Categories
Arts Poetry

Mary Oliver: The poem gets written

Photograph by Molly Malone Cook 1964 from Our World by Mary Oliver

“It is 6am and I am working. I am absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social obligations etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, and the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written.”

Mary Oliver

Who needs the muse when you’ve got a proper habit?

Mary Oliver wrote over 15 poetry and essay collections over her writing career. Her prolific output rested on a simple rule of showing up and filling up the canvass every day.

But she was also jotting down notes all the time, out and about, in nature where she felt freest.

Oliver’s poetic vocation called her wherever she went, as she engulfed the world with an insane curiosity. Slow and deliberate, she let her notebooks bleed into the world.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry

A blink off script

The movie never stops. Interrupted by a flutter of blinks, the mind makes the world whole.

It slams the breaks on silence in exchange for blizzards of visual cues.

We are the opposite of a lighthouse, consuming energy without giving any back.

Perhaps if we framed the photo, took a pause from licking the eyeballs, it would all mean a bit more.

Categories
Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nothing strange about it

via tumblr

Out there, in ideas and intentionality.

She ceases shoulder-surfing and goes off the grid to depart the world of sameness. 

The buoyancy to defend oneself against the easy access of the mind.

“What if our capacity to imagine has been so badly damaged by the information climate of our times that destruction is all we can see?”

John Freeman, Dictionary of the Undoing

Burned out by the illusion of immediacy and convinced that no one knows anything. Once shocking, it was they who rendered it normal. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Productivity & Work Psychology

A coherent me

When we are stuck and predictable, we stop beating the heart to our own drum.

Instead of chasing our dreams, we ride on the coattails of others. We become a cog that seeks to please rather than to push.

How we align our attention — to mimetic desire or to the clusters of individual freedom — is what determines self-worth.

The story we tell ourselves helps to combat the harsh reality of Monday morning meetings.

We buck the reassurance of controlled variables in pursuit of a cloudy destiny. 

We read life to read ourselves. The copy is the original.

Categories
Arts Photography Poetry Quotes

Robert Frank, photo poetry

Robert Frank, photo poetry
Robert Frank, photo poetry
Robert Frank, photo poetry

When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.

Robert Frank
Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry

Manufacturing luck

gif via Cameo Nation

Trite but true: life isn’t fair.

Luck shuffles, unequally distributed, sometimes to those who are most undeserving.

But our situation is unique, a constriction that gives us a chance to add our own bit of intrigue.

What lens do we choose?

There’s no drug we can take to resolve the struggle. But the last thing we want is pity and boredom.

Misfortune helps rearrange our thinking.

The antifragile see the world anew, forcing the gut to churn out insights that the lucky couldn’t even imagine.

We don’t always have to win the coin toss.

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