thought for the week

            Source: Alvhyttan

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

~ Chapter XXI, Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

thought for the week

from THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER by Beatrix Potter (Frederick Warne & Co., Inc., 1903)

“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”

~  Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866 – December 22, 1943)

**BONUS RECIPE in honor of Miss Potter’s birthday:

(serves 4)

2 carrots
2 apples
1 rib of celery
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt
1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional
lettuce leaves

Wash the carrots and scrape with a vegetable peeler. Place a metal grater on a piece of wax paper and grate the carrots, using the large ice-cream-cone-shaped openings of the grater. Put the grated carrots in the mixing bowl.

Wash the apples, but do not peel them. Cut them in half and then in quarters. Cut out the core, and cut the apples into small pieces.

Wash the celery and chop it. Add the celery, apples, and raisins to the carrots. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Stir in mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt.

Serve the salad on lettuce leaves and sprinkle with nuts if you like them.

~adapted from Peter Rabbit’s Natural Foods Cookbook by Arnold Dobrin (Frederick Warne & Co., 1977).

thought for the week

As children, we played freely with sound and expression. But somewhere along the way we began editing what came naturally to us. We heard others tell their stories differently; we noticed the praise they got. Or we watched stories played out on television and concluded that they were more exciting than what we had made up on our own. Gradually, subtly, we began to hold things in, instead of turning them loose into the world. And our precious energy went the way of the kingdoms, and the angels. The trolls stayed on; they just changed form — appearing as anger, sadness, guilt, frustration, fear. These trolls went into our bodies to hide; and all the criticisms we heard and believed about ourselves marched in right behind them.

We want to become as free to create as we were in childhood. We know that what we have to tell is unique, unike what anyone else would reveal. To do this, we must be willing to give voice to the dusty collection of disappointments and anxieties that crowd our inner territory.

So much of creativity is an attempt to retranslate the most closely guarded stories of our lives. The insistent archaeologist within us demands that we detect our own tension, stress, and distress and trace them back to their origins. As Marion Woodman observes, “Powerful energies are locked in our bodies.” If we do not discharge the pressures stored in our muscles and tissues, in our backs, our faces, throats, and bellies, in our arms and legs, then the energy gets stuck. When we don’t release these tensions, we often end up in a breathless effort to talk them out or write them out, when it would have been easier to stretch, sigh, shout, pound, punch, or dance them out in the beginning.

                      ~ John Lee, Writing from the Body (St. Martin’s Press, 1994)


thought for the week

A good poem always has some entrance into and reminder of the fact that genuine experience is unexpected. A good poem shocks us awake, one way or another — through its beauty, its insight, its music; it shakes or seduces the reader out of the common gaze and into a genuine looking. It breaks the sleepwalking habit in our eyes, in our ears, in our mouths, and sets us adrift in a small raft under a vast night-sky of stars. We feel ourselves moving, too, above a vast, cold-streaming current carrying inner-lit sea creatures, tangles of kelp strands, fishes. Thus we learn the deep clefts of the mid-ocean land-rifts; thus the wave-blanketed mountains rise up before us as islands, a new habitation for heart and mind . . . We depart the known ease in order to arrive somewhere other than where we were. We travel by poem, as by any other means, in order to see for ourselves more than was seen.
~ Jane Hirshfield, “The Shock of Good Poetry,”
                                                The Writer, June 1999.

thought for the week: writer whims

                                                   French novelist Colette (1873-1954)

Ernest Hemingway stood when he wrote, preferably in a pair of oversized loafers, with the typewriter and the reading board chest-high opposite him.

Robert Frost preferred to write while sitting in an armchair.

Charles Dickens always slept facing towards the North because he thought it would improve his writing. He also used to touch everything three times for luck.

Lewis Carroll wrote most of his books, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, while standing up. He composed the tale when sitting down — in a boat with the family of the Dean of Christ Church college, Oxford, including 10-year-old Alice.

Truman Capote would only ever write on yellow paper.

Balzac believed that in order to write a great book he needed to remain chaste. Every time he spent the night with a woman, he would say to himself, ‘There goes another masterpiece.’

Road Dahl wrote his best-loved works in a specially designated writing hut in his orchard.

French novelist Colette didn’t just read in bed, she preferred to write there too. To make things all the more comfortable, she invented a ‘bed-raft’ in her Paris apartment on which she slept, ate, entertained, phoned, read and wrote.

~ from THE LITERARY COMPANION by Emma Jones (Think Publishing, 2004).

What are your writer whims, rituals or superstitions?

(If you’ll excuse me, I need to get into my Egyptian goddess costume.)