"What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself…into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life and yet steady, tranquil composed with the aloofness of a work of art."
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
In the family of things
" Do not wait for the boy to grow up before you begin to treat him as an equal. A proper amount of confidence, and words of encouragement and advice...give him to understand that you trust him in many ways, helps to make a man of him long before he is a man in either stature or years....
If a boy finds he can make a few articles with his hands, it tends to make him rely on himself. And the planning that is necessary for the execution of the work is a discipline and an education of great value to him."
reprinted from Architect and Building News by the Wright Brothers and David McCullough
It (the story) feeds and enriches the life of the spirit, enlarging the hearers' and teller's experiences, and the story teller must ever bear his high calling in mind. There should surely be no more splendid mission, yet we still find that small reasons and aims are offered for the telling of stories...they are to give information, to cultivate the habit of concentration;...to form a basis for composition and other language exercises...to be a peg on which to hang various school activities. Let us be simple and wise and honest enough to to tell the story for the pure love of telling it, for 'it is in beauty and love and joy and laughter that we must find the way of speaking to the soul--the soul that does not appear in the statistics and is therefore always left out of the accounts.'" W.A. Bone
The Gathering, a Thanksgiving Poem
by Billy Collins
Outside, the scene was right for the season,
heavy gray clouds and just enough wind
to blow down the last of the yellow leaves.
But the house was different that day,
so distant from the other houses,
like a planet inhabited by only a dozen people
with the same last name and the same nose
rotating slowly on its invisible axis.
Too bad you couldn't be there
but you were flying through space on your own asteroid
with your arm around an uncle.
You would have unwrapped your scarf
and thrown your coat on top of the pile
then lifted a glass of wine
as a tiny man ran across a screen with a ball.
You would have heard me
saying grace with my elbows on the tablecloth
as one of the twins threw a dinner roll across the room at the other.
“a poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning.” E.B.White
BY LI-YOUNG LEE
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
"Reuven, when someone asks to speak to you, you must let him speak to you. You still have not learned that?" -Chaim Potok
"Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them."