People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has … Read more
Where lies your landmark, seamark, or soul’s star? — “On the Portrait of Two Beautiful Young People“
“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”
I get this with my students; they work for months and then suddenly get depressed because they discover Picasso did something similar fifty years ago. We all live in the world. We all participate in the culture. Because you’re in the culture, you have shared the privilege of experiencing an idea. You’re in the swimming … Read more
This feels like calling. I’ve learned across the years that with calling, what you have to set absolutely is your intention, and you have to both trust in and let go of control over the results of your actions. I believe that we are planting seeds that will endure beyond me and the life of … Read more
Old preachers used to say, when I was growing up, you look on headstones in graveyards, in cemeteries, and you see the name of the person; then you see the year and date they were born, and then a little dash, and the year and date that they died. And the old preachers used to … Read more
Find out who you are and do it on purpose.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is … Read more
Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, that yieldeth the true glory; through him who, for the finishing of thy work, laid down his life for us, … Read more
I value a ‘don’t know’ attitude highly, because it’s ambiguous, and fosters a ‘beginner’s mind’ in which there are more possibilities than an ‘expert’s mind.’ Do your art and forget about marketing it. You can always find somebody else to do the marketing, but you can’t find somebody else to do the art. There is … Read more
If you’re prone to thinking you should be helping more, that’s probably a sign that you could afford to direct more energy to your idiosyncratic ambitions and enthusiasms. As the Buddhist teacher Susan Piver observes, it’s radical, at least for some of us, to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary … Read more
Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
It is in our hands to make of our world a better one for all. — #MandelaDay
“Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play?” Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start. — The Artist’s Way
The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never … Read more
Don’t write what you know, write towards what you want to know. A writer is an explorer. She knows she wants to get somewhere, but she doesn’t know if the somewhere even exists yet. It is still to be created. Don’t sit around looking inward. That’s boring. In the end your navel contains only lint. … Read more
I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors – Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of eye – And for an everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky – Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – The spreading … Read more
I laugh. I had tried to read the river. But the river read me, asking How will you live your mayfly life? — A Wild Swim with Mayflies
Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. . . . All life tends to grow like this, in mystery inscaped with paradox and contradiction, yet centered, in its very heart, on the divine mercy . . . and … Read more
No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees, And on the doorstep of a big, old house A young man stands and plays his flute. I watch the silver notes fly up And circle in the blue sky above the traffic, Travelling where they will. And suddenly this paving-stone Midway between my front door and … Read more
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that … Read more
we are the ones we have been waiting for — Poem for South African Women
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the … Read more
“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many … Read more
Meister Eckhart brings to God A stone How shall I speak of you? It asks By being a stone Says God — Echoes of Eckhart
in all the falling, flawing, failing. there is the grace of learning. of shedding an old life. for a new. let a new life happen to you.
You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, just wait. You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, still and solitary. And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. — … Read more
when creating. be kind to your doubt. hear it out. thank it for its concern. and reassure it that you are an artist. and risk is essential. — when creating
Hope imagines the future and then acts as if that future is irresistible.
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 … Read more
Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.
If you are not optimistic about change, why be involved in the first place? — Interview in the Church Times
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour — Auguries of Innocence
The three factors that seem to have the greatest influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous. — from The Book of Joy, with Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.
What will you do now with the gift of your left life? — Snow
Believe the compliments you are given. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Don’t doubt the benefits of being the brightest shade of you on the spectrum. — Take Up Space
Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Thinking is the hardest work there is, which … Read more
And to me, if you really want to rediscover wonder, you need to step outside of that tiny, terrified space of rightness and look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say, ‘Wow, I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.’ — On … Read more
In prosperity, may you grant perseverance to will one thing Amid distraction, collectedness to will one thing In suffering, patience to will one thing. — Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing
Here’s the thing, if we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets. The point is to not hate ourselves for … Read more
Start a new project, set a new goal or find a way to inspire others, on your own terms. Don’t just use your talent, give it away at every opportunity. To share it is to feed it. — On Literary Envy
Oh God! May I be alive when I die.
I did what I could, where I was, with what I had. — Paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt
An artist is not a special kind of person, rather every person is a special kind of artist.
Creativity takes courage
Happiness takes effort. Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.
Just start… Don’t wait for perfection. Just start and let the work teach you. — The Blue Sweater
Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
“Never compare someone else’s outside with your inside.” — In conversation at Greenbelt 2014
I am a novice in every new moment of the day, each of which presents possibilities unknown and untried. Why not embrace that fact and see what happens? … [W]e all live at the intersection of our small worlds and the big one around us. If we want to serve others, we must attend to … Read more
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the … Read more
Begin everything you attempt with the earnest prayer that it will be brought to perfection. — Prologue to the Rule, Mucknell Abbey
Become inclined to watch the way of rain When it falls slow and free. Imitate the habit of twilight, Taking time to open the well of color That fostered the brightness of day. Draw alongside the silence of stone Until its calmness can claim you. Be excessively gentle with yourself. — Excerpt from A Blessing for … Read more
If governments knew how subversive is contemplative prayer, they would ban it. — Thank you to Maggie Ross
Trade with the gifts that God has given you.
There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn’t need to be painful or empty. You need to … Read more
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. — NRSV
“The progress of any writer is marked by those moments when she manages to outwit her own inner police system which tells her what is permissible, what is possible, what is ‘her’.” — Foreword by Ted Hughes to Sandy Brownjohn “What Rhymes With ‘Secret’?”, adapted
Keep buggering on — Thank you to Anthony Wilson
It is not the critic who counts; not the woman who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who … Read more
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing … Read more
You can do anything, but not everything.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder. — Eternal Echoes
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? — The Summer Day
Lordit is night. The night is for stillness.Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day.What has been done has been done;what has not been done has not been done;let it be. The night is dark.Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own … Read more