No matter what success I experience, my contentment is never final. I carry with me always a secret desire to die to the old man and rise to the new . . . for hidden in my life is the certainty that no mode of existence can ever fulfill me completely.

Adrian Van Kaam

I did not ask for success, I asked for wonder. And you gave it to me.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

The supreme value is not the future but the present. The future is a deceitful time that always says to us, “Not yet,” and thus denies us. The future is not the time of love: what man truly wants he wants now. Whoever builds a house for future happiness builds a prison for the present.

Octavio Paz, Postscript

Once I was beautiful, now I am myself. . . .

Anne Sexton

The soul that projects itself entirely into activity, and seeks itself outside itself in the work of its own will, is like a madman who sleeps on the sidewalk in front of his house instead of living inside where it is quiet and warm.

Thomas Merton

Everything is a little bit of darkness, even the light.

Antonio Porchia

Monotony is the law of nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving.

Mahatma Gandhi

A little girl, after hearing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the first time, asked, “What do we do now?”

Quoted by Richard Kehl, Further Departures

The air pushes around you, fills with birds, yellow wings, and eyes.

Stephen Dobyns

My father advised me that life itself was a crap game: it was one of two lessons I learned as a child. The other was that overturning a rock was apt to reveal a rattlesnake. As lessons go, these two seem to hold up, but not to apply.

Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.

Donn Pearce, Cool Hand Luke, screenplay

I believe my pain.

Theodore Roethke

If someone comes to you asking for help, do not say in refusal, “Trust in God. He will help.” Rather, act as if there were no God, and no one to help him except you.

Hassidic teaching

The only thing God didn’t do to Job was give him a computer.

I.F. Stone

The divine will is an abyss of which the present moment is the entrance; plunge fearlessly therein and you will find it more boundless than your desire.

Jean-Pierre Caussade

Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies.

Gwendolyn Brooks

We will go before God to be judged, and God will ask us, “Where are your wounds?” And we will say, “We have no wounds.” And God will ask, “Was nothing worth fighting for?”

Reverend Allan Boesak

I forgive everyone and I ask for everyone’s forgiveness. OK? Don’t gossip too much.

Cesare Pavese, Suicide note, August 1950