The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering. – Tom Waits
And amid all this confusion I, what’s truly I, am the centre that exists only in the geometry of the abyss: I’m the nothing around which everything spins, existing only so that it can spin, being a centre only because every circle has one. I, what’s truly I, am a well without walls but with the walls’ viscosity, the centre of everything with nothing around it.
— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. (Penguin Classics; New Ed edition, December 31, 2002) Originally published 1982.Fernando Pessoa — The Vale of Soul-Making
Understand me. I’m not like an ordinary world. I have my madness, I live in another dimension and I do not have time for things that have no soul.
― Charles BukowskiCharles Bukowski — The Vale of Soul-Making
In Vienna there are shadows. The city is black and everything is done by rote. I want to be alone. I want to go to the Bohemian Forest. May, June, July, August, September, October. I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds. I want to gaze with astonishment at moldy garden fences, I want to experience them all, to hear young birch plantations and trembling leaves, to see light and sun, enjoy wet, green-blue valleys in the evening, sense goldfish glinting, see white clouds building up in the sky, to speak to flowers. I want to look intently at grasses and pink people, old venerable churches, to know what little cathedrals say, to run without stopping along curving meadowy slopes across vast plains, kiss the earth and smell soft warm marshland flowers. And then I shall shape things so beautifully: fields of colour…
— Egon Schiele, as quoted by Reinhard Steiner in Egon Schiele, 1890-1918: The Midnight Soul of the Artist. (Taschen; Revised edition May 17, 2000) Originally Published February 1st 1994.
“You can’t have it all [in life] where would you put it…”
– Lemmy Kilmister, Lead Singer Motörhead
O my poor words, bear with me.
— Theodore Roethke, Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, ed. David Wagoner (Copper Canyon Press November 1, 2006)Theodore Roethke — The Vale of Soul-Making
I write by the light of what is not revealed in what I express.
— Edmond Jabès, The Book of Questions, II. The Book of Yukel, III. Return to the Book] trans.by Rosmarie Waldrop (Wesleyan University Press, 1983)
I don’t do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision.
— Allen Ginsberg, The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems: 1937-1952. (Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Ed edition November 1, 2006)Allen Ginsberg — The Vale of Soul-Making
There will be a book that includes these pages,
and she who takes it in her hands
will sit staring at it a long time,
until she feels that she is being held
and you are writing.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Du dunkeInder Grund, gelduldig erträgst du die Mauern,” Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy (Riverhead Books, 1996)
if there is light
it will find
— Charles Bukowski, from “the harder you try,” The People Look Like Flowers. (Ecco; First Edition edition (March 27, 2007)Charles Bukowski — The Vale of Soul-Making