Enter (I hope) the long sentence: the collection of clauses that is so many-chambered and lavish and abundant in tones and suggestions, that has so much room for near-contradiction and ambiguity and those places in memory or imagination that can’t be simplified, or put into easy words, that it allows the reader to keep many things in her head and heart at the same time, and to descend, as by a spiral staircase, deeper into herself and those things that won’t be squeezed into an either/or. With each clause, we’re taken further and further from trite conclusions — or that at least is the hope — and away from reductionism, as if the writer were a dentist, saying “Open wider” so that he can probe the tender, neglected spaces in the reader (though in this case it’s not the mouth that he’s attending to but the mind). ~ Pico Iyer

the amazing thing about committing to (at least) a year’s worth of altars – committing to stay – is that i see altars everywhere, even in long sentences.


Was there a spot in your day when you paused and paid attention to a tender, often-neglected place in your life physical or otherwise)? What led you there? Who or what held the space for you?

That’s what altars do for me: They slow me down, open the way to a deeper, more meaningful engagement with life.

How ’bout you?

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