July 22, 2014
"

When we land in the place beyond fear which is, if you’ll excuse me, a fuck-it-all place where courage is beside the point, this is the final step that hurls us at the page.

A dear friend, a wonderful writer whose father is also an eminent writer – a national treasure – told me that when she was a child, her father used to drive her to school during the years in which he was wrestling with what later became his magnum opus. On some mornings, he’d pull the car over to the side of the road and she’d watch as he’d bash his head against the steering wheel.

I asked her if it felt scary, and she told me it didn’t. It was just her dad, trying to get to work.

"

Dani Shapiro | Archive for Moments of Being

July 22, 2014
"

Yes, you read that right. I can only speak from my own experience, but I’ve had quite a lot of it at this point, and what I can identify in my own process, when I am between books, it that I have to reach a total nadir, a writhing-on-the-floor, no holds barred, messy, deeply uncomfortable, godawful, pressured, horrible state before I can begin. No, I’ll take that further. It is precisely the depths themselves that act as a launching point. When I find myself – finally, inexorably – trapped in that impossible place, I am finally liberated. Liberated from my perfectionism, my resistance, my inner censor. Liberated from my fear, my self-consciousness, my ambition, my desire. All that’s left, in my despair, is an empty husk. And from that empty husk issues forth this question:

What do you have to lose?

"

Dani Shapiro | Archive for Moments of Being

July 22, 2014
"

And to clarify: it’s my intention not so much to expose myself (though I have, though I do, though I will) as to bust myself in that act and, in that way, to get closer and closer not only to what I think and what I know, but to the possibility of bumping up against the truth of what I didn’t believe I would ever understand. Me, too, Mr. Roth—I am who I don’t pretend to be.

Which is not to confess to a failure of imagination, oh no. Although possibly to a failure of nerve. To my desire to control, as best I can, your impression of me. Except I do so nakedly—I’m not convinced I could fool you otherwise. I don’t want to fool you, that isn’t my aim, not at all. I only want to sing for you, in the key of my choosing and as well as I know how.

"

Not-Quite-Naked | TriQuarterly

July 22, 2014
"Because I know why we read the stuff, but why do we write it? Do we mean to get naked? As if I could speak for everyone. That I can’t is among the most important reasons for each of us to get it right on the page. And this is why, when asked to confront “the Naked I” from every angle, I’m obliged to consider: Am I willing to strip down? All the way? To show everything? Or am I not only too encumbered, too fleshy, too flawed, but also too vain? Too devoted to “voice”?"

Not-Quite-Naked | TriQuarterly

July 21, 2014
"Cohen’s lyrics remind me that there is a particular kind of courage in the willingness to make one’s small, imperfect offering — saying, in effect, “I don’t have much to give, but I give it gladly as a contribution to the common good.” When we have that kind of courage, we encourage each other. And as more and more people make their small offerings, the cumulative effect can become something big."

The Courage of Small Offerings | On Being

July 21, 2014
"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."

Eden Phillpotts, “A Shadow Passes.”

A listener shared this quote (commonly misattributed to W. B. Yeats) inspired by our show with social psychologist Ellen Langer.

(via beingblog)

July 17, 2014
"It feels much better to find evidence that confirms what you believe to be true than to find evidence that falsifies what you believe to be true. Why go out in search of disappointment?"

Confirmation Bias | Farnam Street

July 17, 2014
"I’ve got 40 acres. And it’s good and sufficient and it takes good care of me. There’s no noise. There’s no children screaming. There’s no people getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning and trying to start their car and raising hell. Everybody has their own idea of what a good place to be is, and this is mine."

Burt Shavitz, the World’s Most Famous Retired Beekeeper - NYTimes.com

July 13, 2014
"“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” ― Ted Hughes, Letters of Ted Hughes"

(Source: goodreads.com)

July 12, 2014
explore-blog:

Chinua Achebe on the meaning of life and the writer’s responsibility in society in a 1994 interview

explore-blog:

Chinua Achebe on the meaning of life and the writer’s responsibility in society in a 1994 interview

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