pep talk


my nemisis is back.
it paralyzes me.
it brings me fear upon fear.
regret upon regret.
it tells me that no one cares
about what matters to me.
it whispers that my dream job
doesn't even exist...
so go work at a coffee shop.

so i'm giving myself a little pep talk.
well, i'm thumbing through some of my favorite books
and looking for words from great writers:
some of the words are validating, some of them are motivating or thought-provoking.
"talent lies around in us like kindling waiting for a match, but some people, just as gifted as others, are less lucky. fate never drops a match on them. the times are wrong, or their health is poor, or their energy low, or their obligations too many. something."
wallace stegner, crossing to safety, page 50
"so long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters."
virginia woolf, a room of one's own

"do what you like to do. it'll probably turn out to be what you do best."-wallace stegner, crossing to safety

"When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?" -c.s. lewis, till we have faces, page 294

"do you guess i have some intricate purpose?/ well i have -- for the April rain has, and the mica on/ the side of a rock has." -walt whitman, song of myself, page 29
"you shall no longer take things at second or third hand,/ nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on/ the spectres in books, / you shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,/ you shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self." -walt whitman, song of myself
"to be a little kinder [is] the best way to develop our potential...if we live in the here and now, each moment is a surprise, every instant a new wonder." - piero ferrucci, the power of kindness, page 99
today i am grateful for discouragement. it moves me to seek. it moves me to be still. it lets me cry. it allows me to think. it makes my days of joy completely joyful.
any quotes you'd like to share that help pick you up when you are down?
photos taken by me. july 2009. by the window.

(photos of our san francisco trip will be up later today!)


CJ said...

I thought about your last question. I can't think of any quotes that I look to when I am discouraged. So I figured I didn't have anything to comment and went back to work.

Then I while sketching, I realized that when I am discouraged I always find solace in pictures. I always end up looking through photo/coffe table books of nature. Like Eliot Porter's "The Place No One Knew", or any book on Southern Utah. Or "Glen Canyon: Images of a Lost World" by Tad Nichols. Or photo albums of The Earth's people and cultures. And art books, like a book of Sargent's paintings, or the Degas book. Even guidebooks. Then I dream of places yet to visit, and dream of paintings yet to be created.

But southern Utah books mostly--and I have lots of those.

So no quotes from insightful authors. But quotes from place and nature I guess.

Kris10 said...

Your post speaks so directly to me right now. a quote I keep on my bathroom mirror is by Victor Hugo.

Be like the bird that,
passing on her flight
awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her,
and yet sings,
knowing that she hath wings.

julia said...

i think we're all paralyzed by perfectionism sometimes. i have a book about writing that i adore. it's called bird by bird by anne lammott. she says:
"I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.....Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground--you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it's going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move."

also i love the book Art and Fear. I think it applies to so many aspects of life outside of art, because art applies to every aspect of life. hope it helps. thanks for your post. it is encouraging for me.

Scott said...

"You are good. You are kind. You are strong. You are on a journey. Embrace it. Love the light and the dark in you-Yin and Yang. We need both. You are older than the earth. You are divine. This is all part of you. You are good simply because you exist. Never mind what you do. You are good because you are alive. I will pray for your angels to heal your heart-heavenly and earthly angels both. You are good. You are kind. You are strong.


Scott said...

Oh and "Flare" by Mary Oliver; particularly:

"When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

This is the dark bread of the poem.
This is the dark and nourishing bread of the poem."