the literary life 10/27/09
The word "goodness" may not be the most fashionable word, but examining the word does bring me a sense of peace. I'm reading Sharon Salzberg's Buddhist inspired book, Loving-Kindness, and there are a couple of quotes that caught my attention today:
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection...How few of us embrace ourselves in this way! With...practice we uncover the possibility of truly respecting ourselves. We discover, as Walt Whitman put it, I am larger and better than I thought. I did not think I held so much goodness."
"To be truly happy in this world is a revolutionary act because true happiness depends upon a revolution in ourselves."
I'd like to think that a lot of poetry writing stems from the urge to tap into our own inner goodness, to attempt the revolutionary act of tapping into happiness. Embracing our own "goodness" does not come naturally to many of us. It requires a revolution of thought, perception, and belief. Poetry is one path. And then there seems to be so much "wrong" and "toxic" going on outside of us, so that making the effort can seem like walking the fool's path. Maybe the fool part of us has been the wiser one all along. Maybe it's the "fool" in us that writes poems--that braves again and again--the blank page.