This afternoon, in preparation for our first meeting of Writing Lab this quarter, I browsed my bookshelves and found Fingerpainting on the Moon by Peter Levitt. This book contains one of my all time favorite quotations (which I’ve shared more than once, but here it is again):
“This is joy — the kind that comes from expressing the most intimate part of our lives and having it valued and known. Awakening such joy allows us to love.”
(image from http://spaceweather.com/eclipses/gallery_15may03_page3.html)
In his chapter, “Everything Is Permitted in the Imagination,” Levitt tells the story of a woman joining him in a garden at the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, and telling him, “You know, there’s room for us.” The story continues:
As she said this she gently swept her hand in an arc to include all the various forms of life before us. I watched as she encircled all the vegetables, fruit and flowers, the compost piles, the shape of the distant mountain, and then included the two of us with her gesturing hand. “If there wasn’t room,” she said with a conspiratorial smile, “we couldn’t be here at all.”
Later in this chapter Levitt recommends making up a sign in big letters spelling: “PERMISSION GRANTED.” So I did. I made up 10 of them and took them to Writing Lab and I handed them out.
Consider this blog post to be your permission.