Quotes and poems


“One of the few things I know is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for later, give it all.  Give it now, something more will arise for later.  Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.  You open your safe and find ashes.”

Annie Dillard

– an interesting idea; I suppose it needs to be combined with good judgment and she is not advocating spending your last dime on treats and being unable to pay the rent.  More the idea of not living in fear of poverty and so starving your actual life of experience. BG

To take things seriously – as my books are said to do – betokens no heaviness of spirit. Taking things seriously is no more than according things their true weight and seeing their innate value. It springs from a desire to weigh things on the scale of the heart rather than indulging in suspicion and distrust.

Rilke – Letter to Rudolph Bodlander, 13 March 1922

I yearn for my work, because it always helps me make sense of things.  For never was a horror experienced without an angel stepping in from the opposite direction to witness it with me.

Rilke – Letter to Marianne von Goldschmidt Rothschild December 5, 1914.

If we imagine our being as a room of any size, it seems that most of us know only a single corner of that room, a spot by the window, a narrow strip on which we keep walking back and forth. It gives a kind of security. But isn’t insecurity with all its dangers so much more human?

We are not prisoners of that room.

Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

A voice said, Look me in the stars

And tell me truly, men of earth,

If all the soul-and-body scars

Were not too much to pay for birth.

“The tasks that have been entrusted to us are often difficult.  Almost everything that matters is difficult, and everything matters.”

Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet.

A Holiday Carol
by
Abby Bernal

there is a voice within us all that if we listen…long enough…hard enough….
we will hear….
it comes from the softness…within our soul….
and when I close my eyes and imagine the sound…it feels like a silk sheet sliding though my fingers….
it is a whisper…that gives us the strength to move forward through a loud cry….
it is a guide…that gives us sight…to navigate in the darkness….
and if we all listen long enough…we will hear each others’ voices when our room is silent….
if we all listen long enough…we can quench each others’ thirst with the taste of a lingering melody….
and this holiday season…if we allow ourselves to listen….
long enough….
hard enough….
we will hear the sound that begins as a whisper…grow into a song….
and collectively our inner voice…will carol….

From Abigail (Artbook Bindery, 2009), ©Abby Bernal.

Previously posted on Poetry Daily

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