Quiet Thoughts
(Life, Summer, Home, Childhood, Friends)

To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand
and eternity in an hour

William Blake

Well I believe in the soul... the cock... the pussy... the small of awoman's back... the hangin' curveball... high fiber... good scotch... that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent overrated crap... I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a Constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Goodnight.

Crash Davis

Have you ever wondered why, wondered why the night sky,
Is always so dark and sinister?
With a few clouds here and a few clouds there,
And the moon, with the light it administers.
Maybe it's the darkness in our souls that fills all hollows and holes,
Darker than the darkest empty space.
Or maybe it's just there to see, not to be pondered about by you and me,
So let it simply Rest in Peace.

Charles Edward Jaggard

Peeping through my keyhold I see within the range of only about 30 percent of the light that comes from the sun; the rest is infrared and some little ultraviolet, perfectly apparent to many animals, but invisible to me. A nightmare network of ganglia, charged and firing without my knowledge, cuts and splices what I see, editing it for my brain. Donald E. Carr points out that the sense impressions of one-celled animals are not edited for the brian: 'This is philosophically interesting in a rather mournful way, since it means that only the simplest animals perceive the universe as it is.

Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.

George Bernard Shaw

"Is it true what the old man had said, that everything evil begins with an forgotten longing?"
"No, it begins even earlier, with a disappointed hope."

(contributed by Jochen Staerk)

Books say, "She did this because." Life says, "She did this." Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised that some people prefer books. Books make sense. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own.

Julian Barnes

The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.

H.G. Wells
The Discovery of the Future

When the leaves burn summer ends. Summers gone, you wasted every day.

Buffalo Tom

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Sipping a cup of tea, going for a morning walk, doing your work - all these small activities make up your living. And each part, each moment of living, is meaningful. You just have to be there; otherwise, who is going to experience the meaning? People go on drinking tea, but they never are there; their minds are wandering all over the world.

Osho Talks - Meaning of Life

We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

The sky is a huge dome of hard material arched over the flat earth. On the outside there is light. In the dome there are a large number of small holes, and through these holes you can see the light from the outside when it's dark. And through these holes the spirits of the dead can pass into the heavenly regions. The way to heaven leads over a narrow bridge which spans an enormous abyss. The spirits that were already in heaven light torches to guide the feet of the new arrivals. These torches are called the northern lights.

Inuit legend
Way North magazine

Coruscate, coruscate, globule vivific.

(Twinkle, twinkle, little star)

I am never less alone than when alone.
(Minus solum, cum quam solus esset.)

Scipio Africanus

In describing my experience I am recording not what happened or what exists, but how I perceive it. In doing so I define myself. As I create my diary, I create myself.

Tristine Rainer

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood.

Sam Ewing

October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.

John Sinor
San Diego Union - Tribune

Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.

Orson Rega Card

Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.

Russell Baker

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

Mark Twain

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You can be more alone with other people than you are by yourself. Even with people you love.

Mrs Muir
The Ghost and Mrs Muir

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

Frank Herbert
Dune Chronicles

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.

Bruce Barton

Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.

Bertolt Brecht

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.

old Indian saying

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

Danny Kaye

Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.

Robert M. Pirsig
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.

William McGurn
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.

Norbet Platt
President of Montblanc

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.

Jeanne Marie Laskas
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.

Anna Quindlen
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.

Henry David Thoreau

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.

Roger Zelazny

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.

Charles de Lint
The Conjure Man, Dreams Unfooted

Music is the soundtrack of your life.

Dick Clark

Good communications is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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.

Freya Stark

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.

Logan Pearsall Smith

The need to write comes from the need to make sense of one's life and discover one's usefulness.

John Cheever

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.

Carl Sandburg
Poetry Considered

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!

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Those who are affect by music can be divided into two classes: those who hear the spiritual meaning, and those who hear the material sound. There are good and evil results in each case.

Each of us wages a private battle each day between the grand fantasies we have for ourselves and what actually happens.

Cathy Guisewite

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.

Perfect Health

The Autumn Willow knew what the Storm did not; that the power to endure harm outlives the power to inflict it.

(contributed by FaLLeN BiRd)

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.

an emotional French Soccer Semifinal Hero, Lillian Thuram
on his father appearing on television wearing a shirt with his son's No. 15

(contributed by Claude Meama-Kajue)

One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.

Gail Godwin

There is a time, when passing through a light, that you walk in your own shadow.

Keri Hulme
The Bone People

Listen to other people's opinions, for as by-standers, they see things more clearly than you would. But never let anyone tell you what is right, or what is wrong. Just be sure you get all the facts right, and make your own decisions.

It is infinitely better to blame yourself for a wrong decision, than to blame yourself for letting another person make that decision for you.

Jason Q.

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.

Joseph Epstein

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.

Vincent Lombardi

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.

Jelauddin Rumi
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.

Victor Hugo

... 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.

Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Things are changing
But nothing changes
And still there are changes

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.

Michael Johnson
Slaying the Dragon

The land looks like a fairytale.

Ronals Amundsen
first man to reach the South Pole, 1911

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...

Leonardo da Vinci

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.

Rita Mae Brown

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.

William Least Heat Moon
Blue Highways

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.

Father X. Exorcist
Church of Notre Dame, Paris

To rid ourselves of our shadows - who we are - we must step into either total light or total darkness.

Jeremy Preston Johnson

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.

Tom Mullen
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.

Anthony Burgess
The Wanting Seed

(contributed by chip_baker@hotmail.com)

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.

Bertrand Russell

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.

Art Buchwald

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...

Loreena McKennitt
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.

Edwin Chan

Believe in miracles. But do not expect them.

Wrongfully do men lament the flight of time, accusing it of being too swift, and not perceiving that its period is sufficient. But good memory wherewith nature has endowed us causes everything long past to seem present.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Remember the high board at the swimming pool? After days of looking up at it you finally climbed the wet steps to the platform. From there, it was higher than ever. There were only two ways down: the steps to defeat of the dive to victory. You stood on the edge, shivering in the hot sun, deathly afraid. At last you leaned too far forward, it was too late for retreat, and you dived. The high board was conquered, and you spent the rest of the day diving. Climbing a thousand high boards, we demolish fear, and turn into human beings.

Richard Bach
A Gift of Wings

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

John Lubbock

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.

Henri-Frederic Amiel

You gain strength, courage & confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Japanese proverb

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

Tad Williams

Life is a journey. Perhaps we may be more or less pointed towards a general direction, but whether we pave that road with diamonds and gold or just plain dirt and cement is up to us.

Alex Tan

At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving.

Woodrow Wilson

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.


Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first time or the last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

Betty Smith

Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy.

Robert Anthony

I used to sit on the banks with a raft and watch the water roll lazily by. One day I pushed my raft into the shallows of the water and found the water moved swifter than I thought, but my raft was actually a little rowboat. Then, after some time I rowed my little boat into deeper water.There were great storms, mighty winds, tremendous waves, and sometimes I felt so alone. But I have noticed my little rowboat is now a mighty ship manned by my friends and loved ones, and beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams always double after a storm.Now, I could never go back and sit on the bank, in fact, I search for deeper water. Such is life when lived.

B D Gulledge

(contributed by FFASA)

Sometimes it seems like there are too many roads... and you are not sure that you will ever find the right one. But that's only because we all make our own story... and exploring is how each new adventure is begun.

(contributed by Sophie)

Everyone is an explorer. How could you possibly live your life looking at a door and not open it?

Robert D. Ballard

Our lives are like bubbles in a small pool of water. Once in a while, and only a few times in our lives, someone or something comes along and splashes the water, dispersing the bubbles. Our lives are disturbed, our beliefs are shakened, some of our dreams die. However, the bubbles will come together again eventually, as we all recover from our pains and sorrows. And life goes on. But the shape of the original pool of bubbles will never again be the same.

Jason Q.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.

Toni Morrison

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.

Edith Wharton

Most men live their lives in quiet desperation. Break forth and find new ground. Don't let it be said that you came to the end of your life and found out that you had not truly lived. Enjoy life and feast on the marrow from the bone of living.

Thomas Maslan

(contributed by W Vallen Graham)

It's scary sometimes when you consider that the smallest decision you make can totally change your life. A single choice and you might be hitching a ride down a totally different highway of life. And the disturbing part of all this is that you'll never know for sure what your life could be, would be, or should be. Gambles we all must take, but sometimes, the stakes are simply too high.

Jason Q.

Life isn't about the breaths we take, it's about the moments that take our breath away.

I looked upon a clock to find the truth. The hours were passing like ivory chess figures, striking piano notes, and the minutes raced on wires mounted like tin soldiers. Hours like tall ebony women with gongs between their legs, tolling continuously so that I could not count them. I heard the rolling of my heart-beats; I heard the footsteps of my dreams, and the beat of time was lost among them like the face of truth.

House of Incest

In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.

Children of the Albatross

Anais Nin

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost
The Road Not Taken

In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly re-spawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.

John Steinbeck
East of Eden

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.

Norman Maclean
A River Runs Through It

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

Jack London

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl.

James Matthew Barrie
Peter Pan

Every time a child says "I don't believe in fairies," there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

James Matthew Barrie
Peter Pan

One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey; I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. I am then never less alone than when alone.

William Hazlitt
On Going a Journey

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see each other whole against the sky.

Rainer Rilke

Some people have a large circle of friends while others have only friends that they like.

George Santayana

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby.

Ruth E. Renkel

Due to circumstances beyond your control, you are master of your fate and captain of your soul.

I'm not prepared to sacrifice my being engaged in the world for just any relationship.

Loreena Mckennitt

Of all the gods, Beauty is the most heartless, and the mirror is her sword.

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Japanese proverb

Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out a candle, and blows in a fire.

Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.

Michael Landon

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

Nelson Mandela
A Long Walk to Freedom

This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned in his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy.

Mark Twain

If we hadn't our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries - the ice-storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top - ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold-the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong.

Mark Twain

God's finger touched him, and he slept.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; who at worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! -
For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting, and our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating funeral marches to the grave.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Psalm of Life

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw

Days, when the ball of our vision
Had eagles that flew unabashed to sun;
When the graps on the bow was decision,
And arrow and hand and eye were one;
When the Pleasures, like waves to a swimmer,
Came heaving for rapture ahead! -
Invoke them, they dwindle, they glimmer
As lights over mounds of the dead.

George Meredith
Ode to Youth in Memory

Fact of the matter is, there is no hip world, there is no straight world. There's a world, you see, which has people in it who believe in a variety of different things. Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence.

Frank Zappa

The true object of all human life is play. Life is a task garden, heaven is a playground.

(contributed by E. T.)

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.

Paul Tornier

(contributed by cyndi)

Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?

Friedrich Nietzsche

Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you.

Mae West

If you begin to live life looking for the God that is all around you, every moment becomes a prayer.

Frank Bianco

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.

Edith Wharton

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.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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.

C. S. Lewis

Perhaps you've only grown up when you can bear not being understood.

Marian Gold
from Alphaville

One stops being a child when one realizes that telling one's trouble does not make it better.

Cesare Pavese

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.

Linda Gregg
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.

James Allen

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.

Jorge Luis Borges

The book of Nature is the book of Fate. She turns the gigantic pages - leaf after leaf, never returning one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

Victor Hugo

Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.

Henri Frederic Amiel

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...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To die completely, a person must not only forget, but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.

Samuel Butler

We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God's.

Henry Beecher Ward

One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.

Agatha Christie

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.

Hattie Vise Hall

The young do not know enough to be prudent; and, therefore, they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

Childhood candor... shall I ever find you again?

Leo Tolstoy

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.

Oscar Wilde

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.

D. Sutten

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.

Carl Jung

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.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
The Wheel of Life

The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

(contributed by Veronica)

There's nothing like a gleam of humor to reassure you that a fellow human being is ticking inside a strange face.

Eva Hoffman
Exit into History

Friends are lights in winter; the older the friend, the brighter the light.

Roger Rosenblatt

It's a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

W. Somerset Maugham

The joy of life is made up of obscure and seemingly mundane victories that gives us our own small satisfactions.

Billy Joel

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.

Oscar Wilde

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.

Herman Melville
Moby Dick

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.

Barry Lopez
Arctic Dreams

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.

Henri Nouwen
Out of Solitude

Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.

Henry Ward Beecher

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.

Stephen Covey

People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.

Linda Ellerbee

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.

Andy Rooney

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.

Stacia Tauscher

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.


I stood within the city disinterred;
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
Of spirits passng through the streets;
and heard the Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals
Thrill through those roofless halls;
The oracular thunder penetrating shook
The listening soul in my suspended blood.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to Naples

(contributed by Bethanie)

I can believe a miracle because I can raise my own arm. I can believe a miracle because I can remember. I can believe it because I can speak and be understood by you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life has a self-correcting mechanism - things that we once thought were terrible have a way of becoming stepping stones for new discoveries.

Raymond Soh

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I asked, "Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true of false test?" Then a voice comes to me out of the dark, and says, "We hate to tell you this, but life is a thousand word essay."

Charlie Brown, Peanuts
Charles Schulz

Evils in the journey of life are like the hills which alarm travelers on their road. Both appear great at a distance, but when we approach them we find they are far less insurmountable than we had conceived.


In watermelon sugar, the deeds were done and done again, as my life is done in watermelon sugar.

Richard Brautigan

(contributed by Jonathan P)

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.

George Moore

The sight of home looks best after you've traveled hundreds of miles to get away from it.

Sam Ewing

We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams,
And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams,
The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore,
For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

Tom Kimmel & Michael Lille

It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.

Joyce Maynard

I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

James Kavanaugh
Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

Dr. Theodore Dreissel (Dr. Suess)

We meet on the common ground of an uncommon age and share out our gifts of dark and light, good and bad, simple joy and not so simple sorrow.

Ray Bradbury

(contributed by Brandon)

You cannot learn to fly by flying. First you must learn to walk, to run, to climb, to dance.

Friedrich Nietzsche

I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid strangers in their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood or the populous streets in which they have played, remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something more permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Perhaps some deep-rooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history. Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.

W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

(contributed by Kristina)

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Judith S. Martin

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?

Robert Browning
Andrea Del Sarto

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Pity it is we drowse too soon
Pity it is we fall asleep
Ere our song encompass the height
Ere our hand inherit the deep

Kahlil Gibran

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life. And not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.

Thomas Merton

I hold on to the blissful notion that the journey is worthwhile, and I tip-toe across the chasm with a song and a smile.

Harry Chapin

Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.

Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

(contributed by Liv)

Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

Doug Larson

When I was a Boy Scout, we played a game when new Scouts joined the troop. We lined up chairs in a pattern, creating an obstacle course through which the new Scouts, blindfolded, were supposed to maneuver. The Scoutmaster gave them a few moments to study the pattern before our adventure began. But as soon as the victims were blindfolded, the rest of us quietly removed the chairs. I think life is like this game. Perhaps we spend our lives avoiding obstacles we have created for ourselves and in reality exist only in our minds. We're afraid to apply for that job, take violin lessons, learn a foreign language, call an old friend, write our Congressman - whatever it is that we would really like to do but don't because of personal obstacles. Don't avoid any chairs until you run smack into one. And if you do, at least you'll have a place to sit down.

Learn to laugh at your troubles and you'll never run out of things to laugh at.

Lyn Karol

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.

Robert Frost

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.

Walt Whitman

The best things in life aren't things.

Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarised in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courgae and constancy, and the greatets of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.

Walt Disney

[I]sn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?

Richard Dawkins

Enjoy... all the days of this meaningless life... -- all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 9:9-10

Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.

Sherlock Holmes

Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life.

Wilma Rudolph

Be careful how you live; you will be the only Bible some people ever read.

William J. Toms

Crayons can take you to more places than a starship.

For the creation of a masterwork of literature, two powers must concur - the power of the man, and the power of the moment.

For the past few years, my life has been turned upside down, inside out, and I can say that I'm pretty much fed-up and had enough of my share, not with life, but with society and people.

I've slowed down and taken a backseat and I'm watching other people's lives zoom pass while I stand motionless in time. It's pretty amazing when you view the world from a different angle. Not eveything is good in life, but not everything is bad either. I've learnt that I cannot change the world, and the world will not change for me.

Jason Q.

I didn't believe in fate. I do now, to a certain extent. We might have independent thought and can make our own decisions, but we're still largely controlled (or limited) by the world around us. However, if you look at it from a different light, you'd realise that YOU might be someone else's fate. You might be the one determinant that controls the life of someone else.

Jason Q.

Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self, in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which one's nakedness can always be felt, and, sometimes, discerned. This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes.

James Baldwin

...a memorable picture sometimes overwhelms a thousand statistics. When a little girl... fell into a Texas well, the attention of hundreds of millions of people worldwide was riveted on her three-day rescue. During those three days, more than 100,000 invisible children... died of preventable starvation, diarrhea, and disease.

David G. Meyers

The meaning of life is that it stops.

Franz Kafka

I've always thought that the most extraordinary special effect you could do is to buy a child at the moment of its birth, sit it on a little chair and say, "You'll have three score years and ten," and take a photograph every minute. "And we'll watch you and photograph you for ten years after you die, then we'll run the film." Wouldn't that be extraordinary? We'd watch this thing get bigger and bigger, and flower to become extraordinary and beautiful, then watch it crumble, decay, and rot.

Clive Barker

Some artists transform the sun with a yellow spot. Other artists transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Pablo Picasso

To be born in imbecility, in the midst of pain and crisis; to be the plaything of ignorance, error, need, sickness, wickedness, and passions; to return step by step to imbecility, from the time of lisping to that of doting; to live among knaves and charlatans of all kinds; to die between one man who takes your pulse and another who troubles your head; never to know where you come from, why you come and where you are going! That is what is called the most important gift of our parents and nature. Life.

Denis Diderot

Our expense is almost all for conformity. It is for cake that we run in debt; 'tis not the intellect, not the heart, not beauty, not worship, that costs so much.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world. There is nothing that is an accident. You are a special combination for a purpose-and don't let them tell you otherwise, even if they tell you that purpose is an illusion. (Live an illusion if you have to). You are that combination so that you can do what is essential for you to do. Don't ever believe that you have nothing to contribute. The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry. And only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours.

Leo Buscaglia

(contributed by mac)

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

D. H. Lawrence

Accept life for what it offers. Don't deny it because of what it takes.

(contributed by Tu Nguyen)

Every man knows when his life began... If I did not exist in the past, why should I, or could I, exist in the future? ... The purpose of man is like the purpose of the pollywog-to wiggle along as far as he can without dying, or, to hang onto life until death takes him.

Clarence Darrow

Now I beg of you to tell me whether I must love a human being simply because he exists or resembles me and whether for those reasons alone I must suddenly prefer him to myself?

Marquis de Sade

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm but to add color to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore

If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave...

Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms

Life's a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

John Michael Montgomery

All day the darkness and the cold
Upon my heart have lain
Like shadows on the winter sky
Like frost upon the pane

John Greenleaf Whittier

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you sometimes find 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.

Winnie the Pooh

(contributed by Sage)

Life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon... and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight.

Carly Simon

(contributed by Sage)

I know my name
it limps across blank pages
crutched with a pen.

Matt Berry

Two children with wool socks
and a waxed floor
couldn't make this day better.

Matt Berry

Break up the foundations of existence and build anew. There are many books on stark reality... about the disease of existence. Without denying that there are such existences but far from musing on death, I assert that a human can steer toward a higher fate, a more valuable conclusion... and, risking a trite expression, live a happier life. Perhaps this is the soft underbelly of a book exposed to the modern world: to say that one can be happier and more valuable without a "beyond" ... that one can not only learn to be content with reality, but can aggressively pursue greater and greater joy.

Matt Berry

The "Good Life" is not the destination but the road, and a very narrow and winding road at that. Always just ahead we find a sharp turn toward a need so petty that we refuse to slow down for it. And where were we going anyway? The question itself leads us astray. As we admitted before, this is merely a road. But if we resign ourselves to a road without a known destination, what striving toward will keep us on this road? ... or at least allow us to cross it as many times as possible? ... for we cross the road so rarely and haphazardly that it seems inconsequential to the journey. But now I am getting ahead of myself again. Slower, slower... not faster.

Matt Berry

What I'm looking for is a blessing that's not in disguise.

Kitty O'Neil Collins

Some say the world will end in fire,
some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if the world should perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate,
to say that for destruction,
ice is also great,
and would suffice.

Robert Frost

All young monkeys are inquisitve, but the intensity of their curiosity tends to fade as they become adult. With us, the infantile inquisitiveness is strengthened and stretched out into our mature years. ...As children grow older their exploratory tendencies sometimes reach alarming proportions and adults can be heard referring to 'a group of youngsters behaving like wild animals'. But the reverse is actually the case. If the adults took the trouble to study the way in which adult wild animals really do behave, they would find that they are the wild animals. They are the ones who are trying to limit exploration and who are selling out to the cosiness of sub-human conservativism. Luckily for the species, there are always enough adults who retain their juvenile inventiveness and curiosity and who enable populations to progress and expand.

Desmond Morris

I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything, and many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit, but if I can't figure it out, then I go on to something else. But I don't have to know an answer. I don't have to...I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.

Richard Phillips Feynman

When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of space of which I am ignorant, and which knows me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there, why now rather than then.

Blaise Pascal

I was angry with my friend I told my wrath my wrath did end; I was angry with my foe I told it not my wrath did grow.

William Blake

Nature has a funny way of breaking what does not bend.

Innocence Maintained

I love this world as a dead world. And always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, and all one craves for is a warm face, the warmth and wonder of the living heart.

Albert Camus

Time passes in moments. Moments which, rushing past us, define the path of a life even as they fix upon its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path? To see the reasons why all things happen. To consider whether the path we have taken is of our own making, or simply one into which we've drifted with eyes closed. But what if we were to stop? To take stock of each precious moment before it passes? Might we see the endless forks in the roads that shape our lives? And... seeing the choices we've made... choose another path?

(Scully) Gillian Anderson
The X-Files, All Things

(contributed by nfitch17@aol.com)

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. It's hard to make strangers care about the good things in your life.

Stephen King

Do the impossible, because almost everyone has told me my ideas are merely fantasies.

Howard Hughes

The aim of life is to live -- and to live means to be aware, joyously, wondrously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

Henry Miller

The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to discover places no one has ever been before. Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties; For peculiarity breed contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they'll say it was obvious all along.You have two choices in life: you can dissolve into the mainstream or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be .

I thought, when I came upon her, that I was seizing hold of life... Instead I lost hold of life completely. I reached out for something to attach myself to - and I found nothing. But in reaching out, in the effort to grasp, to attach myself, left high and dry as I was, I nevertheless found something I had not looked for - myself.

Hery Miller
Tropic of Capricorn

(contributed by Greg Robinson)

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them or not,
Or don't you really know?

But here's another question, which
Requires a different view --
If you could meet your ancestors
Would they be proud of you?

The Book of Strattons

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the differences between what things are and what they out to be.

William Hazlitt

What a poor, impoverished world it would be that had no weeds to defy man's narrow idea of order or to suggest new possibilities to our too-lmited minds. Who can calculate the strength we receive when we see and identify with a dandelion growing from a crack in the sidewalk to bloom brightly amid adversity?

It makes me feel that I should be capable of just a bit more, when I see what weeds accomplish on what they receive.

Kay Haugaard
Pacific Discovery

In three word I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.

Robert Frost

Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Life's Little Instruction Book

What do I want to take home from my summer holiday? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analysing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace.

Ellen Goodman
Washington Post

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.


(contributed by Shelly)

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince

(contributed by Don)

The world is a frail pinwheel of simplistic dreams, aspirations that will never pan out. That doesn't matter, dreams and aspirations are what we get up in the morning for. The simple wish that maybe this day will be better than the last is what gets us through each day.

Newt Grunwich

The moonlight - like a celestial thief, stealing the light of the sun and masquerading it as it's own.

Patrick Goins

Stray dogs have a patron saint. His name is boy.

Greg Robinson

(contributed by Neil Lowe)

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self Reliance

Sometimes the coldest days, also happen to be the clearest.

Steve H.

There is a big misunderstanding about the idea of naturalness. Most people who come to us believing in some freedom or naturalness, but their understanding is what we call [heretical naturalness] ... a kind of "let-alone policy" or sloppiness... For a plant or stone to be natural is no problem. But for us there is some problem, indeed a big problem. To be natural is something we must work on.

Lao Tsu
Tao Te Ching

(contributed by Lucas Shinkovich)

Hatred seems to operate the same glands as love: it even produces the same actions. If we had not been taught how to interpret the story of the Passion, would we have been able to say from their actions alone whether it was the jealous Judas or the cowardly Peter who loved Christ?

Maurice Bendrix
Graham Greene
The End of the Affair

(contributed by Maggie)

Laura and Johnny walk down the halls together. Alone, everyday, as close as two people can be. Sharing laughs, good times, the've become the best of friends - so far, inseperable. The school wouldn't be the same without them if they ever were apart. The special gleam in Laura's eyes said so, but in two months, a lot will happen. In two months, Laura plans to graduate and in two months, Johnny will be born.

Monica Burke

(contributed by Heather)

We cling to those truths that keep us sane.

The X-Files

In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.

Anne Frank

The world laughs in flowers.

Henry David Thoreau

If we hadn't our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries -- the ice-storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top -- ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires; which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold -- the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong!

Mark Twain

I see rock music as the best example of modernday storytelling that exists in our society. Songs are narratives that help the listeners cope with the reality of life that can't be easily spoken about in everyday conversation. It is a hugely powerful process of helping people find themselves through music.

Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind

(contributed by Kathryn Bullerdick)

We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.

Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity!

Henry David Thoreau

(contributed by Eli)

I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different.

T. S. Eliot

I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it: we must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and soul. It may be that we are doomed, that there is no hope for us, any of us, but if that is so then let us set up a last agonizing, bloodcurdling howl, a screech of defiance, a war whoop! Away with lamentation! Away with elegies and dirges! Away with biographies and histories, and libraries and museums! Let the dead eat the dead. Let us living ones dance about the rim of the crater, a last expiring dance. But a dance!

Henry Miller
Tropic of Cancer

Perhaps I have not lined his portrait too clearly. But if he exists, if only for the reason that I have imagined him to be. He came from the blue and returns to the blue. He has not perished, he is not lost. Neither will he be forgotten.

Henry Miller
The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder

We are all guilty of crime the great crime of not living life to the full.
But we are all potentially free.
We can stop thinking of what we have failed to do and do whatever lies within our power.
What those powers that are in us may be no one has truly dared to imagine.
That they are infinite we will realize the day we admit to ourselves that imagination is everything.
Imagination is the voice of daring.

Henry Miller

Lend and borrow to the maximum-of both books and money. But especially books, for books represent infinitely more than money. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.

Henry Miller
The Books in My Life

I understand now.

I want to be written about. This is different from or, in fact, irrelevant to wanting a story of one's own life. When I say 'story', I had meant 'to be written' and seen apart.

Life would always be life if you lived it through the way you want to. It's only fascinating when you cannot choose your elements, chronology, climaxes and ending. I want to fascinate people so that I fascinate myself. Or perhaps, the only way I feel life lived, is when I feel fascinated with my story. How could I if I could predict the next act?

A protagonist would never be able to read his own story the way 'its' readers read him or her. I am the actor and the writer, that makes a biography or a memoir, doesn't it? Hello, we are looking for a story here, right? S.T.O.R.Y.

It's always more fascinating inviting God to fade into you.
A paradox that consumes you while you live, but lives only because you do.

Juliet Pang
Act One

I have often wondered how anyone who does not read, by which I mean daily, having some book going all the time, can make it through life. Indeed if I were required to make a sharp division in the very nature of people, I would be tempted to make it there: readers and nonreaders of books… It is astonishing how the presence or absence of this habit so consistently characterizes an individual in other respects; it is as though it were a kind of barometer of temperament, of personality, even of character. Aside from that, for me it constituted something like sanity insurance.

William Brinkley
The Last Ship

And the end of all our searching shall be to return to the place where we started and know it for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

There are words I have never really understoood, such as "sin". Yet I believe these men have never sinned against lfe. For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implaceble grandeur of this life.

Albert Camus
Summer in Algiers, The Myth of Sisyphus

(contributed by evan)

Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even get the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand! And then another hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection, and another hundred again to get the idea that our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth... we choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome...

Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

(contributed by aliya/creather)

There is no such thing as an average person, but on the same token there are distinctive similarities between people: air breathing, food eating, ten fingered people. I guess I am one of them, somewhat average, however I am not the one to be discounted. Nor am I the one to be celebrated for that matter. Who knows what they are worth or are capable of, I suppose it's a good thing that we don't.

Dr Generico

(contributed by aliya/creather)

One of the sources of pride in being a human being is the ability to bear present frustrations in the interests of longer purposes.

Helen Merrell Lynd

There are people, who, when meet their happy rival, are ready to turn their back to all the good that is in him, and to see only bad things; but still there are people who, in contrary, most of all are willing to find all that good qualities by which he concured them, and with a pain in a heart they are searching only for the good.

Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina

(contributed by aliya/creather)

Eternity takes back its own, Our bodies stirred these waters briefly, danced with a certain intoxication before the love of life and self, dealt with a few strange ideas, then submitted to the instruments of Time. What can we say of this? I occurred. I am not... yet, I occurred.

Frank Herbert (Paul Atreides)

(contributed by Fallen)

[But] you don't do it. Because guys like us, Red, we know there's a third choice. An alternative to staying simon-pure or bathing in the filth and the slime. It's the alternative that grown-ups all over the world pick. You balance off your walk through the hog-wallow against what it gains you. You choose the lesser of two evils and try to keep your good intentions in front of you. And I guess you judge how well you're doing by how well you sleep at night... and what your dreams are like.

Stephen King
The Shawshank Redemption

I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep them on all the beaches of the world. Perhaps you've seen it.

Steven Wright

(contributed by Randi)

Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go, it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.

Alice Swaim

(contributed by Areej Obeid)

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science cripped. Thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in a sea of time.

Barbara Tuchman

Four things are destroyed by the other fours: kindness by ingratitude, strength (of government) by crime, power by power and human love by arrogance.

Abdallah Ansari (Persian poet)

Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.

Bob Pierce, Founder of Samaritan's Purse

(contributed by Michelle Guillemaud)

The darkness is at its deepest. Just before the sunrise.


(contributed by Pooja)

You know... when you are sad you love the sunsets.

Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince

I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen. It's scary to think about. Point of reference again. When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you've got two new people.

John Steinbeck
The Winter of Our Discontent

(contributed by Denise)

Most of us see life through a cloudy lens, trying to see the positive and avoid the negative, never knowing that it is the two forces together that make life worth living. Life without the positive is merely pain and life without the negative is forever dillusion.

Patrick Goins, 3 Days

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