To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich. To listen to stars and birds and babes and sages with an open heart. To work hard, think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions. Never hurry. In a word, to let the spiritual, the unbidden and the unconscious rise up through the common. This is my symphony.
“—how wonderful to be who I am, made out of earth and water, my own thoughts, my own fingerprints—all that glorious, temporary stuff.”
∆ Mary Oliver, excerpt of “On Meditating, Sort Of”, in Blue Horses
"I’m finding that we live by the stories that we tell ourselves and that sometimes we realize that the story we’ve been telling ourselves for a long time was either wrong or lacked a certain amount of information, and then we have the choice of whether to reject the new information because it’s too painful to rethink the story that we’ve been telling ourselves, or assimilate the new information and go, wow life is complicated, this is an interesting wrinkle. I choose to do the latter. "
To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.
∆ Barbara Brown Taylor
We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.
∆ Louise Glück, from “Nostos” in Meadowlands
We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and a life of total, efficient conformity.