“Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.”
“Elegance is a statement, an attitude. Elegant women are women of character with confidence.”
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”~John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society.
Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity……we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.”A.E. Newton.
When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.”~ Algernon, The Importance of Being Ernest
“I remember wishing I was older
always something big around the corner
but as the years go by I’m growing younger
open eye and head still filled with wonder.”
Plain White T’s, Irrational Anthem
“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
“All children are heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb tall trees and say shocking things and leap so very high that grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.)”
~Catherynne M. Valente
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War : Journeys and Essays
“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” – Lewis Carroll
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Steve Jobs, commencement speech at Stanford University, 2005
“The telling of a story, like virtually everything in this life, was always made all the easier by a cup of tea.”
― Alexander McCall Smith, The Miracle at Speedy Motors
“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
— C.S. Lewis
“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”
William Henry Channing (1810-1884)
“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.”
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
“In order to remove drama from your life, you have to remove those that thrive on it.” Michelle Obama
Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are. — Anaïs Nin
The truth is that everything that can be accomplished by showing a person when he’s wrong, ten times as much can be accomplished by showing him where he is right. The reason we don’t do it so often is that it’s more fun to throw a rock through a window than to put in a pane of glass. – Robert T. Allen
‘I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.’ ~Dalai Lama
“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.
Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
You can never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me. C.S Lewis
WRITING LIKE LIFE ITSELF IS A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY. AND SO BEGINS MY VOYAGE.” HENRY MILLER
‘Let us read and let us dance. Two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. ‘ Voltaire
‘The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts’ – Henry Moore
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”
‘My life is my message.’ – Gandhi
Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk
He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities. – Benjamin Franklin
‘Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.’ ~Walt Whitman
Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules suffice us.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.’ ~Lao T
‘You owe it to us all to get on with what you’re good at.’ ~W. H. Auden
‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’ ~Victor Frank
Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk
‘Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.’ ~Bertrand Russell
Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.’ ~Henry David Thoreau
”The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”~ Rudyard Kipling (thanks to Snowy)
“The real journey of discovery lies not in discovering new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust
When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
“… surely I am lost enough to find myself…” Robert Frost
As the hands toil, so the spirit is raised above the troubled motions of the mind”.
“…pursue that which is not meddlesome” Lao Tzu.
To arrive where you are, to get there from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. T.S. Eliot, “East Coker” Four Quartets.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
On that day I shall Futterwacken, vigorously – Alice in Wonderland (2010)
We study hard in high school to get admitted to a top college to get into grad school to get a good job to get into the nursing home of our choice. Gophers don’t do that. Robert Sapolsky
The imagination is the weather of the mind. Wallace Stevens, Adagia.
Getting old is good. Old is having a story to tell. Bruce Springsteen.
You’ve got to understand the degree to which I’m feral. Mary Karr
I don’t hate anyone. I dislike. But my dislike is the equivalent of anyone else’s hate. – Elsa Maxwell
We live on the leash of our senses – Diane Ackerman
Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth – Diane Ackerman
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” . – Erma Bombeck
Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese – Billie Burke
Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it. – Madeleine L’Engle
People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow. – Erma Bombeck
Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. – Erma Bombeck
Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart. – Erma Bombeck
The worst indignity is to be given a bedpan by a stranger who calls you by your first name. – Maggie Kuhn
Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it. – Tallulah Bankhead
I’m not at my best when I start to moralize or philosophize. Logic is elusive, especially to one who so rarely uses it. – Tallulah Bankhead
I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them. – Jane Austen
Those who do not complain are never pitied. – Jane Austen
If a mind is just a few pounds of blood, urea, and electricity, how does it manage to contemplate itself, worry about its soul, do time-and-motion studies, admire the shy hooves of a goat, know that it will die, enjoy all the grand and lesser mayhems of the heart? – Diane Ackerman
… People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it shouldn’t be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adult- not to mention the fact that you’d be spared at least one traumatic experience, i.e. the goldfish bowl.
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, page 19.
What we know of the world is what our consciousness can say about it because of what it has perceived – and nothing else,
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, page 56.
What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.
Be happy. It’s one way of being wise. Colette.
My inside listen to me, the greatest spirit,
The teacher is near,
Wake up, wake up,
Run to his feet –
he is standing close to your head right now,
You have slept for millions and millions of years
Why not wake us this morning?
To live in perpetual want of little things is a state, not indeed of torture, but of constant vexation. Samual Johnson
“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession… Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson