Archive for Quotes

A tip on voter fraud

“It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes.”

Joseph Stalin.

Thanks to Andy Rogers for sending me to Google to get the quote right.


Jim Stover quotes

Jim Stover’s Baylor Web

Quotes for the week

February 16

“. . .that odor in his clothes and beard and flesh too which I believed was the smell of powder and glory, the elected victorious but know better now: know now to have been only the will to endure, a sardonic and even humorous declining of self-delusion which is not even kin to that optimism which believes that that which is about to happen to us can possibly be the worst which we can suffer.”

William Faulkner, The Unvanquished

February 17

“‘I won’t apologize; fools cry out at wind or fire. But permit me to say and hope that you will never have anything worse than this to remember us by.'”

William Faulkner, The Unvanquished
(the Yankee colonel to Granny in “Ambuscade”)

February 18

“Decisions are all.”

Ian McEwan, Saturday

February 19

“. . . in ambitious middle life it sometimes seems there is only work.”

Ian McEwan, Saturday

February 20

“They believed that land did not belong to people but that people belonged to land and that the earth would permit them to live on and out of it and use it only so long as they behaved and that if they did not behave right it would shake them off just like a dog getting rid of fleas.”

William Faulkner, The Unvanquished (about Uncle Buck and Uncle Buddy)

February 21

“There is a limit to what a child can accept, assimilate; not to what it can believe because a child can believe anything, given time, but to what it can accept, a limit in time, in the very time which nourishes the believing of the incredible.”

William Faulkner, The Unvanquished

February 22

“Let us live in the land of the whispering trees,
Alder and aspen and poplar and birch,
Singing our prayers in a pale, sea-green breeze,
With star-flower rosaries and moss banks for church.”

Elizabeth Bishop, from “For C. W. B.”

Course materials

One purpose of this website is to make available course materials that students can access at any time. Most of these are for the benefit of my own students: assignment sheets, essay rubrics and grading grids, AP materials, and the like.

If any teachers stumble across this site, they are more than welcome to borrow from any of the materials here. There are times when teaching seems like a solitary pursuit; although surrounded by students, teachers can feel cut off from colleagues by the multitude of demands on their time. One of the best ways to connect with colleagues is by sharing ideas and materials. Most of my best teaching ideas have come from my colleagues; if any other teachers could benefit from any of the information posted here, I would be pleased indeed.

Student work

One of the major purposes of this website is to celebrate good student work by publishing it and making it available to a wider audience. It is a shame that more often than not, only one person (the teacher) or a handful of people (the teacher and other students in the class) have the opportunity to read works that are the result of insight, patient effort, and a developing sense of the craft of writing.

I have long been a fan of publishing student work. In my classroom are stored dozens of photocopied booklets of good writing assembled by my students. More recently, we have made class CD-ROMs that contain some of the best of student work in digital form (including multimedia projects). Inevitably, the audience for such projects is limited. One of my hopes is that student work published on the Internet may receive a wider audience.
Another reason to post student work is to provide models of good writing, and in particular, to provide examples of effective responses to particular assignments that future students may find valuable. Needless to say, any students reading the works posted here should use them as models and give credit for any ideas, let alone any words, that they find helpful.


I’m fascinated by the ways in which teachers can use technology to teach more effectively. Some of those ways are so obvious we already take them for granted. Word-processing has made the process of writing (writing, revising, and revising again) a reality. Email has taken the walls off the classroom, enabling us to communicate with students, and they with us, whenever we’re sitting at a computer. The Internet has enabled everyone to find answers with a handful of clicks–and teachers to create web pages that make course information readily available. Other activities (like color-coded analyses) enable students to see more clearly how writers achieve their effects, and multimedia projects invite extraordinary student creativity.

In working with computers, teachers often become the learners and students the teachers, for many students are more adept with the machines than we. It is a challenge for teachers to keep up. In an effort to educate myself and my students, I’ve created some handouts that may be helpful, especially when students first encounter a particular kind of software.


Years ago when Baylor was an all-boys school, one of the school’s veteran teachers would always reply, when someone asked him what subject he taught, “I teach boys.” It is easy to be caught up in trying to teach our subjects, but of course what we are really teaching is young men and women. The faces in these photographs remind me of that point.

A Writing Text

For nearly twenty years I have been working on an English textbook for ninth grade students. Originally titled Writing and Grammar, the book has undergone any number of revisions and a few full-scale transformations. Now titled A Writing Text, the odd-numbered chapters (along with chapter 12) focus on writing, while the even-numbered chapters focus on correct grammar, mechanics, and usage. Dozens of my colleagues and hundreds of Baylor students have helped make this text possible, and I am grateful indeed.

For comments or suggestions, please e-mail Jim Stover.
Jim Stover’s Baylor profile.

March 1

“Whence all this passion toward conformity anyway?–diversity is the word. Let man keep his many parts and you’ll have no tyrant states. Why, if they follow this conformity business they’ll end up by forcing me, an invisible man, to become white, which is not a color but the lack of one. Must I strive toward colorlessness? But seriously, and without snobbery, think of what the world would lose if that should happen. America is woven of many strands; I would recognize them and let it so remain. . . . Our fate is to become one, and yet many–”

Ralph Ellison (born March 1, 1914), Invisible Man

March 2

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) (born on March 2, 1904)

March 3

“How life is strange and changeful, and the crystal is in the steel at the point of fracture, and the crystal is in the steel at the point of fracture, and the toad bears a jewel in its forehead, and the meaning of moments passes like the breeze that scarcely ruffles the leaf of the willow.”

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

March 4

“Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?”

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

March 5

“. . . the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then inject the black, numbing poison under your hide. It does not matter whether or not you meant to brush the web of things. Your happy foot or your gay wing may have brushed it ever so lightly, but what happens always happens and there is the spider, bearded black and with his great faceted eyes glittering like mirrors in the sun, or like God’s eye, and the fangs dripping.”

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

March 6

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (born March 6, 1806)

March 7

“Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As ’twere a careless trifle”

Shakespeare, Macbeth (Malcolm to Duncan about the Thane of Cawdor)

March 8

“The rule of joy and the law of duty seem to me all one.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (born March 8, 1841)

March 9

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

March 10

“The wonder of love is nothing’s lost but what is not

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I send you word that I am happy; life is rich; I sing.”

Charlotte Barr (Baylor School’s poet in residence), “Solitaire”

March 11

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”

“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.”

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (Broadway debut March 11, 1959)

March 12

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Thomas Jefferson

March 13

“More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all.”

William Shakespeare

(After witnessing Lady Macbeth’s tormented sleepwalking, the doctor says these lines to the gentlewoman–one of my favorite moments of generosity and grace.)

March 14

“I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.”

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”

Albert Einstein (born March 14, 1879)

March 15

“Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

(Caesar to Antony; Caesar, of course, was correct–and was assassinated on March 15, 44 BCE.)

March 16

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

Robert Kennedy

(On March 16, 1968, Robert Kennedy announced that he was a candidate for President.)

March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)

“You that would judge me do not judge alone
This book or that, come to this hallowed place
Where my friends’ portraits hang and look thereon;
Ireland’s history in their lineaments trace;
Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends.”

William Butler Yeats

(One of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century; Yeats received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.)

March 18

You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
George Bernard Shaw

“Some men see things as they are and ask ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?'”

Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

(Although many people know Robert Kennedy’s version of this quotation, it is clearly Shaw’s.)

March 19

“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

William Jennings Bryan

(born March 19, 1860)

Bryan is one of Nebraska’s most famous and most honored citizens; I was born in Lincoln at Bryan Memorial Hospital.

“To separate [black children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone. . . . We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Earl Warren (born March 19, 1991),

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka — one of the landmark Supreme Court cases of the 20th century.

March 20

“Live the journey.”

Bill Irwin, the first blind person to hike the Appalachian Trail, in a speech to the Baylor upper school student body, making the point that it is the destination rather than the arrival that makes the trip (or your years in high school) memorable.

March 21

“I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn’t fight.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels–until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.”

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

March 22

“I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.”

Billy Collins (born March 22, 1941),
Poet Laureate of the U.S., “Introduction to Poetry”

March 23

“Tis now the twenty-third of march,
And this warm sun takes out the starch
Of winter’s pinafore — Methinks
The Very pasture gladly drinks
A health to spring, and while it sips
It faintly smacks a myriad lips.”

Henry David Thoreau: “The Freshet”

(I’ve borrowed this quote of the day from A Common Reader’s Calendar.)

March 24

“. . . and soon now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.”

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men (the final words)

March 25

“At length she got down and turned off the faucet and made her slow way on the darkening path to the house. In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.”

Flannery O’Connor, “Revelation”

March 26

“Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed every really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.”

Robert Frost (born March 26, 1874),
from “Two Tramps in Mud Time”

March 27

“The worst meal I ever ate was wonderful.”

Robert Parker (in one of his Spenser novels, I believe)

March 28

“Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend.”

Agatha Christie

March 29

“Do it from the heart or not at all.”

Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

March 30

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Albert Camus

March 31

“Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day…
But at my back I always here
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.

Andrew Marvell (born March 31, 1621), “To his Coy Mistress”

(I’ve borrowed this quote of the day from A Common Reader’s Reader’s Calendar.)

April 1

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”

T. S. Eliot

April 2

“It is hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and that there are no second chances at a single moment.”

Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

April 3

“I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 3, 1968, the day before he was murdered

April 4

“During these years in Stamps, I met and fall in love with William Shakespeare. He was my first white love. Although I enjoyed and respected Kipling, Poe, Butler, Thackeray and Henley, I saved my young and loyal passion for Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B. Du Bois’ ‘Litany at Atlanta.’ But it was Shakespeare who said, ‘When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.’ It was a state with which I felt myself most familiar.”

Maya Angelou (born April 4, 1928), I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“WHEN in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

April 5

“. . . I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes–a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees . . . had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

April 6

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”

Robert Frost, “Two Tramps in Mud Time”

April 7

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease . . .”

Walt Whitman

April 8

“Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plan
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

Matthew Arnold (ca. 1851)

April 9

“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.”

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

April 10

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with the flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the ‘creative temperament’–it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (published on April 10, 1925)

April 11

“. . . everybody has a great deal of experience in living. But no one lives in anything like the highest style of the art; and it is very disconcerting to notice how badly one lives in the sense of the extent to which fatigue and other discomforts are connected with one’s important dealings with other people.”

Harry Stack Sullivan, The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry

April 12

“You gain strength, courage and 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

April 13

“I cannot live without books.”

Thomas Jefferson (born April 13, 1743)

April 14

“Writing well isn’t a gift God gives to a chosen few.”

Nancie Atwell

April 15

“If I should certainly say to a novice, ‘Write from experience and experience only,’ I should feel that this was rather a tantalizing monition if I were not careful immediately to add, ‘Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.'”

Henry James (born April 15, 1843)

April 16

“He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

April 17

Emily: “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. . . .Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?–every, every minute?”
Stage manager: “No. . . . The saints and poets, maybe–they do some.”

Thornton Wilder (born April 17, 1897) Our Town

April 18
“what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That, to the height of this great argument,
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.”

John Milton, Paradise Lost

April 19

“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.”

George Gordon, Lord Byron (who died on April 19, 1824, at the age of 36)

April 20

“Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”

Doris Lessing

April 21

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.”

John Muir (born April 21, 1838)

April 22

“Fortune leaves always some door open to come at a remedy.”

Miguel de Cervantes (died April 23, 1616), Don Quixote de la Mancha

(There are many significant literary births and deaths on April 23, but the quote for that day belongs to Shakespeare.)

April 23

“O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention:
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.”

William Shakespeare (who was probably born on April 23, 1564, and who died on April 23, 1616), Henry V

April 24

“What is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding? It is the deepest part of autobiography.”

Robert Penn Warren (born April 24, 1905)

April 25

“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!”

William Wordsworth (died April 23, 1850)

April 26

“Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader.”

Vladimir Nabokov (born April 23, 1899)

April 27

“The only gift is a portion of thyself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (died April 27, 1882)

April 28

“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.”

Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926)

April 29

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Charles Dickens, the first paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities (the first installment was published on April 30, 1859)

April 30

“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power? What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking. We should amass half dressed in long lines like tribesmen and shake gourds at each other, to wake up; instead we watch television and miss the show.”

Annie Dillard (born April 30, 1945), The Writing Life

May 1

“Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

“‘She cannot fade, though thou has not thy bliss,’ McCaslin said: ‘Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair.’
“‘He’s talking about a girl,’ he said.
“‘He had to talk about something,’ McCaslin said. . . . ‘He was talking about truth. Truth is one. It doesn’t change. It covers all things which touch the heart–honor and pride and pity and justice and courage and love. . . .They all touch the heart, and what the heart holds to becomes truth, as far as we know truth.'”

William Faulkner, “The Bear” in Go Down, Moses

May 2

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

The King James Bible (published May 2, 1611)

May 3

“I had . . . come to an entirely erroneous conclusion which shows, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”

May 4
“I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an indefatigable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and, above all, compassion.”

Kurt Hahn

May 5

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.”

Lauren Bacall

May 6

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. . . . I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Henry David Thoreau (died May 6, 1862), Walden

May 7

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”

Robert Browning (born May 7, 1812)

May 8

“No one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”

Dorothy Day

May 9

“. . . sports are fundamentally unimportant except in the context of the values they teach.”

E.M. Swift, Sports Illustrated (May 2, 1994)

May 10

“Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

Kermit the Frog

May 11

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Rudyard Kipling, “If”

(Today is Scott Stover’s 11th birthday.)

May 12

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

May 13

“The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn’t thought about. At that moment he’s alive and you leave it to him.”

Graham Greene

May 14

“You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned.”

Fay Weldon

May 15

“Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.”

Emily Dickinson (died May 15, 1886)

May 16

“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

May 17

“The truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.”

Nadine Gordimer

May 18

“… to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds.”

Sharon Olds

May 19

“O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott

“Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave
When they think that their children are naïve.”

Ogden Nash (died May 19, 1971)

May 20

“All is true.”

Honoré de Balzac (born May 20, 1799), Le Père Goriot

May 21

“O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road
Singing beside the hedge.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Cheerfulness Taught by Reason”

May 22

“It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognise out of a number of facts which are incidental and which are vital…. I would call your attention to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (born May 22, 1859), “Silver Blaze”

May 23, 2002

“There is no such thing as a weird human being.”

Tom Robbins

May 24

“O Lord . . . . [g]ive them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.”
Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

May 25

“A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (born May 25, 1803)

May 26

“Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (born May 25, 1803)

May 27

“The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.”

Rachel Carson (born May 27, 1907)

May 28

“Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.”

Seamus Heaney

May 29

A quotation for teachers: “Don’t forget that it is your students’ ignorance that gives you your job.”

Allen Cook

May 30

“Why write if this too easy activity of pushing a pen across paper is not given a certain bullfighting risk and we do not approach dangerous, agile and two-horned topics?”

José Ortega y Gasset

May 31

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

“Summer afternoon–summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Henry James


Spiritsong quotes
Journey In Word is a tapestry of eclectic, often uncommon quotations gathered up and lovingly woven together by Coyote McRaven. You are welcome to use the quotes on this page but if you distribute them electronically or in hard copy, in large chunks or as a whole without rearranging them, kindly give the Coyote her due editorial credit. A link to this web site is always appreciated as well.
 Thanks, and enjoy the Journey!
“The longest journey of any person 
is the journey inward.
Dag Hammerskjold

Journey In Word is a tapestry of eclectic, often uncommon quotations gathered up and lovingly woven together by Coyote McRaven. You are welcome to use the quotes on this page but if you distribute them electronically or in hard copy, in large chunks or as a whole without rearranging them, kindly give the Coyote her due editorial credit. A link to this web site is always appreciated as well. 
Thanks, and enjoy the Journey!

Drumsound rises on the air,
its throb, my heart.

A voice inside the beat
“I know you’re tired,

but come. This is the way.”
Jeláluddín Rúmí

(trans. by Coleman Barks)
“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”

“To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset

“He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.”
M.C. Escher

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting
 for our wits to grow sharper.”
Eden Phillpotts

“The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”
Julia Cameron

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”
Yogi Berra

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”
Albert Einstein

“The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.”
Francis Bacon

“I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.”
Henry Emerson Fosdick

“The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.”
Kilgore Trout (Kurt Vonnegut)

“The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
André Gide

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)

“It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.”
Written in the dust on the back of a bus. Wickenburg, Arizona.

“We don’t go anywhere. Going somewhere is for squares.
 We just go!”
Marlon Brando, The Wild One (1954)

“If you’re not where you are, you’re nowhere!”
“Colonel Potter” from a M*A*S*H episode

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

“Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting. ”
Karl “The Great” Wallenda

“The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine!
 Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller

“Adventure is worthwhile.”
Amelia Earhart

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Yogi Berra

“If you don’t know where you are going, you can never get lost.”
Herb Cohen

“Mum reckoned that getting lost and finding your way were just different sides of the same coin. You couldn’t have one without the other.”
Fynn (from “Mister God, This Is Anna”)

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
Helen Keller

“When it gets dark enough you can see the stars.”
Lee Salk

“We carry with us the wonders we seek without us.”
Sir Thomas Browne

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”
Rachael Carson

“Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.”
Henry Emerson Fosdick

“If a thing loves, it is infinite.”
William Blake

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“Revelations are found in clouds.”
Serge Kahili King

“Where there is no vision, people perish.”
Proverbs 29:18

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mohandas Gandhi

“There’s a wonder in the way we’re always free
 To change the world by changing how we see.”
Cyndi Craven (from “Love’s Shining Peace”)

“The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.”
Annie Dillard

“In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism and skepticism and humbug and we shall want to live more musically.”
Vincent van Gogh

“The music in my heart I bore long after it was heard no more.”
William Wordsworth

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek.”
Tom Robbins

“If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.”

“He who does not dance does not know what happens.”
Jesus (Gnostic texts)

“It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
Duke Ellington

“Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“And everything comes to One,
 As we dance on, dance on, dance on.”
Theodore Roetheke

“We dance round in a ring and suppose,
 But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”
Robert Frost

“Look within! … The secret is inside you.”

“A lively understandable spirit

Once entertained you.

It will come again.

Be still.

Theodore Roethke

“Now is the dwelling place of God himself.”
Thomas R. Kelly

“The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.”

“God is so omnipresent…God is an angel in an angel, and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw.”
John Donne

“Lift the stone and you will find me;
 cleave the wood and I am there.”
Jesus (from The Gospel of Thomas)

“Therefore, if you want to discover nature’s nakedness, you must destroy its symbols, and the farther you get in the nearer you come to its essence. When you come to the One that gathers all things up into itself, there your soul must stay.”
Meister Eckhart

“I suppose what makes me most glad is that we all recognize each other in this metaphysical space of silence and happening, and get some sense, for a moment, that we are full of paradise without knowing it.”
Thomas Merton

“The drum of the realization of the promise is beating, we are sweeping the road to the sky. Your joy is here today, what remains for tomorrow?”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it The Present.”
Babatunde Olatunji

“Ever notice that the area of a department store containing completely useless objects is called ‘gifts?'”

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“You can’t have everything… where would you put it?”
Stephen Wright

“Keep your hands open, and all the sands of the desert can pass through them. Close them, and all you can feel is a bit of grit.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
Martin Luther

“What you pursue, you don’t get. But what you allow to grow slowly in its own way, comes to you.”
Rabbi Pinhas

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“In the hour of adversity be not without hope
 For crystal rain falls from black clouds.”
Persian Poem

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
Peter Marshall

“Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees.”
Williard Marriott

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself

And all the while I am being carried across the sky

By beautiful clouds.”
Ojibway Indian saying

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.”
Richard Bach

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.”
Carl Rogers

“Be yourself. The world worships the original.”
Ingrid Bergman

“If I try to be like him, who will be like me?”
Yiddish proverb

“God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.”
Exodus 3:14

“Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.”
Tallulah Bankhead

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

“When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.”
Flannery O’Conner

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.”
Doug Floyd

“Pay no attention to what the critics say;
 no statue has ever been erected to a critic.”
Jean Sibelius

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.”
Shigenori Kameoka

“Don’t be afraid to be amazing.”
Andy Offutt Irwin (during a late night Waffle House conversation)

“Don’t dream it – be it!”
Frank-n-Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

“Do, or do not. There is no try. ”

“Love the earth and sun and animals,

Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,

Stand up for the stupid and crazy,

Devote your income and labor to others . . .

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
Walt Whitman

“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.”
Arthur Helps

“The highest form of wisdom is kindness.”
The Talmud

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
Henry James

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Carl W. Buechner

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”
Abraham Lincoln

“We are here on Earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I do not know.”
W. H. Auden

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
The 14th Dalai Lama

“If you would be loved, love, and be lovable.”
Benjamin Franklin

“To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.”
Taisen Deshimaru

“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.”

“Light is good from whatever lamp it shines.”

“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”
Mother Teresa

“Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.”

“Keep your words sweet—you may have to eat them.”

“I don’t let my mouth say nothin’ my head can’t stand.”
Louis Armstrong.

“Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose.”
Billie Holiday

“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“Muddy water,

let stand

becomes clear.”

“When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing.”
Catherine Ponder

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.”
Norman Cousins

“And God said love me, love them, and love it, and don’t forget to love yourself.”
Anna (from “Mister God, This Is Anna”)

“If we could share this world below, If we could learn to love…
If we could share this world below, We’d need no world above.”
Ray Faraday Nelson

“Some set more by such things as come from a distance, but I rec’lect mother always used to maintain that folks was meant to be doctored with the stuff that grew right about ’em.”
Sarah Orne Jewett

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
James Oppenheim

“The same stream of life that runs through the world runs through my veins night and day in rhythmic measure. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth into numberless waves of flowers.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“God bless the roots! Body and soul are one.”
Theodore Roethke

“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
The Talmud

“We are each other’s angels, we meet when it is time.”
Chuck Brodsky

“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.”
Tracy Chapman

“The difference from a person and an angel is easy. Most of an angel is in the inside and most of a person is on the outside.”
Anna (Mister God, This Is Anna)

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
Henry David Thoreau

“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”
John Burroughs

“You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.”
Robert A. Heinlein

“A hand-rolled

Dumpling of

I’ve gulped it down

And easily it went.”
Dim Sum Zen

“If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily.”
Chinese Proverb

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Martin Luther

“When the world is falling apart around you, drink tea.”

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.”

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands—a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world.”
Sidney Lovett

“Be still and know that I am with you.”
English prayer

“Inside the Great Mystery that is, we don’t really own anything. What is this competition we feel then, before we go, one at a time, through the same gate?”

“We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God.”
Chief Joseph (Nez Perce)

“Every day people are straying away from church and going back to God.”
Lenny Bruce

“Re-examine all you have been told . . . Dismiss what insults your Soul.”
Walt Whitman

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
Abraham Lincoln

“God never made His work for man to mend.”
John Dryden

“Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity.”
Chief Luther Standing Bear (Oglala Sioux)

“We are all born charming, fresh, and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society.”
Judith Martin (aka “Miss Manners”)

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
Tom Robbins

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.”
Groucho Marx

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa

“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
Jawaharlal Nehru

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
E.B. White

“Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.”
Abba Eban

“Wisdom is a life that knows it is living.”
Moravian prayer book

“A wise man is nothin’ but a fool with a good memory.”
“Russell Greene” from Promised Land

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.”

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

“Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
Helen Keller

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
Charlie Chaplin

“Don’t worry – be happy.”
Bobby McFerrin

“I want to know God’s thoughts . . . the rest are details.”
Albert Einstein

“The best way to know God is to love many things.”
Vincent van Gogh


And He’ll open the door


And He’ll make you shine like the sun.


And He’ll raise you to the heavens.

Become nothing,

And He’ll turn you into everything.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
Muriel Rukeyser

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Albert Einstein

“Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match.”
Ingrid Bengis

“Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.”
Carl Zwanzig

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
Albert Einstein

“What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.”
Boris Pasternak

“Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.”
H. L. Mencken

“The heart has it’s reasons, of which reason knows nothing.”

“I am certain of nothing but the Holiness of the Heart’s affections and the Truth of the Imagination.”
John Keats

“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.
Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne

“When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.”

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”
Chief Joseph (Nez Perce)

“No one’s mouth is big enough to utter the whole thing.”
Alan Watts

“Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”
Dan Quayle

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God:

But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes.”
Mickey Mouse

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Albert Einstein

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”

“Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.”
William Shakespeare

“When your heart speaks, take good notes.”
Judith Campbell

“Faith is an oasis in the heart which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
Kahlil Gibran

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“To those who can dream there is no such place as far away.”

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung

“Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days… What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power, and genius in it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The beginning is always today.”
Mary Wollstonecraft

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
John Wayne

“It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.”
Anatole France

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”
Samuel Ullman

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.”
Pearl S. Buck

“Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
Lionel Stander

“If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.”
Albert Einstein

“In order for you to profit from your mistakes, you have to get out and make some.”

“A man on a mission is far different from a drone on a deadline.”
Rheta Grimsley Johnson

“We’re on a mission from God.”
The Blues Brothers

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
A.A. Milne

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Mark Twain

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”
Edgar Degas

“Ideas run wild without discussion.”
Serge Kahili King

“Without deviation, progress is not possible.”
Frank Zappa

“The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.”
Thomas Holcroft

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
John Cage

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Thomas Edison

“Art my slats! I can paint with a shoestring dipped in lard!”
George Luks

“You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.”
John Coltrane

“I’ll play with it first and tell you what it is later.”
Miles Davis

“Art is running away without ever leaving home.”
Twyla Tharp

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Pablo Picasso

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
e. e. cummings

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
Satchel Paige

“It takes one a long time to become young.”
Pablo Picasso

“Things do not change: we change.”
Henry David Thoreau

“To change one’s life: 1. Start immediately. 2. Do it flamboyantly. 3. No exceptions.”
William James

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.”
Douglas Larson

“If you never did, you should.

These things are fun, and fun is good.”
Dr. Seuss

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
Tom Robbins, from Still Life with Woodpecker

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

“Anything on earth you want to do is play. Anything on earth you have to do is work. Play will never kill you, work will. I never worked a day in my life.”
Dr. Leila Denmark, 103, USA’s oldest practicing physician.

“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)

“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.”
Ethel Barrymore

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
Agnes Repplier

“Blessed is the person who can laugh at himself—
he’ll never cease to be amused.”

“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.”
Golda Meir

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”
Oscar Wilde

“It’s best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, you’re bound to live it fully.”
Maude (from Harold & Maude)

“I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough.”

“Water which is too pure has no fish.”
Ts’ai Ken T’an

“Where there are humans

you’ll find flies,

and Buddhas.”

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,

One clover, and a bee,

And revery.

The revery alone will do,

If bees are few.”
Emily Dickinson

“Unthinking, idle, wild, and young,

I laugh’d and danc’d and talk’d and sung.”
Princess Amelia (1783-1810)

“I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!”
Louise Bogan

“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable … but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
Agatha Christie

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”
Emily Dickenson

“Look to this Day! For it is Life, the very Life of Life.”
From the Sanskrit Salutation of the Dawn

“Isn’t it wonderful? All around us, living things!”
Maude (from Harold & Maude)

“People need joy. Quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more.”
Margaret Collier Graham

“From three to four, he planned to stand perfectly still and think of what it was like to be alive.”
Wilbur the Pig (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White)

“So you see, imagination needs moodling—long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”
Brenda Ueland

“All of the animals except man know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.”

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”
Anne Frank

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
The 14th Dalai Lama

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”
Lin Yutang

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.”
Charlie McCarthy

“Punctuality is the thief of time.”
Oscar Wilde

“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.”

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Bertrand Russell

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.”

“I take a nap

making the mountain water

pound the rice.”

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.”
Spanish proverb

“Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.”
Zen saying

“One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.”
Will Durant

“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.”

“Patience is the key to paradise.”
Turkish proverb

“The highest happiness of man … is to have probed what is knowable and quietly to revere what is unknowable.”

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.”
Teresa of Avila

“Who says the eternal being does not exist?

Who says the sun has gone out?

Someone who climbs up on the roof and closes his eyes
tight, and says, I don’t see anything.”
Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)

“As I walk, as I walk
The universe is walking with me
In beauty it walks before me
In beauty it walks behind me
In beauty it walks below me
In beauty it walks above me
Beauty is on every side
As I walk, I walk with beauty.”

Traditional Navajo Prayer from the Navajo rain dance ceremony

“The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.”
William Saroyan

“True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self, but the point is not only to get out—you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.”
Henry James

“Don’t refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase.
 That’s what wild geese are for.”

“Geese are friends to no one, they badmouth everybody and everything. But they are companionable once you get used to their ingratitude and false accusations.”
E. B. White

“If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens”
Grandma Moses

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.

Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Groucho Marx

“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
Winston Churchill

“A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.”
Mark Twain

“I love cats. I even think we have one at home.”
Edward Burlingame

“I have an Egyptian cat. He leaves a pyramid in every room.”
Rodney Dangerfield

“He looked a fierce and quarrelsome cat, but claw he never would; He only bit the ones he loved, because they tasted good.”
S. Greenfield

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
Jean Cocteau

“If cats could talk, they would lie to you.”
Rob Kopack

“If cats could talk, they wouldn’t.”
Nan Porter

“Every creature is a word of God.”
Meister Eckhart

“Every animal knows more than you do.
Native American Proverb

“Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.”
Ben Hecht

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
Henry David Thoreau

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
Doug Larson

“If you’re too busy to go fishin’, you’re too busy.”
Jed Clampett

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”

“Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tom Seaver: “Hey, Yogi, what time is it?”

Yogi Berra: “You mean now?”

“Look to the future, because that is where you’ll spend the rest of your life.”
George Burns

“The future will be better tomorrow.”
Dan Quayle

“Life is so short we must move very slowly.”
Thai saying

“God knows no distance.”
Charleszetta Waddles

“If I’m not back in five minutes, wait longer.”
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”
Stephen Wright

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

“May you live all the days of your life.”
Jonathan Swift

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

“Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.”
D.H. Lawrence

(word carved on a stone on John Ruskin’s desk)

“Whatever you do Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it.”
Mohandas. Gandhi

“Old age was simply a delightful time, when the old people sat on the sunny doorsteps, playing in the sun with the children, until they fell asleep. At last they failed to wake up.”
James Paytiamo (Acoma Pueblo)

“A painting is never finished—it simply stops in interesting places.”
Paul Gardner

“I look back on my life like a good day’s work; it was done
 and I am satisfied with it.”
Grandma Moses

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

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
Meister Eckhart

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
Victor Hugo

“Now comes the mystery.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“It is time now for us to rise from sleep.”
Saint Benedict

“Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place.”
Genesis 28:16-17

“…the fog is rising.”
Emily Dickinson’s last words

“I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.”
Thomas Hobbes’ last words

“Get my swan costume ready.”
Anna Pavlova’s last words

“More light!”
Goethe’s last words

“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, Ol’ Buddy…let’s go exploring!”
Calvin’s last words,12/31/95 (Calvin & Hobbes). . .

“Well, then I must be off. We shall have to meet again….
Maude (from Harold & Maude)

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Journey In Word © 2002-2005 Coyote McRaven.


When I grow up

When I grow up, I want to be a little boy.

Joseph Heller


Albert Einstein

“I never try to teach
my students anything.
I only try to create
an environment in
which they can learn.”

– Albert Einstein

“One had to cram all this stuff into one’s head, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problem distasteful to me for an entire year…. It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry: for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom: without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe that it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry – especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.”

Einstein on the mystical (40)

Regarding the Einstein quote, I found that same quote (only different) in Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds, by Joel Levey (an excellent book). ISBN 0 86171 040 1

Here’s the quote:

The most beautiful and most profound emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetratable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illuminable superior who reveals himself in the slightest details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction for the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

Albert Einstein

A present from Alicia Paez

“The really valuable thing is the Intuition. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

– Albert Einstein

A present from Chelsea Amberle Fischer
English 4040, Fall 1995

Where the world ceases to be the stage for personal hopes and desires, where we, as free beings, behold it in wonder, to question and to contemplate, there we enter the realm of art and of science.
If we trace out what we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science; if we show it in forms whose interrelationships are not accessible to our conscious thought but are intuitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing art.
Common to both is the devotion to something beyond the personal, removed from the arbitrary.

Albert Einstein

[quoted in Heinz-Otto Peitgen and Peter H. Richter, The Beauty of Fractals, Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1986), p.1]


Einstein – three rules (39)

1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.

2. From discord, find harmony.

3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity

Albert Einstein
three rules of work

Quoted in David Schiller
The Little Zen Companion.
Workman Publishing,
New York (1994), p. 300

“The really valuable thing is the Intuition. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

“Whoever undertakes to set himself
up as a judge in the field of truth and
knowledge is shipwrecked by the
laughter of the gods.”

Albert Einstein

Thanks to Dee Horne


Paul Reps on moderation

Moderation in all things – including moderation.

Paul Reps