I went looking for poems because I wanted to console myself. That is why from the beginning, they have not had much to do with rhetoric but not once have they not been sincere. Because what is not sincere cannot console me.

x Ma Jongki; Geoffrey Johnson (painting)


Mono no aware implies a “sensibility,” the awareness of and responsiveness toward something: an inanimate object or living thing, or an emotional response in another person. Through the years it became known as a refined sensitivity toward the sorrowful and transient nature of beauty. Cherry blossoms are the prototypical mono no aware objects. They explode in beauty after winter’s doldrums, trumpeting life for only a few days before they die.

As Professor Imai in Oh! explains: mono no aware is about the hidden corners of things, the deeper meanings, not the superficial reactions we might have to something that affects us. A mono no aware event is not sentimental or symbolic, but rather a true feeling that floats calmly through the mind and body. It is a rare moment when thoughts and feelings become fully formed, the heart of poetry. It is what we feel when we experience something that makes us exclaim “oh!” and express our feelings in poetry, prose, art, or song.

xTodd Shimoda; x Clare Elsaesser (painting set)


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

B.B. King; x (photo credits)


There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.

Roger Staubach; x heartbeatbox (flickr)


The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning.

x Erica Jong; x (photo credits)

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