“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
"There is a stigma in this country around women with jobs. So I want to start an organization that provides girls in the Congo with examples of women around the world who have balanced family and career. Most men in this country think it’s only about money. They think: ‘If I make enough money for us to live, then my wife should take care of the children.’ The common belief is that a woman who works is hurting her children. People don’t realize that children also gain from the knowledge and experiences of their mother."
(Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
—Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”
Out comes the whip. We’re lazy, stuck, worthless. Our ideas are shallow, uninteresting, tepid. What’s our problem? Why can’t we just crank out pages like some literary version of a well-oiled machine?
I’ll tell you why not. Because this writing thing is hard. It always feels good to have written, but it rarely feels good to sit down to write. If I were to describe my own physical process, it’s like a nearly-unbearable tension within me slowly begins to rise. A welling up of so many thoughts and feelings that it feels I might explode. And yet, at the same time, there is the seeming impossibility of finding the words, of knowing what’s next, of getting it right. Shoulders tense. Jaw tightens. Eyes sting. Breath becomes shallow. Mind buzzes in circles endlessly. The page is a solid wall at which I must run, full tilt, and only by running, only by hurling myself straight at it might it crumble and give way. But it appears so solid! So unforgiving! Sometime I bang against it, and limp away, bruised and bloody. Other times, it turns out the wall was just a mirage. But there’s only one way to find out.
So. How to begin? Improbably enough, we must begin with kindness.”
The brilliant Dani Shapiro, a modern sage of the pleasures and perils of writing and the creative life, reflects on getting to work.
ANYTHING that Dani says is a FOREVER REBLOG!
—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching