The darkening was like riches in the room
in which the boy sat, almost hidden from sight.
And when his mother entered, as in a dream,
a glass trembled in the quiet cupboard.
She felt how the room betrayed her,
and she kissed the boy: “Oh, you’re here?…”
Then both looked fearfully at the piano,
because some evenings she’d play the child a song
in which he found himself strangely deeply caught.
He sat very still. His great gaze hung
on her hand, weighed down by its ring,
as if struggling through drifted snow
it went over the white keys.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
From The Essential Rilke
It’s time to contemplate the hair again…
Which do you like best?
Season Six of Game of Thrones is giving us fans some love after the season five heartbreaks and all and all just everything bad happening that could possibly happen…I’ve added Season 6 Episode 4 to my list of great episodes. Besides Daenerys in this ep reminding us once again that she’s a real dragon, and queen of fire, our longing for Jon Snow for five long years looks like it’s finally coming to fruition. Starting here, when he finally sees one of his sisters after all the shit he’s been through (including dying, geez!)
“Above all things, a tree is rooted to the ground; its trunk, however tall or thin, short or broad, is utterly stable and secure. So it is with Tree pose. It is the roots, the standing foot, that allow the trunk to stay stable and the branches to grow upward toward the sky.
Without roots, a tree would be carried off by the wind in its branches. And these solid foundations give trees longevity: The oak and chestnut are capable of living for hundreds of years. A mature oak tree can weigh thirty tons, cover two-thousand square yards, and comprise twenty-miles’ worth of roots and branches.”
~~From The Spirit of Yoga by Kathy Phillips
And so should we…
Advice from a Tree:
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots into the earth
Be content with your natural beauty
Go out on a limb
Drink plenty of water
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Inspiring Celtic Mythology Link for trees
Taking on a new read this month…Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz. I haven’t read all his works, just can’t do it, but have been staggered by a few stories, like the Odd Thomas books, of which the first two are the best by far for a good chill.
As for his latest work, it has me thinking of the strangest things as I read…about life, the possibility of death, about being positive no matter what happens, about parenting, about divination in its weirdest of forms and if we are designed to listen when we are given those subtle universal cues…
The main character, Bibi, is a sweet young woman, with such an inspiring attitude on life she almost shames me into thinking, What the fuck’s wrong with me? but, then she is fictional, so…
Not sure if this story will be as scary as Koontz’s others, but expect a haunting adventure just the same.
In the first 100 pages or so I jotted down a few deep and creepy lines that I liked:
As all the light vanished and the glistening blackness flooded over her, she tried to cry out for help, but like all drowned girls before her, she had no voice.
The morning grew mild, but Bibi remained cold to her bones.
She realized then that madness and sanity were two worlds separated from each other by no more than a single step.
When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.
The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
~Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Source: I AM COMPLETELY UNINTERESTED
Kurt Vonnegut was certainly never dull…especially when giving advice to other writers. Here are his eight essential tips for a short story that I keep in mind every time my fingers stroke the keys, or my pen hits the clean white page…
- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
- Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a sadist. No matter who sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
For more great articles by Kurt visit Open Culture page. I’m heading for “How to Write with Style” next!
The day is gray, but the sky is white… I sit and watch the silky wisps of snow fall this early Monday afternoon…I experience it as a blessing, the sense of renewal the white will bring as it caresses the earth, creating a sense of a new beginning.
It is silent, comfortable, for a this moment, for a welcome change, I need not go anywhere…I can watch, type, get my work done right here, in front of my window, and let the February snow fall…
“It is never too late for a fresh start.” I read this in a little book I picked up yesterday, a book that was meant to find my hand at that moment, a blessed synchronicity on my own writing and spiritual journey that I started this year on January first. It says to be thankful for New Years, Birthdays, and Mondays, for each is the start of something new, each is potential to experience a clean slate in your life, to start a new path and to give you opportunity to search…or to be found.
stop everything…for just a moment…and consider the invitation.
Do you feel a need for a new beginning?
Know that in any small aspect of your life, a fresh, new beginning is always possible…
One of my favorite young photographers is Sonia Szostak. Found her ages ago on Deviant Art. Her works are provocative, at times unsettling, and fashionably brilliant. Click link for beautiful slide show on her website. Below are a few more images I love.
Gemini novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was fascinated in “life with the lid on and what happens when the lid comes off.” She knew both states from her own experience. “When you love someone,” she mused about the times the lid had come off, “all your saved-up wishes start coming out.” In accordance with the astrological omens, I propose that you engage in the following three-part exercise. First, identify a part of your life that has the lid tightly clamped over it. Second, visualize the suppressed feelings and saved-up wishes that might pour forth if you took the lid off. Third, do what it takes to love someone so well that you’ll knock the lid off.
~Via Free Will Astrology
You are Love!!
Check out your inspiration for the upcoming week here...
The seeds of our stories are planted within ourselves. We might jot down ideas in a journal or pour our hearts out on the page of a first draft in a highly personal and uncensored manner. We formulate our innermost thoughts and then record our experiences, or sketch fictional characters and plots. We reach down deep within ourselves and see what germinates. This is healing. – Tracy Strauss, Harnessing Creativity
Kissing the muse…
Image of Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, Rolling Stone Mag 2012
About this time (October 1816) I met John Keats at Leigh Hunt’s, and was amazingly interested by him prematurity of intellectual and poetical power.
I read one or two of his sonnets and formed a very high idea of his genius. After a short time I liked him so much that a general invitation on my part followed, and we became extremely intimate. He visited my painting-room at all times, and at all times was welcome.
He was below the middle size, with a low forehead and an eye that had an inward look, perfectly divine, like a Delphian priestess who saw visions. The greatest calamity for Keats was his being brought before the world by a set who had so much the habit of puffing each other that every one connected with it suffered in public estimation. Hence every one was inclined to disbelieve his genius. …
One evening (November 19, 1816) after a most eager interchange of thoughts I received from Keats his sonnet, beginning “Great spirits now on earth are sojourning.” I thanked him, and he wrote, “Your letter has filled me with a proud pleasure, and shall be kept by me as a stimulus to exertion. I begin to fix my eye on one horizon. The idea of your sending it to Wordsworth puts me out of breath. You know with what reverence I would send my well wishes to him.”
As I was walking one day with him in the Kilburn meadows, he said: “Haydon, what a pity it is there is not a human dusthole.”
Hear sexy Tom Hiddleston read Bright Star here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vlIXu9C3Hw
What Do Jane Austen’s Novels tell us about love and life today?
NY Times bookends
(Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice)
Cool article on a writer’s life via The Wit of the Staircase, Theresa Duncan.
On the first day of Lent
Two children took their own lives:
Were sewn into goats’ skins
And were dragged by the hangman’s horse
The three miles down to the sea.
They were given a simple grave in the sand.
The following Sunday, Meister Eckhart
Shouted that a secret word
Had been spoken to him. He preached
That Mary Magdalene
Sought a dead man in the tomb
But, in her confusion, found
Only two angels laughing…
This was a consequence of her purity
And her all to human grief.
The Baltic Sea
Also froze in 1303–
nothing happened that was worthy of poetry.
We don’t have big party plans (haven’t done that in ages) but we always do a movie (tonight it will be the new Star Wars flick, I may cry I’m such a nerd) and escape for a bit, eat something good, and drink of course! Tonight is no different. Felt my surge of inspiring thought during a tough, yet groovy yoga class this morning (fell apart emotionally during it, which I believe was a good thing) which enlightened my spirit and has left me…hopeful.
May the new year bring you more joy, creativity and inspiration than you thought possible.
My wish for all my dear Wit followers…
A few Wit-ful inspirations for today…
Happy New Year!
He only wanted me for happiness,
to walk in air
and not think so much,
to watch the smile
begun in his eyes
end on the lips
his eyes caressed.
He merely hoped, in darkness, to smell
rain; and though he saw how still
I sat to hold the rain untouched
inside me, he never asked
if I would stay. Which is why,
when the choice appeared,
I reached for it.
Hunter and I Sit and Wait
by Susan Anderson
“…humans and woods are ancient partners of linked origins,
and could be so again…”
via The Wit of the Staircase
No. Who can bear it. Only someone
who hates herself, who believes
to pull a hand back from a daughter’s cheek
is to put love into her pocket–like one of those ashen Christian
philosophers, or a war-bound soldier.
She is gone again and I will not bear
it, I will drag my grief through a winter
of my own making, refuse
any meadow that recycles itself into
hope. Shit on the cicadas, dry meteor
flash, finicky butterflies. I will wail and thrash
until the whole goddamned golden panorama freezes
over. Then I will sit down and wait for her. Yes.
~ Rita Dove, Demeter, Waiting
Images: Emilia Clarke, my edits
and Winter image via Pinterest
i will fly
image: Brooke Shaden
Time to remember what we have been given, and what is to come…
and to be thankful for it all.
I still #am writing but alas
have lagged behind in NaNoWriMo word counts…
But my story still surges on, which is
ultimately, the most important thing to me.
I am thankful for taking on the challenge.
It has inspired me to write, write, and write more
instead of waiting for another day
(you know, the “tomorrow zone”)
Today = Writing
image: The Wit Continuum
Here in the open cockpit
faceful of breeze
I sniff the winds of change.
Wooden wing struts and guy wires
lend a tentative support. You
look so brave out there, wind
whipped white frock and Florence
Below, the dizzy patchwork map. I
can still hear your courageous last words,
a soft mixture of lisp and postnasal drip
as you step into the nearest available space,
a cloudbank of high hopes
one hand clutching your little nursebag
and the other the ripcord.
~ David Barker
image: Brooke Shaden
“…when I put my brush on paper, this was the first thing that came.” ~ Jean Jullien
Meet the man behind the Eiffel Tower Peace Sign and how love, art and inspiration go hand in hand…
Link: Slate Magazine
The symptoms of Bertha Pappenheim and the explication of memories or “the talking cure” in psychology…
Myomancy…divination by the movements of mice…
The Wit of the Staircase
(post December 28, 2006)
I’ve come to the old echoes again,
know it’s where I’ve been before,
see the same old sun.
But backwards, from all the yesterdays,
it’s still the same way,
who gets and who pays.
I was younger then,
walking along still open,
young and having fun.
But now it’s just a sad walk
to an empty park,
to sit down and wait, wait to get out.
from On Earth
image: gloomy day print by Kristie Bonnewell