Quote for Today: Billy Collins

Chair Seat Gloomy Treatment Interrogation

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Billy Collins, The Apple that Astonished Paris

Public Domain Image via MaxPixel

Quote for Today: Vera Nazarian

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If you have never changed your mind about some fundamental tenet of your belief, if you have never questioned the basics, and if you have no wish to do so, then you are likely ignorant.

Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation.

It will do both of you good.
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Image © Thijs Paanakker with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Cornel West

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The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist in a jazz quartet, quintet or band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase the creative tension with the group–a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project.
Cornel West, Race Matters 

Image: Unity in Diversity © Fady Habib with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Rainer Maria Rilke

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I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Public Domain Image via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, MO-1105

Quote for Today: Elie Wiesel

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Why do you pray?” he asked me, after a moment.

Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?

“I don’t know why,” I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. “I don’t know why.”

After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. “Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him,” he was fond of repeating. “That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don’t understand His answers. We can’t understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!”

“And why do you pray, Moshe?” I asked him. “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.”

Elie Wiesel, Night

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Quote for Today: Alain de Botton

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It is not only the hostility of others that may prevent us from questioning the status quo. Our will to doubt can be just as powerfully sapped by an internal sense that societal conventions must have a sound basis, even if we are not sure exactly what this may be, because they have been adhered to by a great many people for a long time. It seems implausible that our society could be gravely mistaken in its beliefs, and at the same time, that we would be alone in noticing the fact. We stifle our doubts, and follow the flock, because we cannot conceive of ourselves as pioneers of hitherto unknown difficult truths. It is for help in overcoming our meekness that we can turn to the philosopher.
Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy

Quote for Today: Sue Monk Kidd

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The only way I have ever understood, broken free, emerged, healed, forgiven, flourished, and grown powerful is by asking the hardest questions and then living into the answers through opening up to my own terror and transmuting it into creativity. I have gotten nowhere by retreating into hand-me-down sureties or resisting the tensions that truth ignited.
Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

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Quote for Today: Vera Nazarian

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If you have never changed your mind about some fundamental tenet of your belief, if you have never questioned the basics, and if you have no wish to do so, then you are likely ignorant.

Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation.

It will do both of you good.
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Public Domain Image of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 

 

Quote for Today: Julia Woodman

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Some things seem to be viewed in similar ways by many people, and I think we should take another look at these and truly question them. In our search for our own truth we need to ensure that we are not acting like sheep, merely following the herd behaviour.
One of these areas is that things are often regarded as opposites, things like black and white, day and night, light and dark, are obvious examples. A more open view might say they are opposite sides of one coin. I would go a little further and suggest to you that they are actually part of the same thing. Just as the coin cannot exist without its two sides, I would suggest that our world cannot exist without these so called opposites because they give us a spectrum to exist in, a matrix, or framework, that stretches between the two extremes (or polarities) to include every variation of light and shade that we sense or experience in-between…
If we accept that opposites (or gradations of circumstances, or differences in ways of being) are all part of the same hologram of life (just as we need different shades and colours to make up a picture), then we can see that we need all those aspects to make up our world.
Julia Woodman, No Paradox – Living Both In and Outside Of the Matrix
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