Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
~ Shauna Niequist
What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision…That is the sort of time we live in now. We…live in an epoch in which the solid ground of our preconceived ideas shakes daily under our uncertain feet.
~ Barbara Ward
“What do you call yourself?” the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!
“I wish I knew!” thought poor Alice. She answered, rather sadly, “Nothing, just now.”
“Think again,” it said: “that won’t do.”
Alice thought, but nothing came of it. “Please, would you tell me what you call yourself?” she said timidly, “I think that might help a little.”
“I’ll tell you, if you’ll come a little further on,” the Fawn said. “I can’t remember here.”
So they walked on together through the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice’s arms. “I’m a Fawn!” it cried out in a voice of delight. “And dear me, you’re a human child!” A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.
~ James Taylor
Given that we can live only a small part of what there is in us — what happens with the rest?
~ Pascal Mercier, Night Trail to Lisbon
Beauty enjoys a profound and ancient autonomy. True beauty is from elsewhere, a pure gift. It cannot be programmed nor its arrival foreseen. It never falls simply into the old patterns of what is already there nor is it frivolous or burdened with leaden solemnity.
Frequently, beauty is playful like dancing sunlight, it cannot be predicted, and in the most unlikely scene or situation can suddenly emerge. This spontaneity and playfulness often subverts our self-importance and throws our plans and intentions into disarray. Without intending it, we find ourselves coming alive in a sense of celebration and delight.
~ John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace