The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.
...stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci
I need vengeance the way a tired man needs a bath.
-Charles de Baudalaire
Nations have great men only despite themselves - just like families. They make every effort not to have them. This means that a great man, in order to exist, must have a power of attack greater than the power of resistance developed by millions of individuals.
-Charles de Baudelaire
There is in the act of love a great resemblance to torture, or to a surgical operation.
-Charles de Baudelaire
Even though a pair of lovers may be deeply devoted, full of mutual desires, one of them will always be calmer, or less obsessed, than the other. He or she must be the surgeon or torturer; the other the patient or victim.
-Charles de Baudelaire
Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.
Don't follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail.
Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
A person creates what they defend against.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is, in the boredom and the pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness. Touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, for in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.
Most people don't know what they want or feel. And for everyone, myself included, Its very difficult to say what you mean when what you mean is painful. The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself,to express what you have to...As an artist, I feel that we must try many things - but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be bad - to be willing to risk everything to really express it all.
... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.
Life is a dream, death is a going home.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Everybody wants to leave something behind them, some impression, some mark upon the world. And then you think, you've left a mark on the world if you just get through it and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. You don't have to bend the world. I think it's better just to enjoy it. Pay your dues and enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.
-Dorian Corey, "Paris is Burning"
If I had to live my life again, I would make a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use.
If you want to be creative in your company, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step...the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: 'What ELSE could we do?'
The cry of my body for completeness, that is a cry for you.
-Mary Carolyn Davies
A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightening.
Why are we reading if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power? What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking. We should amass half dressed in long lines like tribesmen and shake gourds at each other, to wake up; instead we watch television and miss the show.
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a better place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.
You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you!
He who is not busy being born is busy dying.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
Most people die before they are fully born.
I write because I hate. A lot. Hard.
No amount of travel on the wrong road will bring you to the right destination.
-Ben Gaye II
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible -- he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.
This is your life. You are responsible for it. You won't live forever. Don't wait.
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium. It will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions.
Know something, sugar? Stores only happen to people who can tell them.
I had a bad day. I had to subvert my principles and kowtow to an idiot. Television makes these daily sacrifices possible. It deadens the inner core of my being.
-from the Hal Hartley film "Trust"
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.
The first draft of everything is shit.
It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old water-proof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a cafe au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.
Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.
-Zora Neale Hurston
Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me yes so he could feel my breasts and perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.
Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everyone goes "awww!"
-Jack Kerouac, On The Road
Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic - if it is pulled out, I shall die.
There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of becoming.
The deepest form of despair is to choose to be someone other than oneself; the opposite of despair is to will to be that self which one truly is.
You just sit down and write every day for 3 or 4 hours. You do it like piano scales until you have a story to tell.
You know that when I hate you
it is because I love you
to a point of passion that unhinges my soul.
-Julie-Jeanne de Lespinasse
I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself--and if I accept myself fully in the right way I will already have surpassed myself. For it is the unaccepted self that stands in my way and will continue to do so as long as it is not accepted. When it has been accepted--it is my own stepping stone to what is above me. We must first become like ourselves and stop living besides ourselves.
For me the most excruciating agony was to have the word annihilated before it even left my mouth. I learned, by bitter experience, to hold my tongue; I learned to sit in silence, and even smile, when actually I was foaming at the mouth. I learned to shake hands and say how do you do to all these innocent-looking fiends who were only waiting for me to sit down in order to suck my blood.
What distinguishes me from majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.
The highest men are calm, silent and unknown. They are the men who really know the power of thought; they are sure that even if they go into a cave and close the door and simply think five true thoughts and then pass away, these five thoughts of theirs will live throughout eternity ...
If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.
When you are in love with someone, you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him.
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before...to test your limits... to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
I will not just be a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
- Anais Nin
...the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else. Any work that you do that isn't writing is taking you away from writing.
Only the dead have seen the end of the war.
I am the wisest man in Athens because I know I don't know. I am only singularly ignorant. The rest of the citizens are twice ignorant. They think they know, but they still don't know.
To look a fool is the secret of a wise man.
-Edgar Allen Poe
A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
The morning is graying with an unwritten poem. An attack of perhapses.
The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.
When people do less then their best, and do that "less" at once badly and self-complacently, I hate them, loathe them, long to tear them limb from limb and strew them in gobbets about the stage.
-George Bernard Shaw
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
The idea of you is complex in itself...your self is made of many selves...not only persons you once were, but also persons you tried to be, persons you have avoided being, and persons you fear you might be.
I've never had a day where I couldn't write 15 pages. Some days it's horrible, some days I don't know what language it's in, but I know I'll go back to it and fix it up.
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world.. which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths.
-Baroness Edith Summerskill
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.
Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.
The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
Endeavor to live so that when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry.
We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.
You have to be able to withstand your own doubt, day after day, to sit in a chair and write.
The best is the enemy of the good.
Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
-Vincent van Gogh
There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
-Vincent Van Gogh
I was always an observer. I would observe rather than partake, and I don't think that is too hip a thing to do when you're fifteen.
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what a feminist is, I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The really unhappy person is the one who leaves undone what they can do, and starts doing what they don't understand; no wonder they come to grief.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe