“making art is like blindly seeing…”
“…the shape of what you don’t yet know.” —Teresita Fernandez
“sacrifice nothing to seemliness”
All is rather rapt, simple, quick, effective—except for my blundering on at The Waves…Still I am not satisfied. I think there is something lacking. I sacrifice nothing to seemliness. I press to my centre. I don’t care if it all is scratched out. And there is something there. I incline now to try violent shots…shouldering my way ruthlessly—and then, if nothing comes of it—anyhow I have examined the possibilities. ...
“my courage always rises”
There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me. —Jane Austen
the reach of a poem
“In Chinese time, it’s circular – it’s not even circular, it can go backwards! It can go backwards, it can go forward. It goes all over the place, it looks more like an infinity sign, like that. So there is a myth that poets have that my reader will come a thousand years from now. . . . Poem can also reach reader born 1,000 years before the poem. . . . An act of love I do this morning saves a life on a far future battlefield....
a season of conscious waiting
“The absolutely wrong thing to attempt when we’ve lost focus is to rush about struggling to pack it all back together again. Rushing is not the thing to do…Sitting and rocking is the thing to do. Patience, peace, and rocking renew ideas. Just holding the idea and the patience to rock it are what some women might call a luxury. Wild Woman says it is a necessity.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from Women Who Run With...
“One of the few things I know about writing”
“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” —Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
“i had no model”
“…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.” Lucille Clifton, “won’t you celebrate with me”
“no woman has ever written enough”
“No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much.’ Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’… No woman has ever written enough.” –bell hooks
“keep the channel open”
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep...
explore “places rough to reach”
“Here is some sun. Some. Now off into the places rough to reach. Though dry, though drowsy, all unwillingly a-wobble, into the dissonant and dangerous crescendo. Your work, that was done, to be done to be done to be done.” —Gwendolyn Brooks, “To the Diaspora”
embrace what is daunting
“I still remember the shudder when I sensed a knowing as pure as fact—that I might only truly become my fullest self if I explored and stayed open to moving through daunting terrain…I wanted to explore in writing what I was beginning to sense about life—that discoveries, innovations, and creative endeavors often, perhaps even only, come from uncommon ground. In hindsight, I realize that I was focused on improbable rises because...