|Quotes & Inspirations|
"CONSTANT TOIL IS THE LAW OF ART, AS IT IS OF LIFE"
If an artist does not spring to his work as a soldier to the breach, if once within the crater he does not labour as a miner buried in the earth, if he contemplates his difficulties instead of conquering them one by one, the work remains unacheived, production becomes impossible, and the artist assists in the suicide of his own talent...The solution of the problem can be found only through incessant and sustained work...true artists, true poets, generate and give birth today, tomorrow, ever. From this habit of labour results a ceaseless comprehension of difficulties which keep them in communion with the muse and her creative forces.
"Your work is unbeautiful, alright, let it be unbeautiful. It will grieve you, but it must not discourage you. Nature demands a certain devotion, and she demands a period of struggling with her...It is the experience and hard work of every day which alone will ripen in the long run and allow one to do something truer and more complete...You will not always do well, but the days you least expect it, you will do that which holds its own with the work of those who have gone before."
- Van Gogh
"NO WOMAN SHOULD BE SHAMEFACED IN ATTEMPTING THROUGH HER WORK TO GIVE BACK TO THE WORLD A PORTION OF IT'S LOST HEART..."
"One day you finally knew
- from "The Journey" in Dream Work by MaryOliver, The Atlantic Monthly Press
"It costs so much to be a full human being, that there are very few who have the enlightenment or courage to pay the price. One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying."
- from The Shoes of the Fisherman
Life has taught me
"A well appeared before me in my wilderness,
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
Then took the other, just as fair,
And both that morning equally lay
I shall be telling this with a sigh
"it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat or victory."
(P.S. "great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...")
Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? You're playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. As we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others.
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
the long tapers
of the ponds,
in my lifetime
you must be able
against your bones knowing
It is important that we be strengthened by the wisdom of our grievings. The scientists may tinker, the politicians may instruct us in the various ploys of unconsciousness, the physicians may delay death awhile with yet another cure, but, until each
Without words, it comes. And suddenly, sharply, one is aware of being separated from every person on one's earth and every object, and from the beginning of things and from the future and even, a little, from one's self. A moment before one was happily playing; the world was round and friendly. Now at one's feet there are chasms that had been invisible until this moment. And one knows, and never remembers how it was learned, that there will always be chasms, and across the chasms will always be those one loves.
Refuse to fall down
“You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.”
Florida Scott Maxwell
“It’s not the outside things that deform you, it’s the choices you make. The only thing you can do is love, because it is the only thing that leaves light inside you, instead of total, obliterating darkness…”
Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.
You don’t create your mission in life – you detect it.
No one tests the depths of a river with both feet.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
“It seems to me that we are charcoal ready to be kindled, and that Holy Communion [Creativity] is entirely suited to set us on fire. But when the charcoal is kindled only on the surface, as soon as it is set aside, it is extinguished. On the contrary, that which is fired all the way to the center is not extinguished, but consumed.”
Sister Marguerite Bourgeoys
“Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost.”
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Gandhi
“The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel
”It’s a spiritual paradox: with faith comes doubt. A little questioning now and then can actually strengthen your beliefs. Don’t be afraid of self examination.”
“Faith is nothing but a living, wide-awake consciousness of God within.”
“That is faith for you. It’s belief even when the gods don’t deliver.”
“Kindness is the mark of faith; and whoever has not kindness, has not faith.”
“The world is a wondrous place, and it cannot be diminished by anything except fear, and by caring more for things than for one another.”
Rob. F. Allen
"Use every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting you attend, to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams. Affirm to others the vision of the world you want. You are a free, immensely powerful source of life and goodness. Affirm it. Spread it. Radiate it. Think day and night about it and you will see a miracle happen: the greatness of our own life.”
Robert Muller, Former Assistant Secretary General, United Nations
“As a young man, I set out to be a poet. This was the glass that I poured my essence into. It was the identity that carried me through great seas of doubt. But the crucible of life broke that glass, and I deeply feared I had lost all of who I am. But it wasn’t true, for the water of me filled a wider glass that I can only call my sense of being. The truth is that the same thing happened to me emotionally. I tried for so long to be the good Mark, only to have that glass crack, letting the water of my heart fill a deeper glass that I can only call the authentic Mark.”
From: Journey to Wholeness
I would start at the beginning if I knew where the beginning was, but I do not know for sure. I only suspect that it all starts with the first deep wound, and after that, like a person who limps or cradles their withered arm close to their side, we favor the place where the knife went in.
Each of us carries with us an inner knowledge about the way we have been and will be betrayed: so there are those who believe we make it happen out of our unrest. But maybe it is simply that great needs cause great fears, and great fears keep us needful long into the night.
There are two fears really. The original wound from way back when, and the fear of giving up our defenses and having to face the wild arrows of pain, so the fear becomes a roadblock that we serve and maintain. Which is why those who cannot trust enough make sure they will not be trusted, and those who fear most to be orphaned, widowed, or worthless, find themselves so again and again.
Emotions rule all of us, even those who think they don’t, and the most ruled are those who’ve had to develop a large rational scaffolding to support their fears. Fears fight war and conquer worlds, build temples and bank accounts, get married and raise kids, but those who fear are always planning their defenses and their retreat, never living life, just escaping, never loving, only weeping.
We all carry cross-hatching of a thousand wounds. The wounds of childhood, still bleeding like the signs of the stigmata. The wound of adolescence, still stinging with dull remembered pain. The bitter wounds of adult failure, or soured loves and lost dreams.
How to make them all go away? How to become brave and young again? How to wipe the slate clean and reenter the world like a tabula rasa, trusting and trustworthy again? I wish I knew.
I only know the answer doesn’t lie in learning how to protect yourself from life. It lies in learning how to strengthen yourself so you can let a bit more of it in.
"At Laguna, when someone dies, you don't 'get over it' by forgetting; you 'get over it' by remembering, and by remembering you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our lives and loved us, as we have loved them.."
~ Leslie Marmon Silko, poet/novelist, The Delicacy and Strength of Lace (Graywolf Press)
Kenyon, Jane 1947 – 1995
“Let Evening Come”
Let the light of late afternoon
Let the cricket take up chafing
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
(Jane Kenyon was a major American poet whose works are collected in the volume Otherwise published by Graywolf Press, Minneapolis. She lived and wrote in New Hampshire with her husband, the poet Donald Hall, whose volume Without consists of letters to and about Jane in the year after her early death from leukemia.
From an interview with Bill Moyers: