don’t know what to do

There are, it seems, two muses:

the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires,

and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.”

This is the muse of form.

It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work


when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.


— Wendell Berry




first sex by sharon olds

First Sex

I knew little, and what I knew
I did not believe – they had lied to me
so many times, so I just took it as it
came, his naked body on the sheet,
the tiny hairs curling on his legs like
fine, gold shells, his sex
harder and harder under my palm
and yet not hard as a rock his face cocked
back as if in terror, the sweat
jumping out of his pores like sudden
trails from the tiny snails when his knees
locked with little clicks and under my
hand he gathered and shook and the actual
flood like milk came out of his body, I
saw it glow on his belly, all they had
said and more, I rubbed it into my
hands like lotion, I signed on for the duration.

Sharon Olds


“Listen to the mustn’ts, child.

Listen to the don’ts.

Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…

Anything can happen, child.

Anything can be.”

― Shel Silverstein



To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings;

we need to transcend, transport, escape;

we need meaning, understanding, and explanation;

we need to see over-all patterns in our lives.

We need hope, the sense of a future.

And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings.

We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear.

We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.

— Oliver Sacks, Personal History, “Altered States,” The New Yorker, August 27, 2012, p. 40


life is weird

Life is weird.

It will give you sadness served on a dirty plate, and days when it takes you two days to get out of bed.

It will replace your shadow with the ghosts of who you used to be, and they will follow you around, whispering the past into your ear.

It might even throw in a dark cloud on a sunny day that will turn everything upside, just for good measure.

Life will give you heartbreak, a lot of it, and maybe a few unrequited loves, and too many days with a heavy heart and drenched eyes.

Sometimes, it will lead you down the wrong path that will require you to trek through storms to get back to the right one.

It will abandon you with your thoughts that tell you that the monster doesn’t live under the bed, instead, it lives in the mirror.

Life will give you tragedies, and total chaos, and tears.

But it will also give you the chance to meet a few good people who will turn into friends that will lie on the floor of a public bathroom with you while you contemplate why you decided to drink so much that night.

It will give you someone who will answer your calls at four o’clock in the morning, and hold your hand even if it’s sweaty as hell.

It will blow soft winds through your hair and give you a chance to hear the leaves rustle.

Life will give you a car, some good company and a long road, it will scatter the stars across the dark, blue sky and give you something to believe in.

It will also give you books and music, words written by strangers so that you know that you’re never truly alone.

Every day it will give you a different sunrise and a different sunset, and a chance for you to witness the beauty of it all.

Life will give you experience, a lot of it, and you will learn and grow and bloom.

It will give you a hundred reasons to go, but a thousand reasons to stay.

So stay.

- Anthea Y. at