Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Each of Us

“For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Ursula K LeGuin

“I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
― Ursula K LeGuin


“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin


“Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction

Not Knowing

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

In Your Spirit

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

In this World

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
― Ursula K. LeGuin

The Treason of the Artist

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
― Ursula K. LeGuin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Eaten by Dragons

“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination

We Read

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
― Ursula K. LeGuin

The Journey

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Arundhati Roy

I am a teller of stories. For me, that’s the only way I can make sense of the world, with all the dance that it involves.

Ursula Le Guin

A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well, they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.



As a writer one doesn’t belong anywhere. Fiction writers, I think, are even more outside the pale, necessarily on the edge of society. Because society and people are our meat, one really doesn’t belong in the midst of society. The great challenge in writing is always to find the universal in the local, the parochial. And to do that, one needs distance.


Anaïs Nin

The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, an encounter, a talk on the street, a book, a phrase learned.

Pool Party

Yesterday I filled the blue plastic kiddie pool with water and I threw in the three squeak toys I had just purchased. Romeo cocked his head when I made them squeak. He'd step into the pool, fish one out, then prance around squeaking it. Each toy had a different pitch of squeak. The sound would distort inside Romeo's mouth. My husband laughed so hard he was crying. He joined in, grabbing a toy making it squeak and tossing it in the air. Romeo jumped up and caught it. I stood barefoot in the pool to stay cool, rinsing off the mud and slime from the toys as they landed.


I dreamed my godmother bought the local butcher shop and the two other butcher shops in the franchise. I went back stage and helped myself to some corned beef but ended up with a chunk of babka chocolate loaf. I had ridden my bicycle to the shop but it had a flat tire when I went to ride home.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Richard Jones Poem


by Richard Jones

You are the shadow, the shadow is you,

William says as we walk home from the pool
in wet bathing suits, shadowboxing.
It’s the sort of thing he says now and then,
a koan, the Zen wisdom of his six-year-old mind.
And of course what he has observed, or rather,
the enlightened perspective he is wont to teach
his increasingly absentminded, unseeing father,
is both true and useful, and I am suddenly ashamed
of the little regard I’ve had for my own shadow,
constant companion that stretches arms wide across
late-afternoon lawns, looms at night on alley walls,
or melts into nothing to hide from the noonday sun.
I would ask him to teach me more, but when we
stop on the corner, waiting to cross with the light,
I look down at the child’s shadow beside the man’s:
William’s small arms hooking and jabbing, two fists
knocking some sense into the darkness of his father’s head.


Human Beings

“We can redream this world and make the dream come real. Human beings are gods hidden from themselves. ”
― Ben Okri, The Famished Road

Ben Okri

“One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.”
― Ben Okri, The Famished Road


“Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.”
― Ben Okri


“The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.”
― Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods


“This is what you must be like. Grow wherever life puts you down.”
― Ben Okri, The Famished Road