Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gleanings from My Readings

"Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.” ---Jane Austen


“ . . . to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
---Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet


“In our time, we analyze global realities and culture wars with new categories, defining and dismissing whole swaths of human life in terms of ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘liberalism’ and ‘terrorism.’ These labels only tell us partial truths. We must use them humbly, guardedly, . . . aware of the limitations of our own vision and our own capacity for misunderstanding and self-deception.”
---Krista Tippett, in Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About It


You just have to smile:

Mrs. Marwood: “True, ‘tis an unhappy circumstance of life, that love should ever die before us; and that the man so often should outlive the lover. But say what you will, ‘tis better to be left, than never to have been loved. To pass our youth in dull indifference, to refuse the sweets of life because they once must leave us, is as preposterous as to wish to have been born old, because one day we must be old. For my part, my youth may wear and waste, but it shall never rust in my possession.” (2.1.10-19)
---William Congreve, from his play The Way of the World (1700)


From X. J. Kennedy’s poem “The Purpose of Time is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once”:

“Time takes its time unraveling. But, still,
You’ll wonder when your life ends: Huh? What happened?” (13-14)


From Susan Cataldo’s “Poem for the Family”:

“This poem
is enough gratitude for the day. That leaf
tapping against the window, enough
music for the night.” (5-8)


From Patricia Waters’ “Proverbs”:

“Get out say the curtains,
fly into the hot sun,
fall into the blue sea,
drown in such a bold story.” (9-12)


Happy Reading!

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