We are the Curators of Our Own Lives Pt5

Advertisements

Writes of Passage Pt4

1. “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”
– Marcus Garvey

2. “An artist needs a certain amount of turmoil and confusion.”
-Joni Mitchell

3. “I am the American heartbreak—
The rock on which Freedom
Stumped its toe—
The great mistake
That Jamestown made
Long ago.”
— Langston Hughes, “American Heartbreak”

4. “History is our blueprint for living, surviving, changing the dynamics of our situation & the contours of our journey, do not set aside the lessons of a lifetime for changes that never make the grade.”
-African Queens Collective

5. James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist:

“An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are.”

6. Aldous Huxley on How You Become Who You Are, How to Get Out of Your Own Way, and the Necessity of Mind-Body Education:

“In all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.”

7. “The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”
-Mary McLeod Bethune

8. “America is an interracial marriage that can’t be annulled. And we are the offspring of a shotgun wedding. And every generation unreconciled, our children the orphans of history.”
-Nathan Richardson

9. Against the Illusion of Separateness, Pablo Neruda’s Beautiful and Humanistic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance…”

10. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Talking Drum

(ode to the poetry of our passage)

When I started to scribble
Scrupulously, it was only
Within the wisdom of my

Words & the vessel of my
Verses, where the sacred
& profane anonymously

Melded behind the masks
Of hopes, aspirations &
Dreams that I was taught

The talking drum
Speaks in tongues
Of this native son.

©2019 MDSHall

Writes of Passage Pt3

1. “What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then.”
~ T.S. Eliot

2. “Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”
~Anais Nin

3. “I lapsed into my pathetic cut-off period. Often with humans, both good and bad, my senses simply shut off, they get tired, I give up. I am polite. I nod. I pretend to understand because I don’t want anybody to be hurt. That is the one weakness that has lead me into the most trouble. Trying to be kind to others I often get my soul shredded into a kind of spiritual pasta.No matter. My brain shuts off. I listen. I respond. And they are too dumb to know that I am not there.”
~Charles Bukowski

4. “My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

5. “Knowledge without understanding is just a book on a shelf.”
~ Dr. Nina M. Knight

6. “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

7. “Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

8. “When the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind.”
-African Proverb

9. “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
~ William Blake

10. “Our youth are forced to pass through schools that dont teach, then told to search for jobs that dont exist and finally left stranded to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.”
-Huey P. Newton

Compiled by MDSHall

Writes of Passage Pt2

1. “Those who would judge us merely by the heights we have achieved would do well to remember the depths from which we started.”
~ Kwame Nkrumah, 1st President of Ghana

2. “No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.”
—Muhammad Ali

3. “What good are my visions or your visions, beautifully and laboriously worked out in art, if the purpose of it is not to save the something in our souls and make it all beautiful.”
~Jack Kerouac

4. “If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.”
~ Charles Bukowski

5. “all that I know is that I believe in the sound of music and the running of a horse. all else is squabble.”
~ Charles Bukowski

6. “Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.”
~ Charles Bukowski

7. “R.O.T.C. kept me away from sports while the other guys practiced every day. They made the school teams, won their letters and got the girls. My days were spent mostly marching around in the sun. All you ever saw were the backs of some guy’s ears and his buttocks.”
~ Charles Bukowski, from the novel “Ham On Rye”

8. “Lighting new cigarettes,
pouring more
drinks.

It has been a beautiful
fight.

Still
is.”
~ Charles Bukowski

9. “We waited and waited. All of us. Didn’t the shrink know that waiting was one of the things that drove people crazy? People waited all their lives. They waited to live, they waited to die. They waited in line to buy toilet paper. They waited in line for money. And if they didn’t have any money they waited in longer lines. You waited to go to sleep and then you waited to awaken. You waited to get married and you waited to get divorced. You waited for it to rain, you waited for it to stop. You waited to eat and then you waited to eat again. You waited in a shrink’s office with a bunch of psychos and you wondered if you were one.”
-Charles Bukowski

10. “We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”
~ Charles Bukowski

11. “Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: ‘Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?’

“They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds.”
~ Charles Bukowski, in a letter to publisher John Martin

12. “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~ Charles Bukowski

13.
“one day Manuel returned to the place, and
she was gone –
no argument, no note, just
gone, all her clothes
all her stuff, and
Manuel sat by the window and looked out
and didn’t make his job
the next day or the
next day or
the day after, he
didn’t phone in, he
lost his job, got a
ticket for parking, smoked
four hundred and sixty cigarettes, got
picked up for common drunk, bailed
out, went
to court and pleaded
guilty.

when the rent was up he
moved from Beacon street, he
left the cat and went to live with
his brother and
they’d get drunk
every night
and talk about how
terrible
life was.

Manuel never again smoked
long slim cigars
because Shirley always said
how
handsome he looked
when he did.”
― Charles Bukowski, Love Is a Dog from Hell

14. “The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.”
– Frederich Nietzsche

15. “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” –Helder Pessoa Camara (1909-1999), Archbishop of Recife & Olinda, Brazil

16. “When propaganda is passed off as truth, we are forced to recognize the most unfathomable lies.”
–MDSHall

17. “Myths are stories about people who become too big for their lives temporarily, so that they crash into other lives or brush against gods. In crisis their souls are visible.”
~Anne Carson

18. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

19. “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. ”
–Victor Hugo

Compiled in collaboration with the Weird World of Words Collective, 2019.