Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon. — Rumi
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire. — Henry Miller
The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks. — Tennessee Williams
Live for awhile in the books you love. Learn from them what is worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be returned to you a thousand times over. Whatever your life may become, these books — of this I am certain — will weave through the web of your unfolding. They will be among the strongest of all threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys. — Rainer Maria Rilke
In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses. — Isaac Marion
And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrassed, perhaps also protesting. But don’t give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and the day will come when instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers – perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life. — Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letter 9, Letters to a Young Poet
Funny how we think of romance as always involving two, when the romance of solitude can be ever so much more delicious and intense. Alone, the world offers itself freely to us. To be unmasked, it has no choice. — Tom Robbins
A mountain keeps an echo deep inside. That’s how I hold your voice. — Rumi
Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am. – Henry Miller
I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things. — Tom Waits
I don’t often post poems, but a few lines from this came to mind today (the 2nd stanza), almost 25 years after I memorized it.
“When I’m alone”—the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
“When I was young,” he said; “when I was young…”
I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we’re alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good night.
Alone… The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown.
Being solitary is being alone well; being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement. — Alice Koller
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling. — Jack Kerouac
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. – John Muir
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. — Muhammad Ali
Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless. — Paul Bowles
There are two ways to pass a hurdle: leaping over or plowing through. There needs to be a monster truck option.
— Jeph Jacques
A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price. — Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves. — James Kavanaugh
The image is this feeling like one of those telephone poles you see on the street on which a lot of notices have been stapled and then torn away, and they leave little triangles of paper, held by staples. On those notices were things lost and things found and the photos of people missing, and now even the photos are missing as a metaphor for what happens in life. All this experience is tacked upon us and then torn away, and we become a residue of all this experience. — Ted Kooser
I am pleased enough with the surfaces – in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind – what else is there? What else do we need? — Edward Abbey
In a few minutes I heard the books’ voices: a low, steady, unsuppressible hum. I’d heard it many times before. I’ve always had a finely tuned ear for a library’s accumulations of echo and desire. Libraries are anything but hushed. — Martha Cooley
Given that we can live only a small part of what there is in us — what happens with the rest? — Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon