Wisdom

(or, if not wisdom, at least words I like)

(or, if not words I like, at least words that are true)

 

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. ”

 ~ George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

 

“Every poet knows that her reading of the poem is only one facet of it—that every person who picks it up will show her just how estranged she really is from her own poem.”

~ Kristin George Bagdanov , “On Being Strangers with Your Spouse”

 

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

~ Timothy Ferriss

 

“Never write a poem about anything that ought to have a poem written about it.”

 ~ Richard Hugo

 

“You’re always a child of your time, and you cannot step out of that.”

~ Wim Crouwel in the documentary “Helvetica”

 

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

~ Emily Dickinson

 

“Don’t confuse legibility with communication. Just because something’s legible doesn’t mean it communicates, and, more importantly, it doesn’t mean it communicates the right thing.”

~ David Carson

 

“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”

~ Alfred Austin

 

“…one had constantly a sense of repetition – of one thing falling where another had fallen…”

~ Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

 

“A heartless woman he called her; she never told him that she loved him. But it was not so – it was not so. It was only that she never could say what she felt.”

~ Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won’t see it. It is, as Ruskin says, ‘not merely unnoticed, but in the full, clear sense of the word, unseen.’…I have to say the words, describe what I’m seeing…But if I want to notice the lesser cataclysms of valley life, I have to maintain in my head a running description of the present.

~ Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

“At midlife, I’m having to recognize that there are people I may never be reconciled with, people I loved dearly, but we went as far as we could go together. We loved; we tried; that may have to be enough.”

~Zana, “herb woman”

 

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired by the age of 15.”

~ Willa Cather

And what do I really deserve? Thankfully, God never gives what is deserved, but instead, God graciously, passionately offers gifts, our bodies, our time, our very lives. God does not give rights but imparts responsibilities…inviting us to respond to His love-gifts. And I know and can feel it tight: I’m responding miserably to the gift of this moment. In fact, I’m refusing it. Proudly refusing to accept this moment, dismissing it as no gift at all, I refuse God.

~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

“I want to change the world; instead, I sleep.”

~ Ingrid Michaelson

 

“…and I thought how unpleasant is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in…”

~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

 

“Jimmy Fields felt undone, the way only a person who has been careful can feel when confronted by a mistake.”

~ John Irving, The World According to Garp

It is probably impossible to love any human being simply ‘too much.’ We may love him too much in proportion to our love for God; but it is the smallness of our love for God, not the greatness of our love for the man, that constitutes the inordinacy.

~ C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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