You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
~ Joseph Campbell in THE POWER OF MYTH
Joseph Campbell The Power Of Myth daydream
Though we do not wholly believe it yet, the interior life is a real life, and the intangible dreams of people have a tangible effect on the world.
~ James Baldwin in NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME
James Baldwin NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME daydream
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they're supposed to be.
I've been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
~ Pat Schneider, "The Patience of Ordinary Things" in ANOTHER RIVER: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS
Pat Schneider ANOTHER RIVER: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS daydream

For me, imagination is synonymous with discovery. To imagine, to discover, to carry our bit of light to the living penumbra where all the infinite possibilities, forms, and numbers exist. I do not believe in creation but in discovery, and I don't believe in the seated artist but in the one who is walking the road. The imagination is a spiritual apparatus, a luminous explorer of the world it discovers. The imagination fixes and gives clear life to fragments of the invisible reality where [we are] stirring.

~ Federico Garcia Lorca from the article "Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion" in Harpers Magazine
Federico Garcia Lorca daydream

I think often we get sidetracked around the public responsibility of the poet. We don't spend a lot of time talking about the private responsibility of the poet. Which maybe we should. Very recently, I had my thesis students start "required daydreaming." They have to sit there and daydream. And they can't do anything else.

~ Meg Day from the article "Interview with Meg Day" in Inscape Journal
Meg Day daydream
Can we talk about the moon
tonight? Low & full
in the baby-blue sky. A friend
at my door, the sound
of her laugh & well-loved
heart. I want to be held
up like that. I need a poem
about happiness I haven't
written yet, an ode
to the ducks in my neighbour's
pool, another for the pink
magnolias of spring—some trees
make it look so easy: Yes,
I can hold all this beauty up.
~ Kyla Jamieson, "I Need A Poem" in BODY COUNT
Kyla Jamieson BODY COUNT daydream

We all — adults and children, writers and readers — have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.

~ Neil Gaiman from the article "Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming" in The Guardian
Neil Gaiman daydream
The multiplication of technologies in the name of efficiency is actually eradicating free time by making it possible to maximize the time and place for production and minimize the unstructured travel time in between...Too, the rhetoric of efficiency around these technologies suggests that what cannot be quantified cannot be valued-that that vast array of pleasures which fall into the category of doing nothing in particular, of woolgathering, cloud-gazing, wandering, window-shopping, are nothing but voids to be filled by something more definite, more production, or faster-paced...I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
~ Rebecca Solnit in WANDERLUST
Rebecca Solnit WANDERLUST daydream
I go among the trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.
~ Wendell Berry from "I go among the trees and sit still" in SABBATHS
Wendell Berry Sabbaths daydream
Knowing how to be solitary
is central to the art
of loving.

When we can be alone,
we can be with others
without using them
as a means of escape.
~ bell hooks, "knowing how to be solitary" in ALL ABOUT LOVE: NEW VISIONS
bell hooks ALL ABOUT LOVE: NEW VISIONS daydream
May you grow still enough to hear
The trickling of water seeping
Into the ground, so that your soul may
Be softened and healed, and guided
In its flow.
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast from "Winter Blessing" in 99 BLESSINGS: AN INVITATION TO LIFE
Brother David Steindl-Rast 99 BLESSINGS: AN INVITATION TO LIFE daydream

Imagine what it would feel like, taste like, and smell like to believe you don't have to prove who you are by your accomplishments and labor...The culture we live under does not point you toward this deep truth. It instead has told you and reinforced the idea that you came into the world to be a machine, to accomplish, to labor, and to do. Nothing can be further from the truth and when you slowly begin to believe and understand your inherent worth, rest becomes possible in many ways.

~ Tricia Hersey in REST IS RESISTANCE: A MANIFESTO
Tricia Hersey REST IS RESISTANCE: A MANIFESTO daydream
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
What is one to do with such moments, such memories, but cherish them? Who knows what is beyond the known? And if you think that any day the secret of light might come, would you not keep the house of your mind ready? Would you not cleanse your study of all that is cheap, or trivial? Would you not live in continual hope, and pleasure, and excitement?
~ Mary Oliver in WINTER HOURS: PROSE, PROSE POEMS, AND POEMS
Mary Oliver WINTER HOURS: PROSE, PROSE POEMS, AND POEMS warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
~ William Blake
William Blake warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

~ Albert Camus
Albert Camus warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.
~ Hal Borland
Hal Borland warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose if there were no winter.
~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Thomas Wentworth Higginson warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
Plants and animals don't fight the winter; they don't pretend it's not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximising scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that's where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.
~ Katherine May in WINTERING: THE POWER OF REST AND RETREAT IN DIFFICULT TIMES
Katherine May WINTERING: THE POWER OF REST AND RETREAT IN DIFFICULT TIMES warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in it.

~ William Carlos William, "Winter Trees" in SOUR GRAPES: A BOOK OF POEMS
William Carlos William SOUR GRAPES: A BOOK OF POEMS warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
Keep me in the warm place of your heart where all the good dreams, memories and duas (supplications) are stored.
~ Islamic Quotes: Bayhaqi, al-Sunan, 4:294
warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
Every winter has its spring.
~ H. Tuttle
H. Tuttle warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than to have words without a heart.
~ Mohandas K. Ghandi
Mohandas K. Ghandi warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
While snow fell carelessly
floating indifferent in eddies of
rooftop air, circling the black
chimney-cowls,

a spring night entered
my mind through the tight-closed window,
wearing

a loose Russian shirt of
light silk.
For this, then,
that slanting
line was left, that crack, the pane
never replaced.
~ Denise Levertov, "The Crack" in THE COLLECTED POEMS OF DENISE LEVERTOV
Denise Levertov THE COLLECTED POEMS OF DENISE LEVERTOV warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. So is my word that it goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
~ Isaiah 55:10
warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
When it snows she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet wool.
~ Proverbs 31:21
warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)
There is not a creature on earth but God provides its sustenance.
~ The Holy Qur'an 11:16
warmth
February 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 2)

Praise the Beloved, Heart of all hearts!
We are blessed as we sing praises
To the Beloved
For as we give ourselves in love,
So we receive love.
The Beloved abides in our heart,
In every open heart that
Welcomes Love...Yes, the Divine word
is written on every heart-scroll,
a guide to pilgrims along the way.

~ Nan Merrill, from her interpretation of "Psalm 147" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING
Nan Merrill Psalms For Praying warmth
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
And make big shadows I can move in.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Let Everything Happen" in RILKE'S BOOK OF HOURS: LOVE POEMS TO GOD
Rainer Maria Rilke Rilke's Book Of Hours: Love Poems To God embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
We are all dancers. We use movement to express ourselves—our hunger, pains, angers, joys, confusions, fears—long before we use words, and we understand the meanings of movements long before we understand those of words.
~ Franklin Stevens. Read more in PROCESS IN THE ARTS THERAPIES
Franklin Stevens embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)

Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it.

~ Martha Graham in "An Athlete of God" (essay)
Martha Graham embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird....

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
Keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished....

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy...
~ Mary Oliver, excerpts from "Messenger" in THIRST
Mary Oliver Thirst embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
In Celtic wisdom the sacred is as present on earth as it is in heaven, as immanent as it is transcendent, as human as it is divine, as physical as it is spiritual. The sacred can be breathed in, tasted, touched, heard, and seen as much in the body of the earth and the body of another living being as in the body of religion. It is the true essence of all life.
~ John Philip Newell in SACRED EARTH, SACRED SOUL
John Philip Newell SACRED EARTH, SACRED SOUL embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
Gestures, actions, and facial expressions may be less precise than the spoken word, but they are altogether a more reliable form of communication. Reading to [the wild] Fox mattered because of pauses and eye contact. Our actions, not our words, built our trust in each other, and we based our relationship on shared activities, not dialogue. In fact, I was more relaxed communicating to Fox than I would have been with a person. Consider how difficult it is to communicate when our tongues send us in one direction and our feet take us in another.
~ Catherine Raven in FOX AND I
Catherine Raven FOX AND I embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
The fullness of joy is to behold God in all.
~ Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
Sing a joy-filled song praising
The Blessed One...
Be glad in the Creator,
Rejoice in Love Divine!

Praise the Divine Lover with dancing,
with melodies and voice!
For the Beloved dwells within,
journeying with us through
all our lives...
~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 149" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING
Nan Merrill Psalms For Praying embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)
Christianity arrives in a Platonic landscape where the body is a husk around a soul, imperfect and soon to be shrugged off. For some pagans, the Christian notion of a resurrected body was distinctly odd, especially as there was no possibility of floating off somewhere more etheric. In the next life you still had a body, just not that one that slowly became dust... The body is not a tomb, it's a pleasure, and it goes where we go because we're completely bound up with it.
~ Martin Shaw in "A God with a Dog in the Race" (essay)
Martin Shaw embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)

In many spiritual traditions of the world, the body is viewed with fear and suspicion, considered to be the seat of desire and at best a dumb beast that must be trained and brought into submission to the personal will. But what is missed here—and it is of crucial importance—is that the moving center also carries unique perceptive gifts, the most important of which is the capacity to understand the language of faith encoded in sacred gesture.

~ Cynthia Bourgeault in THE WISDOM WAY OF KNOWING
Cynthia Bourgeault The Wisdom Way Of Knowing embodied
January 2024 (Vol. XXXVII, No. 1)

Please come home. Please come home.
Find the place where your feet know where to walk
And follow your own trail home.

Please come home. Please come home into your own body,
Your own vessel, your own earth....

And thank you touch of eyes and ears and skin,
Touch of love for welcoming us.

May we wake up and remember who we truly are...

~ Jane Hooper, excerpts from "Please Come Home"
Jane Hooper embodied
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers...
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent....
Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

~ Lisel Mueller, "Monet Refuses the Operation" in SECOND LANGUAGE
Lisel Mueller SECOND LANGUAGE tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

For the Beloved is as radiant as the sun,
as strong as a steel shield,
and invites each one to come,
to partake of the Banquet.

~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 84" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING
Nan Merrill Psalms For Praying tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)
The secret of seeing is...the pearl of great price...But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought...although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise....I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent...
~ Annie Dillard in PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK
Annie Dillard Pilgrim At Tinker Creek tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

...A world where everything is moored to logic, to power, to syntax and plot and scheme and expectation and meaning, leaves no place for magic, for the inextricability and beauty of a glimpsed sunset.

~ Bayo Akomolafe in THESE WILDS BEYOND OUR FENCES: LETTERS TO MY DAUGHTER ON HUMANITY'S SEARCH FOR HOME
Bayo Akomolafe THESE WILDS BEYOND OUR FENCES: LETTERS TO MY DAUGHTER ON HUMANITY'S SEARCH FOR HOME tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)
What is the meaning of life? That was all—a simple question; one that tended to close in on one in years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.
~ Virginia Woolf in TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
Virginia Woolf TO THE LIGHTHOUSE tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

Now at last the first snow falls
like a blanket upon dim powers.
Keep the fire alive now
and do not disturb the sleep
of roots and seeds...

The shining winter sky
is close enough to touch;
and you too are this sky.
No reason to distinguish.
For all the stars flow through your veins.

~ Jean Gebser from "The Winter Poem"
Jean Gebser tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)
All shadows of clouds the sun cannot hide
like the moon cannot stop oceanic tide;
but a hidden star can still be smiling
at night's black spell on darkness, beguiling
~ Munia Khan
Munia Khan tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

If you wake up early, do not wake up to
maximize productivity
for someone else's agenda,
but wake up early to sit on the border of dark
and light
and listen for the Word,
If you stay up late, do not stay up to fulfill a
list
that will never satisfy
but stay up late because your spirit is caught
in something true.
If you say yes, say yes from a place of your
soul's landing in the world.
If you say no, say no to be free for your own
verses.
Move in the world—early, late, between, yes,
no—
you made of holy stuff,
like eternity and found Light,
and remembering that.

~ Laura Martin, "Untitled"
Laura Martin tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.

~ Wendell Berry in HANNAH COULTER
Wendell Berry HANNAH COULTER tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)
In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again.
~ Barbara Kingsolver in HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON
Barbara Kingsolver HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON tiny lantern
December 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 11)

How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its
Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being.

Otherwise,
We all remain

Too

Frightened.

~ Hafiz Translated by Daniel Ladinsky in THE GIFT
Hafiz The Gift tiny lantern
November 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 10)
Let new words leap out of our mouths.
Let our hands be astonished at what we have made, and glad.
Let us follow ourselves into a present not ruled by the past.
If we jump up now, our far will be near.
~ Minnie Bruce Pratt, "If we jump up" in INSIDE THE MONEY MACHINE
Minnie Bruce Pratt INSIDE THE MONEY MACHINE path