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Quotes

Today, we’re snowed in, and despite this, the birds are out, especially the cardinals and blue jays, little blips of red and blue against all that white snow.

I think I shall share some quotes I’ve collected in my journal.  It’s always fun to read what someone else finds interesting, don’t you think?  Although my treasures may not be your treasures.  So, here we go.

It is a painful thing
To look at your own trouble and know
That you yourself and no one else has made it.  –Sophocles, Ajax, c. 450 B.C.

If you do not ask yourself what it is you know, you will go on listening to others and change will not come because you will not hear your own truth.  –Saint Bartholomew

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.  –Albert Camus

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain. –Emily Dickinson

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  –The Dalai Lama

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. –Bertrand Russell

It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.  –George Christopher Lichtenberg

I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world.  Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.  –Yehuda Bauer

We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his days work at Auschwitz in the morning.  –George Steiner

Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels but they live like men.  –Samuel Johnson

Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.  –Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life–happiness, freedom, and peace of mind–are always attained by giving them to someone else.  –Peyton C. March

There is a wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.  –George Santayana

In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.  –Czeslaw Milosz

Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice? –Lillian Hellman

Why, I say, should I ever have bitterly blamed [my body] for such trifles as I have blamed it for: for having too much flesh in this spot, too little muscle in that, for producing this wrinkle, that sag, that gray hair, or this texture?  Dear body!  My dear body!  It has gone about its incessant business with very little thanks.  –Janet Burroway

Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts.  –Madame de Stael

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.  –Louise Erdrich

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. –Albert Richard Smith

People who write obscurely are either unskilled in writing or up to mischief.  –Peter Medawar

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present.  There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.  –William James

There you have it, from me to you.  A literary gift for a snowy day.

[Post image: One of our resident cardinals resting in an oak tree.  Can you see him?]

One Comment

  1. […] in digging through 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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