Quiet Thoughts - Quotes
Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
I don't like to stand out. It consumes too much of your life to be in the limelight.
This may not be the path for everyone. But the trust of which we speak is not an act of heroism. it is an act of surrender that makes the decision easier. It sounds unbelieveable, but I know it to be true. Leave the decision to God and you relieve yourself of the anxiety that comes from thinking that the choice is yours - the sneaking suspicion that you might have done better had you been a little more careful, a little luckier.
The Gift of a Child, Readers' Digest
The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.
Isolation is aloneness that feels forced upon you, like a punishment. Solitude is aloneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude, out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart.
Washington Post Magazine
I got a fortune cookie that said, "To remember is to understand." I have never forgotten it. A good judge remembers what it was like to be a lawyer. A good editor remembers being a writer. A good parent remembers what it was like to be a child.
Thinking Out Loud
The chorus of an old Depeche Mode song goes like this: "I don't want to start/ Any blasphemous rumours/ But I think that God's/ Got a sick sense of humour/ And when I die/ I expect to find him laughing." I have a grudging respect for this tune. In an age when God has been co-opted by mirthless sentimentalists, I appreciate any artiste who suggests there's more to the Infinite Sipirit than the pinched personality described in the holy books. On the other hand, Depeche Mode's notion of the Lord is a crock too. But one thing for sure about my Supreme Being is that She has a sublimely poetic sense of humour. Real Astrology, I.S Magazine
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.
There's stories and there's stories... the ones with any worth change your life forever, perhaps in a small way, but once you've heard them, they are forever a part of you. You nurture them and pass them on and the giving only makes you feel better. The stories are just stories, they make one laugh or cry - but if they have any worth, they carry within them a deeper resonance that remains long after the final page is turned...or the storyteller has come to the end of her tale.
The Conjure Man, Dreams Unfooted
Music is the soundtrack of your life.
Good communications is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.
Gift From The Sea
On the whole, age comes more gently to those who have some doorway into an abstract world-art, or philosophy, or learning-regions where the years are scarcely noticed and the young and old can meet in a pale truthful light.
What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.
The need to write comes from the need to make sense of one's life and discover one's usefulness.
Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.
Is it a fact - or have I dreamt it - that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence!
Each of us wages a private battle each day between the grand fantasies we have for ourselves and what actually happens.
Teenage boys are like clamshells. They open up just a moment in order to take in a little nourishment or expel some dirt. But then they clam up tight again. If you're around when they open up, you have a chance to see something truly beautiful inside. But you have to be there at that moment. USA Weekend
Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It's a way of entering into the quiet that's already there - buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person think every day.
The Autumn Willow knew what the Storm did not; that the power to endure harm outlives the power to inflict it.
To be a father is not simply to bring a child into this world. It is to take care of that child and to give him direction and guidance. It's my mother who always did this for me. I'm surprised that today, because of the World Cup and because the cameras are on my father, that he puts on that jersey and speaks of his son. It's not going to change things because of a World Cup.
One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.
There is a time, when passing through a light, that you walk in your own shadow.
The Bone People
All men and women are born, to live, suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live."
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from Here I can pretend... I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come and Gods go. Mortals Flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
I tried to find him on the Christian Cross, but He was not there; I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the old pagodas, but I could not find a trace of Him anywhere.
I searched on the mountains and in the valleys but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I able to find Him. I went to the Caaba in Mecca, but He was not there either.
I questioned the scholars and philosophers, but He was beyond their understanding.
I then looked into my heart and it was there where He dwelled that I saw Him; He was nowhere else to be found.
Enigma2, The Cross of Changes
Will the future ever arrive?... Should we continue to look upwards? Is the light we can see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished? The ideal is terrifying to behold, lost as it is in the depth, small, isolated, a pin-point, brilliant but threatened on all sides by the dark forces that surrounds it; nevertheless, no more danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds.
... there is such a thing as perfection... and our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth... Each of us is in truth an unlimited idea of freedom. Everything that limits us we have to put aside.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Things are changing
But nothing changes
And still there are changes
Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!
Most of the energy we spend is like a footprint on moving sands.
Try to live your lost illusions. They are the spice of life.
Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!
... At times we live our lives on a paper-thin edge that barely separates greatness from mediocrity and success from failure... Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter: long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform our best.
Slaying the Dragon
The land looks like a fairytale.
There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, 'tis for some other. The spirit cannot die; and man, who shall know all and shall have wings...
About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you.
Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all.
What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.
If you believe in the light, it's because of obscurity.
If you believe in joy, it is because of sadeness.
If you believe in God, then you have to believe in the Devil.
Church of Notre Dame, Paris
To rid ourselves of our shadows - who we are - we must step into either total light or total darkness.
Laughing at ourselves is possible when we are able to see humanity as it is - a little lower than the angels and at times only slightly higher than the apes.
Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences
If you expect the worst from a person, you can't ever be disappointed... The pessimist takes a sort of gloomy pleasure in observing the depths to which human behaviour can sink. Everyone likes to have his deepest convictions confirmed; that is one of the most abiding of human satisfaction.
The Wanting Seed
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.
December 18, 1995, Trans-Siberian Railway: Dante's The Divine Comedy keeps running through my mind as I gaze out at the landscape passing before me, thinking of the people who inhibit it and how they share this human condition... Are we helping or hurting each other?... How has the West come to this place of transition? Honourably? What are we bringing them? What are their expectations? Are our lives really what they imagine? We always want to believe there is a place better than our own...
The Book of Secrets
The thing I love about sports is the emotion it brings to a world where true passion is such a scarce commodity. In a society where personal, political and religious beliefs are muzzled for fear of offending, sports remains one of our last legitimate outlets. It allows us to scream and cheer and wear our bias on our sleeves and like medals of honour earned in combat. Here we can state our case, argue the obvious and steadfastly defend indefensible positions without fear or remorse.
South Carolina, Post and Courier
One thing if for certain - we can't fight life.