Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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A powerful call

“…we’ve found that optimism can be a powerful call to action. And it has a multiplier effect: The more optimists there are working for a better future, the more reasons there are to be optimistic.” – Bill and Melinda Gates One of the most pernicious aspects of despair is that it snuffs out the motivation …

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Sparkling colors

“…let’s stay in the loop and pursue the momentous flow of daily little wonders, since life kindly tenders us gorgeous bouquets of sparkling colors, telling signs and rousing episodes.” —  Erik Pevernagie So when I was putting this post together, I kept thinking maybe I should call this blog “Defeat Despair with Flowers.” But then …

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Precious document

“The most precious document in the world is a clean bill of health.” — Ashleigh Brilliant I just got out of the hospital, where I spent most of last week. It’s ironic that last week’s post was about not feeling sorry for oneself, because that pre-scheduled post published on a day when I was feeling …

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To trade places

“Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday, or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at …

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Treasures everywhere

“You don’t need to go to exotic places to find meaningful things. With a bit of curiosity, you can unearth treasures everywhere.” — Mark Zeff Zeff heads an architecture and design firm, so he’s referring here to collections that are featured as part of interior decoration. However, the principle applies to all sorts of treasures, …

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Can you imagine…?

“My house is full of people escaped from literature. If this is the case in my home, can you imagine how it is in a library?” — Isabel Allende I know exactly what Allende means, because my house– or really wherever I find myself– is also crowded with literary escapees. Look over there in the …

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From the insistence

“Much of the bothersomeness of daily life arises not from circumstances themselves, but from the insistence that they ought to be other than they are.” – Oliver Burkeman When I read that quote, I was struck immediately with how truly it describes most of the stress I face each day. As far back as I …

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Always more mystery

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”― Anais Nin One of my favorite people in this blog community frequently wishes me “a wonder-filled week.” I love it! The word wonderful is used so often that we tend to miss its root meaning, so I …

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Spring emerges

“As a child I used to think that spring happened suddenly.  Now I know that spring emerges gradually, as new as dawn—and as old.” – June Masters Bacher We had some unseasonably warm weather a few weeks back, and because of that (and OK, maybe because of what the ground hog said) I was expecting …

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Like a fire

“A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out.” – Eudora Welty The house pictured above is the place I will always think of as my childhood home. I’ve returned there, just to drive by it, several times since my parents first moved away more than twenty years after …

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Too important

“Human beings are too important to be treated as mere symptoms of the past. They have a value which is independent of any temporal process──which is eternal, and must be felt for its own sake.” ― Lytton Strachey I had a rough week, interacting with various robotic systems that were creating errors related to banking, …

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Life is there

And still the earth is cold and white, And mead and forest yet are bare; But there’s a something in the light That says the germ of life is there.           — Jane Goodwin Austin, “February,” c.1886 I searched through all my February photos and couldn’t find any that showed pretty flowery …

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There sat the world

“I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there sat the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.” – Patrick Ness When I was a child, we didn’t have nearly as many children’s …

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Generous beyond all reason

“This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: the facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things that ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.” — Augusten Burroughs Perhaps the …

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Small places in a large world

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket. The stories we tell ourselves and each other are for pleasure and refuge. Like gardens they are small places in a large world. But…we must never mistake the stories we tell for truth.” – Alexandra  Curry Over 30 years ago in a Bible class, the teacher …

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To see wonders

Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer Of one small primrose flowering in my mind. Better than wealth it is, I said, to find One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear… …The years that pass Like tired soldiers nevermore have given Moments to see wonders in the grass. — Patrick Kavanagh This post …

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