Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us—a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain—it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say ‘going through the motions’—this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgment of the effort—the labor, the motions, the dance—of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind.

This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.

— Leslie Jamison, “The Empathy Exams”  (via ahuntersheart)

(via ahuntersheart)

It’s beauty like this…
the kind that will follow you into the fire and light up a scene like it’s nothing that’s lost in the aftermath of this love.
She’s the one you dream about
and try to make everyone into
they never quite fit
they slip off your dick and
out the door and
all that’s left is the imprint
she left on your soul.
She’s been a soldier for love
who never quite gets the depth required to continue carrying such a rare thing.
Its more card tricks and bullshit and her heart can’t take anymore bruising.
She’s precious and lovely…
and she loves you with her heart you can’t fully reciprocate because your arms are full of all these broken nothings.
If you only knew the clarity of being still in the complete silence of her love…
you would realize this is a life worth living.


Whenever we make love, you say
it’s like fucking a crash—
I bring the bus with me into the bedroom.
There’s a lull, like before the fire brigade
arrives, flames licking the soles
of our feet. Neither of us knows
when the petrol tank will explode.
You say I’ve decorated my house

“And when our eyes meet, it will be
In the hue that happens when light finds dark,
In the secret music of worlds spinning true,
That we will move toward a sort of praise.”
-Joe Bolton, from “A Sort of Praise”
— (via ahuntersheart)

I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,

whoever I was, I was

for a little while.

— from Dogfish by Mary Oliver
(via growing-orbits)

I would like to describe the simplest emotion
joy or sadness
but not as others do
reaching for shafts of rain or sun

I would like to describe a light
which is being born in me
but I know it does not resemble
any star
for it is not so bright
not so pure
and it is uncertain

I would like to describe courage
without dragging behind me a dusty lion
and also anxiety
without shaking a glass full of water
to put it another way
I would give all metaphors
in return for one word
drawn out of my breast like a rib
for one word
contained within the boundaries
of my skin
but apparently this is not possible

and just to say - I love
I run around like mad
picking up handfuls of birds
and my tenderness
which after all is not made of water
asks the water for a face

and anger
different from fire
borrows from it
a loquacious tongue

so is blurred
so is blurred
in me what white-haired gentlemen
separated once and for all
and said
this is the subject
and this is the object

we fall asleep with one had under our head
and with the other in a mound of planets

our feet abandon us
and taste the earth
with their tiny roots
which next morning
we tear out painfully

I Would Like to Describe by Zbigniew Herbert (translated by Czesław Miłosz and Peter Dale Scott), thanks to the beauty we love (via growing-orbits)
“Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.”
-Robert Creeley, from “The Rain”
— (via ahuntersheart)


Not P.C., New York. Self Portrait by Simon Lohmeyer

This one time a white trash boy fell in love with me and brought real passion in my life. #biking #boys #love