Archive for ‘Quotations’

October 22, 2012

Write to discover what you believe

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.

Gustave Flaubert

October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs on Death

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.”

September 29, 2011

Death Quotations

I’m helping to plan a memorial service for a good friend and keep noticing quotations about death and dying. Here are some:

Plato was asked at the very end of his life to sum up his whole life’s work, his philosophy, he said simply, “Practice Dying”.
My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me. (Quote by – Carl Jung)

Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963)

Jung’s autobiography, recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffé. (Pantheon Books, 1963)
  • Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

Maurice Sendak

“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

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December 2, 2009

Necessary Beauty

Anne Michaels writes in her book Fugitive Pieces, “Make beauty necessary, make necessity beautiful”.

November 29, 2009

Hypocrisy and Imperfection

quotation from The Bishop’s Man

… And I remembered Father Roddie, the philosopher, and his words the week before my ordination. Nobody is perfect, not in this life; but we have to show, by example, how to manage imperfections.

But Father Roddie didn’t reveal to me the secret weapon for the management of imperfection. I had to learn that for myself. I had to learn about hypocrisy alone.

October 18, 2009


Here’s a quotation I heard today at a talk on art and social change. I’m not the first to find inspiration from insects:

The biologist J. S. B. Haldane liked to say that if biology had taught him anything about the nature of the Creator, it was that he had “an inordinate fondness for beetles.”

–Carl Zimmer, Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, p. 198

February 16, 2009

Opportunity knocks – a welcome guest?

Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

February 16, 2009

Thrill of Creation

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.
Nikola Tesla 1896, inventor of alternating current

December 30, 2008

Mystery, mystery, life is a gift and a mystery

Our “art-sharing” group has chosen the topic “mystery” to explore individually and then with the group.  Our explorations might wind up being a worship service or another event or presentation.

I found this quotation by Einstein:

Veneration of Mystery is My Religion

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

– Albert Einstein, Response to atheist, Alfred Kerr (1927), quoted in The Diary of a Cosmopolitan (1971)

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