I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart.
I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.
–Jorges Luis Borges


Beckett's recommendation to Pierre Tal-Coat that he strive toward:

The expression that there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with the obligation to express.
–Samuel Beckett

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

And after awhile you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you are strong
And you do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn.
Jorge Luis Borges


Excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place. And even if you were in some prison the walls of which let none of the sound of the world come to our senses – would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories? Turn your attention thither. Try to raise the submerged sensations of that ample past; your personality will grow more firm, your latitude will widen and will become a dusky dwelling past which the noise of others goes by far away. And out of this turning inward, out of this absorption into your own world verses come, then it will not occur to you to ask anyone whether they are good verses. Nor will you try to interest magazines in your poems; for you will see in them your fond natural possession, a fragment and a voice of your life. A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgment of it: there is no other.
Rainer Maria Rilke

from The Beautiful Room Is Empty

I long for courage to do something reckless and the years in which to regret it.
–Edmund White


Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.
Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on a map of France?
Just as we take the rain to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. We cannot get to a star while we are alive any more than we can take the train when are dead. So to me it seems possible that cholera, tuberculosis and cancer are the celestial means of locomotion, just as steamboats, buses and trains are the terrestrial means.
To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot.
Vincent van Gogh

And this is the simple truth: that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look ‘round for something to which to cling; and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bing order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas o the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.