million years back. You can almost start to disappear in it.
– E. Noélle Campbell

Our Ancestors who lay beneath the loam, speak. Speak in vision and dream. Their language cannot be learned, but it is felt. Felt in our bones and in our blood; within our soul. What made them, made us. We are created from the dirt beneath our feet, and we shall return to it. We have done so before, we will do so again. Some patterns were meant to be repeated. Age after age, aeon after aeon, until the end of time itself.
– Di Inferi

Part of our task is to discover how all our ancestors inform our lives–and the same holds true for all forms of life, for we have been shaped not only by human ancestors but also by the environments in which they lived.
– Joan Halifax

Oh God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt. And after the egg, is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh, warm bread and a mug of sweet, golden tea?
– Frank McCourt

… I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple – or a green field – a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing – an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness – wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak – to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed.
– Mary Oliver

We have made a problem for ourselves by confusing the intelligible with the fixed. We think that making sense out of life is impossible unless the flow of events can somehow be fitted into a framework of rigid forms. To be meaningful, life must be understandable in terms of fixed ideas and laws, and these in turn must correspond to unchanging and eternal realities behind the shifting scene. But if this what “making sense out of life” means, we have set ourselves the impossible task of making fixity out of flux.
– Alan Wilson Watts

You walk towards the edge of knowledge, and then you walk down the vertical plateau of curiosity.
– Ahmed Salman

Perfection is out of the question for people like us,
So why plug away at the same old self when the landscape

Has opened its arms and given us marvelous shrines
To flock towards?

– Mark Strand

I think truth is fine in math, in chemistry, in philosophy.” Not in this life time. “In life, illusion, imagination, desire, hope are more important.
– Ernesto Saturday

Neurosis is in a way a positive symptom. It shows that something wants to grow; it shows that that person is not right in his or her present state & if growth is not accepted then it grows against you & produces what might be called a negative individuation.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
– Dylan Thomas

Sometimes receiving the new depends on a fierce refusal to engage in the energy of the old while being in that dumb empty-handed limbo space for as long as it takes because you can’t control when and how it arrives, but, by god, you know it by how it feels.
– McCall Erickson

smeared across
a summer sky
– James Welsh

You will never find anything in the unconscious that will not be useful and good when it is made conscious and brought to the right level.
– Robert Johnson

After years I learned to read the poems I wasn’t writing, and to write the poems I wasn’t reading.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

Wisdom is not and never has been something for the many, because foolishness forever will be the main thing the world craves for.
– Carl Jung

If your hardships do not make you grow, and do not put you in a state of energetic euphoria, but rather depress and embitter you, know that you have no spiritual vocation.
– Emil Cioran

In the shade, we lean on each other, wonder
if the pages are turning too quickly to be
– Amy Wang

It was not his heartbeat he heard at night, but rather loneliness pacing back and forth in its empty room.
– Greg Sellers

You must avoid at all cost the idea that you can manage learning several skills at a time. You need to develop your powers of concentration, and understand that trying to multitask will be the death of the process.
– Robert Greene

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
– Hunter S. Thompson

There is a warning love sends and the cost of it
is never written till long afterward.

There are explanations of love in all languages
and not one found wiser than this:

There is a place where love begins and a place
where love ends—and love asks nothing.

– Carl Sandburg

Desire is the engine of life, even as disorders of desire mark all of us in singular ways. Beneath each disorder of desire there is nonetheless a profound urge to grow, to express, to serve life more fully.
– James Hollis, Hauntings

Dear and most respected bookcase!
I welcome your existence, which has for over one hundred years been devoted to the radiant ideals of goodness and justice.
– Anton Chekhov

After you’ve read tens of thousands of books, you can’t help but ask yourself: while I was doing that, where did my life go?
– Mircea Cărtărescu

Refraining from harmful speech and action is outer renunciation; choosing not to escape the underlying feelings is inner renunciation.
– Pema Chodron

If the wavelength
isn’t there
between you and her
no use in trying
to weave it
from thin air

Better to go home
wait for a wavelength
to come along
that shares
an unspeakable
something with her

– Mark Gordon

All things, indeed, are full of enigmas, both among poets and philosophers….For a fable is a more elegant interpreter of things which are not clearly seen through the imbecility of human nature.
– Maximus of Tyre

The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.
– Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
– Karl Popper

What Coleridge called the secondary imagination was what Jung means by the archetypal power, the capacity to echo, perhaps replicate, the original creation through the generative power of an image.
– James Hollis

There sound will sleep the traveller,
And dream his journey’s end,
But I will rouse at midnight
The falling fire to tend.
– Edna St. Vincent Millay

In all the universe nothing remains permanent and unchanged but the spirit
– Anton Chekhov

Words were different when they lived inside of you.
– Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The soul is the lighthouse from which we see the vast celestial ocean, a kiosk from which we observe whatever passes by, the purest expression of our being alive, the one part they couldn’t wreck, in the paranoid sense of the word ‘they.’
– Anne Lamott

May your healing shift how you see yourself, who you’re attracted to, and what you believe is acceptable.

Level up.

– Dr. Thema

It is the business of the artist to uncover the strangeness of truth
– Flannery O’Connor

I sit upon the white rocks by the bay,
Against whose hollows numberless, the waves
Will splash forevermore.
– Luis G. Dato

He suddenly departs, never to return.
How can he know that the friends he has left
Are missing him and thinking of him?
Only the things that he used remain;
They look upon them and their tears flow.
– Tao Yuanming, translated by Arthur Waley

Every generation is a continent all its own, and speaking across generations can be even harder than speaking across cultures, especially if one’s relying on words.
– Pico Iyer

in america
i’m always
in declarations
– Rashna Wadia

I don’t give a damn if my work is commercial or not…I’m the writer. If what I write is good, then people will read it. That’s why literature exists. An author puts his heart and guts on the page. Never waste time on something you don’t believe in yourself.
– John Fante

Idolatry is the name of the error which attributes a sacred character to the collectivity; and it is the commonest of crimes, at all times, at all places.
– Simone Weil

All idolatry is either of the self or of the social.
– Simone Weil

The simple step of the courageous individual is to not take part in the lie.
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Deluge of my youth, flooding the present
with love from somewhere far.
I miss my friends, even the ones I haven’t met.
There we all are in my mind, like some species of dream.
There is just so much time. How many more
memories will I have to hold?
– Haolun Xu

It’s not magic; it isn’t a trick.
Every breath is a resurrection.
And when we hear the poem
Which is the world, when our eyes
Gaze at the beloved’s body,
We’re reborn in all the sacred parts
Of our own bodies:
the heart
Contracts, the brain
Releases its shower
Of sparks,
and the tear
Embarks on its pilgrimage
Down the cheek to meet
The smiling mouth.
– Gregory Orr

…the desperate moment when we discover that this empire, which had seemed to us the sum of all wonders, is an endless, formless ruin …
– Italo Calvino

I don’t know how it happened
how poetry came for me
or why
but She came,
crept in, in the dark
took root in me like nothing
ever had
deeper than prayer
or God.

She brought me in
from the dark

Made little windows
in the night
that opened to the stars

My words before that
were ropes
taughtly tied to fear
and I was a scared ship
too wild for the dock
but that couldn’t bear the sea.

She walked into my being
and erased the lines
between me
and everything

My pen became a scalpel
with which
I was to dissect God
to know all the world’s
beauty and darkness.

She strode into my darkness
and lit a fire
of hallelujas
in the pit of each wound
that before Her entry
only knew how to blame and howl

She gave talons to my courage
that let me seize
any subject

She told me it was unpunishable
to pick-pocket God
of all those jewels and secrets
hidden in life.

Before Her I was a darkened house
haunted with unspoken light.

My words were dust

And I was a cellar
of shy bottles
that contained worlds.

Inspired by a piece by Pablo Neruda

– Chelan Harkin

Spare me
from all knowledge
but the knowledge of love

The love that edifies
the mountains

The love that makes the oak
grow into
the full nobility
of itself

The love that gives the robin
its song

The love that cloaks
each night
with elegance

The love
that intoxicates
the bee
to the heart of the flower

The love that writes poetic
eloquence into life

The love that is the mother tongue
of all hearts
that speaks with the fluency
of oneness.

– Chelan Harkin

The nostalgia of Paradise is man’s desire not to be man…
– Milan Kundera

It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered
in the background, part of the scenery
like the houses I had grown up in,
and if they would be torn down later
that was something I knew
but didn’t believe. Our children were asleep
or playing, the youngest as new
as the new smell of the lilacs,
and how could I have guessed
their roots were shallow
and would be easily transplanted.
I didn’t even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt
on melon were what I dwelt on,
though in truth they simply
made the fruit taste sweeter.
So we sat on the porch
in the cool morning, sipping
hot coffee. Behind the news of the day—
strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere—
I could see the top of your dark head
and thought not of public conflagrations
but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder.
If someone could stop the camera then…
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
Perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.
– Linda Pastan

I have seen the absolute black;
it was unspeakably beautiful.
– C.P. Cavafy

To the extent that I managed to translate the emotions into images— that is to say, to find the images which were concealed in the emotions— I was inwardly calmed and reassured.
– CG Jung

Intention requires an ongoing renewal. It’s not enough for most people to set an intention at the beginning of their days to be kind, collected, and gathered.
– Christina Feldman

her morning song
awakens me
sliced oranges
– Thomas Martin

by the roadside
my horse nibbling
on flowers
– Basho

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
– G. K. Chesterton

Memorial Day:
the Vietnam vet
ironing the flag
– Tom Tico

We know that a man can never be everything at once, never complete; he always develops certain qualities at the expense of others, and wholeness is never attained.
– CG Jung

I sent my grief away.
I cannot care
– John Berryman

The ability to turn an unconscious complex which has one by the throat into an object of knowledge is an extremely important aspect for increasing consciousness.
– Edward Edinger

In order to be a good poet you have to have an ear for language so fine that to a novelist it’s really almost a disease.
– Donna Tartt

The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.
– G. K. Chesterton

that have begun to heal . . .
purple asters
– Sanjuktaa Asopa

Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
– Gilbert K. Chesterton

The ears were made, not for such trivial uses as men are wont to suppose, but to hear celestial sounds.
– Henry David Thoreau

taking back my words—
the sizzle of summer rain
on a hard dirt road
– Catherine J. S. Lee

All men are stuck in a kind of fog. They’re surrounded by a wall of fog. They think this is perfectly normal, but it’s not. It means that since they can’t see much beyond their own little situation, they tend to vegetate. They need some immediate stimulus to keep them alert.
– Colin Wilson

Writing about things that are understandable only weighs down the mind.
– Alfred Jarry

filled with
quantum fluctuations:
tiger swallowtail
– George Hawkins

Mostly love is about grunt work,
heaving unwieldy pieces of furniture
up a trackless mountain
– Francesca Bell

wild iris—
the blazed trail stops
short of the meadow
– Carolyn Hall

Peace, the wide-flying, on untiring pinions,
Bringeth her message of joy to our hearts.
– Paul Laurence Dunbar

Tenderness. . . is nothing but an infinite, insatiable metonymy . . . A miraculous crystallization of presence.
– Italo Calvino

You ask me why I spend my life writing?
Do I find entertainment?
Is it worthwhile?
Above all, does it pay?
If not, then, is there a reason?
I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.
– Sylvia Plath
– Andy Perrin

People in graduate school were always talking about going to law school, except for the people in law school, who talked about going into real estate.
– Brandon Taylor, The Late Americans

There are drugs that give all the things that yoga promises. You can take these drugs and become happy, have a mind that is very quiet, intensely aware of things, of people, of nature. But surely those are tricks.
– Krishnamurti

These nations are really in danger of going off their heads en masse; of becoming one vast vision of imbecility, with toppling cities and crazy country-sides, all dotted with industrious lunatics.
– G. K. Chesterton

If you’re a drag go read Wilbur or something. But for the hipsters, the angels, the Rimbauds, etc. etc, I and all the Universe recommend “Howl.”
– Gregory Corso

Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return
our first lightning
strike was convulsive
we felt sad for our
violence after
wolves and bison
we do not need a
doctor to say
dance dance
dance before
the song
runs out
learn how
to live so
we put them
in parks to be
wild on purpose
a museum of fur
fangs and hooves
– CAConrad

It is my belief that the psychological and spiritual maturity of an individual, of a group, even of a nation, is found precisely in its capacity to tolerate ambiguity and ambivalence, and the anxiety generated by both of them. It is the psychologically immature, the spiritually jejune that lusts for certainty, even at the expense of truth, rigorous investigation, and consideration of alternatives.

Nothing really important will prove simple. Denial and shallowness never prove worthy of what Socrates called ‘the examined life.’ The examined life will oblige us to consider that all issues, all issues, have more than one facet to consider, that our capacity for self-delusion is very strong, that we are always at least part of the problem, and that we will ultimately walk right into what we have fled, sooner or later.

– James Hollis

Waving he barely whispers
i too can’t breathe.
– Assotto Saint

No, poems aren’t short stories, & yes, they can be meditations on a moment in time. But they can also be meditations on centuries of history, or on a perception, or an emotion.
– C.K. Williams

Some people are not ready for truth. Leave it by their front door.
When they’re ready to come out of their circumstance, they can pick it up.

Don’t stop your journey waiting for them to take theirs.