"When you open a book," the sentimental library posters said, "anything can happen." This was so. A book of fiction was a bomb. It was a land mine you wanted to go off. You wanted it to blow your whole day. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of books were duds. They had been rusting out of everyone's way for so long that they no longer worked. There was no way to distinguish the duds from the live mines except to throw yourself at them headlong, one by one. --Annie Dillard, An American Childhood

I would like to live to be a hunded because loving and being loved are so good and there are so many books; but were I to learn now that I had only a week left, I would finish today's spell of writing, have the cup of coffee that I crave and go on with the one book I'm reading. --John Tittensor, Year One: A Record

October 14, 2014

I Would Fail Abraham's Test

Rachel Held-Evans, via her blog

Maybe the real test isn’t in whether you drive the knife through the heart. Maybe the real test is in whether you refuse.

September 17, 2014

Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson

Frieda, on a prompt from Eva, did a twirl and laughed. She was the molten core at the center of Ursula's heart, the better part of everything she did or thought. Ursula would be willing to walk on knives for the rest of her life if it would protect Frieda. Burn in the flames of hell to save her. Drown in the deepest of waters if it would buoy her up. (She had explored many extreme scenarios. Best to be prepared.) She had had no idea (Sylvie gave no indication) that maternal love could be so gut-achingly, painfully physical.

"Oh yes," Pamaela said, as if it were the most casual thing in the world, "It turns you into a regular she-wolf."

August 4, 2014

You Are A Swan

from a Spirit Animal quiz

Swans are idealistic, open-minded, and passionate. Your good nature often leads people to think they can take advantage of you, but they should be careful—beneath that serenity lies a fighting spirit. Your love is fierce and unconditional, fueled by the certainty that it should last forever.

July 28, 2014


by Sydney Poulton
via the daybook

There is something terrible that comes with parenthood. Tied up within the absolutely heart-bursting goodness that is, for instance, observing your little boy digging through his dad's wrench set while singing a high pitched rendition of, You are So Beautiful, is the buried awareness of exactly what there is to lose.

June 25, 2014

We Were Liars

by E. Lockheart

I wanted to touch him like he was a bunny, a kitten, something so special and soft your fingertips can't leave it alone. The universe was good because he was in it.

June 13, 2014

Real Talk

by Jill Scott

Nothing is simple when you love someone this much. Nothing is neat when you’re this needed. Life doesn’t stop because you’ve given birth. A new life begins and you own it and make it yours.

June 3, 2014

Bird by Bird

by Anne Lamott

Is it okay with you that you blow off your writing, or whatever your creative/spiritual calling, because your priority is to go to the gym or do yoga five days a week? Would you give us one of those days back, to play or study poetry? To have an awakening? Have you asked yourself lately, "How alive am I willing to be?" It's all going very quickly. It's mid-May, for God's sake. Who knew. I thought it was late February.

Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen.