Happy 80th birthday, Leonard Cohen! The beloved songwriter on the key to the creative life
True authenticity is so much more of a fulfilling adventure than self-absorbed heart following. It’s joining God in what He’s doing, not trying to strong-arm Him into joining us. It’s being OK with not knowing exactly how everything will go and knowing we will need to be changed in the process.Bethany Shaeffer
"God is greater than the all world’s sins combined."
"And He is good." He is wise. He is omnipresent.
"He cannot deny Himself."God is always working.
[He leant down and shone his lantern on the small miracle. He stood, bowed in the cascading rain, for a long time.] Then he straightened back up and continued on his way.Richard Flanagan, from The Narrow Road to the Deep North (via the-final-sentence)
Famous writers – including Virginia Woolf, Henry David Thoreau, Susan Sontag, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sylvia Plath, and Oscar Wilde – on the creative benefits of keeping a diary. (via explore-blog)
We are creatures of remarkable moodiness and mental turbulence, and what we think we believe at any given moment — those capital-T Truths we arrive at about ourselves and the world — can be profoundly different from our beliefs a decade, a year, and sometimes even a day later.
This, perhaps, is the greatest gift of the diary — its capacity to stand as a living monument to our own fluidity, a reminder that our present selves are chronically unreliable predictors of our future values and that we change unrecognizably over the course of our lives.
One thing you notice very early on is that conversation is how we become human. The word “infant” literally means “without the possibility of phatic expression.” We begin our lives by being spoken to and then slowly by responding. It’s what makes us come together as a kindred species. Without this dialogue, without this possibility of exchange, part of our humanity — that which makes us truly human — is lost. So for me conversation is a way of going back to that initial moment. Conversation is a giving and a taking, back and forth.
Couple with this timeless 1866 guide to the art of conversation.(via explore-blog)
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.
The magnificent Anne Lamott on how to begin becoming the person you were meant to be.explore-blog)
A magnificent conversation with Debbie Millman, who is an incessant source of wisdom on how to live a good life and how to muster the courage necessary for a creative career. (via explore-blog)
So many times, we make decisions about who we are – who we want to be, who we aspire to be, what we aspire to do – based on what we believe are our own self-imposed limitations, not those of the world. And we live inside those self-imposed limitations, without any sense that we can actually expand [them] if we let ourselves.
I don’t think it’s a matter of overcoming [our] fears — fears are fears, and we have a reptilian brain which we can’t simply turn on and turn off… It is critical to live despite those fears – if you’re waiting for the fears to go away, they’re not. You have to make a decision that you want [what you want] more than you want to be held back or self-protected by those fears.
haul; Yes, love will bend you over, make you strain. That is the burden of having something worth carrying forward.
David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary
my weary heart.(via macedonianmess)
The Lover’s Dictionary
- David Levithan
HAL: Talk me through it? Whatever’s bothering you. Maybe you’ll improve it.
CATHERINE: I don’t know…
HAL: Pick anything. Give it a shot? Maybe you’ll discover something elegant.
(A moment. HAL sits next to CATHERINE. Eventually she opens the book, turns the pages slowly, finding a section. She looks at him.)
(She begins to speak.)
[David Auburn, Proof. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning production that was the first of forty collaboration between Manhattan Theatre Club and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to commission, develop and produce new plays about math, science and technology.]
If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (via larmoyante)