This Lists

Poems, questions, quotes and songs that I’ve shared via my This is the Work newsletter (in order of appearance).

POEMS

Volume 1 (2020)

Volume 2 (2021)

QUESTIONS

Volume 1 (2020)

  • “If someone could only see my actions and not hear my words, what would they say are my priorities?” – James Clear
  • “What am I not saying that needs to be said?” – Jerry Colonna
  • “Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?” – Mary Oliver (from her poem “Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches”)
  • “And above all, how will you shape a life equal to and as beautiful and as astonishing as a world that can birth you, bring you into the light and then just as you are beginning to understand it, take you away?” – David Whyte (from Consolations)

Volume 2 (2021)

  • “How can we look cleanly, without wanting to find in things what we have been told is there but rather what is simply there?” – Antoni Tàpies 
  • “What do you suppose would happen if people believed this crazy notion that the earth loved them back?” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

QUOTES

Volume 1 (2020)

  • “There is no self that will survive a real conversation.” – David Whyte
  • “My own belief is that one regards oneself, if one is a serious writer, as an instrument for experiencing. Life – all of it – flows through this instrument and is distilled through it into works of art. How one lives as a private person is intimately bound into the work. And at some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth. If we are to understand the human condition, and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt, extravagance of feeling, guilt, joy, the slow freeing of the self to its full capacity for action and creation, both as human being and artist, we have to know all we can about each other, and we have to be willing to go naked.” – May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude, 1973) 
  • “You guys aren’t ready; you aren’t ready for this. You don’t know how to survive yourselves. Black people, we’re the only ones that know how to survive this…You need us. You need our eyes to save you from yourselves.”  – Dave Chapelle (SNL Monologue 11/7/20)
  • “As improbable as it often seems, it is possible to act. To lead. To use your imagination to build practical structures that will in some form improve the lives of the people who enter them. Paranoia about action – and the motivations for action – is the sickly indulgence of intellectuals and philosophers. The truth is that some people have a gift for action. In some people this gift is outsized, disproportionate, extraordinary to witness.” – Zadie Smith (from Intimations)

Volume 2 (2021)

  • “Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants helps from us.” – Rilke (from Letter to a Young Poet, p. 52)

SONGS

Volume 1 (2020)

Volume 2 (2021)

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