"The reason for writing it down on paper or on a computer where you can see it is because the brain, unlikely as it may sound, is no place for serious thinking. Any time you have serious thinking to do, the first step is to get the whole shootin' match out of your head and set it up someplace where you can walk around it and see it from all sides. Attack, switch sides and counter-attack. You can't do that while it's still in your head. Writing it out allows you to act as your own teacher, your own critic, your own opponent. By externalizing your thoughts, you can become your own guru; judging yourself, giving feedback, providing a more objective and elevated perspective."
- Jed McKenna
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
"I feel that I have had a blow; but it is not, as I thought as a child, simply a blow from an enemy hidden behind the cotton wool of daily life; it is or will become a revelation of some order; it is a token of some real thing behind appearances; and I make it real by putting it into words. It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole; this wholeness means that it has lost its power to hurt me; it gives me, perhaps because by doing so I take away the pain, a great delight to put the severed parts together. Perhaps this is the strongest pleasure known to me. It is the rapture I get when in writing I seem to be discovering what belongs to what; making a scene come right; making a character come together. From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; . . . that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we - I mean all human beings - are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art."
- Virginia Woolf
Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and
changing everything carefully
- E. E. Cummings
from Spring is like a perhaps hand
I Have Just Said
I have just said
ridiculous to you
and in response,
your glorious laughter.
These are the days
is swimming back
to the coast
and the light on the water
as never, it seems, before.
I can't remember
I can't remember
so many years!
Are the morning kisses
or the evenings
or the inbetweens?
All I know
is that "thank you" should appear
So just in case
I can't find
the perfect place -
"Thank you, thank you."
- Mary Oliver
"As I see it, to refuse the possibility of finding another person interesting, complex and as complicated as oneself is a form of violence. At bottom, this is a refusal of nuance, and I wish to posit that nuance is sacred. To call it sacred is to value it so highly that we find it fitting to somehow set it apart as something to which we're forever committed. Nuance refuses to envision others degradingly, denying them the content of their own experience, and talks us down tenderly from the false ledges we've put ourselves on. When we take it on as a sacred obligation, nuance also delivers us out of the deadly habit of cutting people out of our own imaginations. This opens us up to the possibility of at least occasionally finding one another beautiful, the possibility of communion."
- David Dark
Now all my teachers are dead except silence
I am trying to read what the five poplars are writing
on the void
Of all the beasts to man alone death brings justice
But I desire
To kneel in a doorway empty except for the song
Who made time provided also its fools
Strapped in watches and with ballots for their choices
Crossing the frontiers of invisible kingdoms
To succeed consider what is as though it were past
Deem yourself inevitable and take credit for it
If you find you no longer believe enlarge the temple
Through the day the nameless stars keep passing the door
That have come all that way out of death
The walls of light shudder and an owl wakes in the heart
I cannot call upon words
The sun goes away to set elsewhere
Before nightfall colorless petals blow under the door
And the shadows
Recall their ancestors in the house beyond death
At the end of its procession through the snow
the water remembers to laugh
- W. S. Merwin
from A Scale in May
September 30, 1927 -
March 15, 2019