When we live superficially

When we live superficially ... we are always outside ourselves, never quite 'with' ourselves, always divided and pulled in many directions ... we find ourselves doing many things that we do not really want to do, saying things we do not really mean, needing things we do not really need, exhausting ourselves for what we secretly realize to be worthless and without meaning in our lives.
~ Thomas Merton from LOVE AND LIVING

Be awake

It is important that awake people be awake. The darkness around us is deep.
~ William Stafford from "A Ritual to Read to Each Other" in THE WAY IT IS

This is the mystery

Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering becomes love. This is the mystery. This is what I must do.

It's hard to let go anything we love

It's hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we're left with a fistful of ashes.

~ Madeleine L'Engle in A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT

I taught myself to live simply

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries...

~ Anna Akhmatova from "I Taught Myself to Live Simply"

Never alone or weary of life

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations and concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature--the reassurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
~ Rachel Carson in THE SENSE OF WONDER

This is a wonderful day

This is a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before.
~ Maya Angelou

To know one mountain

"It's better to know one mountain than to climb many."
~ Native American Proverb


I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye from "Famous"
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