Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying… or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: “To do what needs doing.” Look inward. Don’t let the true nature of anything elude you.
Only there, delight and stillness… when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it.
~ Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations
It’s hard to walk briskly at this time of year; the accelerating pace of unfolding spring slows my own. I repeatedly stop- to watch what’s moving. Soon the torrent of migrants will completely overwhelm my ability to keep up with all the changes. But it’s easy to revel in the exuberance and the sense of rebirth, renewal.
~ Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
Birthdays! What music in the world! In these unresting times, when nothing intellectual, economic, social, political, seems stable; when customs and traditions hoary with age are mixed with explosive elements, this oldest of institutions is not in danger of yielding to destructive forces.
~J.R. Macduff, Birthdays, 1893
I don’t like the idea of “understanding” a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.
~ Federico Fellini
When I am in my mind,
My mind gives me what it has:
When I am in my heart
My heart gives me what it is:
The past is never where you think you left it.
~ Katherine Anne Porter
The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.