Tennessee Williams: "All cruel people describe..."

"All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness!"

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "Acceptance of not knowing..."

"Acceptance of not knowing anything but the moment of still existing, until we stop existing - and acceptance of that moment, too."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "You're a fool if..."

"You're a fool... if you don't know that finally, sooner or later, you need somebody or something to mean God to you."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "Then it gets dark..."

"Then it gets dark. We're left alone with each other: we have to creep close to each other before we can slip into sleep and rest for the next day's miracles."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "I think the truth..."

"I think the truth is too delicate and, well, dangerous to be played with.  It has to be handled with the carefullest care, or somebody hurts somebody and gets hurt back."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "Liquor improves my concentration."

"Liquor improves my concentration."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Tennessee Williams: "Some people don't need..."

"Some people don't need love, if you can call 'em people, but I do, it's the breath of life to me..."

—Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

Julia Cameron: "I want time to..."

"I want time to walk, not run.  I'd go so far as to say I want time to dawdle."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "His love of music..."

"His love of music shimmers off of him."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "God lives in the..."

"God lives in the park, I am convinced."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "I feel like writing..."

"I feel like writing, but I am afraid I have lost my voice."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "I realized that I..."

"I realized that I was probably in the best position of my life.  I may not yet have all that I want but I have far more than I've ever had previously."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "All it takes is..."

"All it takes is the humility to try again."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "It's so full of..."

"It's so full of promise.  As it stands, it's halfway terrific and halfway flawed."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "What we can't master..."

"What we can't master today, we might well master tomorrow.  Our skills may catch up to our vision after all."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "The artist's life can..."

"The artist's life can be tumultuous, and yet I chose it - and choose it again on a daily basis."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "If I slow down..."

"If I slow down, life is beautiful."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "And so I take..."

"And so I take a deep breath, trying to fill my lungs with oxygen and my life with gratitude.  Gratitude slows down the pace.  Gratitude renders the glass half full."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Julia Cameron: "Left to my own..."

"Left to my own devices, I just spin around."

—Julia Cameron, The Creative Life

Vanessa Woods: "All these precious traits..."

"All these precious traits we cling to as uniquely ours - empathy, altruism, morality - they have to come from somewhere.  They didn't just appear... Evolution is a journey.  One tiny change links to the next."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "All of us are..."

"All of us are capable of these small acts of kindness that occasionally lead to the heroic acts of people..."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "If there is one..."

"If there is one thing I have learned from Congo, it is this:  If there are those you love, whoever or wherever they are, hold them.  Find them and hold them as tightly as you can.  Resist their squirming and impatience and uncomfortable laughter and just feel their hearts throbbing against yours and give thanks that for this moment, for this one precious moment, they are here."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "We may not be..."

"We may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other.  The Chinese say that love is balance."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "We are who we..."

"We are who we are, but our circumstances shape us.  It is never nature versus nurture.  It is always nature and nurture."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "We do terrible things..."

"We do terrible things to the ones we love.  We cheat and lie and betray them, for thirty pieces of silver or our own selfish hearts.  The only way love endures is because of one simple gift.  Forgiveness."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "Ask any scientists and..."

"Ask any scientists and most would agree that what makes us human is altruism - helping an unrelated individual at a cost to yourself."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "Ignorance is not an..."

"Ignorance is not an excuse forever."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "There are certain things..."

There are certain things you need to feel human.  Enough to eat, a place to sleep, somewhere to go to the toilet.  We had none of those things."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "Chimpanzees are not evil..."

"Chimpanzees are not evil.  They are capable of kindness, love, and grief.  In fact, they are very similar to us.  Chimpanzee violence occurs in the same context as human violence: over females, enemy males, and territory."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "It is joy and..."

"It is joy and hope and love and light.
It is the perfect end and a perfect beginning.
It is truly the happiest day of my life."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "I didn't know the..."

"I didn't know the cost of falling in love with a man and his dream."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Vanessa Woods: "Each day of our..."

"Each day of our life is a miracle, from the cars that drive us to the computers on our desks to the buildings we sit in."

Vanessa Woods, Bonobo Handshake

Maddie Dawson: "When you have kids..."

"When you have kids around, you have to do things that you maybe don't want to do, but they turn out to be fun.  Like sledding."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "Life was tactile, messy..."

"Life was tactile, messy, earthy, inseparable from love."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "But why can't I..."

"But why can't I have it all - passion and motherhood and family?"

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "He lowers his voice..."

"He lowers his voice and reaches over and takes my hand, and the world tilts."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "It was as though..."

"It was as though my heart was beating a little faster all the time, my lungs took in more oxygen, my eyes took in more light."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "You make me goofy..."

"You make me goofy with love."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "I sit on the..."

"I sit on the bed next to [my daughter] and hold her, and I can't help it, I think of my mother - this whole chain of women we're making, how far it stretches into the past and how much further it will go into the future."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "...I know sometimes a..."

"... I know sometimes a man can break your heart worse when he is far away but happy, and you realize how tangential you are to his real life."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "How is it possible..."

"How is it possible to downsize a life to the point where bringing home an additional box of tea bags can tip the kitchen into chaos?"

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "Is there anything more..."

"Is there anything more heart-wrenching than having your child weeping and thanking you for doing the very thing that you should and want to be doing?"

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "Oh, she had my..."

"Oh, she had my number, all right.  I wanted to indulge her every creative impulse and create the perfect safe, artistic world for her from the very moment she slid out of me and I discovered myself in possession of a daughter..."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "I guess I thought..."

"I guess I thought my parents knew something other people didn't know about how to hold it together."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "I walked around on..."

"I walked around on the alert for love. I was an appreciator of people's best moments."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Maddie Dawson: "...she knows the heart..."

"...she knows the heart of love is good no matter where it lives inside you..."

—Maddie Dawson, The Stuff That Never Happened

Sappho: "Without warning, as a..."

"Without warning,
As a whirlpool swoons upon an oak,
Love shakes my heart."

—Sappho

Rainer Maria Rilke: "The point of marriage..."

"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust.  A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent... But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky."

—Rainer Maria Rilke

Unknown: "No one can truly..."

"No one can truly think of God.  It is therefore my wish to leave everything that I can think and choose for my love the thing that I cannot think.  God can be loved but not thought.  He can be taken and held by love, but not by thought."

—Unknown, The Cloud of Unknowing

Unknown: "Take just a little..."

"Take just a little word of one syllable rather than two... Such a one is the word God or the word love.  Choose which you prefer... and fasten this word to your heart so that whatever happens it will never go away.  This word is to be your shield and your spear, whether you are riding in peace or in war.  With this word you are to beat upon the cloud and the darkness above and beneath you.  With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought, driving it down into a pool of forgetting.  If any thought should press upon you, asking what you would have, answer with no word but this one.  If your thoughts should offer, out of their great learning to analyze your word for you and tell you its meanings, say to your thoughts that you want to keep it whole... It is not a matter of analyzing or elucidating... "

—Unknown, The Cloud of Unknowing

Rumi: "Out beyond ideas of..."

"Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field.  I will meet you there."

—Rumi

Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make..."

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

—Eleanor Roosevelt

Laura Munson, "You might think all..."

"You might think all this would find me in a place of intense pain. panic, even. State of emergency. But I am choosing something else.  I am choosing not to suffer."


—Laura Munson, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is

Katherine Rosman: "She was our mom..."

"She was our mom. We were her girls. Inevitabilities like adulthood and marriage didn't change that."

—Katherine Rosman, If You Knew Suzy

Dante: "A mighty flame followeth..."

"A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark."

—Dante

Nujood Ali: "I'd like so much..."

"I'd like so much for someone here to take my hand, to look at me with kindness."


—Nujood Ali, with Delphine Minoui, I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

Buckminster Fuller: "When I'm working on..."

"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."

—Buckminster Fuller

Anais Nin: "Each friend represents a..."

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

—Ana├»s Nin

Antonio Machado: "Wanderer, there is no..."

"Wanderer, there is no path. You lay down a path in your walking."

Antonio Machado

Ganz & Mandel: "You know, when I..."

"You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it."

—Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, Character of Grandma, Parenthood (1989)





Aaron Sorkin: "It's taken me a..."

"It's taken me a lot of years, but I've come around to this: If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you."

—Aaron Sorkin, Robert Guillaume as Isaac Jaffe, Sports Night: "The Hungry and the Hunted"

Victor Borge: "Laughter is the shortest..."

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

—Victor Borge

Coldplay: "So come over..."

So come over
Just be patient
And don't worry
And don't worry

No I don't wanna battle
From beginning to end
I don't wanna cycle
Recycle revenge
I don't wanna follow
Death and all his friends

—Coldplay, "Death and All His Friends" from Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends


J. M. Barrie: "God gave us memory..."

"God gave us memory that we might have roses in December."

J. M. Barrie, quoted in Safe Return Home: An Inspirational Book for Caregivers of Alzheimers by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers

Thomas Paine: "My country is the..."

"My country is the world... and my religion is to do good."

—Thomas Paine

Elizabeth Gilbert: "Happiness is the consequence..."

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lazy about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."

—Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

John Mayer: "You know it's nothing new..."

"You know it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
Then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good"

—John Mayer, "Heart of Life" from Continuum

Voltaire: "Don't let the perfect..."

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

—Voltaire

Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is..."

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

—Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Unknown: "The will of God..."

“The will of God will never take us
where the grace of God cannot protect us.”

—Unknown, Folk Wisdom

Bill Withers: "You can't get to..."

"You can't get to wonderful without passing through alright."

—Bill Withers in Wisdom

Unknown: "Before going to war..."

"Before going to war, say one prayer.
Before going to sea, say two prayers.
Before getting married, say three."

—Unknown, Old Polish Adage

Alan W. Watts: "You do not play..."

"You do not play a sonata to reach the final chord...
And if the meanings of things were simply in the ends,
composers would write nothing but finales."

—Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity

Benjamin Disraeli: "There is no greater..."

"There is no greater risk than matrimony.
But there is nothing happier than a happy marriage."

Benjamin Disraeli (1870) in a letter to Queen Victoria's daughter Louise, congratulating her on her engagement

Elizabeth Gilbert: "America: a fast-moving..."

"America: a fast-moving, multicultural, ever-evolving, maddeningly contradictory, creatively challenging, and fundamentally alive sort of place."


—Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed