Flower Joy Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Flower Joy. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...
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Susan Polis Schutz
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A flower blossoms for its own joy.
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Oscar Wilde
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In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.
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Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
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People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
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Iris Murdoch
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Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter. Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you. My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword. Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country. Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy fool who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter.
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Pablo Neruda
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Live simply. Deepest joy is like a flower....beautiful in essence.
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Tony Samara
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It is also then that I wish I believed in some sort of life after life, that in another universe, maybe on a small red planet where we have not legs but tails, where we paddle through the atmosphere like seals, where the air itself is sustenance, composed of trillions of molecules of protein and sugar and all one has to do is open one's mouth and inhale in order to remain alive and healthy, maybe you two are there together, floating through the climate. Or maybe he is closer still: maybe he is that gray cat that has begun to sit outside our neighbor's house, purring when I reach out my hand to it; maybe he is that new puppy I see tugging at the end of my other neighbor's leash; maybe he is that toddler I saw running through the square a few months ago, shrieking with joy, his parents huffing after him; maybe he is that flower that suddenly bloomed on the rhododendron bush I thought had died long ago; maybe he is that cloud, that wave, that rain, that mist. It isn't only that he died, or how he died; it is what he died believing. And so I try to be kind to everything I see, and in everything I see, I see him.
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Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
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She had a flower tattoo on her wrist; "What does that mean?" he asked her. "Absolutely nothing," she said, "it's just a flower.
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C. JoyBell C.
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Not forever does the bulbul sing In balmy shades of bowers, Not forever lasts the spring Nor ever blossom the flowers. Not forever reigneth joy, Sets the sun on days of bliss, Friendships not forever last, They know not life, who know not this.
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Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan)
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When you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower Acceptance-with-Joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over you.
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Hannah Hurnard (Hinds' Feet on High Places)
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Every moment there are a million miracles happening around you: a flower blossoming, a bird tweeting, a bee humming, a raindrop falling, a snowflake wafting along the clear evening air. There is magic everywhere. If you learn how to live it, life is nothing short of a daily miracle.
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Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
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morning night and noon the traffic moves through and the murder and treachery of friends and lovers and all the people move through you. pain is the joy of knowing the unkindest truth that arrives without warning. life is being alone death is being alone. even the fools weep morning night and noon.
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Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
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The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
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Rabindranath Tagore
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The flower replied: You fool! Do you imagine I blossom in order to be seen? I blossom for my own sake because it pleases me, and not for the sake of others. My joy consists in my being and my blossoming.
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Irvin D. Yalom (The Schopenhauer Cure)
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Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and its fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
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William Wordsworth (Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood)
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I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath; I am the memory of a moment of happiness; I am the last gift of the living to the dead; I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
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Kahlil Gibran
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There are in this world blessed souls, whose sorrows all spring up into joys for others; whose earthly hopes, laid in the grave with many tears, are the seed from which spring healing flowers and balm for the desolate and the distressed.
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Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
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If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
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Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
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Amor" So many days, oh so many days seeing you so tangible and so close, how do I pay, with what do I pay? The bloodthirsty spring has awakened in the woods. The foxes start from their earths, the serpents drink the dew, and I go with you in the leaves between the pines and the silence, asking myself how and when I will have to pay for my luck. Of everything I have seen, it's you I want to go on seeing: of everything I've touched, it's your flesh I want to go on touching. I love your orange laughter. I am moved by the sight of you sleeping. What am I to do, love, loved one? I don't know how others love or how people loved in the past. I live, watching you, loving you. Being in love is my nature. You please me more each afternoon. Where is she? I keep on asking if your eyes disappear. How long she's taking! I think, and I'm hurt. I feel poor, foolish and sad, and you arrive and you are lightning glancing off the peach trees. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss.
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Pablo Neruda (Intimacies: Poems of Love)
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I was surrounded by friends, my work was immense, and pleasures were abundant. Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil. Overall, I was happiest to be alone; for it was then I was most aware of what I possessed. Free to look out over the rooftops of the city. Happy to be alone in the company of friends, the company of lovers and strangers. Everything, I decided, in this life, was pure pleasure.
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Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
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Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others. But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth's home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.
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J.R. Miller
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If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God's goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens--even if some days it doesn't seem so. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be.
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Jeffrey R. Holland
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Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
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Osho
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The flower replied: you fool! Do you imagine I blossom in order to be seen? I blossom for my own sake because it pleases me, not for the sake of others. My joy consists in my being and my blossoming.
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Irvin D. Yalom
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I'm living at a peak of clarity and beauty I never knew existed. Every part of me is attuned to the work. I soak it up into my pores during the day, and at nightβ€”in the moments before I pass off into sleepβ€”ideas explode into my head like fireworks. There is no greater joy than the burst of solution to a problem. Incredible that anything could happen to take away this bubbling energy, the zest that fills everything I do. It's as if all the knowledge I've soaked in during the past months has coalesced and lifted me to a peak of light and understanding. This is beauty, love, and truth all rolled into one. This is joy.
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Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
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I love the stillness of the wood; I love the music of the rill: I love the couch in pensive mod Upon some silent hill. Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees, The silver-crested ripples pass; and, like a mimic brook, the breeze Whispers among the grass. Here from the world I win release, Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude, Break into mar the holy peace Of this great solitude. Here may the silent tears I weep Lull the vested spirit into rest, As infants sob themselves to sleep Upon a mothers breast. But when the bitter hour is gone, And the keen throbbing pangs are still, Oh, sweetest then to couch alone Upon some silent hill! To live in joys that once have been, To put the cold world out of sight, And deck life's drear and barren scene With hues of rainbow-light. For what to man the gift of breath, If sorrow be his lot below; If all the day that ends in death Be dark with clouds of woe? Shall the poor transport of an hour Repay long years of sore distress- The fragrance of a lonely flower Make glad the wilderness? Ye golden house of life's young spring, Of innocence, of love and truth! Bright, beyond all imagining, Thou fairy-dream of youth! I'd give all wealth that years have piled, The slow result of Life's decay, To be once more a little child For on bright summers day.
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Lewis Carroll
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what is it with you and sunflowers he asks i point to the field of yellow outside sunflowers worship the sun i tell him only when it arrives do they rise when the sun leaves they bow their heads in mourning that is what the sun does to those flowers it's what you do to me - the sun and her flowers
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Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
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Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one's enemies-- but not before they have been hanged.
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Heinrich Heine
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There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Faith is born and sustained by the Word of God, and out of faith grows the flower of joy.
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John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
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For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
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I believe you did not have a happy life. I believe you were cheated. I believe your best friends were loneliness and misery. I believe your busiest enemies were anger and depression. I believe joy was a game you could never play without stumbling. I believe comfort, though you craved it, was forever a stranger. I believe music had to be melancholy or not at all. I believe no trinket, no precious metal, shone so bright as your bitterness. I believe you lay down at last in your coffin none the wiser and unassuaged. Oh, cold and dreamless under the wild, amoral, reckless, peaceful flowers of the hillsides.
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Mary Oliver
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As the rose-tree is composed of the sweetest flowers and the sharpest thorns, as the heavens are sometimes overcastβ€”alternately tempestuous and sereneβ€”so is the life of man intermingled with hopes and fears, with joys and sorrows, with pleasure and pain.
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Edmund Burke
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To regret the exchange of earthly pleasures for the joys of Heaven, is as if the grovelling caterpillar should lament that it must one day quit the nibbled leaf to soar aloft and flutter through the air, roving at will from flower to flower, sipping sweet honey from their cups, or basking in their sunny petals. If these little creatures knew how great a change awaited them, no doubt they would regret it; but would not all such sorrow be misplaced?
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Anne BrontΓ« (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
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The curse was broken. Manon just stared at them, her breathing turning jagged. Then she roused Abraxos, and was in the saddle within heartbeats. She did not offer them any explanation, any farewell, as they leaped into the thinning night. As she guided her wyvern to the bit of blasted earth on the battlefield. Right to its heart. And smiling through her tears, laughing in joy and sorrow, Manon laid that precious flower from the Wastes upon the ground. In thanks and in love. So they would know, so Asterin would know, in the realm where she and her hunter and child walked hand in hand, that they had made it. That they were going home.
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Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
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Like the rainbow after the rain joy will reveal itself after sorrow
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Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
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If someone smells a flower and says he does not understand, the reply to him is: there is nothing to understand, it is only a scent. If he persists, saying: that I know, but what does it all mean? Then one has either to change the subject, or make it more abstruse by saying that the scent is the shape which the universal joy takes in the flower.
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Rabindranath Tagore (My Reminiscences)
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So you must learn to follow your destiny, whatever it may be, with joy. As flowers grow, they show off their beauty and are appreciated by all; then, after they die, they leave their seeds so that others may continue God’s work.
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Paulo Coelho (The Spy)
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God has not promised Skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways All our life through; God has not promised Sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.
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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire)
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There is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. I hope it will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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Spring dances with joy in every flower and in every bud letting us know that changes are beautiful and an inevitable law of life.
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Debasish Mridha
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There is nothing in your budget for joy. No books, no flowers, no music, not even a cold beer. And there is nothing in your budget to give away to someone else. We don’t help people who don’t have better values than you do.
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Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
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She had had her momentary flowering, a year, perhaps, of wildrose beauty, and then she had suddenly swollen like a fertilized fruit and grown hard and red and coarse, and then her life had been laundering, scrubbing, laundering, first for children, then for grandchildren, over thirty years. At the end of it she was still singing.
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George Orwell (1984)
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I am not interested in having the world revolve around me; that's too boring of an idea. I would rather revolve around the world and try to leave my fingerprints, everywhere. My fingerprints mingled in with all the other fingerprints and all the laughter and all the beautiful things like gratitude, grace, faithfulness and flowers.
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C. JoyBell C.
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I believe in roses. Oh God, yes! I do believe in roses! And I believe in lots and lots and lots of them, too!
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C. JoyBell C.
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If you are setting out to be joyful you are not going to end up being joyful. You’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. It’s like a flower. You open, you blossom, really because of other people. And I think some suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing compassion.
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Desmond Tutu (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
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I believe in roses. And I believe in putting roses into a vase and sitting the vase on the table. I believe in getting lost and being found, I believe in going barefoot, and in laughter! My religion is to laugh at myself, whenever I can! I believe in the sunlight and in grey skies with big, beautiful clouds!
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C. JoyBell C.
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If you go to a tree and start talking, or to a flower, a rose, people will think you are mad. If you go to the church and talk to the cross or to an image, nobody will think you are mad, they will think you are religious.
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Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living))
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Because in trying to articulate what, perhaps, joy is, it has occurred to me that among other thingsβ€”the trees and the mushrooms have shown me thisβ€”joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone and thing we love going away. If we sink a spoon into that fact, into the duff between us, we will find it teeming. It will look like all the books ever written. It will look like all the nerves in a body. We might call it sorrow, but we might call it a union, one that, once we notice it, once we bring it into the light, might become flower and food. Might be joy.
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Ross Gay (The Book of Delights)
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Can't you make them stop?' I asked her that day, wondering if there was anything in this woman I could speak to, if she had ever run joyfully over grass, or had watched flowers, or known delight or love.
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Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)
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There's something about the flower that grows through the rocks, the pavement; through logs and stone or brick walls... all roses are beautiful; but the rose that emerges unexpectedly through the asphalt has a beauty of soul. The flower that reaches through the brokenness of the wall has a beauty of spirit. You stop to look and not only to look but to cherish! Somewhere along its journey, it decided that it would reach for what was unseen, keep going in the direction of something that wasn't felt, it decided that it would be. That it would become. And it did. And there is something irreplaceable about that.
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C. JoyBell C.
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Anne’s horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home from Queen’s; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it. The joys of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!
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L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
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The Garden of Love I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut, And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door; So I turn'd to the Garden of Love, That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tomb-stones where flowers should be: And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
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William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience)
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Yet for all that I have had more joy than any of them, they were positive and depressed, and I am negative and happy.
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Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
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At present, I am mainly observing the physical motion of mountains, water, trees and flowers. One is everywhere reminded of similar movements in the human body, of similar impulses of joy and suffering in plants...
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Egon Schiele
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The birds brought seeds & flowers & bits of brightly colored string & placed them in her hair while she slept so she would remember the wild joy of spring when she finally awoke.
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Brian Andreas
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An enemy is like a man's most prized flower. It brings him joy to see it buried in the ground.
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David Gemmell (Echoes of the Great Song)
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Learn the discipline of being surprised not by suffering but by joy. As we grow old, there is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a suffering that will continue to tempt us to think that we have chosen the wrong road. But don't be surprised by pain. Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.
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Henri J.M. Nouwen
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The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
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Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
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Flowers teach us that nothing is permanent: not their beauty, not even the fact that they will inevitably wilt, because they will still give new seeds. Remember this when you feel joy, pain, or sadness. Everything passes, grows old, dies, and is reborn.
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Paulo Coelho (The Spy)
β€œ
Once upon a time, there was Candy and Dan. Things were very hot that year. All the wax was melting in the trees. He would climb balconies, climb everywhere, do anything for her, oh Danny boy. Thousands of birds, the tiniest birds, adorned her hair. Everything was gold. One night the bed caught fire. He was handsome and a very good criminal. We lived on sunlight and chocolate bars. It was the afternoon of extravagant delight. Danny the daredevil. Candy went missing. The days last rays of sunshine cruise like sharks. I want to try it your way this time. You came into my life really fast and I liked it. We squelched in the mud of our joy. I was wet-thighed with surrender. Then there was a gap in things and the whole earth tilted. This is the business. This, is what we're after. With you inside me comes the hatch of death. And perhaps I'll simply never sleep again. The monster in the pool. We are a proper family now with cats and chickens and runner beans. Everywhere I looked. And sometimes I hate you. Friday -- I didn't mean that, mother of the blueness. Angel of the storm. Remember me in my opaqueness. You pointed at the sky, that one called Sirius or dog star, but on here on earth. Fly away sun. Ha ha fucking ha you are so funny Dan. A vase of flowers by the bed. My bare blue knees at dawn. These ruffled sheets and you are gone and I am going to. I broke your head on the back of the bed but the baby he died in the morning. I gave him a name. His name was Thomas. Poor little god. His heart pounds like a voodoo drum.
”
”
Luke Davies (Candy)
β€œ
If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal - that is your success.
”
”
Henry David Thoreau
β€œ
Everything is possible, and yet nothing is. All is permitted, and yet again, nothing. No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent. There is an explanation for everything, and yet there is none. Everything is both real and unreal, normal and absurd, splendid and insipid. There is nothing worth more than anything else, nor any idea better than any other. Why grow sad from one’s sadness and delight in one’s joy? What does it matter whether our tears come from pleasure or pain? Love your unhappiness and hate your happiness, mix everything up, scramble it all! Be a snowflake dancing in the air, a flower floating downstream! Have courage when you don’t need to, and be a coward when you must be brave! Who knows? You may still be a winner! And if you lose, does it really matter? Is there anything to win in this world? All gain is a loss, and all loss is a gain. Why always expect a definite stance, clear ideas, meaningful words? I feel as if I should spout fire in response to all the questions which were ever put, or not put, to me.
”
”
Emil M. Cioran (On the Heights of Despair)
β€œ
Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you.
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”
Edward Payson Roe
β€œ
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her. Before she could speak, almost before she could feel, a voice called 'Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!' The silence of life had been broken by Miss Bartlett, who stood brown against the view.
”
”
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
β€œ
Who are you, reader, reading my poems a hundred years hence? I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. Open your doors and look abroad. From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.
”
”
Rabindranath Tagore (The Gardener)
β€œ
Life is a stream On which we strew Petal by petal the flower of our heart; The end lost in dream, They float past our view, We only watch their glad, early start. Freighted with hope, Crimsoned with joy, We scatter the leaves of our opening rose; Their widening scope, Their distant employ, We never shall know. And the stream as it flows Sweeps them away, Each one is gone Ever beyond into infinite ways. We alone stay While years hurry on, The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.
”
”
Amy Lowell
β€œ
Where is heaven? you ask me, my child,-the sages tell us it is beyond the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day and night; it is not of the earth. But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for time and space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust. Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your palpitating heart. The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe to kiss you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother- dust.
”
”
Rabindranath Tagore
β€œ
It is beyond a doubt that everyone should have time for some special delight, if only five minutes each day to seek out a lovely flower or cloud or star, or learn a verse to brighten another’s dull task. What is the use of such terrible diligence as many tire themselves out with, if they always postpone their exchanges of smiles with Beauty and Joy to cling to irksome duties and relations?
”
”
Helen Keller (The Open Door)
β€œ
Let kindness be the flower of your heart and fragrance of your mind. Let it fill the world with peace, joy and the fragrance of kindness.
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”
Debasish Mridha
β€œ
Spring is the time to bloom like a flower with all our beauty. It is the time to spread the fragrance of our love and fill the air with joy.
”
”
Debasish Mridha
β€œ
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
”
”
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
β€œ
Many individuals are so constituted that their only thought is to obtain pleasure and shun responsibility. They would like, butterfly-like, to wing forever in a summer garden, flitting from flower to flower, and sipping honey for their sole delight. They have no feeling that any result which might flow from their action should concern them. They have no conception of the necessity of a well-organized society wherein all shall accept a certain quota of responsibility and all realize a reasonable amount of happiness. They think only of themselves because they have not yet been taught to think of society. For them pain and necessity are the great taskmasters. Laws are but the fences which circumscribe the sphere of their operations. When, after error, pain falls as a lash, they do not comprehend that their suffering is due to misbehavior. Many such an individual is so lashed by necessity and law that he falls fainting to the ground, dies hungry in the gutter or rotting in the jail and it never once flashes across his mind that he has been lashed only in so far as he has persisted in attempting to trespass the boundaries which necessity sets. A prisoner of fate, held enchained for his own delight, he does not know that the walls are tall, that the sentinels of life are forever pacing, musket in hand. He cannot perceive that all joy is within and not without. He must be for scaling the bounds of society, for overpowering the sentinel. When we hear the cries of the individual strung up by the thumbs, when we hear the ominous shot which marks the end of another victim who has thought to break loose, we may be sure that in another instance life has been misunderstood--we may be sure that society has been struggled against until death alone would stop the individual from contention and evil.
”
”
Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie)
β€œ
I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath; I am the memory of a moment of happiness; I am the last gift of the living to the dead; I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow. -Kahlil Gibran "Song of the Flower XXIII
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Ella Griffin (The Flower Arrangement)
β€œ
If you live consciously, if you try to bring consciousness to every act that you go through, you will be living in a silent, blissful state, in serenity, in joy, in love. Your life will have the flavour of a festival. That is the meaning of heaven: your life will have many flowers in it, much fragrance will be released through you. You will have an aura of delight. Your life will be a song of life-affirmation, it will be a sacred yes to all that existence is. You will be in communion with existence β€” in communion with stars, with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, with people, with animals. This whole life and this whole existence will have a totally different meaning for you. From every nook and corner, rivers of bliss will be flowing towards you. Heaven is just a name for that state of mind. Hell means you are living so unconsciously, so absurdly, in such contradiction, that you go on creating more and more misery for yourself.
”
”
Osho
β€œ
BELOVED, gaze in thine own heart, The holy tree is growing there; From joy the holy branches start, And all the trembling flowers they bear. The changing colours of its fruit Have dowered the stars with merry light; The surety of its hidden root Has planted quiet in the night; The shaking of its leafy head Has given the waves their melody, And made my lips and music wed, Murmuring a wizard song for thee. There the Loves a circle go, The flaming circle of our days, Gyring, spiring to and fro In those great ignorant leafy ways; Remembering all that shaken hair And how the wingèd sandals dart, Thine eyes grow full of tender care: Beloved, gaze in thine own heart. Gaze no more in the bitter glass The demons, with their subtle guile, Lift up before us when they pass, Or only gaze a little while; For there a fatal image grows That the stormy night receives, Roots half hidden under snows, Broken boughs and blackened leaves. For all things turn to barrenness In the dim glass the demons hold, The glass of outer weariness, Made when God slept in times of old. There, through the broken branches, go The ravens of unresting thought; Flying, crying, to and fro, Cruel claw and hungry throat, Or else they stand and sniff the wind, And shake their ragged wings; alas! Thy tender eyes grow all unkind: Gaze no more in the bitter glass. - The Two Trees
”
”
W.B. Yeats
β€œ
Times like this were special. Memory builders. When something extraordinary happened to a person the kind of things remembered forever after it didn't have to be a life-changing event like a graduation or marriage or birth of a child. It more often was the small things. The sheer joy of summer sunlight on a fragrant flower. The giggle of a toddler. The brush of a lover's fingertips. And the person marks the moment with the flashing insight thinking... This is special. I should remember this
”
”
Sandra Hill (Tall, Dark, and Cajun (Cajun, #2))
β€œ
We hunger after the sweet nectar of happiness without understanding that it is harvested from the flowering field of good deeds.
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”
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
β€œ
There is an unknown land full of strange flowers and subtle perfumes, a land of which it is joy of all joys to dream, a land where all things are perfect and poisonous.
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”
Oscar Wilde
β€œ
Peace is a child's beautiful smile and a flower's freshness Peace is an inner perception of joyfulness and happiness.
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”
Debasish Mridha
β€œ
Love is the only bow on Life’s dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart – builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody – for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to Joy, and makes royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods.
”
”
Robert G. Ingersoll
β€œ
I call it Joy. 'Animal-Land' was not imaginative. But certain other experiences were... The first is itself the memory of a memory. As I stood beside a flowering currant bush on a summer day there suddenly arose in me without warning, and as if from a depth not of years but of centuries, the memory of that earlier morning at the Old House when my brother had brought his toy garden into the nursery. It is difficult or find words strong enough for the sensation which came over me; Milton's 'enormous bliss' of Eden (giving the full, ancient meaning to 'enormous') comes somewhere near it. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but desire for what?...Before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse... withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased... In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
β€œ
The flower that smiles today Tomorrow dies; All that we wish to stay Tempts and then flies; What is this world's delight? Lightning, that mocks the night, Brief even as bright.-- Virtue, how frail it is!-- Friendship, how rare!-- Love, how it sells poor bliss For proud despair! But these though they soon fall, Survive their joy, and all Which ours we call.-- Whilst skies are blue and bright, Whilst flowers are gay, Whilst eyes that change ere night Make glad the day; Whilst yet the calm hours creep, Dream thou - and from thy sleep Then wake to weep.
”
”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
β€œ
All around Molly there flowed and flowered a light as impossible as snow set afire, while thousands of cloven hooves sang by like cymbals. She stood very still, neither weeping nor laughing, for her joy was too great for her body to understand.
”
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Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
β€œ
You can purify your existence by feeling deep within yourself a beautiful rose or lotus, or any other flower that you like. A flower is all purity. Try to identify yourself with the consciousness of the flower or with the purity of the flower. Today it is imagination, but if you continue imagining for five days, or ten days, or a month or two, then you are bound to see and feel the flower within you. First you may feel it, then you are bound to see the existence of the flower, and then automatically the fragrance and the purity of the flower will enter into you to purify you.
”
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Sri Chinmoy (The Wings of Joy: Finding Your Path to Inner Peace)
β€œ
When I see a dancing butterfly, When I see a half blooming flower, Their eager wish to make this world happy, My mind dances with joy, My soul emerges in happiness.
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Debasish Mridha
β€œ
it has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. i learned everything is temporary. moments. feelings. people. flowers. i learned love is about giving. everything. and letting it hurt. i learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. i learned all things come in twos. life and death. pain and joy. salt and sugar. me and you. it is the balance of the universe. it has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. making friends out of strangers. making strangers out of friends. learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix just about everything. and for the pains it can’t there will always be my mother’s arms. we must learn to focus on warm energy. always. soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world. for if we can’t learn to be kind to each other how will we ever learn to be kind to the most desperate parts of ourselves.
”
”
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
β€œ
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. β€œIs it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. β€œNot at all,” said he. β€œIt's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” β€œShe seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” β€œAye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” β€œAnd who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” β€œHaven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” β€œAnd who are all these young men and women on each side?” β€œThey are her sons and daughters.” β€œShe must have had a very large family, Sir.” β€œEvery young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” β€œIsn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” β€œNo. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” β€œAnd how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” β€œThey are her beasts.” β€œDid she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” β€œEvery beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. β€œYes,” he said. β€œIt is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
β€œ
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.” ― Kevyn Aucoin
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Gigi Flower (Dress Up Games: how to be a real princess at your first real prom)
β€œ
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
”
”
Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace (Being Peace, #1))
β€œ
My everlasting Summer fills heart with laughter like a blooming flower... Her diverse sounds is nature's symphony, sprinkle delight, with comfort of ocean breeze which needs no attest.. The unique every moment of soul's revival and its sun to shine...
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”
Oksana Rus
β€œ
Thereforeβ€¦β€˜Sing, my darlings, sing, Before your petals fade, To feed the flowers of another spring.
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”
Jennifer Worth (Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
β€œ
All life isn't hearts and flowers. But life is just as much pain and mess as it is joy and order, too. I guess when you make yourself realize that you.. .start growing up - Boy's Life
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Robert McCammon
β€œ
I came across a wild flower, marveled at its beauty and at the perfection of all its parts, and exclaimed: 'But all this in you and in thousands like you blossoms and fades; it is not noticed by anyone and in fact is often not even seen by any one.' But the flower replied: 'You fool! Do you imagine I blossom in order to be seen? I blossom for my own sake because it pleases me, and not for the sake of others; my joy and delight consist in my being and in my blossoming.
”
”
Arthur Schopenhauer
β€œ
Happiness isn’t the reward we retrieve after a long struggle. It arrives daily, in those clear moments when our hearts are tender, pricked by the embrace of a loved one, the beauty of a single flower, the majesty of the world in which we are central. Look over your shoulder at how far you’ve come and all the good things you’ve experienced and that is when you will see the smiling face of happiness.
”
”
Toni Sorenson
β€œ
Flowers that are offered for the dead, do not know the difference of where their beauty will be placed, they do not say, "This is not a palace" or "This is not a garden"; they just are. They are just beautiful, without giving regards to whether they are placed on a grave or in a castle. Flowers are just beautiful, whether they grow by the wayside or in a manicured garden. If we were all like flowers, then we would all be beautiful, with no regards to why or how. We just are. We are just beautiful.
”
”
C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
With a bound, the sun of a molten fiery red cam above the horizon, and immediately thousands of little birds sang out for joy, and a soft chorus of mysterious, glad murmurs came forth from the earth; the low whispering wind left its hiding-place among the clefts and hollows of the hills, and wandered among the rustling herbs and trees, waking the flower-buds to the life of another day.
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”
Elizabeth Gaskell (Ruth)
β€œ
The gentle rose offers a powerful joy known only to the heart.
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Andrew Pacholyk (Lead Us To A Place: Your Spiritual Journey Through Life's Seasons)
β€œ
Just as when we step into a mosque and its high open dome leads our minds up, up, to greater things, so a great carpet seeks to do the same under the feet. Such a carpet directs us to the magnificence of the infinite, veiled, yet never near, closer than the pulse of jugular, the sunburst that explodes at the center of a carpet signals this boundless radiance. Flowers and trees evoke the pleasures of paradise, and there is always a spot at the center of the carpet that brings calm to the heart. A single white lotus flower floats in a turquoise pool, and in this tiniest of details, there it is: a call to the best within, summoning us to the joy of union. In carpets, I now saw not just intricacies of nature and color, not just mastery of space, but a sign of the infinite design. In each pattern lay the work of a weaver of the world, complete and whole; and in each knot of daily existence lay mine.
”
”
Anita Amirrezvani (The Blood of Flowers)
β€œ
The world where you would go hand in hand with the flower maiden has neither perfect happiness nor joy nor life. This is because it also does not contain perfect sadness nor misery nor death. What lies in waiting is a paradise for wolves alone, the unclean humans are no more...come with me Cheza, it is time.
”
”
Keiko Nobumoto (Wolf's Rain)
β€œ
How lucky country children are in these natural delights that lie ready to their hand! Every season and every plant offers changing joys. As they meander along the lane that leads to our school all kinds of natural toys present themselves for their diversion. The seedpods of stitchwort hang ready for delightful popping between thumb and finger, and later the bladder campion offers a larger, if less crisp, globe to burst. In the autumn, acorns, beechnuts, and conkers bedizen their path, with all their manifold possibilities of fun. In the summer, there is an assortment of honeys to be sucked from bindweed flowers, held fragile and fragrant to hungry lips, and the tiny funnels of honeysuckle and clover blossoms to taste.
”
”
Miss Read (Village Diary (Chronicles of Fairacre, #2))
β€œ
The true purpose of life is the perfection of humanity through individual effort, under the guidance of God's inspiration. Real life is response to the best within us. To be alive only to appetite, pleasure, pride, money-making, and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, poetry, music, flowers, stars, God and eternal hopes, is to deprive one's self of the real joy of living.
”
”
David O. McKay
β€œ
Sissy had two great failings. She was a great lover and a great mother. She had so much of tenderness in her, so much of wanting to give of herself to whoever needed what she had, whether it was her money, her time, the clothes off her back, her pity, her understanding, her friendship or her companionship and love. She was mother to everything that came her way. She loved men, yes. She loved women too, and old people and especially children. How she loved children! She loved loved the down-and-outers. She wanted to make everybody happy. She had tried to seduce the good priest who heard her infrequent confessions because she felt sorry for him. She thought he was missing the greatest joy on earth by being committed to a life of celibacy. She loved all the scratching curs on the street and wept for the gaunt scavenging cats who slunk around Brooklyn corners with their sides swollen looking for a hole in which they might bring forth their young. She loved the sooty sparrows and thought that the very grass that grew in the lots was beautiful. She picked bouquets of white clover in the lots believing they were the most beautiful flowers God ever made...Yes, she listened to everybody's troubles but no one listened to hers. But that was right because Sissy was a giver and never a taker.
”
”
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
β€œ
There is still a certain grace in a dead festival. It has been happy. Upon those chairs in disarray, among those flowers which are withering, under those extinguished lights, there have been thoughts of joy.
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”
Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
And where was happiness? In the yesterdays? In the tomorrows? Not in this hour, this minute, this second. We had one thing, and one thing only, to give us a spark of joy. Hope.
”
”
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
β€œ
like the rainbow after the rain joy will reveal itself after sorrow
”
”
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
β€œ
It is deep winter with shivering cold air, but my heart is dancing with joy and spring flowers.
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”
Debasish Mridha
β€œ
Chamberlain closed his eyes and saw it again. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. No book or music would have that beauty. He did not understand it: a mile of men flowing slowly, steadily, inevitably up the long green ground, dying all the while, coming to kill you, and the shell bursts appearing above them like instant white flowers, and the flags all tipping and fluttering, and dimly you could hear the music and the drums, and then you could hear the officers screaming, and yet even above your own fear came the sensation of unspeakable beauty. He shook his head, opened his eyes. Professor's mind. But he thought of Aristotle: pity and terror. So this is tragedy. Yes. He nodded. In the presence of real tragedy you feel neither pain nor joy nor hatred, only a sense of enormous space and time suspended, the great doors open to black eternity, the rising across the terrible field of that last enormous, unanswerable question.
”
”
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
Someone once said that there are always flowers for those who want to find flowers. I think that's true. But I also think that there are always cakes for those who want to find cakes.
”
”
C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
We see with our hearts. Our eyes are simple catalysts that carry images. Our eyes capture flowers and out heart knows serenity. Our eyes capture a child at play and our heart knows joy. They capture beauty and we know love. They capture war and we are acquainted with mortality. My eyes captured hatred and suffering, and my heart knew sorrow. They captured death and destruction and my heart knew fear.
”
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Leslie Haskin (Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman's Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11)
β€œ
If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love; to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight, and suddenly, in less time than it takes to cry out, to plunge into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the heads of grain, the flowers, the leaves, the branches, unable to catch hold of anything, to feel your sword useless, men under you, horses over you, to struggle in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the darkness, to feel a heel gouging your eyes out of their sockets, raging at the horseshoe between your teeth, to stifle, to howl, to twist, to be under all this, and to say, β€˜Just then I was a living man!
”
”
Victor Hugo
β€œ
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their sufferingβ€”and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say β€œhe was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
”
”
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
β€œ
It is astonishing to realize that growing up actually means to become one with Existence. It means to find the whole Existence within myself, it means to discover that Existence is alive in my own heart and being. The song of a bird echoes my own inner voice, the beauty of a flower reflects my own inner beauty, a dog becomes an expression of my own unconditional love and friendship, the majestic mountains create an exstatic joy, and I discover all the shining stars of the sky within my own heart. It is to realize that the whole Existence is alive, and that the underlying thread of consciousness is God.
”
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Swami Dhyan Giten
β€œ
We came to meadows full of flowers. We saw and realized that they were there, but we had no feelings about them. The first spark of joy came when we saw a rooster with a tail of multicolored feathers. But it remained only a spark; we did not yet belonged to this world.
”
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Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
β€œ
How I would paint happiness Something hidden, a windfall, A meteor shower. No- A flowering tree releasing all its blossoms at once, and the one standing beneath it unexpectedly robed in bloom…
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Lisel Mueller (Alive Together)
β€œ
It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks. My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
”
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Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
β€œ
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy on her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.
”
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E.M. Forster (A Room With a View)
β€œ
I begged time to slow so I could live in this moment a little longer. Gather all of this up and press these moments between pages like flowers. Tonight was a homecoming alive with music, life, and joy.
”
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Nina Moreno (Don't Date Rosa Santos)
β€œ
Most of us have had the experience of creating beauty, whether by cleaning a room, planting a bed of flowers or hanging a painting. Our first impulse is to say, β€œCome and see! Look what I did!” Though it may be a long time since mom or dad came to see, we still have the need to shareβ€”to be seen, acknowledged, appreciated. But it’s more than approval we seek; we want to extend the joy. We want someone to help us make it more real, to linger with us in the warmth.
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Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
β€œ
Roses are picked every day, they are told that they will be better off sold in the flower shoppe. And so they go from the hands of the picker; to the hands of the delivery man; to the hands of the florist; to the hands of the customer; and then often to the hands of the final recipient of the rose. From field, cut by scissors and passed from hand to hand. The world has forgotten that it is okay for roses to be in fields, the world has forgotten the beauty of the rose uncut. The bouquet is praised and given away but the wild roses are forgotten. People have forgotten what β€œwild” means; they think it means something entirely different. The wild rose remains untouched, with roots and swayed by the meadow winds. And that is wild. I am wild for having roots and for being untouched and for seeing things that people have forgotten. And I will always rememberβ€” that it is okay to be uncut, that it is okay to be untouched by darkness, it is okay to be wild.
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C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
coffee, sunsets, flowers, and kisses the simple joys are the sweetest
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Dahi Tamara Koch (Within the event horizon: poetry prose)
β€œ
Peace": the fruit of justice done especially to the Self.
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Alice Walker (The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers (New Poems))
β€œ
What remains will be the love that moves the heavens, the stars, people, flowers, insects, the love that obliges us all to walk across the ice despite the danger, that fills us with joy and with fear, and gives meaning to everything.
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Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
β€œ
As a woman, I see myself as a garden, and I see myself as the gardener of myself, I see myself forming and pruning and watering and nourishing all the flowers and trees and vines and leaves in me. There is a world within yourself, that has so much to offer! If only you would walk into it each day! We were not meant to save the world; we were meant to save ourselves! And in saving ourselves, we have saved worlds innumerable.
”
”
C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
”
”
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
β€œ
Suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those we love and those who have loved us, next to that, is to be wrapt in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep. Upon the shadowy shore of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not weep. Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear. I had rather think of those I have loved, and lost, as having returned to earth, as having become a part of the elemental wealth of the world – I would rather think of them as unconscious dust, I would rather dream of them as gurgling in the streams, floating in the clouds, bursting in the foam of light upon the shores of worlds, I would rather think of them as the lost visions of a forgotten night, than to have even the faintest fear that their naked souls have been clutched by an orthodox god. I will leave my dead where nature leaves them. Whatever flower of hope springs up in my heart I will cherish, I will give it breath of sighs and rain of tears. But I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony. I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful. Upon that rock I stand. – That he will not torture the forgiving. – Upon that rock I stand. – That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime. Upon that rock I stand. The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come. Upon that rock I stand.
”
”
Robert G. Ingersoll
β€œ
These women lived their lives happily. They had been taught, probably by loving parents, not to exceed the boundaries of their happiness regardless of what they were doing. But therefore they could never know real joy. Which is better? Who can say? Everyone lives the way she knows best. What I mean by 'their happiness' is living a life untouched as much as possible by the knowledge that we are really, all of us, alone. That's not a bad thing. Dressed in their aprons, their smiling faces like flowers, learning to cook, absorbed in their little troubles and perplexities, they fall in love and marry. I think that's great. I wouldn't mind that kind of life. Me, when I'm utterly exhausted by it all, my skin breaks out, on those lonely evenings when I call my friends again and again and nobody's home, then I despise my own life - my birth, my upbringing, everything. I feel only regret for the whole thing.
”
”
Banana Yoshimoto (Kitchen)
β€œ
Eccolo!” he exclaimed. At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end. β€œCourage!” cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. β€œCourage and love.” She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth. Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone. George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her…
”
”
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
β€œ
Well did the traveler know those garden lands that lie betwixt the wood of the Cerenerian Sea, and blithely did he follow the singing river Oukranos that marked his course. The sun rose higher over gentle slopes of grove and lawn, and heightened the colors of the thousand flowers that starred each knoll and dangle. A blessed haze lies upon all this region, wherein is held a little more of the sunlight than other places hold, and a little more of the summer's humming music of birds and bees; so that men walk through it as through a faery place, and feel greater joy and wonder than they ever afterward remember.
”
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H.P. Lovecraft (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)
β€œ
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
”
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
β€œ
The thorn is one of the most cursed, and angry, and crabbed weeds that the earth yieldeth, and yet out of it springeth the rose, one of the sweetest-smelled flowers, and most delightful to the eye, that the earth hath. Your Lord shall make joy and gladness out of your afflictions; for all His roses have a fragrant smell. Wait for the time when His own holy hand shall hold them to your nose...
”
”
Samuel Rutherford
β€œ
Houses, gardens, and people were transfigured into musical sounds, all that was solid seemed to be transfigured into soul and into gentleness. Sweet veils of silver and soul-haze swam through all things and lay over all things. The soul of the world had opened, and all grief, all human disappointment, all evil, all pain seemed to vanish, from now on never to appear again. Earlier walks came before my eyes; but the wonderful image of the humble present became a feeling which overpowered all others. The future paled, and the past dissolved. I glowed and flowered myself in the glowing, flowering present. From near and far, great things and small things emerged bright silver with marvelous gestures, joys, and enrichments, and in the midst of this beautiful place I dreamed of nothing but this place itself. All other fantasies sank and vanished in meaninglessness. I had the whole rich earth immediately before me, and I still looked only at what was most small and most humble. With gestures of love the heavens rose and fell. I had become an inward being, and walked as in an inward world; everything outside me became a dream; what I had understood till now became unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the fabulous depths, which I recognized then to be all that was good. What we understand and love understands and loves us also. I was no longer myself, was another, and yet it was on this account that I became properly myself. In the sweet light of love I realized, or believe I realized, that perhaps the inward self is the only self which really exists.
”
”
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
β€œ
And was it not perhaps more childlike and human to lead a Goldmund-life, more courageous, more noble perhaps in the end to abandon oneself to the cruel stream of reality, to chaos, to commit sins and accept their bitter consequences rather than live a clean life with washed hands outside the world, laying out a lonely harmonious thought-garden, strolling sinlessly among one's sheltered flower beds. Perhaps it was harder, braver and nobler to wander through forests and along the highways with torn shoes, to suffer sun and rain, hunger and need, to play with the joys of the senses and pay for them with suffering. At any rate, Goldmund had shown him that a man destined for high things can dip into the lowest depths of the bloody, drunken chaos of life, and soil himself with much dust and blood, without becoming small and common, without killing the divine spark within himself, that he can err through the thickest darkness without extinguishing the divine light and the creative force inside the shrine of his soul.
”
”
Hermann Hesse
β€œ
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of viral force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush toward a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in ones's breast lounges which breath, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children, to have the light - and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed,to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one's sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since ones bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes ones's eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses' shoes in one's rage,; to stifle. to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one's self, "But just a little while ago I was a living man!
”
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Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
Aeneas' mother is a star?" "No; a goddess." I said cautiously, "Venus is the power that we invoke in spring, in the garden, when things begin growing. And we call the evening star Venus." He thought it over. Perhaps having grown up in the country, among pagans like me, helped him understand my bewilderment. "So do we, he said. "But Venus also became more...With the help of the Greeks. They call her Aphrodite...There was a great poet who praised her in Latin. Delight of men and gods, he called her, dear nurturer. Under the sliding star signs she fills the ship-laden sea and the fruitful earth with her being; through her the generations are conceived and rise up to see the sun; from her the storm clouds flee; to her the earth, the skillful maker, offers flowers. The wide levels of the sea smile at her, and all the quiet sky shines and streams with light..." It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.
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Ursula K. Le Guin (Lavinia)
β€œ
Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee! He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil! Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all for ever. Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow
”
”
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
β€œ
To fall in love for any reason does cause fires of emotion. When we are in love, we ride on a positive energy as compared to not being in love. When we are love, we transcend conditional love to that of unconditional and we are now flowering in consciousness. Love is a very important element of consciousness as it becomes purer with Source union even as our consciousness is expanded further. Consciousness is love that is light.
”
”
Nandhiji (Mastery of Consciousness: Awaken the Inner Prophet: Liberate Yourself with Yogic Wisdom.)
β€œ
This is why the Enemy wants you to think you have no song to write, no story to tell, no painting to paint. He wants to quiet you. So sing. Let the Word by which the Creator made you fill your imagination, guide your pen, lead you from note to note until a melody is strung together like a glimmering constellation in the clear sky. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your homesickness keep you always from spiritual slumber. Remember that it is in the fellowship of saints, of friends and family, that your gift will grow best, and will find its best expression. And until the Kingdom comes in its fullness, bend your will to the joyful, tearful telling of its coming. Write about that. Write about that, and never stop.
”
”
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
β€œ
No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles. If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,β€”that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality... The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
”
”
Henry David Thoreau
β€œ
Her life had been altogether artificial; she had always been a great garden lily in a hot-house, she had never known what it was to be blown by a fresh breeze on a sun-swept moorland like a heather flower. The hot-house shelters from all chills and is full of perfume, but you can see no horizon from it; that alone is the joy of the moorland.
”
”
Ouida
β€œ
There had been times-he was almost certain-when he'd known unmitigated joy, but so faded were they to his recollection that he had begun to suspect the fictional conjuring of nostalgia. As with civilizations and their golden ages, so too with people: each individual ever longing for that golden past moment of true peace and wellness. So often it was rooted in childhood, in a time before the strictures of enlightenment had afflicted the soul, when what had seemed simple unfolded its complexity like the petals of a poison flower, to waft its miasma of decay.
”
”
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
β€œ
Machine thinking is the opposite of mindfulness. If we're really engaged in mindfulness when walking along the path to the village, then we will consider the act of each step we take as an infinite wonder, and a joy will open our hearts like a flower, enabling us to enter the world of reality.
”
”
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
β€œ
There's something I have learned from what I've lived: lf you're to live something, live it to its fullest Your beloved should fall exhausted from your kisses You should fall exhausted from smelling a flower One can watch the sky for hours Can for hours watch the sea, a bird, a child To live on earth is to mingle with it Growing roots that cannot be eradicated When you hug a friend you should hug him vigorously You should fight with all your muscles, body, passion And once you stretch out on the hot sand You should rest like a grain of sand, a leaf, a stone One should listen to all the beautiful music on earth So as to fill all his being with sounds and songs One should dive into life as if Diving from a rock into an emerald sea Distant lands should lure you, people you do not know You should burn with desire to read all the books, to know all the lives You should not exchange for anything the pleasure of drinking a glass of water All the joys should fill you with the yearning to live And you should live grief also, with honor, with all your being For grief also, like joy, matures a person Your blood should mingle with the great circulation of life In your veins must circulate the eternal fresh blood of life There is something I have learned from what I've lived: If you're to live, live big, as if you are mingling with the rivers, the sky, the whole universe For what we call a life span is a gift to life And life is a gift to mankind
”
”
Ataol Behramoğlu
β€œ
Perhaps I ought to remember that she is very young, a mere girl and make allowances. She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world is to her a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can’t speak for delight when she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it and smell it and talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it. And she is color-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage, blue sky; the pearl of the dawn, the purple shadows on the mountains, the golden islands floating in crimson seas at sunset, the pallid moon sailing through the shredded cloud-rack, the star-jewels glittering in the wastes of space β€” none of them is of any practical value, so far as I can see, but because they have color and majesty, that is enough for her, and she loses her mind over them. If she could quiet down and keep still a couple of minutes at a time, it would be a reposeful spectacle. In that cases I think I could enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, for I am coming to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature β€” lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful; and once when she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder, with her young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she was beautiful.
”
”
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam and Eve)
β€œ
This, and much more, she accepted - for after all living did mean accepting the loss of one joy after another, not even joys in her case - mere possibilities of improvement. She thought of the endless waves of pain that for some reason or other she and her husband had to endure; of the invisible giants hurting her boy in some unimaginable fashion; of the incalculable amount of tenderness contained in the world; of the fate of this tenderness, which is either crushed, or wasted, or transformed into madness; of neglected children humming to themselves in unswept corners; of beautiful weeds that cannot hide from the farmer and helplessly have to watch the shadow of his simian stoop leave mangled flowers in its wake, as the monstrous darkness approaches.
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Vladimir Nabokov (Signs and Symbols (Stories of Vladimir Nabokov))
β€œ
Meanwhile, in the expansiveness of her joy, the Moon filled all of the room like a phosphoric atmosphere, like a luminous poison; and all of that living light thought and said: β€œYou will be eternally subject to the influence of my kiss. You will be beautiful in my manner. You will love what I love and who loves me: water, the clouds, silence, and the night; the immense, green sea; formless and multiform water; the place where you will not be; the lover you will not know; monstrous flowers; perfumes that make you delirious; cats who swoon on pianos, and who moan like women, with a hoarse, gentle voice!
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Charles Baudelaire
β€œ
I must have had some high object in life, for I feel unbounded strength within me. But I never discovered it and was carried away by the allurements of empty, un-rewarding passions. I was tempered in their flames and came out cold and hard as steel, but I'd lost forever that fire of noble endeavour, that finest flower of life. How many time since then have I been an axe in the hands of fate? Like an engine of execution, I've descended on the heads of the condemned, often without malice, but always without pity. My love has brought no one happiness, for I've never sacrificed a thing for those I've loved. I've loved for myself, for my own pleasure, I've only tried to satisfy a strange inner need. I've fed on their feelings, love, joys and sufferings, and always wanted more. I'm like a starving man who falls asleep exhausted and sees rich food and sparkling wines before him. He rapturously falls on these phantom gifts of the imagination and feels better, but the moment he wakes up his dream disappears and he's left more hungry and desperate than before.
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Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
β€œ
A Tear And A Smile - I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart For the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes To flow from my every part turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding Of life's secrets and hidden things. A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods. A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence. I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing. I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are Satisfied the most wretched of people. I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody. With evening's coming the flower folds her petals And sleeps, embracingher longing. At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet The sun's kiss. The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment. A tear and a smile. The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come Together and area cloud. And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home. The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting. A tear and a smile. And so does the spirit become separated from The greater spirit to move in the world of matter And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death And return whence it came. To the ocean of Love and Beauty----to God.
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Kahlil Gibran (A Tear and a Smile)
β€œ
A Match If love were what the rose is, And I were like the leaf, Our lives would grow together In sad or singing weather, Blown fields or flowerful closes, Green pasture or gray grief; If love were what the rose is, And I were like the leaf. If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune, With double sound and single Delight our lips would mingle, With kisses glad as birds are That get sweet rain at noon; If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune. If you were life, my darling, And I your love were death, We'd shine and snow together Ere March made sweet the weather With daffodil and starling And hours of fruitful breath; If you were life, my darling, And I your love were death. If you were thrall to sorrow, And I were page to joy, We'd play for lives and seasons With loving looks and treasons And tears of night and morrow And laughs of maid and boy; If you were thrall to sorrow, And I were page to joy. If you were April's lady, And I were lord in May, We'd throw with leaves for hours And draw for days with flowers, Till day like night were shady And night were bright like day; If you were April's lady, And I were lord in May. If you were queen of pleasure, And I were king of pain, We'd hunt down love together, Pluck out his flying-feather, And teach his feet a measure, And find his mouth a rein; If you were queen of pleasure, And I were king of pain.
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Algernon Charles Swinburne
β€œ
Filled with rapture, his soul yearned for freedom, space, vastness. Over him the heavenly dome, full of quiet, shining stars, hung boundlessly. From the zenith to the horizon the still-dim Milky Way stretched its double strand. Night, fresh and quiet, almost unstirring, enveloped the earth. The white towers and golden domes of the church gleamed in the sapphire sky. The luxuriant autumn flowers in the flowerbeds near the house had fallen asleep until morning. The silence of the earth seemed to merge with the silence of the heavens, the mystery of the earth touched the mystery of the stars... Alyosha stood gazing and suddenly, as if he had been cut down, threw himself to the earth. He did not know why he was embracing it, he did not try to understand why he longed so irresistibly to kiss it, to kiss all of it, but he was kissing it, weeping, sobbing, and watering it with his tears, and he vowed ecstatically to love it, to love it unto ages of ages. "Water the earth with the tears of your joy, and love those tears...," rang in his soul. What was he weeping for? Oh, in his rapture he wept even for the stars that shone on him from the abyss, and "he was not ashamed of this ecstasy." It was as if threads from all those innumerable worlds of God all came together in his soul, and it was trembling all over, "touching other worlds." He wanted to forgive everyone and for everything, and to ask forgiveness, oh, not for himself! but for all and for everything, "as others are asking for me," rang again in his soul. But with each moment he felt clearly and almost tangibly something as firm and immovable as this heavenly vault descend into his soul. Some sort of idea, as it were, was coming to reign in his mind-now for the whole of his life and unto ages of ages. He fell to the earth a weak youth and rose up a fighter, steadfast for the rest of his life, and he knew it and felt it suddenly, in that very moment of his ecstasy. Never, never in all his life would Alyosha forget that moment. "Someone visited my soul in that hour," he would say afterwards, with firm belief in his words...
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Fyodor Dostoevsky
β€œ
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
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Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
β€œ
There is a Sufi story about a man who is so good that the angels ask God to give him the gift of miracles. God wisely tells them to ask him if that is what he would wish. So the angels visit this good man and offer him first the gift of healing by hands, then the gift of conversion of souls, and lastly the gift of virtue. He refuses them all. They insist that he choose a gift or they will choose one for him. "Very well," he replies. "I ask that I may do a great deal of good without ever knowing it." The story ends this way: The angels were perplexed. They took counsel and resolved upon the following plan: Every time the saint's shadow fell behind him it would have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow. As he walked, behind him the shadow made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, gave clear water to dried up brooks, fresh color to pale children, and joy to unhappy men and women. The saint simply went about his daily life diffusing virtue as the stars diffuse light and the flowers scent, without ever being aware of it. The people respecting his humility followed him silently, never speaking to him about his miracles. Soon they even forgot his name and called him "the Holy Shadow.
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Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
β€œ
In time, Arjuna tires of mere beauty and hearing tales about the valour of princess Chitrangada, he seeks her out. The princess then reveals her true self to Arjuna. Her words are one of the most beautiful declarations of the angst of a woman, β€˜I am not beautifully perfect as the flowers with which I worship. I have many flaws and blemishes. I am a traveller in the great world-path, my garments are dirty, and my feet are bleeding with thorns. Where should I achieve flower-beauty, the unsullied loveliness of a moment’s life? The gift that I proudly bring you is the heart of a woman. Here have all pains and joys gathered, the hopes and fears and shames of a daughter of the dust; here love springs up struggling towards immortal life. Herein lies an imperfection which yet is noble and grand.
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Devdutt Pattanaik (Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata)
β€œ
Egypt is a fertile valley of rich river soil, low-lying, warm, monotonous, a slow-flowing river, and beyond the limitless desert. Greece is a country of sparse fertility and keen, cold winters, all hills and mountains sharp cut in stone, where strong men must work hard to get their bread. And while Egypt submitted and suffered and turned her face toward death, Greece resisted and rejoiced and turned full-face to life. For somewhere among those steep stone mountains, in little sheltered valleys where the great hills were ramparts to defend, and men could have security for peace and happy living, something quite new came into the world: the joy of life found expression. Perhaps it was born there, among the shepherds pasturing their flocks where the wild flowers made a glory on the hillside; among the sailors on a sapphire sea washing enchanted islands purple in a luminous air.
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Edith Hamilton (The Greek Way)
β€œ
When a person dies, they cross over from the realm of freedom to the realm of slavery. Life is freedom, and dying is a gradual denial of freedom. Consciousness first weakens and then disappears. The life-processes – respiration, the metabolism, the circulation – continue for some time, but an irrevocable move has been made towards slavery; consciousness, the flame of freedom, has died out. The stars have disappeared from the night sky; the Milky Way has vanished; the sun has gone out; Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been extinguished; millions of leaves have died; the wind and the oceans have faded away; flowers have lost their colour and fragrance; bread has vanished; water has vanished; even the air itself, the sometimes cool, sometimes sultry air, has vanished. The universe inside a person has ceased to exist. This universe is astonishingly similar to the universe that exists outside people. It is astonishingly similar to the universes still reflected within the skulls of millions of living people. But still more astonishing is the fact that this universe had something in it that distinguished the sound of its ocean, the smell of its flowers, the rustle of its leaves, the hues of its granite and the sadness of its autumn fields both from those of every other universe that exists and ever has existed within people, and from those of the universe that exists eternally outside people. What constitutes the freedom, the soul of an individual life, is its uniqueness. The reflection of the universe in someone's consciousness is the foundation of his or her power, but life only becomes happiness, is only endowed with freedom and meaning when someone exists as a whole world that has never been repeated in all eternity. Only then can they experience the joy of freedom and kindness, finding in others what they have already found in themselves.
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Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
β€œ
Yesterday it was sun outside. The sky was blue and people were lying under blooming cherry trees in the park. It was Friday, so records were released, that people have been working on for years. Friends around me find success and level up, do fancy photo shoots and get featured on big, white, movie screens. There were parties and lovers, hand in hand, laughing perfectly loud, but I walked numbly through the park, round and round, 40 times for 4 hours just wanting to make it through the day. There's a weight that inhabits my chest some times. Like a lock in my throat, making it hard to breathe. A little less air got through and the sky was so blue I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. Packed orders, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories, but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the desk tick tick tick me not making a sound and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind, but anxiety eats you up and I just want to be fine. This is not beautiful. This is not useful. You can not do anything with it and it tries to control you, throw you off your balance and lovely ways but you can not let it. I cleaned up. Took myself for a walk. Tried to keep my eyes on the sky. Stayed away from the alcohol, stayed away from the destructive tools we learn to use. the smoking and the starving, the running, the madness, thinking it will help but it only feeds the fire and I don't want to hurt myself anymore. I made it through and today I woke up, lighter and proud because I'm still here. There are flowers growing outside my window. The coffee is warm, the air is pure. In a few hours I'll be on a train on my way to sing for people who invited me to come, to sing, for them. My own songs, that I created. Meβ€”little me. From nowhere at all. And I have people around that I like and can laugh with, and it's spring again. It will always be spring again. And there will always be a new day.
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Charlotte Eriksson
β€œ
~A Comparison of Seasons~ Snow's unforgiving power causes some men to wish for spring's flower. Some might hate snow's bitter chill, but you love it at your own will. I see snow as something fun, but others might still long for summer's sun. You and I hate summer's heat, but we still love the warmth of a fire on our feet. Spring has jays whose virtuous songs are nice, but winter's lonely echoes are earth's frigged vice. I enjoy spring's life, yet I still love winter's seemingly harsh sorrow; sometimes I can't get out of the house, so I worry about tomorrow. I love the sight of snow and I treasure the sight of summer's river which swiftly flows. Also, winter can be cold, but we can look forward to seeing spring's life and joy unfold.
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Seth D.
β€œ
Those who are immersed in their own psychological realities usually end up ignoring life around them. They seldom have the eyes to look at a flower, a sunset, a child, or a smiling face. And if it is an unsmiling face, they have no inclination to make it smile; they have no such small duties or minor cares in the world! They are too busy cracking the great puzzles of existence. But
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Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy)
β€œ
I can reveal to you that I wished to die - For with much weeping she left me Saying: "Sappho - what suffering is ours! For it is against my will that I leave you." In answer, I said: "Go, happily remembering me For you know what we shared and pursued - If not, I wish you to see again our [ former joys ] ..... The many braids of rose and violet you [ wreathed ] Around yourself at my side And the many garlands of flowers With which you adorned your soft neck: With royal oils from [ fresh flowers ] You anointed [ yourself ] And on soft beds fulfilled your longing [ For me ] ....
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Sappho
β€œ
The morning sun brings tender joy With happiness awakes the earth; The dew kissed flowers it's light employ Their petals open in new birth. The birds awake and all mankind Rejoices with songs they sing. God's creatures open heart and mind To Him their praises bring. Should not we, too, give thanks anew Greet joyfully each new born sun; Wash old sins clean with morning dew Give Praise to Him, The Holy One.
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Paul Thompson
β€œ
That love, which is the highest joy, which is divine simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be natural, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you. Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us.
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Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Venus in Furs)
β€œ
If you want to access your power as a divine human being, you must search for the small inside of the big and for the big inside of the small. When you look up into the expanse of sky overhead, look for the stars, the planets, the birds that fly. Small things for the eye to spot. And when you look down into the the face of a streetside flower, look for joy, happiness, comfort, stillness, and a silent song. When you have mastered finding the small in the big and the big in the small, you will have mastered your own divinity.
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C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
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Robert Browning
β€œ
Jacqueline ran like she had been saving all her running for this moment, for this place where no one could see her, or scold her, or tell her that ladies didn't behave that way, sit down, slow down, you'll rip your dress, you'll stain your tights, be good. She was getting grass stains on her knees and mud under her fingernails, and she knew she'd regret both those things later, but in the moment, she didn't care. She was finally running. She was finally free. Jillian ran more slowly, careful not to trample the flowers, slowing down whenever she felt like it to look around herself in wide-eyed wonder. No one was telling her to go faster, to run harder, to keep her eyes on the ball; no one wanted this to be a competition. For the first time in years, she was running solely for the joy of running, and when she tripped and fell into the flowers, she went down laughing.
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Seanan McGuire (Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2))
β€œ
Flowers bloom in spring Oh, the sky spreads in summer They’re engraved and sparkling In my heart Rain falls in the morning Even on a day when I shut the window The light overflowing to my chest Is from above the clouds Joy and sorrow I hold everything close while I’m walking They’re things that firmly join My hand And your hand together Autumn is at the waterside Winter lurks at the treetop There’s a boundless kindness Deep in the world Every time when night comes Let’s offer a prayer Let’s quietly greet The day to come tomorrow Oh, a voice calling out from far, far away Guides me As if it smiles As if it sings The sound of wind echoes Joy and sorrow I hold everything close while I’m walking They’re things that firmly join My hand And your hand together
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Kobato
β€œ
In Port William, more than anyplace else I had been, this religion that scorned the beauty and goodness of this world was a puzzle to me. To begin with, I don’t think anybody believed it. I still don’t think so. Those world-condemning sermons were preached to people who, on Sunday mornings, would be wearing their prettiest clothes. Even the old widows in their dark dresses would be pleasing to look at. By dressing up on the one day when most of them had leisure to do it, they had signified their wish to present themselves to one another and to Heaven looking their best. The people who heard those sermons loved good crops, good gardens, good livestock and work animals and dogs; they loved flowers and the shade of trees, and laughter and music; some of them could make you a fair speech on the pleasures of a good drink of water or a patch of wild raspberries. While the wickedness of the flesh was preached from the pulpit, the young husbands and wives and the courting couples sat thigh to thigh, full of yearning and joy, and the old people thought of the beauty of the children. And when church was over they would go home to Heavenly dinners of fried chicken, it might be, and creamed new potatoes and hot biscuits and butter and cherry pie and sweet milk and buttermilk. And the preacher and his family would always be invited to eat with somebody and they would always go, and the preacher, having just foresworn on behalf of everybody the joys of the flesh, would eat with unconsecrated relish.
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Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
β€œ
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun; to be in full possession of virile force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush towards a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in one’s breast lungs which breathe, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children; to have the lightβ€”and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed; to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one’s sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since one’s bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes one’s eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses’ shoes in one’s rage; to stifle, to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one’s self, β€œBut just a little while ago I was a living man!
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Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
We offered her flowers and signalled to her with our penises, but she did not respond with joy.' 'The men with the extra skins didn't look happy. They looked angry.' 'We went towards them to greet them, but they ran away.' Snowman can imagine. The sight of these preternaturally calm, well-muscled men advancing en masse, singing their unusual music, green eyes glowing, blue penises waving in unison, both hands outstretched like extras in a zombie film, would have to have been alarming.
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Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
β€œ
I believe you did not have a happy life. I believe you were cheated. I believe your best friends were loneliness and misery. I believe your busiest enemies were anger and depression. I believe joy was a game you could never play without stumbling. I believe comfort, though you craved it, was forever a stranger. I believe music had to bee melancholy or not at all. I believe no trinket, no precious metal, shone so bright as your bitterness. I believe you lay down at last in your coffin none the wiser and unassuaged. Oh, cold and dreamless under the wild, amoral, reckless, peaceful flowers of the hillsides.
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Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume One)
β€œ
There are few people who think what a solemn thing it is to be a Christian. I guess there is not a believer in the world who knows what a miracle it is to be kept a believer. We little think the miracles that are working all around us. We see the flowers grow; but we do not think of the wondrous power that gives them life. We see the stars shine; but how seldom do we think of the hand that moves them. The sun gladdens us with his light; yet we little think of the miracles which God works to feed that sun with fuel, or to gird him like a giant to run his course. And we see Christians walking in integrity and holiness; but how little do we suspect what a mass of miracles a Christian is. There are as great a number of miracles expended on a Christian every day, as he hath hairs on his head. A Christian is a perpetual miracle. Every hour that I am preserved from sinning, is an hour of as divine a might as that which saw a new-born world swathed in its darkness, and heard "the morning stars sing for joy." Did ye never think how great is the danger to which a Christian is exposed from his indwelling sin?
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
β€œ
Your daily war chant: ( screaming it is mandatory! ) Ooooooooh today, today I will see, what a happy place the world can be! I will make someone smile, refuse to being vile! I will share what I love, take someone high above, in the sky, between the clouds with joyful shouts! Today, today even you will see, What a happy place the world can be! Make it happen, enjoy your day, Remember it is a temporary stay, here on earth, this single hour, today I give my love a flower! YEAAAAAH! Today I kick life’s behind, making good what is unkind! Making smile who is not grinning! And this is only the beginning! Today.I.am. AAAAAAALIVEE!
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Janosch Fingerhut
β€œ
Money as such is a useful invention, making commerce possible beyond the state of barter. A moderate amount is necessary to us all-but consider :of all the things you buy , that which you buy dearest of all is money. For money you sell the hours, the days of your life, which are the only true wealth you have. You sell the sunshine, the dawn and the dusk , the moon and the stars, the wind and the rain, the green fields and the flowers, the rivers and the sweet fresh air. You sell health and joy and freedom
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Hope L. Bourne
β€œ
ON THE DEATH OF THE BELOVED Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts Where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives, Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of color. The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things. Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. We look toward each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves. Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement. Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones. When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you. May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
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John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
β€œ
Once more, the joyful character of the eucharistic gathering must be stressed. For the medieval emphasis on the cross, while not a wrong one, is certainly one-sided. The liturgy is, before everything else, the joyous gathering of those who are to meet the risen Lord and to enter with him into the bridal chamber. And it is this joy of expectation and this expectation of joy that are expressed in singing and ritual, in vestments and in censing, in that whole 'beauty' of the liturgy which has so often been denounced as unnecessary and even sinful. Unnecessary it is indeed, for we are beyond the categories of the 'necessary.' Beauty is never 'necessary,' 'functional' or 'useful.' And when, expecting someone whom we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love. And the Church is love, expectation and joy.
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Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)
β€œ
Down in the valley, leaves fall from trees, the branches are bare. All the flowers have faded, their blossoms once so beautiful. The frost attacks many herbs and kills them. I grieve. But if the winter is so cold, there must be new joys. Help me sing a joy of a hundred thousand times greater than the buds of May. I will sing of roses on the red cheeks of my lady. Could I win her favor, this lovely lady would give me such joy I would need no other. (Jack) What are you saying? (Lorelei) Noble lady, I ask nothing of you save that you should accept me as your servant. I will serve you as a good lord should serve, whatever the reward may be. Here I am, then, at your orders, sincere and humble, gay and courteous. You are not, after all, a bear or lion, and would not kill me, surely, if I put myself between your hands. I love you, my lady, Lorelei. Marry me and I swear I shall never again do or say anything to harm you and I will slay anyone who does. (Jack)
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Kinley MacGregor (Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1))
β€œ
My personal beasties are ugly and ridiculous and they weigh me down and are exhausting to carry around. Sometimes it feels like they are larger than I am. They are destructive and baffling and ungainly. And yet. And yet, there is something wonderful in embracing the peculiar and extraordinary monsters that make us unique. There is joy in accepting the curious and erratic beasts that force us to see the world in new ways. And there is an uncanny sort of fellowship that comes when you recognize the beasties that other people carry with them and the battles we are all fighting even when they seem invisible to the rest of the world. We all have these monsters, I suspect, although they come from different places and have different names and causes. But what we do with them makes a difference. And, whenever I can, I take mine out in the sun and try to appreciate that the flowers it rips up from the garden can sometimes be just as lovely when stuck in the teeth of its terrible mouth. Embrace your beasties. Love your awkwardness. Enjoy yourself. Celebrate the bizarreness that is you because, I assure you, you are more wondrous than you can possibly imagine … monsters and all.
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Jenny Lawson (Broken (In the Best Possible Way))
β€œ
Of course to one so modern as I am, `Enfant de mon siΓ¨cle,’ merely to look at the world will be always lovely. I tremble with pleasure when I think that on the very day of my leaving prison both the laburnum and the lilac will be blooming in the gardens, and that I shall see the wind stir into restless beauty the swaying gold of the one, and make the other toss the pale purple of its plumes, so that all the air shall be Arabia for me. Linnaeus fell on his knees and wept for joy when he saw for the first time the long heath of some English upland made yellow with the tawny aromatic brooms of the common furze; and I know that for me, to whom flowers are part of desire, there are tears waiting in the petals of some rose. It has always been so with me from my boyhood. There is not a single colour hidden away in the chalice of a flower, or the curve of a shell, to which, by some subtle sympathy with the very soul of things, my nature does not answer. Like Gautier, I have always been one of those β€˜pour qui le monde visible existe.
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Oscar Wilde (De Profundis and Other Writings)
β€œ
Love, is it morning risen or night deceased That makes the mirth of this triumphant east? Is it bliss given or bitterness put by That makes most glad men's hearts at love's high feast? Grief smiles, joy weeps, that day should live and die. "Is it with soul's thirst or with body's drouth That summer yearns out sunward to the south, With all the flowers that when thy birth drew nigh Were molten in one rose to make thy mouth? O love, what care though day should live and die? "Is the sun glad of all love on earth, The spirit and sense and work of things and worth? Is the moon sad because the month must fly And bring her death that can but bring back birth? For all these things as day must live and die. "Love, is it day that makes thee thy delight Or thou that seest day made out of thy light? Love, as the sun and sea are thou and I, Sea without sun dark, sun without sea bright; The sun is one though day should live and die. "O which is elder, night or light, who knows? And life or love, which first of these twain grows? For life is born of love to wail and cry, And love is born of life to heal his woes, And light of night, that day should live and die. "O sun of heaven above the wordly sea, O very love, what light is this of thee! My sea of soul is deep as thou art high, But all thy light is shed through all of me, As love's through love, while day shall live and die.
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Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
β€œ
When I close my eyes to see, to hear, to smell, to touch a country I have known, I feel my body shake and fill with joy as if a beloved person had come near me. A rabbi was once asked the following question: β€˜When you say that the Jews should return to Palestine, you mean, surely, the heavenly, the immaterial, the spiritual Palestine, our true homeland?’ The rabbi jabbed his staff into the ground in wrath and shouted, β€˜No! I want the Palestine down here, the one you can touch with your hands, with its stones, its thorns and its mud!’ Neither am I nourished by fleshless, abstract memories. If I expected my mind to distill from a turbid host of bodily joys and bitternesses an immaterial, crystal-clear thought, I would die of hunger. When I close my eyes in order to enjoy a country again, my five senses, the five mouth-filled tentacles of my body, pounce upon it and bring it to me. Colors, fruits, women. The smells of orchards, of filthy narrow alleys, of armpits. Endless snows with blue, glittering reflections. Scorching, wavy deserts of sand shimmering under the hot sun. Tears, cries, songs, distant bells of mules, camels or troikas. The acrid, nauseating stench of some Mongolian cities will never leave my nostrils. And I will eternally hold in my hands – eternally, that is, until my hands rot – the melons of Bukhara, the watermelons of the Volga, the cool, dainty hand of a Japanese girl… For a time, in my early youth, I struggled to nourish my famished soul by feeding it with abstract concepts. I said that my body was a slave and that its duty was to gather raw material and bring it to the orchard of the mind to flower and bear fruit and become ideas. The more fleshless, odorless, soundless the world was that filtered into me, the more I felt I was ascending the highest peak of human endeavor. And I rejoiced. And Buddha came to be my greatest god, whom I loved and revered as an example. Deny your five senses. Empty your guts. Love nothing, hate nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing. Breathe out and the world will be extinguished. But one night I had a dream. A hunger, a thirst, the influence of a barbarous race that had not yet become tired of the world had been secretly working within me. My mind pretended to be tired. You felt it had known everything, had become satiated, and was now smiling ironically at the cries of my peasant heart. But my guts – praised be God! – were full of blood and mud and craving. And one night I had a dream. I saw two lips without a face – large, scimitar-shaped woman’s lips. They moved. I heard a voice ask, β€˜Who if your God?’ Unhesitatingly I answered, β€˜Buddha!’ But the lips moved again and said: β€˜No, Epaphus.’ I sprang up out of my sleep. Suddenly a great sense of joy and certainty flooded my heart. What I had been unable to find in the noisy, temptation-filled, confused world of wakefulness I had found now in the primeval, motherly embrace of the night. Since that night I have not strayed. I follow my own path and try to make up for the years of my youth that were lost in the worship of fleshless gods, alien to me and my race. Now I transubstantiate the abstract concepts into flesh and am nourished. I have learned that Epaphus, the god of touch, is my god. All the countries I have known since then I have known with my sense of touch. I feel my memories tingling, not in my head but in my fingertips and my whole skin. And as I bring back Japan to my mind, my hands tremble as if they were touching the breast of a beloved woman.
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Nikos Kazantzakis (Travels in China & Japan)
β€œ
Why the devil couldn’t it have been blue?” I said to myself. And this thoughtβ€”one of the most profound ever made since the discovery of butterfliesβ€”consoled me for my misdeed and reconciled me with myself. I stood there, looking at the corpse with, I confess, a certain sympathy. The butterfly had probably come out of the woods, well-fed and happy, into the sunlight of a beautiful morning. Modest in its demands on life, it had been content to fly about and exhibit its special beauty under the vast cupola of a blue sky, al sky that is always blue for those that have wings. It flew through my open window, entered by room, and found me there. I suppose it had never seen a man; therefore it did not know what a man was. It described an infinite number of circles about my body and saw that I moved, that I had eyes, arms, legs, a divine aspect, and colossal stature. Then it said to itself, β€œThis is probably the maker of butterflies.” The idea overwhelmed it, terrified it; but fear, which is sometimes stimulating, suggested the best way for it to please its creator was to kiss him on the forehead, and so it kissed me on the forehead. When I brushed it away, it rested on the windowpane, saw from there the portrait of my father, and quite possibly perceived a half-truth, i.e., that the man in the picture was the father of the creator of butterflies, and it flew to beg his mercy. Then a blow from a towel ended the adventure. Neither the blue sky’s immensity, nor the flowers’ joy, nor the green leaves’ splendor could protect the creature against a face towel, a few square inches fo cheap linin. Note how excellent it is to be superior to butterflies! For, even if it had been blue, its life would not have been safe; I might have pierced it with a pin and kept it to delight my eyes. It was not blue. This last thought consoled me again. I placed the nail of my middle finger against my thumb, gave the cadaver a flip, and it fell into the garden. It was high time; the provident ants were already gathering around…Yes, I stand by my first idea: I think that it would have been better for the butterfly if it had been born blue.
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Machado de Assis (MemΓ³rias PΓ³stumas de BrΓ‘s Cubas)
β€œ
We are all surrounded with so much static energy, that it is actually crucial to develop the ability to remove that and to flow through the streams in life that we makeβ€” the ones that are not stagnant, the ones that are real, the energy that is flowing and that is real and that is actual. You can get so caught up with what your friends think about your photo on Facebook that you don't realize your loss of ability to actually feel what in fact was going on in that photo. Too often, we stop to smell the flowers in order to show someone that we have stopped to smell the flowers; without actually smelling anything with our noses! This is scary. We live in a scary world.
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C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
The middle of the 'Atlantis' the warm, luxurious cabins,ining-rooms, halls, shed light and joy, buzzed with the chatter of an elegant crowd, was fragrant with fresh flowers, and quivered with the sounds of a string orchestra. And again amidst that crowd, amidst the brilliance of lights, silks, diamonds, and bare feminine shoulders, a slim and supple pair of hired lovers painfully writhed and at moments convulsively clashed. A sinfully discreet, pretty girl with lowered lashes and hair innocently dressed, and a tallish young man with black hair looking as if it were glued on, pale with powder, and wearing the most elegant patent-leather shoes and a narrow, long-tailed dress coat, a beau resembling an enormous leech. And no one knew that this couple had long since grown weary of shamly tormenting themselves with their beatific love-tortures, to the sound of bawdy-sad music ; nor did any one know of that thing which lay deep, deep below at the very bottom of the dark hold, near the gloomy and sultry bowels of the ship that was so gravely overcoming the darkness, the ocean, the blizzard.
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Ivan Bunin (The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories)
β€œ
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed Like a waste garden, flowering at its will With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. And there were curious flowers, before unknown, Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one That had drunk in the transitory tone Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades Of grass that in an hundred springs had been Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, And watered with the scented dew long cupped In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across The garden came a youth; one hand he raised To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. And he came near me, with his lips uncurled And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, Come I will show thee shadows of the world And images of life. See from the South Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' And lo! within the garden of my dream I saw two walking on a shining plain Of golden light. The one did joyous seem And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids And joyous love of comely girl and boy, His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; And in his hand he held an ivory lute With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, And round his neck three chains of roses were. But he that was his comrade walked aside; He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, And yet again unclenched, and his head Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold With the device of a great snake, whose breath Was fiery flame: which when I did behold I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.' Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.
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Alfred Bruce Douglas
β€œ
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of meβ€”is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the rightβ€”isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own lifeβ€”it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
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Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
β€œ
[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother] The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me. The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west. He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust. Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death. This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day. He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts. He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers. Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead. And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust. Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
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Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
β€œ
Note to self: Try to extend positive feelings associated with Scratch-Off win into all areas of life. Be bigger presence at work. Race up ladder (joyfully, w/smile on face), get raise. Get in best shape of life, start dressing nicer. Learn guitar? Make point of noticing beauty of world? Why not educate self re. birds, flowers, trees, constellations, become true citizen of natural world, walk around neighborhood w/kids, patiently teaching kids names of birds, flowers, etc. etc.? Why not take kids to Europe? Kids have never been. Have never, in Alps, had hot chocolate in mountain cafΓ©, served by kindly white-haired innkeeper, who finds them so sophisticated/friendly relative to usual snotty/rich American kids (who always ignore his pretty but crippled daughter w/braids) that he shows them secret hiking path to incredible glade, kids frolic in glade, sit with crippled pretty girl on grass, later say it was most beautiful day of their lives, keep in touch with crippled girl via email, we arrange surgery here for her, surgeon so touched he agrees to do surgery for free, she is on front page of our paper, we are on front page of their paper in Alps? Ha ha. Just happy.
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George Saunders (Tenth of December)
β€œ
All these my exaltation of mind has borne along with it and kept alive through the succession of the years, while all around them the paths have vanished and those who trod them, and even the memory of those who trod them, are dead. Sometimes the fragment of landscape thus transported into the present will detach itself in such isolation from all associations that it floats uncertainly in my mind like a flowering Delos, and I am unable to say from what place, from what time - perhaps, quite simply, from what dream - it comes. But it is pre-eminently as the deepest layer of my mental soil, as the firm ground on which I still stand, that I regard the Meseglise and the Guermantes ways. It is because I believed in this and in people while I walked along those paths that the things and the people they made known to me are the only ones that I still take seriously and that still bring me joy.
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Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
β€œ
TWENTY SMALL GRAVES There was a woman who bore a child almost every year, but the children never lived longer than six months. Usually after three or four months they would die. She grieved long and publicly. "I take on the work of pregnancy for nine months, but the joy vanishes quicker than a rainbow." Twenty children went like that, in fevers to their small graves. One night she had a revelation. She saw the place of unconditional love, call it the garden or source of gardens. The physical eye cannot see its unseeable light. Lamp, green flower, these are just comparisons, so that some of the love-bewildered may catch a fragrance. The woman saw pure grace and, drunk with the seeing, fell to the ground. Those who have the vision said then, "This morning meal is for those who rise with sincere devotion. The tragedies you've had came from other times when you did not take refuge." "Lord, give me more grief. Tear me to pieces, if it leads here." She said this and walked into the presence she had seen. Her children were all there, "Lost to me," she cried, "but not to you." Without this great grieving no one can enter the spirit.
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Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
β€œ
For the liquor of Miss Amelia has a special quality of its own. It is clean and sharp on the tongue, but once down a man it glows inside him for a long time afterward. And that is not all. It is known that if a message is written with lemon juice on a clean sheet of paper there will be no sign of it. But if the paper is held for a moment to the fire then the letters turn brown and the meaning becomes clear. Imagine that the whisky is the fire and that the message is that which is known only in the soul of a man – then the worth of Miss Amelia's liquor can be understood. Things that have gone unnoticed, thoughts that have been harbored far back in the dark mind, are suddenly recognized and comprehended. A spinner who has thought only of the loom, the dinner pail, the bed, and then the loom again – this spinner might drink some on a Sunday and come across a marsh lily. And in his palm he might hold this flower, examining the golden dainty cup, and in him suddenly might come a sweetness keen as pain. A weaver might look up suddenly and see for the first time the cold, weird radiance of midnight January sky, and a deep fright at his own smallness stop his heart. Such things as these, then, happen when a man has drunk Miss Amelia's liquor. He may suffer, or he may be spent with joy – but the experience has shown the truth; he has warmed his soul and seen the message hidden there.
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Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad CafΓ© and Other Stories)
β€œ
Where is the land of Luthany, Where is the tract of Elenore? I am bound therefore. 'Pierce thy heart to find the key; With thee take Only what none else would keep; Learn to dream when thou dost wake; Learn to wake when thou dost sleep. Learn to water joy with tears, Learn from fears to vanquish fears; To hope, for thou dar'st not despair; Exult, for that thou dar'st not grieve; Plough thou the rock until it bear; Know, for thou else couldst not believe; Lose, that the lost thou may'st receive; Die, for none other way canst live. 'When earth and heave lay down their veil, And that apocalypse turns thee pale; When thy seeing blindeth thee To what thy fellow-mortals see; When their sight to thee is sightless; Their living, death; their light, most lightless; Search no more-- Pass the gates of Luthany, Tread the region Elenore!' Where is the land of Luthany? And where the region Elenore? I do faint therefore. 'When to the new eyes of thee All things by immortal power, Near or far, Hiddenly To each other linked are, That thou canst not stir a flower Without troubling of a star; When thy song is shield and mirror To the fair snake curled pain, Where thou dar'st affront her terror That on her thou may'st attain Persean Conquest; seek no more, O seek no more! Pass the gates of Luthany, Tread the region Elenore!
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Francis Thompson
β€œ
I believe there is nothing that our better nature needs more absolutely than music, no other art of perfection possesses that strange power of gliding into our every emotion and forming a part of it; poetry, we can only enjoy at times when the spirit is attuned to it, either by calmness, joy, or certain sorts of emotion; but in times of intense grief, who could command one's attention to listen to poetry however beautiful, who could but cast a glance upon the most perfect paintings or even regard the loveliness of flowers, their very brightness of hue would make discord in the heart, & seem unkindly gay; but whose sorrow is not soothed by music, the loud mellow organ peals, with its bewildering solemnity sinks into the soul, mixes with most powerful feelings, calms & sanctifies it in happiness our joys are expressed & increased by music from the sweet lullaby, sung by a low voiced mother, to the last sad requiem at the grave, music has been unceasingly the soul's true panacea. Music that on our spirit gentlier lies Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.
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Pauline Decaradeuc Heyward (A Confederate Lady Comes of Age: The Journal of Pauline DeCaradeuc Heyward, 1863-1888)
β€œ
Wedding Superstitions The Bridal Gown White - You have chosen right. Grey - You'll go far away. Black - You'll wish yourself back. Red - You'll wish yourself dead. Green - Ashamed to be seen. Blue - You'll always be true. Pearl - You'll live in a whirl. Peach - A love out of reach. Yellow - Ashamed of your fellow. Pink - Your Spirits will sink. The Wedding Day Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all. The Wedding Month Marry in May, and you'll rue the day, Marry in Lent, you'll live to repent. Married when the year is new, He'll be loving, kind and true. When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate. If you wed when March winds blow, Joy and sorrow both you'll know. Marry in April when you can, Joy for maiden and the man. Marry in the month of May, And you'll surely rue the day. Marry when the June roses grow, Over land and sea you'll go. Those who in July do wed, Must labour for their daily bread. Whoever wed in August be, Many a change is sure to see. Marry in September's shine, Your living will be rich and fine. If in October you do marry, Love will come, but riches tarry. If you wed in bleak November, Only joys will come, remember, When December's snows fall fast, Marry and true love will last. Married in January's roar and rime, Widowed you'll be before your prime. Married in February's sleepy weather, Life you'll tread in time together. Married when March winds shrill and roar, Your home will lie on a distant shore. Married 'neath April's changeful skies, A checkered path before you lies. Married when bees o'er May blossoms flit, Strangers around your board will sit. Married in month of roses June, Life will be one long honeymoon. Married in July with flowers ablaze, Bitter-sweet memories in after days. Married in August's heat and drowse, Lover and friend in your chosen spouse. Married in September's golden glow, Smooth and serene your life will go. Married when leaves in October thin, Toil and hardships for you begin. Married in veils of November mist, Fortune your wedding ring has kissed. Married in days of December's cheer, Love's star shines brighter from year to year
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New Zealand Proverb
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{From Luther Burbank's funeral. He was loved until he revealed he was an atheist, then he began to receive death threats. He tried to amiably answer them all, leading to his death} It is impossible to estimate the wealth he has created. It has been generously given to the world. Unlike inventors, in other fields, no patent rights were given him, nor did he seek a monopoly in what he created. Had that been the case, Luther Burbank would have been perhaps the world's richest man. But the world is richer because of him. In this he found joy that no amount of money could give. And so we meet him here today, not in death, but in the only immortal life we positively know--his good deeds, his kindly, simple, life of constructive work and loving service to the whole wide world. These things cannot die. They are cumulative, and the work he has done shall be as nothing to its continuation in the only immortality this brave, unselfish man ever sought, or asked to know. As great as were his contributions to the material wealth of this planet, the ages yet to come, that shall better understand him, will give first place in judging the importance of his work to what he has done for the betterment of human plants and the strength they shall gain, through his courage, to conquer the tares, the thistles and the weeds. Then no more shall we have a mythical God that smells of brimstone and fire; that confuses hate with love; a God that binds up the minds of little children, as other heathen bind up their feet--little children equally helpless to defend their precious right to think and choose and not be chained from the dawn of childhood to the dogmas of the dead. Luther Burbank will rank with the great leaders who have driven heathenish gods back into darkness, forever from this earth. In the orthodox threat of eternal punishment for sin--which he knew was often synonymous with yielding up all liberty and freedom--and in its promise of an immortality, often held out for the sacrifice of all that was dear to life, the right to think, the right to one's mind, the right to choose, he saw nothing but cowardice. He shrank from such ways of thought as a flower from the icy blasts of death. As shown by his work in life, contributing billions of wealth to humanity, with no more return than the maintenance of his own breadline, he was too humble, too unselfish, to be cajoled with dogmatic promises of rewards as a sort of heavenly bribe for righteous conduct here. He knew that the man who fearlessly stands for the right, regardless of the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, was the real man. Rather was he willing to accept eternal sleep, in returning to the elements from whence he came, for in his lexicon change was life. Here he was content to mingle as a part of the whole, as the raindrop from the sea performs its sacred service in watering the land to which it is assigned, that two blades may grow instead of one, and then, its mission ended, goes back to the ocean from whence it came. With such service, with such a life as gardener to the lilies of the field, in his return to the bosoms of infinity, he has not lost himself. There he has found himself, is a part of the cosmic sea of eternal force, eternal energy. And thus he lived and always will live. Thomas Edison, who believes very much as Burbank, once discussed with me immortality. He pointed to the electric light, his invention, saying: 'There lives Tom Edison.' So Luther Burbank lives. He lives forever in the myriad fields of strengthened grain, in the new forms of fruits and flowers, plants, vines, and trees, and above all, the newly watered gardens of the human mind, from whence shall spring human freedom that shall drive out false and brutal gods. The gods are toppling from their thrones. They go before the laughter and the joy of the new childhood of the race, unshackled and unafraid.
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Benjamin Barr Lindsey
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I Pray For This Girl Oh yes! For the young girl Who just landed on Mother Earth! The one about to turn five with a smile Or the other one who just turned nine She is not only mine My Mother’s, Grandmother’s Neighbour’s or friend’s daughter She is like a flower Very fragile, yet so gorgeous An Angel whose wings are invisible I speak life to this young or older girl She might not have a say But expects the world to be a better place Whether affluent or impoverished No matter her state of mind Her background must not determine How she is treated She needs to live, she has to thrive! Lord God Almighty Sanctify her unique journey Save her from the claws of the enemy Shield her against any brutality Restore her if pain becomes a reality Embrace her should joy pass swiftly When emptiness fills her heart severely May you be her sanctuary! Dear Father, please give her The honour to grow without being frightened Hope whenever she feels forsaken Contentment even after her heart was broken Comfort when she is shaken Courage when malice creeps in Calm when she needs peace Strength when she is weak Freedom to climb on a mountain peak And wisdom to tackle any season Guide her steps, keep her from tumbling My Lord, if she does sometimes stumble Lift her up, so she can rise and ramble Grant her power to wisely triumph On my knees, I plead meekly for this girl I may have never met her I may not know her name I may not be in her shoes I may not see her cries Yet, I grasp her plight Wherever she is King of Kings Be with her Each and every day I pray for this girl
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Gift Gugu Mona (From My Mother's Classroom: A Badge of Honour for a Remarkable Woman)
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In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies. These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly. At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat. Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals. The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth. In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them. With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green. One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom. β€œBrothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap. β€œI’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look. β€œDo you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he. Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder. β€œYou were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites. β€œAs easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean. β€œTake me with you,” I said to the fox. β€œOh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said. β€œCome on.” I said. β€œWhat are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.” β€œHere we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered. β€œNo,” I thought. β€œShe must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.” Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me. Like it or not, she had to take me with her. We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed. β€œThis is tundra,” said my fellow traveler. β€œTundra? What is tundra?” asked I. β€œTundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
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Anna Khvolson
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Time would heal the wound that was Frank; the world would continue to spin, to wobble, its axis only slightly skewed, momentarily displaced, by the brief, shuddering existence of one man -one THING - a post-human mutant, a blurred Xerox copy of a human being, the offspring of the waste of technology, the bent shadow of a fallen angel; Frank was all of these things. . . he was the sum of everything dark and sticky, the congealment of all things wrong and dark and foul in this world and every other seedy rathole world in every back-alley universe throughout the vast garbage dump of creation; God rolled the dice and Frank lost. . . he was a spiritual flunkie, a universal pain-in-the-ass, a joy-riding, soul-sucking cosmic punk rolling through time and space and piling up a karmic debt of such immense magnitude so as to invariably glue the particular vehicle of the immediate moment to the basement of possibility - planet earth - and force Frank to RE-ENLIST, endlessly, to return, over and over, to a flawed world somewhere to spend the Warhol-film-loop nights of eternity serving concurrent life sentences roaming the dimly lit hallways of always, stuck in the dense overshoes of physicality, forever, until finally - one would hope there is always a FINALLY - eventually, anyway - God would step in and say ENOUGH ALREADY and grab Frank by the collar of one of his thrift-shop polyester flower-print shirts and hurl him out the back door of the cosmos, expelling the rotten orb into the great wide nothingness and out of our lives - sure, that would be nice - but so would a new Cadillac - quit dreaming - it just doesn't work that way. . .
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George Mangels (Frank's World)
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But where should he begin? - Well, then, the trouble with the English was their: Their: In a word, Gibreel solemnly pronounced, their weather. Gibreel Farishta floating on his cloud formed the opinion that the moral fuzziness of the English was meteorologically induced. 'When the day is not warmer than the night,' he reasoned, 'when the light is not brighter than the dark, when the land is not drier than the sea, then clearly a people will lose the power to make distinctions, and commence to see everything - from political parties to sexual partners to religious beliefs - as much-the-same, nothing-to-choose, give-or-take. What folly! For truth is extreme, it is so and not thus, it is him and not her; a partisan matter, not a spectator sport. It is, in brief, heated. City,' he cried, and his voice rolled over the metropolis like thunder, 'I am going to tropicalize you.' Gibreel enumerated the benefits of the proposed metamorphosis of London into a tropical city: increased moral definition, institution of a national siesta, development of vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees (macaws, peacocks, cockatoos), new trees under the birds (coco-palms, tamarind, banyans with hanging beards). Improved street-life, outrageously coloured flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon-green), spider-monkeys in the oaks. A new mass market for domestic air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, anti-mosquito coils and sprays. A coir and copra industry. Increased appeal of London as a centre for conferences, etc.: better cricketeers; higher emphasis on ball-control among professional footballers, the traditional and soulless English commitment to 'high workrate' having been rendered obsolete by the heat. Religious fervour, political ferment, renewal of interest in the intellegentsia. No more British reserve; hot-water bottles to be banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love. Emergence of new social values: friends to commence dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old-folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family. Spicier foods; the use of water as well as paper in English toilets; the joy of running fully dressed through the first rains of the monsoon. Disadvantages: cholera, typhoid, legionnaires' disease, cockroaches, dust, noise, a culture of excess. Standing upon the horizon, spreading his arms to fill the sky, Gibreel cried: 'Let it be.
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Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
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He got into the tub and ran a little cold water. Then he lowered his thin, hairy body into the just-right warmth and stared at the interstices between the tiles. Sadness--he had experienced that emotion ten thousand times. As exhalation is to inhalation, he thought of it as the return from each thrust of happiness. Lazily soaping himself, he gave examples. When he was five and Irwin eight, their father had breezed into town with a snowstorm and come to see them where they lived with their grandparents in the small Connecticut city. Their father had been a vagabond salesman and was considered a bum by people who should know. But he had come into the closed, heated house with all the gimcrack and untouchable junk behind glass and he had smelled of cold air and had had snow in his curly black hair. He had raved about the world he lived in, while the old people, his father and mother, had clucked sadly in the shadows. And then he had wakened the boys in the night and forced them out into the yard to worship the swirling wet flakes, to dance around with their hands joined, shrieking at the snow-laden branches. Later, they had gone in to sleep with hearts slowly returning to bearable beatings. Great flowering things had opened and closed in Norman's head, and the resonance of the wild man's voice had squeezed a sweet, tart juice through his heart. But then he had wakened to a gray day with his father gone and the world walking gingerly over the somber crust of dead-looking snow. It had taken him some time to get back to his usual equanimity. He slid down in the warm, foamy water until just his face and his knobby white knees were exposed. Once he had read Wuthering Heights over a weekend and gone to school susceptible to any heroine, only to have the girl who sat in front of him, whom he had admired for some months, emit a loud fart which had murdered him in a small way and kept him from speaking a word to anyone the whole week following. He had laughed at a very funny joke about a Negro when Irwin told it at a party, and then the following day had seen some white men lightly kicking a Negro man in the pants, and temporarily he had questioned laughter altogether. He had gone to several universities with the vague exaltation of Old Man Axelrod and had found only curves and credits. He had become drunk on the idea of God and found only theology. He had risen several times on the subtle and powerful wings of lust, expectant of magnificence, achieving only discharge. A few times he had extended friendship with palpitating hope, only to find that no one quite knew what he had in mind. His solitude now was the result of his metabolism, that constant breathing in of joy and exhalation of sadness. He had come to take shallower breaths, and the two had become mercifully mixed into melancholy contentment. He wondered how pain would breach that low-level strength. "I'm a small man of definite limitations," he declared to himself, and relaxed in the admission.
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Edward Lewis Wallant (The Tenants of Moonbloom)
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After all, a kiss between real lovers is not some type of contract, a neatly defined moment of pleasure, something obtained by greedy conquest, or any kind of clear saying of how it is. It is a grief-drenched hatching of two hearts into some ecstatic never-before-seen bird whose new uncategorizable form, unrecognized by the status quo, gives the slip to Death's sure rational deal. For love is a delicious and always messy extension of life that unfrantically outgrows mortality's rigid insistence on precise and efficient definition. Having all the answers means you haven't really ecstatically kissed or lived, thereby declaring the world defined and already finished. Loving all the questions on the other hand is a vitality that makes any length of life worth living. Loving doesn't mean you know all the notes and that you have to play all the notes, it just means you have to play the few notes you have long and beautifully. Like the sight of a truly beautiful young woman, smooth and gliding, melting hearts at even a distant glimpse, that no words, no matter how capable, can truly describe; a woman whose beauty is only really known by those who take a perch on the vista of time to watch the years of life speak out their long ornate sentences of grooves as they slowly stretch into her smoothness, wrinkling her as she glides struggling, decade by decade, her gait mitigated by a long trail of heavy loads, joys, losses, and suffering whose joint-aching years of traveling into a mastery of her own artistry of living, becomes even more than beauty something about which though we are even now no more capable of addressing than before, our admiration as original Earth-loving human beings should nonetheless never remain silent. And for that beauty we should never sing about, but only sing directly to it. Straightforward, cold, and inornate description in the presence of such living evidence of the flowering speech of the Holy in the Seed would be death of both the beauty and the speaker. Even if we always fail when we speak, we must be willing to fail magnificently, for even an eloquent failure, if in the service of life, feeds the Divine. Is it not a magical thing, this life, when just a little ash, cinder, and unclear water can arrange themselves into a beautiful old woman who sways, lifts, kisses, loves, sickens, argues, loses, bears up under it all, and, wrinkling, still lives under all that and yet feeds the Holy in Nature by just the way she moves barefoot down a path? If we can find the hearts, tongues, and brightness of our original souls, broken or not, then no matter from what mess we might have sprung today, we would be like those old-time speakers of life; every one of us would have it in our nature to feel obligated by such true living beauty as to know we have to say something in its presence if only for our utter feeling of awe. For, finally learning to approach something respectfully with love, slowly with the courtesy of an ornate indirectness, not describing what we see but praising the magnificence of her half-smiles of grief and persistent radiance rolling up from the weight-bearing thumping of her fine, well-oiled dusty old feet shuffling toward the dawn reeds at the edge of her part of the lake to fetch a head-balanced little clay jar of water to cook the family breakfast, we would know why the powerful Father Sun himself hurries to get his daily glimpse of her, only rising early because she does.
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Martin Prechtel (The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive)
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Already it is twilight down in the Laredito. Bats fly forth from their roostings in courthouse and tower and circle the quarter. The air is full of the smell of burning charcoal. Children and dogs squat by the mud stoops and gamecocks flap and settle in the branches of the fruit trees. They go afoot, these comrades, down along a bare adobe wall. Band music carries dimly from the square. They pass a watercart in the street and they pass a hole in the wall where by the light of a small forgefire an old man beats out shapes of metal. They pass in a doorway a young girl whose beauty becomes the flowers about. They arrive at last before a wooden door. It is hinged into a larger door or gate and all must step over the foot-high sill where a thousand boots have scuffled away the wood, where fools in their hundreds have tripped or fallen or tottered drunkenly into the street. They pass along a ramada in a courtyard by an old grape arbor where small fowl nod in the dusk among the gnarled and barren vines and they enter a cantina where the lamps are lit and they cross stooping under a low beam to a bar and belly up one two three. There is an old disordered Mennonite in this place and he turns to study them. A thin man in a leather weskit, a black and straightbrim hat set square on his head, a thin rim of whiskers. The recruits order glasses of whiskey and drink them down and order more. There are monte games at tables by the wall and there are whores at another table who look the recruits over. The recruits stand sideways along the bar with their thumbs in their belts and watch the room. They talk among themselves of the expedition in loud voices and the old Mennonite shakes a rueful head and sips his drink and mutters. They'll stop you at the river, he says. The second corporal looks past his comrades. Are you talking to me? At the river. Be told. They'll jail you to a man. Who will? The United States Army. General Worth. They hell they will. Pray that they will. He looks at his comrades. He leans toward the Mennonite. What does that mean, old man? Do ye cross that river with yon filibuster armed ye'll not cross it back. Don't aim to cross it back. We goin to Sonora. What's it to you, old man? The Mennonite watches the enshadowed dark before them as it is reflected to him in the mirror over the bar. He turns to them. His eyes are wet, he speaks slowly. The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman's making into a foreign land. Ye'll wake more than the dogs. But they berated the old man and swore at him until he moved off down the bar muttering, and how else could it be? How these things end. In confusion and curses and blood. They drank on and the wind blew in the streets and the stars that had been overhead lay low in the west and these young men fell afoul of others and words were said that could not be put right again and in the dawn the kid and the second corporal knelt over the boy from Missouri who had been named Earl and they spoke his name but he never spoke back. He lay on his side in the dust of the courtyard. The men were gone, the whores were gone. An old man swept the clay floor within the cantina. The boy lay with his skull broken in a pool of blood, none knew by whom. A third one came to be with them in the courtyard. It was the Mennonite. A warm wind was blowing and the east held a gray light. The fowls roosting among the grapevines had begun to stir and call. There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto, said the Mennonite. He had been holding his hat in his hands and now he set it upon his head again and turned and went out the gate.
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Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)