Saltwater — O at the Edges

Saltwater What if you close your eyes and your throat relinquishes the morning’s bright fingers, freed from bruises. Suppose that particular night never happened, the way a wave crashing ashore empties itself and trickles back in separate communities, mingling yet aloof, a diminishing cortege. What is the question? Take this spoon. Fill it with […]

via Saltwater — O at the Edges

Transcendentalism: Thoreau on Writing

“Nothing goes by luck in composition. . . . The best you can write will be the best you are. Every sentence is the result of a long probation. The author’s character is read from title page to end” (Thoreau, 2009:159)

I’m writing about Transcendentalism tonight and its enduring relativity embedded in modern American individualism.  Hence, the quotes and poems by Transcendentalist founders.  While we indeed have deep roots within Puritanism as a nation, we are equally influenced by the individualism espoused by this quasi-religion.  In reflecting upon the condition of American society today, it seems clear that the divisions that separate these two distinct ideologies, their seeds planted during the time of our foundation, still frame the divisions we face as a collective people today.

Self or Denial of Self?  That is the question…

“Writing, Instinct, and Passion”

Jean Rhys

“Without the instinct, the passion might so easily be either sentimental or sensational; without the passion, the instinct might lead to only formal beauty; together, they result in original art, at the same time exquisite and deeply disturbing.” Francis Wyndham: An Introduction to the Writing of Jean Rhys, “Wide Saragasso Sea” – A Norton Critical Edition

Taste the Fallen Apples

fallenapple

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

Anais Nin: On Writing

anaisnin

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anais Nin
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/writing.html#GiVsMDy18MJvfzmu.99

Anaïs Nin (Spanish: [anaˈiz ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised. She spent some time in Spain and Cuba but lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She published journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays,short stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.

She was transformed by her therapy with Otto Rank, who broke with Freud over Freud’s failure to appreciate the power of women’s sexuality, the value of art, and the meaning of the mother-child relationship. On her second visit to Rank, Nin reflects on her desire to be “re-born,” feelingly, as a woman and artist. Rank, she observes, helped her move back and forth between what she could verbalize in her journals and what remained unarticulated. She discovered the quality and depth of her feelings in the wordless transitions between what she could say and what she could not say. “As he talked, I thought of my difficulties with writing, my struggles to articulate feelings not easily expressed. Of my struggles to find a language for intuition, feeling, instincts which are, in themselves, elusive, subtle, and wordless”.[6]

On Education and Instruction

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.
Epictetus
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/epictetus.html#rUHVclorcvMTegIF.99

Obedience

“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”

Mary Wollstonecraft

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marywollst204526.html#s2BJlEKdrsij6zpl.99

Mary Wollstonecraft (27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.