There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you? ~ Rumi (Photo by Craig McDean)

I would sit down, still dizzy from the day’s sun, my head full of the white churches and chalky walls, dry fields and shaggy olive trees. I would drink a sweetish syrup, gazing at the curve of the hills in front of me. They sloped gently down to the sea. The evening would grow green. On the largest of the hills, the last breeze turned the sails of a windmill. And, by a natural miracle, everyone lowered his voice. Soon there was nothing but the sky and musical words rising toward it, as if heard from a great distance. There was something fleeting and melancholy in the brief moment of dusk, perceptible not only to one man but also to a whole people. As for me, I longed to love as people long to cry. I felt that every hour I slept now would be an hour stolen from life… that is to say from those hours of undefined desire. I was tense and motionless... powerless against this immense desire to hold the world between my hands.
~
Albert Camus
'Love of Life' in Lyrical and Critical Essays

We should breathe, dream and lengthen out the hours by the infinity of sensations. So love everything even if it is not exactly real: water and clouds, night and silence, the vast green sea; the formless and multiform water; the place where you shall never be; the lover whom you shall never know… For I think to myself: What does it matter, what does any reality outside of myself matter, if it has helped me to live, to feel that I am, and what I am? ~ Charles Baudelaire

And though I’m frightened, I believe in your being with me. A man has to fend and fettle for the best, and then trust in something beyond himself. You can’t insure against the future, except by really believing in the best bit of you, and in the power beyond it. So I believe in the little flame between us. For me now, it’s the only thing in the world. ~ D. H. Lawrence

She settles herself against him, ear to his chest. She likes to hear his voice this way, as if it begins not in his throat but in his body, like a hum or a growl, or like a voice speaking from deep underground. Like the blood moving through her own heart: a word, a word, a word. ~ Margaret Atwood (Photo by Kalle Gustafsson)

Photo by Jeff Bark

You can be anywhere with the turn of a few words. Some say the feeling of out-of-the-body travel is due to certain short circuits in parts of the brain. That doesn’t matter because I’m still drifting towards you. Inside you are cumulous clouds I could float on all night. The difference is always between what we say we love and what we love. Tonight, for instance, I could drink from the bowl of your belly. It doesn’t matter if our feelings shift like sands beneath the river, there’s still the river…
~
Richard Jackson

A thousand eyes with a thousand views, a thousand hearts with a thousand loves, am I. As the sea that receiveth the clean and the impure rivers and heedeth not, so am I. Deep is the mountain lake, clear are the waters of the spring, and my love is the hidden source of things. Ah, come hither and taste of my love; then, as of a cool evening the lotus is born, shalt thou find thy heart’s own secret desire. The scent of the jasmine fills the night air; out of the deep forest comes the call of a passing day. The Life of my love is unburdened; the attainment thereof is the freedom of fulfillment ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

The Way Under the Way
By Mark Nepo

For all that has been written,
for all that has been read, we
are led to this instant where one
of us will speak and one of us will
listen, as if no one has ever placed
an oar into that water.

It doesn’t matter how we come
to this. We may jump to it or be
worn to it...

But here we will come. With very
little left in the way.

When we meet like this, I may not
have the words, so let me say it now:
Nothing compares to the sensation
of being alive in the company of
another. It is God breathing on
the embers of our soul.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

Ultimately,
we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,
we are asked to experience
meaning in the life that moves
through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere...

You were beside me, still sleeping. The day had invented you, but you hadn’t yet accepted your day’s invention, nor mine. You were still in another day. You were beside me, and I saw you, like the snow, asleep among the appearances. Time, without our help, invents houses, streets, trees… When you open your eyes we’ll walk, anew, among the hours and their inventions, and lingering among the appearances we’ll testify to time and its conjugations. We’ll open the doors of this day, and go into the unknown. – Octavio Paz

Maybe we’ll just be us. Only changed. That’s maybe the best thing. And we will keep on won’t we? ~ Ernest Hemingway (Photo by Kalle Gustafsson)