Tag Archives: quiet

Sometimes to go

“Oh, how one wants sometimes to go from such giftlessly high-flown, cheerless human wordiness into the seeming silence of nature, into the arduous soundlessness of long, persistent labor, into the wordlessness of deep sleep, of true music, and of a quiet, heartfelt touch grown mute from fullness of soul!” — Boris Pasternak Probably nobody I …

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Stand ajar

“The Soul should always stand ajar That if the Heaven inquire He will not be obliged to wait…”  — Emily Dickinson There has been much conjecture about Dickinson’s relatively minimal social contact, which was unusual for a woman from a prominent family.  She has been labeled a “hermit” or a “recluse,” but perhaps she was …

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Hardly a waste

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” ― Sir John Lubbock Rest is not optional; it’s necessary to health and sanity, but it seems we are in …

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The rest of the mind

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” — William Penn I can’t remember anyone ever describing me as a quiet person, but even so, I am continually amazed at how noisy the world is becoming.  Jeff and I can hardly …

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Our consolation

“Gladly do we quit the dust and din …to go and breathe peacefully in some far-off nook of the woods, all surprise that the brook is so limpid, the forest so still, the solitude so enchanting. Thank God there are yet these uninvaded corners…The realm of silence is vaster than the realm of noise. Herein …

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A perfect ratio

“There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide, free, open, generous spacing among plants and animals…There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.” — …

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Serenity is contagious

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious.” — Satchidananda Saraswati Serenity has never been my strong suit, but maybe that’s why I …

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We need quiet

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” ― Ester Buchholz Of all the seasons, winter seems most linked with quiet; short days, long nights, the silence of snowfall and the calming blank canvas of …

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Beautiful and joyful

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying.  The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” — Elise Boulding …

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Pleasure in the pathless woods

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more…”  —Lord Byron There’s something very calming about nature that neutralizes the toxic overload of a …

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Your message

“If you want to get your message across, shut up.” — Mardy Grothe I don’t take this advice nearly as often as I ought to, but today, I get it.  I schedule these posts about two weeks in advance, so I have no idea how I’ll be feeling when this post is published.  But right …

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Enter this wild wood

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs No school of long experience, that the world Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares, To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood And view the haunts of nature…  — William Cullen Bryant The poem from …

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Clarity from stillness

“If water derives clarity from stillness, how much more so does the mind!” — Zhuangzi In a recent post, I discussed the fascination of watching moving waters.  But still waters are captivating as well, particularly when they mirror beautiful scenery. Stillness is a trait that doesn’t come naturally to me.  Even when my body is not …

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Going to the desert

“Modern life is becoming so full that we need our own ways of going to the desert to be relieved of our plenty.” – Thomas Moore The first time we ever drove across the United States en route to our new home in California, we thought we were making pretty good time when we arrived in …

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The best kind of friend

“The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.” — Author Unknown As much as I enjoy talking (OK, no wisecracks here) I have to admit that an amiable silence is also one …

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A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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Delicate enjoyment

“Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.” — Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin Whatever else can be said of contemporary culture, it seldom suggests “delicate enjoyment” or for that …

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The incubator of the spirit

“The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit.” — Marya Mannes I relish solitude, but loneliness is one of the most …

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Solace in the seedlings

“…all of this time in the garden is stolen, snatched away from other priorities that clamor for attention before or after hours: family, meals, reading, household chores. This clamor is barely audible to the commuter gardener, though, for he has found his solace in the seedlings and flowers and fruits that come from the bits …

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The last refuge

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” — Oscar Wilde I know very few people who do not lead complex lives, and most of us yearn for simplicity.  Yet the complexity is also a blessing; a rich fabric woven with countless threads that add color, durability or utility.  Thus I …

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Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

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Never far

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” —James Norwood Pratt It seems contradictory that a chatterbox such as I would love silence as much as I do, but there it is. Perhaps it comes of having lived with Jeff for so many years. Or perhaps, in …

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Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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Leisured coziness

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ― P.G. Wodehouse Autumn is a wonderful season for tea lovers, and “leisured coziness” is a …

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