“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew. I am in a place, in a situation, as if I had materialized from cloud or risen out of the ground. There is a glad recognition of the long lost and the rest follows. Step by step the wonder of unexpected supply keeps growing. The impressions most useful to my purpose seem always those I was unaware of and so made no note of at the time when taken, and the conclusion is come to that like giants we are always hurling experience ahead of us to pave the future with against the day when we may want to strike a line of purpose across it for somewhere.”
~Robert Frost from The Robert Frost Reader: Poetry and Prose
Photo by Stan Wiechers / Flickr, cc by-sa 2.0
“Calvin says that God takes an aesthetic pleasure in people. There’s no reason to imagine that God would choose to surround himself into infinite time with people whose only distinction is that they fail to transgress. King David, for example, was up to a lot of no good. To think that only faultless people are worthwhile seems like an incredible exclusion of almost everything of deep value in the human saga. Sometimes I can’t believe the narrowness that has been attributed to God in terms of what he would approve and disapprove.”
~Marilynne Robinson from The Paris Review
Hear more of Marilynne Robinson in The Mystery We Are
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“Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill — more of each than you have — inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity.”
~Wendell Berry from Sabbaths
Photo by Sara Biljana / Flickr, cc by 2.0
Hear more poems by Wendell Berry in The Poetry of Creatures
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.
There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and death.”
~Nelson Mandela from Long Walk to Freedom
Photo by Daniel Hoherd / Flickr, cc by-nc 2.0
“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and he gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure.
It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”
~Elisabeth Elliot from Discipline: The Glad Surrender
Homeboy Industries employees at the bakery counter (photo by Homeboy Industries).
Hear our interview with founder/executive director Father Greg Boyle here.
“Walking as an art calls attention to the simplest aspects of the act: the way rural walking measures the body and the earth against each other, the way urban walking elicits unpredictable social encounters.
And the most complex: the rich potential relations between thinking and the body; the way one person’s act can be an invitation to another’s imagination; the way every gesture can be imagined as a brief and invisible sculpture; the way walking reshapes the world by mapping it, treading paths into it, encountering it; the way each act reflects and reinvents the culture in which it takes place.”
~Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Photo by Almond Dhukka / Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0
“I am incapable of conceiving infinity; and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end. I love young people: I want our species to go on in them and I want them to have a better life.”
~Simone de Beauvoir from The Coming of Age
photo by Aya Padrón / Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0
“All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities. When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow. Possibility is the secret heart of time.”
~John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Hear more from O’Donohue in The Inner Landscape of Beauty
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