Tag Archives: words for the weekend

Words For The Weekend (Breathe, Anne Lamott and The Vigil) Volume XIIIr (repost)

Hi everyone! I’m taking a short break to do some traveling and enjoy the sunny skies, so I’m reposting one of my favorite weekend posts from last October (original post HERE). Enjoy and I’ll catch up with you all soon! Love, Christy

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This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 10/13/12 (Volume XIII). I hope you enjoy them too.

* For a little twist this week, all quotes are from Anne Lamott. Her quotes inspired the selection of this week’s song and poem as well. Anne’s work is available on Amazon HERE.

~~~

Cause you can’t jump the track
We’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button boys so cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breathe just breathe

2Am and I’m still awake writing this song
If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me threaten’ the life it belongs to.
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary screamin’ out aloud
And I know that you’ll use them however you want to…

~ Anna Nalick, “Breathe (2AM)” (lyrics), from album “Wreck of the Day

Alternate Song: “Breathe In Breathe Out” by Mat Kearney:

“Breathe in, breathe out, Move on and break down, If everyone goes away I will stay. We push and pull, And I fall down sometimes, I’m not letting go, You hold the other line. Cause there is a light in your eyes, in your eyes…”

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“Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe,” he said. “Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe.” ~ Anne Lamott in Salon, April 25, 2003

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Source: Pinterest.com

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Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived…Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. ~ Anne Lamott

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Source: Pinterest.com

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Joy is the best make-up. ~ Anne Lamott

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Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up… Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. ~ Anne Lamott

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Here are the two best prayers I know: Help me, help me, help me and Thank you, thank you, thank you. ~ Anne Lamott

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Source: Oprah.com

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Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship. ~ Anne Lamott

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If you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. ~ Anne Lamott

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VIGIL by Dennis O’Driscoll

Life is too short to sleep through.
Stay up late, wait until the sea of traffic ebbs,
until noise has drained from the world
like blood from the cheeks of the full moon.
Everyone else around you has succumbed:
they lie like tranquillised pets on a vet’s table;
they languish on hospital trolleys and friends’ couches,
on iron beds in hostels for the homeless,
under feather duvets at tourist B&Bs.
The radio, devoid of listeners to confide in,
turns repetitious. You are your own voice-over.
You are alone in the bone-weary tower
of your bleary-eyed, blinking lighthouse,
watching the spillage of tide on the shingle inlet.
You are the single-minded one who hears
time shaking from the clock’s fingertips
like drops, who watches its hands
chop years into diced seconds,
who knows that when the church bell
tolls at 2 or 3 it tolls unmistakably for you.
You are the sole hand on deck when
temperatures plummet and the hull
of an iceberg is jostling for prominence.
Your confidential number is the life-line
where the sedated long-distance voices
of despair hold out muzzily for an answer.
You are the emergency services’ driver
ready to dive into action at the first
warning signs of birth or death.
You spot the crack in night’s façade
even before the red-eyed businessman
on look-out from his transatlantic seat.
You are the only reliable witness to when
the light is separated from the darkness,
who has learned to see the dark in its true
colours, who has not squandered your life.

“Vigil” by Dennis O’Driscoll, from “New and Selected Poems” © Anvil Press Poetry (Visit Poetry Daily for the well-written essay “The Future of Irish Poetry?” which includes more of O’Driscoll’s work and thoughtful analysis on current Irish poets.)
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Source: pinterest.com

Words For The Weekend (My mother is a poem), Volume 36

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 5/11/13 (Volume 36). I hope you enjoy them too.

In honor of Mother’s Day on May 12:

~~~

“She is not the picture on the magazine
She’s the woman just behind you at the checkout stand
She may appear to be common but she mystifies
In all the ways the wisest men and children understand
‘Cause she has eyes that sparkle with her love
And she has a smile that’s as gentle as a dove
And no woman from a movie or an ad could ever hope to be
As beautiful as she

She is not a highly honored diplomat
Held responsible to lead the world to peace
But what she does is every bit as serious
Amidst the turmoil everywhere that will never cease
‘Cause she has hands that wipe the tears away
And she has a voice that makes everything O.K.
And no woman from the papers or T.V. could ever hope to be
As indispensable as she

And it breaks my heart every time I see her wonder
If she means anything in this world that pulls her under
And she doesn’t always see the way that Heaven smiles above her
That’s the reason I try to always tell her that I love her

‘Cause she may not be known for giving millions
To the charities and auctions on the news
But I believe she’s given more than anyone
In all the times she’s ever had to choose
To give up sleep to rock her children every night
And give her heart to always hold their dreams so tight
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she”

~ “She” performed by Cherie Call (her website and lyrics HERE). Available on “Beneath These Stars”  Video HERE

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Alternate song: “Child of Mine” performed by Carole King on album “Carole King The Carnegie Hall Concert June 18, 1971,” video link HERE.

“You don’t need direction, you know which way to go
And I don’t want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow
You’re the one who taught me you don’t have to look behind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, child of mine
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine

Nobody’s gonna kill your dreams
Or tell you how to live your life
There’ll always be people to make it hard for a while
But you’ll change their heads when they see you smile

The times you were born in may not have been the best
But you can make the times to come better than the rest
I know you will be honest if you can’t always be kind
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine”

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What I Learned From My Mother

BY JULIA KASDORF

I learned from my mother how to love

the living, to have plenty of vases on hand

in case you have to rush to the hospital

with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants

still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars

large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole

grieving household, to cube home-canned pears

and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins

and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.

I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know

the deceased, to press the moist hands

of the living, to look in their eyes and offer

sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.

I learned that whatever we say means nothing,

what anyone will remember is that we came.

I learned to believe I had the power to ease

awful pains materially like an angel.

Like a doctor, I learned to create

from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once

you know how to do this, you can never refuse.

To every house you enter, you must offer

healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,

the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

From Sleeping Preacher, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992. Copyright © 1992 by Julia Kasdorf. Via PoetryFoundation.Org

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~ Abe Lincoln Image via Tumblr

~ Abe Lincoln
Image via Tumblr

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“My mother is a poem
I’ll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.”
Sharon Doubiago

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Words For The Weekend (Try Not to Worry, Keep in the Sunlight, Come Into the Peace of Wild Things), Volume 27

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 2/2/13 (Volume 27). I hope you enjoy them too.

A special thank you to everyone for the thoughts, prayers, hugs and support this week during my time of worry and uncertainty around my dog’s health. Her biopsy went well, though she had quite a loopy evening. Results Tuesday or Wednesday… I’ll keep you all posted as I learn more. I’m doing my best to not worry–a perfect topic for this weekend’s selection (and a helpful distraction for me to compose). A quick note on the first two songs: my mom would often sing these songs to me as a child–to this day, they still calm and ease my worried mind. As for the closing song, I discovered Bob Marley later in life, and while “Three Little Birds” may better fit the Don’t Worry theme, “No Woman, No Cry” relaxes me more when I am stressed. I mentioned to a friend that it’s impossible to be sad and listen to Bob at the same time. I hope you enjoy the songs and quotes. Thanks again for all the love! ~ Christy

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“And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colours all run dry
And if I ever lose my eyes – Oh,
I won’t have to cry no more
Yes, I’m being followed by a moon shadow
Moon shadow moon shadow
Leaping and hopping on a moonshadow
Moon shadow moon shadow”

~ Cat Stevens (Yusuf), “Moonshadow”, on  album “The Very Best of Cat Stevens“, video link HERE.

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Alternate song: “Everything’s Alright” performed by Yvonne Elliman from “Jesus Christ Superstar” original cast recording, video link HERE

“Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh.
Don’t you know
Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine.
And we want you to sleep well tonight.
Let the world turn without you tonight.
If we try, we’ll get by, so forget all about us tonight”

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“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

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“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.
Keep in the sunlight.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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“But I can hardly sit still. I keep fidgeting, crossing one leg and then the other. I feel like I could throw off sparks, or break a window–maybe rearrange all the furniture.” ~ Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories

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“They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.” ~ Jack Kerouac

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“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

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“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:27 and 6:34

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“There are very few things in the mind which eat up as much energy as worry. It is one of the most difficult things not to worry about anything. Worry is experienced when things go wrong, but in relation to past happenings it is idle merely to wish that they might have been otherwise. The frozen past is what it is, and no amount of worrying is going to make it other than what it has been. But the limited ego-mind identifies itself with its past, gets entangled with it and keeps alive the pangs of frustrated desires. Thus worry continues to grow into the mental life of man until the ego-mind is burdened by the past. Worry is also experienced in relation to the future when this future is expected to be disagreeable in some way. In this case it seeks to justify itself as a necessary part of the attempt to prepare for coping with the anticipated situations. But, things can never be helped merely by worrying. Besides, many of the things which are anticipated never turn up, or if they do occur, they turn out to be much more acceptable than they were expected to be. Worry is the product of feverish imagination working under the stimulus of desires. It is a living through of sufferings which are mostly our own creation. Worry has never done anyone any good, and it is very much worse than mere dissipation of psychic energy, for it substantially curtails the joy and fullness of life.” ~ Meher Baba, Discourses

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“That the birds of worry and care fly over you head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” ~ Chinese Proverb

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“Don’t worry. Worry is useless. I worried anyway.” ~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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“You worry too much. Eat some bacon…what? No, I got no idea if it’ll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon.” ~ Justin Halpern, Sh*t My Dad Says

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STRANGE MIRACLE

O Wondrous creatures,
By what strange miracle
Do you so often
Not smile?

~ Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

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THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry, “The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

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“Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost, along the way
In this bright future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears I say

No woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
Oh my little sister, don’t shed no tears
No woman, no cry

Everything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright
Ev’rything’s gonna be alright”

“No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley, available on “Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers

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Words For The Weekend (“You want to cry aloud for your mistakes.” Lies, Tangled Webs and Release), Volume 26

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 1/19/13 (Volume 26). I hope you enjoy them too.

~~~

Lie to me, it doesn’t matter anymore
It could never be, the way it was before…

~ Jonny Lang, “Lie to Me”, on  album “Lie to Me“, video link HERE. (Original version HERE)

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Alternate song: The Cranberries, “Not Sorry”, on album “Everybody Else is Doing It So Why Can’t We?“, video link HERE

I swore I’d never feel like this again,
But you’re so selfish, you don’t see
What you’re doing to me…

You told me lies, and I sighed, and I sighed, and I sighed.
‘Cause you lied, lied, and I cried, yes I cried, yes, I cry, I cry, I try again…

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“People trust their eyes above all else – but most people see what they wish to see, or what they believe they should see; not what is really there” ~ Zoë Marriott, Shadows on the Moon

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“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” ~ Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi, Stanza 17

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“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain

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“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

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“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

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“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” ~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

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“There is beauty in truth, even if it’s painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies only strengthen our defects. They don’t teach anything, help anything, fix anything or cure anything. Nor do they develop one’s character, one’s mind, one’s heart or one’s soul.” ~ José N. Harris

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“Cathy’s lies were never innocent. Their purpose was to escape punishment, or work, or responsibility, and they were used for profit. Most liars are tripped up either because they forget what they have told or because the lie is suddenly faced with an incontrovertible truth. But Cathy did not forget her lies, and she developed the most effective method of lying. She stayed close enough to the truth so that one could never be sure. She knew two other methods also — either to interlard her lies with truth or to tell a truth as though it were a lie. If one is accused of a lie and it turns out to be the truth, there is a backlog that will last a long time and protect a number of untruths.” ~ John Steinbeck, East of Eden

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“I can’t believe I said it out loud. The truth doesn’t set you free, you know. It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenseless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable. But free? I don’t feel free. I feel like shit.” ~ Melina Marchetta, Saving Francesca

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“If you’re betrayed, release disappointment at once.
By that way, the bitterness has no time to take root.” ~ Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

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“The only truth is music.” ~ Jack Kerouac

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The Poet with His Face in His Hands by Mary Oliver

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems Volume Two)

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The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver (Dream Work)

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Words For The Weekend (“You’re a Genius All the Time.” Advice On Writing, Creativity, and Life), Volume 25

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 1/12/13 (Volume 25). I hope you enjoy them too.

(My blogging mojo has been taking its own mini-hiatus. I’m not sure where it went. My guess is it probably got mad at me and left the building when I went sugar-free. I’m sure it will be back at some point, at least I hope. I plan on taking a break until my mojo returns; as Bukowski says,

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

Until then, I hope everyone is well. Enjoy this weekend’s words–I’ve made it a slightly longer read to make up for my absence. I’ll see you all soon!)

~~~

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer…

~ The Beatles, “Paperback Writer”, on  album “The Beatles 1“, video link HERE.

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Alternate song: Baz Luhrmann, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”, album HERE, video link HERE, lyrics HERE

I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked… You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind… the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself.

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If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is. ~ Charles Bukowski

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This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. ~ From the Holstee Manifesto (below)

holsteemanifesto

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A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life. ~ E. B. White

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You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself. ~ from Frederick Terral’s Manifesto (below) of Right Brain Terrain

Terral_Manifesto

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Of course I stole the title for this talk (Why I Write), from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this:
I
I
I
In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions — with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating — but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space. ~ Joan Didion

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From Jack Kerouac‘s “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose”, these 30 essential tips:

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You’re a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

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Via “Letters of Note“: On August 8th of 1933, author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the following letter of advice to his 11-year-old daughter, “Scottie,” who was away at camp.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald from F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters.

*

What you should not do, I think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. You shouldn’t worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world…

Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like…

Prestige is just fossilized inspiration. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. Plenty of things we now consider prestigious were anything but at first. Jazz comes to mind—though almost any established art form would do. So just do what you like, and let prestige take care of itself.

Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.

~ Paul Graham, founder of Y-Combinator, from article, How to Do What You Love.

*

so you want to be a writer by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

“so you want to be a writer” by Charles Bukowski, from “Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems

~~~