Tag Archives: life

The past is beautiful

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ― Virginia Woolf Reading this quote, I can only wish that Woolf had thought of these words before she took …

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The right way

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett Recently on an early evening walk, I was basking in the new cool of September, and as I approached our Alexandria townhome I looked over the expanse behind it and felt almost as if I …

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Be the navigator

“Time flies.  It’s up to you to be the navigator.” — Robert Orben Though our circumstances differ, and some of us have more opportunities than others, each of us has the power to determine how we will react to the externals we cannot control.  We plan our lives much as a navigator plots a course …

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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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I sit and watch

Oh! ’twas very sad and lonely When I found myself the only Population on this cultivated shore; But I’ve made a little tavern In a rocky little cavern, And I sit and watch for people at the door… Then we gather as we travel, Bits of moss and dirty gravel, And we chip off little …

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Those moments

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”   –  George Saunders There’s nothing at all wrong with acting in ways that are sensible, reserved, and mild.  But there are times when such demeanor …

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Tickled silly

“Optimist: someone who isn’t sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play.” — Robert Brault One year ago I wrote about my precious Aunt Peggy, who has survived things that might have left less optimistic people feeling bitter.  Peggy is one of those people …

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Odd corners

“It is not on mountaintops that the charm of life lies, for we are seldom there. It is in nooks and vales, in odd corners, that life is spent and finds its settings.” — Wallace Nutting Your summer vacation might now be a pleasant memory, or maybe you didn’t even take one.  In any case, …

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More like rivers

“At the time I did not know that stories of life are often more like rivers than books.” ― Norman Maclean Jeff and I spent the first four years of our marriage in Memphis, Tennessee, while he attended dental school there.  I loved the city for many reasons, but what I loved most was the …

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Along the road

“I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took.” — Robert Brault As hard as it might be for some of us to believe this, if we live long enough we will look back on this particular time in our lives and miss at least a few of …

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Constantly and visibly

“Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.” — Roman Payne I don’t know whether it’s because I’m less than three years from 60, or because of the many life-and-death issues my family has faced in the past 18 months, but I …

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No way to say no

And it’s going to be a day There is really no way to say no to the morning Yes it’s going to be a day There is really nothing left to say But come on morning    — Dan Fogelberg This verse is from  “To the Morning,” the first Dan Fogelberg song I ever loved, recorded …

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An extra

“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition …

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Beautiful and terrible

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ― Frederick Buechner That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it? It might seem contradictory to affirm that terrible things will happen, yet advise against fear.  But I think there is a difference between feeling fear occasionally (or even often) versus being afraid.  …

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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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If you removed the rocks

“The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks.” — Fred Beck I’ve written about flowers here too many times to remember, but today I’d like to acknowledge that life is also enhanced by those objects and events that are less flashy, less exciting, and maybe somewhat difficult. What, after all, would be …

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Mere living

“How good is man’s life, the mere living!” — Robert Browning Can we really comprehend the meaning of the phrase “mere living?” If so, probably never as clearly as when we come face to face with the reality of our life’s inevitable end, whether soon or years from now.  I wish for you today a …

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Love and laughter

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ― John Grogan One …

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Many ports

“There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful.” ― Fernando Pessoa Sea voyages make good metaphors for life, because they encompass the adventure, daring, uncertainty, beauty and danger that are part of living.  It might be easy to dream of a journey as a means …

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A curious paradox

“There is a curious paradox that no one can explain. Who understands the secret of the reaping of the grain? Who understands why Spring is born out of Winter’s laboring pain, or why we must all die a bit before we grow again.” — Tom Jones (playwright) from The Fantasticks Today I send virtual flowers …

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Our highest business

“We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life.” — John Cage The post that published one year ago today (linked below) is perhaps the one that has the greatest personal significance to me.  Since I wrote that post, one of the three in that picture is …

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The art of counting

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” — Harold Coffin I often have a problem with envy, especially when friends who are my age start describing their carefree “empty nest” travels and activities.  After nearly 30 years of caretaking and managing the lives of our children (beginning when …

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My sunset sky

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ― Rabindranath Tagore There are a lot of things I really like about getting older.  Based on what others have said or written, I know I’m not the only one who has experienced …

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Something wonderful

“I had begun to feel that the days that stretched out in front of me were a dark, terrifying wilderness. As I wrote about moments along the way, everything looked more friendly, and I discovered that the days are only days. I received and gave love as I untangled my thoughts through the act of …

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We hope it

“Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe After the difficulties of an especially harsh year, I …

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