No Amount of Fire

“It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”

F.Scott Fitzgerald

Wastes of Thirsty Waiting

“I couldn’t have spoken like this yesterday, because when we’ve been apart, and I’m looking forward to seeing you, every thought is burnt up in a great flame. But then you come; and you’re so much more than I remembered, and what I want of you is so much more than an hour or two every now and then, with wastes of thirsty waiting between, that I can sit perfectly still beside you, like this, with that other vision in my mind, just quietly trusting to it to come true.”

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

…you absented your soul from its own time

The Lace

Being human: term for a flickering possession,
existence of a happiness still undemonstrated:
is it inhuman, that a pair of eyes
turned into this small densely woven piece of lace?
Do you want them back?

You, long since vanished and finally blind–
is all your human joy here inside this thing
where your huge feelings went, as between
stem and bark, miniaturized?

Through a tear in fate, a tiny interstice,
you absented your soul from its own time;
and it is so present here in this light
section of lace, it makes me smile at “usefulness.”

And if someday all we have done
and all that has happened to us
seems so inferior and strange,
as though there’d been no point
in taking the trouble to outgrow our first pair of shoes
just to come to this — … Shouldn’t this
strip of yellowed lace, this tightly meshed
flowery border of lace suffice
to keep us here? Look: this at least got done.

A life was ignored in the process, who knows.
A delight was there, was going to be sacrificed,
and finally at any cost
there would exist this thing, not easier than life
yet finished and so lovely, as though it weren’t too soon
to smile and soar.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. The Unknown Rilke . trans Franz Wright.

Strive to Find Extraordinary Love

“You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. The next Michelangelo could be sitting behind a Macbook right now writing an invoice for paperclips, because it pays the bills, or because it is comfortable, or because he can tolerate it. Do not let this happen to you. Do not ruin your life this way. Life and work, and life and love, are not irrespective of each other. They are intrinsically linked. We have to strive to do extraordinary work, we have to strive to find extraordinary love. Only then will we tap into an extraordinarily blissful life.”

 

Bianca Sparacino, How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing That You Are)

External Destiny Inflicted

“Every life is, more or less, a ruin among whose debris we have to discover what the person ought to have been. This obliges us to construct for ourselves — as the physicist constructs his models — an imaginary life of the individual, the graph of his successful life. Upon which we then distribute the jags (they are sometimes enormous) which external destiny inflicted. We all feel our real life to be a deformation—sometimes greater, sometimes less—of our possible life. The second problem is to weigh the subject’s fidelity to this unique destiny of his, to his possible life. This permits us to determine the degree of authenticity of his actual life.”

(from Ortega y Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art )

the tender shoots

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”

― Henry Miller