what does tenderness look like? i hold my friends’ hands when I talk to them, when i listen to them. i try not to let bitterness or irritation ever settle within me, to be as kind in actions as i wish to be. i stare into my tomato soup and think of my week: have my words been kind, sincere? has my language been filled with care? Has the love i feel carried over? i drink the lukewarm soup and do the hard work of looking into my own mistakes and holding myself to the kindness i aim for. i want to be better at loving. when i write on the internet i try to be also sincere, also kind. there is good, honest work in self-expression. it’s the honesty found in gardening, in growing within you something that could not have lived elsewhere.

to love. to be loved. to never forget your own insignificance. to never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. to seek joy in the saddest places. to pursue beauty to its lair. to never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. to respect strength, never power. above all, to watch. to try and understand. to never look away. and never, never to forget.

    • arundhati roy

if you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. if you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. if you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

    • clarissa pinkola estés

what am i in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. all right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then u should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. that is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. though i am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. i see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. and my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

    • vincent van gogh

what are we sure of? happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem. then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance. you have had days like this, no doubt. and wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? ah, what a moment! as for myself, i swung the door open. and there was the wordless, singing world. and i ran for my life.

    • mary oliver
jun 30 2020 ∞
mar 18 2021 +