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The Sun Magazine

Quotations

Sunbeams

History is so indifferently rich that a case for almost any conclusion from it can be made by a selection of instances.

Will Durant

Sunbeams

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you “come to terms with” only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will.

Ingrid Bengis

Sunbeams

The disciples were full of questions about God.

Said the master, “God is the Unknown and the Unknowable. Every statement about him, every answer to your questions, is a distortion of the truth.”

The disciples were bewildered. “Then why do you speak about him at all?”

“Why does the bird sing?” said the master.

Anthony de Mello
The Song Of The Bird

Sunbeams

The pure in heart will avoid the struggles, detour the tar pits, blind their eyes to the sirens. The problem is that in avoiding the paths that contain the tar, you may never reach any destination; in avoiding temptation, you remain pure, but irrelevant. Life is tar pits and sirens.

Donald A. Norman

Sunbeams

In blocking off what hurts us, we think we are walling ourselves off from pain. But in the long run, the wall, which prevents growth, hurts us more than the pain, which, if we will only bear it, soon passes over us. Washes over us and is gone. Long will we remember pain, but the pain itself, as it was at the point of intensity that made us feel as if we must die of it, eventually vanishes. Our memory of it becomes its only trace. Walls remain. They grow moss. They are difficult barriers to cross, to get to others, to get to closed-down parts of ourselves.

Alice Walker
The Temple Of My Familiar

Sunbeams

I would like to see a building — say, the Empire State — I would like to see on one side of it a foot-long strip from top to bottom, with the name of every bricklayer, the name of every electrician, with all the names. So when the guy walked by, he could take his son and say: “See, that’s me over there on the forty-fifth floor.” Or, “I put the steel beam in.” Picasso can point to a painting. I think I’ve worked harder than Picasso, and what can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.

Mike Fitzgerald
Interviewed by Studs Terkel

Sunbeams

Meanwhile, we are in time and the flesh is to be honored. At all ages. . . . For me, this summer, this had been clear in a threefold way. I have fed, bathed, played pat-a-cake with my grandbabies. In the night when I wake up, as I usually do, I always reach out to touch my husband’s body. . . . And my mother is almost ninety and preparing to move into a different country. I do not understand the mysteries of the flesh but I know that we must not be afraid to reach out to each other, to hold hands, to touch. . . .”

Madeleine L’Engle
A Circle of Quiet

Sunbeams

The family is a good institution because it is uncongenial. The men and women who, for good reasons and bad, revolt against the family, are, for good reasons and bad, revolting against mankind. Aunt Elizabeth is unreasonable, like mankind. Papa is excitable, like mankind. Our younger brother is mischievous, like mankind. Grandpapa is stupid, like the world; he is old, like the world.

G.K. Chesterton

Sunbeams

We think that we must become acquisitive — though we call it by a better-sounding word. We call it evolution, growth, development, progress, and we say it is essential.

J. Krishnamurti