Favorite Quotes


From The Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles Blow, 2014

     "Daring to step into oneself is the bravest, strangest, most natural, most terrifying thing a person can do, because when you cease to wrap yourself in artrifice you are naked, and when you are naked you are vulnerable.

     "But vulnerability is the leading edge of truth. Being willing to sacrifice a false life is the only way to live a true one."  (219)


From The Mover of Bones by Robert Vivian (University of Nebraska Press, 2006):

       "There was a time when I wanted to write---really write---and get down to the nethermost of things and people. Lorca's dark root of the scream, where you touch on the universal truth of things because there is no other place to go or to be, and words become the only things keeping you from the abyss even as they take you closer to it. I still believe in the power of words, even if I'm not able to write them. One little compromise led to another little compromise, and compromises went on higgledy-piggledy to propagate and lead me here to the mournful truth, which is that I sold out, I cashed in. I couldn't try to be that kind of writer anymore, it was too much."  (87)


From "Oz," from OZ by Nancy Eimers  (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011):

     "mirrors compress us, occasions rehearsing us, wedding dresses, dress for the bridsmaid, mother of the bride, cruise glitterati, control top panties and panty hose shaping us, you, my mother, launching me into each dress, just try it, you never know till you put it on, hope as it ever will be, you and I as we never were, my body a ship smacking into the lifted bottle---my body the Empire State Building, the Palfy Palace, McDonald's arches, a flying buttress, a pyramid---"         (14)


From Lit by Mary Karr (Harper Perennial, 2009):

       "Every now and then we enter the presence of the numinous and deduce for an instant how we're formed, in what detail the force that infuses every petal might specifically run through us, wishing only to lure us into our full potential."  (395)


From Liar's Club by Mary Karr (Viking Penguin, 1995):

       "Sure the world breeds monsters, but kindness grows just as wild . . . "


From "Flying Home," Galway Kinnell:  "Love is courage."


From Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian D. McLaren (Jericho Books, 2012):

       " . . . the only viable response to religious hostility is love, empathy, compassion, understanding---not more hostility. (What could be more pathetic than a hostile fight against hostility?)" (43)

       "Give people a common enemy, and you will give them a common identity. Deprive them of an enemy and you will deprive them of the crutch by which they know who they are." James Alison quote (13)


From Cirque de Soleil official booklet, 1993: 

      ". . . the awkward self you haven't accepted yet pulls you back. So your voice rises to escape its walled confines." (44)

      "Work. Rehearse. Try it again. Get frustrated. Get mad! But never stop. You see what remains to be conquered, though somehow it seems to recede as you get closer. There must be some cosmic law at work here: the more you struggle to gain control, the more you lose it as your craft takes you where you've never been before." (44)


From The Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl (Harper, Inc. 2007):

       "Thus, in all disappointments he [my father] turned back, bruised, to the radiant origins of his belief in people and the essential rightness of the world. Maybe this belief, the refusal to rage or rail, is the spiral of wonder and wounds that accounts for the bravery of supposedly ordinary people in allegedly ordinary lives." (166)


From The Courage to Be, Paul Tillich

"The courage to be . . . is the courage to accept oneself as accepted in spite of being unacceptable."

" . . . the modern mind must be encouraged to think of the 'God above God,' that is, of what is above and beyond the limits of our imagination."


Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, Helene Cisoux

          Dreams remind us that there is a treasure locked away somewhere, and writing is the means to try and approach that treasure. And as we know, the treasure is in the searching, not the finding . . . . If I could, I would be jealous of dreams: they are mightier than we are, greater in weakness and in strength. In dreams we become magic . . . .


"I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it.”     - C. Day Lewis


From The End of Suffering, Scott Cairns

          "Blessed is the person who knows his own weakness, because awareness of this becomes for him the foundation and the beginning of all that is beautiful."     -- St. Isaac of Syria, 7th-century Saint

           . . . in those trials of our life that we do not choose but press through--a stillness, a calm, and a hope become available to us; they are a stillness, a calm, and a hope that must be acquired slowly because 'our fallen nature has lost the ability to accede there naturally.'  -- Father Schmemann


From The Second Book of the Tao, Stephen Mitchell

          . . . the Master examines her innermost self.

          She notices even the smallest sign of discord,

          and corrects it before it can do any harm.


          When your mind is transparent to the depths

          and your words and actions are one,

          the whole world becomes transparent.


From Leslie Fiedler's introduction to Simone Weil's Waiting for God:

          In the ultimate "nuptial yes," we must de-create our egos, offer up everything we have ever meant by "I", so that the Divine love may pass unimpeded through the space we once occupied, close again on itself. We are created for this consent, and for this alone."


From Orlando, Virginia Woolf

"Fame is like a braided coat, which hampers the limbs; a jacket of silver which curbs the heart; a painted shield which covers a scarecrow...while fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. ...he alone is free; he alone is truthful; he alone is at peace...being like a wave which returns to the deep body of the sea; thinking how obscurity rids the mind of the irk and envy and spite; how it sets running in the veins the free waters of generosity and magnanimity; and allows giving and taking with thanks offered or praise given; which must have been the way of all great poets. . .needing no thanking or naming, but only their work in the daytime and a little ale perhaps at night.”    

From The Book of Mormon

Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."