Author Archive: Julia

Its own measure

“A journey implies a destination, so many miles to be consumed, while a walk is its own measure, complete at every point along the way. There are things we will never see, unless we walk to them.”  – Thomas A. Clark On the last Sunday of October, it was an amazing 80 degrees outside at …

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The moment’s impermanence

“What solidity of sentiment it takes not to let an awareness of the moment’s impermanence dilute its richness, its sweetness, but purify it and saturate it with the utmost ‘fullness of being’.”― Maria Popova There’s a brief interval each year when many of the flowers, though fading, are still in bloom, and the weather is …

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Reading opened the world

“Books were once my refuge…To read was to disappear, become enrobed in something beyond my own jittery ego. To read was to shutter myself and, in so doing, discover a larger experience. I do think old, book-oriented styles of reading opened the world to me – by closing it. And new, screen-oriented styles of reading …

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Time-machine powers

“Books have always been time machines, in a sense. Today, their time-machine powers are even more obvious – and even more inspiring. They can transport us to a pre-internet frame of mind.” – Michael Harris It’s really a bit frightening how quickly the widespread use of the internet, for everything from business to education to …

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Any wonderful unexpected thing

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the …

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Practices that sustain life

“After a day of too much information about almost everything, there is such a blessed relief in the weight of wet clothes, causing the wicker basket to creak as I carry it out to the clothesline.  Every time I bend down to shake loose a piece of laundry, I smell the grass. I smell the …

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But you knew

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”― …

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Like fragments of heaven

“It is strange how deeply colours seem to penetrate one, like scent…They look like fragments of heaven.” – George Eliot I’ve always marveled at how some scents can bypass the conscious mind and go straight to memories we didn’t even know were there. Until I read this quote (from one of my all-time most admired …

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The dew of little things

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”― Kahlil Gibran I have always appreciated this particular passage from Gibran’s work, because it has proven true in my own life for as long as I can remember. …

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Wonders of everyday life

“Remember, looking at bad news doesn’t mean good news isn’t happening. It’s happening everywhere. It’s happening right now. Around the world. In hospitals, at weddings, in schools and offices and maternity wards, at airport arrival gates, in bedrooms, in inboxes, out in the street, in the kind smile of a stranger. A billion unseen wonders …

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As often as not

“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” ― Carson McCullers The older I get, the harder travel seems to become. I don’t know if that’s due to changes in the industry …

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Tiny, beautiful surprises

“For me, the first part of celebration is noticing.  I find that it’s easy for me to get stuck in what’s broken or wrong with a situation, instead of seeing the beautiful parts of it, too, or that I move so fast I don’t see anything at all.  These days I’m trying to notice everything, …

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Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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Our due as humans

“Whereas 19th-century Americans perceived limits on how many people they could know, how much they should self-promote, how much excitement they should expect, 21st-century Americans are coming to expect that endless affirmation, unfettered anger, infinite cognitive power, unending entertainment, and constant companionship are our due as humans.”— Susan J. Matt This is one of those …

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Even more beautiful

“The point is that things can be repaired. That they are even more beautiful for having been repaired.” — Sonali Dev I’ve read a few articles in recent years about “wabi sabi,” a term applied to a variety of philosophical contexts. The aspect of wabi sabi that first captured attention is the idea that flaws …

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To see inside

“Writers aren’t alchemists who transmute words into the aurous essence of the human experience. No, they are glassmakers. They create a work of art that enables us to see inside to help us understand. And if they are really good, we can see our own reflections staring back at us.” ― Kamand Kojouri Whether virtues, faults …

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Punctual surprise

“Let a thing be but a sort of punctual surprise…let it be delicate, painted and gratuitous, hinting that the Creator is solely occupied with aesthetic considerations…” ― Hope Mirrlees Mirrlees has captured one of the things I so love about flowers. “Punctual surprise” is the perfect way to describe them. They come back every year …

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My way out

“One cliché attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me books were my way out of being lonely. If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.”― …

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A certain free margin

“You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness – perhaps ignorance, credulity – helps your enjoyment of these things…” — Walt Whitman I think Whitman just explained why I get such a kick out of nature. …

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The best people

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway Hemingway saw more than his share of wounds and destruction. As a young ambulance driver he was …

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Never done with looking

“There are things you can’t reach. But You can reach out to them, and all day long. …I look; morning to night I am never done with looking…”  — Mary Oliver What do you see in the photo above? A fountain, of course, and if you’ve ever been to Savannah, Georgia, you probably recognize it …

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Change the world

“I would not change you for the world, but I will change the world for you.” — Amy Wright, to her two younger children watching her on television My sister and I just got back from a road trip to Savannah, St. Simon’s Island, and Jekyll Island, Georgia. We had agreed that there would be …

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Like someone running

“I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and met people there.” — Rebecca Solnit Unlike Solnit, I …

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For your mind

“Sometimes the best thing you can do for your mind is take it for a walk.” —  Ashleigh Brilliant Ashleigh can speak with authority on this topic. He’s lived over eight decades without using a car very much.* In fact, I don’t know whether he even owns one. I’ve only ever seen his bicycles, parked …

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From hand to hand

“I’ve always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.” ― Robert Michael Pyle During the third semester of my PhD program in Communications (from which I withdrew at the end of that semester, due to uncertainty about Matt’s schedule …

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