I want to unfold.
I don’t want to be folded anywhere,
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours
Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
~ Albert Camus, Notebooks 1951-1959
I believe I have already suggested that colour is the most obvious bridge between emotion and perception, that is, between subjective experience of the psyche and quality objective in nature. Both light up only between the extremes of light and darkness, and in their reciprocal interplay. Thus, outward the rainbow–or, if you prefer it, the spectrum–is the bridge between dark and light, but inwardly the rainbow is, what the soul itself is, the bridge between body and spirit, between earth and heaven.
~ Owen Barfield
When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call “white” is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion.
~ Diane Ackerman
If you have ever followed a rainbow to its end, it leads you to the ground on which you are standing.
~ Alan Cohen
How to Be a Poet
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
~ Wendell Berry
Truly, there is magic in fairy tales. For it takes but a simply-uttered ‘Once upon a time…’ to allure and spellbind an audience.
~ Rachelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway
The unrealistic nature of these tales (which narrowminded rationalists object to) is an important device, because it makes obvious that the fairy tales’ concern is not useful information about the external world, but the inner process taking place in an individual.
~ Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment
The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination- an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfilment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past but who may really be the guides to our future. To do this we have to ask our rulers: Can you leave the water in the rivers, the trees in the forest? Can you leave the bauxite in the mountain?
~ Arundhati Roy, Broken Republic: Three Essays
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
I hold the most archaic values on earth … the fertility of the soul, the magic of the animals, the power-vision in solitude…. the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe.
~ Gary Snyder