John Burroughs — The Vale of Soul-Making

The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is, “Look under foot.” You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the centre of the world.

— John Burroughs, Studies in Nature and Literature (Fredonia Books [NL] July 27, 2002) 

Roland Barthes — The Vale of Soul-Making

To know that one does not write for the other, to know that these things I am going to write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other), to know that writing compensates for nothing, sublimates nothing, that it is precisely there where you are not–this is the beginning of writing.

— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. (Hill and Wang; Second Printing edition June 1, 1979) Originally published 1977.

Roland Barthes — The Vale of Soul-Making

Fernando Pessoa – Parfois, en certains jours de lumière… — BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD

Parfois, en certains jours de lumière parfaite et exacte,où les choses ont toute la réalité dont elles portent le pouvoir,je me demande à moi-même tout doucementpourquoi j’ai moi aussi la faiblesse d’attribueraux choses de la beauté. De la beauté, une fleur par hasard en aurait-elle ?Un fruit, aurait-il par hasard de la beauté ?Non : […]

Fernando Pessoa – Parfois, en certains jours de lumière… — BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD

Charles Wright — The Vale of Soul-Making

I keep on thinking.
                                     If I sit here for long enough,
A line, one true line,
Will rise like some miraculous fish to the surface,
Brilliant and lithe in the late sunlight,
And offer itself into my hands.
I keep thinking that as the weeks go by,
                                                                         and the waters never change

Charles Wright, from “21,” Littlefoot: A Poem (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007)

Charles Wright — The Vale of Soul-Making

Passivity ( a text of Maurice Blanchot translated by Vadim Bystritski) — Before and After Francis Ponge

Passivity is not just acceptance, not like amorphous, inert matter ready to fit into a form, but passive as under pressure of death — death whose silent intensity does not resemble a welcome reception, leaving its imprint without a word, a body being delegated to the past, a body seen as an interval, a being in suspension, whose syncope is produced by snipping of time and which we can only see as some unarticulated savage history that presently makes no sense. Passive here is a complete absence of narrative, leaving us with an event that cannot be cited and is impossible as a recollection of a forgotten thought, because it was never forgotten, always remaining outside the field of memory.

Passivité n’est pas simple réception, pas plus qu’elle ne serait l’informe et inerte matière prête à toute forme — passives, les poussées de mourir (le mourir, silencieuse intensité ; ce qui ne se laisse pas accueillir ; ce qui s’inscrit sans parole, le corps au passé, corps de personne, le corps de l’intervalle :

[…]

Passivity ( a text of Maurice Blanchot translated by Vadim Bystritski) — Before and After Francis Ponge