It’s no mistake that several of my posts in the last week have been about waiting and playing.  Can you tell ideas are percolating?  It’s true.  They have to simmer a while before I can put an outline down…then put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard).  I’m still stuck on bits of that second novel…

So, today, for your percolation pleasure, I’m giving you some of my favorite quotes from a recent stash I’ve just tucked into my journal.

“We are talking far too much about God these days, and what we say is often facile.  In our democratic society, we think that the concept of God should be easy and that religion ought to be readily accessible to anybody.  ‘That book was really hard!’ readers have told me reproachfully, shaking their heads in faint reproof.  ‘Of course it was!’ I want to reply.  ‘It was about God.’”  –Karen Armstrong, in The Case for God (Knopf)

“Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil.  My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.”  –Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.”  –John Locke

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”  –Frank Zappa

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Plenty of kind, decent, caring people have no religious beliefs, and they act out of the goodness of their hearts.  Conversely, plenty of people who profess to be religious, even those who worship regularly, show no particular interest in the world beyond themselves.”  –John Danforth

“…In fashioning a work of art we are by no means free, we do not choose how we shall make it but…it preexists us and therefore we are obliged, since it is both necessary and hidden, to do what we should have to do if it were a law of nature–that is to say, to discover it.”  –Marcel Proust

“One is frequently asked whether the process [creative process] becomes easier, with the passage of time, and the reply is obvious: Nothing gets easier with the passage of time, not even the passing of time.”  –Joyce Carol Oates

“I believe that the main thing in beginning a novel is to feel, not that you can write it, but that it exists on the far side of a gulf, which words can’t cross: that it’s to be pulled through only in a breathless anguish.  Now when I sit down to write an article, I have a net of words which will come down on the idea certainly in an hour or so.  But a novel…to be good should seem, before one writes it, something unwriteable; but only visible; so that for nine months one lives in despair, and only when one has forgotten what one meant, does the book seem tolerable.”  –Virginia Woolf

“We all have the power to speak up–and out.  A voice can get a party started, shout down opponents, or lead a country.”  –Anna Deavere Smith

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in.  Some of us just go one god further.”  –Richard Dawkins

“Affliction, like the iron-smith, shapes as it smites.”  –Christian Bovee

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.  The really great men must, I think, have a great sadness on earth.”  –Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.”  –Clarence Darrow

Have a lovely weekend, dear reader.

[Post image: Freshly Roasted by c_francis at stock.xchng]

One Comment

  1. […] other personal word treasures, you can see my previous “quotes” posts–here, here, and here.  Quotes from Rilke here.  And quotes on writing […]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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