Untethered Dog

A Commonplace By Tom Swift

Peace

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

-Carl Jung

Laughter

Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?

-Don Rickles

Self

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

-Lao Tzu

Authenticity

You throw your best punch, otherwise don’t do it.

-Don Rickles

Acceptance

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.

-Lao Tzu

Presence

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers.
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

-David Wagoner, “Lost,” Collected Poems 1956-1976

Fear

You know, every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend!

-Don Rickles

Love

When we are old one night and the moon
arcs over the house like an antique
China saucer and the teacup sun

follows somewhere far behind
I hope the stars deepen to a shine
so bright you could read by it

if you liked and the sadnesses
we will have known go away
for a while — in this hour or two

before sleep — and that we kiss
standing in the kitchen not fighting
gravity so much as embodying

its sweet force, and I hope we kiss
like we do today knowing so much
good is said in this primitive tongue

from the wild first surprising ones
to the lower dizzy ten thousand
infinitely slower ones — and I hope

while we stand there in the kitchen
making tea and kissing, the whistle
of the teapot wakes the neighbors.

-Steve Scafidi, “Prayer for a Marriage,” Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer (2001)

Laughter

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

-Steven Wright

Beauty

When someone does a small task beautifully, their whole environment is affected by it.

-Jerry Seinfeld