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Favorite passages, quotes, poems


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I think then I live in a world of silence.

The language has become lodged in itself a background,

wall of rock, black and resistant as basalt, then sometimes

as viscous as heavy grease, poetry must be reached into

and rested from in a cry. Meaning is now a mixture, it

recedes to itself a solid fix of knowledge. The words

of poems, once rested from the mass, cry shrilly and singly,

then spring back to that magnetic ore body of silence.

The longest poem has become a brief crack into light and sound.

The candle flame through the sliver hums but must be tricked,

wrested out for a mere tick in the radium dark.

The rest is all a walk in stillness, on the parade of

the tombs of meaning. Or is this all still the highest ledge?


— Clark Coolidge, A Note

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“The music is not in the notes,but in the silence between.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


“I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Thanks. I think this one is the ultimate relationship advice haha.

i love those. if it weren't for the filter, i would post his private letters. hilarious, with all the curse words, today considered proof of his Tourrette's.
“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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  • 2 weeks later...

So to have come to this,

remembering what I did do, and what I

didn’t do,

The gulls whimpering over the boathouse,

the monarch butterflies

Cruising the flower beds,

And all the soft hairs of spring thrusting up through the wind,

And the sun, as it always does,

dropping into its slot without a click,

Is a short life of trouble.



—Charles Wright

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none may teach it


There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter Afternoons–

That oppresses, like the Heft

Of Cathedral Tunes–


Heavenly Hurt, it gives us–

We can find no scar,

But internal difference,

Where the Meanings, are–


None may teach it–Any–

‘Tis the Seal Despair–

An imperial affliction

Sent us of the air–


When it comes, the Landscape listens–

Shadows–hold their breath–

When it goes, 'tis like the Distance

On the look of Death–


- Emily inson

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It seems unremarkable at first, and then as time goes by it

Starts to seem unreal, a figment of the years inside a universe

That flows around them and dissolves them in the end,

But meanwhile lets you linger in a universe of one — 

A village on a summer afternoon, a garden after dark,

A small backyard beneath a boring California sky.

I said I still felt young, and so I am, yet what that means

Eludes me. Maybe it’s the feeling of the presence

Of the past, or of its disappearance, or both of them at once — 

A long estrangement and a private singularity, intact

Within a tinkling bell, an iron nail, a pure, angelic clang — 

The echo of a clear, metallic sound from childhood,

Where time began: “Oh, beautiful sound, strike again!”


John Koethe

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  • 2 weeks later...



I will build you a city out of rags, I say!

I will build you, without blueprint or cement,

A building which you will not destroy!

And which a kind of foaming evidence

Will support and swell, which will come to bray in

your nose,

And in the frozen nose of all your Parthenons, your

Arabian arts and your ..


With some smoke, with a dilution of fog

And the sound of a drumskin,

I will lay out superb and overwhelming fortresses

for you,

Fortresses made exclusively of eddies and shakes,

Against which your multimillenial order and your


Will collapse into trifles and bosh and reasonless

sandy dust.


Toll! Toll! Toll on all of us, nothingness of the


Yes, I believe in God! And of course, he knows nothing about it!


Henri Michaux

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“The distinction between diseases of "brain" and "mind," between "neurological" problems and "psychological" or "psychiatric" ones, is an unfortunate cultural inheritance that permeates society and medicine. It reflects a basic ignorance of the relation between brain and mind. Diseases of the brain are seen as tragedies visited on people who cannot be blamed for their condition, while diseases of the mind, especially those that affect conduct and emotion, are seen as social inconveniences for which sufferers have much to answer. Individuals are to be blamed for their character flaws, defective emotional modulation, and so on; lack of willpower is supposed to be the primary problem.”


- Antonio R. Damasio, Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain

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We often have to explain to young people why study is useful. It’s pointless telling them that it’s for the sake of knowledge, if they don’t care about knowledge. Nor is there any point in telling them that an educated person gets through life better than an ignoramus, because they can always point to some genius who, from their standpoint, leads a wretched life. And so the only answer is that the exercise of knowledge creates relationships, continuity, and emotional attachments. It introduces us to parents other than our biological ones. It allows us to live longer, because we don’t just remember our own life but also those of others. It creates an unbroken thread that runs from our adolescence (and sometimes from infancy) to the present day. And all this is very beautiful.

— Umberto Eco

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The head has two ears;

love has just one:

this hears certitude,

whilst those hear doubt.

Until you throw your sword away,

you'll never become a shield;

until you lay your crown aside,

you'll not be fit to lead.

The dead of soul is the destruction of life;

but death of life is the soul's salvation.

Never stand still on the path;

become non-existent; non-existent even

to the notion of becoming non-existent.

And when you have abandoned both

individuality and understanding,

this world will become that.


~ Hakim Sanai

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  • 2 weeks later...

Midston House



What is needed is a technique

Of conversation, I think, as I put on the

Electric light. But not the limited

Vocabulary of our experience, the

Surface irritations which pile up,

Accumulate a city, – but the expression,

Metamorphosed, of what they are the

Metaphor of; – and their conversion into light.


On the bus toward Midston House

I survey the people in their actions. Placid

And relaxed are they; this is the humdrum

Claptrap costume of girls and food, men

And work and house. The insurance

Of habit is circular, as

Democracy has interlocking duties,

Circular obediences.


Yet how to transform

The continual failing clouds of

Energy, into light? The vital

Intelligence of the man whom I am

Going to visit – does he know? I

Think how the sharp severing of

My life’s task – severed associations,

Produced in me almost a

Lypothymia of grief and a hiatus of

Days, which grew fangs of anger, my

Lycanthropy – thank god, it’s over!


I am fired from my job by flames, big

As angry consciences; I can do

Nothing; I have not one ability! This man

Whom I am waiting to see in the lobby –

All my life I am waiting for something that

Does not eventuate – will he



The law of life, like an abstract

Rigorous lawyer, passes a terrifying judg-

Ment on poor little me, in a strange foreign

Syllogism. He is cheating me! He will not

Keep the appointment!


His probity

Rebukes my suspicion. What can I say, that

I love him; that I am un-

Worthy? My doubt makes me feel,

– Even as we discuss another’s dishonesty –

Ugly, irate, and damned avid, a cunning

Rascal, like that ugly bird of the White



But the poem is just this

Speaking of what cannot be said

To the person I want to say it.

I am sleepy with subtlety; the room strikes me as

Dark, so cold, so lonely. There is

No one in it. I will put on all the lights.

I wish I could go

On a long, on a long long journey

To a place where life is simple and decent, not

Too demanding.


No! On the vehicle, Tomorrow, I will see

That man, whose handshake was happiness.



David Schubert, Works and Days, Quarterly Review of Literature, 1983.

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The fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly (and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered): Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?

— Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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  • 2 weeks later...

"And don’t forget that thoughts are not facts – even those that say they are. As you develop perspective on your thoughts and emotions, including repetitive undermining thoughts and feelings, can you let go of being so caught up in them? Vidyamala Burch & Danny Penman, Mindfulness for Health"

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Blind Men and The Elephant



It was six men of Indostan

To learning much inclined,

Who went to see the Elephant

(Though all of them were blind),

That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind.



The First approached the Elephant,

And happened to fall

Against his broard and sturdy side,

And began to brawl;

“God bless me! But the Elephant

Is very like a wall!”



The Second feeling of the Tusk,

Cried, “Ho! What have we here

So very round and smooth and sharp?

To me it might be clear

This wonder of an Elephant

Is very like a spear!”



The Third approached the animal,

And happened to take

The squirming trunk within his hands,

Thus boldly up and spake:

“I see quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a snake!”



The Fourth reached out his eager hand,

And felt upon the knee.

“What this wondrous beast is like

Is mighty plain,” quoth he;

“’T’is clearly enough the Elephant

Is very like a tree!”



The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,

Said: “E’en the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most;

Deny the fact who can,

This marvel of an Elephant

Is very like a fan!”



The Sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,

Than sizing up the swinging tail

That fell within his scope,

I see quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a rope!”



And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong!



So oft in theologic wars,

The disputants, I ween,

Rail on in utter ignorance

Of what each other mean,

And prate about and Elephant

Not one of them has seen!


-John Godfrey Saxe

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