Here is my Love letter to you, dear wanderer. You deserve to be alive while you are still alive. Be all the way here in your life. Activate your whole soul. Breach fear. Surface. Heaven is in the spray and mist. Feel things. Feel them all the way. Testify. Open your mouth. Risk censure so you can breathe. Elope with your passions. Marry freedom. Tremble. Gush tears. Sea turtle yourself across the sands of captivity. Awe-stun the predators. Reach ecstasy's ocean. Become its holy water. Evaporate. Gather as rainclouds. Monsoon. Drink your own pouring. Be soul water for this arid, aching land. A divine and magical thing is happening. Your life. Come and join it in the precious brevity of its season. It is blooming for you. Bloom back.
Jaiya John, Fragrance After Rain
“I am spending more and more time studying joy, in part because I suspect it is connected to (or one of the expressions of deep awareness of love. And in part, too, because I think we have an obligation, like an ethical obligation, to study what we love, what we want to preserve and keep with us and grow. Joy strikes me as one of the ways we know we are in the midst of such things. It's like a finger pointing to the thing, saying Take care of this!" Saying, "Sing about this!" That might be a gathering of beloveds or it might mean someone giving you directions, both of you using languages you do not speak fluently. It might mean the green birds in Barcelona, or the sound of kids' voices from some- where you are not sure of. It might mean the creek like a xylophone when all the frogs hop in. Joy strikes me (it is funny that I am inclined to say that joy strikes me; this is a good strickenness, trust me) as, like, I don't quite know how to say it, because I was going to say a kind of fabric between us, but it's more like the way the fabric itself holds together. Joy alerts us to the moments when our alienation diminishes, or, even, disappears. It reminds of us our wholeness, our togetherness - which is the truth."
Ross Gay, Originally published in THE MARGINS, from the Asian American Writer's Workshop (aaww.org)
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
Carl Sagan in “The Persistence of Memory"
Recently came to a realization about how different my internal dialogue sounds like...quieter, softer, kinder, less sado-masochistic
The regime of fear has passed...but there isn't any new management yet... there's a succession crisis...who is fit to take the reins of this corporation-body?
A new thought that is prolly just an old thought thought anew: what is good, everything that increases the feeling of power...
Yes...power, agency, 'control'...a system or habits can do this most easily...even if I do nothing else during the day, at least let me sleep and wake up at the same time every day
To shake up the stagnant pool after Boss Fear left, Power must take centre stage...it is a worthwhile psycho-physiological goal
Baby steps...crawl before walking before running before flying...one does not fly into flying
Patience...oodles of it...Grace...oceans of it...Kindness...a whole fucking universe of it... it's the regime of kindness actually...power is only the way to exercise the mandate of this new scion-sage
And of course, CONSISTENCY...cause this is no sprint but a marathon...marathon mentality (sorry Kobe)
Ultimately answerable only to myself...but no longer a sole shareholder...only have a controlling stake
I’m interested in the possibility of a redemptive intimacy developing between strangers who agree to enter a relationship — not necessarily romantic — premised on unvarnished and intentional truth telling about our traumas and fears from the conception of the series of interactions. To turn inward and reveal who we really are and what we need in this moment, almost like descending from the mountaintop rather than climbing up it. The descent requires its own form of acclimatisation and is not to be underestimated. It’s intriguing to me then: working backwards from the most fundamental parts about me rather than trading high school anecdotes and much later, perhaps, the first instance of violence. I am also curious about how an awareness of a relationship being framed as an experiment impacts or directs the interactions that unfold. What festers at the root might be this: By removing judgment, do we create atmospheres ripe for flourishing? By laying out margins for trial and error from the outset, simple human flaw, do we craft a different type of relationship... one that is unthreatened and worthwhile? I want to disrupt the linearity of the ways we can relate to each other.
How does a shared history with people from formative periods of our lives impact the people we are trying to become now? Can personal links to that actually hinder the healing process and cloud present judgment based on the past? My recent self-examination has circled around freeing myself from my own past and baggage and whether embarking on that is as simple as a resilient mindset. I have often felt more freedom with the stranger, the person who has no direct connection to my histories: the places I have lived, my parents and friends, school and college. Inaccurate reputations and yes, past lovers. Maybe this freedom arises because there is no element of obligation nor expectation nor fear — no judgment and at least initially, caring about whether they like me or not. This allows me to be painfully honest. What if we could say to each other: I want to enter a mutual process of deconstruction with you, starting with the things I am most ashamed of.
Could we help each other grow sustainably? Let’s break away from the immediate gratification of certain connections and instead cultivate joy, healing, connection — free from attachment?
“Relationships aren’t permanent and they should never be all-consuming. All-consuming relationships are a recipe for losing oneself. Relationships are fragile after all. How quickly you can go from being someone’s everything to their nothing. It’s far better to remember no one person can ever be our everything, which means losing someone doesn’t mean we return to nothing. The romance myth tells us we should hold onto love because there is nobody else in the world who will love us again. This isn’t true. Remember what it was like to love and be loved, even if it was only for a few minutes. Remember that just because something is over doesn’t mean it was any less real. And remember that even a ring doesn’t make anything less broken. People aren’t homes. You can’t buy them or own them. You can’t renovate them to be whatever you want or need according to your changing desire or expectations. You can’t dump your shit all over their interior. You can’t expect them to wait around to comfort your each and every insecurity. People aren’t backup plans or getaways…they exist in the present. They exist and serve many roles and purposes besides being a supporting character in our stories. And we exist outside of playing a supportive character in theirs.”
All thinking, strictly speaking, is done in solitude and is a dialogue between me and myself; but this dialogue of the two-in-one does not lose contact with the world of my fellow-men because they are represented in the self with whom I lead the dialogue of thought. The problem of solitude is that this two-in-one needs the others in order to become one again: one unchangeable individual whose identity can never be mistaken for that of any other. For the confirmation of my identity I depend entirely upon other people; and it is the great saving grace of companionship for solitary men that it makes them “whole” again.
--- Hannah Arendt, "Ideology and Terror"
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from―it’s where you take them to."
| Jim Jarmusch