A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

~Rita Mae Brown
Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

~Alfred Adler


On The Bedside Table
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Quotes archive

All the quotes. All in one place. Latest at the top. Including the ones from my old site because they're all so damn good. If I do say so myself.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Berthold Auerbach
A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.

Jean de La Fontaine
Who wants to live with one foot in hell just for the sake of nostalgia?
Our time is forever now!

Alice Childress
People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea
that most things are keyhole shaped.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure,
but I don't know many of them.

Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar
In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly.
But with humans it is the other way around:
a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.

Anton Chekhov
There are too many people, and too few human beings.

Robert Zend
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.

Kahlil Gibran
No spring nor summer
beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.

John Donne
Might we not say to the confused voices which sometimes arise from the depths of our being:
"Ladies, be so kind as to speak only four at a time?"

Madame Swetchine
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.
I miss you like hell.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat.

Robert Fuoss
Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.

Henry IV of France
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.

Alfred E. Newman
Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911
How is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?

François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom.

Aldous Huxley
Life is a shipwreck
but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

If you don't get everything you want,
think of the things you don't get that you don't want.

Oscar Wilde
The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity
to know why this is so;
but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger,
and mosquitoes and silly people.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want.

Oscar Wilde
In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

Carl Jung
Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye,
to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.

Margaret Fairless Barber
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

Edward Abbey
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.

Mohandas K. Gandhi
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Beverly Sills
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.

Brooks Atkinson
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Hal Borland
The last time I opened my chakra so I could feel my peace, I got thrown right out of the pub.

The Quote Garden
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.

Jean Nidetch
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present,
but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.
The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.
The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them,
changes both the maker and the destination.

John Schaar, futurist
Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking.
There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by,
and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.

J.C. Watts

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability
of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.

Henry David Thoreau
The journey is difficult, immense.
We will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifetime see all that we would like to see or to learn all that we hunger to know.

Loren Eiseley
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.

John De Paola
Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.

Adolph Monod
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Henry Ford
If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do.
Think up something appropriate and do it.

Edgar Watson Howe
Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.

A.A. Milne
Scope eludes my grasp, there is no finality of vision,
... tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.

A.R. Ammons
"Corsons Inlet"
Only in quiet waters do thing mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.

Hans Margolius
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

African Proverb
I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.

Samuel Butler
The Way of All Flesh, 1903
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

Ambrose Redmoon
I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.

Samuel Johnson
How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? 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.

Barry Lopez
Arctic Dreams
What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.

Bodie Thoene
Warsaw Requiem
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

James D. Miles
Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.

Victoria Glendinning
I think the true gardener is a lover of his flowers, not a critic of them. I think the true gardener is the reverent servant of Nature, not her truculent, wife-beating master. I think the true gardener, the older he grows, should more and more develop a humble, grateful and uncertain spirit.

Reginald Farrer
In a Yorkshire Garden, 1909
Whoever one is, and wherever one is,
one is always in the wrong if one is rude.

Maurice Baring
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.

Oscar Wilde
Good plans shape good decisions.
That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.

Lester R. Bittel
I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.

E. B. White
I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day.
When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is
a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.

When love is not madness,
it is not love.

Pedro Calderon de la Barca
I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food which they take for granted, but his or her entertainment value.

God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the lion.

Fernand Mery
I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

Author Unknown
Conscience is, in most, an anticipation of the opinion of others.

Henry Taylor
Each forward step we take we leave some phantom
of ourselves behind.

John L. Spalding
Don't think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a
total stranger alive. It's really a total stranger giving up almost all of
themselves to keep part of you alive.

Author Unknown
Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?

Author Unknown
Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse
while all the others were making ships.

Charles Simic
For all of us our own particular creature lurks in ambush.

Hugh Walpole
Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament,and for anything I know it my be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from you own brand of unhappiness.

Robertston Davies
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Dorothy Nevill
Measure yourself by your best moments, not by your worst. We are too prone to judge ourselves by our moments of despondency and depression.

Robert Johnson
December 2006
The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.

Sharon Ralls Lemon
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.

Albert Schweitzer
We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.

William Ralph Inge
Outspoken Essays, 1922
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

Mark Twain
Notebook, 1935
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.

José Narosky
November 2006
How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18000 people boo?

Jacques Plante
hockey player
Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.

John Ruskin
There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.

James Thurber
May you have warm words on a cool evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

Irish Toast
A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.

Tennessee Williams
'A Streetcar Named Desire'
The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.

Marian Zimmer Bradley
The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.

There's no point in being nuts if you can't have a little fun.

John, A Beautiful Mind
Not enough. More.

We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one.

John Updike
We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.

Newt Gingrich
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters.

Author unknown
attributed to Jim Davis

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries.

Joseph Addison
The Spectator, 1712
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.

Henry Ward Beecher
There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

Douglas Adams
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
October 2006
I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?

Robert Redford
Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

Henry David Thoreau

Cockfighting was illegal in Oklahoma until 1963, when a judge ruled that chickens are not animals and therefore unprotected by anticruelty laws.

U.S. News & World Report
6 December 1999

Support your right to arm bears.

Cleveland Amory

When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth
by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.

Maurice Maeterlinck

We must get beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths...
and tell the world the glories of our journey.

JH Franklin

A series of infinite presents.
Survive one, and you can survive the next.
And on.


We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.

Kenji Miyazawa

Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak;
sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.

Author Unknown

An impossibility does not disturb us until its accomplishment shows what fools we were.

Henry S. Haskins

The real differences around the world today are not between
The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.

William J. Clinton

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

Satchel Paige

It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew - and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world.

J.K. Rowling
"Horcruxes," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

An impossibility does not disturb us until its accomplishment shows what fools we were.

Henry S. Haskins

September 2006
If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.

Frank A. Clark

Bad is never good until worse happens.

Danish Proverb

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

July / August 2006
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

Barbara Bloom

When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How do you do so little?"
It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.

Philip Adams
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Author Unknown
To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows.
It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death.

Jean Anouilh
No individual raindrop is responsible for the flood,
no individual soldier is responsible for the mud.

Denise Dietz
A military operation involves deception.
Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent.
Though effective, appear to be ineffective.

Sun-tzu (~400 BC)
"The Art of War.
Strategic Assessments"
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion.
You must set yourself on fire.

Arnold H. Glasow
Yet this is health: To have a body functioning so perfectly that when its few simple needs are met it never calls attention to its own existence.

Bertha Stuart Dyment
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.

Thomas Szasz
I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

Winston Churchill
June 2006
Our torments also may in length of time become our elements.

"Paradise Lost"
Try not. Do or do not.
There is no try.


The question isn't who is going to let me;
it's who is going to stop me.

Ayn Rand
"The Fountainhead"
The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible.
That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"Flight to Arras"

The thing I am most aware of is my limits.
And this is natural; for I never, or almost never, occupy the middle of my cage; my whole being surges toward the bars.

André Gide

We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice,
and another which we practice but seldom preach.

Bertrand Russell
Sceptical Essays (1928), "Eastern and Western Ideals of Happiness"

May 2006
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

Bertrand Russell

The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.

Rona Barrett
A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn.

Author Unknown
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.

Carol Welch
Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.

Charles Simic
I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.

Jane Wagner
April 2006
If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher
He swings from the chandelier, he paws my peanut butter, and he knocks over my drink in the most unfortunate places in the house - but I still love him like crazy. It's like a hairball in my heart.

Audra Foveo-Alba
Look at yourself then. Consider everything you have fed yourself over the years.

Was it a banquet or a starvation diet?


Who are your friends? Do they believe in you? Or do they stunt your growth with ridicule and disbelief?

If the latter, you haven't any friends. Go find some.

Ray Bradbury

What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known.

Samuel Johnson
Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.

Author Unknown
Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.

J.R.R. Tolkien
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.

Corrie Ten Boom
When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home.

Betty Bender
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

March 2006

Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.

E.L. Konigsburg
I like her because she smiles at me and means it.

Tas Soft Wind
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.

Etty Hillesum
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

Oscar Wilde
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

Charles Dickens
A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs.

Joan Welsh
Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat.

For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.

Samuel Johnson
Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it raging and roaring like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free and ending just where it began.

William Hazlitt
I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.

Cato the Elder (234 BC - 149 BC)
Any new venture goes through the following stages: enthusiasm, complication, disillusionment, search for the guilty, punishment of the innocent, and decoration of those who did nothing.


February 2006

I am but mad north-north-west:
when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.

William Shakespeare

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.

Roger Miller

We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.

Marcel Proust

Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.

J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye, 1945

A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.

Morris Fishbein

Leisure only means a chance to do other jobs that demand attention.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax - tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough.

Pearl Williams

I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form.

Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat

Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.

A. Cornelius Celsus

They threaten me with lung cancer, and still I smoke and smoke. If they'd only threaten me with hard work, I might stop.

Mignon McLaughlin
The Second Neurotic's Notebook

Thank heaven, I have given up smoking again!... God! I feel fit.

Homicidal, but fit.

A different man.

Irritable, moody, depressed, rude, nervy, perhaps; but the lungs are fine.

A.P. Herbert

Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later.

Mary Bly
The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.

Paula Poundstone
In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

Mignon McLaughlin
The Second Neurotic's Notebook
Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man.

Benjamin Franklin
We must believe in luck.
For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Jean Cocteau
(1889 - 1963)
When most of us are upset,
the only thing we can tolerate hearing is what we want to.

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.

Henry Moore
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.

John Burroughs
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.

Bill Vaughan

January, 2006

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.

Wayne W. Dyer
Never wrestle with a pig.
You both get dirty.
The pig likes it.


Destiny is but a phrase of the weak human heart - the dark apology for every error.

The strong and virtuous admit no destiny. On earth conscience guides; in heaven God watches.

And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one and dethrone the other.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803- 1873)
The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays
What we call real estate - the solid ground to build a house on - is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose.

J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds and Other Papers, 1927
The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

Eden Phillpotts, A Shadow Passes
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.

George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.

Margaret Young
Where thou art - that - is Home.

Emily Dickinson
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Henry David Thoreau
They will say that you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.

Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
A hole is nothing at all, but you can still break your neck in it.

Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge,
fitter to bruise than polish.

Anne Bradstreet
Patience: A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.

Ambrose Bierce
To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death.

Jean Anouilh
Australia: n. A country lying in the south sea whose industrial & commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.

Ambrose Bierce
(West Australia)

WA - it's a bloody long way

seen on a tourist t-shirt
God bless America,
God save the Queen,
God defend New Zealand
and thank Christ for Australia

Russell Crowe
(who's from NZ,
in case you didn't know)

Exploration is not so much a covering of surface distance as a study in depth: a fleeting episode, a fragment of landscape or a remark overheard that may provide the only means of understanding and interpreting areas which would otherwise remain barren of meaning.

Claude Levi-Strauss
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us.
Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them...

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once
beautiful and brave.

Rainer Maria Rilke
'Letters to a Young Poet'

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

Anna Quindlen
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx
The man who *does not* read good books has no advantage over the man who *can't* read them.

Mark Twain, attributed

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that supposed to mean?

Toni Morrison
One of the very few reasons I had any respect for my mother when I was thirteen was because she would reach into the sink with her bare hands - bare hands - and pick up that lethal gunk and drop it into the garbage. To top that, I saw her reach into the wet garbage bag and fish around in there looking for a lost teaspoon. Bare hands - a kind of mad courage.

Robert Fulghum
Photography deals exquisitely with appearances,
but nothing is what it appears to be.

Duane Michals
Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.

Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal
All photographs are accurate.
None of them is the truth.

Richard Avedon
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Alfred D'Souza
To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet.

Charles Caleb Colton
By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.

George Herbert
You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.

Frederick Buechner
[I]t is the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like: naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond, because that is what being a boy is.

Coupling- TV show
We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.

Bill Vaughan
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.

Alexander Pope
Chasing the past, I stumbled into the future.

T. Sachs
Omnis Sapientia Salvo Emiolios
Serenity of spirit and turbulence of action should make up the sum of a man's life.

Vita Sackville-West
Envy is ignorance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there
is no single advantage to be gained from it.

Honore de Balzac
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905.
The number one sign you have nothing to do at work:
The 4th Division of Paperclips has overrun the Pushpin Infantry and
General White-Out has called for a new skirmish.

Fred Barling
The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick
The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.

Bertrand Russell
He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.

Author Unknown
Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.

Kin Hubbard
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

Jorge Luis Borges
Libraries: The medicine chest of the soul.

inscription above the door - Library at Thebes
Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.

Leonard Cohen
Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric;
out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.

W.B. Yeats
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

Satchel Paige
Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.

Jim Fiebig
A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.

Rita Mae Brown
You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.

Steven D. Woodhull.
The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.

David Russell
Everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do.

Denis Waitley
I see my trees repair their boughs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I feel like a defective model, like I came off the assembly line flat-out fucked and my parents should have taken me back for repairs before the warranty ran out.

Elizabeth Wurtzel

I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher.

Jonathan Swift

In my day, we didn't have self-esteem, we had self-respect,
and no more of it than we had earned.

Jane Haddam

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.

Oscar Wilde

It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.

Nikolai Gogol

Your face is a book, where men may read strange matters.

William Shakespeare

Accident, n.: A condition in which presence of mind is good,
but absence of body is better.


Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.

Peter Medawar

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.

Hermann Hesse

My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.

Ashleigh Brilliant

"... and like Vegemite and nasal sex, it's an acquired taste."

While I can (almost) see someone acquiring a taste for nasal sex, you will never convince me that Vegemite consumption is anything other than a public display of bravado -- Aussies needed something viler than the merely foul Marmite those pommie poofters were eating so they could prove their intrinsic toughness.


June 2005

Crack open Yeti Imperial Stout’s sophisticated sibling – Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Although these beers come from the same clan, they have entirely different personalities. Aging on a blend of French and toasted oak chips infuses a subtle oak and vanilla character into Yeti’s already intense chocolate, roasted coffee malt flavor and hugely assertive hop profile.

Who says you can’t tame a Yeti?


House, n. A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe.

Ambrose Bierce

It's really the cat's house
- we just pay the mortgage.

Author Unknown

A stiff apology is a second insult....
The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.

G.K. Chesterton

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best
- and therefore never scrutinize or question.

Stephen Jay Gould

What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

Lao Tsu

Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is
as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.

Bradley Millar

There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

Author Unknown

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

Jackson Browne

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.


Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head
with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

Langston Hughes

Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.

Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719), The Spectator, July 12, 1711

Dear Lord, I've been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us...
a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird... a social being... capable of actual affection... nuzzling its young with almost human-like compassion. Anyway, it's dead and we're gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family.

Berke Breathed, Bloom County

I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly
eat a network executive or a politician.

Marty Feldman

Friends are God's apology for relations.

Hugh Kingsmill

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices.
Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

Katherine Mansfield

That's what life's all about...little by little, day by day, with excruciating
stubborness, each of us learning how to be less screwed up.

Dean Koontz

May 2005

I don't suppose you've got anything to drink?


I'm thirsty - not dirty.


The world will let us down many times
but it will never run out of coffee.

Ode to the Air Traffic Controller
Joshua Beckman

You don't have much hope of getting the truth if you think
you know in advance what the truth ought to be.


The best way to predict the future is to invent it

Alan Kay

No one ever told me grief felt so much like fear.

C.S. Lewis

So leben wir, und nehmen immer Abschied.

So we live, forever saying goodbye.

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma,
a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

Umberto Eco

Don't let us make imaginary evils,
when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.

Oliver Goldsmith

How beautiful maleness is,
If it finds its right expression.

DH Lawrence

Winter is come and gone,
But grief returns with the revolving year.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais

Life isn't fair.
It's just fairer than death, that's all.

William Goldman,
"The Princess Bride"

April 2005

I write down everything I want to remember.

That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend a the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.

Beryl Pfizer

I shot an arrow into the air,
And it stuck.

Graffito, LA

If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming & tripping& begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave Man, I guess I am a coward.


Loss of crucial places or things or of those we love, reshapes our world, and obliges us to learn again the task of navigating it.

A.C. Grayling

When one subtracts from life - infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling - buttoning and unbuttoning - how much remains of downright existence?

The summer of a dormouse.

Letters & Journals

March 2005

All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of even one candle.


It is okay to think about what you want to do.
Until it is time to do what you were meant to do.


Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within.

Franz Kafka

The world is a dreamscape,
where things change shape
where everything is subject to interpretation
and no interpretation lasts.

Daniel Hecht
Skull Session

Every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment
on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for.

Thornton Wilder
The Skin of Our Teeth

February 2005

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us


Resolve is never stronger than in the morning after the night it was never weaker.


Everyone's alone, Ally, it's just easier to take in a relationship.

Fishism. Ally McBeal.

Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.

George Carlin

Fairy tales are more than true: not because
they tell us dragons exist, but because
they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

G.K. Chesterton

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Albert Einstein

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

Nelson Mandela
A Long Walk to Freedom

How can you ever know how much is true for everyone and how much is only true for you?

Lewis Shiner

January 2005

Some of the best memories I have,
some of the sweetest moments in my life,
I have shared with you.

Even if there is nothing ahead for us,
we will be connected always by what lies behind.


I have you and even if we never meet or ever see each other,
we have left our thumbprints in the thick, moist clay of each other’s lives.

Hugh Elliott
Standing Room Only,

December 2004

They say time changes things,
but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

You don't determine my worth.

I do.


November 2004

Let reason nervously shout directions from the backseat.

magazine ad

We experience moments absolutely free from worry.

These brief respites are called panic.

A.W. Schaef

Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis.

Martha Beck

Without freedom from the past, there is no freedom at all, because the mind is never new, fresh, innocent


October 2004

and in the face of their knowledge
all these words on paper
ring soundlessly in the vacuum of inattention
I know they mean nothing
as the terrible unaccusing poor know also
while brightly colored birds
Fly in and out from lonely caves of my imagination

Al Purdy
'One Rural Winter'

I'm in favor of personal growth as long as it doesn't include malignant tumors.

George Carlin

Can we actually 'know' the universe?

My god, it's hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown.

Woody Allen

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing,

while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know.
It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't.

Anatole France

Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
but peace amidst the storm.


What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.

Dave Barry

September 2004

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

Mother Teresa

for this bit of green costume jewellery
the beginnings of understanding,
the remoteness of alien love.

Al Purdy
'At Roblin Lake'
(it's about a frog)

Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music.

George Carlin

I've never had problems with drugs.
I've had problems with police.

Keith Richards

Wherever you go,
go with all your heart.


Any new experience is another opportunity.


I take my desires for reality,
Because I believe in the reality of my desires.


August 2004

Sanity is the playground for the unimaginative.


My doctor told me I could never take Prozac as I might go off and kill someone.

Is that really what I'd do if I cheered up?

Norm Conrad

The very existence of the flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'

George Carlin

Opportunity may only knock once but tempation stands there leaning on the doorbell


I love Mankind.
I't s the people I can't stand.

Linus - Charlie Brown

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

George Carlin

July 2004

The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reason is necessary.

Ashleigh Brilliant

Remember, you can listen a person's soul into existence.

-campus sign for a crisis hotline

It takes great courage to see the world in all it's tainted glory and still love it.

'An Ideal Husband'

The definition of insanity is the repetition of the same behavior over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

'28 Days'

..and the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of Heaven...

Walt Whitman

For all of us our own particular creature lurks in ambush.

Hugh Walpole

A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

Gian Vincenzo Gravina

Subtlety is the art of saying what you think
and getting out of the way before it is understood.


A ship in a harbor is safe.
But that is not what ships are made for.


June 2004

The Earth turned to bring us closer,
it spun on itself and within us,
and finally joined us together in this dream

Eugenio Montejo

The real question of life after death isn't whether or not it exists, but even if it does, what problems this really solves.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

But I ask, if I think not, am I not? I think not. Don't you think?


Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

Jules Renard

Scars have the power to remind us the past was real.

Hannibal Lector

If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind someone and pinching him is probably a joke that gets old real fast.

Jack Handey (Deep Thoughts)

Nietzche was stupid and abnormal.

Leo Tolstoy

May 2004

What's your problem with cults?

Why just today while writing a check I said to myself. "This money is going to fund religious zealots bent on subverting everything I hold dear."

But I mailed in my income tax anyway.

"and lead us not into temptation but deliver us some email"

4 yr old girl overheard misquoting the Lords Prayer, found on Rinkworks.com

What if this weren't a hypothetical question?


Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before.


If there was a gentler soul in this world,
I ain't never seen it.

Open Range

I will love thee forever.
Come whatever storms.


Everyone is entitled to be stupid but some people abuse the privilege.


A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.

Arnold H. Glasgow

The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us.

April 2004

True strength is not a measure of the body,
It is a measure of the spirit.

Deodorant commerical

When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

Chief Aupumut, Mohican

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.

Lily Tomlin

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.

Rita Rudner

Do or Do Not. There is no try.


Only say the word and I will pour myself like wine.
You are
The only thing that shines.

Never wrestle with a pig.
You both get dirty.
The pig likes it.

If it doesn't fit - just push harder.

In this life of froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another's troubles,
Courage in your own.

'Tomorrow When the War Began'
John Marsden

If one lived in fear of what was to come, one lost what could be gained in the here and now.

The word "choice" is a fraud while people choose only what they have been taught to choose.

Idries Shah

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

Edgar Allan Poe

If you insist on booking passage on the Titanic, there's no point in going steerage.

One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.


Are you every going to grow up?

What? And become the bewildered recipient of all those weird envelopes with cellophane windows? God, I hope not.

Kathy Lette
'Altar Ego'

Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently, there must be a beverage.

Woody Allen

You are only what you are when no one is looking.

He remembered reading someplace that only mad people were dead-certain of their sanity.

March 2004

This week I will experiment with how long I can go without sleep before it starts impairing my judgement.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Although I understand that I must walk through the pain, not around it, I affirm my right to do so in a medicated state.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

I accept that I am an abusive parent to my inner child.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will practice new ways of expressing my impatience.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

I am not responsible and should never be treated as such.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will yawn and fidget when people try to engage me in conversation.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will misuse big words to test other people's intelligence.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

The next time I see an especially suspenseful movie, I must remind myself to use the knowledge I gain to spoil it for someone who hasn't seen it.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will accept that I feel claustrophobic because I actually am trapped.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will remind myself that it takes a lot of energy to be as dysfunctional as I am; therefore, I deserve rest and physical pampering.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

February 2004

Today I will read about a strange disease; I will then spend my day tracing my symptoms.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will loan a bothersome friend a novel with pivotally important pages removed.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

I have a right to overheat my home so that all visitors stick to my plastic upholstery covers.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I will hoard something I was denied as a child.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Today I celebrate the fact that my underdeveloped sense of identity allows me to fit into a wide range of situations.

from: Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr - Affirmations for Cynics

Whether you succeed or fail
You are what you dare.

Greg Bear

In Heaven an angel is nobody in particular.

I must warn you, if you insist on seeing everything by means of the opinions of others, what you will discover in yourself will be only the opinions of others.

John Malkovich
'Heart of Darkness'

January 2004

Some men are prisoners of rational thought.

Dance me to the end of love.

Leonard Cohen

A pedestal is as much a prison as any other small space.

Can you blame someone for something he doesn't let himself know he's doing and even when you point it out - sees nothing wrong with it?

Little boys are afraid of bogeymen.
Big people fear teenagers.

All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of one candle.

I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.

Johnny Depp

How we view ourselves - victim, hero, loved and unloved - changes over time.

'Dead Like Me'

No matter where I go, there will be memories that tug at my sleeve.

Barbara Streisand

December 2003

There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.

Under the paving stones - the beach.

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

Abba Eban

Instant gratification takes too long.

I cannot convince a man of my truth simply by silencing him when he tries to speak his own.

You should always leave a party just when you are most enjoying yourself.

Happiness is something so big but so little understood that we often mistake it for insanity.

Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport;
the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest.


It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.

Dean Alfange

There's nothing more satisfying than a rigid hierarchy
- provided you're at the top of it.


Just because the message may never be received does not mean it is not worth sending.


The world is a better place because of those who refuse to believe they cannot fly.


Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.


The worth of mankind will be measured by only those things that he was able to leave alone.

William Oscar Swensk

Hope is the most supreme form of defiance.

Katherine Vaz

It isn't what you know that counts - it's what you think of in time.


We all know the same truth - our lives consist of how we distort it.


Even the most ordinary things become magical in the right situations.


November 2003

There is no sensitive way to deal with insensitive people.


You did what you knew how to do and now that you know better -
You do better.

Maya Angelou

Answers have no meaning unless they are found by whoever asks the questions.


Life is too full of random cruelty to take anything personally.


In the war against reality
Imagination is the only weapon.

Callaway golf ad, mid 90's

How can you ever know how much is true for everyone and how much is only true for you?

Lewis Shiner

The world is no longer a romantic place.
Some of it's people, however, still are.
Therein lies the promise.

Some things are hard to explain but that doesn't make them any less true.


If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail.


Are you ever going to grow up?
What? And become the bewildered recipient of all those
weird envelopes with cellophane windows?
God, I hope not.

Kathy Lette
'Altar Ego'

It is the weak who are cruel.
Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.

Leo Rosten

An eerie yet charming scene, of a school playground at night, bathed in the light of a full moon, no kids around, but with a huge and monstrous-looking werewolf having a grand and giddy time on a set of swings.

October 2003

Some people's whole lives were one numbed shuffle from birth to death.

-Charles deLint

Deborah has watched the fight from the floor, hoping that an attendent would trip over her foot, so that she might play a little parody of St. Augustine and say later,

"Well, the foot was there, but I didn't make him use it. Free will, after all - free will."

"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden"

There is no question that there is an unseen world.
The problem is - how far is it from midtown and how late is it open?

-attributed to Woody Allen

I've got an infinite number of places to go...
The problem is where to stay, isn't it?


Hope is the most supreme form of defiance.

Katherine Vaz

There's no such thing as a mistake.
There's what you do, and, what you don't do.


If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? I got all my friends for free! Some I didn't want. Please answer this riddling nightmare that haunts me so.
Jerry, via the internet.

The only currency in this bankrupt world is the things you share when you're being uncool.


I will stay here, until I am sure what I am leaving.

Leonard Cohen

Under the paving stones - the beach.

Every time I believe you're the shallowest person I've ever met -
You suprise me and drain a little more out of the pool.


You are trespassing.
You are making a gradual or stealthy entrance into the sphere of another.

Leigh 'Secretary'

September 2003