Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974)
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
Listen to Caroline Kinsolving read “Welcome Morning” by Anne Sexton here.
Martha Nussbaum (May 06, 1947 -)
Do not despise your inner world… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve.
David Stephen Mitchell (January 12, 1969 -)
Midlife crisis. Age. The heart gets more interesting than structure. I’ve got kids, I’ve got a wife, we’re stuck with each other for a while. And suddenly there’s an understanding that this is what life is — it’s actually the mess, it’s the mud, it’s the tangle. It’s not the clean, hygienic … fireworks. It’s the little invisible novels that get written between two people every day of their lives. It’s the subtle power shifts. It’s the love, it’s the less-noble sentiments that make every single day either good or bad or not so good or wonderful or moving through all these things at the speed of West Cork weather. This is interesting stuff. Why go out there in search of extraterrestrial life when it’s already here?
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892)
The quality of being, in the object’s self, according to its own central idea and purpose, and of growing there from and there to — not criticism by other standards, and adjustments there to — is the lesson of Nature… Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul.
Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894 – November 22, 1963)
To be enlightened is to be aware always of total reality in its emanate otherness. To beware of it and yet remain in a condition to survive as an animal. To think and feel as a human being to resort whenever expedient to systematic reasoning. Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.
Rebecca West (December 21. 1892 – March 15, 1983)
If during the next million generations there is but one human being born in every generation who will not cease to inquire into the nature of his fate, even while it strips and bludgeons him, some day we shall read the riddle of our universe.
Jean Houston (May 10, 1937 -)
It is inside of you, like the butterfly is inside of the caterpillar. He then used a word that I heard for the first time, a word that became essential to my later work…A great word, a Greek word, entelechy. It means the dynamic purpose that is coded in you. It is the entelechy of this acorn on the ground to be an oak tree. It is the entelechy of the caterpillar to undergo metamorphosis and become a butterfly. So what is the butterfly, the entelechy of…?