Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meryl Streep

Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.
― Meryl Streep

I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.
― Meryl Streep

Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.
― Meryl Streep

The formula of happiness and success is just, being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can.
― Meryl Streep

I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.
― Meryl Streep

I like who I am now. Other people may not. I'm comfortable. I feel freer now. I don't want growing older to matter to me.
― Meryl Streep

No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man…' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.
― Meryl Streep


The car whether it is a tank or a pod is a metaphor for the separate self. The home is an ego-fortress with the front lawn as its moat. Home decor is one's stage set. This was how I grew up in suburbia and I hated it.

As a pedestrian in the city I have daily opportunities to cultivate my relationships with my community. Yesterday when walking to the market to buy onions I stopped three times to converse with my neighbors. Being efficient has a price I'm not willing to pay.

Dog Nirvana

Dogs possess a quality that's rare among humans--the ability to make you feel valued just by being you--and it was something of a miracle to me to be on the receiving end of all that acceptance. The dog didn't care what I looked like, or what I did for a living, or what a train wreck of a life I'd led before I got her, or what we did from day to day. She just wanted to be with me, and that awareness gave me a singular sensation of delight. I kept her in a crate at night until she was housebroken, and in the mornings I'd let her up onto the bed with me. She'd writhe with joy at that. She'd wag her tail and squirm all over me, lick my neck and face and eyes and ears, get her paws all tangled in my braid, and I'd just lie there, and I'd feel those oceans of loss from my past ebbing back, ebbing away, and I'd hear myself laugh out loud.
― Caroline Knapp, Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs

Fitness is Good Medicine


Robot Tongue


Monday, September 29, 2014

Spindles and Slats

The happy house on the corner of Oak Hill Ave have their Christmas tree up along with their Halloween pumpkins. Their landlord replaced part of their porch with wooden slats and one section will remain as the traditional curvy white spindles.

Dinnerplate Dahlias on Salisbury Street

I took a walk this morning and spotted a yard full of colorful dahlias. I felt like I had landed in OZ.

Spaulding Gray


Television Land

Last night I saw our 1959 Thermador oven on Columbo. I remember as a kid when I saw our Flair oven on Bewitched, and I was so excited. I never paid full attention to the plots but I was always curious about what paintings were hanging on the walls. I do remember that The Brady Bunch had a few Degas in their upstairs hallway and Lucy and Ricky had a country house with a big stone fireplace. I still get distracted by the decor and whether a character forgot his hat on the chair. At night when I am walking my dog the neighborhood becomes a series of lit up doll houses with framed pictures on the wall, and the blue green flickering of TV's.

Hello Broccoli

This weekend a family grocery has just opened on the corner of Diamond Hill Road and Social Street. There are seven plate glass windows filled with produce, and paper towels. We can walk there!

I get sad on Sundays, the family day when we were small we used to spend the day around the table eating and listening to my grandparents and step-father tell stories.

I am glad I live in the city. I walk everywhere and on sad days it's the little "hello's" that save me.

Kay Ryan

Things Shouldn't Be So Hard

A life should leave
deep tracks:
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
white pastilles;
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
almost erased.
Her things should
keep her marks.
The passage
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space—
however small—
should be left scarred
by the grand and
damaging parade.
Things shouldn’t
be so hard.

-Kay Ryan


As some people age
they kinden.
The apertures
of their eyes widen.
I do not think they weaken;
I think something weak strengthens
until they are more and more it,
like letting in heaven.
But other people are
mussels or clams, frightened.
Steam or knife blades mean open.
They hear heaven, they think boiled or broken.

-Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (New York: Grove Press, 2010).

Dizzy Gillespe

Artists are always in the vanguard of social change, but we didn't go out and make speeches or say, ‘Let's play eight bars of protest.' We just played our music and let it go at that. The music proclaimed our identity; it made every statement we truly wanted to make.
- Dizzy Gillespe

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Margaret Meade

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Meade

Wendy Rasmussen

Modern love story.

Martha Weinman Lear

Women reporting the same symptoms as men were at least twice as likely to receive — no surprise here — a psychiatric diagnosis.

It’s good to be informed, not terrified. It sounds like something cross-stitched on a sampler. In my mind’s eye, it is a sampler, hanging sweetly, safely, on the wall by my bed.


Inward Episodes

Sometimes I imagine life itself as merely a long preparation and waiting, a long darkness of growth toward these adventures of the spirit, a picaresque novel, so to speak, in which the episodes are all inward.
― May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

A Reckoning

Laura opened her eyes, feeling like a stranger in her own garden. But if she was a stranger here, where was home? And who was she herself now? The real panic was a loss of identity, for she seemed inextricably woven into her body's weakness and discomfort, into her struggling sick lungs. What essence was there to be separated from her hand, her flesh, her bones. Laura lifted her hand, so thin it had become transparent. Is this I? This leaflike thing, falling away, falling away, this universe of molecules disintegrating, this miracle about to be transformed into nothingness.
― May Sarton, A Reckoning: A Novel

Griefs so Loud

There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
None knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
There are old griefs so proud
They never speak a word;
They never can be mended.
And these nourish the will
And keep it iron-hard.
― May Sarton, Selected Poems


“...Failure cannot be erased. It is built in to a life and helps us grow. Failure cannot be erased, but it can be understood.

Most people carry around a load of feeling that they bury or pretend is not there because it is too painful and alarming to cope with or because it involved unbearable guilt. Anger against a parent, for example.

I knew the tide of woe was rising, that woe that seizes me like anger, and is a form of anger, and I didn’t know what to do to stop it, so I got up and picked flowers, cooked my dinner, looked at the news, all the same usual routine that can ward off the devils or suddenly clear the air as when a thunderstorm seems to be coming and then dissipates….it always happens when there is a galaxy of problems that get knit together into one huge outcry against the sense of being abandoned or orphanhood…”
― May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal

The Mystic

The creative person, the person who moves from an irrational source of power, has to face the fact that this power antagonizes. Under all the superficial praise of the "creative" is the desire to kill. It is the old war between the mystic and the nonmystic, a war to the death.
― May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

Think Like a Hero

One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.
― May Sarton

New Wings

The more our bodies fail us, the more naked and more demanding is the spirit, the more open and loving we can become if we are not afraid of what we are and of what we feel. I am not a phoenix yet, but here among the ashes, it may be that the pain is chiefly that of new wings trying to push through.
― May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal

Bedrock of Truth

It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.
― May Sarton


I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged, damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.
― May Sarton

Imitate the Trees

I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep.... Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
― May Sarton


I loved them all the way one loves at any age -- if it's real at all -- obsessively, painfully, with wild exultation, with guilt, with conflict; I wrote poems to and about them, I put them into novels (disguised of course); I brooded upon why they were as they were, so often maddening don't you know? I wrote them ridiculous letters. I lived with their faces. I knew their every gesture by heart. I stalked them like wild animals. I studied them as if they were maps of the world -- and in a way I suppose they were.
― May Sarton

One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?
― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Words are Powerful

Words are more powerful than perhaps anyone suspects, and once deeply engraved in a child's mind, they are not easily eradicated.
― May Sarton

May Sarton

A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless.
― May Sarton

For any writer who wants to keep a journal, be alive to everything, not just to what you're feeling, but also to your pets, to flowers, to what you're reading.
― May Sarton

Half the World

If art is not to be life-enhancing, what is it to be? Half the world is feminine--why is there resentment at a female-oriented art? Nobody asks The Tale of Genji to be masculine! Women certainly learn a lot from books oriented toward a masculine world. Why is not the reverse also true? Or are men really so afraid of women's creativity (because they are not themselves at the center of creation, cannot bear children) that a woman writer of genius evokes murderous rage, must be brushed aside with a sneer as 'irrelevant'?
― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

May Sarton

I can tell you that solitude
Is not all exaltation, inner space
Where the soul breathes and work can be done.
Solitude exposes the nerve,
Raises up ghosts.
The past, never at rest, flows through it.
― May Sarton


The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become.
― May Sarton

May Sarton

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.
― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Shunryu Suzuki

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.
- Shunryu Suzuki


I dreamed I was playing with a black and tan coon hound puppy. It was still tiny with long floppy ears and four mandalas on its belly. I was falling in love with him.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Mystery

Twice I have passed the black high heeled open-toed velvet left shoe next to the telephone pole. I want to know what happened.

Rumi Mood

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
― Rumi

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
― Rumi

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
― Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
― Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
― Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi

What you seek is seeking you.
― Rumi


We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
― Anaïs Nin


I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don't know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my 'idea of them'.
― Anaïs Nin

When you Surrender

When you surrender, the problem ceases to exist. Try to solve it, or conquer it, and you only set up more resistance. I am very certain now that, as I said therein, if I truly become what I wish to be, the burden will fall away. The most difficult thing to admit, and to realize with one’s whole being, is that you alone control nothing.
― Henry Miller, A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953

Sheds ones Sickness

One sheds ones sickness in books- repeats and presents again ones emotions, to be master of them.
― D.H. Lawrence

With a Book

You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes.
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary


At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Courage and Marmalade

The only rule is, do what you really, impulsively, wish to do. But always act on your own responsibility, sincerely. And have the courage of your own strong emotion.
― D.H. Lawrence

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred orange and scrub the floor.
― D.H. Lawrence

Into the Forest Again

The living self has one purpose only: to come into its own fullness of being.
― D.H. Lawrence, Selected Essays

When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.
― D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence

It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

Sleep on a Board

A woman unsatisfied must have luxuries. But a woman who loves a man would sleep on a board.
― D.H. Lawrence

Gustave Flaubert

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
― Gustave Flaubert

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.
― Gustave Flaubert

It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.
― Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education

One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.
― Gustave Flaubert

Melt the Stars

Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Sonny Gibbs

For 23 years Sonny Gibbs sold flowers and taught chess at the southwest corner.Story

Even in Siberia

Even in Siberia there is happiness.
― Anton Chekhov

Notebook of Anton Chekhov

If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry.
― Anton Chekhov, Notebook of Anton Chekhov

Anton's Letter to Nickolay

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...)

2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...)

3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.

4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...)

5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...)

6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard phrases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...)

7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...)

8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano.

And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.

[From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
― Anton Chekhov, A Life in Letters

Wear Black

When asked, "Why do you always wear black?", he said, "I am mourning for my life."
― Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov

You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you.
― Anton Chekhov

Lawful Wife and Mistress

Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other.
― Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov

What a fine weather today! Can’t choose whether to drink tea or to hang myself.
― Anton Chekhov

Tight as a Drum

I have a roll of pre-primed canvas that I used over a large stretcher. It seemed to be a bit saggy in spite of using canvas pliers and staple-gun. I read online that I should spray the back with water and so I tried it and immediately the canvas tightened. It's tight as a drum!


Thursday I was feeling sorry for myself, that I failed the assistant librarian test, that I am dumb, that I have no friends, never have had any. Loneliness and bad voices were filling my thoughts.

Friday I noticed the variety store hung new colorful triangular streamers and tacked up large red and blue cloth signs out front. I gave into my introverted mood and read my favorite passages of May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude and some of E.B. White's essays from One Man's Meat. I walked a few short walks with Lily. I waved to people sitting in benches under the tree rather than stop and talk. I drank lots of tea with milk and honey and I finally finished stretching the big canvas.

I told myself I make books not shelve them!

When the sun set I could see that my neighbors put up their Christmas tree decorated with shiny read balls and the living room walls were decorated with garlands. We're a month away from Halloween. Maybe its a comfort to them to have Christmas last three months. I would prefer to not have it at all.

Last night it was warm and all the neighborhood teens were out shouting and hanging out on the wall under the yellow streetlight. It was technicolor hues reenacting West Side Story.

I dreamed I was wearing ice skates while walking Lily. I knew this was going to dull the blades. Kids were out of school playing ice hockey in the street with firemen.

People still ask me about my missing straw hat. It is dearly missed. Especially today, when it will be 80 degrees.

Fractions of Time

I think my secret is to use bits and fractions of time. I trained myself to do that. Anybody can do it. I could write sitting in surrogate's court answering calendar call.
-Louis Auchincloss

Friday, September 26, 2014

Local Vocal

I've been thinking a lot about the local drug dealer who stands out at the corner day in and day out shouting and laughing to drum up business. Since my office is just above his lair he has entered my thoughts more than once. I have thought about telling him to take care of his vocal cords because he is destroying his voice. In a few years he will be unable to speak above a whisper, my husband says. We should tell him, I say. He'd have to completely relearn how to use his voice, my husband says. I hear him out there hocking his wares from 11:30 AM until 10 o'clock each night. I should commend him on his work ethic. What will happen when his drug becomes legal? I'm worried. I'm not being sarcastic. In fact I have developed the ability to hear his voice above the traffic noise, chatter, and fans. While it lasts.

Mood Changes with the Trees


The Joys of Being an Introvert


Crazy Cat

I went to water the plants and found my big black oxford shoe in the pot. Sammy loves to play with the laces. He must've dragged the shoe out from under Bill's favorite chair and carried it fifteen feet to the picture window, where it fell into the dirt.


No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
― Robert Frost

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
― Robert Frost

Robert Frost

I'm not confused. I'm just well mixed.
― Robert Frost


Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
― Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.
― Robert Frost

Art and Fear

Artists don't get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.
-Stephen DeStaebler, quoted by David Bayles and Ted Orlan in Art and Fear 1993

Save or Destroy

If you bring forth that which is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth that which is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
-Gospel of Saint Thomas

Sarah Marquis, Wild Thing

Eventually, however, Marquis passed out of Mongol territory. The washing-machine cycle ended. Her body changed, and her mind changed, too. Her senses sharpened to the point that she could smell shampoo on a tourist’s hair from a mile away. "One day you walk 12 hours, and you don’t feel pain," Marquis said. The past and present telescope down to an all-consuming now. "There is no before or after. The intellect doesn’t drive you anymore. It doesn’t exist anymore. You become what nature needs you to be: this wild thing."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dennis Rosen, MD

A Doctor, a Rabbi and a Chicken


The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.
― William Faulkner

Putting Love into Books

Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.
― William Faulkner

Lose Sight

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
― William Faulkner


Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
― William Faulkner, The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]

The Past

The past is never dead. It's not even past.
― William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

Better than Yourself

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
― William Faulkner

Never be Afraid

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.
― William Faulkner


We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.

― William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

Come to Life

Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.
― William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury


Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.
― William Faulkner

Endure and Prevail

I decline to accept the end of man... I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
― William Faulkner

Dylan Thomas

Poem in October

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
Priested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In a rainy autumn
And walked abroad in shower of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
With apples
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sunlight
And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and the sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singing birds.

And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.

-Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Central Casting

She would sit down after supper with her black address book and call all of her friends to tell them she might have breast cancer. She told them that she was leaving a copy of Informed Consent next to the fridge, to kill her appetite. Then she laughed. I retreated to my bedroom. At one point she raced up the red-carpeted stairs and barged into my room screaming "You want me to die!"

High on Drama

Today I was remembering when my brother cut himself cleaning the glass guinea pig cage in the yellow bathtub. Our mother phoned the police department and asked to be escorted to the hospital. I was holding up my brothers wrist wrapped in a dishtowel as we sat in the back seat of the ugly brown station wagon. Our mother got on the highway and drove 90 miles an hour. The police man followed us.

Houses in Your Heart

No good friends, no bad friends; only people you want, need to be with. People who build their houses in your heart.
― Stephen King, It

The Water is Free

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this book...is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Sweet and Wild

Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.
― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons


The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—for this touchstone can be only oneself.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Cannot Afford to be Fooled

A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.
― James Baldwin

One's own Experience

One writes out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.
― James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

The Effort is Real

If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you're not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real.
― James Baldwin

The Summer Ended

The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall - they fell unnoticed - seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.
― James Baldwin

A Lover's War

Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover's war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real.
― James Baldwin

Conundrum of Life

It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death-- ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return. One must negotiate this passage as nobly as possible, for the sake of those who are coming after us.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin: Sonny's Blues

I had never before thought of how awful the relationship must be between the musician and his instrument. He has to fill it, this instrument, with the breath of life, his own. He has to make it do what he wants it to do. And a piano is just a piano. It's made out of so much wood and wires and little hammers and big ones, and ivory. While there's only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.
― James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues

James Baldwin

In my experience - and this is a very awkward way to put it, since I don't really know what the word experience means - the strangest people in one's life are the people one has known and loved, still know and will always love. Here, both I and the vocabulary are both in trouble, for strangest does not imply stranger. A stranger is a stranger is a stranger, simply, and you watch the stranger to anticipate his next move. But the people who elicit from you a depth of attention and wonder which we helplessly call love are perpetually making moves which cannot possibly be anticipated. Eventually, you realize that it never occurred to you to anticipate their next move, not only because you couldn't but because you didn't have to: it was not a question of moving on the next move, but simply, of being present. Danger, true, you try to anticipate and you prepare yourself, without knowing it, to stand in the way of death. For the strangest people in the world are those people recognized, beneath one's senses, by one's soul - the people utterly indispensable for one's journey.
― James Baldwin, Just Above My Head

James Baldwin

The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.
― James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985

The writer's only real task: to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.
― James Baldwin

Precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience you must find yourself at war with your society.
― James Baldwin

This is the charged, the dangerous moment, when everything must be re-examined, must be made new, when nothing at all can be taken for granted.
― James Baldwin

I don't like people who like me because I'm a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one's own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done.
I want to be an honest man and a good writer.
― James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

James Baldwin

Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long possessed that he is set free - he has set himself free - for higher dreams, for greater privileges.
― James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

In overlooking, denying, evading this complexity--which is nothing more than the disquieting complexity of ourselves--we are diminished and we perish; only within this web of ambiguity, paradox, this hunger, danger, darkness, can we find at once ourselves and the power that will free us from ourselves. It is this power of revelation that is the business of the novelist, this journey toward a more vast reality which must take precedence over other claims.
― James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Devotion to Consciousness

I am fascinated by all professions that are a calling. It can be any profession as long as there is a devotion to consciousness.

James Baldwin

There are few things under heaven more unnerving than the silent, accumulating contempt and hatred of a people.
― James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

Our Children

For these are all our children, we will all profit by or pay for what they become.
― James Baldwin


Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty...the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent humanity, the mark of cruelty.
― James Baldwin

James Baldwin

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
― James Baldwin

James Baldwin

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.
― James Baldwin

It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.
― James Baldwin, Collected Essays

People who cling to their illusions find it difficult, if not impossible, to learn anything worth learning: a people under the necessity of creating themselves must examine everything, and soak up learning the way the roots of a tree soak up water.
― James Baldwin

In my case, I think my exile saved my life, for it inexorably confirmed something which Americans appear to have great difficulty accepting. Which is, simply, this: a man is not a man until he is able and willing to accept his own vision of the world, no matter how radically this vision departs from others.
― James Baldwin

If I am not what you say I am, then you are not who you think you are.
― James Baldwin

I often wonder what I'd do if there weren't any books in the world.
― James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room

The impossible is the least that one can demand.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Youth must be the worst time in anybody's life. Everything's happening for the first time, which means that sorrow, then, lasts forever. Later, you can see that there was something very beautiful in it. That's because you ain't got to go through it no more.
― James Baldwin

Literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks at reality, then you can change it.
― James Baldwin

James Baldwin

Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you have to do is put it on your head.

― James Baldwin


I dreamed I drove to see Jacob Knight and his beard was silver. I looked up and the trees were full of silver hair in place of leaves.

Then I found this . . .When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

Gold Leaves

by G.K. Chesterton

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold.

- G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sound Bounce

The neighborhood sounds are driving me crazy today. The landlord is running a skill saw, replacing his vintage porch spindles with ugly planks. The deaf boy is chirping, the drug dealer is laughing and yelling out on the corner and Leo's mom is whistling for her son from the porch. At night when I turn on the fan I hear all of their noises bouncing back at me.

It's Time


Monday, September 22, 2014


Neighborhood transformed by statue.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Noises are like arrows pierced to a gentle soul when the mind is on a journey of thought.
― Ikechukwu Izuakor

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.
― Jean Arp

I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise that anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity and therefore be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it.
― Arthur Schopenhauer

Ink Monkey's of Canton Massachusetts

We had the pleasure of witnessing the ink monkeys pull linoleum prints using a steam roller, at our gig yesterday in Pawtucket.

NYC Climate Change Parade

I wish our band was in this one!

Sam Harris

Most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.

Acknowledging that this is the structure of the game we are playing allows us to play it differently. How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.

-Sam Harris


Friday, September 19, 2014


I lost my big straw hat the one Ray gave me a few summers ago. I have looked everywhere. Oh well. I think I lost my head with it because I walked into the big wooden sign on the lawn of Saint Germain the other day while buttoning my jacket. It was embarrassing. I cut the bridge of my nose. When the seasons change I get thrown off kilter. I lose things; hats, scarves, earrings, sunglasses. I wake in the night palms and soles burning and itching from allergies. I walk into things. We are mere earthlings being spun around and around.

Listening to the 'Hood

There is a thin brown boy who chirps and squeaks all afternoon on the porch across the street. He is deaf. He stands beside the large scary tattooed woman who screams off the porch and starts fights with everyone. Yesterday 16 people from the complex of red tenements came into the street yelling back at her. I heard sirens and two cruisers stopped under the porch. The police were good listeners, just like social workers but armed and in blue. A woman from the red buildings with shiny black hair, midriff showing, pointed and waved her arms. The policemen listened for a while and the tension finally dissipated.

Gladys Hunt

What is home? My favorite definition is "a safe place," a place where one is free from attack, a place where one experiences secure relationships and affirmation. It's a place where people share and understand each other. Its relationships are nurturing. The people in it do not need to be perfect; instead, they need to be honest, loving, supportive, recognizing a common humanity that makes all of us vulnerable.
― Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child's Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life

Herman Hesse

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

James Baldwin

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.
― James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room

Zombie Invasion

In an effort to ward off the cell phone zombie invasion, the Chinese city of Chongqing has unveiled special pedestrian lanes made specifically for cell phone users.


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
― Charles William Eliot

A.R. Gurney, Love Letters - Acting Edition

Andy: But they gave us an out in the Land of Oz. They made us write. They didn't make us write particularly well. And they didn't always give us important things to write about. But they did make us sit down, and organize our thoughts, and convey those thoughts on paper as clearly as we could to another person. Thank God for that. That saved us. Or at least it saved me. So I have to keep writing letters. If I can't write them to you, I have to write them to someone else. I don't think I could ever stop writing completely.
― A.R. Gurney, Love Letters - Acting Edition

A.R. Gurney's Play: Love Letters

“Love Letters” illustrates this universal truth, that so much of life, probably most of it, is a solitary journey, a letter we write only to ourselves.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rene Denfeld

On Johnny's Knee
by Renee Denfeld

Embrace Fear

Alexander Osterwalder, fear is not only an option, it’s something to be embraced as an opportunity to discover.

That’s not always possible in the bottom-line world of business. But in one corner of Providence this week, failure, sometimes spectacular in scale, is viewed as a necessary step to growth.

“The more you fail, the less you fear it,” Osterwalder said.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Neighbors Rally

Neighbors Rally To Combat Drugs
By Stephania H. Davis, Chicago Tribune Staff Writer.

Gwen Gale moved into her South Side home 25 years ago. The neighborhood then was full of people who worked hard and looked out for each other's children.

Now, some of those children are selling drugs on the same front porches where they used to play, and many of the hard-working people have fled from the violence that often follows drugs.

"I'm tired," Gale said. "Tired of people being scared to live their lives. Something has to be done."

Something started on Saturday with a March to Take Our Neighborhood Back. About 30 residents who live on or near the 2800 block of East 79th Street marched up and down the block chanting, "Up with hope, down with dope" and "Get involved." They carried signs that read "Get to Know Your Neighbor" and "We are 4-drugs, 2-stop, 2-day."

Following the march, the group discussed forming a neighborhood block watch and better ways to inform the police of drug sales and violence in the community.

The small but determined group met at Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 7859 S. Burnham Ave., where Elder Derrick M. Pagan gave an inspirational talk.

"We may be just a few people now, but if we press forward, people will know we're not going to take it anymore," he said.

After marching on 78th and 80th Streets, the group stopped in front of a house in the 7900 block of South Muskegon Avenue where a young man was killed in September. Residents say drug dealers work nearby.

"This is a chance to make a difference," said Margie Pittman, a resident of the area. "If you stand for nothing, then you'll fall for anything."

The group urged those neighbors inside their homes to come out and join the march. Few responded, but as a light snow began to fall, Shirley Scott emerged from the Muskegon Avenue house.

"This is the main spot, and this is the first time in a long time I have not been afraid to come out of my house," said Scott, who said she and her son have been living in the house for just over a year.

Pittman said Saturday's march will not be the last.

"You see the drug dealers are gone today," she said.

Linguists Linguine

Reviews of expensive restaurants are more likely to use sexual metaphors, while the food at cheaper restaurants tends to be compared to drugs.
“The language of food is this secret hidden in plain sight,” he said. “We have all this amazing data all around us. How can we not use it?”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Drive Wake


Garlic Lover

CHIDEOCK, England, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The winner of Britain's World Garlic Eating Competition downed 33 cloves of raw Iberian garlic in 60 seconds, organizers said.

Organizers of the event in Chideock, England, said David Greenman, 34, was two cloves ahead of his closest competitor when the time ran out during the contest, but he was one clove short of equaling the world record.

Mark Botwright, 50, contest organizer and a garlic farmer with the South West Garlic Farm, joked it was "just as well" the champion came to the contest unescorted, as his breath was likely to be less-than-prizewinning after his accomplishment.

"Iberian garlic is really the only variety that is anywhere near palatable when eaten raw," Botwright told The Mirror.

"Nobody was sick during the event but there were a few facial expressions and screwed up faces," he said.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2014/09/15/British-man-eats-33-raw-garlic-cloves-in-60-seconds/8421410784592/#ixzz3DPOkP84y

Come Together

Please spread the word this is a great opportunity to come together as a region around drug addiction, preventative measures, and recovery efforts. There will be guest speakers from the community.
7PM Oct 2, 2014 at Woonsocket Middle School. 60 Florence Drive Woonsocket Rhode Island,
HAMLET Middle School INFO (401) 766-3332


We read to know we're not alone.
― William Nicholson, Shadowlands

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
― Oscar Wilde

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
― Groucho Marx

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
― C.S. Lewis

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
― Oscar Wilde

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

'Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read.
― Mark Twain

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
― Oscar Wilde

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
― Charles William Eliot

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.
― C.S. Lewis

If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
― Stephen King

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.
― Gustave Flaubert

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
― Ray Bradbury

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
― Francis Bacon

You get a little moody sometimes but I think that's because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.
― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
― Voltaire

Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.
― Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
― Joseph Brodsky

Think before you speak. Read before you think.
― Frances Ann Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head.
― Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

James Baldwin

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
― James Baldwin

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
― James Baldwin

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.
― James Baldwin

Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
― James Baldwin

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.
― James Baldwin