I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

Helen Keller

The human soul is virtually indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body draws breath.

Alice Miller

You’ve been somebody long enough. You spent the first half of your life becoming somebody. Now you can work on becoming nobody, which is really somebody. For when you become nobody there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything. The natural state of the mind shines through unobstructed — and the natural state of the mind is pure love.

Ram Dass

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.

F.  Scott Fitzgerald

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

Leonardo da Vinci

Andes Segovia once said his interest in the guitar began when he was eight years old. “One day a man walked by me in the street playing a guitar. He put my fingers on the strings and I played, not as if I were learning but as if I were remembering.”

Further Departures

Looking for God is like seeking a path in a field of snow; if there is no path and you are looking for one, walk across it and there is your path.

Thomas Merton

Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

Mahatma Gandhi

A healthy adult male bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience.

John Updike

Nothing burns in hell but the self.

Theologica Germanica

Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws at you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the Bastard Time.

John Steinbeck

There is really no difference between matter, mind, and spirit. There are only different phases of experiencing the One. This very world is seen by the five senses as matter, by the very wicked as hell, by the good as heaven, and by the perfect as God.


Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there.

E. H. Gombrich

The face of a lover is an unknown, precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment.

James Baldwin

Rachmaninoff, taken ill in the middle of a concert tour, was admitted to a hospital in Los Angeles, where cancer was diagnosed. Knowing he was dying, the pianist looked at his hands and murmured, “My dear hands. Farewell, my poor hands.”

The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes

The Eskimos are a gentle people. I like gentle people, because there are so many in the world who are not gentle. Sometimes in a big city I just sit all day in my room, with my head down, afraid to go out and talk to tough people. I expect Eskimos have spells like that too.

Ernie Pyle

What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.

Jewish proverb

I will take with me the emptiness of my hands. What you do not have you find everywhere.

W. S. Merwin