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Things that inspire me

Mary Oliver
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
toward it.

Louise Erdrich
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

Franz Kafka
“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.”


Annie Dillard
In the deeps are the violence and terror of which psychology has warned us. But if you ride these monsters deeper down, if you drop with them farther over the world’s rim, you find what our sciences cannot locate or name, the substrate, the ocean or matrix or ether which buoys the rest, which gives goodness its power for good, and evil its power for evil…


Jenn Tate
i wanted so badly to dance at the edge of time
to sing into the void and hear
even a whisper calling back to me
i wanted to fill my life with an avalanche of
light and shadow
of fierce possibilities and
graceful arcs of color
i need you to know that
was the most powerful word i knew
but today i was on the sidewalk,
and i caught an edge and i slipped
my ankle turned and my heart broke.
i fell through the grey leaves of the tree that grows on the falling rocks
and there was no whisper back to me,
there was nothing to hear.
nothing at all.
all my life, i have lived to create a
thousand possible worlds that would appear in this
space we share,
this world we love, bleed and die in.
but today, my heart is tired
and all my logic, my reason and my love
are piles of ashes at my feet.