I start out on this road, call it love or emptiness.
I only know what’s not here.
Resentment seeds, backscratching greed,
worrying about outcome, fear of people.
When a bird gets free,
it does not go back for remnants
left on the bottom of the cage.
Close by, I’m rain. Far…
2:13 am • 28 August 2014 • 23 notes
“'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. (via crashinglybeautiful)
3:57 am • 16 August 2014 • 187 notes
“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. (via crashinglybeautiful)
8:33 am • 14 August 2014 • 167 notes
I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget.
I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness.
I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine.
I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Terry Tempest Williams
Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
1:53 am • 7 August 2014
I don’t know why they wanted to leave the rhinoceros at my house.
I was raking up some leaves from the dirt when the woman in the blue and white striped sweater drove her sports car into my flower bed. She told me I had to take the rhino, but I was confused and angry that her red sports car was in my planter. I told her I don’t take rhinos, take it to the zoo, but she just kept arguing with me. So I started throwing dirt in her car and yelling at her, and then her friends started in, and I tossed some dirt at them too. I finally got through to her boyfriend, and he said, oh, yeah, we’re supposed to go to the zoo.
I wish I had just taken the damn rhino. I don’t know why they were so afraid of him.
He who knows how to live can walk abroad
Without fear of rhinoceros or tiger.
He will not be wounded in battle.
For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn,
Tigers can find no place to use their claws,
And weapons no place to pierce.
Why is this so? Because he has no place for death to enter.
– Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 50
1:42 am • 23 July 2014
“And so goeth Western protagonists, all of whom long to go home, escape the strange realms in which they find themselves, be they Dante or Dorothy. Their longing for home is a chief virtue, their rejection of the fantastic in favor of Kansas or Italy a valiant stance in the face of the forces of the Other, the false world, the shadows in the Platonic cave…..You must choose this world. Those who do not are beyond redemption.”
— Catherynne Valente, “Choose Life”
5:12 pm • 12 July 2014
“What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way. The trouble is that we use knowing in bits of our lives where it doesn’t work, or where it’s actually not the point.”
— Adam Phillips (via psychotherapy)
9:48 am • 9 July 2014 • 166 notes
What is it that we seek
In all these other worlds?
Is it just to escape
The mundane parts of life?
Or is it to break the rules —
At least for a little while
At least in our minds.
We enter these alternate realities
And admire their creators —
Maybe even hope to make
Worlds of our own one day
They give us new ideas
And play out our fantasies —
Safe little games of fiction.
But where is the guidebook
For those of us who really
Want to change the world —
Not just imagine what we want
But make it real — “make it so”
Not just to make a nice world
In our heads, but in reality?
The hero’s journey is always hard —
To fight the things that are wrong
That everyone else seems to accept.
What they never tell you is that
The hardest part is coming back
To the real world, after you’ve seen
The peace and beauty of your own soul.
9:40 am • 8 July 2014 • 2 notes
"That we go numb along the way is to be expected. Even the bravest among us, who give their lives to care for others, go numb with fatigue, when the heart can take in no more, when we need time to digest all we meet. Overloaded and overwhelmed, we start to pull back from the world, so we can internalize what the world keeps giving us. Perhaps the noblest private act is the unheralded effort to return: to open our hearts once they’ve closed, to open our souls once they’ve shied away, to soften our minds once they’ve been hardened by the storms of our day.”
―Mark Nepo, “Hearing the Cries of the World” from our summer 2013 issue (which happened to be our 150th issue of Parabola.
Read Nepo’s essay here.
Photography Credit: Fernando Lemos
9:35 am • 8 July 2014 • 351 notes
Anonymous among strangers
I look for those
with hidden wings,
and for scars
that those who once had wings
from Mon Semblable
4:15 am • 6 July 2014
“There are no perfect human beings. Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, and saints. Even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.”
— Abraham Maslow
2:26 am • 3 July 2014 • 5 notes
They will ask you
what have you produced.
Say to them,
except for Love,
what else can a Lover produce?
1:29 pm • 2 July 2014 • 33 notes
“Light will someday split you open- even if your life is now a cage.
For a divine seed- the crown of destiny- is hidden and sown on an ancient,
fertile plain you hold the title to.
Love will surely bust you wide open into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy, even if your mind is now a spoiled mule.
A life-giving radiance will come, The Friend’s gratuity will come —
O, look again within yourself, for I know you were once the elegant host to all the marvels in creation.
From a sacred crevice in your body a bow rises each night and shoots your soul into God.
The whole universe is throwing wild parties
In a tree house
on a limb
in your heart.”
— ~ Hafiz
12:42 pm • 26 June 2014
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
4:18 pm • 20 May 2014 • 33 notes
“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (via rabbitinthemoon)
8:44 am • 18 May 2014 • 493 notes