Category Archives: quotations and poetry

what consoles us and what redeems us

Our hermitage is the act of living with attention in the midst of things: amid the rhythms of work and love, the bath with the child, the endlessly growing paperwork, the ever-present likelihood of war, the necessity for taking action to help the world. For us, a good spiritual life is permeable and robust. It […]

things that don’t need explaining

It’s not about having things figured out, or about communicating with other people, trying to make them understand what you understand. It’s about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow. Things that don’t need explaining. – Ann Beattie

to be at peace with myself

I want first of all to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact – to borrow from the language of the […]

other marvels

I have learned to release my expectations.  Sometimes, you have to be content to face east instead of west, miss the eclipse, feel the strangeness at your back, and know there will be other marvels.  You have no idea.  The world is full of them. – Jillian Lauren, Everything You Ever Wanted

the evanescent extraordinary makes its quicksilver

Art replaces the light that is lost when the day fades, the moment passes, the evanescent extraordinary makes its quicksilver.  Art tries to capture that which we know leaves us, as we move in and out of each other’s lives, as we all must eventually leave this earth. Great artists know that shadow, work always […]

beauty tinged with sadness

As for me, I see both the beauty and the dark side of things; the loveliness of cornfields and full sails, but the ruin as well.  And I see them at the same time, at once ecstatic at the beauty of things, and chary of that ecstasy.  The Japanese have a phrase for this dual […]

meeting what comes with the full force of your heart

“Strength means honoring your entire range of emotion, even your despair and heartbreak. Especially your despair and heartbreak. It means acknowledging each of those feelings, your questions, and ideas, and faith, and terror, and meeting what comes with the full force of your heart.” -Brenda Shaughnessy I found this beautiful quote on Helen Boggess’s absolutely […]

the magic that is waiting and looking

The notebooks are full of a fierce attention to things I do not know.  But now I know what they are for. These are records of ordered transcendence.  A watcher’s diary.  My father’s talk of patience had held within it all the magic that is waiting and looking up at the moving sky. – Helen […]

literature is asking us to pay attention

“From the simplest lyric to the most complex novel, literature is asking us to pay attention. Pay attention to the frog. Pay attention to the west wind. Pay attention to the boy on the raft, the lady on the tower, the old man on the train. In sum, pay attention to the world and all […]

If your eyes are open

“Don’t scorn your life just because it’s not dramatic, or it’s impoverished, or it looks dull, or it’s workaday. Don’t scorn it. It is where poetry is taking place if you’ve got the sensitivity to see it, if your eyes are open.” – Philip Levine