Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trains + Travelers

"If the train doesn't stop at your station, then it's not your train."

Marianne Williamson

Free Agent

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

-Walt Whitman


"Nothing you have not given away will ever really be yours."

CS Lewis


"It is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn."

-GK Chesterton

Words are Things

"The stories we tell, how we tell them, when we choose to tell them is what's going to determine our welling + future."

-@amichaiLauLavie via OnBeing

Friday, December 16, 2016

Truer Words

"There ought to be a whole separate language, she thought, for words that are truer than other words- for perfect, absolute truth. It was the purest fact of her life: she did not understand him, and she never would."

Ann Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Mantra Secret to Living

"Perhaps the secret of living well is not having all the answers, but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company."

-Rachel Naomi Remen

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

No Beginning and No End

Tell me a story . . .
What kind of story, child?
A story with a happy ending.
There’s no such thing in all the world.
As a happy ending?
As an ending.”

– Jeanette Winterson

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

You've go to jump off the cliff

"If we listened to our intellect we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go in business because we'd by cynical: 'It's gonna go wrong.' Or 'She's going to hurt me.' Or, 'I've had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore...' Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down."

-Ray Bradbury


Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second."

-Lewis Carrol

You are

"You are what you settle for."

-Janis Joplin

#Truth #Preach

"I fell in love the way I fall asleep: slowly, while reliving every embarrassing thing I've ever done & worrying about things I can't control."


Hang Out With Me

"That's all any of us wants; to find someone nice to hang out with us 'till we drop dead. Not a lot to ask for."

-Gilmore Girls

Three o'clock Somewhere

"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do."

-Jean Paul Sartre

Say Yes

"Love is a place and through this place of love move (with brightness of peace)
all places
yes is world and in this world of yes live (skillfully curled)
all worlds"

ee cummings


"Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations."

-Ray Bradbury

Valleys + Windstorms

"Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons."

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Grief is like

"Grief is like learning another language--an excavation of ancient inner ruins. It is how we feel our back to ourselves. It is a singular gift and, surely, the future's promise."

Meg Fee

Another Feminism

"I realized beauty becomes a form of keeping our woulds alive and that if I had mistaken feminism with taking away our beauty then that is my loss. That's part of my feminism now. To ingrain my womanhood, my sexuality, my beauty, my interest in fashion. Whatever I want. That's how I shifted my interpretation of what feminism should be like. Not to be like any man, but to be myself. That's what feminism is."

-Zainab Salbi

Emotions Never Die

"Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways."

-Sigmud Freud

Monday, October 24, 2016

Let the Mud Be

"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone."

-Alan Watts

Always Alice

"Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second."

-Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

I fell in love the way....

"I fell in love the way I fall asleep: slowly, while reliving every embarrassing thing I've ever done and worrying about things I can't control."

-Emery Lord

Soul Stuff

"You get your soul right, your behavior will change."

-Carl Lentz

Play Your Cards

"You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding."

-Cheryl Strayed

Face It

"Facing it, always facing it. That's the way to get through. Face it."

-Joseph Conrad

Voice of Disturbing Desire

"May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe."

-John O Donahue

Face of God

"And when she wanted to see the face of God, she didn't look up and away; she looked into the eyes of the person sitting next to her. Which is harder. Better."

-Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

Whenever is Now

"Whoever is present are the right people.

Whenever it begins is the right time.

Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.

And when it's over, it's over."

-Anne Lamott, Assembly Required

Gilmore Wisdom

"That's all any of us wants; to find someone nice to hang out with us till we drop dead. Not a lot to ask for."

-Gilmore Girls

Be Careful

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."



"Sometimes the desire to be lost again, as long ago, comes over me like a vapor. With growth into adulthood, responsibilities claimed me, so many heavy coats. I didn't choose them, I don't fault them, but it took time to reject them. Now in the spring I kneel, I put my face into the packets of violets, the dampness, the freshness, the sense of ever-ness. Something is wrong, I know it, if I don't keep my attention on eternity. May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, into but useful. May I stay forever in the stream. May I look down upon the windflower and the bull thistle and the coreopsis with the greatest respect."

-Mary Oliver, from Upstream


"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."

-Anne Lamott


"You are free, you are powerful, you are good, you are love, you have propose. All is well."

-Abraham Hicks

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Do it First

"We're all waiting for someone else to do it first. To choose us, love us, share first, be vulnerable first. We operate from 'I'm closed but you should be open.' See how that's backwards? If you always go first, you always win. Because your love isn't dependent on others, it's dependent on yourself. It feels scary, right? That's because most of us believe we're lovable if someone else loves us. Can you love you? Perfect. Can you show up, love all out and be ready not to be loved back? When we give unconditional love, we invite it."
-Mark Groves @createthelove

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ease in Skin

"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty."

Steve Maraboli


"It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar."

-Anais Nin

Water and Mountains

"This ocean is terrific
specifically pacific
magnificent in
all the ways
the mountains are...
yet different."

Dallas Clayton

Always Trees

"O the pleasure with trees!
The orchard- the forest- the oak, cedar, pine, pekan-tree,
The honey-locust, black-walnut,
cottonwood, and magnolia.

Walt Whitman, Poem of Joys

Allow Sight

"So love who you want to love, and write what you want to write, and work where you want to work, and live where you want to live. Do the things you are meant to do. And allow yourself to be seen the entire way, even in the beginning when you're fumbling around, naive and inexperienced just trying not to face plant. 
You must allow yourself to be seen.
Doubt and resistance will come. In fact, that's a sign that you are doing something right. Don't fight the darkness... just don't live there. Don't be bullied back into a small life. That was not for you. That will never be for you. You are brave and you are trying and that is incredible. 
I think we are here on earth to learn how to relax into ourselves. I think we're here to learn how to come home. So remind yourself that you are safe amidst the chaos."

Kristin Lohr

Tightrope or Clean Teeth

"When we make a change, it's so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness, and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision. Our mental and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives, and some days we could tightrope across Manhattan, and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. This is normal. This is natural. This is change."
Jeanette Winterson

Friday, September 23, 2016

We are volcanoes

“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all maps change. There are new mountains.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Opposition in all things

  • "The deeper the cut of sadness, the greater there is room for joy–I think they are very much related. It’s important to understand that you have the capacity always to accommodate for immense sorrow and immense joy, which is not just the pay off–it’s part of the whole experience."
  • The Smallest Reasons

  • "If you start living for the smallest reasons, that’s when you know you’re really living. The smell of rain after a thunderstorm, the shades of pavements when it’s autumn, the harvest season and the unspoken competition to pick the freshest tomatoes, the mediocre midnights and the color of the sunsets, the smell of bakeshops early in the morning, the frosty breeze of the fast-approaching winter, the warmth of oven when baking Christmas cookies, the thickness of paper when flipping through magazine pages, the smell of new books and new clothes and new things. When you start looking at things, really really looking, you’ll start living. Because then you’ll understand how it is to really be a human in this world full of people."
  • – and that is what we consider magic  (via cageofstars)

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016

    We are ghost towns

    “There is a deep sense in which we are all ghost towns. We are all haunted by the memory of those we love, those with whom we feel we have unfinished business. While they may no longer be with us, a faint aroma of their presence remains, a presence that haunts us until we make our peace with them and let them go. The problem, however, is that we tend to spend a great deal of energy in attempting to avoid the truth. We construct an image of ourselves that seeks to shield us from a confrontation with our ghosts. Hence we often encounter them only late at night, in the corridors of our dreams.” 

    ― Peter RollinsThe Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction

    Pain as fuel

    "...and what I've learned about pain is, it is:

    -not to be numbed
    -and it is not to be ignored
    -and it is not to be wasted

    and I've going to use every bit of this pain as fuel."

    and that's how you know you can be redeemed.

    -Glennon Doyle Melton

    Pain is not a hot potato

    "When I feel someone's been unkind, I know that all that just happened is they felt the hot loneliness. But they don't know how to be still with it. So they just treat it like a hot potato and pass it on to the next person.

    But pain is not a hot potato. Pain is a traveling professor. And it just goes and nocks on everyone's door, and the smartest people I know are the people that say come in, and don't leave until you've taught me what I need to know."

    -Glennon Doyle Melton

    Sunday, August 21, 2016

    Excitement > Fear

    "The only real difference between anxiety and excitement was my willingness to let go of fear."

    -Barbra Brown Taylor

    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    Contract Expand

    some people
    when they hear
    your story.
    upon hearing
    your story,
    and this is how you know.

    -nayyirah waheed

    Honest Risk

    when you are struggling
    in your
    writing (art).
    it usually means
    are hearing one thing.
    but writing (creating) another.

    -honest | risk

    -nayyirah.waheed; Salt

    Be Hagrid

    "What's comin'
    will come
    and we'll
    meet it
    when it does

    -Hagrid; Harry Potter; JK Rowling

    Jump All In

    "Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish."

    -Chuck Palahniuk

    Devotion is Connection

    "So often we try to develop Christian character and conduct without taking the time to develop God-centered devotion. We try to please God without taking the time to walk with Him and develop a relationship with Him. This is impossible to do."

    -Jerry Bridges

    Write your Own Part

    "...write your won part. It is the only way I've gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you."

    -Mindy Kaling

    Remember Joy

    "Remember: the heavy feelings aren't the only feelings.

    There are beautiful feelings too, like love and joy and acceptance and shoulder nudges and inside jokes and smirks of camaraderie across crowded rooms."

    -Cambridge, Massachusetts @ifyoufindthisemail

    Childhood Captured

    "Genius is nothing more or less than childhood recaptured at will."


    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Girl Talk

    "How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

    Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight.

    If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

    "You look so healthy!" is a great one.

    Or how about, "You're looking so strong."

    "I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."

    Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

    Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

    Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

    Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

    Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

    Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.

    Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture.

    Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

    Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

    Pass on your own mom's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

    Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

    Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul."

    ~ Sarah Koppelkam

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    To Love

    "Of course I'll hurt you. Of course you'll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence."

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery


    "Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe."

    -Elie Wiesel

    Paradigm of Abundance

    "Giving other people access to the opportunities many of us already have does not take anything away from you. That's a paradigm of scarcity and fear. Rights, opportunities, freedoms, and protection should operate from a paradigm of abundance. There is room for all. We need not fear, or be afraid. We are not losing anything to share what we have to others. When we lift others we lift ourselves."


    Living Peace

    "You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

    -Virginia Woolf

    Tuesday, July 5, 2016

    Paints and Dreams

    "I dream my paining, and then I paint my dream."

    -Van Gogh

    Keep Dreaming. Love, Anne

    "It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?"

    LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    Maps as Poems

    "The map as poem: this is something maps have labored to deny from the beginning."

    -Denis Wood

    Why Read and Write

    "Despite every advancement, language remains the defining nexus of our humanity; it is where our knowledge and hope lie. It is the precondition of human tenderness, mightier than the sword but also infinitely more subtle and ultimately more urgent. Remember that writing things down makes them real; that it is nearly impossible to hate anyone whose story you know; and, most of all, that even in our post-postmodern era, writing has a moral purpose. With twenty-six shapes arranged in varying patterns, we can tell every story known to mankind, and make up all the new ones—indeed, we can do so in most of the world’s known tongues. If you can give language to experiences previously starved for it, you can make the world a better place." 

    -Andrew Solomon

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    Don't Turn Away from the Art of Life

    "We enter the bookstore, see the many volumes arrayed there, and think: so much to read, so little time. But books do not take time; they give time, they expand our resources of both heart and mind. It may sound paradoxical, but they are, in the last analysis, scientific, for they trace the far flung route by which we come to understand our world and ourselves. They take our measure. And we are never through discovering who we are."

    Arnold Weinstein, NY Times opinion, Don't Turn Away from the Art of Life

    All Better Now

    "And when my prayers to God were met with indifference, I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance."

    -Emily Wing Smith, All Better Now

    Your Time, Your Priorities

    "Instead of saying 'I don't have time' try saying 'it's not a priority,' and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it: 'I'm not going to edit your resume, sweetie, because it's not a priority.' 'I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.' If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently."

    -Wall Street Journal

    shrink or expand

    some people
    when they hear
    your story.
    upon hearing
    your story,
    this is how

    -nayyirah waheed

    Wins, Loses, and Burnout

    "The nurse is in that room day in and day out. You give a piece of yourself to that child. But intimacy has its dangers. You have to be able to set it aside. You can't come in on your days off. You have to be able to go home at the end of the day and have a glass of wine, or go rock climbing, or visit with friends. If you can't go home and rebuild, you'll burn out. You won't be able to handle the losses if your just surviving off the wins. Because the losses are severe. you were allowed into that child's life at their most intimate time, and you were trusted. And that is a gift. And even in death, you learned something from that child that made you a better person and a better nurse."

    -Humans of New York

    A Twinkie Consciousness

    "You can't expect to live a vibrant life when you live on twinkie consciousness."

    -Kriss Carr


    ...and there it is again–
            beauty the brave, the exemplary,
    blazing open.
        Do you love this world?
          Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
           Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
    Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
       and softly,
          and exclaiming of their dearness,
           fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
    with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
        their eagerness
          to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
            nothing, forever?
    -“Peonies” from Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems


    "I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward."

    -Charlotte Bronte

    Everyday Rituals

    "Quality of life is determined by how well we treat our everyday rituals."

    -Amy Aswell

    Hope Muscle Memory

    "Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It's a renewable resource for moving through lie as it is, not as we wish it to be."

    -Krista Tippett

    But this Hour

    "Happiness, not in another place, but this place...not for another hour, but this hour."

    -Walt Whitman

    We Must be Hatched

    "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

    -CS Lewis

    How Alive and I Willing to Be?

    "The business of being a writer is ultimately about asking yourself, how alive am I willing to be?"

    -Anne Lamott

    Women and Thoughts

    "Taught from infancy that beauty is a woman's scepter, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming around its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."

    -Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792

    The Peace of Wild Things

    When despair for the world grows in me 
    and I wake in the night at the least sound 
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, 
    I go and lie down where the wood drake 
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 
    I come into the peace of wild things 
    who do not tax their lives with forethought 
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
    waiting with their light. For a time 
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    -Wendell Berry

    Friday, May 20, 2016

    Go Outside

    "There is peaceful, there is wild. I am both at the same time."


    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Salt Water

    "If the ocean can calm itself so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air."

    -nayirrah waheed

    Trope vs. Archetype

    "For me, there is a difference between a trope and an archetype. A trope is a writer’s device that often plays into stereotypes and presumed expectations, refusing to embody any originality of thought. An archetype is a fundamental human motif that exists in universal myth. I don’t mind inhabiting an archetype if it has been given life and interiority."

    -Lupita Nyong'o, Why I Chose a "Small Play" Over the Big Screen

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Put the things back together

    “This is an age of divorce. Things that belong together have been taken apart. And you can’t put it all back together again. What you do is the only thing that you can do: you take two things that ought to be together and you put them back together. Two things, not all things! That’s the way the work has to go. You make connections in your work… That’s what we do, we people who make things. If it’s a stool or a film or a poem or an essay or a novel or a musical composition, it’s all about that. Finding how it fits together and fitting it together.”
    Wendell Berry

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    What do you believe about mistakes?

    "Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be...All that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step."

    -Agnes Martin


    i want to stay.
    i want to leave.
    i am three oceans away from my soul.


    nayyirah waheed


    "There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go."

    -Tennessee Williams

    Motto Please

    "Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences."

    -Sylvia Plath

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    End's Beginning

    "The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning."

    -Ivy Baker Priest

    World is a Garden

    “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” 

    ― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

    Friday, April 8, 2016

    Prisons and Pupils

    "It always baffles me when I see the statistics that people are willing to spend so much on a child once they become a prisoner, but we’re not willing to invest in that child’s education when they were a pupil."

    "We’re spending, on average, three times more for prison than for public-school pupils. That’s the dumbest investment policy. It doesn’t make us safer. It’s created a new private industry, called Corrections Corporation of America. It’s the new slavery. It came out of the drug laws and it really is something we’re going to have to confront, but I don’t see enough people up in arms about that. We need to be. The literacy level at Mississippi prisons? Fifth grade. Can’t read, what are you going to do? If you’ve got a conviction rap, what are you going to do? It’s a real crisis."

    -Marian Wright Edelman, world-renowned author and activist, has spent most of her life fighting against systemic injustices and serving our nation’s most underprivileged children

    Interview from the LennyLetter

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    Writing and Teaching

    "I hate teaching as much as I love teaching, and I love teaching immensely. But who am I to teach writing? 

    Teaching is the first job I actually care — too much? — about.

    “What if you could just show up?” my therapist asked me when I was complaining about the lackadaisical teenagers in a writing course I was teaching.

    “What if you didn’t have to teach them anything?”

    “What if you could still be learning and teach at the same time?” she asked.

    On the Amtrak back to Hudson, I pull my students’ pages out of my backpack, sip my wine on ice, and escape into the tragic comfort of their unhappy endings. I draw tiny red hearts above the sentences I love."

    -Chloe Caldwell, Major Dramatic Question

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    Burdens and Callings

    "I believe in callings. They come as Aces, like the clouds parting, the gift bestowed from above. But I also believe that callings require you to reorient your life and cut away anything extraneous. They are burdens as much as they are gifts."
     Jessa Crisspin book, The Creative Tarot.

    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    Science of Relationships

    The second principle of magic:

    "Things that have once been in contact with each other
    continue to act on each other at a distance even after
    the physical contact has been severed."
    -James Frazer

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    Two for Twenty

    "I call that trading two for twenty...I'm trading two possibly uncomfortable years for twenty value-driven years."

    -Jess Lively

    The Price of Life

    "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

    -H.D. Thoreau

    Getting Schooled 2015-2016

    "Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."

    -Terry Pratchett

    Breathing just a little

    are you
    breathing just
    a little,

    and calling it
    a life?"

    Mary Oliver

    Thursday, February 18, 2016


    "I don't trust a theologian who dismisses the beauty of science or a scientist who doesn't believe in the power of mystery."

    -Brene Brown

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    Effort Surplus

    "A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence."

    -Sonia Sotomayor

    Sunday, February 14, 2016


    "The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness."

    -John Muir

    The pearl is the oyster's autobiography - Federico Fellini

    "You guys know how pearls are made, right? The most valuable ones are called 'wild pearls,' created spontaneously in the sea and are extremely rare. A pearl is the byproduct of an unwanted irritant (typically something sharp, dangerous or painful like a parasite, a grain of sand or a piece of shell) that has lodged itself inside the walls of the shell, where it becomes impossible to abandon. The oyster then reacts with a defense mechanism that coats the irritant, over time turning it into a thing of lateral iridescent beauty. I love this. We don't get to choose the irritants that invade our beings, the things that make it past the shell. But the story doesn't end there: the pearl is the oyster's art, it's her novel, her paining, her song. In the same way it is possible for our wounds and our pain, our grit, to be our gift of transformation and transcendence as well. Slowly and surely, layer by beautiful layer, we are growing something of high worth and deep, incontestable beauty inside us."

    -Ali Makes Things

    The Innkeeper

    "My favorite Christmas character: the innkeeper. I mean, I get him. He's like me. On most days, I can't be Mary or Joseph or the wisest of men or the gentlest of shepherds, but I still get to decide day after day, year after year, to make room for a miracle."

    -Erin Loechner


    "Every friend was once a stranger and if you know this, you have to understand that conversations are the beginning of connection."

    -Israelmore Ayivor


    might make them angry.
    it will make you free.

    -if no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger


    An Artist

    "I feel like I'm an artist. I mean, if how you smile and how you dress even for bed and how you order appetizers and how you arrange your fridge and your sentences and your dreams is all art, then I feel like I'm an artist. We are all artists in some cozy corner booth of our lives.

    But I've ruined two large canvasses with my artless attempts at more than a base very very basic base layer, and I'm feeling like I'm anything but an artist…but then I remember how I'm trying not to say anything negative about anybody for three days as a start and I think that should include myself, maybe. So let me tell you this: The top two shelves in my fridge look so darn swoon right now. Like an artist lives here."

    -Mackin Ink


    "Here's the thing: In the end I believe our life will be characterized by contribution or consumerism, by one or the other, but not both."

    -Allie Maria Smith


    "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."

    -Anne Lamott

    They change your cells

    "When you interact with someone repeatedly over time, it changes you. That's why what you watch on TV or read or see in a magazine is so critical. So watch what you watch. Be careful with whom or what you are interacting. These recurrent interactions change your cells. They change your soul. They change your countenance."

    -Truman G. Madsen

    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    "I love myself as I am- for I am
    fearfully and wonderfully made.
    I am beautiful, right no, jut
    the way I am. I am more than
    my body, the clothes in my closet,
    or the style of my hair, for
    I am strong and do hard things.
    I am worth loving. I hold myself
    to a standard of grace not perfection,
    and I refuse to put myself down.
    I am a beautiful being, a daughter
    of God, and I love myself as I am.

    -The Small Seed #choosingtolovemyself movement

    Big Bursts and Little Bursts

    "Life depends on what she things of as 'big bursts' and 'little bursts'. Big bursts are things like marriage or children, intimacies that keep you afloat, but these big bursts hold dangerous, unseen currents. Which is why you need the little bursts as well: a friendly clerk, let's say or the waitress at Dunkin' Donuts who knows how you like your coffee. Tricky business, really."

    -Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge

    Complete Destruction

    "For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."

    -Cynthia Occelli

    Spring Seeds

    "Show me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect miracles."

    -Henry David Thoreau

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    salt + honey

    put some honey and sea water by your bed.
    acknowledge. that your being needs sweetness and cleansing.
    that it is sore.
    that you are. soft.

    -nayyirah waheed

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    We are Trees

    “Sometimes I feel like a tree on a hill, at the place where all the wind blows and the hail hits the tree the hardest. All the people I love are down the side aways, sheltered under a great rock, and I am out of the fold, standing alone in the sun and the snow. I feel like I am not part of the rest somehow, although they welcome me and are kind. I see my family as they sit together and it is like they have a certain way between them that is beyond me. I wonder if other folks ever feel included yet alone.” 

    -Sarah Agnes Prine, These is My Words

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    contract or expand

    some people
    when they hear
    your story.
    upon hearing
    your story.
    this is how
    you know.

    -nayyirah waheed


    "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."

    -Anne Lamott

    Thursday, January 28, 2016


    "Here's the thing: In the end I believe our life will be characterized by contribution or consumerism, by one or the other, but not by both."

    -Allie Marie Smith via Darling Magazine

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    Light Itself

    "I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself."

    -Edward Steichen

    To Release

    "Happiness is not found in things you possess but in what you have the courage to release."

    -Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Basket Theory

    Jonathan pointed out that we all have three general "baskets" in life: 
    1 - Our vitality + wellbeing (personal habits)
    2 - Our connections to others + source (relationships)
    3 - Our contribution (giving back/career)
    And here's the insight that changed my whole perspective: 
    The MOST filled basket in our lives is always LIMITED by the LEAST filled basket.

    When we don't take care of ourselves first (the vitality basket), we are purposely limiting what we will be able to give to the connections + contribution baskets."

    via jess lively

    Knowledge Rumor

    "Knowledge is only rumor, until it lives in the bones."

    -Asaro Tribe

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Write yourself back

    "I lost my voice, and I wrote, and wrote, and wrote myself back.”

    Lina A


    “She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.”

    Zora Neale HurstonTheir Eyes Were Watching God

    Emily, Always

    “…and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.”

    The Letters Of Emily Dickinson (Emily Dickinson)

    The Indifferent Middle

    “What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.”

    Sylvia Plath


    “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    "Don't take it personally when I tell you 'NO'. I'm using it on everyone this year."

    -Lena Dunham

    Friday, January 8, 2016

    Write Yourself

    "As I started to write myself, I began to read stories differently, harder. Margins were marked with comments, and memorable passages were underlined, then copied down. I wanted to sense what it must have been like to write these words for the first time, so I would type them hesitantly, pretending that they had just come to me. Once, before leaving on vacation, I copied an entire page from an Alice Munro story and left it in my typewriter, hoping a burglar might come upon it and mistake her words for my own."
    --David Sedaris

    Monday, January 4, 2016

    Reaping and Sewing and Harvesting

    "The winter solstice is a time to look at seeds you've planted in the previous winter that have come up in the summer.  For this winter solstice, look at those seeds. which ones have you harvested that you want to replant, and which ones do you want to grind up and use as compost?"


    "We're going to live in this garden, and the interesting thing about this time of year is it's really dark and a time to go inside of ourselves and be quiet. And we can use this dark time like when you plant seeds in the ground. They're also germinating under there, even though it's dark and nothing seems to be happening on the surface. Think about the seeds, the intentions you want to put into the earth and then reap the benefits of them when the light comes back.

    -Ana Forrest as told by Sarah Britton here.