Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
-Aeneid, I.203

(Perhaps one day, it will be a joy to remember even this.)

My favorite line of Latin.

Czech Proverb

Learn a new language and get a new soul.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Marcus Aurelius

Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.

Charles Lamb

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and to have it found out by accident.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Muriel Rukeyser

Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Results 1 - 10 of about 2,380,000,000 for love
Results 1 - 10 of about 352,000,000 for peace
Results 1 - 10 of about 10,900,000 for happiness


I used to worry about the future
But then I threw my caution to the wind.
I had no reason to be care free
No no no, until I took a trip to the other side of town
Yeah yeah yeah, you know I heard that boogie rhythm
Hey- I had no choice but to get down down down down.

Canned Heat

Wilfred J. Funk

Most Beautiful Words in the English Language:

tranquil, golden, hush, bobolink, thrush, lullaby, chimes, murmuring, luminous, damask, cerulean, melody, marigold, jonquil, oriole, tendril, myrrh, mignonette, gossamer, fawn, dawn, chalice, anemone, mist, oleander, amaryllis, rosemary, camellia, asphodel, and halcyon.

Brendan Kennelly, Irish poet

"Poetry is, above all, a singing art of natural and magical connection because, though it is born out of one's person's solitude, it has the ability to reach out and touch in a humane and warmly illuminating way the solitude, even the loneliness, of others. That is why, to me, poetry is one of the most vital treasures that humanity possesses; it is a bridge between separated souls."


--from The Writer’s Almanac for April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

William James

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Billy Collins

Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

An excerpt from "Japan," in Picnic, Lightening

Get Exited and Make Things

(From a designer as an alternative to the iconic English poster)

Giacomo Puccini

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincerĂ²! VincerĂ²! VincerĂ²!

("Vanish, o night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At daybreak I shall win! I shall win! I shall win!")

Nessun dorma aria from Turandot

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The future depends on what we do in the present.

Jimmy Cliff

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me down
It's gonna be a bright, bright, bright sun shiny day

(I Can See Clearly Now)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eknath Easwaran

Cultivate one-pointed attention. Doing more than one thing at a time divides attention and fragments consciousness. . . .Everything we do should be worthy of our full attention. When the mind is one-pointed it will be secure, free from tension, and capable of the concentration that is the mark of genius in any field.

(Eknath Easwaran, Like a Thousand Suns, p. 17)

Abraham Hicks

Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook."

And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel.

And then you'll love them all... because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good.

Barbara Kingsolver

It is harrowing for me to try to teach 20-year-old students, who earnestly want to improve their writing. The best I can think to tell them is: quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will improve your odds of getting old enough to be wise.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jill Bolte-Taylor

When my brain runs loops that feel harshly judgmental, counter-productive, or out of control, I wait 90 seconds for the emotional/physiological response to dissipate and then I speak to my brain as though it is a group of children. I say with sincerity, "I appreciate your ability to think thoughts and feel emotions, but I am really not interested in thinking these thoughts or feeling these emotions anymore. Please stop bringing this stuff up."

Simply thinking these thoughts with my inner authentic voice, however, is often not enough for me to get the message across to my story-teller, who is invested in performing its normal function. I have found that when I attach an appropriate feeling to these phrases, and think them with genuine affect, my story-teller is more amenable to this type of communication. If I'm really having trouble getting my brain to listen, I add a kinesthetic component to my message like waggling my pointed finger in the air, or standing firm with my hands on my hips.

A tiny portion of the cells in my brain and body ...is excellent at exploring thought patterns that have the potential to really derail my feeling of inner peace. This group of cells has been called many things; some of my favorites include the Peanut Gallery, the Board of Directors, and the Itty Bitty S#*?!y Committee.

--from My Stroke of Insight

Isabel Gillies

Adlai Stevenson’s quote about Eleanor Roosevelt: she’d “rather light a candle than curse the darkness.”
(from The Happiness Project)

Anton Chekhov

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's this day-to-day living that wears you out.
- Anton Chekhov