Monthly Archives: January, 2021

We need quiet

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” ― Ester Buchholz Of all the seasons, winter seems most linked with quiet; short days, long nights, the silence of snowfall and the calming blank canvas of …

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In your house

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris  When one of my graduate school professors asked me to do a paper on William Morris, I wasn’t thrilled about accepting, but it turned out to be one of the most fascinating studies I …

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Never too old to begin

“You’re never too old to begin a journey, if you don’t insist on completing it.” — Ashleigh Brilliant No matter what age, nobody has any guarantees of success or even survival when they embark on a journey.  If physical or financial limitations do not stand in your way, why should chronological age?  Besides, one destination …

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Embrace chaos

“I finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.” ― Susan Elizabeth Phillips My name is Julia and I have too much stuff.  Most of the …

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Nothing is

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”— Thomas Szasz I found it interesting that this quote contrasts boredom with serenity.  I would not think of the two as opposites.  I would tend to think of anxiety as more the opposite of serenity, although boredom undoubtedly makes everything …

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One spectacle grander

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” ― Victor Hugo Jeff and I love to travel, and cruising has become our favorite kind of vacation.  Needless to say, we haven’t been able to take a …

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Language of the imagination

“ ‘They are all beasts of burden in a sense,’ Thoreau once remarked of animals, ‘made to carry some portion of our thoughts.’ Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.” ― Rebecca Solnit I’m not sure I understand …

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In the morning

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” –Elbert Hubbard When I first read this quote, I thought, “I really need to take that advice to heart, and try to do that.”  The next thing I thought was, “Hey, one way to do that …

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Service is joy

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran One of the great things about any sort of volunteer work is meeting people who care about other people and the world in …

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Time and culture

“You’ve got to marinate your head, in that time and culture. You’ve got to become them.” ― David McCullough I think one of the best and quickest ways to defeat despair is to read a bit of history and contemplate what life used to be like.  I’ve found that nonfiction often seems best for this, …

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Your own kind of music

“You’ve gotta make your own kind of music Sing your own special song Make your own kind of music Even if nobody else sings along.” — Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil This 1969 hit is a favorite of mine, as recorded by one of my all-time favorite vocalists, Mama Cass Elliot.  I play this song …

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I challenge you to a dare

“Can I challenge you to a dare?  Today, stop praying for anything other than the life you have!…before we begin the year, with a sense of adventure, give thanks for your most “ordinary” life.  This is how the miracle begins, as we embark with a sense of adventure seeking the splendid in the simple gift …

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A white quilt

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll Snow can seem brutal when we have to shovel it, …

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Actually see

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk There’s a double blessing in opening our eyes to the world around us.  Not only are we …

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Voices at the door

“I sit beside the fire and think Of all that I have seen Of meadow flowers and butterflies In summers that have been Of yellow leaves and gossamer In autumns that there were With morning mist and silver sun And wind upon my hair I sit beside the fire and think Of how the world …

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