“The coolness of Buddhism isn’t indifference but the distance one gains on emotions, the quiet place from which to regard the turbulence. From far away you see the pattern, the connections, and the thing as whole, see all the islands and the routes between them. Up close it all dissolves into texture and incoherence and immersion, like a face going out of focus just before a kiss.”—Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby. With thanks to Whiskey River.
“In this poor body, composed of one hundred bones and nine openings, is something called spirit, a flimsy curtain swept this way and that by the slightest breeze. It is spirit, such as it is, which led me to poetry, at first little more than a pastime, then the full business of my life. There have been times when my spirit, so dejected, almost gave up the quest, other times when it was proud, triumphant. So it has been from the very start, never finding peace with itself, always doubting the worth of what it makes.”—Basho via: Whiskey River
“I should feel the air move against me, and feel the things I touched, instead of having only to look at them. I’m sure life is all wrong because it has become too visual - we can neither hear nor feel nor understand, we can only see. I’m sure that is entirely wrong.”—D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love. Today in the River.
“My working process is no doubt much the same as yours and the same as many other people. The artistic process seems to be mythologized quite a lot into something far greater than it actually is. It is just hard labor… As anyone who actually writes knows, if you sit down and are prepared, then the ideas come. There’s a lot of different ways people explain that, but, you know, I find that if I sit down and I prepare myself, generally things get done.”—Nick Cave (via austinkleon)
“'Carpe diem' doesn't mean seize the day - it means something gentler and more sensible. 'Carpe diem' means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be 'cape diem,' if my school Latin serves … What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day's stem, as if it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your figure, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things … Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant - pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day. Don't freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it.”—Nicholson Baker. With thanks to Whiskey River.
“Each person is a great mystery, to himself and to others. We see the ever-changing play of light and shadow upon the superficial aspects of ourselves, but of the endless depths that lie beneath we are for the most part ignorant or unconscious. At any time, however, currents flowing from these depths may sweep us unexpectedly into thoughts, actions, or even lifestyles we would now find inconceivable. We may then rise to heights of achievement or fall far below what we would have believed possible in others. Yet how easy it is to pass judgment based on what people manifest of themselves outwardly at any given time, as if this could approach the totality of who they really are.”—Sarah Belle Dougherty. With gratitude to Whiskey River.
“The great lesson from the true mystics, from the zen monks, from the humanistic and transpersonal psychologists, is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s own back yard. This lesson can be easily lost. To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.”—Abraham Maslow. Pilfered from the Mighty River.
“The search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”—Abraham Joshua Heschel. With gratitude to Whiskey River.