One of the most significant facts about us may finally be that we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one.
― Clifford Geertz, The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man (via larmoyante)
This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
― Walt Whitman, in the Preface to Leaves of Grass (via petrichour)
For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.
― Audre Lorde, “A Litany for Survival,” The Black Unicorn (via petrichour)
Let me peer out at the world
through your lens. (Maybe I’ll shudder,
or gasp, or tilt my head in a question.)
Let me see how your blue
is my turquoise and my orange
is your gold. Suddenly binary
stars, we have startling
gravity. Let’s compare
scintillation — let’s share
starlight.
― Naomi Shihab Nye (via petrichour)
You felt no reality, no knife of sorrow cut your intestines to bits. Only a weariness, a longing for a shoulder to sleep on, and a pair of arms to curl up in.
Sylvia Plath, “The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath” (via symbolismo)
You are like night, calmed, constellated.
Your silence is star-like, as distant, as true.
― Pablo Neruda, ”I Like You Calm, As If You Were Absent” (via petrichour)