Thursday, February 27, 2014


"Easy to know that diamonds are precious. Good to learn that rubies have depth. But more to see that pebbles are miraculous."

-Joseph Albers, Interaction of Color and here

Normal Seeing

On how the brain’s conditioning to notice only what it expects cheats us of the richness of seeing:
"Albers believed that in normal seeing, we use our eyes so much because the world is controlled by our vision, but we become so accustomed to it that we take things for granted. And when he talked about visual perception, he meant something much more profound than just the way we look at the world — he would stop and look at the world, look at the smallest object, smallest event, and see through it in a deep kind of way. … He would see magic, he would see something deeper. And he believed that the majority of people just missed the true reality — it was available for everyone to see, but nobody was looking. And that was where his notion of “to open eyes” really comes from."
-On Looking Alexandra Horowitz

On Sight

"We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object..."

-John Ruskin

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Glass Slippered Christians

taken from Hannah Brencher's post 

"But the word “Christian” still stops me. Every time I hear the word “Christian,” my mind can’t shake the image of a massive warehouse filled to the ceiling with tiny glass slippers. I picture them everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Delicate. Beautiful. Chipped. Scarred. And throngs of people coming in and out of that warehouse, trying to wedge glass slippers onto their feet, being so careful to find the one that doesn’t blister them or break when they put it on. And it’s this fragile, scared process of wanting to find the “perfect” fit and the “good” fit and the “beautiful” fit so that they can just be clean & right & dancing with this God who looks more to them like a judge than a father. And all I want to say to that image of perfectly constructed Christianity that breaks open in a world that is messy, messy, messy, is that my gospel is a barefoot one. I don’t wear shoes when it comes to my gospel. And I have no interest, no interest at all, in being perfect or right or blameless. Most days, I just want to feel like I’ve done something right."

It’s not about the “dirty sinner.” It’s this heartbreaking, simple, and yet stunningly complex story about a girl in a manger who probably looked up to the sky and asked, “Really? This is your plan for a king?” And she birthed a baby beside cow dung for the weary world to call him royalty. And that little boy grows into a man who illustrates to a broken world how to love people and treat grace like manna falling from the sky and have pretty decent friends and never waste your emotions on jealousy and gossip. And then he dies this horrendous death at a young, young age and he comes out of the tomb three days later and basically says to all the people who killed him, “I died for you. Yes, you. I don’t care what you did. I can’t love you any less. You didn’t know how to come to me.You didn’t have a map. You didn’t know the way. And so I solved all the issues– all your faulty GPS excuses–and just came to you.”

I mean, that’s pretty radical, even if you can’t believe in it. I think that even if I didn’t believe in anything, I’d have a really hard time finding anything more beautiful than thinking that the same guy who created beauty out of dirt is the one who gets all choked up crying over all his children and all the empty things we do, thinking as we watches, “I just love you so much that I will endure anything. Anything to prove it. And I’m going to let you make mistake after mistake after mistake and I’m still going to take you back. Even when you leave me, I will wait.” Because that is love eternal– waiting and staying when the rest of the world walks away. Half of the time, I don’t know what I want to believe in. But that? I want to believe in something as beautiful as that always.

-Hanna Brencher

Sunday, February 23, 2014

9 Words

I noticed everything. I just acted like I didn’t.
— 9 word story 


"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. "

Siddhartha Gautama


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
— Anais Nin 

Friday, February 21, 2014

If you can't

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."

 - Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


"No one can hear you cracking. It’s cold. But, just like an iceberg, you have so much beneath the surface. Years of layers and lifetimes of experience and strengths to call on — skills of expanding consciousness that you didn’t even know you had. You will not sink."

-Danielle LaPorte

Monday, February 17, 2014


"Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds."
— David Deida

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wholeness Unseen

"as a writer, if someone falls in love with my work, i know they have fallen in love with my mind. having no idea what my face looks like, they chose my mind. art may be the only space a woman can be whole without being seen."

nayyirah waheed

Skeleton Architecture

"Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before."

Audre Lorde, “Poetry is Not a Luxury”

No Garnish of Attention

"i get asked often, how to write well enough to garner attention. my answer is : take attention off the table. cultivate a relationship with your creativity. yourself. it’s an inside-out process. respect your voice. the way you sound. respect your maturation process. don’t ask for people to critique your work. don’t disrespect your being by asking people if they like it. or should you change it. or is it good enough. good enough for who. it’s your voice. it’s good enough for you. don’t give yourself away like this. your voice, your art, your creativity, wherever it is in its process, that’s where it is. don’t ask for it to be better, when it just gave you its best. this is not healthy. this will create a dysfunctional relationship with your creativity fraught with mistrust and wounding. many times, i will write fifty poems before i get to the one i am seeking/ the one that is seeking me. there are poems before the poem. and they are all beautiful to me. all different aspects of a birth. some difficult. some soft. but they are all a part. give your creativity the space, the freedom, the respect it needs to flourish. it needs to trust that you love it, at all its stages. that you will not be abusive in your obsession of it being better. more. perfect. but that you will always, only, and ever want it to be itself. and that you think who it is, is extraordinary. it’s then that it will, happy and full, feel free to flow and share its unique genius with you and the world. make yourself a safe, nurturing, supportive, warm, loving home for your creativity, and you will naturally become the light you are."

nayyirah waheed

On the Bridge

"Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. they can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. and whatever their reasons you must leave. because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. you never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. there is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. and there is the love that will be ready."
— nayyirah waheed

Friday, February 14, 2014

No Matter What

"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you."
 Roald Dahl in his children's book, The Witches.

Ridiculous Love

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
Agatha Christie in her book, An Autobiography.

Hot Mess

"Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby: awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess."
Lemony Snicket in his novel, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid.

Monday, February 10, 2014

On Families

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina


"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don't mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary diseas in western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that mad you happy today before you go to sleep',  and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which  make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grown through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say 'Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' Id' like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness'. Ask yourself 'is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you're having a bad day, it is."

-Hugh Mackay

Branded Insignificance

On Harper Lee being with people branded as insignificant or difficult...

"Our response to these people represents our earthly test. And I think that these people enrich the wonder of our lives. It is they who most need our kindness, because they seem less deserving. After all, anyone can love people who are lovely."

-Harper Lee's 1965 speech

Heart Strong

"Make your heart the strongest muscle that you've got."
- part of rapper IN-Q's "Addiction Poem"

Sunday, February 9, 2014


"I’ll fight for you, but I will not compete for you. There’s a difference."


Time Passes

"Inelegantly, and without my consent, time passed."
— Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You 

Alchemy of Tears

"So if people ever look down upon you for crying for fictional characters, you should give them a gentle, pitying look and feel bad for them. If they’ve never cried for a fictional character, then they’ve never loved one (and what a joy that is). If they’ve never cried at a book, a movie, a piece of music, then they’ve missed one of the great pleasures life has to offer. Just because fiction does not contain things that are real doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain truth, and we find it through the alchemy of our tears."
— Cassandra Clare 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Don't live the ending before the beginning

You’re wasting this life
expecting disappointment.
— Eliza Griswold 

Do I Stay Or Do I Go

"There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself."
— Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid 

The Swell

You’ve felt it, haven’t you? Those feelings that seem to get so big in your chest, like something is so beautiful it aches? "
— Heather Anastasiu, Glitch 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Humans of New York

"...but if you can break the crowd into pieces, then break the stone face armor until the honesty spills out, the city softens."

-Bill Wier, on humansofny

Sunday, February 2, 2014

For a Different Story: A Catalyst

And there was this very strong sense that I hadn’t just dodged a bullet, but that that answered prayer was actually in service of a different story.

I spent much of my youth in search of due north. Wondering where it was and what it was and if I was moving in the right direction, spinning in circles because without a map between my hands I was out of my depth.

Fida Kahlo to Marty McConnel

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell
by Marty McConnell
leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart 
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl. 
you have an apartment 
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away 
your cracked past, your 
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down 
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before 
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take 
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it 
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying 
to disappear as revenge. and you 
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade 
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong 
they can smell it in the street.

By Marty McConnel

Judge em by their books

"I must have books everywhere. They are the soul of a room - they reveal the taste, the interests and the secrets of whoever lives there."
— Diane von Furstenber

When Stunted

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."
— Ernest Hemingway

Wild Flowers

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
— Vincent van Gogh

28 Days Later

"February is the shortest month of the year, so if you are having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February."
— Lemony Snicket

Battle Not the War

"Never confuse a single failure for a final defeat."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Wherever You Are, Be There

"The best advice I ever came across on the subject of concentration is: Wherever you are, be there."
— Jim Rohn