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“We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows. In silence, we might better say, we can hear someone else think.” –from The Eloquent Sounds of Silence by Pico Iyer

Just one of the juicy tidbits from the Poetica podcast “Silence.”

10 Important Reasons to Start Making Time for Silence, Rest and Solitude
by Thai Nguyen

“What’s typically seen as useless, daydreaming is now being seen as an essential experience … ”

Read the full article.

It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender

It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender

From the “Truisms” series by Jenny Holzer

The usually colorful Cyrille was quite somber when I arrived for a long overdue haircut. A friend of his died yesterday, he shared with me quietly. Then not even five minutes later, one of his fellow stylists cried out, “He’s here!” while staring intently at her phone. Her baby nephew had just been born. It was a sweet and poignant moment, as she dashed around the room showing off his picture to everyone.

I’ve begun to think of humanity as a kind of wild and beautiful macroorganism. Something more profound than mere empathy is at play in our shared joys and pains. When we honor and respect one another, we are really aiding and nurturing ourselves. And when we hurt each other, whether through violence or callous disdain, we harm not just an individual but our collective being.

We are blessed in that we can consciously shape our collective future. I can almost see it, a great flowering of humanity over time. Ancestors, activists, and inventors–many before us have given to build the world we share today. Can we do no less for future generations?

I believe, naively perhaps, but quite passionately, that we have the ability to create heaven on earth. It happens when we share our stories with one another, acknowledge each other with compassion, lend a helping hand, and ask for support when we need it.

Walt Whitman by Becca Ward

Walt Whitman by Becca Ward

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

–Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass

“The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. The ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes these stages moments of an organic unity, where they not merely do not contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other; and constitutes thereby the life of the whole.”

–Hegel, “Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit”

Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

This speaks to my introvert’s soul.

At the Center, Stillness

“There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.”

— Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks (translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins)

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Just Being Jas

poorartists:

Paige Bradley created one of the most striking sculptures I’ve seen in recent times. Her masterpiece, entitled Expansion, is a beautiful woman seeking inner piece but fractured and bleeding with light.

“From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: a social security number, a gender, a race, a profession,” says Bradley. “I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies?”

justbeingjas:

Love this!

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A little over a month ago, installation artist Candy Chang turned the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a giant chalkboard where passersby could write up their personal aspirations…

Before I Die, “transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us,” Chang writes on her website.

Via: CreativeReview