The most simple things in life are the most difficult things. Just getting through a day well is not easy. The most difficult thing in life, I think, is living. I mean, really living. A lot of the time I’m in the present, and I’m thinking about the past or scheming about the future and missing every present moment, instead of actually partaking of the sacrament of every present moment. And that is the healing factor. . . .

R.D. Laing

. . . I am caught again in those revolving doors of childhood.

Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream

If you enter into healing, be prepared to lose everything. Healing is a ravaging force to which nothing seems sacred or inviolate. As my original pain releases itself in healing, it rips to shreds the structures and foundations I built in weakness and ignorance. Ironically and unjustly, only I can pay the price of having lived a lie. I am experiencing the bizarre miracle of reincarnating, more lucidly than at birth, in the same lifetime.

Ely Fuller, The Courage to Heal

A child’s trust has the stubbornest roots: it takes far more digging than you would expect to pull out every little piece.

Deborah Moggach

I think that I am here, on this earth,
To present a report on it, but to whom I don’t know.
As if I were sent so that whatever takes place
Has meaning because it changes into memory.

Czeslaw Milosz, Unattainable Earth

Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still, we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.

Carl Jung

Ferris glimpsed the disorder of his life: the succession of cities, of transitory loves; and time, the sinister glissando of the years, time always.

Carson McCullers

Talking about God is not at all the same thing as experiencing God, or acting out God through our lives. . . . It is an open question whether the word “God” itself can be rescued from . . . the makers of idols.

Phillip Hewett

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed, and in the sight of all. . . . But active love is labor and fortitude.

Feodor Dostoevski

The saints may derive holiness from being alone but they can only express it in their relationship with other human beings. Similarly, the insights man gains in solitude can only find expression in his relationship with others, in a growing awareness of their needs, in sharing their joys and sorrows, in trying to comfort those who are desperate, to make life more tolerable for those who suffer.

G. Peter Fleck

All points of view are potentially imperialistic; that is, all aspire to be that point of view from which one can survey the whole.

John A. Miles

One can’t judge Wagner’s opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don’t intend hearing it a second time.

Gioacchino Rossini

In the Garden, God had given Adam a test. It was the test of faith — faith that God’s will can be fulfilled without knowledge, without any additions. But Adam wanted to know, and so, fell from his creator.

We face the same test every day. We fail when we step back from each situation. Instead of trusting that the will of God can speak through us, we want to know God, to define Him as a truth found in a specific place, or in one path of action, as though all of God’s will could be conveyed through a single channel.

Eliezer Shore

The whole secret lies in arbitrariness. . . . You go to see the middle of a play, you read the third part of a book. By this means you insure yourself a very different kind of enjoyment from that which the author has been so kind as to plan for you. You enjoy something entirely accidental; you consider the whole of existence from this standpoint.

Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or