In Still Writing, Dani Shapiro quotes a list of instructions for writers by the poet Jane Kenyon. They include things such as, “Protect your time,” and “Feed your inner life.” The title for this post comes from this instruction: “Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.”
In the past, I’ve shared the “good sentences” I’m reading on Facebook. But sometime last year I realized that Facebook has taken the place of the quote journals I used to keep. Now I’m letting Mark Zuckerberg hold my favorite passages for me. Massive dislike.
So I’m going to try posting good sentences here from time to time, both so that I can have my own journal again, and so you can have good sentences in your ears too. (Because there’s a lot of ugly sentences out there right now.)
Here’s my favorite thing I read recently, from When Women Were Birds, by Terry Tempest Williams.
“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman with secrets.
When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us. We’ve been raised to question what we know, to discount and discredit the authority of our gut.
I want to know why. I regret whenever I abandon myself. But harboring regrets is making love to the past, and there is no movement here. It’s not the lips of a prince that will save us, but our own lips speaking.”