For Friday, February 23, 2018:
The primary task of a writer is to write well. (And to go on writing well. Neither to burn out nor to sell out.) … Let the dedicated activist never overshadow the dedicated servant of literature — the matchless storyteller.
For Tuesday, February 20, 2018:
When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.
Madeleine L’Engle, GLIMPSES OF GRACE: DAILY THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
For Friday, February 16, 2018:
As a writer, you want the language to be genuinely significant and mean exactly what it says. That’s why the language of politicians, which is empty of everything but rather brutal signals, is something a writer has to get as far away from as possible. If you believe that words are acts, as I do, then one must hold writers responsible for what their words do.
Ursula K. LeGuin, interview with Jonathan White in TALKING ON THE WATER: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT NATURE AND CREATIVITY
For Tuesday, February 13, 2018:
… [S]cience arose from poetry, and … when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.
For Friday, February 9, 2018:
Art like prayer is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts.
For Tuesday, February 6, 2018:
Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.
For Saturday, February 3, 2018 (with apologies, again, for being a day late):
The creative self [asks] the surrender of ordinary conceptions of identity and will for a broader kind of intimacy and allegiance. Ultimately, though, the threshold consciousness is not about ideas, whatever they may be. It is, like writing itself, about stepping past what we already think we know and into an entirely new relationship with the many possibilities of being, with the ultimately singular and limitless mystery of being. Above all, it is about freedom, and the affection for all existence that only genuine freedom brings.
Jane Hirshfield, ‘Writing and the Threshold Life,’ NINE GATES: ENTERING THE MIND OF POETRY
For January 31, 2018 (with apologies for being a day late):
A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.
Albert Einstein (found in AARP Bulletin, January-February 2018)
For Friday, January 26, 2018:
The worst walls are never the ones you find in your way. The worst walls are the ones you put there.
Ursula K. Le Guin (d. January 2018)
For Tuesday, January 23, 2018:
I teach my sighs to lengthen into songs.