On the last Wednesday of every month, I serve up a potpourri of advice, inspiration and other tidbits I've come across in recent weeks. Here's this month's serving of Last Wednesday Wisdom. Your reward for reading to the end: a preview of a can't-miss post coming soon!
Joy is the happiness that doesn't depend on what happens.
-- Br. David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk
In the throes of creativity, a lively brain tussles with a mass of memories and rich stores of knowledge, attacking them both sub rosa and with the mind wide open. Some of it incubates offstage until a fully fledged insight wings into view. The rest it consciously rigs, rotates, kneads, and otherwise plays with until a novel solution emerges. Only by fumbling with countless bits of knowledge, and then ignoring most of it, does a creative mind craft something original. For that, far more than the language areas are involved. Hand-me-down ideas won't do. So conventions must be flouted, risks taken, possibilities freely spigoted, ideas elaborated, problems redefined, daydreaming encouraged, curiosity followed down zig-zagging alleyways. Any sort of unconsidered trifle may be fair game. It's child's play. Literally. Not a gift given to an elect few, but a widespread, natural, human way of knowing the world.
-- Diane Ackerman in One Hundred Names for Love
We must overcome the notion that we must be regular . . . it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.
-- Uta Hagen, actress
Imagination, dreams, spirit, delight, craziness, goofiness, chaos, dance, song--they're all important. Without them we're hardly human beings. In a materialistic society the artist is always a bit of an anarchist, tossing the Molotov coktail of the imagination into the bank foyer: C'mon! Wake up!
-- Poet David Mason, interviewed in The Sun, April 2015 (Read the full Interview here)
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
-- Edith Wharton
We give life when we learn from our own weeping how to give ourselves with gentleness and compassion to the sighs and struggles of other people.
-- Eugene Kennedy, psychologist
I think of each day as a gold coin that you are required to trade for something. You'll never get that coin back, so whatever you trade it for had better be worth it. You also don't know how many coins you have left to trade, and you don' know what will happen when your bag is empty: the other side of death, if there is one, is a mystery.
-- Physician Raymond Barfield, interviewed in The Sun, January 2016 (Read the full interview here.)
". . . I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.' "
-- Kurt Vonnegut in A Man Without a Country
Coming soon: An interview with river guide and nature photographer Kevin Feenstra, whose photographs are on display as part of an exhibit on The Art of Fishing at Artsplace in Fremont, Michigan. Kevin will also make a presentation, "Photographing A Big River," at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, during the exhibit's reception.
Stay tuned for my conversation with Kevin!
Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.