There’s a fierce practicality and empiricism which the whole imaginative, lyrical aspect of poetry comes from.
In the poetic tradition, the heart’s affections are indeed holy, and if organizations are asking for people’s hearts and minds, they are asking in a way for their holy and hidden affections at the same time.
All of our great traditions, religious, contemplative and artistic, say that you must a learn how to be alone – and have a relationship with silence. It is difficult, but it can start with just the tiniest quiet moment.
The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering.
Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness.
Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.
The ultimate lesson is that there is no immunity, no matter our age or the size of our retirement account, from going through constant cycles of integration and disintegration in which we are humbled and hopefully set to rights with the world again.
It is difficult to be creative and enthusiastic about anything for which we do not feel affection.
It might be liberating to think of human life as informed by losses and disappearances as much as by gifted appearances, allowing a more present participation and witness to the difficulty of living.
A good poem brims with reflected beauty and even a bracing, beautiful ugliness. At the center of our lives, in the midst of the busyness and the forgetting, is a story that makes sense when everything extraneous has been taken away.