“When you’re traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” William Least Heat-Moon
I pasted this quote from poet Jane Kenyon on my bathroom mirror to remind me of her good advice. Last week I went to painting class and forgot my phone. I didn’t even notice I wasn’t plugged in to the other outer world.
Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off your hook. Work regular hours. (from A Hundred White Daffodils)
“When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.”
—Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
I love Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of work so much that I’ve printed out a copy to carry in my laptop case. Even though his rules refer to writing, I think they can be applied to most any calling or vocation. I especially like #5 because if I’m not inspired or called by the Muse, I just give up instead of plugging away at something, like editing or research, that doesn’t require creativity.
I get goosebumps when I come across things like this that are so obvious and yet so mysterious and wonderful. A dress made out of a map. To hang on your wall. To dream about. Each dress is handmade and unique. Approx 90cm long and 60 cm wide from annex.net.nz. Art-full. I want.
I can’t wait to get my copy of The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72. The story of Mary Delany (1700-1788), whose flower “mosaiks” were the precursor to collage, reminds me not to count myself out at any age. Given that I’m in something of a creative slump and a period of change, I need a message like that right now.
One of my TED.com favorites: