Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of stories of the soul. The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call. We have need of them, for in their sum they epitomize the wisdom and experience of the race.
In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: 'Live in the layers, not on the litter.' Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
The Layers I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: 'Live in the layers, not on the litter.' Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
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Writer's block is a natural affliction. Writers who have never experienced it have something wrong with them. It means there isn't enough friction-that they aren't making enough of an effort to reconcile the contradictions of life. All you get is sweet monotonous flow. Writer's block is nothing to commit suicide over. It simply indicates some imbalance between your experience and your art, and I think that's constructive.
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To conquer a piece of earth and make it as beautiful as one can dream of it being: That is art, too. A man cannot be separated from the earth. I come out of the garden every day feeling, oh, inspired in a way that one needs in order to convert the daily-ness of the life into something greater than that little life itself.
I refuse to turn to theology to justify the life or redeem it. There is a question always of the connection to the eternal. I say to myself above all, keep alive your conviction that there are sacred elements in the life in the practice of the life that must be respected. But the conviction in the existence of the sacred does not necessarily imply that you need to believe in a creator, because we are the ones that made the sacred.
When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself... That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitiude for the gift of life.