Quiet Thoughts - Quotes
Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life.
Take someone who suddenly speaks to you in an intimate tone that he had never used with you, who tells you what he had never dared tell anyone. Because he was ordinarily so reserved, you are rightly all the more touched. You sense there a mark of extraordinary confidence. Suddenly he has become a friend. He has chosen you for a friend; he has chosen you for a confidant. At this moment an infallible bond has been established between him and you, this bond which the philosophers call "interpersonal". Moreover it is not only between him and you that something essential has taken place; it is also within him and within you. One becomes a person by means of this genuine and intimate encounter. No one discovers himself in solitude, by turning inward on himself and by analyzing himself. It is by giving one's self that one finds himself.
Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?
Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you.
If you begin to live life looking for the God that is all around you, every moment becomes a prayer.
And the old man, Nagacork, the Creator, went on a long walkabout to see all the tribesmen, the birds, animals, fish, and reptiles.
And as Nagacork traveled through all the different countries of the tribes he sang:
"Allo, allo, allo, allo, allo, cha nallah, wirrit, burra burra, cubrimilla, cubrimilla. Bo bo!" This means, "Oh well, all you people who belong to me have change into men, animals, birds, reptiles, fish , sun, moon, and stars. I go now. I go forever. You will see me no more. But all the time I will watch about you.
And the tribesmen say that you can see the old man Nagacork lying among the stars. His lubral (woman) is lying near him with one arm behind her head. And the tribesmen say that the stream of stars that the white man calls the Milky Way is the smoke of Nagacork's campfire drifting across the night." Nagacork's Goodbye, Aboriginal Myths and Legens: Age-Old Stories of the Australian Tribes
There are only two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed - or did you fail because you stopped trying?
The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life coming flowing in.
Perhaps you've only grown up when you can bear not being understood.
One stops being a child when one realizes that telling one's trouble does not make it better.
When death comes, we take off our clothes and gather everything we left behind: what is dark, broken, touched with shame. When Death demands we give an accounting, naked we present our lives in bundles. See how much these weigh, we tell him, refusing to deny what we have lived. Everything that is touched by light loves the light. We the stubborn-as-grass, we who reel at the taste of sap and want our spirits cleansed, will not betray the weeds, snake, or crippled mare. Never leave behind what the light shone on.
The Sacraments of Desire
Cherish your vision; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart. The beauty that forms in your mind. The loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. If you remain true to them, your world will at last be built.
Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.
Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment - the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
The book of Nature is the book of Fate. She turns the gigantic pages - leaf after leaf, never returning one.
Nature is the art of God.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.
Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day...
To die completely, a person must not only forget, but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.
We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God's.
One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.
Gone is the builder's temple,
Crumbled into the dust;
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust,
But the temple the teacher builded
Will last while the ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child's immortal soul.
The young do not know enough to be prudent; and, therefore, they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation.
Childhood candor... shall I ever find you again?
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.
It is the privilege of adults to give advice. It is the privilege of youth not to listen. Both avail themselves of their privileges and the world rocks along.
If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
There is nothing more serious than a child at play.
Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.
The Wheel of Life
The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
There's nothing like a gleam of humor to reassure you that a fellow human being is ticking inside a strange face.
Exit into History
Friends are lights in winter; the older the friend, the brighter the light.
It's a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
The joy of life is made up of obscure and seemingly mundane victories that gives us our own small satisfactions.
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
Beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.
Were this world an endless pain, and by sailing eastward we could forever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage.
How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Out of Solitude
Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.
We must learn not to disassociate the airy flower from the earthy root, for the flower that is cut off from its root fades, and its seeds are barren, whereas the root, secure in mother earth, can produce flower after flower and bring their fruit to maturity.
We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.
People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.
We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.