"Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life and that to destroy, harm, or to hinder life is evil. Affirmation of the world -- that is affirmation of the will to live, which appears in phenomenal forms all around me -- is only possible for me in that I give myself out for other life."- Albert Schweitzer
"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"- George Eliot (My comment: these two statements are basically equivalent, are they not?)
"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."- Emily Dickinson (I comment on Emily: I do not believe she meant this in some sweeping sense that turns into theology. Emily was master of the present moment and that is how I believe she means this quote - that this very moment is sweet and it is sweet in it's passing, never to come again)
"The most decisive actions of our life ... are most often unconsidered actions."- Andre Gide (I have lived this quote. I insist that the key moments of my life not only have not been moments I chose in any ordinary way but that I could not have chosen them in any ordinary way)
In The Basement
I heard you down there rustling around, reaching for first love once again in our love's basement, looking for our first kisses and the other first things, our foundations.
That's how I know you've questioned our life together.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.