Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mary Oliver


(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

-Mary Oliver

May Sarton

Art is an undertaking in common, performed by solitary people.
-May Sarton, After The Stroke

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paul Theroux

Holding onto my saddle, I peered into the dusk at the worn-down and noseless face resting on crumbly forepaws, like a sand sculpture that had been rained on.
-Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari

The best travel is a leap in the dark. If the destination were familiar and friendly, what would be the point of going there?
-Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari

Ray Bradbury

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.
-Ray Bradbury

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
-Ray Bradbury

. . . FAREWELL SUMMER was embedded in all these memories and recollections. Writing it was a response to my ganglion and my antenna. I do not use my intellect to write my stories and books; I have a gut reaction to the things that my subconscious gives me. These are gifts that arrive early mornings and I get out of bed and hurry to the typewriter to get them down before they vanish.
-Ray Bradbury

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories - science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
-Ray Bradbury

I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can't really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, 'If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we'll talk.' All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don't want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.
-Ray Bradbury

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Thought flows in terms of stories - stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.
-Frank Smith

Vikram Chandra

Interviewer: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
I usually steal a line from Yeats and it goes, “Read what gives you pleasure, write what you must.” I think that’s pretty good advice. Read, read, read, and then explore your obsessions because I think that’s where the energy comes from. Especially when you want to do a novel because to sustain yourself through a longish project you really have to be, not just committed, but you have to be really interested in it. There’s nothing worse than starting something and then getting bored with it when you’re halfway through.
-Vikram Chandra

May Sarton

But the fact is I am always an outsider. . . It has its advantages. Solitude is better than being bored, after all. I am never bored, only in some sort of existential pain now and then - and who is not?
-May Sarton, After The Stroke

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Morning Dream

I dreamt I was meeting a childhood friend's wife for the first time. I was standing on their black asphalt driveway where neighborhood children were playing. The wife turned to me and said my baby doesn't like to be photographed. Then she wheeled a stroller over to me and I saw her baby seated inside. The baby was part elephant, part infant. I immediately squatted down and nonchalantly said hello, introducing the toddler to my dog Lily who was sitting beside me. The baby gripped my hand with her trunk. She had floppy elephant ears too. I wondered if this is what happens when you have children in your forties.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Painting

I have a new painting called Everyone is Left-Handed. It's up on my painting blog. Have a peek!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Heat Wave

Trying to sleep in a heat wave can be tough. Last night I tried this: I put a plastic bottle of water in the freezer. After it froze, I took it out and wrapped it in a damp washcloth. I rested the wrapped bottle on me as I lay on my back, placing it on my neck, chest, and abdomen, while the window fan blew air over me. It really cooled me down, allowing for a good night's sleep. During the day it helped to put a refrigerated damp washcloth on my neck, too. I have been simply hosing Lily down. After I towel her off a bit, she seems very comfortable lying on the cool linoleum floor in front of the fan.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Lotus in the Muddy Water

The pure lotus growing in muddy water is a metaphor for enlightenment. The lotus arises from all its impediments. It actually needs the impurity of the water for its nourishment. In the same way, in our own personal development, we can't just work with what we like about ourselves. We have to work with our muddy water. We have to work with our problems and hang-ups because that's where the action is.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions to the Cook

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Pema Chödrön

Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it's important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn't just ourselves that we're discovering. We're discovering the universe.
-Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

Perishables and Tangibles

My painting Perishables and Tangibles has just sold!

View the painting on my painting blog.

Fredrich Niezsche

God is a comedian performing before an audience that is afraid to laugh.
-Fredrich Niezsche

Bernard Glassman

Our tendency in life is to avoid things that frighten us. But in order to become whole, we need to go deeper and deeper into ourselves by reaching further and further into the things we fear.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

Determination doesn't have to be extreme or dramatic. But when you apply the heat of determination, things happen. A chemical reaction starts - the water boils or turns to steam, the rice cooks, the bread rises. You get up early in the morning to practice. . .
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

Just because you have a little [time] doesn't mean you should do nothing. You can always do something. And doing something, starting something, making a gesture in some direction always enlarges the amount of time. The more you, do the more time you have.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

It's very important to remember that we have to take care of our own life. We have to cook for ourselves before we can really invite guests to join us for dinner. We have to nourish ourselves first.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

When we learn how to cook for ourselves, though, we find that our vision and understanding of the self grows and expands. The smell of the food cooking and the warmth of the kitchen always invites people in. Even though it may seem as if we're cooking for ourselves, we're always cooking for everybody at the same time. This is because we are all interconnected. We are actually one body.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

Bat Dream

I dreamt I was asked to fill the yellow bathtub in my grandparents old apartment on Brighton Beach. I went into the bathroom to turn on the water and noticed a bat on the wall near the sink. When I looked closely at him I saw a little man with owl eyes. I was too afraid to start the bath water for fear the little man might be startled. I wondered, What if he has rabies?

Friday, July 02, 2010


If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy.

Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail.
-Richard Friedman

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.
-Jim Rohn

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.
-Maya Angelou

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
-Benjamin Franklin

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
-Jim Rohn

It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.
-George Lorimer

Elie Wiesel

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
-Elie Wiesel

Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.
-Elie Wiesel

A destruction, an annihilation that only man can provoke, only man can prevent.
-Elie Wiesel


Work can only be universal if it is rooted in a part of its creator which is most privately and particularly himself.
-Tyrone Guthrie

No, it's not a very good story - its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.
-Stephen King

I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead, and anyone who does not remember betrays them again.
-Elie Wiesel

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.
-Frank Zappa

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Maya Angelou

And were an epitaph to be my story I'd have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover's quarrel with the world.
-Robert Frost

The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
-Jimi Hendrix

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order.
-Jean-Luc Godard

If a man's fortune does not fit him, it is like the shoe in the story; if too large it trips him up, if too small it pinches him.

I sing seriously to my mom on the phone. To put her to sleep, I have to sing "Maria" from West Side Story. When I hear her snoring, I hang up.
-Adam Sandler

I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
-Edith Wharton

I'm just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I just try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people, from music, novels, the streets.
-Spike Lee

All directors are storytellers, so the motivation was to tell the story I wanted to tell. That's what I love.
-Spike Lee

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.
-Jules Renard

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
-Orson Welles

Thursday, July 01, 2010

George Carlin

I love people, I hate groups.
People are smart, groups are stupid.
-George Carlin


by Virgilio Pinera

The man goes to bed early but he cannot fall asleep. He turns and tosses. He twists the sheets. He lights a cigarette. He reads a bit. He puts out the light again. But he cannot sleep. At three in the morning he gets up. He calls on his friend next door and confides in him that he cannot sleep. He asks for advice. The friend suggests he take a walk and maybe he will tire himself out - then he should drink a cup of linden-tea and turn out the light. He does all these things but he does not manage to fall asleep. Again he gets up. This time he goes to see the doctor. As usual the doctor talks a good deal but in the end the man still cannot manage to sleep. At six in the morning he loads a revolver and blows out his brains. The man is dead but he is still unable to sleep. Insomnia is a very persistent thing.

-Virgilio Pinera, Translated from the Spanish by Alberto Manguel


Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
-William Strunk, The Elements of Style