Tag Archives: inspiration

Hints of gladness

When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.    – Mary Oliver I had already begun putting this post together when I looked for a link …

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A book of hope

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom…possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz The past few weeks have been so …

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How important you are

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ― Fred Rogers “Mister Rogers wasn’t a relic of a simpler time; he …

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Count on flowers

“No matter how uncertain our world sometimes seems, we can count on flowers to appear each spring.” – Barbara Milo Ohrbach Longtime members of the Defeat Despair community will be familiar with Susan, whom I first met here and whose previous visits have inspired earlier posts. She spent some time with Matt and me this …

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To transform

“He had a way of using all that he read and experienced to transform the way that he lived. There was no such thing as purely academic knowledge for him…” — John Bremer As it happens, I’m taking a break from working hard on a “purely academic” paper on C. S. Lewis that’s due in …

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Go after it

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London I just love this quote. I think it applies to all sorts of inspiration, not just artistic or literary. If I have learned anything from life, one of the most indelible lessons of experience is that inactive brooding …

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Your vision

“Your vision of the future is not intended to keep you living in a ‘someday’ mode. It is as much a guide to the way you live out each day in the present as it is to direct you toward the future.” — Mark Brunetz This quote from Brunetz pinpoints the difference between getting stuck …

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Making life more bearable

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow…” — Kurt Vonnegut “What is the purpose of your blog?”  That’s a question others have asked occasionally …

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Learn to look passionately

“…it is even more urgent that we learn to look passionately and technically at stories, if only to protect ourselves from the false and manipulative ones being circulated among us.” ― George Saunders Tomorrow is the third anniversary of this blog.  For the past year, I’ve published posts only twice weekly, instead of the daily posts that …

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Many worlds

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…” — Marcel Proust How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few …

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Due gratitude and respect

“Thus the hurry of spirits, that ever attends the eager pursuit of fortune and a passion for splendid enjoyment, leads to forgetfulness; and thus the inhabitants of America cease to look back with due gratitude and respect on the fortitude and virtue of their ancestors, who, through difficulties almost insurmountable, planted them in a happy …

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Incredible power

“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, and they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Mardy Grothe Never underestimate the effect words can have, for better or worse.  The Bible’s book of James (chapter 3) is one of many sources of wisdom that remind us of the importance of guarding what we …

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Solaced and refreshed

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” ― Martin Luther I connect with a lot of things Martin Luther said, but none more than this quote.  There is nothing quite like music to soothe, heal, cheer, console or bring cathartic tears.  Music …

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That’s why I recommend it

“People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either.  That’s why I recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar I hope it’s obvious why I like this quote.  As I’ve often said, this blog is my own way of forcing myself to focus on the positive things and be …

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This bequest of wings

Quai d’Orléans Paris — Photo by Moonik (CC BY-SA 3.0) “He ate and drank the precious words, His spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, Nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty A loosened spirit …

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At the threshold

“The pressure of adversity is the most powerful sustainer of accountability. It’s as though everything you do is multiplied by 50 in order to surpass those with a head-start. I was never capable of slacking when at the threshold of failure.” ― Criss Jami One year ago, for Mother’s Day, I posted about my mother’s …

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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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The greater part

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.  We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our …

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The most powerful drug

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling I don’t remember when I first realized that not everyone was as fascinated by words as I am, but it’s something that I still don’t fully understand.  I have always been so drawn to words; their meaning, their rhythms and sounds, the …

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Dear earth

“…a greater glory I may one day see, but oh today, dear earth, how I love thee.” — Louise E. Weber, as recorded in the notes of Ronald Reagan Skeptics sometimes describe those of us who believe in heaven as people for whom religion is a crutch; a desperate hope to which we cling when things …

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Solace, inspiration, adventure

“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” — Lorraine Anderson Whatever may be bugging you, I’ll bet it would be eased somewhat if you could manage a few moments to get away to a place without electronics, …

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Daylight in the mind

“Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” —  Joseph Addison Have you ever had one of those days when you felt angry at the world?  Maybe even for no particular reason?  It’s awful to be caught in that cycle of negativity that seems …

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Yonder lies the way

“The hour is ripe, and yonder lies the way.” — Virgil In most ways I’m a cautious person.  I tend to fall into what a friend once described as “paralysis by analysis,” so fearful of making a mistake that I think and re-think decisions far too long.  This blog, however, was an exception that could …

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Intense love

“Creative work carries with it a form of intense love.” – Lin Yutang Lin Yutang’s description of creativity is parallel to the Bible verse that tells us “God is love.” If God’s love has been made manifest in the boundless beauty and diversity of creation, it stands to reason that people made in God’s image …

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