Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quote Your Mindset

Today's assignment: in comments, leave a quotation from a famous person, song, poem, story, or any other source. Choose one that best describes your current mindset or, if you're not in any particular mood, a philisophy you embrace.

I'll start with mine:

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. -- Oscar Wilde


  1. Anonymous1:05 AM

    I love nothing more than the entirety of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters To A Young Poet." This, however, holds a special place for me (and please forgive the length):

    We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares have been set around us, and there is nothing that should frighten or upset us...We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

  2. Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. -EB White

    It's a favorite quote, not necessarily for my mindset. If so, I guess every once in a while this one comes to mind:

    There are few things sadder in this life than watching someone walk away after they've left you, watching the distance between your bodies expand until there's nothing... but empty space and silence. "Jane Goodale" from Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman

  3. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

    I just wish we could all make room and let each person bloom where they're planted.

  4. To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

  5. "I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams, 1868.

  6. “Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus

  7. Anonymous2:13 AM

    The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    (Opening lines of the Tao Te Ching)

    I'm not Taoist, but the quote reminds me to remain open to things-as-they-are, which may not be the same as what I thought they were. If that makes any sense.

  8. Anonymous3:15 AM

    "Close your eyes, it's easier that way" -- the first line of "This is home" by I am Ghost.

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge
    --Charles Darwin

  9. "Tho' much is taken, Much abides, and tho'
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved Earth and Heaven, that which we are, we are,
    One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
    -"Ulysses" Alfred Lord Tennyson

  10. I smile, of course,
    And go on drinking tea,
    'Yet with these April sunsets, that somehow recall
    My buried life, and Paris in the Spring,
    I feel immeasurably at peace, and find the world
    To be wonderful and youthful, after all.'

    T.S. Elliot, Portrait of a Lady

  11. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
    Edward Abbey

  12. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Any ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can't see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can't design or ordain.

    Sharon Salzberg, O Magazine, The Power of Intention, January 2004

    I've been reaching, in my life and my writing. What I need to do more of is to trust and just write, just do, and trust that it will all work out.


  13. "When a good writer is having fun, the audience is almost always having fun too. You can take that one to the bank." Stephen King

  14. Anonymous7:48 AM

    The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.

    By Maya Angelou

  15. One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening.
    - Franklin P. Jones

  16. Oh, what a melancholy choice this is,
    Wanting home, wanting him,
    Closing my heart to ev'ry hope but his,
    Leaving the home I love,
    There where my heart has settled long ago
    I must go, I must go,
    Who could imagine I'd be wand'ring so
    Far from the home I love
    Yet there with my love, I'm home.
    - Fiddler on the Roof

  17. "He who dies with the most toys is still dead..."

    -Steve Hogarth of Marillion,
    "Most Toys"

  18. Anonymous8:23 AM

    "Mistress of Vision"

    All things by immortal power,
    Near or far, Hiddenly
    To each other linked are,
    That thou canst not stir a flower
    Without troubling of a star."

    By Francis Thompson (1859-1907)

    This is my favorite poem of all time.

  19. People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.

    -Hermann Hesse

  20. Anonymous9:35 AM

    As a Christian, the saving message of the Gospel is my world philosophy, but this verse in particular resonates with me:

    "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (NAS)

    I find it true in my writing, my work, my relationships... :)

  21. Anonymous9:45 AM

    ''If you talk too much about a book you haven't written yet, it will all turn to air.'' by Oscar Hijuelos

  22. I love literary quotes, so here's another one that really resonates with me:

    "We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless."

    - Paul Bowles (American Author)

  23. It's amazing what clarity you get from psychotic jealousy. -- Julia Roberts (My Best Friend's Wedding)

    This is so me this week.

  24. These are all quite wonderful.
    Not a philosophy or even a reflection of mood, but the song that has run through my head these last two days is from ( I think) "California Dreaming" - all the leaves are down, the leaves are down, and the sky is gray...
    - because I see the leaves scurry and flee back and forth across the pavement, panicked by the wind.
    I understand the familiar and foreign voices of the season, and yet do not.

  25. I've got a few that I like...

    I'm too lethargic to be apathetic... - Not sure who said that.

    Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative...- Oscar Wilde.

    This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force... - Dorothy Parker

    The last one is sooooo apt for this month - NaNoWriMo!

  26. This is what I would get tatooed across my back if I hadn't promised myself I'd never get another tatoo:

    "We're all part of something greater, and we're all part of it together."

    One of the PostSecrets. God, I love that site.

  27. "Two wrongs may not make a right, but a thousand wrongs make a writer."

    -Dennis Miller

  28. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
    Reinhold Niebuhr

    Great wisdom through painful experience is an inside job.

  29. "To sleep, perchance to dream".. I say this not in a suicidal Hamlet way, but in a I-had-a-large-turkey-and-mashed-potatoes-and-gravy-lunch-and-now-my-eyes-are-droopy way.

  30. Because all of my filth is arranged in alphabetical order. This, for instance, is under 'H' for "toy."

    Chris Knight, Real Genius

  31. "You're nothing until you've been booed." -- Bob Dylan

    Something I remember when it seems like the mere act of putting words to paper is an invitation for criticism.

    Otherwise, due to issues in other parts of my life I can't get into, I've been reminding myself "TINAM" (pronounced tin-am). It stands for This Is Not About Me.

    Whatever's going on, whatever decisions that have been made without consulting me, it's nothing personal, and I shouldn't get bent out of shape over it. More times than not, it's Tinam.

  32. Anonymous2:02 PM

    This got me through my first couple of weeks of high school. Dad printed it off, drew a border and taped it to the inside of my binder. Sure, he was trying to be supportive and help me through a major change, but he also wanted to instill a love of Sci-Fi.

    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  33. And if you find her poor,
    Ithaka has not deceived you.
    So wise have you become, of such experience,
    That already you will have understood
    What these Ithakas mean.

    From the poem Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy.

    Today, I'm working on revisions and trying not to find the journey poor. I am trying hard to realize what this particular Ithaka, this book, means.

    The other quote is from Stephen King's On Writing:

    When you write a story, you are telling yourself the story....when you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are NOT the story.

  34. "Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

    I have no idea who said it but I love the sentiment.

  35. I think at the moment I'm in a standard "how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world." state of mind but that'll change any minute. (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

    Maybe to "who ordered this roast beef?" (Woody Allen, Without Feathers)

    Inspirational doesn't hit more than a couple of times a month.

  36. Anonymous5:48 PM

    ^ Too true, kate.

    "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9.

    "Pyschology is crazy." -Miri Baker.

    "Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable, and see if we may not eff it after all." -Douglas Adams.

  37. "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  38. I'll leave two:

    "Just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you."


    "I wanna stay home today -- don't wanna go out. If anyone comes my way, gonna get thrown out. I wanna stay home today -- don't want no company no way."

    Both are music lyrics. Both just stay with me. *grin*

  39. Song lyrics from "Hold On" by Los Lobos:

    Hold on, hold on to every breath; And if I make it to the sunrise; Do it all over again; Do it all over again; Now I'm killing myself just to keep alive; Killing myself to survive; Killing myself to survive.

  40. "Ring the bells that still can ring,
    Forget your perfect offering,
    There's a crack, a crack in everything.
    That's how the light gets in." by L. Cohen 'Anthem'

  41. Isak Dinesen:

    "Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost."

  42. Anonymous7:56 PM

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

  43. "If we can figure out what's important to us as individuals, if we can isolate the things we must cling to no matter what, and if we can reject all the noise and the garbage that try to bury those things, we won't have to worry about getting lives. We'll have them." — Jennifer Crusie

    I'm working on getting a life, so this one really hit me upside the head!

    — Bonz

  44. "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.”
    Denis Waitley

    "Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week." Spanish Proverb

    Haha, can you tell what I'm struggling with right now? ^_~

  45. One of my favorite authors:

    True love is the only heart disease that is best left to "run on"--the only affection of the heart for which there is no help, and none desired.
    - Mark Twain's Notebook

  46. Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.

    Pablo Picasso

    I think that applies to writing as well.

  47. "Say what you mean and mean what you say." - My Mom.

    It's one of those Mommyisms that has stuck with me through the years. It encourages pause, to consider the words before they fly out of the mouth, or fingers. It sometimes leads into the other good line of advice "Silence is golden." which, again, apart from the song, I have no clue where it originates.

    These come in to play an awful lot when dealing with my children when they've been naughty. As well as bigoted old people, sexist Father-in-law, insipid workmates. Yup, best to keep words under control in those situations, because "What goes around, comes around." and "You reap what you sow."

    All bets are off on a blog though. Ah, to freedom of anonymity!

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

    ~Edgar Allen Poe

  49. Anonymous12:27 PM

    If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come.

    -Native American Proverb-

  50. Anonymous5:15 PM

    fear is the mind killer - Dune(Frank Herbert)

  51. I forgot! I have loaded up on inspirational phrases because I'm listening to Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time on tape. So now the sayings of Mrs.Marietta Cosmopilite are big in our life.
    "You never know."
    "Can't judge a book by it's cover."
    "It never rains but it pours."
    "I wasn't born yesterday."

  52. F*^# it all and no regrets

    Yeah, that'd be Metallica.

  53. Hi, I came across your blog from a link to the post novel mcten, and enjoyed reading your posts.

    One of my favourite literary quotes is "How wonderful it feels to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century" - Muriel Spark, Loitering with Intent.

    May I add a link to your blog on my website?

    Thanks and Best Wishes!

  54. Anonymous10:30 PM

    You might have to read this one a couple times through to get it, but to me it's worth it because the comic passed on words of wisdom...

    "I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are." -Milton Berle


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