‘I know now that a studied evasiveness has its own limitations, its own ways of inhibiting certain forms of happiness and pleasure. The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion. The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one’s work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again — not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life.’

– Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

‘Many years ago, Carson gave a lecture at Teachers & Writers in New York City, at which she introduced (to me) the concept of leaving a space empty so that God could rush in. I knew a bit about this concept from my boyfriend at the time, who was big into bonsai. In bonsai you often plant the tree off-centre in the pot to make space for the divine. But that night Carson made the concept literary. (Act so that there is no use in a centre: a piece of Steinian wisdom Carson says she tries to impart to her students.) …I went home fastened to the concept of leaving the centre empty for God. It was like stumbling into a tarot reading or AA meeting and hearing the one thing that will keep you going, in heart or art, for years.’

– Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts