David Levithan, Every Day
“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~Rumi, as quoted in Parker Palmer’s reflection on hospitality and welcoming the unexpected visitor.
"And even if you cannot make your life the way you want it,
this much, at least, try to do
as much as you can: don’t cheapen it
with too much intercourse with society,
with too much movement and conversation.
"Don’t cheapen it by taking it about,
making the rounds with it, exposing it
to the everyday inanity
of relations and connections,
so it becomes like a stranger, burdensome.”
—“As Much As You Can” by Cavafy
"Et si tu n’existais pas
Dis-moi pourquoi j’existerais
Pour traîner dans un monde sans toi
Sans espoir et sans regret
Et si tu n’existais pas
J’essaierais d’inventer l’amour
Comme un peintre qui voit sous ses doigts
Naître les couleurs du jour
Et qui n’en revient pas"