When I wake up just before dawn and hear the throbbing voices of birds as they echo against the silence, I am overpowered by yearning. When I ride in the dark on stark roads through dry, bald hills, I ache with desperate longing. I don’t know what I am longing for, maybe for some place of my own within these images, some place where I fit, instead of being the one human being still awake, the only thing moving across the hills in the arid darkness. Maybe that ache is loneliness. I haven’t found a name for the feeling yet, nor do I know exactly what awakes in me. But instinct warns me that it is too potent for me, that my soul is on the verge of cracking when I feel it that way. I cannot handle the sheer power of those wild emotions by myself. I have to find some way to share them. That is why I write. It’s instinctive. I just have to—because it is awake like lava in my blood, and sustains me.
Rachel Corrie, Let Me Stand Alone
This book was a big deal for me.
It’s like trying to summit Mount Everest, and you see your own bones along the way.
I don’t buy into the “drunk writer” or “crazy artist” idea — I think we’re being sold those kind of things by a force that would prefer we shut up, for the betterment of the status quo — but I do think that, as an artist, you’re standing by the Door. You open it up, and let a thing through, one or two at a time. And just by standing near that door, you yourself become radioactive. In a way that has nothing to do with your anger or your authority issues: You just naturally are a certain amount of On Fire, all the time.