There is a bird in a poem by T.S. Eliot who says that mankind cannot bear very much reality; but the bird is mistaken. A man can endure the entire weight of the universe for eighty years. It is unreality that he cannot bear.
Our black cat lay on the window sill, against the black night outside. When his eyes were open, his body was visible, dimly outlined; but as soon as he closed them, the whole cat vanished, leaving only the unbroken darkness of the window.
There is a crack in everything God has made.
We always affirm with conditions. I affirm the world on condition that it gets to be the way Santa Claus told me it ought to be. But affirming it the way it is — that’s the hard thing.
Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
Nothing comes from nothing, / The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness / And we call it wisdom. It is pain.
We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
Fear tastes like a rusty knife and do not let her into your house.
I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and, as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power which can move the world.
Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.
Two disciples of an old rabbi were arguing about the true path to God. One said that the path was built on effort and energy. “You must give yourself totally and fully with all your effort to follow the way of the Law.” The second disciple disagreed. “It’s not effort at all. That is only based on ego. It is pure surrender. ‘Not my will but thine.’ ” As they could not agree on who was right they went to see the master. He listened as the first disciple praised the path of wholehearted effort, and when asked by this disciple, “Is this the true path?” the master said, “You’re right.” The second disciple was quite upset and responded by eloquently explaining the path of surrender and letting go. When he had finished, he said, “Is this not the true path?” and the master replied, “You’re right.” A third student who was sitting there said, “But master, they can’t both be right,” and the master smiled and said, “You’re right too!”
Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.
We imagine that our mind is mirror, that it is more or less accurately reflecting what is happening outside us. On the contrary, our mind itself is the principal element of creation.
As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.
Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person?
Never apologize for showing feeling. Remember that when you do so you apologize for truth.
I played with the idea of becoming a writer and later of becoming a painter, but my father discouraged the idea of either writing or painting as a career. “Do not treat the muses as cows to be milked,” he said.
The day in the woods I took a compass was the day I got lost for sure.