“Why,” a seventy-six-year-old woman was asked, “are you seeking therapy at your age?” Reflecting both her losses and her hopes, she answered, “Doctor, all I’ve got left is my future.”
Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
How [is one] to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in all life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.
We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.
One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach.
“What can’t be said can’t be said, and can’t be whistled either” are the words of someone whose identity perished several thousand years ago. They are for me a reflecting pool I return to again and again. At times I glimpse a shard of self whistling and I am strangely comforted, for what whistling is not in no way diminishes the sweet beauty of what is.
A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
Look everywhere with your eyes, but with your soul never look at many things, but at one.
If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.
All the way to heaven is heaven.
The service we render for others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth.
You need not cry very loud. He is nearer to us than we think.
The mind cannot long act the role of the heart.
People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle is inborn in us.
A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . . It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
The human face is really like one of those Oriental gods: a whole group of faces juxtaposed on different planes; it is impossible to see them all simultaneously.
I have spent my day stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.