This is not my writing. [2017]


Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

Will I be less/

dead because I wrote this/

poem or you more because/

you read it/

long years hence.

Billions And Billions, Carl Sagan

“But I see the emergence in our consciousness of a Universe of a magnificence, and an intricate, elegant order far beyond anything our ancestors imagined. And if much about the Universe can be understood in terms of a few simple laws of Nature, those wishing to believe in God can certainly ascribe those beautiful laws to a Reason underpinning all of Nature. My own view is that it is far better to understand the Universe as it really is than to pretend to a Universe as we might wish it to be.”

Waiting For Godot, Samuel Beckett

Estragon: You see, you feel worse when I’m with you. I feel better alone too.

Vladimir: (vexed) Then why do you always come crawling back?

Estragon: I don’t know.

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Milan Kundera

“Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.”

The Teeth Of The Comb, Osama Alomar

“When the slaves reelected their executioner entirely of their own accord and without any pressure from anyone, I understood that it was still very early to be talking about democracy and human dignity.”

Mirrors, Eduardo Galeano

“Life only pulsates in what bears scars.”

The South Side, Natalie Y. Moore

“Cities know how to be creative in cutting sweetheart deals for new sports stadiums or companies moving their headquarters to central business districts. Cities need to apply that same inventiveness beyond downtown areas to see a serious reduction in violence. Crime isn’t an isolated occurrence. If the larger structural issues in neighborhoods, such as segregation and racial inequality, aren’t addressed, any other solution will be fleeting.”

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy

How to tell a shattered story?/

By slowly becoming everybody./


By slowly becoming everything.

Spiritual Quest, Reza Shah-Kazemi

“…one is human to the extent that one strives to do justice to the spiritual possibilities inspired within — quite literally, ‘breathed into’ — the human soul by God: ‘Then He fashioned him [man] and breathed into him of His Spirit’ (32:9). The spiritual quest is thus the quest to be fully human, according to the creative intention of God.”

One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul

“So much of immigration is about loss. First you lose bodies: people who die, people whose deaths you missed. Then you lose history: no one speaks the language anymore, and successive generations grow more and more westernized. They you lose memory: throughout this trip, I tried to place people, where I had met them, how I knew them. I can’t remember anything anymore.”

Progressive Muslims, edited by Omid Safi

“When peace comes to mean the absence of conflict on the one hand, and when conflict with an unjust and racist political order is a moral imperative on the other, then it is not difficult to understand that the better class of human beings are, in fact, deeply committed to disturbing the peace and creating conflict.”

— Farid Esack

Love And Other Ways Of Dying, Michael Paterniti

“Grief is schizophrenic. You find yourself of two minds, the one that governs your days up until the moment of grief — the one that opens easily to memories of the girl at six, twelve, eighteen — and the one that seeks to destroy everything afterward.”

Justice And Remembrance, Reza Shah-Kazemi

“Make your very life a shield for what you have promised, for there is no divine obligation which so strongly unites people — despite having diverse inclinations and multifarious opinions — as that of honoring the principle of fulfilling one’s pledge.”

Exit West, Mohsin Hamid

“Of this, in later years, both were glad, and both would also wonder if this meant that they had made a mistake, that if they had but waited and watched their relationship would have flowered again, and so their memories took on potential, which is of course how our greatest nostalgias are born.”

Notes Of A Native Son, James Baldwin

“…I think the past is all that makes the present coherent, and further, that the past will remain horrible for exactly as long as we refuse to assess it honestly.”

“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”

A Book Of Luminous Things, Czeslaw Milosz

In the rear-view mirror suddenly/

I saw the bulk of the Beauvais Cathedral;/

great things dwell in small ones/

for a moment.

— Adam Zagajewski


This is not my writing. [The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster]


I read The Phantom Tollbooth for the first time when I was eight or nine. It was the first book that actually showed me what it is to have an imagination. I’ve read it tens of times since then, and it still delights me. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s some of what you’re missing.


“‘I never knew words could be so confusing,’ Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scratch the dog’s ear.

‘Only when you use a lot to say a little,’ answered Tock.

Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he’d heard all day.”

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