For The Love Of Wisdom – Joseph Campbell – Fate

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Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) Whatever my fate is, is what I need. If you bring love to that moment, not discouragement, you will find the strength. Any detour or disarray you can learn from is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!

For The Love Of Wisdom – Karel Čapek – Communism

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Karel Čapek (January 09, 1890 – December 25, 1938) All of us have begun to feel that there is something odd and insoluble about the conflicts between world-views, generations, political principles, and whatever else divides us… Hatred, lack of knowledge, fundamental distrust, these are the psychic world of communism… I count myself among the idiots …

Wise Poets – Kwame Opoku-Duku – They’ll Ask You Where it Hurts the Most

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Kwame Opoku-Duku Blessed be the bitternessat your core, that quiet lightgrowing quieter still,like the dull moan that escapesyour lips while you dream.They’ll ask you, child,what you know of suffering.They’ll ask you where it hurtsthe most, when the pain changeslike wavelengths of lightin the evening sky, when the criesof the ancestors ring out to youfrom the …

Señor Tao – Esalen Stories – The Grand ReOpening, My Fiftieth Birthday

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Seize the time… Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.  Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart - Star Trek: The Next Generation) April 17, 1998  Since my arrival in November, Esalen has been closed to the public. The highway was damaged by earth slides on both ends isolating the Big …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) – Writing

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William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910) I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing, and here it is: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you …

Wise Poets – Robert Pinsky – At Mt. Auburn Cemetery

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Robert Pinsky (October 20, 1940 -) Walking among the graves for exerciseWhere do you get your ideas how do I stop themLooking for Mike Mazur’s marker I lookedDown at the grass and saw Stanislaw BaranczakOur Solidarity poetry reading in PoznanYears later in Newton now he said I’m a U.S.Liberal with a car like everybody elseWhen …

Wise Poets – Heather McHugh – Better Or Worse

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Heather McHugh (August 20, 1948 -) I. Daily, the kindergartenerspassed my porch. I lovedtheir likeness and variety,their selves in line like littlemonosyllables, but huggable—I wasn't meant to grab them, ever,up into actual besmooches or downinto grubbiest tumbles, my lot was notto have them, in the flesh.Was it better or worse to lettheir lovability go by …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John Coltrane – Creativity And Jazz

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John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926–July 17, 1967) It is really easy for us [jazz musicians] to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist. Otherwise, how could our founding fathers have produced this music in the first place when they surely found themselves (as many of …

Wise Poets – Clint Margrave – Toad Dies And Goes To Heaven

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Clint Margrave In memory of Gerald Locklin Nobody is more surprised than he is.First of all, Toad doesn’t believe in heaven,and secondly, even if he did,he never expected to visit. In fact, he’s minorly disappointed.Has he failed to achieve the properlydebauched life he so often courted? But the food tastes good.And you can drink all …

Wise Poets – Dilruba Ahmedq – Bring Now The Angels

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Dilruba Ahmedq To test your pulse as you sleep.Bring the healer the howler the listening ear— Bring an apothecary to mix the tincture—We need the salvethe tablet the capsuleof the hour— Bring sword-eatersand those who will swallow fire—Fetch the guardian to flatten the wheelchair,to hoist it toward heaven:the public shuttle awaitsthe ceaseless trips to the …

Wise Poets – Yesenia Montilla – A Brief Meditation On Breath

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Yesenia Montilla i have diver’s lungs from holding mybreath for so long. i promise youi am not trying to break a recordsometimes i just forget toexhale. my shoulders held tightlynear my neck, i am a ball of tenseliving, a tumbleweed with steel-toedboots. i can’t remember the last timei felt light as dandelion. i can’t rememberthe …

Wise Poets – Adrienne Rich – Power

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Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) Living    in the earth-deposits    of our historyToday a backhoe divulged    out of a crumbling flank of earthone bottle    amber    perfect    a hundred-year-oldcure for fever    or melancholy    a tonicfor living on this earth    in the winters of this climateToday I was reading about Marie Curie:she must have known she suffered    from radiation sicknessher body bombarded for years    by …

Wise Poets – Meghan Dunn – Response, Years Later, to Two Male Poets I Overheard Discussing How Sick They Were of Women’s Poems about the Body

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Meghan Dunn I too am sick of the body.I too am sick of being a body,am sick of being sick about my body,have made myself sick over how to care forand clothe it, how to make it behave,make it need less. Walking in the street,I have wished it might dissolveso that I might more clearly …

Wise Poets – Rainer Maria Rilke – Death

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Rainer Maria Rilke (December 04, 1875 – December 29, 1926) Before us great Death standsOur fate held close within his quiet hands.When with proud joy we lift Life's red wineTo drink deep of the mystic shining cupAnd ecstasy through all our being leaps—Death bows his head and weeps.

Wise Poets – Jane Mead – I Wonder If I Will Miss The Moss

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Jane Mead (August 13, 1958 – September 8, 2019) I wonder if I will miss the mossafter I fly off as much as I miss it nowjust thinking about leaving. There were stones of many colors.There were sticks holding bothlichen and moss.There were red gates with oldhand-forged hardware.There were fields of dry grasssmelling of first …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Hannah Arendt – Forgiveness

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Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 04, 1975) Forgiving, in other words, is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven. The freedom contained in …

Wise Poets – Ursula K Le Guin – Hymn To Time

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Ursula K Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) Time says “Let there be”every moment and instantlythere is space and the radianceof each bright galaxy.And eyes beholding radiance.And the gnats’ flickering dance.And the seas’ expanse.And death, and chance.Time makes roomfor going and coming homeand in time’s wombbegins all ending.Time is being and beingtime, …

Wise Poets – Patricia Fargnoli – After the Dream of My Death

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Patricia Fargnoli (November 16, 1937 – February 18, 2021) I wake up to a world that is invisible,no golden trees, no picnic spread on the lawn.The ladies in hats have finished their teaand moved on. None of the questions I spent life askinghave been answered.Transience, evanescence, the dispersal of dust.God knows where, and is no …

Wise Poets – Ted Kooser – In the Basement of the Goodwill Store

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Theodore J. Kooser (April 25, 1939) In the musty light, in the thin brown airof damp carpet, doll heads and rust,beneath long rows of sharp footfallslike nails in a lid, an old man standstrying on glasses, lifting each pairfrom the box like a glittering fishand holding it up to the lightof a dirty bulb. Near …

Señor Tao – Esalen Stories – Sweating Out My Demons While Dancing With Angels


Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no results, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.  Simone Adolphine Weil ( February 03, 1909 – August 24, 1943)  Saturday was the first warm sunny rainless day in almost two weeks. So the last …

Wise Poets – Angelina Weld Grimké – Little Grey Dreams

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Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958) Little grey dreams,I sit at the ocean’s edge,At the grey ocean’s edge,With you in my lap. I launch you, one by one,And one by one,Little grey dreams,Under the grey, grey, clouds,Out on the grey, grey, sea,You go sailing away,From my empty lap,Little grey dreams. Sailing! …

Wise Poets – John Paul Martinez – To Offer Sweet Fruit To The Ghost

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John Paul Martinez For Lolo Ma says not to swat at the houseflychirring in our headspace for the past two hoursbecause it just might be you. Ma shows me the flimsy browned picturesof you & me in your workshop, a scored-leather tool belt strapped acrossyour chest like a bandolier. My whole body smaller stillthan a …

Wise Poets – Guillaume Apollinaire – The Pretty Redhead

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Guillaume Apollinaire (August 26, 1880 – November 09,1918) I stand here in the sight of everyone a man full of senseKnowing life and knowing of death what a living man can knowHaving gone through the griefs and happinesses of loveHaving known sometimes how to impose his ideasKnowing several languagesHaving travelled more than a littleHaving seen …

Señor Tao – Esalen Stories – Getting There, The Long Broken Highway


But the man who comes back through the door in the wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser, but less cocksure, happier but less self satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things of systematic reasoning …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Eckhart Tolle – Spiritual Awakening

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Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Most humans are still, almost literally, possessed by thought. They don’t think, but thinking happens to them. The beginning of spiritual awakening is the realization that you are not the voice in your head but the one who is aware of the voice. You are the awareness behind your …

Señor Tao – Esalen Stories – Closer to Root, Further into Sky – Prologue


Several times now I have stressed the fact that whatever “it” is one gets here at Big Sur, one gets it harder, faster, straighter than one would elsewhere. I come back to it again. I say, the people here are fundamentally no different from the people elsewhere. Their problems are basically the same as those …

Wise Poets – Kim Dower – Visiting Eleanor

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Kim Dower Barbara, my childhood piano teacherplayed Chopin like he was whisperinginto her hands, all us kids from the buildinghad our Saturday morning lessons, apartment 6C,our giddy fingers trotting in the key of G,lifting high for Mozart, metronome tickingas her coffee brewed, her sandy-haired husbandat the wooden breakfast table, mug, cigarettetight in his hands, he …

Wise Poets – Emily Bronte – No Coward Soul Is Mine

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Emily Jane Brontë (July 30, 1818 – December 19, 1848) No coward soul is mineNo trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphereI see Heaven's glories shineAnd Faith shines equal arming me from Fear O God within my breastAlmighty ever-present DeityLife, that in me hast rest,As I Undying Life, have power in Thee Vain are the thousand …

Wise Poets – Denise Levertov – Aware

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Priscilla Denise Levertov (October 24, 1923 – December 20, 1997) When I opened the doorI found the vine leavesspeaking among themselves in abundantwhispers.                   My presence made themhush their green breath,embarrassed, the wayhumans stand up, buttoning their jackets,acting as if they were leaving anyway, as ifthe conversation had endedjust before you arrived.                                               I likedthe glimpse I had, though,of …

Wise Poets – David Whyte – Sometimes

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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

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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

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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 …

Poetry Of Clouds

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Sunrise On A New Year Another year, another journey via an elliptical orbit around a yellow star in a solar system named the Milky Way.  Although there is no spiritual difference between December 31st and January 1st, each year at this time I find myself preparing for a new beginning. The start of a new …

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

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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 to …

David Suzuki On Concentration

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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.

Cathy Song – Ikebana

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

Jorie Graham – Why

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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

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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.

Marvin Bell On Art

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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

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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.

James Baldwin On Black Writers

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 …

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

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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

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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.

Anya Krugovoy Silver – Red Never Lasts

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Anya Krugovoy Silver (December 22, 1968 – August 6, 2018) There’s no doubt it’s the most glamorous,the one you reach for first—its luscious gloss.Russian Roulette, First Dance, Apéritif, Cherry Pop.For three days, your nails are a Ferris wheel,a field of roses, a flashing neon Open sign.Whatever you’re wearing feels like a tight dressand your hair …

Charles M Blow On Race

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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.

Lisel Mueller – Brendel Playing Schubert

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Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) We bring our hands togetherin applause, that absurd noise,when we want to be silent. We might as wellbe banging pots and pans,it is that jarring, a violationof the music we've listened towithout moving, almost holding our breath.The pianist in his blindinglywhite summer jacket bowsand disappears and …

Adam Zagajewski On Poets

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Adam Zagajewski (June 21, 1945 – March 21, 2021) Poets must have firm opinions about life and death, but not political opinions: I don’t think that tax reform legislation is any business of poets.

Archilochus On Fear And Beliefs

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Archilochus (680–645 BC) Nothing can be surprising any more or impossible or miraculous, now that Zeus, father of the Olympians has made night out of noonday, hiding the bright sunlight, and . . . fear has come upon mankind. After this, men can believe anything, expect anything...

Keith Allen Haring On Art

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Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.

Audre Lorde – Parts Of The Self

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Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) There's always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself - whether it's Black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. - because that's the piece that they need to key in to. They want to dismiss everything else.

Emile Zola On Passion

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Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (April 02, 1840 – September 29, 1902) I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb – Basic Needs

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Vanessa Jimenez Gabb There will be workBy late fallRaining inHabana ViejoIt’s so hardTo not think of youPrivacy is complicatedThe famous hotelBy the seaWhere did you come fromWhere did you come fromSometimes the verbsAren't importantThank youFor this organizationThe conspicuous absenceOf logosThese mountains I believeWill absolve meWhen I rememberTo look upMoney doesn't alwaysMean what I thinkIt doesIt …


A house that offers sanctuary, that embraces family and friends alike with comfort and warmth, becomes a refuge from the world outside—a truly peaceful home and haven that soothes the senses and refreshes the spirit. — Ann Rooney Heuer I believe this body is my sacred space. Wherever I am, it is a place of refuge …

Anton Chekhov On The Holy

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (January 29, 1860 – July 15, 1904) My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love and the most absolute freedom imaginable, freedom from violence and lies, no matter what form the latter two take.

Dawn Lundy Martin – They will tell you that I was sick, that I was a drug addict.

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Dawn Lundy Martin They will tell you that I was sick, that I was a drug addict. They will tell you I died a natural death. Sometimes young people just die, they will say, we don’t know why. They will say I was lazy, that I could not work because of disease and just general …

EE Cummings On Love

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EE Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962) …love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness; the truth more first than sun more last than star…