Now. Now.

debbie-millman

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.

Is like the man who comes to a clearing in the forest, and sees the light spikes

sunlight,sun,light

Someone who knows how little he knows
Is like the man who comes to a clearing in the forest,
and sees the light spikes,
And suddenly senses how happy his life has been.

~ Charles Wright, closing lines of “Morning Occurrence at Xanadu,” Scar Tissue: Poems


Credits: Image – Candlepowerforums. Poem: Memory’s Landscape

 

What a gift: being able to disappear without going anywhere at all.

Jones-Saeed-headshot

The process of writing poems felt like a reprieve. Concentrating so intensely on one word and then another and another took me away; so far away, in fact, that sometimes after I finished a poem, I’d sit up at my desk, a bit dizzy. It’d been a blur. What a gift: being able to disappear without going anywhere at all.

~ Saeed Jones, A Poet’s Boyhood at the Burning Crossroads


Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Lewisville, Texas. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University where he won the Jim Wayne Miller Award for Poetry. Recently, his poems “Body & Kentucky Bourbon” and “After the First Shot” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. His chapbook When the Only Light is Fire is available from Sibling Rivalry Press. He has studied with writers like Tom Hunley, Dale Rigby, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Rachel Hadas, and Tayari Jones. He currently lives and writes in New York City. (Source: For Southern Boy Who Consider Poetry)


Notes: photo credit.  Quote – Boston Poetry Slam

Sunday Morning

bird-hand-gentle

It is one of the perils of our so-called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape — between our own best possibilities, and the view from our own windows. We need the world as much as it needs us, and we need it in privacy, intimacy, and surety. We need the field from which the lark rises — bird that is more than itself, that is the voice of the universe: vigorous, godly joy. Without the physical world such hope is: hacked off. Is: dried up. Without wilderness no fish could leap and flash, no deer could bound soft as eternal waters over the field; no bird could open its wings and become buoyant, adventurous, valorous beyond even the plan of nature. Nor could we.

~ Mary Oliver, Home from Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Credits: Photo - The Lilac Road

A perpetual astonishment

first-day-of-spring-march-21-2015

Every spring
is the only spring —
a perpetual astonishment

~ Ellis Peters


Second day of Spring 2015. March 21, 2015. Picture taken outside the front door. 4:55 am. 27° F.


Credits: Poem – Assorted

 

How could I have looked him in the face?

art-face-awake-sleep

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

~ Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For


Sources: Quote – Brainpickings. Art: Distant Passion

Lightly child, lightly

bubble-pop-gif

To rise,
I must have a field to rise from.
To deepen,
I must have a bedrock from which to descend.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings

 


Notes:

  • Image Source: goatboy.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

The second half of my life will be ice breaking up on the river, rain soaking the fields

middle age,

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river,
rain soaking the fields,
a hand held out,
a fire,
and smoke going upward,
always up.

Joyce Sutphen, “Crossroads” from Straight Out of View


Notes: a) Poem Source: Poem Hunter. b) Image Source: Audrey Nizen. c) Inspired by: Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

Saturday Morning

dreamy_horse-480x360

There were a lot of other things he no longer had to deal with.
He was like one of those horses,
who having shaken off the jockey,
slow down, dreamily, to a gentle trot,
while the others are still bursting their lungs
in pursuit of a finish line and an order of arrival.

Alessandro Baricco, from Mr. Gwyn


Notes: Photo Source. Quote: The Journey of Words

Lightly child, lightly

skydiving-skydive-aerial-wingsuit-wingsuiting


Notes:

  • Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”