Morning Trip (213)

“And the speck of my heart, in my shed of flesh and bone, began to sing out, the way the sun would sing if the sun could sing, if light had a mouth and a tongue, if the sky had a throat, if god wasn’t just an idea but shoulders and a spine, gathered from everywhere, even the most distant planets, blazing up. Where am I? Even the rough words come to me now, quick as thistles. Who made your tyrant’s body, your thirst, your delving, your gladness? Oh tiger, oh bone-breaker, oh tree on fire! Get away from me. Come closer.”
–Mary Oliver

Morning Trip (137)

“But it’s — to me, it’s like teaching. When I’m teaching a class, and I’m up at the blackboard, and I’m having my epiphanic moment in front of some differential equation, and the students are all going — looking at me cross-eyed. But then you can see the one in the back, all of the sudden just got it. Right? And then the one in the front goes, “Oh, I see that too.” In other words, it can be contagious. But each one has to do it on their own. It’s a moment of insight. Knowledge is not something you can just move across the table and the other person has it. It’s an invitation to exploration, to think, to ideate. And then there’s that ‘aha’.”

–Arthur Zajonc, Transcript for Arthur Zajonc and Michael McCullough–Mind and Morality: A Dialogue

Morning Trip (122)

“…It’s like a villanelle, this inclination of going back to events in our past, the way the villanelle’s form refuses to move forward in linear development, circling instead at those familiar moments of emotion. Only the rereading counts Nabokov said. So the strange form of that belfry, turning onto itself again and again, felt familiar to me. For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell….”
–Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero p. 136