Temet Nosce (Know Thyself)

This page exists as what used to be known as a "Commonplace Book" for the purpose of maintaining a log of the poetry and philosophy that inspires and propels much of my own thought and writing, and to share, with fellow sojourners, a collection of the beauty and wisdom of kindred souls throughout time. My hope is that we will collectively work towards the goal of a deep and sustaining self-knowledge that will, then, inspire and guide us to pursue beauty, peace and justice in our world.

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is My Soul Asleep by Antonia Machado

Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that labor
at night stopped? And the water
wheel of thought,
is it dry, the cups empty,
wheeling, carrying only shadows?
No my soul is not asleep. 
It is awake, wide awake, 
It neither sleeps nor dreams but watches,
its clear eyes open
far-off things,
and listens
at the shores of the great silence.

~ Antonia Machado, "Is My Soul Asleep"

"...fierce with reality." ~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

“You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done … you are fierce with reality.” 

~ Florida Scott-Maxwell, 'The Measure of My Days'

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Keeping A Journal" by William Stafford

At night it was easy for me with my little candle
to sit late recording what happened that day. Sometimes
rain breathing in from the dark would begin softly
across the roof and then drum wildly for attention. 
The candle flame would hunger after each wafting
of air. My pen inscribed thin shadows that leaned
forward and hurried their lines along the wall. 

More important than what was recorded, these evenings
deepened my life: they framed every event
or thought and placed it with care by the others.
As time went on, that scribbled wall--even if
it stayed blank--became where everything
recognized itself and passed into meaning.

~ William Stafford, "Keeping A Journal" from Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford