I asked him, are we too few, we of the poet’s vintage? Are there simply too many of the others? Those who do not prize either poetry or flight. Who re-cork the bottle before we’ve finished drinking. Who are a herbicide to the idiosyncratic and a pesticide to difference. Who buy pasteurised verbs and keep them in the fridge, who check their hearts are sterilised, and who, seeing the very liquidity of love, would only handle it with rubber gloves. Who keep the garbage foiled-wrapped for freshness but think a vegetable garden is dirty. Who think the volcanic is just another reason for dusting. Who like to titter but never really laugh. Who buy cut-price emotions, a bargain in the marketplace. Who are sociable enough to gossip but not kind enough for friends. Who keep their cash safe but freely betray a confidence. Who use their own shallowness to scorn profundity. Whose incuriousity closes minds and books and conversations. Who never knew bewilderment or what it was to wonder. Whose self-certainty was as cruelly clean as their curtains, and as surely sterile. Who aimed for the average and scored it competently, who knos ambition but not aspiration. Who opt for the ordinart and would sue a bird for singing.

Jay Griffiths, A Love Letter from a Stray Moon, p. 74-5

An American undertaker once wrote that grief is like falling in love, but backwards.
So now I realise that perhaps the falling in love isn’t all that important.
Perhaps it is the rising to it that counts.

Alice Pung, ‘To the Moment it all Fell Apart’, in Women of Letters, p. 202

The notion that sequences of real events possess the formal attributes of the stories we tell about imaginary events could only have its origins in wishes, day-dreams, reveries.

Hayden White, The Content of the Form. (via hobbyhorsical)

The state of the world depresses me at the present. It seems like the news is filled with people being cruel to each other and then I saw a ‘heart warming video that will save your belief in humanity’; it was people rescuing animals. Fuck, if you can’t find five minutes of video footage of people helping other people regardless of their difference, perhaps human cruelty is endemic.

Last month I was called naive by a library patron because I refused to agree with his conspiracy theories (regarding computer usage) and his summation that everyone is only out for themselves. I wore it like a badge for a while, glad to be naive if it meant I always saw the good in people. Shortly after, I took a long hiatus from social internet because the hate and cruelty present was too much. The sad thing is, maybe the library patron, with his strange and twisted worldview that everyone is out to get him, has something of the truth; people at heart will never be kind unless it is to animals.

Any discipline can help your writing: logic, mathematics, theology, and of course and particularly drawing. Anything that helps you see, anything that makes you look. The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that doesn’t require his attention.

Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners p. 84 (via habitofbeing)

(via firebrandcafe)

A library is many things. It’s a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It’s a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books — the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together — just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people — people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

E.B. White (via booksalon)

(via librarianish)