Category Archives: quotations and poetry

you cannot turn away

“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit […]

everything is more complicated

Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume, and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life. – Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

wresting wisdom and joy

Hope is an orientation, an insistence on wresting wisdom and joy from the endlessly fickle fabric of space and time. – Krista Tippett Thank you to Courtney Martin, in whose Twitter feed I found this gem.

who do what has to be done, again and again

The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half-submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy […]

Protect your time. Feed your inner life.

Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours. ~Jane Kenyon, A Hundred White Daffodils Another beautiful piece found […]

the thing is

The Thing Is to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it. When grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills […]

Why are we reading?

Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened, and its deepest mystery probed? … 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 meaning, and will press upon our […]

taking this chaos and making a story

One of the greatest gifts of writing memoir is having a way to shape that chaos, looking at all the pieces side by side so they make more sense. It’s a supreme act of control to understand a life as a story that resonates with others. It’s not a diary. It’s taking this chaos and […]

the mundane itself

“We don’t need great writing to tell us that obviously amazing things are amazing, just as we don’t need high-powered telescopes to tell us that the sun is warm. What we need from great writing, most urgently, is an understanding that the mundane itself—snails, fireplaces, shrubs, pebbles, socks, minor witticisms—is secretly amazing.” – Annie Dillard […]

the life the cup can’t possibly hold

So why don’t I remember more of the fun we must have had during her stay?… I need to say that there was delight when that visit has concentrated into two memories.  I don’t want to define that visit by only two memories. There is always more, isn’t there?  There is the life the cup […]