Feel as if the top of my head were taken off

In 1870, Emily Dickinson was said to describe poetry this way:

 “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”

 And, then you read a book, that does exactly that.

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And all that was leading me where?


I could never turn back
any more than a record
can spin in reverse.
And all that was leading me where?

To this very moment…

— Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

Notes: Photo – vinylgif.com. Poem: Fables of the Reconstruction



Source: Thegoodvibe.com

Because what are we without five minutes ago?


My husband, Rich, lost his memory after he was hit by a car and suffered traumatic brain injury. In a moment of perfect clarity he once described his loss like this. “Pretend you are walking up the street with your friend. You are looking in windows. But right behind you is a man with a huge paint roller filled with white paint and he is painting over everywhere you’ve been, erasing everything. He erases your friend. You don’t even remember his name.” It’s terrifying. Because we are we without five minutes ago? What are we without our stories? Where is the continuum of consciousness? Is it all one big lily pad of a moment?

~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir

Image: Street Art via mennyfox55

Saturday Morning


I think about time differently since I got to be this old.
I think of each moment as a big La-Z-Boy,
or perhaps a hammock,
and the only direction is a little back and forth,
or side to side.
For this I need peace and quiet,
and I eschew all outside stimulation.
Perhaps this is why the future escapes me.

~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir

Photo: Jo Lynn Zamudio via Outdoor Magic

What made me look up?


Michael Goldman wrote in a poem,

“When the Muse comes
She doesn’t tell you to write; /
She says get up for a minute,
I’ve something to show you,
stand here.”

What made me look up at that roadside tree?

~ Annie Dillard, The Present, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Image: AMCH-Photography

Saturday Morning: May I move in time like a cloud


Lord of having
Hell at hand
Lord of losing
what I have
this heaven now

may I move
in time
like a cloud
in sky
my torn form
the wind’s one sign

may my suffering be
as of water
in some reach

of rock
it would take
to ascend
and see

and may my hands
my eyes
the very nub
of my tongue
be scrubbed
out of this hour
if I should utter
the dirty word

~ Christian Wiman, Lord of Having. Every Riven Thing: Poems.

Photo: Sydneyrw

Here. But There.


~ Robert Creeley,  Pieces in The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, Volume 1

Source: invisiblestories.

This is Now. Wow.

Alan Watts: My goodness, don’t you remember?

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Now. Now.


As Robert Frost once wrote, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is never a thought to begin with.”

I recommend the following course of action for those, like you, who are just starting out, or who, like me, may be re-configuring midway through. Heed the words of Robert Frost. Start with a big fat lump in your throat. Start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, a crazy lovesickness, and run with it. If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love. And don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can. Imagine immensities. Don’t compromise and don’t waste time. In order to strive for a remarkable life, you have to decide that you want one. Start now. Not twenty years from now. Not thirty years from now. Not two weeks from now. Now.

~ Debbie Millman, 2013 Commencement Address at San Jose State University 

Notes: Quote – Brainpickings via makebelieveboutique. Photography – howtoholdapencil.