I study myself and keep trying, and trying, and trying to come back. I continually ask: ‘How am I now? What is taking place in me now?’ I feel that with practice, this inner life grows stronger and practice inevitably begins to bleed into your life until I suspect there is no separation from life and practice.
You know that you have not compromised the immensity that you carry, and in which you participate. You have not avoided the call of commitment; yet you hold your loyalty to your chosen path in such a way as to be true to the blessings and dangers in life’s passionate sacramentality. No life is single. Around and beneath each life is the living presence of these adjacencies…. to keep the borders of choice porous demands critical vigilance and affective hospitality. To live in such a way invites risk and engages complexity. Yet the integrity of growth demands such courage and vulnerability from us; otherwise the tissues of our sensibility atrophy and we become trapped behind the same predictable mask of behavior.
John O’Donohue from Eternal Echoes. With gratitude to The Beauty We Love.
Because it is occasionally possible, just for brief moments, to find the words that will unlock the doors of all those many mansions inside the head and express something - perhaps not much, just something - of the crush of information that presses in on us from the way a crow flies over and the way a man walks and the look of a street and from what we did one day a dozen years ago. Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer to the force that created men distinct from trees. Something of the inaudible music that moves us along in our bodies from moment to moment like water in a river. Something of the spirit of the snowflake in the water of the river. Something of the duplicity and the relativity and the merely fleeting quality of all this. Something of the almighty importance of it and something of the utter meaninglessness. And when words can manage something of this, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being - not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses - but a human being, we call it poetry.
Ted Hughes. Today in the River.
I’ve carried this character around like an old suitcase, down a long, dusty path. I’m not carrying it because i like it. The contents are too heavy, and it looks crummy, fraying in spots. I’ve carried it with me because there was nothing else I was supposed to carry. Still, I guess I have grown attached to it. As you might expect.
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.