Wednesday, June 19
link


"It has always been one of my main endeavors as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire."
 - C. S. Lewis
The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others' Eyes
the hammock papers




Tuesday, June 18
link


Just before the ocean that river
turns on its back and side and slowly
invites the world and the air and the sky,
trying to give away everything, everything.
 - William Stafford
the beauty we love




Monday, June 17
link


"What I tell my students, when they feel singularly unfortunate to be born in this moment, is this is your moment, the moment your soul showed up incarnate. In this world. It is an astonishing moment to be alive. You could have been born into a lull - instead you were born into a tipping point. It's your one life and you've entered it at a flexion point - a point when everything you do matters. How often in history does a soul get to live in such an era? Don't waste it. Show up for it. With everything you've got. Some will invent, some will organize, some will witness, some will grieve, some will console. Live this life now. Even if in fury and grief, live it. You don't want to die not having lived. It's incredibly easy to find a way around experience rather than through it. But you will have cheated yourself out of your only possession: your life. You are here now. Now is the time to live fully, not hide, not escape."
 - Jorie Graham
commonplace



Thursday, June 13
link


"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm - but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
 - T. S. Eliot
The Cocktail Party
wait - what?



Wednesday, June 12
link


I never thought,
forty years ago,
taping my poems into a notebook,
that one day the tape
would turn yellow, grow brittle, and fall off
and that I'd find myself on hands and knees
groaning as I picked the pieces up
off the floor
one by one
 - Ron Padgett
How Long



Tuesday, June 11
link


"Take a moment from time to time to remember that you are alive. I know this sounds a trifle obvious, but it is amazing how little time we take to remark upon this singular and gratifying fact. By the most astounding stroke of luck an infinitesimal portion of all the matter in the universe came together to create you and for the tiniest moment in the great span of eternity you have the incomparable privilege to exist."
 - Bill Bryson
I'm a Stranger Here Myself
commonplace



Monday, June 10
link


"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
 - Howard Zinn
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
wait - what?
commonplace



Friday, June 7
link


"Once while visiting his friend Max Brod, young Kafka awakened Brod's father, who was asleep on a couch. Instead of apologizing, Kafka gently motioned him to relax, advanced through the room on tiptoe, and said softly: "Please - consider me a dream."
 - Franz Baumer
Franz Kafka









  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov