Thursday, August 22
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Beasts Bounding Through Time
Van Gogh writing his brother for paints
Hemingway testing his shotgun
Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine
the impossibility of being human
Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief
Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town
the impossibility of being human
Burroughs killing his wife with a gun
Mailer stabbing his
the impossibility of being human
Maupassant going mad in a rowboat
Dostoevsky lined up against a wall to be shot
Crane off the back of a boat into the propeller
the impossibility
Sylvia with her head in the oven like a baked potato
Harry Crosby leaping into that Black Sun
Lorca murdered in the road by the Spanish troops
the impossibility
Artaud sitting on a madhouse bench
Chatterton drinking rat poison
Shakespeare a plagiarist
Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness
the impossibility the impossibility
Nietzsche gone totally mad
the impossibility of being human
all too human
this breathing
in and out
out and in
these punks
these cowards
these champions
these mad dogs of glory

moving this little bit of light toward
us
impossibly
 - Charles Bukowski
You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
alive on all channels
wait - what?
journal of a nobody



Wednesday, August 21
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"I have been very happy lately, just wallowing in it selfishly, knowing it will not last very long, which is all the more reason to enjoy it now. I suppose life always ends badly for almost everybody. We must have long fingers and catch at whatever we can while it is passing near us."
 - Tennessee Williams



Monday, August 19
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"What I "discovered" was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.

Yet we cannot reach happiness by consciously searching for it. "Ask yourself whether you are happy," said J. S. Mill, "and you cease to be so." It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly."
 - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
running after my hat



Sunday, August 18
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how small the day is
the time of colors
the rush of brightness
 - W. S. Merwin
thrive



Friday, August 16
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"When you've lived as long as I have, you tend to think you've heard everything, that there's nothing left that can shock you anymore. You grow a little complacent about your so-called knowledge of the world, and then, every once in a while, something comes along that jolts you out of your smug cocoon of superiority, that reminds you all over again that you don't understand the first thing about life."
 - Paul Auster



Wednesday, August 14
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"The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful. And I feel, you know, the opportunity to spend seventy or eighty years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned."

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
 - Douglas Adams
running 'cause I can't fly



Tuesday, August 13
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"The reality of our day-to-day waking consciousness and these moments of liberation are so different it is almost as if a mental fence divides the two. On one side of the fence I am caught in my mind; in my thoughts, my anxieties, my judgments, and my fears. I may on occasion recognize that this is all unnecessary, and that it removes me from the present moment; but such passing insights are seldom sufficient to release my mind from the grip of my conditioning. So deeply ingrained is my attachment to what I believe I should be thinking and doing there seems no way over that fence. Indeed, for much of the time I have totally forgotten there is another way of being."
 - Peter Russell
life is full of beauty



Monday, August 12
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Bargain Hunt
Suppose you found a bargain so incredible
you stood there stunned for a moment
unable to believe that this thing could be
for sale at such a low price: that is what happens
when you are born, and as the years go by
the price goes up and up until, near the end
of your life, it is so high that you lie there
stunned forever.
 - Ron Padgett



Saturday, August 10
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"This is the time for every artist in every genre to do what he or she does loudly and consistently. It doesn't matter to me what your position is. You've got to keep asserting the complexity and the originality of life, and the multiplicity of it, and the facets of it. This is about being a complex human being in the world, not about finding a villain. This is no time for anything else than the best that you've got."
 - Toni Morrison



Thursday, August 8
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The Obligation to Be Happy
It is more onerous
than the rites of beauty
or housework, harder than love.
But you expect it of me casually,
the way you expect the sun
to come up, not in spite of rain
or clouds but because of them.

And so I smile, as if my own fidelity
to sadness were a hidden vice -
that downward tug on my mouth,
my old suspicion that health
and love are brief irrelevancies,
no more than laughter in the warm dark
strangled at dawn.

Happiness. I try to hoist it
on my narrow shoulders again -
a knapsack heavy with gold coins.
I stumble around the house,
bump into things.
Only Midas himself
would understand.
 - Linda Pastan
Carnival Evening



Wednesday, August 7
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"You must learn to stop being yourself. That's where it begins, and everything else follows from that. You must let yourself evaporate. Let your muscles go limp, breathe until you feel your soul pouring out of you, and then shut your eyes. That's how it's done. The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground.
Like so."
 - Paul Auster
Mr. Vertigo
commonplace



Tuesday, August 6
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"Is there no context for our lives? No song, no literature, no poem full of vitamins, no history connected to experience that you can pass along to help us start strong? You are an adult. The old one, the wise one. Stop thinking about saving your face. Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world. Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul. You, old woman, blessed with blindness, can speak the language that tells us what only language can: how to see without pictures. Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation."
 - Toni Morrison
The Nobel Lecture In Literature
1993



Monday, August 5
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Cutting Loose
Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path - but that's when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.
 - William Stafford



Saturday, August 3
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"If you can accept your body, then you have a chance to see your body as your home. You can rest in your body, settle in, relax, and feel joy and ease. If you don't accept your body and your mind, you can't be at home with yourself. You have to accept yourself as you are. This is a very important practice. As you practice building a home in yourself, you become more and more beautiful."
 - Thich Nhat Hanh
body alive
alive on all channels



Friday, August 2
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"Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks."
 - G. K. Chesterton



Thursday, August 1
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"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."
 - Ursula K. Le Guin









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