Confucius – 孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ – 551–479 BCE

[shí wǔ xiàng xué, sān shí ér lì, sì shí ér bù huò, wǔ shí ér zhī tiān mìng, liù shí ér ěr shùn, qī shí ér cóng xīn yù, bù yú jŭ.]

‘At fifteen, aspire to learn. At thirty, stand independently. At forty, be without doubt or delusion. At fifty, know your destiny. At sixty, heed that mandate. At seventy, follow the wishes of your heart without transgression.’ – my translation

A writer needs three things – solitude, exile, cunning. A poet needs these, and Muse-obsession. A painter needs these, and a balance of artfulness and artifice. The disclosing, the evolution, the maturation of all artists begins with wreckage, loss, banishment.

To write is to confirm all of the above, an I who mine is for the courage no other to be.