Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Poisonwood Bible

"Don't try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you're good, bad things can still happen. And if you're bad, you can still be lucky."

-Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Look Hard

"In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again."

-Barbara Kingsolver

Imagine Unimaginable

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable."

-Mary Oliver

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Saved by Woman


His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No is Ok

"Many Mormon women do not have clear boundaries for themselves. They feel a sense of confusion about who they are, because many competing voices lay claim to them and they try to accommodate them all. For example, when I became a member of the Relief Society general presidency, I was appalled at how many women were tormented by guilt about their responsibilities as mothers. They seemed unable to see a boundary between themselves and their children. If a child deviated from what was expected, it became a burden that the mother bore. . . .

It is a strength for women to be able to cross their own boundaries easily when they are meeting the needs of their children and serving others, but it is a great disadvantage when they feel every call for service as an imperative which they are obligated to meet. Remember, a boundary has “yes” on one side and “no” on the other. A woman who never feels that she can say “no” is lacking an important element of personal identity and, hence, personal safety.” 

--Chieko Okazaki

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Busy as an Ant

"It's not enough to be busy: so are the ants. The question is: what are you busy about?

-Henry David Thoreau

Soul Resume

"Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. That's what I have to say. The second is only a part of the first...There are thousands of people out there with the same degree you have; when you get a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul...People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit. But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, or when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor.”
Anna Quindlen

No Kardashian Slang

"Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice."
Tina Fey

Teach me to Heal

I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.

-A Course in Miracles, ch. 2

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Secret Gardens and a Look in Someone's Eyes

"One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one's head far back and looks up and up an watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown thing happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun - which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then, for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometime a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone's eyes."

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (pg. 268)

Simple Depth

"I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed."

-Garry Winogrand

Sunday, September 14, 2014


“There are people who think that things that happen in fiction do not really happen. These people are wrong.”

Neil Gaiman 

And then I listened

“She had authentic magnetism. The way she listened was more eloquent than speech.”


Waves Crash Hearts

"The person you think of when you stand in front of the ocean."

-Colleen Michele

Rise in Love

In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.

Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.

Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness."


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


“Sunshine all the time makes a desert”

Arab proverb 


“She has often felt that her outsides were too dull for her insides, that deep within her there was something better than what everyone else could see.”

Myla GoldbergBee Season 

No Pressure

“I love those mornings when you wake to darkness and no one is asking anything of you. You’re under no pressure to exist. This is something of which I am in constant need.”


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Plainest Weeds

"The fastidious habits of polished life generally incline us to reject, as incapable of interesting us, whatever does not present itself in a graceful shape of its own, and a ready-made suit of ornaments. But some of the plainest weeds become beautiful under the microscope. it is the benevolent provision of nature, that in proportion as you feel the necessity of extracting interest from common things, you are enabled to do so."

Leigh Hunt "On Washerwomen"


“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple…”

JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 

The Infinite Suggestiveness

"The essay-writer has no lack of subject-matter. He has the day that is passing over his head; and, if unsatisfied with that, he has the world's six thousand years to depasture his gay or serious humour upon. I idle away my time here, and I am finding new subjects every hour. Everything I see of hear is an essay in bud. The world is everywhere whispering essays, and one need only be the world's amanuensis."

-Alexander Smith, trepverter,l'esprit de l'escalier (The Infinite Suggestiveness)
Taken from Patrick Madden's essay in Quotidiana

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Nature rarer uses Yellow
Than another Hue.
Saves she all of that for Sunsets 
Prodigal of Blue

Spending Scarlet, like a Woman
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly
Like a Lover’s Words.

Emily Dickinson, “J:1045”


“So often, a visit to a bookshop has cheered me and reminded me that there are good things in the world.”

Vincent Van Gogh  

Coincidences and Miracles

“This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun 

I no longer

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

Meryl Streep  

Something to do

“I had to do something. I couldn’t just sit and wait for life to happen to me any longer.”

Julia Quinn, To Sir Phillip, With Love 


“I notice that Autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”

Friedrich Nietzsche 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Places in the Heart

"Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering, in order that they may have existence."


"Consider the circumvolutions of the human mind, where no short or direct routes exist."

Jose Saramago Essay on Blindness

The Ordinary

"The most common actions - a walk, a talk, solitude in one's own orchard - can be enhanced and lit up by the association of the mind."

-Virginia Woolf

Seeing in the Proper Light

"From the most ordinary, commonplace, familiar things, if we could put them in their proper light, can be formed the greatest miracles of nature and the most wondrous examples."

-Montaigne 'Of Experience'

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ug to Pinning

"So. I'm a planner and a thinker and a wanter and a wisher and, OHMYGOSH, I'm a Pinterester. I want a new watch and a kilim rug and a hairut and a really great leather tote and to be a better cook. But here's the thing: 'He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you.' Did you catch that? Not, my grace is almost enought for you or my grace will just about fill you up, but UFFICIENT. Totally, completely, watchless, rugless, toteless, ENOUGH. "

-Mattie Tiegreen, puddleduckpaper

Good vs. Wicked

"People aren't either wicked or noble. They're life chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict."

-Lemony Snicket

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Truth About Help

"None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody- a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns- bent down and helped us pick up our boots."

-Thurgood Marshall
(confirmed 47 years ago today to the Supreme Court)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turn it Off

"Every time you watch Jersey Shore, [insert any confrontational boobilicious reality show], a book commits suicide."

-Brene Brown