Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bill Harley

The other day I was thinking about a Bill Harley monologue originally broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered.

One more lesson learned.

For the millionth time.

It's not about you. It never is about you.

-Bill Harley

Penelope Przekop

You create because that's what makes life bearable on a deep personal level, one that transcends even love. The people you love and who love you are supposed to be what makes life worth the effort, but I feed on something different.

Art makes love possible.

-Penelope Przekop

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Suit by Jon Frankel

Read Jon's vignette here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

When there is no anger inside, there is no enemy outside.

-Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Robot Poetry or Content Farm

Coffee machine awakens before she does. The slender woman in Spandex flits about in her Handi-Wipe world. Lovers linger on lipstick. Ice cubes rumble, sprinklers hiss, and she examines her white tile kitchen floor. Beet juice stuck in the grout. Never tile your kitchen floor white, she thought from her prone position. Her dog walks over and licks her toes.

Yellow Truck

I dreamed a friend of mine had aged a lot since I saw her last. I could see it in her face. She was still slender but her skin had lost some of its elasticity. She looked tired. She was going home and I was going that way so I took a lift from her. She was driving a HUGE yellow Suburban truck the color of the ones used by city workers. She tried to park it in the city parking lot so she could drive her flat-black low-rider truck home to Cranston. As she tried to maneuver the big yellow vehicle through the lot she scraped against the other vehicles. There were no available parking spaces large enough so she gave up and we traveled in the big yellow Suburban. She drove very fast and I was worried. I was in the back seat wincing. I looked up and I noticed beige, white, and black leotards and tights stashed in a slash in the vehicle's ceiling. I figured she had them there for easy stretch relief.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dare to Fail

The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to. As an artist, I feel that we must try many things -- but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be bad -- to be willing to risk everything to really express it all.
-John Cassavetes

A Place to Stand in Ourselves

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves where we can look at all that's happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.
—Ram Dass

Many Paths

The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can't be organized or regulated. It isn't true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.
—Ram Dass

We are All

We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.
—Ram Dass

The Beloved

When we see the Beloved in each person, it's like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us.
—Ram Dass

Use It!

Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation.
Use it!

—Ram Dass

Ram Dass

Every religion is the product of the conceptual mind attempting to describe the mystery.
—Ram Dass

I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion--and where it isn't, that's where my work lies.
—Ram Dass

In our relationships, how much can we allow them to become new, and how much do we cling to what they used to be yesterday?
—Ram Dass

The next message you need is always right where you are.
—Ram Dass

Some of Us

Some of us presented with a door still must enter a room through the ceiling.

Community Garden

I just went to the library with Lily to return books. Then I walked next door to the community garden. Nobody was there. I watered the beds using the big plastic watering can floating in the rain barrel. I found a huge Styrofoam soda cup and gave Lily water in it. I watered a few beds, mine and other people's, and then on my way out I picked a few basil leaves and dill weed from someone's plot, pretending I was the neighborhood woodchuck. When I got home I rinsed the leaves, snipped them with scissors, and added them to my cucumber yogurt salad. I also added the thinly sliced beets I had cooked this morning and the whole salad turned pink! I'm communing with my borscht-eating ancestors. Speaking of which I think I'll make German potato salad this afternoon (potatoes pressure-cooked with mustard, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, celery seed, and a pinch of salt and sugar) and return some more books.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Russian Women Prove It's Hip To Be A Babushka

by David Greene NPR

Dr. Temple Grandin

I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me.

-Dr. Temple Grandin

Half a Cake

Today is my half birthday. I am going to make a carrot cake with home made yogurt frosting for my band mates to eat with me. How does one bake half a cake? A delicious physics problem.

Ram Dass

Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.
—Ram Dass

The game is not about becoming somebody, it's about becoming nobody.
—Ram Dass

Ram Dass

All spiritual practices are illusions created by illusionists to escape illusion.
—Ram Dass

It's only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.
—Ram Dass

When we're identified with Awareness, we're no longer living in a world of polarities. Everything is present at the same time.
—Ram Dass

What the word God means is the mystery really. It's the mystery that we face as humans the mystery of existence, of suffering and of death.
—Ram Dass

Ram Dass

As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can't see how it is.
—Ram Dass

Let's trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let's lay down our righteousness and just be together.
—Ram Dass

In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.
—Ram Dass

The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.
—Ram Dass

Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.
—Ram Dass

I'm not interested in being a "lover." I'm interested in only being love.
—Ram Dass

If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.
—Ram Dass

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Drop

Tonight I have to take my huge pile of books over to the book drop. I am a little crazy when it comes to how many books I borrow from the public library each week.

I remember I borrowed, stashed and hoarded books from Mrs. Haggerty's first grade class at Murray Avenue School. I was six years old. My mother would gather up all of the books and bring them back to school. I was so ashamed. But now I am proud.

Mark Twain

There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.
-Mark Twain

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
-Mark Twain

Temple Grandin

I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.
—Temple Grandin

Woonsocket On It

Any clothing that has Woonsocket printed on it is appealing to me. I think a company called Woonsocket On It would be very cool. I love baseball team T-shirts. I wish I had one that said Woonsocket on it.


Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?
By SUSAN CAIN New York Times

Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer is my favorite children's book writer and illustrator. Check out this fabulous article published in the Boston Phoenix this week. The return of Tomi Ungerer By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON

Domestic Pollution

Dryer sheets cause cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's, and asthma!

Okay, now will people stop using them? I wish. Dryer sheets are a never-ending source of urban and suburban pollution. Their dreadful "fresh" scents, smelling like baby powder or cedar shavings, stink up the neighborhood. In the spring and summer I can't open my kitchen windows, and in the winter the smell seeps into my dining room! I wish consumers would consider buying an unscented brand, or better yet skip this purchase altogether and go green by hanging their clothes on the line. I adore clotheslines. Maybe if the scent was something fabulous, like the smell of roasted coffee, baked bread, fresh hay, or sauteed garlic and onions, I wouldn't mind so much.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Urban Wasteland

The Dollar Store has a few broken shopping carts in the parking lot, a sea of wasted asphalt. Larger-than-life cardboard pictures of beach balls and gallons of milk are taped to the smudged plate glass windows. There's a beige motorboat chained out front for toddlers. If you put in 75 cents, it jerks back and forth.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

For the bow cannot stand always bent, nor can human nature or human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.

-Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra


Merriam Webster Dictionary Definition of FUGITIVE
1. running away or intending flight a fugitive slave a fugitive debtor
2. moving from place to place : wandering
3. a : being of short duration b : difficult to grasp or retain : elusive
c : likely to evaporate, deteriorate, change, fade, or disappear dyed with fugitive colors
4. being of transient interest
— fu·gi·tive·ly adverb
— fu·gi·tive·ness noun

Examples of FUGITIVE

1. As he daydreamed, fugitive thoughts passed through his mind.
2. that fugitive trait called artistic creativity

Origin of FUGITIVE
Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French fugitif, from Latin fugitivus, from fugitus, past participle of fugere to flee; akin to Greek pheugein to flee
First Known Use: 14th century
Related to FUGITIVE
Synonyms: evasive, elusive, slippery

Milliner Mechanic

I dreamed an auto mechanic moved to town but none of the women trusted him because they didn't know anything about him or how their cars worked. So the mechanic tapped into one of his other skills. For years he had been a milliner making women's hats. The mechanic returned to making ladies hats and displayed them in the automotive shop's waiting room while he continued to work on cars. Soon he developed an following for his daring and colorful hats and the women in town became known for their custom made hats and tuned up engines.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuscan Proverb

An olive won't ripen any quicker, however much you mess around with it.

-Tuscan proverb


When the remedy you have offered
only increases the disease,
then leave him who will not be cured,
and tell your story
to someone who seeks the truth.


Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
-Dr. Joyce Brothers

Ram Dass

The secret isn't that you're not being told.
The secret is that you're not able to hear.
-Ram Dass

Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we're so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.
-Ram Dass

Do what you can on this plane to relieve suffering by constantly working on yourself to be an instrument for the cessation of suffering. To me, that's what the emerging game is all about.
-Ram Dass

Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor

I spent the past few days reading a fabulous book that I feel applies to teaching and painting and living in the world. I must buy a copy to refer to again.
Quotes from Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor

On your career:

Don't get lost in the fantasy of how your career should be. It's good to have heroes and inspiration, but not good to compare yourself to others, and the career progressions of others. Each person's path will be different.

On nervousness:

Remember that your audience means a lot more to you than you mean to them. Your performance is more than likely one small part of their whole time out. They may have been out to dinner, may be celebrating a birthday, may be talking closely with friends. If you don't perform at your all-time best, it will not matter to the audience, especially not nearly as much as it matters to you.

Sometimes the worst does happen, and in spite of your best efforts and wishes, you wind up being absolutely awful. This is normal. Don't be so hard on yourself.

On the audience:

They want attention, and they want to feel that their presence is special to you, that it makes a difference in the course of events that make up your show. They want to believe you are glad to be with them. If you're focused on yourself and caught up in nervousness, you're taking attention away from your audience- the attention they want and deserve...Their attention is a gift. Don't throw it away. Even if you think you don't deserve it, receive it graciously.

Look at, and pay attention to, your audience.

If you are tense, your audience will be tense too, and will become exhausted.

Expect that the unexpected will often happen. Work with material that is basic enough to your skill level that, if an unexpected event occurs, you will be able to respond to the event, while still maintaining your composure.

The performer has the absolute right to be on stage. The audience also has the right to not like what the performer is doing. Sometimes people will love what you do, other times not like it at all. Just do your best at the time, and be patient, and enjoy performing to the end of your show.

Ask yourself where you can add to the audience's enjoyment. If you do something once and the audience likes it, do it again. If they don't like it, don't do it again.

Be patient.

Let your audience know when it's time to respond.

Periodically you need to be still, or at least slow down, as with dancers, or your audience will become tired out.

It's okay to be human on stage...They love you to be normal, to make a mistake, acknowledge it, smile, shake your head slightly, forgive yourself, and move on.

The key to your success lies in making your audience comfortable.

Do not beat yourself up for not being 100 percent. Do the best you can with what you have at the time.

Do not rush the music. This tells the audience you are nervous.

Accept compliments graciously.

Livingston Taylor

I spent a lot of time refilling the well, teaching myself, exploring songwriting and studying the great detail of the great songwriters—Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin, Cole Porter. I got all their sheet music and read through it, which was an adventure and re-exploration of great writing. I also needed to teach myself to play piano better. Eventually that came to this record. It took a year and a half to make, and it was a huge project. Many of the songs I recorded and re-recorded; some of them I recorded three times. I knew it was going to take its own time, and it was ready when it was ready.
-Livingston Taylor

I was lecturing high school students, which couldn't have been further way from the world where I came from. I was racking my brain as to how to get through to them and looked throughout the room to find a group of white students and then a core of African-American students all sitting together. I started talking about music as if they were ready to be in the music business. I told them before they got rich and famous, they'd have to be creative and take one step at a time towards it. I asked them, "Are you ready to take it step by step?" So with that desire to find a way to communicate across the broad gulf of age and culture, I created the song's main character—someone who loved getting in and out of trouble. I had to be careful not to get him into such terrible straits that redemption wouldn't be possible, so I set it up as kid who got drunk and was driving a stolen car.
-Livingston Taylor

There are certain things we carry onto stage that we can't hide—ethnicity, gender, our age—those things are pretty tough to hide. People see old and white, and I can't change that. That said, I'm not going on stage to talk about what I believe. I'm on stage to be in the company of my beautiful audience that supports me, and I don't want to preach to them.
-Livingston Taylor

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Livingston Taylor

The universe is neither for you nor against you. It's completely indifferent. Do yourself a favor. Watch the universe instead of waiting for the universe to watch you. At the very least, you'll have more fun.

-Livingston Taylor, Stage Performance

Sunday, June 19, 2011

José Julián Martí Pérez

We light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it.
-José Julián Martí Pérez (1853-1895)

Oscar Hijuelos Interview

A Simple Habana Melody

Bobby McFerrin Interview

Catching Song a radio interview with Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin from On Being Sunday June 19 wgbh radio

Bobby McFerrin’s Daily Singing Exercise

Bobby McFerrin’s Daily Singing Exercise
by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer for ON BEING, WGBH radio

The musician Bobby McFerrin describes the art and act of improvisation as “simply motion, just the courage to keep moving.” In the audio above (from this week’s show “Catching Song”), he offers a three-week challenge for building improvisational muscles and describes how it works. Here are the steps:

Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Open up your mouth and sing.
Don’t stop for 10 minutes.
Do this every day for three weeks.
Sounds pretty simple, right? McFerrin, however, warns that every inch, atom, and molecule of your being will want to bail. Self-judgment will creep in. But don’t falter. Keep going. McFerrin holds open the tantalizing promise that, in a few short weeks, you’ll see a change.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oscar Hijuelos

Despite the strange baggage that I carried about my upbringing, and despite the relative loss of my first language, I eventually came to the point that, when I heard Spanish, I found my heart warming. And that was the moment when I began to look through another window, not out onto 118th Street, but into myself — through my writing, the process by which, for all my earlier alienation, I had finally returned home.

-Oscar Hijuelos, New York Times, Lost in Time and Words, a Child Begins Anew

Thursday, June 16, 2011

William Shakespeare

And since you know you cannot see yourself,
so well as by reflection, I, your glass,
will modestly discover to yourself,
that of yourself which you yet know not of.

-William Shakespeare, Julius Ceaesar

Martin Luther King Jr

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

-Martin Luther King Jr., The Measure of a Man

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Émile François Zola

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
-Émile François Zola

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

High-Wire Man

Great article in today's NYT

Street-Level High-Wire Man By Melina Ryzik

“I am a madman!” Philippe Petit announced, and who’s to disagree?

Philippe Petit

by Emily Lisker

Philippe Petit was the only news
that made it into the brick fortress
where I spent my childhood.
I was fascinated and amazed
by an acrobat performing
on a high wire strung
between the very tops
of the Twin Towers!
Not my Mother and Father,
those immovable pillars,
who were unaware of the acrobat
suspended between them.

Philippe Petit

On the wire I want to inspire people, not prove to them that I am stronger or more courageous than them.

-Philippe Petit

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Harry Crews Interview

. . . I was up at four, and wrote till eight and then it was off to the gym. The calendar says I'm 62, but my mind tells me I'm 20, and we gotta work that out one of these days, or I'm gonna kill myself.

I decided a long time ago—very long time ago—that getting up at four o'clock to start work works best for me. I like that. Some people don't like to get up in the morning. I like to get up in the morning. And there's no place to go at four o'clock in the morning, and nobody's gonna call you, and you can't call anybody. Back when I was a drunk, at least in this little town, there's no place to go buy anything to drink. So it was just me and the writing board.

So, I write until eight or eight-thirty, then I go over to the gym and work out on the weights for a couple hours, then I go to the karate dojo and, as a rule, spar with a guy who consistently whups my ass.

I write on a great big square board. sit in a big overstuffed chair with this board on my lap, put a legal pad on top of that and write long hand. After that's done, at some point I run it through a typewriter that's older than I am—but it's a beautiful machine, great action, huge keys, I love it—and then when I get through with that, I put it through the computer to revise, which is the only thing . . . I dunno . . . the only thing a computer is good for is to revise. Because, as you very well know, none of us need to go faster, we all need to go slower. I first among them.

But the computer is a godsend for revisions. I don't quite understand how we did it before we had the computer. I seem to remember a lot of tape and scissors.

-Listening to Harry Crews, By Jim Knipfel

Harry Crews

Cars make no sense to me. There's a line I wrote in an essay: What kind of sense does it make for a 113 pound housewife to get in a 5,000 pound machine to drive three blocks for a 13-ounce loaf of bread?
-Harry Crews

E. E. Cummings

Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill’s


who used to ride a watersmooth-silver


and break onetwothreefourfive pigeons justlikethat


he was a handsome man

and what I want to know is

how do you like your blue-eyed boy

Mister Death

-E.E. Cummings

Flannery O'Connor

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs as you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind, you draw large and startling figures.

-Flannery O'Connor, The Fiction Writer & His Country

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi

The construction of the Statue of Liberty was originally envisioned while Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the architect, was visiting the country of Egypt. That is the place where he saw the construction of Suez Canal and was also the same place where he got his inspiration and motivation to build a colossal statue one day.

For this project, he sought the assistance of Gustave Eiffel, a French engineer who also designed the world-renowned Eiffel Tower, for the proper designing of the Liberty's structure and form.

Christian D. Larson

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you greater than any obstacle.

-Christian D. Larson

Dr. Patrick Gentempo

What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think.

-Dr. Patrick Gentempo

C.S. Lewis

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

-C.S. Lewis

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Stephan Hoeller

A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.

-Stephan Hoeller

Hellen Keller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

-Helen Keller

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.

-Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Reinhold Niebuhr

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Purple Cow

Our Mulberry tree is bursting with berries. Soon Lily will be all purple. She'll be my purple cow!

Bat Cave

I just had a 90 minute nap. When we get up at four after going to bed at eight I still need a nap! I hang a dark fabric over the window so it feels like night. Napping gives me two mornings. I am going to find really cool black fabric to make a black out curtain, for my bat cave. I always need to nap in summer because I get up before the birds.

Friday and Saturday

Lily was a hit at Mrs Roberts' first grade class at Harris Elementary School in Woonsocket on Friday. I walked Lily there in the afternoon, and she sat in the art room, posing, while the kids drew portraits of her with her tongue hanging out. Then she drank lots of water from the big enamel bowl and the students giggled. The kids took turns giving her dog treats out of my little Altoids tin, holding their hands flat so Lily's mouth wouldn't bump into their fingers.

I can't wait to go back again. I loved seeing the kids and their drawings.

We had a fabulous day performing as The Munroe Dairy Marching Band in the Gaspee Days Parade yesterday. The historic outfits in this parade are always amazing to see. It's a real fashion show. The day was lovely and cool with an overcast drizzle.

Mood Management

Engage creatively: write and paint and play music.

Exercise daily: walk or dance or swim.

Don't pushing the mood further: when high, don't try to go higher; when low, don't drive yourself lower.

Sleep regularly: keep track of your hours of sleep; resist the urge to mess with your sleep habits; take naps.

Eat regularly; don't skip meals.

Find support: talk to supportive partners and other people who understand strong mood cycles.

Look for patterns: mood cycles aren't arbitrary; keep a mood diary or calendar.

Recognize inherited family patterns.

Examine your beliefs: high mood doesn't equal good; low mood doesn't equal bad.

Embrace your moods: let them come and go; find the benefits and drawbacks of both the high and the low.

Cool Interior

Sometimes when I get up in the night and open my refrigerator in the dark kitchen I marvel at the luminosity of this cool interior city in my kitchen's universe. I arrange the shelves. I place the cauliflower next to the broccoli up above, and admire the apples and carrots, visible through the clear plastic drawers below. I love the glass bottles of milk and the jar of orange juice and the half gallon of home-made yogurt, cathedrals of sustenance standing on Main Street beside the City Hall of bagged spinach. The eggs nestle beside the celery beneath the cold clear city street.

French Radio

I am addicted to listening to all the French-speaking radio stations of the world on the Internet! It's cheap travel.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Clown

In essence the clown is a character who helps us keep in touch with the sacred part of ourselves. The clown takes our deepest human weaknesses and makes them funny. The clown is also an anarchist. The clown gets to break the rules.
-Daivd Shiner, Cirque du Soleil

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gretel Ehrlich

It had occurred to me that comfort was only a disguise for discomfort; reference points, a disguise for what will always change.

-Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

Marcel Proust

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
-Marcel Proust

Practical Magic

All I want is a normal life.
My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!

-Practical Magic


Although the upper middle class believes it to be true, travel isn't inherently virtuous.

Niels Bohr

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may be another profound truth.
-Niels Bohr

John Lilly

In the province of the mind, what one belives to be true is either true or becomes true
-John Lilly

René Magritte

My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.

-René Magritte


A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.

A lover tries to stand in well with the pet dog of the house.

Ice Bicycle

It was hot and humid today and as I bicycled across town holding onto my straw hat I kept thinking I want to do this again in the winter, on the snowy icy roads.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Every society needs individuals who will go on planting mango trees, without thinking whether they will get to eat the fruits or not.
-Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Chinese Proverb

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
-Chinese proverb

Malay Proverb

Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root.
-Malay proverb

Joyce Kilmer

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer, Trees


Do not be afraid to go out on a limb ... That's where the fruit is.


The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.


In a moment the ashes are made, but the forest is a long time growing.

Charles Darwin

Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man. No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body.
-Charles Darwin

Theodore Roosevelt

A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great or beautiful cathedral.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Mahatma Gandhi

What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Cree Indian Saying

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.
-Cree Indian saying

Dr. Seuss

I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
-Dr. Seuss

Arab Proverb

It is good to know the truth, but it is better to speak of palm trees.
-Arab proverb

Rabindranath Tagore

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
-Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, June 09, 2011

April Lindner

Learning to Float

by April Lindner

Relax. It's like love. Keep your lips
moist and parted, let your upturned hands
unfold like water lilies, palms exposed.

Breathe deeply, slowly. Forget chlorine
and how the cement bottom was stained
blue so the water looks clear

and Caribbean. Ignore the drowned mosquitoes,
the twigs that gather in the net
of your hair. The sun is your ticket,

your narcotic, blessing your chin,
the floating islands of your knees.
Shut your eyes and give yourself

to the pulsating starfish, purple and red,
that flicker on your inner lids.
Hallucination is part of the process,

like amnesia. Forget how you learned
to swim, forget being told
Don't panic. Don't worry. Let go

of my neck. It's only water. Don't think
unless you're picturing Chagall,
his watercolors of doves and rooftops,

lovers weightless as tissue,
gravity banished, the dissolving voices
of violins and panpipes. The man's hand

circles the woman's wrist so loosely,
what moors her permits her to float,
and she rises past the water's skin,

above verandas and the tossing heads
of willows. Her one link to earth,
his light-almost reluctant-touch, is a rope

unfurling, slipping her past the horizon,
into the cloud-stirring current. This far up,
what can she do but trust he won't let her go?

-April Lindner, from SKIN

Elizabeth Bowen

I am sure that in nine out of ten cases the original wish to write is the wish to make oneself felt. It's a sign, I suppose, of life's decreasing livableness as life that people should feel it possible to make themselves felt in so few other ways. The non-essential writer never gets past that wish.
-Elizabeth Bowen

Louise Erdrich

The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough.
-Louise Erdrich

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Si Kahn

Aragon Mill

At the east end of town
At the foot of the hill
There's a chimney so tall
It says Aragon Mill.

But there's no smoke at all
Coming out of the stack
For the mill has shut down
And is never coming back.

And the only tune I hear
Is the sound of the wind
As she blows through the town
Weave and spin, weave and spin.

There's no children playing
In the dark narrow streets
And the loom has shut down
It's so quiet I can't sleep.

The mill has shut down
'twas the only life I know
Tell me where will I go
Tell me where will I go.

And the only tune I hear
Is the sound of the wind
As she blows through the town
Weave and spin, weave and spin.

I'm too old to work
And I'm too young to die
Tell me where will I go now
My family and I.

-Sy Kahn

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Albert Einstein

One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.
-Albert Einstein

Monday, June 06, 2011

Half a Cake

My college pal Jennifer had a roommate named Alice, a true Southern Belle. I had never encountered anyone like her before. She told many stories of her wonderful upbringing, and of her loving father. For instance, when she was a child she would be given half a cake on her half birthday. We had absolutely nothing in common, especially the devoted father. She was a fascinating, exotic creature, just like Vivienne Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire, my favorite Tennessee Williams play.

Clifford Odets

Life shouldn't be printed on dollar bills.
-Clifford Odets

One night some short weeks ago, for the first time in her not always happy life, Marilyn Monroe's soul sat down alone to a quiet supper from which it did not rise.
-Clifford Odets

If they tell you that she died of sleeping pills you must know that she died of a wasting grief, of a slow bleeding at the soul.
-Clifford Odets

Sex - the poor man's polo.
-Clifford Odets

There are two kinds of marriages - where the husband quotes the wife and where the wife quotes the husband.
-Clifford Odets

Clifford Odets

I heard Clifford Odets Awake and Sing performed on the radio last night!
I stayed in the dark and listened imagining the whole production.

The play is set in The Bronx in 1933; it concerns the impoverished Berger family and their conflicts as the parents scheme to manipulate their children's relationships to their own ends, while their children strive for their own dreams.

Make a break or spend the rest of your life in a coffin.

-Clifford Odets, Awake and Sing

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Rose Reading in Rhode Island

Daniel Asa Rose speaking this Thursday June 9th at 6 PM at The Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport RI.

Rose is author of Larry's Kidney, Hiding Places, Small Family with Rooster and Flipping for It.

The Redwood Library and Athenæum is the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use in the country.

The Present

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
-Eckhart Tolle

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. But if there's one thing of which I'm sure, it's that. Moving into the present moment is always the answer--for real peace that is often illusive or at best temporary as we move in and out of the mental noise. As the man says, pretend there's no past nor future--there isn't, everything that happened or will happen, was or will be in the present moment. Easier said than done, don't we know ...
-Dominic Allan

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Bathing Beauties on Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts - 1907 Postcard

Back then they wore knee length dresses and wool tights into the sea.
Too bad it's not still the fashion - those of us with fair skin and physical shyness would benefit.
Perhaps on my next trip to the ocean I will wear my tights and antique dress.
The dress is ancient, and once belonged to a Catholic School teacher.
There are small weights in the hem to keep the dress from lifting in the wind and carrying the teacher away.
It would definitely have caused her to sink in the sea.


Writers end up writing stories--or rather, stories' shadows--and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough.
-Joy Williams

I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.
-Anne Tyler

Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig.
-Stephen Greenblatt

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.
-John Edgar Wideman

In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.
-Denise Levertov

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
-E.L. Doctorow

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
-E.L. Doctorow

Let's face it, writing is hell.
-William Styron

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-Thomas Mann

Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.
-Paul Rudnick

Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.
-Padget Powell

Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.
-Shelby Foote

I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.
-William Carlos Williams

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.
-Iris Murdoch

The less conscious one is of being 'a writer,' the better the writing.
-Pico Iyer

Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.
-Pico Iyer

Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.
-Anthony Powell

I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.
-Michael Cunningham

Raja Rao

Writing is my dharma.

-Raja Rao

Thursday, June 02, 2011

André Gide

Please do not understand me too quickly.
-André Gide

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
-André Gide

Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and thus make yourself indispensable.
-André Gide

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
-André Gide

Dare to be yourself.
-André Gide

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
-André Gide

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.
-André Gide

Obtain from yourself all that makes complaining useless. No longer implore from others what you yourself can obtain.
-André Gide

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
-André Gide

So long as we live among men, let us cherish humanity.
-André Gide

The most decisive actions of our life - I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future - are, more often than not, unconsidered.
-André Gide

There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, 'It all depends on me.'
-André Gide

Work and struggle and never accept an evil that you can change.
-André Gide