but this body
is home, my childhood
is buried here, my sleep
rises and sets inside,
crested and wore itself thin
between these bones -
I live here. — Lisel Mueller, from “A Nude by Edward Hopper,” Poetry (July 1967)
Did you mean to be this way?
Did you mean to become
something you didn’t mean? —Tim Seibles, from “Mosaic,” in Poetry (Vol. CCIII, No. 6, March 2014)
I’m half child half ancient. —Bjork on her age 
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You lost all interest in this world. You were disappointed and discouraged, and lost interest in everything. So you abandoned your physical body. You went to a world apart and you’re living a different kind of life there. In a world that’s inside you. —Haruki Murakami
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How wonderful it is, to be silent with someone. —Kurt Tucholsky, Schloss Gripsholm/Castle Gripsholm 
… Her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams. —Michael Ondaatje, from The English Patient (McClelland and Stewart, 1992)
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And in the wild silence of each step,
the implosive blue rose drops unknowingly
into my thigh to preserve love’s ache, love’s
incandescent whisper under the black smell of mountains.
And I don’t know why
we are together, dear ghosts, or why
we have to part. Only that is is precious
and that I love
this run-down subject. —Tess Gallagher, last strophe to “Dear Ghosts,” from Dear Ghosts, (Graywolf Press, 2006)
It’s true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don’t mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine. —Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

…I’m wondering what “thug” really means.

White supremacist culture dictates who and who does not get to be human. In order for people of color to receive a Human Card, they must assimilate: they must not use slang. They must be quiet. They must not wear hoodies. They must not curse. They must be gracious at all times. They must enunciate. They must not talk about racism. They must not listen to rap music. They must not sag. They must not brag. They must not laugh in public. They must not take up more than one seat on the bus. They must not ever ask for more. In short, you must be perfect. Robotic. Even if you are a professional athlete who performs for millions of Americans, playing a game in which aggression, testosterone, and energy are rewarded (demanded)…you must be quiet, gracious, calm, unassuming. Unscary. To be black and also be regarded as human, you must never make a mistake in your entire life, ever—ever—or you are a thug. Ghetto. Other. Your Human Card is denied.

Richard Sherman was Salutatorian: second in his class in high school. Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Richard Sherman launched a charity organization called Blanket Coverage to help children in need receive school supplies and clothing. Richard Sherman makes more money than anyone I know. But with all the reaction, both on Twitter and on television, to Richard Sherman’s interview, I’m forced to call upon Kanye West’s famous lyric:

Even if you in a Benz, you still a n*gga in a coupe.

I think that’s what the word “thug” really means. The n-word, arguably the most dehumanizing word in history, has been decried. It is considered inappropriate to speak it in public, and while that doesn’t stop everyone, hate will find a way. “Thug” is that way. Lately, it is a word used when we want to revoke humanity. Trayvon Martin, murdered only a few blocks from his home, was called a thug during his murderer’s trial. The jury needed to be convinced that this boy’s humanity could not possibly exist if he was “a thug.” Police put a toddler’s “thuggery” on display as if to say, “This is why we police them.” And now Richard Sherman, an athlete wealthier than most of us can possibly imagine, dares to step outside the box that a racist culture demands he live inside…and he’s a thug too.

Olivia A. Cole | Richard Sherman, Thugs, and Black Humanity (via america-wakiewakie)
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Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive. —Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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We all live in a state of profound isolation. No other human being can ever know what it’s like to be you from the inside. And no amount of reaching out to others can ever make them feel exactly what you feel. All media of communication are a by-product of our sad inability to communicate directly from mind to mind. Sad, of course, because nearly all problems in the human history stem from that inability. —Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics
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Last night I woke in the darkness
of time unknown and heard
a summer rain pattering
on my roof gently, as if

in benediction, and then
somewhere in the rainy distance
a dog barked four times
quietly. And I returned

to sleep. Now I remember.
Like a window in my sleep
these sounds opened to me,
rain and a barking dog,

and closed again. They might
have been a dream, yet they were
not a dream. I don’t know what
they were. But I remember.

Hayden Carruth, “A Window”