Elizabeth Gilbert “Big Magic”


  • Students told me that he was the most extraordinary man they’d ever encountered. He had seemed not quite of this world, they said he seemed to live in a state of uninterrupted marvel, and he encouraged them to do the same. /…/ He told them that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.
  • Anyway, I quite liked the way he lived inside my imagination as a massive and powerful presence. /…/ So I decided to know him only that way – through my imagination. And that’s where he remains for me to this day. Still alive in me, completely internalized, almost as though I dreamed him up.
  • Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?
  • I had fixated upon my fear as if it were the most interesting thing about me, when actually it was the most mundane. In fact, my fear was probably the only 100 percent mundane thing about me. I had creativity within me that was original; I had a personality within me that was original.
  • I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied energetic life- form. They are completely separate from us – albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a simple impulse to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.
  • I always try to use my most gracious manners when sending an idea away; you don’t want word getting around the universe that you’re difficult to work with.
  • However, I’ve always had the sense that the muse of the tormented artist – while the artist himself is throwing temper tantrums – is sitting quietly in a corner of the studio, buffing its fingernails, patiently waiting for the guy to calm down and sober up so everyone can get back to work.
  • You can nourish healthier relationships in order to keep yourself undistracted by self-invented emotional catastrophes. You can dare to be pleased sometimes with what you have created.
  • You can battle your demons /…/ instead of battling your gifts – in part by realizing that your demons were never the ones doing the work, anyhow.
  • And because I must always be writing about something or else I will go mad, I decided to write about that – that is to chronicle what was going on in my real life, as a way of sorting through its complications and revelations.
  • What was the idea supposed to do, sit around indefinitely while I ignored it? Maybe. Sometimes they do wait. Some exceedingly patient ideas might wait years, or even decades for your attention. But others won’t, because each idea has a different nature. Would you sit in a box for two years while your collaborator blew you off? Probably not.
  • …- that ideas are alive, that ideas do seek the most available human collaborator, that ideas do have a conscious will, that ideas do move from soul to soul, that ideas will try to seek the swiftest and most efficient conduit to the earth (just as lightning does).
  • The golden rule in my family is this: If you’re supporting yourself financially and you’re not bothering anyone else, then you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.
  • I don’t want to be afraid of bright colors or new sounds or big love or risky decisions or strange experiences or weird endeavors or sudden changes or even failures.
  • I am this and I am that and I’m also that other thing too. I don’t yet know exactly what I am but I’m curious enough to find out.
  • Of course it’s difficult to create things; if it wasn’t difficult, everyone would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be special or anything.
  • He felt there was nobility in his choice never to write a book.
  • Exposure to imperfections – even his own – injured his soul.
  • Someday it might all make sense to you – why you needed to go through this botched-up mess in order to land in a better place. Or maybe it will never make sense.
  • Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. It’s as if all our gods and angels gathered together and said: “It’s tough down there as a human being, we know. Here -have some delights.”

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