Sunday, March 31, 2013

Notebook: Notes & quotes


Go into yourself - Rilke

Only when I am quiet for a long time and do not speak do the objects of my life draw near. - Jane Hirshfield

I wanted to be curious, interested, interesting, hopful - and a little bit odd was okay too. [knew what she wanted to be, but not who/how] - Naomi Shihab Nye, A Maze Me

Walk around feeling like a leaf./Know you could tumble any second./Then decide what to do with your time. - Naomi Shihab Nye

Live to the point - Montaigne

It is not down in any map; true places never are. - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

...how is it possible to love [the troubled landscapes] in the present but also acknowledge their troubled histories?...[the wilderness of the island of Raasay was] partly a consequence of loss: its spaciousness declared an absence, and its solitude a calamity. -Robert MacFarlane, The Wild Places (p.123)

Poet in New York [by Federico García Lorca] is the book which taught me that the most honest way to travel and to write is not to escape where you come from but to see it in a new light. - Monique Truong

These feelings of not-belonging were positive for me, not negative....I was given such a sense of confidence by my family, in my family [I] experienced the sense of difference as an honor... - Denise Levertov

I could never have been happy in any profession which did not involve the highest intellectual strain and yet kept me in good warm contact with my neighbors. - George Eliot, Middlemarch

To live in the world of creation-to get into it and stay in it-to frequent and haunt it-to think intensely and fruitfully-to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation-this is the only thing. - Henry James

Somehow, I knew what a poem was. I liked the comfortable, portable shape of poems...and especially the way they took you to a deeper, quicker place, almost immediately. - Naomi Shihab Nye

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. -Chinese proverb

Take fuller possession of the reality of your life. - Ted Hughes on writing

Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness. - Galway Kinnell

Let me
Keep my mind on what matters,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
- Mary Oliver

That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you to a third book. It's geometrically progressive-all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment. - Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Iran = a polyfocal/syncretic/cosmopolitan culture - Hamid Dabashi
Persian prose & poetry has roots in Arabic & Indian lit - Hamid Dabashi

I went in through the doors of the treasury of wisdom. And I drew for myself the waters of understanding. - Makeda, Queen of Sheba (10th century BCE)
                 
One can imagine Jesus and Mohammed glumly comparing notes in paradise, scratching their heads and bemoaning their vain expense of effort and suffering, which resulted only in the construction of two monumental whited sepulchers.
- Louis de Bernières, Birds Without Wings (p.143)

All war is fratricide, and there is therefore an infinite chain of blame that winds its circuitous route back and forth across the path and under the feet of every people and every nation, so that a people who are the victims of one time become the victimizers a generation later, and newly liberated nations resort immediately to the means of their former oppressors. The triple contagions of nationalism, utopianism and religious absolutism effervesce together into an acid that corrodes the moral metal of a race, and it shamelessly and even proudly performs deeds that it would deem vile if they were done to any other. - Louis de Bernières, Birds Without Wings (p.257)

Every beginning is only sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through. - Wislawa Szymborska

The mother goddess is the invisible counter-player of western culture. - Leo Frobenius

The bright day is done, and we are for the dark. - Shakespeare

A neat lie satisfies more than a sloppy truth. - Louis de Bernières, Birds Without Wings (p.287)

Now, when the apples she might have picked against winter/are falling, let us recall her...Let us summon her here that she be present/among us, because the true burden is absence,/because joy, O my neighbors,/can be grafted to loss & bring fruit everbearing,/so that/though there is grieving,/there is never true separation, never a leaving. - Sam Green, "Miserere..." from The Grace of Necessity

The pterrifying pterosaurs
Flew ptours the ptime of dinosaurs.
With widespread wings and pteeth pto ptear,
They pterrorized the pteeming air.
They were not ptame.
They were ptenacious-
From the Ptriassic
Pto the Cretaceous.

- Douglas Florian

Good TED talks: Dance/Story-Mallika Sarabhai; Synthesizing Happiness-Dan Gilbert; Memes/Temes-Susan Blackmore; Intrinsic Motivation-Daniel Pink; Post-conflict aid-Paul Collier

Happy New Year = Aid-e shoma mobarak (in Iran) or Nowruz mobarak (used more in Afghanistan)

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