“The difficult nature of making changes means that you will likely be putting in effort that will take you far beyond the point at which it is inspiring or fun. This junction is what I call The Grind, which starts when actions necessary to produce meaningful change become stressful, tiring, and tedious. The Grind is also the point at which your efforts toward change really count. The Grind is what separates those who are able to change from those who are not. Many people who reach this point in the process of change either ease up or give up because change is just too darned hard. But truly motivated people reach The Grind and keep on going.”
“I’m trying to find these rare moments where you feel completely illuminated. Facts never illuminate you. The phone directory of Manhattan doesn’t illuminate you, although it has factually correct entries, millions of them. But these rare moments of illumination that you find when you read a great poem, you instantly know. You instantly feel this spark of illumination. You are almost stepping outside of yourself and you see something sublime.”
“It isn’t that to have an honorable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that I can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you.
It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive, to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us.
“…dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
I carry an “M” in my mother’s handwriting on my inner arm. The first of many influential M’s in my life, my Mother, Mary. There’s also my grandmother, my goddaughter, my dog and my lover, but it’s the first M who gave me life and has truly been the greatest gift in my life. When I see it, I feel stronger. It also heartens me to think that inside of us, there are generations of mothers whose names we don’t know who brought us to this place.
I thought my mom would be mad when she saw it for the first time. Instead, she hugged me. If you ever need a tattoo artist in Hawaii, I recommend my friend Steven–he’s the only person I trust to permanently mark my body.