We can’t prove Must. We can’t point to it, or define where it stops and starts, because it’s not a thing that we can see. But we know that it exists because when it’s near, we feel it in our gut, it begs for a second glance, pulls us into another dimension, a space out of time where a day can pass in a moment.* Elle Luna
The final movement of a ballet, the coda of a symphony, the couplet of a sonnet, the last act and its story climax – these culminating moments must be the most gratifying, meaningful experiences of all.* Robert McKee
I am sixty-one, and I am also four, and twelve, and fifteen, and twenty-three, and thirty-one, ad forty-five, and … and … and … If we lose any part of ourselves, we are thereby diminished. If I cannot be thirteen and sixty-one simultaneously, part of me has been taken away.** Madeleine L’Engle
Are we there yet? Hopefully not, For as long as we are travelling we can be curious, And as long as we are curious we create tension, And tension open up a place within for something to happen, The possibility of growth, The possibility of creativity. Wisdom is not what we know, Though we can never know too much; Wisdom is a beautiful expression of all that we are and all that we know, And awaiting lies another intensity.
Old men should be explorers Here and there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity.^
I am learning to see. I don’t know why it is, but everything penetrates more deeply into me and does not stop at the place where until now it always used to finish. I have an inner self of which I was ignorant. Everything goes thither now. What happens there I do not know.* Rainer Maria Rilke
in indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit** Robin Wall Kimerer
I am happy to get out of the way; To be unnoticed but noticing, Unobserved but observing, Is to be free, Is to be open to awe – Found in others and all of the world:
This sort of mind-bending awe … requires us to open up to the wonders of the world in a different way, and to harness the power of our imaginations to evoke moments of awe within us.^
And then, If I may, I will bring to you what I find.
The attentive consciousness can be regarded as the very space of our personalities.* José Ortega y Gasset
creativity starts with engaging with the world on our own terms, noticing what others miss, and attending to what matters most to you** Rob Walker
Bernadette Jiwa poses the question, What would you do if you could not fail?,^ Then replaces it with a better one: What would you do even though you might fail?^ It is far more likely that the second question will help us identify what it is we most want to do with our lives. gapingvoid adds further nuance by suggesting this will be something that is marked by goodness, that:
doing good was our greatest source of happiness^^.
When it comes to the thing that we’re noticing most of all in life, You may want to spend a little more time with it and see how you can bring it alive for someone else.
It is … a way of exposing one’s ceaseless growth, the dynamic self that has yet to be. The infinite player does not expect only to be amused by surprise, but to be transformed by it, for surprise does not alter some abstract past, but one’s own personal past.* James Carse
Once inside the imagination all manner of inexplicable things occur. Time gets loopy, the past presses itself against the present, and the future pours out its secrets.** Nick Cave
It certainly isn’t always so, But sometimes, When I am reading, I slip out of chronos time with all of its linearity, Into kairos time with its significant, transformative moments. In these times, What the author wrote and what I read generates something new in me that I must share.
If a reader cannot create a nook along with the writer, the book will never come to life.^
Awestruck (Jonah Paquette) Benedictus (John O’Donohue) Building and Dwelling (Richard Sennett) Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul (Philip Newell) Almost Everything (Anne Lamott) Four Thousand Weeks (Oliver Burkeman) The Art of Self Improvement (Anna Katharina Schaffner) Several short sentences on writing (Verlyn Klinkenborg) Figuring (Maria Popova) The Hero’s Journey (Stephen Gilligan and Robert Dilts) From Strength to Strength (Arthur Brooks) Hero On a Mission (Donald Miller) Atomic Habits (James Clear) Grit (Angela Duckworth) Life Is In the Transitions (Bruce Feiler)
I have no idea how to get my students to build a self or become a soul … and in the hundreds of faculty appointments I have participated in, we’ve never evaluated a candidate on how well he or she could accomplish it.* Steven Pinker
The flâneur move through the city with neither a map nor a plan. He has to feel himself free and alone, ready for the imponderable.** Federico Castigliano
We must take what is out side of us inside, And then take what we find forming inside of us outside; Not forgetting that a soul take a lifetime to grow.
You were born to make art. But you’ve been brainwashed into believing you can’t trust yourself enough to do so.* Seth Godin
bring new skills to an old problem, or a new problem to old skills** David Epstein
You must not think that you can only do this or only do that. It is more than possible that you can bring something others cannot, And being truly humble – For there is also a falsely humble – This is made even more powerful, So if you hear the call, If I were you, I’d say yes. I trust you to take nothing for granted, To be fully present and Charged with alacrity.
To be someone, as an artist, means: to be able to speak to one’s self.^
When language becomes exhausted, our freedom dwindles – we cannot think; we do not recognise danger, injustice strikes us no more than “the way things are.”* Madeleine L’Engle
All we need do to impoverish life is to reduce our vocabulary; We need more words to describe our world, people, god, ourselves, The past, the present, the future. Here are two lists I find myself keeping: The words that are special to me, Raising my heart-rate and serving as portkeys to multitudinous destinations; The words I write down as I’m reading – Some I do not know, Others I haven’t come upon in a long while (I share some below). I mention these only because i wonder what your important words may be and what they encourage you to bring into the world.
From my list of words unknown to me: inspiratrice monads analysands adumbration metonymy trifecta palimpsest sumptuary thelemic prolix afferent negatios lensatic connubial pusillanimous
(There are 13 of my favourite words in the word search; I’ve highlighted the first, and you’re welcome to try and find the others.)
Which is better? Feeling like you were right the first time or actually being correct now?* Seth Godin
We have become a generation of unstorytellers, which is a reason we’re a generation of malcontents.** Bruce Feiler
When I came upon Seth Godin’s words a year ago, I reflected on how I am now in the right place doing the right things; I was also able to admit that this has not always been so. I’ve changed my story. In the past I was sure that I was doing the right things – And perhaps I was … For then … And perhaps in the future I’ll look at now in a similar way. One thing I know is the more I’ve seen my life as a living story the more I have overcome the problems and have moved towards the things I want to fill my days with.