"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf
25 January 2020
It’s difficult to pinpoint what feeds one’s poetry, for any given person what feeds it, what creates not just a need to do it or to write it, but what actually creates the substance of it, and I think because it is to a degree somewhat mysterious and you’re not totally familiar with it always, [one is] always afraid it’s going to go away. I’ve always lived with that because I go through long periods of time when I don’t write, when I don’t feel like writing, when I don’t feel like I’ve ever written before, and those days are always scary. It’s as if what ever came to you unknown has also left unknown; you are no more aware of its coming than you are aware of its going, and so I think there’s that immense feeling that at any given moment whatever gift you had has become a failure and that you end up almost literally speechless. And I think that’s frightening not because it has anything to do with money or fame or anything else, but because it is one of the ways that you value yourself and if you value yourself in that way and you find the way you value yourself is to a degree mysterious, then it’s frightening, because you don’t know that you can summon it back and say, "Don’t go away."
"The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions but by his habitual acts.” Blaise Pascal
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"It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions."
"Barring love I'll take my life in large doses alone--rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs."
TAO TE CHING, Lao Tzu
The Lone Boat, North Woods Club, Adirondacks, 1892
"There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.”
"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! Sapere aude. 'Have the courage to use your own understanding,' is therefore the motto of the enlightenment."
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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
"You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?"
Spitzweg, The Bookworm, 1850
"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” Fernando Pessoa
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes)."
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. But this business, alas, is fatal to the placid moods and fine other-worldliness of the poet."
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"We all come from our own little planets. That's why we're all different. That's what makes life interesting."
"We're just dancing in the rain ..."
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Unlikely General: "Mad" Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America
"I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; Garlands from window to window; Golden chains from star to star ... And I dance."
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”