what makes a life

“Ordinary moments make the life. This was what [my mother] knew to be trustworthy, and this is what I learned, eventually, from those years we spent together. No leaps or falls. I inhale the little drizzly details of the past, and know who I am. What I failed to know before is clearer now, filtered up through time, an experience belonging to no one else, not remotely, no one, anyone, ever. I watch her use the roller to remove lint from her cloth coat. Define ‘lint,’ I tell myself. Define ‘time,’ define ‘space.'”

~Don DeLillo, Sine, cosine, tangent, “New Yorker,” February 22, 2016

Have I put this up here already?

“…You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it. Let’s stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.”

Excerpt From: Antilamentation, Laux, Dorianne. “The Book of Men: Poems.” WW Norton, 2011. iBooks.

Agreements, Rules, Whatever; Seem like good ideas

Be impeccable with your words.

  • Speak with integrity.
  • Don’t speak against yourself or others in gossip.

Don’t take anything personally.

  • Nothing others do is because of you*
    • What they do is a projection of their own reality, their own imagination.
    • What others think of you is not only out of your control, it’s none of your business.
  • When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you will no longer suffer needlessly.

Don’t make assumptions (or force others to do so).

  • Find the courage to ask questions, and to express what you really want.
  • Communicate as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and/or drama.

Always do your best.

  • And recognize that what that is might change from moment to moment.

Make peace with your past (so it doesn’t spoil your present).

Time heals almost everything, especially if you let it.

No one is the reason for or has the responsibility of your happiness. Just you.

Don’t compare your life with others.

  • You don’t actually know much of anything about anyone else’s anyway. Chances are, if you threw everyone’s problems in a pile, you’d take yours back in a heartbeat.

Don’t think too much.

  • Sometimes you won’t know the answer, sometimes there isn’t one, hasn’t been one, never will be one.
  • Accept, move on.

At least once a day, look directly into your own eyes in the mirror, and smile. Really smile. You are a beautiful person, “in all your cracked perfection.”(1) (Remember about the cracks — “that’s how the light gets in.”(2))


*I think this is the most important one to remember, even though at first you might think, Yuh-huh!

(1) Clementine von Radics “Mouthful of Forevers”

(2) Leonard Cohen “Anthem”