Just look

Breathing, walking, having real hair.

Just look at us.

~ Rachel Khong, Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel

 


Photo: Patty Maher

Happy New Year!

Take a breath…

Don’t swallow the sun
The moon isn’t bright enough…

I promise I’ll be a better person this time next year.

If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.

Chad Sugg, from “Swallow the Sun” in Monsters Under Your Head


Notes:

Sunday Morning

L7matrix

It’s enough just to listen to music, to keep asking questions for which there are no answers, to remember paintings seen in a museum, to note the earth’s quiet at dusk, birds’ voices in May, to shiver at the thought that they’re alive, that the gleam of each new dawn is an endless promise.

~ Adam Zagajewski, Slight Exaggeration: An Essay (April 4, 2017)


Notes:

Should? Must is different.

elleluna_shouldmust2

When we choose Should, we’re choosing to live our life for someone or something other than ourselves. The journey to Should can be smooth, the rewards can seem clear, and the options are often plentiful.

Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s that which calls to us most deeply. It’s our convictions, our passions, our deepest held urges and desires — unavoidable, undeniable, and inexplicable. Unlike Should, Must doesn’t accept compromises.

Must is when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own — and this allows us to cultivate our full potential as individuals. To choose Must is to say yes to hard work and constant effort, to say yes to a journey without a road map or guarantees, and in so doing, to say yes to what Joseph Campbell called “the experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Choosing Must is the greatest thing we can do with our lives.

~ Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion


Source: Brain Pickings, The Crossroads of Should and Must

Good Friday

woman-sleeping-Laura-Schaeffer

I woke up in the morning
and I didn’t want anything,
didn’t do anything,
couldn’t do it anyway,
just lay there listening
to the blood rush through me
and it never made any sense, anything.

Richard Siken, excerpt from Straw House, Straw Dog from Crush.


Source: To escape from the commonplace of existence. Photo: Laura Schaeffer via eikadan

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

Monday Morning Meditation

art-breathe-face

breathe,meditation


Source: Nezart Design 1 and Nezart Design 2.

If we’re not supposed to dance

bird-autumn-leaves-sing

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That’s crudely put, but…
If we’re not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

~Gregory Orr


Sources: Photograph: Sensualstarfish. Poem: Thank you Karen @ Tearinyourhand. Gregory Orr Bio.

For aren’t we all ground over time to what matters

dancer

“For aren’t we all ground over time to what matters, unrecognizable and richer for it? It seems very little actually happens the first time around. Until we are worn to the smallest part of beauty, the smallest part of truth. Isn’t this the way? In time, the mountain trying to reach the sky crumbles softly to join the sea. In time, we outlive our ambitions, happy to land as the grain of sand a small fish mouths. Eventually, when moved to be still way inside, I somehow open like an iris no one sees and a tear falls within, nowhere to be found, though it sends being through my blood into my arms, into my hands, into my very fingers. Then, I am compelled to barely touch anything coming alive: the closed eye of a dog sleeping or the bluebird egg waiting to hatch. Then, I am refreshed by snow quieting the gash in the earth and the snow-like silence coating the wound in my heart.”

~ Mark Nepo


Credits:


The Secret of a Full Life

Anaïs Nin

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

— Anaïs Nin, May 1946.


And this coming from Nin in 1946. “…Hastier and more superficial rhythm.” “…we believe we are in touch…” illusion of being in touch deeply.” “…mechanical voices take the place of human intimacies…”

What would she say about us today?


Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977) was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in Neuilly, France, where she was also raised. Her father, Joaquín Nin, was a Cuban pianist and composer, when he met her mother Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer of French and Danish descent who was working in Cuba. Nin lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She published journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays and short stories. Anaïs Nin is perhaps best remembered as a diarist. Her journals, which span several decades, provide a deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships. Nin was acquainted, often quite intimately, with a number of prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts, and other figures, and wrote of them often. (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Quote – thepoetoaster.  Image: The Anais Nin Blog

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