Friday, November 30
"What we often forget is that thought is to be used to correct life. It's not a way of life. If you make thought the center of your life, you're not going to live it. So, what you have to do is be this kind of hysterical, emotional, vibrant creature who lives at the top of his lungs for a lifetime and then corrects around the edges so that he doesn't go insane or drive his friends mad. Thought is the skin around the organ. The organ is full of blood and a beating heart, a soul and the exaltation of being alive!"
- Ray Bradbury
Thursday, November 29
"Look at everyone around you and see what we have done about ourselves and what is considered our daily victory. We have not loved above all things. We have not accepted what is not understood because we do not want to be fools. We have accumulated things and assurances for not having each other. We have no joy that has not been cataloged. We have built cathedrals and we have stayed on the outside, because the cathedrals that we ourselves build fear that they are traps. We have not given ourselves, because that would be the beginning of a long life and we fear it. We have avoided falling on our knees in front of the first of us who out of love says: you are afraid. We have organized associations and smiling clubs where it is served with or without soda. We have tried to save ourselves, but without using the word salvation so as not to be ashamed of being innocent. We have not used the word love to avoid having to recognize its context of hatred, love, jealousy and so many other opposites. We have kept our death a secret to make our life possible. Many of us make art because we do not know what the other thing is like. We have disguised our indifference with false love, knowing that our indifference is anguish in disguise. We have disguised the great fear with the little fear and that's why we never talk about what really matters. Talking about what really matters is considered an indiscretion. We have not adored for having the sensible stinginess of remembering the false gods in time. We have not been pure and naive not to laugh at ourselves and so that at the end of the day we can say "at least I was not stupid" and so we were not perplexed before turning off the light. We have smiled in public about what we would not smile when we were left alone. We have called weakness to our candor. We have feared each other, above all. And all this we consider our victory every day."
- Clarice Lispector
An Apprenticeship, Or, The Book of Delights
Wednesday, November 28
In the dark we disappear, pure being.
Our mirror images, impure being.
Being and becoming (Heidegger), being and
nothingness (Sartre) - which is purer being?
Being alone is no way to be: thus
loneliness is the test of pure being.
Nights in love I fell too far or not quite
far enough - one pure, one impure being.
Clouds, snow, mist, the dragon's breath on water,
smoke from fire - a metaphor's pure being.
Stillness and more stillness and the light locked
deep inside - both pure and impure being.
Is is the verb of being, I the noun -
or pronoun for the purists of being.
I was, I am, I looked within and saw
nothing very clearly: purest being.
- Stanley Plumly
Tuesday, November 27
We walk through half our life
as if it were a fever dream
barely touching the ground
our eyes half open
our heart half closed.
Not half knowing who we are
we watch the ghost of us drift
from room to room
through friends and lovers
never quite as real as advertised.
Not saying half we mean
or meaning half we say
we dream ourselves
from birth to birth
seeking some true self.
Until the fever breaks
and the heart can not abide
a moment longer
as the rest of us awakens,
summoned from the dream,
not half caring for anything but love.
- Stephen Levine
Breaking the Drought
Sunday, November 25
". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
Ode to the Present
This present moment, smooth as a wooden slab, this immaculate hour, this day pure as a new cup from the past - no spider web exists - with our fingers, we caress the present; we cut it according to our magnitude; we guide the unfolding of its blossoms. It is living, alive - it contains nothing from the unrepairable past, from the lost past, it is our infant, growing at this very moment, adorned with sand, eating from our hands. Grab it. Don't let it slip away. Don't lose it in dreams or words. Clutch it. Tie it, and order it to obey you. Make it a road, a bell, a machine, a kiss, a book, a caress. Take a saw to its delicious wooden perfume. And make a chair; braid its back; test it. Or then, build a staircase!
Yes, a staircase. Climb into the present, step by step, press your feet onto the resinous wood of this moment, going up, going up, not very high, just so you repair the leaky roof.
Don't go all the way to heaven. Reach for apples, not the clouds. Let them fluff through the sky, skimming passage, into the past.
You are your present, your own apple. Pick it from your tree. Raise it in your hand. It's gleaming, rich with stars. Claim it. Take a luxurious bite out of the present, and whistle along the road of your destiny.
- Pablo Neruda
a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the
horizon of shimmering deserts."
- Vladimir Nabokov