So it’s another Jewish new year, 5773. The high holidays have always made fall feel elevated to me–it is the time I most want to write, the time I feel most alive. Going to school for writing made me feel like I chose writing, but as soon as I was out of school, the rush of writing out of need came back. I think most people who write do it because they need to–I always thought I was just incapable of ever making my insides match my outsides, but one day someone put a sheet of paper in front of me, and for the first time in my life, I was able to explain myself accurately. I’ve been trying to start every day reading the same 20 or so poems/texts and writing. Here are some of the lines. L’shanah tova and L’Leonard Cohen.
“That is not what I meant at all” -T. S. Eliot
“I have seen girls on boardwalks
have complicated sensations.
I understand their hesitations.” -Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“If you increase order in one place, you must decrease it somewhere else.” -Natalie Angier
“You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.” -Joan Didion
“Good to endure the peaks and the deeps, who can endure it,
Good to be hurt, who can be healed afterward” -Robinson Jeffers
“It was very easy. They loved one another despite all the museums.” -Lorca
“Don’t choose sterile words for me.
In Hebrew more deadly than yours I could write down
a smooth list of charges against me.” -Abba Kovner
“Be thirsty brother,
be thirsty. Only the one who is thirsty
and more than enough.”-Abba Kovner
“and take the pins from her hair
throwing them on the floor
with a great noise.
Like Crete.” -Jack Gilbert
“And why is it
the defeated he trusts? It is because
Pittsburgh is still tangled in him that he
has the picture of God’s head
torn apart by jungle roots?…Perhaps
it is the scale of those long winters that makes him
restless when people laugh a lot.
Why the erotic matters so much. Not as
pleasure but a way to get to to something darker” -Jack Gilbert
“Temper has as many moods as memory.” -George Eliot
“No, I’m not suggesting that you neglect the child. Nonsense. But I have the feeling that you’re not wild about him. One’s got to be wild, Hannah. Sometimes one even has to lose all sense of proportion.” -Amos Oz
“And I also think of delicate things deep down inside my body. Delicate things which are mine, all mine, like my heart and my nerves and my womb. They are mine, they are my very own, but I shall never be allowed to see them or touch them because everything in the world is distance.” -Amos Oz
“And when she said this to me, you should have seem how her face shone and her eyes burned. Ah, those daughters of mine! They don’t do anything halfway. When they become involved in anything it’s with their hearts and minds, their bodies and souls.” -Sholem Aleichem
“She tied you to the kitchen chair/she broke your throne/she cut your hair/and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah.” -Leonard Cohen