Start by thinking less, I tell myself. Do more. Love more, and it will come back to you. So far in life I’ve done the opposite. Like some mysterious sea creature, I’ve loved from afar, then added more and more protective and hostile layers the closer I’ve gotten to the object of my affection. The longer the relationship, the more I’ve seemed to withhold. Why? Because, I think, shedding those layers would mean I would eventually come to know myself. What a terrifying thought.

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,


And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t mean security.


And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises,


And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of a man, not the grief of a child,


And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.


After a while you learn…

That even sunshine burns if you get too much.


So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.


And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong 

And you really do have worth… 

And you learn and learn… 


With every good-bye you learn…

You Learn 
— by Jorge Luis Borges (via yasodhara)

Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
— Max Ehrmann c.1920

When I’m writing, I AM my character. I feel every sense, I experience every emotion – and act as my character would behave in any given situation and in any place. Then it becomes an instinctive process, almost second nature, as though I’m living through and in my character. Almost as if it were real.

Ryan Price (www.rycariad.co.uk)

Before you begin to write a sentence, imagine the scene you want to paint with your words. Imagine that you are the character and feel what the character feels. Smell what the character smells, and hear with that character’s ears. For an instant, before you begin to write, see and feel what you want the reader to see and feel.

Othello Bach (via efidelity)

When I’m writing, I AM my character. I feel every sense, I experience every emotion – and act as my character would behave in any given situation and in any place. Then it becomes an instinctive process, almost second nature, as though I’m living through and in my character. Almost as if it were real.

www.rycariad.co.uk

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

Be hurt, feel sheer pain, and then you can learn how to be a writer

This is for those who dream of being a writer.

To be a so-called-writer, you have to be hurt. You have to experience pain at its best. You have to experience being burned down by cold flames and be frozen until the air you exhale composes only of fragments of ice. You have to get your heart broken. As though a bridge had just collapsed into you and tore all your arteries apart. Your chest needs to explode, to burst with tears and black and white. It has to suffocate you, it has to steal the oxygen that you breathe. You have to be depressed. With the birds and crickets that sing of bittersweet pain. You have to be in ruins. Like a skyscraper being caught in fire. You have to be shattered into million little pieces. Who would have survived the explosion of scars and wounds, anyway? You have to be alone. With the air, with the wind. You have to be a monster, a beast that eats up his own. You have to find pleasure in pain itself. You have to jump off a cliff. You have to keep your troubles and problems close to you, for you are going to need them. You have to close your eyes. You have to die.

And then after being dragged down to the deepest, darkest abyss imaginable by those things like they’re gravity… You have to defy gravity. You have to fly and float away and be with the stars. You have to escape reality and start living with dreams, with fantasies, and with the impossible. You have to drown yourself with tears – with words. You have to paint words and write stars.

You have to love.