"Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me, "Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished." In both Buddhist and Confucian writings of the philosophers of former times, there are also many missing chapters."
- Yoshida Kenkō
Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenkō
I have decided on blank pages.
In them you can travel forever;
white flying toward your eyes;
as when driving through falling snow
you see only those snowflakes
you are cutting across;
- Ruth Stone
from Linear Illusions
In the Next Galaxy
"If you’re reading this, if there's air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren't finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal and change and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are still going, you and I. We are stories still going."
- Jamie Tworkowski
I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself
with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.
But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,
and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over
and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.
- Tony Hoagland
from Reasons to Survive November
What Narcissism Means to Me
It turns out that I didn't have an ordinary virus after all. It was pneumonia. Pneumonia does not play well with others. Especially us. My convalescence is taking longer than I anticipated. Which reminds me of something I found at the beginning of the pandemic, which seemed inappropriate to post at the time, but oddly relevant now.
"Whenever I get ready again to write really sincere notes in this notebook, I shall have to undertake such a disentangling in my cluttered brain that, to stir up all that dust, I am waiting for a series of vast empty hours, a long cold, a convalescence, during which my constantly reawakened curiosities will lie at rest; during which my sole care will be to rediscover myself."
- André Gide
I haven't been sick for over two and a half years. Not even a mild cold. Nothing. Until recently.
I caught a virus. Not the famous one. Just an ordinary, everyday, common influenza virus. This virus knocked me out, dragged me to the backroom of my life, and beat me up for over a week. I'll be back as soon as I can. I just wanted to let you know.