quote du jour ~vonnegut – be soft….

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

~Kurt Vonnegut

quote du jour ~lesser – whatever is happening…

Whatever is happening, whatever is changing, whatever is going or not going according to my plans—I release my hold on all of it. I leave behind who I think I am, who I want to be, what I want the world to be. I come home to the great peace of the present moment.

~Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

quote du jour ~gaiman – do not lose hope…

Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.

~Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

quote du jour ~zinn

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

~Howard Zinn

small joys

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I can’t remember exactly when I first bought and hung a crystal prism in a sunny window, but I know the first time I walked in and saw rainbows dancing across the walls, I fell in love. Such a little thing, and yet such joy! All from a tiny ball of glass.

The kitchen of my house faces east and receives wonderful morning sun through its two small windows. I’ve hung a crystal in each one, and on sunny mornings, I’m greeted with magical dabs of color on the walls and ceiling and cabinet doors. The sight never fails to make me smile, even in difficult times.

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On the surface, these dancing rainbows are a small, perhaps (to some minds) a frivolous thing. On a deeper level, however, they’re a link, a tether, to all that’s good and right about the world. They’re a momentary respite—or even a way out of—whatever darkness or heaviness I might be caught up in. I can look at them and think, Even in the midst of (fill in the blank with my current “problem”), there is this—these fairy-like splashes of color and light. Even in the midst of strain and stress, beauty goes on, the light still shines.

For you, it might be something else. It might be the birds that visit your feeder every morning, or the dog that wakes you with a lick or a paw on the side of the bed. Whatever it is, take a moment to see it, to receive it. Carry it with you through your day. It’s the small joys—digging in the dirt, sliding between freshly laundered sheets, watching my cat sleep in a sunny shaft of light—that have gotten me through the tough times, and luckily, the small joys are always there to be had. I just have to take the time to notice.

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quote du jour ~rumi – whatever happens to you…

Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path. Be grateful! It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want, thank before having what you want.

~Rumi

quote du jour ~merton – you do not need to know…

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.

~Thomas Merton

quote du jour ~palmer – the deeper…

The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope and love.

~Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: Journey Toward an Undivided Life

quote du jour ~mr. rogers – part of the problem…

Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.

~Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

a few inches of light

It’s incredibly touching when someone who seems so hopeless finds a few inches of light
to stand in and makes everything work as well as possible. All of us lurch and fall,
sit in the dirt, are helped to our feet, keep moving, feel like idiots, lose our balance,
gain it, help others get back on their feet, and keep going.

~Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

Most of us have been in this place at one time or another, hopeless and searching desperately for a tiny patch of light, trying our damnedest to pull it all together—or at least not let it fall apart. I’ve been there more than once in recent years.

I do believe that, ultimately, getting through such times comes down to faith. I’m not talking about religious faith. I’m talking about the mundane kind of faith that gets you up in the morning and puts your feet on the ground and points you toward the realization that you are, in fact, still here—that whatever-it-was didn’t kill you while you were sleeping last night, and the world actually continued to turn.

This is kind of a good news/bad news thing to realize. Continue reading

quote du jour ~shafak

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

~Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love