Transcendence or detachment, leaving the body, pure love, lack of jealousy — that’s the vision we are given in our culture, generally, when we think of the highest thing. . . . Another way to look at it is that the aim of the person is not to be detached, but to be more attached — to be attached to working; to be attached to making chairs or something that helps everyone; to be attached to beauty; to be attached to music.

Robert Bly

It’s linkage I’m talking about,
          and harmonies and structures
And all the various things that lock
          our wrists to the past.

Charles Wright

In the people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some airplane overhead was what she loved; life; London, this moment in June.

Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway

I only talk about writing in the most mechanical fashion: good habits, bad habits, how to know when you’re working right, how to know when you’re working wrong. I almost never like to think about the aim. I assume the aim just comes out of the deepest part of your consciousness, if you’re serious about the job. There are purposes you can state, but it could be misleading to talk about them, because there are other deeper purposes that you can’t state.

Norman Mailer

The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.

Dag Hammarskjold

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

T.S. Eliot
“East Coker”

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

William James

In the sea caves
there’s a thirst there’s a love
there’s an ecstasy
all hard like shells
you can hold them in your palm.

George Seferis

That was the first time it occurred to me that all my life I had feared imprisonment, the nun’s cell, the hospital bed, the places where one faced the self without distraction, without the crutches of other people.

Edna O’Brien
The Love Object

Take away love and our earth is a tomb.

Robert Browning

Love is infallible; it has no errors, for all errors are the want of love.

William Law

Nobody expects a man and a woman to reach the same corner at the same time.

Marta Lynch
Latin Lover

Despite the light’s unusual manifestation, however, not one person has expressed any doubt whatsoever that it was a being, a being of light. Not only that, it is a personal being. It has a very definite personality. The love and warmth which emanate from this being to the dying person are utterly beyond words, and he feels completely surrounded by it and taken up in it, completely at ease and accepted in the presence of this being.

Raymond A. Moody, Jr.
Life after Life

Just know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.

Spencer Tracy,
advice on acting