“I dig old books.”
Quotations of Perspective
In a rapidly ascending balloon were two men.
All honor's wounds are self-inflicted. ~Andrew Carnegie
The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on. ~Joseph Heller, Catch-22
There's no such thing as bragging. You're either lying or telling the truth. ~Al Oliver
A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye. ~Samuel Grafton
Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be? ~Author Unknown
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. ~Abraham Maslow
Don't think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It's really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive. ~Author Unknown
Be careful how you interpret the world: It is like that. ~Erich Heller
Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers. ~Thomas Pynchon, Jr., Gravity's Rainbow, 1973
Astronomers always work in the past; because light takes time to move from one place to another, they see things as they were, not as they are. ~Neale E. Howard, The Telescope Handbook and Star Atlas, 1967
Each act is virgin, even the repeated ones. ~René Char
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. As a man sees in his heart, so he sees. Through unclean windows, lenses, senses, we see things not as they are but as we are. ~Jersey Journal, 1914
The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842
The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate. ~Bern Williams
[N]o man but feels more of a man in the world if he have a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property. ~Charles Dudley Warner, "Preliminary," My Summer in a Garden, 1870
The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius. ~Sid Caesar
An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour. ~Albert Einstein (relativity)
Feast, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Efficiency is intelligent laziness. ~David Dunham
It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall. ~Mexican Proverb
If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. ~Carl Sagan
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Alexander Pope, in Swift, Miscellanies
Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold. ~Latin Proverb
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Khalil Gibran
If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time. ~Jean Paul Richter
We envy others, for we see their lives in broad outline, while forced to live ours in every detail. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
All the suns labor to kindle your flame and a microbe puts it out. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
There is no burnt rice to a hungry person. ~Philippine Proverb
If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to the vote? ~Bertrand Russell
Dare to turn life on its end, and you may find that topsy-turvy is a truer perspective than turvy-topsy. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Nothing is further than Earth from Heaven: nothing is nearer than Heaven to Earth. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Man looks earthward with a microscopic eye; heavenward with telescopic lenses. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
As far as the Moon is concerned, he is always full. ~Terri Guillemets
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow's speed. ~Howard Nemerov
How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there a danger of their coming true! ~Logan Pearsall Smith
Life is inherently paradoxical: every dream has the potential for nightmare; every nightmare may reveal some truth. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
Everybody's talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses. ~Thornton Wilder, The Matchmaker, 1955
A statistician made a few calculations and discovered that since the birth of our nation more lives had been lost in celebrating independence than in winning it. ~Curtis Billings
Nothing is less promising than precocity. A young thistle is more like a future tree than is a young oak. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882
If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush. ~Dawn French
Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens that look beautifully kept. ~Saint Francis de Sales
It is seldom indeed that one parts on good terms, because if one were on good terms one would not part. ~Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, Remembrance of Things Past, 1925
There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~Louis L'Amour
If we were unable to tell the sexes by their dress, nay, if in general we had to guess at them, a new world of love would arise. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
The poor never estimate as a virtue the generosity of the rich. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882
The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food. ~Russian proverb
After the striving, the fine talk, and the grandeur of dreams — all that remains is an elegance of bones. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure. ~Ashleigh Brilliant
The tyrant is nothing but a slave turned inside out. ~Herbert Spencer
The bluebird carries the sky on his back. ~Henry David Thoreau
Expectant of greater things,
We try climbing -
An effort that costs us much,
Leaving us short of breath
To find only
The ground below is much prettier.
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Mountains" Love, Abstraction and other Speculations, www.originals.net
Offense is taken, not given. ~[Modern paraphrase of an older idea, I'm working on finding a good older version for quoting but haven't completed my research yet...
"distinction between an offence given and an offence taken" (1816)
"yet the offence is not given, but taken" (1681)
"if others will take offence, and stumble, 'tis their sin, not mine... the offence is taken, not given" (1683)
"the empty quibble that the offense was 'taken, not given'" (1846)
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. ~Jonathan Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects," Miscellanies, 1711
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. ~Arthur Schopenhauer, "Studies in Pessimism," Psychological Observations, 1851
Vision may sometimes sleep in the sun, while it wakens to widest revelation in utter darkness. Thus I am rapt in a trance-like acceptance of opening cavernous depths, crypts of decyphered gloom, yielding hollows of velvet obscurity that go down, down to the roots of things. ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision. ~Stevie Wonder
There are those whose sole claim to profundity is the discovery of exceptions to the rules. ~Paul Eldridge
Exceptions do not always prove the rule; they may be even the first germs of a new rule. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882
There's an alternative. There's always a third way, and it's not a combination of the other two ways. It's a different way. ~David Carradine
The violence we do to ourselves in order to remain faithful to the one we love is hardly better than an act of infidelity. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault, Maxims
Just as important as having a list of priorities is every once in a while starting from the bottom. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The chains that bind us most closely are the ones we have broken. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
If you see the world in black and white, you're missing important grey matter. ~Jack Fyock
Look back into folklore and legend, myth and religion, and you will find much of the emphasis is on the shadow. A shadowless man is a monster, a devil, a thing of evil. A man without a shadow is soulless. A shadow without a man is a pitiable shred. Yet together, light and dark, they make a whole. And these light/dark chiaroscuro figures walking about a magical landscape illumine all our lives. ~Jane Yolen, Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie and Folklore in the Literature of Childhood, 1981
Then my father's God did well
When he prohibited the fatal tree.
But had done better in not planting it.
But ignorance of evil doth not save
From evil: it must still roll on the same,
A part of all things.
~Lord Byron, "Cain"
A boil is no big deal. On someone else's neck. ~Jewish saying
The most rapid motions are those which are not perceived; and the greatest changes, both in nature and life, are brought about by invisible causes. ~William Benton Clulow, Aphorisms and Reflections: A Miscellany of Thought and Opinion, 1843
I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed. ~Matthew Henry
Saints in stone have done more in the world than living ones. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
Events and external objects are, so to speak, but a neutral substance, which receives its colour and its significance from our soul. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
So much unmerited honour has been paid me in my lifetime that I may upon occasion well put up with a little unmerited censure. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
A kind soul knows impoliteness is just preoccupied with distraction. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
The bat hanging upside down laughs at the topsy-turvy world. ~Japanese proverb
In the ideal sense nothing is uninteresting; there are only uninterested people. ~Brooks Atkinson
I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world. ~Socrates
A "fraternity" is the antithesis of fraternity. The first... is predicated on the idea of exclusion; the second (that is, the abstract thing) is based on a feeling of total equality. ~E.B. White, One Man's Meat, 1944
Equality looks like a peach, tastes like a lemon. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
If we would see others as they see themselves, our shyness would soon become compassion. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Retreat, hell! We're just advancing in another direction. ~Oliver Prince Smith
Unappreciated Greatness often starves, while appreciated Littleness feeds on the fat of the land. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
That, chang'd thro' all and yet in all the same,
Great in the Earth as in th' Ætherial frame,
Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the Breeze,
Glows in the Stars, and blossoms in the Trees...
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part...
Submit — in this, or any other Sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood...
All partial Evil, universal Good...
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious. ~Saint Thomas Aquinas
An abridgement may be a bridge: it may help us over the water: but it keeps us from drinking. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
An apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books. ~Samuel Butler, Note-Books
All religions issue bibles against him, and say most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. ~Mark Twain, about the Devil
The shadows: some hide, others reveal. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
No one knows what they'll do in a moment of crisis and hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. ~Joan Baez, "What Would You Do If....?"
It's a shame that philosophical ideals don't always match up to pragmatic reality. We live in an analog world, not a digital one, so binary black-and-white choices and reflexive adherence to absolutes are rarely useful or applicable. Deal with it. ~David C. Hill, ***Dave Does the Blog (hill-kleerup.org/blog)
It's a shame that pragmatic reality doesn't always live up to our philosophical ideals. There is right and wrong, even if we aren't always gifted with the knowledge of which is which. One can too easily get lost in a world of greys, and so guarded commitment to some absolutes (while acknowledging one's own fallibility) can be essential to avoid sliding down that old slippery slope. ~David C. Hill, ***Dave Does the Blog (hill-kleerup.org/blog)
Daughter am I in my mother's house;
But mistress in my own.
~Rudyard Kipling, "Our Lady of the Snows," 1898
What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight. ~Joseph Joubert
Johnsons are rare; yet, Boswells are perhaps still rarer. ~Thomas Carlyle
If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends. ~John Enoch Powell
Every once in a while, turn life over to see what it looks like from the other side. ~Terri Guillemets
A light supper, a good night's sleep, and a fine morning have often made a hero of the same man who by indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning, would have proved a coward. ~Earl of Chesterfield
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.
~Sylvia Plath, "Mad Girl's Love Song"
I went to a cafe that advertised breakfast anytime, so I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance. ~Steven Wright
Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it? It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate. ~H.L. Mencken
There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius. ~Walt Whitman
It is a positive fact that some thoughts please us when we are lying down which fail to please us any more when we are on our feet. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. ~Daniel Boone
While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
But such a tiny and trivial thing as an umbrella can deprive you of the sight of such a stupendous fact as the sun. ~Meher Baba
“[R]omantic” doesn’t mean “sugary.” It’s dark and tormented — the furor of passion, the despair of an idealism that you can’t attain. ~Catherine Breillat
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911
Dreams alone aren't enough to make your belly full. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata
Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is the lightning that does the work. ~Mark Twain
I have scarcely touched the sky and I am made of it. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Given a little time, regulation regulates nothing. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. ~G.K. Chesterton
Youth is not enough. And love is not enough. And success is not enough. And, if we could achieve it, enough would not be enough. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
There is no possible line of conduct which has at some time and place been condemned, and which has not at some other time and place been enjoined as a duty. ~William Lecky
What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth. ~Norman Cousins
Nothing's a gift, it's all on loan. ~Wisława Szymborska (1923–2012), "Nothing's a Gift," The End and the Beginning, 1993, translated from the Polish by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh
The things which are most important don't always scream the loudest. ~Bob Hawke
The commonest opinions and the things that everybody takes for granted often most deserve examination. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908
While his eyes saw the sky, his soul saw Heaven. ~
If you see a whole thing — it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. ~Ursula K. Le Guin
I love and honour him,
But must not break my back to heal his finger...
~William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens [II, 1, Senator]
Why should I be ambitious? Shall I write verses? I am not likely to surpass Mr Tennyson or Mr Browning in that walk. Shall I be a musician? The blackbird singing this moment somewhere in my garden-shrubbery puts me to instant shame. Shall I paint? The intensest scarlet on an artist's palette is but ochre to that I saw this morning at sunrise.... I am happier as it is. I do not need to make history—there are plenty of people willing to save me trouble on that score. ~Alexander Smith, "Books and Gardens," Dreamthorp: A Book of Essays Written in the Country, 1863
The tyrant dies and his rule ends, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ~Søren Kierkegaard
Disappointment is as inevitable as hope is necessary. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV
Life is a series of tasks that you absolutely must get done before they don't matter any more. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize until you have tried to make it precise. ~Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism
A gifted small girl has explained that pins are a great means of saving life, "by not swallowing them." ~Charles Edward Montague, Dramatic Values
[E]very saint has a past and every sinner has a future. ~Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1893
Addictions do come in handy sometimes: at least you have to get out of bed for them. ~Martin Amis
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds; and until we know what has been or will be the peculiar combination of outward with inward facts, which constitute a man's critical actions, it will be better not to think ourselves wise about his character. There is a terrible coercion in our deeds which may at first turn the honest man into a deceiver, and then reconcile him to the change; for this reason—that the second wrong presents itself to him in the guise of the only practicable right. The action which before commission has been seen with that blended common sense and fresh untarnished feeling which is the healthy eye of the soul is looked at afterward with the lens of apologetic ingenuity, through which all things that men call beautiful and ugly are seen to be made up of textures very much alike. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede
It is easier to be the hero of the moment than the hero of every drudging hour and every grinding day. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
If a fanatic is willing to give his life for a cause, he's probably willing to give yours as well. ~David Gerrold
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and, whatever you hit, call it the target. ~Patrick Toche
Do the stars out-number the sands of the sea?
What part is an hour of eternity?
Is the Past quite as long as the Future will be?
~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
You taught me all about love, all about faith, and then God turned your lessons inside out, let me see the underside of every good thing you gave me. ~Margaret Blair Young, Heresies of Nature, 2002
Everything is best until we know better. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning. ~Andy Warhol
The activities you spent your time on yesterday were the things that were important to you. Calendars don't lie. ~Scott Ginsberg, hellomynameisscott.com
The highest virtue here may be least in another world. ~Khalil Gibran
Sometimes we must unfocus our way to clarity. ~Terri Guillemets
Don't confuse fun with fulfillment, or pleasure with happiness. ~Michael Josephson, whatwillmatter.com
Education is indoctrination if you're white — subjugation if you're black. ~James Baldwin
I never ask God to give me anything; I only ask him to put me where things are. ~Mexican Proverb
Hints to the thoughtful are often more convincing than elaborate arguments. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
Distance is inspiration's best hearting. ~
One day it's your turn, and all the stumbling words of consolation you ever said are said to you — and they don't seem stumbling at all. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
~William Blake (1757-1827), "Auguries of Innocence"
If you cry "Forward," you must make plain in what direction to go. ~Anton Chekhov
To live in scarcity is to worry about the cost of food; to live in abundance is to worry about who else you can invite for dinner. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
Morning walks —
rich man walks to digest food
a poor to earn.
~Kiran Bantawa, "Morning Walks"
We feed upon the finest of animal flesh, and at last ourselves become food for worms. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
A senseless tragedy remains forever tragic, but it is up to us whether it remains forever senseless. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Gayety always keeps company with servitude. This blessing God has given the poor to console them for their miseries, just as he has made certain grasses to grow between the pavements that we tread under our feet, certain birds to sing on the old towers, and the beautiful verdure of the ivy to smile upon grimacing ruins. ~Claude Tillier (1801–1844), My Uncle Benjamin: A Humorous, Satirical, and Philosophical Novel, 1843, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1890 [a little altered
The most amazing things that can happen to a human being will happen to you, if you just lower your expectations. ~"Phil's-osophy" by Phil Dunphy (Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan, and Dan O'Shannon, Modern Family, "Schooled," original airdate 2012 Oct 10)
A full heart has room for everything and an empty heart has room for nothing. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses. ~Henry Van Dyke
All men have a reason, but not all men can give a reason. ~John Henry Cardinal Newman
Presence is more than just being there. ~Malcolm S. Forbes, The Further Sayings of Chairman Malcolm
No man sees far; the most see no farther than their noses. ~Thomas Carlyle, "Count Cagliostro," 1833
Plagiarists, at least, have the merit of preservation. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Injury, when it is slight, upsets me; when it is strong it calms me. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse below and dreams of home. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you. ~Andre Gide
The answer to poverty is not charity, the solution to abortion is not laws, the key to saving the environment is not recycling. As Thoreau so wisely noted, we must strike at the root, not hack at the branches. ~Terri Guillemets, "Comfort is not always the best medicine," 1995
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root... ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. ~William Bernbach
Sometimes the faces of the wicked are turned towards heaven for the first time when they are laid in the grave. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
A barley-corn is better than a diamond to a cock. ~Thomas Fuller's Gnomologia, 1732
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. ~A.A. Milne
'Tis not the meat, but 'tis the appetite makes eating a delight. ~John Suckling, Sonnet, c.1638