Socrates himself said: “One thing only I know, and this is that I know nothing.”

Socrates himself said, ‘One thing only I know, and this is that I know nothing.’ Remember this statement, because it is an admission that is rare, even among philosophers. Moreover, it can be so dangerous to say in public that it can cost you your life. The most subversive people are those who ask questions. Giving answers is not nearly as threatening. Any one question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.

— Jostein Gaarder: Sophie’s World 

(via korraled)

Glories of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs, simple as the journey of water over a rock

All That Is Glorious Around Us
is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn’s bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain’s
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.

 - Barbara Crooker, Radiance

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone. Or rather writing is saying to the no one who may eventually be the reader those things one has no someone to whom to say them. Matters that are so subtle, so personal, so obscure that I ordinarily can’t imagine saying them to the people to whom I’m closest. Every once in a while I try to say them aloud and find that what turns to mush in my mouth or falls short of their ears can be written down for total strangers. Said to total strangers in the silence of writing that is recuperated and heard in the solitude of reading. Is it the shared solitude of writing, is it that separately we all reside in a place deeper than society, even the society of two? Is it that the tongue fails where the fingers succeed, in telling truths so lengthy and nuanced that they are almost impossible aloud?

~ Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby 

Writing forces you to think. It forces you to work the thing through.

[Writing] forces you to think. It forces you to work the thing through. Nothing comes to us out of the blue, very easily, you know. So if you want to understand what you’re thinking, you kind of have to work it through and write it. And the only way to work it through, for me, is to write it.

— Joan Didion 

(via rudyoldeschulte)