Category Archives: quotations and poetry

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 […]

All life amazes me

At times these days I think of the way the sun would set on the farmland around our small house in the autumn.  A view of the horizon, the entire circle of it, if you turned, the sun setting behind you, the sky in front becoming pink and soft, then slightly blue again, as though […]

In it with all my heart

I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart. – Vincent van Gogh I found this beautiful passage on Calm Things.

the unutterable gravity

I find the soul a valuable concept, a statement of the dignity of a human life and of the unutterable gravity of human action and experience. – Marilynne Robinson, The Givenness of Things

A poem begins as a lump in the throat

“The grand scheme of a life, maybe (just maybe), is not about knowing or not knowing, choosing or not choosing. Perhaps what is truly known can’t be described or articulated by creativity or logic, science or art — but perhaps it can be described by the most authentic and meaningful combination of the two: poetry: […]