{character} · {inspiration}

{ quote : shadows }

The Bird Woman’s shadow gathered its skirts and made room on the bench for Jane and Michael.
“My!” she exclaimed, as her arms went round them. “You’re solid and no mistake!”
“That’s because we’re real,” said Jane
“Bones and toe-nails and hair and blood,” Michael kindly informed her.
“Ah!” The Bird Woman’s shadow nodded. “I expect you ‘ad a Special Ticket. It isn’t everyone gets the chance. But you’re not tellin’ me—are you, lovies?—that shadders isn’t real?”
“Well—they go through things. And they’re made of nothing——” Jane tried to explain.
“Nothin’s made of nothin’, lovey. And that’s what they’re for—to go through things. Through and out on the other side—it’s why they get to be wise. You take my word for it, my loves, when you know what your shadder knows—then you know a lot. Your shadder’s the other part of you, the outside of your inside—if you understand what I mean.”

—from “Hallowe’en,” p. 239
in the book Mary Poppins in the Park, by P. L. Travers


“Here’s to the things that are true, which is an interesting stance in an age when every man, and every woman, does what is right in their own eyeballs. Its comical to me that on Groundhog Day, when at least some of the population is still fixated on a rodent’s shadow, that most of us are quite oblivious to our own, shadows that is. I believe it was in the writings of Robert Bly where I first came across the concept of shadow – those long repressed aspects of our personality that, after we pass a certain age, start to show themselves. Bly’s encouragement is to be-friend your shadow, and one way to do that is by using careful, physical language. I think about that when I see one of those bucolic scenes with a quote superimposed on it, something that sounds oh so spiritual but I usually find myself thinking But what in the world does that mean? Yep, a lotta un-friended shadow running ruinous in our nation that is no longer one.”

—John D. Blaise
Dear Winn — 2 February 2016
from his blog series Letters to Winn


“But I didn’t think shadows could feel,” said Jane.
“Not feel! What nonsense!” cried Mrs. Corry. “They feel twice as much as you do. I warn you, children, take care of your shadows or your shadows won’t take care of you.”

—from “Hallowe’en,” p. 228
in her book Mary Poppins in the Park, by P. L. Travers

{inspiration} · {perspective}

{ quote : on success }

“What we call success is very nice and comes with useful byproducts, but success is not love, or at least it is at best the result of love of the work and not of you, so don’t confuse the two. Cultivating love for others and maybe receiving some for yourself is another job and an important one. The process of making art is the process of becoming a person with agency, with independent thought, a producer of meaning rather than a consumer of meanings that may be at odds with your soul, your destiny, your humanity, so there’s another kind of success in becoming conscious that matters and that is up to you and nobody else and within your reach.”

—Rebecca Solnit
How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit
as posted on Literary Hub


{ quote : on writing }

“There have been times when for me the act of writing has been a little act of faith, a spit in the eye of despair . . . Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life. That was something I found out in the summer of 1999, when a man driving a blue van almost killed me . . .

“Writing did not save my life—Dr. David Brown’s skill and my wife’s loving care did that—but it has continued to do what it always has done: it makes my life a brighter and more pleasant place.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. Some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.

“Drink and be filled up.”

—Stephen King
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
pp. 249, 269–70