Tag Archives: experience

But one has seen

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is …

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Such an honest thing

“What I like about experience is that it is such an honest thing. You may take any number of wrong turnings, but keep your eyes open and you will not be allowed to go very far before the warning signs appear. You may have deceived yourself, but experience is not trying to deceive you. The …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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Odd but true

“It’s odd but true that there really is consolation from sad poems, and it’s hard to know how that happens. There is the pleasure of the thing itself, the pleasure of the poem, and somehow it works against sadness.” – Carol Shields When I first read this quote, I thought about the song  “Fast Car” …

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I learn by going

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.    I learn by going where I have to go. —  Theodore Roethke I’ve never been fond of awakening from a nice dreamy sleep, and getting up (especially on cold, dark mornings) is not something I do well. I envy and wonder at Jeff’s ability to get up very early, usually …

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Not actually alone

“There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling, and for the same reason.  When you travel, and when you read, you are not actually alone, but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.” — Shauna Niequist There’s …

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To number our days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (NIV) Jeff’s days are numbered.  But so are mine, and yours, and everybody’s. One of the benefits of slamming face-first into the reality of our own mortality is implied in the verse above.  I’ve found that many of the …

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The years teach us

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” ― Elizabeth Taylor (the novelist) One of the great blessings of having parents who live a long time is the ability to learn from them about how to handle what lies ahead.  As my siblings and …

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What counts

“What counts is what you learn after you know it all.” – Earl Weaver Sometimes it seems that life is one long series of reaching the top of one hill only to start all over again at the bottom of another one.  After awhile, we realize that we never stop needing to learn.  Most of …

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Age has no reality

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” — Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Ah, but the physical world …

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The everyday struggle

“One wrestles with one’s dragons until the end of one’s life — it is a constant and eternal process.  The crises in one’s life only show up in intensity what is going on every day.  The crises are there, perhaps in order to illuminate the everyday struggle…so that one may be better prepared to fight, …

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Distance lends enchantment

‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue. — Thomas Campbell Time and memory don’t always improve the way things seem to us, but often they do.  As with the old saying about the weather, if you are unhappy today, wait a while. Although it may be hard …

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I am glad

“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” – Ovid There’s a lot to think about in this brief quote.  For one thing, isn’t it amusing to realize that Ovid lived in comparatively modern times, at least as he saw it?  Terms such as “ancient” and “modern” are relative, aren’t …

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We must discover

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” — Marcel Proust As several readers have pointed out recently, we have many sources from which to seek wisdom. For people of faith, holy scriptures are primary; for all of us, other …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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Not a harbor

“The past is a lighthouse, not a harbor.” — origin unknown Change can be difficult even for those of us who crave novelty.  It’s especially frightening when we are brought face-to-face with our own mortality, or that of someone we love.  If we have been blessed with happy memories to treasure, letting go can be …

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