Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Heart

The heart in us is deeper than any emotion or psychological issue.
- Krishna Das

Gurus

When we start to talk about gurus, we're talking about beings who actually know what this is all about. They know who we were, where we came from, and where we're going. They are not imprisoned in a selfish or self-centered view of the universe.
- Krishna Das

Devotion

Devotion is a disease. And you catch it from those people who have it.
- Krishna Das

He is Love

Ultimately when I am with you all, what I see is my Guru. And what is he? He is love.
- Krishna Das

Inside

The Presence is our own presence. We are not getting anything from the outside. We already have all we need inside.
- Krishna Das

To Save

I chant to save my miserable ass. That's what I do.
- Krishna Das

Chanting is the main thing in my life.
- Krishna Das

Lit Up

I knew that if I did not start chanting with people, that I would never be able to clean out the dark corners of my own heart. I knew it with every cell in my body and mind.
- Krishna Das

Chanting just hits you and you want to be a part of it. That’s the point of this whole thing. That’s what cuts through all the ‘stuff’. You get lit up. You don’t have to know what it means.
- Krishna Das

Reconnecting

I'm reconnecting, I'm deepening, I'm opening, I'm releasing negativity and negative thoughts and all the limitations I carry around with me - again and again and again and again and again and again. And again! And that's the only thing that keeps me alive.
- Krishna Das

Don't Give Up

Don't give up on your dreams. You can become the person you know you really are.
- Krishna Das

Heart Open

I just try to keep my heart open. By this, I mean to try not to let my own programmed reaction to things keep me closed down for too long.
- Krishna Das

Understand Within

Even if somebody tells us something, the hit, the light goes on inside of us, not out there. We learn and understand everything within ourselves.
- Krishna Das

Big Thing

Just the slightest turn toward the inside is a very big thing.
- Krishna Das

Retrains Us

The only real protection will come from doing a spiritual practice over a prolonged period of time. Because it retrains us to see the world and ourselves in a different way.
Krishna Das

How We See Ourselves

We all inhabit our lives, in different ways to some degree. We see ourselves a certain way, and based on how we see ourselves, that's how we see the world.
Krishna Das

Love

There is love in this world, and it lives within us as who we really are, not who we think we are.
Krishna Das

The Guru

When we start talking about gurus, first of all we're starting to talk about something that can't be talked about, in the sense that you can never really know what a guru is as long as you are imprisoned by your own thoughts and circular ego. The true guru is someone who's transcended all that. And we don't know anything about that.
- Krishna Das

Box

You cannot think your way out of a box made of thought.
Krishna Das

Our Motivation

We are just here, right? We are just people doing our thing. And the most important aspect of anything we do is our motivation, why we do it.
- Krishna Das

Intuitive

It's within your world that things will unfold and intuitive understandings will open up.
- Krishna Das

Every Time

I chant to save my heart. Every time I sit down, that's what I'm doing.
- Krishna Das
"Krishna Das on Compassion". Interview with Zoë Kors, beherenownetwork.com. June 1, 2016.

Another Person's Reality

Until you are fully enlightened, you can never know what another person's reality is like for them.
- Krishna Das

To Love

To love somebody is to let them be who they are and do what they have to do.
- Krishna Das

Real

I didn't know what I was looking for, but I knew whatever it was that I was looking for was real.
- Krishna Das

Practice

Practice is not about how you feel while you are doing it. You are planting seeds.
- Krishna Das

Take a Look

Letting go does not mean pushing away or negating thoughts or feelings that come to us - but instead being with the feeling. We start to feel that we are no longer victims of the stuff that happens to us. There is something we can do about it... if we just take a look at it.
- Krishna Das

The Story

We are so programmed to feel that our emotions are the most important thing in the Universe...We write, produce and act in the story of me. And then we write reviews - and read them and get more depressed. All we can do is let go, and that comes from training. And then we spend less and less time in the darker spaces.
- Krishna Das

Instantly Believe

We instantly believe everything we think. Isn't that insane? It's good for us to explore the depravity of our minds, so we know we are just as crazy as everyone else!
- Krishna Das

On the Path

On the Path, it’s impossible to know how you are doing because it’s the judger who is disappearing.
- Krishna Das

Grace Surrounds

Grace surrounds us and holds us like the sky holds everything in it … and as soon as I find a way to let go of my story, I keep seeing over and over again that grace is always here and it includes the forgetting and the remembering. The practice is the opening of the hand to catch the raindrops, which are always falling. If you don't open your hand, you get wet, but you don't get much to drink.
- Krishna Das

Because they are Them

We have to learn to love people even if they are not giving you what you want... and then not take it personally. If you feel hurt, you have to recognize that they are not hurting you because you are you, but because they are them. You have to try not to be so hard on yourself.
- Krishna Das

Real Compassion

Real compassion is not emotional. Real compassion is based on the experience that all beings, which might appear separate, are actually a part of my own body, and I am a part of the body of the universe. We are not separate. So if one being hurts, I also hurt.
- Krishna Das
"Krishna Das on Compassion". Interview with Zoë Kors, beherenownetwork.com. June 1, 2016.

Being Present

This is how I feel about swimming.
Chanting is a way of getting in touch with yourself. It's an opening of the heart and letting go of the mind and thoughts. It deepens the channel of grace, and it's a way of being present in the moment.
- Krishna Das

Compassion

One of your biggest lessons so far in life has been to learn to forgive myself over and over again and not to be so harsh with myself.
- Krishna Das

Compassion is a college education. It's a doctorate.
- Krishna Das
"Krishna Das on Compassion". Interview with Zoë Kors, beherenownetwork.com. June 1, 2016.

The Path

If we know anything about a path at all, it's only because of the Great ones that have gone before us. Out of their love and kindness, they have left some footprints for us to follow. So, in the same way that they wish for us, we wish that all beings everywhere, including ourselves, be safe, be happy, have good health, and enough to eat. And may we all live at ease of heart with whatever comes to us in life.
- Krishna Das

Grace

Grace removes obstacles that we don’t even know are there. Grace is what arranges our lives so we are forced to look within.
-Krishna Das

Service

Unlimited inner strength can only be awakened when it is in the service of Love....When we align ourselves with that love and act in service of that love, anything is possible.
- Krishna Das

Practice

The heart is like a mirror. When we dust it off, we are able to see ourselves. The dust is all our stuff - guilt, anger - this stuff is reflected back to us. Practice removes the dust from the mirror of our hearts.
- Krishna Das

Love

Love is what we are; we don't get it from somebody, we can't give it to anybody, we can't fall in it or fall out of it. Love is our true Being.
- Krishna Das

The Ultimate

The ultimate act of power is surrender.
-Krishna Das

Surrender

Surrender happens by Grace. All we're doing is cleaning up the room so when Surrender walks in, He can sit down.
- Krishna Das

Life

Don't wait for a Guru. Your life is your Guru.
- Krishna Das

Love

The presence of real love in the world inspires me.
-Krishna Das

Krishna Das

“Everybody’s a prisoner, sweetheart. Prisoners of our own minds.”
-Krishna Das

Fruit Fondling in Spain

Article

Turning People Into Trees

I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are

-Ram Dass
source

Last Night

Last night while my husband and I were reading in the living room we heard a car screech and then bang. Uh oh, I said reaching for the phone. My husband ran out to investigate as I dialed the police.
"Dispatch," the woman said.
"We heard a car crash, and my husband just checked on it and said there's an angry mob on 601 Johnson Street," I said.
"Okay thank you, we'll send them right over."
"Now they've moved to Wicket Street," my husband said pointing towards the gas station. I phoned back "Hi I'm the lady who just called, my husband said the angry mob from Johnson Street has now moved over to Wicket Street opposite the gas station."
"Thank you, we've got our guys there now," the dispatch lady said.

Why

Why do people put wishing wells on top of tree stumps? my husband asked as we passed one on our walk.
Because they wish the stump would go away, I replied and we both laughed.

May Sarton

I find my position as a poet today a curious one… For a long time I have maintained that the poet’s affair was the individual human soul, the story of it in one man, in my case the transforming of personal emotions into written events. Now it has become impossible to guard one’s soul — death to do it — we are forced to read the papers, and yet I still believe that our job is somehow or other to be above the mêlée, or so deeply in it that one comes through to something else, something universal and timeless.
-May Sarton

Cost of Denial

You can go into denial mode, which is “I won’t think about that suffering. I’ll push it away.” And the cost of that is very heavy. See, if you go into a denial mode, what you do is you armor your heart from the world, and when you do that, you are keeping something out that is going to overwhelm you, but you’re also keeping something out that you need, which is the nourishment that comes from the emotional interaction with the world around you. You become armored, you become ‘professionally warm’, you become able to handle the crises moment after moment, the horror of it all, by just going up into your head, closing your heart. So denial has an incredible cost.

– Ram Dass, Detroit, Oregon – 1994

Reminds Me

I’m not interested in being a “lover.” I’m interested in only being love. In our culture we think of love as a relational thing: “I love you” and “you are my lover.” But while the ego is built around relationship, the soul is not. It wants only to be love. It’s a true joy, for example, to turn someone whom you didn’t initially like into the Beloved. One way I practice doing so is by placing a photograph of a politician with whom I intensely disagree on my puja table – my altar. Each morning when I wake up, I say good morning to the Buddha, to my guru, and to the other holy beings there. But I find that it’s with a different spirit that I say, “Hello Mr. Politician.” I know it sounds like a funny thing to do, but it reminds me of how far I have to go to see the Beloved in everybody. Mother Teresa has described this as “seeing Christ in all his distressing disguises.” When I realized that Mother Teresa was actually involved in an intimate love affair with each and every one of the poor and the lepers she was picking up from the gutters in India, I thought to myself, “ That’s the way to play the game of love.” And that is what I have been training myself for the last past quarter century: to see and be with the Beloved everywhere.
-Ram Dass

When You See the Beloved

The point I was trying to make is that when you see the Beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love. When I allow myself to really see the beauty of another being, to see the inherent beauty of soul manifesting itself, I feel the quality of love in that beings presence. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing. We could be talking about our cats because we happen to be picking out cat food in the supermarket, or we simply could be passing each other on the sidewalk. When we are being love, we extend outward an environment that allows people to act in different, more loving and peaceful ways than they are used in behaving. Not only does it allow them to be more loving, it encourages them to be so.
-Ram Dass

Supreme Creative Act

In 1969 I was giving a series of lectures in New York City. Every night, taking the bus up Third Avenue, I got the same extraordinary bus driver. Every night it was rush hour in one of the busiest cities in the world, but he had a warm word and a caring presence for each person who got on the bus. He drove us as if he were sculling a boat down a river, flowing through the traffic rather than resisting it. Everyone who got on the bus was less likely to kick the dog that evening or to be otherwise hostile and unloving, because of the loving space that driver had created. Yet all he was doing was driving the bus. He wasn’t a therapist or a great spiritual teacher. He was simply being love.

Remember, 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. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.

– Ram Dass

The Predicament

It reminds me of someone rushing around the fields in the autumn painting the marvelous gold and red leaves with green paint. It’s a lot of wasted time and energy.
-Ram Dass
Ram Dass The Predicament

Karma Yoga

So it’s a perspective, an attitude that one has, an attitude of offering, and an attitude of seeing how the actions you are performing are much more.


-Ram Dass Article

Ram Dass

Say you have a parent who has a powerful desire to protect and help you. If they get caught in their model of parenting, they’re going to alienate that very thing they want to do.

They’re going to cut themselves off. This now becomes a curriculum for the parent to awaken; a means for the parent to use the way they get caught in their models, and the way they get caught in seeing this other being as “my child,” or “that child,” or “David” or “Doris.”

-Ram Dass

The Skeleton of Wrentham

There's a skeleton in Wrentham. We see it jogging on the road every time we drive to the apple orchard. It's terrifying.

Demons

“There's no room for demons when you're self-possessed.”
― Carrie Fisher

Sane

“I feel I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Fisher

“I thought I would inaugurate a Bipolar Pride Day. You know, with floats and parades and stuff! On the floats we would get the depressives, and they wouldn’t even have to leave their beds - we’d just roll their beds out of their houses, and they could continue staring off miserably into space. And then for the manics, we’d have the manic marching band, with manics laughing and talking and shopping and fucking and making bad judgment calls.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Writing To Calm Down

"By the time I was 13, maybe even younger, I would write to calm myself down, I had an overflowing of words. And I realized that if I put things down on paper I could get out from the emotions and organize myself. I kept diaries. The writing compulsion emerged at about the same time as the bipolar condition appeared."
-Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist

“I need to write. It keeps me focused for long enough to complete thoughts. To let each train of thought run to its conclusion and let a new one begin. It keeps me thinking. I’m afraid that if I stop writing I’ll stop thinking and start feeling.”
― Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist

“My panic is rising again. My sense of isolation and worthlessness. And no other senses worth mentioning apparently. It's not nice being inside my head. It's a nice place to visit but I don't want to live here. It's too crowded; too many traps and pitfalls. I'm tired of it. That same old person, day in and day out. I'd like to try something else. I tried to neaten my mind, file everything away into tidy little thoughts, but it only got more and more cluttered. My mind has a mind of its own. I try to define my limits by seeing just how far I can go, and I find that I passed them weeks ago. And I've got to find my way back.”
― Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist

Underwear In Space

“Anyway, George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes one look at the dress and says, 'You can't wear a bra under that dress.'
So, I say, 'Okay, I'll bite. Why?'
And he says, 'Because... there's no underwear in space.'
I promise you this is true, and he says it with such conviction too! Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn't see any bras or panties or briefs anywhere.
Now, George came to my show when it was in Berkeley. He came backstage and explained why you can't wear your brassiere in other galaxies, and I have a sense you will be going to outer space very soon, so here's why you cannot wear your brassiere, per George. So, what happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn't- so you get strangled by your own bra. Now I think that this would make a fantastic obit- so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

What's Important

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
― Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you're living with this illness and functioning at all, it's something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Chores Ground Me

Yesterday afternoon I finished the memoir I was reading. I got out a needle and thread and sewed buttons on my barn coat. I'd been saving them in the little dish next to the teapot for 6 months. I was so thrilled that I vacuumed the tumble weeds of dog hair off the bedroom floor. Next I hope to take apart the fan and clean the fuzz off of the blades so it will be more efficient. Sometimes I have to contemplate doing a chore for many weeks before I finally get to it. I remind myself that chores ground me. Running my life is like managing a small farm.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Beth Brownsberger Mader

I don’t have the same “it ain’t nothin’ but a thang” attitude when I think about some of the life-saving strategies I’ve learned over the years. Like being able to walk away from parking-space thieves or post office bureaucracy—because I know that avoiding rage triggers is going to keep me calmer, safer, healthier, stronger. Now that is a real achievement. As is getting my butt out of bed and showering when I am absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that life has no meaning and everything I have ever done has been in vain—but feeding and walking the dogs will show me different. A triumph, but really hard.

Earlier this year, I found myself in a state of extended hypomania. With my hard-won experience and knowledge gained through years of determined study and practice, I was able to recognize what was happening and grab enough coping skills to manage my symptoms—like sticking to routine, exercising, making sure I slept and ate well, meditating, consciously trying not to overpower others, and thinking before I acted. And you know what? It worked. Another hard fought victory.

-Beth Brownsberger Mader (Article)

Samurai Song

by Robert Pinsky

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.
― Robert Pinsky

Il Pleure Dans Mon Coeur

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville.


Tears are shed in my heart like the rain on the town.”
― Paul Verlaine, One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition

A Poem

“A poem is really a kind of machine for producing the poetic state by means of words.”
― Paul Verlaine

Arthur Rimbaud

“I am alone in possessing a key to this barbarous sideshow.”
― Arthur Rimbaud

Northern Lights

“The northern lights rise like a kiss to the sea”
― Arthur Rimbaud, Le Bateau ivre

It Began as Research

“It began as research. I wrote of silences, of nights, I scribbled the indescribable. I tied down the vertigo.”
― Arthur Rimbaud

Knowledge

“The first study for the man who wants to be a poet is knowledge of himself, complete: he searches for his soul, he inspects it, he puts it to the test, he learns it. As soon as he has learned it, he must cultivate it! I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He searches himself, he exhausts all poisons in himself, to keep only the quintessences. Ineffable torture where he needs all his faith, all his superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed one--and the supreme Scholar! For he reaches the unknown! ....So the poet is actually a thief of Fire!”
― Arthur Rimbaud

Outcast

“Now I am an outcast. I loathe my country. The best thing for me is a drunken sleep on the beach.”
― Arthur Rimbaud, Une saison en enfer; Illuminations; et autres textes

Arthur Rimbaud

“Eternity is the sun
mixed
with the sea”
― Arthur Rimbaud

Life

“Life is the farce we are all forced to endure.”
― Arthur Rimbaud, Une saison en enfer; Illuminations; et autres textes

True Alchemy

“True alchemy lies in this formula: ‘Your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse’.”
― Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations

Whirling World

“I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.”
― Arthur Rimbaud, A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat

Rimbaud

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”
― Arthur Rimbaud

The Process

“The thought of writing was always pleasant, but the process was painful.”
― Monica Ali, Brick Lane

Monica Ali

“It's a success story," said Chanu, exercising his shoulders. "But behind every story of immigration success there lies a deeper tragedy."
"Kindly explain this tragedy."
"I'm talking about the clash between Western values and our own. I'm talking about the struggle to assimilate and the need to preserve one's identity and heritage. I'm talking about children who don't know what their identity is. I'm talking about the feelings of alienation engendered by a society where racism is prevalent. I'm talking about the terrific struggle to preserve one's own sanity while striving to achieve the best for one's family."
― Monica Ali, Brick Lane

Friday, October 19, 2018

Annual Clock Tinkering

Daylight saving time 2018 in Rhode Island began at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 11 and ends at 2:00 AM on
Sunday, November 4. All times are in Eastern Time.

Thinking

Thinking about the death of my parents. Is that all there was?

Oat Season

This summer we bought a 50 pound bag of steel cut oats for bread-baking and for winter porridge. We keep it stored in the freezer. Last night I cooked a big batch in the electric pressure cooker before bed so I could refrigerate it and heat it up in the morning for breakfast.

House

We brought our house plants indoors last night to avoid the frost including the two basil plants which counted as my garden. If I could keep the basil alive all winter that would be amazing but my house doesn't get enough sun and warmth. If it did I'd be like that lady who plucks leaves from her kitchen rosemary and sage plants on her cooking show. She isn't a chef she's just selling expensive equipment. My husband and I laughed at her gigantic commercial pizza oven as if that was a normal household appliance necessary to bake a cabbage stew. Lately I have been thinking, everybody has a narrative, everybody is putting on their own little puppet show. The more resources they have the more elaborate their theater props and stage set. Who is their audience? I said as we drove by the string of mcmansions on the way to the apple orchard. What story are they trying to tell?

Something

“She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

She

“She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Coward's Revenge

“Bitterness is the coward's revenge on the world for having been hurt.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

In the Mind

“There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

The Sea

“Love is like the sea. It's a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Mud Puddle

“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Love

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

After a few weeks of reading recipes I decided to dive in without one.

I preheated the oven to 350 and stemmed the crimini mushrooms.

I poured a generous amount of olive oil in my 12 inch cast iron skillet and heated it up. Meanwhile I chopped a bunch of fresh garlic cloves and a dash of red chili flakes. I added a pound bag of chopped frozen spinach and helped it defrost in the pan by breaking it up. I added the chopped mushroom stems. I crushed a sleeve of (generic Ritz) crackers and added them and then I added grated Romano cheese and Adobo and freshly ground black pepper. I added a bit of kosher salt.

I filled the mushrooms and baked them in a skillet for 20 minutes. I only had 9 mushrooms so I baked the leftover filling in another skillet at the same time to eat with rice.

I made brown rice in my electric pressure cooker and it was ready in 19 minutes.

A fabulous dinner with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

Vita Sackville-West

Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.
-Vita Sackville-West

Dream

I dreamed I married a colorful plastic frog. The lawyer said "We'll need prints to distinguish him from the other plastic frogs." I woke up feeling hopeful that my subconscious was still working.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Get Out of the Way

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

I Believe in Libraries

“I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
― Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

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

Change Something

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Tip Ourselves Over

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
― Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

For the Psyche

“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.”
― May Sarton

May Sarton

“Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember nothing stays the same for long, not even pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
― May Sarton

In Books

“It had come about ex­act­ly in the way things hap­pened in books.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

Tea

“Tea! Bless ordinary everyday afternoon tea!”
― Agatha Christie

Dogs

“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
― Agatha Christe, The Moving Finger

Completely Unimportant

“It is completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting.”
― Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie's Autobiography

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well.”
― Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

Truth

“The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
― Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Sham

“Why shouldn't I hate her? She did the worst thing to me that anyone can do to anyone else. Let them believe that they're loved and wanted and then show them that it's all a sham.”
― Agatha Christie, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

Time

“Time is the best killer.”
― Agatha Christie

A Grand Thing

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
― Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

“The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.”
― Agatha Christie

Günter Grass

“To feel myself. Light as a feather free as a bird, though long since fit to be shot down. Unleash the dog with no sense of shame. Become this or that. Awaken the dead. Wear my pal Baldander's rags for a change. Lose my way on a single-minded quest.”
― Günter Grass, Vonne Endlichkait

Muse Ulla

“I wept when the muse Ulla bent over me. Blinded by tears I could not prevent her from kissing me, I could not prevent the Muse from giving me that terrible kiss. All of you who have ever been kissed by the Muse will surely understand that Oskar, once branded by that kiss, was condemned to take back the drum he had rejected years before, the drum he had buried in the sand of Sapse Cemetery.”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

Clocks

“… there is something very strange and childish in the way grown-ups feel about their clocks—in that respect, I was never a child. I am willing to agree that the clock is probably the most remarkable thing that grown-ups ever produced. Grown-ups have it in them to be creative, and sometimes, with the help of ambition, hard work, and a bit of luck they actually are, but being grown-ups, they have no sooner created some epoch-making invention than they become a slave to it.”
― Günter Grass

Parallel Lines

“Suppose you're teaching math. You assume that parallel lines meet at infinity. You'll admit that adds up to something like transcendence.”
― Günter Grass, Cat and Mouse

Books

“Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

The Fairy Tales

“Because men
are killing the forests
the fairy tales are running away.
The spindle doesn't know
whom to prick,
the little girl's hands
that her father has chopped off,
haven't a single tree to catch hold of,
the third wish remains unspoken.
King Thrushbeard no longer owns one thing.
Children can no longer get lost.
The number seven means no more than exactly seven.
Because men have killed the forests,
the fairy tales are trotting off to the cities
and end badly.”
― Günter Grass, Rat

Granted

“Granted: I AM an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peep-hole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.”
― Gunther Grass, The Tin Drum

Mouth

“The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.”
― Günter Grass

After the Collapse

“After the collapse of socialism, capitalism remained without a rival. This unusual situation unleashed its greedy and - above all - its suicidal power. The belief is now that everything - and everyone - is fair game.”
― Günter Grass

Satan

“When Satan's not in the mood, virtue triumphs. Hasn't even Satan a right not to be in the mood once in a while?”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

Günter Grass

“What more shall I say: born under light bulbs, deliberately stopped growing at age of three, given drum, sang glass to pieces, smelled vanilla, coughed in churches, observed ants, decided to grow, buried drum, emigrated to the West, lost the East, learned stonecutter's trade, worked as model, started drumming again, visited concrete, made money, kept finger, gave finger away, fled laughing, rode up escalator, arrested, convicted, sent to mental hospital, soon to be acquitted, celebrating this day my thirtieth birthday and still afraid of the Black Witch.”
― Günter Grass

Win a Little

“Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.”
― Louis L'Amour

One Day

“One day I was speeding along at the typewriter, and my daughter - who was a child at the time - asked me, "Daddy, why are you writing so fast?" And I replied, "Because I want to see how the story turns out!”
― Louis L'Amour

Devote

“Do not let yourself be bothered by the inconsequential. One has only so much time in this world, so devote it to the work and the people most important to you, to those you love and things that matter. One can waste half a lifetime with people one doesn't really like, or doing things when one would be better off somewhere else.”
― Louis L'Amour, Ride the River

No Limit

“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.”
― Louis L'Amour

A Book

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”
― Louis L'Amour, Matagorda/The First Fast Draw

A Time

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning. ”
― Louis L'Amour

The Trail

“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast,
and you miss all you are traveling for.”
― Louis L'Amour

Louis L'Amour

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
- Louis L'Amour

Soul Cake

Soul Cake
The 1891 version contains a chorus and three verses:[14]

[Chorus]
A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all.

[Verse 1]
God bless the master of this house,
The mistress also,
And all the little children
That round your table grow.
Likewise young men and maidens,
Your cattle and your store ;
And all that dwells within your gates,
We wish you ten times more.

[Verse 2]
Down into the cellar,
And see what you can find,
If the barrels are not empty,
We hope you will prove kind.
We hope you will prove kind,
With your apples and strong beer,
And we'll come no more a-souling
Till this time next year.

[Verse 3]
The lanes are very dirty,
My shoes are very thin,
I've got a little pocket
To put a penny in.
If you haven't got a penny,
A ha'penny will do ;
If you haven't get a ha'penny,
It's God bless you

Soul instead of Gold

“Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.”
― Hermann Hesse

What Isn't Part of Ourselves

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.”
― Hermann Hesse, Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend

Hermann Hesse

“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.”
― Herman Hesse

Metropolitan Diary

Love

Dream

I dreamed I was in my old studio in Providence and I hadn't paid my rent since last December. The space was filled with candy displays. There were chocolate covered macaroons stacked up. I ate one.