“…as I do not believe in afterlife, I realize the gift artists make to the world is a selfless one ultimately, and that the knowledge that it may survive the self must be due to a belief in immortality. Or can one really work fo those one will never see? Do I ever think of those who will read me after my death?”Anäis Nin
I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.Anäis Nin, diary, Feb. 1954
“If poetry springs from those precious moments when solitude is erased by the murmur of shared dreams, or from those furtive hours when thoughts melt into one another or bloom in the warmth and confidences exchanged, then my hands, like yours, are like flowers.”-Anäis Nin
In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver, from American Primitive.
© Back Bay Books, 1983.
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”~Pablo Neruda
100 Love Sonnets
“Examine the past of most people, and you find a neat cemetery or an urn with ashes. But examine the past of an artist and you find monuments to its perpetuity, a book, a statue, a painting, a symphony, a poem.”-Anäis Nin
I cannot find a reason for this; things float in vast clouds around my head, settle, invade all my kingdoms, spread alarm, confusion and pleasure, arouse, inflame, inspire, exalt and, above all things, cry loudly, piercingly. Ink, ink. Give us ink!
Ink, pen and paper seem the greatest necessities of my existence. I could go without food, without friends, without home or books, but without ink and paper, I should dieAnäis Nin, The Early Diary of Anäis Nin, Volume Two
“But the fact is, she [the muse] won’t be summoned. She alights when it damn well pleases her. She falls in love with one artist, then deserts him for another.”Erica Jong, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”Ray Bradbury
“The muse is not an angelic voice that sits on your shoulder and sings sweetly. The muse is the most annoying whine. The muse isn’t hard to find, just hard to like – she follows you everywhere, tapping you on the shoulder, demanding that you stop doing whatever else you might be doing and pay attention to her.”