The young hear memory in the voice of their elders and, delighted by these voices from the past or bored by them, too often miss the content behind the content. Memory is not about what went on in the past. It is about what is going on inside of us right this moment. It is never idle. It never lets us alone.
~ Joan Chittister, The Gift of Years
This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
~ Mary Oliver
Awe and wonder are the same emotion, but with a slightly different twist, because wonder is only connected to positive emotion and awe is the same emotion, but with negative — or not “negative”, but scarier thoughts associated with it. So to describe what wonder and awe and astonishment are, they are the emotion that arises in one in the face of something so vast and so powerful and so transcendent and so unexpected that it makes one rethink what you’re looking at, because you can’t comprehend it. You can’t quite take it in on one side.
~ Fabiana Fondevila
There’s a line by John Clare that I adore — I love John Clare; I revere him — “Poets love nature and themselves are love.” And I believe that with all my heart. And part of writing is adoration. For me, celebrating the wildflowers or the birds is like a kind of worship.
~ Michael Longley, in an interview with Krista Tippet, On Being (2016)
It is when we are confronted with poignant reminders of mortality that we become most aware of the strangeness and wonder of our brief life on Earth.
~ Kathleen Basford
If this time is our only time, and it is, then surely we do owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to pay attention, to look deeply, to listen closely, and to respond to all of it, somehow, with love and gratitude.
~ Katrina Kenison
Wisdom comes with winters.
~ Oscar Wilde
Walking on the land or digging in the fine soil I am intensely aware that time quivers slightly, changes occurring in imperceptible and minute ways, accumulating so subtly that they seem not to exist. Yet the tiny shifts in everything–cell replication, the rain of dust motes, lengthening hair, wind-pushed rocks–press inexorably on and on.
~ Annie Proulx, Bird Cloud
What has happened to our ability to dwell in unknowing, to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that they’re also the seedbed of creativity and growth—what allows us to do the daring and to break through to newness. . . .
Creativity flourishes not in certainty but in questions. Growth germinates not in tent dwelling but in upheaval. Yet the seduction is always security rather than venturing, instant knowing rather than deliberate waiting.
~ Sue Monk Kidd