Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Encouragement over Criticism

"Sir Walter Scott was a trouble to all his teachers and so was Lord Byron. Thomas Edison, as everyone knows, was considered a dullard in school. Pestalozzi, who later became Italy's foremost educator, was regarded as wild and foolish by his school authorities.

Oliver Goldsmith was considered almost an imbecile. The Duke of Wellington failed in many of his classes. Among famous writers, Burns, Balzac, Boccaccio, and Dumas made poor academic records. Flaubert, who went on to become France's most impeccable writer, found it extremely difficult to learn to read. Thomas Aquinas, who had the finest scholastic mind of all Catholic thinkers, was actually dubbed "the dumb ox" at school. Linnaeus and Volta did badly in their studies. Newton was last in his class. Sheridan, the English playwright, wasn't able to stay in one school more than a year."

-Sydney Harris taken from here

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Friday, August 26, 2011


"The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. 
Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where 
it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you 
and tend the grass wherever you may be."
--Robert Fulgham

Thursday, August 25, 2011


“The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.”

One Day, David Nicholls


i, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.

anais nin

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


"When you do what you love the universe conspires on your behalf and it becomes effortless. When you're on the wrong path life chases you out of it."
-Jillian Michaels/Paul Coehlo


"among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and sickened by human behavior. you're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. you'll learn from them--if you want to. just as someday, if you have something of offer, someone will learn something from you. it's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. and it isn't education. it's history. it's poetry."

the catcher in the rye
j. d. salinger

Monday, August 22, 2011


you cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness. 

jonathan safran foer, extremely loud and incredibly close

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real, you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-The Velveteen Rabbit

Friday, August 19, 2011


"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out 
how far one can go."-T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


“It takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about.”

Albert Camus


It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against, 
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,

you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known. 

So Much Happiness | Naomi Shihab Nye

Monday, August 15, 2011


Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson


August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time. -Sylvia Plath

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hap Hap

“The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.”

William Phelps


i don't ask you to love me always like this, 
but i ask you to remember. 
somewhere inside me 
there'll always be the person 
i am tonight.

f. scott fitzgerald


"In the end, I received 60 rejections forThe Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60? Three weeks later, Susan sold The Help to Amy Einhorn Books.
The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.
And if your friends make fun of you for chasing your dream, remember—just lie."
-Kathryn Stockett via Louise Plummer

Chieko Okazaki

“I do think we should struggle for understanding just as hard as we can. It’s not showing a lack of faith to say, ‘I don’t understand this. Tell me how. Explain why.’ But at the same time, we also need to remind ourselves — sometimes right out loud — that, as the Lord explained to Isaiah: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:9-9). We need to accept and be patient with our lack of understanding. It’s a superb and glowing faith to say, ‘I don’t understand this and I don’t like it very much, but I accept it. Show me how to live with it, how to deal with it.’ The limitations of mortality are so real and so personal that I’m sure one of the things we’re going to do in the next life is laugh and laugh.”
– “Behold Thy Handmaiden: The Answer of Faith,” chapter 13, Disciples
“Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your other obligations. Be wise during intensive seasons of your life. Cherish your agency, and don’t give it away casually. Don’t compare yourself to others — nearly always this will make you despondent. Don’t accept somebody else’s interpretation of how you should be spending your time. Make the best decision you can and then evaluate it to see how it works. Practice saying, ‘I feel good about my decision to . . .’ and then fill in the blank with whatever you decided. If you find yourself saying, ‘I should feel good about this decision, but . . .’ then perhaps you need to reevaluate that decision.”
– Lighten Up! , “Seeking the Light of Christ,” Chapter 14

Thursday, August 11, 2011


"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken 
winged bird that cannot fly."
-Langston Hughes 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


"I've been addicted to Jayne for a long time. I need to be near her. I am dependent on the way she makes me feel. Getting married was the surest way of being closer to her than to any other human. And as an addict, I sometimes feel like I was robbed of the choice to be with her. It was presented to me as a necessity to my happiness and I embraced it as such. And happiness feels like such a hollow word next to what it's like with her." 
-Jed Wells found here

Why it's hard to write about people you love

"Prowling the meanings of a word, prowling the history of a person, no use expecting a flood of light. Human words have no main switch. But all those little kidnaps in the dark. And then the luminous, big, shivering, discandied, unrepentant, barking web of them that hangs in your mind when you turn back to the page you were trying to translate." —Anne Carson, Nox(comparing Latin translation to trying to write her brother down).


"It is our choices, Harry, that shows us who we truly are, far more than our abilities."
-Albus  Dumbledore

Monday, August 8, 2011


"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve 
their reputations ... can never affect a reform."
-Susan B. Anthony