Category Archives: Special quotes
Remembering, by Wendell Berry
A number of years ago, Byron read a book I recommended to him. It was Remembering, by Wendell Berry. I have always liked Wendell Berry’s books, and there were things in this book that reminded me of my Dad. So Byron read it, but he didn’t like it as much as I did. However, this many years later, I found this quote copied down in his notebook:
A Courageous Hospitality
Something I’ve been thinking about this morning…from the poet John O’Donohue in his book, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings.
May you find in yourself
A courageous hospitality
Toward what is difficult,
Painful, and unknown.
My Heart Goes Out to the People of Ukraine
My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine right now.
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart
The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of
(I found this painting and quote on the Instagram page of The Charter For Compassion.)
Back to my Walking
There have been many disruptions in my daily outdoor walking ritual in the last few months, cold and darkness accounting for most, but I am happy to report that I am back to my early morning walks! Two photos below, taken yesterday and the day before, show how beautiful it is out there and why I love these walks.
Love of Books
Even though I read a lot more on my Kindle these days, this is still so true for me! For you, too?
The Land of the Blue Flower
More wise words from Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden. A lovely thought from her short book called The Land of the Blue Flower:
“The earth is full of magic…Most men know nothing of it and so comes misery. The first law of the earth’s magic is this one. If you fill your mind with a beautiful thought there will be no room in it for an ugly one.”
Garden Snapshot: Fall Hydrangeas
I love what happens to my hydrangeas in the Fall! This part of that “long cycle” is so beautiful, and I know that Spring will bring the return of these lovely flowers.
…the flowers ring their changes through a long cycle, a cycle that will be renewed. That is what the gardener often forgets. To the flowers we never have to say good-by forever. We grow older every year, but not the garden; it is reborn every spring.
~ May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep
Joseph Conrad Nailed It
My husband has long admired Joseph Conrad’s writing. Conrad’s stories are both powerful and profound, and his writing is impressively beautiful, especially considering that English was not his first language. Byron’s old, yellowed copy of Heart of Darkness sits on our coffee table these days rather than on the bookshelf.
So I wasn’t surprised the other day when Byron asked me to read a quote from Conrad’s, Lord Jim. He had just run across the quote in his handwritten reading notebook, copied down from his reading of the book in 2018, and told me that the quote described what having terminal cancer is like for him. He said that Conrad nailed it. It is heart-wrenching to read, but I’m glad that he shared these really deep emotions with me, through the words of one of his favorite authors.
I decided to share this quote with you, because I think it perfectly demonstrates a big part of why we read — to find those nuggets of truth that explain, give an understanding of, or put into words what we are going through in life at the moment.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, Chapter 2
There are many shades in the danger of adventures and gales, and it is only now and then that there appears on the face of facts a sinister violence of intention—that indefinable something which forces it upon the mind and the heart of a man, that this complication of accidents or these elemental furies are coming at him with a purpose of malice, with a strength beyond control, with an unbridled cruelty that means to tear out of him his hope and his fear, the pain of his fatigue and his longing for rest: which means to smash, to destroy, to annihilate all he has seen, known, loved, enjoyed, or hated; all that is priceless and necessary—the sunshine, the memories, the future,—which means to sweep the whole precious world utterly away from his sight by the simple and appalling act of taking his life.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Thoughts on Marriage
I recently read Letters to a Young Poet, by the Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, and found it full of warmth and wisdom. I was particularly touched by his thoughts on marriage that were included in one of the ten letters he wrote the young poet. After 52 years of marriage, I thought he eloquently expressed our own truth.
The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.