Worth Repeating…

“Pure, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent, he abides in his own greatness,” says the Upanishads, the ancient Yogic scriptures, describing anyone who has reached the turiya state. The great saints, the great Gurus, the great prophets of history—they were all living in the turiya state, all the time. As for the rest of us, most of us have been there, too, if only for fleeting moments.

—Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love.

Worth Repeating

Why does the writer write? The writer writes to serve – hopelessly he writes in the hope that he might serve – not himself and not others, but that great cold elemental grace which knows us.

Joy Williams, in her essay “Uncanny Singing That Comes from Certain Husks,” published in the 1991 anthology Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (public library).

Via Brain Pickings.

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Worth Repeating


From Lapham’s Quarterly via the great Maria Popova:

Your mother and I have been a complete failure financially but if the boys turn out to be good and useful citizens nothing else matters and we know this is happening so why not be jubilant?

–LeRoy Pollock in a 1928 letter to his 16-year-old son Jackson.

The rest of the letter is here, and this is the book where it can be found: American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family.

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Worth Repeating


The tableau was striking: the president who spent years hunting Bin Laden next to the one who finally got him. The president defined by his response to Sept. 11 standing alongside the one who has tried to take America beyond the lingering, complicated legacy of that day.

For Mr. Obama, Sept. 11 underpins what has become one of the great paradoxes of his presidency. A Democratic leader who opposed the Iraq war and is pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan has, at the same time, notched up a record as a lethal, relentless hunter of terrorists.

Mr. Obama, a president who banned torture in the interrogation of suspected terrorists and pledged (unsuccessfully, so far) to close the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, carried out more drone strikes in Pakistan in his first year in office than Mr. Bush did in his eight years.

Bush and Obama: Side by Side at Ground Zero, By MARK LANDLER and ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times, September 11, 2011

Worth Repeating


Sanity in time of war:

“My own feeling is that civilization ended in World War I, and we’re still trying to recover from that.  Much of the blame is the malarkey that artists have created to glorify war, which as we all know, is nonsense, and a good deal worse than that — romantic pictures of battle, and of the dead and men in uniform and all that. And I did not want to have that story told again.”

—Kurt Vonnegut, on this piece from NPR