Wise Poets – David Whyte – Sometimes

David Whyte (November 02, 1955 -) Sometimesif you move carefullythrough the forest,breathinglike the onesin the old stories,who could crossa shimmering bed of leaveswithout a sound,you come to a placewhose only taskis to trouble youwith tinybut frightening requests,conceived out of nowherebut in this placebeginning to lead everywhere.Requests to stop whatyou are doing right now,andto stop what …

Wise Poets – Alfonsina Storni – I’m Going To Sleep

Alfonsina Storni (May 29, 1892 – October 25, 1938) Teeth of flowers, bonnet of dew,hands of grass, you, lovely nursemaid,turn down the earthen sheets for meand the quilt of weeded moss. I’m going to sleep, my nurse, tuck me in,put a lamp on my headboard;a constellation; whichever you like;both are fine; lower the light a little. Leave …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Maria Popova – Reading And Love

Maria Popova (July 28, 1984 -) We read for countless reasons and books transform us in countless ways, reckoned and unreckoned. We read the way we love — with our whole selves, with the flickering constellation of values, longings, traumas, joys, hopes, despairs, formative experiences, and half-remembered impressions composing the self. We read with our …

For The Love Of Wisdom – New York Times Editorial Board December 31, 1999 – Existence

Even those of us who have not filled the bathtub with emergency water, withdrawn extra cash from the bank and stocked up on food will be entering the new millennium sobered by the awareness that unknown problems of our own making are an enduring part of existence.  New York Times   This prediction has proven …

David Suzuki On Concentration

David Suzuki (March 24, 1936 -) Concentration is not to try hard to watch something. In zazen if you try to look at one spot you will be tired in about five minutes. This is not concentration. Concentration means freedom. So your effort should be directed at nothing. You should concentrate on nothing.

Peter Russell On Letting Go

Peter Russell The call to let go lies at the heart of the world’s spiritual traditions. Not being attached to outcomes, surrendering desires, accepting the present, opening to a higher power, relinquishing the ego, practicing forgiveness — all entail letting go. Why is letting go deemed so important? Holding on, these teachings repeatedly affirm, limits …

W.S. Merwin – One Summer

He stands at the window baffledby pleasure and how brief it is.Pleasure followed by the memoryof pleasure. Lightthen dark with a splinterleft in. Something like that.The woman in the chair is reading,drinking tea in the ground glasshaze of evening.The sudden swell he feelswatching herilluminates the past she spentgetting to this place:a lover who left, perhaps. …

Cathy Song – Ikebana

Cathy Song (August 20, 1955 -) To prepare the body,aim for the translucent perfectionyou find in the sliced shavingsof a pickled turnip.In order for this to happen,you must avoid the sun,protect the faceunder a paper parasoluntil it is bruised whitelike the skin of lilies.Use white soapfrom a blue porcelaindish for this. Restrict yourself.Eat the whites …

Brenda Ueland On Living

Brenda Ueland (October 24, 1891 – March 5, 1985) Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers… Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable.

Apple – To The Crazy Ones

Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) Apple Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits.The rebels.The troublemakers.The round pegs in square holes.The ones who see things differently.There’re not fond or rules.And they have no respect for the status quo.You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.About …

Ariel Francisco – Along The East River And In The Bronx Young Men Were Singing

Ariel Francisco I heard them and I still hear themabove the threatening shrieks of police sirensabove the honking horns of morning traffic,above the home-crowd cheers of Yankee Stadiumabove the school bells and laughterlighting up the afternoonabove the clamoring trudge of the 1 trainand the 2 and 4, 5, 6, the B and the Dabove the …

Alexandra Tempus On Climate Change

Alexandra Tempus We are now at the dawn of America’s Great Climate Migration Era. For now, it is piecemeal, and moves are often temporary. … But permanent relocations, by individuals and eventually whole communities, are increasingly becoming unavoidable.

Michael Talbot On Electrons

Michael Coleman Talbot (September 29, 1953 – May 27, 1992) Time and again the limits of our language define the limits of our understanding of the universe. The indistinguishability of subatomic particles points out still another weakness of our linguistic approach to understanding reality. For instance, all electrons are exactly alike. It is as if …

Jorie Graham – Why

Jorie Graham (May 09, 1950 -) you ask meagain—whyputting your tiny hand onthe not yetunsheathedbud on therhododendronand I seeI need to be skyI need to be soilthere are no wordsfor why that Ican find fastenough, whyyou say atthe foot of the cherry’s wideblossomfallis it dead now whydid it let go, why,tossed outinto what appearsto be …

Eckhart Tolle On The Unobserved Mind

Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Many narratives, especially the repetitive ones, generate anxiety, anger, hatred, and other negative emotions. These narratives constitute what we might call the unobserved mind. This unobserved mind is responsible for most of the human-made suffering on the planet, both personal and collective.

Maurice Manning – Turner

Maurice Manning One morning when the weather was strangeand haunted following a rain—I believe a fog had settled likea thought over the field and the sunthat peered through it troubled the thought—I remember saying to myself,for no one was around, it’s likewe’re living in a Turner painting,a haunted cave of melodyso indistinct, almost unseen.As if …

Marvin Bell On Art

Marvin Hartley Bell (August 3, 1937 – December 14, 2020) Much of our lives involves the word 'no.' In school we are mostly told, 'Don't do it this way. Do it that way.' But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.

Valerie Andrews On The Eternal Child

Valerie Andrews Children have a magical capacity to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.

Ezra Klein On Mandates

Ezra Klein (May 09, 1984 -) The conventional wisdom is that there is some argument, yet unmade and perhaps undiscovered, that will change the minds of the roughly 30 percent of American adults who haven’t gotten at least one dose. There probably isn’t … Polio and measles were murderous, but their near elimination required vaccine …

James Baldwin On Black Writers

James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) Given the conditions in this country to be a black writer was impossible. … My father didn't think it was possible — he thought I'd get killed, get murdered. He said I was contesting the white man's definitions, which was quite right.

Eleanor Wilner – When Vision Narrows To A Single Beam of Light

Eleanor Rand Wilner For years he had been hidden, quiet,huge head on his paws,almost a sphinx in his composure,a figure waitingfor a breeze to move the densegreen canopy of leaves overhead,enough to bring a hair-thin laser lineof light downinto the endless twilightbelow;he had been patient, waitingfor the underbrush to open, for a lowwind to enter, …

Phillip Lopate – It’s Good We Only See Each Other Once a Week

Phillip Lopate It's good we only see each other once a week.A young man about to move in with his fiancéedied of a sudden heart attack at twenty-six.One hears these stories all the time.The heart is trained to handle deprivation,not unforeseen happiness. Just as when youthrow your arms around me I start to overflow,but then …

Elizabeth Gaskell – On Visiting the Grave of My Stillborn Little Girl

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (September 29, 1810 – November 12, 1865) Sunday July 4th 1836 I made a vow within my soul, O Child,When thou wert laid beside my weary heart,With marks of death on every tender partThat, if in time a living infant smiled,Winning my ear with gentle sounds of loveIn sunshine of such joy, …

Ida B Wells On Racism

Ida Bell Wells (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) I am only a mouthpiece through which to tell the story of lynching, and I have told it so often that I know it by heart. I do not have to embellish; it makes its own way.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer – The Price of Nothing

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer What could be more valuablethan nothing? The nothing thatframes “The Thinker,” the nothingthat holds every bowl,every vase, every bust, every thought.Let others buy the clay, the steel,the papier-mâché. I will be satisfiedwith nothing more than nothing.Nothing pleases me. Nothingenchants me. Nothing,as Heisenberg says,has a weight. Just thinkof the space here beside mewhere …

Émile Zola On Truth

Émile Zola (April 02, 1840 – September 29, 1902) I repeat with the most vehement conviction: truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it. Today is only the beginning, for it is only today that the positions have become clear: on one side, those who are guilty, who do not want the light …

Tracy K Smith – I Sit Outside In Low Late Afternoon Light To Feel Earth Call To Me

Tracy K Smith (April 16, 1972 -) I wish it would grab me by the ankles and pull.I wish its shadow would dance up close, closing in.When I close my eyes a presence forms, backs away.I float above a lake, am dragged backfrom a portion of sky. Down, down, the falling doesn’t end.Every marked body …

Audre Lorde On Fear

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.

Charles M Blow On Race

Charles M Blow (August 11, 1970 -) Black people are targeted by the criminal justice system and that is used to target them by the electoral system. Either way, if you are Black in America, you are a target.