Commonplace Book XVI

by Giannina Braschi

—There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed in your
—Like what?
—Like miracles—like changes of power—like changes in climate—like
political climates collapsing like polar ice caps—like the dungeon becoming
the crown and the crown the dungeon—like not paying attention to
bullies—like superpowers running out of fuel—like finding oil in the
dungeon of liberty—like the dungeon of liberty becoming a gold mine—like
useless poets changing the way the world thinks and sings—like a voice
coming out of the dungeon—a useless voice that has something to say but
doesn’t know how to market it—like finding yourself for the first time
happy—even though you’re in prison. Like finding camaraderie and
solidarity among friends you never thought could be your friends. Like
understanding the other—not loving the other—but putting yourself in the
shoes of the other—not to take their position—not to steal what the other
has—but to feel what the other feels—to appreciate his thoughts. Not to be
ironic—clever—smart—but to be profound—not to be the boss who puts
everybody down—but to be the leader of a chorus of voices—each and
every single one of them having their own point of view—like
saying—stop being a predicate and become a subject.

I should have admitted more often how little I knew, and more teachers would have appeared. I should have known that suffering shouldn’t be suppressed, because suffering is a great teacher.
– Marlon Brando

May this be the season you stop acting like vinegar is water.
– Dr. Thema

You have two birth-places. You have the place where you were really born and then you have a place of predilection where you really wake up to reality.
– Lawrence Durrell

Pain cannot be kept intact, it needs to be “processed,” converted into humour.
– Annie Ernaux

You will be pursued by problems, one after the other, with their constant annoyance and pain, if you don’t understand who is the creator of problems.
– Krishnamurti

Among The Multitudes

I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.
I could have different
ancestors, after all.
I could have fluttered
from another nest
or crawled bescaled
from another tree.
Nature’s wardrobe
holds a fair supply of costumes:
spider, seagull, fieldmouse.
Each fits perfectly right off
and is dutifully worn
into shreds.
I didn’t get a choice either,
but I can’t complain.
I could have been someone
much less separate.
Someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.
Someone much less fortunate,
bred for my fur
or Christmas dinner,
something swimming under a square of glass.
A tree rooted to the ground
as the fire draws near.
A grass blade trampled by a stampede
of incomprehensible events.
A shady type whose darkness
dazzled some.
What if I’d prompted only fear,
or pity?
If I’d been born
in the wrong tribe
with all roads closed before me?
Fate has been kind
to me thus far.
I might never have been given
the memory of happy moments.
My yen for comparison
might have been taken away.
I might have been myself minus amazement,
that is,
someone completely different.

– Wislawa Szymborska

A person who is lucidly aware of the miracles that surround him, who has learned to bear up under the loneliness, has made quite a bit of progress on the road to wisdom.
– M.C. Escher

Never mind the distances traveled, the companion
she made of herself. The threadbare twenties not
to be underestimated. A wild depression that ripped
from January into April. And still she sprouts an appetite.
Insisting on edges and cores, when there were none.
Relationships annealed through shared ambivalences.
Pages that steadied her. Books that prowled her
until the hard daybreak, and for months after.
Separating new vows from the old, like laundry whites.
Small losses jammed together so as to gather mass.
Stored generations of filtered quietude.
And some stubbornness. Tangles along the way
the comb-teeth of the mind had to bite through, but for what.
She had trained herself to look for answers at eye level,
but they were lower, they were changing all the time.

– Jenny Xie

…In a soiled, blighted world poetry was a thing set apart…
– Gregory Corso

Yang, the light, active, masculine principle, and Yin, the dark, passive, and feminine, in their interaction underlie and constitute the whole world of forms (“the 10,000 things”). They proceed from and together make manifest Tao: the source and law of being.
– Joseph Campbell

hunter moon
clear autumn night
everywhere a new sign
– Ogawa

Christianity isn’t a failure; it just hasn’t been tried yet.
– G.K. Chesterton

It’s all about how the words are used, not the words themselves. People who are hung up on tiny fragments of language, on single words and phrases, and who are intimidated or angered by them while ignoring the whole of the conversation, are shallow thinkers, superficial censors with no interest in the ideas, only in channeling a conversation along narrow avenues that will not burst out beyond the circumscribed boundaries of their sense of propriety.
– P. Z. Myers

the gods will offer you chances. / know them. / take them.
– Charles Bukowski

The land of healing lies within, radiant with the happiness that is blindly sought in a thousand outer directions.
– Swami Vivekananda

People recover differently. Some change cities, some fall in love and some begin writing.
– Kanza Javed

We are listening for a sound
beyond us, beyond sound,

searching for a lighthouse
in the breakwaters of our uncertainty,
an electronic murmur,
a bright, fragile I am.

– Diane Ackerman

Culture, then, only truly becomes culture when it is embodied in someone.
– László Krasznahorkai

Democracy is the great religion of the West – probably the greatest religion because it affirms other religions; probably the greatest culture because it affirms other cultures. But it’s based on faith, it’s based on appetite for fraternity, it’s based on love, and therefore it shares the characteristics of a religious movement. It’s also like a religion in that it’s never really been tried.
– Leonard Cohen

… we must pay much closer attention to the things we have heard, so that we do not drift away from the truth.
– Hebrews 2:1

Much of Earth’s life moves and communicates on a time scale humans cannot hope to comprehend
– Moshe Feldenkrais

A lot of people think that Christianity is you doing all the righteous things you hate and avoiding all the wicked things you love in order to go to Heaven. No, that’s a lost man with religion. A Christian is a person whose heart has been changed; they have new affections.
– Paul Washer

Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation.
Healing is an act of communion.
– bell hooks

Courage consists, however, in agreeing to flee rather than live tranquilly and hypocritically in false refuges. Values, morals, homelands, religions, and these private certitudes that our vanity and our complacency bestow generously on us, have many deceptive sojourns as the world arranges for those who think they are standing straight and at ease, among stable things.
– Gilles Deleuze

For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.
– Paulo Freire

There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.
– Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

An artist is a provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one. It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one. That is the realm of the artist.
– Federico Fellini

Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge…is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires purposes larger than self-centered understandings.
– Bill Bullard

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique.
all artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last,
to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.
– James Baldwin

We are aberrations—beings born undead, neither one thing nor another, or two things at once … uncanny things that have nothing to do with the rest of creation, horrors that poison the world by sowing our madness everywhere we go, glutting daylight and darkness with incorporeal obscenities.
– Thomas Ligotti

Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our conflicts, criticisms, and contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness. People who learn to expose, name, and still thrive inside the contradictions are people I would call prophets.
– Richard Rohr

Stevens’s ‘After the Final No’

The Well Dressed Man With A Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket’s horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house…
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

– Wallace Stevens

Space opens and from the heart of the matter
sheds a descending grace that makes
for a moment, that naked thing, Being,
a thing to understand.
– Norman MacCaig

To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognize: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long. And, above all, that they haven’t really hurt you. They haven’t diminished your ability to choose.
– Marcus Aurelius

TV makes it so easy to postpone living for another half hour
– Bill McKibben

My purpose is a language that can make us whole,
though mortal, ignorant, and small.
The world is whole beyond human knowing.
The body’s life is its own, untouched
by the little clockwork of explanation.
I approve of death, when it comes in time
to the old. I don’t want to live
on mortal terms forever, or survive
an hour as a cooling stew of pieces
of other people. I don’t believe that life
or knowledge can be given by machines.
The machine economy has set afire
the household of the human soul,
and all the creatures are burning with it.
– Wendell Berry

Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
– Cormac McCarthy

Friendship is on my mind these days.
This rings really true for me.
How ’bout you?

an irreplaceable friend is someone who:
highly values your trust
naturally feels like family
appreciates your honesty
still loves you as you change
finds it easy to laugh with you
holds space for you in tough times
supports your happiness and safety
inspires you to love and know yourself
helps you not question your self-worth
– yung pueblo

Don’t rock me awake again;
I dream of thunderstorms and wildfires,
and can hear a novice orchestra
play a terrible melody.

At midnight,
I say goodbye to the neon lights;
I unconsciously walk around downtown;
searching for a pure heart.

When this world finally collapses
like half-finished origami,
only then would I understand human mercy,
as if I could enter a dream again.

– Elda Mengisto

Suppose the stars are just our grief reflected back to us, / proof that grief sometimes forgets its source.
– Victoria Chang

Legend tells us that Alexander wept when he reached the Ganges, for there was no further world to conquer. Apparently it had not occurred to him that there was also a world within of infinite scope and mystery.
– James Hollis

I am as afraid of normal people as I am of psychotics. More even of “normals”—because of the repression. It’s the neurotics, as we tend to call them, I am most at home with.
– James Hillman

Stabilize where you are & expansion will naturally occur.

Straining to expand is itself contraction.

– @VinceFHorn

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
– Wislawa Szymborska

What I needed with all my starved and silent soul was just that particular way of shouting back at the world.
– Iris Murdoch

Billions suffer & die if planet devouring growth capitalism continues.

Billions suffer & die if planet devouring growth capitalism collapses.

This is the perversity of capitalism, & why there are zero good reasons not to urgently transition to a new economic system.

– @ClimateDad77

When people confess to not reading by choice (early or late in their writing life!) my souls SQUIRMS for them.
– @hmvanderhart

Writing a haiku
Mulling over the first line
And then the second.
– Sarita Talwai

Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

my own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. and why? what’s this passion for?
– virginia woolf

The older I get the more complicated the past gets— the simplest times show themselves not to have been simple at all.
– sven birkerts

I’ve thrown this book across the room and picked it up, you know, and then walked down the steps laughing.
– Sonia Sanchez on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Life is a very simple matter. …But we add extra tension all the time. If you stop and feel your face, you’ll notice it’s usually a little bit tight. We don’t need that tension. We have a face; we don’t need to have an extra face.
– Charlotte Joko Beck

The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, open to all possibilities.
– Shunryu Suzuki

Heartbreaks, disappointments and even our own weaknesses can serve as stepping-stones to the second half of life transformation. Failings are the foundation for growth. Those who have fallen, failed or ‘gone down’ are the only ones who understand ‘up.’
– Richard Rohr

There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt.
– Ray Bradbury

My secret talent is my ability to tell within five pages if an author was raised catholic.
– Emma Bolden

Words melt in reflections; that’s why there’s a uselessness to this night, to my missing the river, to the delaying of love…
– Etel Adnan

White supremacy is a comprehensive cultural education whose primary function is to prevent people from reading—engaging with, understanding—the lives of people outside its scope.
– Elaine Castillo

…because sleep is an elusive magical healing place for people with chronic pain.
– Sonya Huber

Whom are we to love?
How many and what for?
This is a prayer, plaint, wish,
howl of void beneath breastbone.
Dreams, soul chasers, bring
back my heart alive.
– Jim Harrison

Trying to find a world to feel
that feels like the world again.
– Leonard Cohen

I wanted to drag a few words out of silence then sleep and none were what I truly wanted. So much silence and so many words.
– Jim Harrison

In her youth she ran on the mountains and something of their wildness is still in her speech.
– Nan Shepherd

How to Be Perfect
Everything is perfect, dear friend.
Get some sleep.

Don’t give advice.

Take care of your teeth and gums.

Don’t be afraid of anything beyond your control. Don’t be afraid, for
instance, that the building will collapse as you sleep, or that someone
you love will suddenly drop dead.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly. It will help make you happy.

Raise your pulse rate to 120 beats per minute for 20 straight minutes
four or five times a week doing anything you enjoy.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.

Know that the desire to be perfect is probably the veiled expression
of another desire—to be loved, perhaps, or not to die.

Make eye contact with a tree.

Be skeptical about all opinions, but try to see some value in each of

Dress in a way that pleases both you and those around you.

Do not speak quickly.

Learn something every day. (Dzien dobre!)

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball

Be loyal.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Design your activities so that they show a pleasing balance
and variety.

Be kind to old people, even when they are obnoxious. When you
become old, be kind to young people. Do not throw your cane at
them when they call you Grandpa. They are your grandchildren!

Live with an animal.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

If you need help, ask for it.

Cultivate good posture until it becomes natural.

If someone murders your child, get a shotgun and blow his head off.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you
have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.

Do not waste money you could be giving to those who need it.

Expect society to be defective. Then weep when you find that it is far
more defective than you imagined.

When you borrow something, return it in an even better condition.

As much as possible, use wooden objects instead of plastic or metal

Look at that bird over there.

After dinner, wash the dishes.

Calm down.

Visit foreign countries, except those whose inhabitants have
expressed a desire to kill you.

Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.

Meditate on the spiritual. Then go a little further, if you feel like it.
What is out (in) there?

Sing, every once in a while.

Be on time, but if you are late do not give a detailed and lengthy

Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don’t think that progress exists. It doesn’t.

Walk upstairs.

Do not practice cannibalism.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do
anything to make it impossible.

Take your phone off the hook at least twice a week.

Keep your windows clean.

Extirpate all traces of personal ambitiousness.

Don’t use the word extirpate too often.

Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go
to another one.

If you feel tired, rest.

Grow something.

Do not wander through train stations muttering, “We’re all going to

Count among your true friends people of various stations of life.

Appreciate simple pleasures, such as the pleasure of chewing, the
pleasure of warm water running down your back, the pleasure of a
cool breeze, the pleasure of falling asleep.

Do not exclaim, “Isn’t technology wonderful!”

Learn how to stretch your muscles. Stretch them every day.

Don’t be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even
older. Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

If you burn your finger, put it in cold water immediately. If you bang
your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for twenty
minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of coldness and

Learn how to whistle at earsplitting volume.

Be calm in a crisis. The more critical the situation, the calmer you
should be.

Enjoy sex, but don’t become obsessed with it. Except for brief periods
in your adolescence, youth, middle age, and old age.

Contemplate everything’s opposite.

If you’re struck with the fear that you’ve swum out too far in the
ocean, turn around and go back to the lifeboat.

Keep your childish self alive.

Answer letters promptly. Use attractive stamps, like the one with a
tornado on it.

Cry every once in a while, but only when alone. Then appreciate
how much better you feel. Don’t be embarrassed about feeling better.

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Do not step off the curb until you can walk all the way across the
street. From the curb you can study the pedestrians who are trapped
in the middle of the crazed and roaring traffic.

Be good.

Walk down different streets.


Remember beauty, which exists, and truth, which does not. Notice
that the idea of truth is just as powerful as the idea of beauty.

Stay out of jail.

In later life, become a mystic.

Use Colgate toothpaste in the new Tartar Control formula.

Visit friends and acquaintances in the hospital. When you feel it is
time to leave, do so.

Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.

Do not go crazy a lot. It’s a waste of time.

Read and reread great books.

Dig a hole with a shovel.

In winter, before you go to bed, humidify your bedroom.

Know that the only perfect things are a 300 game in bowling and a
27-batter, 27-out game in baseball.

Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink,
say, “Water, please.”

Ask “Where is the loo?” but not “Where can I urinate?”

Be kind to physical objects.

Beginning at age forty, get a complete “physical” every few years
from a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with.

Don’t read the newspaper more than once a year.

Learn how to say “hello,” “thank you,” and “chopsticks”
in Mandarin.

Belch and fart, but quietly.

Be especially cordial to foreigners.

See shadow puppet plays and imagine that you are one of the
characters. Or all of them.

Take out the trash.

Love life.

Use exact change.

When there’s shooting in the street, don’t go near the window.

That is why it is not enough to remove oneself from people, not enough to go somewhere else. We have to remove ourselves from the habits of the populace that are within us. We have to isolate our own self and return it to our possession. We carry our chains with us; we are not entirely free. We keep returning our gaze to the things we have left behind; we fantasize about them constantly.
– Montaigne, On Solitude

Poems are selfish,
always demanding attention,
tugging, pulling, asking, wanting.
The page, the pen,
this world, its hunger.
– Ebony Stewart

My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
– John Lennon

One of the uses of poetry is to save us from the constant clatter of abstractions.
– Doug Anderson

Didn’t I, idler and squanderer of summertime, write a long, intimate passionate poem into a lady’s poetry album? No doubt!…And didn’t I, on the whole, play a totally useless, pointless, untenable, irresponsible and thus superfluous part? Absolutely!
– Robert Walser, Wurzburg

When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality. So poetry becomes a philosophy to guide a man throughout his life.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.
– Maya Angelou

on the last page
of her last book
the setting sun
– Brenda Gannam

I do not name you,

but you are in me

like the music

in the throat of a nightingale

even if I am not singing.

– D. María de Loynaz

Give your all to your work and to people to the point of weakness. Wear yourself out in the loving and the giving. Deplete yourself. When your work is done or a friend leaves the world, you will feel that you have been assaulted or abandoned, but you will have loved and you will have used the heart for all of its noble purposes. Be bold in the use of the heart.
– Tennessee Williams

The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity.

But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, that society is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it – at no matter what risk. This is the only hope society has.

– James Baldwin

leaves floating
upon a lotus pond
autumn festival
– Basho

red leaves
engulfed in
– Issa

Poets! Towers of God
Made to resist the fury of the storms
Like cliffs beside the ocean
Or clouded, savage peaks!
Masters of lightning!
Breakwaters of eternity!

Hope, magic-voiced, foretells the day
When on the rock of harmony
The Siren traitorous shall die and pass away,
And there shall only be
The full, frank-billowed music of the sea.

Be hopeful still,
Though bestial elements yet turn
From Song with rancorous ill-will
And blinded races one another spurn!
Perversity debased
Among the high her rebel cry has raised.
The cannibal still lusts after the raw,
Knife-toothed and gory-faced.

Towers, your laughing banners now unfold.
Against all hatreds and all envious lies
Upraise the protest of the breeze, half-told,
And the proud quietness of sea and skies…

– Rubén Darío

Beautiful words of Jim Palmer – with an added caveat at the end: “According to the stories, many of the people Jesus associated with were so beaten down by religion and society that they could not believe anything good, trustworthy, beautiful and powerful could be found within themselves. Realizing this, as a temporary measure Jesus asked these people to place his faith in him. In other words, Jesus was trying to make the case that it was possible for a human being to live life freely as he did. After all, he was a human person just like they were. People would have known Jesus since he was a child and a common laborer in the village.

So this was step one: to acknowledge that the Jesus they all know was the same Jesus who lived a life of peace, love, courage, freedom and wholeness. It was lead by example. Human beings once through that the idea of going to the moon was absurd, until it was done. There was a time when the idea of a person running a 4-min mile was deemed impossible, until someone did it.

Step two was Jesus bolstering the people’s courage and confidence that they were just as capable of knowing true peace, love, wholeness and freedom. He debunked the religious system that systematically shamed and condemned people in the name of God. Jesus deconstructed the toxic theology of the religious establishment and turned it on its head. He went straight to the people that religion most rejected and offered love, affirmation, validation and friendship.

Unfortunately, at a later point, namely the reign of Constantine and Council of Nicea, Jesus was made into God in a way that put everyone back in their place. Things shifted from belief that one could live as Jesus, to the need to be saved because you can’t. This grave error has been a source of some of the greatest suffering in human history, which I describe extensively in my fifth book, Inner Anarchy.”

I affirm most all of this and have shared words very similar to this in my book K.F. Though I have become swayed by the scholarship that suggests that Protestant Christians have been exposed to a mistranslation of the biblical text that has led to a distortion of our understanding of salvation. We are saved by the faith of Jesus rather than faith in Jesus. See the article on Patheos “Was Luther Wrong? We’re saved by the faith OF Christ”
– Roger Wolsey

William Shatner:

I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things-that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.

It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

Strong words outlast the paper they are written upon.
– Joseph Bruchac

But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.
– Patrick Geddes

Writing sonnets meant that I could frame my panic and despair in love. Box it.
– Terrance Hayes

I love that Toni Morrison was okay with not writing for everybody. As she said, “I want to write for people like me…people who can’t be faked, people who don’t need to be patronized, people who have very, very high criteria.”
– Tamara K Nopper

One thing I often tell my nonfiction students is that even though this is about you, and it’s your story, it’s not about you. It’s about the human condition and our fears and betrayals and desires.
– Kim Barnes

You have to move faster than the non-writing part of you…
– Marguerite Duras

If your long-term strategy doesn’t have a climate lens then your long-term strategy might be for a world that will never exist.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

a brisk autumn wind —
there’s a book of poetry
inside each of us
– Jason Gould

The latest experiments in the field of quantum mechanics have rendered all but untenable the notion that there is anything objective at all. This is consistent with many of the world’s religious myths, which suggest that the world is a self-referential mental creation.
– Kastrup

I am using the expression ‘inner clarity’ to mean conscious awareness of being on one’s thread, knowing what one knows, and having an ability quite simply and without ostentation to stand firm on one’s own inner truth.
– Irene Claremont de Castillejo

When mind and body are separated, spirituality becomes an intellectual phenomenon—a belief rather than a vital force—while the body becomes simply flesh, or a biochemical laboratory, as in modern medicine.
– Alexander Lowen

Paris Agreement
the v of seagulls
lost in the fog

summer ends
in the birdbath
white feathers

draught lake lily the last of its colours

– Hifsa Ashraf

The closer we get to our pain, the greater are the odds that we’ll be able to skillfully relate to it rather than from it.
– Robert Augustus Masters

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
– Ovid, Heroides

Once, I lived on the tarred, lonely highways of truth – slugging towards the looming horizons – the promised dwelling places for those who did not waver. The whole world was about being either right or wrong. I was either lost or found.

That was many years ago though.

Today, when I meet people, I recognize how utterly beyond right and wrong they are – how their lives are symphonies beyond orchestration, how their mistakes and failings are actually cosmic explorations on a scale grander and of a texture softer than our most dedicated rule-books could possibly account for.

You see, something happened on my way – and I lost my coordinates, my map, my directives. Now the whole journey is the destination – and each point, each barren point, just as noble as the final dot.

Every splotch of ink is become to me a fresco of wisdom, a beehive of honey, a lovely place – and every aching voice a heavenly choir. The world is no longer desolate and empty and exclusive; she is now a wispy spirit, whose fingers flirt through the wind – a million roads where only one once lay. And I need not be certain about the road traveled – since I arrived the self-same moment I set out.

– Báyò Akómoláfé

One of the ways we know we’re magical people is by how much we manage to do with broken hearts.
– Jericho Brown

Romantic Poetry
by Diane Seuss

Now that the TV is gone and the music
has been hauled away,
it’s just me here, and the muffling silence
a spider wraps around a living morsel.
And at times, often, the unbearable.
I bear it, though, just like you.
Long ago, I bore a suitcase filled with books,
bore it far on city streets. To sell, I guess, at some
used-books place, one of those doorways down
steps into dankness and darkness. The scent

of mildewed, dog-eared, fingered pages.
The suitcase, big and square and sharp-cornered,
covered in snakeskin, bought at Goodwill
for a dollar, knowing I had some travelling to do,
some lugging, and I was right.
What books I sold I do not know.
Maybe that’s where “Modern Poetry” went.
The cover cherry-red and blossom-white.
I can see its spine in my mind’s eye,
pointing downward beneath the dank

and the dark to the water tunnelling
under the city and making its way to the river.
Poems sliding down the book’s spine
into water, the shock of the cold and dank,
down where my uterine lining, my blood
and cast-off ovulations, cast-off fetal
tissue swims, below the city.
The micro-dead ride modern poems
like swan boats in the park.
From the park to the river to the sea.

I’m thinking now of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave.
Balladeers. Lovers. Vita and Virginia.
Frank O’Hara and Vincent Warren. Somehow,
we ride our lost loves out to sea. Or they ride us.
It doesn’t matter. Poet or poem or reader, the same
ectoplasm. The modern, in time, becomes antique,
and the stone faces of the dead convert to symbols,
ripe for smashing. Come to think of it,
symbols are terrible. As the tyrant
shouted to the masses,

part of his brainwashing campaign:
I know it, and you know it, too.
I was twenty-three when I sold off
“Modern Poetry” and sailed to Italy, seeking
Romantic poetry, which was at one time
modern, and found my way to Rome,
and Keats’s death room.
His deathbed, a facsimile.
Everything he touched was burned,
to kill what killed him.

I lifted his death mask from its nail,
cradled it, closed my eyes and kissed his lips
until the plaster warmed,
and stained his face
with the lipstick on my lips. Red
as the cover of “Modern Poetry.”
The color of the droplets of arterial blood
he coughed onto his sheets, and viewed
by candlelight. Then he knew he was done for.
His death warrant, he called it.

After those many kisses over his face and eyes,
and the reticulated eyelashes,
cold and tangled,
my lips were blossom-white,
my face, chalked. Like I’d caught
something from him,
and I don’t just mean consumption,
though my lungs burned for years.
They still burn.
This is the danger of the ecstasy of kissing

the dead or dying poet on the mouth.
The disease you’ll catch—well,
it changes you.
The tingle in the spine,
the erotic charge, will be forever married
to poetry’s previous incarnations.
It’s why marriage itself never worked for me.
I kept wanting to get to the part
where death parts us
and I could find myself again.

Keats made such a compact corpse.
Only five feet tall, shorter than Prince,
and intricately made. Always,
he was working it, working it out,
the meaning of suffering, the world’s,
his own, the encounter with beauty,
nearly synonymous with suffering,
how empathy could extinguish him,
and he could set down the suitcase at last,
or finally deliver him to himself, distinct

as the waves in his hair and the bridge
of his nose. How auspicious,
rare, lush,
bizarre, kinky, transcendent,
romantic, to be young, just twenty-three,
and to cradle him
in my arms, as we listened
to the burbling water
of the Fontana della Barcaccia
from the open window.

Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.
– Anne Lamott

Jung believed that “man’s worst sin is unconsciousness,” for in unconsciousness the human being fails in his or her spiritual duty of self-knowledge. We are summoned to realize the potential of our true selves.
– Ursula Wirtz

This poem was written at a time when I rode many trains from Connecticut to D.C. The tracks pass through marshes lined with tall grasses.
– Tobi Kassim

“To be ill,” he said in an interview he gave me a year ago, is to be in a situation that forces you to think.” Especially when it’s one of those weird diseases that you don’t suffer directly but from the side effects of the treatments. I realized that I had managed, through my philosophical work, my reflection on Gaia, on the Anthropocene, to break myself away from the traditional idea of nature, to accept the idea that heaven was produced by living beings, that life even possible only through countless interactions, but that my spontaneous slope was to remain confined to a very limited, cartesian vision of the body. I walk my body, take it to the doctor like it’s a mechanic, and wait for the doctor to fix it. It’s poor, isn’t it? But some experiences have increased my understanding. In the same week, I happened to see a nephrologist, an acupuncturist, and a qi gong coach. Here you realize that the biological body is not the only body as described in medical school. Like pragmata, the body is a mysterious object. It can be researched multiple times, and medicine but also acupuncture or qi gong are “stitches” that give access to different dimensions, not exclusive to each other. Céline in Rigodon [1969] gives a masterful description of it when he talks about “this millionth gamet who decides that he has had enough, that he obeys orders, that he will work for himself”. It all starts from a cellular solipsism, a flaw in relationship, a breakdown of the interactions that keep us alive. Or we know today that the body is not one, but that it is a holobionte, a cloud made up of a multitude of microorganisms working together. So, liberating one’s body is freeing oneself from the narrow, Cartesian vision to accept these explorations.
– Alexandre Lacroix

How many moons have I been too busy to notice? Full moons, half moons, quarter moons facing those thousands of suns, watching them bringing the years up, one piece at a time. Even the dark phases of moon after moon, gray stoppers plugged into a starry sky, letting a little light leak out around the edges. By my reckoning, almost a thousand full moons have passed above me now, and I have been too busy and self-absorbed to be thankful for more than a few, though month after month they have patiently laid out my shadow, that velvety cloak that in the moonlit evenings waits for me.
– Ted Kooser

How It Escaped Our Attention
by Heid E. Erdrich

When a whole being
births into your hands
still you see your hands
no matter how unworldly
the beauty of the child

Then the universe of words
works past cosmology
to a useful name a handle
in English unlike the Indigenous
genderless language of verbs

Moon blues comet misses
moon looms super moon bleeds
many cosmological shifts later
our hands eclipsed by
the lovely being come so far

Come closer than ever
across the several heavens
we Ojibwe name
the layers of our atmosphere
and further out there
the fourth sky forever sky

When you first came to us
we did not have an Ojibwe name
to know the sky beyond
the sky beyond the sky

How were we to know
he was she was
they are

How were we to know who?

by Marc Alan Di Martino

Time strangles anything it strains to hold,
tangles the whistle of a passing train
into refracted pitches, a refrain
as Now recedes in squall. Tally the gold
dust on the telescope, polish the trick
mirror. Your image flickers like a wick.
Your image flickers like a candle’s wick
in time’s dense mirror. What you cannot hold
is all there is. Arrive, depart. The train
warps through the station’s prism, its refrain
refracted coordinates. Fade to gold:
the sun goes down like a child’s magic trick.
The sun goes down like a child’s magic trick
trapped in the squall of a departing train
to Nowheresville. This backbeat’s crack refrain
refracts the scene in its mad mirror’s gold
pitch dark at rainbow’s edge, its flaming wick
a fire no individual can hope to hold.
A fire no individual can hope to hold
awaits at rainbow’s edge: a trigger, a wick
unravelling time. Strike chorus, refrain,
backbeat, tempo, music—the faded gold
of thought, our consciousness’ greatest trick,
clacking along indeterminately. Train
clacking along indeterminately, train
with no conductor, accumulate refrain
of themes, associate music—stick, wick
and flame bound up together by some trick,
evolutionary sleight-of-hand. Hold
me, stroll with me through all this falling gold.
Stroll with me through all this falling gold
no human eye could ever hope to hold.
The trees are candles, incandescent. Wick
by wick, performing nature’s magic trick,
their glitter wanes faster than any train,
drains to the dregs its annual refrain.
The brilliance of the wick is in its gold.
Time’s hat trick is to never miss your train.
Find one small hand to hold. Chorus, refrain.

I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s irritable and difficult to be around.
That’s grief talking, I remind myself,
And my love expands like an umbrella in a downpour.
I know someone going through a hard time.
She’s moody and dramatic.
That’s teen angst talking, I remind myself,
And my love settles and steadies like a familiar song.
I know someone going through a hard time.
She’s anxious and uptight.
That’s fear talking, I remind myself,
And my love whispers to her like a calming prayer.
I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s grumpy and forgetful.
That’s growing old talking, I remind myself,
And my love supports him like a great oak tree.
I know someone going through a hard time.
He’s defensive and withdrawn.
That’s depression talking, I remind myself.
And my love breaks through the clouds and warms his face.
It’s not easy to respond when I want to retreat,
To bite my tongue when I want to bite back
To empathize when I want to implode.
But when you’re going through a hard time, you feel shaky—
like you’re suspended in a place you don’t want to be.
That’s why a steady hand to hold you is especially helpful during these times.
I know because that was me in March of 2017,
Suspended in darkness.
I was anxious, overreactive, defensive and moody.
But I was never alone.
Thank God, I was never alone.
Being unalone is what helped me hold on.
So, when I see my loved ones going through a hard time,
I do the one thing I know helps:
I throw my weight behind them.
With feet firmly planted, I reach out my hand.
“We’ll get through this,” I remind them, as I remind myself.
Because when we are going through a hard time
it’s easy to forget
our trial is temporary,
mistakes don’t define us,
and our story is still being written.
– Rachel Macy Stafford

Pirandello said once that we are, in reality, the juxtaposition of infinite, blurred selves. It’s so, and we can’t unblur all the selves. But we can recognize that they exist, and above all, we can let them look at things, remembering always Goethe’s saying that, of all the things that we do, that we can do, the nicest of all is just to stand and look. From the moment that one pays continuous attention to anything, no matter what it is–a leaf, a nail–whatever is being regarded becomes a world in itself, mysterious, imposing, unspeakably magnified and inexhaustibly fertile in possibilities. Once you have begun to do this, you have entered into the kingdom of the Other, recognizing its otherness, and wanting to learn from it. The feeling that you get is that the world, and each aspect of it, is a mystery, is unfathomable, and that it glows against the background of universal darkness with a kind of strange and even magical light, both utterly meaningful and utterly meaningless, as the universe itself is.
– James Dickey

When the field of vision has been unified, the inner being comes to rest, and that inner peacableness flows into the outer world as harmony and compassion.
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Wisdom isn’t knowing more. It’s knowing with more of you.
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Life is a very sad piece of buffoonery, because we have the need to fool ourselves continuously by the spontaneous creation of a reality (one for each and never the same for everyone) which, from time to time, reveals itself to be vain and illusory.
– Luigi Pirandello

Here are 11 ways professionals show out when amateurs just show up:
Amateurs have a goal.
Professionals have a process.
Amateurs react.
Professionals prepare.
Amateurs go fast.
Professionals go far.
Amateurs think knowledge is power.
Professionals pass on wisdom and advice.
Amateurs focus on the short term.
Professionals focus on the long-term.
Amateurs show up inconsistently.
Professionals show up every day.
Amateurs think in absolutes.
Professionals think in probabilities.
Amateurs think disagreements are threats.
Professionals see them as an opportunity to learn.
Amateurs think they are good at everything.
Professionals understand their circle of competence.
Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them.
Professionals seek out feedback because they know that’s how they get better.
Amateurs value isolated performance.
Think about the receiver who catches the ball once on a difficult throw.
Professionals value consistency.
They want to catch the ball in the same situation 9 times out of 10.
If you want to improve, use this information as a checklist.
– @farnamstreet

The Buddha said that karma is intention. In other words, the important point is not so much what we do, but why we are doing it, in other words, our motivation.

If our speech is associated with negative emotions, results will be negative. From moment to moment, we are shaping our future. We are planting zillions and zillions of karmic seeds, and we don’t know when they will sprout.

This explains why good things happens to bad people and the other way around.

Many things can happen, but how do we take them, this is the important point. If we react to them with anger, discontent, etc., we create negative causes for the future. We avoid doing that only if we are aware of what we are thinking. Otherwise, we are caught up in all these negative trends of life.
If we had microphones attached to our mind and everyone around could hear our thoughts, all of us would quickly want to learn how to meditate.

– Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

I relearn the language
of a smile and I think of what
a luxury it would be to erase
or reset at the stroke of a pen.
– Patrick Roche

Anxiety is not always a sign of sickness, a weakness of the mind or an error to which we should locate a medical solution. It is mostly a hugely reasonable and sensitive response to the genuine strangeness, terror, uncertainty and riskiness of existence.
– The School of Life

But we cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever.
– Haruki Murakami

You are so knitted into a day. You are within it; the day is as close as your skin. It is around your eyes; it is inside your mind. The day moves you, often it can weigh you down; or again it can raise you up. Yet the amazing fact is: this day vanishes. When you look behind you, you do not see your past standing there in a series of day shapes. You cannot wander back through the gallery of your past. Your days have disappeared silently and for ever. Your future time has not arrived yet. The only ground of time is the present moment.
– John O’Donohue

Almost dusk, but enough of that dark gold, late-afternoon light. Staring once again out the window, observer in my own life…
– Jeff VanderMeer

If someone does not recognize how they have harmed you, there’s no point in forgiving them, but you can let go of your own bitterness about it. You don’t have to pretend like it never happened. You learn from it. You figure out how to hold your boundaries.
– Kyogen Carlson

The coming of life cannot be fended off; its departure cannot be stopped. How pitiful the men of the world, who think that simply nourishing the body is enough to preserve life!
– Zhuangzi

I believe the best way to begin reconnecting humanity’s heart, mind, and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories.
– J. Drew Lanham, The Home Place

Prediction: Web3 is going to disrupt wisdom lineages in ways that the traditions just aren’t ready for.

Decentralized network consensus about what qualifies one to teach/lead combined with collective governance represents a huge unlock of human potential in these traditions.

– @VinceFHorn

We are all living above our own moss mills. Beneath every step is a record.
– Elizabeth Kolenda

At any time you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold? What gift would enable me to do it? A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms, and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope.

This is one of the reasons such vital crossings were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.

– John O’Donohue

A love beyond love,
above the bonds of ritual,
beyond the sinister game
of loneliness and companionship.
A love that needs no return,
but neither departure.
A love not subjected
to the flashes of coming and going back,
of being awake or asleep,
of calling or being silent.

A love that wants to be together
or does not want to be
but a love also for all the situations
A love like opening your eyes.
And maybe also… like closing them.

– Roberto Juarroz

I don’t want my poems to perpetuate clichés, tropes, standards. Mostly I’m looking for surprise.
– Terrance Hayes

The way I remember it, / I caught beauty / Like a flu, // Via handshake or high five / Or a thank-you- / For-your-service
– @KathyFaganPoet

When your most deeply held beliefs and way of life stand upon such tumultuous and bloodstained ground, the most loving, caring, compassionate, and trustworthy thing you can offer our world is a steadfast and deeply lived relationship with grief.

Does this mean we should grovel in sorrow for the rest of our lives or feel guilty for being born or having the lives we live? No. Grief is a skill much more than it is a feeling. Grief is a way of living for mature human beings who understand what it means to take responsibility, even for the things they did not intend. A living relationship with grief brings you down alongside the poverties of our culture, not as someone seeking another solution but as someone willing to have their heart broken by them. This land is longing for well-ripened humans with sensitive and tuned hearts to hold up their end of the bargain. And until we do, our modern culture and beliefs won’t belong and will remain homeless and foreign to the places they occupy.

– Josh Avritt

The glue that holds the natural world together appears to be a harmonious balance of opposites: day and night, light and dark, winter and summer, liquid and solid, acidic and alkaline, male and female, wave and trough, proton and electron, etc. There prevails in our reality an explicit duality that represents an implicit unity (the “oneness” about which I’ve previously babbled), and the line of separation between those things just named is as thin as it is necessary: yang rubs up against yin, yin against yang, distinct but mutually supportive. The line separating tragedy from comedy is broader, deeper, more jagged, although neither as fixed nor as problematic as the one between life and death; and it’s those more glaring oppositions, including desire versus rejection, success versus failure, and especially, “good” versus “evil” that generally engage practitioners of the narrative arts. From my perspective, however, the most fascinating and perhaps most significant of all interfaces is the one that separates yet connects the ridiculous and the sublime. The surprisingly narrow borderline between things holy and things profane, between prayer and laughter, between a Leonardo chalice and Warhol soup can, between the Clear Light and the joke, provides a zone of meaning as exhilarating as it is heretical: a whisper of psychic release so acutely yet weirdly portentous it just might offer a clue to the mystery of being.

– Tom Robbins, Tibetan Peach Pie

The Appalachians were a mountain range in Pangaea
– Nicholas Pierotti

Praise what you love. Chuck it under the chin with affection and be ready to give yourself away to it a little bit every day until there is nothing left. When what you love claims you as much as you claim it, a two-way growing process begins. Love always begets more love.
– Gunilla Norris

We want to have certainties and no doubts …The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction; on the contrary, a wider and higher consciousness is required to give us the certainty and clarity we need.
– CG Jung

The Medusa in the Perseus myth symbolises more than a personal dilemma. She is a problem within the collective psyche, a universal human inheritance of resentment and poison which generates paralysing depression within families and social groups and even nations.
– Liz Greene

I just want to go to Shambhala and sleep.
– Nicholas Pierotti

As I grow old
I will not shuffle to the beat
of self-interest
and make that slow retreat
​​​to the right.

I will be a septuagenarian insurrectionist
marching with the kids. I shall sing
‘La Marseillaise’, whilst brandishing
homemade placards that proclaim

I will be an octogenarian obstructionist,
and build unscalable barricades
from bottles of flat lemonade,
tartan blankets and chicken wire.
I will hurl prejudice upon the brazier’s fire.

I will be a nonagenarian nonconformist,
armed with a ballpoint pen
and a hand that shakes with rage not age
at politicians’ latest crimes,
in strongly-worded letters to The Times.

I will be a centenarian centurion
and allow injustice no admittance.
I will stage longstanding sit-ins.
My mobility scooter and I
will move for no-one.

And when I die
I will be the scattered ashes
that attach themselves to the lashes
and blind the eyes
of racists and fascists.

– Brian Bilston

Lord, I Ask a Garden . . .
by Alfonso Guillén Zelaya

translated from the Spanish by William George Williams
Lord, I ask a garden in a quiet spot
where there may be a brook with a good flow,
an humble little house covered with bell-flowers,
and a wife and a son who shall resemble Thee.

I should wish to live many years, free from hates,
and make my verses, as the rivers
that moisten the earth, fresh and pure.
Lord, give me a path with trees and birds.

I wish that you would never take my mother,
for I should wish to tend to her as a child
and put her to sleep with kisses, when somewhat old
she may need the sun.

I wish to sleep well, to have a few books,
an affectionate dog that will spring upon my knees,
a flock of goats, all things rustic,
and to live off the soil tilled by my own hand.

To go into the field and flourish with it;
to seat myself at evening under the rustic eaves,
to drink in the fresh mountain perfumed air
and speak to my little one of humble things.

At night to relate him some simple tale,
teach him to laugh with the laughter of water
and put him to sleep thinking that he may later on
keep that freshness of the moist grass.

And afterward, the next day, rise with dawn
admiring life, bathe in the brook,
milk my goats in the happiness of the garden
and add a strophe to the poem of the world.

it could be Peace
it could be Unity (sounds easy)
but this poem cannot
provide this
or contain this
– Juan Felipe Herrera

We were traveling between a mountain and Thursday,
Holding pages back on the calendar,
Remembering every turn in the roadway:
We hold that sky, we said, and remember.
So magic a time it was that I was both brave and afraid.
Some day like this might save the world.
– William Stafford

To what shore would you cross, O my
heart? There is no traveller before
you, there is no road:

Where is the movement, where is the
rest, on that shore?

There is no water; no boat, no boatman,
is there;

There is not so much as a rope to tow
the boat, nor a man to draw it.

No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is
there: no shore, no ford!

There, there is neither body nor mind:
and where is the place that shall
still the thirst of the soul? You shall
find naught in that emptiness.

Be strong, and enter into your own body:
for there your foothold is firm. Consider
it well, O my heart! Go not elsewhere.

Kabir says: “Put all imaginations away, and
stand fast in that which you are.

– Kabir

Settler colonialism tried to force us into one particular way of living, but the old ways of kinship can help us imagine a different future. Krawec asks, What would it look like to remember that we are all related? How might we become better relatives to the land, to one another, and to Indigenous movements for solidarity? Braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to “unforget” our history.
– Patty Krawecat

In all kinds of healing practices, at least in West Africa, the idea is that knowledge is precious, and you learn it over a long period of time. In time, you become the custodian of that knowledge. Your greatest obligation, however, is to pass that knowledge onto the next generation. If the knowledge is correct, it will continue to be used. Everything that I’ve written about my teacher and my own experiences as his apprentice, has been an attempt to convey the wonder of the world he exposed me to. My hope is that my work will in some way ensure that this knowledge will not disappear. My hope is that Adamu Jenitongo’s wise practices will persevere and that they will be recognized, appreciated, and extended to the issues that we face today in the world.
– Anna Badkhen, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It has always been the business of the great seers (known to India as ‘rishis,’ in biblical terms as “prophets,” to primitive folk as ‘shamans,’ and in our own day as ‘poets’ and ‘artists’) to perform the work of the first and second functions of a mythology by recognizing through the veil of nature, as viewed in the science of their times, the radiance, terrible yet gentle, of the dark, unspeakable light beyond, and through their words and images to reveal the sense of the vast silence that is the ground of us all and of all beings.
– Joseph Campbell

The very fear of stray thoughts is another stray thought. Therefore, if you have many stray thoughts, consider it a natural phenomenon and do not despise them.
– Master Sheng-yen

In his memoir Another Beauty, poet Adam Zagajewski writes, ‘a poem’s mystery is always ahead of us,’ as if the poem itself touches on mysteries and asks questions but never arrives at or defines or answers them completely. Like a poem, an essay is never really finished, either. Humans are by nature questioners; the biggest answers we seek seem to deal with our identity, usually in relation to a thing bigger than ourselves, such as purpose in life and place on earth. Essays, like those questions, are never fully answered. We are often called to go deeper in our writing, but I think we should also move outwards, from the particular to the universal–centrifugally moving bigger, wider, and expansively so. We should remember our partness and wholeness, which is true of all things, and come to realize there is no destination at which to arrive. We are there. We are nudged in certain directions, set off on trajectories, but will find no end-all and be-all port of call. More always lies within and beyond.
– Liz Blood

The sun had not yet stood out from the orient, but his precedent light shone through the translucent blue. Yet it was not blue, nor is there any word, nor is a word possible to convey the feeling unless one could be built up of signs and symbols like those in the book of the magician, which glowed and burned to and fro the page. For the blue of the precious sapphire is thick to it, the turquoise dull, these hard surfaces are no more to be compared to it than sand and gravel. They are but stones, hard, cold, pitiful, that which gives them their lustre is the light. Through delicate porcelain sometimes the light comes, and it is not the porcelain, it is the light that is lovely. But porcelain is clay, and the light is shorn, checked, and shrunken. Down through the beauteous azure came the Light itself, pure, unreflected Light, untouched, untarnished even by the dew-sweetened petal of a flower, descending, flowing like a wind, a wind of glory sweeping through the blue. A luminous purple glowing as Love glows in the cheek, so glowed the passion of the heavens.

Two things only reach the soul. By touch there is indeed emotion. But the light in the eye, the sound of the voice! the soul trembles and like a flame leaps to meet them. So to the luminous purple azure his heart ascended.

– Richard Jefferies

Remember how long you have been putting these things off, and how often you have received an opportunity from the gods and have not made use of it. By now you ought to realize what cosmos you are apart of, and what divine administrator you owe your existence to, and that an end to your time here has been marked out, and if you do not use this time for clearing the clouds from your mind, it will be gone and so will you.
– Jacob Needleman

It is necessary to realize that technology itself is not the cause of our problem of [not having enough] time. Its influence on our lives is a result, not a cause – the result of an unseen accelerating process taking place in ourselves, in our inner being. Whether we point to the effect of communication technology (such as e-mail) with its tyranny of instant communication; or to the computerization, and therefore the mentalization of so many human activities that previously required at least some participation of our physical presence; or to any of the other innumerable transformations of human life that are being brought about by the new technologies, the essential element to recognize is how much of what we call “progress” is accompanied by and measured by the fact that human beings need less and less conscious attention to perform their activities and lead their lives.

The real power of the faculty of attention, unknown to modern science, is one of the indispensable and most central measures of humanness – of the being of a man or a woman – and has been so understood, in many forms and symbols, at the heart of all great spiritual teaching of the world. The effects of advancing technology, for all its material promise they offer the world (along with the dangers, of course) is but the most recent wave in a civilization that, without recognizing what it was doing, has placed the satisfaction of desire above the cultivation of being.

The deep meaning of many rules of conduct and more principles of the past – so many of which have been abandoned without our understanding their real roots in human nature – involved the cultivation and development of the uniquely human power of attention, its action in the body, heart and mind of man. To be present, truly present, is to have conscious attention. This capacity is the key to what it means to be human.

It is not, therefore, the rapidity of change as such that is the source of our problem of time. It is the metaphysical fact that the being of man is diminishing.

– Jacob Needleman

Disappointment is a good sign of basic intelligence. It cannot be compared to anything else: it is so sharp, precise, obvious, and direct. If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations we are facing.
– Chogyam Trungpa

The body does not know the difference between an experience and a thought; you can literally change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones, and genes, simply by having an inner event.
– Dr. Joe Dispenza

They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
– Philip K. Dick

First there is nothing, then there is a deep nothing, then there is a blue depth.
– Gaston Bachelard

History Lesson/1960s
by Carolyn Marie Rodgers

what we
to do

with our dreams,
we hoped to erase all time
smash with raised strong
clenched fists
all the remaining walls
and bully, bribe, or captivate
any unfavorable gods
against our cause.

so like banners
and flags, our dreams unfurled
before all the world,
we marched
our words we sent forth
as our warriors.

oh how sweet the
censers of victory and freedom
were going to be.
and we wanted never to
dream again,
awake or asleep,
if we could not
change the signature
of the world.

Every day is an elegy to the poem you never wrote.
– Victoria Chang

The Red Poppy
by Louise Glück

The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
govern me. I have
a lord in heaven
called the sun, and open
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,
were you like me once, long ago,
before you were human? Did you
permit yourselves
to open once, who would never
open again? Because in truth
I am speaking now
the way you do. I speak
because I am shattered.

You eliminate an enormous amount of suffering by concentrating on the suffering that is actually present instead of creating more with your thinking. It is the difference between discomfort and torment.
– Larry Rosenberg

I don’t cook, I just read cookbooks. And dream.
– Linda Ronstadt

It’s going to take humans to fix it. Not God. If anything, God is waiting on us to act… Godlike. Nobility is a revolutionary act, in a gamesy and manipulative world. We must find our feet, and our no-bull-ity, and band together to dismantle the unconscionable structures that imprison us. If we don’t do it soon, our freedoms will be long gone. Because the power-brokers now have access to technologies and systems that can more easily control humanity than ever before. And they live deep in the delusion that power over humanity will cure what ails them. It won’t, but that won’t stop them from trying. It’s left to us to fix it.
– Jeff Brown



It is remarkable how time passes, decades
pass, and a moment, a second, when you’re looking

into someone’s eyes on a sidewalk on Edgware Rd.
in London, when you’re adjusting the scarf

on a loved one’s neck, to shelter them from the cold,
pushing up their collar as if wrapping yourself

around them, tucking them into a bed warm
and safe from a reckless world, that perfume,

that quiet sparkle in dark eyes, that face, that blush
you loved so much, all that can be as vivid, more vivid

than any invented now, as if it is happening now,
as present, real, more real than the room you sit in

50 years later, more real than the naked cypress trees
outside the January window, more real than the gray

mist-shrouded prairie of another hungering morning


But it is like that, she is right here now, with me,
sudden and unforgettable, and I am still waiting

for her to speak. It is that immaculate morning
decades ago, when I have to go to work, I have a job

at a record store, and she has someplace
she needs to run, and I am standing with her,

looking in her eyes, doting on her, tucking her in
for a dangerous unknown, and I will never know

where she would go from there, that day,
she wouldn’t say where, sometimes it was impossible

for us to speak to one another, only to adore one another
in a distant way, and she would go away somewhere

impossible, painful for me to imagine, as she often did,
and show up later that afternoon, after I got home

from work, emerge from a red sports car pulling up
outside my flat in Islington, to get her suitcase,

she came back, after a day going out in the cold,
somewhere with two good-looking young men,

well-dressed men, in sporty clothes,
who stood on the street waiting for her, they kept

their distance from me, nodded at me politely,
a long-haired Neanderthal young man of the 60’s,

courteously, as if they understood everything,
read the future, knew her past, and I didn’t ask,

“Who are these men?” and she didn’t say, she would
only say goodbye, and drive away with them,

like a perfect scarf unraveling like a broken bird,
in the invisible climate of faraway cities, go back

to New York where she would live for a while
And I would never see her again, hear from her again,

only the news from my mother, on the telephone:
“By the way, did you know, Lindsay committed suicide?”

And that would be that


And that moment on the street when I touched
your face, adjusted your scarf, that moment of saying

I love you and goodbye without words, would stay with me,
so real, more real than this cup of sugared-coffee

beside me on this cluttered table, paint brushes and pens,
as I look out the window into a dream to find you,
more real than my fingers sliding over blunt keys
to get closer to you, more real than the sound of a fan

turning out of orbit in the machinery of the 21st century,
more real, you will always be more real than any day

of my life that followed your departure from the fiction
of my knotted world, from this stumbling world,

more real than anything, than anyone or any breathless
whisper I have ever heard since that beautiful look

of bitter love, that shattering silence in London,
that I have looked for all my life to live again. I remember

you so clearly, only you are real, for that is when
I died, that moment, that time decades ago,

for I had given you all of myself then and there was
nothing left of me. I am the ghost. And you are more real.

– Michael Rothenberg

Dude at Starbucks just left the crowded store and went “Bye everyone,” and every single person in that store said goodbye I literally just met the main character
– @dietcokegirl

You must react everyday to what is happening. But that is no way to write a book or a sentence.
– James Baldwin

There was this free space opened up by refusing to respond every minute.
– Toni Morrison

We need more, not less, scholars. People who are okay with their heavy lifting being done through serious scholarship.
– Tamara K Nopper

A problem with living in the twenty-first century is that we are made to feel poorly travelled if we have only been to ten other countries. To feel old if we have a wrinkle. To feel ugly if we aren’t photo shopped and filtered.
– Matt Haig

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how silly the whole concept of time is in relation to writing and how long it takes to write a book.
– Jill Christman

I think the psychedelics are wasted on the youth.
– @ZahnMcClarnon

an owl happy
in her solitude
autumn dusk
– Issa

I think poetry is a shared thing, a gift for both the writer and the reader. If we caretake that gift to the best of our abilities, we create an experience that is simultaneously personal and collective.
– Adrian Matejka

Confronting our shadows, as Dr. Jung articulates in his writings, is the most fundamental step in gaining any kind of spiritual or psychological maturity. To think this step can be avoided is to live in a state of illusion and denial.
– Bud Harris

I admit I’m highly skeptical when a cicada shows up in a poem.
– Adam Clay

Let my heart be cicada over heavenly fields. Let it die singing slowly by the blue sky wounded.
– Federico García Lorca

I wish I could say I was the kind of child
who watched the moon from her window,
would turn toward it and wonder.
I never wondered. I read. Dark signs
that crawled toward the edge of the page.
It took me years to grow a heart
from paper and glue. All I had
was a flashlight, bright as the moon,
a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.
– Dorianne Laux

The poet places language beyond the reach of time: or, more accurately, the poet approaches language as if it were a place, an assembly point, where time has no finality, where time itself is encompassed and contained.
– John Berger

I can’t make the
world peaceful

I can’t stall tanks
from roaring down roads

I can’t prevent children
from having to hide in bunkers

I can’t convince the news to
stop turning war into a video game

I can’t silence the sound of bombs
tearing neighborhoods apart

I can’t turn a guided missile
into a bouquet of flowers

I can’t make a warmonger
have an ounce of empathy

I can’t convince ambassadors
to quit playing truth or dare

I can’t deflect a sniper’s bullet
from turning a wife into a widow

I can’t stave off a country being
reduced to ash and rubble

I can’t do any of that
the only thing I can do

is love the next person I encounter
without any conditions or strings

to love my neighbor
so fearlessly that
it starts a ripple
that stretches from
one horizon to the next

I can’t force peace
on the world
but I can become a force

of peace in the world
sometimes all it takes
is a single lit candle
in the darkness
to start a movement

“Lord, make me a candle
of comfort in this world
let me burn with peace”

– John Roedel

Blending with the wind,
Snow falls;
Blending with the snow,
The wind blows.
By the hearth
I stretch out my legs,
Idling my time away
Confined in this hut.
Counting the days,
I find that February, too,
Has come and gone
Like a dream.

– Ryokan

Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.
– Susan Sontag

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon,
East of the Sun.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

We suffer from a repression of the sublime.
– Roberto Assagioli

You often read that Americans “vote their pocketbook,” which is supposed to come off as meaning that Americans are a shrewd and practical people. What it really indicates is that Americans care about money more than anything. Principles come second.
– Mark Bittner

In toxic cultures, people are rewarded solely for individual results. How they treat others is ignored.

In healthy cultures, people are valued for collective contributions.
– Adam Grant

new fear unlocked: every journal I submit to will be hijacked by an alt lit editor who will tank its credibility within one day
– @micaela_poetry

You have two kinds of secrets. The ones only you know. The ones only you don’t.
– James Richardson

…old books piled in the window,
you refilling my water glass until beads gather.
– Shannon Wolf

in clear water
fallen willow leaves
– Buson

The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had…of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way–a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word ‘beat’ spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America–beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction…
– Jack Kerouac

If there were no laughter it would not be the way.
– Lao Tzu

If we learn to live with the mystery, rather than the certainty, life opens up to us.
– Connie Zweig

Why do you go away?
So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place
you came from with new eyes
and extra colors.
And the people there see you
differently, too.
Coming back to where you
started is not the same as
never leaving.
– Terry Pratchett

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.
– Katherine Mansfield

after a while struggling to survive
becomes a routine and maybe
that’s where we got the jitterbug from.
who among us ain’t got some
demons need shaken loose?
– Darius Simpson

Everyone has got to realise, you can’t hold on to the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next.
– Joe Strummer

Gain certainty in the fact
That all phenomena are
The magical display of your Mind
– Guru Rinpoche

Our words were a few colorful leaves
afloat on a very old silence,
the kind with a terrifying undertow,
and we stood right at its edge,
wrapping ourselves in our own arms
because of the chill, and with old voices
called back and forth across all those years
until we could bear it no longer,
and turned from each other,
and walked away into our countries.
– Ted Kooser

Every pause pauses in its own style.
– Don McKay

and did I forget to thank you
for what I felt
a moment ago
– Leonard Cohen

Don’t take anything literally but always look deeper. For example, if you drink too much, what is your soul looking for in the alcohol? If you eat too much, what part of your soul is in need of nourishing? Think poetically and never respond on a surface level.
– Thomas Moore

The most we can do is dream the myth onwards and give it a modern dress . . . The archetype — let us never forget this — is a psychic organ present in all of us.
– Carl Jung

Jung[had] the intuition that we somehow contain the spirits and gods, and that there are forces deep inside us that can somehow be brought into harmony with the forces outside us.
– Colin Wilson

The only cure for possession is repossession–by Something Greater. Until we have found our own ground and connection to the Whole, we are unsettled, grouchy, and on the edge of falling apart.
– Richard Rohr

There are things
We live among ‘and to see them
Is to know ourselves’.
– George Oppen

to be a poet
is to pluck a rainbow
and make poems
from its hues

lie awake in nights
to gather silver
heartbeats of moon

carry the weight
of a nameless ache
that just never ceases

to be a poet is
not that hard if you’re
living in bits
and dying in pieces
– @Meraki_k

There should be no dichotomy between caring about art and caring about the climate crisis.

“Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too”

– @Thelma_Lutun

The practice of solitude had given him a love for it, as happens with every big thing which we have begun by fearing
– Marcel Proust

You’re now looking at the human soul singing to its self.
– Wim Wenders

But this silence leaves no trace. You cannot speak of silence as you do of snow. You cannot say to anyone as you say about snow: did you feel the silence last night? Those who did don’t say.
– Clarice Lispector

lost exploring
new neighborhood—
same dog everywhere
– @coffeeandhaiku

The gods exiled me into this loneliness
for their own good reasons.
– Jim Harrison

It is never a waste of time to be outdoors, and never a waste of time to lie down and rest even for a couple of hours.
– May Sarton

It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

sleeping alone
building castles
in the sky
– Issa

Staying at a house in the Catskills with a large and eclectic record collection, thinking the best fate for your book is that in 20-30 years someone notices it on the shelf of a cabin in the mountains, picks it up and loses themselves in your head for a while
– Mike Ingram

Most people in this society who aren’t actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.
– Susan Sontag

This night of telescopes fixes the cold
October sky—a Saturn so delicate as if
Sketched by moths holding to nearby stones
For their lives.
– Emma Trelles

Do not pray exclusively to the ancestors of the land; make room also for the spirits of the fault line, the new gods that scream through cracks with the first musical notes of worlds to come. In the mispronunciation of your bodies by the displacements of the moment, unspeakable worlds glisten.
– Bayo Akomolafe

What is a poet but a person
Who lives on the ground
Who laughs and listens

Without pretension of knowing

– Fanny Howe

There is an art to heading low, by remembering what you saw when you were high. When we can no longer see, at least we can still know…
– Rene Daumal, The Analogue Mountain

Land of the rising sun
Land of the setting sun
Fu sang
Fu sang
Beautiful land
on a plateau

Did you Island hop
Cross the land bridge?

Did you come in leather boats?
to Iargalon?
Land beyond the sea

Other voices shout
Turtle Island
Turtle Island!
Abya Yala
Abya Yala!

Did you row and sail
The North or South Equatorial?
Follow the Warm Kamchanka?

to the land of the serpent bird, the bison herd
the deer, the caribou, the moose?
Land where the horse left and returned?

Have you
heard that the flesh,
the hides, bones, blood
of four leggeds
became food, shelter,
clothing, Instruments,
centuries before sustainable
became a fashionable term

Heard of tourists
Stepping off trains
shooting high powered rifles
Bison corpses rotting on the plains.

Land of wild grasses
Seeds, stalks
Scattered, planted
Became amaranth, maize.

Land of the jumping Salmon
Land of the pike, the Bass, the Trout

Land of garden tomatoes
Land of the Altiplano
Birthplace of potatoes.

Land of the Midnight Sun,
and long dark days
Land of equal darkness and Sunlight

Land where the hurricanes
rush the shore.
Sweep further inland
from cutting of trees
and loss of wetlands.
Land where tornadoes, cyclones
cut through the plains

Land of treaties
broken for oil, for gold.
Land where ancient African mariners
brought Gossypium seeds
that married native.
Where African slaves
Picked the cotton without pay.

Land where the toucan bird
colors the trees and sky
Land where the Eagle soars
Land where the Vulture pounces

Are your eyes and ears open
to the songs, the calls
the soaring, gliding and landing
of the birds
whose ancestors flew over the hemisphere
when ancient seeds were scattered, planted?
When languages migrated within the continent?
When languages landed by sea?

– Jerry Pendergast

Democracy must stop the Republican Party before the Republican Party stops democracy.
– Drew Dellinger

I believe that people come into your life and then some go. I also think there’s a purpose as to why they were in your life at all. Each one takes a piece of you when they go. Some leave pieces of themselves with you. Sometimes its’s wisdom, or maybe, it’s a lesson.
– Shey Stahl

If you are displeased, you have hope. If you are pleased, you have fear. If you have hope and fear, you have dualistic fixation. That will hinder the nondual wisdom of great bliss, the undefiled fruition.
– Guru Shri Singha

Only those are happy who never think or, rather, who only think about life’s bare necessities, and to think about such things means not to think at all. True thinking resembles a demon who muddies the spring of life or a sickness which corrupts its roots. To think all the time, to raise questions, to doubt your own destiny, to feel the weariness of living, to be worn out to the point of exhaustion by thoughts and life, to leave behind you, as symbols of your life’s drama, a trail of smoke and blood – all this means you are so unhappy that reflection and thinking appear as a curse causing a violent revulsion in you.
– Emil M. Cioran

I don’t think that our humanity deserves the capital ‘I’ yet.
– E. E. Cummings

And it is nature to try to mend loss.
– Lewis Turco

the sun blossomed
into a dazzling
beautiful and comforting
like the smile
your eyes behold.
– @NishaRaviprasad

To be creative, you have to know how to be receptive, Yin; you have to know how to be at home with the ambiguous, the random, the disordered. Specialists have a poor tolerance for poetry and ambiguity.
– William Irwin Thompson

I don’t consume much sugar, but I do get periodic cravings. Since starting very high potency probiotic, I have noticed that not only do I not have those cravings, but I am turned off of refined sugar. Gut bacteria control cravings – reduce bad bacteria, cravings naturally change.
– @RDValerie

Once an old woman at my church said the secret is that God loves us *exactly* the way we are *and* that he loves us too much to let us stay like this, and I’m just trying to trust that.
– Anne Lamott

A quiet hush
over fallow meadows
– a kestrel’s cry

– @wingsoverwaters

To wish to escape from solitude is cowardice. Friendship is not to be sought, not to be dreamed, not to be desired; it is to be exercised (it is a virtue).
– Simone Weil

Sometimes, that’s enough.

empty zen garden
nothing to offer but
silence and falling leaves

– @HaikuHedgehog

mulberry leaves
gathered for
a bookmark
– Buson

The crucial point is to maintain constant vigilance over and awareness of our mental state so that, at the moment that afflictive emotions rise up, they will not trigger a chain of deluded thoughts. Thus, we neither let desire overwhelm our mind nor do we repress.
– Matthieu Ricard

An awful lot of modern writing seems to me to be a depressed use of language. Once, I called it “vow-of-poverty prose.” No, give me the king in his countinghouse.
– Martin Amis

As a queen sits down, knowing that a chair will be there,
Or a general raises his hand and is given the field-glasses,
Step off assuredly into the blank of your mind.
Something will come to you.
– Richard Wilbur

Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.
– Ernest Becker

We all wish the war was over.
But you are staring out at a
world on fire complaining about
how ugly you think the ashes are.
– Brenna Twohy

Come back!
Even as a shadow,
even as a dream.
– Anne Carson

A Valley Like This
by William Stafford

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened
there was nothing, and then…

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world becomes nothing
again. What can a person do to help bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on.
Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

I’ll write what little truth I’ve gathered on this walk
but I can’t write about the key as I stare into the lock.
– e.c. crossman

Let me repeat what history teaches. History teaches.
– Gertrude Stein

Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.
– Aldous Huxley

If you look for the truth outside yourself,
it gets farther and farther away.
Today, walking alone, I meet him everywhere I step.
He is the same as me, yet I am not him.
Only if you understand it in this way
will you merge with the way things are.
– Tung Shan

Emptiness is two things at once: the absence of self and the presence of the Divine. Thus, as self decreases, the Divine increases.
– Bernadette Roberts

If a poem yields itself to a rational reading, it isn’t a very successful art object to me, because the things I find in the world that are the most important aren’t explainable…
– John Gallaher

I know that grief has struck you right in the hip
Making walking days if not impossible

I know it wasn’t with a rubber mallet
Or even a wooden bat
More like a ball ping hammer
a tire iron

I know too it was right in the place
Of an old injury you thought almost healed

There’s our mistake

We have one reservoir for pain
To and from which all suffering flows

Grief lies like a lava lake just beneath skin,
beneath cartilage and joint
Waiting for some great quake to reactivate its fury
Destroying muscle too in its wake
Of heart and other varieties
Spewing dust that covers the sun
For who knows how long
A blow with such force
With such molecular memory
It says aloud not again
why me?
Not again

Your job is not to heal that raging inferno
That happens
by a miracle
on geologic time
and honestly, never completely

The lake is part of yourself
Part of ecological health
whether hot lava now
baked-in scars
long ago

Your job
this moment
is to get off the floor
While the ash settles without discretion
On your days
to recognize heat as the natural state of things
Not the exception

Loss is not something that happened because of who you are
Something you said
Something you didn’t
But part of the formation of things liquid and solid
landmarks of the cutting river of minutes
The landmarks of your own being alive
The truth that all things eventually die

It’s ok to observe the spew overhead with terror
To lace your fingers behind your neck for protection
To go deep into the dark of weeping caves
It is right and good, in fact
There’s water there for cooling
Salt for cauterizing the wounds

But can you say also and with and simultaneously
To pain
You have been heard
You’ve been seen
But you’re not all?

This lava lake lives
It’s real
It’s dangerously hot
It has erupted
It will burn every layer of protective hair from your body

But it’s not the whole of earth
It does not define the landscape
Of this lusty romance
This natural dance
Between time and the spaces where it lives

Don’t look backward or forward
Across or over or down
Level your eyes
And dig in your feet
to the gravity
That has promised to hold
And never failed
There are fire plants emerging as we speak
even deep in the cave
Of yourself

While you do the work of soaking
in the cleansing bath of tears
The blue flames of fire are licking at the pain
Burning it away too
Even the hot lava of suffering can only survive itself so long
Before the pine grow taller
And The forest floor grows rich

There are great creatures hiding
In the muck of this ash
Feeding and thriving
On new land

Let it burn
Burn it down until there’s only you left
Green and alive and unclothed
Fire is not the exception to the rule
It’s part of you
When the heat has cooled and the bugs have done their work in the ash
the cycle wanes
life will be fertile again
I’m the wife of lightning
I should know

– Deborah Potter

You missed that. Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you. By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.
– Alexandra Horowitz

On the morning of the drive from sea-level
to the mountain, I asked if we could stop for melted
cheese! at the Mexican place in Truckee.
Then I worried, does Bob think I’m a diva?
Am I always asking for things? And I thought of Toi’s letter,
and I know she is the locus of a gift—
and I am too, a spiral of energy, a genie, a dust-devil,
I was born with it, a life force,
it does not belong to me, or to anyone else,
I’m the container of it, the guardian.
And I love to let it out toward people—
nectary nosegay gusts of it.
My mother would ask me to rub her back,
she said that I had Vivian Hands,
like her college best friend’s—
the palms of my hands would listen for what
my mother’s muscles wanted—as now,
I seem to be writing, but I’m listening for what you want,
it would be my joy to give it to you.
There is so much joy on the earth even as it is being dis-inhabited
by the other animals, and over-inhabited by us—as it is being
knocked off course and smoked and drowned.
While we have food, let us share it and eat it.
There is so much action required of us now.
And pleasure is required of us.
O my darlings, so much pleasure is required of us.
– Sharron Olds

Therapy is a school of patience. The chief difficulty is not to identify someone’s problem, it is to help them see, feel and accept it properly.
– The School of Life

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
– Lao Tzu

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

The mysterious does not spell itself out in capital letters, as many writers believe, but is always between, an interstice.
– Julio Cortázar

Thorns were my
very first heroes because
they did nothing with their life
but protect what was sweet.
– Andrea Gibson

And I’ll watch the seasons running away
And I’ll build me a life in the open, a life in the country.
– Sweet Seasons (Stern/King)

An obstacle is the richest, thickest, densest place in the universe. This is so because it is where things stop and often die, failing to continue on their way. It is where carcasses of hope rot into the ground, inadvertently fertilizing it. It is a place of desperation and longing and roaming ghosts. All of this is my way of saying that I think it is not empty. This place – an obstacle – is bursting with activity, with microbial adventures, with dancing generativity, with experiments into continuity, with playful meanings and alchemical shifts, with eloquent invocations and stuttered words. When you meet something fierce, too strong to overcome, too high to climb, too eminent to sidestep, too dark to enlighten, don’t take it too personally – you have merely met an antibody, whose sacred task is to challenge you, discombobulate you, disfigure you, and introduce ‘you’ to the strange vastness of your family. A larger commonwealth of becoming. Just as soils chastise seeds, and cocoons imprison caterpillars, obstacles are the universe’s hubs of unspeakable creativity, redeeming us from tired victories, from the banality of crossing the finish line, from the soundtrack of getting everything we want, and especially from the hubris of thinking we are deserving.
– Bayo Akomolafe

Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,

when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam,

when we walk in the woods every evening over fallen leaves,
through yellow light, when nights are cool, and days warm,

when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
or somehow be taken away from all this,

at those times when I feel so happy, so good, so alive, so in love
with the world, with my own sensuous, beautiful life, suddenly

I think about all the suffering and pain in the world, the agony
and dying. I think about all those people being tortured, right now,
in my name. But I still feel happy and good, alive and in love with
the world and with my lucky, guilty, sensuous, beautiful life because,

I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be
taken from me, and therefore I’ve got to say, right now,
what I feel and know and see, I’ve got to say, right now,
how beautiful and sweet this world can be.

– David Budbill

Only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another as something alive and will sound the depths of his own being.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

we were fireflies
in mason jars

each hole
in the lid
was freedom

right up until
the moment

we found
our way

– Andrea Gibson


An hour is not a house,
a life is not a house,
you do not go through them as if
they were doors to another.

Yet an hour can have shape and proportion,
four walls, a ceiling.
An hour can be dropped like a glass.

Some want quiet as others want bread.
Some want sleep.

My eyes went
to the window, as a cat or dog left alone does.

– Jane Hirshfield

A breath indrawn
opens the afternoon.
A hawk buoyed by thermals
peer down
over these ridges and valleys.

How still the day is
[. . .]
With a word
to no one
a leaf exhales.

There goes the I’m-all-alone
call of a dove.

– Richard Tillinghast

this forest silence /
loud with lover’s absence, heart— /
falling autumn leaf
– Greg Sellers

It was the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.
– Don DeLillo

It seems to me we ought to trade the podium for the garden.
– Ross Gay

monday morning…
every poem i draft
soaks bitterness
from the coffee i sip

workday blues…
every other line
quite plainly asks
all this for a payslip?

– @coffeeandhaiku

If you wish to become a philosopher, you must try, as far as you can, to get rid of beliefs which depend solely upon the place and time of your education, and upon what your parents and schoolmasters told you.
– Bertrand Russell

The old philosophy distinguished between knowledge achieved by effort (ratio) and knowledge received (intellectus) by the listening soul that can hear the essence of things and comes to understand the marvelous. But this calls for unusual strength of soul. The more so since society claims more and more and more of your inner self and infects you with its restlessness. It trains you in distraction, colonizes consciousness as fast as consciousness advances. The true poise, that of contemplation or imagination, sits right on the border of sleep and dreaming.
– Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift

Joseph Campbell noted that self-actualization is for people who don’t know their personal myth or deeper purpose in life.
– Bud Harris

Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see.
– Edgar Degas

one night i hope to gather
our wrinkled palms around
a bottle of whiskey older than us
and trade stories of what
we’ve survived.
– Darius Simpson

To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself.
– Henry Miller

Laughing forms kinship. Laughing is a way
to say I hear you. Or here we are.
– Hannah Ensor and Laura Wetherington

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
– Jung

Reality is a very subjective affair. I can only define it as a kind of gradual accumulation of information; and as specialization. If we take a lily, for instance, or any other kind of natural object, a lily is more real to a naturalist than it is to an ordinary person. But it is still more real to a botanist. And yet another stage of reality is reached with that botanist who is a specialist in lilies. You can get nearer and nearer, so to speak, to reality; but you never get near enough because reality is an infinite succession of steps, levels of perception, false bottoms, and hence unquenchable, unattainable. You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing: it’s hopeless. So that we live surrounded by more or less ghostly objects – that machine, there, for instance. It’s a complete ghost to me – I don’t understand a thing about it and, well, it’s a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as it would be to Lord Byron.
– Vladimir Nabokov

running and hiding
in autumn fields
– Ogawa

Heartbreak is a spondee.
– Maggie Nelson

Traditional psychiatry makes absolutely no distinction between mysticism and psychosis. Any unusual experience would be seen as some form of psychopathology.
– Stanislav Grof

Word of the Day is a reminder of ‘latibulate’ (17th century): to find a corner somewhere and hide in it.
– @susie_dent

My son has lived through four chancellors, three home secretaries, two prime ministers and two monarchs.

He’s four months old.

– @Alan_McGuinness

remember always
the flowers
in your heart
– Basho

first sips of coffee
by the time the fog burns off
a new attitude
– Jason Gould

The Half-Finished Heaven

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.

The water is shining among the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

– Tomas Tranströmer

Seamus Heaney:

All throwing shapes, every one of them
Convinced he’s in the right, all of them glad
To repeat themselves and their every last mistake,

No matter what.

Doctors & nurses are trying to keep you safe

Teachers are trying to help your kids

Train drivers & postal workers just want fair pay

Scientists & activists are trying to warn you of danger

If those you listen to have tried to turn you against these people, stop listening

– @CharlieJGardner

if you sliced my sister open
you’d find New York there
carved on her rib bones, burnt crest & center
among sparkling organs.
– Nancy Huang

Poetry requires a lot of creative input, showing the reader that they are just as innovative as the writer they are reading.
– CAConrad

The Shadow on the Stone

I went by the Druid stone
That stands in the garden white and lone,
And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows
That at some moments there are thrown
From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing,
And they shaped in my imagining
To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders
Threw there when she was gardening.

I thought her behind my back,
Yea, her I long had learned to lack,
And I said: “I am sure you are standing behind me,
Though how do you get into this old track?”
And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf
As a sad response; and to keep down grief
I would not turn my head to discover
That there was nothing in my belief.

Yet I wanted to look and see
That nobody stood at the back of me;
But I thought once more: “Nay, I’ll not unvision
A shape which, somehow, there may be.”
So I went on softly from the glade,
And left her behind me throwing her shade,
As she were indeed an apparition—
My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

– Thomas Hardy

My truth doesn’t travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back.
– Abigail Thomas

Good god, there isn’t a healthy body in the world that is stronger than a sick person’s spirit.
– Andrea Gibson

This world is gradually becoming a place
Where I do not care to be any more.
– John Berryman

About this metaphor, it stretches out like a tightrope.
And these lines force one foot in front of the other.
And these steps are the ones I have to take.
– Alexandra Lytton Regalado

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
– Pablo Picasso

What was the purpose of our pilgrimage?
To make a new intelligence prevail.
– Wallace Stevens

The Aesthetic Moment: “that flitting instant, so brief as to be almost timeless, when the spectator is at one with the work of art. He ceases to be his ordinary self, and the picture or building, statue, landscape or aesthetic actuality is no longer outside himself. The two become one entity.”
– Bernard Berenson

Running Water

translated by Muna Lee

Yes, I move, I live, I wander astray—
Water running, intermingling, over the sands.
I know the passionate pleasure of motion;
I taste the forests; I touch strange lands.

Yes, I move—perhaps I am seeking
Storms, suns, dawns, a place to hide.
What are you doing here, pale and polished—
You, the stone in the path of the tide?

– Alfonsina Storni

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.
– William Shakespeare

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
– Dag Hammarskjold

One day you wake up at the
On the Oregon Coast
Not expecting the day to be
Any more exceptional than another
In front of you
Through the plate glass window
Of your comfortable bungalonian
Abode you spy
The spout of a whale
A grey whale traveling north
To its Alaskan feeding ground
Not so unusual at this time of the year
When suddenly
In the next moment
The great behemoth
Leaps out of the waves
Twists in the sun
And falls back-first into the
Mesmerizing deep
A few seconds more
Then a second joyful and
Exuberant leap
Then a third
Then a fourth
Then a fifth
And a sixth!
And then nothing
Your breath ripped out of
Your lungs
You gasp
Before all is returned
To the platitude of
Was it a dream or was
It the truth?
Will you ever see anything
Like it, in person, in the flesh
Ever, or Never
In the expanding wave of possibility
If only our lives could be lived
With such ecstatic boundless Irrepressible abandon
The grateful explosion of life’s exhilarant splash
Enough to make every day
A revelation and a wonder
Never to be denied
In the split second spark
Of Eternity.
– Laurence Overmire

A translation is a judgment, a commentary; it is a mirror where the author may contemplate, at his ease, the defects of his spirit. A translation betrays us, more than it betrays our text.
– Emil Cioran

See beyond all organizations
– Nicholas Pierotti

Anyhow, I’m feeling very good today, as though I were just beginning to live.
Yours, Franz.

Franz Kafka, 1908.

Relationship is the root to unity. We can sometimes find ourselves stuck in our egoic perspective. Thoughts like poor me, I am alone, I am nothing.

However we are in fact in a deep relationship with an apparent endless connection with all that is. Without relationships the universe stops!

Relationship is movement; growth and decay; creation and destruction; contraction and expansion.

Often people think of relationship as a connection between people. It is this and soo much more. We have relationships with water, air, plants, animals-as well as people. We are in relationship with Life!

Now, consider not only what we relate to but how we relate to these things.

Take water for example. How do we relate to water? Water is life. No water, no life! Not ours, not any.

Yet, do we feel the life giving properties of life when we drink? How do we relate to water when we use it to rinse our vegetables? When we make a cup of tea or a pot of coffee?

What about when we shower and use it to clean and purify our bodies? What of rain and snow? Clouds? How about the puddle we accidently step in soaking our feet?

Know that our relationships can taint or enrich our lives. Our relationships are, in fact, supporting our lives; making them possible.

Relationships are the way of the Universe. The Universe is the source of humanity. Humanity is of the Universe. We are in a unity with it through our origins and relationships.

Seekers of Harmony, looking at ourselves as individuals is incomplete. Indeed, even the human body is a relationship of organs, tissues and processes. We are not truly independent but, rather, interdependent through our relationship with being.

Yet, the perspective of an individual does exist. Using this perspective in a constructive way, we can examine, for example, how we relate to breathing; our posture; what we eat and drink; how we stay fit through movements and exercise.

The Lakota people have a saying, that many utter or think when they meet each day: Mitákuye Oyás’in – meaning all my relations. Everything is interconnected. We are One!

– Rob Fishbeck

at the tavern
an autumn night
is forgotten
– Issa

Delusion is itself an essential component of the catastrophe now unfolding across the planet.
– Amitav Ghosh

To stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening.
– Pema Chödrön

Everything that is important and valuable and good belongs with the little piece of us which is not mechanical.
– Iris Murdoch

The Japanese think this is the month-without-gods.
They celebrate it this way. They don’t alliterate October
with gold falling from the fragile trees,
or with revolutions that changed history.
October, like a truce. Like an absence of everything
that exceeds limits. May it be for us
liberation. Because now they don’t exhibit
the relentless naked gods of summer,
the too many gods, and so much remains
for the child of winter to be born,
and our sight doesn’t reach any further, from this
month of distances, month of far aways,
imperfect, attained, fortuitous. If only it would be
like this for us. Without the eight million
gods that hide in the city or in the forest,
the scales coincide with our statures.
Let us be carried away by our premonitions.
Let us write things with small letters.
Let us celebrate October for its absence of gods.
Let us enjoy its name because it is only a number
in a truncated series. And forgotten. It is October.
We have thirty days all to ourselves.
– Juan Antonio González-Iglesias
translated by Curtis Bauer

Calm down, my Sorrow, we must move with care.
You called for evening; it descends; it’s here.
The town is coffined in its atmosphere,
– Charles Baudelaire

In your gaze, beloved, I live between twin-green worlds.
The field has spots where we’ve lain this rainy morning.
Clouds will remember us this way:
pressed into grass like petals into pages,
our arms each other’s spines, if we were books.
Listening to wind sing a song it wrote and rewrote
long before it opened its mouth.
– Molly Kirschner

We can handle anything when we exchange our
worries and fears for alertness and spontaneity,
when we focus solely on what is in front of us,
and when we leap into the sheer wonder
of the unplanned life.
– Karen Maezen Miller

I call it the “narcissism of progress.” It’s when you grow and evolve, and then project the assumption of growth onto others, as though they are you and see the world through your eyes. It’s not a malevolent tendency. It’s simply a misplaced (and often hopeful) assumption of transformation. You reach a place where you couldn’t act in such and such a way, and then assume that someone else is there, too. And sometimes, they are. And sometimes… they aren’t. As much as we long to see everyone grow and evolve, it’s important to remember that some people won’t do a stitch of work in that regard. They are comfortable (or uncomfortable) right where they are, or they will grow when they are ready, or they simply have a different idea of growth. It’s important to understand this, so that you live in relational reality, so that you don’t put your eggs in the wrong basket, and so that you experience the liberating benefits of meeting people right where they are. It takes a lot of energy to make assumptions about other people’s consciousness. Save it for your own journey. You will surely need it to get where you long to go.
– Jeff Brown

Only someone who is well prepared has the opportunity to improvise.
– Ingmar Bergman

Pages and pages and pages with words all over the pages. My goodness, what fun. What fun to write whatever words occur.
– Jonah Winter, Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude

Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.
– Carl Jung

The most undervalued skill of our time is the ability to write.

In an analog world, talking was the main currency of communication and connection. In a digital world, there’s a growing premium on the capacity to convey thoughts in text.

The pen is mightier than the spoken word.

– Adam Grant

to fall in love
late autumn chill
– Ogawa

Modern physicists must now once again [ask]: What are we really doing? We are forcing Nature with our means of observation into a particular mode of response. We are forcing her to give an answer that she would not give if we were not observing her in this fashion.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Abandon cruelty as a praxis. No one needs to suffer to make art or write a poem. It isn’t naïveté to seek joy, to seek pleasure, and to write about it.
– Steven Leyva

The climate crisis is the single greatest issue facing humankind today.

Our civilization is unsustainable.

Are we going to sit back and wait for the clock to run out?

Or are we going to take this issue head on? We’re lucky to even have that choice. Let’s make the right one.

– Edgar McGregor

The archetypes are eternal principles that reside in the human psyche. As such, they are beyond any individual human’s ability to integrate into the personality.
– Robin Robertson

Read yourself, not books. Truth isn’t outside, that’s only memory, not wisdom.
– Ajahn Chah

Where you live is not crucial, but how you *feel* about where you live is crucial.
– William Stafford

Confess your hidden faults.
Approach what you find repulsive.
Help those you think you cannot help.
Anything you are attached to, give that.
Go to the places that scare you.

People are sometimes practically incapable of really basically reflecting about themselves. In the most literal sense of the word, reflection means to bend back, and this bending back upon oneself is not something one can decide to do.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Myths from different times & locations are similar not because they had emerged from a single point of origin and spread geographically to different regions by a process of diffusion, but because they are emanations of a collective, archetypally structured psyche.
– Keiron LeGrice

A mystery so profound that none of us really seems to grasp it until it has indisputably grasped us, is that some force transcendent to ordinary consciousness is at work within us to bring about our ego’s overthrow.
– James Hollis

SAY IT. Go ahead, stand before the mirror, look at your mouth, and say it. Blue. See how you pucker up, your lips opening with the consonants into a kiss, and then that final exhalation of vowels? Blue.The word looks like what it is, a syllable blown out into the air.”
– W.H. Gass

“Paintmakers Are Running Out of the Color Blue”

news headline

Which feels right. Blue has always been
too easy to come by. And yellow.
And crimson. And silver, god, silver.
Children, for Christmas this year
I’ve procured for you a swatch
of blue cotton. Husband, happy
anniversary, here is an unobstructed view
of a cerulean billboard. Let it be enough
just to say it. Let me love what I have
while I have it. The factories are still
churning out blue doors and skateboards
and lamps. My oldest son’s bedroom is blue.
My nails. Our Honda. The dog’s leash.
Dear husband, dear children, dear parents,
dear sister, dear nephews, dear friends
who send postcards and mix Manhattans
and ask after dogs, I love you, right now
I love you. On the floor at my feet
is the box from my new bike helmet.
It’s azure, the bright creamy shade
of a just-mixed vat. I see it. I let it stun me.

– Catherine Pierce

If you’re worried that it’s too late to do anything about climate change and we should all just give up, I have great news for you: that day is not coming in your lifetime. As long as you have breath in your body, you will have work to do.
– @MaryHeglar

Waking up
from chasing illusions
– October wind
– @wingsoverwaters

Fragile and momentary, we continue.
– Linda Gregg

Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.
– Jeanette Winterson

If you’re burdened by a classic idea of the artist as a figure to whom everything is owed and whose prerogatives are enormous and can never be challenged, forget it. That sort of person can have only a servant for a partner.
– Helen Garner

John Muir, A Dream, A Waterfall, A Mountain Ash
by Robert Hass

I had been given two pieces of writing to read.
One was a description of my childhood kitchen
in which, beneath the calm and orderly prose,
something was beating frantically against the walls
like a trapped bat. The other piece contained a small door
you could actually crawl through. It led to the ridge
of a canyon from which you could look down
into an orchard. I knew it was Canyon de Chelly,
knew Kit Carson and his scouts would be coming
to destroy the fruit trees which were neatly aligned
along irrigation ditches that the Spanish called aquecia.
Woke feeling nauseous—my wife’s soft breathing
beside me. Outside the immense Sierra dark and silence,
a sky still glittering with a strew of stars, a faint brightening
to the east. You’d think, past sixty or so, the unconscious
would give you some respite. But here, it says,
is the little engine of dread and sorrow that runs your story.
And here, almost symmetrically, is the unspeakable cruelty
of the world. In an hour the market in Tahoma will open.
I can drive through the sugar pines. Get coffee,
get a paper. The plan today is to climb Ellis Peak
to see if we can’t find the clusters of golden berries
on the mountain ash that we saw last year where the slope
of the trail flattens and the creek runs in a silver sheet
across slabs of granite and then flares into spumes
of white water that leap down the canyon
in what John Muir thought was joy or its earthly simulation.
A good walk, mostly uphill. We can wear ourselves out with it.

i had the strength to rebel, but i did not have the strength to let go.
– bell hooks

Back in the early eighties, I realized that you could write a story that was really just a narration of something that had happened to you, and change it slightly, without having really to fictionalize it.
– Lydia Davis

Rimbaud in Harar

In the arid mountains
on arid mountain roads
by the Sufi shrines
there is no need to think
about passing the time.
There is only exquisite action.
Action is the purest form
of thought for which there are
no words. It is not even
water from a well.
Tell stories along the way
if you must. Meanwhile
the moment delights in us
and out of respect we are silent.
In the salons the self-appointed
compete to be heard.
The light fades as the talk
grows louder and less is said
the louder it gets. By all means
say what you like, and say it
with urgency, but spare me
the trouble of destroying
your tenses and the position
of your pronouns. I is a verb!
It is a phenomenal effort
to move along the road
and across these ridges
affording spectacular views.
I have not abandoned poetry.

– Rachael Boast

The blurriness of being alive. Take it or leave it, and for the most part you take it.
– Richard Siken

You think you’re unique in some way but you really never are: you read what people your age are reading.
– Grace Paley

One of the great privileges of living in the affluent parts of the modern world is that we’ve been able to forget that the natural world even exists…a great city seems to produce wealth out of thin air. This is illusion, of course, but powerful illusion.
– Bill McKibben

You sort of underestimate the human being when you say that every least thing that is an abstract experience is spiritual. It isn’t. It’s just your real self. You can be capable of fantastic abstract experiences, right in this life.
– Agnes Martin

As if There Were Only One
by Martha Serpas

In the morning God pulled me onto the porch,
a rain-washed gray and brilliant shore.
I sat in my orange pajamas and waited.
God said, “look at the tree.” And I did.
Its leaves were newly yellow and green,
slick and bright, and so alive it hurt
to take the colors in. My pupils grew
hungry and wide against my will.
God said, “listen to the tree.”
And i did. it said, “live!”
And it opened itself wider, not with desire,
but the way i imagine a surgeon spreads
the ribs of a patient in distress and rubs
her paralyzed heart, only this tree parted
its own limbs toward the sky – i was the light in that sky.
I reached in to the thick, sweet core
and i lifted it to my mouth and held it there
for a long time until i tasted the word
tree (because i had forgotten its name).
Then I said my own name twice softly.
Augustine said, God loves each one of us as if
there were only one of us, but i hadn’t believed him.
And God put me down on the steps with my coffee
and my cigarettes. And, although I still
could not eat nor sleep, that evening
and that morning were my first day back.

Stay deep within yourself and stay alone there — that is where your poems come from, and that has nothing to do with audience. You are the audience.
– Stanley Plumly

Every day you have choices. You can do things that wound your soul, like being dominated by the work ethic or compulsively seeking more money and possessions, or you can be around people who give you pleasure and do things that satisfy a desire deep inside you.
– Thomas Moore

When real reflection comes up, you can see it the minute you look into that person’s eyes, for he/she is quiet. Then people are suddenly quiet & objective about themselves & willing really to look at the thing. I call that a numinous moment, which nobody can bring forth.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Art is made to be experienced, it shouldn’t be explained too much. It is another language.
– Etel Adnan

It’s remarkable what we can see when we stop and turn the light of awareness on the things we take for granted.
– John Brehm

WRONG: “Do you believe in climate change”

RIGHT: “Do you understand what humankind has done to the natural world?”

– Edgar McGregor

overcast again
the mountain peak baits the clouds
to drop their burden
– @hegelincanada

When I don’t chase words
I find them standing in line
Waiting to be used.
– Sarita Talwai

To write with total devotion and with all the energy summoned up from the depth of one’s being, that is a very hard life.
– Ha Jin

Life enters us from behind where we are sightless, and from below, where we do not understand. And unless we yield to the beyond and take our power and might and honour and glory from the unseen, from the unknown, we shall continue empty.
– D.H. Lawrence

Writing poems. I don’t know why we do it. We must be crazy. Welcome, fellow poet.
– Richard Hugo

Introverts are good writers because they’ve been refining their inner dialogue their whole lives and have imaginary conversations with people on a daily basis.
– @Authoralexp

Do you refill the seasoning packet with water and pour that into the dish too or did you not grow up in poverty?
– @DrBlackDeer

To approach the metaphor in the right spirit is to humanize and weaken the force that is trying to destroy us. If we can listen to the metaphor and discover what it seeks, the body might be protected from its devastating impact.
– David Tacey

horses grazing
in flowering grass
– Basho

The Gods are true the way poetry is true.
– Joseph Campbell

We close our eyes and go spinning back to those old haunted falls, the happy-sad bittersweet drunk Octobers. What needs to be discharged is the intolerable tenderness of the past, the past gone and grieved over and never made sense of. Music ransoms us from the past, declares an amnesty, brackets and sets aside the old puzzles. Sing a new song. Start a new life, get a girl, look into her shadowy eyes, smile. Fix me a toddy … and we’ll sit on the gallery of Tara and you play a tune and we’ll watch evening fall and lightning bugs wink in the purple meadow.
– Walker Percy


after Gwendolyn Brooks

My wild grief didn’t know where to end.
Everywhere I looked: a field alive and unburied.
Whole swaths of green swallowed the light.
All around me, the field was growing. I grew out
My hair in every direction. Let the sun freckle my face.
Even in the greenest depths, I crouched
Towards the light. That summer, everything grew
So alive and so alone. A world hushed in green.
Wildest grief grew inside out.

I crawled to the field’s edge, bruises blooming
In every crevice of my palms.
I didn’t know I’d reached a shoreline till I felt it
There: A salt wind lifted
The hair from my neck.
At the edge of every green lies an ocean.
When I saw that blue, I knew then:
This world will end.

Grief is not the only geography I know.
Every wound closes. Repair comes with sweetness,
Come spring. Every empire will fall:
I must believe this. I felt it
Somewhere in the field: my ancestors
Murmuring Go home, go home—soon, soon.
No country wants me back anymore and I’m okay.

If grief is love with nowhere to go, then
Oh, I’ve loved so immensely.
That summer, everything I touched
Was green. All bruises will fade
From green and blue to skin.
Let me grow through this green
And not drown in it.
Let me be lawless and beloved,
Ungovernable and unafraid.
Let me be brave enough to live here.
Let me be precise in my actions.
Let me feel hurt.
I know I can heal.
Let me try again—again and again.

– Laurel Chen

There’s a huge part of our culture that stresses the abandonment of childhood, and leaving childhood behind…but that would be like stepping out of your skin…poets refuse this denial of self and history.
– Camille T. Dungy

I wonder, what are people most afraid of?
A new step, their own new word, that’s what they’re most afraid of.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

You cannot go against nature. She is stronger than the strongest of men.
– Pablo Picasso

It seems wiser to proceed
on the basis of what is,
rather than on what ought to be.
– Stewart Alsop

Specificity frightens and escapes people, and I can understand that: It takes great courage–massive balls–to announce what it is you intend to do; what it is you hope to become. It was never easy, but over time it became poisonous to most, so there is this fuzzy ambition, this delicate dreaming that has taken the place of bold intention. And the world has decided that the dream is enough, and so we reward everyone who has a hope, a yen, a desire. Intention and specificity have to return. Tell the world what it is you would like to be, and things shift in a way that, at the very least, reveal to you how wrong or right you are.
– Arthur Penn

Energized physical release is not the only way to clear emotional debris and arrive at more in the way of peace with path. As part of the healing process, it may also serve you to write a letter to someone who has hurt you. You may not send it to them either because it isn’t necessary, or because they aren’t available or alive, but there is still much to be said for granting yourself permission to express—in the clearest words possible, and over as much time as you need—exactly what you feel and need to express. The most important thing, as you are writing, is that you stay heartfully connected to that individual and to what has to be expressed in its totality. Don’t rush the process, don’t try to do it all at one sitting. Take your sweet time, until you feel truly and fully self-expressed with respect to all your feelings, including grief and anger. And if you are someone who doesn’t like to letter write, you can certainly accomplish the same thing in other creative forms, including but not limited to dance, painting, and the making of music. Anything that expresses what wants to be expressed in its totality.

There can also be value in writing the healing letter you long to receive. It may not be remotely realistic that the person who hurt you could write such a letter, but that’s not necessarily relevant. What is relevant is that you grant yourself permission to have an experience of what it would be like to feel seen, heard, honored, and loved. And if you can’t imagine someone who hurt you expressing their regret, write a letter from your inner adult to your (wounded) inner child expressing their love for you and their concerns about what you endured. Give yourself permission to feel the love that lives at the heart of your inner protector. We imagine ourselves all alone with our struggles, but there is always a part of us that is looking out for our better interests and that exists solely for our benefit. An inner presence that was birthed to keep us afloat in the storms of life. Give them permission to express themselves.
– Jeff Brown

A man is in general better pleased
when he has a good dinner upon his
table, than when his wife talks Greek.
– Dr. Samuel Johnson

We finally, really, completely,
loved each other, not like humans do:
humans always want something
from you, and he and I would just
rather be together than apart.
– Neil Hilborn

I wasn’t perfect,
thank god.

If I had been
I would have
loved myself

for the worst
of reasons.

– Andrea Gibson

Well, they each seem to do one thing well enough, but fail to realize that literature depends on doing several things well at the same time.
– Julian Barnes

Our ability to sense what is happening to another person, an ability I have described as empathy, is based on the fact that our bodies resonate with other living bodies. If we don’t resonate with others, it is because we don’t resonate within ourselves.
– Alexander Lowen

After the revolution, people will read before commenting.
– Rebecca Solnit

It seems to me that grief is not gotten over, it is gotten into.
– Ross Gay

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

Grief is not the only geography I know.
Every wound closes. Repair comes with sweetness,
Come spring. Every empire will fall:
– Laurel Chen

My only country is my memory and it has no hymns.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

Joy comes from using your potential.
– Will Schultz

Hidden by Constantine P. Cavafy

From all I’ve done and all I’ve said
let them not seek to find who I’ve been.
An obstacle stood and transformed
my acts and way of my life.
An obstacle stood and stopped me
many a time as I was going to speak.
My most unobserved acts,
and my writitings the most covered —
thence only they will feel me.
But mayhaps it is not worth to spend
this much care and this much effort to know me.
For — in the more perfect society —
someone else like me created
will certainly appear and freely act.

Hidden Things by Constantine P. Cavafy

From all I did and all I said
let no one try to find out who I was.
An obstacle was there that changed the pattern
of my actions and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was often there
to stop me when I’d begin to speak.
From my most unnoticed actions,
my most veiled writing—
from these alone will I be understood.
But maybe it isn’t worth so much concern,
so much effort to discover who I really am.
Later, in a more perfect society,
someone else made just like me
is certain to appear and act freely.

I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see.
– Walker Percy

But the sea
which no one tends
is also a garden.
– William Carlos Williams

…that that mouth which is

really a poem cannot save anyone’s life, especially

your own if you are honest,
and if I am honest,
another poet is grist for the locusts and the whole world is a whole world

– Cynthia Dewi Oka

The whole force-field of light rests on unity.
– Kenneth G. Mills

You made it through, girl.
You made it through every single time
the world scratched and skid to an end.
You woke up. Tomorrow
shoved you out of bed.
– Blythe Baird

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.
– Wassily Kandinsky

Chrysanthemum and nightshade:
I live on them,
though air is what I need.
– Ai

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
– Langston Hughes

“God save thee, ancient mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!–
Why lookst thou so?” “With my crossbow
I shot the albatross.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Not the loss alone,
But what comes after.
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
Wouldn’t matter.

But you go on.
And the world also.

And words, words
In a poem or song:
Aren’t they a stream
On which your feelings float?

Aren’t they also
The banks of that stream
And you yourself the flowing?

– Gregory Orr

You who were my only homeland, where am I going to look for you?

Perhaps in this poem that I am writing.

– Alejandra Pizarnik

The fantasy of “love” has everyone in its grip, especially the person who is lacking resolve to look within and take responsibility for meeting more of his/her own needs. Moreover, our projections depersonalize the other whom we profess to love.
– James Hollis

sleeping with quilts
over the head
a cold night
– Basho

secretly rooting
for the last leaf on the oak:
hang on — don’t let go!
– Jason Gould

A litmus test for someone’s shadow healing is if they can be with you through yours.
– Jack Adam Weber

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.
– Annie Dillard

I don’t write out of what I know; I write out of what I wonder. I think most artists create art in order to explore, not to give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions.
– Lucille Clifton

Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.
– Lucille Clifton

Anytime someone announces death of poetry or art, all they are announcing is that they are seeking an employment as an undertaker.
– Ilya Kaminsky

Books are born from guts, from the need of writing them, and are read in the same way, in the angst to read them, from a primite need.
– Brigitte Vasallo

A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.
– Daniel Kahneman

I cannot prove to you that God exists, but my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man . . . Find this pattern in your own individual self and life is transformed.
– Carl Jung

There is no poetry where there are no mistakes.
– Joy Harjo

It is possible, I believe, at certain moments not to be on anyone’s mind—-to be that tree falling in the forest…
– sven birkerts

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
– Giacomo Puccini

The truth of any relationship is that it can achieve no higher level of development than the level of maturity that both parties bring to it. If I can bear to accept this truth, I not only free the other but I begin to free myself from shackles of childhood dependency.
– James Hollis

Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others – horse, dog, and tiger –
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.
– Ted Kooser

What is progress? That we can drive faster on the roads? No, progress is the rest the body needs and the peace the soul requires. Progress is man”s well being.
– Knut Hamsun

Wheels by Nancy Cunard

I sometimes think that all our thoughts are wheels
Rolling forever through the painted world,
Moved by the cunning of a thousand clowns
Dressed paper-wise, with blatant rounded masks,
That take their multi-coloured caravans
From place to place, and act and leap and sing,
Catching the spinning hoops when cymbals clash.
And one is dressed as Fate, and one as Death,
The rest that represent Love, Joy and Sin,
Join hands in solemn stage-learnt ecstasy,
While Folly beats a drum with golden pegs,
And mocks that shrouded Jester called Despair.
The dwarves and other curious satellites,
Voluptuous-mouthed, with slyly-pointed steps,
Strut in the circus while the people stare.—

my brain and
heart divorced

a decade ago

over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

they couldn’t be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another
– instead, they give me
the same note to pass
to each other every week

and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:

“This is all your fault”

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there’s been a lot
of yelling – and crying


lately, I’ve been
spending a lot of
time with my gut

who serves as my
unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut’s plush leather chair
that’s always open for me

~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up
last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head

I nodded

I said I didn’t know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,”
I lamented

my gut squeezed my hand

“I just can’t live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,”
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:

“in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,”

I was confused
– the look on my face gave it away

“if you are exhausted about
your heart’s obsession with
the fixed past and your mind’s focus
on the uncertain future

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out.”

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves

and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs

I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

“what took you so long?”

– john roedel

To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.
– Rebecca Solnit

Safe, secure relationships lack the “fireworks” that come with unstable relationships. If your childhood was chaotic, you’ve learned instability as excitement. It takes evolution to understand love is predictable.

And dependable.

– @Theholisticpsyc

it’s so hard to let chaos swirl around without needing to manage or understand it.
– Anne Lamott

I’ve been a monk for 65 years,
and what i have found
is that there is no religion, no philosophy,
no ideology higher
than brotherhood and sisterhood.
Not even buddhism.

Views are better
with your best friend by your side.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Sacred poetry is transformative poetry. No matter how much we think we have understood, until we feel a poem working its alchemy on our own awareness, we haven’t yet met the heart of the poem.
– Ivan M. Granger

And so, what else can you do
but let yourself be broken
and emptied? What else is there
but waiting in the autumn sun?
– Carolyn Locke

[T]he ancient myths were designed to put the mind—the mental system—into accord with this body system, with this inheritance—to ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑠𝑒. The mind can ramble off in strange ways and want things that the body does not want.
– Joseph Campbell

The weaker the consciousness of a person is, the more he or she is likely to get fixated in projection, even when the reality has long departed from it, and he or she will remain captive to the power of history, the agenda of longing, and the wheel of repetition.
– James Hollis

Breaking patterns is a gift to yourself.

Heal so you can choose differently.

You don’t have to live on repeat.

– Dr. Thema

We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.
– Annie Dillard

Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand.
– Alberto Moravia

God may take away, but he often leaves you with a terrific opening line for the next adventure.
– Tennessee Williams

Tears gathered in his eyes and he blinked to release them. They were large still tears such as men weep in solitude over beautiful things. To weep like that over a human being was a most desolate homage.
– Iris Murdoch, The Unicorn

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living. Talking is often a torment for me, and I need many days of silence to recover from the futility of words.
– Carl Jung

We do a lot of “pushing through” and “getting to the finish line” and “after this, I can rest” and then we wonder why everyone is so tired and disheartened or burned out and stops loving the things they used to love.
– Ada Limón

Why must the gate be narrow? Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.
– Wendell Berry

…even if your preferred mode is fragment, you need syntax to love
– Brenda Hillman

All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain. If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it to those around us.
– Richard Rohr


A poem
Must be wrestled within
The desert of the soul

Until it is pinned

To a hope and a dream
And a vision of something

– Laurence Overmire

I do all of my growing
out of season.

Something about
the weatherman
saying “it’s freezing out”
teaches my heart

to find more and more
ways to be warm.

– Andrea Gibson

In process work terms are considered meaningful because they describe experience, which is changeable, not because they’re absolute Truths. In the meaning of relativity Albert Einstein wrote: The only justification for our concepts and system of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences. Beyond this they have no legitimacy.

[. . .] I used to speak about the shadow in cultures but today I avoid this term because it’s a eurocentric term. It makes light more valuable than darkness and makes reference to skin color. Concepts of culture, normal and abnormal, healthy and ill, even the concepts of race, gender and age are only concepts. They represent the governing social paradigms. The very use of such terms can sustain the existing problems. Though we have employed them to create psychology, sociology and politics these concepts are relative. When they are normative they abuse people who feel they do not fit them. I introduced new concepts such as “Edges, TimeSpirits, Hotspots” to include those experiences and individuals who are marginalized.

Social Relativity predicts that if all the tyrants gave up their power and all the freedom fighters came in to power very little would change. If all the oppressed where to move forward and the oppressors were to step down chances are the world would not change in the sustainable way. Why? Because one power was blindly replaced with another. Only when all the members of a community grow in awareness of power within themselves and others can true change occur. The world has seen countless revolutions. The cold war was won by Democracy and capitalism yet these changes do not protect individual liberties or stimulate enough of us to participate in government. We are still unconscious of the day to day relativity of power and how it is used.

– Arnold Mindell

It is virtually impossible to do therapy with a person “in love,” just as one cannot work w/ a drunk. Often, they suffer more than an intoxication; they are temporarily psychotic & cannot reflect and sort through their lives until enough of the projection has worn away.
– James Hollis

Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.
– Henry Miller

What Jung advocates, in both dream interpretation & active imagination, is not a monological dictation by the unconscious to the ego but a dialogical negotiation, on equal terms, between the ego & unconscious. In this sense, dreams express not what must be but what might be.
– Michael V. Adams

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
– Benjamin Franklin

The Water Does Not Remember
by Najwan Darwish

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

Take refuge in language:
it’s the only solid ground
for ships pitched by waves of misfortune.
Take refuge in language:
it often took refuge in you
to vent all its passions,
a snake seeking shelter from the flames
within the flames,
a man running from one lion
into the jaws of another.
Take refuge in the words of the forefathers,
for the words of your contemporaries
cannot comfort a wound
or prevent a suicide
or stop these poison gases
that drive you from your home
and ruin your place of exile.
From city to city, you lost your life
and remain
with a wealth of losses.
I saw you lose,
I heard you lose,
I touched, tasted, smelled your losses, as I had never
touched, smelled, or tasted before—
as if the senses were made for this.
The sun of loss rises over your life
and calls itself an Andalus,
and your days flow in the Darro river:
The water does not remember
a family,
does not hear
the voice of a friend,
and has no sense for justice.
Your memory flows through the water
but you don’t follow it
to the river’s mouth;
it doesn’t even know
that it’s your memory.

The sun of loss rises
while your days roar in silence.

A healthier definition of hope is the certainty
that whatever you’re doing is worth doing
regardless of the outcome.
– Four Arrows

I can see the sunset in your eyes
Brown and grey and blue besides
– Poet, P Frampton

When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.
– W. S. Merwin

To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way.
– Stephen Levine

Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

The Greeks idolized the finite, and therefore were the masters of all grace, elegance, proportion, fancy, dignity, majesty––of whatever, in short, is capable of being definitely conveyed by defined forms or thoughts: the moderns revere the infinite, and affect the indefinite as a vehicle of the infinite,––hence their passions, their obscure hopes and fears, their wandering through the unknown, their grander moral feelings, their more august conception of man as man, their future rather than their past––in a word, their sublimity.


The leaves are changing; I feel poetry in the air.
– Laura Jaworski

Most men are not wicked…
They are sleep-walkers,
not evil evildoers.
– Franz Kafka

Here or nowhere
I will make peace with the fact.
– Mary Oliver


Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

– Kalidasa

If the personal unconscious is cleared up, there is no particular pressure, and you will not be terrorized; you stay alone, read, walk, smoke, and nothing happens, all is “just so”, you are right with the world.
– CG Jung

Part of finding your soul is to wake up to this habit of thinking like others and go your own way. It may be painful to separate from those people who have given you a sense of belonging and purpose, but your soul is at stake.
– Thomas Moore

It is my belief that all presenting problems and symptoms are really metaphors that contain a story about what the problem really is. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the therapist to create metaphors that contain a story that contains the (possible) solutions.
– S Heller

There are three things we have to let go of. The first is the compulsion to be successful. Second, is the compulsion to be right-especially theologically right. Finally, there is the compulsion to be powerful, to have everything under control.
– Richard Rohr

Life has got to be bigger than death, and love has got to be bigger than fear or this is all a total bust and we are all just going tourist class.
– Anne Lamott

Like, I get we all have opinions about this stuff, and that’s fine, but I wonder why we sometimes trust our opinion’s validity enough to want to become a spokesperson for an ideology? Personally, I’d like to try and do this less, because I think it cleaves us apart.
– @VinceFHorn

People need to be educated that the Musk plan of escaping this planet is nothing more than a billionaires dopamine hit. Mars will never be habitable for this civilization. Energy should not be wasted on such frivolous adventures when we need mitigation on Earth at scale.
– Peter Dynes

a frigid morning
the pine forest
same as last year
– Issa

Thinking how it used to be
Does she still remember times like these?
To think of us again?
And I do
– James Patrick Page

Contradictory views are necessary for the evolution of any science, only they must not be set up in rigid opposition to each other but should strive for the earliest possible synthesis.
– CG Jung

It is obvious that the only interesting people are interested people, and to be completely interested is to have forgotten about “I.”
– Alan W. Watts

We’ve tried so many things to get people to wake up to this deadly, irreversible, planet-wide emergency and NOTHING has worked. If you know so well how to do more effective climate activism, please demonstrate. We’re waiting.
– Peter Kalmus

Meditation is not about trying to get anywhere else. It is about allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and as you are, and for the world to be exactly as it is in this moment as well.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

You don’t need to believe in ghosts to balance spirit and live the right way in this world. You can use any metaphor you like—for example, ego, id, superego, and persona. Frontal lobe, monkey brain, neocortex, and lizard brain. Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy. Monkey spirit, Pig spirit, Fish spirit, and Tripitaka. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Whatever stories your cultural experience offers you, you can still perceive spirit through metaphor and bring it into balance to step into your designated role as a custodian of reality. Some new cultures keep asking, “Why are we here?” It’s easy. This is why we’re here. We look after things on the earth and in the sky and the places in between.
– Tyson Yunkaporta

After examining the philosophies, the theories, and the practiced methods of influencing human behavior, I was shocked to learn the simplicity of that one small fact: You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming – what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself.

It is no longer a success theory; it is a simple but powerful fact. Neither luck nor desire has the slightest thing to do with it. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.
– Shad Helmstetter

We boast our light, but if we look not wisely on the sun itself, it smites us into darkness… The light which we have gained was given to us, not to ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge.
– John Milton

To care for the soul of the family, it is necessary to shift from causal thinking to an appreciation for story and character, to allow grandparents and uncles to be transformed into figures of myth and to watch certain familiar family stories become canonical through repeated tellings. We are so affected by the scientific tone in education and in the media that without thinking we have become anthropologists and sociologists in our own families. Often I will ask a patient about the family, and the answer I get is pure social psychology. ‘My father drank, and as a child of an alcoholic I am prone to …’ Instead of stories, one hears analysis. The family has been ‘etherized upon a table.’ Even worse is the social worker or psychologist who begins talking about a patient with a singsong list of social influences: ‘The subject is a male who was raised in Judeo-Christian family, with a narcissistic mother and a codependent father.’ The soul of the family evaporates in the thin air of this kind of reduction. It takes extreme diligence and concentration to think differently about the family: to appreciate its shadow as well as its virtue and simply to allow stories to be told without slipping into interpretations, analysis, and conclusions. Professionals think it is their job to understand and correct the family without allowing themselves to be introduced fully to its genius—its unique formative spirit.
– Thomas Moore

Let’s contemplate the sky. Forget the crazy hammering heartbeat, don’t listen to it, don’t start counting, remember that there is a clever way of breathing that conserves oxygen as if you’re lying below the surface of a body of water breathing through a very thin straw but you can breathe through it if you’re careful, if you don’t panic; one breath and then another and then another, isn’t that the story of all lives? careers? Just a matter of breathing. Of course it is. But contemplate the sky, it’s there to be contemplated. A mild shock to see it so blank, blue, a thin airy ghostly blue, no clouds to disguise its emptiness. You are beginning to feel not only weightless but near-bodiless, lying on the earth like a scrap of paper about to be blown off. Two dimensions and you’d imagined you were three! And there’s the sky rolling away forever, into infinity — if ‘infinity’ can be ‘rolled into’ —and the forlorn truth is, that’s where you’re going too. And the lovely blue isn’t even blue, is it? isn’t even there, is it? a mere optical illusion, isn’t it? no matter what art has urged you to believe.
– Joyce Carol Oates

A Brechtian maxim: do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones.
– Walter Benjamin

I have heard my teacher say, where there are machines, there inevitably are machine affairs; where there are machine affairs, there inevitably are machine minds. with a machine mind in your breast, the pure and simple in your nature cannot develop. And when the pure and simple cannot develop, you won’t have any peace, in spirit or in life. Without peace in spirit and in life, the Tao will no longer support you.
– Chuang Tzŭ


To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation’s sweetest dreams of itself. The Covenant is broken, the condition is dishonoured, have you not noticed that the world has been taken away? You have no place, you will wander through yourselves from generation to generation without a thread. Therefore you rule over chaos, you hoist your flags with no authority, and the heart that is still alive hates you, and the remnant of Mercy is ashamed to look at you. You decompose behind your flimsy armour, your stench alarms you, your panic strikes at love. The land is not yours, the land has been taken back, your shrines fall through empty air, your tablets are quickly revised, and you bow down in hell beside your hired torturers, and still you count your battalions and crank out your marching songs. Your righteous enemy is listening. He hears your anthems full of blood and vanity, and your children singing to themselves. He has overturned the vehicle of nationhood, he has spilled the precious cargo, and every nation he has taken back. Because you are swollen with your little time. Because you do not wrestle with your angel. Because you dare to live without God. Because your cowardice has led you to believe that the victor does not limp.
– Leonard Cohen


I don’t want an ordinary medicine.
Not a bandage for my hand or a bottle
for my grief. I want my father dressed
in youth, his kite a light as sky.
Send back this torn paper lantern.
Send back the doctor whose questions
are an eye. I want my childhood by the sea,
my grandmother’s hair undone so it falls
like night. I want my cat again, twenty
years dead but still licking her dinner.
I want what was taken from me by breathing.

– Faith Shearin

We will see that from a very early period, certain gifted individuals have deliberately cultivated what we would now call a right-hemispheric awareness and have had apprehensions of the ineffable unity of reality.
– Karen Armstrong

There are higher things than the ego’s will, and to these one must bow.
– C.G. Jung

the unsettled self
disparate voices tell you
who you are
– James Welsh

Friends are angels following you through life.
– Zazzle

Survival is a matter of keeping a low profile
– Arji Manuelpillai

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
– CS Lewis

There is nothing more ridiculous than, for example—I won’t give any names—but let’s just say the writer who characterizes himself as “progressive,” or who feigns poverty but actually has more money than all of us.
– Camilo José Cela

Any strong theology must be so constructed that its perimeters can constantly be broken down, allowing new insight to flood in, enlarging the concept of a God who is ultimately, beyond theology.
– Peter C. Craigie

To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.
– Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.
– Roberto Bolaño

trust the ones
who are always
seeking to grow…
– yung pueblo

It’s a real moron who waits for the world–and the people in it–to inform him or her what life holds. Come on! We are the authors of our life; we are the architects, the designers. Build the life you think you deserve, and then deserve it. Work your ass off. It’s great fun. I pity the person who looks to the stars or cards or so-called wise men or fashion or anything but their own heart to tell them how to think or live or be. Do what only you can do and do it well and do it now. Right now! Time’s wasting, and time needs you.
– Ruth Gordon

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
– Stella Adler

Sojourns in the Parallel World
We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension—though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
—but we have changed, a little.
– Denise Levertov


who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautiful who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls clicking

their bony fingers
they have heard me beseeching

as i whispered into my own
cupped hands enough not me again

but who can distinguish
one human voice

amid such choruses
of desire

– Lucille Clifton

The Buddha said, “It is important to renew humanity.” I like that vision. How do we renew humanity? And he made three recommendations. He said generosity, truthful and constructive speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which shall renew humanity.
– Joan Halifax

Why am I more prone to write about what’s gone than what’s right in front of me? I do not know.
 But don’t it always seem to go …
– Jessie Lynn McMains

I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn’t mine anymore, but one in which I’d found the simplest and most lasting joys: the smells of summer, the part of town I loved, a certain evening sky, [her] dresses and the way she laughed.
– Albert Camus

I loved you on this day. I love this memory.
– Joel Barish

A trembling in the bones may carry a more convincing testimony than the dry documented deductions of the brain.
– Llewellyn Powers

Art matters because it nourishes the heart. Like plums do. Like sunflowers. Like a good, long kiss in this brief, brief life.
– Chen Chen

This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.
– Plato

Every day I have to be awake to escape.. ..The whole world is sleepy. It is a real fight to be awake, to see everything new, for the first time in your life.
– Karel Appel

Lies are what the world lives on, and those who can face the challenge of a truth and build their lives to accord are finally not many, but the very few.
– Joseph Campbell

“Buddhism is not finite,” Dorjey explains. “It is infinite. I cannot just study Tibetan Buddhism and say that it is the only Buddhism, and at the same time, I cannot just study only Theravada. There are things we can learn from other traditions.”
– Toby Ann Cox

The fight for justice has deep roots in our shared history and is dynamic, embracing current intersectional struggles.
– Coshandra Dillard

If you’ve been carrying something heavy, after a while lightness feels almost wrong. If you’ve been exhausted for who-knows-how long, deep rest feels foreign. If the days have been hard for so so long, ease & joy can start to feel transgressive, or even disloyal.
Push against that part of you that feels tempted to stay in the heavy & hard because it’s familiar.

Let it be light, & don’t apologize for moments of ease or joy or rest, unfamiliar as they might feel.
Turn your face to the sun every chance you get.
Soak up goodness every time you encounter it.
Let it be light, even just for a little while.
– Shauna Niequist

Fear is always future-based. We fear what might happen later. But the future doesn’t exist now, in the present, the only moment in which we are ever alive. So though our fear may be visceral, it is based on a misconception, that the future is somehow now. It’s not.
– Norman Fischer

If anything of importance is devalued in our conscious life & perishes there arises a compensation in the unconscious. We may see in this an analogy to the conservation of energy in the physical world, for our psychic processes also have a quantitative, energic aspect.
– CG Jung

[This was my comment to a post of a long quote from Marianne Williamson. Sharing here, in case it’s of interest to anyone… ]

There’s a lot I like about this quote, but it brings up something I think about often regarding false equivalence and both-sides-ism.

Take this section, for example:

“A smug, self-righteous, intolerant left winger is no less dangerous to the emotional fabric of this nation than is a smug, self-righteous, intolerant right winger.”

This is the kind of thing people love to say, because it sounds so even-handed; so above-the-fray. It’s the kind of thing that says, ‘I stand above the squabbling, and have Buddha-like compassion for all.’

But is the statement true? Is it accurate?

An intolerant left-winger can spread smugness and condescension, and that’s not good. But an intolerant right-winger will often spread smugness, condescension, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, authoritarianism, and anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

Is it, therefore, true that one is “no less dangerous to the emotional fabric of this nation than” the other?

An intolerant right-winger will vote for politicians who are intentionally suppressing the voting rights of Black, brown, and Native American communities. That’s tremendously harmful to the emotional fabric of the nation, and I’m not sure there’s much that’s analogous on the left.

I think it’s quite possible to have comprehensive, universal compassion, love, and understanding–and the loving, open-hearted communion and communication she describes–without falling into the trap of pretending that everything is equivalent, and that what is happening on the left is the exact same as what is happening on the right.

Smugness is not the same as racism, sexism, and bigotry. Saying, “the intolerant left” and “the intolerant right” collapses some very important distinctions. It’s quite possible to call for less smugness without falling into an inaccurate both-sides-ism.

– Drew Dellinger

Viennese Waltz

Dresden china shepherdesses
Whirl in the silver sunshine:
Columbine stars
Float in gauze petticoats of light…

Little Columbine ghosts, wrinkled and old,
Smelling of jasmine and camphor;
Prim arms folded over immaculate breasts…

The pirouetting tune dies…
Stars and little faded faces,
Waltzing, waltzing,
Shoot slowing downward
on tinkling music,
Dusty little flowers,
Sinking into oblivion…

After the music,
The glacial period renewed,
Monsters on earth,
A mad conflagration of worlds on ardent nights…

These too vanishing…
Silence unending.

– Evelyn Scott

by Denise Levertov

Sweet procession, rose-blue,
and all them bells. Bandstand red, the eyes
at treetop level seeing it.
“Are we what we think we are or are we
what befalls us?” The people from an open window
the eyes
seeing it! Daytime! Or twilight!
If we’re here let’s be here now
Sweet procession, rose-blue.
If we’re here let’s be here now.
And the train whistle? who invented that? Lonesome man, wanted the trains
to speak for him.

Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic.
– Aldous Huxley


In the face of global insanity
surrounded by constant noise
It is possible for everyone
to discover the peace within
because it is there all the time.
even when you go to the mall
even when your mind wanders
in all directions –
peace is there waiting
for you all the time –
it will never give
up on you.
you will find it when
you move beyond the
waves and ripples
of your life.
It is there all
the time beyond
all seasons.
Be quiet now–
when you put your foot
in front of the other,
you are not only touching
the ground.
allow the ground
to touch you.
remain naked in front
of what can open
your heart.

– Guthema Roba

And you can be sure that the dream is your nearest friend; the dream is the friend of those who are not guided any more by the traditional truth and in consequence are isolated.
– CG Jung

We dig up wisdom of all ages and peoples only to find that everything most dear and precious has already been said in most superb language.
– CG Jung

Someone has to leave first. This is a very old story. There is no other version of this story.
– Richard Siken


I’ll tell you what. We are almost
run over by time, a Faulknerian
thing, perhaps. The ticking
does not stop. Away, away

the hours chime—and us,
running frenzied about. But
when we stop, somehow,
to rest—or when the head

no longer aches—words, again;
it always happens like this.
They save themselves up
during the busy days—

When we make ourselves
sit by the waters of a river,
by the floating
water sliding down—

When we sit awhile
in this constant place
of beginning—the night entering
its expected hour—

It is then—Here—the words
make their way out—it is here,
they unfold, when the mind is quiet,
and the river is not.

– Marian Haddad


we in California
are reminded
from time to time
that the earth beneath us
is not stable,
that it can,
when conditions are right,
today, as I was
proofreading a book
I had written,
in the space around me
and I myself
not for long
but for enough
to be reminded
that we are not
not owners.
the earth beneath us
is a rental unit
and it is
on wheels.

– Jack Foley

There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.
– Edouard Manet

Let’s retire “identity is complicated.” It isn’t. Say, Instead, you’re reconnecting, of descent, adopted out, adopted in, or I’m on the grift. Let’s normalize these things.
– Tiffany Midge

Our minds wait until we are not asking anything of them to yield their best material.
– The School of Life

“Grow up!” some irate parent might say when a kid has made an irritating blooper. But who says “Grow Down” into loving participation in life? To root into what matters is the maturity of kindness and purposeful engagement.
– Gunilla Norris

Our two political parties have no set of shared values. That puts our democracy in serious trouble.
– John Lundin

Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There’s no system for teaching
what I know —
and no reward for practicing it
– Shinzen


I don’t think the world has come to a true and balanced view of imperialism. It’s going to take some time—maybe centuries—before we reach any kind of consensus based on a dispassionate review of historical facts. There are many attempts, and I celebrate them. But we aren’t done yet.

Here’s the tricky thing: can we detach the value of culture from the political systems of which they are a part? There is no easy answer. If you rejected everything tainted by the crimes of Western empire, you’d have to do the same with other cultures too. That leaves us with paradoxical dilemmas. For example, I remember seeing an exhibit showing that Marie Antoinette made strenuous personal efforts to prop up the French ceramics industry. Imperial patronage in China was responsible for keeping the kilns going there too. It’s not easy to just throw everything out that was supported by questionable patronage. We might not have much left!

In the case of this situation in New Zealand, I am split between both sides of the question. Shakespeare was a great writer. There’s no denying his cultural impact, and if you take the time to read him, there’s no doubting his significance. Just try to equal one of his sonnets or one of his plays. Not easy. At the same time, some are asserting that Shakespeare belongs to the “canon of imperialism.”

Bluntly, New Zealand is unlikely to revert to being a Maori nation or to be renamed Aotearoa* any time soon. Even more importantly: any student is going to have to enter a multi-cultural world. Those young people are already going to be far more adept at code-switching than fretting adults. So why not let them learn everything, teach them openly that there was such a thing as imperialism, and then begin a process of reconciliation? They’re smart enough to modify nation and culture—just as every child intimately knows their parents’ limitations and shortcomings. In fact, until we let our young people change the world, we will never resolve the past through policy, legislation, or protest.

– Deng Ming-Dao

happier than me
a butterfly who knows
no philosophy
– @Meraki_k

In the church of my heart, the choir is on fire.
– Vladimir Mayakovski

A poem is supposed to be upsetting–a poem is for upsetting the status quo.
– Terrance Hayes

Memory believes before knowing remembers.
– William Faulkner

The living moment is everything. Life is ours to be spent, not saved.
– D.H. Lawrence

Animals shake when they experience trauma or anxiety. Think of a dog who’s been in a fight with another dog: Once the fight is over, both dogs will shake to calm their nervous systems and quiet the fight, flight, or freeze response. This enables them to move on without the physical memory of the situation. Humans, however, don’t naturally do this. Instead we carry our stress, anxiety, and trauma around with us every day, and use food and other addictive behaviors to soothe ourselves and quiet the emotional discomfort. There’s nothing wrong with turning to food or other means to soothe yourself, but typically habitual behaviors provide a short-term solution, and you’ll continue to feel the discomfort until you release the memory from your body.
– Jennifer Sterling

When someone is in their trauma body, even people they love can become an “enemy.” This is the body in threat mode.
– Dr. Nicole LePera

When modern psychology turned the nature gods, the old gods, into psychological archetypes, it unwittingly placed a massive burden on individual brains and bodies.

Everything that once could be addressed communally and cosmically through the ritual enactment of ecstasy, that could be addressed in a festival of enacted mourning, that could be addressed with candleflame and sprinkled water, that could be addressed with the simple feeding of surrounding energies, that could be addressed with the swell of the drone and the song of the people and through the felt sweat of the dance… is now somehow up to the individual to work out within their own heads. The burden is on the individual body not only to prove worth, to overcome challenge, to find success… but to also be the primary unit in which the gods sort out their great battles, in which the very world is saved.

No animist tradition I know of has ever said — the gods live in your head. Now go figure it all out.

The gods are all around us. They pervade us, surround us. You are surrounded by bright forces. Those bright forces are to be sung to, felt, interacted with, warded off sometimes, other times welcomed, they are the turning of the seasons, the spiral dance of the moon. They call out — “sing my name, feed me flame and blue curls of myrrh smoke and yellow acacia flowers, make spirit boats and set them afloat on dawn’s grey waters, offer, offer, offer your body to the great body, again…”
– Josh Schrei

To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
– Chinese proverb

It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow – flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.
– Bill Bryson

The Buddha taught that when the mind is at ease, it is friendly, congenial, well-wishing. The mind at ease likes nearly everybody. Even people who, because of who they are or what they do, are very hard to like, the mind at ease accommodates with compassion…

Friendliness is not hard. We don’t need to learn to be friendly. We need to remember to be friendly. Children, unless they have been frightened, are friendly. Puppies are friendly. My friend Bob recently discovered that the penguins in the Galapagos are friendly, because they don’t feel threatened.

“How am I feeling threatened?” is the question I ask myself when I’m not feeling friendly toward someone.

– Sylvia Boorstein

You have to start trusting your unique vocation and allow it to grow deeper and stronger in you so it can blossom in your community. . . . Look at Rembrandt and van Gogh. They trusted their vocations and did not allow anyone to lead them astray. With true Dutch stubbornness, they followed their vocations from the moment they recognized them. They didn’t bend over backward to please their friends or enemies. Both ended their lives in poverty, but both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people. Think of these two men and trust that you, too, have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully.
– Henri Nouwen

I am of the order whose purpose is not to teach the world a lesson but to explain that school is over.
– Henry Miller

Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park… It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself… That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
– Albert Camus

I only know how to make tofu… I can make fried tofu, boiled tofu, stuffed tofu. Cutlets and other fancy stuff, that’s for other directors.
– Yasujirō Ozu

Beauty is the convenient and traditional name of something which art and nature share, and which gives a fairly clear sense to the idea of quality of experience and change of consciousness. I am looking out of my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel. In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important. And of course this is something which we may also do deliberately: give attention to nature in order to clear our minds of selfish care.
– Iris Murdoch

Sometimes someone isn’t ready to see the bright side. Sometimes they need to sit with the shadow first. So be a friend and sit with them. Make the darkness beautiful.
– Victoria Erickson

I’ve heard people say that God is the gift of desperation, and there’s a lot to be said for having really reached a bottom where you’ve run out of anymore good ideas, or plans for everybody else’s behavior; or how to save and fix and rescue; or just get out of a huge mess, possibly of your own creation. And when you’re done, you may take a long, quavering breath and say, “Help.”
– Anne Lamott

The body does not know the difference between an experience and a thought; you can literally change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones, and genes, simply by having an inner event.
– Dr. Joe Dispenza

No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity. This is a fundamental rule which is repeatedly verified in the daily practice of the psychotherapist and never fails.
– CG Jung

While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace.
– Virginia Woolf

Much so called activist art that claims to be against the system is part of & dependent on that official system & market. It attacks a system it is part of only insofar as it can still be exhibited there, in biennials, art fairs, mega galleries & written about in high journals.
– Jerry Saltz

The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
– C.G. Jung

Whatever we fight about in the outside world is also a battle in our inner selves. Anyone who can admit this will first seek the solution in himself, and this in fact is the way all the great solutions begin.
– C.G. Jung

Maybe Meta investing $10 billion in a fake reality was a bad idea.
– @dougboneparth

The hardest people
in the world to forgive
are the people we once were.

The people we are trying
desperately to not stir
into the recipe of
who we are now.

– Andrea Gibson

Most people STILL have absolutely no idea what’s already here, and what’s coming very soon, with climate breakdown. A small number of people have been trying so hard to let everyone know and we are mainly ignored and ridiculed.
– Peter Kalmus

It may just be that the subterranean places we, the fugitives of the present order, must now run to will not be dug out by the hard excavatory machinery of adult logic or the noble spiritualities that claim to know the way but by the gentle seeking fingers of our children caressing the soil, tickling the ground until it guffaws wide open.
– Bayo Akomolafe

I will cut adrift—I will sit on pavements and drink coffee—I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage and let it swim—this fine October.
– Virginia Woolf

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle

People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality. We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.
– Erich Fromm

Tell me a story
and let’s laugh
like it’s the only thing
keeping us alive.
– Rudy Francisco

The dedicated practitioner
experiences the spiritual way
as a turbulent mountain stream,
tumbling dangerously among boulders.

When maturity is reached,
the river flows smoothly and patiently
with the powerful sweep of the Ganges.

Emptying into the ocean of Mahamudra,
the water becomes ever-expanding light
that pours into great Clear Light
without direction, destination,
division, distinction or description.

– Tilopa

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
– Johann von Goethe

No soul can grow to its full stature without spells of solitude.
– Marie Carmichael Stopes

Forgiveness is settling debts; reconciliation is troubling boundaries.
– Bayo Akomolafe

It seems a lot of people are cut off at the neck, so that they talk from the head. Meanwhile, something completely different can be going on below the neck. There’s a real split inside.
– Marion Woodman

The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes.

Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realize that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer.

Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp.

But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilizing mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do.

If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws.

Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
– Caitlin Moran

Any reified practice frame or tradition will eventually cut you off from an appropriate response. Even the one’s that claim that is their central premise.
– @VinceFHorn

It’s not that DIY practitioners can’t learn some stuff on their own, it’s that as a teacher, who has worked with many of them after their DIY phase, I see how slow they were to get certain things, due to lack of useful feedback, and how much that slowed them down.
– @VinceFHorn

Bottom-line: Don’t let your fear of being in relationship with others keep you from learning valuable things.
– @VinceFHorn

At the elementary level, Tibetan meditation is similar to Insight Meditation, and at the very highest levels, where the mind is observed directly with the mind, it is similar to Zen. But in the middle, it looks like Mexican Catholicism gone mad.
– Roger Corless

If your 10-year-old is being taught Critical Race Theory you should be ecstatic bc it means they’re in law school.
– Jess Dweck

Look, I realize this may not seem exciting or revelatory to anyone else, but — to quote Aulis Sallinen — winter was hard.
– @ehipassiko444

I never learned anything while I was talking.
– Larry King

Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.
– James Joyce, Dubliners

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.
– Hans Margolius

The point of solarpunk is to start telling that new, creative story.
– Sarah Lazarovic

But if we listen to the quieter voices of our deeper nature we become aware of the fact that soon after the middle of our life the soul begins its secret work, getting ready for the departure.
– CG Jung

Midlife is the time to let go of an overdominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.
– Carl Jung

We’ve built our world around a system that values corporate profit more than life itself.

That’s the problem, & only system change can fix it.

– @ClimateDad77

Meaning is a scrap among other scraps, though stickier.

– Peter Schjeldahl

Highly sensitive people need time in silence, alone to disconnect and to rebalance their nervous systems. Crowds can feel overwhelming and so can social interactions— know your limits and take care of your needs.
– @Theholisticpsyc

Christianity celebrates the triumph of good over evil, spirit over matter, mind over body. According to Jung, this narrative – or quest for perfection – is out of date and no longer appropriate. The myth for today is wholeness rather than perfection …
– David Tacey

What we need, what we are ultimately groping toward, is the sensitivity required to understand and respond to the psychic energies deep in the very structure of reality itself.
– Thomas Berry

The literary world isn’t even real it’s just a place to go hang out when you feel like performing your existential crisis in front of vicious strangers.
– @TBQuarterly

untouched by words
the spring moon pauses
between pines
– Carolyn Thomas

Jung argues – that the ancient gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, and creatures are not dead but are “alive” (not literally, of course, but metaphorically) as images in the psyches of modern men and women.
– Michael Vannoy Adams

When a new god is to be born, a crack tears through the flesh of things – through which a meandering signal, a prophecy long-travelled, arrives in our midst.
– Bayo Akomolafe

The grail, a symbol of the container of abundance, inspiration and wisdom, offers the best expression of the symbol of the structuring feminine in the psyche of this new epoch.
– Maria Zelia de Alvarenga

Caffeine equips us to cope with a world caffeine helped us create.
– @michaelpollan

How do you change a consumption society when from an early age the population are taught to consume and that materialism is success? The whole calendar is based upon consumerism.
– Peter Dynes

Why does the Western Barbarian have no beard?
– Nichola Pierotti

I have been out walking with ghosts again, the shimmering images of my ancestors, always present, but barely visible, walking before me in the cool shadows of evening. I know better than to talk too much, for silence is the language of the sacred. Instead I listen, as any youngster should, to the wisdom of those who have seen more seasons than can be counted. I receive their thoughts like a benediction. I hold their vision in my mind like a familiar dream. Do not be afraid, they whisper, as we walk on to find the moon already waiting.
– The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston

The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it.
– Langston Hughes

The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.
– Eric Gill

Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine — to become luminously, impossibly so. Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it.
– David Abram

When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication, it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.
– @RBReich

I write pieces, and move them around. And the fun of it is watching the truthful parts slide together. What is false won’t fit.
– Elizabeth Strout

The stock collapse of Mark Zuckerberg’s company might be one of the best things to happen this year.

More Metta, less meta.

– Ethan Nichtern

Humans are not trying to save Earth
They are trying to save conditions on Earth which make life possible for humans and most life on Earth
Global emissions must fall by 50% by 2030 if humans wish to continue on Earth but world leaders have thrown in towel – they will not do it.

camino pilgrims
twisting in a cold wind…
pink scallop shells
– Marilyn Ward

But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

You’re NOT lazy.

You’re exhausted from hiding/masking your neurodivergence.

*your authentic, beautiful, colorful brain is welcome HERE, and please practice taking time to rest.

– @drjenwolkin

Pajamas, jazz, coffee. Writing. It’s easy work. You don’t have to be high-functioning or even, for the most part, functioning at all.
– Denis Johnson

Days without poems
From you
Is like sunset
without colours.
– @NishaRaviprasad

We are always pushing forward not knowing where forward will lead, not knowing if what we find will be what we sought, not knowing if what we imagined would be true is indeed true.
– Cheryl Strayed

For me, writing is hard work that has to sustain a core element of play… It has to feel like truancy, or recess, or passing a note to a crush in homeroom.
– Austin Allen

The universe is not your Santa Claus. It’s here to make you more conscious. It will keep giving you lessons until you learn them. You don’t repeat the same lessons, you repeat the same vibrations. Learn your lessons to raise your vibration. Take it vibrationally, not personally.
– Inner Practitioner

Life in the rural part of a blue state is WILD. There are people I thought were like-minded with crazy right-wing candidate signs in their yard, lawn guys with bumper stickers for candidates who are lesbians married to other women on their trucks… It’s a surprise a minute.
– @shaindelr

Ha Jin:

Nothing is better than to live / a storyless life that needs / no writing for meaning—

He remembered his soft voice – his gentle skin and how he always walked like he was never going anywhere
– shome dasgupta

Imagination is always considered to be the faculty of *forming* images. But it is rather the faculty of deforming the images offered by perception, of freeing ourselves from the immediate images: it is especially the faculty of changing images.
– Gaston Bachelard

I will never get used to how needlessly dehumanizing the US health care system is.
– @GarthGreenwell

Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are,
right now,
not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you,
inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You’re already more and less than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, look in, let go.
– John Welwood

Language can only deal meaningfully with a special, restricted segment of reality. The rest, and it is presumably the much larger part, is silence.
– George Steiner

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

This is our misfortune
and maybe
our small grace:

we throw words at the dark
and the dark comes
back to us

– John Thompson

A’ohe pau ka ’ike ka hālau ho’okāhi—not all knowledge is taught in one school.
– Manulani Aluli Meyer

Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.
– C.S. Lewis

I am both worse and better than you thought
– Sylvia Plath

Climate change is hard to resolve because even to see how to go about it, you need to stop looking at the function of one thing and look at the connections between everything.

That’s why collaboration and interdisciplinary cross-pollination are so important.

– @DoctorVive

I will never understand how much people question why I went for my MFA before pursuing med school. I needed poetry to heal myself before starting my journey in healing others.
– @liala_af

it is sometimes just at the moment when we think that everything is lost that the intimation arrives which may save us; one has knocked at all the doors which lead nowhere, and then one stumbles without knowing it on the only door through which one can enter.
– Marcel Proust

Apocalypse is not about a fiery Armageddon, but about the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.
– Joseph Campbell

The best way to solve a dilemma is to stand absolutely still & that is what Psyche finally does. . . she sits very quietly. If you have been dazzled out of your wits, if you have been knocked totally out of orbit, it is best to keep very still.
– Robert A. Johnson

Our psyche, which is primarily responsible for all the historical changes wrought by the hand of man on the face of this planet, remains an insoluble puzzle and an incomprehensible wonder, an object of abiding perplexity – a feature it shares with all Nature’s secrets.
– CG Jung

don’t really “get” questions about my methodology. my methodology is clear: i read some books and have some ideas.
– @bdjansenphd

The rapid and worldwide growth of a psychological interest over the last two decades shows unmistakably that modern man is turning his attention from outward material things to his own inner processes.
– CG Jung

Man’s work is nothing but a slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art those one or two images in whose presence his heart first opened.
– Albert Camus

By midlife your identity is the institutionalization of your past. You have good reason to be attached to it, but it is not all of who you are meant to be. By reflexively living in the past you miss the fullness of the present.
– Robert A. Johnson

A person in two months can make you feel what a person in two years couldn’t. Time means nothing, vibrational frequency does. Being on a different vibrational frequency from someone means no matter what you’re saying, that person just can’t hear you.
– @TheOracleReadsU

Can a socialism of the twenty-first century revive, or even survive, which is wholly cut off from the landscapes of popular pleasures, however contradictory and ‘commodified’ a terrain they represent?”
– Stuart Hall

how does
anybody heal
in a culture that
glorifies self-hate?
– @blythe_baird

I insist on self-surveillance, which means choice, assumption of responsibility, and the necessity of losing restraint in order to know ourselves, not lose ourselves.
– Elena Ferrante

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
– Sylvia Plath

Help is dangerous because it exists outside the human economy: the only payment for help is gratitude. And did I not have something of the same gratuitous tone where my wage-earning was concerned? Did I not think there was something awfully helpful about me..?
– Rachel Cusk

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

I was happy and I knew it. While we experience happiness, it is difficult for us to feel it. It is only when it has passed and we look back that we suddenly understand – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we were.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here …
– Charles Bukowski

Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.
– James Joyce

The moment someone calls themselves a ‘spiritual teacher’, they have become the delusion. Because no one is qualified to TEACH reality. It’s all just a big trick that feeds on our desperate need to believe that someone is enlightened. Mommy and Daddy surely weren’t. God is unseen. We all have too much internalized shame to imagine that it could be us. So, we look to a bunch of delusionists to play ‘enlightened master’. But they aren’t. They may have insight into some of it, but surely not all of it. Life is the only real spiritual teacher. And we all have equal access to its teachings.
– Jeff Brown

Myths do not come from a concept system, they come from a life system—they come out of a deeper centre. We must not confuse mythology with ideology. Myths come from where the heart is and where the experience is. The mind may even wonder why people believe these things.
– @TheaEuryphaessa

Let’s stop calling it God.
It’s too heavy a name.
It means too much.
It needs too much
It is too tied to history
and old weight in your heart.
It feels more cage than key,
more should than want,
more authoritative than attractive,
more death than life.
Choose a name
that carries its rightful tone~
Call it the most beautiful longings
of Life,
Call it the inspiration
that sings through form,
The genius behind all
that brings things to blossom.
Call it whatever it is
that adds poetry
to the radiance of the moon
Or that which attunes us
to beauty.
Call it the Wild Grace,
that encourages the sapling
into the oak,
That which delivers us
into the grandeur and nobility
of our deeply rooted joy,
That which redeems us
from the fallacious notion
that there was ever evil.
Call it that which prompts us
to pray,
not for the sake of salvation
that was never needed,
but for the satisfaction
of the heart
in expressing the fullness
of its gratitude.
Call it that
which adores
the totality
of our truth
and beckons it forward
with the invitation
to know more light~
Call it She
who animates the ocean waves,
who composes sunsets,
who carves
the great clay bowls
of the valleys
and uses the steady hands
of time
to raise the mountains.
Call it intelligence, inspiration,
brilliance, insight and guidance,
The magic within science,
The ecosystem of light
that connects us all.
Call it the custom-made currents
that yearn to flow you
toward whatever
in this generous world
will best pollinate
your heart’s beauty.
– Chelan Harkin

I said,
‘Jesus, your look tired.’
and he said,
‘Jesus! So do you.’
– John Prine

When Jung once said that “a neurosis is an offended god,” he meant, metaphorically, that the neglect of a deep, instinctual energy ultimately revenges itself in our somatic discords, compulsions, addictions, or projections onto others.
– James Hollis

Contemplative life is a tapestry of intention and surrender, of reaching out and letting go, of stillness and exhilaration, form and formlessness. It is devotional and nondual. It is grounded in our connection with the Earth and our interconnectedness with all beings.
– Mirabai Starr

I love the cows best when they are a few feet away
from my dining-room window and my pine floor,
when they reach in to kiss me with their wet
….glittering singers and isolated thinkers
at pasture.
– Gerald Stern

Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life.
– Gerald Stern

People listen. Say they understand. But then just carry on as normal.

We’re so detached from reality, cocooned in our consumerist bubbles, that most people can hear that the actual planet they live on is being made UNINHABITABLE, yet not let this news ruin their day.

– @ClimateDad77

A short history of climate disinformation:

It’s not real.
It’s real, but it’s not us.
It’s real, it’s us, but it’s fine.
It’s real, it’s us, it’s bad, but we’ll innovate/fixing it would be worse/it’s too late to act.

Delay has always been the goal. Don’t buy the lies.

– @JacquelynGill

Reach out to you teachers, while you have them, while you’re in school and once you’re done—I always did, and was the better for it, work/life/art/spirit.
– @danalevinpoet

Good habits, imperceptibly fixed, are far preferable to the precepts of reason.
– William Blake

I feel that my job, as an artist, is to disturb the peace. And to disturb it intellectually, linguistically, politically and literally.
– Gerald Stern

The reality to which the artist and the mystic are exposed is, in fact, the same. It is of their own inmost truth brought to consciousness: by the mystic, in direct confrontation, and by the artist, through reflection in the masterworks of his art.
– Joseph Campbell

Buddhist phenomenology will sound just as cryptic as Theoretical physics to the untrained ear.
– @VinceFHorn

And you have to realize that you cannot console yourself for your grief by writing…Because this vocation is never a consolation or a way of passing the time. It is not a companion. This vocation is a master who is able to beat us until the blood flows.
– Natalia Ginzburg

The Jungian approach is that a dream must always tell you something new, something you do not know, or do not know well enough.
– Henry Abramovitch

A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation… in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase.
– Bertrand Russell

Practice apologizing online. It’s a great thing to do, because almost no one is doing it, and you’ve got nothing to lose, since we’re all ignorant dickheads sometimes.
– @VinceFHorn

Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment.
– Tom Stoppard

All relationships begin in projection. While each moment is wholly new, one of the ways in which we are able to function without having to reinvent ourselves over & over is to reflexively impose past experience, agenda & understandings onto each new person & situation.
– James Hollis

The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.
– C.G. Jung

I am writing about the past because
there was still affection left then…
– Gerald Stern

One phrase in Finnegans Wake seems to epitomize the whole sense of Joyce. He says, “Oh lord, heap miseries upon us, but entwine our work with laughter low.” And this is the sense of the Buddhist bodhisattva: joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
– Joseph Campbell

I write a lot of sonnets because in real life you can’t control when and where the turns happen. But in that 14 line rhyme closet, I say when and where the turn happens. A sonnet is my little world to control.
– Allison Joseph

The challenge to any of us regarding this internal dialogue is whether we can learn to trust, over time, what comes from within; mobilize the courage to act on it; & stick it out until we come into some clearing in the woods & know, intuitively, this is where we belong.
– James Hollis

Given everything humans have achieved it’s just incredible we never discovered the one thing that ultimately matters – how to effectively limit the power of the wealthy.
– Dr Charlie Gardner

As you heal you realize your wound is neither your name or your shame.

It’s a part of you.

It doesn’t have to be the center of every conversation nor does it have to be constantly hidden.

– Dr. Thema

Antonym of curiosity is arrogance. Antonym of interdependence is control.
– John Paul Lederach

In feminine reality, contrasts are not so sharply seen and drawn. The masculine element sees things in bright sunlight; this is this & that is that. The feminine is like seeing in the moonlight; things kind of blend together & they’re not so distinct from one another.
– Connie Zweig

I walk everyday
five or six miles
in search of you
– Basho

You travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I awoke in an ecstasy.
The sky was the color of a cut lime
that had sat in the refrigerator
in a plastic container
for thirty-two days.
Fact-checkers, check.
I am happy.
Notice I speak in complete sentences.
Something I have not done since birth.
And the sky responds.

– Mary Ruefle

Daylight Saving

Time to watch the geese return, while snow
retreats to the corners of my backyard.
time to clean because I’m sick of keeping things
and making them important. All Winter
I wanted something to change me.
I wanted to turn into a gazelle and leap
out of the drought of my body.
Small and lost hour, you give everything
a new reason. Save me anyway.

– Grace Q. Song

looking up the name
of the wildflower
I just trampled
– Jack Barry

just a
tranquil heart
cool autumn air
– Issa

The internet did everything to our parents that they said it would do to us.
– David Hogg

lost sight
of the winter butterfly
in the sun
– Ohashi Raboku

There is a dark plenty, an infinitude, in the underseam of Scriabin’s lyric gestures—if there is no moral ceiling or floor, there is also no redemption or salvation. There is no nation or god to carry the suitcase. Unless, of course, one counts the composer, himself.
– Alina Stefanescu

In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibration of beauty.
– Christopher Morley

from house
to barn:
the milky way
– Lee Gurga

my shadow could be anyone
– Owen Bullock

Try to write poems at least one person in the room will hate.
– Marvin Bell

It’s a planetary emergency, we should be in emergency mode.

Instead of competing for power, political parties should be cooperating to address the emergency

– @CharlieJGardner

teases me
into knowing life
– @BashoSociety


This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone
till then. Spend the spark of iron

on stone. Sit at the head of the table.
Dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself

next to your joy and have your awakened soul
pour wine. Branches in the spring wind,

easy dance of jasmine and cypress. Cloth
for green robes has been cut from pure

absence. You’re the tailor, settled
among his shop goods, quietly sewing.

– Rumi

Most people are operating on the persona, which is the showpiece, the masquerade. They are performing—they aren’t in touch with their real feelings, and in a given situation they don’t know if they are angry or if they want to cry.
– Marion Woodman

The old man always appears when the hero is in a hopeless and desperate situation from which only profound reflection or a lucky idea-in other words, a spiritual function of some kind can extricate him. Often the old man induces self-reflection & mobilizing the moral forces.
– C.G. Jung

If you are sold on the theory that the current levels of consumption and energy usage can persist indefinitely through building wind turbines and nuke plants – and that that will address climate change – you have been completely conned.
– Peter Dynes

I am no longer alone with myself, and I can only artificially recall the scary and beautiful feeling of solitude. This is the shadow side of the fortune of love.
– Carl Gustav Jung


On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

– John O’Donohue

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.
– Pablo Picasso

I am just as Scottish as I am Nehiyaw, and being of mixed ancestry gives me precious insider insight into more than one world—but I choose to reanimate the Indigenous narrative so that I can find the missing parts of myself.
– Suzanne Methot

Shouting at the universe
doesn’t change the universe.
But I don’t think change
happens without the shouting.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

I need a father, I need a mother, I need some old, wiser being to cry to. I talk to God but the sky is empty.
– Sylvia Plath

The words of the last line should create a silence, a white space in which the reader breathes.
– Jayne Anne Phillips

Following The Way Is Like Surfing

We all become shaken and knocked off balance.

It is a product of being sensitive and open to the world.

Have you looked at the state of the world lately?

Wave after wave after wave.

Following The Way is like surfing.

There is no such thing as a ‘fixed position’, a ‘solid self’, or an unchanging circumstance.

All imbalance (and, thus, suffering) is from clinging to something that has shifted or is actively shifting.

Stay with the movement. Stay in the flow. The Way is like water.

The aspect of heart-mind that brings you back to center —

that is your buddha-nature, that is the dao (way/path) of your life.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Descriptions Are Always Only Intimations

Being able to describe it is not the same as embodying it.

Embody it and you will have no need to describe it.

Your presence does all the speaking.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

A Cascade of Rain From Swollen Clouds

You know how there is a build-up of energy

that eventually culminates in crashing waves on the rocks

or a cascade of rain from swollen clouds?

Forgiveness and letting go are just like that.

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Sitting in the Vast-Expanse

Sitting once again

in the Vast Expanse

of That which cannot be named

the rising night winds of autumn

remind me that nothing is outside of This.

– Frank Inzan Owen

Self and Mountain: One

sitting here like this

the mountain is the koan —

self and mountain: one

– Frank Inzan Owen

Image Nation

Sadly, we have become what we imagined.

Thankfully, we can become what we imagine.

– Frank Inzan Owen


rain falls.

I listen,


from my tatami room.

Quiet as a temple cat —

a man

slowly becoming

a hidden mountain.

– Frank Inzan Owen

The Inner Lantern

There is an Inner Light

found within dark silence.

There is an Inner Light

found by releasing.

– Frank Inzan Owen

We have yet to split loneliness like an atom.
– Eduardo C. Corral

a short sleep
a million dreams
full of pleasure and pain
– Kukai

If the capitalists could, they would commodify the air we breath
– @mcsquared34

Mythology helps you to identify the mysteries of the energies pouring through you. Therein lies your eternity.
– Joseph Campbell

Wild stars
– overhead the cries
of migrating geese
– @wingsoverwaters

In psychology it is very important that the doctor should not strive to heal at all costs. One has to be exceedingly careful not to impose one’s own will and conviction on the patient. You have to give him a certain amount of freedom.
– CG Jung

When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.
– Lao Tzu

Some people are so busy pathologizing themselves and others, that they don’t know what healthy is. This sometimes happens to therapists- they spend so much time analyzing the human shadow that they can no longer identify healthy behavior. They can’t see when the soul is at work. The therapeutic tools of the trade are not to be taken so far that we can no longer see the light or the essence of the other. There are so many things that influence behavior and choices- childhood history is only one of them. The soul has something to say about who we have become, too…
– Jeff Brown

To make a lamp burn brightly, without flickering, one puts it inside a glass lantern to protect it from the wind. Similarly, to develop deep concentration we have to prepare the mind and still our thoughts with devotion and correct attitude.
– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

the sun and moon
with your words
– Ogawa

The Streets of San Francisco: Once home to poets, musicians, and seekers, they are now occupied by tourists, the homeless, and security guards.
– Mark Bitner

People love to make big pronouncements about poetry saving us. And I want to believe that, but for now, what I can say is…poetry can make us feel. And right now, maybe that’s enough.
– Ada Limón

Any ghost will
tell you—

the last thing
we mean

to do
is leave you.

– Andrea Cohen

I’m lonely when I put you in poems. You don’t belong there. You belong somewhere better. Like at a bar with me after work.
– @apoemloneliness

It’s a mistake to try to play people who grew up in combat zones.

They see you coming a mile away.

– Dr. Thema

In the break-up of the modern world, The Family will stand out stark and strong as it did before the beginning of history; the only thing that can really remain a loyalty, because it is also a liberty.
– @GKCdaily

Owning up to your mistakes doesn’t cast doubt on your credibility. Admitting you were wrong shows that you care about getting it right.

Recognizing moments of bad judgment is a step toward demonstrating good judgment.

Issuing a correction is a mark of intellectual integrity.

– @AdamMGrant

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
– Margaret Cousins

old journal
still haunted by
its blank pages
– @Meraki_k

This shadowed
you write
and read
the garden
– Beau Beausoleil

How big of a crop big of a famine?…is it going to take to shake people out of their climate wake up policy makers of the risk of widespread crop failure due to thermal intolerance. It could come as early as the next El Niño.
– Peter Dynes

I still experience that feeling of being alone in a room when no one in the room is like you.
– Helen Vendler

Snow at Night

I prefer it even to love,
alone and without ghost
if falls a hard weather,
a withdrawing room
that revives me to stolen daylight
in which I feel no wish
to brush a gleaming finish
over the sheen-broken glass
I’ve arranged and rearranged,
an apprentice of mosaics
who will not be taught but asks
to be left alone with the brittle year
so carnivorous of all I’d made.
But the snow I love covers
my beasts and seas,
my ferns and spines
worn through and through.
I will change your life, it says,
to which I say please.

– Katie Ford

Reboot. Everything. Just assume you need it. The beauty, the silence, the stillness and solitude of Nature is a help.
– Kent Burgess

To me there is something very charming and personal in the analogue technology, mix tapes and home videos.

There is a soullessness in digital culture, not a lot of effort goes into making a digital playlist with mp3s downloaded from iTunes and simply hitting a button to skip tracks.

– Caspar Wijngaard

The shaman’s path mirrors that of the artist in that there is oftentimes an early wounding, tragic loss, illness, or a combination of other challenging events that act as an initiatory threshold into one’s calling.
– Mary Antonia Wood

Start a journal. Give yourself a place to pour out your feelings. Writing down the confusing emotions we’re dealing with brings order. Give yourself permission to be messy. Don’t try to write only once a day in an orderly fashion. Instead write when you feel like it.
– Keidi Keating

And then I got on Twitter, and then I read, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, these kids are fighting for their lives in the creative writing world.’
– @danielliu_1

Faint haze
in the distance
– mountain peak
– @wingsoverwaters

Stone dragons, guard the temple; only fools, think to sneak past.

All they find, is an airy room; for the sanctum lies, not merely in space.

Look within, and defeat your dragons; then have you entered, a sacred place.

– @AmericanSijo

What can poets change
in such a small period of time
armed with only rhyme?
Oh, to be a glacier of ice!
A waterfall upon the stones!

– Published: Bright Stars 1, An Organic Tanka Anthology
M. Kei, Editor

One tells the truth and it is not unlike throwing diamonds into a crowd of despairing people: They adore the wealth that lands among them, but they are also capable of being wounded by the sharp edges of what is otherwise so beautiful. This is why truth–like diamonds–requires a proper setting.
– Tennessee Williams

Here’s what I want the world to tell me, so I’m telling you–you do not need to believe what’s in your mind is true, you do not need to buy into a system/gov’t that doesn’t serve you. Find your way against hatred & materialism–you can create your own way & that is so valid.
– Kelli Russell Agodon

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind.
– @botvirginia

Write. Find a way to keep alive and write. There is nothing else to say. If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you’re not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know the effort is real.
– James Baldwin

See God in every person, place and thing, and all will be well in your world.
– Louise Hay

Driven by the forces of love,
the fragments of the world seek each other
so that the world may come to being.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan.
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour.
– Martha Graham

In Jung’s estimation, art itself is a kind of “innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument.”
– Mary Antonia Wood

The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.
– Aristotle, Poetics

I dunno, it just seems like hope rests in small intimacies. The local, the private—where generosity and tenderness have gone, to wait out the storm.
– Dana Levin

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
– Sylvia Plath

In the beginning was Alpha and the end is Omega, but somewhere between occurred Delta, which was nothing less than the arrival of man himself and his breakthrough into the daylight of language and consciousness and knowing, of happiness and sadness, of being with and being alone, of being right and being wrong, of being himself and being not himself, and of begin at home and being a stranger.
– Walker Percy

And if happiness should surprise you again, do not mention its previous betrayal. ‎Enter into the happiness, and burst.
– mahmoud darwish

There is a nice analogy I might share with you from an important book by Robert DeRopp. The name of the book is The Master Game. He talked about our minds as being like a city — a walled, medieval city — and like any city, there are a lot of different neighborhoods. There are parts of the mind city where there are libraries and art museums, parts where there are police stations and jails, nice residential areas, and parts that are slums with very slimy characters living in them and whatnot.

The mind city, unfortunately, has a rather ineffective central government which is not in very good control! In DeRopp’s analogy, there are walls around the city and a lockable entrance gate, with a watchman. If the watchman was alert, he could decide who to let in and out of the city. “This one looks like an agitator who is going to go down to the slums and start a riot. I’ll close the gate and not let him come in.” “That one just got out of jail and is going to the next town to steal something and ruin our reputation, I won’t let her out!”

If you can get a fair amount of awareness into the present moment, you can exert a fair amount of control over your subsequent reactions, but once the reactions happen, they’re much harder to control, and often it’s too late.

– Charles Tart, Mind Science

All my life I’ve been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.
– Luis Buñuel

It felt right. There was no pain, but a real clarity. The long process of seeing the flaws in my belief structure and carefully tiptoeing around the frayed edges as parts of it were torn out, piece by piece—that was all over. The angels, watching from my shoulders; the mental tension about having sex without marriage, and drinking alcohol, and not observing any religious obligations—they were gone. The ever-present prospect of hell fire lifted, and my horizon seemed broader. God, Satan, angels: these were all figments of human imagination. From now on I could step firmly on the ground that was under my feet and navigate based on my own reason and self-respect. My moral compass was within myself, not in the pages of a sacred book.
– Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Be careful what you say. It comes true. It comes true. I had to leave home in order to see the world logically, logic the new way of seeing. I learned to think that mysteries are for explanation. I enjoy the simplicity. Concrete pours out of my mouth to cover the forests with freeways and sidewalks. Give me plastics, periodical tables, TV dinners with vegetables no more complex than peas mixed with diced carrots. Shine floodlights into dark corners: no ghosts.”
― Maxine Hong Kingston

I have [a mind-picture] for my lungs, which is as follows: Each lung is in fact a tiny inverted tree with the base of the trunk coming out at my throat. When I breathe in, leaves appear on the branches. When I exhale, the leaves disappear. Thus, the seasons are constantly shifting in my ribcage. They come around every second or two. If I am to stay alive, it is vitally important that these little trees do not stay barren for long. I believe I first conjured up this image when I was still quite small but must have since spent several hundred hours of my life (including a good many as an adult) endeavoring to keep my lung-trees sufficiently leafy.
– Mick Jackson

I see music as fluid architecture.
– Joni Mitchell

…Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it, and so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. […]
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
– T.S. Eliot

I need my memories. They are my documents. I keep watch over them. They are my privacy and I am intensely jealous of them. Cézanne said, ‘I am jealous of my little sensations.’ To reminisce and woolgather is negative. You have to differentiate between memories. Are you going to them or are they coming to you? If you are going to them, you are wasting time. Nostalgia is not productive. If they come to you, they are the seeds for [your work].
– Louise Bourgeois

Take it from me: memory is your greatest ally and your primary source material, because memory is your body as it was in the world and the world as it was and will be; memory is the people you have loved or wanted to love in the world, and what are we if not bodies filled with reminiscences about all those ghosts in the sunlight?
– Hilton Als

The Holocene is over. Will civilization be able to persist in the new pliocene world?
– Peter Dynes

Toxic cultures define success as winning a cutthroat competition. They reward people for stabbing others in the back.

Healthy cultures define success as making a contribution. They reward people for having others’ backs.

Good organizations elevate those who elevate others.

– @AdamMGrant

As if considering his own fate as an artist against the archetypal pattern of the artist/shaman, Jung concluded that one “must pay dearly for the gift of creative fire.”
– Mary Antonia Wood

In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it.
– Deepak Chopra

What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
If a star at any time may tell us: Now
– Howard Nemerov

We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?
– Margaret Atwood

Poetry has failed us, too. It has not been good enough.
– Muriel Rukeyser

If we look at hope through the lens of Buddhism, we discover that wise hope is born of radical uncertainty, rooted in the unknown and the unknowable. How could we ever know what is really going to happen?! Wise hope requires that we open ourselves to what we do not know, what we cannot know. In fact, wise hope appears through the spaciousness of radical uncertainty, of precarity, of surprise, and this is the space in which we can engage.
– Joan Halifax

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody.
– Neil Gaiman

There can be change that is cataclysmic. We are forced to adapt. But that may not transform us inwardly. To transform that way is a deep and mysterious process.
– Gunilla Norris

What we have loved, others will love, and we will teach them how…
– William Wordsworth

What thou lovest well remains,
The rest is dross
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage.
– Ezra Pound

I am sometimes driven to the conclusion that boring people need treatment more urgently than mad people. . .
– CG Jung

If you’re not the hero of your own novel, then what kind of novel is it? You need to do some heavy editing.
– Terence McKenna

Deliver me Lord, from the judgement of all the saints who’ve never been caught.
– Anonymous

Die knowing something. You’re not here long.
– Walker Evans

crushed ball of paper
in the bin
a discarded heart
– @Meraki_k

A more than specialist education is always useful. I have never regretted knowing things outside my specialty. On the contrary, personal renewals never come from over-sophisticated specialized knowledge, but from a knowledge of subsidiary subjects which give us new points of view. A wider horizon benefits all of us and is also more natural to the human spirit than specialist knowledge that leads to a spiritual bottleneck.
– Carl Jung

The One

Green, blue, yellow and red –
God is down in the swamps and marshes
Sensational as April and almost incred-
ible the flowering of our catharsis.
A humble scene in a backward place
Where no one important ever looked
The raving flowers looked up in the face
Of the One and the Endless, the Mind that has baulked
The profoundest of mortals. A primrose, a violet,
A violent wild iris – but mostly anonymous performers
Yet an important occasion as the Muse at her toilet
Prepared to inform the local farmers
That beautiful, beautiful, beautiful God
Was breathing His love by a cut-away bog.

– Patrick Kavanagh

Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.
– William Blake

The body—like anything else— / is a lie, a tool, a crude measurement // of survival.
– Anna B. Sutton

Making peace with your body is your mighty act of revolution. It is your contribution to a changed planet where we might all live unapologetically in the bodies we have.
– Sonya Renee Taylor

A light store in the Bowery
by Christian Wiman

Some love is like a light store
you slip inside only to escape
the rain. Something to see, it turns out:
the plasma lamps, mosque and lava,
the elegant icicles of the chandeliers,
shapes and shades so insistently singular
that rooms can’t help but happen around them,
lives can’t help but acquire choices and chances
inside. Some love is like an old owner
who when a child walks in with her parents
can only imagine shatterings.
And some love is like that child
asking with an earnest and exemplary awe,
“Where do they keep the dark?”

In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually one discovers that it’s not boring at all but very interesting.
– John Cage

When the immense drugged universe explodes
In a cascade of unendurable colour
And leaves us gasping naked,
This is no more than the ectasy of chaos:
Hold fast, with both hands, to that royal love
Which alone, as we know certainly, restores
Fragmentation into true being.
– Robert Graves

Give thanks.

Some people you should have run from rejected you.

– Dr. Thema

If you destroy the creative impulse, you will destroy the intrinsic value of the individual at the same time. But you can still live on as a wall decoration.
– CG Jung

I never find myself alone within the embracement of rocks & hills, a traveller up an alpine road, but my spirit courses, drives, and eddies, like a Leaf in Autumn: a wild activity, of thoughts, imaginations, feelings, and impulses of motion, rises up from within me.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Get lost enough and any
place is your place.
– Mark Cunningham

The Sandhills
by Linda Hogan

The language of cranes
we once were told
is the wind. The wind
is their method,
their current, the translated story
of life they write across the sky.
Millions of years
they have blown here
on ancestral longing,
their wings of wide arrival,
necks long, legs stretched out
above strands of earth
where they arrive
with the shine of water,
stories, interminable
language of exchanges
descended from the sky
and then they stand,
earth made only of crane
from bank to bank of the river
as far as you can see
the ancient story made new.

Too many companies would sooner drop us to save the numbers instead of dropping the numbers to save us.
– Simon Sinek

As a poet, i don’t compete against other poets, i compete against God. Do you know what it is like to try and make something beautiful with words, when everyday, just outside your window, there is the simple beauty of sunlight?
– Steven Leyva

you’ve carried sadness
two times your body weight,
yet still showed up
to the functions smiling.
– Natasha T. Miller

Doubt everything. Find your own light.
– Siddhartha Gautama

Even a moment’s transcendence changes us. Everything is different afterward because we deep-dove, were there in downward, inward, higher places. So we know now. We remember.
– Anne Lamott

I am, / for a moment, not afraid of being no more / than what I hear and see.
– Richard Blanco

Becoming conscious is shedding what everyone has told you and whispering to the stars what the water coming into spring has learned by being ice.
– Mark Nepo

Never use three words when one will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your mellifluous sentences.
– Colson Whitehead

The Old Code of Good Travelers
If you’re tired of spinning:

If you’re tired of being pulled
into dark waters of suffering:
stop biting honey-covered hooks.

If you’re tired of shouldering heavy weight:
off-load what isn’t vital
and begin what is.

Make the sunrise a temple.
Embrace the moon as companion.
Allow the peaceful sounds
of the creatured-night to enter you,
to remind you of your own
undomesticated atmosphere.

Place the Heart-Mind’s Trustworthy Light
onto the Old Code of Good Travelers:

The antidote to depression is devotion.

– Frank Larue Owen, Hidden Mountain

Noah was great in years; Jacob was great in years, Solomon was great in years — that is, through their inner life they had gone beyond time as we know it. This is why the ancient civilizations, those that had roots in the teachings of wisdom, revered old age. It was not out of some sentimentality or some self-serving motive; not out of a sociopsychological pattern of familial bonding. It was for a metaphysical reason. An individual who had spent his life struggling for the inner Self had gathered something within himself that called to every other man or woman who came in touch with him. In such an old man or woman one saw that time was not only a destroyer but a creator.
– Jacob Needleman, Time and the Soul

The answer to the problem of time is not more time, not more efficiency, not even in itself longer biological life, not children, not artistic creations that we pretend will bring us immortality, not some sentimental relationship to imaginary gods or non-gods. The answer to the problem and the sorrow of time is one thing and one thing only: the experience of meaning. And this experience occurs only when the Self touches the self, when the soul touches the ego. When the two worlds meet.
– Jacob Needleman, Time and the Soul

after the demons
have vanished
a bright moon
– Issa

If you’re wondering why I’m posting poems these days, I really just don’t care about submitting to journals when it takes so long to hear back and often costs to submit. I just want my friends and family members to enjoy my work on an accessible platform.
– Ellen Boyette

My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.
– Leslie Grimutter

A day at the office:
nothing to remind me
it’s snowing
– Richard Tice

Different transitions challenge our attachments in different ways. Just going from one day to another—Friday into Saturday—is not so hard for most of us. But what about going from one season to another, one year to another, one job to another, one relationship to another? Each of these transitions becomes harder as our attachments and expectations around them increase. Perhaps you are used to being able to get up and run or jog each day. There may come a time when this is no longer possible, and you must forget about jogging. That kind of change can be very difficult to adapt to. Maybe you’ve always had one kind of relationship with your parents, but now it’s become another kind of relationship. Now, instead of gathering for barbecues or parties, maybe you visit them in a hospital or nursing home and hold their hands. It’s a change. You are not used to it. It’s hard to transition to the new phase of life
if you’re still attached to the previous one.

Because bigger transitions are more difficult, we must focus on our ability to let go now. If you look at this moment of your life, right now, how many things could you let go of? Think of one thing at this moment that you are attached to, that you’re identifying with, that you are holding onto, that causes pain. Perhaps you have a difficult relationship with someone in your life because of a grudge you are holding onto, or perhaps your attachment to the relationship itself is holding you back.

With awareness, we can see that when we struggle with a transition,
it has something to do with an attachment, whether to an identity or to something external. If you let that one thing go, and then another thing and another and another, then all the smaller things you can let go of will help you to be free. Each act of letting go benefits you, making it easier to let go of the harder things that will come along the way. If we do not apply ourselves to these opportunities to let go, if we can’t handle the little things that come along, then we are certain to have a harder time with the big things.

Letting go is like cleaning your garage or your closet. How many of us have cleaned our closets and found stuff in there that we were not using? This is a simple opportunity to practice letting go. When you open your closet and see something you put in there five years ago that you haven’t used, haven’t even touched, go ahead and take hold of it and let that one thing go! Energetically, these small acts of letting go can make a big impact. Even just deleting photos from your phone—a simple act of selecting and then deleting—can lighten our attachments. Do you know someone who has too much stuff, whose house has almost no space for people to move, let alone any sense of spaciousness?

Often, at times of transition, we behave without awareness.
We behave with condition, with pain, with fear. We feel we don’t have a choice. Just knowing we do have a choice can make all the difference. The choice comes when we can take time to be still, silent, spacious. We practice not doing, not saying, not thinking (not thinking is harder, but at least not doing and not saying). Then, once we have calmed down, we find a new space from which we can do and say and think, and what we do and what we say might be different from what we originally would have said or done. One thing that we want to be able to see clearly and to say to ourselves is, “If it’s not good, I will not make it worse.”
Leave it as it is.

We have so many opportunities to be aware. Think about approaching it this way: I’m going to handle this little transition well so I can handle the next, harder one even better. Each time we make these little transitions and feel free, feel good, the world opens up for us. Moments, places, locations, changes, transitions happen all the time in life. These are all opportunities to cultivate and practice to better support the transition.

– Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Art brings out, and presents to the mind, the living structure lines of the cosmos.
– Joseph Campbell

Fixed Shadow, Moving Water

One friend tells me everything’s political,
another says nothing is, we just make it political.
By “we,” he means human beings, I assume—
what’s political to a fox curled in sleep,
or a pond, or a sycamore in winter with no leaves left
to stop the snow falling through it? I have loved you
for less time than I have loved some others,
but no more deeply than you; no one more
absolutely. Which, as if inevitably, amounts
to a hierarchy or sorts, doesn’t it? Value,
then the power that comes with it—soon enough,
the distribution of power, who gets to do the distributing. . .

But if we make of tenderness a countervailing force, the two of us—

If we can make, from tenderness, a revolution—

– Carl Phillips

The etymology of “numinous” suggests verb “to wink.” It is as if whatever lies in our depths winks at us and we are obliged to respond.
– James Hollis

I see everything // is what it is, exactly, in spite of the / words I use
– Maggie Smith

We cannot fix the planet.
We cannot save the oceans.
We can only allow nature to reveal
its own innate intelligence,
logic, interconnections
and regenerative cycles,
teaching us how to
respect it as ourselves.
We are nature.
There is nothing to fix.
There is only tuning into our own nature,
systems, emotions, energy,
our common path…
– Reidun Westvik Lauritzen

How is it even possible to rationalise being furious at a teenage climate activist devoting her life to spreading scientific truth, but not be furious at fossil fuel billionaires who for decades have KNOWINGLY been driving you & your family toward an unliveable future?
– @ClimateDad77

One can forget a poem is not 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 an event, but 𝘪𝘴 an event.
– Bianca Stone

If metaphor is not idle comparison, but an exchange of energy, an event, then it unites the world by its very premise—that things connect and exchange energy. And if you extrapolate this philosophy further, you eventually cease to believe in separate realities
– Mary Ruefle

You’re an original.

Stop reading from their script.

Stop letting them dress you.

Show up in the fullness of who you are.

– Dr. Thema

I would write when my children were at school. I’d get an hour every day. I’m not waving, I’m drowning”—that was the joke of my life.
– Paula Fox

Some people have begun to come into my dreams
from a long way away,
traveling over the mountain passes
that nobody living knows.
Old people who smell like fog
and the soft bark of redwoods.
They talk together softly.
They know more than I know.
I think they come from home.

– Ursula K. LeGuin

Gentle verses written in the midst of horror declare themselves for life; they are the body’s rebellion against its destruction. They are *carmina*, or incantations deployed in order that the horror should disappear for a moment.
– Czeslaw Milosz

….you will be the one who changes Thought to Love and I will be the pause or the anticipation during which time cannot change things.
– Macedonio Fernandez

why is there so
little evidence
of all the nights
I felt iridescent?
– @blythe_baird

geese flying south
tourists in line
to gas up
– Patricia Schilbe

It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.
– Wendell Berry

My mind is free from every thought,
Nothing in the myriad realms can move it.
Since it cannot be wantonly roused,
Forever and forever it will stay unchanged.
When you have learned to know in this way
You will know there is no inside or out!
– Han-Shan

How sadness at a certain pitch a
carries a warmth that almost feels like happiness…
– Sven Birkerts

Consciousness will not always solve the problem, but it may make the suffering meaningful.
– Marion Woodman

We poets are detail people. We see the microscopic things others don’t even notice. It’s a subtle superpower.
– Leah Callen

our world
is a bonfire
quickly burning out
– Issa

In a society where the archetypes are no longer honoured in any way, believed in, or taken care of consciously, you have surrogates, morbid political ideas, isms of all kinds, or drugs.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.
It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?
The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life.
– José Luis G. Soler

In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
– David Mitchell

Bobwhite Quail by Ted Kooser

The bobwhite quail is a really fast walker,
like a man in an air terminal, clenching
his buttocks, trying to get to a restroom
in time, almost running, in and out of
a thick crowd of grasses lined up at a gate,
walking faster and faster until his spread
coattails lift him fluttering into the blue,
and we now see there are eight others
just like him, brown topcoats, russet vests,
black scarves at the neck, all of them now
racing downwind, three or four of them
losing control of their bowels as they fly.

Landscape’s a deception so keep your camera ready.
– Michelle Greenblatt

for landscape can do it too, as well as art,
provide a medium for our only true life.
– Karl Kirchwey

And you, who with your soft but searching voice
drew me out of the sleep where I was lost,
who held me near your heart that I might rest
confiding in the darkness of your choice:
possessed by you I chose to have no choice,
fulfilled in you I sought no further quest.
– Geoffrey Hill

the universe
is a poem written
by the Gods
– @BashoSociety

Deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, ‘There is something not right,’ no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or moral code.
– Carl Gustav Jung

We need magic
now we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy, and create. What will be

the sacred words?

– Amiri Baraka

How Dark the Beginning
by Maggie Smith

All we ever talk of is light—
let there be light, there was light then,

good light—but what I consider
dawn is darker than all that.

So many hours between the day
receding and what we recognize

as morning, the sun cresting
like a wave that won’t break

over us—as if  light were protective,
as if  no hearts were flayed,

no bodies broken on a day
like today. In any film,

the sunrise tells us everything
will be all right. Danger wouldn’t

dare show up now, dragging
its shadow across the screen.

We talk so much of  light, please
let me speak on behalf

of  the good dark. Let us
talk more of how dark

the beginning of a day is.

What if, between this one and the one / we hoped for, there’s a third life, taking its own / slow, dreamlike hold, even now—blooming, in spite of us?
– Carl Phillips, Sky Coming Forward

If your everyday practice is to open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that — then that will take you as far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.
– Pema Chodron

It’s not resilience if its wearing people down, burning them out, making them sick, or impoverishing them just to keep the system functioning as ‘normal.’
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

What we need is to gain freedom from the mental chain reactions that rumination endlessly perpetuates. One should learn to let thoughts arise and be freed to go as soon as they arise, instead of letting them invade one’s mind.
– Matthieu Ricard

There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.
– A Course in Miracles

For a civilization, you can study either their sacred books or sacred teachings, which give you their conscious tradition. But what is their folklore? Then you get the unconscious compensation for the collective tradition.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

poets are
the unacknowledged
legislators of the world
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

When you analyze the Swiss, they constantly have dreams about the English queen. The unconscious longs so desperately for a symbol that it borrows a queen from another country. That shows the power of a symbol.
– Marie-louise von Franz

Everyone is building platforms.

Who is building bioregions?

– Antonio Paglino

I want to move on. I want to explore the light. I want to know how to get through, Through to something new, Something of my own–
– Stephen Sondheim

If we exist in a universe without a creator god
I’ll live love and care — like this
If we occupy a cosmos
absent supernatural force or essence
I’ll find beauty and make meaning — like this
If we inhabit a world
without Divine Source of Justice karma or morality
I’ll behave ethically and carry on — like this
If there is no transmigration of an eternal spirit, consciousness, or soul after death
I’ll breathe grieve and find courage — like this
Now, pray tell:
What difference would such universe make in your life?
– Andrew Kent Hagel

The stronger your allegiance to ideology, the weaker your intuition.
– Ayishat A. Akanbi

If anyone hurts a loved one, I’m all for anger. I’m even okay for a dip in the vengeance pool. Get angry for a second about the state of the world, but then get busy repairing it. Angry over a play? A movie? A book? Let it go. I promise you: Good things survive and find audiences. And if it won’t alarm your friends, let them know how much they’ve meant to you. How grateful you are for them. When anger comes around, remember that you’ve been lucky enough to have been escorted to a better, higher seat, and from that seat all you see is good about to happen, and people who need your kindness.
– Douglas McGrath

Choosing a spiritual path can get in the way of spirituality
– Jack Adam Weber



After many strange thoughts,
Thoughts of distant harbors, and new life,
I came in and found the moonlight lying in the room.


Outside it covers the trees like pure sound,
The sound of tower bells, or of water moving under the ice
The sound the deaf hear through the bones of their heads.


We know the road; as the moonlight
Lifts everything, so in a night like this,
The road goes on ahead, it is all clear.

– Robert Bly

The great problem in the United States is not repression or neurosis, which it was in Europe when Freud wrote about everything. No, our great problems are narcissism and addiction. Tommy Jefferson set us up. ‘Life, Liberty, and the… Pursuit of Happiness!’ If you pursue happiness directly, it evades you, but you feel entitled to it… It’s wonderful, but it has a dark side: addiction. We have done a dance with addiction in this country from the very beginning.
– Dr. Nick Grant

It’s odd, the older I get, the more I remember.
– Umberto Eco

I do write in my head every day—I’m tempted to say all the time.
– Shirley Hazzard

Inner Palpability
by Will Alexander

Implied inner palpability as transpersonal dictation
all works composed as a musical ark
as if rowing in an isthmus of lightning

the threat through rising vapour currents
hissing with dissolution

this being none other than internal cartography
ghostly cipher as interiority by number
again ghostly flares & ciphers as if the arc from lunar suns had risen

therefore suns appearing above suns
ignited via the blue fragmentation that is grace

Lord I have felt myself raked
into the earth like manure
– C. K. Williams

Jung lamented the fact that the West’s modern scientistic biases had all but completely cut us off from the great communal well of mythic insight. He believed, however, that creative individuals could correct these biases and imbalances. . .
– Mary Antonia Wood

The Lord gives everything and charges
by taking it back. What a bargain

But it’s the having
not the keeping that is the treasure

We look up at the stars and they are
not there. We see the memory
of when they were, once upon a time.
And that too is more than enough.

– Jack Gilbert

go where they will, they find no city of the same distinction; go where they will, they take a pride in their old home.
– Robert Louis Stevenson : Edinburgh, Picturesque Notes

I’m not sorry
I’m made of sorrow
– Kate Colby

And shoot the weak, sorry light from the streetlamps.
– Marguerite Duras

Let Them Not Say
Let them not say: we did not see it.
We saw.

Let them not say: we did not hear it.
We heard.

Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.

Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not-enough.

Let them say, as they must say something:

A kerosene beauty.
It burned.

Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.

– Jane Hirshfield

Myth of the Vanishing Indian
by Rena Priest

In the archives there is a drawing
of a colonizer’s dream, never realized.
The National American Indian Memorial
was meant to testify to our existence
as a once noble people after
we’d all died, leaving behind
the entire western hemisphere.
(We’re not supposed to be here.)
We were all supposed to vanish
(be vanquished)
in the face of progress
(genocidal campaigns).
Now they call us other names,
but at one time they called us a
proud and vanishing race.

Pride. What is pride? In my language
the word for boogers is smeteqsen,
while smetsqen are brains,
and smatsqen is the word for pride.
I think in the ancestors’ eyes
they may as well all be the same,
for all the good they do
without the spirit.
Ah, the spirit—your se’li,
it sounds almost like sa’le
which is the word for heart,
or sa’les which are the hands.
Words reveal much
about a people’s beliefs.
Pride and brains are on par
with snot, while hands and heart
are the tools of the se’li. This, I think,
is why we never went extinct
according to design, why they never
got to build a memorial to our doom,
a monument, taking pride in absolute
success at genocide.

If a person hates half the country, they don’t deserve to lead it.
– Pastor John Pavlovitz

If meaningful political change is a marathon, voting is like putting on your socks the first morning you decide to start training.
– Will Falk

What we cannot imagine
cannot come into being.
– bell hooks

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.
– Lao Tzu

You can listen to silence. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it.

You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn’t always talk. Sometimes – sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to.

– Chaim Potok

Sometimes you don’t know anything at all–you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s like a stroke has destroyed your mind and your memory and your sense of balance. Then you find it–or you don’t–but whatever the outcome, the process is fascinating and moving, because the team surrounding you, all of your peers, come in and help you and look on and offer help. You dig deep within yourself to recall what should be done and what has worked in the past. And by God, you get your bearings, and you arrive at the completion with greater friends and greater awareness. This is all bigger than all of us. I’m talking about the work and I’m talking about the people the work reaches. It’s huge. We have a huge responsibility, and terror and some imbalance are small prices to pay to readjust, re-examine, and get it together again to do it right.
– Mike Nichols

A whole world exists within each of us. It is filled with healing salves and yet-to-be-revealed teachings. At the same time, unless investigated and addressed, it can also be filled with debilitating messages that we inherited, as well as challenges, obstructions, and compulsions that can take us off task. The work at hand, then, is to explore our inner depths, explore and map the terrain, all with the purpose of integrating into our conscious heart-mind what is found therein — both dark and light, shadow and luminous. Don’t weigh yourself down with unnecessary and unrealistic expectations of accomplishing this within a specific timeframe, or even within one lifetime. This isn’t a marathon. It isn’t a race. Learning to become fluent in the language of your own depths is the point. Learning to become a masterful observer is the point. Integration is more important than acceleration.
– Kuma Sensei

You Are Who I Love
by Aracelis Girmay

You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats

You protecting the river You are who I love
delivering babies, nursing the sick

You with henna on your feet and a gold star in your nose

You taking your medicine, reading the magazines

You looking into the faces of young people as they pass, smiling and saying, Alright! which, they know it, means I see you, Family. I love you. Keep on.

You dancing in the kitchen, on the sidewalk, in the subway waiting for the train because Stevie Wonder, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe

You stirring the pot of beans, you, washing your father’s feet

You are who I love, you
reciting Darwish, then June

Feeding your heart, teaching your parents how to do The Dougie, counting to 10, reading your patients’ charts

You are who I love, changing policies, standing in line for water, stocking the food pantries, making a meal

You are who I love, writing letters, calling the senators, you who, with the seconds of your body (with your time here), arrive on buses, on trains, in cars, by foot to stand in the January streets against the cool and brutal offices, saying: YOUR CRUELTY DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME

You are who I love, you struggling to see

You struggling to love or find a question

You better than me, you kinder and so blistering with anger, you are who I love, standing in the wind, salvaging the umbrellas, graduating from school, wearing holes in your shoes

You are who I love
weeping or touching the faces of the weeping

You, Violeta Parra, grateful for the alphabet, for sound, singing toward us in the dream

You carrying your brother home
You noticing the butterflies

Sharing your water, sharing your potatoes and greens

You who did and did not survive
You who cleaned the kitchens
You who built the railroad tracks and roads
You who replanted the trees, listening to the work of squirrels and birds, you are who I love
You whose blood was taken, whose hands and lives were taken, with or without your saying
Yes, I mean to give. You are who I love.

You who the borders crossed
You whose fires
You decent with rage, so in love with the earth
You writing poems alongside children

You cactus, water, sparrow, crow You, my elder
You are who I love,
summoning the courage, making the cobbler,

getting the blood drawn, sharing the difficult news, you always planting the marigolds, learning to walk wherever you are, learning to read wherever you are, you baking the bread, you come to me in dreams, you kissing the faces of your dead wherever you are, speaking to your children in your mother’s languages, tootsing the birds

You are who I love, behind the library desk, leaving who might kill you, crying with the love songs, polishing your shoes, lighting the candles, getting through the first day despite the whisperers sniping fail fail fail

You are who I love, you who beat and did not beat the odds, you who knows that any good thing you have is the result of someone else’s sacrifice, work, you who fights for reparations

You are who I love, you who stands at the courthouse with the sign that reads NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE

You are who I love, singing Leonard Cohen to the snow, you with glitter on your face, wearing a kilt and violet lipstick

You are who I love, sighing in your sleep

You, playing drums in the procession, you feeding the chickens and humming as you hem the skirt, you sharpening the pencil, you writing the poem about the loneliness of the astronaut

You wanting to listen, you trying to be so still

You are who I love, mothering the dogs, standing with horses

You in brightness and in darkness, throwing your head back as you laugh, kissing your hand

You carrying the berbere from the mill, and the jug of oil pressed from the olives of the trees you belong to

You studying stars, you are who I love
braiding your child’s hair

You are who I love, crossing the desert and trying to cross the desert

You are who I love, working the shifts to buy books, rice, tomatoes,

bathing your children as you listen to the lecture, heating the kitchen with the oven, up early, up late

You are who I love, learning English, learning Spanish, drawing flowers on your hand with a ballpoint pen, taking the bus home

You are who I love, speaking plainly about your pain, sucking your teeth at the airport terminal television every time the politicians say something that offends your sense of decency, of thought, which is often

You are who I love, throwing your hands up in agony or disbelief, shaking your head, arguing back, out loud or inside of yourself, holding close your incredulity which, yes, too, I love I love

your working heart, how each of its gestures, tiny or big, stand beside my own agony, building a forest there

How “Fuck you” becomes a love song

You are who I love, carrying the signs, packing the lunches, with the rain on your face

You at the edges and shores, in the rooms of quiet, in the rooms of shouting, in the airport terminal, at the bus depot saying “No!” and each of us looking out from the gorgeous unlikelihood of our lives at all, finding ourselves here, witnesses to each other’s tenderness, which, this moment, is fury, is rage, which, this moment, is another way of saying: You are who I love You are who I love You and you and you are who

At the heart of art
is learning to see.
– Seth Godin

…the darkness and the light need one another… because without their tension, there would be no story. Without clouds all the colors wash away.
– Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Happiness Is an Imaginary Line in the Sand

All of Reality is ceaselessly conspiring to awaken us.

And we are fighting like hell to avoid “it.”


– @VinceFHorn

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone
– Keats

Nothing’s ever really gone.
The warmth our bodies generate
lingers into legacy— dissipates,
but never disappears.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

There is no such thing as bolshevist geometry and there also can be no such thing as bolshevist literature.
– Robert Musil, Literature & Politics

The intention of tramping through the air. Programs, too, folded, then flown. Music, perambulations, conversations. Began festivities.
– John Cage

If I invite her
to give her endless
well of grief a name,
I am afraid it will be mine.
– @blythe_baird

Broke: Trauma-Sensitive
Woke: Trauma-Informed
Bespoke: Trauma-Integrating
– @VinceFHorn

Anxiety is insight that we haven’t yet found a productive use for; that hasn’t yet made its way into an idea.
– The School of Life

In the last green flash of consciousness,
before we are swallowed by the great night sea,
will we wonder if we have left a wake of ruin or of celebration
– an offering of reciprocal magnitude to the billowing imagination
and wild cosmic womb from which we first emerged
as spark, as seed, as a fragile embryo of possibility?
– Geneen Marie Haugen

The essay is a grapple, a cheerfully desperate attempt to drape words on thoughts and emotions mostly too vast for words…
– Brian Doyle

…one of the things that draws me to poetry is the fact that it offers an opportunity to focus on one small thing at a time…
– Camille Dungy

Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning.
– Iris Murdoch

All people who claim to be spiritual try to get away from the fact of the body; they want to destroy it in order to be something imaginary, but they never will be that, because the body denies them; the body says otherwise.
– Carl Jung

A nation is a story that a people chooses to tell about itself, and at its heart is a stumbling but deep-felt need for those people to be connected to the place they live and to each other. Humans in all times and places have needed ancestors, history, a place to be and a sense of who they are as a collective, and modernity and rationalism have not abolished these needs [for belonging]. […] If we want to see what a world without belonging would look like, we have only to look around. If an identity is an alliance between people and places, then airport-lounge modernity means taking the places out of the picture. All that is left is people who could be anywhere: citizens of nowhere, consumers of objects and experiences, connected by their little screens […]. [The word] parochial denotes the small and the particular and the specific. It can also mean insular and narrow-minded, but it doesn’t have to, any more than ‘cosmopolitan’ has to mean snobbish and rootless. This negative meaning has attached itself to the word because contemporary globalised culture is resolutely anti-parochial. It sets out to destroy local particularity and our attachment to it, because if we remain attached to it we may not buy into the placeless nowhere civilisation that is being built around the globe in the name of money.
– Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

Painters have a knowledge which goes beyond words. They are where musicians are. When someone blows the saxophone the sky is made of copper. When you make a watercolor you know how it feels to be the sea lying early in the day in the proximity of light.
– Etel Adnan Journey to Mount Tamalpais

Opening and closing spirals constitute the heartbeat of the universe.
– Walter Russell

Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.
– Judith Thurman

This web of time—the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect, or ignore each other through the centuries—embraces every possibility. We do not exist in most of them. In some you exist and not I, while in others I do, and you do not, and in yet others both of us exist.
– Jorge Luis Borges

measuring life
by money by clock
such a waste
…of mind
– Shinzen

Burning by Tina Chang

My heart was attached to the firewood.
It was wrapped first in kindle, thread, rosemary,
then burned as tinder. I asked myself how I had lived
racing toward an end that would always end in fire.

As the bundle burned, one would think
the listener held matches, one would think
they would laugh pointing to the roaring flame.
But it was really the night sky watching mercifully

with stars gathered on its shoulders.
Our ancestors believed in one true burning,
watching us as light separates into filaments,
and all of us living, witnessing sparks in the sky.

If ever we accede to enlightenment,
he thought, it is in one compassionate moment
when what separated them from me vanishes
and a shower of drops from a bunch of lilacs
pours on my face, and hers, and his, at the same time.
– Czeslaw Milosz, City of My Youth

I am bone-tired, God-bent,
rolling down a hill in the valley God cried forth,
God-spent, I am often on my knees in wonder

frothing at the mouth, a hunger God-given,
I am humbled, bending to the south stance
of trees on the edge of spring, God-swollen,
God-sounds like the ghost of ancestors scratching
their backs on doors, on walls, edging closer,
God-moaning like holy ghosts, under covers,
smoothing fingers against windows, God-fog hovering

by the fireplace meant to catch this hem with sparks,
meant to God-kiss all the wrongs of me,
my scraped shins, my ashen hair, dented faith
spiraling down my spine, Godspeed my toes. God,
where is all the God-sense brandishing me with glory,
washing me with God-water, ushering me back
to the beginning, God-done

I sing to the underside of clouds, God-high or God-well,
deep in the valley where I found you.

– Tina Chang, God-Country

In most cases, writers should avoid clichés. Using them is like picking low-hanging fruit. Because it’s easier to get to, we don’t bother reaching the better fruit on the higher limbs. Clichés often keep the writer from being more specific & concise.
– Keidi Keating

The ultimate test of the family is not whether it provides safety and predictability, but whether or to what degree each person can leave it, freely, and return, freely, as a larger person.
– James Hollis

Every time I interact with humans, my optimism grows.

Every time I watch the world on a screen, my pessimism grows.

– Ethan Nichtern

What I know most
about their hate
is that it can’t beat
the love out of me.
– Andrea Gibson

The ability to generate images and relate to them is a measure of mental health.
– Yoram Kaufmann

In the land of the free, one sentence must be as good as another because that is democracy.
– Gore Vidal

Ideology may appear clear to its proponents as long as it remains abstract, but when it is put into practice it takes the shape of a crime.
– Mahmoud Darwish

Inquisitive curiosity into the lives of others extends our lives. This is not sharing; it is artful listening. The other person is a fount of lifeblood, which transfuses vitality into your soul if you can provoke the other with your listening.
– James Hillman

We are creatures who need to understand, at any cost. And so we “story” our experiences, and those stories—provisional, localized, and often created at an early stage of our history—become defining narratives.
– James Hollis

Everyone wishes to be loved, but nearly no one can bear it. Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it.
– James Baldwin

In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to his mood or disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.
– CG Jung

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.
– Norman Vincent Peale

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
– Anton Chekhov

Birds embody the very quick of things, vitality or the life force. A world without birds is not only silent, it is dead and deadening. We humans need their singing.
– Jay Griffiths

We all have toxic traits. How we manage those toxic traits is really what makes a person safe or unsafe.
– @Theholisticpsyc

I voted.
I voted for the rainbow.
I voted for the cry of a loon.
I voted for my grandfather’s bones
that feed beetles now.
I voted for a singing brook that sparkles
under a North Dakota bean field.
I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
South along the shores of two continents.
I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.
I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
and the old democracy of worms.
I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen, thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.
I voted for the local, the small, the brim
that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
the luxury of enough.
I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse for every colony of maggots.
I voted for open borders between death and birth.
I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain, and then a tree again.
I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers, more recess in schools to cultivate play,
more leisure, tax free, more space between days.
I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
and the price of a thrush song.
I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.
– Alfred K. LaMotte

To learn is to be young, however old.
– Aeschylus

Capitalism is presumably the first case of a blaming, rather than a repenting cult. … An enormous feeling of guilt not itself knowing how to repent, grasps at the cult, not in order to repent for this guilt, but to make it universal, to hammer it into consciousness and finally and above all to include God himself in this guilt.
– Walter Benjamin, Capitalism as Religion

We often think of creativity as this big, grandiose idea and concept, but we forget that creativity is also tedium, hard work, repetition.
– Marcin Wichary

That’s another thing about poetry. It should be fortuitous, so that things go together, rather than split apart. There’s no blueprint. In fact, I’m still working on things. In other words, I’m not static—never static.
– Will Alexander

Individual self-reflection, return of the individual to the ground of human nature, to his own deepest being with its individual and social destiny here is the beginning of a cure for that blindness which reigns at the present hour.
– C.G. Jung

I am merely the stake in the struggle between another society, made up of several thousand million nerve cells lodged in the ant hill of my skull, and my body, which serves as its robot. Neither psychology nor metaphysics nor art can provide me with a refuge.
– Walter Abish

You have no idea how long something you say can stay inside someone’s mind.
– Scarlett Leithold

Life calls us forth to independence, and anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis. And once this has broken out, it becomes an increasingly valid reason for running away from life.
– C.G. Jung

The perilous time for the most highly gifted is not youth. The holy sensibilities of genius — for all the sensibilities of genius are holy — keep their possessor essentially unhurt as long as animal spirits and the idea of being young last; but the perilous season is middle age, when a false wisdom tempts them to doubt the divine origin of the dreams of their youth; when the world comes to them, not with the song of the siren, against which all books warn us, but as a wise old man counselling acquiescence in what is below them. No being of a social nature can be entirely beyond the tendency to fall to the level of his associates.
– Elizabeth Palmer Peabody

The shaman charged you too much
for your own breath.
The savior hid your soul under a cup
and switched it with his own.
The guru ran off with your Shakti
during the honeymoon.
Meanwhile the leftist was tricking you
into thinking you were someone’s victim,
as the fascist promised you peace
if you worshiped his flag and carried an AR-15.
The yoga teacher told you your body was God,
but the New Age metaphysician insisted
your flesh was an illusion.
So you took a workshop with the leading
non-duality coach who spent
the whole weekend reminding you
that he teaches Nothing
because there is no teacher
and no one to teach.
You felt guilty when you asked
your bank to cancel his $500 check
and sent him a new one
made out for Zero.
Maybe that’s why you went back to church
and tried to feel like a sinner
so you could get saved,
but there was Nothing to get saved from.
What will you do now
that you’ve followed every path
and wound up here
in the old growth forest again?
Don’t become a cynic, friend.
Just take off your shoes and wander
all night, barefoot on broken moonbeams
among the Bleeding Fairy Helmets,
fungi Mycena Haematopis,
cedar fronds and owl eyes,
embodying the howls of grampa coyote,
until you’re lost enough to cry,
‘I am home, I am home!’
– Fred LaMotte

I find it endlessly interesting, endlessly funny, the fact that we’re rather arbitrarily divided up into these discrete humans.
– Deborah Eisenberg

Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge… It can tell us when we’re being lied to. It provides a mid-course correction to our mistakes.
– Carl Sagan

If you wish to become a philosopher, the first thing to realise is that most people go through life with a whole world of beliefs that have no sort of rational justification, and that one man’s world of beliefs is apt to be incompatible with another man’s, so that they cannot both be right. People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.
– Bertrand Russell

Woke up in a state with a lesbian governor. My hair feels shorter. My boots seem shinier. The birds are singing Joan Armatrading.
– @rocketfantastic

Our spirituality is often attached to an anti-erotic way of being.
– Thomas Moore

Something wacky and fascinating about academics calling themselves “refugees” from a social media platform on another social media platform. So much to learn about language from this moment in time.
– Alina Stefanescu


For the sake of art
I will read
all the poems
tossed into garbage.
Ripped to pieces.
send them to me!
I will unfold them
in secret.

– Rebecca Wadlinger

The word suffer in its original sense means “to allow,”… So to suffer creatively is simply to allow what is, to stop fighting it, and instead to affirm your life.
– Robert A. Johnson

We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.
– Philip Pullman

When religion collapses, we discover the unconscious and open the Pandora’s box of the inner life.
– David Tacey

Deviation from the truth of the blood begets neurotic restlessness … Restlessness begets meaninglessness, and the lack of meaning in life is a soul sickness whose full extent and full import our age has not yet begun to comprehend.
– CG Jung

Sometimes, I pray.
“You’re a poet?” you ask with something I hope is desire in your eyes.
If words are what you desire, I might provide. But, I’m not sure I’m a poet. I’m just a man.
A man with ears that won’t stop hearing no matter how much noise I stuff into them. A man with eyes that won’t stop seeing no matter how dark it gets. A man with a heart that keeps breaking no matter how many pieces it’s already been shattered into.
Sometimes, I guess, I pray.
Sometimes, I write down these prayers. And, sometimes, when I’m really lucky, someone finds some meaning in my prayers. But, these aren’t the loud kind of prayers – the prayers that rise with eagles and smoke into the endless sky, the prayers that resurrect the dead or save sacrificial lambs from their torture. They’re the kind of prayers you whisper into your pillow when its sopping wet with tears, the prayers you’re too afraid to whisper to your lover in case she gets up and walks away. Forever. The prayers you keep whispering to her when you can’t remember how long it’s been since she left. The prayer to simply know what to say.
I am old enough now to know life is measured not by time, not by years, but by unanswered prayers. In this way, I am ancient. And, I doubt you desire that.
“You’re a poet?” you ask again as if I didn’t hear you. In my silence, your eyes change until I wonder if I only imagined your desire.
If I am a poet, I know I cannot lie. So, I say, “No.” And pray the desire in your eyes will not fade.
Now, I know that all we need is imagination to pray, anyway.
– Will Falk

Against Poetry
by Diane Seuss

A poem, unlike
a living being, cannot
perceive you and, in
perceiving you, grant you
reality. If it sleeps
with you, it cuts you.
It runs a few
degrees cooler than room
temperature. A love poem
does not love you. Or
does not necessarily love
you. A love poem faces
outward. It performs
love adequately. Lately,
I’ve wondered about poetry’s
efficacy. It’s like doubting
a long romance, or romance
itself, the essence of it.
Fearsome, to doubt
your life’s foundation.
I’ve also wondered about
painting. What distinguishes
a good or great painting,
paintings I’ve loved, from
illustration? Lately everything
seems illustrative to me,
as if the whole world
is a cunning metaphor.
A young painter once
cautioned me not to bring
a literary framework to visual art.
A sane admonition, I think.
Maybe what distinguishes
art from illustration
is its uselessness. Art,
useless at its core,
but not valueless. And
what is the correlation
between painting and poetry?
What makes a poem merely
illustrative and what elevates it
to an essential artfulness,
i.e., uselessness? I know
I am using the old language
here. “Merely.” “Elevates.”
I am in an antiquated room,
its fixtures, dust-covered
and ornate. Furniture,
built at the behest of another
era, from a principle of design
that forefronts beauty,
is delicate, as if balanced on a foal’s
trembling legs. Maybe to live
within a poem is to entrap oneself
in an architecture constructed upon
outmoded theories of composition.
It’s possible there is an undiscovered
room or house, or a structure
somewhere I don’t yet have
the language for. An academy of silences.
A cathedral of cross-purposed
voices. A posthuman spaciousness
filled only with a reemerged
species of butterflies. A catacomb
of cluster flies. Whatever it will be,
it will be new, filled
with its own mystifying absurdities,
and likely beyond me.
This body may not be built
for it. Mine is the kind
of body you drag around
town on a leash, with a choke
chain. You don’t love it,
but it’s yours to contend with,
though it compresses your
soul. When did it begin
to compress rather than
liberate my soul? Early,
but I do remember
when it was my soul’s instrument,
indistinguishable from
my soul. I could sit on the front
stoop and the whole world
came streaming in through
the structures of my senses.
Maybe the body is the soul’s
metaphor. Maybe to escape it
is to escape the service
economy. To dissolve analogy.
Attain uselessness.

a nameless mountain
higher than ever
autumn sky
– Soseki

Psychology is ultimately mythology, the study of the stories of the soul.
– James Hillman

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
– Eckhart Tolle

The City


You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried like something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”

You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You’ll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighborhoods, turn gray in these same houses.
You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there’s no ship for you, there’s no road.
Now that you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere in the world.

You live long enough, you’re blessed with reversals &—for this rememberer—huge tenderness. The smoke clears the older I get & what’s left is this deep affection for every second….
– Mary Karr

When obstructions
of heart-mind fall away,
The Way appears.
Open, flowing heart-mind sees.
Heart-mind is a river of true-perception.
– Darion Kuma Gracen

My generation basically had all the information it needed. We had books like Silent Spring and Limits to Growth. We could have tamped down consumption, but instead, we threw the biggest party in all of human history and we’re leaving the next generations to clean up after us.
– Richard Heinberg

People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.
– Charles Bukowski

Everything impinges on everything else… Everything is potentially everywhere.
– Johnn Steinbeck

… what matters is the work: the string of words becoming a poem, the weave of color & graphite scrawled upon a sheet that magnifies to achieve within the work a perfect balance of faith and execution. From this state of mind becomes a light, life-charged.
– Patti Smith

Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore
by Elizabeth Bishop

From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.
In a cloud of fiery pale chemicals,
please come flying,
to the rapid rolling of thousands of small blue drums
descending out of the mackerel sky
over the glittering grandstand of harbor-water,
please come flying.
Whistles, pennants and smoke are blowing. The ships
are signaling cordially with multitudes of flags
rising and falling like birds all over the harbor.
Enter: two rivers, gracefully bearing
countless little pellucid jellies
in cut-glass epergnes dragging with silver chains.
The flight is safe; the weather is all arranged.
The waves are running in verses this fine morning.
Please come flying.Come with the pointed toe of each black shoe
trailing a sapphire highlight,
with a black capeful of butterfly wings and bon-mots,
with heaven knows how many angels all riding
on the broad black brim of your hat,
please come flying.Bearing a musical inaudible abacus,
a slight censorious frown, and blue ribbons,
please come flying.
Facts and skyscrapers glint in the tide; Manhattan
is all awash with morals this fine morning,
so please come flying.Mounting the sky with natural heroism,
above the accidents, above the malignant movies,
the taxicabs and injustices at large,
while horns are resounding in your beautiful ears
that simultaneously listen to
a soft uninvented music, fit for the musk deer,
please come flying.For whom the grim museums will behave
like courteous male bower-birds,
for whom the agreeable lions lie in wait
on the steps of the Public Library,
eager to rise and follow through the doors
up into the reading rooms,
please come flying.
We can sit down and weep; we can go shopping,
or play at a game of constantly being wrong
with a priceless set of vocabularies,
or we can bravely deplore, but please
please come flying.With dynasties of negative constructions
darkening and dying around you,
with grammar that suddenly turns and shines
like flocks of sandpipers flying,
please come flying.Come like a light in the white mackerel sky,
come like a daytime comet
with a long unnebulous train of words,
from Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.

Nonfiction is in the facts. Creative nonfiction is in the telling.
– Phil Gerard

Creative suffering is allowing what is and saying “yes!” Such experience is redemptive in that it leads to healing and self-knowledge.
– Robert A. Johnson

Writing uses all of you – everything you have learned, all your patience, your sense of humor, your beliefs, your imagination, your sense of composition, and ultimately your entire character. Thus it is deeply rewarding, and it never runs out.
– Philip Gerard

There never was a time when the inherent virtues of human beings required more strong and confident expression in daily life, there never was a time when the hope of immortality and the disdain of earthly power and achievements were more necessary for the safety of the children of men.
– Winston Churchill

Don’t become a spiritual zombie, devoid of passion and deep human feeling.

Let spirituality be a celebration of your uniqueness rather than a repression of it.

Never lose your quirkiness, your strangeness, your weirdness, your humour, your unique and irreplaceable flavour.

Don’t try to be ‘no-one’ or ‘nothing’ or some transcendent and impersonal non-entity with ‘no self’ or ‘no ego’, some untouchable superhuman or non-human – that’s just another conceptual fixation and no-one’s buying it anymore.

Be a celebration of what your unique expression is, and stop apologising for your failure to live up to any false ideal.

Fall in love with this perfectly divine, very human mess that you are.

There is no authority here, and no way to get life wrong.

So get it all wrong.

Fail, gloriously.

– Jeff Foster

What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean that he has some soul work to do. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone, away from her husband, he needs to go alone himself.
– Robert Bly

Love Poem with Apologies for My Appearance
by Ada Limón

Sometimes, I think you get the worst
of me. The much-loved loose forest-green
sweatpants, the long bra-less days, hair
knotted and uncivilized, a shadowed brow
where the devilish thoughts do their hoofed
dance on the brain. I’d like to say this means
I love you, the stained white cotton T-shirt,
the tears, pistachio shells, the mess of orange
peels on my desk, but it’s different than that.
I move in this house with you, the way I move
in my mind, unencumbered by beauty’s cage.
I do like I do in the tall grass, more animal-me
than much else. I’m wrong, it is that I love you,
but it’s more that when you say it back, lights
out, a cold wind through curtains, for maybe
the first time in my life, I believe it.

I don’t believe we transcend anything. To me, life is full of paradox, and darkness contains its own light, just as light contains a hidden darkness.
– Liz Greene

Every individual needs revolution and renewal, but not by forcing these things upon his neighbours under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power.
– CG Jung

If any help was going to arrive to lift me out of my misery, it would come from the dark side of my personality.
– Robert Bly

May we remember that holiness exists in the ordinary elements of our lives.
– Luci Tapahonso

We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
– C.G. Jung

My resources for practice are my own peace and joy.
l vow to cultivate and nourish them with daily mindfulness.
For my ancestors, family, future generations,
and the whole of humanity, l vow to practice well.

In my society I know that there are countless people suffering,
drowned in sensual pleasure, jealousy, and hatred.
l am determined to take care of my own mental formations,
to learn the art of deep listening and using loving speech
in order to encourage communication and understanding
and to be able to accept and love.

Practicing the actions of a bodhisattva,
l vow to look with eyes of love and a heart of understanding.
l vow to listen with a clear mind and ears of compassion,
bringing peace and joy into the lives of others,
to lighten and alleviate the suffering of living beings.

l am aware that ignorance and wrong perceptions
can turn this world into a fiery hell.
l vow to walk always upon the path of transformation,
producing understanding and loving kindness.
l will be able to cultivate a garden of awakening.

Although there are birth, sickness, old age, and death,
now that l have a path of practice, I have nothing more to fear.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you.

Don’t bother to brush it off.

Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance.

Having a sense of humour saves you.

– Joseph Campbell

The happy ending of a fairy tale and myth is to be read as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man. . The objective world remains what it was, but, because of a shift of emphasis within the subject, it is beheld as though transformed.
– Joseph Campbell

I don’t choose, of course. Writing chooses.
– Helene Cixous

Deep inside us is a wilderness. We call it the unconscious because we can’t control it fully, so we can’t will to create what we want from it. The collective unconscious is a great wild region where we can get in touch with the sources of life.
– CG Jung

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.
– Baruch Spinoza

I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.
– Baruch Spinoza

A lazy part of us is like a tumbleweed.
It doesn’t move on its own. Sometimes it takes
A lot of Depression to get tumbleweeds moving.
– Robert Bly

The real time of emotion isn’t musical time or background noise of civilization or continuity of exposed film. You can always tell memory, not the coverings it closes first.
– Susan Howe

Few things are more stressful than trying
to be a different person from who you are.
– Unknown sage

Practice in a way where everything becomes practice.
– Ross Gay

The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.
– Diane Arbus

The issue isn’t to be or not to be—I don’t think that’s the exact question. The issue is to be oneself or not to be. It’s not a matter of existing and persisting; it’s a matter of awakening to the destination that’s written into the soul.
– Michael Meade

Look again at that dot.
That’s here.
That’s home.
That’s us.
On it everyone you love,
everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was,
lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy
and suffering,
thousands of confident religions, ideologies,
and economic doctrines,
every hunter and forager,
every hero and coward,
every creator and destroyer
of civilization,
every king and peasant,
every young couple in love,
every mother and father,
hopeful child,
inventor and explorer,
every teacher of morals,
every corrupt politician,
every “superstar,”
every “supreme leader,”
every saint and sinner
in the history of our species
lived there,
on a mote of dust
suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage
in a vast cosmic arena.
Think of the endless cruelties
visited by the inhabitants
of one corner of this pixel
on the scarcely distinguishable
inhabitants of some other corner,
how frequent their
how eager they are to kill
one another,
how fervent their hatreds.
Think of the rivers of blood
spilled by all those generals
and emperors so that,
in glory and triumph,
they could become the
momentary masters of
a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings,
our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some
privileged position in the
Universe, are challenged
by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck
in the great enveloping cosmic
In our obscurity,
in all this vastness,
there is no hint that help
will come from elsewhere to
save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world
known so far to harbor life.
There is nowhere else,
at least in the near future,
to which our species could migrate.
Visit, yes.
Settle, not yet.
Like it or not, for the moment
the Earth is where we make
our stand.
It has been said that astronomy
is a humbling and
character-building experience.
There is perhaps no better
demonstration of the folly of
human conceits than this distant
image of our tiny world.
To me, it underscores our
responsibility to deal more
kindly with one another,
and to preserve and cherish
the pale blue dot,

the only home we’ve ever

– Carl Sagan

A symbol does not define or explain; it points beyond itself to a meaning that is darkly divined yet still beyond our grasp, and cannot be adequately expressed in the familiar words of our language
– C.G. Jung

When the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.
– C.G. Jung

All things human take time, time which the damned never have, time for life to repair at least the worst its wounds; it took time to wake, time for horror to incite revolt, time for recovery of lucidity and will.
– Carolyn Forché

Mine is the kind
of body you drag around
town on a leash, with a choke
chain. You don’t love it,
but it’s yours to contend with,
though it compresses your
– Diane Seuss

The best elegies will always be sites of struggle between custom and decorum on one hand, and private feeling on the other.
– Eavan Boland and Mark Strand

A heart
which is not followed,
kept following other hearts.
– @whendaisywrites

I never wish to be easily defined.
– Franz Kafka

Passion is clearly the path
but does not bring us to love.
It opens the castle of our spirit
so that we might find the love which is
a mystery hidden there.
Love is one of many great fires.
– Jack Gilbert

Listen by Melissa Tuckey
Believe young people who say they are triggered. Check for bombs. Keep hiding places clear. Tell them they have a right to be safe. Believe nape of your neck, the back of knees. Believe moths and butterflies and hummingbirds. Believe bees. Believe ice and dirty snow. Believe in the intimacy of birds. Believe children, their faces red from packing snow. Believe libraries. The ministry of sound. Listen to water, the hymn of our connected lives, the way sunlight moves through the shadow of trees. Trust mountain. Trust solid shoes. Trust darkness and the life of the soul.

You know how to fight.

Now learn to rest.

– Dr. Thema

The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.
– Terence McKenna

I dreamed of becoming snow melt,
gliding down the slope of history
and into the valley. With the promise,
an assurance, that there is always
a way to become bird,
tree, water again.
– M.L. Smoker


If I am open
The day will take me
Where it will
And I will follow
My heart beating to the
Sound of leaves falling
The trees all the while
Knowing the root of this
Cosmic dream
The sun and moon


Between two opposite poles
Within myself
A conjugation of atoms
I am too clever to understand
With words and dialogues
And empty pens that
Pour their ink
On the blank spaces of
Lined paper

Hush, our time is brief

Look precisely
Without the interference of what
You think you know
And you will see what I see
And both of us
Will make this present moment
In both the greeting and farewell
What it was always
Meant to be.

– Laurence Overmire

Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
That I have sought, reflected in the blue
Of these sea depths, some shadow of your eyes;
– Emily Pauline Johnson

If you speak a new language of your own that others have yet to learn, you may have to wait a very long time for a positive echo.
– Meret Oppenheim

What I wear is pants.
What I do is live.
How I pray is breathe.

– Thomas Merton

Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.
– Frank Zappa

Decentralization only matters in the context of some kind of over-centralization.

A more universal goal, from a systems dynamics perspective, is meta-stability. Distributed equanimity.

Centralizing and decentralizing are the movements we make to come back into balance.

– @VinceFHorn

Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
Others caused you.
The waters run and run,
Springs sparkle and are done,
You walk the earth you are forgetting.

Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing?
A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.

The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem!
Your fields lie fallow,
The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.
– Czesław Miłosz

Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgements. Peace is not an ‘is’, it is a ‘becoming’.
– Halie Selassie

Structure serenity daily into your life.
Take time captive with eternity.
Fall in love with resting in God.
Enter into the flow of the Spirit.
Drink deep and savor the healing love of God…
Flowing like a river through your soul.
Slowly breathe in the breath of God.
Set your roots down deep into the ground of your being,
into the garden of your heart.
Dwell in the presence of being,
For you are God’s own beloved,
The apple of his eye,
The song of his heart
sings in you,
– Bob Holmes

Poetry offers us the capacity to carry in us and express the contradictory impulses that make us human.
– Kwame Dawes

sometimes i am a flute
for the blue breeze
sometimes i sing
all the little leaves
to sleep
– @joy_pops

At my remote cabin, during my sixty-third summer, I dreamt that after a lifetime in which I had spent thousands and thousands of days outdoors looking “at” nature, I was finally inside nature looking out. The meaning of this was imprecise, but the feelings have stayed with me. As a poet, it became far simpler to imagine myself a tree or a boulder, a creek or a field, and easier yet to imagine myself a fellow mammal. When Shakespeare said, “We are nature, too”, he was making a leap away from the fundamental schizophrenia in Western culture that few have made. At my cabin made of logs there is less distance between inside and outside. You can smell the heart of the forest as you sleep, and hear the river passing by the north side of the cabin.
– Jim Harrison

The sound we do not hear lifts the gulls off the water
– Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic

a cool wind blowing
in a bedroom of stars
– Issa

Our minds are conditioned to think that only what we can see and touch is real, but Jung questioned this view, and his psychology is a challenge to our understanding of reality.
– David Tacey

Memory can be warped, it lies, it tells us what we want to hear. … Discrepancy between memory and other evidence is not a problem—it’s the point. The reckoning, the true story, lives in the space of the contradictions.
– Philip Gerard

Maybe to live
within a poem is to entrap oneself
in an architecture constructed upon
outmoded theories of composition.
It’s possible there is an undiscovered
room or house, or a structure
somewhere I don’t yet have
the language for.
– Diane Seuss

I had to go through a time of isolation in order to come to terms with who and what I was, as distinguished from all the things I’d been told I was.
– James Baldwin

Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.
– Søren Kierkegaard

It hurts to age and part but it hurts worse
not to, to turn blue with held breath.
– William Matthews

There is no better guarantee of a successful relationship than knowing that we could — and can — manage perfectly well on our own.
– The School of Life

Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens.
– Henry David Thoreau

The Minister of Loneliness has abolished email. He is installing tin cans to every window sill with a piece of string to someone else’s window.
– Sarah Kay

The north wind kisses her rosy mouth,
His rival frowns in the far-off south,

And comes caressing her sunburnt cheek,
And Summer awakes for one short week,—

– Emily Pauline Johnson

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

But human beings are human beings. As remote as those ascetics are from us, they had the same parts. They had hearts and bodies and minds, each with habits of their own. They had an enlightened moment, I am sure of it, letting go of painful old stories and limiting beliefs to bask in the emanation of a new kind of love and freedom. But down the road, inevitably, there was at least a little more work to do. Patterns to see. Wounds to let heal.
– Tracy Cochran

Because knowing is impossible
and imagining is lethal.
Let the possible be
child of the real,
splitting the rock.
– Paolo Loreto translated by Lawrence Venuti

No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan, has ever had the power that a filmmaker has; the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people for two hours in the dark.
– Frank Capra

Defeat, My Defeat,
My solitude and My aloofness;
You are dearer to me
than a thousand triumphs,
and sweeter to my heart
than all world-glory.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My self-knowledge
and My defiance,
through you I know that
I am yet young and swift
of foot and not to be trapped
by withering laurels.
And in you I have found
aloneness and the joy of being
shunned and scorned.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
that to be enthroned
is to be enslaved,
and to be understood
is to be leveled down,
and to be grasped is but
to reach one’s fullness
and like a ripe fruit to fall
and be consumed.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My bold companion,
You shall hear My songs
and My cries and My silences,
and none but you shall
speak to me of the beating
of wings, and urging of seas,
and of mountains that burn
in the night,
and you alone shall climb
My steep and rocky soul.
Defeat, My Defeat,
My deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh
together with the Storm,
and together we shall dig
graves for all that die in us,
and we shall stand in the Sun
with a will, and we shall be
– Khalil Gibran

I have in my mind five hundred examples of novels that have given me pleasure, and I try to do work that gives back some of what those five hundred books have given me.
– Jonathan Franzen

Praise dance!

You broke the cycle, rejected the pattern, rewrote the script, colored outside the lines, exited toxic wastelands, and birthed a new beginning.

– Dr. Thema

Karen Armstrong has gone so far as to suggest that our artists and writers should be called upon to step into the priestly role of instructors in mythic lore to bring fresh insight into our damaged world, particularly when professional religious leaders fail to do so.
– Mary A Wood

If I feel myself to be an Englishman, an Indian, a Russian, and so on, from that crystallised thinking I will inevitably create war.
– Krishnamurti

The mind is bound by centuries of slavery to experience, and the question is whether it can free itself. Can it be in that state of awareness that is entirely different from the state of accumulation?
– Krishnamurti

Any form of conclusion is detrimental to full comprehension or understanding of the whole process of existence.
– Krishnamurti

Holons emerge in the Non-duality of Wholes and Parts.
– @VinceFHorn

not sitting quiet
even for a moment
this autumn breeze!
– @Meraki_k

I am here to make you think.
– Mark Rothko

Once the ego has had an encounter with the transpersonal standpoint, it is transformed. Now related to meaning, life is no longer empty or absurd, but is perceived as part of a larger and meaningful pattern.
– Edward Edinger

all new music is from space. This is why it “drops”, never is merely released.
– James Fagan

The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.
– Milan Kundera

by Elizabeth Bishop

Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite “The boy stood on
the burning deck.” Love’s the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

My thanksgiving is perpetual.
– Thoreau

summer twilight
left and right stars
sprouting in the sky
– @Meraki_k

Blue hour after
the sun, before dark,

and you kept
pushing your hair
out of your eyes
so you could watch

light forget
the mountains.

– Erin Coughlin Hollowell

If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Voltaire’s deconstruction of religious fanaticism (in any faith) remains relevant. Wherever people who say they love God continue to practice sectarian hatred, justify intolerance, and perpetrate violence, his prophetic indictments stand. He calls us to wake up and repent because, when we don’t, we create atheists.
– Brad Jersak, Out of the Embers

Enchantment is the oldest form of healing.
– Carl G. Jung

I am for adjectives like beezer, dreich, quare, and nouns like clart, drouth, gleed, mizzle, oxters, scoot-hole, smoor, and verbs like boke, fissle, greet, hunker, swither, and adverbs like furnenst …
– Maria Fusco

Truth crushed to earth will rise again,
’Tis sometimes said. False! When it dies,
Like a tall tree felled on the plain,
It never, never more, can rise.
– Too-qua-stee

All of us, to some extent, borrow from others, from the culture around us. Ideas are in the air, and we may appropriate, often without realizing, the phrases and language of the times. We borrow language itself; we did not invent it. We found it, we grew up into it, though we may use it, interpret it, in very individual ways. What is at issue is not the fact of “borrowing” or “imitating,” of being “derivative,” being “influenced,” but what one does with what is borrowed or imitated or derived; how deeply one assimilates it, takes it into oneself, compounds it with one’s own experiences and thoughts and feelings, places it in relation to oneself, and expresses it in a new way, one’s own.
– Oliver Sacks

I am tired
and the trail is long
my horse I have left to wander

the Sea of my mind holds only soft whispers

Sometimes I pick a road that leads
towards the blue mountains

Sometimes I watch where the ravens fly
and let them determine my direction

I have rarely followed in my time

but sometimes an empty horizon
can feel empty

The next room where was often music
is sometimes quiet now

and though the teachings have lionized empty

I seek the fullness in clouds
the wisdom in wind
the beautiful clearness of rainbows
the sound of rushing whitewater streams

My beaches lure me with their sunrises

My smile goes unanswered

I have lived my life the way the seabird flies

The empty Ocean is a long path
the song of surf a quiet thunder…

Like a lost plover
dragging its wing
on the world

– Nicholas Pierotti

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time to get rid of him.
– James Baldwin

I am interested in seeing the human heart–or what one has made of the human heart that has been lent. When it is fully operational, generous, employed, and taxed, nothing is as glorious as the human heart. Indeed, anything that we value–that I value–has emerged from a fully operational human heart.
– Alec Guinness

It is unearned love–the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It’s the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.
– Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Patience is the hardest thing for the spirit. But it is the hardest and the only thing worth learning. Everything that is nature, development, peace, prosperity and beauty in the world rests on patience; it takes time, silence, trust.
– Hermann Hesse

You still believe in new skin.
You still believe in magic.
Every crack in the sidewalk
is about you.
– Melissa Lozada-Oliva

This lecture is about the noise that calls itself quiet.
– Douglas Kearney, Optic Subwoof

Distance, a coiled spiral, lies inside every last thing, no matter how small or dreary. Distance has many names (they make up the poet’s dictionary). Call out to it in a thing—and it will uncoil.
– Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Art needs people who, rather than acquainting us with the unknown, can disacquaint us with the known, who can take this thing that has become a mind-sore, this trifle right here, and raise it to the power of a dream or mystery.
– Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Museum of old fountain pens, a fading connection to some old order…
– @svenbirkerts

I’ll cry about this earth in heaven too.
– Marina Tsvetaeva

Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong, but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching, you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence.
– J. Krishnamurti

Every problem brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature.
– CG Jung

but brightening and darkening in a slow ample flicker … brightening against the darkening that was its end. A peristalsis of light, worming its way into the dark.
– Beckett, Murphy

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
– Philip Pullman

Intellectual understanding and aestheticism both produce the deceptive, treacherous sense of liberation and superiority which is liable to collapse if feeling intervenes. Feeling always binds one to the reality and the meaning of symbolic contents.
– CG Jung

A Cedary Fragrance

Even now,
decades after,
I wash my face with cold water—

Not for discipline,
nor memory,
nor the icy, awakening slap,

but to practice
to make the unwanted wanted.

– Jane Hirshfield

I’ve said data literacy is a social justice issue but that can be easily coopted into some evidence-based uncritical project. So for me now it is data literacy is an abolitionist issue. And data literacy is cultural work. To expose the BS and inspire and build the world we want.
– @tamaranopper

If you collect my wisdom
you’ll find a lot of wonder,
the old monk suggested.
– @TheOldMonk5

If you don’t make use of your own power to change your brain for the better, other forces will shape your brain for you, including pressures at work and home, technology and media, pushy people and the lingering effects of painful past experiences.
– @drrhanson

A Wrong that cannot be repaired must be transcended.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Since humankind can bear little existential angst, there naturally emerge ideologies and fads, fashions and affectations, which momentarily assuage anxiety.
– James Hollis

A writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people. You know I’ve made records where it seems like no one listen to them. I’ve written poetry books were maybe 50 people read. You just keep doing your work because you have to because it’s your calling. You want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by your work.
– Patti Smith

The anxiety that individuals or cultures feel at that moment is considerable and they may quickly grasp hold of a new image in order to feel secure again.
– James Hollis

I hope you choose people and spaces that don’t require you to leave yourself behind.
– Dr. Thema

What if I were gone and the wind still reeks of hyacinth, what then
Who will I be: a gaudy arrangement of nuclei…
– Lucie Brock-Broido

(A great many people) end up surrendering their individual goal to their craving for collective conformity – a procedure which all the opinions, beliefs, and ideals of their environment encourage.
– CG Jung

What is moral is everything that is a source of solidarity, everything that forces man to … regulate his actions by something other than … his own egoism.
– Emile Durkheim

One must have courage to see what one does see and not to deny it for convenience.
– Javier Marías

Riverlands Aubade
by Michael Garrigan

The river is always there
even when he doesn’t see it for weeks
because he’s busy milking cows and scooping
pig shit and piling fieldstone into a wall
along the low end of their property,

— something to slow erosion,
something to make it all last
a bit longer —

and his dog gets enough exercise running through the barn
and his Farmall tractor needs a new clutch
so he just glances at the pond and watches water
trickle from the outlet into the creek that reaches
for a few hundred yards downstream
and convinces himself he can hear the river’s song.

It’s always there.

When he watches sunlight land on the trees
touching them like they want to be touched, lightly,
he’s comforted knowing this river will take him someday
and he hopes it’s a morning like this, after he’s had some coffee
and he’s awake, sharp, after watching the symphony of breaths
from his wife and dog lying beside each other in their bed,
the warmth and life of that union still clinging to his arms
so he has something comforting to hold
as he sinks wide-eyed and open-mouthed
into the deepest channel that runs
along the opposite bank.

‘Mental health’ is a throughly capitalist concept.

It is an insatiable and forever unobtainable state based in the denial of embodiment and the promise of escape.

In chasing it, we fall prey to the system and are forever wedded to our suffering.

– James Barnes

The psychic life of civilized man is full of problems…Our psychic processes are made up to a large extent of reflections, doubts, experiments, all of which are almost completely foreign to the unconscious, instinctive mind of primitive man.
– CG Jung

Within experience, there is noticing and sensing, showing, and shining. Rhythms give rise to living experience. Seeing this, you enter a magical realm.
– Tarthang Tulku

…old enough to remember when certain books were marketed as “Rabelaisian”…
– @svenbirkerts

Jung (explored) the treasure-house of images accumulated through history-from Eastern mysticism to medieval alchemy, from Christianity to aboriginal beliefs-and discovered that certain motifs recurred throughout world culture and also in dreams and other psychic phenomena.
– James Hollis

I was a blueprint, blue on blue, mapless/but for those warm bones and my red heart barking.
– Ama Codjoe

Joy is a marvelous increasing of what exists, a pure addition out of nothingness.
– Rilke

As one matures, a greater tolerance of ambiguity is essential both for growth and as a measure of respect for the autonomy of the mystery.
– James Hollis

One who has tamed their mind has reached liberation. There is no other liberation worth seeking.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

Central to Jung’s understanding of himself is that his self is plural… Ironically, the more aware we are that we are composed of different selves, the less likely we are to suffer a full splitting of the personality.
– David Tacey

The only way is to enjoy your life. Even though you are practicing zazen, counting your breath like a snail, you can enjoy your life, maybe much better than making a trip to the moon. That is why we practice zazen. The kind of life you have is not so important. The most important thing is to be able to enjoy your life without being fooled by things.
– Shunryu Suzuki

Mysticism is awe. And I think any human being who’s lost awe is really a lost person. A civilization that’s lost awe, an educational system that can’t teach awe and nurture it, a worship system that is devoid of awe because it is so full of human verbosity, is perverse. These systems are doing the opposite of what we have to do, which is to awaken the heart. Mysticism is about heart-knowledge, heart-experience. It’s a wonderful balance, a marriage between the left brain and the right. A brain researcher told me his twenty-one years of work on the right brain showed that our right brain is all about awe. So let’s put our awe together with knowledge, and we’re going to get some wisdom. Currently we’re running entirely on knowledge, and that’s why we’re running out of energy, money, time, land, beauty.
– Matthew Fox

never let you down — he says — did I?
It wasn’t possible, Why not?
Sisters and brothers are loyal,
we are the primal particles.
– Alice Notley

so much the fear,
Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael,
Wrought still within them:
– John Milton, Paradise Lost

We fly; we dream in darkness; we devour heaven in bites too small to be measured.
– Rebecca Solnit

Keep up your hobbitry in heart, and think that all stories feel like that when you are in them. You are inside a very great story!
– J.R.R. Tolkien

If everything is a confirmation of your theory, it’s not a theory but a delusion.
– Rebecca Solnit

Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society.” Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare.
– Stephen King, The Stand

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to dharma see no dharma in everyday actions. They have not yet discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of dharma.
– Dogen Zenji

While we wait
the woman earth sings with the tribes,
transforms herself
into all things.
– Diane Glancy

When you step into sacred time, you’re actually moving sideways into a different space that’s inside the normal world. It’s folded in. Do you see?
– Elizabeth Hand

…art has always had a balancing effect on your mind; it is a reminder that you are more than a body and its accompanying grief.
– Carmen Maria Machado

Men are like rivers: the water is the same in all; but every river is either narrow, or swift, or broad, or still, or clean, or cold, or turbid, or warm. Even thus are men.
– Leo Tolstoy

I keep hearing “oh well just go to BookTok/etc” to promote your book but I think people are confusing promotion and community. Promotion is shallow and limited in reach. Community is broad and deep. Community is how you sell (and find) books but takes years & interest to develop.
– @ambernoelle

Buddha began to realize that there was a sane, awake quality within him which manifested itself only in the absence of struggle. So the practice of meditation involves “letting be.”
– Chögyam Trungpa

Forget writing residency give me a reading residency!
– Dr. Han VanderHart

Natural, reckless, correct skill;
Yesterday’s clarity is today’s stupidity
The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change
One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.
– Ikkyu

I’ve noticed that people love to hurry. Meals are always quick, coffees are never savoured, glances are fleeting, conversations brief and it feels like this is becoming normal, that people only expect surface level and they only strive for surface level in all aspects of life. Mediocre coffee. Luke-warm love. Convenience. Because life is scary and when you sit with it long enough, and really listen to the silence, you notice what you’re missing, and some of what we miss, we know we will never be able to find again.
– Seyda Noir

Memory has its own border guards,
they keep the landscape safe.
– Robert Kelly

People in the global North have to realize that there’s going to need to be a huge reduction in lifestyle and material consumption. Either this is managed and something may be salvaged from this civilization – or – current levels continue driving civilization towards collapse.
– Peter Dynes

The underworld spirits are plural.
– James Hillman

Third Rock from the Sun

That streetlight looks like the slicked backbone
of a dead tree in the rain, its green lamp blazing
like the first neon fig glowing in the first garden
on a continent that split away from Africa
from which floated away Brazil. Why are we not
more amazed by the constellations, all those flung
stars held together by the thinnest filaments
of our evolved, image making brains. For instance,
here we are in the middle of another Autumn,
plummeting through a universe that made us
from its shattering and dust, stooping
now to pluck an orange leaf from the sidewalk,
a small veined hand we hold in an open palm
as we walk through the park on a weekend we
invented so we would have time to spare. Time,
another idea we devised so the days would have
an epilogue, precise, unwavering, a pendulum
strung above our heads. When was the sun
enough? The moon with its diminishing face?
The sea with its nets of fish? The meadow’s
yellow baskets of grain? If I was in charge
I’d say leave them there on their backs
in the grass, wondering, eating berries
and rolling toward each other’s naked bodies
for warmth, for something we’ve yet to name,
when the leaves were turning colors in their dying
and we didn’t know why, or that they would return,
bud and green. One of a billion
small miracles. This planet will again be stone.

– Dorianne Laux

…And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying…
– Tim McGraw

Love and mercy are sovereign, if often in disguise as ordinary people.
– Anne Lamott

Life is thus made up of little solitudes.
– Roland Barthes

…Then one day you decided that
you weren’t earth, after all, didn’t want
the thud of every footstep walking on
your life. So, you burned and quaked
the way our big earth is doing. Turned
yourself into a hushed planet. …
– @francinewitte

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
– Ernest Hemingway

It is quite possible—overwhelmingly probable … that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.
– Noam Chomsky

Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
– Guy de Maupassant

Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.
– Mahatma Gandhi

Awareness, in this biospheric sense, is a quality in which we participate with the whole of our breathing bodies; as your body is different from mine in many ways, so your sensations and insights are richly different from mine.
– David Abram

Do you remember our first meeting, and how the filaments of the copper lamps glowed above our heads? You understood then. You have always understood me.
– Susan Sontag

I never meant to go to Brazil. I never meant doing any of these things. I’m afraid in my life everything has just happened.
– Elizabeth Bishop

Just as a person refuses to recognize his own shadow side, so, but all the more strongly, he hates recognizing the shadow side of the nation behind which he is s fond of concealing himself.
– C.G Jung

If we are, in Karl Jasper’s phrase, to “read the ciphers” of our time, to decipher the mythic texture that lies just beneath the surface, we are obliged to attend the artistic voices around us.
– James Hollis

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open.
– Charles Baudelaire

Politics, wars, causes — for thousands of years we have ended up with a sack of shit. It’s time we learned to think.
– Charles Bukowski

It could be said that Marx and Hegel taught that there are no ideals in the abstract, but that the ideal always lies in the next step, that the entire thing cannot be grasped directly but only indirectly by means of the next step.
– Theodor Adorno

It absolutely drives me bananas the way they teach writing in middle schools. Formulas and taking off points for imaginary errors. Way to murder young people’s imaginations and love of language, damn.
– Lauren Groff

There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Reason and memory move together.
– Etel Adnan

Hurry isn’t of the devil; It is the devil.
– Brother Carl Jung

I only know I’m living in the interval between
The luxuries of consciousness and the straits of sorrow,
A bare condition of mere being in which nothing changes
And a life is just the sum of its details as it slowly slips away.
– John Koethe

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught.
– Baba Dioum

Idleness so called, which does not consist in doing nothing, but in doing a great deal not recognised in the dogmatic formularies of the ruling class, has as good a right to state its position as industry itself.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Spiritual development is growth by subtraction. We diminish the world of the ego so soul can find room to flourish.
– David Tacey

To gain the soul one must renounce the worldliness of the world and its literal thinking.
– David Tacey

We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
– W.H. Auden

But this is the bitterest for mortal men: our Gods want to be overcome, since they require renewal. If men kill their princes, they do so because they cannot kill their Gods, and because they do not know that they should kill their Gods in themselves.
– CG Jung

O you I conjure up, to whom I speak as to myself, listen:
– John Koethe

What would your spirituality be

if no one ever knew about it?

What would you call your path

if you could use no words?

Is the path nourishment enough?

– Darion Kuma Gracen

Zen is like soap. First you wash with it,
then you wash off the soap.
– Yamaoka Tesshu

Yes, even when I don’t believe— there is a place in me inaccessible to unbelief, a patch of wild grace, a stubborn preserve, impenetrable, pain untouched by the sleeping body, music that builds its nest in silence.
– Anna Kamienska

I believe in going back to the magic of the earth and the lake, the sky and the universe. That kind of magic. I believe in that kind of religion. A religion of the rocks, the lake, the water, the sky. Yes, that’s what I believe in.
– George Morrison

The priceless galaxy of misinformation called the mind…
– Djuna Barnes

The truest words I ever heard about divine love were uttered once by a friend as a grace before a meal. He bowed his head, in the guttering candlelight, steam rising from the food before him, the fingers of the cedar outside brushing the window, and said, ‘We are part of a Mystery we do not understand, and we are grateful.’
– Brian Doyle

Often when we are ill, the ‘call’ from deep within invites us not to try to ‘fix the problem’ but instead asks us to let go, retreat to our quiet cave, or nest and receive the incubating gift of patient warmth. Ancient Greek incubation caves where the sick reclined, let go and waited, were seen as places of access to the Underworld, the unconscious, dreaming depths of soul where warming energy and secretive alchemical work abound. To incubate, then, is to surrender to the therapeutic wisdom of Nature that resides deep within our bodies and souls. It is a phase of ’suspended animation’, when life is gently held, slowed and cocooned in sleep, rest and dreams that may cast light on the nature of the gifts that are embedded in our wounds. Sacred incubation is this devotional decision to be fully present in our woundedness, instead of struggling to be free.
– Maureen B. Roberts

I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
– Beryl Markham, West with the Night

How fathomless the mystery of the Unseen is! We cannot plumb its depths with our feeble senses – with eyes which cannot see the infinitely small or the infinitely great, nor anything too close or too distant, such as the beings who live on a star or the creatures which live in a drop of water… with ears that deceive us by converting vibrations of the air into tones that we can hear, for they are sprites which miraculously change movement into sound, a metamorphosis which gives birth to harmonies which turn the silent agitation of nature into song… with our sense of smell, which is poorer than any dog’s… with our sense of taste, which is barely capable of detecting the age of a wine! Ah! If we had other senses which would work other miracles for us, how many more things would we not discover around us!
– Guy de Maupassant

[N]arcissists get hung up on their image. . . . [T]hey cannot distinguish between an image of who they imagine themselves to be and an image of who they actually are. The two views have become one. . . . [T]he narcissist identifies with the idealised image.
– Alexander Lowen

a forest floor
of fallen pine needles …
knitted silence
– @WendyGent_

on my rooftop
a mound of fluffy clouds
– @Meraki_k

a mad rush of
hues in the garden
– @Meraki_k

in reality we are one and all from the unthinkable first to the no less unthinkable last glued together in a vast imbrication of flesh without breach or fissure
– Beckett, How It Is

I’m good at nothing but listening and waiting, though in these capacities I’ve achieved perfection, for I’ve learned how to dream while waiting. These two things go hand in hand, and dreaming does a person good and preserves respectability.
– Robert Walser

Will you forgive me these November days?
– Anna Akhmatova

Autumn is my spring!
– August Strindberg

Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.
– Malcolm Gladwell

In order to be creative you have to be healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
– James Altuche

Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.
– Tim Fargo

Robots are the new middle class. And everyone else will either be an entrepreneur or a temp staffer.
– James Altuche

Out of silence comes the greatest creativity. Not when we are rushing and panicking.
– James Altucher

In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.
– Malcolm Gladwell

If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.
– Arianna Huffington

No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.
– Malcolm Gladwell

We all have within us the ability to move from struggle to grace.
– Arianna Huffington

We need to look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken.
– Malcolm Gladwell

What needs to be slain or sacrificed in psychic terms are literalized attitudes toward both the masculine and the feminine if a full emotional and imaginal life would be found.
– Michael Meade

a bird singing
almost cured
my headache
– Issa

Initiation is the creative, artful container that helps each young person hear the call of spirit. In order to hear the call, a small death must come between parents and their child.
– Michael Meade

Reading and writing are important, and so is music. Science and engineering are important, and so is music. Sport and physical education are important, and so is music. And so is music. Music isn’t the poor relation to any subject. Music is there – important, needed, necessary.
– @VFleischfresser

When other’s minds are unknown, the mind you imagine is based heavily on your own.
– Nicholas Epley, Mindwise

Six months of waiting. Six months of understanding the inner workings of faith and the outer spheres of the world. Six months of time: hundreds and millions of awakening seconds and sleeping minutes. Six months of aching stretched out like the Sahara: lickety-split, snippety-snip, jiggity-jig Six months of fading and blooming, stopping and starting. Six months of love: a breath, a deluge, an eternity; a single flake of snow.
– Tishani Doshi

Let us not name our old friends who are unravelling like fairy tales in the forests of the dead.
– Tishani Doshi

I saw a woman hold
the tattered edge of the world
in her hand
– Tishani Doshi

But it is difficult to rewrite the story of your life, especially when you have been telling it one way for so long.
– Tishani Doshi

late autumn rain
falling in the valley
warm home fire
– Ogawa


The door is open
You  are
Running towards me
With a wild
Flower bouquet

– Marija Krviokapić

Why do men insist on achieving something ? Would it not be better if they stood still under the sun in calm and silent immobility ? What is there to accomplish ? Why so much effort and ambition ? Man has forgotten the meaning of silence.
– Emil Cioran

Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.
– Leonardo Da Vinci

The shadow has too often been split off in Western thinking and we know, psychologically, that whatever is split off reinsinuates itself through behavioral eruptions or projections onto others.
– James Hollis

(Joseph Campbell) speaks about an infantile thinking in opposites that typically is marked by an almost total absence of intuition, association and synthesis. It is a stiff and inflexible, and neurotic left-brain concept, called the ‘solar worldview.
– Peter Fritz Walter

Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.
– Joseph Campbell

Jane Hirshfield

It is the work of feeling
to undo expectation.

A black-faced sheep
looks back at you as you pass
and your heart is startled
as if by the shadow
of someone once loved.

Neither comforted by this
nor made lonely.

Only remembering
that a self in exile is still a self,
as a bell unstruck for years
is still a bell.

I have nothing soothing to tell you,
that’s not my job,
my job is to revise and revise this bristling list
– Dionne Brand

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.
– Søren Kierkegaard

I know that all of my enterprises will fail. I know that already. I’m not holding out hope that somehow anythings going to change as a result of doing them. All I’m trying to do is participate in some small way in the small collection of memories that will accompany my death. That’s all I’m trying to do is having a small part to play in what those memories might be. Understanding now, that the way I’m proceeding is helping to author those things that people will remember. If they’re inclined to. And there’s not much more to me than that. But that is not a recipe for futility. One of the things I learned at the deathbed is… that’s the whole thing. That’s the magic of it. Our willingness to remember turns out to be a kind of banquet… and the remembering is the food. And I think that’s what we have to do in a rough time like this one, is that we have to give people even not yet born, we have to leave in the air a kind of an aroma… let’s call it ‘inconsolable possibility’ – a possibility that won’t be consoled into impotence.
– Stephen Jenkinson

We are made for loving. If we don’t love, we will be like plants without water.
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I no longer want to write poetry like certain angels, it is so difficult to live while dying bit by bit across the space of the night, just to patch up the morning with what is left of the drool on the pillow in this country of devastation and suffering. I, too, want to feel the breeze of a transparent beach, a sky with cotton for clouds and a sea that is just as blue getting caught in my rudder. To have a coffee and read some books aloud? No more no more no more! I want something else from love: a woman who is not mere skin across an abyss, a nice cup of wine from the purest vine of words. I no longer want to wake up like this, with my whole soul in my mouth.
– Álvaro Fausto Taruma

Your poetry and arts
and your dance and your
music and everything
you offer to the world
will be barren and
utterly meaningless
if they are not
mixed with the light
inside your heart.
– Guthema Robe


I see
In your eyes
The beginning of Time
Fragrant flower
In new-made Earth
Unfolding its soft blush of color
Many-petaled splendor
In the blinking morn…

I see
In your face
The sharp blade of sorrow
Born of a legion
Of tempest-tossed tears
The wisdom of the ages
Encapsulated there…

I see
In your heart
The soft ray of starlight
Glistening like sapphire
Through the void
Of blackest night…

I see
Now and forever
Are one and the same
With you here beside me
I see.

– Laurence Overmire

thorns and claws

there’s a reason that even peaceful, wild things
are born with thorns and claws.
a bright spark
they carry in their hearts

there’s a reason that even beautiful, large things
are born with tusks and antlers.
a reason the mother bears
rise up to defend their children
some things are worth dying for
some things are worth killing for
some things are worth defending

whoever told you that this was wrong,
cannot be trusted
with your life

they would stand by and watch their selfish, cowardice act for them
(as your bones were broken and your body violated)
to retain their own purity
remember that

whoever told you that this was wrong,
would stand by and watch the world be sold
by parcels and piecemeal
there are those who will not stop
unless they are stopped

whoever told you that this was wrong,
finds beauty in nature only once it has been broken
and made useful

whoever told you that this was wrong,
has forgotten this bright spark
this wild life
at the center of everything

whoever told you this . . .
was wrong.
did they not notice the peaceful, wild things
or the beautiful, large things
of this world?

– Tad Hargrave

We found that place
under a November sky
where silence stretches out
to absorb the trill of sandhill cranes;
to meet the splash of beaver’s tail
from the reeds; to join the path
of four journeying otters
pausing for a midday fish feast.
We were reminded to see beauty
in that which fades, in that which persists,
in seeds that float away in the cold wind,
in creatures who make ready for winter,
in creatures who live only in memory.
– Heidi Barr

How can someone stop repetitive patterns if they have no idea what’s going on in their unconscious? . . . Unconscious means ‘not knowing’, and ‘not being conscious of’. So there may be huge forces operating in a person that they are totally unaware of.
– Marion Woodman

It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves.
– Simone Weil

The old saying of the two kinds of truth. To the one kind belongs statements so simple and clear that the opposite assertion obviously could not be defended. The other kind, the so-called ‘deep truths’, are statements in which the opposite also contains deep truth.
– Niels Bohr

my hometown
on the edge of a cloud
autumn sunset
– Issa

Boundaries are the most direct way for you to protect your energy. Make them clear for your sake. If they aren’t, people will just keep taking more and more. Not because they are malicious, but simply because they won’t know when you need space or when you are feeling depleted.
– Yung Pueblo

I lack the ability to judge myself except over many drafts and usually over years.
– Donald Hall

and something was / not given to you, or something was / taken from you that you were born with
– Sharon Olds

You once told me that the human eye is
god’s loneliest creation. How so much of
the world passes through the pupil and
still it holds nothing. The eye, alone in its
socket, doesn’t even know there’s another
one, just like it, an inch away, just as
hungry, as empty.
– ocean vuong

There is in the word, in the logos, something sacred which forbids us to gamble with it. To handle a language skilfuly is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.
– Baudelaire. (Transl. Théophile Gautier)

The feminine isn’t interested in being at the top: she’s dedicated to life in the moment, she takes time to look at trees & flowers; she takes time to build depth relationships, takes time to be carried by other force that trusts that there’s inherent meaning to this life.
– Marion Woodman

Censorship thickens the fibres of metaphor and develops the reader’s close reading skills.
– Sasha Dugdale

I believe that any experience, whatever its nature, has the inalienable right to be chronicled. There is no such thing as a lesser truth.
– Annie Ernaux

The Most Of It

He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree-hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder-broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter-love, original response.
And nothing ever came of what he cried
Unless it was the embodiment that crashed
In the cliff’s talus on the other side,
And then in the far distant water splashed,
But after a time allowed for it to swim,
Instead of proving human when it neared
And someone else additional to him,
As a great buck it powerfully appeared,
Pushing the crumpled water up ahead,
And landed pouring like a waterfall,
And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread,
And forced the underbrush-and that was all.

– Robert Frost

Something is true only on the level on which it is appropriate. For example: Mythology is true on an inner level, but it makes no sense on a historical level.
– Robert A. Johnson

The luminous and shocking beauty of the everyday is something I try to remain alert to, if only as an antidote to the chronic cynicism and disenchantment that seems to surround everything, these days. It tells me that, despite how debased or corrupt we are told humanity is and how degraded the world has become, it just keeps on being beautiful.
– Nick Cave

Poetry by Marianne Moore

I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers that there is in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are
useful; when they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the
same thing may be said for all of us—that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand. The bat,
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under
a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base—
ball fan, the statistician—case after case
could be cited did
one wish it; nor is it valid
to discriminate against “business documents and

school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry,
nor till the autocrats among us can be
“literalists of
the imagination”—above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, in defiance of their opinion—
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness, and
that which is on the other hand,
genuine, then you are interested in poetry.

The great home of the soul is the open road.
– D.H. Lawrence

warming my hands
in my tea steam
morning frost
– Issa

Now each one has to work it out in his own way. But if a person just refuses to think that he has an inside problem, he’s not going to work the thing out. Nobody can do it for him. You have to learn how to recognize your own depths.
– Joseph Campbell

Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours, it is only borrowed plumage
– D.T. Suzuki

We need a new cosmology. New gods. New sacraments. Another drink.
– Patti Smith

As long as we separate this oneness into two we won’t achieve realization.
– Bruce Lee

We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.
– G.K. Chesterton

Information wants to be free.
– Tracie D. Hall

Your unconscious mind is turning this over and over underneath, and then one morning you wake up with a whole lot of things formulated that you haven’t been consciously working on. At that point you can sit down and write.
– Helen Vendler

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

After it’s over, after the last gaze has shut down,
Will I have become
The landscape I’ve looked at and walked through
Or the road that took me there
or the time it took to arrive?
– Charles Wright

I walk in the chill of the late autumn night
like Orpheus
Thinking my song, anxious to look back,
My vanished life an ornament, a drifting cloud, behind me,
A soft, ashen transcendence
Buried and resurrected once, then time and again.
– Charles Wright

Early November in the soul,
a hard rain, and dusky gold
From the trees, late afternoon
Squint-light and heavy heart-weight.
It’s always downleaf and dim.
– Charles Wright

As one who thinks of poetry
As a way of talking to yourself,
I probably do too much explaining,
But that’s what talking to yourself is like:
The things you can’t explain to anyone
Are suddenly made clear to no one, as though
Nobody mattered but yourself. And it’s the same
For each of us, whether you’re listening to me or not:
An enveloping cloud of not quite-language
Hovering on the verge of sense that puts you
At the center of a world that’s doesn’t quite get you,
But of which you’re part, a world in which
Each individual life is so completely ordinary
And at the same time so extraordinary it never ends
Until it does: each individual life eternity
In miniature; each life a world
– John Koethe

“Now you must cast aside your laziness,”
my master said,”for he who rests on down
or under covers cannot come to fame;
and he who spends his life without renown
leaves such a vestige of himself on earth
as smoke bequeaths to air or foam to water.
Therefore, get up; defeat your breathlessness
with spirit that can win all battles if
the body’s heaviness does not deter it.
A longer ladder still is to be climbed;
it’s not enough to have left them behind;
if you have understood, now profit from it.”
– Dante Alighieri

Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about anymore than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks. A good night’s sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace.
– Frederick Buechner

It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.
– Cheryl Strayed

I always found in myself a dread of west and love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.
– John Steinbeck

No matter how sincere our theologies, our beliefs may be, however grounded in primal experience, the gods slip away from original creed and ritual to undermine consciousness by changing their shapes, moving deeper, and reappearing somewhere else in a different guise.
– James Hollis, On This Journey We Call Our Life

Small and hidden is the door that leads inward and the entrance is barred by countless prejudices, mistaken assumptions, and fears.
– CG Jung

If a man devotes himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift [of renewal], so that suddenly life, which has been stale and dull, turns into` a rich unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities
– Marie Louise von Franz

Be careful when you are not at one with yourself, in your moments of dissociation.
– CG Jung

Why are the lives of the sages filled with miracles?
Because they open their minds to truth and labour over it day and night. They are the awakened mind of the cosmos—through them the Infinite Light enters this world.
– Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

We cannot assuage our cravings by pursuits in the material world, no matter what their nature and scope. Nothing short of the experience of mystical unity with the divine source will quench our deepest longing.
– Stanislav Grof, The Cosmic Game

As we mature, we are more likely to become able to discern the patterns of our history—the repetitions, the reactivation of old wounds, familiar stuck places—and acknowledge how we are the ones who made those choices, created those familiar outcomes.
– James Hollis

Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
– W. S. Merwin

Symbolically, crossroads represent moments in our lives where the unconscious crosses consciousness, where the eternal crosses the transitory; in other words, times and places where a higher will demands the surrender of our egos.
– Marion Woodman

Self-knowledge is one goal of psychoanalytic treatment, but a more profound goal is self-acceptance.
– McWilliams

More than a code of manners in war and love, Chivalry was a moral system, that should govern the whole of noble life.
– Barbara Tuchman

In Hebrew, the point is the vowel. It permits the word to be read, heard. When the point is missing, there is risk of gross misunderstanding. In fact, there is no such thing as a word. There are consonants waiting to become vocables.
– Edmond Jabès, From the Desert to the Book

Vowels are sticky; they bind and wind through others, attaching their imprints and echoes,’ Anne Carson writes in Eros the Bittersweet. Where vowels open the mouth, consonants limit sound, marking the edges.
– Alina Stefanescu

When there is nothing left, there will still be sand. There will still be the desert to conjugate the nothing.
– Edmond Jabès

We are rescued by what we cannot imagine: it is what finally takes us up and shuts our story, replacing it among the millions of similar volumes that by no means menace its uniqueness but on the contrary situate it in the proper depth and perspective
– John Ashbery

If I had to hold up the most heavily guarded bank in Europe and I could choose my partners in crime, I’d take a gang of five poets, no question about it. Five real poets, Apollonian or Dionysian, but always real, ready to live and die like poets.

No one in the world is as brave as a poet. No one in the world faces disaster with more dignity and understanding.

The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.

They [poets] work in the void of the word, like astronauts marooned on dead-end planets, in deserts where there are no readers or publishers, just grammatical constructions or stupid songs sung not by men but by ghosts.
– Roberto Bolaño, The Best Gang

If you do not keep on sorting your books, your books unsort themselves: it is the example I was given to try to get me to understand what entropy was: personal experience has provided me with frequent demonstrations of it.
– Georges Perec, Thoughts of Sorts

I re-read the books I love and I love the books I re-read, and each time it is the same enjoyment, whether I re-read twenty pages … or the whole book: an enjoyment of complicity, of collusion, or more especially, and in addition, of having in the end found kin again.
– Georges Perec

There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces.
– Herman Melville

By his own standards he was simply looking for something. He wanted to see the world, that was all. He wanted to know and love the entire atlas.
– William T. Vollmann

Poetry is not truth. It’s not even the dream of truth; poetry is passion—it’s a game, maybe a tragic game, one that we play with a world that plays its own game with us.

If we call things by their true names, … a kind of threshold condition arises … The world, with its natural extension in language, comes to a consciousness of itself, and language, with its background in the world, becomes a world in itself, one steadily unfolding further.

That’s why it can be said that by writing poetry, we’re trying to produce something that we ourselves are already a product of.

– Inger Christensen

Genius, all over the world, stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.
– Herman Melville

Let me be clear: I did not want to admire life, I did not want to skim it; I wanted to swim in it. I judged that to do this, I had to leave, and to write.
– Lisa Robertson

The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing . . . He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths.
– Carl Jung

Anxiety causes us to develop a mentality of scarcity and to shrink ourselves into a life too small to fulfill us.
– Bud Harris

Most people are terrified of spontaneity. They don’t know how to be in the now so they’ll do anything to follow a preconceived plan. This is the exact opposite of the feminine, which lives in the present.
– Marion Woodman

This breakup has me believing in god

God, the canoe-shaped leaves sound like heaven
this morning on the cottonwoods outside my window.
Two days of orange smoke. This breakup
has me saying, why would god put so much love on my head
and cut half the cottonwoods down?
I wish I knew god so I wasn’t alone.
The rubbery smell of the fire and its cracking sounds.
The black bark in the grass could be the ends of cigars.
My heart coils into the softest brush snake.
My pussy aches how it ached in our apartment. God
I was grateful, watching him shake water from his gray hair.
In the yard there is a pile where the dead trees simmer
into coals and one rat scurries out.
My loneliness is its own boat full of the same multiplied rat.
My body belongs to god, or the man who owns the restaurant—
poured me an extra shot when I said I felt sad.
How was I taken home by that stranger when I could barely stand?
I was certain we would plant trees. I would wake and smell the golden sides
of his face every morning. I know only god could make
this rat scream. Before we broke up, he said he didn’t know himself
so he stole what made me. Orbs of ash fall slow,
pulling the stink from the sky. I am waiting to trust
this moment of feeling. It’s easier to ask god why.

– Taneum Bambrick

If I look at my most vulnerable places and acknowledge the pain I have felt, I can remove the source of that pain from my enemies’ arsenals. My history cannot be used to feather my enemies’ arrows then, and that lessens their power over me. Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or a chisel to remind you of your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.
– Audre Lorde

I’m walking out now into the soft light, the cooling hum of evening, and I will love you tonight, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and still many more, so very many more tomorrows.
– Vladimir Nabokov

setting sail
upon purple clouds
on the western sea
– Issa

Essay on November
by Stephen Kuusisto

There is at times a small fire
In the brain, partita for violin,
Brier, black stem,
All burning in the quarter notes.
And the hedgerow
Beyond the barn
Calls its starlings in.
Then frost, sere leaves,
A swollen half-moon
Like a drowsy fingertip
Above the apple trees.

Enough already of Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault poured like ketchup over everything. Lacan: the French fog machine; a grey-flannel worry-bone for toothless academic pups; a twerpy, cape-twirling Dracula dragging his flocking stooges to the crypt. Lacan is a Freud T-shirt shrunk down to the teeny-weeny Saussure torso. The entire school of Saussure, inluding Levi-Strauss, write their muffled prose of people with cotton wool wrapped around their heads; they’re like walking Q-tips. Derrida: a Gloomy Gus one-trick pony, stuck on a rhetorical trope already available in the varied armory of New Criticism. Derrida’s method: masturbating without pleasure. It’s a birdbrain game for birdseed stakes. Neo-Foucaldian New Historicism: a high-wax bowling alley where you score points just by knockng down the pins.
– Camille Paglia, Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays

Silence doesn’t just mean not talking. Most of the noise we experience is the busy chatter inside our own head.
– Thích Nhất Hạnh, Silence

Here and There
I sit and meditate—my dog licks her paws
on the red-brown sofa
so many things somehow
it all is reduced to numbers letters figures
without faces or names only jagged lines
across the miles half-shadows
going into shadow-shadow then destruction the infinite light

here and there cannot be overcome
it is the first drop of ink

– Juan Felipe Herrera

Dearest, now that I have better writing paper, let us also start a better life.
– Franz Kafka, 1912

It is also November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner. November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.
– Emily Dickinson

When such threatening forces of cleavage are at work, splitting peoples, individuals and atoms, it is doubly necessary that those which unite and hold together should become effective: for life is founded on harmonious interplay of masculine and feminine forces.
– Emma Jung

A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. When society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true stories that shine a light into the human psyche and society. If not-as Yeats warned-the centre cannot hold.
– McKee

It is other people — anonymous figures glimpsed in the Metro or in waiting rooms — who retrieve our memory and reveal our true selves through the interest, the anger, or the shame that they send rippling through us.
– Annie Ernaux

When we realize that we are part of a cycle that periodically draws us down into the darkness of unconsciousness, and then brings us back again into the light where we can blossom, we start to know ourselves in a new way.
– Jane Pretat

I don’t think the nation is all that “closely divided.” More like highly gerrymandered.
– Peter Kalmus

Although there is not one moment without longing, still, how strange this autumn twilight is.
– Ono no Komachi (trans. by Jane Hirshfield & Mariko Aratani)

be nobody’s darling;
be an outcast.
take the contradictions of your life
and wrap around you like a shawl.
– alice walker, revolutionary petunias

All the great story lines are great practical jokes that people fall for over and over again.
– Kurt Vonnegut

By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.
– CG Jung

It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.
– Louis Kossuth

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgment go, is completely neutral. it only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong.
– CG Jung

We live in a universe that is arriving. And has been arriving for 14 billion years.
– Brian Swimme

You are completely wrapped up in the world of your own making.
– Nisargadatta, I Am That, Page 15

The world in general, particularly America, is extraverted as hell, the introvert has no place, because he doesn’t know that he beholds the world from within. And that gives him dignity, that gives him certainty, because, nowadays particularly, the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man.
– C.G. Jung

sleight of hand
vanishing coin trick
– Jason Gould

Don’t let the constant failings of our “leaders” lead you to doomism. We’re not doomed. We have the understanding. We have the solutions. We’re simply lacking the political will – that will change when there’s a billion climate people pressuring the system from all angles.
– @EarthlyEdu

If we behave like those on the other side, then we are the other side. Instead of changing the world, all we’ll achieve is a reflection of the one we want to destroy.
– Jean Genet

Not poetry, not fiction, not non-fiction, but a secret fourth thing.
– @ShikshaWrites

Holy Mountain

I want to hear the silence of stone and stars,
lie back on granite’s steep rise
face to silver sky’s glittering points
where I can taste the galaxies
on my tongue, communion of fire,
then stand on the summit and
look out at the laboring world.

I want to witness Earth’s slow turning
with early light brushing over me,
a hundred hues
of grey, pink, gold,
speckles of Jackson Pollock light,
then ribbons of mist floating
like white streamers of surrender.

I want to look back down the trail
as if over my past, forgive a thousand tiny
and tremendous transgressions
because now all that matters
is how small I feel under the sky;
even the sparrow hawk takes no notice of me,
how enlarged I feel by knowing this smallness.

– Christine Valter, Dreaming of Stones

the color of the sky
has changed into
winter clothes
– Issa

Your days are numbered.
Use them to throw open the
windows of your soul to the sun.
If you do not, the sun will soon set,
and you with it.
– Marcus Aurelius

When a man finds himself in motion, he always thinks up a goal for that motion. In order to walk a thousand miles, a man needs to think that there is something good at the end of those thousand miles. One needs a vision of the promised land in order to have the strength to move.
– Leo Tolstoy

I’m learning to see. I don’t know why, everything penetrates me more deeply, and doesn’t stop at the place where it always used to end. There is a place in me I knew nothing about. Everything goes there now. I don’t know what goes on there.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Back in my room
I can’t hear the river passing like time,
or the moon
emerging from the shadow of
but I can see the water that never repeats itself.
It’s very difficult to look at the World
and into your heart at the same time.
– Jim Harrison

The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.
– Nikos Kazantzakis

Though I thought I knew the good, I did not always do the good, apparently…no, clearly did not. And sometimes I have to admit that even my deliberated moral positioning produced consequences harmful to myself or to others.
– James Hollis, Ph.D.

Hypocrisy rather than heresy is the cause of spiritual decay.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel

It is in the nature of things to be drawn to the very experiences that will spoil our innocence, transform our lives, and give us necessary complexity and depth.
– Thomas Moore

I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It’s very strange how often strong feelings don’t seem to carry any message of action.
– Philip Larkin

Stories are powerful, feminine vehicles of communication. By their very nature, they transport us to the imaginative realm. Stories feed our souls, particularly when told from a deep, inner source of truth.
– Marion Woodman

Since there are parts of ourselves that are a mystery to us, and these are aspects that we and others can’t possibly know unless and until they reveal themselves, can any of us truly say that we know each other? I don’t think so. We can only ever know aspects of another person or aspects of ourselves. Embrace the unfolding mystery of Self and Other. Don’t assume you know another person simply because you have some familiarity with a few of their aspects. Don’t assume you know yourself simply because you have some familiarity with a few of your own aspects.
– Darion Kuma Gracen

What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.
– Ray Charles

Encounters with transcendent energies are fundamentally inexplicable, but they are undeniable and require an honest person to witness with humility and awe.
– James Hollis

Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means “Glory to the Lord.” The song explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist. I say all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have an equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, with enthusiasm, with emotion.
– Leonard Cohen

The young neurotic shrinks back in terror from the expansion of life’s duties, the old one from the dwindling of the treasures he has attained.
– CG Jung

Matisse said, “I believe in God when I’m working.” If our creative energy is blocked, it will find an outlet in some kind of distorted religion, or addiction. An addiction to me is a distorted religión.
– Marion Woodman

A high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

Whenever one goes through the deconstruction of the false self-one normally suffers a considerable period of wandering in the wasteland.
– James Hollis

It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Universities are becoming outdated because they are providing the wrong kind of knowledge. They’re still preparing students for jobs that are disintegrating. The future of work is not academia based, it’s skills based.
– @tishray

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
– Leo Tolstoy

It’s not that I expect everyone to be a poet or a philosopher. It’s just that I am saddened by people who seem to have nothing of either in them. Regardless of what we do for a living, we ought to love wisdom and beauty.
– Benjamin Myers


Yes, I try to drink plenty of water, eat a well-balanced, nutritional diet, do my mindful breathing exercises, and get plenty of sleep.

But, I’m still sick.

The water is full of carcinogens. Wild foods, both the kind with roots, and the kind with fins, fur, or feathers, are all but gone. There’s oxygen in my breaths, of course, but there’s smog, ozone, particulates, and all the various -oxides, too. Even though I sleep, my dreams are full of the missing and murdered, the poisoned and polluted, the exterminated and extinct.

It could be that I’m not good at setting boundaries. I can’t turn a river down when she asks for help. I go out of my way to help mountains keep their tops. And I’ll share my food with every emaciated black, brown, or grizzly bear who crosses my path. At the same time, I didn’t seem to arrive on Earth equipped with the same chainsaw so many other people use to cut themselves free from the recognition that there simply is no way to delineate where I end and the rest of the world begins.

It could also be that I have some personality disorder that compels me to self-sacrifice. It’s just that mines dig open pits in my stomach. Dams block my arteries. Climate change gives me a fever. And, the smoke created while the world burns irritates my sinuses and triggers my allergies.

Sometimes, I think I must be doing self-care wrong.

Then, again, when the lakes and streams who give me drinks, the forests who give me breaths, the plants and animals who give me a body, and the land who gives me a soul are all being destroyed, what self-care is possible?

– Will Falk

poetry is
the realization
of ordinary words
– Basho

It’s better to be the wisest person in the room than the smartest.

People prove their intelligence by showing what they know. They reveal their wisdom by integrating what everyone knows.

Intelligence can be used to advance personal agendas. Wisdom guides groups to shared goals.

– @AdamMGrant

One of the chief signs of the shift into the second half of life is the move from the magical ideas of childhood through the heroic, necessary self-delusion of youth and early adulthood, to the sober experience of limitation and regret in later life.
– James Hollis

Every expressive movement of the body can be used to relieve tension and develop the capacity for emotional expression.
– Alexander Lowen

Every day, every night of our lives, we’re leaving little bits of ourselves, flakes of this and that, behind. Where do they go, these bits and pieces of ourselves?
– Raymond Carver

The dread and resistance which humans experience when it comes to delving too deeply into themselves is the fear of the journey to Hades.
– CG Jung

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story; it may be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything.
– Pema Chodron

Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
– Marcel Proust

I keep falling outside myself, without dizziness, without blue, into precision.
– Roland Barthes

He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away…
– Tolkien

may our
poetry emerge
as first blossoms
– Basho

You must prepare for bodiless combat, to be able at least to hold your own: abstract combat that contrary to other kinds is learned by daydreaming.
– Henri Michaux

Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
A man’s imagining
Suddenly may inherit
The handclapping centuries
Of his one minute on earth…
– WS Graham

There has to be somewhere from where words are born. // If they’re born, do we mother them? / I’m not sure if I mother the words, or if they mother me.
– Mónica Gomery

The mass-man has very little spare time, does not live a life that appertains to a whole, does not want to exert himself except for some concrete aim which can be expressed in terms of utility; everything for him must provide some immediate gratification.
– Karl Jaspers

Man, if he is to remain man, must advance by way of consciousness. There is no road leading backward. We can no longer veil reality from ourselves by renouncing self-consciousness without simultaneously excluding ourselves from the historical course of human existence.
– Jaspers

Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.
– Ajahn Chah

It seems that everything that has ever happened to us is still alive somewhere in the depths of our psyche.
– James Hollis

We can practice being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold.
– Audre Lorde

Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not perfect. What evokes our love — and I mean love, not lust — is the imperfection of the human being. So, when the imperfection of the real person peaks through, say, ‘This is a challenge to my compassion.
– Joseph Campbell

A society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture.
– Christopher Dawson

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. If you avoid error you do not live. Thinking protects against the way of error, and therefore it leads to petrification. Without error and sin there is no experience of grace, that is, no union of God and man.
– CG Jung

one reason to be nice to younger people coming up in publishing is that I still remember the first a.) general publishing person and b.) more senior editor who took me to lunch, and think about it every time I see their names. roughly a decade of good will from one meal
– @CarolineMEisen

We have to find new ways to speak with each other, and I think that’s where poetry comes in.
– Joy Harjo

I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.
– Red Cloud

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

No matter what faith it’s made to promote, all art under the genus of religious propaganda will always prove to be bad art.
– @MetaMinkoff

Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him.
– CG Jung

And God said, ‘Let there be light’ ” is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.
– CG Jung

People are too busy putting things under microscopes and so forth. Creativity is greater than the sum of its parts. All I want to know is that creativity is there.
– Maya Angelou

Blue sadness is sweetest cut into strips with scissors and then into little pieces by a knife, it is the sadness of reverie and nostalgia: it may be, for example, the memory of a happiness that is now only a memory, it has receded into a niche that cannot be dusted for it is beyond your reach; distinct and dusty, blue sadness lies in your inability to dust it, it is as unreachable as the sky, it is a fact reflecting the sadness of all facts. Blue sadness is that which you wish to forget, but cannot, as when on a bus one suddenly pictures with absolute clarity a ball of dust in a closet, such an odd, unshareable thought that one blushes, a deep rose spreading over the blue fact of sadness, creating a situation that can only be compared to a temple, which exists, but to visit it one would have to travel two thousand miles on snowshoes and by dogsled, five hundred by horseback and another five hundred by boat, with a thousand by rail.

Purple sadness is the sadness of classical music and eggplant, the stroke of midnight, human organs, ports cut off for part of every year, words with too many meanings, incense, insomnia, and the crescent moon. It is the sadness of play money, and icebergs seen from a canoe. It is possible to dance to purple sadness, though slowly, as slowly as it takes to dig a pit to hold a sleeping giant. Purple sadness is pervasive, and goes deeper into the interior than the world’s greatest nickel deposits, or any other sadness on earth. It is the sadness of depositories, and heels echoing down a long corridor, it is the sound of your mother closing the door at night, leaving you alone.

Gray sadness is the sadness of paper clips and rubber bands, of rain and squirrels and chewing gum, ointments and unguents and movie theaters. Gray sadness is the most common of all sadnesses, it is the sadness of sand in the desert and sand on the beach, the sadness of keys in a pocket, cans on a shelf, hair in a comb, dry-cleaning, and raisins. Gray sadness is beautiful, but not to be confused with the beauty of blue sadness, which is irreplaceable. Sad to say, gray sadness is replaceable, it can be replaced daily, it is the sadness of a melting snowman in a snowstorm.

Red sadness is the secret one. Red sadness never appears sad, it appears as Nijinsky bolting across the stage in mid-air, it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration, and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside-down penny concealed beneath a tea cozy, the even-tempered and steady-minded are not exempt from it, and a curator once attached this tag to it: Because of the fragile nature of the pouch no attempt has been made to extract the note.

Green sadness is sadness dressed for graduation, it is the sadness of June, of shiny toasters as they come out of their boxes, the table laid before a party, the smell of new strawberries and dripping roasts about to be devoured; it is the sadness of the unperceived and therefore never felt and seldom expressed, except on occasion by polka dancers and little girls who, in imitation of their grandmothers, decide who shall have their bunny when they die. Green sadness weighs no more than an unused handkerchief, it is the funeral silence of bones beneath the green carpet of evenly cut grass upon which the bride and groom walk in joy.

Brown sadness is the simple sadness. It is the sadness of huge upright stones. That is all. It is simple. Huge, upright stones surround the other sadnesses, and protect them. A circle of huge, upright stones — who would have thought it?

Pink sadness is the sadness of white anchovies. It is the sadness of deprivation, of going without, of having to swallow when your throat is no bigger than an acupuncture pin; it’s the sadness of mushrooms born with heads too big for their bodies, the sadness of having the soles come off your only pair of shoes, or your favorite pair, it makes no difference, pink sadness cannot be measured by a gameshow host, it is the sadness of shame when you have done nothing wrong, pink sadness is not your fault, and though even the littlest twinge may cause it, it is the vast bushy top on the family tree of sadness, whose faraway roots resemble a colossal squid with eyes the size of soccer balls.

Orange sadness is the sadness of anxiety and worry, it is the sadness of an orange balloon drifting over snow-capped mountains, the sadness of wild goats, the sadness of counting, as when one worries that another shipment of thoughts is about to enter the house, that a soufflé or Cessna will fall on the day set aside to be unsad, it is the orange haze of a fox in the distance, it speaks the strange antlered language of phantoms and dead batteries, it is the sadness of all things left overnight in the oven and forgotten in the morning, and as such orange sadness becomes lost among us altogether, like its motive.

Yellow sadness is the surprise sadness. It is the sadness of naps and eggs, swan’s down, sachet powder and moist towelettes. It is the citrus of sadness, and all things round and whole and dying like the sun possess this sadness, which is the sadness of the first place; it is the sadness of explosion and expansion, a blast furnace in Duluth that rises over the night skyline to fall reflected in the waters of Lake Superior, it is a superior joy and a superior sadness, that of revolving doors and turnstiles, it is the confusing sadness of the never-ending and the evanescent, it is the sadness of the jester in every pack of cards, the sadness of a poet pointing to a flower and saying what is that when what that is is a violet; yellow sadness is the ceiling fresco painted by Andrea Mantegna in the Castello di San Giorgio in Mantova, Italy, in the fifteenth century, wherein we look up to see we are being looked down upon, looked down upon in laughter and mirth, it is the sadness of that.

– Mary Ruefle

You’ve probably spent more time writing than taking care of yourself. Recharge your body & mind & creativity. Do something physical: stretch, take a walk, garden, or play a sport. Scientific research has shown that physical exercise may sometimes enhance creativity.
– Keidi Keating

Writing poetry, I seek to be a metacographer, to undefined words, to set forth all things as they might appear in dream.
– Kim Stafford

Writing as Ritual
Four elements of a daily writing page…
​by Kim Stafford, Writing for Happiness

There’s the story that the young student of J.S. Bach asked the master, “Where do you find your melodies?” and Bach replied, “My child, I stumble over them getting out of bed in the morning.”
What shall we make of that? Do some geniuses have a mainline to the fountain of creation, while the rest must struggle for a few good notes? I once had this contention with a devoted reader of my father’s work, who said, “Let’s face it—he was a genius.”
“Not so fast,” I said. “Maybe his process was genius, and by writing every day, he cultivated access to the font of creation.”
Well, which is it—genius in the writer, or a spell for genius cast by the daily writing practice? Is the world of writing divided into those with a gift and those without? Or can we turn from some form of literary aristocracy to a more inclusive and dynamic approach to the creative life?
On reflection, I have realized there may be only one way to find out about the source of earned good luck: Have many people carry out a daily writing practice faithfully over many years, and then see what we have. This bold experiment is what this book has set out to arrange. I’m counting on you to be part of this long study by establishing and sustaining a writing practice, inspired by the world as only you can experience it, and literature as only you can compose it.
For my part, I had been writing for years, by fits and starts, when my father’s death opened a new path for my life as a writer, and as a human being, as a seeker. To that point, writing for me was most often an occasional project—when I “got inspired”—to express my inner feelings or tell my experience in the world. But then by my father’s last will and testament, I inherited the care of his twenty thousand hand-written pages of daily writing from the 1950s through the day of his death in 1993. And as I handled his pages, I had a chance to survey the whole life of a supremely active writer. What I found was a readiness to range far and wide on the hospitable page in ways I will explore in the chapters to follow. In the end, it seems to me, a buoyant writing practice is a place where the two realms join as one: internal personal response meets external experiences, discoveries, and events in the wide world.
William Stafford’s writing practice had been invisible to me when he was alive, because he rose before dawn to write, and I did not. All through childhood, I would see the literary magazines where his poems were published appear on the coffee table—Crazyhorse, Poetry, Cimarron Review—and every year a book or two would come forth. When people would ask him, “Bill, when is your next book coming out?” he would often answer, “Which one?”
How did he do that? Simple: he wrote something every day, and his books were made from about one day’s writing out of eight that he found worthy.
A few weeks after my father died, I started to carry the reams of his scribbling down from the attic, and leaf through his pages one by one. His scrawl was a challenge, and I sometimes needed a magnifying glass to examine the tangle of feral words to tease the meaning forth. But overall, I began to see four elements in his practice that worked together in a way both sternly practical and somewhat mystical.
I want to start my book about writing for happiness by considering what my father’s daily writing pages contained, and how they worked for him — and how something like his approach might work for any of us who choose to give such daily writing practice a try. His pages, which are now housed in the William Stafford Archivesat Lewis & Clark College, exhibit a varying daily mixture of four prevailing elements:

1. Each page begins with the date. Is that even worth mentioning? Well, it turns out to be strangely helpful — in the act of writing, and of course for keeping track of the writings. “Once I write the date on a piece of paper,” he said once, “I know I’m okay. I have made it to my writing.” This is the “open sesame” move of the daily writing practice, for by jotting the date down on a page, you have accomplished the most difficult first step: you have shown up, staked your claim to a page, and you have begun. The pen is active before any wisdom is required, and you have stepped humbly into what William Stafford called “the realm where miracles happen.”

2. Then, often, the page would begin withsome prose notes from a recent experience, a few sentences about a connection with friends, an account of a dream. This short passage of “throwaway” writing, it turns out, is very important, as it keeps the pen moving and gets the mind sniffing along through ordinary experience. I call this stage “the boring prose.” You are beginning the act of writing without needing to write anything profound. You are writing before you seek to write well. No struggle, no effort, no heroic reach. Just writing.

3. Then there will often be an “aphorism”— a freestanding sentence, an idea, a question, a note about a pattern he perceived, a puzzle. With the aphorism, as we call it in his pages, William Stafford would write a sentence that “lifted off” from daily experience to observe an emblem of thought, a truth, an idea, or a private joke. (“It still takes all kinds to make a world, but there is an oversupply of some.”) This provisional understanding from daily life begins to raise the writer’s attention out of the mundane into the gently miraculous realm of poetry. It is your own koan.
The aphorisms in William Stafford’s daily writing rarely become part of the poem to follow (though a few of his poems are built from a series of such lines). Most often, they are little wonders left to resonate as private treasure, threshold, key. A bell has been struck, bringing the writer to attention.

4. Then he would write something like a poem… or notes toward a poem… or just an exploratory set of lines that never became a poem. But he had taken a few steps up the ladder from silence in the general direction of song.

To write the date, some prose, an idea, and then poetic lines beyond prose — this can begin a process for distilling from ordinary experience the extraordinary report of literature. For once your fill this page, this day, again, you have given yourself a chance to discover worthy things. Nothing stupendous may occur … but if you do not bring yourself to this point, nothing stupendous will happen for sure … and you are likely to spend the balance of your day in reaction to the imperatives of the outer world — worn down, buffeted, diminished, martyred.
William Stafford’s use of these four elements is capricious. Many pages, especially in his later years, show only the date followed by a poem. Or the date, and a note about family, or his work. But over time, his long practice speeded the process, and the poems began to flow forth. And even in his early years, he can sometime go many days without preliminary prose, or an aphorism—or he can jot a series of aphorisms as if he has been saving them to record in a rush.

Most of us do an assignment shortly before it is due. (That’s often true for me.) It’s better to begin the project when it’s first assigned, not when it’s due. And, I realize, again and again, it’s even better to practice self-directed searching, writing, thinking on the page — when there is no assignment given, except by yourself (or this book!). This empowers the free range of mind, of “hands-on thinking.” By something like this daily practice, you build up a personal sheaf of riches, a democracy of inner voices, an archive you can draw from as needed for work and pleasure over time.
A writer in class once said to me, “You give us a deadline for our writing. But who gives youa deadline?” A terrible sentence came to my mind: “Death is my deadline.” There are myriad latent discoveries in me. Daily, I must bring them forth. For this reason, several years ago, I made a vow to perform this four-part practice every day, and now it’s been six years without a break. What works for me is to write first thing, before daylight. I’ve decided as the control group of one for this experience to enlist all four elements each day—the date, of course. And then there is always something to scribble about from the day before—the boring prose. And then—what now seems an essential element in the process—the aphorism. To wait for a thought, which always appears, given time and welcome, is the prelude to true practice for me. The aphorism is the hinge that begins to turn memory to thought, event to idea, scribbling to design. Then a poem, something like a poem, notes for a poem.
This four-step process on the page became a more mysterious form of beckoning when I learned an idea from Buddhism while traveling in Bhutan. Each place, I was told—each experience, each person, each dream, text, or encounter—may offer four ways of knowing:

the visible
the invisible
the secret
the deeply secret

So there it is again: the date—visible. A scribbled memory from the day before— the invisible, but palpable. The thought—a secret episode of the Buddhist “unborn.” And then … then whatever mystery may come next, a secret so deep it will not appear unless you use something like this process to welcome what you didn’t know until you do.
And later I came upon another way to look at this four-part structure. I read that after the difficult and often violent end of apartheid in South Africa, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission organized by Bishop Tutu and others took on the task of healing the country, in their deliberations they recognized their almost impossible process could be assisted by four kinds of truth:

1. Forensic truth (“This is what happened.”): What events occurred, what actually happened
in as much detail as possible, who were the witnesses, what was the police report, interview transcripts, the coroner’s report, are there photographs or documents or other forms of objective truth available?
2. Personal truth (“This is what happened to me.”): What first-person accounts of what happened can be entered into the record?
3. Community truth (“This is what happened to us.”): Given the forensic facts, and an array of personal accounts, what can we say happened to the community as a whole?
4. Healing truth (“This is what we tell, or sing, or do to heal ourselves, our community, and our nation.”): By honoring facts, individuals, and the whole community, can we gather around an account that provides a way forward together?

After reading this account, when I next looked at my daily writing page, I saw the parallels:

1. The date is forensic truth: the fact that today has come. Everyone agrees this is today.
2. The “boring prose” is the personal truth: this is what happened to me recently,
occurred to me in mind, in dream, in what I fear, seek, or wonder.
3. The aphorism is the community truth: beyond my own experience, is there a
pattern or idea about life that could useful to all of us, that’s about “us.”
4. And part four, a poem or story or whatever comes next on the daily writing page has
at least the potential to be something that can help the self and others to heal, to
learn, to grow.

I don’t want to get too grand about this process, but the parallels intrigue me.
As I tell my fellow writers, if you follow this four-step process, or something like it, you may not compose something of lasting value every day — but it will be a better day! It will be a day that begins with your own appointment with silence, with attention, with welcome to the self and to words. Something like this structure can lift your writing into a realm of episodic discovery reaching beyond a simple journal or diary, worthy as those habits can be. Gradually, inexorably, you will accumulate riches to return to, an archive of discrete beginnings to nurture on the path of your devotions.
Based on the legacy of William Stafford, as explored further in my own practice, I offer this four-part daily writing ritual as a kind of hands-on meditation. And I propose to you a week, a month–a year of daily exploration founded in this process of the daily page. What would it be like to experience the kind of sustained and sustaining life of writing you have long imagined?

We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it’s a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
– Shakespeare William Shakespeare

If life is to be lived in a healthy, holy way, the archetypes that nourish the imagination must be pouring their energy into the ego. The dialogue must go on between consciousness and unconsciousness if we are to live creatively.
– Marion Woodman

We carry within us the wonder we seek without us.

My heart keeps beating this wave of blood in the circle that I am. The scientists aren’t interested in the nothing I’ve found, the gravity proof, the god proof This little bit of dark matter I’m holding now in my hands.

See it? In my hands? My hands.

– Dan Beachy-Quick

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.
– Merry Browne

Having fun days without any agenda but enjoyment furthers transformation much more than we ever realize. Will that be today? Let’s not put it off too long.
– Gunilla Norris

Our duty is to risk living out our lives as fully as they (Jesus and Buddha) risked living their truths.
– James Hollis

All real living hurts as well as fulfills. Happiness comes when we have lived and have a respite for sheer forgetting. Happiness, in the vulgar sense, is just a holiday experience. The life-long happiness lies in being used by life; hurt by life, driven and goaded by life, replenished and overjoyed with life, fighting for life’s sake. That is real happiness. In the undergoing, a large part of it is pain.
– D.H. Lawrence

We are all made of what
we are not.
– Nick Flynn

Love is a dream where both of us are trying, at the same speed, without quitting.
– John Keene

Even in its purest form,
i was still a mistranslation
of [my/self].
– George Abraham

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.
– Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks

When I say the word blue
there’s no way you can know
what I mean. It’s like another
planet. My belly flip-flops;
water becomes sky becomes water,
and still, you cannot fathom it.
Unless you’re sitting here with me
on this pile of moon-rocks,
at the edge of the world. Your
bones softening, turning to liquid,
your smile etched by sunlight
as you melt into a blue– vaster, clearer,
deeper than any blue or any other thing
you have ever met. And here, at the rim
of this basin of glory, you feel your
own voice catch in your throat
and you raise the rigging of your heart
and set sail for this blue,
bluest, blueing.
– Meredith Heller

these stubborn flowers
thriving in a toxic field
poetry remains!
– Jason Gould

They never ask, Who loved him?
Although clearly someone did …
– Alison Luterman

The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.
– Tom Waits


Choose around 75 to 100 words that describe your personal universe. To create this rich repository, head 5 columns with the five senses and choose about 15 words for each column. Use concrete words that represent the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of your life.

[With each column] represent your past in the first 6 words, your present in the next 6 words and your future self in the remaining 3 words. Make sure you maintain specificity. Not a tree, but an elm or a maple. Not shoes but platforms, leather work boots, or scuffed flats. Include both sides of the self: light and dark.

– Dorianne Laux

All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up. It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die. I don’t know why we should expect it to. It seems fairly obvious that two sides of a mirror are required before one has a mirror, that two forces are necessary in man before he is man.
– John Steinbeck

Imagery is not past but a perpetual present.
– George Herbert Mead

By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.
– Virginia Woolf

We are so in love with our words and ideas that we forget the direct experience from which they arise. We build concept upon concept. In the end we have abstracted our contact with life into the rote regurgitation of thought-bound ideology.
We have fallen victim to the great curse of human existence of the tendency to misconstrue language (words, thoughts, ideas) for actuality. We are entombed in our brains.
We are thinking our lives, not living them.
– Steven Harrison

We’ve got an agreeable, comfortable life here as Americans. But under it there’s a huge, free-floating anxiety. Our inner lives, our inner landscape, is just like that sky out there — it’s full of smog. We really don’t know what we believe anymore; we’re nervous about everything.
– Norman Mailer

Thinking and talking about the Integral Way are not
the same as practicing it.
Who ever becomes a good rider by talking about
If you wish to embody the Tao, stop chattering and start practicing.
– Lao Tzu

You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Only a shipwrecked person who has just escaped drowning could understand the psychology of someone who breaks out in laughter just because he is able to breathe.
– Kobo Abe

Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world.
– Stephen Covey

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.
– Joy Harjo

Creativity is kind of what makes humans human.
– Jarvis Cocker

Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.
– Nadine Gordimer

the bamboo path
few people use it –
scarlet dragonflies
– d.a. bennett

Even now, when skin is not alone
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
– Naomi Shahib Nye

People want to know how much you care
before they care how much you know.
– John Maxwell

In writing a poem I’m mapping the simultaneous distance and intimacy between my obsessions and my demons. And it’s as if, having mapped this, I briefly know where I am, and when I’m lost, as I will surely be, how to get back home.
– Carl Phillips

what good is the lord’s work
if not demanding a piece
of heaven on Earth
for all her children.
– Darius Simpson

To be a poet did not occur to me. It was indeed a threshold guarded by demons. To try to write in verse would have been a kind of trespass. That’s something that I still feel very strongly.
– Harold Bloom

People should learn how to just be there, doing nothing.
– Thich Nhat Hanh


it’s easy to stop seeing
what’s on the horizon

people in the valley
don’t really believe in it

what summer makes seem
no less than a mountain

winter shows as it is
no more than a hill

from my front porch
a sudden influx of sky

after the leaves fall
look it’s snowing

the flakes come to settle
in their multitudes

well into the evening
lightness piling up

between the trees
no more omnivorous earth

but a colony of the clouds
pale and puritanical

against which the individual
trunks stand out

an absent crowd


and after my own sleep
i rise and look again

on the underside
of a snowy limb

a gray squirrel is walking

– Dave Bonta

gratefulness means not wasting a single day of your life.
– Dogen


A moment of relief can be a plainer thing
as when snow piled on the skylight
slides off while I am reading in bed:
a sudden break of illumination
not bright at all, but which comes
as a welcome reprieve from the otherwise
dim winter morning. Not revelation
or enlightenment—but for a few minutes
I can see the page more clearly,
I can make out every word.

– James Crews

It’s too soon
to make monuments
for all we are losing,
for the lack of truth
as to why we are dying,
who wants us dead,
what purpose does it serve?
– Essex Hemphill, When My Brother Fell

The sacred reality is not simply transcendent, “out there,” but is enshrined in every single human being, who must, therefore, be treated with absolute honor and respect.
– Karen Armstrong

The mind of Christ is transcendent and multidimensional, and we are asked to put on this consciousness that creates the universe. This is evolutionary beyond belief!
– Bob Holmes

You can’t ‘beat’ death, you can only dance a little more slippery, drum a little more timelessly, hold that note beyond your breath, and hope to find a home in its echo.
– Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

Nothing feeds our modern hubris and civilizational pathology like the myth that the nonhuman world is bereft of agency, of vitality, of story…that we humans are magisterial anomalies interrupting a dead swirling heap of mute, passive things; and, that at best, the grace of human sentience animates ‘objects’ with nothing more than a metaphorical vitality they otherwise lack. This binary view which divides the world into man and his playthings has helped catalyze a politics of indifference, an ecosystem of abuse, and a generic culture wherein an economic metric standard – a single notion – is offered as the measure of all value.

We are a poor species today, not because we are not ‘growing’ fast enough, but because we have shut away the unthought – the wilds: we have traded our multidimensionality, our ancient trysts with the elements, the wisdom of ossified allies, for a morsel of a curious abstraction: modernity.

What would become of politics and economics today if trees, rocks and river were consulted? What would become of consumerism – our use and dump rituals – if we realized that there is no such thing as ‘waste’, or even ‘use’ (the former representing a cultural inadequacy to notice the continued vitality of the world around us – even when not fit for our agendas; the latter holding an intrinsic presupposition of human centrality in the otherwise two-way dynamics of utility)? What would become of activism today if we listened as much as we complained…if we held as justly sacred a refusal to do anything at all – just as much as we valorize conscious effort?

– Bayo Akómoláfé

Nobody is going to pour the truth into your brain. It’s something you have to find out for yourself.
– Noam Chomsky

Wet Snow

Praise wet snow
falling early.

Praise the shadow
my neighbor’s chimney casts on the tile roof
even this gray October day that should, they say,
have been golden.

the invisible sun burning beyond
the white cold sky, giving us
light and the chimney’s shadow.

god or the gods, the unknown,
that which imagined us, which stays
our hand,
our murderous hand,
and gives us
in the shadow of death,
our daily life,
and the dream still
of goodwill, of peace on earth.

flow and change, night and
the pulse of day.

– Denise Levertov

Jung’s work argued that the dead God would be reborn from below, from the dark and womb-like chambers of the earth. The God “above” has collapsed, and the idea of God, Jung felt, will re-emerge from below, from the ground of the unconscious mind.
– David Tacey

As Jung noted in his 1937 Terry Lectures at Yale University: ‘We are still certain we know what other people think or what their true character is. We are convinced that certain people have all the bad qualities we do not know in ourselves.’
– James Hollis, Jungian analyst

Who Shall We Trust?
by Tad Hargrave

For most of human history, we knew who and what to trust.

Popularity of ideas has rarely been a marker of how true they are. Sometimes the inverse can be the thing: the more mainstream an idea gets the more profoundly it has been declawed and defanged so it is no longer any threat to anyone in power.

Longevity, on the other hand, might be closer to the mark as an indicator of truth. Ideas, practices, stories and cultures that have lasted have lasted for a reason. And that reason is that these ideas work, and they work over time. Some things are steadfast and beautiful. Some things aren’t. Discerning between those thing in what makes an adult and a culture.

When the times came when the path forward wasn’t clear and when, what was happening was not even clear, there were processes of collective discernment where the people might be brought together. Such a process was trustworthy.

There was a time where, on the whole, you could trust the land to grow you food, the sky to bring rains, the trees to grow you fruit and the animals to feed you. You could trust the old ceremonies, traditions, stories, songs and dances that rarely failed to bring the needed medicine. You could trust the elders and wise ones in times of duress. And you could trust each other. Things changed but not so quickly. Crops failed sometimes but not every year. Disasters came and went and leave their marks but, on the whole, things were slow and steady. So even time could be trusted.

Was The World Ever Trustworthy?

People will say that the world was never a trustworthy place. That, if the “old culture” was so good, why did we turn from it? Perhaps because the old culture was so very tough and difficult for most people and they we never could trust the harvest or the rains. Nor that our neighbours wouldn’t come a-pillaging. Or that famine, drought and plague wouldn’t sweep the lands and us from them. Perhaps no period of time was ever “better” or “worse” than any that come after or before. Maybe the world has always been like this: fundamentally untrustworthy and ambivalent to our existence. We could never trust the harvest or the rains.

And, in many ways, this is true. The world has never been ‘safe’ in that we were guaranteed safe passage from birth to a ripe old age. We ate other animals and, sometimes they ate us.

So, has anything changed at all?

I believe that yes. Something has changed.

The Three Changes

Part of what has changed is the placing of humans at the center of everything and the growing entitlement we feel to get what we want and have the world work out for us and that, any exceptions to this are a sign of the untrustworthiness of the world (which has steadily kept being itself in a trustworthy fashion regardless of our votes of approval or disapproval). Yes the world was full of troubles and unpredictability. And that, itself, was a part of the trustworthiness of the world. Yes, there were tricksters and troublemakers, but that was who they were and this, itself, could be trusted. That has not changed. Our relationship to it has.

The second thing that has changed is that, regardless of the necessary adversity of the world, we used to have a community to face it together. The community was woven together by certain shared understandings of the world and our role in it. Where did we come from? When? Why are we here? Is there a divine? Who are our dead to us? What happens to us after we die? All of those questions would have had answers or had their mysteriousness properly enthroned in the our shared basket of wonder. We do not have that anymore and so we face the slings and arrows, largely alone, most of us hungry for a kinship we keep thinking we have found only to be betrayed or disappointed when it turns out not to be so. We have a hunter-gatherer nervous system in a modern world. Literally nothing of the modern world is familiar to our nervous system, perhaps least of all this: the goneness of the village, the absence of shared cultural understandings, the crater where community was. We have been so utterly atomized down to the level of the individual. And this world is too heavy to carry alone.

The third thing that has changed, and this it vital, is the rate of change itself. The world has always been changing but few of our ancestors (aside from those who lived through massive Earthquakes, floods, asteroids or other natural disasters) ever lived through something like this. And never, to our knowledge, at their own hands. Things are unravelling so quickly now that even the best of us have no chance to keeping up. We are flooded in information. Why? To track the changes. But there are too many changes for one person to track now. So one must triage the flow of information – one must choose which sources one follows.

Which brings us back to this: whose information shall we trust?

Felling The Axis Mundi

In order to cope with this, lack of any enduring axis mundi, any world tree growing in the center of our collective and ripening years, everyone has had to become their own world tree (or imagined this was not only the only option before them but the one to which humanity has been aspiring all along). Each of us becomes the Center.

When people speak of community, listen carefully to their language and what you will hear, over and over, is people saying, ‘My community’. What they are inadvertently testifying to is that there is no ‘the community’ anymore. There is only them and their crew. When they host a party ‘their people’ come. But if they don’t host that party, those people will never gather together. And that is, well and properly, utterly and completely, too much strain and burden for one person to bear.

Every generation has had to plant that world tree again.

Each generation has had to figure out, once again, what took other cultures thousands of years of failure, foolishness, appraisal of and apprenticing to the world and its ways.

And then it shrunk again. It is no longer that every generation needs to re-evaluate their view of the world but every time a new phone comes out, a new social media platform. Hemmed in on both sides by progress and devastation, the steady river of our days has become the rapids of our undoing.

It’s not that people don’t trust anyone or anything but more that there is no agreement on who to trust. There is my world tree and your world tree but there is no longer any ‘the world tree’ that we all agree to sustain and protect. There is ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ but there is no longer any agreed, laboured over and deeply valued shared process of truing.

And that is an unspeakable devastation to our capacity to be a people.

The bedrock of culture might be understood as “we all trust the same things and the same ones”.

That is properly gone right now.

When my grandparents were raising their families, they could hang their hat on what Walter Cronkite said. A nation could, or at least imagined it could, trust that what that man on the news said was the truth, just the facts, no interpretation or political axe to grind.

Many people still trust in the mainstream, cable news. Many still trust in the major institutions of our day. Many still trust the experts.

But there are many who have lost faith in them.

Maybe they watched the documentary Manufacturing Consent, or began to track how much of mainstream news’ funding comes from Big Oil and Big Pharma and realized they could never completely trust the news again on those issues.

Maybe they began to see the ways that the major organizations of their day, ostensibly dedicated to the health, liberty and happiness of the people of the world had become (or maybe always were) corrupt and beholden to monied interests.

Maybe they began to hear stories of how sometimes the experts were wrong and how they’d been bribed, corrupted or lied to the public. Maybe they did their own learning and decided, after not wanting to for a long time, that the experts were wrong.

And for those people there is a special kind of Hell awaiting: who then do you trust?

The Cost

I understand that people have strong opinions these days as to whom should be trusted and who should not. Properly so.

What I am trying to lift up is a larger wondering of: how did it come to be amongst us that we no longer have a shared understanding about what or whom is worthy of our belief?

Not so much, ‘who to trust’ but attending to the reality that we do not, collectively, trust much.

A colleague of mine wrote, “I am open-minded and not inherently trusting of any source, and there are also facts and knowable things. I want more nuance, play, and irreverence in the collective and also I want people to submit to facts and what is knowable.”

But for those whose trust in the dominant institutions of our day has been eroded, whose facts shall they trust?

This ‘not knowing who to trust’ is a devastation.

In much of Europe, after the time of trusting one’s people it became trusting the facts of the Church. And then it shifted into a trust of Science and Industry. With each seismic shift there was a period of immense dislocation. I think we are standing on such a fault line now. And it is rumbling.

You can see it come between us as people are called naive at best or dangerous at worst for trusting ‘those people’.

Humans are supposed to grow up in an environment they can trust. The woven basket of community is supposed to carry them through their days. But nowadays, people are having to make their own basket and attempt the impossible work of carrying themselves. It’s no wonder people struggle so much when the mind and heart can never relax but must always be hyper-vigilant in case one is betrayed.

This has become utterly normal in the modern world – the cynicism, the ‘can’t trust anyone’, the sense that the talking heads on the news are always lying to you, the feeling like even the scientists and the doctors have become shills for industry. This has all become normal. But it’s not natural.

A child should be able to trust their parent. A child who grows up realizing they can not trust their parent to be an adult (or possibly even, in any meaningful sense of the word, be human) will carry that lack of trust for a long time and likely the rest of the time entrusted to them.

A culture that can’t trust its elders, or that has no elders, or that tears down its elders and says “it’s youth and innovation that should be trusted!”, or that conflates being older with being an elder, a culture that has lost its moorings on what can fundamentally be trusted, that has come to mistrust nature and see if full of danger and threat… such a culture is in deep trouble, indeed.

If, in a traditional culture, it was discovered that many of the elders had been lying to the people in order to benefit themselves, this would be a ruination beyond imagining. We can’t even conceive of how unsettling, destablizing and undoing that would have been. And, because it’s so normal (and this is the real goods so lean in close)… we can’t even notice how devastating it currently is now.

There it is.

We are living through a traumatic experience that we can’t even see because we can’t imagine it being any other way. The younger amongst us have never known another time.

We are on the receiving end of a cultural poverty, a crater so bottomless, that we can’t imagine it wasn’t always there. This absence of any bedrock foundation of our days has, utterly and completely, become our days.

And those days have been packaged up and sold back to us by the machine of modern society as ‘freedom’.

“Don’t you see? This is the best part of the modern world! You get to decide what to trust and what not to trust! It’s up to you.”

As you hold this shiny, wrapped gift in your hands and feel the lightness of it, the lack of heft, all you can think is, “It looks like freedom but it feels like loneliness.”

They see this and persist, “Look, stop trying to trust anyone or anything. Trust comes from trusting oneself. Only trust yourself. All trust comes from within.”

You can hear the sound of the old ones in our midst shuffling away, put out of work by a few phrases. Unemployed and umemployable.

And there it is: the great untethering and untetheredness of our mutual days.

Enter the fascists. Enter the Surpremists. Enter the white nationalists. Enter the conspiracy theorists. Enter the wounded narcissists telling us ‘the truth’.

Enter us, begging to hear it. Pleading to to be sold anything that will make sense of what’s going on. Or to have it imposed.

Long Time Since

It has been a long time since we were held by the presence of and our trust in good elders and so it seems normal to not know who to trust. And it may, indeed, be normal these days but there’s nothing about it that our nervous system recognizes as natural.

Trust, it turns out, is a hard thing to scale. Maybe impossible. And maybe this is what much of citified humanity is coming to grips with right now: that trust is indigenous. Trust is rooted in particular times and particular places and the voices of the people who testify most honestly and clearly to the realities and particulars of that time and place. In this time, the unsettled nature of settler society is becoming apparent.

Trust that is manufactured seems to fall apart upon a little rugged inspection.

Maybe trust needs to be grown instead.

And so some are scaling down, not up. Some are growing their roots deeper into a patch of Earth and the people living nearby. Some are trying to slow down the rate of change and to find trustworthy things again.

And so who to trust? Or what?

I’ll offer this up…

I believe that we can trust that, to paraphrase the good Bayo Akomolafe, that the world is not only stranger than we think it is, but that it is stranger than we have the capacity to think. You can trust that too.

I believe that the most trustworthy ones amongst us would be our own indigenous ancestors and their life ways (and those indigenous ones still living in those ways today). They lived (and some still live) lives that were, on the whole, dramatically healthier and happier than our lives today. Their traditions and cultures were created over millennia not decades. They stood the test of time. They were not perfect but they had a kind of beauty and wholeness most of us can scarcely imagine today. I think the old myths and folklore are still trustworthy.

I believe that our senses are trustworthy, our intuitions and our intellect – those gifts that are indigenous to our bodies – are trustworthy capacities that can be grown and fostered.

How to live in a more indigenous, trustworthy way in a modern world hell bent on destroying any trace of the indigenous in the world?

That is one of the most important questions of our time.

But perhaps it begins like this: instead of clamouring to find something or someone trustworthy and so that we avoid ever being betrayed, we decide to become such a trustworthy one for those to come. We decide to build trustworthy things. We begin to craft trustworthy ways of relating to each other and the Earth. We did not inherit a society that is easy to relax into. We were born in a house with no solid foundations and it is rocking in the winds now.

That we don’t know who is being honest is a very honest thing to say. That we aren’t sure about who is being authentic anymore might be our authenticity speaking. We don’t, collectively, know who to trust anymore. But, I can promise you this, it will only get worse for those to come. They will need something to cling onto and by offering up the ragged and frayed edges of our bafflement and consternation, we give those to come something reliable to tie themselves onto that our perfectly cut edges (though they would have us fit in well today) could never do.

Our willingness to testify honestly to how things are amongst us now, our willingness to not disown the deep unmooring of our soul, our willingness to confess how little we trust any of this, might be the foundation of a house to come that would keep future generations sheltered from the howling storms, cold winds and rough gods that we can hear rumbling in the distance.

They are coming.

Perhaps you can trust that most of all.

I build it, I build the house, I build the eaves, I build the roof where we looked for stars
– Kenzie Allen

What is the United States if not a clot

of clouds? If not spilled milk? Or blood?
If not the place we once were
in the millions?

– Natalie Diaz

Laughing at ourselves as we stumble along is a great boon in transformation. We are, after all, works in progress. It’s important to have inner permission to be humorous about our confusion, our occasional stalling, our tiredness and our misadventures. They can teach us a lot if we can laugh with them like old friends.
– Gunilla Norris

Why should our nastiness be the baggage of an apish past and our kindness uniquely human? Why should we not seek continuity with other animals for our ‘noble’ traits as well?
– Stephen Jay Gould

Vertical attention implies the ability, or at least the longing, to look downward; or the ability to look upward, at the stars, at the energies beyond the stars, at angels.
– Robert Bly

And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.
– Alan Watts

After dark, the prairie ripens

with desire. Fields of want and dust vibrate under your feet
with lust. Cicadas, crickets, locusts all

jump in your blood as the light shyly melts,
blushes in heat and the insistent stars

come on. It’s hard
to hear the hot music

panting at your earlobes, pulsing
in your head, and not just slow kiss the leathery stranger

at the crosswalk, the one hiding
his crossbow. Or climb

into a random backseat by the highway and disappear
with the sun. Inkblot smudges

the sky. God has a horse thief’s hand resisting
fingerprinting. Foxtails. Purplish bruise

of thistledown clouds. Cicadas scratch their itch, their ache forever
into the sleepwalking night. Their blind want is on

repeat. You are a sleepwalker too, traveling backwards inside
and soon you’re twelve in a thin nightgown of fog, haunting

a rumpled trucker staring down from his long-haul late at night
at your bare feet in the mud and gravel,

a diesel angel guarding wood, as a familiar voice far away implores

you. Sliver of moon: stiffen, listen to the almighty
hush of grasses, then hurry home fast

before sweaty Cupid shoots his arrow for no reason right into

your rabbit throat.

Living at the End of Time
by Robert Bly

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.

I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.

A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.

Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.

There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.

It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.

Thank God I’m Jung and not Jungian
– Carl Jung

Morning Birds

I waken the car
whose windscreen is coated with pollen.
I put on my sunglasses.
The birdsong darkens.

Meanwhile another man buys a paper
at the railway station
close to a large goods wagon
which is all red with rust
and stands flickering in the sun.

No blank space anywhere here.

Straight through the spring warmth a cold corridor
where someone comes running
and tells how up at head office
they slandered him.

Through a back door in the landscape
comes the magpie
black and white.
And the blackbird darting to and fro
till everything becomes a charcoal drawing,
except the white clothes on the washing-line:
a palestrina chorus.

No blank space anywhere here.

Fantastic to feel how my poem grows
while I myself shrink.
It grows, it takes my place.
It pushes me aside.
It throws me out of the nest.
The poem is ready.

– Tomas Tranströmer

A sign of good medicine

Even when it’s
cold and raining
you don’t miss a dose.

– Heidi Barr

We can see the importance of imaginal practices such as journals, dream work, poetry, painting, and therapy aimed at exploring images in dream and life. These methods keep us actively engaged in the mythologies that are the stuff of our own lives.
– Thomas Moore

Embrace those who love the reality of you more than any fantasy of you.
– Dr. Thema

The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth.
– Adrienne Rich

an owl
sees it first
new snow
– Ogawa

From time to time, the image of God has to die so not to become an idol. It has to become transparent to transcendence to be renewed.
– Joseph Campbell

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, Reasons to Survive November


More than these greens tossed with toasted pecans,
I want to serve you the hymn I sang into the wooden bowl
as I blended the oil and white vinegar. More than honey ice cream
beside the warm pie, I want to serve you the bliss in the apples’ flesh,
how it gathered the sun and carried its luminousness to this table.
More than the popovers, the risen ecstasy of wheat, milk and eggs,
I want to serve you the warmth that urged the tranformation to bread.
Blessings, I want to serve you full choruses of hallelujah, oh so wholly
here in this moment. Oh so holy here in this world.

– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Work your ass off to change the language and don’t ever get famous.
– Bernadette Mayer

Every rediscovery is a form of childhood.
– Adam Zagajewski

a network of stars –
every possible story
of you and me
– James Welsh

Who am I to say
that happiness has
to be something you
find on your own?
– Neil Hilborn

…the Outsider is a man who cannot live in the comfortable, insulated world of the bourgeois, accepting what he sees and touches as reality. `He sees too deep and too much,’ and what he sees is essentially chaos…he is the one man who knows he is sick in a civilization that doesn’t know it is sick.
– Colin Wilson

plop in the pond!
not the basho’s frog,
but my existence!
– @Meraki_k

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.
– William James

but I want to live in an ecology of purpose.
– Joe Brewer

It’s a pleasant surprise when a writer is dynamite in person, whether they’re reading their work or answering questions with confidence and something like charisma. The best live appearances by writers are able to cast a spell over the audience.
– Elisabeth Donnelly, Poetry International

It is a tradition that believes that the story speaks to the soul, not the ego… to the heart, not the head. In today’s world, we yearn so to “understand”, to conquer with our mind, but it is not in the mind that a mythic story dwells.
– Donna Jacobs Sife

…you have to be willing to read poetry; you have to be willing to meet it halfway—because it won’t go any further than that if it’s any good. A poem has its dignity, after all. I mean, a poem shouldn’t beg you to read it; it’s pathetic, if that’s the case.
– Mark Strand

being an adult doesn’t mean complete self-sufficiency (which just means pretending you don’t need anyone—a complete lie). it means self-advocacy & self-awareness. learning what you need, how to ask for it, how to ask for support & receiving it wisely. & showing up for others.
– Chen Chen

Surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as that to speak. But experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues.
– Baruch Spinoza

How can I sing when I haven’t the heart, or the hope
That something of paradise persists in my song
– Mark Strand

That’s how I imagine my heart,
my hood, my synapses: this
quivering slice of cranberry sauce
on a very cheap, very loved plate.
– Siaara Freeman

We find at mid-life that the ego we have assembled constitutes a ”false self” whose maintenance can only occasion further self-estrangement.
– James Hollis

He saw before him, as clear as if by magic, the path prepared for him, the way the fog swam up from either side of it and, in the middle of the narrow path, the luminous face of his future, its lineaments bearing the infernal marks of drowning.
– László Krasznahorkai

Forgiveness is one of the really difficult things in life. The logic of receiving hurt seems to run in the direction of never forgetting either the hurt or the hurter. When you forgive, some deeper, divine generosity takes you over. When you can forgive, then you are free.

When you cannot forgive, you are a prisoner of the hurt done to you.
If you are really disappointed in someone and you become embittered,
you become incarcerated inside that feeling. Only the the grace of forgiveness can break the straight logic of hurt and embitterment. It gives you a way out, because it places the conflict on a completely different level. In a strange way, it keeps the whole conflict human. You begin to see and understand the conditions, circumstances, or weakness that made the other person act as she did.

Why are we so reluctant to leave our inner prisons?
There is the security of the confinement and limitation that we know.
We are often willing to endure the searing sense of forsakenness and distance which limitation brings rather than risking the step out into the field of the unknown.
– John O’Donohue

A man does not really begin to be alive until he has lost himself, until he has released the anxious grasp which he normally holds upon his life, his property, his reputation and position.
– Alan W. Watts

I hope to God you will not ask
by Esther Belin

I hope to God you will not ask me to go anywhere except my own country. If we go back, we will follow whatever orders you give us. We do not want to go right or left, but straight back to our own land.
– Barboncito

I hope to God you will not ask

Me or my People to send

Postcard greetings: lamented wind

Of perfect sunrisings, golden

Yes, we may share the same sun setting

But the in-between hours are hollow

The People fill the void with prayers for help

Calling upon the Holy Ones

Those petitions penetrate and loosen

The binds you tried to tighten

Around our heart, a tension

Blocking the wind, like a shell

Fluttering inside, fluttering inside

Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life.
– Nayyirah Waheed

Sometimes it’s like I’m just waiting, poised, for the nod that it’s my solo …
– @svenbirkerts

The silence of holding steady is different from the silence of holding back.
– Ronald Heifetz

We now know that moral norms and standards can be changed overnight, and that all that then will be left is the mere habit of holding fast to something. Much more reliable will be the doubters and skeptics…
– Hannah Arendt

The mind is enslaved whenever it accepts connections which it has not itself established.
– Jan Zwicky

My generation was lost. Cities too. And nations.
But all this a little later. Meanwhile, in the window, a swallow.
– Czeslaw Milosz

Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.
– James Baldwin

In the toxic family system, the healthiest person causes friction. They create resistance in the familiar dynamics and other members become uncomfortable and triggered.
– @Theholisticpsyc

is never afraid
of questions
– @BashoSociety

Stories never end. Imagination and curiosity continue or fold back in on themselves.
– Bojan Louis

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
– W.H. Murray

What is Left to Say
by Lisel Mueller

The self steps out of the circle;
it stops wanting to be
the farmer, the wife, and the child.

It stops trying to please
by learning everyone’s dialect;
it finds it can live, after all,
in a world of strangers.

It sends itself fewer flowers;
it stops preserving its tears in amber.

How splendidly arrogant it was
when it believed the gold-filled tomb
of language awaited its raids!
Now it frequents the junkyards
knowing all words are secondhand.

It has not chosen its poverty,
this new frugality.
It did not want to fall out of love
with itself. Young,
it celebrated itself
and richly sang itself,
seeing only itself
in the mirror of the world.

It cannot return. It assumes
its place in the universe of stars
that do not see it. Even the dead
no longer need it to be at peace.
Its function is to applaud.

blurring boundaries
between colours
– migraine
– @Meraki_k

butterfly man
is how i am known
some men
laugh at my name
but that doesn’t bother me
– Manny Loley

Life should be more / then the body’s weight working itself from room to room.
– Mark Strand

This is an apology to
all of the wounds I locked
in the cellar of myself
to punish them for refusing
to heal in the shape of a poem.
– @blythe_baird

Sometimes, you just have to let go of your tight grip of how you think things should be or how quickly they should come together and simply let things run their own course.
– Keri Olson

The truth has always given me strength. When you have the truth on your side, you are consistent…The truth gave me something to cling to.
– Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Tears are words that need to be written.
– Paulo Coelho

A Suggestion to Liu

I’ve got a hearth that’s red and warm;
I’ve got a jug of liquid glee.
This dusk looks like a winter storm.
Why not come in and drink with me?
– Bai Juyi

I speak for none of your kind,
I speak for the end of the owls.
I speak for the flounder and whale
in their unlighted house,
for the seven cornered sea,
for the glaciers
they will have calved too soon,
raven and dove, feathery witnesses,
for all those that dwell in the sky
and the woods, and the lichen in gravel,
for those without paths, for the colorless bog
and the desolate mountains.
Glaring on radar screens,
interpreted one final time
around the briefing table, fingered
to death by antennas, Florida’s swamps
and the Siberian ice, beast
and bush and basalt strangled
by early bird, ringed
by the latest maneuvers, helpless
under the hovering fireballs,
in the ticking of crises.
We’re as good as forgotten.
Don’t fuss with the orphans,
just empty your mind
of its longing for nest eggs,
glory or psalms that won’t rust.
I speak for none of you now,
all you plotters of perfect crimes,
not for me, not for anyone.
I speak for those who can’t speak,
for the deaf and dumb witnesses
for otters and seals,
for the ancient owls of the earth.
– Hans Magnus Enzensberger
(translated By Jerome Rothenberg)

There is chaos and moral degradation in the world, in society, in our environment because, without understanding, we have directed our will and activities in a certain direction, seeking security in things made either by the hand or the mind.
– Krishnamurti

Depression always follows an act of betrayal–this is the psyche’s way of allowing for self-reflection and many people come into analysis after an experience of feeling betrayed or of betraying.
– Ann Casement

James Hillman suggests that betrayal is an archetypal experience which is the chief instrument of individuation. There is something transformative in recognising how our fantasies of life and love prevent us from growing up and becoming full members of the human family.
– Liz Greene

If You Knew
by Ruth Muskrat Bronson

If you could know the empty ache of loneliness,
Masked well behind the calm indifferent face
Of us who pass you by in studied hurriedness,
Intent upon our way, lest in the little space
Of one forgetful moment hungry eyes implore
You to be kind, to open up your heart a little more,
I’m sure you’d smile a little kindlier, sometimes,
To those of us you’ve never seen before.

If you could know the eagerness we’d grasp
The hand you’d give to us in friendliness;
What vast, potential friendship in that clasp
We’d press, and love you for your gentleness;
If you could know the wide, wide reach
Of love that simple friendliness could teach,
I’m sure you’d say “Hello, my friend,” sometimes,
And now and then extend a hand in friendliness to each.

As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
– Julia Cameron

I think that’s all art is, a record of interior attention paid.
– Carl Phillips

Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
– William James

I’ve dreamed a lot. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything.
– Fernando Pessoa

And now listen carefully. You in others-this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life-your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.
– Boris Pasternak

Everything had changed suddenly–the tone, the moral climate; you didn’t know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute–life or truth or beauty–of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.
– Boris Pasternak

None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
– Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Man thought and still thinks in images. But now our images have hardly any emotional value. We always want a “conclusion,” an end, we always want to come, in our mental processes, to a decision, a finality, a full-stop. This gives us a sense of satisfaction. All our mental consciousness is a movement onwards, a movement in stages, like our sentences, and every full-stop is a mile-stone that marks our “progress” and our arrival somewhere. On and on we go, for the mental consciousness labours under the illusion that there is somewhere to go to, a goal to consciousness. Whereas of course there is no goal. Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to.
– D H Lawrence

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roof-deck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;

this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;

this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;

this is the year
that dark-skinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border’s undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;

this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;

this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;

this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;

this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;

if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

– Martin Espada

Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
– Jacob Needleman

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.
– Philip K. Dick

The First Gust of Special Relativity is Weightlessness
by Alina Stefanescu

Did it begin

when Einstein watched men

wash windows on tall buildings

& imagined how falling felt?

The theorist borrows a silhouette’s terror

to build his edifice.

The sun is a man with big hands

on the couch

and the sky is his

origin. There is no duo

to local velocity.

I write to you

from the Icarus

in each of us, from the word

for existing

between aboveness

and asphalt.

I mean light on the pillow hisses when bussed

by a fan blade.

I mean fog is how clouds tongue

the ground.

The losing comes later, a night with no

windows, the stained cup of


you left

on the floor,

all energy and mass, interchangeable—

Did it begin when

the sun became a man

abandoning the idea

of distance

in a bed. The specificity of

sex with insignificant others

in a masochistic


I write to you

from the sadist’s secret


I have fallen

to know

how falling felt

& nothing grew from it.

I have measured acceleration

in altering tempo,

the speed at which

time expands when

you leave

me alone

there is nothing

worth keeping


The myth of our society is the existential myth that we are cast into matter, that we are lost in a universe that has no meaning for us, that we must make our meaning. This is what Sartre, Kierkegaard, all those people are saying, that we must make our meaning.
– Terence Mckenna

Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here …
– Pema Chodron

Being of your blood,
Through thick and thin,
I have stood up for you.
When the world’s most devilish
Intrigue of humanity was set
And was coiling around you tighter and tighter—
I have stood up for you.
– Carlos Montezuma

We don’t say “I love you”
very often, but we do say
“Have you eaten today?”

I imagine, somewhere,
there is a language
where those 2 things
have the same meaning.

– Rudy Francisco

Lyric poetry, at its strongest, teaches us how to talk to ourselves, rather than to others.
– Harold Bloom

i become wary of boys
with birdcage hands, their
mouths like oceans and
my mother is still wringing
seawater from her bones.
– Bianca Phipps

There is a force that breaks the body
by Diane Seuss

There is a force that breaks the body, inevitable,
the by-product is pain, unexceptional as a rain
gauge, which has become arcane, rhyme, likewise,
unless it’s assonant or internal injury, gloom, joy,
which is also a dish soap, but not the one that rids
seabirds of oil from wrecked tankers, that’s Dawn,
which should change its name to Dusk, irony being
the flip side of sentimentality here in the Iron Age,
ironing out the kinks in despair, turning it to hairdo
from hair, to do, vexing infinitive, much better to be
pain’s host, body of Christ as opposed to the Holy
Ghost, when I have been suffering at times I could
step away from it by embracing it, a blues thing,
a John Donne thing, divest by wrestling, then sing.

Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. Make an effort to separate yourself from the internet. Read books.
– Timothy Snyder

The goal of my therapy is eccentricity, which grows out of Jungian notion of individuation. Jung says, “You become what you are.” & nobody is square. We all have, as the Swiss say, a corner knocked off.
– James Hillman, We’ve had 100 Years of Psychotherapy & World is getting Worse

The brain can only assume its proper behavior when consciousness is doing what it is designed for: not writhing and whirling to get out of present experience, but being effortlessly aware of it.
– Alan Watts

Ah, tranquillity! / Penetrating the very rock, / a cicada’s voice.
– Basho

Behind every word a whole world is hidden that must be imagined.
– Heinrich Boll

My silly old body is here alone with the snow and the crows and the exercise-book that opens like a door and lets me far down into the now friendly dark.
– Samuel Beckett

I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.
– Tom Stoppard

Everything should be simple and clear and pure between us. Only then will we be worthy of having been allowed to meet.
– Martin Heidegger

It’s amazing how much time, care, and attention goes into creating the experience of “something that just works.”
– @VinceFHorn

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast.
– C.G. Jung

I’m putty when it comes to young people expressing ideals…
– sven birkerts

Thinking does not overcome metaphysics by climbing still higher, surmounting it, transcending it somehow or other; thinking overcomes metaphysics by climbing back down into the nearness of the nearest.
– Martin Heidegger

Can anyone be anything
but a rebel in a conventional
world like this?
– Jack Kerouac

You can run for cover, run for cover like a frightened hare
Till it’s all over, all over and there’s no-one there
‘Cos you daren’t discover, daren’t discover that we really care
– Sandy Denny

Unless one finds silence, there is little hope of hearing psyche’s speech until it too becomes the clamor & clang of nightmare, accident, sickness, or madness. Even in Wordsworth’s time, he would complain that psyche was shut out because “the world is too much with us.
– Russell Lockhart

What is it the wind has lost
that she keeps looking for
under each leaf?
– Jim Harrison

A silence settled between us, and I counted the raindrops on the window, gliding down one after the other.
– Yoko Ogawa

The Continuous Life
by Mark Strand
What of the neighborhood homes awash
In a silver light, of children hunched in the bushes,
Watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender,
Signs that the irregular pleasures of moving
From day to day, of being adrift on the swell of duty,
Have run their course? O parents, confess
To your little ones the night is a long way off
And your taste for the mundane grows; tell them
Your worship of household chores has barely begun;
Describe the beauty of shovels and rakes, brooms and mops;
Say there will always be cooking and cleaning to do,
That one thing leads to another, which leads to another;
Explain that you live between two great darks, the first
With an ending, the second without one, that the luckiest
Thing is having been born, that you live in a blur
Of hours and days, months and years, and believe
It has meaning, despite the occasional fear
You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing
To prove you existed. Tell the children to come inside,
That your search goes on for something you lost—a name,
A family album that fell from its own small matter
Into another, a piece of the dark that might have been yours,
You don’t really know. Say that each of you tries
To keep busy, learning to lean down close and hear
The careless breathing of earth and feel its available
Languor come over you, wave after wave, sending
Small tremors of love through your brief,
Undeniable selves, into your days, and beyond.

Evil is committed without effort, naturally, fatally; goodness is always the product of some art.
– Charles Baudelaire

If tendencies towards disassociation were not inherent in the human psyche, parts never would have been split off; in other words, neither spirits nor gods would ever have come to exist.
– CG Jung

Fragment: Blaze as Unknowable Drift
by Will Alexander

Blaze as unknowable drift
as mathematical drift that blazes with ciphers
I’ve listened to moons eclectically rise
to conundrums blaze & ascend
not as molecules
or distributed torrents
but as vibrational mazes
as curious oneiric cartography

Patience visited me
And it reminded me
That good things take time to come to fruition
And grow slowly with stability

Peace visited me
And it reminded me
That I may remain calm through the storms of life
Regardless of the chaos surrounding me

Hope visited me
And it reminded me
That better times lay ahead
And it would always be there to guide and uplift me

Humility visited me
And it reminded me
That I may achieve it
Not by trying to shrink myself and make myself less
But by focusing on serving the world and uplifting those around me

Kindness visited me
And it reminded me
To be more gentle, forgiving and compassionate toward myself
And those surrounding me

Confidence visited me
And it reminded me
To not conceal or suppress my gifts and talents
In order to make others feel more comfortable
But to embrace what makes me me

Focus visited me
And it reminded me
That other people’s insecurities and judgements about me
Are not my problem
And I should redirect my attention
From others back to me

Freedom visited me
And it reminded me
That no one has control over my mindset, thoughts and wellbeing
But me

And love visited me
And it reminded me
That I need not search for it in others
As it lies within me.

– Tahlia Hunter

Without McMansions in sprawling suburbs, without mountains of unnecessary packaging, without giant mechanized monofarms, without energy-hogging big-box stores, without electronic billboards, without endless piles of throwaway junk, without the overconsumption of consumer goods no one really needs is not an impoverished world. I disagree with those environmentalists who say we are going to have to make do with less. In fact, we are going to make do with more: more beauty, more community, more fulfillment, more art, more music, and material objects that are fewer in number but superior in utility and aesthetics. The cheap stuff that fills our lives today, however great its quantity, can only cheapen life.
– Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics

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

We can’t forever be spending our lives paying for political follies that never gave us anything, but always took from us, and I am content with the narrowest metes and bounds provided I have peace and quiet for work.
– Stefan Zweig

You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.
– Hanya Yanagihara

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
– Eric Hoffer

an evening teahouse
by the river is closing
distant light
– Issa

Like the water, the Walden ice…has a green tint, but at a distance is beautifully blue, and you can easily tell it from the white ice of the river, or the merely greenish ice of some ponds…Sometimes one of those great cakes slips from the ice-man’s sled into the village street, and lies there for a week like a great emerald….
– Henry David Thoreau

It turns out I was right.
But nothing has come of it.
– Wislawa Szymborska

The glorification of busy will destroy us.

Without space for healing, without time for reflection, without an opportunity to surrender, we risk a complete disconnect from the authentic self.

We burn out on the fuels of wilfulness, and eventually cannot find our way back to center.

And when we lose contact with our core, we are ripe for the picking by the unconscious media and other market forces.

After all, consumerism preys on the uncentered.

The farther we are from our intuitive knowing, the more easily manipulated we are.
The more likely we are to make decisions and affix to goals that don’t serve our healing and transformation.

To combat this, we have to form the conscious intention to prioritize our inner life.
To notice our breath, our bodies, our feelings.
To step back from the fires of overwhelm and remember ourselves.

It may feel counter-intuitive in a culture that is speed-addicted, but the slower we move, the faster our return home.

– Jeff Brown

My body’s getting old, but not me.
Each night before I go to sleep
I take out my eyes,
blow on them, polish them
with a tissue, set them on a table
by the window where
they can absorb moonlight.
I unsnap my ears
and balance them against each other.
To my eyes, lying beside them,
they look like delicate mollusks
holding oceans of silence,
which I carefully pour out
into a thimble, then sip.
I unpeel my mouth
very slowly to avoid the pain,
folding it in a crescent smile
to lay by my pillow
where I can reach it if I need
to scream, or just to cry.
Because when you cry
it is not the tears that matter
so much as the sound,
the name you try to say
when you are weeping.
I remove most of my fingers,
toes, other body parts,
gently unscrewing them.
They fall so wistfully
on the oriental carpet
which was my grandmother’s.
And you are here beside me.
We have our breath,
which cannot be taken
from our soul.
We have hearts which cannot
be taken from the rhythmic
beating of our soul,
two moths at one candle.
Then what’s left, my dear,
partner, lover, friend?
What’s left is the night sky
full of the stars we are.
And all that does not sleep.
– Fred LaMotte

Don’t focus on reading more books. Focus on reading better books.
– Farnam Street

It always demands a far greater degree of courage for an individual to oppose an organized movement than to let himself be carried along with the stream — individual courage, a variety of courage that is dying out in these times of progressive organization and mechanization.
– Stefan Zweig

Endings are elusive, middles are nowhere to be found, but worst of all is to begin, to begin, to begin.
– Donald Barthelme

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;
relentlessly horizontal.
– Ruth Stone

Very little grows on jagged rock.

Be ground. Be crumbled,
so wildflowers will come up
where you are.

You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.

– Rumi

What can I do, except continue to demonstrate love?

Revision is a practice of faith

Revision is a practice of my love against time

– Wendy Xu

Then I could read Conrad’s novels to you.
I could cradle your freed mind in my voice,
Chapter by chapter, sentence by sentence,
Word by word: The Heart of Darkness,
The Secret Sharer. The same. I could feel
Your fingers caressing my reading, hour after hour,
Fitting together the serpent’s jumbled rainbow.
I was like the snake-charmer—my voice
Swaying you over your heaped coils. While you
Unearthed something deeper than our verses.
– Ted Hughes

I remember
Those long, crimson-shadowed evenings of ours
More like the breath-held camera moments
Of reaching to touch a falcon that does not fly off.
As if I held your hand to stroke a falcon
With your hand.
– Ted Hughes

All I want is this:
to have & to hold, & to be
held by the world without
earning our place in it.
– Torrin A. Greathouse

In a fragile environment, we need to be aware of ourselves as members of a uniquely powerful species living among other species who are quite as interesting as we are but vulnerable to us because we are cleverer in more destructive ways.
– Andrew Motion

You shouldn’t get disillusioned when you get knocked back. All you’ve discovered is that the search is difficult, and you still have a duty to keep on searching.
– Kazuo Ishiguro

“Advice” by Bill Holm
Someone dancing inside us
learned only a few steps:
the “Do-Your-Work” in 4/4 time,
the “What-Do-You-Expect” waltz.
He hasn’t noticed yet the woman
standing away from the lamp,
the one with black eyes
who knows the rhumba,
and strange steps in jump rhythms
from the mountains of Bulgaria.
If they dance together,
something unexpected will happen.
If they don’t, the next world
will be a lot like this one.

Tradition is not the worship of ashes. It is the preservation of fire.
– Gustav Mahler

The Traveling Onion

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an
object of worship —why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion
entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” — Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

– Naomi Shihab Nye

Life is inexplicable, and those masterful people who base their lives on confidence and explanation deserve our sympathy.
– Stafford

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

Sundown, Timber Gap

—sat down—

dark firs.

dirty; cold;

too tired to talk

– Gary Snyder

voices of plovers
inviting me to stare
into the starlit darkness
– Basho

Myth is an early form of psychology. There are all these stories about gods going down into underworld to slaughter demons. We all have to learn how to negotiate our unconscious worlds. We have to go into the labyrinth of our own selves & fight our own monsters.
– Karen Armstrong

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
– Thomas Carlyle

In the global North, 55% of all material consumed comes from the global South.

In the global South, only 6% of all material consumed comes from the global North.

Who’s dependent on whom?

– Jason Hickel

I have discovered how much I belong to you, in the city, in the train, on the highway, with strange grandparents, in the woods, on hillsides, wherever I walk or sit.
– Franz Kafka, 1913

Krzhizhanovsky: As a writer, am I with the majority or the minority? If counted by the number of heads, I’m in the minority; but if we go by the number of thoughts, surely I’m in the majority?

the final page
and the last line
– a punch to the gut
– James Welsh

It is vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving wherein men find pleasure to be deceived.
– John Locke

The aim of analytical work is to try to get the ego into a state of being as aware as possible of the total economy of complexes, because that is the only protection against sudden dissociating effects.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.

I tell my students that the odds of their getting published and of it bringing them financial security, peace of mind, and even joy are probably not that great. Ruin, hysteria, bad skin, unsightly tics, ugly financial problems, maybe; but probably not peace of mind. I tell them that I think they ought to write anyway.
– Anne Lamott

Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better.
– Thomas Mallon

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going.
– Carl Jung

Next time what I’d do is look at
the earth before saying anything. I’d stop
just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
I’d watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain, any
sign of what lifted the voice.

And for all, I’d know more—the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.

– William Stafford

In the second half of life the necessity is imposed of recognizing no longer the validity of our former ideals but of their contraries. Of perceiving the error in what was previously our conviction, of sensing the untruth in what was our truth…
– C.G. Jung

All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed wastepaper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at our knowing.
– D.H. Lawrence

Poetry has the propensity to hold us enraptured within the same time and space on level ground. It can, in essence, provide a reprieve from divisiveness and disharmony.
– Ashanti Files, Poets Laureate Fellow

That in this century of private apartments
Though knowledge might be coveted hardly anything
Is shared except penurious poetry, she or he
Who still tends to titles as if all of us
Are reading a new book called THE NEW LIFE.
– Bernadette Mayer

There are three kinds of poets: those who write without thinking, those who think while writing, and those who think before writing.

Most poets do not understand their own metaphors.

Metaphor proves the existences of Heaven and Hell.

– Charles Simic

dreaming during
a melancholy night
while wearing warm socks
– Buson

I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out.
– Natalie Díaz

freedom. it isn’t once….
freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine
remembering. putting together, inch by inch
the starry worlds. from all the lost collections.
– adrienne rich

the first snow
melting away
withered grass
– Ogawa

If we so barely know ourselves, how can we know the other? Yet the almost supernatural power of the projection is fascinating.
– James Hollis

Dearest, I beg of you, sleep properly, go for walks.
Remain calm, calm.
– Franz Kafka, 1912.

Defining myself is hard; being myself is easy.
– Deirdre Sinnott (Al Dente) / Leslie Feinberg’s Trans Liberation

Poetry is also the physical self of the poet,and it’s impossible to separate the poet from poetry.
– Salvatore Quasimodo

Human beings suffer
They torture one another, They get hurt and get hard. No poem or play or song Can fully right a wrong Inflicted and endured.
The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father Stands in the graveyard dumb. The police widow in veils Faints at the funeral home.
History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave… But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change On the far side of revenge. Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.
Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky
That means someone is hearing The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
It means once in a lifetime
That justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
– Seamus Heaney

Listening to a [Dharma] teaching is not like going to a concert, where you are entertained by hearing a piece of music played for you. You cannot take your text and notes home and put them on a shelf; you must read and re-read, contemplating again and again.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

I swam for seven days and seven nights before I entered the kingdom of coral and pearls.

I have never once wept out of anger or fear.

– Eileen Chong

Once I gave queer authors the keys and stopped worrying about what, exactly, queer literature meant, my students’ work taught me something about what queer literature actually is.
– Austen E. Osworth

The problem isn’t encountering text, I think, or even a lot of it. It’s the text that we encounter, the how and why of its coming to be, that makes it either soothing or exhausting.
– Alex Manley

Boost the meek.
– @wordsmith

The only animal that commits suicide
went for a walk in the park,
basked on a hard bench
in the first star,
travelled to the edge of space
in an armchair
while company quietly
talked, and abruptly
the room empty.

The only animal that cries,
that takes off its clothes
and reports to the mirror, the one
and only animal
that brushes its own teeth –


the only animal that smokes a cigarette,
that lies down and flies backwards in time,
that rises and walks to a book
and looks up a word
heard the telephone ringing
in the darkness downstairs and decided
to answer no more.

And I understand,
too well: how many times
have I made the decision to dwell
from now on
in the hour of my death
(the space I took up here
scarlessly closing like water)
and said I’m never coming back,
and yet

this morning
I stood once again
in this world, the garden
ark and vacant
tomb of what
I can’t imagine,
between twin eternities,
some sort of wings,
more or less equidistantly
exiled from both,
hovering in the dreaming called
being awake, where
You gave me
in secret one thing
to perceive, the
tall blue starry
strangeness of being
here at all.

You gave us each in secret one thing to perceive.
Furless now, upright, My banished

And experimental

You said, though your own heart condemn you

I do not condemn you.
– Franz Wright

He believed/that grief develops the mind. What is//the mind if not that surface upon which/the world can be endlessly rebroken?
– Maya Popa

In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world: the great, unrequited, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization falls off,
and the wounds heal ‘ere we are aware.
– John Muir

I think you have to use your eyes as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn’t work.
– Andrew Wyeth

The more that consciousness is influenced by prejudices, errors, fantasies, and infantile wishes, the more the already existing gap will widen into a neurotic dissociation and lead to a more or less artificial life far removed from healthy instincts, nature, and truth.
– CG Jung

I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
– Franz Kafka

The body must somehow be involved in one’s psychological healing, because the body can hold on to memories and images that are otherwise inaccessible. You can’t get to them simply by talking about them.
– Marion Woodman

The storm is a tutor to me. Its turbulence teaches that I am resilient enough to survive the tumult.
– Julia Cameron

How one is to contribute to and draw from the commonwealth
while still being oneself
has been and remains
the hammer and anvil of the human enterprise
wherein soul may be foiled or forged.
– James Hollis, Tracking the Gods

The vineyard country, russet, reddish, carmine-brown in this season.
A blue outline of hills above a fertile valley.
It’s warm as long as the sun does not set, in the shade cold returns.
A strong sauna and then swimming in a pool surrounded by trees.
Dark redwoods, transparent pale-leaved birches.
In their delicate network, a sliver of the moon.
I describe this for I have learned to doubt philosophy
And the visible world is all that remains.
– Czesław Miłosz

Poetry is born out of the festive moment in which the poet intimately engages with the object, or the other, outside himself; poetry is born out of the moment of mourning that other’s absence, that object’s loss.
– Israel Bar-Kohav

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.
– Mark Strand, The Coming of Light

Praise silence, & put flesh on every word.
– Yusef Komunyakaa

Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves.
– Adam Phillips

In each of us there is another whom we do not know.
– Carl Jung

Any idiot can face crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out.
– Anton Chekhov

Most people can’t face inner conflict at all; they impose a kind of artificial unity on life by clinging to the prejudices of their ego and repressing the voices of the unconscious.
– Robert A. Johnson

evening star—
fold upon fold
the quiet blue hills
– Mary Lee McClure

Zen is not bothered about anything superhuman; its whole concern is how to make ordinary life a blessing.
– Osho

This new age…will be an age of the poet—not the poet as noun, not the poet as career, but the necessity of poetry, the seeking by each one of us, a finding and drinking the waters and the milk of the Muses: poetry as verb, poetry as what we do.
– Russell Lockhart

The great artist or thinker is no more than an alchemical vessel in which the great problems of the time are the prime matter undergoing their fermenting corruption, distillation, sublimation and of course articulation.
– Wolfgang Giegerich

Stop it, I was like all of them,
And worse than all of them.
I bathed in someone else’s dew
And i hid in someone else’s outfield,
On someone else’s grass I slept.
– Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer

I said Look. If you
relax you’ll get better.
Better? who wants better,
said a moonbeam
— Brenda Hillman

Our lives are full of restrictions—jobs, bills, time, gravity, all of this impinging on us—but to write is to gift yourself the freedom of choice and possibility. That feels truly precious to me. Keep writing.
– Ocean Vuong

by Paul T. Corrigan

The farmyard is not a schoolyard.
The hens are not teachers.
The cottages are not classrooms.
Their doors, although as red as alarms, are not emergency exits.
Although hard from being walked on, the path is not anger.
Although taloned and full of testosterone, the rooster is not a shooter.
The boulders are not bullets.
The wildflowers are not students, splashes of clover, dollops of poppy, ribbons of milkweed, blooming, bursting from swaths of rye, alive.

I began with strong feelings and worked toward craft.
– Dorothy Allison

To tell a great story, you really do have to step through the box that the world has put around you; you have to see it. You have to see what the world has defined you as. And you have to refute it in language that the world will understand. … Repay the debt that kept you alive, you will make an art and you will take a leap. And, oh God, I hope you get all the way over to the other side. Because some of us don’t.
– Dorothy Allison

My family of friends has kept me alive through lovers who have left, enterprises that have failed, and all too many stories that never got finished. That family has been part of remaking the world for me.
– Dorothy Allison

The years teach much which the days never knew.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To speak of sorrow
works upon it
moves it from its
crouched place barring
the way to and from the soul’s hall.
– Denise Levertov

Our problem is not that as children our needs were unmet, but that, as adults, they are still unmourned! In fact, neediness itself tells us nothing about how much we need from others; it tells us how much we need to grieve the irrevocably barren past and evoke our own inner source of nurturance. What was missed can never be made up for, only mourned and let go of. We are grieving the irretrievable aspect of what we lost and the irreplaceable aspect of what we missed. Only these two realizations led to resolution of grief because only these acknowledge, without denial, how truly bereft we were or are. From the pit of this deep admission that something is irrevocably over and gone we finally stand clear of the insatiable need to find it again from our parents or partner. To have sought it was to have denied how utter was its absence.
– David Richo

I stoop between the strands of a barbed-wire fence, and in that movement I go out of time and into timelessness. I come into a wild place. The trees grow big, their trunks rising clean, free of undergrowth. The place has a serenity and dignity that one feels immediately; the creation is whole in it and unobstructed. It is free of the strivings and dissatisfactions, the partialities and imperfections of places under the mechanical dominance of men.

Here, what to a housekeeper’s eye might seem disorderly is nonetheless orderly and within order; what might seem arbitrary or accidental is included in the design of the whole; what might seem evil or violent is a comfortable member of the household. Where the creation is whole nothing is extraneous. The presence of the creation here makes this a holy place, and it is as a pilgrim that I have come. It is the creation that has attracted me, its perfect interfusion of life and design. I have made myself its follower and its apprentice.

– Wendell Berry

We watched the butterfly flit and fly and we marveled at how its wings caught the sun; how its ascendance was magical. But no one, to my knowledge, ever held out a hand and allowed the butterfly to rest. And then it flew out of our range, our site. Bastards all of us.
– Marlon Brando

to be a silent observer does not mean to be indifferent. It means not to interfere with the music of life. to allow life to go her way, not your way. Your way is already known. Life’s way is a mystery. Allow mystery to be your friend until there is no mystery at all.
– Guthema Roba

Death does not exist in poetry… No choking sounds in poems, no smell of blood. I can describe/the sounds, the smells, but description is, in fact, a hiding place. There is no nobility/in description. Is there nobility in poetry? Let’s hope not.
– Diane Seuss

Poems are rafts clutched at by men drowning in inadequate minds. [The] importance of poetry in a devastating social chaos, is the reason why Greek consciousness specifically fluoresces into that brilliant intellectual light which is still illuminating our world.
– Julian Jaynes

Most of us aren’t where the big decisions are made. We do our jobs, and we take pride in them, and we hope that our little contribution is going to be used well.
– Kazuo Ishiguro

I dream of an art so transparent that you can look through and see the world.
– Stanley Kunitz

Just once let your poems run wild into the night
– Doug Ramspeck

You think this is labor–
This is easy living:
To overhear some music,
And, joking, claim it as your own.

– Anna Akhmatova, The Poet

What if there is
more to me than
a place you run to
when you are
cold inside?
– Siaara Freeman

We all want quiet. We all want beauty…we all need space.
– Octavia Hill

Through trauma, rejection, abandonment, and neglect, the unacceptable pieces of us have been cast into what I call the “wasteland.” They become our outcast brothers and sisters.
– Francis Weller

Central Park
No one watches when my lover
picks me up & carries me to a bench, my legs
wrapping his hips. I say 30 years ago we wouldn’t
get away with this, He says it’s cause I pass. Meaning
I don’t. I’ve opened his sherpa, found his obliques.
If I climb him, my hips will unpear, my face
will be sharp and shadeless. If I keep scaling
my lover, I’ll still want him. It’s late October.
By the new year I’ll be genderless
as leaves breaking under his boots.
– K. Iver

The memory of the past can fade quickly but the way you reacted to what you felt in the past can stay with you for years. It is easier to forget than to actually remove the imprints you carry. Real healing isn’t about forgetting, it requires going deeply inward to finally let go.
– @YungPueblo

rugged to the touch
the dark edges
of a breakup poem
– @Meraki_k

Ideas matter. Serious scholarship matters. Study matters. And as Ruth Wilson Gilmore said, “If people living under the most severe constraints, such as prisoners, can form study groups to learn about the world, then free-world activists have no excuse for ignorance.”
– @tamaranopper

We have been fighting the irresolvable tedium of everyday life, either in frivolous or profound ways.
– Truman Capote

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.
– Wassily Kandinsky

My point is that it has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it.
– Toni Morrison

The problem with God—or at any rate, one of the top five most annoying things about God—is that He or She rarely answers right away. It can take days, weeks. Some people seem to understand this—that life and change take time.
– Anne Lamott

Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
– William James

Do you get enough rest? Are you eating good and sensible food?
– Franz Kafka, 1913.

Follow the one who leaves
no footprints.
Let the next inhalation be
your teacher.
Those who stop seeking
are anointed
by a royal Presence.
When you need a prayer, a sutra,
just chant this:
“My chest always
already open.”
I give you a solemn promise:
If you take this pathless way
a golden flower will softly
silently explode
in your body,
the very motion
of your heart’s stillness.
How can I be sure?
I have tasted the honey
of the Master’s glance.
I know where it is stored.
In You, my friend, in You.
– Fred LaMotte

And in the nights the heavy Earth, too, falls
From out the stars into the Solitude.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

We all believe we are self-made people, living consciously, making right choices, meaning well, and only when the consequences pile up around us do we ever question this presumption. On those dolorous occasions we may even be driven to ask, What is really going on here?
– James Hollis

There is a place inside me where I hold another language close. I’m the only one who knows it. I am the only language I can understand.’
– Alice Notley