That's About Right

I always dreamt of a novel in which, as in an explosion, I would erupt with all the wonderful things I saw and understood in this world.

--Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago

And his words also explain neatly why this blog is so lovingly neglected at the moment: I am busy erupting with beauty.


Test Tubes and Beakers and the Page

A writer should be as objective as a chemist.

--Anton Chekhov, born today in 1860


Your Own Level of Strain

Find your own stress level — the speed at which you can run toward your own goal. Make sure that both the stress level and the goal are really your own, and not imposed upon you by society, for only you yourself can know what you want and how fast you can accomplish it. There is no point in forcing a turtle to run like a racehorse or in preventing a racehorse from running faster than a turtle because of some 'moral obligation.' The same is true of people.

--Hans Selye, endocrinologist who discovered the effects of stress/strain on the body


Elemental Awe

"For every poet it is always morning in the world. History a forgotten, insomniac night; History and elemental awe are always our early beginning, because the fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world, in spite of History."

--Derek Walcott, born today in 1930


Short Term/Long Term


We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short term (say, one afternoon) and underestimate what we can get done in the long term if we do a little bit at one time.


--Gretchen Rubin

And this is my personal theme of 2014: a little bit at a time gets the work done in an extraordinary way.