Monday, May 31

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
 - Joy Harjo
She Had Some Horses

Thursday, May 27

The unexamined life's no different from
                    the examined life -
Unanswerable questions, small talk,
Unprovable theorems, long-abandoned arguments -
You've got to write it all down.
Landscape or waterscape, light-length on evergreen, dark sidebar
Of evening,
                    you've got to write it down.
Memory's handkerchief, death's dream and automobile,
God's sleep,
                    you've still got to write it down,
Moon half-empty, moon half-full,
Night starless and egoless, night blood-black and prayer-black,
Spider at work between the hedges,
Last bird call,
                    toad in a damp place, tree frog in a dry ...
 - Charles Wright
Black Zodiac

Wednesday, May 26

"Why is it we love so fully what has washed up on the beaches of our hearts, those lost messages, lost friends, the daylight stars we never get to see? Bad luck never takes a vacation, my friend once wrote. It lies there among the broken shells and stones we collect, a story he would say begins with you, with me, a story that is forever lost among the backwaters of our lives, our endless fear of ourselves, and our endless need for hope, a story, perhaps an answer, a word suddenly on wing, the simple sound of a torn heart, or the unmistakable scent of the morning's fading moon."
 - Richard Jackson

Monday, May 24

"What is meant by "reality"? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable - now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech - and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. That is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates."
 - Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own

Friday, May 21

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.
 - Czesław Miłosz

Thursday, May 20

"I then thought: what is the use of studying philosophy if all that it does for you is to enable you to talk with some plausibility about some abstruse questions of logic, etc, and if it does not improve your thinking about the important questions of everyday life, if it does not make you more conscientious than any journalist in the use of the dangerous phrases such people use for their own ends? You see, that it's difficult to think well about "certainty", "probability", "perception", etc. But it is, if possible, still more difficult to think, or try to think, really honestly about your life and other people's lives. And the trouble is that thinking about these things is not thrilling, but often downright nasty. And when it's nasty then it's most important."
 - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wednesday, May 19

The wonder is
The washing never gets done.
The furnace never gets heated.
Books never get read.
Life is never completed.
Life is like a ball which one must continually
catch and hit so that it won't fall.
When the fence is repaired at one end,
it collapses at the other. The roof leaks,
the kitchen door won't close,
there are cracks in the foundation,
the torn knees of children's pants . . .
One can't keep everything in mind. The wonder is
that beside all this one can notice
the spring which is so full of everything
continuing in all directions - into evening clouds,
into the redwing's song and into every
drop of dew on every blade of grass in the meadow,
as far as the eye can see, into the dusk.
 - Jaan Kaplinski
The Wandering Border

Tuesday, May 18

"In some evolving civilizations, for reasons which we don't entirely understand, the evolution of consciousness is attended by a disaster of some sort which occurs shortly after the Sy [symbolic] breakthrough. It has something to do with the discovery of the self and the incapacity to deal with it, the consciousness becoming self-conscious but not knowing what to do with the self, not even knowing what its self is, and so ending by being that which is not, and making others what they are not.

What does that mean?

Playing roles, being phony, lying, cheating, stealing, and killing."
 - Walker Percy
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Monday, May 17

"Assume that you are quite right. You are depressed because you have every reason to be depressed. No member of the other two million species which inhabit the earth - and who are luckily exempt from depression - would fail to be depressed if it lived the life you lead. You live in a deranged age - more deranged than usual, because despite great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing."
 - Walker Percy
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Sunday, May 16

Praise the Rain
Praise the rain; the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk -
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity -
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep -
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap -
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food -
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down -
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all -

Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we're led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.

Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
 - Joy Harjo
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings

Friday, May 14

"Some people make you feel better about living. Some people you meet and you feel this little lift in your heart, this 'Ah', because there's something in them that's brighter or lighter, something beautiful or better than you, and here's the magic: instead of feeling worse, instead of feeling 'why am I so ordinary?', you feel just the opposite, you feel glad. In a weird way you feel better, because before this you hadn't realised or you'd forgotten human beings could shine so."
 - Niall Williams
History of the Rain

Thursday, May 13

"Forests and fields, rocks and weeds - my true companions. The wild ways of the Crazy Cloud will never change. People think I'm mad but I don't care: If I'm a demon here on earth, there is no need to fear the hereafter."
 - Ikkyū
Wild Ways : Zen Poems of Ikkyū
John Stevens

"Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest - thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."
 - Beau Taplin

Wednesday, May 12

Invitation to Brave Space
Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a "safe space"
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side
 - Micky Scottbey Jones

Tuesday, May 11

"Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant . . .
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time - and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened."
 - Hunter S. Thompson
The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

Monday, May 10

The Farm When I Was Five
The most magic thing
was the pump in the backyard.
And a dipper to drink from.
For a long time the pump
was as tall as I was
and I used to make it do its magic
even when I wasn't thirsty.

The sound of the water
coming up from a dark somewhere
was a hollow roaring noise
that broke suddenly loose
and splashed a crystalline miracle
on the darkening cement.

Grandma always said,
"Stop wasting the water!"

I didn't waste it, Grandma.
There is this poem.
 - Grace Butcher
Before I Go Out on the Road

Friday, May 7

"At the time you're living it you can sometimes think your life is nothing much. It's ordinary and everyday and should be and could be in this or that way better. It is without the perspective by which any meaning can be derived because it's too sensual and urgent and immediate, which is the way life is to be lived. We're all, all the time, striving, and though that means there's a more-or-less constant supply of failure, it's not such a terrible thing if you think that we keep on trying. There's something to consider for that."
 - Niall Williams
This Is Happiness

Thursday, May 6

"In Zen we recite the four bodhisattva vows: beings are numberless, I vow to save them; delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them; dharma gates are endless, I vow to enter them; the buddha way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it. These vows are perfectly impossible, so we know we can't take them as ordinary goals. They are imaginative goals, taken in an imaginative world by imaginative beings. We are those imaginative beings. Such vows point out a direction and inspire our feeling and action, but they don't pressure us. We practice them with joy and good humor. And we do realize them - in the imagination."
 - Norman Fischer
The World Could Be Otherwise

Wednesday, May 5

"I live in a world that is completely seamless between the two. Fantasy is the real story. The world in which we live is structured from notions that are completely fabricated; your clothes, your wallet, that we all agree that pieces of paper are worth something. Geography is a complete fabrication. Where does Mexico start and America end? From space, nowhere. We agree to kill each other, to tax each other, to shame each other from notions that are complete fabrications. To me, those are harmful fantasies. Whereas my fantasies are liberating."
 - Guillermo Del Toro

Tuesday, May 4

"Now, as far as I was concerned, there are two ways of living, and because we're on a ball in space these were more or less exactly poles apart. The first, accept the world as it is. The world is concrete and considerable, with beauties and flaws both, and both immense, profound and perplexing, and if you can take it as it is and for what it is you'll all but guarantee an easier path, because it's a given that acceptance is one of the keys to any kind of contentment. The second, that acceptance is surrender, that there's a place for it, but that place is somewhere just before your last breath where you say "All right then, I have tried" and accept that you have lived and loved as best you could, have pushed against every wall, stood up after every disappointment, and until that last moment, you shouldn't accept anything, you should make things better."
 - Niall Williams
This Is Happiness

Monday, May 3

This day, then, ends in rain
but almost everyone will live through it.
Tomorrow's thousands losing their loved ones
have not yet stepped into never being the same again.
Maybe the sun's first light will hit me
in those moments, but I'd gladly wake to feel it:
the dramatic opening of a day,
clean blood pumping from the heart.
 - Michael Ryan
from Poem at Thirty

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