all, inspiration

This is how it is

The particles of bright crystals of sound permeate your body and mind from all directions. As a mass of long notes takes shape, there is a vigorous middle note, you can’t catch the melody but can perceive the richness of sounds. It links up with another mass of sounds, intermingles, unfolds, turns into a river which disappears and appears, appears and disappears.

A dark blue sun circles within an even darker moon, you hold your breath enraptured, stop breathing, reach the extremity of life. But the force of the pulsating sounds becomes stronger and stronger, lifts you up, pushes you towards a high tide, a high tide of pure spirituality.

Before your eyes, in your heart, in your body oblivious to time and space, in the continual surge of sustained noise, of reflected images in the dark sun within the dark moon, is a blast exploding exploding exploding exploding explo- explo- explo- explo- -ding -ding -ding -ding then again absolute silence. You fall into an even deeper darkness and again feel your heart pulsating, discern physical pain. The fear of death of the living body is concrete like this, the physical body you failed to abandon recovers its sensitivity…

…In the snow outside my window I see a small green frog, one eye blinking and the other wide open, unmoving, looking at me. I know this is God.

He appears just like this before me and watches to see if I will understand.

He is talking to me with his eyes by opening and closing them. When God talks to humans he doesn’t want humans to hear his voice.

And I don’t think it at all strange, it is as if it should be like this. It is as if God in fact is a frog. The intelligent round eye doesn’t so much as blink once. It is really kind that he should deign to gaze upon this wretched human being, me. His other eye opens and closes as it speaks in a language incomprehensible to humans. Whether I understand or not is not God’s concern.

There are no miracles. God is saying this, saying this to this insatiable human being, me.

Then what else is there to seek? I ask of him.

All around is silence, snow is falling soundlessly. I am surprised by this tranquility. In Heaven it is peaceful like this. And there is no joy. Joy is a side of anxiety.

Snow is falling.

I don’t know where I am at this moment, I don’t know where this realm of Heaven comes from, I look all around.

I don’t know that I don’t understand anything and still think I know everything.

Things just happen behind me and there is always a mysterious eye, so it is best for me just to pretend that I understand even if I don’t. While pretending to understand, I still don’t understand. The fact of the matter is I comprehend nothing, I understand nothing.

This is how it is.

—  Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain

all, thoughts

Must be 

I look outside my window and see skyscrapers prickling up like porcupine needles. The grey sky is crystallizing and tightening its grip on brick and concrete. Instead of snow, the ragged cloud cover is raining with dust. 

It’s possible to see beyond. Miles and miles of cemented landscape like old, thick, goosebumped skin. It curves at the horizon revealing the creature’s shape. A spherical, gargantuan atrocity; turning slower and harsher, a rusted knob it has become; ceased to be organic long ago.  

I listen. It’s not quite silence and it’s not a roar. It’s the sound of something closing in, of something cog-like aligning, of something tightening and bracing. Must be night. Must be time stopping.
all, inspiration

Daily Inspiration: Sleeping Patterns of Brilliant People

We associate creative genius with sleepless nights and manic all-nighters. And this is true for some – Leonardo DaVinci, for instance, having the misfortune of being both a perfectionist and a terrible procrastinator, often left his projects until the last moment possible. He would then work feverishly to finish them, taking small naps throughout the day instead of sleeping the full eight hours at night.

Thomas Edison was another proponent of the power nap, believing that most people sleep far too much and are unproductive as a result. Nikola Tesla rarely slept at all, especially early on in his career, starting work at 3 a.m. and continuing with few to no breaks until 11 p.m. the next day. But by all accounts, these were eccentric, anxious, and difficult men—Tesla suffered a nervous breakdown at 25, Edison was obsessive and paranoid, and DaVinci had crippling anxiety and self-doubts—who were never satisfied with their creative accomplishments.

History shows, however, that brilliance could also be the product of a good night’s sleep and a well-rested mind.

From Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, 27 prolific geniuses and their work and rest schedules:

Previously: Daily Inspiration: Creative Routines of Brilliant People 


all, prose & poetry

Don’t fall asleep

Insomnia is made of dark silk and cool, crisp air. It breathes you in and exhales only the night and the silence, a perfect endless calm. It opens portals within you, black holes of thought and perception, and lets the universe in.

Time vanishes. There is no now, no then, no ahead. There is nothing and no one at all. Only doors into souls awakened, glimmering with the time-lapsed light of long-dead stars scattered across the sleeping cities of the east, still under the waning moon.